Party Watch

Houston's Heart of Gold difference makers raise $650,000 over lunch

Houston's Heart of Gold difference makers raise $650,000 over lunch

Mike Ballases, from left, Angela Blanchard and Doug Pitcock at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration February 2014
Mike Ballases, from left, Angela Blanchard and Doug Pitcock at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration. Photo by Tom Shea
Mark DeWalch, left, and Michael Dokupil at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration February 2014
Mark DeWalch, left, and Michael Dokupil at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration. Photo by Jesus Reyes
Don DePasquale and Emelda Douglas at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration February 2014
Don DePasquale and Emelda Douglas at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration. Photo by Jesus Reyes
Malcolm and Donna Host, from left, and Nelly and Felix Fraga at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration February 2014
Malcolm and Donna Host, from left, and Nelly and Felix Fraga at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration. Photo by Jesus Reyes
Eric Marin, from left, Brenda Stardig and Ed Gonzalez at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration February 2014
Eric Marin, from left, Brenda Stardig and Ed Gonzalez at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration. Photo by Tom Shea
Tommy and Kerry Lynn Inglesby, from left, with Sharon Michael Owens at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration February 2014
Tommy and Kerry Lynn Inglesby, from left, with Sharon Michael Owens at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration. Photo by Tom Shea
Sandy and Mike Ballases at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration February 2014
Sandy and Mike Ballases at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration. Photo by Tom Shea
Mike Ballases, from left, Angela Blanchard and Doug Pitcock at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration February 2014
Mark DeWalch, left, and Michael Dokupil at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration February 2014
Don DePasquale and Emelda Douglas at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration February 2014
Malcolm and Donna Host, from left, and Nelly and Felix Fraga at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration February 2014
Eric Marin, from left, Brenda Stardig and Ed Gonzalez at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration February 2014
Tommy and Kerry Lynn Inglesby, from left, with Sharon Michael Owens at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration February 2014
Sandy and Mike Ballases at the Neighborhood Centers' Heart of Gold Celebration February 2014

What: Neighborhood Centers annual Heart of Gold luncheon.

Where: The Hilton Americas-Houston.

The 411: More than 700 community leaders helped raise a whopping $650,000 at the fundraiser that featured Bruce Katz, vice president of the Brookings Institution, as keynote speaker. The luncheon honored Doug Pitcock Jr., Williams Brothers Construction CEO with the Alice Graham Baker Crusader Award, given to those who work at improving the lives of Houston area residents.

Who: The VIP gathering included Neighborhood Centers president and CEO Angela Blanchard, State Sen. Sylvia Garcia, Neighborhood Centers board chair David Chaumette, city council members Brenda Stardig and Ed Gonzalez, Sandy and Mike Ballases, Elyse and former Mayor Bob Lanier, Sharon Michael Owens and KTRK Channel 13 GM Henry Florsheim.