Society / The Seen

Houston’s Kid Cancer Champions Celebrated in a Rollicking River Oaks Bash

These Runway Walks Truly Mean Something

BY // 10.18.18
photography Allen S. Kramer/Texas Children's Hospital

While the Houston Astros are assuredly our champions at Minute Maid Park, there is another group of winners celebrated during the playoff season that has nothing to do with baseball and everything to do with hope and resilience. That would be the youthful stars of the annual Celebration of Champions luncheon, which spotlights Texas Children’s Cancer Center‘s pediatric cancer survivors.

Reprising their roles as chairs each year since the event’s inauguration in 2007, Sidney Faust, Judi McGee, Elsie Eckert and Scott Basinger welcomed close to 400 guests to River Oaks Country Club for the midday presentation.

As is tradition, Saks Fifth Avenue and Dillard’s dressed the patient champions as well as the community champions, who temporarily adopt one of the young cancer survivors. Typically, the community champs purchase the outfits for the kiddos and present them with a gift before the luncheon.

It’s something of an early morning party in the country club dining room where the youngsters meet their runway escorts, get their hair and makeup done, slip into their new outfits, have photos made and generally have a rollicking good time. All in the name of the cancer center’s Longterm Survivor Program.

Last week’s event raised more than $390,000 for the program that currently has more than 30,000 longterm pediatric cancer survivors nationwide.

Community champions: Nancy and Jack Dinerstein, Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Dr. Susan Blaney, Glenda and Russell Gordy, Shawntell and Keith McWilliams, Ann and John Bookout, Stephanie and Ernie Cockrell, Brigitte and Bashar Kalai, Stephanie and Frank Tsuru, Carol and Phil Garner, Sarah Herbek and Texas Children’s facility dog Elsa, Rini and Edward Ziegler and Laura and Dave Ward.

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