Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s Life Flight Helicopter Emergency Service Gets a Takeoff Boost — Good Vibrations Keep Things Flying

Outdoor Affair Is Just Part One Of This Double Event Fundraiser

BY // 04.03.23

It’s hard to imagine that Memorial Hermann’s Life Flight service carried out some 4,200 missions in 2022 and is poised to surpass that number this year. But that was the figure my amazing dinner partner, assistant vice president of Emergency Services and Life Flight Tom Flanagan shared during the exuberant “Good Vibrations” gala supporting the medical emergency rescue program based out of Houston.

A groovy throng, thanks to the theme, of 400 filled the open-air party tent on the grounds of Hermann Park’s McGovern Centennial Gardens for the evening celebrating the Life Flight team. What was launched in 1976 with a single helicopter has grown to a six-helicopter service.

Memorial Hermann Foundation Good Vibrations Gala
Allison Ben, Jordan Timberlake, Natanja Johnson, Trina Young at Memorial Hermann Foundation’s Good Vibrations gala at Hermann Park Centennial Gardens. (Photo by Michelle Watson)

As Memorial Hermann Health System president and CEO Dr. David Callender notes: “We are celebrating this exceptional asset to our community” and the 30,000 employees that help Houston become a better community “to create a healthy community now and for generations to come.”

He told the gathering that Life Flight had hoped to have one of the helicopters buzz the tent but logistics had prevented that. Only a short time later one of the choppers lifted off from the nearby hospital launch pad and provided the needed evidence of the 24/7 work of Life Flight.

Maureen and John Graf chaired the Life Flight gala which is divided into two parts. As Anne Neeson, Memorial Hermann Foundation executive vice president and CEO, explains, rather than continue with the mega 1,500-person gala, the team had opted to divide the celebration in two. Thus, this al fresco casual evening which typically attracts a younger crowd and the black tie “Walking on Sunshine” gala, which will be held at the Hilton-Americas Houston hotel on April 22.

Memorial Hermann Foundation Good Vibrations Gala
Groovy John & Jane Wheeler at Memorial Hermann Foundation’s Good Vibrations gala at Hermann Park Centennial Gardens. (Photo by Michelle Watson)

Both events are chaired by the Grafs and both events honor Elizabeth and Gary Petersen, a longtime board member and patron of the hospital system.

On this night, Churrascos provided tempting dinner and dessert stations around the party tent perimeter, fuel for the enthused dancing to the wildly energetic Infinite Groove.

PC Seen: Melinda and Mike Perrin, Steve Trauber, Lexi Trauber, Carin and Todd Barth, Barbara and Bill Easter, Abby and Justin Brasell, Renee and Steve Ash, Zhanna and Vitaly Golodryga, Sonya Reed and Diego Velasquez, Jane and John Wheeler, Gilbet Garcia, Jessica and Brandon Columbus.

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