Houston Charity Guide
party watch

Young Houstonians suit up for runners with disabilities at sporty gala

Young Houstonians suit up for runners with disabilities at sporty gala

Catapult Gala 2019
 Steven Diaz, Rebecca Denney, and Tom Denney raise their paddles Photo by Quy Tran

What: 3rd Annual Catapult Gala

Where: The Astorian

The scoop: Jarrett Hubert and Chris McClendon, creators of Catapult — a nonprofit that guides visually and mobility impaired athletes in endurance sports — recently hosted the third annual Catapult Gala in time for the Chevron Houston Marathon.

When Hubert and McClendon hosted their first Catapult fundraising event three years ago — to just 17 people at a private home — they hardly imagined the non-profit they started to support disabled athletes would grow to support hundreds of disabled athletes and celebrate with a glitzy gala. Fast forward to Houston marathon weekend, where 420 gala-goers glammed out, black tie-style, and filled the posh Astorian for an evening of fun and inspiration.

The late night partying didn’t stop 20 Catapult disabled athletes from racing in the Chevron Houston marathon. The event raised a record $185,000. Duke and C.C. Ensell were the first to show their support for a surprise $10,000 donation to start off the paddle raise portion of the night, which raised an additional $70,000.

Among the honorees of the evening, Legacy Award recipient and blind runner David Kuhn; Athlete of the Year and U.S. Paralympian Mark Barr; and Catapult athlete Alma Faz, who gave an heartfelt keynote speech about her life as a two-time cancer survivor, amputee, marathoner, and now Ironman hopeful.

Who: Audrey Begay, Mark Jackson, Fred Johnson, Tanya Dawson, Chau Nguyen, Lester and Mariso Gretsch, Dr. Timothy and Jenn Achor, Dr. Matthew Koepplinger, Dr. Chappie Conrad, Dr. Taggart Gauvain, Melissa and Scott King, Dr. Stephen Clouthier, Ana and Steve Harvey, Eric Solberg, Dr. George and Mary Stancel, Dr. Pedro Mancias, Dr. Angela Sturm, Shane and Asha Wurdeman, Raquel Fatiuk, Mechelle Tran, Peter Clifton, Wesley Watkins, Nick Scurfield, Jeff Parker, Tracy and Harry Faulkner.