Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s Mega Holiday Fundraiser Draws Massive Crowds — Nutcracker Market Makes Luncheons Super Events

Fab Shopping, Fab Fashions and Fab Turnouts

BY // 11.14.22
photography Melissa Taylor

With 1,450 attending the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market Saks Fifth Avenue luncheon and fashion presentation at NRG Center, it has to be the biggest charity luncheon — and we would wager the biggest charity fundraiser period — in the nation’s fourth largest city. Cattle Barons and a few MD Anderson events have crossed the 2,000 attendance mark in Houston, but in today’s climate the Nutcracker reigns supreme.

Gary Hudgins, Sofia Frommer, Nancy Almodovar, Hahn Langlinais at the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market Macy's brunch. (Photo by Melissa Taylor)
Gary Hudgins, Sofia Frommer, Nancy Almodovar, Hahn Langlinais at the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market Macy’s brunch. (Photo by Melissa Taylor)

The following day the Nutcracker Market Macy’s brunch also drew its share of generous support with 1,300 attending. The turnout is no surprise considering the fab shopping that follows the luncheons. More than 270 merchants fill the center with a cornucopia of holiday inspired shopping opportunities. Making the adventure all the more easy for shoppers was Nancy Almodovar, head of Nan & Company Properties, who provided the signature shopping bags.

Both affairs saluted Patsy Chapman, who is retiring after 34 as maestro of the market, most recently as CEO. In both events she was saluted on stage and at the close of the Macy’s brunch, Lenny Matuszewski and Tamara Klosz Bonar presented her with a bouquet of yellow roses. Having choreographed both fashion shows for the ballet for many years, the talented duo had nicknamed Chapman “Yellow Rose.” Thus, the bouquet for her final moment in the Nutcracker Market spotlight.

The behemoth Saks luncheon was chaired by Mignon Gill and Sara Wright Parr with the popular Deborah Duncan serving as emcee. A special escort on this day was Duncan’s son Duncan Horner, who walked Chapman and then his mother down the catwalk to much approval.

The fashion parade concluded with dancers from J&D Entertainment joining the models, a huge hit with the throng, in a New Year’s Eve themed montage to the sounds of Donna Summer’s “Last Dance.” The crowd loved it.

Tamara Klosz Bonar, Lenny Matuszewski, Mr. Christopher Radko (Photo by Melissa Taylor)
Tamara Klosz Bonar, Lenny Matuszewski, artist Christopher Radko at the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market Macy’s brunch. (Photo by Melissa Taylor)

The Macy’s brunch, emceed by KPRC Channel 2’s Courtney Zavala, was chaired by Sofia Frommer and Hanh Langlinais. That presentation concluded with the Philip Hall Singers serenading as the models strutted in the grand finale.

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Adding special allure to the market and the luncheons this year was the appearance of artist Christopher Radko,  designer of spectacular glass-blown holiday ornaments.  On hand for all of the events and throughout the market was Casey Rowe, hard-working market chair.

PC Seen: Shawn Stephens, Kristy Bradshaw, Lindsey Brown, Leticia Loya, Chita Craft, Cheryl Byington, Chita Craft,Katherine Whaley, Gigi Huang, Edward Sanchez, Stephanie von Stein Schusterman, Ryan Jay, Lindsay Brown, Katrina Arnim, Denise Malone, Lilly Cullen, and Philamena Baird. 

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