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It was a good evening, friends: Building the block with Crime Stoppers of Houston

Annie
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Rania Mankarious, Dave Ward, Steve Tyrell

Rania Mankarious, executive director of Crime Stoppers of Houston with honoree Dave Ward and longtime friend Steve Tyrell, who sang "You've Got a Friend in Me" at the gala. (Photo: Michelle Watson)

Dave Ward, who’s been a popular newscaster at ABC – 13 since 1967, was honored at the 2015 Building the Block Crime Stoppers of Houston Gala Oct. 29 at the Omni Houston Hotel. 

Emmy award-winning journalist Ted Koppel was the keynote speaker. The night was packed with surprises for Dave, including video tributes from former First Lady Barbara Bush and NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly from the ISS. Emcee Melanie Lawson said, “Dave, you have friends in really high places.” Longtime friend and Grammy award-winning artist/producer Steve Tyrell sang, “You’ve got a friend in me.”

But the ultimate surprise that brought the house to their feet and Dave “speechless” was when Rania Mankarious, Crime Stoppers Executive Director, revealed that the new building would be named in his honor. Ward played an instrumental role in creating the media reach of Crime Stoppers of Houston in the early 1980s. It was his creativity and ingenuity that contributed to the famous (and internationally recognized) Crime Stoppers’ reenactments.

Because of Ward’s dedication to his city, career and Crime Stoppers, Mankarious announced that the first-ever Crime Stoppers of Houston headquarters will be named The Dave Ward Building Crime Stoppers of Houston.

Ward was astonished by the big unveil and was lost for words as he stood in front of the podium. He compared the extraordinary moment to his wedding day and birth of his children. Over 560 guests, including Leisa Holland Nelson, Mauri Oliver, Vicki Rizzo, Kenneth Lewis and Yvette Webb, were applauding in the crowd. The night raised over $510,000 for Crime Stopper’s Tip Line and crime prevention programs. Chairs Joella and Steve Mach, along with auction chairs Courtney Zubowski Haas and Dr. Eric Haas, led the efforts. 

  • Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman, Dave Ward

    Buzz publisher Michael and editor Joni Hoffman with honoree Dave Ward (center). 

  • Alan Pactor, Roz Pactor, Steve Tyrell

    (From left) Alan and Roz Pactor with Steve Tyrell. (Photo: Michelle Watson)

  • Bob Newhouse, Pegi Newhouse

    Bob and Pegi Newhouse. (Photo: Michelle Watson)

  • Dave Ward

    "My name's going to be on a building on Main Street? I am overwhelmed," said Dave Ward when he found out that the first-ever Crime Stoppers of Houston headquarters will be named after him. (Photo: Michelle Watson)

  • Scott Kelly

    NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly made a tribute to Dave Ward from the International Space Station. Right after, emcee Melanie Lawson quipped, "Dave, you've really got friends in high places." (Photo: Michelle Watson)

  • Melanie Lawson, Rania Mankarious

    Melanie Lawson, emcee of the gala, with Rania Mankarious, executive director of Crime Stoppers of Houston. (Photo: Michelle Watson)

  • Dave Ward, Laura Ward, Ted Koppel, Rania Mankarious, Ramy Mankarious

    (From left) Dave and Laura Ward, Ted Koppel, Rania and Ramy Mankarious. (Photo: Michelle Watson)

  • (From left) Leisa Holland Nelson, Mauri Oliver and Vicki Rizzo enjoying the night. (Photo: Michelle Watson)

  • Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman, Dave Ward
  • Alan Pactor, Roz Pactor, Steve Tyrell
  • Bob Newhouse, Pegi Newhouse
  • Dave Ward
  • Scott Kelly
  • Melanie Lawson, Rania Mankarious
  • Dave Ward, Laura Ward, Ted Koppel, Rania Mankarious, Ramy Mankarious

More photos

Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman, Dave Ward

Buzz publisher Michael and editor Joni Hoffman with honoree Dave Ward (center). 

Alan Pactor, Roz Pactor, Steve Tyrell

(From left) Alan and Roz Pactor with Steve Tyrell. (Photo: Michelle Watson)

Bob Newhouse, Pegi Newhouse

Bob and Pegi Newhouse. (Photo: Michelle Watson)

Dave Ward

"My name's going to be on a building on Main Street? I am overwhelmed," said Dave Ward when he found out that the first-ever Crime Stoppers of Houston headquarters will be named after him. (Photo: Michelle Watson)

Scott Kelly

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly made a tribute to Dave Ward from the International Space Station. Right after, emcee Melanie Lawson quipped, "Dave, you've really got friends in high places." (Photo: Michelle Watson)

Melanie Lawson, Rania Mankarious

Melanie Lawson, emcee of the gala, with Rania Mankarious, executive director of Crime Stoppers of Houston. (Photo: Michelle Watson)

Dave Ward, Laura Ward, Ted Koppel, Rania Mankarious, Ramy Mankarious

(From left) Dave and Laura Ward, Ted Koppel, Rania and Ramy Mankarious. (Photo: Michelle Watson)

(From left) Leisa Holland Nelson, Mauri Oliver and Vicki Rizzo enjoying the night. (Photo: Michelle Watson)

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