Society / Featured Parties

Houston Young Professionals Bring The Wizard Of Oz to Life For a Fantastical Barbara Bush Gala

Somewhere Over the Rainbow in the Bayou City's Museum District

BY // 11.23.22

What: The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation Young Professionals Group “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” Storybook Gala

Where: Hotel ZaZa Museum District

PC Moment: The Wizard of Oz-inspired theme of the evening saw Dorothy, The Tin Man, The Cowardly Lion and The Scarecrow, courtesy of J&D Entertainment, frolicking through the jazzed surroundings with more than 300 guests. In addition to the whimsical wonderland decor, ArtAttack provided a 5-foot tall ruby slipper, an homage to the children’s book.

Helming the fundraiser were Joselyn and Jeff Carnrite and Kasey and Nick Carnrite, the brothers members of the Carnrite Group‘s management team. Carnrite, honoree Deloitte and P2 Energy Solutions were sponsors of the evening that raised more than $320,000 for literacy programs.

Dorothy might have warned Toto that they weren’t in Kansas anymore, but hotel catering bid a nod to the Sunflower State with a buffet featuring barbecued pork presented on gouda grits, pork belly bites and roasted corn in shot glasses. Whimsical desserts included cheesecake lollipops straight from the Emerald City, rainbow sugar cookies and Munchkin-sized macaroons. In addition to the buffet, after the program, Houston-based Drywater Band struck up the dance tunes.

Ron Finck, Julie Finck, Morgan Relyea Colt, Walker Colt; Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Ron & Julie Finck, Morgan Relyea Colt & Walker Colt at the Storybook Gala (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

The 2022 Childhood Literacy Impact Award was presented to Deloitte, which in 2013 began a collaboration with the foundation in which the company committed to dedicating expertise to help develop Houston’s Literacy Crisis. Say hello to A Blueprint for Community Action, a first-ever, citywide strategic plan focused on literacy.

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  • Valobra November 2022 Gifts 2
  • Valobra November 2022 Gifts 2
  • Valobra November 2022 Gifts 2
  • Valobra November 2022 Gifts 2
  • Valobra November 2022 Gifts 2
  • Valobra November 2022 Gifts 2
  • Valobra November 2022 Gifts 2
  • Valobra November 2022 Gifts 2
  • Valobra November 2022 Gifts 2
  • Valobra November 2022 Gifts 2
  • Valobra November 2022 Gifts 2

Since that time, Deloitte has been engaged in various pro bono projects, most recently supporting the foundation’s development of its strategic plan to increase adult literacy rates.

Kyle and Amy McCully, Regan Polotko, Nick Spearman; Photo By Daniel Ortiz
Kyle & Amy McCully, Regan Polotko & Nick Spearman at the Storybook Gala (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

In addition, Deloitte is assisting the foundation in creating its website to tell the story of its decade of difference-making in celebration of its 10th year anniversary in 2023. Accepting the award were Amy Chronis, vice chair, US Energy & Chemicals Leader and Houston managing partner, Deloitte LLP, and Scott John, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

PC Seen: Maria and Neil Bush, Alan Carnrite Julie and Ron Finck, Lisa and Mark Jakel, Deb and Monte Stavis, Amy and Pete Chronis, Emre Ozsut, Jordan Kahlil, Heather and Ray  Collins, Sidney and Michael Aquino, Sarah and Ben Cotting, Caroline Edmundson, Carson Brown, Eric Brueggman, Stephanie and Brent Schier, Nick Spearman, Regan Polotko, Grace and Tom Gosnell, and Victoria Villarreal.

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