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Society / Featured Parties

James Harden and Chris Paul Party with Rockets’ New Billionaire Owner

Bash at Tilman Fertitta’s River Oaks Mansion is One Blue Night

BY // 11.07.17
photography Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com

There’s nothing like owning a sports team and an entertainment empire to ensure that one of your favorite charity fundraisers is a smashing success. Just ask Tilman Fertitta, new owner of the Houston Rockets and the single title holder of Landry’s Inc.

The billionaire’s added sports prowess meant a record breaking success for the Houston Police Foundation’s “True Blue Gala,” attended by more than 800, including James Harden and Chris Paul. Applause, applause for the night that raised more than $870,000. How sweet it was for Tilman and Paige Fertitta, who have hosted the event since its inception. On this evening, the heavy-hitters included Mayor Sylvester Turner, State Senator John Whitmire, Constable Alan Rosen, Congressman Randy Weber and University of Houston chancellor Renu Khator.

The 10th anniversary of the fundraiser, which each fall takes over the Fertitta estate in River Oaks and features a simulated crime, focused on the “kidnapping” of Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. The SWAT team to the rescue, landing via helicopter on the vast back lawn.

Fertitta’s new best friends — Rockets Luc Mbah A Moute, Ryan Anderson, Clint Capela, Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, P.J. Tucker and Rockets CEO Tad Brown — added additional star power. Showing the love to HPD, the tall guys saluted the officers from the podium and genially posed for numerous photos.

As is tradition, diversions included police-focused activities including interactive training elements and high-risk drills including Taser target demonstrations, Red-Man demonstrations and a shoot house simulation.

As one might expect from the Landry’s owner and CEO, the food spread was delectable thanks to executive chefs from Mastro’s Steakhouse, which opens next month in Fertitta’s Post Oak Hotel. On the menu — beef tartare, stone crab claws, a sashimi station and more. and signature desserts warm butter cake, tiramisu and chocolate budino.

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What’s a 10th anniversary without even more star power, this in the form of an elaborate fireworks display that topped any of the previous pyrotechnics?

True Blue:  Dinner chairs Laura and Dave Ward, who doubled his role by also serving as emcee; Houston Police Foundation executive director Charlene Floyd, Kristina and Paul Somerville, Alice and Keith Mosing, Jo Lynn and Gregg Falgout, Maria and Neil Bush, Laura and Don Sanders, Sunny and Mac Haik, Barbara and Edward McManus, Aimee and Frank Cassulo, Melissa and Garrett Sowell, and the Fertittas’ three sons — Michael, Patrick and Blake.

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