The Revaire was bursting with color last weekend when over 600 people turned out for Camp For All's annual gala. This year's theme, "Paint the Town," saw charitable Houstonians don vibrant getups and open their pocketbooks for the local nonprofit which runs a unique, barrier-free camp on a 206-acre property outside Burton, Texas, for children and adults with challenging illnesses and special needs.
Opened in 1998 by two Houston physicians and a father who lost his child to cancer, Camp For All serves 11,000 people each year, and the $920,000 raised at this year's gala will further bolster those efforts. The affair was co-chaired by Beth Clarke and Lesley Schick and underwriting chair Martha White, and KPRC Channel 2's Khambrel Marshall served as emcee. Plush Party Band kept revelers dancing, and Houston artist DUAL finished a painting live on-site to be featured in the auction alongside 120 other items, including two coveted Kentucky Derby packages that pulled $30,000 each.
The night also included a 198-bottle wine pull and a "Send a Camper to Camp" paddle raise that brought in $215,000 toward the organization's annual $2.5 million goal.
Diann and Mike Lewter and the Mogas family were this year's honorees. The Lewters have been passionate supporters of Camp For All since 2012, spending a full week volunteering each summer since then, and Mike Lewter chaired the Board of Directors in 2018 and 2019. The Mogas family's involvement dates back to 1999; Matt Mogas currently chairs the Partner Committee, serves on the Board of Directors, and spends a week as a cabin counselor each summer, while Melinda Mogas has dedicated her life to helping people with special needs as an occupational therapist at Camp For All partner The Westiew School.
As this year's gala speaker, Six-year Camp For All camper Anne Marie Buckle moved the crowd with her story: Diagnosed with autism and PANS, a brain-swelling syndrome, Buckle participates as a camper through the Monarch School and the HUB Houston—two of more than 65 non-profits that partner with Camp For All—and relayed how the experience has impacted both her and her friends' lives. "My friends and I face different challenges every day, but at Camp For All, many of those struggles disappear," she said. "No one feels pressured or left out. All of the 'can't's' become 'cans.'"