bress in the building

Texas-born NFL superstar quarterback stars in record-breaking $1.2M gala

Texas-born NFL iconic quarterback stars in record-breaking $1.2M gala

Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Scott McClelland, CArol Linn, Drew Brees and Mike Linn
Scott McClelland, Carol Linn, NFL legend Drew Brees, and Mike Linn. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Susan and Fayez Sarofim
Susan and Fayez Sarofim. Photo by Dave Rossman
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Kristina Somerville and Thecla Harper
 Kristina Somerville and Thecla Harper. Photo by Wilson Parish
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Champagne Cowgirls
Champagne Cowgirls. Photo by Dave Rossman
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Margaret Williams and David Wuthrich
Margaret Williams and David Wuthrich. Photo by Wilson Parish
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Laura Stein, Cheryl Byington and Elizabeth Stein
Laura Stein, Cheryl Byington, and Elizabeth Stein. Photo by Wilson Parish
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Millard House II and Leisa Holland Nelson
Millard House II and Leisa Holland Nelson. Photo by Wilson Parish
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Donna Norman Lewis
Donna and Norman Lewis. Photo by Dave Rossman
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Monica Hatland, Kristy BRadshaw, Candace Johnson, Alicia Smith, Kim Moody
Monica Hatland, Kristy Bradshaw, Candace Johnson, Alicia Smith, and Kim Moody. Photo by Wilson Parish
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Bill Baldwin Fady Armanious
Bill Baldwin and Fady Armanious. Photo by Dave Rossman
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Michael Francisco, Kelley and Steve Lubanko
Michael Francisco and Kelley and Steve Lubanko. Photo by Wilson Parish
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Kelly Krohn Buchanan, scott McClelland
Kelly Krohn Buchanan and Scott McClelland. Photo by Dave Rossman
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Hallie Vanderhider Bruce Padilla Ellie Francisco
Hallie Vanderhider, Bruce Padilla, and Ellie Francisco. Photo by Dave Rossman
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Dan Kim moody
Dan and Kim Moody. Photo by Wilson Parish
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Collin Cox, Alvin Abraham, Nick Nagurski
Collin Cox, Alvin Abraham, and Nick Nagurski. Photo by Dave Rossman
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Chris Randi Boleman
Chris and Randi Boleman. Photo by Dave Rossman
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Chris Kristy Bradshaw
Chris and Kristy Bradshaw. Photo by Wilson Parish
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Camille Charvet Julie Chen
Camille Charvet and Julie Chen. Photo by Dave Rossman
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Craig Janies and Anne Neeson
Craig Janies and Anne Neeson. Photo by Wilson Parish
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Terry Amanda Boffone
Terry and Amanda Boffone. Photo by Wilson Parish
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Tena Tyson Faust
Tena and Tyson Faust. Photo by Wilson Parish
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Susan Sarofim and Phyllis Williams
Susan Sarofim and Phyllis Williams. Photo by Dave Rossman
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees  Paul Kristina Somerville
Paul and Kristina Somerville. Photo by Dave Rossman
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Scott McClelland, CArol Linn, Drew Brees and Mike Linn
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Susan and Fayez Sarofim
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Kristina Somerville and Thecla Harper
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Champagne Cowgirls
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Margaret Williams and David Wuthrich
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Laura Stein, Cheryl Byington and Elizabeth Stein
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Millard House II and Leisa Holland Nelson
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Donna Norman Lewis
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Monica Hatland, Kristy BRadshaw, Candace Johnson, Alicia Smith, Kim Moody
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Bill Baldwin Fady Armanious
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Michael Francisco, Kelley and Steve Lubanko
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Kelly Krohn Buchanan, scott McClelland
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Hallie Vanderhider Bruce Padilla Ellie Francisco
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Dan Kim moody
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Collin Cox, Alvin Abraham, Nick Nagurski
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Chris Randi Boleman
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Chris Kristy Bradshaw
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Camille Charvet Julie Chen
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Craig Janies and Anne Neeson
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Terry Amanda Boffone
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Tena Tyson Faust
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees Susan Sarofim and Phyllis Williams
Touchdown for TEACH gala 2021 Drew Brees  Paul Kristina Somerville

To many across the nation, he’s known as a Super Bowl winner and future Hall of Famer. To many in New Orleans, he’s known as “Breesus.”

But, to the more than 400 who recently packed the River Oaks Country Club, Drew Brees is simply a Texas kid coming home to share his remarkable journey from Austin football hopeful to NFL legend.

In town at the behest of New Orleans native and prominent Houstonian Susan Sarofim, Brees was the star of the ninth-annual Touchdown for TEACH fundraising gala. The sold-out event raised a record-breaking $1.2 million for the nonprofit To Educate All Children (TEACH), which Sarofim co-founded with Mary Yenik.

After opening remarks, the event honorees, the Champagne Cowgirls, were recognized for their notable contributions to education through the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Junior Market Steer Auction. (A frivolous video highlighted the group, which has included Hallie Vanderhider, Bobbie Nau, Lesha Elsenbrook, Elizabeth Stein, Bobbie Nau, Carol Linn, DeeDee Marsh, Kelli Weinzierl, Kim Tutcher, Danielle Ellis, Shelley Reeves, Kelley Lubanko, Darlene Bisso, Gaye Lynn Zarrow, Beth Madison, Susan Sarofim, Stephanie Tsuru, Kristina Somerville, Denise Monteleone, and Denise Bahr.)

Touchdown for TEACH co-chairs Carol and Mike Linn and Soraya and Scott McClelland were honored by Sarofim for their longtime work with the annual fundraiser.

Sarofim also noted that the event was underwritten by her husband, power philanthropist Fayez Sarofim. Thus, all funds raised will go directly to support TEACH’s mission to help advance public education by creating calm, safe classrooms for all students.

Eager to give to the mission, the audience leapt at the chance (almost figuratively) to donate to the TEACH cause during the appeal portion of the program. Carol Linn spurred the crowd to raise a whopping $200,000 in less than 10 minutes.

Charming and wisecracking emcee Scott McClelland — known all throughout Texas as the charming face of H-E-B and its president — then introduced Brees with an electrifying video.

Brees, who had posed for photos with countless attendees prior to the event, joined McClelland to discuss his legendary football career, recent retirement (no, he’s not coming back, Saints fans) and the role that education and mentorship have played in his life.

He joked about retirement, noting that he never says no to his kids, even if that means his daughter painting his nails. He took the audience through his trek as an undersized quarterback at Austin Southlake High School, who ended up at Purdue University, and had to wait until the second round (he painfully sat next to a phone “that was actually attached to a wall”) to be drafted by the San Diego Chargers.

Especially poignant was Brees’ recollection of visiting New Orleans as a coveted free agent. Taken down a ravaged street (accidentally) after Hurricane Katrina, Brees recalls the devastation and his inspiration. He signed with the Saints, inspired to give to New Orleans. “You always have to ask, where is the greatest need,” Brees noted.

Wrapping up the theme, McClelland asked Brees about a favorite teacher growing up. “Mrs. Wilson in third grade really made a difference,” Brees responded, adding “I really wish I had the TEACH curriculum when I was homeschooling my kids,” a line, like so many of the iconic QB’s, drew a roar of laughter — not unlike the roar of an adoring stadium crowd.

Football fans in the crowd included: Susan and Fayez Sarofim, Millard House II (superintendent of the Houston Independent School District), Hallie Vanderhider, Margaret Alkek Williams, Gaye Lynn and Stuart Zarrow, Julie and Stephen Chen, Lesha Elsenbrook, Elizabeth Stein, Kelley and Steve Lubanko, DeeDee and Wallis Marsh, Zane and Brady Carruth, Debbie and Vidal Martinez, Kristina and Paul Somerville, Karen and Chuck Stall, Ellie and Michael Francisco, Phyllis and Cornel Williams, Yvonne and Rufus Cormier, Randi and Chris Boleman, Denise Monteleone, Shelley Reeves and Lee Boyer, Tena and Tyson Faust, Bruce Padilla, Shelby Kibodeaux, David and Mia Sprague, Mary and Michael Yenik, Tony Bradfield, Fady Armanious and Bill Baldwin, Alicia and Lance Smith, Chris and Divya Brown, Constable Alan and Jennifer Rosen, and Keith and Alice Mosing.