Society / Featured Parties

Kentucky Derby Day Turns Into a Hot Houston Fundraiser With a Raffle Racing Wall, a Polo Match and More

Derby Fashions Still Prevail On a $335,000 Afternoon

BY // 05.10.23

“If they would just move the Kentucky Derby to a cooler month,”proposed one guest wiping the beads of perspiration from her brow at the Hats, Hearts & Horseshoes benefit for Bo’s Place. For certain. Nevertheless, Saturday’s Run for the Roses found close to 400 supporters at the Houston Polo Club braving a steamy Houston afternoon in order to raise $335,000.

The heat and humidity failed to deter the fashionable throng of ladies that donned floral frocks and voluminous hats and the clutch of gents in linen jackets and the occasional Panama and fedora. While the Kentucky Derby is as much about fashion as it is about the thoroughbreds on the track, this Houston event also has a more thoughtful element.

Silent auction winners of the puppy Susan and Giulio Cattozzo
Silent auction winners of the puppy, Susan & Giulio Cattozzo at the Bo’s Place Hats, Hearts & Horseshoes Kentucky Derby party at Houston Polo Club. (Photo by Dave Rossman)

The mission of Bo’s Place in providing grief support for children, families and adults was brought home by honorees Dorothy and Ronny Cuenod, who shared their story of the loss of their son, and by Alice Lodge, one of the event chairs, who also spoke of the loss of a child. The parents spoke of the help, providing hope and healing, that Bo’s Place offered during their loss. The Cuenods were Champion of Hope honorees, recognized for their longtime support of the nonprofit that serves as advocate for the bereaved.

Joining Alice Lodge in chairing the event were her husband J.W. Lodge and Drs. Julie Longoria Chen and Stephen Chen.

It was quite the afternoon with members of the Houston Polo Club incidentally providing an exhibition polo match on the fields as backdrop to the party site while the Kentucky Derby race was broadcast on the big screens. Emcee Stephen Lewis kept the program moving while guests sipped from a selection of Madame Zero Champagne, mint juleps, wines and margaritas. Cotton Culinary provided the party food.

Sheridan Plumb photo by Jacob Power
Sheridan Plumb at the Bo’s Place Hats, Hearts & Horseshoes Kentucky Derby party at Houston Polo Club. (Photo by Jacob Power)

Afternoon activities included a silent auction, a raffle racing wall, a heads or tails game, a bourbon pull and mission market. IW Marks Jewelers provided a $1,000 gift card for the heads or tails winner and a $1,500 gift card to Christina Boston, the winner of the racing wall.

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PC Seen: Bo’s Place executive director Mary Beth Staine, Megan and Luke Hotze, Rick Smith, Carol Lee and Allen Lyons, Alissa and Kevin Maples, Hannah and Cal McNair, Sheridan and Robert Plumb, Millette and Haag Sherman, Christie and Mark Sullivan, Hallie Vanderhider, and Kelli and John Weinzierl, Allie and Jay Fields, Lesha and Tom Elsenbrook, Lindy Neuhaus, Daniella and Ricardo Hernandez, and Jayne and Garrett Johnston.

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