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Safety First

Crime Stoppers of Houston’s 2018 Gala: Leading the Way to a Safer Houston breaks all records


Photos by Quy Tran

The Story

Fabulous fundraising couples Bashar and Brigitte Kalai and Ajay and Sippi Khurana chaired Crime Stoppers of Houston’s 2018 Gala: Leading the Way to a Safer Houston at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Houston Downtown. Former ABC 13 anchor Dave Ward, also known as The Voice of Houston, delivered the opening remarks. Dominique Sachse, KPRC 2 news anchor, was the evening’s mistress of ceremonies.

The Celebration

Over 360 guests came together to raise a record-breaking $473,000 plus for Crime Stoppers of Houston’s public safety initiatives, which give back to areas of crime prevention, proactive school safety programming through the Crime Stoppers Safe School Institute, victim services, and more. The paddles up portion of the evening was the domain of Brigitte Kalai and Sippi Khurana. Khurana spoke with admiration about the work of Crime Stoppers of Houston, and Kalai made a generous additional contribution of $25,000.

The Moments

The Honorable Joanne King Herring was honored for a lifetime of public safety work and her noble commitment to innumerable humanitarian causes, including Crime Stoppers of Houston. Texas First Lady, Cecilia Abbott, introduced Mrs. Herring, noting her global legacy as well as the impact she has had on the state of Texas. Keynote speaker, Joanna Coles, former chief content officer (CCO) of Hearst Magazines, now with CBS Network News, spoke about children and social media. Ms. Cole is also on the national board of Snap Chat. Rania Mankarious, CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston, relayed the organization’s vision and its plans for expansion in 2019.

The Gala was supported by many individuals, community partners, and generous underwriters, including Brigitte and Bashar Kalai/Amerapex Corporation; the Charles and Melissa Davis Foundation; Sippi and Ajay Khurana; Michelle and Mike Heinz; Rania and Jamal Daniel; CenterPoint Energy; Hallie A. Vanderhider; Susan and Dan Boggio; Texas Inter-Faith Housing/Portfolio Resident Service and Dr. Yasmine Haddad, DDS, PhD; Allegiance Bank; BJ and Joe Hudson; Chris Massey; Dr. and Mrs. Ramy Mankarious; Friends of Amy Pierce and Jennifer Hohman; Frost Bank; H-E-B; Houston PetSet; IBERIABANK; Independent Bank; Jill and Charlie Talisman; Jim and Sherri Glover; Lynette and Mike Kuznar; Mission Constructors, Inc.; Nan and Company Properties/Christie’s International Real Estate/Jose and Nancy Almodovar; Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Group/Omar and Maha Saeed Khan; PPI Security; and Sindy Foteh.


Guests: Chip Johnson, Ellen and Paige Cokinos, Erin Holmes and Jena Briley, Donae Chramosta, Bob Meehan, Jerri and Jim Moore, Bryan Beene, Crystal and David Parker, Lindsay Aronstein, Laura Ward, Ricardo and Joan Nazario, Esmat and Hazem Ahmed, Susan Holcomb, Edna Meyer-Nelson, Sneha and Nick Merchant, Cathy and John Crapitto, Vicki Rizzo, Mauri Oliver, Chris Massey, Natalie Ariz, Jeff Dunn, Nick Florescu, Keith Lawyer, Joella and Steve Mach, Joe’l and Rocky Mafrige, and Oscar Martinez.

About Crime Stoppers of Houston

Crime Stoppers of Houston is the city’s top nonprofit dedicated to public safety. Since its inception in 1990, the organization has been committed to its mission to solve and prevent serious crime in the greater Houston area. It does so by partnering with citizens, the media, and the criminal justice system.

To learn more about Crime Stoppers of Houston, please visit

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