Society / Featured Parties

One Big Night — Giant Gala Crowd Raises More Than $1 Million in Starry Houston Evening

Auction Paddle Fun and Bigwigs Galore

BY // 05.05.19

What: The sixth annual UNICEF Gala Houston

Where: The Post Oak Hotel

PC Moment: Who’s to say that there was one shining moment during the black-tie gala attended by close to 400? There were so many. But perhaps the most fun of all occurred when the paddles were raised in an effort reach $100,000, thus insuring the matching contribution from Margaret Alkek Williams’ family foundation.

Congratulations to chairs Cheryl Byington, Mary Ann McKeithan, Beth Wolff, and Hallie Vanderhider, lead benefactor, who ushered the evening to proceeds of more than $1 million.

Contributing their own clout to the evening were honorary chairs Shelly and Brian Hendry, Leela and Nat Krishnamurthy, Limor and Stuart Smith, Margaret Alkek Williams and Randa and Charles Williams.

KHOU Channel 11 morning host Deborah Duncan emceed the event that honored Susan and Dan Boggio with the Helenka Pantaleoni Humanitarian Award and honored Sue Smith and her late husband, Lester Smith, with the Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award.

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The program included remarks by Mayor Sylvester Turner, UNICEF USA CEO and president Caryl M. Stern, and via video Téa Leoni, (aka Madame Secretary, granddaughter of Helenka Pantaleoni, the founding director of UNICEF USA. She congratulated the Boggios, who have launched the Susan and Dan Boggio Fund for UNICEF, for their long-time support of the organization.

Adding a lighter touch to the event were the musical high notes of  The Garden State Guys,  who presented a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute. The party action went on into the night with NextGen chairs Anika Jackson and Catherine Clarke Murphy who oversaw the disco-driven after party.

PC Seen: Auction chairs Darrin Davis and Mario Gudmundsson, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Fady Armanious and Bill Baldwin, Cynthia Petrello, Diane Lokey Farb, Ceron, Dr. Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Alicia Smith, and Thecla Harper.

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