The stars aligned in near-perfect formation last week for M.D. Anderson Cancer Center as it took its show on the road to Washington D.C. for one of its stellar "A Conversation With a Living Legend" fundraisers. With former Secretary of State James A. Baker III as the legend and with NBC's Tom Brokaw as emcee and CBS' Bob Schieffer as interviewer, the success was remarkable with proceeds topping out at $4.5 million.
The monies are earmarked for M.D. Anderson's Moon Shots Program.
Out of town guests, and there were plenty in from Texas, were treated to a VIP party the evening before the fundraiser at the official residency of Spanish Ambassador Ramón Gil-Casares-Satrustegui. Fundraiser co-chairs Ben Barnes, Tony Sanchez and Paul Begala were among those toasting Baker at the lavish mansion where Houstonians included Kelli and Eddy Blanton, Regina Rogers, Rose Cullen, Susan Baker, Anne and Dr. John Mendelsohn, Dr. Lynda Chin, Dina Alsowayel and Tony Chase and M.D. Anderson president Dr. Ron DePinho.
The fundraiser at the Kennedy Center included remarks by David Rubenstein, chairman of the Kennedy Center, and adding to the evening's cachet was introduction of Baker by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Since its inception in Dallas in 1990, the Living Legend fundraisers, held across the state and in D.C., Atlanta and Las Vegas, have raised $23 million. Celebs interviewed have included Emmitt Smith, former President George W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Hank Aaron, Rudy Giuliani and Mary Matalin with James Carville.