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The Parish School scores big with ‘Sports Bowl’ gala

Written by Amanda Arnold
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Lakeside Country Club saw a sold-out crowd of more than 450 guests who gathered in support of The Parish School’s 24th annual gala “Sports Bowl XXIV.” Appropriately themed for the Big Game coming up this weekend, the event celebrates and raises funds for the school which serves children ages 2-12 who have communication delays and learning differences.

Gala chairs, Rachel and Adam Dunn and Suzanne and Trey Martin dreamed up an exciting, sports-filled evening that included appearances from Houston Texans cheerleaders, a silent auction featuring autographed sports memorabilia, and live auction featuring an MLB All-Star Game package in Miami. The top scorer of the night, however, was a live auction package that included a chef demonstration and catered meal at the home of Randi and Johnny Carrabba, which brought in $19,000 for the school.

Honorary chairs, Nichole and Afis Olajuwon drew the winner of the most anticipated prize of the evening – a raffle for two Super Bowl LI tickets valued at $9,000. The lucky winner also gains entry into the Club 51 pregame party hosted by Joe Montana and Warren Moon.

Former Houston Texans offensive guard, Kasey Studdard, served as emcee for the program. Studdard struggled with his own learning differences that manifested during his early childhood years. He has since worked hard to overcome these differences and is passionate about providing appropriate resources, curriculum and opportunities for children who have special needs.

The evening honored former Major League Baseball infielder, coach, scout and manager, and long-time supporter of The Parish School, Art Howe. Howe delivered a heart-felt acceptance speech dedicated to his granddaughter, Kate, who attended The Parish School from 2006-2011. After graduating from The Parish School, Kate has gone on to excel in music, theater and karate at her middle school.

The crowd was moved to donate record-breaking amounts to the school’s financial assistance fund after hearing incredibly touching testimonials from both Suzanne Martin and Rachel Dunn on how a Parish School education has made a difference in each of their children's lives.

Overall, the event raised more than $400,000 for The Parish School.

Seen in the crowd were retired baseball player, Adam Dunn, Penny and Joe Newcomb, Anne Marie and Chris Kolkhorst, Isabel and Ken Miller, Ivette and Kyle Chapman, Adonia and Kevin Cokinos, Bill Clayton, Leslie and Brent Anderson, and Auction Chair, Stacey Merchant.

About The Parish School: Since 1983, The Parish School has educated children ages 2-12 who have communication delays and learning differences, empowering them with the tools to succeed. This nationally recognized, special needs school in Houston provides an education for the entire family within the environment of a nurturing and safe 17-acre campus with on-site pediatric therapy clinic, The Carruth Center. Our personalized academic approach – with a focus on communication skills, social learning, nature, independence and the arts – allows children to thrive and grow.