Texas Biomedical Forum Gala Spring Gala Celebrates Belle Epoque
By Jake Gaines Photography by Greg Harrison and Super Q Photography
THE SETTING: On a beautiful evening recently, The Argyle set the scene for the Texas Biomedical Forum gala, themed The Night They Invented Champagne, that celebrated all things Belle Epoque Paris. Guests were greeted at the entry with a Nebuchadnezzar large format bottle of Perrier Jouët champagne. It was curated by The Argyle’s own Clay Wheeler and was served from a specially built pouring apparatus into classic vintage coupe champagne glasses. Passing by the antique Rolls Royce, guests shopped the many French-styled carts filled with silent auction items.
The pastoral lawn of The Argyle was plush with green topiaries, hanging baskets and red geraniums, setting the scene for a Parisian walk in the park, where guests delighted in cocktails and beautiful appetizers including escargot vol-au-vant, caviar, strawberries and brie, and mousse pâté on toast points. Guests’ then continued to feast on Executive Chef Jesse Villanueva’s French-inspired menu.
THE STYLE: After dinner, Doc Watkins and his orchestra, generously sponsored by Donna and Ted Welsh, livened up the crowd out onto the dance floor, where feather fans, boas and hand-rolled cigars appeared. Couples danced into the evening and even had the opportunity to have their portraits painted by Franco-Modini Ruiz. Patrons were re-fueled by Chef Jesse’s scrumptious Croque Monsieur and Pomme Frites while imbibing more bubbles.
THE PURPOSE: The event was chaired by Whitney Solcher Miller and co-chaired by Cynthia Kerby, with the design expertise of their gala assistant, Whitney Schones. Baubles were generously provided by Lee Michael’s Fine Jewelry, with the help of Jessica Berg and Heather de Rojas, who served as the favor co-chairs. Tables were sold out thanks to Audra Kerr, the event’s table sales chair, and numerous grants were received outside of the gala thanks to Corinna Richter, the gala grants chair. Emily Jones was the silent auction chair, along with Emilie Petty as her co-chair. Amy Swaney and Kim Johnson served as underwriting co-chairs, while Haley Conger led as the after party co-chair with Kristin Tips, who was also public relations chair. The organization was founded in 1970 by a group of inspiring and hardworking women with the same goal to support the life-changing and life-saving work being done at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute through community awareness and fundraising.