Generosity walked the runway at Saks Fifth Avenue’s Catwalk for a Cure, this year an evening fête. The sold-out benefit for the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation lured our town’s philanthropic and stylish individuals for cocktailing, auctioning and dining at Hotel ZaZa. Laura Arnold, Kelli Blanton, and Jennifer Segal chaired, while charitable partners Saks Fifth Avenue, Hotel ZaZa, PaperCity magazine and Grey Goose enhanced the soirée’s bottom line.
Emceed by Deborah Duncan, the evening began with a raffle for an extraordinary pearl, diamond and sapphire ring donated by Nini Jewels’ bauble maven Nini Hale. The winners, Steve Summers and Glen Gonzalez, donated the ring back to ASCF for re-auction, where it found a good home with long-time ASCF supporters Greggory and Pat Burk. The live auction was packed with spectacular vacations, staycations and collections donated by Katie and A.J. Brass, Christine and Ty Hoffer, Hotel ZaZa, Allie and Jay Fields, and Alexandra Knight. While bidders vied for the final auction item — sarcoma survivor Alexandra Knight’s exquisite custom leather creations crafted with one’s choice of exotic skins — and sarcoma survivors Amanda Hawes, Shelby Robin, David Solomon, and Brad Booth walked the runway bearing the luxe lots, Knight announced that she would donate another identical package including a much coveted custom clutch. The dual winners were Joyce Brass and Alice Mosing.
The finale was a fashion show of stunning designs that bounced from hard-edged to floral from Yigal Azrouël’s 2013 Resort collection, presented by Saks Fifth Avenue. Unfortunately Azrouël himself was unable to attend due to Hurricane Sandy; stepping up to oversee fashionable proceedings was Saks’ Houston GM, Terry Zmyslo, who surprised everyone by announcing an additional $5,000 donated by the benevolent retailer to the cause.
The evening also recognized Commitment to the Cause Award recipient Susan Franz for her contributions to the foundation’s housing program, which will provide nearly 1,000 nights of free residences to out-of-town cancer patients seeking care in Houston. ASCF co-founder Missy Amschwand Bellinger, whose first husband, Tom Amschwand, lost his battle to sarcoma, took the podium to express gratitude and her passion for the cause and to introduce Celebration of Survivorship honoree Alexandra Knight — whose poise, courage and inspirational story moved one and all.