On May 3, 2019 the Southwest Regional office of UNICEF USA hosted the sixth Annual UNICEF Gala Houston at The Post Oak at Uptown Houston. Chaired by Cheryl Byington, Mary Ann McKeithan, Hallie Vanderhider, and Beth Wolff, more than 375 guests attended and celebrated UNICEF’s work in Houston and around the world. The evening honored Susan and Dan Boggio with the Helenka Pantaleoni Award for their work with UNICEF USA and commitment to making the world a better place for children as well as Sue Smith and the late Lester Smith with the Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award for their dedication to the health and well-being of children in Houston. Thanks to the leadership of the event co-chairs, along with the Gala committee and Southwest Regional Board, a record-breaking $1 million was raised.

The UNICEF Gala Houston is a one-of-a-kind evening that raises critical funds for UNICEF’s lifesaving work and celebrates the outstanding humanitarian leaders who make our work possible.  The evening would not be possible without the support of the Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation. Each year, the Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award commemorates the legacy of her extraordinary dedication to the health and well-being of children in Houston and around the world. As one of UNICEF’s largest fundraisers, the high profile black-tie evening has thus far raised over $5.7 million for UNICEF’s programs worldwide.

Check back for updates on the UNICEF Gala Houston 2020!

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Friday, May 3, 2019

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The Post Oak
at Uptown Houston

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6:30 PM Cocktails
7:30 PM Dinner & Program

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Black Tie


Susan and Dan boggio
Helenka Pantaleoni Humanitarian Award

Special thanks to our Helenka Pantaleoni honorees Susan and Dan Boggio for their recent creation of the Susan and Dan Boggio Fund for UNICEF education and child protection programs.

Sue Smith
Lester smith, posthumously

Margaret alkek williams humanitarian award

UNICEF USA is deeply saddened about the recent passing of Lester Smith. The gala will pay tribute to his great legacy and contribution he has made to children living in Houston and beyond.


Deborah Duncan


after party

A special tribute to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons by
The Garden State Guys

‘Silent Disco’ hosted by NextGen, powered by Silent Events



honorary chairs

Shelly and Brian Hendry
Sippi and Ajay Khurana
Leela and Nat Krishnamurthy
Penny and Paul B. Loyd, Jr.
Beth Madison
Limor and Stuart Smith
Margaret Alkek Williams
Randa and Charles Williams

auction chairs

Darrin Davis
Mario Gudmundsson

gala chairs

Cheryl Byington
Mary Ann McKeithan
Hallie Vanderhider
Beth Wolff

nextgen chairs

Anika Jackson
Tara Ladjevardian
Catherine Clarke Murphy

Alex Blair
Zane and Brady Carruth
Anne and Albert Chao
Molly and Jim Crownover
Rania and Jamal Daniel
Jo and Jim Furr
Princess Maria-Anna Galitzine and Prince Piotr Galitzine
Winell and Doug Herron
Ann and Tod Holmes
Brigitte and Bashar Kalai
Catherine Daniel Kaldis
Eileen and Kase Lawal
Amy and Rob Pierce
Farida and Nasruddin Rupani
Mona and Andrew Sarofim
Susan and Fayez Sarofim
Alicia and Lance Smith
Rini and Edward Ziegler



Lead benefactor

Hallie Vanderhider


Susan and Dan Boggio
Loyd Charitable Foundation | Madison Charitable Foundation
Margaret Alkek Williams,
Randa and Charles Williams


Cheryl and Sam Byington | Mary Ann and David McKeithan | Beth Wolff
Rania and Jamal Daniel
Brigitte and Bashar Kalai | Alicia and Lance Smith
Sippi and Ajay Khurana
Ray C. Fish Foundation
Susan and Fayez Sarofim
Sue and Lester Smith


Leela and Nat Krishnamurthy
Eileen and Kase Lawal
Farida and Nasruddin Rupani


Denise and David Baggett
Alex Blair
Sarah Morgan and Oscar Brown
Molly and Jim Crownover
Rosanette and Harry Cullen
Mary Kay and Paulie Gaido
Memorial Hermann
Ann and Tod Holmes
Petrello Family Foundation
Amy and Rob Pierce
Mona and Andrew Sarofim
Texas Children’s Hospital
The Board of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston


Fidelity Family Office Services
Jenna Klein


as of April 29 , 2019