CKW Day: CKW LUXE Celebrates its Second Anniversary with Honors



Photo Credit Annie Mulligan and Lee Nguyen

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The evening of May 26, 2017 was one of celebration and awards for CKW LUXE magazine, its honorees, and supporters. Held at the awe-inspiring Asia Society Texas Center and emceed by the accomplished Lily Jang, the splendid occasion celebrated CKW (Caring, Kindness, and Wisdom) Day, an honor bestowed on CKW by the City of Houston. It also marked the magazine’s second anniversary and celebrated its Star Award honorees for 2017. The Star Awards are bestowed annually to exceptional and inspiring women and youth who work tirelessly for their community.

This year’s honorees were: Dr. Ellen R. Gritz, Y. Ping Sun, Nancy C. Allen, Karen McKemie, Gina Gaston Elie, Andrew Ledet, Simone Manuel, Ajay Shah, Lauren Dillard, and Tiffany Ajumobi. Along with receiving their CKW Star Award, each honoree was the proud recipient of an award from the City of Houston as well as congressional recognition. CKW LUXE publisher and founder, Connie Kwan-Wong, was thrilled to be able to surprise the honorees with such important honors. Connie, herself, was the recipient of a congressional proclamation, as was the CKW Foundation.

As a special surprise, Dr. Susan Snider Osterberg, Leona Chen, and Chloe Choudhury, three of last year’s Star Award recipients, were also given congressional recognition. The delighted Connie remarked that this was a perfect way to celebrate CKW Day!

During the reception, which was held in the magnificent grand foyer and on the picturesque water terrace, the 170 guests mingled and chatted while the dulcet sounds of live Jazz filled the air. They were also treated to the sublime “Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art” exhibit displaying unique works of art sculpted from bamboo.

Moving to The Education Room, decorated by A Cut Above Florals in brilliant blues emulating the party’s peacock-garden theme, guests were seated for dinner and Jazz. The perfectly executed dinner by City View Catering featured beet salad with mesclun greens and Beef Wellington with a red wine reduction, truffle risotto, grilled tri-color carrots, and sautéed asparagus. Foody’s/Le Mistral presented a fabulous dessert duet of lemon tartlet and chocolate tartlet to complete the journey for the palate. 

The evening’s exceptional Jazz performance, showcasing superlative Houston musicians Rene Ornelas on saxophone, Thanuschka Bandera on piano, Jesús Pacheco on percussion, and Cecilia Duarte on vocals, thrilled the audience with selections specially chosen for the soirée.

The fun didn’t end with fine music, presentations, and stunning food, however. Guests were also dazzled with the giveaway of exceptional door prizes. These included a one-week, one-bedroom condominium at Marriott’s Grand Chateau in Las Vegas with two round trip coach tickets donated by Donna Cole; a weekend giveaway with BMW and Fleming’s dinner for four; a cruise of The Bay on a luxurious lagoon catamaran donated by Jonathan Davis of the Yacht Sales Company, as well as a Sinamay hat and fascinator exclusively designed by Gabriella Dror; and a CKW Collection crystal clutch with two Houston Grand Opera performance tickets. Prizes were valued at over $15,000.

When CKW LUXE magazine began production two years ago, it was available by subscription only. Today, the magazine has expanded its distribution to hundreds of locations and is for sale in many stores and on many newsstands. Connie Kwan-Wong is committed to the magazine continuing its mission of great storytelling and spreading the message of love, hope, and positivity. Houston is a philanthropic and educated city, and Connie pledges to continue to produce a magazine that makes all Houstonians proud. Not only are the letters CKW her initials, they also stand for Caring, Kindness, and Wisdom. It is Connie’s hope that CKW LUXE helps make the world a better place.


Below is a list of the CKW LUXE Star Awards and their recipients:

Inspiring Women Awards

Astral Light Award – Dr. Ellen R. Gritz

Constellation Award – Y. Ping Sun

Cosmic Star Award – Nancy C. Allen

North Star Award – Karen McKemie

Stellar Award – Gina Gaston Elie

Inspiring Youth Awards

Aurora Award – Andrew Ledet

Fireball Award – Simone Manuel

Pop Star Award – Ajay Shaw

Shining Star Award – Lauren Dillard

Shooting Star Award – Tiffany Ajumobi

Thank You

CKW LUXE would like to thank its sponsors: Asia Society Texas Center, City View Catering, A Cut Above Florals, Momentum BMW Southwest, RBRW, The Yacht Sales Company, Firat Education, Pantheon of Women, Dr. William and Teresa Reading, A Finer Event, Décor To Remember, and EB Inc Events for all their amazing support. 

CKW LUXE would also like to thank its production team consisting of Sharon and Van at City View Catering, Pamela Rapp at A Cut Above Florals, and Patty at Asia Society Texas Center for making the event a resounding success.

Guests: Robin Angly, Miles Smith, Elizabeth Grimm, Jack Roth, Mickey Rosenau, Donna Cole, Bonna Kol, Mary and Mark D'Andrea, Eileen and George Hricik, Birgitt Van Wijk, Irene and Joe Bourke, Helga Aurisch, Marie and Alain LeNôtre, Thomas Kuranoff, Josephine and Abraham Firat, Teresa and William Reading, Sharron Manuel, Josie Aguilar, Darian Ward, Yueli Sun, Jie Willey, Leela Krishnamurthy, and many more.

Best Production Team!!!
Best Production Team!!!

City View Catering, A Cut Above Florals, Inc, Asia Society Texas Center