What better place to take the pulse of philanthropy in summer than in the hallowed hills of Aspen? With a good portion of Houston's most generous citizens perched in the chichi resort for weeks and months on end, the place is ripe for making friends and inspiring donors.
M.D. Anderson has been making the journey for 17 years, presenting a state-of-cancer care seminar and welcoming supporters and friends from across the country to a cocktail buffet hosted by Barbara and Gerald Hines. The lawn of the couple's home on the banks of the Roaring Fork River is an ideal setting for genteel socializing and each year the Hineses do it up right for supporters of the cancer center.
Such was the case on Wednesday when more than 200 well-heeled (Aspen seems to get more formal each year) vacationers joined the Hines party, welcomed by M.D. Anderson president Dr. Ron DePinho and his wife, Dr. Lynda Chin, associate vice chancellor for health transformation and chief innovation officer for health affairs at The University of Texas System.
Partying amid the French Provencal theme — think lavendar and roses, lemon trees and bouquets of blue-hued hydrangeas — guests included Judy and Rodney Margolis, Leslie and Jack Blanton Jr., Mindy Hildebrand, Claire Cormier Thielke and Rick Thielke, Denise Monteleone with Jim Martin, Lindley Arnoldy, Jana Arnoldy, Valerie and Tracy Dieterich, Sis and Hasty Johnson and Rufus Cormier.
While there was much socializing during the early evening, the following afternoon was all about science at The Aspen Institute. DePhino led the "Making Cancer History" seminar at Paepcke Auditorium, where he was joined by Dr. Ernest Hawk, vice president of Cancer Prevention and Populations Sciences, and Dr. Kelly Hunt, professor of surgical oncology and chair ad interim for Breast Surgical Oncology.