Thousands and thousands of red roses set the colorful tone for the Memorial Hermann Foundation "Red and Wild" gala while Wayne Foster Entertainment provided the musical antics that ignited the frolicsome partying. In the end, however, it was the dinero that was the most impressive element of the night — $2.5 million raised.
Those proceeds from the annual Circle of Life Gala, held at the Hilton Americas-Houston, are earmarked for Memorial Hermann heart and vascular programs. With that in mind, there could not have been more fitting honorees than devoted Memorial Hermann supporters Philamena and Arthur Baird, both of whom have undergone heart surgery at the hospital. As Philamena said in remarks to the gathering of 1,600, "It is because of the care I received from the committed staff at Memorial Hermann’s Heart & Vascular Institute that I am alive."
Applause, applause for gala chairs Mary and John Eads and Dana and Trey Strake. Both of the ladies wore red as did many of the women in attendance, a fashion move that created something of a Valentine's tableau and, indeed, it was a heart ball of sorts. Key Memorial Hermann players on the scene included president and CEO Dan Wolterman with wife Lori and Memorial Hermann Foundation CEO Ileana Trevino and husband Michael.
Before night's end, a clutch of Houston Rockets arrived to help with the announcement that Rockets owner Leslie Alexander and the team will co-chair the 2015 Circle of Life gala. Houston Rockets CEO Tad Brown escorted the towering Donatas Motiejunas, Omri Casspi and Patrick Beverley, fresh from a victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
The party crowd included Arvia and Jason Few, JoLynn and Gregg Falgout, Cathy and Giorgio Borlenghi, Sue and Lester Smith, Alice and Keith Mosing, Soraya and Scott McClelland, Sheridan and John Eddie Williams, Donna and Tony Vallone, Elizabeth and Will Galtney and Gary Petersen.