With a group of chairs linked by family ties both immediate and extended, Casa de Esperanza's annual dinner showed the love for the children and foster families that seek refuge and guidance in the 34-year-old center.
The evening at the Hobby Center raised $1 million for children in crisis due to abuse, neglect or the effects of HIV.
For the 27th consecutive year Lucia and Michael Cordúa, via their Cordúa Catering, hosted the dinner event that began with cocktails on the Hobby Center stage and concluded with seated dinner for more than 600 in the Hobby Center foyer. And that means covering all expenses including food, drink and staff.
The motivation? We asked.
"The kids. This is Casa de Esperanza to give hope to those kids that no one was giving any thought to," Michael said. "This is not something you do for social reasons. When I told Kathy (Kathy Foster, Casa founder) the first time that we did the first gala at Churrasco's at River Oaks, I told Kathy 'As long as you can use me, you don't need to look for someone else to help you.'"
That largesse is impressive. Foster said, "The generosity of Michael is just unheralded. There is no way you can even describe it because what it says is that he cares for the children of Casa like he cares for his own children."
Through the years, Casa has lined up a dedicated group of chairs including Sunday night's family group — Kathy and Phil Ferguson, Liz and David Anders, Meredith and Patrick Chastang, Meg and Chip Earle, Brooke and Billy O’Neil, and Claire Ferguson Tudor. President of Houston Energy Ron Neal served as corporate underwriting chair.
With KTRK Channel 13 news anchor Tom Koch serving as emcee, the event honored Barbara and Daniel Molinaro with the Michael Cordúa Spirit of Hope Award, Midway with the Corporate Volunteer award, SMPS — Houston with the Group Volunteer of the Year award, Kristen Kaiser as Community Volunteer of the Year, and Meredith Flaherty and Lauren Simms as Young Professional Volunteers of the Year.
Supporters in the mix included Virginia and Dan Steppe, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Amie and Jeff Springmeyer, Bonner and George Ball, Regina Lewis and Joe Chen, Julie and Stephen Chen, Lisa and Michael O'Leary, Ed Smith, and Peggy and Pete Miller.