Great Day Houston 04/14/2017

HOUSTON, Texas (September 27, 2017) On more than a few evenings through the years, Tootsies has been the scene of fashionista frivolities. But few could match the energy and community spirit that pulsated through the West Ave retailer on Tuesday night. Say hello to the 2018 ABC Women of Distinction — 11 women who have contributed more than their fair share in making Houston the proud city that it is.

Libations flowed as wait staff circulated through the merry throng that was full of air kisses and best wishes to the honorees who will be presented at the Winter Ball on January 27. As is tradition, the evening will benefit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary of serving individuals with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.

Taking center stage before the honorees were introduced were Winter Ball chairs Alissa Maples and BBFs DeeDee Marsh and Kelli Weinzierl and honorary chair Trini Mendenhall. Of course, Tootsies creative director Fady Armanious was on hand to welcome the ladies, many of whom are Tootsies regulars.

Past Women of Distinction ABC 13 news anchor Melanie Lawson introduced the class of 2018 to the cheering crowd of more than 250. Applause, applause for Kristy Bradshaw, Kim Padgett, Amy Pierce, Denise Castillo-Rhodes, Leigh Smith, Kristina Somerville, Ileana Trevino, Stephanie Tsuru, Hallie Vanderhider, Sharleen Walkoviak and Carol Sawyer, the 2018 Ambassador.

Who: Elizabeth and Alan Stein, Virginia and Dan Steppe, Betty Hrncir, Mary Ann Wilkins, Jo Ann Petersen, Joanna Marks, Alex and Astley Blair, Gaye Lynnand Stuart Zarrow, Isabel David, Kelley Lubanko, Michael Francisco, Shelley Reeves, Sofia Adrogué, and Frank Tsuru.

HOUSTON, Texas (April 17, 2017) Deborah Duncan of Great Day Houston (KHOU) chats with a panel of medical experts on some of the latest hot topics making medical news. The panel includes Family & Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Terri Alani; Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. Adrienne Kilgore; Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr. James Kern; and Gastroenterologist, Dr. Jason Hou.

HOUSTON, Texas (March 21, 2017) –On Saturday, May 20, hundreds of Houston area residents will raise funds for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation by participating in the Houston Take Steps Walk at the Houston Zoo located at 6200 Hermann Park Drive in Houston. Registration has opened and participant fundraising leading up to the event has begun. Funds raised by walkers and through event sponsors will support patients who are coping with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Check in for the Houston Take Steps Walk begins at 7 a.m. with an 8:00 a.m. start time to cover a course no longer than 2 miles within the Houston Zoo. All walkers will have the opportunity to enjoy games, activities, and refreshments at a celebration at the end of the walk course. This festival-like celebration recognizes patients, families,  friends, sponsors, fundraising teams, healthcare professionals, and volunteers in a private area within the Houston Zoo.

The 2017 fundraising goal for the Houston Take Steps Walk is $150,000. This year, the Houston Walk is piloting a new campaign for which individual walkers and teams raise or donate $100 or more per person. Team and individual registration is available online at

“This year’s Take Steps Walk is particularly special as we celebrate our $100 or more campaign for the first time. We are thrilled that each person and team who commits to participating in the Houston Take Steps walk is making a significant contribution that will support our patient community and research to find cures,” explained Leigh Ellen Key, Houston Take Steps Walk Manager.

“We’ll also acknowledge our 2017 Houston Take Steps Honored Hero Kate Brown. Even though Kate was diagnosed only three years ago with Crohn’s disease, she has already stepped into a leadership role by serving on our planning committee. Kate is raising both funds and awareness on behalf of more than 1.6 million American adults and children who are living with these painful, debilitating autoimmune diseases. So many of our patients, like Kate, work hard toward finding cures and providing support to others in their community. Throughout their fundraising efforts, they also place an emphasis on educating as many people as possible who may not be aware of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and to empower them to be valuable resources to others  who may be diagnosed in the future.”

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is the largest voluntary non-profit health organization dedicated to finding cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and improving the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from these diseases. More than 83 cents of each dollar raised goes directly to funding this mission.

“The Foundation raised $147,000 at its Houston Take Steps Walk in 2016, and we are confident that we will exceed that in 2017,” Key added.

Greater Houston Gastroenterology is serving as the presenting sponsor for the second year.

Greater Houston Gastroenterology is proud and honored to be the presenting sponsor of the 2017 Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Take Steps Walk. Supporting the Foundation is a reflection of the commitment of our physicians, nurses, and staff to helping improve the health and quality of life of patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in the Houston and Gulf Coast region,” commented Dr. Keith Fiman, president of Greater Houston Gastroenterology.

 Brown, 16 and a resident of Friendswood, shared that learning about and accessing the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation after her diagnosis was extremely helpful. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was 14, a month after her uncle lost his battle with ulcerative colitis and colon cancer. Last year, Brown participated in the Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis Walk for the first time, raising almost $5,000 for research, patient and professional education, and patient services. This year, Brown says she is determined to raise twice as much – if not more.

“I discovered Take Steps in 2015 and did the Houston Walk in 2016. I fell in love with the organization immediately. Everyone I met was so incredibly nice to me and answered every question I had. Later in 2016, I attended the Foundation’s Camp Oasis and met even more amazing people. I’m so excited to serve as Houston Take Steps’ Honored Hero this year!” Brown commented.

The Take Steps Walk will be held rain or shine. Please visit to register to walk, form a team, volunteer, or make a donation. For more information, please email Leigh Ellen Key at or call 713-572-2232 x 2.

About Take Steps
Take Steps is the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s national walk program. These walks raise funds for critical research and increase awareness of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, painful and unpredictable autoimmune diseases that affect the digestive tract. Thousands of people will gather this year in more than
 140 communities across the country. Walks are family friendly festivals with activities for everyone including games, music, and great food. Funds raised through Take Steps will help transform the lives of those impacted by these diseases, and support CCFA’s critical research, education, and patient support programs.  Walk with us today: get started at 

About the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is the largest voluntary non-profit health organization dedicated to finding cures for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). The Foundation’s mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research, providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public, and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD. For more information, visit, call 888-694-8872, join us on Facebook at and, or follow the Foundation and Take Steps on Twitter at and

Mercedes-Benz Dealers of Greater Houston, ABC13 and the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation are proud to recognize Houston-area women who go above and beyond to make our community better. We happily introduce you to this year's group of special women, listed for you below.

Press Release
Warmer weather greeted the over 650 guests who gathered on February 11, 2017 at the Hilton Americas for The Diamond Ball 30th Anniversary Winter Ball ABC13's Women of Distinction 2017 presented by Mercedes-Benz Dealers of Greater Houston, chaired by Franelle Rogers and Honorary Chairman Margaret Alkek Williams. Everyone was celebrating as the evening brought in over $1 million, a new record for the event. All the major sponsors including Tootsies and Gittings were thrilled with the results.

Benefiting the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, the Winter Ball honors 11 Women of Distinction who have supported the community through volunteerism. This year's honorees were Jo Furr, Dr. Sippi Khurana, Alissa Maples, Shawntell McWilliams, Cyndy Garza Roberts, Jessica Rossman, Susan Sarofim, Kim Tutcher, Kelli Weinzierl,Vivian Wise and Judi McGee 2017 Ambassador. Also honored during the program were over 50 ladies who were former Women of Distinction from the past 30 years, all of whom continue to do good works in Houston. Honored Hero Jonathan Tybur shared his journey with Crohn's disease demonstrating the importance of the funds raised at the event and generated a standing ovation from the crowd.

The high energy crowd started the evening mingling, bidding on unique auction items, pulling numbers for a wine pull and buying raffle tickets for a $15,000 Tenenbaum and Co gift card from a living table. As the guest moved to their tables, the décor kepy the mood, all the black and white tables with a touch of pink and falling diamonds across the screens, then onto a Marilyn Monroe movie montage. The Diamond theme made for lively evening from the start, with entertaining opening performance of look alike Marilyn Monroe singing Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend. Images changed throughout the night keeping the attendees wrapped in the allure of the event. After the honoree presentation, five over the top live auction items, including a trip to Los Angeles to see Jimmy Kimmel, a custom necklace made especially for the night by Franco Valobra, along with a home in Cabo, generated excitement and funds for the mission. The highlight of the auction, two donated Mercedes Benz vehicles, Mercedes-Benz - 2017 SLC300 Roadster and Mercedes-Benz - 2017 C300 Cabriolet donated by the Mercedes-Benz Dealers of Greater Houston, sold for over value and had everyone applauding. The dance floor was packed to the sounds of Password well past closing time. The crowd's attention was held well in to the night waiting to see whose Lucky Key would open the Diamond Treasure Box of a $15,000 Gift certificate to Tenenbaum and Co..
Other notables in attendance: Claudia and Jan Rask, Kristina and Paul Somerville, Cora Sue and Harry Mach, Caroline and Gary Kenney, Doe and Henry Florsheim, Winell and Doug Herron, Tony Bradfield and Kevin Black, Kim and Dan Moody, Jennifer and Joe Van Matre, Virginia and Dan Steppe, CCFA Board Chairman Brock Wagner, Pat Breen, Maria and Bill Wise, Fady Armanious, Bill Baldwin, NeNe Foxhall, Julie Vogel, Diane and Towbin Englet and CCFA Executive Director Jenny Conaway.