Houston Snapshots

An Emmy and Tony Winner Interviewed by Another Emmy Winner on a White House-Inspired Stage, Helped Ladies for Literacy Guild Raise $500,000!


Event Date:  October 20, 2023
Location:  The Post Oak at Uptown
Event:  Luncheon
Beneficiaries:  Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation
Presenting Sponsor:  Phillips 66
No. in attendance:  550
Money raised:
  Maureen Higdon
President, Ladies for Literacy Guild:  Stick Delaup
Décor by:  The Events Company and Art Attack
Florals by:  H-E-B
Emcee:  Keith Garvin
Keynote Speaker:  Kristin Chenoweth
Program Moderator:  Ernie Manouse
Photography:  Daniel Ortiz and Jacob Power

An Emmy and Tony Winner Interviewed by Another Emmy Winner on a White House-Inspired Stage, Helped Ladies for Literacy Guild Raise $500,000!

Kristin Chenoweth, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress, singer, and author, was the headliner at Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation’s Ladies for Literacy Guild’s Eighth Annual Power of Literacy Luncheon. More than 550 guests gathered at the Post Oak Hotel with Title Sponsor Phillips 66 to celebrate this annual event and raise over $500,000 to help curb the intergenerational cycle of illiteracy.

Channel 2’s Keith Garvin was the luncheon’s emcee. He appeared on stage after a pre-program 2002 video of Kristin Chenoweth performing “The Girl in 14G” at Ford’s Theater before an audience that included former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Mrs. Laura Bush, set the tone for the event. Garvin made welcoming remarks, thanked sponsors and donors, and introduced event chair Maureen Higdon and Ladies for Literacy Guild President Stick Delaup.

Following lunch, Channel 8’s Ernie Manouse, who has won several Emmy Awards of his own, moderated a conversation with Kristin Chenoweth and discussed her new book, I’m No Philsopher, But I Got Thoughts. She spoke about her family, her early adoption, friends, career and recent marriage. Kristin stated, “One of the hardest things I learned was forgiveness. When I learned how to forgive myself and forgive others, I felt free.” Her parting words of advice consisted of a pause, a deep breath, and an a capella rendition of “Smile,” which brought the audience to their feet for a standing ovation.

The pre-function area was reminiscent of a winter wonderland, thanks to the creative geniuses of The Events Company and Art Attack. A 15-foot “Giving Tree” surrounded by wrapped gift boxes created a bright and cheery ambiance and for many, an Instagram-worthy backdrop. A champagne girl dressed as Glinda from the Broadway production of “WICKED,” provided by J & D Entertainment, was positioned for guests to imbibe as a treat when they purchased raffle tickets. The raffle prizes included a Barbara Bush-inspired double-strand necklace of freshwater pearls with a diamond clasp, donated by Tenenbaum Jewelers.

The Ladies for Literacy Guild has raised nearly $3 million through the eight years of hosting this signature luncheon, benefiting tens of thousands of children and their families. During 2023, the Guild has provided more than 4,500 children with home libraries.

Socially present (not previously mentioned):  Martha Adger Madget, Lilly Andress, Ginger Blanton, Ann Bookout, Tony Bradfield, Amy Chronis, Cathy Cleary, Sue Conway, Emily Dalicandro, Rebecca & Brian Duncan, Deborah Dunkum, Lesha Elsenbrook, Scott Ulrich & Ernest Trevino, Sidney Faust, Paige Fertitta, Keith & Lisa Garvin, Lisa Helfman, Stephanie Hill-Franco, Betty Hrncir, Lisa & Mark Jakel, Claudia Kreisle, Brenda Love, Mary Lynn Marks, Anne McClellan, April McGee, Anne Neeson, Dorothy Nicholson, Beverly Postl, Regina Rogers, Gina Saour, Sue Smith, Y. Ping Sun, Stephanie Tsuru, Vicki West, Cynthia Wolff, Trish Morille

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