It was a night spent reminiscing on difficult times, but also one celebrating the gift of life at the Crime Stoppers Gala on October 24th, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Houston. Crime Stoppers is a unique organization that has transitioned into a community of its own; a community where families, neighbors, and even strangers, band together for the overall safety of those around them. The gala serves as one of the biggest events for Crime Stoppers, and the funds raised are directed towards the Tip Line and various crime prevention programs. These programs are vital to Crime Stoppers because they help create awareness and educate children and adults about the safety and protection they have available. The night kicked off with a cocktail hour and a wonderful silent auction which contributed over $308,000 to Crime Stopper programs! Guests were greeted by Dominique Sachse, Anchor at KPRC2 News and the evening’s Emcee, who introduced Steve Tyrell’s “Hand in Hand” single. The song was written specifically for Houston after the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey. The evening celebrated how Houston came together to give back to the community despite race, gender, or social standing. Rania Mankarious, Crime Stoppers Executive Director, held a moment of silence in remembrance of those who had suffered and were lost during the storm. She mentioned that, together with the help of Hyatt Regency’s Managing Director Tom Netting, they were able to make this evening possible and provide some hope for those who really needed it the most. After the lovely dinner, Gala Chairs Soraya and Scott McClellan spoke about their experience during the Hurricane relief efforts as well as their personal contributions to the organization. Together they were on the front lines with H-E-B. to bring food and products to many victims of the floods. They were definitely an iconic duo during Houston’s time of need. Their remarks were followed by a heartfelt speech from keynote speaker Bob Woodruff, ABC International Correspondent. Woodruff spoke about the challenges he faced after an assignment in Iraq that led to an injury sustained by an IED while covering the story. He stressed the importance of being surrounded by friends and family whom served as catalysts in his recovery. Following the theme of family and support, guest speaker Alissa Parker, mother of Emilie Parker, spoke about the emotional trauma she experienced after her daughter was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. The many “what-if” questions that went unanswered during those events led her to become more involved in advocating for children safety in schools. Sachse came back to the stage for her closing remarks and reminded the many in attendance of all the greatness that is Crime Stoppers. There is no limit to how people can help each other when given the right resources. Prevention is the greatest key, but so is accessibility, and to be part of this evening was eye opening to the vast reach that the organization has in this city. Houston is fortunate to have such an amazing organization serving the community.