Shelby's Social Diary
For the second year in a row, Merele Yarborough stepped out in her designer footwear to chair the National Kidney Foundation Pump-A-Licious luncheon. But this year, she punched it up a notch, moving the event to Tootsies, bringing a Jimmy Choo honcho, Savvas Kaminarides, on board and drawing a trés fashionable group of women dedicated to "kicking out kidney disease."
The store was packed with 300 well-heeled women and a sprinkling of men who chit-chatted exuberantly, sipped bubbly and eventually sat down to the perfect lady-like luncheon from Catering by Culinaire. Think glam factors such as Kesa Guest, Ericka Bagwell, Gayla Gardner, Becca Cason Thrash, Jacqueline Kinloch, Phoebe Tudor and Anita Smith and you get the high-fashion picture.
Beyond the stylish ladies and the stunning runway show of high-fashion footwear from Tootsies' stable of shoe designers, the luncheon had its serious side. In fact, Merele was on board for the second time because of the impact kidney disease has had on her family. Her sister was on dialysis before her death due to kidney disease and now her mother, more than 100 years old, is on dialysis. To bring the disease even closer to home for guests, Nancy Mathé told her story, including the loss of her baby due to the disease.
The luncheon honored two outstanding Houstonians with the Crystal Slipper Award — Dr. Garabed Eknoyan, past president of the National Kidney Foundation, and former astronaut Joan Higginbotham.
Leading applause for the honorees was luncheon emcee and Channel 39 news anchor Mia Gradney, who was among notables that included Tootsies host Mickey Rosmarin, Winell Herron, Elissa Turnham, Mimi Vance, Tomisu Friedkin, DeeDee Marsh, Sharon Owens, Shushana Castle and Phyllis Williams.