What: 28th Annual Casa de Esperanza Building Hope for Children Gala kickoff party.
Where: Home of Wade Upton.
The scoop: More than 90 guests gathered to build buzz around the non-profit's gala, slated for April 23, 1017 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. They mingled while enjoying appetizers from Cordúa Catering, including a three-foot-long cheese tray with 20 varieties that almost ran the length of the dining room table.
Casa de Esperanza co-founder Kathy Foster shared a special story of how she founded the non-profit 35 years ago with $500; it now cares for more than 6,000 families and children. Casa de Esperanza, winner of the 2015 CultureMap Charity Challenge, provides a safe place for children in crisis due to abuse, neglect or the effects of HIV.
Colleen McLaughlin brought the crowd to tears when she spoke about the joy her special-needs adopted daughter has brought her. The daughter's teacher was so moved by the little girl's story that she and her husband are becoming foster parents at Casa.
And Casa development officer Katie Griffin shared a story of one boy she has cared for and how well he's doing after being adopted by a great family.
Who: Flo McGee, April McGee, Ed Smith, Frances and Tim Arnoult, Lucia and Michael Cordúa, George and Bonner Ball, Ginger and Jayar Daily, Mary and Mike Espinosa, Barb and Dan Molinaro, Kristen and Michael Weekley, Sam and Marsha Dodson, Holly and John Brennan, Dixie and Jeff Green, Eleanor and Fred Magee, Lynne Morris, Jay Rodgers, Colleen McLaughlin, and Katie Hwu.