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$10 million new gift to Baylor College of Medicine from Lester and Sue Smith
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$10 million new gift to Baylor College of Medicine from Lester and Sue Smith

Philanthropist Lester Smith the founder and president of Smith Energy Company and wife Sue announced a new $10 million gift at the Partnership for Baylor College of Medicine gala.

The $10 million gift, earmarked for Baylor College of Medicine’s new Baylor Lung Institute, pushes the total that the Lester and Sue Smith Foundation has provided throughout the Texas Medical Center to more than $100 million.

“We like to take care of people. We like to give a hand up instead of a handout” remarked Lester Smith.

The $10 million windfall swept gala proceeds to an astonishing $10,716, 758.

When the monumental gift was announced from the stage, gala chairs Carol Sawyer and Robin Young-Ellis were all but in tears.

Joining them and the Smiths on stage were Baylor College of Medicine president Paul Klotman, Dr. David Sugarbaker, renowned lung disease expert and surgeon who heads the new Lung Institute, and Partnership president Ora Gibson.

“The Magic of Motown” evening, featuring the Motown & More Revue, saw the dance floor filled with partygoers grooving to the sounds of the Supremes, the Temptations and more.

Major underwriters and VIP guests started the evening early at “Joseph’s Gin Joint,” named for presenting VIP party sponsors Elise and Russell Joseph.

Jazz singer Desiree Washington performed in the dimly lit basement-level bar where signature cocktails such as Motown Mules and Temptations were served in commemorative glasses with multi-colored blinking lights.

Joining the party were Martha Ann and Byron Snyder, Melanie Gray and Mark Wawro, Doe and Henry Florsheim, Rachel and Dr. Bud Frazier, Joe Ellis, Dr. Tom Sawyer, Franelle Rogers, Trini Mendenhall, Lara Bell and Brent Milam, Bubba McNeely, Tama Lundquist and Gary Becker, Rob Rutherford, and Lee Gibson.

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