2013 Promise Ball Exceeds $1 Million

Chairs José Luis & Elizabeth Vittor and Jeff & Kathryn Smith

Chairs José Luis & Elizabeth Vittor and Jeff & Kathryn Smith

More than 650 guests in black-tie attire and ornate venetian masks gathered at the Hilton Americas on Saturday, March 23 for Carnevale, the 2013 Promise Ball presented by Hagans, Burdine, Montgomery, Rustay P.C.

Co-chaired by Jeff and Kathryn Smith and José Luis and Elizabeth Vittor, the evening was a nod to the mystery, grandeur and whimsy of Italian Carnevale in Venice.  Baker Hughes as well as Tony and Donna Vallone were the 2013 Promise Ball Honorees and Frank Billingsly, KPRC Channel 2 Chief Meteorologist, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening.  Guests were wowed by jugglers on stilts during cocktail hour and were welcomed into the gorgeous ballroom by entertainers in masks.  Auction winners took home once-in-a-lifetime prizes such as an adorable 8 week old puppy, an African safari, a naming dinner at Tony’s Restaurant and more.  The band, ELS had the crowd dancing well into the night with their energetic, upbeat tunes.

Jeff, Christy and Grayson Schnellhardt share their story

The Schnellhardt Family

The evening took an emotional turn during the Fund-A-Cure Program as Jeff, Christy, and seven year-old Grayson Schnellhardt shared about the grueling challenges of living with type 1 diabetes.  Grayson, who was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 12 months, moved the crowd to tears with his honesty about living with courage in the face of type 1 diabetes.

The 2013 Promise Ball was a huge success raising over $1 million for JDRF.  Proceeds from this event fund research to treat, cure and prevent type 1 diabetes and its complications in children and adults.  Many thanks to all of our generous sponsors, donors and volunteers who helped make this a magical and unforgettable evening!

Enjoy more event photos by clicking here.