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Shelby's Social Diary

Sexy masks, fabulous gowns and jugglers make Houston's Women of Distinction gala stand out

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Jess and Betty Tutor, from left, Denise Monteleone and Franelle Rogers at the Winter Ball January 2014
Honorary chairs Jess and Betty Tutor, from left, with Winter Ball chairs Denise Monteleone and Franelle Rogers.  Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
Gary and Caroline Kenney at Winter Ball January 2014
Gary and Caroline Kenney carry festive carnival masks at the Winter Ball. Photo by Kim Coffman
2014 Class photo at the Winter Ball January 2014 T
2014 Class Photo at the Winter Ball. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
Rose Cullen with ballerinas at the Winter Ball January 2014
Honoree Rose Cullen escorted by Bay Area Houston Ballet Theatre "roses" at the Winter Ball. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
Doug and Winell Herron at the Winter Ball January 2014
Doug and Winell Herron, a Woman of Distinction, at the Winter Ball. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Patti Murphy, Elizabeth Stein, Winter Ball, jan. 2014
Former Women of Distinction Patti Murphy, left, and Elizabeth Stein at the Winter Ball. Photo by Kim Coffman
Katina Kearns, left, and Caroline Kenney at the Winter Ball January 2014
Katina Kearns, left, and Caroline Kenney at the Winter Ball. Photo by Kim Coffman
Rachel Regan, left, and Lisa Simon at the Winter Ball January 2014
Women of Distinction Rachel Regan, left, and Lisa Simon at the Winter Ball. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelb, Bobbie Nau, Penny Loyd, Beth Wolff, Roz Pactor
Women of Distinction Bobbie Nau, from left, Penny Loyd, Beth Wolff and Roz Pactor. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
Bobby and Weezy Dees at the Winter Ball January 2014
Bobby and Weezy Dees at the Winter Ball. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
Carol and Tom Sawyer at the Winter Ball January 2014
Carol and Dr. Tom Sawyer at the Winter Ball. Photo by Kim Coffman
Doe and Henry Florsheim at the Winter Ball January 2014
Doe and Henry Florsheim at the Winter Ball. Photo by Kim Coffman
John Nau, from left, Roxann Neumann, Bobbie Nau and Tim Neumann at the Winter Ball January 2014
John Nau, from left, Roxann Neumann, Bobbie Nau and Tim Neumann at the Winter Ball. Photo by Kim Coffman
Ralph Burch and Beth Madison at the Winter Ball January 2014
Ralph Burch and Beth Madison at the Winter Ball. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
Scott and Soraya McClelland, from left, and Susie and Larry Johnsonat the Winter Ball January 2014
Scott and Soraya McClelland, from left, and Susie and Larry Johnson at the Winter Ball. Photo by Kim Coffman
Paul and Kristina Somerville at the Winter Ball January 2014
Paul and Kristina Somerville at the Winter Ball. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
Faith and Lee Majors at the Winter Ball January 2014
Faith and Lee Majors at the Winter Ball. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
Jess and Betty Tutor, from left, Denise Monteleone and Franelle Rogers at the Winter Ball January 2014
Gary and Caroline Kenney at Winter Ball January 2014
2014 Class photo at the Winter Ball January 2014 T
Rose Cullen with ballerinas at the Winter Ball January 2014
Doug and Winell Herron at the Winter Ball January 2014
News, Shelby, Patti Murphy, Elizabeth Stein, Winter Ball, jan. 2014
Katina Kearns, left, and Caroline Kenney at the Winter Ball January 2014
Rachel Regan, left, and Lisa Simon at the Winter Ball January 2014
News, Shelb, Bobbie Nau, Penny Loyd, Beth Wolff, Roz Pactor
Bobby and Weezy Dees at the Winter Ball January 2014
Carol and Tom Sawyer at the Winter Ball January 2014
Doe and Henry Florsheim at the Winter Ball January 2014
John Nau, from left, Roxann Neumann, Bobbie Nau and Tim Neumann at the Winter Ball January 2014
Ralph Burch and Beth Madison at the Winter Ball January 2014
Scott and Soraya McClelland, from left, and Susie and Larry Johnsonat the Winter Ball January 2014
Paul and Kristina Somerville at the Winter Ball January 2014
Faith and Lee Majors at the Winter Ball January 2014

Applause, applause for Winter Ball chairs Denise Monteleone and Franelle Rogers, who catapulted the 27th annual spectacular to new heights with the energizing Carnevale di Venezia theme and with fundraising power that brought in a record $830,000 for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America.

The proliferation of dazzling carnival masks carried by guests and honorees alike and offered for sale during the reception set the tone for the Venetian-themed evening that was carried through in billboard-sized murals and streaming video and photos of the romantic Italian city. Jugglers, mimes and an operatic tenor led the well-heeled throng into the Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom where tables were decorated with gilded candelabra topped with glittering, feathery carnival masks.

The Winter Ball each year honors the Channel 13 KTRK Women of Distinction and one Ambassador. This year, organizers added a third category to the honoree mix, that of La Patronessa Straordinaria. The much-beloved Rose Cullen held that honor as she walked the runway escorted by four truly lovely "roses" from the Bay Area Houston Ballet Theatre.

Taking bows as 2014 Women of Distinction were Jane-Page Crump, Winell Herron, Penny Loyd, Joella Mach, Bobbie Nau, Roz Pactor, Rachel Regan, Lisa Simon, Nancy Strohmer and Beth Wolff. Stepping out as Ambassador was Beth Madison. The women were recognized for their ardent commitment to the arts, education, health care and the community at large. Introducing the ladies were KTRK news anchors Melanie Lawson and Tom Koch.

Adding to the exceptional fundraising effort was the outright donation of a Mercedes-Benz 2014 S-Class sedan, which sold for more than the MSRP, donated by Mercedes-Benz Dealers of Greater Houston, the custom-made topaz and diamond earrings designed and donated by Franco Valobra and the seven-night stay in a five-bedroom villa in Cabo San Lucas.

Enhancing the night's glam factor were guests including honorary chairs Betty and Jesse Tutor, Clayton and Shel Erikson, Ralph Burch, Terrie and Mike Turner, Robert Sakowitz, Kristina and Paul Somerville, Margaret Williams and Jim Daniel, John Nau, Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein and Martin Fein, Betty and John Hrncir, Trini Mendenhall, KTRK GM Henry Florsheim and wife Doe and Saks Fifth Avenue GM Bobby Dees and wife Weezy.

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