Mixing Heartstrings with Heartthrobs, Firefighters’ ‘Red Hot Gala’ Heats Up Again!

Mixing Heartstrings with Heartthrobs, Firefighters’ ‘Red Hot Gala’ Heats Up Again!

2024 Mr. Steptember

FOR THE SIXTH year, the Red Hot Gala, in support of Houston firefighters was a huge success, with a mixture of heartstrings and heartthrobs!


Raising more than $750,000, the event took place at the Royal Sonesta and drew a fun crowd, the largest group to date for the fundraiser. Alan and Elizabeth Stein, founders of the event, served as chairs.

“We can declare this is our biggest year yet and we are still counting,” said a rep for the event’s organizers.

Per the Steins: “With the community’s support, we have continued to raise money, purchase equipment, provide additional training, and address the needs of firefighters and their families facing extraordinary hardships. With your support, we have raised more than $4 million in six years.”

As ever, the most memorable moment of the night came when the firefighters featured in the new hunky-firemen calendar strutted the stage, bare pecs glistening under spotlights thanks to a fresh coat of baby oil!

But there were touching moments, too, as in the opening presentation of the flags by the Houston Firefighter Honor Guard and Pipes and Drums, followed by firefighter Joe Rice’s stirring acapella rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner acapella. Also, videos were played highlighting the first responders’ dangerous, life-saving work. And Hallie Vanderhider and Bobbie Nau were honored for their longstanding support of the Red Hot mission.

Auction items included a fabulous necklace from IW Marks and a stay at a villa in Puerto Vallarta. As ever, a raucous country band played at both the cocktail hour before dinner and again after — a unique Red Hot touch. The shirtless hunks milling around, happily posing for pics, was also notable.

VIP guests included Brigitte Kalai, Van and David Greenberg, Bill Baldwin, Fady Armanious, Patti and Don Murphy, Beth Muecke, mayoral candidate John Whitmire, Robin and Alex Brennan-Martin, Frances and Tony Buzbee, Gary Petersen, Leisa Holland Nelson Bowman and Joanna Marks.


Alex Ochoa, Julie Chen, and Joanna Marks

Cheryl & Bill King

Ben Berg

Dee Darby, Elizabeth Stein, Laura Elizabeth Stein, and Scarlett Tyler

Bobbie Nau & Sr. Captain Robert Clark

Gaye Lynn & Stuart Zarrow

Maria Bassa & Beth Muecke

2024 Mr. January

Lesha & Tom Elsenbrook with Elyse & Drew Tolson

Marty Lancton and Hallie Vanderhider

Nellie & Lux K-9 AFT Arson Dogs

Tammy & Kim Norman

Maria Moncada Alaoui & Captain Christopher Garcia

People + Places
Our Favorite Restaurants Now!

Gulf Red Snapper at The Annie

These CityBook partners are among the best eateries in the most deliciously diverse city.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food

The Duchess Rose dessert

WHILE YOU WON’T be noshing British teatime favorites crumpets and scones at Duchess, you will be lavished with global cuisine inspired from the Mediterranean, Asian, and South American coastal traditions. The new Uptown Park restaurant is the brainchild of restaurant veterans Peggy and Daniel Chang of Uptown Sushi and Sushi Rebel, and biz partner Roveen Abante.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food

Georgia James

THE HOUSTON LIVESTOCK Show & Rodeo is back in the saddle, Feb. 27-March 17. Whether you’re seeking pre-show snacks, a righteous dinner, a quick happy hour, or late-night nosh, H-Town eateries have you covered. Rope in these food and drink rodeo specials while they're hot!

Keep ReadingShow less
Food