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Some Like It Hot

The Houston Professional Firefighter Association Charitable Foundation holds its second scintillating Red Hot Gala

Photo credits: Priscilla Dickson Photography and Catchlight Group-Johnny Than

General Editor: Margaret MacMillan

Publisher: Connie Kwan-Wong

The Celebration

The Royal Sonesta Houston brought the heat when it hosted The Houston Professional Firefighter Association Charitable Foundation’s (HPFFA) 2019 Red Hot Gala. Chairs, Elizabeth and Alan Stein, took a chance by moving the gala to a larger venue this year and were rewarded with a packed house. Robin and Alex Brennan-Martin were their enthusiastic cochairs. Troy Blakeney was honored, and the vivacious Erica Rico from The New 93Q Morning Zoo emceed.

The Story

Guests dressed in their hottest cocktail attire mingled during the reception, bid on the singular silent auction, and sat down to a fabulous meal. The Houston Fire Department (HFD) Pipes and Drums warmed up the crowd with their heartfelt performances of Highland Cathedral and Dawning of the Day. The evening really caught fire when the smoldering calendar firefighters took over the runway. Two of HFD’s K-9s, Humphrey and Lux, made an appearance, and guests were impressed with an electrifying demonstration of a water rescue featuring the hot new Rescunomics drone.

The Moments

Local 341 president, Marty Lancton, introduced the foundation and its mission and presented each of the evening’s chairs and cochairs with the Firefighters Axe, the ultimate firefighter symbol of achievement and service. The evening’s honoree, Troy Blakeney, a former marine and retired Houston firefighter, was presented with a glass sculpture shaped like a burning flame to thank him for his continued dedication to Houston firefighters. Presenting sponsors, Houston Automobile Dealers Association and Hallie Vanderhider, were presented with plaques thanking them for underwriting two F150’s for arson and active shooter training kits for Houston Rescue.

The fabulous fête raised the sizzling sum of over $500,000 for the foundation.

Guests: Monica and Benjamin Berg, Wyatt Wainwright, RoShelle Salinas, Hallie Vanderhider and Gary Appel, Bobbie Nau, Ellie Francisco, Joanna and Brad Marks, Cyndy and Thomas Roberts, Bill King and Kim Craig, Carol and Bill Lawler, Melissa and Bob Duran, Yanira and David Huntington, Bruce Padilla and Shelby Kibodeaux, Kelsey and Scott Keller, Tony Buzbee and Frances Moody, Connie Kwon-Wong, Dixie Meynier and Fred Stow, Shelley Ludwick, Karen DeGuerin and Peter Remington, Patti and Don Murphy, Leisa Holland-Nelson and Bob Boman, Cissy Abel, Terry and Joe Agris, Fady Armanious and Bill King, Rebecca and Robert Tijerina, Sue Lovell, Christin and Ugo Tombolini, Renee and Alan Helfman, Sallie and George Alcorn, Gaye Lynn and Stuart Zarrow, and Steve and Kelley Lubanko.

About The Houston Professional Firefighter Association Charitable Foundation

The Houston Professional Firefighter Association Charitable Foundation’s mission is to provide the Houston firefighters with much needed equipment to better serve our community, while also supporting and protecting the health, safety, and welfare of Houston firefighters and their families.

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