Annual Luncheon

Important Announcement: On behalf Co-Chairs, April McGee, Stephanie Sanders, and Tara Treleaven, we hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. With the health and safety of our supporters a top priority, we have decided to transform our annual Fulfilling Families Luncheon at 11:30 A.M. on Thursday, September 17, into a virtual event. The program can be viewed on Facebook or YouTube.

For more than 43 years, Arms Wide Adoption Services has provided foster care, adoption, post adoption, and post permanency services, all at no cost, to children in the Texas foster care system and their adoptive families. Since its inception in 1977, Arms Wide Adoption Services has placed nearly 2,200 children from the Texas foster care system in loving adoptive families, enabling them to experience the joys of childhood in a supportive home and giving them the opportunity to reach their full potential.

We hope you will support the children and families Arms Wide Adoption Services serves by supporting the Fulfilling Families Luncheon, which will take place virtually at 11:30 A.M. on Thursday, September 17, 2020. We are thrilled to have Melissa Radke as our keynote speaker. Melissa is an author, public speaker, television personality, and social media influencer whose videos have been viewed over 150 million times. However, her kids are impressed by absolutely none of this. Melissa and her husband, David, adopted their two children after years of infertility and loss. Join us for a keynote which will have you laughing, crying, and laughing until you cry as Melissa shares stories on the joys of adoption, the pains of parenting, and the mortification of hearing your daughter’s principal say, “There’s no way she’s adopted… She’s just like you.”

Even in these uncertain times, Arms Wide Adoption Services is committed to supporting children and families through the foster care and adoption processes and beyond. They have adapted their programming to serve families virtually, but with a continued commitment to compassionate care and personal attention.

We know you’re feeling the same sense of uncertainty we, Arms Wide, and the children and families they serve are feeling right now, but your support is needed now more than ever. It is in times of crisis that children become the most vulnerable. The children Arms Wide serves each day cannot wait until the pandemic is over for intervention; they need help now. No child should face this crisis, or any other, without the stability, safety and support of family.

Thank you for your understanding, your support, and for joining us virtually at 11:30 A.M. on Thursday, September 17, as we work toward saving lives through foster care and adoption!

To become a sponsor or support the event this year, please click HERE.

2020 Speaker

Melissa Radke

Melissa’s online videos have reached over 65 million people on her Facebook page alone. Radke has created 10 videos that have over 1 million views. Melissa’s ‘Upside Down French Braid’ video is at the 10 million views threshold and her ‘Red Ribbon’ video has been viewed over 100 million times across multiple websites and media outlets.

Radke hails from East Texas, but she spent over 15 years of her life in Nashville, TN pursuing her dream of singing and performing. Melissa graduated from Belmont University with a Bachelor of Commercial Music Performance and a Minor in Jazz and Blues Music. She spent her time in Nashville as a session singer for both Christian and Country Artists.

With a love of writing about real life, parenting and the importance of learning our identity, Melissa’s national bestselling book, entitled Eat Cake. Be Brave., was released through Grand Central Publishing / Hachette Book Group. Radke was also the star of a family-friendly television show, The Radkes, on the USA Network. The show was an unscripted sitcom that focused on her big loud southern family and all of their charm. Melissa’s podcast, Ordinary People. Ordinary Things. premiered at #1 in her category. With her podcast nearing one million downloads, you can expect to see Melissa continuing to stay in the top off all podcasts across the board.

2020 Emcee

Frank Billingsley

KPRC2 Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley has been Houston’s television weatherman for over twenty-five years. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1960, Frank was adopted and raised in Mountain Brook, Alabama. He has recently authored Swabbed & Found, a memoir of his DNA journey to find family and discover the myriad branches of his biological family tree. Frank found that and more, discovering just what makes a family and how we really define family in our lives. Authentic to the core, his book is an inspirational saga of courage and tenacity.

Frank received his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Washington and Lee University and a Certificate of Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State. He began his TV career as a meteorologist in Virginia, then to Mississippi, and eventually Texas. Frank lives in Houston with his husband, Kevin Gilliard. They have one son, two dogs, and now one book. And a whole lot of family.

2020 Event Committee

Luncheon Chairs

April McGee, Stephanie Sanders, Tara Treleaven

Host Committee

Alisa Absmeier, Mukta Agrawal, Lindsey Amiralai, Ashley Baxter, Kristy Bradshaw, Alexandra Bruskoff, Michele Mendenhall Buckley, Sarah Jane Canion, Kristen Cannon, Whitney Casas, Debbie Chenevert, Katie Daily, Ryann Detamore, Deneige Dooley, Elizabeth Dwyer, Genna Evans, Ashley Flack, Teri Gordon, Casey Hedges, Megan Hotze, Sarah Inayatali, Allison Jordan, Neekie Kashani, Emily Kelley, Elizabeth Kohlhausen, Elizabeth Lester , Elaine Loiselle, Ph.D., Blair Richardson Loocke, Alejandra Lozano, Mike Mahlstedt, Flo McGee, Lindy McGee, Louise and Gary Moss, Allison O’Neill, Laura Pojar, Maya Pomroy, Katherine Poncik, Taryn Proler, Suzann Cooley Richardson, Kelley Scofield, Lucy Marquez Sheppard, Caroline Simons, Andrea Stewart, Kate Stukenberg , Francisca Webster, Jennifer Womack

2020 Underwriters – Thank You!

April and Wells McGee
Ruth and Anthony Nocella

Jaguar Land Rover West Houston
Flo McGee
Terri and Graham Moore
Stephanie and Scott Sanders
Caroline and Justin Simons Family Foundation
K.C. & Randa Weiner Family Fund


Angela and Robert Dunlap, Jana Fant, Friends of Stephanie Sanders, Houston ABA, Elizabeth Labanowski, Meg Lonergan, Elizabeth Lester and Blair Richardson Loocke, Amelia and Jeremy McKnight, Louise and Gary Moss, Margaret Naeve Parker, Kristen Olson Lyons and Linwood Olson, Suzann C. Richardson, River Oaks Baptist School Moms, Lucy Marquez Sheppard, Tara Treleaven

2019 Event Photos