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Black Tie International:
Jay Leno Stands Up for Children at CHILDREN AT RISK Gala

Nick Florescu, Jay Leno, and Dominique Sachse

Nick Florescu, Jay Leno, and Dominique Sachse.  
Photo by Ed Last and Ken Carter



 Invited Jay Leno

to Stand Up and Split A Few Sides

to Stop the Trafficking and Exploitation of Children

Benefit Extravaganza and Show March 24, 2012, Bayou City Event Center


HOUSTON, TX – On March 24, 2012, Bayou City Event Center roared with laughter while being entertained by the one and only, Jay Leno.  “The Tonight Show” host/comedian thrilled the crowd with some of the material he’s famous for, and introduced a few new twists in his repertoire.  “An Evening with Jay Leno - Standing Up For Our Youth” is an event that will bring smiles to the faces of Houstonians for years to come. 

Over 750 people attended An Evening with Jay Leno, which benefited CHILDREN AT RISK and its Center to End the Trafficking and Exploitation of Children.  The event raised over $410,000 and was co-chaired by Kathy and Bob Baker (General Counsel, El Paso Corporation), Adrienne Publicover and Kyle Jennings (General Counsel, American General Life Companies), and Pamela and Curtis Frasier (General Counsel, Shell Oil Company). Major benefactors included, American General Life Companies, Leslie Alexander and the Houston Rockets, Jonathan Blake, Forethought Financial, American Air Liquide, Momentum Jaguar, Sutton Foundation, and Griffin Americas.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn received the 2012 Founders Award for his efforts to advocate for and support the rights of children.  The spectacular event also featured a VIP reception, and an exclusive live auction.  Philanthropist extraordinaire Dr. Carolyn Farb, hc, was recognized with the First Lady of Philanthropy award for her dedication to improve the lives of children. The beautiful awards were donated by Tiffany & Co.

Michael Cordúa catered the gala which began with a private reception featuring cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres. Guests dined on spinach salad with Bacon Sherry Vinaigrette, Manchego Beef Churrasco and Chicken Cordon Bleu.  Emmy-winning anchor Dominique Sachse of KPRC-2 News was the mistress of ceremonies. Judge Eric Andell did the Big Board Auction, while Owen Conflenti of KPRC-2 News handled the Live Auction.

Before Mr. Leno exited the stage to a standing ovation, he handed a $10,000 check to Dr. Bob Sanborn, president and CEO of CHILDREN AT RISK, an unprecedented gesture to the work of CHILDREN AT RISK.

The night ended with benefactors meeting and taking photos with the star. Following the post-reception, Momentum Jaguar transported Leno to the airport where his private jet awaited.

Bayou City Event Center was electric, as Leno’s delivery was “on point” throughout the evening.  The original “Stand Up” comedian had the crowd standing up to stop child trafficking.  Trafficking continues to be a real problem in Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S.  A child is trafficked somewhere in the world every two minutes. One out of every three children who runs away from home becomes a victim of trafficking within 48 hours.

The Center to End Trafficking and Exploitation of Children, at CHILDREN AT RISK, is a multi-disciplinary, action-based institute that works to generate solutions to the human trafficking crisis through policy, advocacy, education, and collaborative programs. CHILDREN AT RISK leads the fight in Texas to change state policy on human trafficking. In the last legislative session, two bills encompassing 10 human trafficking issues were passed.

Joyce Brooks

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