Event Date: November 11, 2022
Location: Marriott Marquis
Beneficiary: Kid’s Meals, Inc.
No. of Attendees: 1,400
Chairpersons: Kathleen Pennington and Julie Applegate
Honorees: Valero, Kroger, The Astros Foundation, Drs. Nicci & Chris Greeley, and Brandy & Zach Dworaczyk
Volunteers recognized: Vanessa Gobel, Donna Jett and Helen Pung
Photography: Courtesy of Kid’s Meals, Inc.
Feeding our Children’s Futures at Kid’s Meals 14th Annual Harvest Luncheon
How does one get 1,400 excited paying guests into a ballroom for a non-profit luncheon? You have a charity that people love to support, along with great sponsors, diligent chairpersons, hard-working co-chairs, tireless volunteers, a curated group of 20 vendors offering unique holiday shopping, and a Grammy-nominated country singer who shared a heartwarming story and performed. Such was the case, as Kid’s Meals celebrated its 14th Annual Harvest Luncheon. Co-Chairs Kathleen Pennington and Julie Applegate were overjoyed at the turnout, which will help the organization reach its goal of making and delivering 1.7 million meals in 2022.
Emcee Khambrel Marshall welcomed guests and introduced Board Chair Neil Russell and CEO Beth Braniff Harp on stage, where they announced the purchase of five acres in Spring Branch, which will be the location of a new facility (ready by 2024) that will feed 26,000 children per day by 2031. Video tributes for honorees were given to Valero, Kroger, The Astros Foundation, Drs. Nicci & Chris Greeley, and Brandy & Zach Dworaczyk. Volunteers recognized for their support were Vanessa Gobel, Donna Jett and Helen Pung.
C&W singer Jimmie Allen joined Marshall on stage for an interview, followed by a short performance. Allen told the audience that moving to Nashville with $21 in his bank account created many difficult days, but, organizations in Nashville (similar to Kid’s Meals) helped him through his most challenging times and his goal was to pay it forward.
A raffle and lively silent auction were also part of the afternoon festivities, which included a live painting by famed Houston artist Taft McWhorter. Other notable mentions included a gift from RSM. Representative Katie Ellington presented a gift of $40,000 from their 90 offices and 400 employees raised through the company’s annual charitable giving program, which will continue feeding the children who face debilitating hunger due to extreme poverty in Houston. Following the luncheon, RSM increased its donation to $50,000!
Socially present (not previously mentioned): Carol Olson, Tiffany Roland, Michael Magilton, Pooja Amin, David Endleman, Lara Bell, Jim Braniff, Steve Harris, Wyatt Hogan, JR Irvin, Jack Kins, Myra Johnson, Keely Langkowski, Kendra Lee, Rosalinda Martinez, Tim McKeon, Nick Neblett, Ba Nguyn, Chase Robison, Laura Schlameus, Kyle Shuenemann, Michael Walton, and many others