Society / The Seen

Childhood Cancer Survivors Walk the Runway in Most Heartwarming Gala Scene Ever

These Champions Deserve Their Moment — and Then Some

BY // 10.21.19
photography Allen S. Kramer/Texas Children’s Hospital

What: The Celebration of Champions luncheon

Where: River Oaks Country Club

PC Moment: Is there a sweeter moment in charity luncheon annals than when anointed Community Champions stroll the catwalk with Patient Champions, childhood cancer survivors from Texas Children’s Cancer Center? It’s a heartwarming sight to see — the cheerful youngsters and those now grown-up decked out in fashions from Dillard’s and their escorts rocking styles from Saks Fifth Avenue.

Community Champions joining the parade were Gwen and Ed Emmett, Carolyn Faulk and Pat Studdert, Gayla and Dr. Donald Gardner, Maha and Omar Khan, Kelley and Stephen Lubanko, Dr. Will Parsons, Dr. ZoAnn Dreyer, Amy and Rob Pierce, Hallie Vanderhider, Vicki West and Ralph Burch, and Beth Wolff. Introducing the honorees and their mostly petite consorts was emcee Melissa Wilson of FOX 26.

A special addition to the annual luncheon was recognition of Sidney and Don Faust for their two decades of support for  Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers. Since 1999, the Fausts have hosted 75 retreats at their West Texas ranch for Texas Children’s Cancer Center patients and their families and they have provided financial and hands-on support in the founding of the Celebration of Champions event and their annual holiday party in the Cancer Center clinic.

Reprising the roles that they have held since founding the luncheon 12 years ago were chairs Sidney Faust, Judi McGee, Elsie Eckert and Scott Basinger. Applause, applause for the quartet that raised more than $270,000 for the Long Term Survivor Program at Texas Children’s Cancer Center. Since its inception the Celebration of Champions luncheon has raised more than $3 million for the program.

Under direction of Dr. Dreyer, the program studies and assists with health concerns for childhood cancer patients after their cancer treatment has been successfully completed. The program currently has more than 30,000 long-term pediatric cancer survivors nationwide enrolled in Passport for Care®, an online resource guide developed at Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine.

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