BEAR’s Annual Evening Event

Stetsons & Stilettos 2022 Exceeds Fundraising Record for BEAR

Annual evening fundraiser commemorating BEAR’s 25th Anniversary raises $350,000 to provide hope and help for abused and neglected children in the greater Houston area.

In true Texan style, BEAR hosted its biggest fundraiser of the year, raising more than $350,000, setting a new event record, and selling out the venue with approximately 500 people in attendance. Stetsons & Stilettos, sponsored by Battalion Oil Corporation, was held on October 23, 2022 at The Rustic in Uptown Park (1121 Uptown Park Blvd STE 4). It was a boot-scootin’ bash that benefitted BEAR’s mission of providing hope and help for at-risk and CPS-involved children and their caretakers in the greater Houston area. This year’s event also honored Heart Gallery Houston photographer, Barbara Perlick, and celebrated BEAR’s 25th birthday.


“It was incredibly heartwarming to see so many of BEAR’s supporters and donors gathered together to celebrate our mission and vision to give children in the foster care system a brighter future, and we are thrilled to have raised a third more than we did at last year’s evening event,” said Tammy Hetmaniak, Director at BEAR. “Many children leave dangerous situations with only the clothes on their back. The money raised provides those kids with resources they need, such as hygiene items, school supplies, shoes, car seats and so much more.”


Nearly 1,000 children in Harris County wait for a family and a place to call home. With a Heart Gallery initiative, the national statistic of these children being adopted changes from just 1% to over 60% adoption rate. Heart Gallery Houston is a powerful, traveling photographic exhibit created to ignite awareness and help find forever families for children in foster care. One of the Heart Gallery Houston volunteer photographers who captures those impactful photos, Barbara Perlick, was honored at the Stetsons & Stilettos fundraising event with a custom jewelry piece by our 2022 exclusive jewelry partners, I W Marks Jewelers and a special video commemorating her commitment to the program.


“We have 34 children who have been adopted that were featured in our Heart Gallery, and Barbara Perlick was an important part of making that happen. Her photos show the unique personality and interests of each child, helping make dreams of a forever home possible, especially for older children in CPS custody. Heart Gallery Houston is BEAR’s newest program and is one that is changing lives forever,” said Hetmaniak.


Stetsons & Stilettos is a new rendition of BEAR’s evening event (formerly known as Stampede Under the Stars), chaired by powerhouse team: Loretta and Darren Horowitz and Jenny and Patrick Lissonnet. This year’s event was hosted rodeo-style, with attendees donning boots, cowboy hats and turquoise jewelry. For the first time in BEAR’s event history, organizers hosted a 50/50 raffle, in which the winner received half of the earnings generated by raffle sales. The event was emceed by Mac DeLaup of Big Mac’s Auto Sales and featured delicious food and beverages, live music by Southern County Line, a jam-packed silent auction, a very eventful live auction featuring auctioneer Johnny Bravo who raised close to $50,000, wine and liquor pulls, and a Diamond Draw. The event also featured an array of options to participate and win items, including a Jewelry Pull, featuring donations of multiple pieces of jewelry from Kendra Scott and Live painting by artist Taft McWhorter.


In-Kind contributions included event planner, Lan Cao, who donated her time and talent to help transform the Rustic, and Party Guru owner, Emily Palacios, who coordinated tables and created beautiful floral arrangements throughout the venue. KC Events provided the coordination of chairs, table runners and a photo booth, and Catch Light Group provided photography for the evening. Suzy Beez Bakery and LMN Hospitality donated and created the birthday cake and 500 cupcakes, while Titos Vodka donated funds to have the Rustics Signature Titos Lemonade served as guests walked in.


“I want thank all of our sponsors, board members, donors and attendees who made this event such a success for 2022. I especially want to say a special thank you to the committee and BEAR staff who dedicated their time during the event. We look forward to applying the funds to our four key programs at BEAR, including BEAR Necessities, BEAR Back-to-School, Heart Gallery Houston, and BEARing Gifts.” said Hetmaniak.


AND SAVE THE DATE! Our next evening event will be held in October 2023!