Recognizing Heroes Gala Benefits Unlikely Heroes

By Cynthia Smoot       Photography by Thomas Garza and Cooper Neill/Getty Images

THE SETTING:  Recently Unlikely Heroes held their 6th Annual Recognizing Heroes awards dinner and charity benefit  at The Ritz-Carlton hotel. The elegant evening began with an exclusive VIP cocktail reception hosted by LeeAnne Locken and Melissa Rycroft Strickland.

THE STYLE:  The evening’s keynote speaker was survivor leader, Rebecca Bender. Guests enjoyed an unforgettable evening featuring a live musical performance by multi-platinum country musician Sara Evans, Emily West (America’s Got Talent Season 9) and Pia Toscano (Netflix’s Westside, American Idol).

Awards were given to Cathy De La Paz, Carrie Wright, Elle Snow and Alan Schonborn for their tireless work in advancing global human rights and outstanding efforts to stop human trafficking. The audience roared with applause when Austin Hurst of Hurst Capital announced that he was pledging a one million matching grant that will rescue 200 kids and give them full restorative care for a year. 

THE PURPOSE: Since 2011 Unlikely Heroes has rescued hundreds of children and their journey to freedom starts in one of their seven restoration homes located around the world, including a restoration home for children rescued from slavery in the Dallas and Fort Worth area.