Society / The Seen

Celebration of Houston Oilman’s Stunning $15 Million Museum Gift Triggers Real Tears

Intimate Gathering Hosted in a Vaunted Wine Room

BY // 06.22.17
photography Wilson Parrish

What: Dinner saluting philanthropists Sue and Lester Smith

Where: Tony’s wine room

PC Moment: In celebration of the Smiths’ $15 million grant to Holocaust Museum Houston, key players in the museum’s vast $33.8 million expansion joined forces over dinner to raise their glasses to the remarkably generous couple.

While it was an upbeat celebration infused by Lester Smith’s signature humor, the gathering was brought to tears as Lester thanked his wife for her unwavering support through his numerous health challenges, most recently a double lung transplant in 2016. HMH CEO Kelly Zúñiga led the praise for Sue Smith and the key role that she played in his recovery. Donna Vallone welcomed the guests, who had just come from the museum where the expansion plans and the Smith gift were revealed.

Who: Lester Smith’s son, Stuart, and daughter, Shelly Hendry, and her husband, Brian Hendry; museum exhibits architect Ralph Applebaum in from New York; HMH architect Mark Mucasey and wife Judy; capital campaign chairs Heidi Gerger and Benjamin Warren; HMH board chair Gary Markowitz; David Gerger; Kelly and Jim Stevenson, president of McCarthy Building Companies;  Trish Morille and Fred Zeidman, former chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

Holiday Gifting

  • Elaine Turner - Felicia Stole in Magenta
  • Oscar De La Renta - Clutch
  • Cotton Club
  • Wayne Smith
  • Loeffler Randall - Clutch
  • Bond No 9 - Perfume
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Asher Gallery
  • Bond No 9 - Candle
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Oscar De La Renta - Earrings
  • Loeffler Randall - Shoes
  • Wayne Smith
  • Cle Du Peau - Nail Polish
  • Cotton Club
  • Elaine Turner - GiGi Flats
  • Cle Du Peau - Lip Gloss

Home, chic home.

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