Three powerful women and one worthy cause — that was the ticket to success when the American Red Cross Greater Houston Chapter celebrated a century of providing services throughout the Texas Gulf Coast region.
Kudos to chairs Winell Herron and Leisa Holland-Nelson and honorary chair Bobbie Nau, who corralled close to 500 supporters into the Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom and raised more than $300,000 in a first-ever event for the local Red Cross.
In her remarks declaring March as American Red Cross Month in Houston, Mayor Annise Parker surprised the audience by noting that her father worked for the non-profit for 20 years, including stints abroad. It was the first time that we recall Parker ever passing the hat for a non-profit.
"The American Red Cross has been around so long that it seems to sometimes fade in the background and we think it's always going to be there. But the American Red Cross won't be there unless we step up and support it with our time and our talent and our treasuries," Parker said. "So for all of the great things that the American Red Cross does for us . . . we salute them and honor them on the beginning of their centennial year and ask you to take out your checkbooks, pick up one of those pledge cards and give."
It was the flip of a coin that decided on the signing of Houston Texan J.J. Watt as H-E-B TV commercial star rather than then-QB Matt Schaub. Talk about a lucky coin toss !
The luncheon program featured H-E-B division president Scott McClelland in a light-hearted interview with KHOU Channel 11 news anchor and the day's emcee Len Cannon. Mr. H-E-B, as he is affectionately known, discussed the grocery chain's emergency readiness, saying that H-E-B could join with the Red Cross in preparing as many as 600 meals an hour.
He also allowed that it was the flip of a coin that decided on the signing of Houston Texan J.J. Watt as H-E-B TV commercial star rather than then-quarterback Matt Schaub. Talk about a lucky day.
The luncheon honored Bruce LaBoon for community leadership and Marathon Oil for corporate leadership.
The luncheon scene included Red Cross Greater Houston CEO Steve Vetrano, Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus, Susan Sarofim, Randa Weiner, Gina Gaston Elie and Mario Elie, Jo Lynn Falgout, Yvonne Cormier, Eileen Lawal, Cathy Brock, Merrill and Joe Hafner, Doug Herron, Susan McEldoon and Bruce Padilla.