The Society for the Performing Arts set the stage for another artful season, drawing a stellar crowd to its annual luncheon, which raised more than $200,000. Keynote speaker Lauren Bush Lauren added a lovely local touch to the event, keeping the tears at bay when asked about her family, including President George H. Bush and Barbara Bush, and sharing the latest news of her FEED organization.
"I don’t get here to Houston enough, so it’s good to be home.”
More than 300 gathered on the Jones Hall stage for the luncheon chaired by Christie Sullivan, who presented Mark Wawro and Melanie Gray with the 2014 Ann Sakowitz Performing Arts Advocate Award. The husband and wife team humbly accepted the honor, reminding the crowd of the importance of sharing the arts experience with 70,000 children every year.
Over lunch by Jackson and Company, Lauren spoke about the current FEED Supper project, happening through Oct. 16. The initiative asks people to gather for a meal and make a donation to FEED, with the goal of donating one million meals by World Food Day. Lauren’s father Neil Bush and his wife Maria hosted a FEED Supper at their home Wednesday in support of the cause. Lauren also revealed an upcoming collaboration between FEED and home accessories and furniture retailer West Elm.
As passionate at Lauren is about FEED, it was a question from the crowd about her family that moved her the most, saying she was blessed to be living in her family’s example.
“You are going to make me cry,” Lauren said. “My Dad and Maria are so supportive. I don’t get here to Houston enough, so it’s good to be home.”
She also spoke about her grandparents, saying her grandfather was a good balance to her grandmother. “She definitely has her own opinions. She’s a little more feisty,” Lauren said.
The crowd of SPA supporters included honorary chair Melissa Mithoff, June Christensen, Chree Boydstun, Eileen Lawal, Janiece Longoria, Lora Clemmons, Phoebe Tudor, Patty Tilton, Mimi Lloyd, Norah Adams, Micki Norton and Sharon Adams.