WORLDY PURSUITS

WORLDY PURSUITS

Houston Museum Of Natural Science Celebrates With Gala

By Jennifer Roosth   Photography by Daniel Ortiz and Mike Rathke

THE SETTING: Wide open spaces of the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Morian Hall of Paleontology and the second-floor Paleontology Overlook provided the perfect socially-distanced pandemic protocol setting for the museum’s annual fundraising event. The theme of the evening, Tour the World, offered guests an extraordinary variety of exhibits. The Hall of Ancient Egypt, stunning Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals, George W. Strake Hall of Malacology, and the Frensley/Graham Hall of African Wildlife, to name a few, delighted guests as they were able to explore the museum throughout the evening’s event.

 

THE STYLE: Houston Museum of Natural Science’s gala was a smashing success. Guests celebrated the organization on a beautiful evening, exploring the vast exhibitions and bidding on one-of-a-kind treasures in the evening’s silent auction. The auction boasted magnificent fossils, rare gems and jewelry, and unique HMNS experiences. The most popular items ranged from a 6-feet long Komodo Dragon skeleton, one of the heaviest and deadliest lizards on Earth, to an exceedingly rare 2.34-carat red emerald ring to a Murder Mystery dinner party in the HMNS Death By Natural Causes exhibit. The auction also showcased five vintage automobiles, including a pristinely restored 1966 Shelby GT350 and a sleek 1973 De Tomaso Pantera.

 

City Kitchen provided the night’s delicious fare, and The Events Company adorned the museum spaces and presented brightly-colored floral arrangements on the tables for a beautiful, inspired look. Complementing the after-dinner musical entertainment provided by Hybrid 7 were late-night treats–brandy freezes and sweets. Macaron party favors were passed out on floating balloon trays as guests left for the night.

 

THE PURPOSE: Chairman Bobbie Nau greeted nearly 250 guests and broke all prior HMNS records, bringing in over $2 million in proceeds. The museum took thoughtful measures to ensure the evening’s success. These included the option to valet or self-park; contactless check-in and temperature reads; asking all guests to wear masks; providing additional on-theme masks as party favors; and ensuring that hand sanitizer was readily available throughout the museum with individual hand sanitizers also given to each guest.

AFTERNOON OF STYLE

AFTERNOON OF STYLE

San Antonio Gardenia Club Luncheon Celebrates With Mozart And Margaritas Theme

 

By Jake Gaines   Photography by Jenna Beth Lyde

THE SETTING: With social distancing protocol in place, Mozart & Margaritas served as the fashionable theme that inspireda current event to support the San Antonio Gardenia Club. The fundraising luncheon, colorfully decorated by Feather Fluff and Flings, and style show, featured Julian Gold models adorned in fashions from the elegant boutique as they paraded down the catwalk, inspiring guests for their future stylish looks. In fact, this luncheon was the last Julian Gold style show in 2020 before the pandemic, and this is the first style show they did in 2021.

THE STYLE: The San Antonio Country Club was the setting for the event where guests were transported back to the days of Mozart, minuets, wigged styles, and glorious music. Victorian glamour and decadent floral centerpieces, along with mini margaritas, greeted the masked guests while the symphonic harmonies of Mozart’s piano concertos filled the ballroom. Then, the costumed Melissa Gonzalez channeled her inner diva, and serenaded the audience while accompanied by the Woodlawn Theater Academy performers, ushering the lucky guests back to the days of the Majestic Opera House.

 

THE PURPOSE: This year’s annual luncheon was chaired by Sharron Batchelor and Christi Tidwell, with Laura Humphries serving as the president of the non-profit organization. Emcee Siobhain Buckley helped to steward the event’s proceedings. The proceeds of the annual fundraiser raise funds for local fine arts students. The San Antonio Gardenia Club was founded in 1960, with the mission of providing fine arts scholarships to deserving students who graduate from Bexar County schools, enabling young scholars to  continue their education at local colleges. The club also participates in the annual Fiesta Battle of Flowers, Texas Cavaliers River Parade, the Annual Holiday Parade, and the King William Parade.

A LIFELINE FOR CHILDREN

A LIFELINE FOR CHILDREN

Dell Children’s Medical Center Virtual Gala Raises Over $1.6 Million

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Ben Porter Photography and Dell Children’s Foundation

THE SETTING: The top philanthropists in Austin and beyond recently enjoyed an evening of fundraising for one of the capital city’s most influential and beloved organizations. This year’s Dell Children’s Ball went virtual and featured over 2,000 philanthropists from 96 Texas cities and 42 states who accessed the occasion. The event included touching tributes and dazzling musical performances, which resulted in an incredible experience that those on hand will not soon forget.

 

THE STYLE: The fun commenced before the event even began courtesy of the city’s celebrity florist David Kurio, who provided a gorgeous Ball in a Box to the sponsors’ homes and VIP attendees. Guests dressed for the evening with a wide array of styles from Austin casual to fine cocktail attire that allowed revelers to bring the ballroom to them, even in a virtual environment.

 

The evening began with a virtual cocktail hour followed by the evening’s main program. Due to the generosity of the event’s lead sponsor, AT&T, guests were able to view the program from their homes at no charge, which created a welcoming space for all who attended. Highlights of the event included testimonials from two families whose children’s lives were saved due to Dell Children’s Medical Center care and a spirited fundraising appeal. The evening was capped off by a soulful, inspiring performance by Grammyâ award-winning artist, Lukas Nelson.

 

THE PURPOSE: This year’s event, steered by a committee featuring 21 of Austin’s most influential and philanthropic couples, raised over $1.6 million for Dell Children’s Medical Center. At Dell Children’s, 70% of children who receive care are uninsured or underinsured. The funds raised from the event help ensure that no child, regardless of income level, is turned away from receiving the world-class care Dell Children’s offers.

LIKE, TOTALLY TUBULAR

LIKE, TOTALLY TUBULAR

Galleria Dallas Hosts 1980s Fashion Exhibit

 

By Cynthia Smoot     Photography by Thomas Garza

THE SETTING: A high style vintage exhibit, She’s Got the Look: Fashion from the ‘80s, was recently presented by Galleria Dallas. The fashion and accessories exhibit transported lucky attendees back in time with rad fashions, immersive multimedia displays, and music from the decade–all curated by Ken Weber of Martini Consignment.

 

A VIP preview was held the night before the exhibit opened to the public. Among those in attendance were Mindy Cohn from the hit 80s TV show Facts of Life, Cameron Silver, Susan Posnick, Heidi Dillon, Real Housewives of Dallas stars LeeAnne Locken and Cary Deuber, Jan Strimple, and Chuck Steelman.

 

THE STYLE: More than 60 stellar looks from top designers of the ‘80s, including Thierry Mugler, Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, Bob Mackie, Emanuel Ungaro, Givenchy, and Valentino were showcased. The exhibition was divided into two sections. The main room showcased the decade’s elegance and extravagance. It included party, red carpet, Ladies Who Lunch, and Working Girl attire. A second room featured Valley Girls, Rocker Chicks, Club Kids, and, some menswear. A wall of iconic ’80s hairstyle images paid homage to TONI&GUY and its history in Dallas. The exhibit also featured original costumes from 80s megahit TV shows such as Dynasty, Dallas, Hart to Hart, and Charlie’s Angels.

 

THE PURPOSE: As with all museum-quality fashion exhibits, the purpose is to enthrall and entertain by providing a look at the past and how it informs the present and future of fashion.

RISING TO NEW HEIGHTS

RISING TO NEW HEIGHTS

Houston Symphony Gala Celebrates Season

 

By Jennifer Roosth  Photography by Wilson Parish

THE SETTING: The 2021 Houston Symphony Royal Phoenix Ball was hosted at the celebrated Post Oak Hotel Uptown Houston. With pandemic protocols in place, the event immersed guests both in-person and virtually into its theme of the Royal Phoenix. Upon entering the venue, guests’ temperatures were taken to comply with the event’s health and safety protocols. Once cleared, attendees were greeted by the living phoenixes, visited the Dragon Fly Bar, and sipped on the event’s signature cocktail, The Singapore Sling. More than 114 in-person guests attended the limited capacity, socially distanced occasion and over 70 households (over 140 attendees) supported the event virtually.

 

THE STYLE: The décor, created by Richard Flowers of The Events Company, transformed the main ballroom at The Post Oak Hotel to this season’s ravishing theme. As the dinner chimes rang, masked guests made their way to their tables covered with magnificent floral arrangements. Phoenix murals, inspired by the theme, hung on the walls and were draped with red curtains. Executive Executive Chef Jean-Luc Royere prepared an exquisite dinner including a light and delicate heirloom tomato salad with marinated feta, pickled onions, watercress, micro basil, and balsamic vinaigrette, accompanied by a savory combination of filet mignon and roasted red snapper with corn and smoked bacon polenta, roasted sweet peppers, asparagus. It was finished with a flaming piquillo pepper sauce, and the Flaming Phoenix dessert, an almond tart topped with strawberry ganache, strawberry jam, and gold leaf.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event was chaired by Rini and Edward Zeigler and honored Robin Angly, Miles Smith and John Neighbors. It raised more than $800,000 for the Houston Symphony’s Education and Community Engagement Programming. Phillips 66 served as the presenting sponsor for the seventh year in a row to support the artistic organization.

 

FRENCH FOLLIES

FRENCH FOLLIES

Can Can-Themed Party Honors Melanie Vaughan

 

By Jake Gaines      Photography by Jenna Beth Lyde, Parish Photography

THE SETTING: A Touch of Folly was the theme for An Evening in The Moulin Rouge recently, with pandemic protocol in place for honoree Melanie Vaughan, hosted by her parents, Karen and Curtis Vaughan. Guests arrived at The St. Anthony Hotel to discover massive red windmills in front welcoming them a la Moulin Rouge.

The party celebrated the Queen, Princess, and Duchesses named as part of the Court of Parisian Splendour, Fiesta 2021. The Fiesta celebration was cancelled last spring due to COVID-19, so the Vaughan family hosted a party in honor of the girls this April, post-vaccines.

THE STYLE: Everywhere guests looked, French flair was abundant. The event was produced by San Antonio-based Billinda Wilkinson of Wilkinson Rhodes Events, who designed and orchestrated the party with her team from Dallas, Las Vegas, and beyond. The balcony in the Anacacho Ballroom of the hotel was covered in red and black ostrich feather fans accented with black and white butterflies.

Rouge performers, brought in from Las Vegas, performed four choreographed dances throughout the evening worthy of the French theatrical landmark. The buffet stations were designed in the Art Nouveau style of the famous French architect, Guimard. The Peraux ballroom featured a stunning rotating red windmill bar while Roonie G, a video D.J., performed throughout the evening to keep the action going.

THE PURPOSE: Fiesta San Antonio, through the support of its participating member organizations, presents a safe, educational, annual celebration of the diverse heritage, culture, and spirit of San Antonio for its residents and visitors.