Seldom will you find oilman/philanthropist Lester Smith at a loss for words. But that's exactly what happened Saturday night when his daughter, Shelly Hendry, presented him the Lifetime of Hope Award at the 25th anniversary gala of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Sue and Lester Smith were honorees on the night full of surprises including the award presentation, which brought Lester — and then the entire Omni Hotel ballroom — to tears. The couple earned a standing ovation from the gathering of more than 350. Henceforth, the award will be known as the Lester and Sue Smith Lifetime of Hope Award.
Through the Lester and Sue Smith Foundation, the couple has granted more than $100 million to organizations fighting cancer. They have established numerous clinics bearing their names including the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Smith Clinic at Harris Health System, and Smith Clinic at Texas Children’s Cancer Center. And they have provided more than their share of fun in the fundraising process.
Key players on the evening included gala chairs Jane and Ed Parker and Judy and Glenn Smith and co-chairs Tricia and Panos Georgiou, Trish and Andrew Hayes, and Jane and Stephen Marmion. Khambrel Marshall of KPRC Local 2 and Melissa Wilson of FOX 26 served as emcees.
The night's entertainment included a stirring dance routine by professional ballroom dancers Lucia Dargan and Tadeo Diaz, and dancing for everyone to the sounds of the David Caceres orchestra.
Joining the celebration were Komen president and CEO Dr. Judith Salerno, Komen Houston executive director Dr. Adriana M. Higgins, Brian Hendry, Dr. Kent Osborn, Drs. Mary and Paul Klotman, Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Diane and John Riley, Ann Cazalot, and Agnes and Dr. Gabriel Hortobagyi.