WILD KINGDOM

WILD KINGDOM

Houston Zoo’s Centennial Ball Is Smashing Success

By Jennifer Roosth Photography by Daniel Ortiz

THE SETTING: A record-breaking crowd of more than 700 Houstonians dressed in black tie, gowns, and glamour joined together for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of 100 years of the Houston Zoo. Guests met and mingled among live animals, including a North American porcupine, a tarantula, and an American alligator, before entering the tented Masihara Pavilion, which had been turned into a gorgeous and elegant al fresco ballroom. City Kitchen served a delectable, multi-course dinner, which was followed by a spirited live auction.

 

THE STYLE: The evening was filled with sentiment and animal love as Houston Zoo President and CEO Lee Ehmke expressed how truly remarkable it was for the Houston Zoo to reach its centennial anniversary and, above all, to celebrate the momentous occasion with the zoo’s closest friends and supporters. He honored Kathrine McGovern for always seeing the Zoo’s potential and turning dreams into reality. He emphasized how the smiles and laughter of Zoo visitors, especially children, are a powerful reminder that her generosity will bring joy and inspiration for generations to come. The after party was chaired by Chita and Lane Craft, with the Georgia Bridgewater Orchestra keeping revelers dancing past midnight.

 

THE PURPOSE: This year’s sold-out event, hosted by co-chairs Kelli and John Weinzierl and Kelley and Stephen Lubanko, and honoring Kathrine McGovern, raised $2.3 million to support the Houston Zoo. Highlights of the live auction included naming rights for the Zoo’s Galapagos tortoise, which sold twice for $47,000 after a lively bidding war.

PERFECT PARK-ING SPOT

PERFECT PARK-ING SPOT

Mumford & Sons Headlines Waterloo Greenway Conservancy’s Gala

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Tyler Schmitt, Mill Photography Studio

THE SETTING: A picture-perfect fall evening at Waterloo Greenway Park in downtown Austin was the recent setting for a fabulous night of dining and music al fresco for a worthy cause. Over 700 of the city’s most notable sociables, philanthropists, and community leaders were on hand for the second annual Glow in the Park, which has quickly become one of the most anticipated events of the fall social season.

 

THE STYLE: The attire? It was “cocktail with a twist” as partygoers mixed cocktail gowns and suits with sneakers that were ideal for the evening’s festivities. The cocktail hour was held on the concourse of the Moody Amphitheatre under a beautiful and shaded tree canopy, where patrons mingled as they brimmed with anticipation for all the fun ahead.

 

The festivities then moved down to the lawn of the Moody Amphitheatre for the main program, where partygoers gasped as they descended the stairs onto the lawn, which had been transformed into a stunning al fresco ballroom. As guests dined on a delectable family-style meal courtesy of MML hospitality, they were treated to words by the organization’s leaders, as community leaders Gary Farmer and Chris Mattson were honored for their dedication to the venue.

 

Next came a live auction and paddles up that raised over $500,000 and included such notable items as a Party Like a Rockstar experience at the Moody Amphitheatre, an International Foodie Lovers trip, and a dinner with world-renowned chef Mathew Peters, being among the most popular. The evening was capped off with a show-stopping performance by Mumford & Sons, whose tunes brought the crowd to their feet and ensured the fun lasted well into the night.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Sabrina Brown and Jamie Chandlee, with Susan and Gary Farmer and Chris Mattson serving as honorary chairs, raised over $1.9 million for the Waterloo Greenway Conservancy. Funds raised from the event provide free programs and access to the 11-acre public greenspace located in downtown Austin, which includes one and a half miles of scenic trails, playscapes, and the world-class 5,000 seat capacity Moody Amphitheatre.

LIKE CHILD’S PLAY

LIKE CHILD’S PLAY

Children’s Museum of Houston Hosts Viva Las Vegas Theme Gala

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Alexander’s Fine Portrait Design

THE SETTING: The Corinthian in Houston was the recent setting for one of the most anticipated social events of the fall season. The Children’s Museum of Houston’s Viva Las Vegas gala attracted over 500 philanthropists and sociables for an evening of fun and fundraising that those fortunate enough to be a part of will not soon forget.

 

THE STYLE: The black tie crowd began the evening in style as guests ascended the grand staircase to the venue’s mezzanine level for cocktails. Partygoers had the opportunity to pose with Vegas performers, including an Elvis impersonator himself, for a photo to commemorate the evening. Once inside, as guests mingled, they perused the impressive array of silent auction packages generously donated by local merchants.  

 

The festivities then moved to the ballroom level of the venue for the main program. As guests dined on their delectable, multi-course meal, they were treated to words from the organization’s leaders. Next was the live auction where patrons bid on an array of items, including a week in Aspen, a Houston Astros game day experience, and a private overnight party at The Children’s Museum of Houston, which sold twice. The fun continued well into the night as revelers took part in a casino, which capped off the fabulous evening experience.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Disney and Max Harris, Lexi and Michael Marek, and Liz and Crosby Scofield, raised over $950,000 for the Children’s Museum of Houston. Funds raised from the event will go towards an array of innovative exhibits and bilingual learning programs for children 12 years of age and under.

ART OF NATURE

ART OF NATURE

The Contemporary Art Dinner Hosts Gala With Dinner Al Fresco

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Ben Porter

THE SETTING: A gorgeous evening at Laguna Gloria was the recent setting for one of the Capital City’s most anticipated fall social events. Three hundred philanthropists, art collectors, and sociables descended upon the magical space for the 9th Annual Contemporary Art Dinner…and in the process, were treated to a stunning evening of fun and fundraising.

 

THE STYLE: Partygoers brought their fashion A game with a dazzling mix of bright colors and metallics, creating a happy, welcoming atmosphere that could be felt the second guests entered the upper grounds of Laguna Gloria. Here, the guests could be sipping their favorite spirits and socializing. At the same time, patrons mingled inside the villa on the grounds to view one of the seven lots available during the auction portion of the evening.

 

As the clock struck eight o’clock, revelers were treated to a performance from a live band, signaling the start of the next part of the night. Dinner and the main program were held on the lower grounds of Laguna Gloria for the first time in the event’s history. More than a few jaws dropped with awe as partygoers entered the open-aired tent, which featured an enchanted nature theme. As everyone dined on the delectable cuisine courtesy of MML Hospitality, they were treated to words from the organization’s leaders, a paddles up fundraiser, and a spirited live auction helmed by Sotheby’s, which featured works from top Contemporary artists, including Carlos Amorales, Gisela Colón, The Haas Brothers, Rachel Wolfson Smith, and others. The evening was capped off with an after party where the fun continued well into the night, courtesy of tunes spun by the Chulita Vinyl Club.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Danielle Nieciag and Teresa Windham, raised funds for The Contemporary Austin’s educational and programming opportunities.

IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT

IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT

A Good Night For Goodwill Hosts Annual Event At Q2 Stadium

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Ben Porter and Richard Rincon

THE SETTING: Austin’s Q2 stadium was the recent setting for an evening of fun in a fabulous space. Over 350 sociables, philanthropists, and sports lovers turned out on this picture-perfect night for A Good Night for Goodwill with its Believe theme. Throughout the event, guests were treated to touching tributes and one-of-a-kind experiences those fortunate enough to be a part of will not soon forget.

 

THE STYLE: The Austin-chic crowd enjoyed cocktails overlooking the dazzling Q2 field. Guests mingled and sipped on libations while having the chance to take part in several experiential opportunities on hand for patrons. Revelers were able to be photographed in a 360-degree video courtesy of Yuri360 to take as a keepsake, while others opted to take a behind-the-scenes VIP tour of the Q2 Stadium and its VIP levels…including a visit to the Austin FC locker room in a nod to the evening’s theme, Believe.

Partygoers then took their stadium seats for the evening’s main program. The festivities included words from the organization’s leaders, a paddles up, auction, and the presentation of the inaugural Henna Award for Philanthropy to Chris Hymans and Lize Burr. Capping off the night was a surprise video from Ted Lasso actor Cristo Fernández, which dazzled the audience and ended the gala’s evening on a winning note.

THE PURPOSE: The event raised over $315,000 for Goodwill of Central Texas. Funds raised from the event will help fund organizational services and free programs in Central Texas.