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Society / Featured Parties

A Houston Billionaire and his Wife Open Up Their River Oaks Mansion for Merriest Christmas Party Ever

At Home with the Fertittas

BY // 12.16.17
photography Dave Rossman

What a very, merry fundraiser it was when Paige and Tilman Fertitta once again opened their holiday-decked River Oaks home for the 12th annual Santa’s Elves party benefiting pediatric cancer research at M.D. Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital. As is tradition, the Fertittas pulled out the stops, giving guests full run of their home’s first floor where Christmas trees, mantel decor and beautiful buffet tables all but shouted “Have a very merry.”

The Houston Children’s Chorus, filling the curving stairway to the second floor, greeted guests with their glorious songs of the season. Ready in the grand foyer for arrivals were M.D. Anderson newly-minted president Dr. Peter Pisters, introduced to new arrivals by executive director of development Mary Kathryn Cooper.

The fresh faces of young parents and professionals that poured in would have brought a smile to the faces of the event’s founders — Diane and John Connally III, Courtney Hill Fertitta and Jason Fertitta, Patsy and the late Greg Fourticq, and Gregory Fourticq Jr. — several of whom were able to join the evening that raised more than $100,000.

A string quartet performed in the family room while the children’s voices filled the living room and, just outside, a dreamy photo opp with Santa, his sleigh and Dancer and Prancer had a steady line of Santa Claus enthusiasts. Throughout the vast house, buffet tables were loaded with the best of the offerings from Landry’s restaurant empire. And needless to say, the new owner of the Houston Rockets (Tilman Fertitta), had TVs tuned to the game against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City.

Santa’s Elves: Brooke and Holden Rushing, Nellie Connally, John B. Connally IV, Rachel Auwarter, Laura Murillo, Jenna Klein, Blaire and Barry Kessler, Sarah and Travis Covington, Catherine and David Herr, Catherine and Reed Barrett, Laine and Dave Santamaria and Caroline and Will Brown.

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Part of the Special Series:

PaperCity - 'Tis the Season 2017

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