While the serious mission of the day was to raise funds for Christus Foundation for HealthCare, the luncheon at River Oaks Country Club took on a somewhat irreverent tone once Jim Belushi took the microphone.
"I feel myself a magic-chaser," he told the gathering of 550. "You know magic when you feel it, when you are present in the moment . . . I'm feeling the magic on the stage with other actors, musicians and directors, when you are totally focused in the moment."
During a question-and-answers session, foundation director Les Fox raced in Belushi's tracks as the actor/singer/writer/musician charged forth with what could have been a stand-up comedy act and more than once Belushi rose to his feet to emphasize his points.
When asked what it was like to be a writer/actor on Saturday Night Live, Belushi responded, "It was like being in a MASH unit in 'Nam. It's the scariest thing I've ever done and the hardest thing I've ever done, even harder than divorce. It's live. It's like you can't mess up. That kind of pressure is enormous."
The luncheon honored the philanthropic Doherty family — Madelyn Doherty Farris, David Doherty and their late father, Robert Pace Doherty Jr. The sellout crowd raised $350,000 for the foundation's work of providing healthcare for those in need.
While Belushi is known for dancing on tabletops when performing with his band, the Sacred Hearts, and doing at least one backflip during a performance, he restrained from those antics, instead delivering an entertaining overview of his life.
Among those applauding Belushi and the work of Christus Foundation were Archibishop Emeritus Joseph Fiorenza, Lu Caltagirone, Steve Smith, George Farris, Harriet Foster, Trini Mendenhall, Carolyn Forney, Betsy and Hunter Nelson, Amy Doherty, Nellis and Taylor Wilhite, Jeff Hamlin and foundation president Les Cave and senior development director Kemah Blair.