Celebrities Own the Catwalk and Everything Italian is Celebrated to Help Those Most at Risk

This year’s Una Notte in Italia celebrity men’s fashion show raises a record-breaking $438,000 for CHILDREN AT RISK

Debbie & Rudy Festari
Debbie & Rudy Festari

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CHILDREN AT RISK President & CEO Dr. Bob Sanborn on the runway For Children
CHILDREN AT RISK President & CEO Dr. Bob Sanborn on the runway For Children

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Sneha and Nick Merchant
Sneha and Nick Merchant

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Debbie & Rudy Festari
Debbie & Rudy Festari

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Photos by: Daniel Ortiz and Quy TranDaniel Ortiz

Debbie & Rudy Festari
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CHILDREN AT RISK President & CEO Dr. Bob Sanborn on the runway For Children
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Simone Biles and Jonathan Owens
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Co-chairs Jennifer Pinkerton & Melissa Holman Juneau
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Jeff & Rachel Bagwell
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Tim Parker
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Drs. Matthew and Alice Brams
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Marc & Duyen Nguyen
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Rudy Festari
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Debbie Festari & Carl Lewis
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Brigitte Kalai and Hallie Vanderhider
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Sneha and Nick Merchant
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The Story

On November 12, 2021, the Royal Sonesta Hotel opened its doors to guests attending Una Notte in Italia. This year, the much anticipated annual celebrity men’s fashion show was completely sold out eight weeks prior to invitations being printed. Melissa Holman Juneau and Jennifer Pinkerton cohosted the spirited event. Debbie Festari was the honorary chair. Popular entertainer Johnny Bravo emceed. Proceeds benefit CHILDREN AT RISK, an organization that works to drive change so that every child receives equitable opportunities, a quality education, and access to nutrition and healthcare and is free from the dangers of sex trafficking and exploitation.

The Celebration

Over 500 enthusiastic guests filled the venue to cheer on local male celebrities and athletes outfitted in fabulous fall fashions from Rudy Festari of Festari for Men. Gleaming Rolls-Royces, courtesy of car sponsor, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars North Houston, and a premier tequila tasting from Veneno Tequila, greeted arriving attendees. On their way to the ballroom for fine wine, delicious food, and the main event, participants perused exclusive silent auction items as libations were passed. The most successful live auction in the event’s history followed the fashion show. Partygoers ended the evening on the dancefloor.

The Moments 

Bravo and Festari introduced each of the dynamic models, praising their accomplishments, as they grooved along the catwalk to their favorite song. Olympic great Carl Lewis; Dynamo team members Zarek Valentin and Tim Parker; SaberCats team member Ken Nasoqeqe; Houston Texans team member Jonathan Owen; Chad Pinkerton; Moez Mangalji; Dr. Matthew Brams; Dr. Stephen Chen; President & CEO of CHILDREN AT RISK, Dr. Bob Sanborn; Jonathan Zadok; Adrian Duenas; Pablo Delgado; Clayton Katz; Hugo Guerrero; Mark Thiessen; and Al Lindseth were among the philanthropic gentlemen who modeled for this important cause.   

Guests: Simone Biles, Rachel and Jeff Bagwell, Francis and Tony Buzbee, Tina and Dan Silvestri, Ally Shell and Martin Van Koolwijk, Melissa and Michael Mithoff, Nicole and James Lassiter, Gena and David Rush, Brigitte Kalai, Courtney Hopson, Dr. Monica Patel, and Tiffany and Randall Wong.

About CHILDREN AT RISK

For over 30 years, CHILDREN AT RISK has been leading the way in improving the quality of life for Texas’ children through research and advocacy. The nonprofit has also been instrumental in bringing together organizations to ensure the children of Texas have the support and services they need for success. Its focus is to make children’s needs a priority and to ensure ample resources are available for children and their families to thrive. As well, CHILDREN AT RISK is a well-known leader in understanding the health, safety, and economic indicators impacting children and in educating public policy makers in their importance in improving the lives of children.