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Powerful Shared Prayer For Peace From Interfaith Leaders Helps This $730,000 Houston Night Drive Home a Worldwide Message

These Are Anything But Usual Times and This is Anything But an Ordinary Statement

BY // 11.08.23
photography Quy Tran

What: Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston annual Tapestry Gala, themed “Welcome the World”

Where: Hilton Americas-Houston

PC Moment: In a world filled with strife and war, it seemed only fitting that the program began with a team of multi-faith leaders sharing a prayer for peace and understanding. Leading the heartfelt missive were Imam Mohammad Haq, adjunct professor of religious studies at the University of Houston; Rabbi Steve Gross of the Houston Congregation of Reform Judiasim; Nadia Tajalli of Houston’s Baha’i community; Buddhist Ray Tran; Hindu Atul Kothari; and the Rev. Orrin Halepska of Holy Rosary Catholic Church.

With some 600 supporters in attendance, the evening raised more than $730,000 for Interfaith Ministries‘ Meals on Wheels/Animeals, Refugee Services, Interfaith Relations and Community Partnerships, as well as Volunteer Houston and Serve Houston through the Vic Samuels Center for Volunteerism and Service.

Juanita and Rudy Rasmus with Christina and Stacy Jones (Photo by Quy Tran)
Honorees pastors Rudy & Juanita Rasmus with Christina & Stacy Jones at Interfaith Ministries annual Tapestry Gala at the Hilton Americas-Houston. (Photo by Quy Tran)

Joining in the program were Interfaith Ministries president and CEO Martin B. Cominsky, board chair Randall Evans, gala chairs Karen and Jay Harberg and Tehmina and Dr. Faisal Masud, and honorary chairs Brigitte and Bashar Kalai and Christina Jones, vice president of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Shell USA, Inc., the evening’s Presenting Sponsor.

Pastors Juanita and Rudy Rasmus, who led St. John’s United Methodist Church for more than 30 years, were honored with the Spirit of Respect Award. The beloved couple is known for founding Bread of Life Inc. and teamed up with Tina Knowles Lawson, Solange Knowles and Beyoncé to help 40,000 flood victims recover in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.  They have raised millions of dollars to provide housing for the formerly homeless, as well as led projects benefiting local and global communities.

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Philanthropists with local and international focus, Susan and Dan Boggio were recognized as Tapestry honorees. Introducing the couple, Cominsky noted that the Boggios are the only Interfaith Ministries donors to have received all three of the organization’s annual awards — Tapestry for overall service, For All Humanity for supporting IM’s Refugee Services program and Wags & Whiskers for supporting IM’s Animeals project.

Their global philanthropy focuses on the most vulnerable worldwide from India to Jordan and beyond and in particular children, animals and refugees.

Dan and Susan Boggio with Martin Cominsky (Photo by Quy Tran)
Honorees Dan & Susan Boggio with Martin Cominsky at Interfaith Ministries annual Tapestry Gala at the Hilton Americas-Houston. (Photo by Quy Tran)

The evening included a musical presentation filled with inspirational songs including “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “The Impossible Dream” performed by Sarah Sachi and John Ryan del Bosque, accompanied by Selmer’s Arch.

PC Seen: Eileen and Kase Lawal, Y. Ping Sun and David Leebron, Farida Abjani, Raquel Lewis, Amy Pierce, Laura and George Pontikes, Joyce and Arthur Schechter, Regina Rogers, Mandy Kao, Stephanie and Eric Nielson, Beth Wolff, Paul-David Van Atta, Gregg Harrison, and board members including Ann Kaesermann, Saied Alavi, Wendy Cooper, Vican Sun, Henry Florsheim, Nadia Tajalli, Dr. Kathy Flanagan, Chris Hollins, and Nadia Tajalli.

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