Society / Featured Parties

Notre Dame Cathedral Restoration Gets Major Boost From Becca Cason Thrash’s Glittering River Oaks Dinner

The Most Glamorous Tuesday Night Ever?

BY // 01.23.20
photography Michelle Watson/

When Becca Cason Thrash calls, the world answers. Or so it seems. And it did rather appear that the entire world packed into River Oaks District’s Steak 48 Tuesday night at the behest of the philanthropic fundraising diva. The beneficiary of this buoyant dinner soirée — restoration of the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Not since the Cason Thrash Memorial area home flooded during Harvey has there been as exuberant a fundraising evening as this, which packed the restaurant with more than 150 of the city’s bon vivants, philanthropists and Brahmans.

Among the cross section of generous notables were Cal-a-Vie owners Terri and John Havens, Yvonne and Rufus Cormier, Phoebe Tudor, Ceron, and Nidhika and Pershant Mehta. The star of the evening, beyond Becca, was  “Mobituaries” and CBS Sunday Morning headliner Mo Rocca, in town for a talk at the Julia Ideson Library.

Equally holding VIP roles were Steak 48 owner Jeff Mastro and the group’s chief branding officer Oliver Badgio, who thanks to an assist from Public Content‘s Mark Sullivan, underwrote the entire evening. That generous give included a rollicking packed-to-the rafters cocktail hour with open bar and passed hors d’oeuvres and a Steak 48 signature, to-die-for four-course dinner. Merci beaucoup!

The tableau of bold-faced types in party frocks and smart suits was as engaging as the decor of candlelit tables and white linens, a canvas created by Richard Flowers and The Events Company. As Cason Thrash noted in her thanks to the throng, “I am particularly proud that when I said dress up,” Becca applauded, “Y’all dressed up!”

The glamorous evening was a prelude to a three-day fundraiser for Notre Dame in Mexico City, spearheaded by Cason Thrash, who has raised millions for the Louvre and who in 2011 was anointed as Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor. Following her success with the Louvre, Notre Dame forces reached out.

Thus, a sellout assemblage is headed for Mexico on February 27 for a round of splendid entertainments and fundraising including an auction of important artworks. In advance, Cason Thrash arranged for Houstonians to have an opportunity to scoop up one of Hunt Slonem‘s iconic bird paintings. The sale of that gem in live auction helped bring total proceeds of the evening to $145,000.

“Not bad,” Cason Thrash quipped, “for a little Tuesday night dinner.”

PC Seen: John Thrash, Raquel and Andrew Segal, Gina and Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Christie Sullivan, Annie Amante and Cliff Reckling, Neal Hamil, Courtney Hopson, Francine Ballard, Tony Bradfield, Joan Schnitzer, Rocio and Matthew Harbison, Stephanie Tsuru, Merrill and Joe Hafner, Catherine and Cenk Ozdogan, Monsour Taghdisi, Hallie Vanderhider, Bill King, and Bill Baldwin. 

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