This Week in Houston’s Buzz: UNICEF’s Audrey Hepburn Society Ball 2017 and More!

UNICEF’s Audrey Hepburn Society Ball 2017

           Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Margaret Alkek Williams

Supporters of The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are in action as it recently hosted its fourth annual Audrey Hepburn Society Ball to honor and pay tribute to UNICEF’s Ambassador and actress Angie Harmon with the Spirit of Compassion Award for all of her philanthropic contributions on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Downtown Houston. Rosanette and Harry Cullen were presented with the Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award for their extraordinary contributions to the causes of children, health, and education in the city of Houston and the state of Texas through the Cullen Foundation. Remarks were given by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner with more than 450 guests in attendance.

The stellar evening lived up to its name and was as beautiful as Audrey Hepburn, herself, as her philanthropic spirit definitely filled the air. UNICEF continues to work in more than 190 countries around the world to improve and save children’s lives by providing clean water, health care, education, and emergency relief. According to UNICEF’s website, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. UNICEF’s mission is to prevent children from dying from preventable causes and for every child to have a safe and healthy childhood.

After a stellar performance by Grammy award-winning recording artist Michael Bolton, a live auction took place which included a trip to the Academy Awards show, a custom Victor Costa gown, Nini Jewels “Royale Collection” earrings weighing 47 carats from Saks Fifth Avenue, an intimate concert experience by Grammy Award Winner Ana María Martínez and a luxurious vacation in a private house with personal chef in San Miguel, Mexico. The event raised more than $910,000 with the help of Margaret Alkek Williams. To learn more about UNICEF or give to UNICEF, visit their website at or call them at 1-800-367-5437.

                                                            Nelson Bowman

       Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Angie Harmon and Michael Bolton

                                                                Michael Bolton

Friends of Emancipation Park Have Selected Thelma Harp Johnson as Board Member of the Year for 2017

                                                        Thelma Harp Johnson

Friends of Emancipation Park Board of Directors have selected Thelma Harp Johnson as Board Member of the Year for 2017. Thelma Johnson received this award during the Fifth Annual Lonal Robinson Volunteer of the Year Award recognition. Thelma Johnson is awarded for her outstanding work and community involvement. Thelma Johnson also took the initiative to write the Texas State Board of Education and submitted documentation so that Emancipation Park should be a site for a College Go Center and the request was approved. Emancipation Park will officially re-open on Juneteenth. Congratulations, Thelma Johnson!

Tennessee State University Golf Tournament

                                         Golf fundraiser planning committee

Alumni of the HBCU Tennessee State University recently held a golf tournament for its 2nd Annual Audrey Hoffman Lawson Scholarship Fundraiser. This phenomenal event was held at the Pearland Golf Course at Country Place. Reverend Bill Lawson remains active with the Alumni Chapter at Tennessee State University where he and Audrey Hoffman Lawson met, fell in love, and married all before moving to Houston. Rev. Lawson expressed that it gives him great joy for the association to honor Audrey posthumously. Mrs. Lawson spent many years very active on the campus in the 1950s, serving as President of the Student Council, pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha and participating in a host of other activities.

Mrs. Audrey Lawson dedicated her life towards helping young people and raising funds to afford opportunities for those in need. Mrs. Lawson would be proud to lend her name toward such a worthy cause. Rev. and Mrs. Lawson are founders of Wheeler Ave Baptist Church. Notable alumni who attended Tennessee State University are Oprah Winfrey, Joe Gilliam, Jr., Wilma Rudolph, Moses Gunn, Richard Dent, Ralph Boston, Xernona Clayton, Hank Crawford, Harold Ford, Carla Thomas, Claude Humphrey, Joe Jones, Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire. Local alumni include Benjamen Butler, George Balthezar, and Dr. Glenda Glover, Baselus Elect for AKA Sorority. Thanks also to Dr. Davetta Daniels for providing wonderful insight to this story.

                                      Golf fundraiser planning committee