The party pulsed with a Latin beat underneath a round white tent decorated in "south Florida chic" with contemporary white sofas, banana palm chandeliers, lush hanging ferns, and potted plants, as a xylophone player played Caribbean tunes near the banks of the Roaring Fork river.
Guests dined on beef fajitas, rice and black beans, Cuban mushroom tamales, and Carbondale tortillas, with such desserts as apple pie empanada, banana custard tarts, mini churros, and arroz con leche.
MD Anderson interim president Dr. Marshall Hicks; Dr. Patrick Hwu, division head, Cancer Medicine; and Dr. Jim Ray, head of research for the Neurodegeneration Consortium at the Institute for Applied Cancer Science, spoke to the crowd.
Barbara Hines, a noted artist, donated an abstract oil painting titled "The Rio Grande Trail II," which went for $17,500 in a silent auction, delighting the winning bidders Sheree and Norman Frede. In all, the event brought in $81,000 to support MD Anderson programs.
Houstonians in the crowd included Allison and Dr. Jack Jensen, Cathy and Giorgio Borlenghi, Estela and David Cockrell, Dr. Vivek Subbiah and Dr. Ishwaria Subbiah, Katie Hwu, Dr. Yvonne Cormier, Denise Monteleone, Regina Rogers, Kelly Hicks, Regan Hicks, Tadd Pullin, Tom and Lesha Elsenbrook, Ellie and Michael Francisco, Claire Cormier Thielke and Rick Thielke, and George Lancaster.