Houston Society & Philanthropy
Butterfly Luncheon for Houston Hospice
Over 220 guests gathered at the Junior League of Houston on Monday, April 1, in support of Houston Hospice and its Butterfly Program. Butterfly Luncheon Chairmen Jenny Kempner, Isabel Lummis and Sue White were thrilled with the over $200,000 raised, including a raffle.
Melanie Lawson emceed the day commenting that the funds raised from the event are important. The featured speaker was LeAnn Thieman, who is New York Times best selling author of 14 Chicken Soup for the Soul books and has been featured on CNN, Fox-TV, BBC, PBS, in Newsweek Magazine, Voices of the Century issue and PAX TV's It's a Miracle show. LeAnn spoke about her personal experiences as part of the Vietnam Orphan Airlift including how she and her husband adopted one of the babies. She emphasized the importance of being strong physically, emotionally and spiritually to face everyday life and how each person can make a difference in the world. She pointed out that everyone in the room had already taken the step to make a difference. The guests gave her heartfelt round of applause for the comments about dealing with life and death. Many stayed after the event to have LeAnn sign her book. Houston Hospice provides uncompromising, compassionate end-of-life care for its patients and their families. The Butterfly Program, which was developed in 1996, is recognized as a national leader for the advancement of pediatric hospice care.
Party Time for Spirit of Texas
The storms rolled out and the cool weather rolled in to make for the perfect night for the first Spirit of Texas event benefiting the Battleship Texas Foundation, Sunday, April 7, at Armadillo Palace. Close to 300 guests clad in jeans and boots danced to the live country music first by The Robert Hartye Acoustic Duo and then the main event, the Cory Morrow Band.
The Chairs Penny Butler and Trey Strake were applauding the success that raised $200,000 for the Foundation. Honorary Chairs Marilyn and George DeMontrond enjoyed visiting with the crowd and the honorees including Gary Guilhas, Health, Safety, Security and Environmental Manager with Corporate Honoree Shell - Deer Park, Individual Leaders Honorees, distinguished military veteran and entrepreneur John Poindexter and retired Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, who had the flu and was represented by twin brother and former Navy Seal, Morgan Luttrell. Dana Tyson of Sunny 99.1 lead the event as emcee. Barbeque and beers were the choice of the night while attendees bid on a variety of auction items and tested their skills playing on a giant replica of the Battleship game.
Selling out quickly at the event were items that had been made from pieces from the ship including handcrafted original steel pieces in the shape of Texas, and pens and wine stoppers from the ship’s original teak. Chairman of the Board Tony Gregory spoke about the proceeds from the event helping to preserve the USS TEXAS that was originally commissioned in 1914.
The Roastery Goes West
The Roastery Coffee Kitchen continued their expansion in the Houston market with the grand opening of their third location attached to the San Felipe St. H-E-B. The flagship location is approximately 7,600 square feet including a large covered patio.
Marble coffee counters, chevron wood accents and stained concrete floors make for a chic and modern interior where guests can gather at high top tables, conversation vignettes featuring cozy chairs in the Roastery’s signature cool blue, community tables or intimate dining areas.
The Roastery Coffee Kitchen extends beyond coffee, tea and pastries. Giagrande’s Culinary Director Matt Johnson and Executive Chef Kent Domas, most recently from Alice Blue, have created a menu that includes small and large plates, sandwiches, pasta, brick-oven pizzas, seasonal sides, desserts and even a kid’s menu. The team also recently added Pastry Chef Sarah Schnitzer, formerly of Pax Americana and The Pass & Provisions. Patrons can also enjoy eight local beers on tap and a robust cocktail program with a section dedicated to craft coffee cocktails - hot and cold.
The Last Astronaut
Derek Potts hosted friends, family, actors, directors and noteworthy Houstonians at one of Houston’s finest new restaurants, Eunice, and Madison Marquette’s sleek 3737 Buffalo Speedway, the location of The Potts Law Firm to celebrate the launch of the movie The Last Astronaut. Guests were greeted with festive “sparkulars” and savored delicious hand-passed appetizers, a raw bar and food stations, including a whole roasted cochon de lait. Guests mingled amidst the space-themed décor that included martini and champagne walls along with “zero gravity cocktails” served by bartenders in silver painted suits and waitresses in hand-painted body suits while wearing astronaut helmets. Entertainment provided by Houston’s own DJ Senega kept guests dancing throughout the night on the illuminated dance floor.
The Last Astronaut is directed by native Houstonian and director, Shawn Welling, and produced by Welling Films and Deepwater Productions, Derek Potts’ movie production company. The movie debuted in the Houston International Film Festival on Sunday, April 7th.
Boss babes Karen Henry and Gretchen Brice, who founded The PR Boutique in 2004, recently donned their party pants to toast to 15 years in business. B.B Lemon provided the perfect setting as the dynamic duo hosted their fabulous team alongside clients and friends from over the years.
The crystal-themed evening celebrated the success of the establishment and expansion of the female owned and operated Texas-based firm complete with signature crystal martinis, palm readings and light bites.
We Are Family
The Nora's Home 8th annual gala, We Are Family, recently celebrated the gift of life by raising an impressive $950,000. The money raised will allow them to continue to be able to provide a safe, affordable and comfortable place to stay for families. Guests enjoyed a groovy cocktail reception, lively casino games and a delicious dinner of filet mignon and salmon during their night at The Post Oak hotel. Chairs, Nick and Vicki Massad, along with their daughter, Taylor, gave a heartwarming testimony, sharing their transplant journey as a family when Taylor was a perfect match and donated her kidney to her father, Nick.
In addition to raising funds to assist organ failure and transplant patients receiving treatment in the Texas Medical Center, this year’s event also celebrated the grand opening of its recent expansion by honoring Houston philanthropists Carole and Jim Looke and Paula and Rusty Walter. This special family, consisting of brother and sister, Carole and Rusty, as well as their spouses, has continued to generously support Nora’s Home from the beginning and has helped ensure that transplant patients have a place to call home during their greatest time of need. To finish out the evening after an incredible program, The Grooves took the stage and guests broke out their moves and danced the night away.
180 guests and fellow Rockets players recently gathered at The JW Marriott Houston Downtown with Clint Capela for his foundation’s first major event, Celebrity Slam. The evening was a slam dunk and raised $215,000 to benefit low-income, single-parent families in the area. Inspired by his upbringing in Switzerland and welfare orphanage experience where he and his brother were only able to visit their single mother on the weekends, the NBA star and Rockets fan favorite launched his foundation with a mission to help the Houston community and focus on giving kids great experiences not typically available to them in single-parent homes.
Upon arrival, each guest was given a basketball for celebrity signage purposes and entered the cocktail reception to enjoy light bites and silent auction items such as a Houston Texans helmet signed by JJ Watt, a Houston Rockets jersey signed by Hakeem Olajuwon, a diamond and ruby necklace from Jianna Jewelers and more. Attendees were able to meet and talk with Capela, as well teammates Austin Rivers, PJ Tucker, James Harden and Chris Paul. Capela and his teammates then kicked off the program in the ballroom and auctioned off signed jerseys to get the crowd excited. Houston Rockets announcer Matt Thomas served as emcee for the evening and interviewed Capela about his background and why he started the foundation. Alexa Albrecht with DePelchin Children’s Center also gave a heartwarming speech about the impact Capela and his foundation have made on the children and how Capela is the only celebrity that has taken the time to pay a visit to the center in its almost 30 years of existence.
A spirited live auction led by TV host Matt Rogers followed and to round out the evening, guests were treated to a delicious dinner and the opportunity to watch the UH Cougars take on Kentucky on the big screen.