Now in Its 7th Year, ‘Women of Substance’ Lunch Draws A-Listers, Raises Big Bucks for At-Risk Kids

Now in Its 7th Year, ‘Women of Substance’ Lunch Draws A-Listers, Raises Big Bucks for At-Risk Kids

Dominique Sachse, Debbie Festari, Brigitte Kalai and Nicole Lassiter

UNDER THE DIRECTION of event founder Paul-David Van Atta and co-chairs Sippi Khurana and Amy Pierce, the 7th annual Women of Substance luncheon benefitting Houston reVision was a lovely success at The Post Oak Hotel.


Before dining on grilled radicchio Caesar salads and Airline chicken chasseur —chocolate mousse cake for dessert — this year’s honorees were presented to a crowd of nearly 450. The 2023 Women of Substance included Gina Bhatia, Laura Davenport, Elsie Eckert, Debbie Festari, Leisa Holland-Nelson Bowman, Kathy Givens, April McGee, Jordan Seff, Elizabeth Stein, Paula Sutton, Stephanie Tsuru and Rini Ziegler.

“All honorees had their fan base in the audience, but no one did it better than those supporting April McGee,” noted a rep for the event’s organizers. “They raised cut out images of her beautiful face as she was announced and erupted in cheers of joyous praise and adoration! Disruptive and delicious!”

Another highlight was a surprise musical performance. St. Francis student and son of co-chair Sippi, Shaan Khurana, 14, moved through the crowd Oprah-style singing “You Raise Me Up,” before joining his backup singers on stages for a rousing crescendo. Richard Brown musicians provided accompaniment.

Half a million bucks was raised — thanks in part to a successful auction and three surprise last-minute gifts of $20,000 each — for reVision, whose mission is to provide “a community of kinship, connecting caring adult volunteers, case managers, mental health professionals, and faith communities with disconnected youth,” the organization says.

Boldface names filled the hotel ballroom, including Jeff and Rachel Bagwell, Kelly Anzilotti, Philamena Baird, Devinder Bhatia, Bill and Cheryl King, Susan Boggio, Donae Chramosta, Andrew Cordes, Yvonne Cormier, Bobby Dees, Sidney Faust, Tena Faust, Elaine Finger, Gregg Harrison, Brigitte Kalai, Ajay Khurana, Nicole Lassiter, Tama Lundquist, Carmen and Butch Mach, Joella and Steve Mach, Lenny Matazewski, Melissa Mithoff, Bobbie Nau, Bruce Padilla and Shelby Kibodeaux, David Peck, Dominique Sachse, Laura Stein, Stacey Swift, Ileana Trevino, Elaine Turner, Betty Tutor, Astrid Van Dyke, Barbara Van Postman, Hallie Vanderhider, Beth Wolff, Cynthia Wolff and Sherri Zucker.


Andrew Cordes and Tena Faust

Sippi Khurana and Ajay Khurana

Deborah Duncan and Ernie Manouse

Cynthia Wolff and Beth Wolff

Dr. Devinder Bhatia and Gina Bhatia

Duke and CC Ensell

Kathy Givens

Stephanie Tsuru and Betty Hrncir

Jacob Stein, Elizabeth Stein and Laura Stein

Kelly Anzilotti, Susan Boggio, Sherri Zucker and Perri Palermo

Suzan Deison and Fran Litchenstein

Regina Rogers, Franelle Rogers, Reverend Carrie Leader, Warner Roberts and Dr. Yvonne Cormier

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