Habitat for Humanity Montgomery County gala breaks fundraising records

By: Liz Grimm
| Published 05/25/2018


THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- The Habitat for Humanity Montgomery County gala, presented by LGI Homes on May 5 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott, broke attendance and fundraising records in its seventh year with nearly 600 guests and more than $900,000 raised.

Embracing the Cinco de Mayo date, the Fiesta de Colores theme delighted guests from the moment they arrived as Spanish guitar melodies wafted through the foyer and while the “stone” hacienda courtyard entry – flanked with bougainvillea and colorful flowers – beckoned guests to stop for a photo. The guests arrived in their brilliantly colored gowns with Spanish-inspired accessories and suits complemented with colorful ties.

The décor was nothing short of spectacular thanks to the vision of décor co-chairs Kathleen Parr and Kaley Balcerak. The reception area was vibrant with upbeat Spanish tunes and a pair of dancers from Fred Astaire who “salsaed” throughout the entire reception. No detail was overlooked as brilliant florals designed by Bramble and Bee adorned each table along with a pair of fun maracas at each place setting, thanks to underwriters Ally and Mike Seder. Menu cards embellished with colorful pom pom borders continued the theme and added to the tone of a festive occasion. The stage was flanked by beautiful sombreros, which were gifted to each winner of a live auction item.

Len Cannon, news anchor with KHOU 11, returned as emcee and made himself right at home engaging the crowd with stories from last year’s gala and the impact that Hurricane Harvey had on the community and the KHOU 11 news station. Like so many homeowners, they are also still displaced.

Gala co-chairs Cindy Hageman, Kim Lindley, and Kim Neill lit up the stage in their stunning gowns to thank the guests, the board, the gala committee and returning presenting sponsor LGI Homes. Kim Lindley, who also serves as a member of the Habitat board of directors, presented a special award to Mark Lashier, CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, in recognition of the company as the 2018 Habitat for Humanity Honoree. Chevron Phillips Chemical Company and Habitat have enjoyed a fruitful partnership, and thanks to the resources and employees’ volunteer hours, they are building their sixth home in the Habitat community of Cedar Creek, located in Conroe.

The highlight of the evening was hearing the remarkable story of homeowner Kasey Martinez who overcame multiple obstacles and adversity to achieve home ownership. She shared that when she first applied to Habitat that she did not qualify. Several years later, at the urging of a co-worker, she re-applied and was approved. The audience gave Ms. Martinez their undivided attention as she shared what a difference home ownership has made in raising her three boys after living in conditions where it was unsafe for the children to play outside of their apartment. She shared that she persevered through school and is now employed at Lone Star College and is pursuing her BBA. At the conclusion of her talk, the crowd rose to their feet and gave her a round of applause that lasted several minutes.

Returning was star auctioneer Rick Grassi, who ignited excitement in the crowd accompanied by his “ringmen.” Live auction items included a dove hunting trip in Argentina, a Spanish Bay Links Golf package, and Rockets Playoff tickets to name just a few. The live auction fundraising tally was an impressive $180,000.

The “Build A Home” fundraising segment of the program challenged guests to raise $85,000. Thanks to the enthusiastic donations, including $60,000 from board member Tom Pisula and $60,000 Woodforest National Bank, over $230,000 was raised from the “Build A Home” segment that night. The crowd erupted in cheers and the sound of shaking maracas filled the room as the tally ticked up on the screen.

Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, TX is a Christian nonprofit organization that provides affordable, sustainable homes to hard-working families and individuals. Its mission states, “Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, TX brings people together to build homes, community, and hope.”

For more information on the important work of Habitat for Humanity Montgomery County, Texas, please visit habitatmctx.org.

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