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Bailey Banquet leaves scholarships as legacy

Over two hundred guests enjoyed an evening of fun and socializing as they honored State Representative Kevin Bailey for 18 years of service in the Texas State Legislature, representing Dictrict 140.

Bailey is widely credited with passing the legislation that formed the Greater Greenspoint Management District, the East Aldine Management District, and the Airline Improvement District. These measures, along with other legislation he has been responsible for during his tenure, were praised by 5 speakers who participated in the “Roast and Toast” format of the evening event.

These speakers included Dale Gorczynski, Harris County Justice of the Peace; Reggie Gray, president of the North Houston Greenspoint Chamber of Commerce; Robert Eckels, former Harris County Judge; Chris Jones, representing CLEAT law enforcement agency; and Sylvester Turner, State Representative and Speaker Pro Tempore of the Texas House.

Each of these speakers had been an important part of Bailey’s experience and involvement in legislation as he served both in the legislature, and previously in city government.

The banquet was originally scheduled for September 16 but was rescheduled due to Ike.

The evening was a spirited and fun combination of praise, reminisces, and jokes about working with Kevin Bailey and his personal idiosynchrysies. These included an addition to TAB sodas, black clothing, and Cuban style cigars that he never seemed to light up.

The emcee for this lively evening was Jack Drake, a long time friend and advocate, who is president of Greenspoint District. His organization was the focal point for an Ad Hoc committee that put together the event. These included Reggie Gray, Gilbert Hoffman, Jocklynn Keville, Teri Koerth, Phyllis Oustifine, Adrian Sauceda, and Joyce Wiley, as well as Drake.

An important function of the dinner was fund raising for two endowed scholarships in Kevin’s name, one to Lone Star College, and the other to Houston Community College. These two institutions serve the students within his district.

Fundraising was quite successful, with a total of over $28,000 cleared for the scholarships.

Major sponsors included Crowne Plaza Hotel, developer Dwayne Henson and Steve Ford, East Aldine Management District, Plumbers Local Union No. 68, IBEW Local Union 716, Greenspoint District, Airline Improvement District, Hawes Hill Calderon LLP, Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP, Joe Allen/Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP, North Houston Bank, Lone Star College-North Harris, IBEW Local Union 66, Houston Community College, Case Contractors, Aldine ISD, Glen Nitsch/Nitsch & Son Utility Co. Inc., State Rep. Sylvester Turner, Houston Apartment Association, GFI Management Services Inc., North Houston Greenspoint Chamber of Commerce, and Swank Audio Visuals.

In his introductory remarks, Emcee Drake highlighted the life of service that Bailey has devoted himself to, serving his community. Said Drake, “Kevin is known for bringing basic water and sewer services to residents and enhancing public law enforcement,” said Drake. “By helping to establish Management Districts, Kevin has enabled the business community to fund improvements and services that have brought value to the entire community.”

After that, each Roaster speaker poked fun at Bailey, based on their experiences and knowledge. Said Gorczynski, “He may have lost an election, but he’s not dead yet”.

Gray tried to imitate his mannerisms, but admited there was no way, “he’s the real thing. The Man”.

Eckels praised his bipartisanship, and his ability to get things done, and then awarded him a collection of worthless prizes he had collected.

Jones noted his predeliction for Cuban-style cigars, and teased him with the fact that they were to expensive to actually present them to him.

Turner remembered 18 years of working beside Kevin in the State House, and termed him 1 of the 10 best legislators, a man hard to “roast”. He praised him for his passion on important issues such as CHIPS, and getting the Houston Crime Lab and all Texas Labs certified.

Turner reminded him “A Public Servant Never Retires”, a comment that Bailey himself emphasized to the Northeast News. “I’m not retiring, he said.” He noted that he would go back to Austin and lobby for his important issues in the future.

The evening closed with Kevin’s own thoughts on his time in office, and a slide show of memorable presentations.