We Kare-eoke *Houston*

A Report on the Evening

 

We want to thank all of The Foundation's friends -- old and new -- in Texas for making We Kare-eoke *Houston* on March 19 at The Firkin and Phoenix such

a success.


This was a bold experiment to see if an avatar of We Kare-eoke *Washington* could be transported to other places around the country. In the spirit of Stone and Holt, people in Houston dressed wild, sang loud and raised money, awareness and support for our partner organization for the night:  The Beacon -- a division of Cathedral Health and Outreach Ministries (CHOM) -- that provides a wide range of services to thousands of homeless people.  Stone and Holt loved

volunteering there.


The Friday night event was coordinated through the generous energy of Stone's neighbor and friend, Jennifer Condi.  Stone's good friend John Higginbotham was the gentle-spirited and ebullient emcee. The ever-gracious Sean Graham, a friend of Stone's and Holt's at the Baker Institute on the Rice campus, helped Linton and Jan skype in to thank everyone and say a few words. And Holt's friend Caroline Lacey flew to Houston to answer questions and represent The Foundation in many ways.  Thank you to everyone who participated in the musical and

meaningful night.


According to Vu Truong of The Firkin, "I think there were 50-60 folks that showed up for the event. Some of them were our regulars, while others probably had never heard of The Firkin.  Everyone at the pub (regardless of whether or not they came for the event) was moved by your skype session.  We would gladly be a part of future events."


The evening raised nearly $1500 and The Foundation contributed another $3000 to The Beacon.


Highlights of the evening included:  Two beautiful friends -- of a certain age -- introducing themselves as "The Hot Flashes" and belting out "Proud Mary"; Mike Puccio, Program Manager of The Beacon joining with the senior warden of Christ Church Cathedral and the president of the CHOM Board for a rollicking rendition of Johnny Cash;  The Martin twins, Clory and Beth, singing with great passion; and Andy Le, Kyle Tenas and Nath Pizzolatto singing with great attitude.


So many friends sang with so much heart.


When skyped in, Linton and Jan said:


Linton: Thank you everyone. Thank you to Jennifer and John and Sean and Matthew and Caroline and everyone who worked to make We Kare-eoke *Houston* happen. Thank you to Mike and Charly at The Beacon for all of the goodness you spread through Houston. Thank you to Vu and Lex and The Firkin and Phoenix.


Jan: As you can only try to imagine -- we have the most intense holes in our hearts.  We are working hard to be brave and to carry on for the sake of Stone and Holt.  

We are so sorry not to be there physically in the room with you all.  Please know that we are there with you in spirit. 

I want to especially thank Julie Armstrong for writing to reassure us this.  She wrote, "if we can keep two of you there in spirit, we can keep four of you."  Thank you so much Julie for all that that means to us.

 

Another friend of Stone's, Tim Faust, wrote to tell us that he could not be in Houston tonight.  Stone was the teaching assistant for some of Tim's history classes at Rice, and they became friends.  Among other things, Tim talked about his lasting impression of Stone --  how much fun Stone had with everything he did - how he loved everything that he was involved in....

Tim went on to say "...everyone really, genuinely was -- and is -- in love with Stone.  How couldn't we be, when the guy cared so much for the world around him? It was reciprocal."

Later in the letter....Tim added,

"We sat outside Brochstein Pavilion one unusually gorgeous spring day, sipping iced coffees and shootin' the shit, when Stone paused our conversation to explain how much he hoped he'd be able to persuade his brother to come to Rice. I never got to meet Holt, but Stone's adoration of his younger brother was maybe even more obvious than his height."

 

Stone and Holt did love each other.  And they absolutely loved Houston. They loved being in Houston together and they loved their friends, all of you.  They were looking forward to so many good times with you all.

They loved music and laughter. They loved The Beacon and feeling that they were helping to make the world a better place.  They just loved life.

 

As many have said.... The support for The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation is really moving. And they are glad Stone & Holt can keep helping others.

 

Please know how grateful we are to you all for being there tonight -- as a tribute to Stone and Holt -- and as a tribute to their Foundation.


Linton: We have heard from many many other people, from all over the country, who would love to be in Houston tonight.

 

Last May, Stone sent us both an email from Houston. He told us of all the good work that The Beacon was doing quoting Mike Puccio – who is there with you tonight -- about the thousands of clients being served with meals and showers and laundry service.

 

 Then Stone said: "Isn't that awesome? honestly i'm so glad I found such a kick-ass organization. I want to introduce Holt to it, and if he likes it, then maybe he can start a Rice partnership with them."

 

Tonight we hope the Beacon finds many new partnerships. And volunteers.

 

One more thought and then we will let you get back to the music.

Tonight you are participating in an historic occasion. We Kare-eoke Houston is our first attempt to stage a Foundation event outside of Washington.

Trevor FitzGibbon, a true friend of The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation, has worked with Bono, Harrison Ford, Queen Noor and the Dave Matthews Band to put promote good causes.

Trevor -- and countless others -- believes that through you all and through We Kare-eoke and other creative events, The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation can become an agency of change on this planet.  A presence and a force that encourages everyone to do good and have fun at the same time.

 

Archimedes said Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough and I will move the world. Tonight The Firkin and Phoenix is the place, all the love in the air is the lever, and together, in the spirits of Stone and Holt, we can move the world. Toward compassion and justice and love. We love you all.



More special thank yous to Vu Truong and The Firkin and Phoenix;  DJ Lex Supapo;  Bretton Riley Keating,  Zoe's Kitchen of Houston;  Neela Bags;  Teresa and Jah at Fedex/North Bethesda;  Meredith FitzGibbon and the members of R.E.M.;  Books-A-Million;  Smith's Rosebud Salve and  Noodles & Company.