My involvement in the community began in my early days at KPRC, when I co-hosted both the Muscular Dystrophy and the United Negro College Fund telethons. I took the telethon model and paired it with my love for animals and created a Pet-A-Thon on KPRC-2, teaming up with the Houston Humane Society in helping them find good homes for their shelter animals.
I also wanted to give back to my alma mater, the University of Houston. In 1997, the school asked me to host a golf tournament, raising funds for student athletes. Since I graduated from the School of Communication in 1990, I wanted to circle back and contribute on the Alumni Advisory Board for the school to work with local students helping them plan their careers.
When my son was born in 2005 and was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy, I lent my voice to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (now FARE) to raise critical research and support dollars to help families with food allergies. My son outgrew his allergy by age 2, but my work for others who suffer from potentially fatal allergies continued for years with my annual food allergy walk.
Knowing the power of local television to help rally behind a cause, I brought to light an unknown and aggressive form of breast cancer by profiling a local Inflammatory Breast Cancer survivor and the work of the IBC clinic at MD Anderson. Together with the doctors and nurses, we hosted a phone bank at KPRC, answering viewers’ questions about this frightening disease and helped raise funds to fight it.
Throughout the years, I’ve spent time at a podium lending my voice as an emcee and charity supporter, and in some cases my feet, by dancing my heart out doing the Cha Cha for the Houston Ballet in “Dancing With The Houston Stars.” There are so many more to list, but the point is, there’s so much we can do for others!
I am focused on assisting COCI (Cherish Our Children, Inc). COCI is dedicated to helping children of incarcerated parents by intercepting them in the middle and high school level through targeted programs to meet their emotional, sustainable and educational needs. I learned about this organization through profiling a student who successfully completed the program and went on to receive his Masters degree. I have dedicated the foundation to raising awareness about the needs of these children so they can break the generational chains of incarceration and succeed.