Most non-profits count themselves lucky to snag a single pair of Business/First class tickets on United Airlines (which we fondly remember as Continental). But consider the windfall enjoyed by the Rose Ribbon Foundation. Before its recent dinner benefit concluded at Fleming's Prime Steak & Wine Bar, auctioneer Carolyn Farb had finagled eight of those coveted tickets.
Of course, it didn't hurt that one of the chairs, Jessica Rossman, is the steady squeeze of Gordon Bethune, the former Continental Airlines CEO who maintains a certain connection to the industry. It was applause, applause all around in the private room that was packed to the rafters with a sellout dinner crowd.
Fleming's River Oaks' new operating partner Sam Governale, replacing the beloved Maeve Pesquera who recently transferred to California with the company, continued the tradition of completely underwriting the dinner evening. With that generosity, all $100,000 in proceeds will go to the non-profit that provides free reconstructive surgeries for breast cancer patients in need. First Street Surgical Center and Dr. Franklin Rose donate time and forego income to provide the life-changing surgeries for qualifying patients.
Joining Rossman in taking bows for the evening's success was chair Jessica Stern Meyer. Her parents, Susana Brener de Stern and Dr. Juan Stern, were the evening's honorees. As such they were the first to receive the Tracey Hilfman Award, named in honor of the woman who lost a courageous battle with breast cancer. Tracey's husband, Dave Hilfman, United Airlines senior vice president of worldwide sales, was so honored by the naming of the award that he bought three tables and filled them with United/Continental Airlines execs.
Joining the evening that included a cocktail-hour serenade by Kristine Mills were First Street Surgical Center CEO Tony Rotondo, cancer survivor Jeannie Stavinoka, Cindi Rose, Gina and Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Holly Harwood-Skolkin, Erica Rose, Benjamin Rose, Elizabeth and Gary Petersen, Susan and Jimmy Olguin, Ashley Wehrly, Diane Brown and Diane and Brian Kingshill.