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Houston’s 2024 Women of Distinction Celebrated at a Winter Ball With a Very Personal Touch

With So Many Having Connections to This Cause, This Moroccan Themed Evening Is Emotion Packed

BY // 03.01.24

Earnest — that’s the word that resonated through my mind as we sat for dinner at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation 2024 Winter Ball. For it seemed that many in the ballroom of the Omni Houston had been touched personally or through someone in their family with one of the debilitating ailments that make a normal life all but impossible.

The gentleman sitting next to me, husband of gala co-chair Catherine Rowley, shared with me their daughter’s story of having a colostomy at age 14 and the trauma such a surgery can bring to a young teen. Today, however, this young woman is a thriving professional in Washington D.C.

In introducing Women of Distinction Ambassador Mady Kades, emcee Jacquie Baly allowed that IBD had affected a member of Mady and Ken Kades‘ family.

Kades was joined on stage by Women of Distinction honorees Ann Ayre, Chree Boydstun, Meg Stow Crowley, Diana “Stick” Delaup and Alvia Wardlaw, each recognized for their leadership in the Greater Houston philanthropic community.

Ann and Jonathan Ayre
Ann & Jonathan Ayre at the Winter Ball

Also taking bows was Honored Hero Tim Goedeker, a proud fundraiser who runs half marathons nationwide for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Past Honored Hero Cameron Mateo Skeete introduced Goedeker, whose son is living with IBD. Goedeker has completed his first goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states with the mission of boosting awareness and funds for the foundation. To date he has raised more than $325,000 for the cause.

Health Care Partner Honoree was Houston Methodist gastroenterologist Dr. Bincy P. Abraham, a dedicated supporter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation mission.

Elizabeth Anthony

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This was the second year that Kathy Crosby, Wendy Kovich, and Rowley had stepped forward to chair the Winter Ball, that was this year themed “An Evening in Morocco.” The colorful Moroccan themed backdrop set the stage for the traditional Walk of Distinction featuring past honorees. Leading the procession was 2011 Woman of Distinction Jacquie Baly.

Co-Chairs- Catherine Rowley, Kathy Crosby, Wendy Kovich (2)
Winter Ball chairs CCatherine Rowley, Kathy Crosby, Wendy Kovic

PC Seen: Omana and Sam Abraham, who donated for auction a fab carpet donated by their Abraham RugsKen Kades, Gaynell Drexler, Elise Drexler, Tiffany and Dennis Hatchett, Betty Hrncir, Jonathan Ayre, Anita Smith, Myrtle and Nedra Jones, Vanessa and Mike Manners, Nancy Strohmer, Lilly Andress, Leila Perrin, Heidi Rockecharlie, Betty Tutor, Vicki West, Beth Wolff, and Merele Yarborough. 

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