Benefits O’Connor Institute & Hospice of the Valley

text by Kathryn Brooks   photos courtesy of Hospice of the Valley

Top, left to right: Gena Bonsall, Laura Bush and Penny Gunning. Bottom, left: Left to right; Gena Bonsall, Peter Hayes and Sarah Suggs. Bottom, right: Billie Jo and Judd Herberger.

The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute, in collaboration with Hospice of the Valley, presented the inaugural Legacy Luncheon honoring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Held on April 25th at the Arizona Biltmore Resort, Laura Bush, former First Lady of the United States, was the featured speaker.

Top, left: Left to right; Debbie Moak, Seth Leibsohn with Ellen and Bob Uhl. Top, right: Left to right; Adrienne Schiffner, Lisa Kahn and Eileen Young. Bottom: Lin Sue Cooney and Laura Bush. 

Co-Chaired by Gena Bonsall and Penny Gunning, the Legacy Luncheon was created by the Ladies of the Court, the Women’s Board of the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute. Attended by a sell-out audience of 665 guests, the event raised over $400,000 to benefit the O’Connor Institute programs and Hospice of the Valley’s Dementia Care and Education Campus.

Above, left: Stevie Ellery. Above, right: Laura Bush and Nikal Conti.

There were many touches to honor Mrs.Bush. Her home state of Texas was acknowledged in the tabletop décor with centerpieces of yellow roses. Also, each of The Ladies of the Court wore a yellow rose corsage. The menu was Texas-themed: barbecue chicken salad and a Texas-shaped jalapeño shortbread cookie. And, given Bush’s fashion preferences, many guests donned blue attire, her favorite color, and pearl jewelry, her favorite accessory.

TopLadies of the Court, Women’s Board of the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute, with Laura Bush. Bottom, left: Laura Bush and Sue Selig. Bottom, right: Laura Bush and Amanda Garmany.

The former first lady discussed her memoir Spoken from the Heart. Mrs. Bush delighted the sold-out audience of 665 guests with fond recollections of her days in the White House. In a touching tribute, she also shared reflections of her mother-in-law, former First Lady Barbara Bush, who passed away suddenly on April 17.

Following her presentation, Mrs. Bush sat down with Lin Sue Cooney, Hospice of the Valley director of community engagement, for an informal question-and-answer session.

For additional information, visit www.oconnorinstitute.org and www.hov.org  : :