Event Date: October 21, 2022
Location: The Post Oak at Uptown
No. of Attendees: 600
Money Raised: $575,000
Beneficiary: Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation
Chairpersons: Gina Saour and Carolyn Mohsenzadeh
Sponsors: Phillips 66, Stephanie Tsuru/SheSpace, Susan Sarofim, Stavis & Cohen Private Wealth, Cathy Cleary, Rhonda Graff and Sidney Faust
Linens: The Events Company
Emcee: Channel 2’s Keith Garvin
Photography: Jacob Power and Daniel Ortiz
Power of Literacy Luncheon—A Mother/Daughter Duo and an Author/Comic/Mother Teamed for a Successful Luncheon to Benefit Childhood Literacy
The mother-daughter duo of Gina Saour and Carolyn Mohsenzadeh helmed the seventh annual Power of Literacy Luncheon for The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation’s Ladies for Literacy Guild, where 600 guests celebrated together at the Post Oak Hotel for “Blooming with Books.”
Channel 2’s Keith Garvin emceed and welcomed the well-attended gathering. His first order of business was to introduce Guild President Ginger Blanton who spoke about the amazing accomplishments of the Guild over the past year, which included funding libraries for more than 3,000 underserved HISD, supporting the Camp Adventure summer learning program, and funding the creation of a George and Barbara Bush Family Place at the Central Library in downtown Houston. She also announced that the Guild has also cut the ribbon on their 4th Curiosity Cruiser mobile library to provide thousands of children with free books and engaging educational after-school programs. Reverend Wesley Arning gave the event’s invocation.
Headlining the event was actress, producer, writer, philanthropist, mother of five, comedic force and New York Times bestselling author Jeannie Gaffigan who shared stories from her book When Life Gives You Pears. This memoir chronicled her diagnosis, surgery, and recovery from a pear-sized brain tumor. She was interviewed on-stage by Channel 2’s Lisa Hernandez, where she shared stories and her love for her husband and comedic partner Jim Gaffigan and her teenage children. Poignant remembrances from the interview were, “It is important that we engage youth and teach them the importance of giving back to the community. They are the future and need to understand the value of helping others.”
Title, Presenting and Literacy Champion Sponsors were Phillips 66, Stephanie Tsuru/SheSpace, Susan Sarofim, Stavis & Cohen Private Wealth, Cathy Cleary, Rhonda Graff and Sidney Faust. With their assistance and those generously donating by attending, more than $575,000 was raised in support of childhood literacy programs!
Socially present (not previously mentioned): Julie Baker Finck, Lisa Jakel, Betty Hrncir, Donatella Benckenstein, Trish Morille, Dominique Sachse, Lisa Garvin, Deborah Stavis, Amy Chronus, Alice Mosing, Lilly Andress, Vicki West, Deborah Dunkum, Stick Delaup, Maureen Higdon, Kathy Goossen, Ginny Endecott, Anne Neeson, Sidney Faust, Laurie Lashier, Mary Ellen Prochazka, Ann Bookout, Dancie Ware, Deborah Duncan, and Tricia Georgiou