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The Crime Stoppers of Houston’s Leading the Way to a Safer Houston annual gala raises over $1 million with the help of committed supporters and special guests


Photo Credits: Quy Tran Photography

The Celebration

On October 12, 2023, Crime Stoppers of Houston hosted its annual gala, Leading the Way to a Safer Houston, at the Hilton Americas Houston. The purpose of the annual event is to bring the community together to celebrate the organization’s mission and ongoing work for public safety and crime prevention. Chaired by Jennifer and Chris ‘Kip’ Hohman, this year’s event was presented by the C. James and Carole Walter Looke Family Fund. Actor, activist, and UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the Global Fight Against Human Trafficking, Mira Sorvino, was the guest speaker.

GOYA Cares and GOYA Cares’ president and CEO, Bob Unanue, leaders of local, statewide, national, and international efforts to combat human trafficking, were honored for their significant contributions to the anti-trafficking movement, disaster relief, and much more. They were also instrumental in the production of Sound of Freedom, a new film starring Sorvino, which recounts the true story of a former government agent who embarks on a dangerous mission to rescue hundreds of children from human traffickers.

The 380 guests, consisting of supporters, survivors of human trafficking, community advocates, elected officials, and law enforcement, gathered together for an evening of understanding and empowerment.

The Story

The occasion began with a cocktail reception, program booths, and photo stations, as well as the dissemination of information regarding opportunities to support Crime Stoppers of Houston. After the program concluded and guests had enjoyed a delicious sit-down dinner, the evening ended with a “paddles up” call for donations and exciting “last paddle standing” led by Johnny Bravo Entertainment. The audience also bid on two gift cards donated by Zadok Jewelers. Vanessa Ames was the lucky winner.

The Moments

Crime Stoppers of Houston Board Chair, Lindsay Aronstein, started things off with a welcome message and confirmation of her own dedication to the organization’s mission. A moment of silence was called to recognize the events currently happening in Israel and around the world. A video encapsulating Crime Stoppers’ mission was played, and Crime Stoppers of Houston CEO, Rania Mankarious, expressed her gratitude to everyone for their support of the event and her thanks to the victims present for sharing their stories.

Jennifer Hohman spoke from her heart about her family’s commitment to fighting human trafficking and shared the stories of those in the room whose lives had been changed by their personal experience as victims of the terrible crime. As she did so, each survivor in turn bravely stood and received a standing ovation.

The special announcement of the evening was that the Crime Stoppers city block is to be named The Sergeant John Allen Wall Public Safety Block in honor of John Wall, the founder of the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA), which brings agencies together to collaborate and find solutions.

During dessert, Sorvino took part in a moderated conversation about the local and global impact of human trafficking led by Mia Gradney of KHOU 11 News. She spoke about her desire to help others, how she became involved with the cause of anti-human trafficking, how her personal experiences turned into advocacy, her career, and much more.

The wildly successful event was supported by many individuals, community partners and generous underwriters, including Presenting Sponsor, C. James and Carole Walter Looke Family Fund; Legacy Leader sponsors, GOYA Cares and Walter Oil & Gas Corporation Fund; Safety Trailblazers, Alicia Smith and Brigitte Kalai, Dylan and Jordan Seff, Hildebrand Foundation, Holthouse Foundation for Kids, Jane Johnstone, Sheridan and John Eddie Williams, and The McIngvale Family; Community Front-Runners, Zadok Jewelers; and Prevention Partners, Frances Moody Buzbee and Tony Buzbee, Jennifer and Chris ‘Kip’ Hohman, Memorial Hermann, and State Senator Mayes Middleton.

Guests: Joanne King Herring, Tena and Tyson Faust, Mayte Sera Weitzman, Jonathan Zadok, Susan Boggio, Jordan Seff, Matt Mackey, Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale, Sam and Barney Gershen, Kim and Dan Moody, Vanessa and Chuck Ames, Kay and Fred Zeidman, Akash Patel, Cathy and John Crapitto, Sean Stewart, Wendy Craven, Chris Massey, Scott Aronstein, Oscar Martinez, Michelle and Mike Heinz, Omar and Maha Khan, Patricia and Tom Ritter, Ricardo Nazario, Don and Nancy Woo, Kathy and Paul Castro, Ali and Mark Katz, Genny and John McIntyre, Vicki Rizzo, Leisa Holland Nelson, and Anna and John Reger.

Leaders from the city, county and state were all involved in the nonpartisan event. Notable guests included: representatives from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s office; Deanna Harrington, representing House Representative Mano DeAyala; Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg; Roger Bridgewater, representing Harris County Pct. 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey; Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin, representing Mayor Sylvester Turner; Houston City Council members Sallie Acorn, Mike Knox, and Amy Peck; Harris County Constable Precinct One Alan Rosen; Metro Police Department Chief Vera Bumpers; Houston Police Department, Lieutenant Tiffany Jefferson and Sergeant Joe Hughes; Spring Branch ISD Police Department Chief Larry Baimbridge; and Judges Erika Ramirez and Katherine Thomas.

About Crime Stoppers of Houston

Through active collaboration, citizen empowerment, and educational outreach, Crime Stoppers of Houston is leading the nation with innovative crime prevention programming to keep our communities safe. Established in the early 1980s as solely a Tip Line Program, Crime Stoppers remains committed to its mission to solve and prevent serious crime in partnership with citizens, media and the criminal justice system, and now offers a robust public safety program that is reaching millions each year. In 2017, the nonprofit opened the doors to the first-ever Crime Stoppers headquarters in the world. Focused on finding crime-fighting solutions, the organization recently expanded its Safe Community Program into an institute that now includes a Victim Services & Advocacy Program, a new Research Center, and a podcast. Additionally, its Safe School Institute continues to provide critical school safety resources and trainings nationally.


If you were not able to attend the gala, you may still support the Crime Stoppers mission online at

Please visit for additional information on Crime Stopper’s programs, resources, and events.

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