bookish for barbara

Beloved former first lady Barbara Bush's Houston luncheon turns page to virtual event

Former first lady Barbara Bush's luncheon turns page to virtual event

Barbara Bush
Numerous big names will share cherished stories of Barbara Bush. Photo courtesy of George W. Bush Presidential Library

For the past five years, Houston’s society set has gathered to honor beloved former first lady Barbara Bush at her signature charity’s signature luncheon. But like so many events on Houston’s social calendar, the event is pivoting due to the pandemic. The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation has announced that its fifth annual Power of Literacy Luncheon will take place as a virtual “literacy fête” on Thursday, October 22 at 11:45 am.

The luncheon highlights the importance of reading in the community and supports the foundation’s Ladies for Literacy Guild’s local efforts. Betty Hrncir and Sidney Faust will serve as chairs. Attendees can participate by registering in advance online.

Dubbed “Beyond the Pearls: Wit, Wisdom and Wonder of Barbara Bush,” the event will feature tales and anecdotes woven by those who knew the beloved former first lady best, according to a press release.

Expect a high-profile guest list, with names including Jay Leno, Reba McEntire, Jenna Bush Hager, Robert M. Gates, Jon Meacham, Andrew Hill Card, and Neil and Maria Bush. Melanie Lawson, Channel 13 news anchor, will emcee the program.

Ticket holders can dine on lunches by Culinaire along with keepsake gifts, and can enter a raffle featuring a double strand of freshwater pearls — Mrs. Bush’s signature accessory — donated by Tenenbaum Jewelers. Also up for grabs is a “Literacy Lovers Package” that includes a lifetime membership to the Ladies for Literacy Guild, autographed books, and more.

Additionally, guests can shop commemorative branded bottles of wine or target a pair of highly coveted buy-it-now items: two embroidered director’s chairs autographed by 2019 luncheon speakers Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton.

“These unprecedented times have amplified the importance of our efforts to ensure that all children have access to books and educational materials from home to homeroom,” said guild president Trish Morille, in a statement.  “We are delighted with the outpouring of support for the fifth annual Power of Literacy Luncheon which will help us give Houston children a brighter, more productive future through life-changing literacy skills.”