Society / Featured Parties

Beyonce’s Dad and a Legendary UCLA Women’s Coach Stand Up to Cancer in River Oaks

Embracing Life and Never Waiting to Dance

BY // 09.20.22
photography Fulton Davenport

Breast cancer survivor and acclaimed UCLA women’s gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field had words of wisdom for the throng, many wearing requisite pink, packing the River Oaks Country Club ballroom for the American Cancer Society’s annual Tickled Pink luncheon in Houston.

“Success is peace of mind when you know you’ve done your best,” she offered.

“Athletics is a master class in life lessons that you don’t learn in a classroom.”

“Be anxious for nothing and be grateful for all things.”

These were among the gems that the author of Life Is Short, Don’t Wait to Dance gave along with a recounting of her career path and breast cancer battle to the attentive audience. Kondos Field certainly gave the crowd plenty to think about.

560 – Valorie Kondos Field on Stage 8 (Photo by Fulton Davenport)
Guest speaker Valorie Kondos Field at the American Cancer Society’s Tickled Pink luncheon (Photo by Fulton Davenport)

The atmosphere was light and bright as the event was chaired by a dynamic trio of American Cancer Society supporters — Kelli Cohen Fein, Gina Gaston Elie and Millette Sherman. Adding to the energy was Leisa Holland-Nelson Bowman, who served as an energized and quite fun emcee. (She quipped later that she enjoys emceeing so much that she would pay to have the opportunity.)

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Seven community leaders, including several breast cancer survivors, were welcomed on stage as honorees — Marilu Garza, Mathew Knowles (Beyonce’s father and a well-known record executive and University of Houston special course instructor), Donna Lewis, Shawntell McWilliams, Dr. Vicente Valero, Terri Wang, and Laura Ward.

The luncheon raised $210,000 for the American Cancer Society’s  breast cancer research, education and support services.

PC Seen: Haag Sherman, Mario Elie, Paige Fertitta, Gena Avery, Bob Bowman, Frann Lichtenstein, Dr. Rick Ngo, Mary Gracely, Leila Perrin, Sandra Porter, Phoebe Tudor, Cynthia Wolff, Beth Wolff, Jacquie Baily Craig, Cheryl Byingyton, Gary Becker, Vicki Rizzo, Kristen Barley, Jenna Bamburg, and Charity Yarborough. 

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