Patient Champion Max Boatwright with Community Champions Sarah Herbek and Elsa
Chairs Scott Basinger, Judi McGee, Sidney Faust, Elsie Eckert
Patient champions Kensley Shrader and Willow Kreitz with Community Champions Sippi & Ajay Khurana
Patient Champion Landon Allen backstage with Community Champion Frank Tsuru
Sue Smith, Brittany Hebert
Community Champions Carol and Phil Garner with Patient Champion Hayes Rhee
Diane Gendel, Mady Kades
Jan Duncan, John Scales
Community Champion Dr. Susan Blaney with Patient Champion Leroy Baker
Community Champions Glenda & Russell Gordy with Patient Champion Meagan Wilkerson
Patient Champion Jada Davis
Community Champions Keith & Shawntell McWilliams with Patient Champion Raenice Dunbar
Community Champions Ann & John Bookout with Patient Champion Grayson Wade
Community Champions Stephanie & Ernie Cockrell with Patient Champion Avaya Hernandez
Community Champions Brigitte and Bashar Kalai with Patient Champion Remy Koks
Community Champion Stephanie Tsuru with Patient Champion Jada Davis
Community Champions Rini and Edward Ziegler with Patient Champion Meghan Rudd
Community Champion Dave Ward with Patient Champion Rylie York
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.