Some of Houston’s most dynamic leading ladies recently walked the runway for one of America’s most beloved institutions. Eleven local women dazzled a virtual crowd for a streaming version of this year’s St. Jude Gold Soiree, benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
This year’s swanky soiree raised some $153,000 for the acclaimed and cherished hospital, which provides free cancer care for all children. Stylishly strutting the runway in an Old Hollywood-styled fashion show were the 2021 honorees: Cheryl Byington, Zane Carruth, Theresa Chang, Rania Mankarious, Dr. Susan Osterberg, and Leigh Smith.
These ladies were joined by special honoree recipients Joanne King Herring, St. Jude Gold Legend; Brittany Hebert Franklin, St. Jude Gold Platinum Heart; Mary Ann Smith-McKeithan, St. Jude Gold Icon; Lilac Guzman, St. Jude Gold Heart; and Vicki Hollub, St. Jude Gold Heart.
Leticia Frye, affectionately known as “The Auctiontainer,” served as the emcee and, naturally, auctioneer. Lucky VIP guests noshed on dinner provided by popular restaurateur Ben Berg, who ensured that food was delivered to homes for personal watch parties.
Meanwhile, a soiree watch party was held at Dr. Charles Johnson and Tammie Johnson’s River Oaks home with a “Sushi and Sake” theme. Guests enjoyed a live sushi preparation by Chef Jeff. Attendees included Dr. Matt Brams and Dr. Alice Brams, Dr. Aisha Jokhio, Sandra Smith-Cooper, and Lilac Guzman.
As many are aware, the St. Jude Gold Luncheon has been honoring Houston’s most philanthropic citizens for the past four years. The event launched in 2017, honoring Houston’s most philanthropic families, and later evolved to toast Houston’s Woman of Philanthropy.
In 2019, the Woman of Philanthropy honorees walked the runway in glam looks styled by Fady Armanious, Tootsies creative director.
Not surprisingly, event chairs Tammie Johnson and Heidi Rockecharlie were forced to quickly pivot from a lavish, in-person affair to a virtual event.
“In challenging times, it is important to pause and give thanks for the people in our lives who mean so much to us,” Johnson tells CultureMap. “I want to give thanks to our honorees, sponsors, donors, and supporters. Thanks to you, even in challenging times, we are able to support children and families fighting cancer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”
Who: Dr. Matt and Alice Mao, Lilac Guzman, Brittany Franklin, Don and Mary DeSimone, Steve and Elizabeth Bruman, Mandy Kao, Jill Thompson, Dena Winkler, Aisha Jokhio, and Alicia Smith.