Society / Featured Parties

Prominent Houston Nonprofit Plans to Make its Showcase Dinner a Virtual Affair — With Meals Delivered and Entertainment on Livestream

Interfaith Ministries Gets Creative to Keep Vital Funds Coming In

BY // 03.25.20

Interfaith Ministries is dealing with the effects of COVID-19 on its April gala plans in a most creative way. While other nonprofits are canceling altogether and many are rescheduling for the fall, Interfaith Ministries is moving ahead with its dinner plans — a virtual program with food delivery.

Playing on its core program of Meals on Wheels and its expertise in food delivery, IM plans to distribute dinner to ticket purchasers, with high-end table buyers receiving wine and flowers along with the meal. While dining in, supporters can view a Livestream of the program that was originally scheduled to take place at the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel on April 22.

What might be to the delight of many, pajamas and lounge wear are the recommended attire. No tuxedos. No cocktail dresses. Comfort is key. In a light-hearted spirit, IM is asking participants to send in photos of themselves in their at-home gala attire for a compilation of images.

Meals on Wheels still delivers food to 4,300 seniors across the Houston area each day, so the delivery end of the process should run smoothly. IM is working with a corporate sponsor and caterer to provide the meal.

Proceeds from the gala are crucial for the nonprofit, which to date has raised 70 percent of its $600,000 goal. Last year’s event brought in $650,000.

“Funds are needed more than ever, as the COVID-19 outbreak is stretching IM’s resources to the limit,” Interfaith Ministries chief development officer Maria McGee tells PaperCity. “We are committed to ensuring the nutrition and safety of our Meals on Wheels seniors and Animeals pets, assisting our refugee neighbors who are experiencing lost or reduced wages, keeping the faith community informed and connected, and managing volunteer response to the COVID-19 outbreak through Volunteer Houston during this challenging time.”

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Interfaith Ministries president and CEO Martin B. Cominsky and board chair Jay Harberg are extending the invitation to the virtual social gathering to all. The live-feed program will include a video presentation and a performance by opera singer Kenneth Gayle.

Organizers tell PaperCity that the honorees will be recognized at the 2021 gala while 2020 gala chairs  — Philamena Baird, Dr. Kathy Flanagan, Dr. Sushma and Devinder Mahajan, and Anuradha and Dr. Kohur (Mani) Subrama — are still participating.

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