Gala Celebrates Human Potential


Co-Emcees for the evening: Big Sister and 89.3 KSBJ Midday Host Jennifer Driskill alongside her charismatic thirteen year old Little Sister, Alyssa

HOUSTON, September 7, 2018 – Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) hosted its annual gala, “The Next BIG Thing”, at the Royal Sonesta Galleria on Thursday, September 6th. Over 450 guests gathered for the celebration of human potential including over 40 “Big” and “Little” mentor/mentee matches serving as table hosts. “Texas Cocktail Cowboy Chic” was the themed attire for the evening, a suggestion by gala chairs Kristina and Paul Somerville, to further recognize the evening’s honoree, The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Following a brief video highlighting, Paul elaborated on The Show’s generosity, volunteerism, and commitment towards fueling educational scholarships for children across Texas.

Littles were the stars of the show featured prominently throughout the inspiring, mission-filled program. Big Sister and 89.3 KSBJ Midday Host Jennifer Driskill shared the stage as emcee alongside her charismatic thirteen year old Little Sister, Alyssa, who owned the stage and acknowledged hosting an event of this size was “a bucket list dream come true.” Joining Alyssa as featured Littles was Little Sister Jordyn singing a song by Adele, Little Sister Kamri performing a dance to The Greatest Showman’s “This is Me”, and Little Brother Javon with an impressive rap written and performed by Javon and his Big Brother Tyrone. Each table had their own featured match card recognizing Littles’ bright futures such as “The Next Big Engineer”, “The Next Big Firefighter”, “The Next Big FBI Agent”, and more.

Pierce Bush, recently recognized as one of Houston’s “Best CEO’s” by the Houston Business Journal, highlighted the immense impact mentoring can have on a child’s life and acknowledged the partners – from volunteer Bigs to parents/guardians to donors – who are key in creating the life-changing friendships supported by Big Brothers Big Sisters. Bush hinted to the organization’s national rebranding, launching October 1st, emphasizing potential and the collective role in empowering and defending children’s innate strengths and talents to help them to achieve success in life.

Following the program, guests enjoyed an impressive silent and live action featuring a once-in-a-lifetime trip getaway to Kennebunkport, Maine complete with a private boat ride on President George H.W. Bush’s private boat, donated by a group of supporters and Neil & Maria Bush. Following the program, guests packed the dance floor for Professor D and band leader Scott White who is also a Big Brother.

The Next BIG Thing raised over $300,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters with funds benefiting Houston-area children with potential waiting to be matched with a positive mentor who will help enrich their life and encourage them to achieve their biggest possible future through educational motivation, fun adventures, and overall, a safe and stable relationship.

Premier Sponsors include: Kristina and Paul Somerville, 1836 Empowering Veteran Entrepreneurs, Margaret Alkek Williams and Randa and Charles Williams, BMC, H-E-B, Brigitte & Bashar Kalai, Scott Arnoldy, Claire & Joe Greenberg, John P. McGovern Foundation, Bain & John R. Pitts, AmegyBank, BKD, Northern Trust, Silver Eagle Distributors, Comcast, Trafficware, Valerie & Tracy Dieterich, Ed McMahon, Mary I. Murray, Susan & Fayez Sarofim, Jennifer & Joe Van Matre, The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, Zorich Family Foundation, Jack Daniel’s, and United Way of Greater Houston.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring organization, provides children with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.  This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization’s 68 year history in Greater Houston. BBBS holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. BBBS serves nearly 2,000 children, volunteers and families annually. Learn how you can positively impact a child’s life – donate or volunteer at .