Shelby's Social Diary

Another million dollar lunch shatters the oil bust doom: Charitable giving continues to soar in Houston

Another million dollar lunch shatters the oil bust doom: Charity soars

7 Bob Flexon, left, and Sue and Lester Smith at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
Bob Flexon, left, introduces Heart of Gold honorees Sue and Lester Smith. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
2 Angela Blanchard and Anthony Hargrove at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
Neighborhood Centers CEO Angela Blanchard and Anthony Hargrove. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
13 Eric Marin, from left, Michele Fraga and Irene and Lupe Fraga at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
Eric Marin, from left, Michele Fraga and Irene and Lupe Fraga. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
20 Susan Baker, left, and Roberta Achtenberg at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
Susan Baker, left, and Roberta Achtenberg. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
16 Massey Villarreal, from left, Tony Valadez, Sidney Evans II, Frances Castaneda-Dyess and Kelton Charles at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
Massey Villarreal, from left, Tony Valadez, Sidney Evans II, Frances Castaneda-Dyess and Kelton Charles. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
12 Ed Allday and Heather Simpson at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
Ed Allday and Heather Simpson. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
11 Mike Laster, left, and Beto Cardenas at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
Mike Laster, left, and Beto Cardenas. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
14 Johny Lopez, from left, Liliana Ramirez, Staci Rogge and Gejuan Cole with Williams at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
Johny Lopez, from left, Liliana Ramirez, Staci Rogge and Gejuan Cole with Williams. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
4 Apurva Dholabhi, from left, Peter Kesh, Amer Kumar and Urmila Kumar at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
Apurva Dholabhi, from left, Peter Kesh, Amer Kumar and Urmila Kumar. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
7 Bob Flexon, left, and Sue and Lester Smith at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
2 Angela Blanchard and Anthony Hargrove at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
13 Eric Marin, from left, Michele Fraga and Irene and Lupe Fraga at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
20 Susan Baker, left, and Roberta Achtenberg at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
16 Massey Villarreal, from left, Tony Valadez, Sidney Evans II, Frances Castaneda-Dyess and Kelton Charles at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
12 Ed Allday and Heather Simpson at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
11 Mike Laster, left, and Beto Cardenas at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
14 Johny Lopez, from left, Liliana Ramirez, Staci Rogge and Gejuan Cole with Williams at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015
4 Apurva Dholabhi, from left, Peter Kesh, Amer Kumar and Urmila Kumar at the 1 Million Dollars lunch for Good February 2015

It seems to be the week of seven-figure fundraising events with Neighborhood Centers joining the ranks with a non-profit rarity — the million dollar luncheon.

Wednesday's "Heart of Gold" fundraiser filled the ballroom of the Hilton Americas-Houston with 700 supporters who gathered in praise of the non-profit and the honorees — generous philanthropists Sue and Lester Smith. They were presented the Alice Graham Baker Crusader Award for their "unbridled passion for giving that drives them to provide millions of dollars in support to medical institutions, non-profit organizations in Houston and beyond."

The Smiths were in fact instrumental in pushing the total raised to the million dollar mark after underwriting by presenting sponsor Chevron and other sponsors.

Neighborhood Centers board chair Mike Ballases, partner with Accord Business Funding, did the honors with the award while Bill Flexon, Dynegy president and CEO, presented the Smiths with a proclamation from the City of Houston.

In the keynote address, Neighborhood Centers president and CEO Angela Blanchard shared the mission of the organization which assists 528,000 clients throughout the state with education programs, resources and connections in its effort to help low-income families gain a foothold in the region's economy.

Among those applauding the Smiths and Neighborhood Centers were Susan Baker, Massey Villarreal, Irene and Lupe Fraga, Anthony Hargrove,  Heather Simpson, Tony Valadez, Felix Fraga, Sidney Evans II, Roberta Achtenberg, Frances Castaneda-Dyess, Kelton Charles and Beto Cardenas.