Standing tall

Magical Planned Parenthood gala transcends party lines and raises $1.3 million

Planned Parenthood gala transcends party lines, raises $1.3 million

8 Sarah Rabinow Pesikoff, from left, Kathryn Rabinow and Melaney Linton at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
Gala co-chairs Sarah Rabinow Pesikoff, from left, Kathryn Rabinow with Planned Parenthood CEO Melaney Linton. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
20 Bobbie Nau, from left, Ralph Burch and Beth Madison at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
Bobbie Nau, left, Ralph Burch and Beth Madison. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
12 Dr. Tom Solis, from left, Carolyn and James Robertson and Dr. Barbara Solis at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
Dr. Tom Solis, from left, Carolyn and James Robertson and Barbara Solis. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
24 Lulu Tan, from left, Mayor Annise Parker and Hugh Zhang at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
Lulu Tan, from left, Mayor Annise Parker and Hugh Zhang. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
25 Mark Wawro, from left, Melanie Gray and Elliott Marks at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
Mark Wawro, from left, Melanie Gray and Elliott Marks. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
27 Nancy McGregor, from left, with Stephen and Betty Newton at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
Nancy McGregor, from left, with Stephen and Betty Newton. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
14 Grace Graubart, Jordan Goldberg, Isabel Graubart and Molly Horowitz
Grace Graubart, from left, Jordan Goldberg, Isabel Graubart and Molly Horowitz. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
22 Jim and Beverly Postl, from left, Laury Adams and Brent Barker at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
Jim and Beverly Postl, from left, Laury Adams and Brent Barker. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
23 Lauren and Geoffrey Harrison at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
Lauren and Geoffrey Harrison. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
21 Jenny Kempner, left, and Dr. Gracia Wynne-Duncan at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
Jenny Kempner, left, and Dr. Gracia Wynne-Duncan. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
19 Harriet and Truitt Latimer, from left, with Ginni Mithoff at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
Harriet and Truitt Latimer, left, with Ginni Mithoff. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
17 Melaney Linton, from left, Bill and Sara Morgan and Frances Marzio at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
Melaney Linton, from left, Bill and Sara Morgan and Frances Marzio. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
15 Heidi Schwarzwald, from left, Janice Green and Michelle Lu at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
Heidi Schwarzwald, from left, Janice Green and Michelle Lu. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
28 Sarah Rabinow Pesikoff, left, and Kathryn Rabinow 2 at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
Gala co-chairs Sarah Rabinow Pesikoff, left, and Kathryn Rabinow. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
9 The venue Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
The scene at the Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
8 Sarah Rabinow Pesikoff, from left, Kathryn Rabinow and Melaney Linton at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
20 Bobbie Nau, from left, Ralph Burch and Beth Madison at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
12 Dr. Tom Solis, from left, Carolyn and James Robertson and Dr. Barbara Solis at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
24 Lulu Tan, from left, Mayor Annise Parker and Hugh Zhang at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
25 Mark Wawro, from left, Melanie Gray and Elliott Marks at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
27 Nancy McGregor, from left, with Stephen and Betty Newton at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
14 Grace Graubart, Jordan Goldberg, Isabel Graubart and Molly Horowitz
22 Jim and Beverly Postl, from left, Laury Adams and Brent Barker at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
23 Lauren and Geoffrey Harrison at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
21 Jenny Kempner, left, and Dr. Gracia Wynne-Duncan at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
19 Harriet and Truitt Latimer, from left, with Ginni Mithoff at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
17 Melaney Linton, from left, Bill and Sara Morgan and Frances Marzio at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
15 Heidi Schwarzwald, from left, Janice Green and Michelle Lu at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
28 Sarah Rabinow Pesikoff, left, and Kathryn Rabinow 2 at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014
9 The venue Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom at the Planned Parenthood Gala October 2014

For as much as a year, Planned Parenthood gala chairs Kathryn Rabinow and her daughter, Sarah Rabinow Pesikoff, have been working to take the annual fundraiser beyond the political arena, to transform what could have been a long night of speechifying and paddle raising into a delightful fundraising cash cow.

Their success could hardly have been greater.

In an auspicious spin on the evening's theme, "For a Million Women, For a Million Reasons," the gala raised $1.3 million. The 400 guests in the ballroom at the Hilton Americas-Houston welcomed the news with huge applause. "We are showing that people care about Planned Parenthood, that they want to support the health care services of Planned Parenthood," Rabinow said.

" People come to Planned Parenthood because they trust us and know that they are getting accurate and high-quality health care."

Houstonians came from all corners in support of the evening. "Louisa Sarofim took this painting from her living room wall for the live auction," Rabinow told the gathering of the Jim Dine watercolor offered on the Big Board. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston director Gary Tinterow contributed a stay at his Hudson River Valley home. Rabinow and her husband, Richard Rabinow, added a six-night stay in their London apartment to the tempting offerings.

Republican State Rep. Sarah Davis and husband Kent Adams were guests at Rabinow's table. Major donors included Sara and Bill Morgan (who split the sheets politically) and Bobbie Nau, who typically — but not always — supports Republican candidates.

"This is not a partisan project," noted Rabinow. "They know that by supporting women, they are supporting families and the structure of families."

Planned Parenthood CEO Melaney Linton, said, "Most women who come to Planned Parenthood don't get any other health care . . . People come to Planned Parenthood because they trust us and know that they are getting accurate and high-quality health care."

Keeping the mood light, the cocktail reception was sprinkled with magicians who pulled magic tricks on unsuspecting guests and the night's brief entertainment featured an illusionist who suspended a guest in mid-air. The Richard Brown Orchestra provided dance tunes that kept the crowd on its feet following dinner.

The impressive turnout included Mayor Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard, Gracie Cavnar, Nancy McGregor and Neal Manne, Ginni and Richard Mithoff, Anne and Dr. John Mendelsohn, Anne GraubartDavid Pesikoff, Doe and Henry Florsheim, Kathy and John Orton, Melanie Gray and Mark Wawro, Ann Kinder and Nancy Willerson

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