Friday afternoon, we thought for sure that the Zoo Friends of Houston gala was going to be more of a Noah's Ark bash than the "Viva Zoo Vegas" that had been planned long before the 60 mph winds and torrential rains whipped through town. But in the end, Lady Luck smiled on the party crowd as the windy downpour ceased before the gates opened for the Houston Zoo gala.
It was a big sigh of relief for chairs Cindi Scruggs, Lynnae Partridge and Patti Henry, who welcomed more than 300 partygoers to the "Flamingo Nightclub" (actually the pavilion) in the zoo's African Forest.
The welcome committee included feather-decked Vegas-style show girls and the zoo's animal ambassadors including tamanduas, snakes, armadillos and more.
Before the dancing began, Frank Sinatra impersonator Gary Anthony had the crowd thinking the man himself had returned from the far side. By the end of Anthony's routine, the ladies had lined up behind him doing can-can kicks as he crooned "New York, New York."
Getting their groove on Vegas style were honorees Barbara and Jonathan Day plus Molly and Jim Crownover, Jeanie Kilroy, Bobbie Nau, Tricia and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Yvonne and Rufus Cormier, Betty and Jess Tutor, Stephen Newton, Zoo Friends president Diane Cain, zoo director Rick Barongi and zoo president Deborah Cannon.