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Cyndi Lauper headlines the 24th Annual Houston Children’s Charity Gala, chaired by power couple Frances and Tony Buzbee,
which raised a record-breaking $2.8 million

Photo Credit: Gary Maltz with Alexander's Fine Portrait Design and Michelle Watson with CatchLight Group

The Celebration

On Friday, October 8, 2021, The Post Oak Hotel and the Board of Directors of Houston Children’s Charity (HCC) welcomed 600 guests to the organization’s 24th annual gala. Power couple Frances and Tony Buzbee chaired the event, and anchor extraordinaire of KTRK-TV ABC 13, Gina Gaston, emceed. Momentum BMW Southwest (Tommy Kuranoff) and BMW of West Houston (Maria Moncada Alaoui) were the Title Sponsors.

The Story

Eschewing black tie for the first time in 24 years, attendees matched the evening’s theme by appearing in their best 80s glam and cocktail attire. Richard Flowers filled the ballroom with complimentary décor, and Chef Jean Luc Royer wowed participants with a five-star, four-course, sit-down dinner.

Extensive COVID-19 safety precautions, including air purification systems in all areas donated by Brandon Dewan and Eagle Group and temperature checks and hand sanitizer dispensers donated by BMW of West Houston and Momentum BMW Southwest, allowed guests to relax and enjoy the retro vibe.

The live auction, led by seasoned auctioneer Vikki Vines, concluded with bidding on a 2022 BMW 4 Series Convertible donated by BMW of West Houston and Momentum BMW Southwest. Michael Hoctor was the lucky winner. Big Board bidding for other luxury items was conducted by table hosts so guests were able to remain in their seats. As an added bit of fun, participants received a chip for an instant prize in their gift bags, which they could have scanned by Tenenbaum Jewelers in the foyer.

The evening culminated in a performance by the phenomenal Cyndi Lauper, during which she sang her biggest hits, including Girls Just Want To Have Fun, True Colors, and Time After Time.

The Moments

Reverend Mary Gracely of One Spirit Interfaith Seminary provided the invocation, after which, HCC President and CEO, Laura Ward, recognized 2020 gala chair, Hallie Vanderhider, who had helped the organization raise funds in a year when there was no gala.

A final last call for support for HCC’s van program followed the live auction. The essential service provides transportation to families with disabled children. Five vans were donated during the pre-event Underwriter Party, and the charity ultimately secured a total of 22 new ones.

A record-breaking $2.8 million was raised for Greater Houston’s underprivileged, abused, and disabled children.

Guests: Frances and Tony Buzbee, Laura Ward, Paige Fertitta, Margaret Alkek Williams, Maria Moncada Alaoui and Omar Alaoui, Tommy Kuranoff and Veronica Nemeth, Rachel and Jeff Bagwell, Lisa and David Atkins, Gary and Amy Becker, Dr. Susan Blaney, Dan D’Armond, Grant Guthrie, John Johnson, Melissa Juneau, Gary and Marcie Justice, DeeDee and Wallis Marsh, Edna Meyer-Nelson, Bob and Debbie Ogle, Amy and Rob Pierce, Kristina and Paul Somerville, Carol and Tom Sawyer, Morris and Toni Smith, Robin Young Ellis, Constable Alan Rosen, Mario Elie, Dr. Lois Moore, Melanie Lawson and John Guess, Art and Patti Rascon, Dr. Laura Murillo and Rick Noriega, Trini Mendenhall, Rod and Amy Ryan, Dr. Jorge and April Salazar, Brian and Norelle Becker, Shelby Hodge and Shafik Rifaat, Ramy and Rania Mankarious, Robert Horry, and Jim and Paulina McGrath.

About Houston Children’s Charity

Houston Children’s Charity (HCC) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for Greater Houston’s underprivileged, abused, and disabled children who have been otherwise left behind. The scope of HCC’s support is limited only by the availability of resources. HCC’s goal is to leave no legitimate request for assistance unanswered.

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