More than $225K raised, passionate success stories of independence highlight The Center for Pursuit annual luncheon

Centered on the Future Annual Luncheon

HOUSTON, May 19, 2022 – With a new $55 million campus opening this summer and a merger moving forward, there was much to celebrate at The Center for Pursuit annual luncheon chaired by Tracey and John L. Buckley. Centered on the Future was the theme for this year’s fete honoring Social Motion Skills, Inc. founder Wendy K. Dawson and acclaimed trial lawyer and community advocate Alistair Dawson.

The event held at River Oaks Country Club May 19, 2022 raised more than $225 thousand. Continual support from the Houston community helps The Center for Pursuit in their mission to provide a state of the art facility with quality services and programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), autism, and other similar conditions.

Attendees listened to emcee Cyndy Garza Roberts, former Comcast’s director of community impact, lead interviews with Isabel and Ignacio Torras, the owners of BCN Taste & Tradition, MAD and Rocambolesc; Chef Luis Roger, head chef of BCN Taste & Tradition and MAD, and Carlos De Aldecoa Bueno, the president of Cadeco Industries, Eximius Coffee and Gulf Coast Distillers. Chef Luis volunteers his time teaching cooking classes to The Center’s clients. De Aldecoa Bueno is helping to establish Café Nina, a coffee and bagel shop that will soon open at The Center’s new headquarters on Harrisburg Boulevard in Houston’s East End.

Guests included General Council for Senator Carol Alvarado Oscar Aguilar, East End Chamber of Commerce President Frances Dyess Castañeda, Harris County Precinct 6 Constable Silvia Trevino, The Honorable Christine Weems, Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen, Harris County Precinct 1 Assistant Chief Carl Shaw, Houston Assistant Fire Chief Michelle McLeod, and District J Council Member Edward Pollard.

“I want to thank Tracey and John for their help in making this year’s event such a rousing success and Wendy and Alistair for their tireless advocacy on behalf of those with special needs,” said The Center President and CEO Charles C. Canton. “I am also exceedingly grateful to our supporters, board, staff and clients. The Center helps empower individuals with IDD and autism to fulfill their potential and we could not do that without the generosity of others.”

The Center and Social Motion Skills, Inc. recently announced a merger that is scheduled to become effective July 1, 2022. The new partnership will establish a synergistic progression of services for children to adults with IDD, autism and other similar conditions that is unparalleled in the Houston community.


About The Center for Pursuit
For more than seven decades, The Center for Pursuit (The Center) has empowered individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and autism to live meaningful, dignified lives filled with opportunity. Through innovative programs and services in areas like job skills training, supported employment, health, wellness, community living, and day services, The Center helps clients develop the skills and tools necessary to grow as individuals and participate fully in their community. The recent merger with Social Motion Skills has expanded their offerings and reach to a younger demographic. The Center will now serve approximately 200 children, adolescents and young adults along with more than 450 adults with IDD, autism, and similar conditions in the Houston area.