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Shelby's Social Diary

Lunching ladies hand over more than $5,000 in gift cards during one special Tony's meal

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133 Margaret Alkek Williams, from left, Donna Vallone and Pat Breen at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
Margaret Alkek Williams, from left, Donna Vallone and Pat Breen at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
109 Mary D'Andrea, from left, Valerie Dieterich and Isabel David at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
Mary D'Andrea, from left, Valerie Dieterich and Isabel David at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
121 Shelley Taylor Ludwick, from left, and Gracie Cavnar at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
Shelley Taylor Ludwick, from left, and Gracie Cavnar at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
118 Cathy Brock, from left, and Zoe Buzbee at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
Cathy Brock, from left, and Zoe Buzbee at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
40 Nini brooch for auction at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
Nini brooch for auction at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
Xiaojun Wang, Diana Sun, and Jessica Hernandezat the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
Xiaojun Wang, from left, Diana Sun, and Jessica Hernandez at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
100 Ellie Francisco, left, and Donna Bruni at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
Ellie Francisco, left, and Donna Bruni at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
88 Margaret Alkek Williams, left, and Nini Hale at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
Margaret Alkek Williams, left, and Nini Hale at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
86 Anne Mendelsohn, left, and Zane Carruth at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
Anne Mendelsohn, left, and Zane Carruth at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
36 Pravit Junvijit and Annie Nguyen-Tan at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
Pravit Junvijit and Annie Nguyen-Tan at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
29 Alex Blair, from left, Rini Ziegler and Danielle Ellis at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
Alex Blair, from left, Rini Ziegler and Danielle Ellis at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
14 Bobby Dees, from left, Sylvia Forsythe and Albert Rubio at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
Bobby Dees, from left, Sylvia Forsythe and Albert Rubio at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
133 Margaret Alkek Williams, from left, Donna Vallone and Pat Breen at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
109 Mary D'Andrea, from left, Valerie Dieterich and Isabel David at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
121 Shelley Taylor Ludwick, from left, and Gracie Cavnar at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
118 Cathy Brock, from left, and Zoe Buzbee at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
40 Nini brooch for auction at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
Xiaojun Wang, Diana Sun, and Jessica Hernandezat the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
100 Ellie Francisco, left, and Donna Bruni at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
88 Margaret Alkek Williams, left, and Nini Hale at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
86 Anne Mendelsohn, left, and Zane Carruth at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
36 Pravit Junvijit and Annie Nguyen-Tan at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
29 Alex Blair, from left, Rini Ziegler and Danielle Ellis at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014
14 Bobby Dees, from left, Sylvia Forsythe and Albert Rubio at the Houston Grand Opera Ball luncheon February 2014

The ooh-la-la factor edged into the social stratosphere when Houston Grand Opera Ball chair Margaret Alkek Williams summoned supporters for a luscious luncheon at Tony's. Cost of admission: a $100 gift card to a favorite restaurant, retailer or other spot of choice.

Saks Fifth Avenue and Nini Jewels co-hosted the luncheon that saw a fashionable group assemble midday for ladylike schmoozing and for a preview of the amazing amethyst, diamonds and green Tsavorite brooch created by Nini Hale for the ball. Valued at just under $30,000, the beautiful brooch designed in honor of the ball's "Fleurs de L'Opera" theme will be among numerous silent auction offerings at the April 5 white-tie-and-tails gala.  

Chair of HGO's special events committee, Donna Bruni announced that $5,000 in gift cards had been gathered at the luncheon and that total was expected to grow as more gift cards came in. Oh, what a spending spree!

Among the ladies contributing to the shopping/wining/dining windfall were Anne Mendelsohn, Cathy Brock, Pat Breen, Zoe Buzbee, Alex Blair, Isabel David, Donna Vallone, Danielle Ellis, Gracie Cavnar, Mary D'Andrea, Ellie Francisco and Zane Carruth.

Representing Saks Fifth Avenue were GM Bobby Dees, fashion director Sylvia Forsythe and Fifth Avenue Club director Albert Rubio.

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