Event Date: October 29, 2022
Location: Royal Sonesta Houston
No. of Attendees: 430
Money Raised: $625,000
Beneficiary: Houston Professional Firefighters Association Charitable Foundation
Chairpersons: Elizabeth & Alan Stein and Carol & Bill Lawler
Honorary Chair: Hallie Vanderhider
Sponsors: Hallie Vanderhider and Bobbie Nau
Emcee: Channel 13’s Ted Oberg
Photography: CatchLight Group and Daniel Ortiz
Fifth Annual “Red Hot” Gala—An Event So Hot That Not Even the Astros Game Could Put Out The Fire!
In August 2017, our city was devastated by Hurricane Harvey. The structural, emotional and economic impact our citizens suffered was monumental and the effect was long-lasting and permeated every level of the city’s infrastructure. One of these affected was the Houston Fire Department. While the city was still recovering into 2018, Elizabeth and Alan Stein saw a great need to help our fire department acquire equipment and training not provided by the city. In the past five years, their divine vision has brought over $3.2 million dollars to Houston Professional Firefighters Association Charitable Foundation!
Once again, the Steins led the charge by chairing the gala along with Carol & Bill Lawler. Honorary Chair and Presenting Sponsor Hallie Vanderhider, Presenting Sponsor Bobbie Nau and the 430 attendees added $625,000 to the organization’s treasury, which was a massive feat due to having the second Astros World Series Game with which to contend. No matter though, as the Astros won the game and all those present at the event had a very “hot” time!
As always, the event began with the procession of Houston Firefighter Honor Guard and Pipes and Drums into the ballroom, where they presented their flags. Firefighter Joe Rice sang a moving a capella rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Representative Mary Ann Perez (mother of Firefighter Daniel Perez) gave the evening invocation. The lively voices of Channel 13’s Ted Oberg and HPFFA President Marty Lancton energized the audience which finally brought chair Elizabeth Stein to the stage for honorary presentations to sponsors. Hallie Vanderhider now has her own customized Axe that bears her name; Bobbie Nau now has her own personalized fire helmet; and plaques were presented to the Lawlers and to Susan Sarofim. Longtime volunteers Dee Darby, Scarlett Darby, Betty DuBose and Laura Elizabeth Stein were presented beautiful bouquets for their valuable contributions.
The feature no one wants to miss was next up as the 2022 Houston Firefighter Calendar participants brought the already warm climate up to “sizzling hot” as the shirtless hunks walked the runway flexing with heavy gear in hand. This organization does great work through calendar sales which fund the Charitable Foundation and the Burned Children’s Fund.
Once again, the live and silent auctions did not disappoint and set a new record. The after-party featured a “hot” country-western band, Taft McWhorter’s Live Painting exhibition and an equally smokin’ Houston Astros Watch Party! This event was “HOT” all the way around!
Socially present (not previously mentioned): Margaret Alkek Williams, David Wuthrich, Brigitte Kalai, Alicia Smith, Shantell & Brian Wischnewsky, Council Member Amy Peck, Van & David Greenberg, Wendy Lawler, Fady Armanious & Bill Baldwin, Linda & David Johnson, Jo Ann Petersen & Mike Taylor, Gaye Lynn & Stuart Zarrow, Jackie & Monty Eubank, John Pearson, Gilbert Garcia, Julie & Alan Kent, Chris Hendel, Patti & Don Murphy, Robert Clay, Senator John Whitmire, Yanira & David Huntington, Janet & Tom Behanick, Tori DeCora, Constable Jerry Garcia, Tim Kelly & Lux, District Chief Jacob Sanders, Karen & Murry Penner, Council Member Edward Pollard, Charles Blain, Senator Dawn Buckingham, Elizabeth Brock, Beto & Norma Cardenas, Candy & Christopher McAllister, Monica & Russell Ybarra, George Dodge, Allison & Jack Jensen, Betty & Gerald Beathard, Tammy & Kim Norman, and Elizabeth & Roger Fulghum