Annual Gala Raises Funds for Heifer International

Members of the CVM Heifer International
Members of the CVM Heifer International

Bryan’s Brownstone Reserve roared with jazz music, as couples dined, danced, and donated to a worthy cause for the 5th Annual Heifer International Charity Gala, hosted by veterinary students in the Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM).

An annual fundraiser for the CVM’s Heifer International Club, the Jan. 27 gala raised $14,616.29 for the global, non-profit organization.

Approximately 150 CVM students, faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as friends and family, attended the event, which also included a silent auction of items donated by community businesses; a plated dinner sponsored by Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant; and a keynote talk by Ardyth Neill, president of the Heifer Foundation. Heifer International local representative Kendra Penry was also in attendance.

Among the silent auction items were a handmade quilt; Vera Wang jewelry; hockey tickets; works of artwork; and wine and cheese, craft beer, and local honey baskets.

heifer gala cake

“This event has grown bigger and more sophisticated every year. The theme was the 1920s and people got really into it; everyone brought out their pearls and flapper dresses and the men wore their fedoras,” said Karly Brightwell, a second-year veterinary student and food chair for the gala. “It’s nice to see people embrace the theme by dressing up and dancing to the jazz music; it was really fun.

“We put a lot of work and a lot of hours into making it perfect, and I think it was successful,” she said. “We received so much positive feedback both during and after the event from faculty members and administrators, who just raved about it, and we’re really appreciative of all the support we received, both financially from our sponsors and from those who attended.”

Heifer International is dedicated to working to eradicate poverty and hunger through sustainable, values-based holistic community development.

“Heifer International is a huge organization that has some locations in the United States, as well. Their mission is to end world hunger and poverty through education by embracing the concept of ‘Give a man a fish; teach a man to fish,’” Brightwell said.

president of the Heifer Foundation gives a talk
Ardyth Neill, president of the Heifer Foundation, gives the keynote talk at the CVM Heifer International Charity Gala.

“They give a heifer, or a goose, or a duck, or it can even be an alpaca—it depends on the region—to a family and they spend a year educating these people how to care for that specific animal,” she said. “The animal’s first female-born is gifted to someone else to the community to help build up the economy in the entire community.”

Sponsors for the evening included: Merck; KBTX; Brien Water Wells; Quality Bioresources, Inc.; and Dr. Fuller Bazer, in honor of his grandchildren Elise Hudson, Wes Hudson, and Zach Anderson.

A full list of the committee members include: Elizabeth Martin, president; Andrea Mercer, venue/entertainment; Karly Brightwell, food; Sarah Brien, multimedia; Valerie Briell, sponsorships; Laine Freeman, advertising; and Carling Urben, silent auction.

The sixth annual Heifer International Charity Gala will be held next January.

To see more pictures of the event, taken by Eva Trevino, historian for the CVM Class of 2020, visit the event’s Flickr album.

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