Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation’s 2017 A Celebration of Reading Author Reveal and Holiday Soirée

What:                      Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation’s 2017

                                A Celebration of Reading Author Reveal and Holiday Soirée


When:                     Thursday, December 6, 2016


Where:                    The home of Rhonda and Michael Graff


Hosts:                      President George H. W. and Barbara Bush and Neil and Maria Bush




A Celebration of Reading past major donors, event committee members and Foundation leaders joined First Lady Barbara Bush, Neil Bush and Maria Bush and other members of the Bush family at the beautiful home of Rhonda and Michael Graff for a private holiday party and special author reveal for the 2017 A Celebration of Reading event to be held on April 20, 2017 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Phillips 66 is serving as the title sponsor of A Celebration of Reading for the third year in a row, and Quanex Foundation is serving as the first-ever presenting sponsor.


150 guests dressed in their holiday best, enjoyed cocktails, beer and wine, as well as hors d’oeuvres, including quail breast, beef tenderloin with fresh horseradish and parsley, pastry shells filled with ragout of wild mushrooms, warm butternut squash soup served in a demitasse cup, and fried green tomato with corn relish prepared by Jackson & Company.


Neil Bush, co-chairman of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, opened the evening by expressing his gratitude to attendees for their continuous support of the Foundation and its mission to improve lives through the power of literacy. Foundation president, Julie Finck provided a brief update to guests on how the investments from donors to the Celebration of Reading are making an impact in the community. Without further ado, Neil and Maria Bush, along with Julie Finck, unveiled the highly-anticipated New York Times bestselling authors for the 2017 A Celebration of Reading –Sue Grafton, author of the alphabet mystery series, including X, Bill Browder, acclaimed businessman and author of Red Notice, and comedian Jim Gaffigan, author of Food: A Love Story.


Guests spent the remainder of the evening celebrating the upcoming event and spreading holiday cheer.



Barbara Bush, Neil & Maria Bush, Pierce Bush, Alice Burguieres, Joe and Cathy Cleary, Joel and Tammy Cowley, Julie Baker Finck and Ron Finck, Charles and Lilly Foster, Greg and Gail Garland, Mehrnaz Gill, Robert and Grace Givens, Michael and Rhonda Graff, Bill and Iris Griffiths, Don and Joni Haley, John and Betty Hrncir, Rock and Trish Morille, City Councilman Dr. Jack Christie, Frank and Stephanie Tsuru, Dancie Ware, Danny Ward and Nancy Ames, Margaret Alkek Williams.



Photo Credits:  Michelle Watson, CatchLight Group


About Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation

The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, co-chaired by Neil and Maria Bush, was established as a charitable organization focused on improving the quality of life for Houston residents through the power of literacy. The Foundation advocates for literacy as a fundamental right of everyone and a foundational skill towards success in life. It is founded on the belief held by Barbara Bush, former First Lady, “If you help a person to read, then their opportunities in life will be endless.” In 2013, Neil and Maria Bush created the Houston-based foundation separate from the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, a national foundation, in response to the need to deepen the awareness of and intensify services and support for the nation’s fourth largest and most diverse city – Houston. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @bushhoustonlit.

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