Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2011 Stepping Out In Style for KidneyTexas

Stepping Out in Style was the theme of this years fundraising luncheon and fashion show benefiting KidneyTexas, Inc.  Luncheon Chairman, Pat McDonough and Marianne Wilshusen, made for a dynamic Mother/Daughter team and were joined by Honorary Luncheon Chairman, Charlotte Kimberlin, in their efforts to step out and make a difference in this year's event.  Funds raised from their efforts provided beneficiaries with much needed resources to fight against kidney-related diseases as well as supporting Camp Reynal, Children's Medical Center and the PKD Foundation.

(top left)  Pat McDonough, Marianne Wilshusen and Megan Meyercord (top right) Jill Rowlett with Barbara Brice
(bottom left) Doris Jacobs with guest (bottom right)  Phyllis Comu, Cathy Vieth and Shannon Brower

Megan Meyercord, President of KidneyTexas, welcomed a very fashionable crowd of over 400 guests and kicked off a tremendous fashion show created by the reigning Queen of Dallas fashion, Jan Strimple.  Master of Ceremonies, Tracy Rowlett, got a big laugh by joking, "It's been a long time since I attended a KidneyTexas event. I've turned a lot grayer since I last saw you, and many of you have turned... well, a lot blonder." Ba dum dum.

The fashion show was comprised of several segments: Sophisticated Color, Martinis, Olives and Animal instincts,  Kid Biz, Red Licorice, Tootsie's Tootsies and High Voltage Dressing. But my favorite was the Family Segment, with high-profile family members like Yvonne, Bri and Samantha Crum and Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban with his three small children strutting to show support.

Most of the fashions from TOOTSIES, Kid Biz and Orvis were strutted by professional models. But the real stars of the runway were Kidney transplant donors and recipients who walked together in unity of this cause: Andy Meyercord with his sister, Martha Wilson who donated her kidney for her brother and Bernadette "Gail" Moten with her donor Brandon Vance.

Gail and Brandon provided one of the days "tear jerker" moments when, as they walked the runway, Rowlett told the story of how Gail happened to encounter Kidd Kraddock's morning radio show one day when they were filming a segment at a gas station. They washed her car and filled it up with gas as part of a bit they were doing that day and when they pushed a microphone in her face and asked her if she needed anything else, she relied, "Well, I am on dialysis, so if anyone would be willing to give me a kidney - I sure could use it!".  Five people called int the radio show that day with interest. Two of them actually went to the hospital to be tested and one person, Brandon Vance, turned out to be a perfect match. When asked why he would donate his kidney and undergo surgery for a perfect stranger, Vance replied, "I have served our Country in Afghanistan and taken lives. This was a way for me to serve my Country and give life back to someone." Well, I'm telling you, there was not a dry eye in the place... I'm tearing up all over again just typing out their story. What a guy!!

For more information on KidneyTexas, visit http://kidneytexas.org/