The conservative faithful packed the ballroom of the Omni Houston Hotel to hear Fox News host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as keynote speaker at the LifeHouse 25th anniversary dinner celebration, "A Toast to Life." As a bonus, Huckabee, playing bass guitar, was joined on stage by State. Sen. Dan Patrick in a jam session with the high school band The Watchtowers.
Close to 650 guests helped raise more than $450,000 for the non-profit, a Christian ministry that provides safe housing, prenatal care, counseling and support for young women with a crisis pregnancy. Huckabee charged the crowd "to save a life right here where you are."
The passel of dinner chairs was comprised of Laurence and Henry Bragg, Mary Clark and Chris Granberry, Paige and Houston Lane, Kathryn and Adam Roark, Allison and Spencer Stasney, Ashley and John Stevens and Cecie and Kyle Turlington. Serving as honorary chairs were Estela and David Cockrell.
The non-profit received a boost when after performing "A-punk" by Vampire Weekend, Huckabee initiated an impromptu live auction of a guitar that raffle winner Greg Elliott had turned back over to the LifeHouse team. In the end, the guitar sold for $5,000. LifeHouse director of advancement Courtney Abernethy noted, "So the additional $5,000 and Huckabee's live auction skills were a complete surprise."
The enthusiastic supporters included Ellen and Leo Linbeck III, Laura and William Wheless, Jessica and Fred Brazelton, Carol and Gregg Thompson, Elizabeth Wareing, James Reckling, Tiffany and Charles Masterson, Martha Turner and Glenn Bauguss, Susan and Charlie Neuhaus, Andrea and Trent Tellepsen, Deana and Larry Blackburn and Mary Jo and Denman Moody.