The 11th annual Friends Dinner rolled in the dough at River Oaks Country Club where the Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation matched every dollar raised, resulting in a generous $600,000 destined to aid in cardiovascular research.
The success was all about personal philanthropy and family connections on this night that honored Maria Ballantyne with the inaugural Friends Legacy Award. Her son, Dr. Christie Ballantyne, is director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Baylor College of Medicine (the evening's beneficiary), and her brother, George Mitchell, heads the aforementioned foundation.
The evening also benefits the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center.
With Mary and Ralph Eads and Denise and David Baggett stepping up to underwrite the cost of the gourmet, yet heart-healthy, dinner and Meredith and Fielding Cocke donating the wines, the benefit was set from the get-go. Add the clout of dinner chairs Geraldina and Scott Wise and honorees Penny and Paul Loyd and success was guaranteed.
Highlight of the night was the Dueling Docs: Fact or Myth game that had the 400 guests competing table to table to answer the propositions correctly. Doctors participating in the competition were Ballantyne, Dr. Peter Jones, Dr. Vijay Nambi, Dr. Salim Virani, Dr. Addison Taylor and Dr. James Pool.