Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s Boo Ball Draws Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce, Royals, Barbies, Frankenstein and Much More Costumed Fun

This $820,000 Night Is No Ordinary Halloween Party

BY // 10.30.23

There was no missing the towering Wade Upton as he monster-mashed his way into the Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom. Actually, you might not have recognized him in his convincing Frankenstein mask had he not been on the arm of the very recognizable Flo McGee. Then there were the witches, the goblins, the towering Yankee Doodle Dandy, aka John Riley, and so many other creative characters making this Ronald McDonald House Boo Ball a playful costume success in Houston.

Debbie Rossi, John Riley, Diane Riley, Kathy Kline photo by Daniel Ortiz
Debbie Rossi, John & Diane Riley, Kathy Kline at the Ronald McDonald House Houston Boo Ball (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Applause, applause for chairs April and Wells McGee, appearing as Morticia and Gomez Addams, who helmed the colorful night that drew a costumed throng of more than 720 and raised more than $820,000 for the nonprofit that has homes-away-from-home in the Texas Medical Center for seriously ill children and their families.

The see-and-be-seen cocktail hour saw guests gleefully preening in their costumes: Megan Hotze as a daring mermaid, fancy butterflies Kristen Cannon and Faith Majors, flower children Patty and Greg Glasscock, the bewitching Mady Kades, Dracula Christopher Doyle and on and on. Dan and Allison Connally even showed up as couple of the moment Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift.

Beyond the thrills, this Boo Ball had its serious side that included two videos featuring families that were able to find respite in Ronald McDonald House services. Perhaps most moving was when Kaely Suarez, a senior at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, carrying the puppy for the live auction related her story of beginning life in Level 3 NICU at Texas Children’s Hospital with her parents staying for five weeks at the Ronald McDonald House.

Luke and Megan Hotze photo by Daniel Ortiz
Luke & Megan Hotze at the Ronald McDonald House Houston Boo Ball (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

The Houston program offers four  housing opportunities: the flagship Holcombe House with 70 bedrooms, 19 bedrooms and 10 family lounges at Texas Children’s, 14 short-term private sleep/nap rooms in Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and two private bedrooms and a lounge at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Accepting honors, presented by Ronald McDonald House Houston CEO Cristina Vetrano, were David Carmony, recipient of the Founder’s Award; Hess, recognized as Corporate Partner; and Kaye Barnes, recognized as Volunteer of the Year. The program included comments from board president Dan Connally. Lisa Malosky served as emcee for the evening while Johnny “Bravo” Holloway energized the live auction action.

Dan and Allison Connally photo by Daniel Ortiz
Dan & Allison Connally at the Ronald McDonald House Houston Boo Ball (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

PC Seen: Lindy and Tom McGee, Melinda and Matt Mogas, Ken Kades, Steve Vetrano, Emma and Seth Elsenbrook, Sneha and Nick Merchant, Melissa Juneau, Emily Crosswell, Amalia and Brian Stanton, Debbie and Ozzie Bauer, Allison Connally, Luke Hotze, Katherine Whaley and Chris Wadley, Seliece and Lee Womble, and Elyse and Drew Tolson.

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