Houston, TX-Minute Maid Park’s Union Station on Saturday March 11, 2023, was aligned with some of Houston’s best known Who’s Who in community leadership for the Champions For Children Gala presented by the North Houston Suburban Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc. The sold-out gala which was co-emceed by KHOU’s Mia Gradney and Len Cannon honored philanthropic heavy weights, including music artist | actor Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson – Founder of G-Unity Foundation; Astros Foundation Executive Director Paula McCann Harris; and Texas Children’s Hospital President and CEO Mark A. Wallace. Mayor Sylvester Turner and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee also spent their evening at the gala, each presenting proclamations to include one from Congressman Al Green.
“The Champions For Children Gala exceeded our fundraising goal due to the generous support of our sponsors and we are grateful for all of them, no matter what level they chose to support,” stated Gala Chair Nikki Hamler. JP Morgan Chase & Co. led the list as the event’s Platinum Medal Title Sponsor, followed by Texas Children’s Hospital and the Astros Foundation, who supported at the Gold and Silver Medal levels, respectively. Net proceeds of the Gala will benefit the Jack & Jill Of America Foundation, Inc. and Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Garden City. “Needless to say, we are excited to be able to support two outstanding organizations serving children and youth. NHS selected Salvation Army BGC Garden City as our local non-profit beneficiary because it is within our Chapter’s geographic boundary and provides valuable programming for low income, at-risk children in the Acres Home community”, said NHS President Marvalette Hunter.
Guests were entertained by the award-winning Joe Carmouche & Band, Gregory Daniels (Saxman) & Tess Reed (prodigy violinist) and a good time was had by all. Some of the noted personalities in attendance included Kisha Porch, Head of Retail Banking, Small Business and Online Products for JP Morgan Chase, “A Different World” star actress Charlene Brown, Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, President of Texas Southern University, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner, Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena, celebrity speed artist Ange Hillz and Pastor Marcus Cosby of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church.
A highlight of the evening was the live auction facilitated by Auctioneer Bennie Lambert, who started a friendly bidding war over several curated items including a live performance art piece painted by famed artist Ange Hillz while violinist Tess Reed performed. The 4’ x 6’ artwork, which took about 8 minutes to complete, appropriately pictured an African American boy and girl proudly adorned with their gold crowns.