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Be A Champion Holiday Fundraiser to Recognize Program Leaders and Feature Regional Cuisine of Top Chefs

HOUSTON — Be A Champion, Inc. (BAC), a nonprofit organization, announced the recipients of its annual individual and organizational leadership awards and the top chef talent that will be featured at its upcoming event. The Be A Champion, Inc. Holiday Party will occur from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., on Thursday, December 1, 2016, at the University of Houston Alumni Center, 3204 Cullen Blvd., Houston, TX 77004. The public is invited to share in the celebration of BAC’s 15th year of serving at-risk youth throughout Texas.

BAC is headquartered in Houston with program operations throughout the greater Houston area, Austin, Beaumont/Port Arthur, Brenham, Cold Springs, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Magnolia, Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio.

Founded by two University of Houston offensive lineman, Jaron Barganier and James Hong, the organization has grown beyond their dreams. The largest program, its Champion Fuel Food Program, serves a free nutritious meal to 21,000 children every day, making it one of the largest food distribution programs in Texas. BAC also provides more than 90 during- and after-school enrichment and academic tutoring programs to lower juvenile crimes and negative behavior, while increasing the rate of success for at-risk children in Texas.

During the Holiday Party, several leaders and organizations will be recognized for being valued program partners who share in Be A Champion’s mission to enhance youth development.

This year’s award recipients are:

Individual Leadership Awards:
Richard Lazarou, Head Coach, Willowridge High School
James Williams, Head Coach, Thurgood Marshall High School
Zenae Campbell, Director, Boys & Girls Club
Blanca Zaldana and Raul Yzaguirre, Coordinators, Family And Community Engagement
Leslie Haack, Secondary Education Executive Director, Lamar Consolidated ISD

Community Leadership Awards:
South East Texas After-School Association
William B. Travis High School
University of Houston Athletics
Also, during the event, party-goers will enjoy a customized menu of passed and stationed hors d’oeuvres reflecting the regions BAC serves. The featured chefs are Chef Sean Perrodin of Southern Creole Foods and Chef Mark Hawkins of Mark Anthony Private Culinary Services.

Chef Sean Perrodin
Chef Sean Perrodin and Southern Creole Foods are on a mission to promote the rich Creole culture which has a long culinary history of food, music and ancestry. Its cuisine is characterized by the use of high quality ingredients and Creole flair that maximizes flavor. In addition to the Beaumont, Texas based restaurant, Chef Perrodin has a growing product line that includes artisan Creole tea cakes, coffee blends, seasonings, rice blends, and more. During the BAC event, Chef Perrodin will highlight several Creole favorites and a few custom dishes, especially created for guests of the BAC Holiday Party.
Chef Mark Hawkins
Chef Mark Hawkins and Mark Anthony Private Culinary Services specialize in bringing high quality culinary services to clients with discerning tastes, focusing on extraordinary dining experiences. Chef Hawkins strives to deepen the palate’s consciousness through the pride, joy and love he brings to every dish. Chef Hawkins’ BAC Holiday Party menu will take guests on a Texas culinary journey, and will include several Tex-Mex, Asian, and Gulf Coast favorites.
BAC Holiday Party Details

Who: 250 community leaders, professional athletes, elected officials, Be A Champion, Inc. staff, and BAC Holiday Party host committee members: KRIV Fox 26 VP/GM D’Artagnon Bebel, U.S. Olympian and UH Track Coach Carl Lewis, UH Coach Will Blackburn, State Rep. Ron Reynolds, Dr. Jonita Reynolds, State Rep. Senfronia Thompson and sports commentator personality Kim Davis

What: Be A Champion, Inc. Holiday Party “Celebrating 15 Years of Serving Champions”

When: Thursday, December 1, 2016
Time: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (6:30 p.m. registration and reception)

Location: University of Houston Alumni Center, 3204 Cullen Blvd., Houston, TX 77004


Culinary Showcase by Chef Sean Perrodin and Chef Mark Hawkins
Vegetarian salad bar sponsored by VERTS Mediterranean Grill
Branwar Wine Distributing Co. International Wine Bar
Holiday music by “A Touch of Keys,” Eric Wright, pianist
Wish Tree (guests will have an opportunity to make a child’s dream come true by fulfilling their Christmas gift wish)
Live and Silent Auctions
Red Carpet Photographs by Grady Carter Photography
Holiday gift bags for all guests
Tickets: Single tickets at $75.00 or become a Champion Club Founding Member by pledging a 12-month $25/month commitment on “Giving Tuesday” (Tuesday, November 29) with the first $25 due prior to the Holiday Party at

Information: 832.492.2407 or

Sponsorships: Sponsorships, and silent and live auction times are still being accepted.
About Be A Champion, Inc.

Founded in 2001 by two former University of Houston offensive linemen, Jaron Barganier and James Hong, Be A Champion, Inc. is a Houston-based nonprofit organization with a programming model that encompasses academic services, enrichment activities and the Champion Fuel Food Program for Texas youth. Be A Champion has been designated a “Cougar 100” organization by the University of Houston for three consecutive years. The Cougar 100 Program recognizes the most outstanding businesses owned or led by high achieving UH alumni. For more information regarding Be A Champion, visit, call 281-833-3129 or email