HOUSTON (April 24, 2020) – Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (Interfaith Ministries) celebrated its Annual Tapestry Gala with a virtual event and Meals on Wheels experience on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Interfaith Ministries President and CEO Martin B. Cominsky made the call to quickly pivot the originally scheduled Tapestry Gala event from an in-person gala to a virtual event at the onset of the COVID-19 stay home/work safe order.
The “Dine in with IM” virtual gala, with many thanks to presenting sponsor Shell , hosted 400 supporters online who raised more than $525,000 for Interfaith Ministries’ four areas of service to the greater Houston community: Meals on Wheels/Animeals; Refugee Services; Interfaith Relations and Community Partnerships; and Volunteer Houston.
Using its home-delivered meals expertise, Interfaith Ministries’ team of Meals on Wheels drivers delivered a dining experience for guests to enjoy at home similar to what they do for 4,300 homebound seniors in its Meals on Wheels program, now weekly as a part of the response to COVID-19. Dinner was sponsored by Amegy Bank in partnership with Sysco and prepared by Chef John Guidmond of Yvonne’s Cafe located in the Amegy Bank Tower. The menu options for the virtual celebration included:
Grilled Prime Beef Tenderloin Steak
Gorgonzola Potato Au Gratin
Buttered Haricot Verts with Heirloom Tomatoes & Caramelized Onions
Morel Mushroom Port Wine Demi-glace
Seared Halibut Fillet
Jumbo Lump Crab Meat Lemon Caper Beurre Blanc
Ravioli with Assorted Grilled Vegetables
Steamed Asparagus Spears
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
Dinner for the evening also included a Greek Salad, Dinner Roll with Butter along with White Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake or White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake. The Meals on Wheels experience was paired with a bottle of 2016 Highwayman Property Red wine, Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, or Martinelli’s sparkling cider.
While staying safe and practicing social distancing, guests stayed home dressed in their favorite loungewear and PJs in front of their computer, tablet, iPad, smartphone or smart TV to experience the virtual presentation. Throughout the event, there was an interactive chat during the evening allowing guests to converse with each other. Cominsky welcomed viewers to “Dine in with IM” and thanked everyone for their virtual support along with the gala’s presenting sponsor, Shell Oil Company . The Rev. Gregory Han , Interfaith Ministries’ Director of Interfaith Relations and Education, led a prayer and reflection, and to entertain the at home gala guests, Kenneth Gayle performed Home from the movie The Wiz.
Interfaith Ministries Board Chair Franklin J. Harberg, Jr. provided a few remarks on the organization’s commitment to using innovative measures and the highest possible safety standards to continue Interfaith Ministries’ work during the COVID-19 crisis. A video highlighted how Interfaith Ministries continues to serve the most vulnerable in the community, connect and inform the faith community, and organize the COVID-19 volunteer response in conjunction with Harris County.
Interfaith Ministries Chief Development Officer Maria Magee encouraged viewers to continue supporting Interfaith Ministries’ mission through an online and text appeal. The presentation continued with SheVon Jacobs performing A Million Dreams followed by remarks by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo . As guests continued to enjoy their evening, they were encouraged to snap photos of their at-home celebration and use #DineinwithIM and #AtHomeGala while Gayle and Jacobs returned on the screen to perform Higher Ground. Mayor Sylvester Turner also joined the virtual gala and shared a few words followed by a musical finale. Gayle and Jacobs along with the Rev. Michael Gott and the UNITY BAND from Unity of Houston performed Bridge Over Troubled Water . The at-home gala presentation came to an end with closing remarks by Cominsky, credits and video outtakes and bloopers.
Interfaith Ministries supporters and sponsors who stayed home and dined in for Interfaith Ministries included: Brigitte and Bashar Kalai, Karen and Jay Harberg, Paula Sutton and Bill Gross, Karen Labat of Shell Oil Company, Patti and Richard Everett, Anuradha and Dr. Mani Subramanian, Dr. Bimla and Swatantra Jain, Karyn and Charles Crisp, Joyce and Arthur Schechter, Terry and Martin Cominsky, Charlene Chuang, Fred G. Marshall, Susanne and Randall Evans, Nadia Tajalli and Dr. Shahin Tavackoli, Jugal Malani, Fran Zandstra and Duane Failing, Dr. Kathy Flanagan, Tehmina and Dr. Faisal Masud, Steve Stephens of Amegy Bank, Paul Moskowitz of Sysco, and more.
View the Tapestry Gala video: https://bit.ly/3eHYNJr
Photos submitted by At Home Gala Guests courtesy of Interfaith Ministries