James Bond 007 gala helps Halo House get close to goal of new housing for cancer patients
What: Halo House 007th Annual Gala.
Where: The Ballroom at Bayou Place.
The scoop: To celebrate its seventh annual fundraiser, the Halo House Foundation featured a James Bond theme complete with an Aston Martin on display, courtesy of Star Motors, and a number of Page Parkes models as glamorous Bond models in black evening gowns. Architect John Dazey served as a debonaire master of ceremonies, with references to such Bond hits as Diamonds are Forever.
"You are as precious as diamonds and always in our Halo hearts," Dazey told the crowd of more than 600 who jammed the event space.
Former president of MD Anderson Cancer Center president John Mendelsohn and his wife Anne were honored for their decades of community leadership in the fight against cancer while Michael Morgan, chairman of The Morgan Group, was given the 2017 HALO Award for his work in the foundation's capital campaign to build a 33-unit complex to provide housing for cancer patients undergoing treatment in Houston.
Nearly $12 million has been raised for the facility which will be constructed near the Texas Medical Center at Corder and Almeda. The gala brought in $475,000, leaving around $500,000 left to be raised to meet the goal. Construction is scheduled to begin in January.
The permanent facility has been a longtime dream of Dr. Nathan Fowler, an oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center,who recalled how the gala has grown since the first fundraiser with a group of friends and supporters at a Houston bar six years ago. Since Fowler came up with the idea to provide affordable housing for cancer patients in 2009, Halo House has been operating 10 leased apartments, available for eligible patients for $20 per day.
In silent auction bidding, an autographed framed photo of the legendary Muhammad Ali was the big seller at $4,000 while accommodations at the luxurious Dancing Bear Aspen resort went for $11,000. Afterwards, guests danced the night away to the music of the David Caceres Band.
Who: Spotted in the crowd were Halo House executive director Kathleen Fowler, event co-chairs Dena Wilson and Sheila Tanner, auction chair Kim Maulin, board member Shazi Khan, capital campaign co-chairs Pat and Rebecca Clinch, Megan Cornelison, Fran and Lou Kleinman, Nick O'Kane, Jerry and Chris Cardillo, Shannon Langrand-Emal, Lindsey Honari, Angela Fowler, Liz Sorensen, and Dave Riddle and Kevin Begnaud.