Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s Ultimate Kentucky Derby Party Boosts Bo’s Place — Former Texans GM Rick Smith Opens Up on Why It’s So Important

Stepping In to Help Grieving Families

BY // 05.09.22

With 90 degree temps at start time, ceiling fans, floor fans, hand fans, and fans of Bo’s Place whirled across Houston Polo Club grounds for the annual “Hats, Hearts & Horseshoes” fundraiser, tied to the Kentucky Derby. Some 360 supporters gathered outdoors on the steamy afternoon raising $345,000 for the nonprofit bereavement center that provides support and community for those who have lost a loved one.

Houston Texans former general manager Rick Smith received the inaugural Champion of Hope award for his support of the organization which he tells PaperCity “does such great work for so many people,” including his family.

When his wife Tiffany succumbed to breast cancer in 2019, Smith and his three children turned to Bo’s Place for support. Smith had been introduced to the center through friend David Hartland and asked that the public instead of sending flowers in memory of Tiffany to send donations to Bo’s Place. That heartfelt request brought in $50,000. Today, Smith serves on the Bo’s Place board.

He stepped away from his career at the time of his wife’s diagnosis but kept his home in Houston. “The support system is so strong here. This community has really embraced my family,” Smith says.

The award was presented to Smith by Bo’s Place board president Laura Laux, who also applauded chairs Carol Lee and Allen Lyons and Sheridan and Robert Plumb for helming the record-breaking event.

The race day activity was fueled with champagne, traditional mint juleps and party foods from Cotton Culinary.

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While we typically focus on the ladies in their fancy frocks and amazing hats, this year we spotlight the gents who stepped out in a wildly varied array of fashion. Defining the boaters and Bermudas look was Brett Agee who completed his pink Bermuda shorts ensemble with Gucci loafers, a pink seersucker blazer and a jaunty boater.

May Beth Staine, Rick Smith Laura Laux photo by Daniel Ortiz 1
Bo’s Place executive director Mary Beth Staine, honoree Rick Smith, Bo’s Place board president Laura Laux at the Bo’s Place ‘Hats, Hearts & Horseshoes’ benefit at Houston Polo Club. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Proud peacocks were Randy Rakes in a Tom Ford blazing plaid three-piece suit and Rick Anderson in a “Balenciaga inspiration” black on white striped suit with red suede shoes and a custom red hat that he admitted looked like a shiny fruit bowl.

Barton McLaughlin accessorized his Ralph Lauren seersucker jacket with is El Ray Authentic Mexican Fashion crisscrossed stitched bow tie and matching belt. Fady Armanious donned a Vivian Westwood jacket Valentino belt, Alex Mill shorts, Prada shoes, straw Stetson while Bill Baldwin won my prize for elegant high-low casual in an 1170 jacket, Valentino shirt, J.Crew shorts and loafers by DiBianco.

Amy and Jon Heibel photo by Daniel Ortiz
Amy & Jon Heibel at the Bo’s Place ‘Hats, Hearts & Horseshoes’ benefit at Houston Polo Club. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

PC Seen: Emcees Chita Craft and Stephen Lewis, Bo’s Place executive director Mary Beth Staine, Lindy and Larry Neuhaus, Susan and Charlie Neuhaus, Debbie and Mark Gregg, Jade and David Shine, Meredith and Patrick Chastang, Stacey and Al Lindsesth, Travis Torrence, Lisa and Sanjay Kalavar, Julia and Harvin Lawhon, Duyen and Marc Nguyen, and stepping in as honorary chairs Millette and Haag Sherman, Kelli and John Weinzierl, and Christie and Mark Sullivan.

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