HOUSTON (November 15, 2019)Volunteer Houston, a program of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (Interfaith Ministries), celebrated its legacy of 45 years of service at an unforgettable anniversary dinner on Wednesday, November 13 at 6 p.m. at Hilton Americas-Houston. This inaugural event raised over $100,000 for the program.

The highlight of the evening was an address by Secretary Robert M. Gates, the 22nd Secretary of Defense, former president of Texas A & M University, and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Dr. Gates’ stirring words were followed by a cozy fireside chat with his daughter Eleanor Gates, who is director of Volunteer Houston.

A Daily Point of Light award was presented to community leader and philanthropist Regina Rogers by Neil Bush, chairman of Points of Light. Bush and Rogers both spoke of the legacy of public service in their respective families, which tied in to the legacy of service of the Gates family.

Melanie Lawson, ABC 13 news anchor, was the event emcee and her father, The Rev. William A. Lawson, provided the invocation. Event sponsors included Hilton Americas-Houston, Frost Bank, BP America Inc., Dawn and Richard Rawson, The Buzz Magazines and Community Impact Newspapers. Among the guests were Mayor Sylvester Turner, Judge Lina Hidalgo, Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, Maria and Neil Bush, Jacques D’Rovencourt, Susan and Dan Boggio, Joyce and Ambassador Arthur Schechter, Paula Sutton and Bill Gross, Nihala and Shaukat Zakaria, Lily and Charles Foster, Jay Harberg, Philamena Baird, Sheila and Matt Kabot, Dr. Kathy Flanagan and Lloyd Gite, and Doe and Henry Florsheim.

“I am very excited about the 45th anniversary of Volunteer Houston,” said Martin B. Cominsky, president and CEO of Interfaith Ministries. “I hope the community will spend time volunteering with the many nonprofit agencies in our community that need the help of Houstonians.”