party watch

Get set, party! Young Houston athletes suit up for disabled runners

Get set, party! Young Houston athletes suit up for disabled runners

Dr. Katie Jensen, Ryan Snapp
Dr. Katie Jensen and Ryan Snapp.  Photo by Quy Tran
Sarah and Jarrett Hubert Catapult Gala
Sarah and Jarrett Hubert. Photo by Quy Tran
Mechelle Tran, CC and Duke Ensell, and Chau Nguyen Catapult
Mechelle Tran, CC and Duke Ensell, and emcee Chau Nguyen. Photo by Steven Devadanam
Amy Tanner, Soen Sheppard Catapult
Amy Tanner and Soen Sheppard. Photo by Quy Tran
Jen Bricker Catapult
Thouugh she was born without legs, keynote speaker Jen Bricker is now an aerial artist.  Photo by Quy Tran
Patrick Pressgrove, Mark Barr Catapult
Paralympian Mark Barr and athlete of the year — and double amputee — Patrick Pressgrove. Photo by Quy Tran
Volunteer of the Year Bruce Hayes, Chris McClendon
Volunteer of the year Bruce Hayes and Chris McClendon.  Photo by Quy Tran
Dr. Katie Jensen, Ryan Snapp
Sarah and Jarrett Hubert Catapult Gala
Mechelle Tran, CC and Duke Ensell, and Chau Nguyen Catapult
Amy Tanner, Soen Sheppard Catapult
Jen Bricker Catapult
Patrick Pressgrove, Mark Barr Catapult
Volunteer of the Year Bruce Hayes, Chris McClendon

What: Second Annual Catapult Marathon Gala

Where:  Hilton Americas

The Scoop: Jarrett Hubert and Chris McClendon, two young Houstonians who launched Catapult — a nonprofit that guides visually and mobility impaired athletes in endurance sports — hosted the second annual Catapult Marathon Gala. (What better way to train for the Houston Marathon than with a massive party?)

More than 350 men and women, in possibly the fittest crowd of gala-goers (these are athletes who guide disabled athletes) packed into the Hilton Americas, opting for tuxes and gowns over their New Balance running shoes and race gear, for one special night.

Among the honored guests of the evening, Jen Bricker, who, in spite of being born without legs, went on to become a world class aerialist, and is the sister of Olympic gymnast Dominic Moceaunu. Local Paralympian Mark Barr presented double amputee Patrick Pressgrove with the athlete of the year award, while Bruce Hayes received the volunteer of the year award. The evening raised $120,000, which helps purchase prosthetics, race equipment, and race gear and entries for disabled athletes.

The partying certainly didn't affect performance: Twelve attendees competed in the Houston Marathon and half marathon; several broke their own personal records, and four athletes qualified for the Boston Marathon.

Who: CC and Duke Ensell, Felicia and Pete Neubig, Adessa Ellis, Fred Johnson, Jerry Ashworth, Dr Danielle MeltonChau Nguyen and Brian FrancoMechelle TranCheri Hildreth, Stevie VuJerry and Victoria Ashworth, Shane and Asha Wurderman.