Hats On For Nora’s Home Derby Themed Gala
LCAHouston was off to the races on May 6th, 2016 for the Nora’s Home Kentucky Derby Gala. Hosted at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, the event included a casino room where guests could place their bets, a live performance by the David Careers Band, and a live auction to benefit the Nora’s Home facility which supports transplant patients and their families through care, education, and support.
Coinciding with the Kentucky Derby, guests were spotted dressed in their derby attire including hats and fascinators. The open bar appropriately served traditional mint juleps and there was a photo booth for VIP guests where they could have their picture taken with a real pony. Auction items included tickets to the Dr. Phil Show, a private Tootsies luncheon and an Astros suite. Guests were ushered into the main hall by a bugle call where they were greeted by the emcee for the evening, KPRC 2 news anchor Owen Conflenti.
Nora’s Home Executive Director Kayla Lehmann proudly welcomed Chairs Brigitte and Bashar Kalai to the stage. The couple spoke on their involvement with Nora’s Home and asked donors to join them in the final home stretch to reach the organization’s capital campaign goal of $3.5 million dollars to double the existing lodging capacity for transplant patients. Bashar announced that the groundbreaking may take place this summer.
Honorees, The Bono Family and The Boudwin Family, were highlighted and thanked for their continuous support before emcee Conflenti welcomed Maureen Grace and her two year old son Jude, who is a recent lung transplant patient to the stage. Maureen shared her touching story of the transplant experience and the impact Nora’s Home had on them throughout their journey.
Nora’s Home opened in 2013 as the first transplant hospitality home in the Gulf Coast region, Nora’s Home welcomes patients and their families at any stage of their transplant journey.
The evening concluded with guests dancing to live music on the dance floor and a live auction which included lavish items including a dazzling 1.25 carat diamond pendant, an all-inclusive Costa Rica fishing trip, a private Rockets birthday party and dove hunting trip in Argentina among several additional luxury experiences.
Friday’s Gala was supported by many individuals, community partners and generous underwriters, including Brigitte and Bashar Kalai, the C. James and Carol Walter Looke Family Fund, The JLH Foundation, Hern Family Limited Partnership, Dr. Sippi and Ajay Khurana, The Linda and Jerry Strickland Family Foundation, Pat and Ben Bono, Drs. Sandra Hurtad and Michael Braun, Drs. Lillian and A. Osama Gaber, Gayle and Tom Kennedy, Caroline and Eddie Kuntz, Northstar Logistics LLC, Ramming Family Partnership, Mrs. David M. Underwood, Biologic TX, Houston Methodist Hospital, Iberia Bank, J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center, Drs. Disha and Ashish Saharia, The Smither Family, Marian and John Zerr, and more.
If you would like to learn about Nora’s Home, visit www.norashome.org or call 832-831-3720.
Photo Credit: Daniel Ortiz