the recipient of a kidney transplant, former American Idol finalist Scott MacIntyre holds a special affinity for Nora’s Home, the soon-to-be-completed home-away-from home-for transplant patients in the Texas Medical Center.

Thus, he spoke and sang his heart out for the non-profit’s “Home Sweet Home” gala at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. MacIntyre underwent a kidney transplant after being diagnosed with stage-four kidney failure, the organ a gift from the wife of his college piano teacher. Only one year after the transplant, he scored a finalist position on season eight of the popular American Idol program.

More than 600 turned out for the dinner and musical program chaired by Caroline and Salim Dabaghi. The evening honored Laura and George Pontikes and recognized liver transplant recipient Sierra Beeching with the Sunflower Award.

Helping raise $480,000 for the center were Nora’s Gift Foundation founders Dr. A. Osama Gaber and Dr. Lillian Gaber, plus Linda and Jerry Strickland, Diane and Jim D’Agostino, Linda and Steve Webster, Mary Lee and Jim Wallace, Rudy and Lisa Beeching, Roberta and Lee Schwartz and Nora’s Home executive director Kayla Lehman, herself a kidney transplant recipient.