First-Ever 'New Beginnings' Lunch Lauds Courage of Domestic-Abuse Survivors, Raises $300K

First-Ever 'New Beginnings' Lunch Lauds Courage of Domestic-Abuse Survivors, Raises $300K

Chairs Sarah Barrett, Jessica Leeke, Alexis Smith, Rachel Delaney

THE INAUGURAL NEW Beginnings lunch, hosted by and benefiting AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse), raised nearly $300,000.


The Junior League of Houston ballroom was packed with guests who enjoyed signature cocktails like Empowerment Punch while they perused the silent auction. One coveted item was a piece of art designed and donated by Kimmie Gillespie, a survivor of domestic abuse.

Courtney Zavala emceed, ushering guests to their tables for a seated lunch and introducing speakers such as AVDA CEO Maisha Colter, who had all survivors or those who know a survivor to stand — driving home the pervasiveness of the issue and also helping to remove the stigma.

The lunch honored Stephanie von Stein Schusterman with the Ambassador of Advocacy title, and also featured best-selling author Janine Latus, who spoke on her personal experience with domestic violence.

Succulent Bar provided party favors in the form of a customized plant, signifying "New Beginnings."

Amy Dougherty, Veronica Griffin

Allison Fisher, Julia Stallcup

Stephanie von Stein Schusterman, Maisha Colter

Andi Minett, Courtney Paddock

Stephanie Tsuru, Katie Tsuru

Beth Wolff, Chreyl Byington, Marilu Garza, Leila Perrin, Sandra Porter, Leisa Holland-Nelson Bowman

Jayne Johnston, Karen McCarthy, Kathleen Camp

Rees Anderson, Mario Gudmundsson

Lorna Klebe, Eileen Silverman, Silvia Max

Kimmie Gillespie, Clara Orlean

Mignon Gill, Kristen Cannon

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