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Memorial Park’s Eastern Glades Transform Into a Lavish Party Scene Worthy of a Wedding — Dancing For Children’s Memorial Hermann

This Is No Ordinary Hospital Party

BY // 11.15.23
photography Joseph West

Had we known just how magical the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital “Faire la Fête” gala would be, we would have surely stepped up our choice of attire. The lavish florals and soaring candelabra in the posh tent erected amid the Clay Family Eastern Glades in Memorial Park needed more than our less than froufrou interpretation of “garden chic” attire. Where was my flower-decked ethereal frock?!

So beautiful was the decor that Fady Armanious declared that he wanted to have his wedding there. And we must assume that he would have tapped Elizabeth Swift’s Swift + Company to provide catering, Blooming Gallery to provide the flowers and the David Caceres Orchestra to deliver on the dance tunes just as they all did for this special evening.

This was Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital‘s trés elegant way of celebrating its world-class team of pediatric specialists while gently nudging the 145 attendees into becoming backers and joining the hospital’s Heroes in Health Giving Society.

As Anne Neeson, the executive vice president of Memorial Hermann and CEO of the Memorial Hermann Foundation, pointed out, the hospital needs new isolettes, $45,000, and warmers; $25,000, for the NICU; $7,000 would support both a day of patients receiving play therapy and academic support in the Child Life Program; and a $5,000 gift would provide 10 nurses with advanced certification.

Lauren Gow, Amalia Stanton, Anne Neeson, Erin Asperec (Photo by Joseph West)
Lauren Gow, Amalia Stanton, Anne Neeson, Erin Asperec (Photo by Joseph West)

The enchanting evening began on arrival when everyone strolled a lengthy tree-lined spotlighted walkway, covered due to rain, where uniformed waitstaff offered champagne, wine and bubbly water. A string ensemble performing Mozart greeted arrivals as they entered the tent with its breathtaking decor. Consider, for example, the  four-sided bar where a centerpiece soaring fountain overflowed. Not only with streams of water but also with greenery and white blossoms.

Joining in the program were Amalia Stanton, Memorial Hermann Health System senior vice president and chief of strategic communications and marketing, and Marissa Kiefer, senior vice president Memorial Hermann and CEO of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. Representing herself and her gala co-chairs — Jennifer Allison, Valerie Dieterich, Rachel Regan and Felicia StoneKristina Somerville also had remarks for the audience.

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Special entertainment was an unexpected harpist who goes by the name Tulani. Once she plucked a few beautiful notes from her harp, the dynamo launched into a powerhouse routine that included a convincing Tina Turner. So engaging was this music that a number of guests were inspired to hit the dance floor, which was actually grass as the tent had no flooring. (We knew that. We wore flats.)

Marissa Kiefer, Jayne Johnston, Melissa Juneau, Fady Armanious at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital 'Fare La Fête' gala in Memorial Park. (Photo by Joseph West)
Marissa Kiefer, Jayne Johnston, Melissa Juneau, Fady Armanious at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital ‘Fare La Fête’ gala in Memorial Park. (Photo by Joseph West)

Kudos to Deutser‘s Lauren Gow, who was creative director and planner for the spectacular event, a memorable night for all, that surely won considerable friends for Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

PC Seen: Alison and Greg Haralson, Melissa Juneau, Chita and Lane Craft, Chita and Paul Johnson, Jill and Brad Deutser, Drs. Pam and Kevin Lally, Julia Morales Clark, Elizabeth and Greer Pagan, Hibba and Danny Pletcher, Bethany Buchanan, Alex and Daniel Gottschalk, Elizabeth and Alan Stein, Candice Young, Lesha and Tom Elsenbrook, and Valerie and Tracy Dieterich.

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