In a fashionable salute to former First Lady Laura Bush and her receipt of the Denton A. Cooley Leadership Award, guests attending Thursday night's Texas Heart Institute award dinner were asked to wear red. They obliged in a sea of red satiny gowns and evening wraps, silk bow ties and hankies.
It was a light-hearted touch to the annual dinner that through the years has honored such distinguished individuals as former President George H.W. Bush, Charlton Heston, Tom Brokaw, Betty Ford and James A. Baker III. Laura Bush was honored for her widespread philanthropy and in particular for her role as founding ambassador for The Heart Truth and the Red Dress campaign.
Bush, wearing a red dinner suit, was introduced to the gathering of 700 in the Westin Galleria Hotel ballroom by Dr. Marjorie Jenkins, executive director of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health at Texas Tech University. The former first lady playfully updated the audience on family members and then spoke about her personal mission of spreading the word on the dangers of heart disease as the most formidable health threat to women today.
As is tradition with this popular evening, THI board chairman Meredith Long, THI president and medical director Dr. James T. Willerson (also chief of cardiology at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital) and Dr. Denton Cooley joined in the program that serves as an informative update on the progress in heart disease research and treatment.
Sitting down in the unusually dazzling ballroom (a nod to the red theme) was a stellar coterie of guests that included Janice and Bob McNair, Cornelia Long, Louise Cooley, Sue Trammell Whitfield, Margaret Williams and Jim Daniel, Jana and John Scott Arnoldy, Pam and Dr. David Ott, Brenda and John Duncan, Barbara and Corby Robertson, Dr. O.H. "Bud" Frazier, Carol Linn, Clayton and Shel Erikson, Fred Zeidman and Dr. Michele Sartori.