Power Couples, Philanthropists and Local Celebs Celebrate KNOWAutism Inaugural Gala 2015
Now that we are done celebrating Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about some of the power couples that made significant contributions to the community this past week. Last Thursday, more than 350 fashionable gala goers gathered for the KNOWAutism Inaugural Gala 2015 raising around $231,000, and this was only possible with the efforts of many Houstonians including Founder and powerhouse Tammy Tran Nguyen and her very supportive husband Wayne Nguyen.
Tammy Tran Nguyen is the daughter of two Vietnamese-Chinese immigrants, who came to America to search for a better life for their children. Along with her husband Wayne they started a real estate investment firm. They are blessed with two children, one of which has autism. At first it was not easy for them and together they turned this challenge into a positive situation by being the solution to many others in need of assistance and guidance. “I was humbled, grateful and overjoyed by the outpouring of love and generosity everyone showed at our very first fundraiser gala event. What a night and what a fabulous, philanthropic city. I am so proud to be a Houstonian and proud of our gala “Deep in the Heart of Houston”, with the funds we raised we plan to help 500 Houston families this year.” shared Tammy Tran.
Gala Co-Chairs Dr. Sippi Khurana and Perri Palermo outdid themselves planning the finer details of the gala and taking it to successful heights. The gala evening at Royal Sonesta was a star studded evening with local celebrity models walking the runway in David Peck’s Spring 2015 Collection. Guests had tears in their eyes as they listened very attentively to Perri’s speech which was straight from her heart. Owner of Speech For Life Therapy Center and a mother, Perri spoke about the challenges parents face in dealing with autism.
Another young power couple Dr. Sippi and Ajay Khurana played a significant role with their generous donations and active role in spreading the word. Amongst many guests former Mayor of Houston and keynote speaker Bill White and his wife Andrea White enjoyed a glamorous fashion show. On the runway were: Reyne Hirsch, Katherine Le, Donae Chramosta, Anika Jackson, Caroline Harper Knapp, Dr. Lily Zhang, Tiffany Zhang, Vicky Russell, Tammy Gee, Cindy Cheng, Miss Texas Rachel White and Nataline Oelkers. Child models included: Julia Nguyen, Siri Jackson, Bella Chramosta, Skylar Su, Ava Nguyen, Elle Oelkersand, and Ava Oelkers.
The elegant party goers included: Mandy Kao, Azra Rauf, Sneha and Naushir Merchant, Toni Tate, Karina Barbieri, Connie Kwan Wong, Nancy and Jose Almodovar, Miya Shay and State Rep. Gene Wu, Swati and Dr. Rakesh Narayan, Giane Nguyen, Rose Chen, Fred and Caroline Knapp, Farida Abjani, and many others.
With a clear mission and pure intent, KNOWAutism is off to a great start. The team is already set working hard for 2016!
Photo Credit: Quy Tran