Kicking off the holiday season, The Salvation Army of Greater Houston hosted its largest fundraising event of the year, the 2017 Annual Luncheon, on Tuesday, November 15th, 2017 at the River Oaks Country Club. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors and supporters, including the 400 people in attendance, the Army raised over $570,000, which benefits the programs and services offered throughout the year in Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.
A tradition at The Salvation Army, the Annual Luncheon is hosted every year by The Salvation Army of Greater Houston Advisory Board. Joe Cleary, Advisory Board Chairman, thanked the luncheon co-chairs Beth and Jeffrey Early for their time and dedication to the event, despite having been directly impacted and displaced by Hurricane Harvey.
2017 Honorees Sally and William Slick, Jr.
Jeff Cleary, serving as both luncheon Co-chair and Master of Ceremonies, presented Sally and William Slick, Jr. as this year’s honorees. Bill is a lifetime member of The Salvation Army of Greater Houston Advisory Board, having served on the board since 1973, and emeritus member of The Salvation Army National Advisory Board. Sally is a Founding Member of The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Houston. Reflecting on how attendance by Army supporters has increased over the years, Bill Slick commented, “I used to see a lot more blue uniforms (Salvation Army officers) seated at the tables during these luncheons. That’s changed over the years. We’ve come a long way.”
The Salvation Army’s Response to Hurricane Harvey
Major Kent Davis, Area Commander for The Salvation Army of Greater Houston, also took the stage to thank the attendees for their continued support of the Army, especially during Hurricane Harvey. Davis spoke about how, during Hurricane Harvey, not only did the city come together to help their fellow neighbors but also how The Salvation Army from several Texas cities and states came to Houston to serve as one.
Major Dan “Noonan” Rooney Inspires
To round out the event, United States Air Force Pilot and PGA Golf Professional Major Dan “Noonan” Rooney inspired attendees as this year’s keynote speaker. Rooney spoke about volition, the power of choice, and moving from an “I won’t” or “I can’t” mentality to “I’ll try,” “I can,” and “I will.” Rooney said, “It is up to you to overcome challenges in your life. Those challenges shape you into who you are. Do not let ‘experts’ or your own fears get in the way of your dreams.”
The Upcoming Holiday Season
The Annual Luncheon gives way to The Salvation Army’s busy holiday season. Next week, several Salvation Army locations will host special Thanksgiving events, including serving Thanksgiving meals for those in need at Family Residence, Harbor Light Center and the Center of Hope in Conroe. The Red Kettle Campaign, the largest fundraising campaign of the year, will kick off citywide on Friday, November 25th.