Event Date: October 14, 2022
Location: The Post Oak at Uptown
No. of Attendees: 700
Money Raised: $3,625,000
Beneficiary: Houston Children’s Charity
Chairperson: Sheridan Williams
Event Décor, Florals, Linens and A/V: The Events Company
Photography: Michelle Watson and Daniel Ortiz
Houston Children’s Charity’s 25th Annual Gala Rocked the Room with a Musical Dynamo Duo and Raised Seven Figures for Houston’s Children in Need
Houston Children’s Charity was founded a quarter-century ago by its CEO Laura Ward, Tilman Fertitta and a small group of dedicated devotees. Their mission then and one which remains today is to provide for the needs of special children who would otherwise be left behind. This charity and its guests “rocked out” at their recent annual fundraising gala in many exciting and creative ways.
At the top of that list was the final tally of monies raised, helped by the more than 700 supporters, which exceeded $3,625,000 for underprivileged, abused and disabled Houston children.
Secondly, Chairperson Sheridan Williams, resplendent in a gold, sequined and jeweled La Vie Style House jacket, set the pace and tempo, and brought out the city’s well-heeled to the gala in order to raise such a record-setting amount of money. Guests arrived at The Post Oak at Uptown in rock ‘n roll attire and The Events Company’s electric décor did not disappoint. Emcee Todd Kalas started the evening’s pulsating festivities off, followed soon after by Reverend Mary Gracely giving the event her blessing. HCC’s CEO Laura Ward, Gala Chair Sheridan Williams and Board Vice-Chair Gary Becker welcomed guests with selective remarks and announcements and gave warm thanks to those who helped make the evening’s dream possible.
Thirdly, Title Sponsors BMW of West Houston and its General Manager Maria Moncado Alaoui and Momentum BMW Southwest and its General Manager Tommy Kuranoff “rocked, rolled and donated” a $68,000 BMW all-electric power i4 M50, which was the top item bid in the live auction and went for an astounding $125,000. Auctioneer Logan Thomas led the live portion, raising $466,500 in the process. For the second year in a row, attorney Tony Buzbee led the audience to purchase wheelchair-accessible vans for disabled, wheelchair-bound children. His efforts with the audience’s help generated an additional $1,705,000. Finally, attorney John Eddie Williams and wife Sheridan Williams took the stage for “Last Table Standing,” where 104 bidders bid $1,000 each to secure a $25,000 shopping spree at Tenenbaum Jewelers. When the “Last Table Stood,” Frances Buzbee was the winner!
Last, but certainly not least, was the evening’s entertainment, which was none other than “Rock ‘n Roll Queen” Pat Benatar and her husband, guitarist Neil Giraldo. This classically trained diva and her “guitar powerhouse” husband from the 80s and 90s brought down the house with “Heartbreaker,” “Shadows of the Night,” “We Belong” and others.
An exhilarated Sheridan Williams said, “To be Gala Chair for HCC was a privilege and honor – to be given the trust that I could be an asset to make this year a big success and prestige that the job was well done, were high compliments … of which none would have been possible without the true leader Laura Ward!”
All-in-all, a spectacular night for Houston’s very special children! Applause and words are not enough for the great work this charity provides for so many in need.
Socially present (not previously mentioned): Margaret Alkek Williams, Rachel and Jeff Bagwell, Monica and Russell Ybarra, Hallie Vanderhider and Neil Peeler, Dee Dee and Wallis Marsh, Edna Meyer-Nelson, Grant Guthrie, Melissa Juneau, Mario Elie and Gina Gaston, Gary Becker, Bob and Debbie Ogle, Dan D’Armond, Rob and Amy Pierce, Jana and Richard Fant, Omar Alaoui, Mary Lou and Steve Dujka, Paige Fertitta, Deanna Barton, Joanna and Brad Marks, Hannah and Cal McNair, Trini Mendenhall, Phillip Royalty, Senator John Whitmire, Mayor Sylvester Turner, District Attorney Kim Ogg, Judge Christine Stetson, Shelby Hodge and Shafik Rifaat, Kristina and Paul Somerville and many others