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Shelby's Social Diary

Tom Brady's Houston party goes till 2:30 a.m. — it's $5,000 passes, top chefs & O'Brien talk for Best Buddies

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32 Anthony Kennedy Shriver, from left, Tom Brady and Becca Cason Thrash at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Anthony Kennedy Shriver, left, and Becca Cason Thrash put Tom Brady  on the hot seat. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
24 Joyce Echols and Anthony Kennedy Shriver at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Joyce Echols and Best Buddies founder Anthony Kennedy Shriver. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
31 Donald Chang, from left, Ted Johnson and Bryan Caswell at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Chef Donald Chang, from left, former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson and chef Bryan Caswell. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
21 Rivie Cary, from left, Courtney Hopson and John Thrash at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 201
Rivie Cary, left, Courtney Hopson and John Thrash. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
38 Tom Brady at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Best Buddies earned $5,000 for four football tosses with Tom Brady. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
29 Lucinda and Javier Loya at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Lucinda and Javier Loya. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
27 Anthony Kennedy Shriver, from left, Becca Cason Thrash and Tom Brady at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Anthony Kennedy Shriver, left, Becca Cason Thrash and Tom Brady. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
1 Kevin and Caroline Walters at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Former Houston Texan Kevin Walter and Caroline Walter on the party playing field. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
33 Richard and Jana Fant at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Richard and Jana Fant. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
10 Rob Bickham, from left, with Terri and John Havens at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Rob Bickham, left, with Terri and John Havens. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
13 Heidi Kashani, from left, Monsour Taghdisi and Elizabeth Petersen at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Heidi Kashani, from left, Monsour Taghdisi and Elizabeth Petersen. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
26 Gary Petersen, from left, with Greggory and Patrick Burk at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Gary Petersen, from left, with Greggory and Pat Burk. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
15 Jared and Caroline Starry LeBlanc at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Jared LeBlanc and Caroline Starry LeBlanc. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
23 Sabiha Rehmatulla, left, and Aziza Rehmatulla at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Sabiha Rehmatulla, left, and Aziza Rehmatulla. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
22 Phoebe Tudor, from left, Laura and Evan Greenberg and Sara Dodd at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Phoebe Tudor, from left, Laura and Evan Greenberg and Sara Dodd. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
9 Ashely Birdwell, from left, Carl Lewis, Fay Zakhem and Mary Cullen at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Ashely Birdwell, from left, Carl Lewis, Fay Zakhem and Mary Cullen. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
4 Gregg and Elena Davis, from left, with Tom Brady at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Gregg and Elena Davis, left, shoot a selfie with Tom Brady. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
5 Francine Ballard, left, and Lindley Arnoldy at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Francine Ballard, left, and Lindley Arnoldy. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
6 Kevin Black, from left, Christina Stith and Tony Bradfield at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Kevin Black, from left, Christina Stith and Tony Bradfield. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
16 Dr. Devinder and Gina Bhatia at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
Dr. Devinder and Gina Bhatia. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
32 Anthony Kennedy Shriver, from left, Tom Brady and Becca Cason Thrash at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
24 Joyce Echols and Anthony Kennedy Shriver at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
31 Donald Chang, from left, Ted Johnson and Bryan Caswell at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
21 Rivie Cary, from left, Courtney Hopson and John Thrash at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 201
38 Tom Brady at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
29 Lucinda and Javier Loya at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
27 Anthony Kennedy Shriver, from left, Becca Cason Thrash and Tom Brady at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
1 Kevin and Caroline Walters at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
33 Richard and Jana Fant at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
10 Rob Bickham, from left, with Terri and John Havens at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
13 Heidi Kashani, from left, Monsour Taghdisi and Elizabeth Petersen at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
26 Gary Petersen, from left, with Greggory and Patrick Burk at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
15 Jared and Caroline Starry LeBlanc at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
23 Sabiha Rehmatulla, left, and Aziza Rehmatulla at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
22 Phoebe Tudor, from left, Laura and Evan Greenberg and Sara Dodd at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
9 Ashely Birdwell, from left, Carl Lewis, Fay Zakhem and Mary Cullen at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
4 Gregg and Elena Davis, from left, with Tom Brady at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
5 Francine Ballard, left, and Lindley Arnoldy at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
6 Kevin Black, from left, Christina Stith and Tony Bradfield at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
16 Dr. Devinder and Gina Bhatia at Best Buddies with Tom Brady May 2014
News_Shelby Hodge_head shot_column mug_white blouse_January 2012

Houston's booming prosperity and Becca Cason Thrash's Midas touch were never more evident than Tuesday night, when with the toss of several footballs by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, she raised $850,000 for one of her favorite charities — Best Buddies. Not bad for a mid-week soirée for only 176.

It was a swell crowd of philanthropists, sophisticated sports fans and a billionaire or two who ponied up the big bucks for this energized gridiron dinner. Yes, gridiron. With Brady as headliner, La Becca had the famed indoor swimming pool (the one surrounded by Andy Warhol portraits of Marilyn Monroe) covered in AstroTurf to resemble a football field, yard lines included.

And then there were the four gals who paid $5,000 each for the opportunity to toss a pigskin with Brady. 

Houston Texans minority owners Javier Loya and Chuck Watson, former Houston Oiler Ray Childress and Olympics track great Carl Lewis were among notables mixing it up with Brady on the "field" while the decibel level of this enthused crowd rose to NRG Stadium levels. Getting the merry throng seated for dinner required nothing less than offensive lineman heft.

Once settled into their places (those paying $5,000 each garnered seats with Brady), guests were treated to a spectacular dinner, the quality of which is seldom seen at charity fundraisers, that due to the top toques contributing their efforts. Kudos ran high for appetizers prepared by David Cordua of Cordua Restaurants, the ruby shrimp dish by Reef chef Bryan Caswell, and the main course Wagyu beef from Nara chef Donald Chang.

Highlight of the fundraiser was a Q&A with the three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, with questions posed by Becca and Best Buddies founder Anthony Kennedy Shriver. Asked about his take on the Houston Texans new coach Bill O'Brien, with whom Brady has had his moments, the NFL star responded, "I hope he comes in second in the AFC." Huge laughter followed, then Brady added, "He's a great coach. He's a great coach for the Houston Texans."

Brady has been a long-time Best Buddies supporter and each summer hosts the Best Buddies Challenge, a football and bicycle odyssey that stretches from Boston to Cape Cod.

 Tom Brady: " I like playing football and I'm going to do that as long as I possibly can."

When Becca remarked that the 6-foot-4, 225-pound hunk of handsome, was better looking than any Hollywood actor and asked if he would go into movies when he retires, his response was adamant. "Absolutely not! I like playing football and I'm going to do that as long as I possibly can. And then I'm gonna come back and swim in that beautiful river (Buffalo Bayou) you've got back there." 

Contributing to the event's grand haul were those making top bids in the live auctionTerri and John Havens, Mindy and Jeff Hildebrand, Marci and Steve Alvis, Jennifer and David Ducote, Jana and Richard Fant, Luba and Alan Bigman. And then there were the four gals who paid $5,000 each for the opportunity to toss a pigskin with Brady.

The party went on until 2:30 in the morning with Becca and hubby John Thrash wishing that they had opened  the gift of cocktail napkins that read "Please Go Home" Tuesday night rather than Wednesday morning.

Best Buddies supporters and Tom Brady fans included Caroline Starry LeBlanc and Jared LeBlanc, Phoebe Tudor, Lora Clemmons, Melissa and Michael Mithoff, Lucinda and Javier Loya, Katherine and Bill Phelps, Elena and Gregg Davis, Dmitri Sinenko, Isabel and Danny David, Adriana Banks, Charles Clark, Gary Petersen, Noylan and Eric Pulaski, Debra and Mark Grierson and Marcia and David Solomon.

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