Society / The Seen

Barbara Bush’s Love for Volunteerism is Not Forgotten at This High-Style Luncheon

The Salvation Army and America’s First Lady

BY // 04.18.18
photography Jenny Antill Clifton, Kim Coffman

Only hours before former First Lady Barbara Bush, an ardent supporter of the Salvation Army, passed away, the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary paused at its annual Reflections on Style luncheon to remember the woman who once rang bells at a holiday kettle to encourage volunteerism.

In no surprising coincidence in Houston’s sphere of community service, the day’s honoree, Betty Hrncir, is not only a close Bush family friend but also serves as president of the Ladies for Literacy Guild which supports the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. Hrncir shares the Salvation Army recognition with a number of other civic leaders including Barbara Bush, who received the honor in 2011.

Levity rather than gravity prevailed at the River Oaks Country Club luncheon where a sellout crowd of more than 500 women descended to pick up amazing bargains on designer fashions donated by many of the city’s leading ladies. As is tradition, the fundraiser began early with shopping in the country club formal dining room aka the Chic Boutique where racks upon racks of must-have clothing begged for the taking. Think good-as-new shoes, handbags, dresses and hats bearing such labels as Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Chanel, Valentino, Prada and Dior.

An added bonus this year was a collection of brand new gowns, priced from $800 to $4,000, from a now closed Uptown Park retailer, that were offered for a song. Those and other top ensembles were featured in a lively runway presentation orchestrated by Lenny Matuszewski and Tamara Klosz Bonar. The show of beautiful clothing had guests eager to dispense with dessert in order to be first in line when the ballroom doors opened on the second half of the sale which featured the runway collection.

Thousands of pieces from the Reflections on Style collection are gathered at the Chic Boutique Showroom Sale  at 1131-08 Uptown Park Boulevard in Uptown Park. Hours at 10 am to 7 pm Thursday and Friday and 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday. Admission is $20. The total tally of monies raised for the Salvation Army will be made after the final sales.

Heading up the fundraiser, which brought in $675,000 just from the luncheon event, were luncheon chairs Diana “stick” Delaup and Rhonda Jones, Chic Boutique chairs Darlene Clark and Gayle Eury, Chic Boutique Showroom chairs Leigh Newton Alvarez and Dev Stern.

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Who: Linda McReynolds, Elise Joseph, Jeanie Kilroy Wilson, Janice McNair, Rose Cullen, Pat Breen, Phoebe Tudor, Judy Tate, Jenny Elkins, Joan Schnitzer, Cathy and Joe Cleary, Vicki West, Lilly Andress, Ginger Blanton, Debbie Leighton, Cora Sue Mach, Susan Sarofim, Diane Gendel, and Maureen Higdon.

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