The tenor of the gift giving season spread over Hotel Icon for Volunteer Houston's "Taste-ful: An Evening to Celebrate 25 Years of Saint Nicholas" on Thursday night. But not with gaudy, themed décor or trivial activities.
The real meaning of December festivities were in the organization's A Visit from Saint Nicholas initiative, one that partners with area schools to offer 10,000 backpacks filled books and toys for at-risk children in the Houston and Bay areas.
Board president Mike Gustafson of presenting sponsor ConocoPhillips addressed the amicable throng of more than 200 to show the outcome of their contributed dollars, which enabled the nonprofit to grow this program by 40 percent from 2011.
On final count, the $160,000 in revenue more than doubled from last year's inaugural event.
Be it the Yule Shoot Your Eye Out ale from Karbach Brewing Co. or the many glasses of wine consumed, the silent auction was made merry with guests bidding away for two footballs signed by the entire Houston Texans team, art by Edgar Medina and vacation packages. On final count, the $160,000 in revenue more than doubled from last year's inaugural event.
Chef David Luna of LINE & LARIAT reached beyond his deep Texas roots and prepared a sampling journey that gallivanted from coast to coast and across the pond to countries that honored the story of Saint Nick.
From the French countryside, duck rillettes and cherry-almond confiture. From the highlands of Spain, sliced serrano ham coupled with dry aged goat cheese. And from the Lone Star State, Karbach beer braised pork tostadas. With stops in Argentina, the Netherlands and Louisiana, there was no shortage of delight at this international feast.
Nibbling away were Dawn and Richard Rawson of Insperity with daughter Kimberly, Saundria Chase Gray and Jerome Gray, Jennifer and Willie Miles, Houston Texans safety Danieal Manning and wife Tesha, Jena and Brent Tredway, Beverly and Max Bowman with daughter Kimberli, Eileen and Brown Councill, Carlos Meltzer and Nick Espinosa, Gloria Bounds, Aimee Phillips and Terry Yuskin.