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Society / The Seen

Joe Biden and Craig Sager Party in Houston, Help Raise $14 Million in an Emotional M.D. Anderson Anniversary

BY // 11.14.16
photography F. Carter Smith

It was a night for the numbers on Thursday when the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center celebrated its 75th anniversary in a lavish 51,000 square foot tent.

Proceeds nudged $14 million. Guests numbered more than 2,000. A 30-foot “Strike Through Cancer” banner encouraged guest comments. Patients treated in that three-quarters of a century has surpassed 1.1 million.

Scores of dignitaries were in the house including Vice President Joe Biden, former President George H.W. Bush, former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, Sen. John Cornyn, former Governor Mark White, U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul, Mayor Sylvester Turner, and University of Texas System chancellor Bill McRaven.

The heady gathering of political, business and social leaders filled the massive tent erected at the corner of Fannin and Holcombe in the heart of the Texas Medical Center for the evening of reflection, jubilation, and hope.

A star-studded entertainment lineup of seven, headlined by Reba McEntire, soprano Ana Maria Martinez, Yolanda Adams, and the Houston Symphony helped move the fast-paced, though packed, evening through three hours of programming. Also, helping maintain a fast clip were emcees Bob Schieffer, Gerald McRaney and TNT sportscaster Craig Sager, who is currently being treated at M.D. Anderson for acute myeloid leukemia.

As keynote speaker, Biden praised the cancer center for its valiant if unsuccessful efforts to save the life of the his son, Beau Biden, who died last year of brain cancer. In his remarks M.D. Anderson president Dr. Ron DePinho announced the establishment of the Beau Biden Chair for Brain Cancer Research.

Among those applauding the evening orchestrated by Ward & Ames and the remarkable dinner by City Kitchen were Dr. Lynda Chin, Nancy Loeffler, Cyvia and Melvyn Wolf, Sheridan and John Eddie Williams, Estela and David Cockrell, Joan Schnitzer-Levy, Nancy and Rich Kinder, Margaret Alkek Williams, Katie and Pat Oxford, Maureen and Jim Hackett, and Mel Klein.

Home, chic home.

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