Komen® Houston’s “Paint the Night Pink” Gala Raises More Than $300,000

Komen® Houston’s “Paint the Night Pink” Gala Raises More Than $300,000

25th Anniversary Silver Celebration Honors Sue and Lester Smith 

HOUSTON, TX (February 23, 2016) –Susan G. Komen® Houston “Painted the Night Pink” February 20 when more than 350 guests celebrated the organization’s 25th Anniversary at the Omni Houston, raising more than $300,000.  The elegant evening benefitted Komen® Houston in its efforts to fund breast cancer research and community health programs aimed at the underinsured and uninsured men and women in the Houston community.

Gala Chairs Jane and Ed Parker and Judy and Glenn Smith, along with Co-Chairs Tricia and Panos Georgiou, Trish and Andrew Hayes, and Jane and Stephen Marmion executed a spectacular evening that paid tribute to Sue and Lester Smith, the largest single donors to cancer causes in Houston.  The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation has granted over $100 million to organizations engaged in the fight against cancer and have established  numerous clinics that bear their name including The Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Smith Clinic at Harris Health System and Smith Clinic at Texas Children’s Cancer Center. 

The cocktail reception included a Big Board Auction featuring trips to St. Lucia, Deer Valley and the Oregon coast, along with original works of art inspired by Komen’s mission, rodeo packages and a Texans Suite.  A “Bubbles and Baubles” champagne bar lured guests with the chance to win a strand of stunning Akoya pearls.   Upon entering the lavishly decorated ballroom, guests enjoyed a live Latin dance performance in honor of the Smiths who are two-time National Latin Ballroom Dance Champions and live entertainment by the Dave Caceres Band.

Gala emcees Khambrel Marshall of KPRC Local 2 and Melissa Wilson of FOX 26, welcomed guests including Susan G. Komen® President and CEO Dr. Judith Salerno.  Both Marshall and Wilson serve on Komen Houston’s Board and Advisory Council, respectively.

Komen® Houston founders Marsha Eckermann and Gayle McMorrow recognized the three original grantees, Baylor College of Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and The Rose which received first grants totaling $43,000.  Since its founding, Komen® Houston has granted over $50 million to fund critical breast cancer research and is now the largest source of non-profit funding for breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment in Southeast Texas.

A highlight of the evening was a surprise presentation to Sue and Lester Smith of The Lifetime of Hope Award.  The award was presented by Shelly Smith Hendry, Lester’s daughter and will be named The Lester and Sue Smith Lifetime of Hope Award in perpetuity. 

 “We are thrilled with the funds we were able to raise through our Gala, as well as throughout our 25th anniversary year,” said Dr. Adriana M. Higgins, Executive Director of Komen Houston. “Funds raised will support not only research, but also 2,000 mammograms which will mean 2,000 women can receive screening that could save a life.”

Enjoying the Pink Celebration were Debbie and Pat Scanlon, Marsha and L.D. Eckermann, Gayle and Jerry McMorrow, Ann Cazalot, Drs. Paul and Mary Klotman, Dr. Kent Osborne, Brian Hendry, Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Molly and Greg Bobrow, Anne and Ray Meyn, Janice and Robert Jucker, Diane and John Riley, Eileen Campbell and Doug Perley, Hanh Tran, Ann Williams, Barbara Fowler, Marjorie Landry, Agnes and Dr. Gabriel Hortobagyi, and Rosana and Dr. Matthew Ellis. 

Photos from the Gala can be found on Komen Houston’s website, www.komen-houston.org, or its Facebook page.

About Susan G. Komen® Houston
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $800 million in research and provided more than $1.7 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/susangkomen and Twitter @SusanGKomen.

Established in 1990 by passionate volunteers to support the individuals in need throughout the Houston area, Komen® Houston has granted over $50 million to local programs for breast cancer education and awareness campaigns, life saving screening and treatment programs, and innovative cutting edge research.  Serving Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty and Montgomery counties, Komen Houston continues its commitment to fundraising and grant making so that families battling breast cancer can get the treatment and support they need.   

If you would like to learn about volunteer opportunities or get information about Komen Houston, visit www.komen-houston.org or call 713-783-9188. 

Author: Allison Huseman
Phone: (713) 225-0880