This Week in Houston’s Buzz: NAACP Houston Branch Centennial Freedom Fund Awards Dinner and More!

BB&T Presents Dia De Los Muertos Gala 2018

                                                     Julie and Ron Finck

More than 550 guests gathered on Saturday, October 13, 2018, to celebrate the Children’s Museum of Houston. The Corinthian was magically transformed into a beautiful Land of the Dead for the “Día de los Muertos” Gala raising more than $1 million for the Museum. Guests were welcomed to a candle-lit stairwell as they made their way into a dazzlingly vibrant venue filled with colorful flowers, jubilant sugar-skull skeletons, and suspended confetti-colored papel picado banners. The event was graciously underwritten by BB&T and Phillips 66. More than $1 million was raised for the Museum. Program of Events included: Cocktails, Hors d’oeuvres, and Silent Auction Opens, Seated Dinner, Welcome by Bill Toomey (President, Children’s Museum of Houston), Live Auction, Auctioneer, Hamid “HP” Parvizian, His & Hers Rolex Raffle Drawing, and Dancing with Audio House.

Gala Chairs: Caroline and Andrew Bean, Caroline and John Harrell

Underwriting Chairs: Lilly and Harrison Cullen, Cassie and John Milam

Auction Chairs: Neekie Kashani, Kelly Sklar

                                      Dr. Vivek and Dr. Ishwaria Subbiah

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Breakfast of Champions Presented by 100 Black Men Metropolitan Houston

              Program Participants and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

On Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 9:00 a.m., a Breakfast of Champions ‘Expanding Our Reach and Impact’ took place at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, 1200 Louisiana Street, Houston, Texas. The Opening Remarks were presented by Len Cannon (KHOU Channel 11 News Anchor), Welcome was given by Adraon Greene, Ronald Jackson and Fred Taylor were Event Co-Chairs, Invocation was given by Pastor Rudy Rasmus (St. John’s United Methodist Church), Event Remarks were given by Mayor Sylvester Turner (City of Houston), 100 Black Men Member of the Year Presentation was presented by Alan Hudson (VP of Operations), The Impact was given by Kennedy D. Miller (Alumni-Mentoring Program), Emerging 100 Houston provided by Jarred Morgan, President (Emerging 100), President’s Address was given by Kenneth Robinson, Jr., President (100 Black Men Metropolitan Houston Chapter), Presentation of Honorees was given by Reco O. Caston, Chairman (100 Black Men Metropolitan Houston Chapter), Spotlight on Our Mentees was given by (Mentees: Evan Blackshear, Troy Brown, Xander Linsey, Dezmond Tanner and Rob Javian Spearman), and Opportunity to Invest was given by Evan Blackshear.

2018 Honorees included:

Mr. Benjamin Piggott (Posthumously), Mr. George Lunnon, Jr., Dr. Frazier K. Wilson, Mr. Mark A. Williams, Dr. Richard Johnson, Mr. Bethew Jennings III, Mr. Darnell Joseph, and Dr. John Rubley.

                       Houston Pastor Rudy Rasmus and Monica Lewis

Channel 11 KHOU News Anchor Len Cannon and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

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NAACP Houston Branch Centennial Freedom Fund Awards Dinner

Attendees included Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Claude Cummings, Regional Vice President of CWA; Rev. Jesse Jackson, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and more

On Friday, October 26, 2018, at The Marriott Marquis Hotel – Texas Ballroom held its black-tie fundraiser designed to pay homage to our Houston NAACP founders, celebrate our historic accomplishments, and recognize extraordinary leadership in four of NAACP’s strategic civil rights priorities: advocacy and activism for Voting Rights, Criminal Justice, Labor and Economic Sustainability and Education. The Houston Branch was founded on May 31, 1918, which has continued to make a significant impact on policies related to civil rights, education, fair housing and other areas where discrimination adversely affects the quality of life of the City’s minority communities. The theme was Celebrating Our Relevancy, Re-Engagement, and Rights!

The program was as follows: The Posting of Colors by the Houston Police Department: Color Guard; The National Anthem by Mrs. Alaina King-Benford; The Negro Anthem, the Invocation by Reverend William A. Lawson (Founder & Pastor Emeritus – Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church); the Welcome by Dr. James M. Douglas (President, NAACP Houston Branch), The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee (U.S. House of Representatives, Texas Eighteenth District); the Occasion by Mrs. Alane & Reverend Reginald Lillie (NAACP Houston Branch Centennial Chairs); Special Acknowledgements by Mrs. Argentina & Mr. Roger Harris (NAACP Houston Branch Centennial Chairs); Special Performance by The NAACP: History Through The Eyes of the Founders (Performed by The Ensemble Theatre Artists); Message from our Sponsor by H-E-B; “Love In Need Of Love Today” by Ms. Alexandra Dewalt; Message from our Sponsor – Shell Oil Company; “Rise Up” by Ms. Imani Davenport (NAACP Houston Branch ACT-SO Student); Award Presentations; “Respect” by Ms. Mary Griffin (Grammy Nominee); “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Mr. Vincent Powell (Former NAACP ACT-SO Winner); Closing Remarks by Mrs. Yolanda Smith (Executive Director, NAACP Houston Branch); “Glory” by Houston Mass Choir with SE7EVN and Mr. Vincent Powell.

Awards presented to the following:

Lifetime of Labor & Economic Advocacy Award – American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) ▪ Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation

Lifetime of Civil Rights Advocacy Award – The Honorable Rodney G. Ellis ▪ Harris County Commissioner for Precinct One

Lifetime of Criminal Justice Advocacy Award – The Honorable Kimbra K. Ogg ▪ Harris County District Attorney

Lifetime of Activism and Civic Engagement Advocacy Award – Mr. Howard Jefferson ▪ Member, NAACP National Board of Directors and President Emeritus, NAACP Houston Branch

Lifetime of Educational Advocacy Award – The Honorable Dr. Roderick R. Paige ▪ Seventh United States Secretary of Education

Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award – The Honorable Alexander Green ▪ U.S. House of Representative, Texas Ninth District