UH System chancellor and UH president Renu Khator, Hilton College Dean Dennis Reynolds at the Hilton School's 50th anniversary (Photo by Dave Rossman)
Connor O'Leary, Stephen Rice at HAPS (photo by Priscilla Dickson)
Sommeliers at the AVDA Home Safe Home Gala: Antonio Gianola, Cat Nguyen, David Keck, Sean Beck (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Bonna Kol, Nancy C. Allen, honoree Princess Zahra Aga Khan, David W. Leebron & Y. Ping Sun at Asia Society Texas Centers Huffington Award Dinner (Photo by Morris Malakoff)
HAPS gala chairs Meg Rice, Lisa O'Leary, Kristen Perry (photo by Priscilla Dickson)
Steve Winter, Karen & Buster Freedman at AVDA'S Home Safe Home Gala (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Pamela Skaufel, Courtney Zavala, Kathleen Crist at HAPS Gala (Photo by Priscilla Dickson)
Kendall Vincent, Brooke Bentley Gunst at the AVDA Home Safe Home gala (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Mimi & Robert Del Grande at the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College Golden Anniversary Gala (Photo by Dave Rossman)
Marsha Hyslop, Dr Paul Mansfield, Kay Mansfield at Houston Hospice (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Fritz Gitschner and Hugo Ortega at the UH Hilton College golden anniversary gala. (Photo by Dave Rossman)
Cora & Judson Robinson at Houston Hospice (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
AVDA Home Safe Home gala chairs Meredith & Ben Marshall (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Hala & Joe Ahmad at HAPS (photo by Priscilla Dickson)
Chairs of the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College Golden Anniversary Gala at The Post Oak Hotel (Photo by Dave Rossman)
Bob Murray, Muffet Blake, honoree Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Lynn Wyatt at Asia Society Texas Centers Huffington Award Dinner (Photo by Morris Malakoff)
Amanda Boffone, Fady Armanious, Christina Stith at the AVDA Home Save Home gala (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Maisha Colter, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, Judge Ruby Kless Sondock and Sofia Adrogué at the AVDA Home Safe Home gala (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Chris O'Sullivan, Nina Wickman, Vivie O'Sullivan at Houston Hospice (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Albert & Anne Chao, Sylvia & Gordon Quan at Asia Society Texas Centers Huffington Award Dinner (Photo by Morris Malakoff)
Ann Bowman Andrews, Mike Andrews, Mary Jo Chapoton at Houston Hospice (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Leela & Nat Krishnamurthy, Sam & Omana Abraham at Asia Society Texas Centers Huffington Award Dinner (Photo by Morris Malakoff)
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.
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.
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.