Shelby About Town

Top-tier United Way donors commit $15 million to the cause, $1 million more than last year

Top-tier United Way donors commit $15 million to the cause, $1 million more than last year

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Alie Pruner , Jim Postl Photo by Craig H. Hartley
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Anna Babin , Melvyn Wolff , Cyvia Wolff Photo by Tish Cowan
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Bobby Tudor , Phoebe Tudor , Linda Chiang , Willie Chiang Photo by Tish Cowan
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Chris Brown , Jennifer Brown Photo by Tish Cowan
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Frank Sosa , Trini Mendenhall Sosa , Anna Babin , Dorothy Nicholson , Cindy Burns Photo by Tish Cowan
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Judy McConnell , Wayne McConnell Photo by Tish Cowan
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Scott McLean , Anna McLean , Alie Pruner , David Pruner Photo by Tish Cowan
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Michael Holland , Christine Holland , James Flodine , Lynne Liberato Photo by Craig H. Hartley
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Avik Dey , Farnoush Dey Photo by Craig H. Hartley
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Mike Bruce , Gary Kolodziej , Doug Coughlan Photo by Craig H. Hartley
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News_United Way dinner_March 2012_Anna Babin_Melvyn Wolff_Cyvia Wolff
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If there is any question about this city's generosity, one need look no further than the United Way and its premier donor group, the Alexis de Tocqueville Society. With 800 participants, those who personally commit $10,000 or more each year, Houston boasts the largest de Tocqueville membership in the country.

Those generous individuals, some of whom are committed at the $100,000 level, were celebrated at an appreciation dinner at Wortham Theater Center Monday night. The Grand Foyer pulsated with power players, business leaders and individuals with enviable discretionary income, all of whom tapped into their personal resources (no corporate checks). Further testament to its philanthropic clout, the de Tocqueville Society has raised $15 million for the year, a full million more than last year's contributions.

Jim Postl, who co-chairs the society with Alie Pruner, commented on the unprecedented generosity. "The foundation is that the Houston community is so civic-oriented, generous and philanthropic not only from the key families but also from the corporations. I've lived in a lot of different cities, and there is nothing like Houston," he said.

The Grand Foyer pulsated with power players, business leaders and individuals with enviable discretionary income, all of whom tapped into their personal resources. 

"That's number one. Number two is that Houston is doing well economically, the Texas economy is doing well. So when you combine those factors and when you think about the cause of the United Way, providing a safety net and everything that the United Way does, it is the preeminent organization in Houston."

Top-tier donors joining the 400 dinner guests were Postl and his wife Beverly, Joan and Stanford Alexander, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Jennifer and Chris Brown, Anna and Scott McLean, Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff and Mo and Rick Campo.

In her remarks, United Way of Greater Houston president Anna Babin announced that the current campaign is at $72 million with the $77 million goal well in sight. The funds, she said, will continue the agency's work toward "helping low-income, hard-working families establish a pathway to stability."

On this night that provided the ultimate networking opportunity, the crowd included Dorothy and Mickey Ables, Ann and Stephen Kaufman, Diana Hudson, Jenny Bailey, Melanie Gray, Jane and Rick Jones, Susan McEldoon and Nick Smeloff, Judy and Wayne McConnell, Pattie Dale and Jim Tye, Lynne Liberato and James Flodine.