A Texas-sized good time was had by friends of The Center for Hearing and Speech at the Houston nonprofit’s annual gala on May 4. The Marriott Marquis hosted the shindig, themed “A Night in Texas: Sound & Soul Gala,” which was held in honor of The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Texas Elks Children’s Services, and Mitzi Weiss for their years of aid to the Center. All in all, over $582,000 was raised for the Center’s ongoing efforts to support children with hearing loss and their families.

Chaired by David and Melanie Carroll and emceed by Frank Billingsley, KPRC’s longtime chief meteorologist, this Lone Star-studded affair was attended by over 480 guests who were invited to mosey on downtown in their finest cowboy boots and Western garb for an evening of great tunes and good times. Attendees cut a rug to the live '80s jams of popular cover band the Spazzmatics, and the entertainment didn’t stop there. Not only were there multiple fine jewelry raffles and an epic 70-bottle fine-wine pull, but folks could also participate in a silent auction where packages from wineries, hotels, and restaurants from California, Oregon, and New York City were up for grabs.

The philanthropic fun continued with a live auction run by Steve Lewis, which added over $66,000 to The Center for Hearing and Speech’s coffers. In addition to getaways in Jackson Hole and a stay at a Tuscan villa, guests bid on a South African Safari, a dove hunt in Argentina, and in an adorable twist, a white lab puppy (named “Texas,” of course).

The Center had plenty of reasons to celebrate this year—in February, they became the Texas Medical Center’s 60th member organization after joining forces with Texas Children’s Hospital. This new partnership will allow them to combine their resources toward the goal of optimizing operations and increasing the number of children the Center can serve by twofold.

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