Paddle on out… It was an adventurous eight-day surfing safari for Vicky and Rick Staff in Playa Negra, Costa Rica, to celebrate Rick’s 55th birthday. Rick has surfed since he was 8 years old. During their 25 years of marriage, they’ve taken annual surfing trips with Rick’s childhood buddies. Vicky says the waves seem bigger and the boards longer now, and the need for sunscreen for bald heads increases every year. Wipe out!
Sleepless in Seattle… A goodbye of sorts for Randi Patel and her hubby, John Steinmetz, was held to wish the couple well before their move to Seattle, Wash. John has assumed his new post in the seafood industry, but the couple decided to keep their Houston abode for return visits. Francis Rubin hosted a party at her home for 20 of Randi’s fashion-forward friends from her wine gatherings, cycling classes and other events. Randi’s last Houston errand was to secure flight-travel papers for her cat, Missy.
Tasty night crawlers… The social director of the Memorial Forest Club, Janna Altmann, oversaw another fabulous adults-only crawfish boil this spring, both at the poolside and in the club house. Not only did board member Joey Gauss boil 75 pounds of shrimp and 300 pounds of crawfish for more than 200 members, he supervised the pool renovation project as well. At the pool’s grand reopening on May 1, Sydney Gauss and Drew Altmann were the first children making a splash down the super slide into the pool. Grill masters John Scott and Brad Lynch served up burgers and hot dogs for 300 hot and hungry people with the help of Vince Sicola, Greg Gaines and Ben Campbell. Club president Mike Moore is grateful for Joey’s dedication to the project and the annual boil.
Go on, get wild… Veronica and Michael Roa were hosts recently for an event supporting The Woods Project, a non-profit founded by Hunters Creek resident Steve Rosencranz that provides wilderness experiences and environmental education to underserved Houston-area youth. This summer, 145 youths and volunteer leaders will travel to Yosemite National Park and Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada region of California as a result of The Woods Project. Other hosts at the Roas’ home included Will and Debi Wilson, Doug Leyendecker and Christine Moldvaer, and Carlton and Kathy Cook.
A gathering of champions… Hall of Famers, Olympic medalists, NASA astronauts and trophy winners turned out for Houston Children’s Charity’s casual dinner on Paige and Tilman Fertitta’s grand patio, raising $100,000 plus. More than 30 athletes, along with astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly, schmoozed with guests. Mark is looking forward to his upcoming fourth space mission in November. United States Softball Team gold medalist Jennie Finch was in the crowd of rock-star athletes and hosted a softball clinic for 300 girls the next day. Dan and Perri D’Armond, Dollie and Abe Goren, Susie and Robert Kneppler, and Drew and Ellen Elam had a ball chatting with Elvin Hayes, Jeff Bagwell, Yao Ming, Dan Pastorini and Nolan Ryan. The Gorens’ daughter, Haley, is heading to the University of Alabama, and the Knepplers’ son, John, will attend West Point Naval Academy this fall.
Off to a healthy start… Lisa Kline, outgoing president of the Memorial Drive Garden Club, passed the garden trowel and a very large carrot to Linda Gupta, incoming club prez for 2010-2011. To welcome other new board members, Lisa presented each with a freshly plucked carrot from her own garden to mark a fresh new year.
Riding for a reason… Six days of peddling proved to be a whirlwind ride for Annabella Green, as she averaged 88 miles a day while riding with a group of 150 cyclists in the second-annual Tour du Rouge. The bicycle event wound through the Gulf Coast region, where disaster has hit in the past few years due to hurricanes Ike and Katrina and other storms. Cycling from Houston to New Orleans, the riders raised funds for the American Red Cross’ disaster-preparedness unit. Annabella was one of only four women in the group of 43 cyclists. Certainly there is no turning back for this soon-to-be-55-years-young woman!
Oh yes we can… The CanCare Luncheon in May marked the 20th year for the event. Co-chairs Marilyn Drane and Kathy Garza, along with CanCare president and 20-year cancer survivor Nancy Tucker, were thrilled to honor Barbara Padilla, an opera singer and America’s Got Talent TV show finalist, who is also a cancer survivor. Barbara sang two songs while her handsome hubby, Kyle Howard, and 750 luncheon attendees gave her a standing ovation.
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