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On The Town with Jan Carson –
January 2017

Happy New Year! When I began writing this column for Houston Lifestyles & Homes magazine 16 years ago this month, I never imagined the ways in which it would enrich my life, through the many amazing people I’ve met and the exceptional nonprofit organizations which improve our community in so many ways. Thank you for your wonderful support. I wish you a fabulous 2017, filled with memorable moments, exciting adventures, and lots of love!


75th Anniversary Celebration

MD Anderson Cancer Center

More than 2,000 dignitaries, physicians, cancer survivors and supporters turned out to celebrate MD Anderson Cancer Center’s 75th anniversary, raising $15 million in the process! The week-long observance was capped by a glittering gala featuring Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden. The Bidens accepted a commemorative plaque in recognition of the Beau Biden Chair for Brain Cancer Research, in honor of their son, who lost his courageous battle with brain cancer. The gala featured opera star Ana Maria Martinez, country music legend Reba McEntire and gospel singer Yolanda Adams.

1) MD Anderson President Ronald A. DePinho, M.D. with Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Alfred Yung announcing the creation of the Beau Biden Chair for Brain Cancer Research.

2) Muzaffar Qazilbash, M.D. with TNT sports reporter and cancer survivor Craig Sager and Naveen Pemmaraju, M.D.

3) Former President George H.W. Bush chats with Vice President Joe Biden, leader of the White House Cancer Moonshot.

4) Malcolm and Dorothy Paterson write their message of hope on a “Making Cancer History” board at the MDA 75th anniversary gala.

5) David and Estela Cockrell were among an illustrious group of event chairs for the Texas-sized gala.


True Blue Gala

The Houston Police Foundation


Normally sedate River Oaks was bombarded with Houston Police SWAT team members in search of invading “zombies” during a lively demonstration, a feature of the annual “True Blue Gala” held at the sprawling residence of Paige and Tilman Fertitta. Interactive training and high risk drills drew guests at this sold out event, which raised more than $700,000 for equipment and training for the Houston Police Department. The evening also ended with a bang, as a fireworks finale lit up the night sky.

1) Houston Police SWAT team takes out “zombies” during a police response demonstration at the “True Blue Gala”

benefiting the Houston Police Foundation.

2) Paige Fertitta, interim Houston Police Chief Martha Montalvo and Dancie Ware are surrounded by members of the Houston Police SWAT team.

3) Senator John Whitmire with Mayor Sylvester Turner and Tilman Fertitta, host of the True Blue Gala.

4) Jim Crane and Whitney Wheeler with Dave and Laura Ward. Dave is recovering from recent heart surgery and we wish him a speedy recovery!

5) Bill Gutknecht with Christine Falgout and Jo Lynn and Gregg Falgout.


Tea With Barbara Bush

Ladies For Literacy Guild Tea


Ladies with a deep affection for former First Lady Barbara Bush and her ground-breaking literacy work gathered at the home of Sue and Lester Smith for a membership tea. The newly formed Ladies for Literacy Guild has grown quickly, dedicated to advancing the legacy of Mrs. Bush. The Smiths have been avid supporters, and while Lester was unable to attend because of a difficult recovery from a double lung transplant, the always gracious Sue Smith welcomed guests who enjoyed lite bites and music by Moodafaruka.

1) Margaret Alkek Williams and Betty Hrncir, President of the Ladies for Literacy Guild.

2) Literacy advocate Barbara Bush and hostess Sue Smith.

3) Maria Bush with Donatella Benckenstein, Julie Baker Finck and Alice Mosing.

4) Ladies for Literacy Guild member Trish Morille and Stephanie Tsuru.

5) Beth Wolff and Cora Sue Mach.


Out And About



A sale so big it’s called “the SALE” is set for January 7 and 8 at Bayou City Event Center. The Houston Tri Delta event tops our Out and About section this month, along with a “Gen Z” themed gala for Big Brothers and Big Sisters; a “fur-ociously” successful event for Houston PetSet featuring the President of Animal Aid USA, and the “Fonz” shares his story with guests at the Nancy Owens Memorial Foundation luncheon.

1) “Shop ‘til you drop” takes on new meaning under the leadership of Tracy McLeary and Laura Williams and Houston Tri Delta alumnae. Scheduled for Jan. 7 and 8 at Bayou City Event Center, the SALE supports pediatric cancer research. For tickets and more information, visit thesalehouston.com.

2) Chloe Garfias and Ivy Richards enjoy the Big Brothers Big Sisters “Big Black Tie Ball” that drew 430 guests and raised over $300,000 for one-to-one mentoring programs for children facing adversity.

3) Tama Lundquist and Gary Becker at the Houston PetSet Soiree “Fierce and Fabulous” which raised $300,000 for animal welfare programs and honored Don Sanders.

4) Tyson Faust and Tena Lundquist Faust. Tena and her twin sister Tama chaired the PetSet Soiree which featured ABC’s The Bachelor Prince Lorenzo Borghese, the President of Animal Aid USA.

5) Gloria Moorman and Katie Aguilar with Henry Winkler, who was guest of honor at the 15th annual luncheon benefitting the Nancy Owens Memorial Foundation.


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