Archive for the ‘Charity Events’ Category

McNairs to Headline ESCAPE 2012 Celebrity Serve Benefit

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Janice and Bob McNair, 2012 Headliners, ESCAPE Family Resource Center Celebrity Serve BenefitHOUSTON, TX (Feb. 8, 2012) – Fresh off their team’s best football season in franchise history, Janice and Bob McNair, founder, chairman and CEO of the HOUSTON TEXANS, 2011 AFC South Division Champions, will be the headliners of the ESCAPE Family Resource Center 31st Annual Celebrity Serve Benefit Sunday, April 15, 6:30 p.m. at Tony’s, 3755 Richmond Avenue. The fun-filled dinner and auction will feature more than 25 television, radio and sports personalities as servers to entertain and mingle with guests in the spirit of raising much-needed funds to help prevent child abuse and neglect in the greater Houston community.

“We salute the McNairs, who’ve supported and helped unify this city through their vast philanthropy and through the HOUSTON TEXANS. We’ll take this opportunity to show them our deep appreciation of the TEXANS’ 2011 AFC South Division Championship Season,” said Joan Schnitzer Levy, Celebrity Serve Benefit Co-Chair (and diehard football fan) with Gerald Franklin for an unprecedented 30th consecutive year.

Among the 2012 Celebrity Servers will be: KTRK-TV Sports Director Bob Allen, KTRK-TV News Anchor Tom Koch, who will serve as emcee/auctioneer KHOU-TV Reporter Courtney Zubowski, Stylist Todd Ramos, “LiveWell Network ‘Deals’ Host Katishia Cosley, KPRC Radio Host Michael Garfield, “Mirror/Mirror” TV Host Rebecca Spera, FOX 26 TV/ 650 CBS Radio Host Cleverley Stone and Stylist Edward Sanchez.

According to Lidya K. Osadchey, CEO of the ESCAPE Family Resource Center, the Celebrity Serve Benefit is a major annual source of funding for the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is held in April as part of National Children Prevention Month. ESCAPE, whose mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect before a child is harmed, helps promote happy childhoods by providing intervention, education and support programs to families in crisis. Founded in 1983 by the Houston-area chapters of The National Exchange Club, ESCAPE relies on private support to prevent and combat emotional, physical and sexual violence towards children.

In fiscal year 2011, ESCAPE provided 370 deliveries of child abuse prevention programs and parenting classes in 95 locations in Harris and Fort Bend counties in English, Spanish and Chinese. Within the last 11 years, ESCAPE has increased its program delivery from 116 to 370 and increased the number of parents and children who benefit from these programs from 2,316 to 6,480. ESCAPE Family Resource Center is committed, both locally and globally, to offering court ordered and CPS approved parenting classes, parenting tips and tools that anyone can use to develop positive parenting and appropriate discipline skills.

In 2011, CBS Houston, a division of CBS Radio Inc., named ESCAPE Family Resource Center the Best Resource For Single Parents In Houston and The Houston Chronicle designated ESCAPE Family Resource Center as one Houston’s top workplaces (small business category.)

Individual tickets to the ESCAPE Celebrity Serve Benefit start at $400 and table sponsorships range from $4,000 to $15,000. For those interested in purchasing tickets or tables, or donating to the live auction, please call Chris Rambeaux at 832-367-9117 or ESCAPE, Sandi Mercado, (713) 942-9500, ext. 14, or go to and click on the “Toy Box.”

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Release at will
Contact: Susan Farb Morris
713-661-7377 (w) ; 713-805-2608 (c)

Gugliani’s MAM Night to Benefit Memorial Assistance Ministries Tuesday, January 31

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Houston, TX — Jan. 10, 2012. . . .

Gugliani's Memorial Chef Joaquin Alcocer will serve up lamb chops and other delicious fare for MAM Night

Gugliani's Memorial Chef Joaquin Alcocer will serve up lamb chops and other delicious fare for MAM Night

Simply stating “I’m dining here for MAM” at the new Gugliani’s Memorial restaurant on Tuesday, January 31, will mean newfound financial support for Memorial Assistance Ministries. From 5 p.m. till closing that evening, the Memorial-area modern Italian restaurant and bar will donate 15 percent of guests’ dinner bills (beverages included) to the nonprofit emergency and financial assistance agency.“As good neighbors, we want to do what we can to support MAM’s mission to help families and individuals who find themselves in temporary crisis,” said Gregg Gugenheim, Gugliani’s Head of Operations. MAM provides emergency and financial assistance and other services designed to put clients back on their feet, largely the working poor faced with immediate and critical personal and family situations. For info on MAM, please go to

MAM supporters will enjoy Gugliani’s full menu, comprised of fresh American Cuisine as well as traditional Italian Gugliani’s pasta and pizza fare and beverages from a fully stocked wine and cocktail bar. The contemporary neighborhood gathering place, designed by hospitality and retail award-winning architect Carlo M. Di Nunzio, AIA, is located at 12389 Kingsride near Gessner. It is steps from the Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital complex, Memorial City Mall and neighboring office buildings and adjacent to the Memorial Villages.

Gugliani’s Memorial offers seafood, lamb and pork dishes, as well as specialty pizzas and seasonal hand-crafted raviolis that spotlight Chef Joaquin’s skills in developing flavorful, well-prepared and presented menu items at a neighborhood-friendly value,” said Memorial born-and-bred Gregg Gugenheim, who oversees operations. “Of course, we maintain Gugliani’s core Italian favorites that have been our staples for 16 years.”

Up-and-coming Chef Joaquin, a shining star graduate of the Art Institute of Houston Culinary School, according to AIH Chef Instructor Michael Holderfield, prepares a daily selection of the freshest fish available, along with freshly grilled lamb chops, pork tenderloin and angus steaks. He has created such American cuisine menu offerings as Seared Scallops with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Topped with a Grilled Vegetable Medley; Warm Salmon Salad grilled to order; Lamb Chops with Sherry Wine Reduction Sauce, Kale Ragout and Roasted Purple Potatoes, Pork Tenderloin with Dijon Mustard Sauce, Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes and Asparagus Tips; Sizzling Whole Baby Red Snapper Veracruz; and Zabaglioni with Prosecco served over Berries.

The new location, in a freshly renovated retail center, drew Gugenheim to bring the restaurant and fully stocked bar to his own backyard. He went into the Memorial-area space with the idea to evolve Gugliani’s décor and menu into a neighborhood spot that embraces the culinary and entertainment diversity and growth of west Houston.

“We want to be the go-to restaurant and happy hour spot for people who work and live in this neighborhood,” said Gugenheim, a graduate of Memorial High School and the University of Texas with a degree in finance. The second-generation Houston restaurateur noted that this Gugliani’s grew from conversations with friends and business associates looking for a quality, local restaurant for dine-in, take-out and delivery among the increasing number of national restaurant chain offerings in west Houston. It has free wi-fi as well.

Gugliani’s is open daily for lunch and dinner; Saturday and Sunday brunch; and available for dine-in, take-out and delivery. For information, call 713.464.1444.

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Release at will
Contact: Susan Farb Morris
(713) 661-7377; (713) 805-2608

PR Fairy in Action: “Gifts That Give Back” on KHOU/CBS “Great Day Houston”

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

The PR Fairy was working overtime on this one.

I pitched CBS KHOU-TV’s “Great Day Houston” on a story about “Gifts That Give Back,” highlighting, of course, my client’s children’s book, “Wanda and the Oblahlahs.” Proceeds of all the sales of the Houston-based children’s book benefit Children At Risk in their efforts to combat child trafficking in our society.

The producer loved the idea for the show, but said she needed other items to show on Deborah Duncan’s Houston-based talk show. That’s when the PR Fairy went into overdrive.

I turned to Facebook and posted my need to find other gifts with a social conscience. I received a myriad of responses, including from the publisher of Bright Sky Press, who said they had several more books in addition to “Wanda and the Oblahlahs” that benefited nonprofit organizations. Sun & Ski Sports, a Houston-based company that I worked with this summer on a TOMS Shoes Back-to-School promotion, noted that they were selling Blue Cure Foundation T-shirts benefiting a prostate cancer education organization founded by Gabe Canales.

My next move was to contact the M.D. Anderson Children’s Art Project to see if they could provide an array of gift items that benefit pediatric cancer patients and projects at the famed Cancer Center. I also asked Sun & Ski if they could provide TOMS Shoes, TOMS sunglasses and a Sun & Ski spokesperson to talk about TOMS One-for-One initiative on the air.

It took dozens of phone calls, emails and follow-up phone calls and emails to the “Great Day Houston” producer and the various representatives of the participating entities: Bright Sky Press, Children At Risk, Sun & Ski Sports, Blue Cure Foundation and M.D. Anderson Children’s Art Project "Gifts That Give Back on CBS KHOU-TV's "Great Day Houston"to make it happen. In the end, each spokesperson was so well-versed in his or her socially-conscious products; it made for great TV. “Wanda and the Oblahlahs” got its due mentions, plus the appearance of the life-size cut-out of Wanda on camera — as did the other groups represented.

It was a win-win for all. I hope that you’ll watch the segment to see how seamlessly it all came together.

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Sun & Ski, TOMS Back-To-School Shoe Drive Benefits Children Locally and Globally

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Release at will
Contact: Susan Farb Morris, (713) 661-7377
(713) 805-2608 (cell)

One for One X 2

Sun & Ski Sports Celebrates Sale of 50,000 TOMS Shoes
with Star of Hope Shoe Drive & TOMS Shoes Custom Paint Event

Houston – July 22, 2011. . . . Houston-based Sun & Ski Sports will mark the sale of its 50,000th pair of TOMS shoes next month with a two-week Back To School Shoe Drive to benefit children at Star of Hope

For every new pair of TOMS shoes sold, a new pair is given to a needy child in a developing country.

For every new pair of TOMS shoes sold, a new pair is given to a needy child in a developing country.

topped off by an August 13 TOMS Shoes Custom Paint Event. Shoe painting commissions will support promising young artists. The local August 1-14 shoe drive complements the global TOMS One for One Movement matching shoe purchases with new shoes for children in developing countries.

“This milestone sale directly correlates to 50,000 pairs of TOMS shoes given to children globally through Sun & Ski since the company began carrying the TOMS brand two years ago,” said Barry Goldware, CEO of Sun & Ski Sports, TOMS #1 seller in Texas.

“During the shoe drive, every customer who brings in a pair of gently worn shoes will receive a Sun & Ski Sports certificate for $5 off a new pair of TOMS shoes. Shoes will be donated to needy children both locally and globally through the efforts of Sun & Ski and TOMS — it’s one for one X (times) two, when donors buy a new pair of TOMS as well,” he explained.

“If the solid-color fabric slip-on TOMS aren’t your signature style, you may customize newly purchased TOMS (with Sun & Ski Sports receipt) on Saturday, August 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the 6100 Westheimer, Katy Mills, Memorial City and Webster stores, thanks to the talents of budding artists,” said Goldware.

For $10 per pair, an artist will paint a custom design for the customer. The artists, who will receive 100 percent of their painting fees, can paint commissions on the shoe canvas. The paints are water resistant.

Additionally, collection boxes for pre-owned (or new) shoes appropriate for children to wear to school will be at all five Houston-area Sun & Ski Sports stores: 6100 Westheimer, Memorial City Mall, Katy Mills Mall, 5503 FM 1960 West and 1355 Bay Area Boulevard.

TOMS was founded in 2006 when American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, which stands for Tomorrows. Mycoskie returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers. Today the company has donated more than one million shoes to barefoot children to help prevent soil-transmitted diseases and the long-term physical and cognitive harm they cause; prevent feet from getting cuts and sores that are dangerous if they become infected; and allow children to attend school because shoes are a required part of their uniform. If they don’t go to school, they don’t receive an education and don’t have the opportunity to realize their potential.

Sun & Ski Sports has a longstanding relationship with Star of Hope, having collected more than over 10 tons of clothing in 20+ years to provide warmth to Houston’s homeless, according to Marilyn Fountain, Star of Hope Community Relations. Through Emergency Shelters and Transitional Living Centers, Star of Hope touches the lives of more than 7,000 different homeless people each year, including more than 1,600 children. Star of Hope ministers to approximately 1,000 men, women and children every day with food, clothing, shelter, Christian care and structured recovery programs. Sun & Ski Sports outfits enthusiasts who ski, run, hike and bike around the world. The store’s e-commerce and store addresses are available at

For further information on the Back-To-School Shoe Drive & TOMS Shoes Custom Paint Event, call 281-340-5000, ext. 145.
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Calling all HEROES! Those doing great things in the community

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Calling all HEROES!

Is it you? Southern Living Magazine considers a hero to be someone doing great things in their community – i.e. starting a nonprofit organization to fulfill a unique community need, making community service a part of one’s everyday life, inspiring others in the community to do good works. PR Fairy has learned that writer Stephanie Granada would like to speak with individuals who live in the Southern U.S. whose humanitarian and philanthropic efforts make them heroes in their communities. She is looking for people who
are helping others in an important way. Here are the criteria: -They should be doing something you’ve not likely
heard of before. Something unique. For example, one woman who quit her job as a banker to start an adult day-care center, one that is beautiful so that families will want to visit there. They should be doing something that directly impacts their local community, not a national organization. – Has to be a non-profit, not just a part of their business (i.e., not just donating some profits to charity) – Preferably has not received national publicity—local publicity is OK.

If you know of such a HERO and would like to submit him or her to Ms. Granada for her consideration for this publicity in Southern Living Magazine, please contact her by e-mail:


Media Outlet: Large-circulation Southern magazine

Deadline: February 8, 6 p.m., CST
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Thank you and good luck!

Susan Farb Morris
Susan Farb Public Relations PR Fairy

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