For the past 26 years, A Conversation With a Living Legend® has held the spotlight on former heads of state, professional athletes, prominent journalists, popular entertainers and more. The intimate onstage chat, aimed at not only entertaining guests but also increasing awareness and raising funds for MD Anderson, was conceived by Lyda Hill. Replicated across the nation, the successful event model has raised more than $33 million for cancer treatment, prevention and education programs at MD Anderson. This past fall, the tradition continued across the state of Texas.
Pro-football hall of famer Emmitt Smith teamed up with MD Anderson for the sixth annual A Conversation With a Living Legend® luncheon in San Antonio Oct. 12. More than 420 MD Anderson supporters and football fans packed the Marriott Rivercenter to hear Smith's conversation with Sean Elliott, a local NBA legend and full-time color commentator for the San Antonio Spurs.
Since its inception six years ago, A Conversation With a Living Legend® San Antonio has raised more than $1.7 million for MD Anderson. Returning chairs Sonya Medina Williams and Gene Williams spearheaded fundraising efforts, with Peggy and Lowry Mays and Charline and Red McCombs serving as honorary chairs. Founding chairs Kim and Clyde Johnson IV and Paula and Clyde Johnson III, as well as Nancy Loeffler, former chair of MD Anderson's Board of Visitors, were on hand for the festivities.
Bob McNair, Houston Texans founder, chairman and CEO, took center stage Nov. 4 with Tom Brokaw, special correspondent for NBC News, at the eighth annual A Conversation With a Living Legend® at the Hilton Americas-Houston.
More than 600 dinner guests listened as cancer survivors McNair and Brokaw opened up about their personal battles and commended cancer fighters everywhere as well as MD Anderson's mission to end cancer in Texas.
Special guests included former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, and two MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital patients. As event chairs, husband-wife team Kelli Kickerillo and Todd Forester, along with honorary chairs Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff, rallied supporters to raise more than $1 million for the Moon Shots Program.
Major sponsors included the Honorable and Mrs. Hushang Ansary, the Vijay and Marie Goradia Charitable Foundation, Kelli Kickerillo and Todd Forester, Mary and Vincent Kickerillo, and the Ralph & Ricky Lauren Family Foundation, Inc., in honor of President and Mrs. George H. W. Bush.
More than 700 guests packed the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Dec. 1 for A Conversation With a Living Legend® honoring former Secretary of State Dr. Condoleeza Rice. The event took on a supper club vide, with the Steve Bayless Orchestra and singer Scot Cameron covering the best of Frank Sinatra.
CBS News' Norah O'Donnell joined Rice onstage for an in-depth interview on a variety of subjects from current events and international policy to discrimination and Rice's reflections on her mother's cancer experience. The Rice-O'Donnell duo brought the audience to their feet several times throughout the evening.
Event chair Ashley Scott Rankin led the extraordinary fundraising effort, which topped $1 million prior to event night. Presenting sponsors, at the $100,000 level, were Andrews Distributing and AT&T. Lyda Hill was a premier sponsor, donating $75,000.