Following the reception where guests sipped champagne and had the opportunity to purchase chance tickets at 10:30 a.m., the program got underway at 11:20 a.m. with KidneyTexas President Sandy Secor welcoming guests, recognizing Dr. Goran Klintmalm of Baylor’s Harold and Annette Simmons Transplant team for bestowing The Barry Newman Award upon KidneyTexas, offering a tribute to the late Mary Lee Cox and revealing how both her husband had lost a kidney and her daughter-in-law’s mother was a kidney transplant recipient. Since its establishment, KidneyTexas has provided $3.6M “to local efforts to improve the ability to diagnose and manage kidney disease.”
Luncheon Chair Mari Epperson announced the organization’s 22 founding members (Martha Ashby, Barbara Bigham, Teeny Board, Anita Browne, Pat Burford, Kelley Burks, Patty Caolo, Nancy Carter, Patricia Cowlishaw, Suzy Gekiere, Sue Goodnight, Ann Jobe, Mary Lytle, Lorraine Meenan, Mary Miller, Carole Murray, Jeanette Otis, Pamela Snavely, Vicki Anderson Tighe, Patty Jo Turner, Mary Van Eaton and Emilynn Willson), Honorary Co-Chair Suzette Derrick and Renee Winter, the Sue Goodnight Service Awardee Patricia Cowlishaw and Community Awardees Lynn Dealey and Jan Strimple.
At 11:33 a.m. Emcee Scott Murray then introduced a new award — the Everson Walls Legacy Award, named in honor of the former Dallas Cowboy, who provided a kidney for his teammate, the late Ron Springs. Joining Scott onstage Everson shared a couple of stories about Ron including how everyone admired him and his sense of humor. Everson admitted that some of Ron’s jokes would make Tom Landry “extremely uncomfortable… as you know Tom Landry was extremely conservative and Ron Springs was not. But when it was all said and done, it was a real deal that Ron was probably Tom Landry’s favorite player. He was the only one who could make Tom smile and you know how difficult that was.”
After their football careers had ended, Everson and Ron started working together. Everson admitted that he was “an angry young man and Ron told me to lighten up.” But indications started appearing that Ron was having problems but he didn’t initially let on. Everson said so often especially strong people are in a state of denial about health issues.
Looking down from the stage, he pointed out his wife Shreill Walls and Adrianne Springs, who “actually anchored our friendship” from the start. Considering the Springs family as part of Everson’s family made the decision to donate a kidney effortless.
In closing Everson recalled his pastor saying after the surgery that “commitment is more important than sacrifice. What I gave to Ron was a sacrifice, but what you guys are doing here that is a commitment. And I applaud you guys for what you’re doing.” His words were rewarded with a standing ovation.
In presenting the Everson Walls Legacy Award, Scott revealed that Tiffany had not only provided the engraved crystal free-of-charge but committed to providing future Legacy Awards.
It was now time to put the actual fundraising in action with Wendy Lambert auctioning off six items including a Brazilian Amethyst Geode that seemed to weigh more than small car. Luckily the winning bidder had the choice of taking it home or having it delivered.
Following a video on one of KidneyTexas’ beneficiaries, Camp Reynal, Part 2 of the fundraising had Wendy hauling in $17,000 during the call-for-cash.
Scott returned to the stage for some housekeeping notes including the raffle for 20 Restaurants Gift cards, the purchase of centerpieces, A Kid Biz discount coupon and Tootsies’ treasure chest provided by Tootsies along with post event champagne at the store and a gift card.
At 12:06 p.m., the fashion show featuring clothes from Tootsies and Kid Biz got underway. All went smoothly until blonde brothers Hunter MacElroy and Gavin MacElroy wearing their mother’s “The Wild Brand”and Kid Biz started their walk on the runway. The applause proved to be a bit overwhelming for Hunter, who ran backstage.
But the day’s finale wasn’t the last model in a full-length Alice and Olivia gown covered in KidneyTexas signature butterflies. It was Scott calling Everson back on the stage and surprising him with the presence of his former Cowboy players (Drew Pearson, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Doug Donley, Michael Downs and Timmy Newsome) for a brief chat and a walk down the runway. As the Boys waved to the crowd, the doors to the veranda for luncheon opened at 12:46 p.m. Since not all the guests could stay for luncheon, the Brook Hollow staff boxed up the meals for the departing guests.
For more looks of the event, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.