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Newt Gingrich Will Headline Annual Event Honoring Houston Humanitarian


HOUSTON - Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will keynote the Houston’s Open Door Mission Foundation’s 2007 “Hats Off to Success – One Heck of an Evening” fundraising dinner.

Former Speaker Gingrich, together with a Who’s Who of honorary chairs, including President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush, former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and Mrs. Baker, has tossed in his hat to raise funds to support programs provided by Open Door Mission. The Mission is a faith-based, not-for-profit, inner-city rehabilitation and recovery center established in 1954. The goal of the Mission is to return destitute, addicted, and homeless men and their families to productive and meaningful lives.

Highlighting the event will be presentation of the first ever Open Door Mission Foundation Michael E. DeBakey, M.D. Humanitarian Award to Roy M. Huffington for his extraordinary humanity, compassion and service to Houstonians in need.

The Honorable Roy M. Huffington is an oilman and former Ambassador to Austria. He is a major philanthropist contributing to hundreds of organizations over the years.

“We feel most fortunate to have the endorsement and support of such distinguished and respected citizens willing to lend their name and time to help destitute and addicted men and their families reclaim their lives,” said Alan Craft, president and chairman of the mission’s Board of Trustees.

The DeBakey Humanitarian Award was designed by artist Eric Kaposta, who is known for sculptural work throughout Houston, including an enormous blacksmith in front of the Astros’ home, Minute Maid Park, two monumental bronzes in the sculpture garden at Reliant Park, and architectural work on the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

“Because of the generosity of all our supporters, we are able to give some of Houston’s most vulnerable citizens another chance at their own success, and it is through fundraising events like our annual gala and the ongoing support of individual donors, churches, corporations and private foundations that we’re able to make a difference,” Craft added. The Open Door Mission does not receive any government or United Way funding and relies solely on voluntary contributions.

Co-chairs of the award dinner will be Lavonne Cox and Denis DeBakey, who serve on the Open Door Mission Foundation’s Board of Trustees and are active in the community.

Providing entertainment for the event will be the Texas A&M Singing Cadets.


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