37th Annual Zoo Ball
Polar Express was the theme for the 37th annual Zoo Ball benefiting efforts to secure a future for wildlife. Finding Friday entertained the 800 plus guests dressed in black tie. Jayme and William Russell chaired the enchanted evening which highlighted the Brackenridge train that has been
part of so many people’s childhood. Dani and Cosmo Guido co-chaired the successful event along with committee members including: Allison Reyes, Ben and Doren Ruttenberg, Cameron Redding, Brandon and Triana Grossman, Charles and Kay Kay O’ Brien, Dr. Yvonne Covin, James and Taray Sykes, Jason and Cindy Reyes, Lauren Oberman, McLean and Kell Russell, Megan and Tres Steves, Nikki Swift, Paul and Margaux Huckabay, Pilar Gonzalez, Rosa and Roby Latimer and Susan Naylor.
Fundraising efforts will enable the completion of future projects at the zoo including the jaguar catwalk, a renovated Train Depot with a Starbucks, re-design of the rhino exhibit and viewing area and construction of the zoo’s new state of the art animal hospital.
Grand Western Shindig
A big Yee-Haw once again for a fully packed party full of Texas-sized fun! Catered dinner by RK Group, live auctions including trips to ski in Vail, an Argentina hunt, an oil painting by Lionel Sosa, a dance party and many other cool items ensured high bids, happy bidders and an all-around good time. Additionally, there was a raffle with a Bvlgari Diva’s Dream Necklace, in 18 karat rose gold with a pendant set with mother-of-pearl and one diamond, valued at $2,350.00 that was provided by Saks Fifth Avenue.
The 40th annual event raised awareness for Mission Road Ministries whose mission is to care for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities by challenging them to achieve their full potential.
Gus Owen Stephens Foundation Luncheon
Special guest New York Times best-selling author Bob Goff, award-winning author of Love Does and Everybody Always spoke during the 4th annual luncheon to raise funds to support the mission of the Gus Owen Stephens Foundation – supporting children, families and medical professionals in pediatric palliative care. The belief that no child and family should be denied the care that increases their quality of life, especially when coping with a life-limiting illness.
Founders Elizabeth and Scott Stephens started the foundation in memory of their son Gus who passed away in 2015. Gus had a stuffed giraffe that was his favorite toy. When he passed, Elizabeth and Scott came up with the idea to start a foundation; it became clear pretty quickly that a giraffe should be the foundation’s logo. The giraffe can now be seen on anything related to the foundation from the website to the programs at the events to the actual palliative care rooms at University Hospital that were built with the foundation’s support. The poster at the event gave guests the opportunity to write a note of encouragement and leave their thumbprint. As new palliative care facilities are opened and expanded across San Antonio, the poster is taken to each of these openings so the children who are battling life-limiting illnesses and the families that are suffering know that this community loves them, and is here to support them. The goal is for them to enjoy the time they have with each other, whether it’s just a few moments or a few decades.
There were 420 guests in attendance and the luncheon raised over $200,000 in their 4th year. These funds will help the foundation’s planned expansion of palliative care facilities and resources in San Antonio, according to co-chair David Alvarez.
Cowgirls Live Forever
The Fifteenth Annual San Antonio Stock Show & Cowgirls Live Forever Fashion Show & Scholarship Luncheon honoring Leighton Donnell was held in mid-January. The Cowgirls Live Forever Scholarship Luncheon & Fashion Show has raised over 1.9 million dollars for scholarships and over 172 students have been given the gift of education.
Ed Morales and Brance Arnold duo entertained guests as they arrived and enjoyed appetizers. Miss Rodeo Texas Jordan Maldonado, dressed in turquoise bling. KSAT-TV’s Myra Arthur welcomed guests and chair Heather Haynes gave the blessing. Julian Gold once again presented fashions with a nod to western roots. Advisors and chairs Sara Stumberg Walker, Heather Haynes, Alice Welder, Nancy B. Loeffler, who is also board chair for the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, Jimmie Ruth Evans, and Olive Anne Kleberg oversaw the annual event and special tribute to honoree Leighton Donnell, a city girl by birth and a country girl by choice.
The new CEO and executive director of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, Cody Davenport, was in attendance. Davenport became the executive director & CEO of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo and Keith Martin (former CEO) moved to a new role as executive director & CEO of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Educational Foundation. Weezie and Mac Chesney, Deborah Amini, Jessie Kardys, Caroline Walker, Laurie Bracher, Katy Oliver, Jill Metcalfe, Traci Brodbeck, Jane Macon, Jenifer Brown, Sharron Arnold, and Marisa Selkirk enjoyed fashions, friends and festivities, all dressed in their western duds.
9th Annual Greater Heights Night
This annual event benefits the Alamo Heights School Foundation, raising money to support academic excellence in the Alamo Heights School District through the funding of teachers, innovative programs and unique learning opportunities. The events bring families and supporters together to dine, bid at the auctions and purchase raffle tickets for a festive evening of fun, and to ensure that AHISD remains one of the best school districts in Texas. A few guests included Ashley and Jeffrey Landers, Carrie and Jim Lane, Holly and Brady Urbanek, Alexis Moore, Caraline and Jay DeWald, and Daniel and Tiffany Long.
By Leslie Foley