19th Annual Texas Independence Day Dinner Honors Hall of Fame Golfers Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite


By Rob Giardinelli       Photography by Chris Caselli and Thao Nguyen

THE SETTING: A picture-perfect spring evening at the Four Seasons Austin was the recent setting for the 19th annual Texas Independence Day Dinner. The Texas State History Museum Foundation’s event featured philanthropists, VIPs, and sports enthusiasts from around the state. All were on hand to honor two Texas-bred sports legends, Hall of Fame golfers Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite, for a celebratory evening of fun that will always be remembered.


THE STYLE: The black-tie crowd featured a mix of dapper tuxedos and vibrant ball gowns, many of which featured bright colors reflective of the season…and the celebratory nature in the air. With pandemic protocol in place, the tee time of fun began as guests arrived for a photo commemorating the evening against the floral backdrop of the Texas Lone Star. Revelers then enjoyed the terrace for a lively cocktail hour where fans were able to congratulate the honorees while others reacquainted with friends.


The action then moved to the venue’s main ballroom where a delicious multi-course meal awaited them for the main program, or as we like to call it, the back nine. A highlight of the program was provided by legendary sportscaster Verne Lundquist, who introduced a touching video tribute, which brought smiles and happy tears to the adoring audience. The festivities were capped off with words from the two honorees, the perfect conclusion to what could be described as nothing less than a hall of fame evening reflective of its honorees.


THE PURPOSE: The event, chaired by Karl Rove, with Jan Bullock serving as honorary chair, raised over $800,000 for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum’s educational programs and special projects. Since the event’s founding in 1999, the Texas State History Museum has raised over $32 million dollars for educational programs at the Bullock. Since its opening in 2001, the Museum has welcomed over 10 million visitors to experience award-winning exhibitions, media experiences, and educational programming, including 1.7 million school-aged children.

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64th International Debutante Ball Elevates Three Texans To The International Social Stage

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by ChiChi Ubina and Elaine Ubina

THE SETTING: The Pierre Hotel in New York City was the setting recently for a biennial ball tradition known the world over. The 64th International Debutante Ball featured the debut of twenty-two debutantes hailing from nine states and eight countries around the world. This group of outstanding young ladies included three Texans: Catherine Coselli, Olivia Late and Dominique Melcher, each of whom represented Texas with a sense of style and grace that is known around the world.

THE STYLE: The men wore white tie and tails, while the women wore an array of colorful ensembles among the winter white attire of the debs. The evening began in the hotel’s Cotillion Room for a fun cocktail hour before the action moved to the main ballroom for the dinner and presentation.

Against the backdrop of the Lester Lanin Orchestra, who played each of the debs’ country or state song, the women made their bows to the room full of family, friends and well-wishers. Carrying a bouquet of pink roses that perfectly complemented their white designer gowns each wowed the audience with their composure and grace. After the presentation the fun continued well into the night as revelers danced the night away.

THE PURPOSE: The evening was co-chaired by Anne Eisenhower and Catharine Hamilton with Julia Irene Kaufmann serving as honorary chair. Proceeds raised for the event benefitted The International Debutante Ball Foundation Charities.

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