PARK IT HERE

PARK IT HERE

Brackenridge Park Conservancy Celebrates With Gala Dinner

By Jake Gaines  –  Photography by Limelight Photography

 

THE SETTING: Community leaders, city officials and advocates in support of the revitalization of Brackenridge Park recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Brackenridge Park Conservancy near the historic low water crossing. Guests enjoyed a 3.5-mile train ride through the park, a sunset reception, and dinner under the stars while marveling at the historic San Antonio River and the crossing originally constructed in 1917 to connect both sides of the park.

Each year, the organization highlights different areas of the much-loved park. The park is home to dozens of historic buildings, bridges, walkways, and water features. This year’s event, staged at the historic low water crossing, supported operations and raised awareness of the infrastructure improvements needed in this area and throughout the park to bring it back to its glory days.

THE STYLE: The gathering honored Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, founder of the Central Park Conservancy, who played a key role in the creation of the Brackenridge Park Conservancy. Fondly known as Betsy Browning, a member of a long-time San Antonio family, she is the author of nine books, including the latest, Saving Central Park: A History and A Memoir. Currently, she is president of the Foundation for Landscape Studies in New York City. Special recognition was also given to the San Antonio Conservation Society in celebrating its 95th year. The Conservation Society led the way to form the Brackenridge Park Conservancy in collaboration with City of San Antonio leaders and park stakeholders and provided funds to hire the first executive director. 

THE PURPOSE:  The chairs for the event were Vivienne Bathie, Liecie Hollis and Robin Howard. Brackenridge Park is regarded by Charles A. Birnbaum, CEO and Founder of Washington D.C–based The Cultural Landscape Foundation, as one of the most culturally significant municipal parks in the United States. The rustic character of the park, situated just below the headwaters of the San Antonio River, remains intact, with tree-lined paths, picnic areas, playgrounds, athletic fields, a miniature railway and pieces of history including the San Antonio Water Works Pump House No. 1.  Brackenridge Park that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

FASHIONABLE JEWEL

FASHIONABLE JEWEL

Women’s Symphony League 65th Annual Jewel Ball And Luncheon Features Brooke Shields

By Rob Giardinelli  –  Photography by Darcie Westunderland

 

THE SETTING: The Palmer Events Center in Austin was the recent setting for the Women’s Symphony League’s 65th Annual Jewel Ball and Luncheon. Over the course of two days, nearly 1,700 of Austin’s social, fashion and philanthropic dynamos were a part of the festivities, which included the presentation of this year’s debs with a special appearance by fashion icon Brooke Shields.

THE STYLE: The first day of events commenced with the fashion show luncheon featuring over 600 of Austin’s top fashionistas. The cocktail-chic patrons began the festivities with a VIP reception where adoring guests had the opportunity to take their photo with the guest of honor, Brooke Shields. The fun then moved into the main auditorium for lunch and the afternoon program. Highlights of the luncheon included a fashion show featuring the season’s top looks from Julian Gold as well as a conversation with Brooke Shields that was effortlessly moderated by Rank & Style CEO Jamie Chandlee.

The pageantry continued into the second day of events culminating with the 65th Annual Jewel Ball presentation. Over 1,000 black-tie patrons began their evening with a cocktail hour where  conversations flowed and families mingled, while also bidding on their favorite  silent auction items. The fun time continued as the crowd took to their seats for the main jewel ball presentation, which in addition to the Austin debs featured eight visiting Jewels from Texas and beyond. The evening concluded  as the Jewel’s and their families danced the night away, capping off an incredible two days that those on hand  will not soon forget.

THE PURPOSE: The Jewel Ball Fashion Luncheon was co-chaired by Lisa Barton and Kerri Ann Chambless, while The Jewel Ball was co-chaired by Christy Merritt and Christy Werner. Proceeds from the events benefited the Women’s Symphony League of Austin  and the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the oldest continually performing symphony in Texas, with a presence in the state for over 100 years.

LOOK, LISTEN & LEARN

LOOK, LISTEN & LEARN

Holocaust Museum Of Houston Celebrates Expansion

By Jake Gaines  –  Photography by Dave Rossman

 

THE SETTING: Recently, the Holocaust Museum of Houston hosted an elaborate gala for 800 attendees to celebrate its $34 million expansion by hosting a First Look celebration for major donors, Holocaust survivors, dignitaries and special guests. Patrons enjoyed cuisine from around the world and music on each floor as they toured the new 57,000-square-foot, fully bilingual facility at the champagne-filled gathering.

THE STYLE: The event’s décor was provided by Dede Loughran of Acme Rental who expertly placed some of HMH’s collection of handmade butterflies throughout the silver-lined tables to give a personal touch to the overall look. The floral décor was created by The River Oaks Plant House. Chef Smirnov Catering provided the Kosher culinary array representing old world Asian, Japanese, Israeli, Russian and Italian delicacies. Music was staged on each floor with Moodafaruka playing in the first floor’s Garden of Hope, Divisi Strings on the second floor, next to the three-story high Butterfly Loft, and John Acevedo playing Flamenco jazz guitar on the third floor near the board room with its assorted desserts.

THE PURPOSE: Tali Blumrosen, former museum chair and current board member, coordinated the evening’s event in conjunction with the Holocaust Museum Houston’s Managing Director Tamara Savage. More than doubling in size, the new facility will rank as the nation’s fourth largest Holocaust museum. The new three-story structure will house a welcome center, four permanent galleries and two changing exhibition galleries, classrooms, research library, café, 200-seat indoor theater and a 175-seat outdoor amphitheater.

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The North Texas Food Bank Hosts 6th Annual Harvest

By Cynthia Smoot  –  Photography by Sterling Steves

 

THE SETTING: A Tasteful Place at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden was the magical setting for the 6th annual HARVEST that was hosted by the North Texas Food Bank. Surrounded by the venue’s fall flowers accented with pumpkins, gourds and squash, DJ Lucy Wrubel provided a cool vibe as partygoers  arrived. Guests sipped their cocktails and enjoyed the sweet and savory food offerings located at stations throughout the captivating gardens and indoor pavilion.

THE STYLE: NTFB president and CEO Trisha Cunningham gathered the crowd to recognize the organization’s recent inaugural Partners 4 Hope law firm challenge. With the help of Partners 4 Hope chair, Chris Bankler of Jackson Walker, local North Texas law firms collectively raised over $75,000, which will provide access to 226,626 nutritious meals. As the evening progressed, partygoers could be seen striking a pose at the 4Change Energy photo booth, playing cornhole for a cause to help close the hunger gap, or nibbling on desserts in the Suite Spot, featuring French macarons by Chef/owner Tida Pichakron of Haute Sweets Patisserie and John Doumas of Pop Star’s all natural popsicles.

THE PURPOSE: Co-chairs Lisa and Marvin Singleton welcomed more than 400 attendees to the annual fundraiser benefiting the North Texas Food Bank. Each day, NTFB provides access to more than 200,000 meals for hungry children, seniors, and families through a network of more than 1,000 Feeding sites and more than 200 Partner Agencies. In fiscal year 2019, NTFB provided access to almost 77 million nutritious meals.

 

IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

Junior League Houston Opening Day Fashion Show

By Jennifer Roosth – Photography by Emile Brown

 

THE SETTING: The Junior League of Houston and Tootsies welcomed 300 guests and debuted the season’s hottest fashion trends at this year’s Opening Style Show Fashion Unlocked. The annual Opening Day event  highlighted fashion and philanthropy as well as officially marked the beginning of the Junior League  fall season programing.

Junior League members hit the runway to model the chic ensembles curated by Tootsies’ Fady Armanious and showcased trends like animal print, pumped-up 80s-era volume with dramatic sleeves and shoulders and lots of shine (glitter, sequins, velvet, and satin) from designers such as Carolina Herrera, Alice + Olivia, Veronica Beard, Marchesa, and more.

THE STYLE: Guests enjoyed the three-course cuisine that was provided by the Junior League Tea Room, which included a baby spinach and arugula salad, braised beef short ribs with asparagus and truffle butter,  mashed potatoes and the popular Junior League of Houston Pecan Ball for a sweet treat. Then, new to the event this year, VIP guests had the chance to pop the bubbly and enjoy interactive experiences in the VIP Style Lounge ahead of the show including clean beauty tips from Switch2Pure, mini manicures from Cherry Nails, hair touchups from Fringe Salon and Color Bar, and more.

THE PURPOSE: The Opening Day event is always wildly successful and supports the Junior League of Houston, Inc., an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

 

NEW LEASH ON LIFE

NEW LEASH ON LIFE

Houston PetSet’s 15th Annual Fierce & Fabulous Soirée

By Jennifer Roosth  –  Photography by Quy Tran

 

THE SETTING: More than 400 of Houston’s dedicated animal lovers gathered at the Post Oak Hotel to celebrate Houston PetSet’s annual Fierce & Fabulous Soirée, which raises money to support animal-related non-profits in the Greater Houston area. The event was equal parts fabulous party and philanthropic mission. Emcee Deborah Duncan welcomed the partygoers to celebrate Houston PetSet’s 15th birthday, thanking the crowd for coming out to support the nonprofit in its mission to alleviate the suffering and homelessness of Houston’s animals. Guest speakers of the night included Reverend Gregory Han of Interfaith Ministries, Laura Halloran of the Texas Humane Legislation Network, and Lance McCullers, Jr., the world champion Houston Astros pitcher.

THE STYLE: The evening kicked off with a VIP pre-party hosted by Fabergé. On display was the bespoke, two-carat emerald in its setting that was donated to the event’s live auction by the iconic internationally-renowned jeweler. The party kept its momentum as the Club PetSet Young Professionals took over the back ballroom, transforming the space into their own nightclub. DJ Senega got the crowd moving and shaking on the dance floor, while others participated in an ultra-competitive wine toss and silent auction. Champagne flowed as DJ Senega’s beats, accentuated by the live saxophone stylings of Andre Killian, resonated throughout the hotel’s ballroom foyer.

THE PURPOSE: Tena Lundquist Faust, Tama Lundquist and Kisha Itkin, the event’s co-chairs, asked the crowd to open their hearts and their wallets to support the cause. The generous attendees responded accordingly, as the gathering raised more than $440,000 to fund the many animal welfare efforts throughout the city.