Ladies of the Nile

Hunky near naked "guards" and a snake charmer make this distinctive women power gala unforgettable

Hunky near naked "guards" and a snake charmer make this gala rock

Trini Mendehall with Pharaoh Guards at the Winter Ball January 2015
Past Women of Distinction honoree Trini Mendehall escorted on the catwalk by pharaoh guards. Photo by © Kim Coffman
Elizabeth Stein, left, and Patti Murphy at the Winter Ball January 2015
Winter Ball chairs Elizabeth Stein, left, and Patti Murphy. Photo by © Kim Coffman
Terrie and Mike Turner at the Winter Ball January 2015
Honorary chairs Terrie and Mike Turner. Photo by © Kim Coffman
Alan Stein, from left, Franco Valobra and Don Murphy at the Winter Ball January 2015
Alan Stein, from left, Franco Valobra and Don Murphy. Photo by © Kim Coffman
Patrick Breen, left, with Pat and Daniel Breen at the Winter Ball January 2015
Patrick Breen, left, with Pat and Dan Breen. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Mike and Carol Linn at the Winter Ball January 2015
Mike and Carol Linn. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Bobbie and John Nau at the Winter Ball January 2015
Bobbie and John Nau. Photo by © Kim Coffman
Anthony and Cleopatra at the Winter Ball January 2015
Anthony and Cleopatra add playful notes to the "Night on the Nile" decor. Photo by © Kim Coffman
Sharon and Doug Owens, left, with Yvonne Cormier at the Winter Ball January 2015
Sharon and Doug Owens, left, with Yvonne Cormier. Photo by © Kim Coffman
Peter Geib, from left, Lauren Foyt and David and Tiffany Wanja at the Winter Ball January 2015
Peter Geib and Lauren Foyt, left, with David and Tiffany Wanja. Photo by © Kim Coffman
Jerry and Linda Fields, from left, and Lesha and Tom Elsenbrook at the Winter Ball January 2015
Jerry and Linda Fields, left, with Lesha and Tom Elsenbrook. Photo by © Kim Coffman
Kim Moody and Bobby Dees at the Winter Ball January 2015
Kim Moody and Bobby Dees. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Leisa Holland Nelson and Suzan Deison at the Winter Ball January 2015
Leisa Holland Nelson, left, and Suzan Deison. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Bruce Padilla, from left, Caroline Kenney and Shelby Kibodeaux at the Winter Ball January 2015
Bruce Padilla, left, Caroline Kenney and Shelby Kibodeaux. Photo by © Kim Coffman
Cynthia and Tony Petrello at the Winter Ball January 2015
Cynthia and Tony Petrello. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Don and Gayla Gardner at the Winter Ball January 2015
Don and Gayla Gardner. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Vanessa Sendukas, from left, Alicia Smith, Elizabeth Stein and Ann Carl at the Winter Ball January 2015
Vanessa Sendukas, from left, Alicia Smith, Elizabeth Stein and Ann Carl. Photo by © Kim Coffman
Paul and Kristina Somerville at the Winter Ball January 2015
Paul and Kristina Somerville modeling the snake charmer's pet reptile. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Dr. Charles Osterberg, left, with Susan and Edward Osterberg MWat the Winter Ball January 2015
Dr. Charles Osterberg, left, with Susan and Edward Osterberg. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Roberta and Lee Schwartz at the Winter Ball January 2015
Roberta and Lee Schwartz. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Denise Monteleone, left, and Darlene Bisso at the Winter Ball January 2015
Denise Monteleone, left, and Darlene Bisso. Photo by © Kim Coffman
Henry and Doe Florsheim at the Winter Ball January 2015
Henry and Doe Florsheim. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Jerry and Lisa Simon, from left, and Betty and Kim Gee at the Winter Ball January 2015
Jerry and Lisa Simon, left, with Betty and Kim Gee. Photo by © Kim Coffman
Trini Mendehall with Pharaoh Guards at the Winter Ball January 2015
Elizabeth Stein, left, and Patti Murphy at the Winter Ball January 2015
Terrie and Mike Turner at the Winter Ball January 2015
Alan Stein, from left, Franco Valobra and Don Murphy at the Winter Ball January 2015
Patrick Breen, left, with Pat and Daniel Breen at the Winter Ball January 2015
Mike and Carol Linn at the Winter Ball January 2015
Bobbie and John Nau at the Winter Ball January 2015
Anthony and Cleopatra at the Winter Ball January 2015
Sharon and Doug Owens, left, with Yvonne Cormier at the Winter Ball January 2015
Peter Geib, from left, Lauren Foyt and David and Tiffany Wanja at the Winter Ball January 2015
Jerry and Linda Fields, from left, and Lesha and Tom Elsenbrook at the Winter Ball January 2015
Kim Moody and Bobby Dees at the Winter Ball January 2015
Leisa Holland Nelson and Suzan Deison at the Winter Ball January 2015
Bruce Padilla, from left, Caroline Kenney and Shelby Kibodeaux at the Winter Ball January 2015
Cynthia and Tony Petrello at the Winter Ball January 2015
Don and Gayla Gardner at the Winter Ball January 2015
Vanessa Sendukas, from left, Alicia Smith, Elizabeth Stein and Ann Carl at the Winter Ball January 2015
Paul and Kristina Somerville at the Winter Ball January 2015
Dr. Charles Osterberg, left, with Susan and Edward Osterberg MWat the Winter Ball January 2015
Roberta and Lee Schwartz at the Winter Ball January 2015
Denise Monteleone, left, and Darlene Bisso at the Winter Ball January 2015
Henry and Doe Florsheim at the Winter Ball January 2015
Jerry and Lisa Simon, from left, and Betty and Kim Gee at the Winter Ball January 2015

When Winter Ball chairs Elizabeth Stein and Patti Murphy selected "A Night on the Nile" as the theme of the annual Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America gala, they could hardly have anticipated the rave reviews of the visually stunning evening.

Their phones and emails were busy, busy on Sunday as praise poured in for the evening that transformed the ballroom of the Hilton Americas-Houston into a time travel sensation. Bare-chested pharaoh's guards welcomed guests while richly-costumed Anthony and Cleopatra romped through the black-tie crowd of 650 and a snake charmer tested the bravery of guests who might be willing to handle the reptile.

The 2015 KTRK Channel 13 Women of Distinction were presented against a backdrop of massive videos and images from Egypt, first camels strolling past the pyramids, boats on the Nile and antiquities. Kudos to ArtAttack and Password Productions for executing the brilliant decor.

A dozen women were honored on this night including Queen of the Nile Pat Breen and 2015 Ambassador Trini Mendenhall. The 2015 class of Women of Distinction were Carol Beck, Suzan Deison, Lesha Elsenbrook, Gayla Gardner, Carol Linn, Kim Moody, Leisa Holland-Nelson, Susan Osterberg, Cynthia Petrello and Roberta Schwartz

Also taking bows in the spotlight and strolling the catwalk were more than 50 leading ladies, who were previously honored as Women of Distinction during the Winter Ball's 27-year history.

Terrie and Mike Turner served as honorary chairs of the gala that raised close to $900,000, a record for the event. Adding to the bottom line was the auction of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS 550 sedan, donated by Mercedes-Benz Dealers of Greater Houston, a necklace and earring set created by Franco Valobra and the Lucky Key draw that opened King Tut's Treasure for a $15,000 gift certificate to Tenenbaum & Co.

Celebrating with the Women of Distinction were Don Murphy, Alan Stein, Linda and Jerry Fields, Tony Bradfield and Kevin Black, Nancy and Jack Dinerstein, Kristina and Paul Somerville, Cora Sue and Harry Mach, Claudia and Jan Rask and Janet and Tom Behanick.

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