Barbara Taylor Bradford, Barbara Bush, Bob Bradford, Margaret Alkek Williams, Paul-David Van Atta, Gregg Harrison
Honoree Amy Pierce & Rob Pierce
Honorees Alicia Smith, Betsy Garlington, Trini Mendenhall, Monica Hartland, Deborah Duncah, Rose Cullen, Carolyn Faulk, Penny Loyd, Cora Sue Mach, Amy Pierce, Sherri Zucker
Barbara Bush, Warner Roberts
Bill Meek, honoree Deborah Duncan
Honoree Carolyn Faulk, Pat Studdert
Cathy Borlenghi, Phoebe Tudor, Mary Grace Gray
Joanne King Herring, Penny & Paul Loyd, Barbara Taylor Bradford & Bob Bradford
Lance & Alicia Smith
Marla Hurley, honoree Cora Sue Mach & Harry Mach
Mary Griffin sings the National Anthem
Honoree Monica Hartland
Luncheon chair Rachel Regan, Kathy Podsednik
Regina Rogers, Walter Ayman, Nancy Almondovar
Honoree Rose Cullen
Bill Meek, honoree Sherri Zucker
Warner Roberts, honorees Sybil Roos and Trini Mendenhall
The amazing chocolate cake dessert, a copy of the best-selling book.
Surely the gods, or one god if you prefer, smiled down on the well-heeled gathering that packed River Oaks Country Club for the inaugural “Women of Substance” luncheon. How else could you explain the unprecedented roaring success of the first-time event? Actually, the deities were smiling on the day’s beneficiary, the Mission of Yahweh homeless shelter for women and children, which received $400,000 from the effort.
The midday fundraiser brought together former First Lady Barbara Bush, best-selling author Barbara Taylor Bradford, three powerhouse honorary chairs — Margaret Alkek Williams, Regina Rogers and Joanne King Herring — and a dozen high-profile honorees noted for their philanthropic largesse. Who could possibly say no to such a gathering?
The luncheon was titled after Taylor Bradford’s best selling novel A Woman of Substance. (That novel sold 60 million copies in 90 countries.) As part of the program, the author shared reflections on her writing and her long-time friendship with Mrs. Bush.
Applause, applause for Mission of Yahweh stalwart Warner Roberts, event planner Paul-David Van Atta and luncheon chair Rachel Regan for orchestrating the heady féte. Van Atta is a long-time friend of Taylor Bradford and tapped her and husband Bob Bradford to attend as special guests. The duo had copies of A Woman of Substance reprinted for the luncheon crowd and Taylor Bradford stayed at the country club until 3 pm signing copies of the much-beloved tome.
Taking bows and receiving roses and a Bill Meek sculpture for their community leadership were Women of Substance honorees Rose Cullen, Deborah Duncan, Carolyn Faulk, Monica Hartland, Penny Loyd, Cora Sue Mach, Trini Mendenhall, Amy Pierce, Sybil Roos, Lisa Simon, Alicia Smith and Sherri Zucker.
Political columnist Bill King served as auctioneer of the two items, an effort that added $22,000 to the bottom line. Shelly Hendry was high bidder on the Exclusive Resorts trip donated by Rachel and Tom Regan while Susan Sarofim topped all bids for the Tenenbaum double strand of pearls worn by Mrs. Bush, accompanied by an autographed photo of Mrs. Bush wearing the necklace.
As promised by Roberts, who advised guests not to leave before the dessert surprise, guests were presented with individual chocolate cakes in the exact design of the “A Woman of Substance” book cover, the confection created by La Victoria Bakery.
Supporting the remarkable boot straps non-profit: Kim and Dan Moody, Cathy Borlenghi, Betsy Garlinger, Stewart Morris, Millette Sherman, Diane Lokey Farb, Bobbie Weinstein, Ericka Bagwell, Scott Evans and Jeff Henry, Trish Morelli, Linda and Larry Martin, Ginger Blanton, Samantha and David Kennedy, Charlie Hartland, Angie Roberts, Brittany Zucker, Rini Ziegler and Cheryl Byington.