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2021 Gala Chairs

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A Promise for All Seasons

Fundraising to help our youths leave the past behind and look forward to a bright future.

When Renee was born, her mother was addicted to heroin. Renee was born addicted and experienced withdrawals so harrowing that she was given morphine for the first few days of her life. She was placed with different family members, became malnourished, and eventually, CPS removed her from the family home. When Renee made her way to YES to YOUTH’s shelter, she was severely behind in school. The shelter, counselors, and high school began working with Renee and after 30 days, she began to blossom. Her test grades soared, and Renee became a leader, not a follower. She now laughs, smiles, and takes pride in her accomplishments.

Renee’s story is just one of many to come from the life-changing organization, YES to YOUTH. The mission and purpose of this non-profit are to strengthen the emotional and mental health development of youth and families by providing crisis intervention, counseling, and suicide prevention services.

A safe haven for those who have suffered from abuse, sex trafficking, or homelessness, YES to YOUTH provides a safe and nurturing home to begin the healing process for the youths.

Such inspiring work comes from inspiring leaders, in this instance those involved in this year’s annual fundraiser gala – “A Promise for All Seasons.”

2021 Gala Chairs:

Judy Larson Olson

With a BA in Communications from SFASU and an MBA from Texas A & M University with an emphasis in Finance, Judy went on to have a 30-year long career in banking in The Woodlands Area. Currently, Judy is Production Manager for PrimeLending in The Woodlands and sits on the Board of Regents of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX—appointed by Governor Abbott for a 6-year term. She is also a current board member of The Woodlands Waterway Arts Council.

“I believe that every child deserves to have a loving place to call home and people to turn to. YES to YOUTH provides hope for the “at-risk” youth in our community,” she says.

Christin Allphin

Christin graduated from Auburn University with a BBA in Marketing and currently serves as Executive Vice President for Woodforest National Bank. She is also active in various charitable and civic organizations. She is a Chairman of the Board for the Montgomery County American Heart Association, and a Board Member of New Danville.

“The kids are what have inspired me! This organization has faced so many challenges over the past year, but one thing remains the same, the kids still need our help.”

Linda Head

Linda earned her Master of Science degree in Occupational Technology majoring in Corporate Training from the University of Houston, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration majoring in Human Resources from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has gone on to fulfill a successful 29-year career serving as Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Lone Star College. Linda also serves as an Executive Council Member for The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, a prior Board Chair, and is affiliated with the American Association of Community Colleges Commission for Workforce and Economic Development.

Michele Kooken

Graduated with an Executive MBA in Business from the University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College, and with a BBA in Marketing from the Sam Houston State University, Michele has gone on to become the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for STRIKE Energy. Michele is an active member of The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce and has led on many leadership committees including the Gala Co-Chair on the YES to YOUTH Montgomery County Youth Services.

“YES to YOUTH provides support to both the youth at risk and their entire family at no cost. Events like this Gala help fund these counseling services to help our youth.”

The importance of the “A Promise for all Seasons Gala” is truly profound to get the support needed to provide crucial services. CEO Dannette Suding explains, “the biggest need we are facing is in funding. In 2020, we were not able to hold our biggest fundraisers.  With the challenge of increase in demand for services, this also increases our cost when we are helping more children.”

The Gala takes place on August 28, 2021, at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott, where YES to YOUTH  will be honoring Mr. and Mrs. Zach & Rachel Richmond and LJA Engineering, in memoriam of Mr. Calvin Ladner. You too can get involved by donating by visiting Let’s say YES to YOUTH and make a difference in our children’s lives.

  • 2021 Gala Chairs
  • 2021 Gala Chairs