There are testimonials at fundraising events and then there are testimonials. Some pull at the heartstrings. Others inspire generous giving. The Teach for America dinner was a powerful combination of both. When all was said and done the evening raised a record $1.5 million.
Applause, applause for chairs Scott McClelland, H-E-B Central Market president, and Doug Foshee, chairman and CEO of Sallyport Investments, and young professional chairs Caitlin Mullen Pickard and Maryam Tabatabai.
They led the charge in fundraising at the Hilton Americas-Houston for what one could call the first responders in the battle for better education — the best and brightest from universities across the country who delay or completely forgo high-paying jobs in the private sector to teach in some of the nation's poorest school districts.
Key phrases expressed on this evening included "incubator of social change," "we care about kids" and "instill hope through education." Teach for America Houston executive director Luis Elizondo-Thomson was among the inspiring speakers as were teachers Adeeb Barqawi and Alexa Ruiz with her charming young student Favian Liggins.
Supporters in the gathering included HISD Superintendent Terry Grier, Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Carol and Mike Linn, Sarah Foshee, Soraya McClelland, Cathryn and Douglas Selman, Grace Kim, Kelly Krohn and Michael Feinberg.