One hundred years ago to the day of the American Red Cross' "Wrapped in Red" gala, the Houston chapter of Red Cross signed its charter. A century later, more than 600 supporters turned out at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in black-tie and red-gown splendor to celebrate the momentous occasion.
The evening raised $500,000 for services that run the gamut from providing aid during major disasters to answering the need for low-cost medical transportation for the sick and elderly to CPR training. Addressing the gathering, Susan McEldoon, KHOU Channel 11 president and general manager and chair of the Greater Houston Area American Red Cross board of directors, noted that the Houston chapter responds to four fires a day in this city alone.
"And imagine, in just the past six months," McEldoon noted, "Red Cross instructors have trained more than 25,600 people along the Texas Gulf Coast in first aid, CPR and how to use an AED."
The event was chaired by a trio of philanthropists — Dorothy and Mickey Ables, Trini Mendenhall and Susie and Sanford Criner. And the evening honored four of H-Town's leading citizenry — Merrill and Joe Hafner and Betty and Gene McDavid. KHOU Channel 11 morning talk show host Deborah Duncan served as emcee.
The evening included remarks by Steve Vetrano, American Red Cross regional CEO, dinner, and dancing to the sounds of Yvonne Washington and the Infinite Groove Band.
Supporters included Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Philamena and Arthur Baird, Ileana and Michael Trevino, Nancy and Danny Ward, Molly and Jim Crownover, Winell and Doug Herron, Valerie and Gerald Gibbs, and Raye White.