The lifesaving work undertaken daily at one of the nation’s busiestLevel I adult trauma centers and the longest standing pediatric trauma center in Houston was celebrated by more than 1,300 guests of the Memorial Hermann Circle of Life “Above & Beyond” Gala on Saturday, May 4. A riveting video – produced by Ward and Ames Special Events and shown on a 72-foot video screen – brought attendees along for the ride in a “day in the life” of Memorial Hermann Life Flight® and the trauma and critical care services teams, powerfully illustrating the lasting effect on families who have been positively touched by Memorial Hermann.
Garnering an impressive $8.25 million to benefit Memorial Hermann Trauma and Critical Care Services, the gala was chaired by well-known Houston community leaders Jo Lynn and Gregg Falgout and Lisa and Jerry Simon. Longtime health system champions Ann and Clarence Cazalot were honored at the gala for their continued leadership and generosity to Memorial Hermann through the years.
For more than a century, Memorial Hermann has served the Houston community with around-the-clock care for the entire family, a theme highlighted through the stories of three former trauma patients who, at different stages in life, each benefited from the delivery of that lifesaving care.
“This evening is extra special because tonight, we are honoring a couple who helps ensure Memorial Hermann’s work and who makes a difference in the lives of others each and every day, Ann and Clarence Cazalot,” said Anne Neeson, Executive Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Foundation. “I’ve known them for many years and have always been in awe of Clarence and Ann.”
Honorees Ann and Clarence Cazalot were recognized for their outstanding legacy of support of Memorial Hermann. Clarence currently serves on the Memorial Hermann System Board and as chair of the Finance Committee, while Ann co-chaired the inaugural Memorial Hermann Razzle Dazzle luncheon, which has become a signature Houston event and has raised more than $2.5 million for the Bobetta Lindig Breast Cancer Center at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center. Ann is extremely passionate about early detection of breast cancer, being a survivor herself. The 10thanniversary of the event will be this October.
“From the moment our first son was born at what was then still Hermann Hospital, we’ve seen firsthand the tremendous care Memorial Hermann delivers to Houstonians in their most trying times,” said Clarence Cazalot. “The system provides truly unique resources that the entire community needs to support.”
As the evening progressed, the celebrating did too, as the impressive video wall opened like a theater curtain to reveal a 48-foot multilevel stage for an exciting musical performance by the Atlanta-based dance band Simply Irresistible. Among the after-dinner crowd were party goers in the “Sundown Lounge,” a late-night lounge housed within the ballroom with light bites, cocktails, dancing and party favors. The wildly successful “party in progress” element was first introduced in 2017 and has quickly become a guest favorite.
“As one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in the nation, serving both adults and children, we are in a unique position to provide the advanced level of trauma care required to meet the needs of our community,” said Chuck Stokes, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann. “This is why supporting our trauma and critical care services is so important. I am overwhelmed by your generosity; thank you for helping us truly make a difference in all the lives we touch.”
Houston’s philanthropic and business communities celebrated alongside former patients and their families, together with the Memorial Hermann care team who make a lifetime of celebrations possible for so many. Guests included Nancy Ames and Danny Ward, Philamena and Arthur Baird, Tony Bradfield and Kevin Black, Deborah Cannon, Yvonne and Rufus Cormier, Jo Lynn and Gregg Falgout, Kristina and Paul Somerville, Bobbie Nau, Yvonne and Walter Johnson, Christine Falgout-Gutknecht and Bill Gutknecht, Nina and Edd Hendee, Laurie and Tracy Krohn, Dr. Michelle McNutt and Dr. Billy Gill, Alice and Keith Mosing, Anne E. Neeson and Craig Janies, Lisa and Jerry Simon, Ann and Clarence Cazalot, Barbara and Bill Easter, Susan Sarofim, Beverly and Jim Postl, Judy and Chuck Stokes, Donna and Tony Vallone, Hallie Vanderhider, Bill King, Kimberly and Evan Scheele, Michelle and Stephen Fraga, Zhanna and Vitaly Golodryga, Kathleen and Martin Beirne, Alison and Greg Haralson, Melinda and Mike Perrin, Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniels.