Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s Women of Substance Revealed With Stunning Portraits

See the Ladies Who Are Making a Difference

BY // 11.13.20

Glamour and giving — at times, the two go hand in hand in Houston’s philanthropic swirl particularly when a number of social divas enter the spotlight as generous stewards of altruism. Consider, for example, the 2020 Women of Substance, all 10 of whom were gorgeously photographed by Gittings in advance of their virtual luncheon presentation.

The philanthropic focus behind the movie star-glam portraits was the Mission of Yahweh, a much-needed and much-beloved shelter for homeless women and children. With support from the honorees, their friends and patrons of the mission, the event raised $400,000 to aid in empowering, enriching and restoring the lives of its residents.

Leading the generous giving was presenting sponsor the Houston Texans, represented by owner Janice McNair, who led the video presentation with congratulations to the honorees.

As they were introduced in the live portion of the virtual fundraiser, the Women of Substance Gittings portraits appeared on the screen along with photos of the women at work in the community. The 10 honorees: Lilly Andress, Donatella Benckenstein, Cathy Borlenghi, Donae Chramosta, Tracy Faulkner, Zina Garrison, Gina Gaston, Susan Arnoldy Hansen, Leela Krishnamurthy and Susan Soussan. 

Rose Cullen was recognized with the Lifetime of Substance award and special guest Kechi Okwuchi, singer and motivational speaker, was surprised with the Spirit of Substance award.

The hour-long program was emceed by Ernie Manouse, Deborah Duncan, Warner Roberts, Paul-David Van Atta along with luncheon chair Kristina Somerville. Adding their support as honorary chairs were Regina Rogers and Sybil Roos.

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Mission of Yahweh supporters tuned in from across the city in watch parties, some large, some small, where lunch was delivered from Tony’s. Among the honorees surrounded by friends at the midday watch parties were Susan Arnoldy, Tracy Faulkner, Donae Chramosta and Lilly Andress.

See the photos from the watch parties below along with the Gittings portraits:

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