2019 – What a year! What a year! So many people accomplishing so many great things.
Simone Biles was named by Associated Press as Female Athlete of the Year. She is the most decorated World Championship American Gymnast of all time. We’ll see her again soon in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. (She lives in Spring, but we claim her as a Houstonian.)
Jose Altuve, Astros second baseman, hit a two-run walk-off home run in the ninth inning clenching the American League Championship Series win.
Rockets guard, James “the Beard” Harden, is currently the only active player who has scored 60 points more than once. This season he is averaging 39 points a game. Whew! Recently he became part owner in Houston’s professional soccer teams, the Houston Dynamo of MLS (Major League Soccer) and the Houston Dash of NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League). To quote Harden, “This is my city, and I’m here to stay.”
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni and wife, Laurel, were involved in more than basketball over the holidays. Laurel, along with Alicia Smith and Nina Westbrook, chaired “Answering the Call,” a two-hour cocktail party that turned out to be a roaring success with $1,422,000 raised to benefit SBP. This disaster recovery nonprofit, with more than 13 years of experience rebuilding homes after disasters, has completed its 200th rebuild in Houston and will continue serving Houston families for at least five more years, until recovery is complete. A bidding war occurred for the “Coach for a Day” auction item – a road trip with Coach D’Antoni and the Houston Rockets team—which generated a whopping $42,500. The Texans, Astros and Rockers partnered on this project to put people back in their homes. How great is that?
Sylvester Turner won a second term and—woo hoo—women will outnumber men on city council for the first time EVER!
Lizzo rocked the hip-hop world as well as other worlds with her talent. Yes, she may have been born in Detroit, but she grew up in Houston. I’m sticking with that. There are many other famous musicians born in Houston who have made us proud for years still kicking it: Billy Gibbons, who I knew when he was rehearsing in his dad’s garage, Lyle Lovett, Beyonce, Clint Black, Robert Earl Keen, Yolanda Adams, Solange, Geto Boys and others.
The Honorable Joanne King Herring turned a beautiful 90 years of age and is just as busy as ever. Her current project includes in her words, being “obsessed” with finding the “cause and cure” for human trafficking and working with Governor Abbott to plan a summit on same. A major hall at Fort Bragg is to be named in her honor. When the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston expansion is complete this year, it will include the 202 seat Lynn and Oscar Wyatt Theatre. After its renovation, the Jones Plaza downtown will be re-named the Lynn Wyatt Square for the Performing Arts. Yea, Lynn!
The Mother of All Fundraisers in 2019: Houston Methodist Centennial Gala, Rendezvous of the Century, chaired by Ann and John Bookout with 2,500 guests celebrating the 100 years of Methodist Hospital at Minute Maid Park, raised a whopping $9.5 million. What an amazing accomplishment!
And, here comes one of my favorite days … Valentine’s … with hearts all over the place. Saks Fifth Avenue, along with Sylvia Forsythe, Anne Carl, Deborah Duncan, Kim Moody, Alicia Smith and I will present the 10th year of Houston Sweethearts by honoring ten ICONIC Houston Sweethearts on February 13 at Saks Fifth Avenue.
What a great year this is going to be! Have you done something good for somebody today?