JEWELS IN THE CROWN

JEWELS IN THE CROWN

Houston Ballet Ball 2022 Celebrates Jewels Theme

 

By Jennifer Roosth        Photography by Alida Bonifaz, Wilson Parish, Dave Rossman, and Johnny Than

THE SETTING: More than 400 guests, clad in black tie and a sea of elegant gowns, made their appearance at the Wortham Theater Center to salute the in-person return of the Ballet Ball after two long years. This year’s event was inspired by the glamour and elegance of George Balanchine’s ballet, Jewels. As guests made their way into the lobby, the attendees admired and took photos in front of a beautiful custom wall crafted out of both painted and actual pointe shoes. During cocktail hour, guests sipped on libations and elixirs while perusing impressive silent auction items.

 

THE STYLE: Richard Flowers of The Events Company transformed the Grand Foyer of the Wortham Theater Center into a dazzling venue dripping with gemstones. The balconies of the Grand Foyer, adorned with statement necklaces, overlooked a stunning gemstone-shaped dance floor and tables decorated with vivid emerald tablecloths and ruby-red centerpieces. Once seated, guests indulged in a decadent dinner prepared by Jackson and Company. The night’s first course featured a 50 Carat salad, an homage to the evening’s theme, accompanied by lemon thyme lavosh bread. The feast continued with snapper topped with leek and kumquat emulsion saffron, poached fennel, Yellow Diamond au gratin potatoes, and Romanesco. For dessert, guests delighted in a Jewelry Box, comprised of a blondie dressed in white chocolate and caramel mousse with caramel-filled chocolate jewels. Following dinner, attendees crowded the dance floor and danced the night away to the sounds of Gen 8 presented by Elan Artists.

 

THE PURPOSE: The 2022 Ballet Ball, chaired by Stephanie and Frank Tsuru, along with Kelli and John Weinzierl, raised nearly $1.4 million for the Houston Ballet, led creatively by The Harris Masterson III Artistic Director, Stanton Welch. The organization’s mission is to inspire a lasting love and appreciation for dance through artistic excellence, exhilarating performances, innovative choreography, and superb educational programs. 

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EXOTIC ALLURE

EXOTIC ALLURE

Asia Society Texas Hosts 2022 Tiger Ball

By Jennifer Roosth     Photography by Daniel Ortiz and Emily Jaschke

THE SETTING: The Asia Society Texas Tiger Ball 2022 commemorated the 10th anniversary of the opening of its center. Over 620 guests were welcomed into the venue’s Texas Center. The tented Gala Pavilion was filled with an elegant sea of red and gold executed beautifully by Bergner and Johnson Design. Adding a touch of magic to the atmosphere were floating candles suspended from oak trees above tables laden with exquisite arrangements of red roses, tulips, anemones, ranunculus, and hydrangeas.

THE STYLE: The evening celebrated the vibrant cultures and diverse experiences Asia Society Texas represents. During the cocktail hour, guests enjoyed Wagyu tataki and duck crepes while dancers from Dance of Asian America engaged with guests through demonstrations of traditional Chinese dance techniques. Guests perused a variety of luxurious silent auction items, including a Harry Winston Midnight Automatic 36mm timepiece, artworks by Houston-born artist and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Mel Chin and British-Iranian artist Kour Pour, sets of first-class United Airlines airfare to Asia or Europe, and a five-day luxury Fabergé London experience. The attendees were then treated to a sumptuous dinner by City Kitchen that featured a seared miso-glazed sea bass with white soy and red pepper threads, accompanied by forbidden rice and heirloom cauliflower with mustard seeds and ginger. Following dinner, the guests enjoyed a variety of desserts while celebrating on the dance floor with the lively music provided by DJ ALX of Karma DJs.

THE PURPOSE: The evening raised over $1.6 million, a record for the organization’s event, which was led by Leigh and Reggie Smith and Tripp Carter, the ball’s chairs. The event celebrated Nancy C. Allen and Anne and Albert Chao, the honorary ball chairs, for their enduring commitment to building cross-cultural friendships and visionary spirit that made the Texas Center possible. In special recognition of the center’s 10th anniversary, Tiger Ball 2022 also celebrated three “Trailblazers” who share Asia Society’s dedication to building cross-cultural understanding and friendships: visual artist Tiffany Chung, astronaut Soichi Noguchi, and Chancellor of the University of Houston Renu Khator. The gala’s proceeds support Asia Society Texas’ efforts to advance cross-cultural understanding and build a more inclusive community.

 

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STAGED FOR SUCCESS

STAGED FOR SUCCESS

The University Of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center 80th Anniversary Celebration Concert Raises $10.5 Million

By Jennifer Roosth   Photography by Wilson Parrish, Michelle Watson and Thomas Campbell

THE SETTING: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center recently celebrated 80 Years of Making Cancer History at the Toyota Center to the sounds of The Beach Boys…and to the tune of more than $10.5 million raised to end cancer, surpassing an initial goal of $8 million. Actor John Stamos emceed the one-of-a-kind concert, which included artists Todd Rundgren, Christopher Cross, The Commodores, and Generation Radio featuring Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts and Jason Scheff of Chicago. The event raised awareness and funds for rare cancers in support of the musicians’ dear friend, rare cancer survivor Jeffrey Foskett, a vocalist, musician, and arranger who earned his credentials performing pop classics with The Beach Boys, America, and Jeff Beck. 

THE STYLE: The floor at the Toyota Center was a far cry from what VIPs are used to at a Houston Rockets game. Instead of folding chairs and fluorescent lights, luxury lounge seating–think plush velvet sofas and leather club chairs­–covered the arena. All eyes were focused on the blue lighting setting ablaze MD Anderson’s 80th Anniversary design that stretched across the 60-foot stage. Beachy floral arrangements, a nod to the evening’s much-anticipated entertainment, added a festive touch to the pods that hosted 20 to 30 VIPs. These special guests wore concert credentials around their necks, which contributed to the excitement in the air about what was soon to come. These passes also permitted access to the several lounges located throughout the Toyota Center.

THE PURPOSE: The evening featured almost too many memorable moments to count, yet the night’s highlight needed little build-up to appreciate. In 2018, Jeffrey Foskett lost his voice while touring with The Beach Boys. Then, in early 2019, he was diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer, a rare malignancy. He received a grim prognosis at a California hospital before seeking a second opinion at MD Anderson, where a multidisciplinary team devised a treatment approach that reduced his cancer. His performance that evening brought tears to the eyes of the 2,500 guests who jumped to their feet to cheer for him. Stamos joined Foskett and The Beach Boys on tunes such as Kokomo, Barbara Ann, Surfin’ USA, and more.

Since opening its doors more than eight decades ago, MD Anderson has cared for hundreds of thousands of patients facing cancers both common and rare. The institution remains one of the world’s most respected centers devoted exclusively to cancer patient care, research, education, and prevention. 

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MIX & MINGLE

MIX & MINGLE

Holiday Schmooze Event Benefits Legacy Health Centner

 

By Jennifer Roosth   Photography by Daniel Ortiz

THE SETTING: Over 250 revelers arrived at Holiday Schmooze at The Corinthian, benefiting The Jackson Hicks Endowed Fund for the Awareness, Prevention, and Treatment of HIV/AIDS established at Legacy Community Health, to celebrate the amazing life of the famed caterer and philanthropist, Jackson Hicks. The all-star crowd was treated to the most spectacular winter wonderland ever with flocked Christmas trees and stunning floral arrangements by Richard Flowers, The Events Company, Rebekah Johnson, and Bergner & Johnson Design. The Open Door Mission Ensemble choir greeted guests upon arrival with favorite holiday classics.

 

THE STYLE: It truly was the brightest night of the holiday season, with pandemic protocol in place. The evening’s concert was precisely what Hicks would have wanted, produced by one of his closest friends, Artistic Director for the Houston Grand Opera, Patrick Summers. Guests were treated to a wonderful musical concert and tribute to Hicks, including video testimonials from many of Hicks’ friends. In addition, the party planner extraordinaire was praised for his attention to detail and ability to know exactly what each client expected.

 

THE PURPOSE: This year’s event raised over $300,000. Leading the helm of the sold-out soirée were Co-chairs Bill Caudell and Randy Powers, Sara Dodd and Will Denton, Melanie Gray and Mark Wawro, Nancy McGregor and Neal Manne, Becca Cason Thrash and John Thrash, Milton Townsend, and Phoebe and Bobby Tudor. The new CEO of Legacy Community Health, Dr. Bobby Hilliard, greeted the crowd and spoke of Hicks’ genuine passion for supporting nonprofit organizations such as The Center for AIDS, where he initially created Holiday Schmooze.

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