Devereux Texas’ Kentucky Derby-themed Savor the Hope Gala benefits Devereux programs
HOUSTON – April 18, 2019 – Houston’s Hotel ZaZa rivaled Churchill Downs on April 12 as guests in wide-brimmed hats and other derby finery came together for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Texas’ 9th Annual Savor the Hope Gala.
The first such event since Hurricane Harvey dealt millions of dollars in damage to Devereux Texas — and resulted in the cancellation of 2018’s gala — the evening aided the nonprofit in recovering funds lost due to the record-breaking storm, and benefitted those served by organization.
Houston radio celebrity and Master of Ceremonies Suzi Hanks ushered the nearly 200 guests through an elegant evening complete with gourmet hors d’oeuvres by Patagonia Grill and Café, live music by Rapture — A Musical Journey and a treasure-filled silent auction.
The 2019 Emy Award, which honors community leaders for their charitable giving, went to 15-year Devereux Texas volunteer Gary Worsham. Worsham put his long career in banking to work for Devereux, helping connect the nonprofit to valuable private foundations and donors, and raise more than $800,000 for the Victoria campus.
Worsham, who currently serves as secretary of Devereux’s South Texas Advisory Council, noted that Devereux’s loving work is a group effort.
“I’m just one person, but it takes all of us to make it work,” he said. “It’s teamwork that makes the dream work.”
That teamwork is crucial when it comes to an issue as important as mental health, Devereux Texas Executive Director Pam Reed said, noting that mental illness is more common than AIDS, cancer and diabetes combined.
“Whole person health is critical to a happy and fulfilled life,” Reed said. “I’m happy to report that the individuals in Devereux’s care come from all over the country, as well as our great state. And they all have a similar hope — hope of healing and effective treatment that can change their lives forever.”
One such Devereux Texas client, Joseph, took the stage to tell the story of his painful past, one filled with abuse, foster home placements, aggressive behavior and self-esteem issues. Life at Devereux changed him, he said, noting he has rebuilt relationships, learned to control his anger and will soon graduate high school.
“Now, I have a plan to go to college in Houston. I have a plan to become a psychiatric nurse to help children that are in the situation that I was in,” he said. “This is something that seemed impossible before my experience with Devereux.”
As the evening continued on, Hanks and her co-auctioneer, TJ Aulds of i45NOW, had excited attendees on their feet and bidding loudly throughout the live auction, which featured packages including luxurious trips to Las Vegas, sparkling Rose Proler jewelry, a hunter’s getaway in McCaulley, Texas and a 2020 Kentucky Derby experience.
Among the evening’s many memorable moments was a video horse race during which attendees crossed their fingers and cheered their chosen thoroughbreds on to victory. Those whose horses came in win, place and show were entered in to grand prize drawings.
Tracy Faulkner, who co-chaired the gala alongside her husband, Harry Faulkner, thanked attendees for helping to make a difference to Devereux. That support is especially important now, with the organization still working to recover $700,000 in storm-related financial losses.
“It is our honor to be here tonight, and it is our request that each and every one of you who has a healthy child — a healthy niece, nephew, grandchild, grandson, granddaughter — if you do not need Devereux, you need to … thank God that you don’t,” she said. “And thank God that they exist. Because without Devereux, there are so many adolescents in need that would go uncared for. And they give the best care ever.”
About Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit organizations providing services, insight and leadership in the evolving field of behavioral healthcare. Founded in 1912 by special education pioneer Helena Devereux, the organization operates a comprehensive national network of clinical, therapeutic, educational, and employment programs and services that positively impact the lives of tens of thousands of children, adults – and their families – every year. Focused on clinical advances emerging from a new understanding of the brain, its unique approach combines evidence-based interventions with compassionate family engagement.
With more than 7,500 employees working in programs across the nation, Devereux is a recognized partner for families, schools and communities, serving many of our country’s most vulnerable populations in the areas of autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, specialty mental health, and child welfare. Programs are offered in hospital, residential, community and school-based settings. They include: assessments; interventions and support; transition and independent life services; family and professional training; research and innovation; and advocacy and public education. For more than a century, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health has been guided by a simple and enduring mission: To change lives by unlocking and nurturing human potential for people living with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences. www.devereux.org.
About Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Texas
Devereux Texas provides a wide range of residential, vocation and community-based programs and services to children and adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, emotional and behavioral differences and dual diagnoses. www.devereuxtx.org
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