Houston Snapshots

VICTORY Rally Ball Blazed A Cure for Pediatric Cancer!

Event Date:  April 29, 2023
Location:  713 Music Hall
Event:  Luncheon
Beneficiary:  Houston Pediatric Cancer Research and Initiatives
No. of Attendees:  850 +
Money Raised:  $1.600,000
Chairpersons:  Elizabeth Fulghum, Melissa Hobbs, and Stephanie Morris
Emcee:  Frank Billingsley
Presenting Sponsor:  Sonic Automotive
Auctioneer:  Johnny “Bravo” Holloway
Décor:  Art Attack
Photography:  Wilson Parish and Daniel Ortiz

VICTORY Rally Ball Blazed A Cure for Pediatric Cancer!

Seeing new organizations bring people together to raise money for a great cause is a beautiful and inspiring feeling. This was undoubtedly the case, as a group of 850 people sharing common interests in pediatric cancer research created a foundation and rallied together at 713 Music Hall downtown to raise $1.6 million, all of which stays in Houston, to support the organization’s efforts.

This inaugural gala, presented by Sonic Automotive, was chaired by Elizabeth FulghumMelissa Hobbs, and Stephanie Morris. They were welcomed on stage by Channel 2 weatherman and emcee Frank Billingsley, who had everyone smiling. Next, VICTORY President Joni Ballis asked guests to enjoy an emotional video filmed with original VICTORY members Judi JohnsonGayle BentsenGlenda NicholsonKaren Tellepsen, Cynthia UrquhartCyvia Wolff and Jessica Younger, who all shared their passion, dedication, resilience and impetus for joining the fight against cancer. The organization boasts 250 women who were part of VICTORY and are devoted to continuing their commitment.

The Pop Art-themed evening, designed and decorated by Art Attack, consisted of heavy bites from Churrascos, Las Vegas-style gaming, Tequila and Whiskey Tasting, Wine-Whiskey-Tequila pulls, two bands, caricature artists, costumed Candy Girls handing out candy and donuts, two main bars and a “blazing hot” dance floor.

Auctioneer Johnny “Bravo” Holloway, donning a gold sequined jacket, literally catapulted through the crowd during the live auction as guests competitively bid on coveted items such as a Steak 48 cocktail party for 100, dinner for 24 at the home of famed chef Johnny Carrabba and a private Master Class dance lesson with a Dancing with the Stars Mirrorball winner, Val or Maks Chmerkovskiy. The highlight was Sonic Automotive’s 2023 Ford F-150 King Ranch custom truck. The dealership surprised bidders by graciously providing a second truck! Each sold for $95,000, bringing the charity an additional $190,000!

Weeks before the event, VICTORY Houston, Inc. impacted the community by giving over $215,000 to medical institutions, thanks to a contribution given in memory of Bobbi Kirlin. These funds were an additional raise to the already $1.6 million mentioned earlier!

Another unique feature on display was the Tribute Wall, comprised of colored ribbons representing different cancers. As guests entered, cancer survivors could pull a ribbon, sign their name, and display the ribbon on the Tribute Wall as a sign of triumph over cancer.

Socially present (not previously mentioned):  Jack JohnsonZachary IsaacksJohn BallisKelli FondrenElaine FingerLloyd Bentsen IIIJeff QuisenberryAshley Dyke Parker and Chris Parker, Hallie VanderhiderBobby DeesElizabeth and Alan Stein, Jerre Williams, Beth Wolff, Rob HungateKatie and Harry Cullen, Jr.Susie and Scott Bender, Brad and Joanna Marks, Sallie Morian and Michael ClarkBebe and John FalikBonnie and Tom HortonCamille and Steve StanleyRobin and Danny Klaes, Kittsie Klaes and Davis HanceBecky and Kelly JoyJackie and Monty Eubank and daughter Marissa Eubank,  Robin and Donald WayneJoel OppenheimTony and Laura Visage, Gregory BoppJana PlummerElaine Balagia Croucher and Brant CroucherAllison and Jack JensenCarol and Bill LawlerAnne NeesonAna Ortiz and Dr. Lauren ColbertGigi and Russell HarbisonLisa and Shaun McCoyCissy AbelKelli and Joe GallegosDr. Mary Healy and Paul O’SullivanSheryl Gussett and Phil Watts, Diane CainRoger FulghumMark HobbsChip Morris and many others

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