Shelby's Social Diary

Another Bush in the White House? Enthusiastic, big money Houston audience hopes it's true

Another Bush in the White House? Enthusiastic Houston audience hopes

5 President George H.W. Bush, from left, Jeb Bush and Barbara Bush at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
George H.W. Bush, from left, Jeb Bush and Barbara Bush at the Salvation Army luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
9 Kim and Margaret Wheless at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
Kim and Margaret Wheless at the Salvation Army luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
12 Linda McReynolds, from left, Wally Wilson and Jeanie Kilroy Wilson at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
Linda McReynolds, from left, and Wally Wilson and Jeanie Kilroy Wilson at the Salvation Army luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
11 Jack and Ginger Blanton at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
Jack and Ginger Blanton at the Salvation Army luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
7 Julie Aldrich, from left, with Peter and Elizabeth Wareing at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
Julie Aldrich, from left, with Peter and Elizabeth Wareing at the Salvation Army luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
10 Jeff and Beth Early at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
Jeff and Beth Early at the Salvation Army luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
8 Denise Furlough at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
Denise Furlough at the Salvation Army luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
4 Harlan and Trent Hrncir, from left, with Betty Hrncir at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
Harlan and Trent Hrncir, from left, with Betty Hrncir at the Salvation Army luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
3 Maria and Neil Bush at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
Maria and Neil Bush at the Salvation Army luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
2 Ann Bookout, left, and Diane Lokey Farb at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
Ann Bookout, left, and Diane Lokey Farb at the Salvation Army luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
13 Cathy and Joe Cleary at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
Cathy and Joe Cleary at the Salvation Army luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
1 Maureen Higdon, from left, Dorothy Nicholson and Maggie Smith at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
Maureen Higdon, from left, Dorothy Nicholson and Maggie Smith at the Salvation Army luncheon. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
5 President George H.W. Bush, from left, Jeb Bush and Barbara Bush at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
9 Kim and Margaret Wheless at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
12 Linda McReynolds, from left, Wally Wilson and Jeanie Kilroy Wilson at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
11 Jack and Ginger Blanton at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
7 Julie Aldrich, from left, with Peter and Elizabeth Wareing at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
10 Jeff and Beth Early at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
8 Denise Furlough at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
4 Harlan and Trent Hrncir, from left, with Betty Hrncir at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
3 Maria and Neil Bush at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
2 Ann Bookout, left, and Diane Lokey Farb at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
13 Cathy and Joe Cleary at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013
1 Maureen Higdon, from left, Dorothy Nicholson and Maggie Smith at the Salvation Army luncheon November 2013

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush might be demuring on his thoughts about running for president in 2016 but there were those in the enthusiastic audience at the Salvation Army Annual Luncheon on Thursday that clearly are hoping to see a third Bush in the White House.

The son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush was keynote speaker at the fundraiser held at the Hilton Americas-Houston where close to 600 guests help raise more than $500,000. While his recent book, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution, focuses on one aspect of national policy, Jeb Bush's talk centered on the need for education reform.

 "What matters," he said, "is that people are hurting in incredible numbers in our country." 

Bush's message: Stop dumbing down expectations of students, start holding teachers accountable, embrace school choice and accept the wisdom that "every child can learn." He praised the Salvation Army's hurricane aid in Florida during his two terms as governor, took on the politics of politics and railed at government gone wrong.

"What matters," he said, "is that people are hurting in incredible numbers in our country."

Presidential campaign or no, Jeb Bush gave off rock star vibes at the VIP reception that preceded the luncheon. Guests such as Dr. Dick Stasney and David Wuthrich were among those in the long line of folks waiting to purchase the book and to shake Jeb Bush's hand. Luncheon chairs Margaret and Kim Wheeless and Houston advisory board chair Jeff Early were on hand at the reception to welcome the big luncheon donors.

Family members in the audience included former President George H.W. Bush ("The greatest man I'll ever meet," Jeb Bush noted), Barbara Bush, Maria and Neil Bush and Pierce Bush. The senior Bush, not in the best of health, had said that he seldom gets to see Jeb speak and he didn't want to miss this opportunity.

It was a day for families. The luncheon honored the families of Jack Blanton and Elizabeth and Peter Wareing, recognized for four decades of philanthropy. Among the family members present were Kelli and Eddy Blanton, Ginger Blanton and Leslie and Jack Blanton Jr.

The impressive turnout included Janice McNair, Dorothy and Mickey Ables, Beth Early, Linda McReynolds, Jule and Albert Smith, Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson, Lilly Andress, Betty Hrncir, Andrea and Bill White, Vicki West, Mary and John Eads, Regina Rogers, Ann Bookout and Jeff Love. 

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