Houston Snapshots

Making a Difference and Making it Fun at El Centro de Corazón Luncheon

Event Date:  September 16, 2022
Location:  Hotel ZaZa Museum District
Event:  Luncheon
No. of Attendees:  250
Money Raised:  $161,000
Beneficiary:  El Centro de Corazón
Honorary Chairs:  Leisa Holland Nelson Bowman and Leila Perrin
Chairpersons:  Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein and Barbara Van Postman
  Hallie Vanderhider, Halliburton Charitable Foundation and the Honorable Ed Emmett and Gwen Emmett
Emcee:  Cyndy Garza Roberts
Photography:  Daniel Ortiz

Making a Difference and Making it Fun at El Centro de Corazón Luncheon

Talk about “Making a Difference!” For well over a quarter century, El Centro de Corazón has been helping the underserved in our community with preventative care and helping them to continue leading productive lives. Beginning with our city’s east end, their first location became a beacon for those needing not only medical care, but also screenings for cancer, women’s health, dental and behavioral health services. More than half of the 44,000 annual patients of this clinic live at or below the nation’s poverty level, and are uninsured. The annual minimum cost to see each patient is $1,000. Their need has been so great, that now there are three community locations.

Emcee Cyndy Garza Roberts started things off by welcoming 250 excited supporters, and introducing Chairpersons Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein and Barbara Van Postman along with Honorary Chairs Leisa Holland Nelson Bowman and Leila Perrin. Honorees taking bows were Hallie Vanderhider (who was also the event’s Presenting Sponsor), Halliburton Charitable Foundation and the Honorable Ed Emmett and Gwen Emmett. The Emmetts were unable to attend and Leisa Holland Nelson Bowman read their inspired acceptance speech to the crowd.

El Centro CEO Marcie Mir came to the stage to give a brief statement on the many successes of the clinics and solemnly mentioned the recent passing of its founder Mary Jo May.

Hotel ZaZa in the Museum District was the hotel of choice for the luncheon and they did not disappoint with their culinary offering. H-E-B stepped up (as they do for many non-profits) and donated the floral centerpieces at each table, which were sold by the charity at the luncheon finale for $20 and added to their treasury total of $161,000.

Emcee Cyndy Garza Roberts conducted an on-stage panel discussion with Memorial Hermann CEO Dr. James McCarthy and Harris Health System CEO Dr. Esmaeil Porsa. The dialogue centered on the duration of the pandemic, the collaborative opportunities it presented and the continuing disparity in healthcare.

Socially present (not previously mentioned):  Donna Chapman, Beth Wolff, Marilu Garza, Emily Mir, Rep. Christina Morales, Rep. Ana Hernandez, Councilmember Robert Gallegos, Honorable Gracie Saenz, Beckie and Gasper Mir, George W. Connelly, Jennifer and Scott Allison, Elizabeth Stein, Kelley Lubanko, Rosemary Schatzman, Phyllis Williams, Denise Monteleone, Dr. Susan Osterberg, Sandra Porter, Leila Perrin, Diane Englet, Bob Bowman, Sue Burnett, Ryane Jackson, Frances Castañeda-Dyess, Graciela Saenz, Carol Paret, Anne Neeson and Vicki Luna

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