The community of Katy showed up in full force on Tuesday evening December 3rd to celebrate with Cinco Charities the Grand Opening of The Ballard House, Katy’s own Hospital Hospitality House. It was truly a celebration of a long awaited dream becoming reality. Amidst a bunch of hugs, tears, and congratulatory well wishing, it was obvious Katy as a community has embraced The Ballard House as its own.
A special thanks to Wells Fargo The Private Bank our Presenting sponsor. We appreciate your generous donation which made this event possible. Darwin Weisner and his wife, neighbors and personal friends of the Ballard’s was the Bank’s representative at the event.
Rudy’s “Country Store” & Bar-B-Q generously catered a spread of some of the best bar-b-q and fixin’s in Texas. Special thanks to an outstanding wait staff who know how to extend true southern hospitality and make you feel like every bite was prepared especially for you. In keeping with the Texas touch, Union Kitchen wowed everyone with their “grits bar.” And not to be outdone, Kroger brought in the Bluebell and pecan pie. No event in Katy is authentic without your own label-now is it? No Label Brewery didn’t disappoint their fans either. They showed up with some outstanding brews.
The Ballard Foundation provided their own label of champagne for the toast. Monty Ballard, founder of the Ballard Foundation and his daughter Rachel, honored the crowd and Cinco Charities by a heart touching toast dedicating the Ballard House as a gift to the community for its service to people from around the world who need a home when coming to Katy/West Houston for medical treatments.
Jake and Shawn Hallsted were presented an honorary plaque as the first recipients of the Ballard House perpetual Wall of Fame for their outstanding service to the community. Jake and Shawn dedicated a huge part of their lives, time, talents and love in 2013 to the construction and design of the Ballard House. Mark Wilson, long time legal counselor to Cinco Charities was also honored with a perpetual plaque on the Ballard House Wall of Fame.
Check out the photos from Grand Opening here »
Students from all over Katy participated by exhibiting their leadership skills, youthful energy, creativity and dedication to community service. Creech Elementary art work was on display in the conference room and shelves were filled with jigsaw puzzles and games that had been collected by the students from Creech and Williams Elementary. We love our new neighbors. Special thanks to all four chapters of Katy’s National Charity League who served together at the event, being our hostesses, welcoming guest and taking them on the grand tour.
We were honored to have in attendance with us two families who are currently our guest at Erin’s House and look forward to moving to the Ballard House; Kim and Sherman Lewis from West Virginia and Juanita and Jose Vasquez from Corpus Christi.
The Ballard House concept is unique to the Katy/West Houston area. Patients with their caregivers, traveling to the medical facilities to receive treatment for serious illnesses are welcome to this “Home Away From Home” free of charge during their stay. Cinco Charities has been honored to provide lodging for over 500 guests for over 2000 nights since beginning its mission in 2008. With the 24 guest suites offered by The Ballard House the capabilities to assist many more guest in need is made possible.
The beautiful hospitality house is located on three acres in Cinco Ranch off South Mason Road. The Texas Hill Country architectural design was crafted by PBK, constructed by Comanche, and supervised by Jake Hallsted, CEO of HMS Healthcare and Vice President of The Ballard Foundation. The interior design which was provided by Shawn Hallsted, reflects a warm and inviting lodge theme. Yes, we have antler chandeliers, a Texas limestone fireplace which towers to the second floor, and decorative rustic furnishings. The chapel proved to be a favorite to many of the guest. The six foot cross which was spotted by one of Shawn’s friends in Roundtop and brought home to rest at the Ballard House and the handcrafted kneeling bench are awe inspiring.
You need to come by the Ballard House and take your own personal tour. Words and pictures can’t rightly catch the spirit of what is taking place here in your own neighborhood. You need to experience it for yourself. Welcome to The Ballard House!