In what was one of Dallas' last massive gatherings, leaders in business, government, and philanthropy recently converged on the Hilton Anatole Hotel for the 30th annual Planned Parenthood Awards Luncheon.
Co-chairs Jennifer Karol and Kara Goss, along with a sizable luncheon committee, drew 1,000 supporters for an afternoon celebrating and supporting more than 85 years of reproductive healthcare and health education in North Texas.
Among the crowd were U.S. Congressman Colin Allred; Texas State Representatives Lorraine Birabil, Rhetta Andrews Bowers, Julie Johnson, Terry Meza, Victoria Neave, Toni Rose, Chris Turner, and John Turner; Dallas County Commissioners Teresa Daniel and Elba Garcia; and Dallas City Council Member Omar Navaez. Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis-Kirk were also in the audience, as was Wendy Davis.
After an introduction from Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas president and CEO Kenneth Lambrecht, it was time for the awards. The Perot family joined in to celebrate Suzanne Perot McGee's being honored with the Gertrude Shelburne Humanitarian Award. Local equal justice advocate Cynthia Wallace was named Volunteer of the Year. A performance by the Voices of Light Gospel Choir had guests on their feet to "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now."
Respected journalist and producer Soledad O'Brien was the keynote speaker, encouraging the crowd to give generously so North Texans could receive vital health screenings and services.
And give they did, raising more than $1.3 million in a show of support for the organization that supports more than 85,000 Central and North Texans each year in Austin, Corsicana, Dallas, Fort Worth, Paris, Tyler, Waco, and surrounding communities.