top of page

The UNICEF Audrey Hepburn Society Ball, Featuring Michael Bolton, Raises $910K


Photo Credit: Annie Mulligan

“To save a single child is a blessing, to save a million children is an opportunity granted to us by UNICEF” – Audrey Hepburn

On the evening of May, 24, 2017, the Marriott Marquis Houston was the site of the elegant UNICEF Audrey Hepburn Society Ball, hosted by the Southwest Office of UNICEF USA, celebrating UNICEF’s lifesaving work. The Gala chairs were Jerry Ann Woodfin Costa and Victor Costa, Sofia Adrogué and Sten L. Gustafson, Amy and Rob Pierce, and Princess Tatiana Galitzine and Guillermo Sierra. Molly and Jim Crownover, Karin and Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Princess Maria-Anna Galitzine and Prince Piotr Galitzine, The Honorable Joanne King Herring, Dr. Sippi K. Khurana and Ajay Khurana, Penny and Paul B. Loyd, Jr., Beth Madison, and Susan and Fayez Sarofim were the honorary chairs.

Celebrated television producer and host Deborah Duncan, the emcee for the evening, welcomed the 450 guests to the grand occasion and introduced the opening act featuring the Awty International School Choir. The pre-dinner address was made by special guest, Mayor Sylvester Turner, and the Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award was presented to Rosanette and Harry Cullen in recognition of their contributions to the causes of children, health, and education in Houston and the state of Texas through the Cullen Foundation. Margaret Alkek Williams and Barron Segar, Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice President of UNICEF USA, conferred the honor.

Guests sat down to a magnificent dinner of grilled peach and arugula salad; free-range airline chicken served with herbed barley risotto, oven-roasted Brussels sprouts, and tri-colored carrots; and a dessert trio of margarita cheesecake, chocolate decadence, and Grand Marnier pudding. After dinner, the Spirit of Compassion Award was presented to UNICEF Ambassador Angie Harmon by Finley Faith Sehorn, Avery Grace Sehorn, and Emery Hope Sehorn. Since her appointment as a UNICEF Ambassador in 2013, Harmon has served as a spokesperson for UNICEF USA’s End Trafficking Initiative and has traveled to Vietnam to bring awareness to UNICEF’s lifesaving programs for children.

After-dinner remarks were made by Nelson Bowman, Managing Director of the Southwest Region, UNICEF USA; Susan Boggio, Chair, Southwest Regional Board of Directors, UNICEF USA; and Amy Pierce, Gala chair, Audrey Hepburn Society Ball, UNICEF USA.

Following the remarks, guests enjoyed the fabulous live auction featuring auctioneer extraordinaire Stephen C. Lewis. The luxurious items up for bid were a custom Victor Costa Gown, a pair of Saks Fifth Avenue topaz earrings from the Nini Jewels Royale Collection, an exclusive private performance by Grammy Award winner Ana María Martínez, and a luxurious 7-day/6-night vacation in a stunning San Miguel residence complete with a personal chef.

The live auction was followed by a memorable performance by Grammy Award winner and humanitarian Michael Bolton during which he moved guests with his renditions of When a Man Loves a Woman and Stand by Me. After the uplifting performance, guests continued the magical evening at the after party. The unforgettable and successful event raised $910K for UNICEF.

Guests: Mayor Sylvester Turner, Margaret Alkek Williams, The Honorable Joanne King Herring, Jerry Ann Woodfin Costa and Victor Costa, and Princess Tatiana Galitzine and Prince Guillermo Sierra.


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.

bottom of page