In the Heart of Houston

March 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs

MARCHing into 2010, charitable fund raising continues at a brisk pace.

At the Bo’s Place luncheon, CRAIG AND PATTY BIGGIO, marveled at guests “I’ve traveled all over the country, and I don’t believe there is a more giving city anywhere.” I echo that sentiment!

MARCH is GO TEXAN time! Since 1932, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has contributed more than $250 million to Texas youth. Chief Presentation and Operating Officer, LEROY SHAFER, seems to be having the time of his life!

SPOTLIGHT – Also, it’s OSCAR time! Here are our Houston charity awards:
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – JONNI HARTMAN. The national pr exec works for charities all over the country. With her reputation among the Hollywood biggies, she secured a letter from ELIZABETH TAYLOR congratulating PAUL-DAVID VAN ATTA at his Legacy Community Health Services event. You may not know this, but DAME ELIZABETH just doesn’t do this; HARTMAN scored a real coup, and LA LIZ’S letter was the evening highlight. FYI: Filmmakers are putting together a documentary on her life.
BEST DIRECTION OF AN EVENT – The Social Book launch party and the those who made it happen: SCOTT EVANS, JEFF HENRY, PAUL-DAVID VAN ATTA, DAVID GUGINO, LESTER SORSBY and Aztec Events and Tents.

BEST SPEAKER – HANK AARON at the “A Conversation with a Living Legend” luncheon benefiting the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The baseball legend had the filled-to-the rafters ballroom hanging on his every word, relaying stories of his early days in baseball and his joy of founding the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation.

BEST INVITATION DESIGN – The “Magnificent Marie” paper doll Ballet Ball invitation – inspired by KIMBERLY DELAPE, who suggested in a meeting she “loved paper dolls and what if we” …LINDA LIMB’s firm created the multi-dimensional invitation, suitable for framing.

BEST MALE EMCEE – DAVE WARD, the ever-popular ABC, Channel 13 news anchor, adds style to every event.

BEST FEMALE EMCEE – DEBORAH DUNCAN, host of KHOU, Channel 11’s “Great Day Houston,” mans a microphone with grace, charm and an abundance of humor, lifting spirits along the way.

STYLIN’ – Another OSCAR will create quite a stir at the Houston Chronicle Best Dressed luncheon, benefiting the March of Dimes, chaired by Sheridan Williams, Kristen Nix and Lauren Clark. The Neiman Marcus Fashion Presentation features…Tah-Dah … OSCAR DE LA RENTA.

APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE – MARTHA TURNER, was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. TURNER is one of only seven women honored in the 27-year history. I think the secret to TURNER’S success is her genuine love of people. I bet, if you need her to, she’ll have coffee with you and tell you how to decorate your house.

TONY VALLONE’S TONY’S RESTAURANT was honored at the Texas Legends Gala as the venerable eatery turns 45. VALLONE has put Houston on the map as a five-star dining destination. Congratulations! Do you know you can order just about anything and Tony’s will prepare it? For a REAL treat, ask TONY VALLONE to make his famous meatballs.

LIFE IS AN ADVENTURE – CERON of CERON SALONS has opened another shop in Neiman Marcus, Dallas. Many of Houston’s top fund raisers joined him to celebrate: Karen Mayell, Marybeth Aspromonte, Becca Cason Thrash, Diane Lokey, Debra Grierson and Marcia Backus.

GRAPEVINE GOSSIP – A favorite celeb of mine, DAVID HASSELHOFF, left his position as judge on “America’s Got Talent” to help his two daughters, TAYLOR ANN and HAYLEY pursue a television reality show: “If I Can Open the Door,” HASSELHOFF says, “then they have to walk through it and do the rest.” Don’t you bet daddy will be a big part of the show?

BRINGING IT HOME – In the meantime, as I’ve always told my children, “Do Something Good for Somebody Every Day.” You don’t have to lead a Capital Campaign or chair a fund raising event. I have always believed we can serve each other by just flashing a friendly smile, expressing a word of encouragement or performing a small task for a friend, neighbor or stranger. We never know the difference these small gestures make in another’s life. Have you done something good for somebody today?

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