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UNICEF Tsunami Relief Event

March 6, 2005 / InterContinental Hotel / Houston, Texas

View the Event Photo Gallery / Read the Pre-Event Press Release / View the Event Video


HOUSTON, TEXAS, March 16, 2005 – The InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s recent benefit raised over $500,000 for children and their families affected by the South Asia Tsunami tragedy.

The InterContinental Hotels & Resorts was the Presenting Sponsor of Houston’s “Designs of Hope” event on March 6, 2005 at the InterContinental Houston. The fundraiser will benefit UNICEF’s programs to help rebuild the lives and social and economic infrastructure throughout the region. UNICEF is leading efforts to rebuild health centers and schools as well as immunizing children against deadly childhood diseases.

Benefactor Sponsors for Designs of Hope were Delta Air Lines and ELLE magazine. The Fabulous Five Chairs of the event were Dr. Carolyn Farb, Mrs. Neda Ladjevardian, Mrs. Sultana Mangalji, Mrs. Ingrid Moody and Mrs. Becca Cason Thrash.

“The Designs of Hope concept is hip, fun and benefits an important global cause. This event was one of 2005’s most sought after, memorable and heartwarming events on the Texas philanthropy scene. The impact of the South Asia tsunami on the children and their families is devastating, and all of us were deeply touched and honored to be a part of this project”, said Dr. Carolyn Farb.

The elegant evening began with The Houston Children’s Chorus opening the evening with a song that brought a tear to everyone’s eyes. InterContinental Houston Executive Chef Peter Laufer prepared a sumptuous dinner which was followed by Tootsies and Cartier’s fashion show choreographed by renown fashion event producer, Lenny Matuszwski, Jr. Lenny, the models and fashion show team donated their time and talent for this emergency event. The world class fashion show highlighted top designers including Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Andrew Gn, Naeem Kahn, Lanvin, Emanuel Ungaro, Vera Wang and jewels by Cartier. Other highlights that evening included a special concert donated by the multi-Grammy Award winner Erykah Badu who captured the spirit of the event with a soulful and moving performance. Miss World 2005, Maria Julia Mantilla Garcia graced the evening by speaking about her compassion for the victims of the recent tsunami tragedy. Bob Boudreaux served as Master of Ceremonies. Some of the major benefactors in the crowd included: Stevan D. Porter (President-The Americas InterContinental Hotels Group), Vicki Gordon (Sr. VP Corporate Affairs InterContinental Hotels Group), Willem J. Plegt (InterContinental Hotels & Resorts Regional VP Operations South Central US), Robert L. Moody, Jr., Robert Taylor II and his daughter Lacy Taylor, Mary and Vincent Kickerillo who won the live auction trip to NYC for fashion week with ELLE magazine, Debbie Hurwitz who purchased the Cartoon Network TV appearance on the show Friday’s, Gregory Casey who purchased the live auction trip to Paris including a VIP tour of the Louver, Karen and Eric Pulaski, Brede Klefos (UNICEF Texas Board Chairman), Debbie and John Daugherty, John M. Tsacrios, Jr. (UNICEF Texas Regional Director), Lester and Sue Smith, Jim and Linda McIngvale, Mayor Bill White, Dick Tips, Cristina and Bill Kallop, Malcolm and Becky Morris, Dr. and Mrs. John D. Stobo, Kimberly and Frank Delape, Charles Joekel, Ali and Gita Saberioon, Tiffany’s VP Mike McClure and wife Ericka, World Philanthropy Publisher Bob Hopkins, Neil & Maria Bush, Houston Rocket’s star player Dikembe Mutombo, and Eileen and Kase Lawal.

Founded in 1946, UNICEF helps save, protect and improve the lives of children around the world through immunization, education health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation.

UNICEF is non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority. For more information, please visit WWW.UNICEFUSA.ORG or call John M. Tsacrios, Jr. at

For more information please contact:
Kathryn or Jeff Smith
Smith & Sacco, Ltd.

© Carolyn Farb. All rights reserved