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19th Annual APAHA Gala: Dancing For a Cause

19th Annual APAHA Gala: Dancing For a Cause

Whatever it takes to raise funds for a good cause rang true and this time it was to step up and dance the night away. Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association (APAHA), held its 19th Annual Gala with the theme “Dancing With The Stars” on Friday, May 13 at the Omni Houston Hotel on 4 Riverway. The Gala was sold out with 350 guests including prominent community, civic, corporate and business leaders. The highlights of the Gala were the “Dancing With The Stars” dance performances of 4 local Asian celebrities in dazzling costumes with professional dancers and presentation of four APAHA Annual Awards.

Dancing stars Mandy Kao, Randy Sim, Tammy Gee Su, and Viet Hoang made this evening unforgettable. Amongst the professional dancers, Martin Pelaez, Rebecca Avila, April Kunkel, and Stefan Golubovic showcased their talent as dance partners with dazzling performances. These four Asian-Houstanian celebrities spent countless hours in dance lessons to perform at the gala with their instructors.

This gala is one of many ways that APAHA raises funds to continue its ongoing efforts to educate and raise awareness of the Greater Houston Asian/Pacific American community, culture, and heritage. APAHA is being led by 2011 Board President Kim-Ha T Nguyen and Board Co-Vice Presidents Sam Merchant and Major Michael Wong.

The month of May is the National Asian/Pacific American Heritage month designated by the U.S. government as such to highlight Asian Pacific American communities, APA heritage and contributions in the U.S..

The George H.W. Bush Achievement Award was presented to Judy Wong who excelled in a challenging career as a professional angler earning two world championships and five national titles. In 2008 she was honored by President George W. Bush in the Oval Office.

The APA Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed upon Rathna Kumar for her outstanding contribution to the performing arts. She is an internationally renowned danseuse, teacher and choreographer, and the Founder-Director of the ANJALI Center for Performing Arts, the first Indian dance school in Texas, established in 1975, and one of the first in the U.S..

The gala has been the talk of the town as vibrant ABC 13 anchors, Miya Shay and Andy Cerota emceed the event. What set it apart was the “Dancing with the Stars” performances!

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