Society / Featured Parties

Houston Morphs Into Las Vegas at this $1.6 Million Ball

Swaying, Shaking Symphony Night is Anything But Tame

BY // 05.17.17
photography Priscilla Dickson, Wilson Parish, Anthony Rathbun

Subtitle to the Houston Symphony‘s rocking “Stir It Up in Vegas” ball could’ve been a “whole lotta shakin goin on.” Once Las Vegas showman Frankie Moreno filled the dance floor with gyrating partygoers, the floor of the Marriott Marquis ballroom began thumping to the rhythm. It was so unsettling that at least one partygoer videoed the swaying centerpiece on her table.

That aside, it was a  joyful, festive evening chaired by Christina and Mark Hanson, Houston Symphony president and CEO, that raised a stunning $1.6 million and counting. They were aided in their successful efforts by honorary chair Marie Taylor Bosarge and by auction chairs Beth Wolff and Farida Abjani. 

The party would not have been complete without the assist of entertainment chairs Danielle and Joshua Batchelor, of after-party chairs Candace and Brian Thomas and of presenting sponsor Phillipps 66, that company’s third consecutive year of support for the symphony’s education and community programming.

The Events Company did its part to imbue the ballroom with a Vegas vibe with shimmering crystal beaded panels and Vegas-themed murals lining the walls. Adding to the glam decor were 3,700 peonies and 30 rose balls containing 150 roses each. Receiving kudos on this evening as special honoree were Richard Flowers and The Events Company, responsible for decades of transforming ball chairs’ dreams into realities.

Rather than the typical award presentations, ball organizers opted this year to present the honorees in a 20-minute video. On the big screen were Jane and Bob Cizik  recognized for philanthropy; Jan Barrow and the Barbara and Pat McCelvey family for enduring artistic vision; Barbara Burger  and the Alexander McLanahans for visionary leadership; Vinson & Elkins for corporate citizenship; and Margaret Alkek Williams, who received the Stewart Orton Golden Baton Award.

The energy escalated throughout the night with it reaching a crescendo for the after-party at which point the Jordan Kahn Orchestra took over and the Marriott kitchen sent forth late-night servings of chicken and waffles, crepes, donuts and cupcakes.

Seen: Julia and Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Joella and Steve Mach, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Ron Franklin, Patty Hubbard and Mike McLanahan, Doe and Henry Florsheim, Lori and Scott Wulfe, Core Sue and Harry Mach, Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Sheridan Williams, Cynthia and Bucky Allshouse, Mary Lynn and Steve Marks, Lilly and Thurmon Andress, and Jana and Scotty Arnoldy.

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