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Hats Rule the Day for a Worthy Cause

Nicole’s Garden presents the inaugural Mad Hatter’s Awards Luncheon in support of HealthFest Houston

Photo credit: Quy Tran Photography

General Editor: Margaret MacMillan

Publisher: Connie Kwan-Wong

The Celebration

A sold-out crowd filled Houston/River Oaks Fleming’s for the delightful Mad Hatter’s Luncheon. Hosted by Nicole’s Garden, the event helps underwrite HealthFest Houston, an interactive event promoting healthy lifestyles for families. Dr. Rachel Andress Davis chaired the whimsical gathering, which honored cutting-edge changemakers who have had a positive impact on the lives of many Houstonians and who exemplify healthy living. KHOU 11’s Mia Gradney emceed.

Beautiful crystal awards were presented by Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry, founder of Nicole’s Garden, to the following honorees:

Dr. Sippi Khurana, who received the Altruism Angel Award

Dr. Crystal Hadnott, who received the Health Revolution Award

Traci Greene, who received the Metamorphosis Award

Lisa Helfman, who received the Fresh Changemaker Award

Waitt – We’re All In This Together, which received the Community Uplifter Award

KRIV Fox 26 Houston, which received the HealthFest Houston Media Sponsorship Award, accepted by KRIV’s General Manager, D’Artagnan Bebel

Telemundo Houston-NBCUniversal, which received the HealthFest Houston Spanish

Media Sponsorship Award, accepted by Ilse Gonzalez

Bianca Bucaram, who received the Inaugural HealthFest Chair Award

Crystal Ordonez, who received the 2018 HealthFest Chair Award

Zoe Lalji, who received the Emerging Youth Leader Award

The Story

It was a festive and colorful affair with participants happily showcasing their most fanciful hats, which ranged from delicate fascinators to large-brimmed bonnets festooned with faux flowers. Lively music accompanied the luncheon entertaining guests as they ate and chatted with friends.

The Moments

Zoe Lalji gave a presentation on ALS, an incurable neurodegenerative disease that her father, Dr. Ayeez Lalji, is suffering from.

As well as a fabulous raffle, there was a silent auction, which featured two paintings by local artist Lloyd Gite of  the Gite Gallery. And, although it was a difficult decision to make, prizes were awarded to those wearing the most magnificent hats. The luncheon ended with a second line parade featuring multicolored satin sashes.

About Nicole’s Garden

Nicole’s Garden is a nonprofit organization, which established HealthFest Houston, the city’s only festival focused on healthy living from a comprehensive standpoint: from what we consume and wear to everyday cleaning products, fitness, healthcare, green cars, and ecofriendly products. This free, family friendly, all-day event will take place Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Discovery Green. It will be the premier event for promoting healthy lifestyles for families and will feature local chefs, athletes, nutrition, wellness, green and eco products, and lifestyle and fitness experts. HealthFest will also feature family friendly activities, performances, demos, and various vendors from across the city featuring natural candles, local honey, and much more.

For sponsorships, booths, and volunteer opportunities, please email or visit or

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