Because Be A Champion knows a thing or two about nutritious, good food, party-goers were treated to Gulf Coast favorites by Chefs
of Mark Anthony Private Culinary Services,
of Southern Creole Foods and VERTS Mediterranean Grill. The culinary selections were perfectly paired with the international wines of Branwar Wine Distributing Co. Pianist
with A Touch of Keys, and DJ Select were the perfect musical accompaniments to the holiday hors d’oeuvres.
With the founders of Be A Champion being prior University of Houston offensive linemen, it is no wonder that several sports celebrities also attended and supported the event. Olympian and University of Houston track coach
was on hand and live auctioned an autographed track and field baton, plus one-on-one track lessons. In addition, silent auction items were donated by NFL veterans
, also in attendance.
Other fun auction items were donated by KRIV Fox 26 VP and General Manager
. Bebel, who was also event host, live auctioned an official NFL Super Bowl LI game ball and a Fox Weather Kids experience.
During the event, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee phoned into the event from Washington, D.C., to personally bring greetings, while her staff delivered a special Congressional certificate of recognition. Congresswoman Jackson Lee remarked, “Be A Champion is doing something special and needed in Houston and throughout Texas, and they are doing it in a big way. Feeding our children, assisting them with their studies through tutoring and other academic enrichment programs, and offering them college campus experiences are invaluable and worthy of our support. Their program is one of the largest of its kind in Texas and I only see them expanding in the years to come. Congratulations to Be A Champion on its 15th year anniversary.”
Customary during the event, founders
awarded individual and organizational leadership awards. This year’s recipients were:
, head coach, Willowridge High School;
, head coach, Thurgood Marshall High School;
, VP, Program Services & Club Operations, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston;
director, Raul Yzaguirre, Family And Community Engagement (F.A.C.E.);
, secondary education executive director, Lamar Consolidated ISD; South East Texas After-School Association; William B. Travis High School; and University of Houston Athletics.
also received a leadership award for his never-ending support of Houston-area charitable organizations.
Among the other notables in the crowd were
Will Blackburn, Kim Davis, Rita Garcia, Phyllis Geans, Warren Luckett, Ken Norman, State Representative Ron Reynolds, Matt Smith,
Be A Champion is grateful for the supporters of this event, which include: KRIV Fox 26, Tim Boates, Café Express, Elaine Ebner, Houston Can Academy, Lexis Florist, Pepsico, Richard Walla, Revolution Foods, VERTS Mediterranean Grill, and the employees of Be A Champion, Inc., who participated for the first time in an employee giving campaign.
The organization has set the date for its next Holiday Party fundraiser. The 2017 event will occur on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, at the University of Houston Alumni Center. Coordination has already started and is slated to be one of the top epicurean-themed fundraisers in the city.
About Be A Champion, Inc.
Founded in 2001 by two former University of Houston offensive linemen, Jaron Barganier and James Hong, Be A Champion, Inc. is a Houston-based nonprofit organization with a programming model that encompasses academic services, enrichment activities and the Champion Fuel Food Program for Texas youth. Be A Champion has been designated a “Cougar 100” organization by the University of Houston for three consecutive years. The Cougar 100 Program recognizes the most outstanding businesses owned or led by high achieving UH alumni. For more information regarding Be a Champion, visit
or call 281-833-3129.