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Shelby About Town

ESPN's Hannah Storm is bringing a celeb show to Houston, locals hang at Joe Biden's place & Billy Gibbons chills at the bar

News_Shelby Hodge_head shot_Dec. 2009
Hannah Storm
Hannah Storm brings sports celebrity fundraising for her foundation to Houston in April. Photo by © Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images
Frann Lichtenstein and Jeff Hirschberg, January 2013
Frann Lichtenstein and Jeffrey Hirschberg did all the important inaugural parties in D.C. Courtesy photo
Bubba Butera, from left, chef Napoleon Palacios and Johnny Mandola, January 2013
Bubba Butera, from left, chef Napoleon Palacios and Johnny Mandola at Damian's for a 30th anniversary dinner.  Photo by Melissa Kuo
John Guess Jr. left and Danny Simmons, January 2013
John Guess Jr., left, and Danny Simmons pal around in Brooklyn at art opening.  Courtesy photo

The stars are aligning now for ESPN SportsCenter anchor Hannah Storm, who is planning on bringing in a slew of big-name talent for the first Houston benefit for her Hannah Storm Foundation. Mark your calendars for April 2 and set the GPS for The Tasting Room at CityCentre.

TTR owner Lasco Enterprises is partnering with the foundation for the celebrity fundraiser that will aid children suffering from disfiguring vascular birthmarks. Co-hosting the event is the UTHealth Medical School's Department of Pediatric Surgery at Children's Memorial Hermann.

 Hannah is expected to return to the ESPN news desk as early as next week, following the propane gas grill explosion that burned her face, chest and hands. 

Of course, Hannah's husband, NBC sportscaster Dan Hicks, will be in the celeb mix. And you can expect her mother, Houston real estate agent Hannah Storen, to be on hand as well.

Stay tuned for more news on celebs saving the date. Reservations are available through the foundation.

(Hannah is expected to return to the ESPN news desk as early as next week, following the propane gas grill explosion that burned her face, chest and hands. By April, she should be well on the mend.)

Inaugural bliss

Count Frann Lichtenstein and her Washington-based beau Jeffrey Hirschberg among those on Cloud Nine following the Obama inauguration festivities. The duo made the rounds from Wednesday of last week through the festivities on inauguration day.

She emails from D.C. that their itinerary included a small reception at the White House with the President and first lady and Vice President Joe Biden as well as an event at the Vice President's official residence. In addition, there were parties, parties, parties.

She continued via email, "It's been wonderful to be included, and especially a magnificent day today for the inauguration. Having been here four years ago, this day has been just as special."  

Three decades of good food

The Damian's Cucina Italiana clan celebrated 30 years of serving celebrated fare on Friday with dinner for six — Frankie Mandola and wife Judy, their son Johnny Mandola and wife Carol and cousin Bubba Butera and wife Nancy.

They were served by Armando Rivera, the popular waiter who has been with the restaurant all three decades. Chef Napoleon Palacios, who has been with the restaurant for 29 years, presented his specialties.

In addition there was an enormous Italian cream cake that the family shared with diners throughout the evening.

New York art scene

John Guess Jr., CEO of the Houston Museum of African American Culture, reports that the Roux exhibition opening at Corridor Gallery in Brooklyn was a hit. This was  HMAAC's first originated exhibit to show in New York and as John says, it's the only thing that could have kept him away from President Obama's inauguration.

Featuring works by Ann Johnson and Rabe' A Ballin, the show was curated by Danielle Burns. Among notables attending was Danny Simmons. He and John ended the night with dinner at a Thai restaurant.

Sight 'ems

Houston Texan Owen Daniels savoring the French fare at L'Olivier . . . 

ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons at Hotel Sorella's Bistro Bar.

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