Spaulding Luncheon

Name change and beloved weatherman's intriguing story make big news at charity luncheon

Name change, weatherman's intriguing story make big news at luncheon

Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Rachel McNeill, Frank Billingsley, Dominique Sachse, Bill Balleza, Jennifer Reyna
Rachel McNeill, Frank Billingsley, Dominique Sachse, Bill Balleza, Jennifer Reyna. Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Lucy Herring Chambers, Lauren Gow
Lucy Herring Chambers, Lauren Gow. Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Suzann Richardson, Caroline Simons, Suzy Simons
Suzann Richardson, Caroline Simons, Suzy Simons. Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Molly Johnson, Presley Lumpkins, Elizabeth Wilhite
Molly Johnson, Presley Lumpkins, Elizabeth Wilhite. Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Blair Loocke, Amy Beeson
Blair Loocke, Amy Beeson. Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Annise Parker, Kathy Hubbard
Annise Parker, Kathy Hubbard. Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Nancy Pustka, Cathy Brock, Evelyn Fasnacht
Nancy Pustka, Cathy Brock, Evelyn Fasnacht. Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Morgan Gilliard, Morgan Yrshus
Morgan Gilliard, Morgan Yrshus. Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, tablemates toast
Tablemates toast. Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Rachel McNeill, Frank Billingsley, Dominique Sachse, Bill Balleza, Jennifer Reyna
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Lucy Herring Chambers, Lauren Gow
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Suzann Richardson, Caroline Simons, Suzy Simons
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Molly Johnson, Presley Lumpkins, Elizabeth Wilhite
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Blair Loocke, Amy Beeson
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Annise Parker, Kathy Hubbard
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Nancy Pustka, Cathy Brock, Evelyn Fasnacht
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, Morgan Gilliard, Morgan Yrshus
Houston, Spaulding for Children luncheon, May 2017, tablemates toast

Spaulding for Children shared a big announcement with the help of two local media heavyweights. No strangers to breaking news, KPRC news anchor Dominique Sachse and KPRC chief meteorologist Frank Billingsley served as keynote speaker and emcee, respectively, at the nonprofit's "40 Years of Families" luncheon, where attendees were among the first to find out about the adoption agency’s new name, logo, and website.

Now known as Arms Wide Adoption Services, the organization, which was founded in 1977, aims to increase awareness of the group’s services and further its ability to assist even more children and families throughout Houston and South Texas.

“We are incredibly proud of our 40 years as Spaulding for Children,” Vikki Finley, president and CEO of Arms Wide Adoption Services told attendees. “We are committed to continuing that exact same work and thrilled to do so with a name that clearly expresses and embraces our mission.”

The announcement followed Billingsley’s address to the crowd of 250, during which he spoke about being adopted as well as his new book, Swabbed & Found, a memoir of how DNA testing allowed him to discover his biological family. 

The luncheon raised more than $102,000 for Arms Wide Adoption Services, which will help connect more of the nearly 6,000 children eligible for adoption in the foster care system with a family.

Event chairs Robin Klaes and Tany Jeter Klaes were joined by former Mayor Annise Parker and her spouse Kathy Hubbard, Kevin Gilliard, Randa Weiner, Caroline Simons, Nancy Pustka, Ting Bresnahan, Andrea Montgomery Stewart, Suzy Simons, Nick Florescu, Dorothy and Mickey Ables, Missy Balleza, Frances Jeter, Cory Greenberg, Jennifer Blum, Julia Engelbrink, Vidya Bala, Leslye and David Weaver, and Cathy Brock.

Also showing their support were KPRC's Jennifer Reyna, Bill Balleza, and Rachel McNeill.

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