Jonathan Owens on the Una Notte in Italia runway by Charlie Horse Photos.

The annual Una Notte in Italia Men’s Fashion Show and Gala, benefiting Children at Risk, has always been one of the most anticipated events of the Fall social season but this year was even more special! The founders and owners of the men’s boutique Festari for Men, Debbie and Rudy Festari, made the announcement that after over 25 years of outfitting philanthropic men and athletes to walk the runway for charity, this would be their last. 

The gala was a huge success with tables completely sold-out months in advance. Cochaired by Alice Mao Brams and Stacey Lindseth and Honorary Chair Debbie Festari, the event raised a record breaking $540,000! Attended by over 550 guests and held at the Omni Houston Hotel, guests were greeted by luxury vehicles provided by automobile sponsor McLaren and Lamborghini Houston. As the party started there were lively libations from sponsor Veneno Tequila, a premier bar and a wonderful silent auction. The ballroom was beautifully decorated in silver and green with roman styled decor including framed photos of Michaelangelo’s statue of David on stage. 

The well-renowned and beloved Emcee Dominique Sachse got the event started and the philanthropic men and athletes took to the runway to support Children at Risk. The athletes gracing the stage included former Houston Dynamo star Brian Ching, Houston Sabercats rugby star Gerrie Labuschagne, Houston Texans Jonathan Owens, Austin Deculus and Garret Wallow and Houston Rockets General Manager Rafael Stone along with son, Gerard. 

After the show, President and CEO Dr. Bob Sanborn spoke about Children at Risk and our mission to fight the dangers of human trafficking and exploitation of children. He then introduced well-known Auctioneer Johnny Bravo who helped drive the live auction. The highlight of the night was an amazing $100,000 bid for one single item from generous couple Ginny and Dustin Bailey! It was record breaking and helped surpass any other in the history of the gala. 

The fabulous night ended with dancing and celebration with the guests and sponsors who included Brigitte Kalai, Melissa and Michael Mithoff, Jennifer and Chad Pinkerton, Iraida and Danny Brown, Rachel Bagwell, Melissa Juneau, Olympian Carl Lewis, Courtney Hopson, Hallie Vanderhider, Ben Berg, Esther and Hugo Guerrero, Lara Bell and Brent Milam and Christine and Steve Johnson to name a few. 

On behalf of Children at Risk and Festari for Men, thank you to all who attended and supported the annual Una Notte in Italia “Celebrity” Men’s Fashion Show and Gala! We deeply appreciate your support and hope you had a wonderful evening. 

Thank you to our fabulous event Cochairs, Alice Mao Brams and Stacey Lindseth, Honorary Chair Debbie Festari. And a special thank you to the fabulous gentlemen who took to the runway in support of our cause! 

The generosity of our community enables us to continue protecting children from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Thanks to you, Children at Risk will be able to touch the lives of thousands of children and their families! 


For information about the gala contact Michelle Bowman at, or (713) 869-7740.