Shelby's Social Diary

Academy Award winner speaks up for teachers in Houston, raises $620,000 at dinner

Academy Award winner speaks up for teachers in Houston, raises $620,000 at dinner

Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Walt Smith, Richard Dreyfuss, Vicki Farris, Steve Farris
Walt Smith , Richard Dreyfuss , Vicki Farris , Steve Farris Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Steve Trauber, Leticia Trauber, Walt Smith, Mary Lou Smith
Steve Trauber , Leticia Trauber , Walt Smith , Mary Lou Smith Photo by Kim Coffman
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Connie Plank, Roger Plank
Connie Plank , Roger Plank Photo by Kim Coffman
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Marilu Garza, Cyndy Garza Roberts, Lacey Dalcour
Marilu Garza , Cyndy Garza Roberts , Lacey Dalcour Photo by Kim Coffman
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Jo Lynn Falgout, Gregg Falgout
Jo Lynn Falgout , Gregg Falgout Photo by Kim Coffman
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Andrea White, Danielle Ellis
Andrea White , Danielle Ellis Photo by Kim Coffman
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Jo Furr, Jim Furr
Jo Furr , Jim Furr Photo by Kim Coffman
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Astley Blair, Alex Blair
Astley Blair , Alex Blair Photo by Kim Coffman
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Kit Gwin, Bob Gwin
Kit Gwin , Bob Gwin Photo by Kim Coffman
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Katherine Pariser, Micheal Pariser
Katherine Pariser , Micheal Pariser Photo by Kim Coffman
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Walt Smith, Richard Dreyfuss, Vicki Farris, Steve Farris
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Steve Trauber, Leticia Trauber, Walt Smith, Mary Lou Smith
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Connie Plank, Roger Plank
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Marilu Garza, Cyndy Garza Roberts, Lacey Dalcour
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Jo Lynn Falgout, Gregg Falgout
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Andrea White, Danielle Ellis
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Jo Furr, Jim Furr
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Astley Blair, Alex Blair
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Kit Gwin, Bob Gwin
Fund for Teachers dinner, October 2012, Katherine Pariser, Micheal Pariser

With an acting career spanning decades, Academy Award-winner Richard Dreyfuss focuses today on education, working through his Dreyfuss Initiative to put civics education back in classrooms across the country. That was the focus of his straightforward talk at the Fund For Teachers dinner at Hotel ZaZa.

Perhaps his emphasis also on the importance of good teachers helped elevate the fundraising bar. Certainly, the impassioned remarks of teacher Patricia Greenleaf did. She received a standing ovation for her words on the challenges of public education. With $500,000 in the bank before the doors opened on the evening, the Fund for Teachers was enriched by another $120,000 through the live auction and the pledge.

Chairs Vicki and Steve Farris and Leticia and Steve Trauber oversaw the event that honored Mary Lou and Walt Smith, who were introduced via video by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III.

Among the 400 dinner guests supporting the cause were Connie and Roger Plank, Jo Lynn and Gregg Falgout, Andrea and Bill White, Alex and Astley Blair, Vera and Andy Baker, Cyndy Garza Roberts, Jo and Jim Furr, Sherry and Jim Smith and Kit and Bob Gwin.