Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s Most Interesting Cocktail Party Raises $1.4 Million in Just Two Hours — Sports Stars Play Big

The D'Antonis, Russell Westbrook, Cal McNair and More

BY // 12.19.19

While the big winds and high waters of Katrina spurred the founding of SBP in south Louisiana, it was a major windfall that this week earned the now national nonprofit a whopping $1.4 million. All during a two-hour cocktail party, dubbed “Answering the Call.”

In a nod to Houston’s recent disastrous floods, thunder and lightning greeted the 300 guests as they arrived in the Post Oak Hotel ballroom. That reminder was just the beginning of the night of mighty fundraising for the organization that helps quickly rebuild homes after disasters.

Applause, applause for chairs Laurel D’Antoni, Alicia Smith and Nina Westbrook who lassoed a powerful and uber generous team of honorary chairs — Jennifer and David Ducote, developer and race car driver; Brigitte and Bashar Kalai, founder and CEO of Ameripex;  Hannah and Cal McNair, Houston Texans CEO; Ashley and Jeremy Radack, Sydney and Jeff Shellebarger, retired president of Chevron North American Exploration & Production; Leticia and Stephen Trauber, Citigroup exec;  Stephanie and Frank Tsuru, Momentum Midstream CEO and Hallie Vanderhider, managing director at SFC Energy Management.

Vanderhider, Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni (husband of Laurel) and CITGO upped the ante with major pledges during the Build a House appeal. Add to that the surprise contribution from the Astros Foundation of $280,000 to rebuild new homes for those in need following Harvey and Imelda. More funds were garnered during the live auction in which auctioneer Stephen Lewis prodded tens of thousands more, $42,500 of which earned the high bidder a road trip with D’Antoni and the Rockets team. Lewis even commanded $13,000 for a $10,000 IW Marks Jewelers gift card. Add the financial clout of presenting sponsor Reliant.

PC Seen: SBP founder Zack Rosenberg, Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (married to Nina), SBP founder Zack Rosenberg, Joanna Marks, Lesha and Tom Elsenbrook, Katie and AJ Brass, Kim Moody, Donna and Norman Lewis, Blayne Fertitta, Bill King, Sondra and Steve Myers, Fady Armanious and Bill King, Megan and Luke Hotze, Ericka Bagwell, Maureen Hackett, and Sylvia Forsyth.

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