Photo credit: Charlie Horse Photos
On September 15, 2023, the Ballroom at Tanglewood welcomed over 250 guests for The Great Age Movement’s Back to the Future Senior Prom Gala. Dr. Khaled and Amal Khalaf and Joe and Kirin Wells cochaired the event. Courtney Zavala was the emcee. The celebrity guest speaker was 82-year-old fitness influencer Joan MacDonald, author of “Flex Your Age: Defy Stereotypes and Reclaim Empowerment.” The funds raised will support The Great Age Movement’s capital campaign to build senior fitness parks and develop exercise programs in community green spaces, including its third Great Age Fitness Park for senior citizens in the Fifth Ward.
After posing for photos with a DeLorean, participants enjoyed a cocktail reception with live entertainment provided by Angela Nichols. The ‘80s-themed décor, along with a backlit Back to the Future banner, furnished by LBL Event Rentals, provided the perfect backdrop for more picture-taking and for bidding on silent auction items. As well as enjoying appetizers, participants sat down to a delicious three-course meal featuring stuffed chicken breast and boneless braised short ribs during the main course and an assortment of mouth-watering sweets for dessert. After dinner, guests danced the night away in the adjacent smaller ballroom to the sounds of Speak Easy, an ‘80s cover band from Baton Rouge.
JBE auctioneer Dustin Wood led a spirited live auction featuring luxury travel experiences aboard United Airlines, numerous luxury items, and self-indulging spa packages. As a surprise to everyone, Fritz McDonald, Rick Carrier, and Grant Haag, all celebrating birthdays, were called to the stage to blow out the candles on an ‘80s-themed three-tiered chocolate and French vanilla cream cake from Jody Cakes. During the dancing, Michelle and Duke Ensell were crowned King and Queen of the Prom.
The event raised over $160,000.
The Presenting Sponsors included WellMed Medical Management, United Airlines, UnitedHealthcare, Admiral Transfer and Rigging, JoyCare, and The Ballroom at Tanglewood.
Guests: Jon Purpura, Margarita Walker, Tiffany Kaileh, Caitlin Trevett, Charmaine Trahan, Farida Hasanali, Sue Ireland, Dr. Khaled Khalaf, Dr. Anay Patel, Michelle MacDonald, Keegan Massey, Harriet Gertner, Al and Stacey Lindseth, William Ogden, Crystal DelToro, Dr. Abdullah Kudrath, Dr. Tyna Pariani, Monica Hartland, Mark Haas, April Lykos, Dr. Victoria Chang, Dr. Jeff Chang, Grant Haag, Lance Jones, Duke and Michelle Ensell, Mechelle Tran, Bo Nichols, Dr. Robin Goytia, Dr. Randy Luo, Dr. Chelsea Luo, and Dr. John Behrens.
About Great Age Movement:
The Great Age Movement, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, launched in 2017 and founded by Fritz McDonald, is committed to mobilizing the senior population through free sustainable innovative community programs in Houston and the surrounding areas. The organization aims to build Great Age Fitness Parks in green spaces and expand mobile workout music medley programs at the John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science in Houston led by volunteers that promote health, learning, and socialization. The organization also plans to develop indoor/outdoor activity programs and educational classes focused on mental and spiritual wellness.
Great Age Fitness Parks offer seniors free scheduled workout classes using evidence-based fitness stations, led by trained volunteers, and other purposeful activities to promote routine exercise and socialization. The organization focuses on emerging neighborhoods to remove the cost of fitness as a barrier for seniors on a limited income. In addition, the nonprofit partners with private developers and community organizations to fulfill its mission to build senior fitness parks that promote health, learning, and socialization in Houston and surrounding areas.