Society / The Seen

Houston Party Insider — Shelby Hodge Takes You Behind the Scenes For October’s Biggest Events

It's a Wild Time in the Fall Calendar

BY // 10.21.19

So many parties, so little time. With Houston’s burgeoning nonprofit fundraising scene, keeping up is a challenge, particularly during the month of October when the calendar is chock full of must-attend evenings, fun events and compelling causes. My calendar is crammed with more than 50 events this month alone.

And what about the World Series!

In an effort to congratulate as many successful event chairs and hallowed organizations, we herewith present a wrap-up of what’s been keeping us on our toes for much of the month.

AVDA’s 14th Home Safe Home Gala

Having grown too large for evenings in a private home, as it began, AVDA moved its food-centric evening to The Revaire where more than 450 guests grazed through the bountiful offerings of 14 of the city’s leading chefs.

Applause, applause for chairs Meredith and Ben Marshall, who oversaw the evening that brought in $610,878, the largest proceeds to date from the evening that supports AVDA’s mission of ending family violence.

KPRC Channel 2’s Khambrel Marshall emceed the evening that honored Judge Ruby Kless Sondock, the first women to serve on the Texas Supreme Court, with the Joseph D. Jamail Award for Justice and Karen and Buster Freedmen, who received AVDA’s Heart of Houston Award for their years of community work.

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The 14 rock star chefs were Ryan Bouillet of A Fare Extraordinaire, Joe Cervantez of Brennan’s, Giancarlo Ferrara of Amalfi Ristorante Italiano & Bar, Maria Gonazlez of The Classic, Ryan Lachaine of Riel, Dominick Lee of Poitín, Kevin Naderi of Roost, Peter Petro of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations, Russell Roegels of Roegels Barbecue Co., Jeff Taylor of Steak 48, Dustin Teague of Relish, Danny Trace of Potente, Tessa Trace of Houston Cookie Crew. and J.D. Woodward of 1751 Sea and Bar.

Something special: Sommeliers Sean Beck, Antonio Gianol, David Keck, and Cat Nguyen assured that the wine was as good as the food.

Asia Society Texas Center Huffington Award Dinner

Princess Zahra Aga Khan, through her work with the Aga Khan Development Network, was honored for her commitment to advancing healthcare and education around the world. As the eldest child of the Aga Khan, the princess serves in various leadership roles within the network, which comprises numerous private, international, non-denominational development organizations working to improve the welfare and prospects of people in the developing world.

Rice University president David Leebron led the informative on-stage discussion with Princess Zahra. Taking lead roles on this evening at The Houstonian were Asia Society Texas Center president Bonna Kol, board vice chair Y. Ping Sun and the evening’s honorary co-chair Nancy C. Allen. Honorary co-chairs Susan and James A. Baker III offered their congratulations via video.

Something special: A musical performance by the Master Musicians of the Aga Khan Music Initiative, Homayoun Sakhi on the Afghan rubab and Abbos Kosimov on the Uzbek doira, and Nitin Mitta on the North Indian tabla.

Houston Area Parkinson Society Gala

More than 420 supporters packed The Astorian for the HAPS evening that raised a record $400,000 for programs serving the Houston Parkinson’s community. Lisa O’Leary, Kristen Perry and Meg Rice chaired the “Shaken, Not Stirred” evening for which KPRC Channel 2’s Courtney Zavala served as emcee.

Something special: The sizzling raffle item, a $7,500 gift certificate to Tenenbaum Jewelers.

Pamela Skaufel, Courtney Zavala, Kathleen Crist at HAPS Gala (Photo by Priscilla Dickson)
Pamela Skaufel, Courtney Zavala, Kathleen Crist at HAPS Gala (Photo by Priscilla Dickson)

Houston Hospice Award Dinner

As always, the memory of the beloved Laura Lee Blanton held strong at the 21st annual Laura Lee Blanton Community Spirit Award Dinner supporting Houston Hospice. The award was presented to Nina Wickman, who led the $14 million fundraising effort that financed building of the current inpatient care center, the chapel and the renovation of the Houston Hospice offices located in the Holcombe House.

Key players in the evening at River Oaks Country Club included KTRK Channel 13 news anchor Melanie Lawson as emcee, dinner chairs Vivie and Chris O’Sullivan and board chairman Dr. Paul Mansfield.

The University of Houston Hilton College Gala

Fifty years of advancing the hospitality industry was celebrated in style at the Post Oak Hotel during the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management gala, when a sold-out crowd helped raise funds for the college that today is educating 1,000 students from 54 countries. Leading the charge were chairs college dean Dennis and Julia Reynolds, Pennie Landon, and Nick and Vicki Massad.

Something special: University of Houston System chancellor and UH president Renu Khator joined Hilton College dean Reynolds in a joyful onstage celebration complete with streamers and the UH salute.

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Exclusively offered by Erin Cluley Gallery on Culture Place. Left to right: Nic Nicosia, Nathan Green, and René Treviño

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