‘Blooming’ with Excitement, 600 Gather for Laughs and Lunch in the Name of Literacy

Carolyn Mohsenzadeh and Gina Saour

MOTHER-DAUGHTER DUO Gina Saour and Carolyn Mohsenzadeh chaired the seventh annual Power of Literacy lunch, held in the ballroom of the Post Oak Hotel and attended by an astonishing 600-some guests.


The event, which benefits the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, this year adopted the theme “Blooming with Books.” Floral and harvest-inspired décor set the tone for a festive meal of salad with grilled chicken, roasted sweet potatoes and goat cheese, followed by a cinnamon-spice dessert.

Jeannie Gaffigan — actress, mom of five and wife to comedian Jim Gaffigan — joined KPRC anchor Lisa Hernandez onstage. The featured speaker shared stories from her best-selling book, When Life Gives You Pears, which chronicles her diagnosis, surgery and recovery from a pear-size brain tumor. While she kept things light yet heartfelt, Gaffigan also stressed the importance of women taking time to take care of themselves and “not ignore the signs that something else may be wrong.”

A raffle with items like jewels from Tenenbaum and a Gucci handbag, plus a silent auction with more purses, helped the day’s total till top $575,000.

Allison Schulze, Lisa Jakel, Emily George

Betty Hrncir, Donatella Benckenstein

Blanca Jolly, Raquel Lewis

Cathy Trask, Amber Alonso

Deborah Duncan

Elizabeth Dansby, Ashley Gentry

Hilary Purcell, Cathy Cleary, Caroline Dace

Kime Smith, Lynn Forte

Leah Rauch, Rebecca Linn

Linda Linder, Mary Sage, Deborah Deford Dunkum

Stephanie Mays, Laura Weaver

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