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UNICEF World Ball to Walkathons!

UNICEF World Ball to Walkathons!

Gaudy gowns, flashy diamonds, the lovely Dominique Sachse as the mistress of ceremonies. Where am I? This was the much talked about UNICEF World Ball held at the Hilton Americas on March 31, 2012. The US Fund for UNICEF hosted a black tie gala honoring those individuals who have made a key contribution to UNICEF’S mission to save and improve children’s lives worldwide.

The main highlight of this evening was a very proud moment for the Indian American community as UNICEF Ambassador Dayle Haddon presented the Spirit of Compassion Award to Houston philanthropists Nidhika and Pershant Mehta for their advocacy on behalf of children around the world. This power couple is no stranger to Houston’s society scene. They are ardent supporters of many charities. They also have at the MFAH – Art of India Gallery and have hosted many high profile charity dinners at their lavish home.

The evening was very successfully co-chaired by Susan Boggio and Rosemarie Johnson. This gala was themed around UNICEF’s global work and included a live auction, an opportunity to bid on UNICEF inspired gifts such as mosquito nets and hand pumps. Mosquito netting played a vital role in the evening’s decor. The center piece on the table was certainly the star of the evening as it had pictures of underprivileged children around the world.

Making a mark consul generals from around the world including Sanjiv Arora Consul General of India in Houston. Fashion was in full glitter and glam at this gala evening. Leela Krishnamurthy looking versatile in her kanjeevaram sari, guest of honor Nidhika wore a zari work red and black sari. Karat 22 fame Rachna Patel looked classy in her churridar get up. Also spotted looking glamorous Cindi Rose in a kimono with hubby Franklin, Sangeeta Pasrija, Anu Bala, Mehrnaz S. Gill, Susan Boggio, Mandy Kao and many others. However Yasmine Haddad was the show stopper with her perfect metalic shimmery fitted gown with a petite fascinator. All’s well that ends well with a turn out of 300 plus guests UNICEF managed to raise nearly $480,000.

If you speculated that philanthropists only gathered at galas you are quite wrong. Past Saturday early AM Indian Americans gathered at the Oyster Creek Park in SugarLand, Texas to support and participate in the Indo American Charity Foundation Walkathon event. The Indian community and friends gathered in large numbers at this park to show support, a community initiative to eliminate hunger and help Houston’s needy. This annual ritual manages to raise thousands of dollars.

The walking agenda kicked off with a bollywood style warm up exercise spear-headed by our very own desi divas Manisha Mehta and Sangeeta Pasrija. Spotted in the fitness spree: David Raj, Surender Talwar, Harish Jajoo, Asha Pai Dhume, Reji Joseph, Savita Rao, Gitesh Desai, Virender Mathur, Vanitha Reddy and many others. The event had a great turn out with also the successful launch of Indo American Charity Foundation Young Professionals Group.

Walkathon Photos by Sandeep Khandelwal

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