Society / Featured Parties

Billionaire Family’s Lavish River Oaks Mansion Provides a Magical Holiday Setting — Paige Fertitta Is a Hostess to Remember

Houston Children's Chorus Adds Sweet Music

BY // 12.13.23

So many Christmas trees, so many holiday lights, so much good cheer. The annual Santa’s Elves party benefiting MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital never fails to delight, thanks in particular to the Fertitta family which always hosts the party at their River Oaks estate and thanks to The Event’s Company which provides the holiday splendor that truly lights up the night.

Joining host Paige Fertitta in welcoming the festive throng were the Fertitta grown children — Patrick, Michael, Blayne and Blake.

Also key to the evening are Patsy Fourticq and her son Greg Fourticq Jr., as the event was founded 17 years ago when Greg surprised his parents on their 50th wedding anniversary with a significant endowment providing funding for the cancer hospital in perpetuity.

Michael, Paige, Blayne, Blake and Patrick Fertitta with the Houston Children’s Chorus
Michael, Paige, Blayne, Blake and Patrick Fertitta with the Houston Children’s Chorus

As is tradition, Houston Children’s Chorus filled the circular staircase at the home entry, serenading everyone with holiday caroling. New to the entertainment were the Choraleers, a jazz sextet that performed their rendition of Christmas favorites from their perch in front of a massive outdoor Christmas tree. Not quite as big as Rockefeller Center’s, but you get the idea. There were Christmas trees in each room of the vast home with a particularly sweet arrangement in the foyer — a trio of life-sized bears, dressed to the nines in tartan scarves, hats and vests à la Ralph Lauren, staged before a trio of Christmas trees.

An addition, there was The Galleria Giving Tree with its mystery gift pull, that alone brought in more than $11,000 adding to the bottom line of $120,000 for pediatric cancer research.

Fertitta Home – front
The Fertitta home in River Oaks alight in red for the holidays and for the Santa’s Elves fundraiser.

Landry’s Inc. provided the sumptuous buffet for the 300 partygoers, each dressed in festive attire thereby adding to the night’s shiny ambience.

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The brief program featured Dr. Branko Cuglievan, assistant professor of Pediatrics Patient Care and Pediatrics Leukemia section chief, and Dr. Greg Friedman, professor of Pediatrics Patient Care and Pediatrics Neuro-Oncology section chief. Friedman shared that while the current success rate for treating childhood cancers is 80 percent, there is still more to be done, particularly in the brain cancer space and in the managing of side effects of cancer treatment in children. 

PC Seen: Catherine and Reed Barrett, Olivia Cone, Victoria Cone, Ellen Sweet, Anne Lee Phillips, Nancy Bihlmaier, Caroline Brown, Blair and Barry Kessler, Ellie and Michael Francisco, Alexandra Hamman, Laura Mudd, Dr. Richard Gorlick, Regina Rogers, Denise Monteleone, Dr. Vivian Ho, and Deanna Barton.

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