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The Fifth Annual UNICEF Gala Houston Brought Out the City’s Best


Photo Credit: Priscilla Dickson/ Wilson Parish and Getty Images

On the evening of Friday, May 4, 2018, the fifth annual UNICEF Gala Houston took place at the elegant Post Oak hotel. The black-tie affair, which raised over $905,000 for UNICEF’s lifesaving work, was co-chaired by Brigitte and Bashar Kalai, Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Leticia and Stephen Trauber, and Ileana and Michael Trevino. Their outstanding leadership made the spectacular evening possible, as did the valued assistance of Margaret Alkek Williams. The gala’s Presenting Sponsor was Tenenbaum Jewelers. Deborah Duncan, host of Great Day Houston, emceed the event.

Linda and Jim “Mack” McIngvale, the evening’s honorees, were awarded with the Global Community Hero Award. The couple were honored for their extensive efforts to support the Houston community and beyond. Their support of children and families is legendary. Susan and Fayez Sarofim were honored with the Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award. 

The importance of the gathering and its purpose were made clear by Mayor Sylvester Turner who applauded UNICEF for its remarkable humanitarian work. The Mayor also had lavish praise for the McIngvales who sheltered so many during Hurricane Harvey and whose on-going generosity to the city knows no bounds. Representing the late Audrey Hepburn and her family, Emma Kathleen Hepburn Ferrer, Hepburn’s granddaughter, reminded attendees of the importance of Hepburn’s commitment to the organization and of the immeasurable good it does. Ferrer also introduced a video highlighting her grandmother’s work with UNICEF, noting that Hepburn was the first of many UNICEF ambassadors.

Due to the generosity of everyone in attendance, countless children will receive the resources they desperately need. Dedicated UNICEF workers are on the ground working around the clock every day ensuring children in desperate circumstances are protected, nourished, educated, and granted their basic human rights. Without devoted supporters, this vital work would not get done.

Guests: Mayor Sylvester Turner, Emma Kathleen Hepburn Ferrer, Barron Segar, Nelson Bowman, Susan Boggio, Buzz Aldrin, Maria and Neil Bush, Joanne King Herring, Sara Beth and Pierce Bush, Rachel and Jeff Bagwell, Tatiana and Guillermo Sierra, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Pat Breen, Ishwaria and Vivek Subbiah, Leela Krishnamurthy, Farida Abjani, and Connie Kwan-Wong.


UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. UNICEF has spent 70 years working to improve the lives of children and their families. Defending children's rights throughout their lives requires a global presence, aiming to produce results and understand their effects. UNICEF believes all children have a right to survive, thrive, and fulfill their potential—to the benefit of a better world.

For those who were not able to attend, it is still possible to donate. Donations can be made by going to

To learn more about UNICEF and its work for children, please visit And if you would like to join the efforts of UNICEF USA Southwest Region, please contact Nelson Bowman at

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