R.S.V.P. HOUSTON

HATS OFF 

Hats, Heart and Horseshoes Derby Party For Bo’s Place

By Jennifer Roosth             Photography by Daniel Ortiz and Jacob Power

Christie Sullivan, Millette Sherman and Alissa Maples

THE SETTING: The Houston Polo Club was the perfect setting recently for the fifth annual Hats, Hearts & Horseshoes event benefiting Bo’s Place. The green fields and the polo horses watching from their stalls made this year’s event extra special after last year’s event was cancelled due to the pandemic. With social distancing protocol in place, over 250 supporters were excited to be dressed in their finest attire to watch and celebrate the running of the Kentucky Derby. 

Deanna Barton, Paige Fertitta and Karen Thompson
Neil and Maria Bush

THE STYLE: The fabulous hats and beautiful dresses, made for perfect people watching as tables were scattered under many tents. Guests socialized throughout the grounds, sipping traditional mint juleps and nibling on lite bites. Puppy Pals, a racing wall raffle, and purchasing a rose for a friend kept the crowd busy until post time. Multiple large screens gave all the guests a perfect view to watch the race. As the race got close to the finish line, many people started standing and cheering at their tables to see Medina Spirit win the race.

Bill Baldwin, Hallie Vanderhider and Fady Armanious

THE PURPOSE: Mary Beth Staine, the executive director of Bo’s Place, said, “Bo’s Place helps families who are grieving in their journey to find a renewed hope for the future.” Chairs Alissa and Kevin Maples, Millette and Haag Sherman, and Christie and Mark Sullivan, along with Honorary Chairs, Paige Fertitta, Megan and Luke Hotze, Hannah and Cal McNair, Hallie Vanderhider, and Kelli and John Weinzierl were thrilled to raise over $280,000 for grief programs at Bo’s Place. 

Aaron and DeeDee Howes
BoHats, Hearts & Horseshoes Event Benefiting Bo’s Place
BLAZING A TRAIL

BLAZING A TRAIL

Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association’s Charitable Foundation Gala

By Jennifer Roosth      Photography by Catchlight Group

THE SETTING: The latest Red Hot gala was not only a bright spot in the midst of a tough year, but also was a flaming success.  With social distancing and after initial temperature checks by the Houston Firefighter Cadets, over 200 guests donned masks, face shields, and hand sanitizer to attend a seamlessly magical event produced by Lenny Matuszewski and Tamara Bonar. The Houston Fire Fighters Pipes and Drums, along with the Honor Guard, opened the evening and brought the audience to their feet as Houston Firefighter Joe Rice sang the national anthem acapella. Additionally, no firefighter event would be complete without Houston’s own firefighter calendar models walking the runway.

THE STYLE: The evening was a moment to gather together, celebrate, and comfort one another. Although this year’s event was less than 50% capacity of previous years, the community not only stepped out but also stepped up. “Our goal was to include every possible protective element we could and more,” noted co-chair Elizabeth Stein. Over 200 guests helped raise $410,000 for new equipment and training through the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association Charitable Foundation.

THE PURPOSE: The Local 341 President Patrick M. “Marty” Lancton, event chairs Elizabeth and Alan Stein, and the Charitable Foundation’s decision to remain a live event took a great deal of consideration and additional planning. This year’s honorary co-chairs, Kelley and Stephen Lubanko, shared their family’s personal experiences with firefighters in a heartwarming video. The evening also honored community advocate Hallie Vanderhider and corporate advocates Renee and Alan Helfman, Five stellar community supporters were honored on plaques at fire stations across Houston: Janet and Tom Behanick, Benjamin Berg, Troy Blakeney, Joanna and Brad Marks, and Bobbie Nau.

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WORLDY ENDEAVOR

WORLDY ENDEAVOR

UNICEF’s 6th Annual Gala In Houston Raises Key Funds

By Jennifer Roosth    Photography by Gregg Harrison and Bob Levey/Getty Images

 

THE SETTING: Nearly 400 Houstonians recently packed The Post Oak Hotel as the Southwest Regional Office of UNICEF USA hosted its sixth annual UNICEF Gala Houston. Black-tie attired guests sipped on cocktails, enjoyed a seated dinner, and celebrated outstanding humanitarian leaders who make UNICEF’s work possible. Susan and Dan Boggio were honored with the Helenka Pantaleoni Humanitarian Award and Sue Smith and Lester Smith (posthumously) with the Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award.

THE STYLE: The evening was as fabulous as it was lively. The live auction packages included a week-long safari in Kenya, earrings from NINI Jewels and tickets to the legendary Elton John Oscars Party in Los Angeles, which was sold twice for almost six figures each. The paddle raise for UNICEF Kid Power was matched with a generous $100,000 from The Alkek and Williams Foundation. The gala also featured a vibrant performance by The Garden State Guys performing a special tribute to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Then, UNICEF’s Young Professionals NextGen hosted a silent disco after party. Afterward, Lester Smith’s book, You Gotta Dance Like No One Is Watching, was a take-home gift for all the guests.

THE PURPOSE: The evening’s gala, emceed by Deborah Duncan, raised over one million dollars, which will support UNICEF’s lifesaving work for children around the world. The gala chairs were Cheryl Byington, Mary Ann McKeithan, Beth Wolff, and Hallie Vanderhider (who also served as the lead benefactor of the event). Shelly and Brian Hendry, Leela and Nat Krishnamurthy, Limor and Stuart Smith, Margaret Alkek Williams, and Randa and Charles Williams served as the honorary co-chairs, while Anika Jackson and Catherine Clarke Murphy served as the NextGen Chairs.

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