Nothing like schmoozing with 40 or so headliner athletes, both active and legendary. And that's the allure each spring when Paige and Tilman Fertitta open their River Oaks spread for Houston Children's Charity's Gathering of Champions.
On this night that raised $130,000 for the non-profit, the Fertitta's vast pool area (think resort hotel) was populated with a cadre of sports names familiar to just about every Houstonian. Craig Biggio worked the crowd as did Nolan Ryan, Matt Schaub, Luis Scola, J.J. Watt, Ray Childress and Brian Ching.
Houston sports fans had their photo opps with Earl Campbell, Dan Pastorini, Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, Calvin Murphy, Joe Sambito and more. Add to the celebrity mix NASA astronauts Mark Kelly and Scott Kelly, songman Steve Tyrell and astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon. It was celebrity city on this balmy spring night.
Grooving to this sporting scene were emcee Channel 13 KTRK news anchor Dave Ward, Houston Children's Charity exec Laura Ward, Laura and John Johnson, John Havens, Jeff Hildebrand, Janice and Tad Brown, Perri and Dan D'Armond, Jeni and David Burg, Edna Meyer Nelson and Suzanne Klein.