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Shelby's Social Diary

Houston's Green Machine roars into action, raising $1.2 million for downtown park

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28 Scott and Soraya McClelland at Gala on the Green February 2014
Scott and Soraya McClelland chair at Gala on the Green benefiting Discovery Green programming. Photo by © Jenny Antill
24 Nick Florescue and Dominique Sachse at Gala on the Green February 2014
Nick Florescu and Dominique Sachse at Gala on the Green. Photo by © Jenny Antill
23 Nancy and Rich Kinder, from left, with Franci Crane at Gala on the Green February 2014
Nancy and Rich Kinder, left, with Franci Crane at Gala on the Green. Photo by © Jenny Antill
27 Saundria and Jerome Gray, from left, with Desrye Morgan at Gala on the Green February 2014
Desrye Morgan, left, with Jerome and Saundria Chase-Gray at Gala on the Green. Photo by © Jenny Antill
25 Nick Smeloff, from left, Sharon Adams and David Dewhurst at Gala on the Green February 2014
Nick Smeloff, left, Sharon Adams and David Dewhurst at Gala on the Green. Photo by © Jenny Antill
20 Meredith Cullen, from left, Natassia McMillian, Phillip Sarofim and Lori Krohn at Gala on the Green February 2014
Meredith Cullen, from left, Natassia McMillian, Phillip Sarofim and Lori Krohn at Gala on the Green. Photo by © Jenny Antill
8 Charles and Anne Duncan, from left, with Barry Mandel at Gala on the Green February 2014
Larry Faulkner, from left, Anne Duncan and Barry Mandel at Gala on the Green. Photo by © Jenny Antill
16 The venue at Gala on the Green February 2014
One hundred crystal chandeliers hung from the sately oak trees. Photo by © Jenny Antill
6 Bobby and Phoebe Tudor at Gala on the Green February 2014
Bobby and Phoebe Tudor at Gala on the Green. Photo by © Jenny Antill
5 Bobbie and John Nau at Gala on the Green February 2014
Bobbie and John Nau at Gala on the Green. Photo by © Jenny Antill
9 Chita Johnson and Josh Yezak at Gala on the Green February 2014
Chita Johnson and Josh Yezak at Gala on the Green. Photo by © Jenny Antill
11 Donna and Tony Vallone, from left, with Philamena Baird at Gala on the Green February 2014
Donna and Tony Vallone, from left, with Philamena Baird at Gala on the Green. Photo by © Jenny Antill
1 Claire Cormier Thielke, from left, Yvonne Cormier, Regina Rogers and Pat Avery at Gala on the Green February 2014
Claire Cormier-Thielke, from left, Yvonne Cormier, Regina Rogers and Pat Avery at Gala on the Green. Photo by © Jenny Antill
32 Xavier Pena, from left, Jeff Falk, Scott Sawyer and Barry Mandel at Gala on the Green February 2014
Xavier Pena, from left, Jeff Falk, Scott Sawyer and Barry Mandel at Gala on the Green. Photo by © Jenny Antill
10 Dancing at Gala on the Green February 2014
Dancing at Gala on the Green. Photo by © Jenny Antill
28 Scott and Soraya McClelland at Gala on the Green February 2014
24 Nick Florescue and Dominique Sachse at Gala on the Green February 2014
23 Nancy and Rich Kinder, from left, with Franci Crane at Gala on the Green February 2014
27 Saundria and Jerome Gray, from left, with Desrye Morgan at Gala on the Green February 2014
25 Nick Smeloff, from left, Sharon Adams and David Dewhurst at Gala on the Green February 2014
20 Meredith Cullen, from left, Natassia McMillian, Phillip Sarofim and Lori Krohn at Gala on the Green February 2014
8 Charles and Anne Duncan, from left, with Barry Mandel at Gala on the Green February 2014
16 The venue at Gala on the Green February 2014
6 Bobby and Phoebe Tudor at Gala on the Green February 2014
5 Bobbie and John Nau at Gala on the Green February 2014
9 Chita Johnson and Josh Yezak at Gala on the Green February 2014
11 Donna and Tony Vallone, from left, with Philamena Baird at Gala on the Green February 2014
1 Claire Cormier Thielke, from left, Yvonne Cormier, Regina Rogers and Pat Avery at Gala on the Green February 2014
32 Xavier Pena, from left, Jeff Falk, Scott Sawyer and Barry Mandel at Gala on the Green February 2014
10 Dancing at Gala on the Green February 2014

Natives of southern Californian Soraya and Scott McClelland had hoped for a California vibe when they chaired Saturday night's Discovery Green "Gala on the Green." Mother Nature obliged with a perfect evening for the black-tie coterie that arrived via the Brown Foundation Promenade where massive oak trees were hung with crystal chandeliers and uplighted in swaths of emerald green.

There was plenty of green on this night as the gala, held in a party tent on the edge of the 12-acre downtown park, grossed $1.2 million, proceeds supporting the free programming that draws one million visitors to the park each year.

The spring-like evening was just right for mingling on the tree-shrouded walkway and on the newly-built deck at the Jones Lawn. The Houston Encore Strings provided lilting tunes and the wait staff from Tony's circulated with trays of champagne and hors d'oeuvres while Mr. H-E-B and Soraya welcomed the 460 guests.

Once inside the party tent, the chatty throng was reluctant to be seated as Tricia and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Super Bowl Host Committee chair Ric Campo and wife Mo, luxury apartment developer Marvy Finger and wife Elaine and the like appeared to be having too much fun to be seated.

The evening was short on program and long on fun as KPRC Channel 2 news anchor Dominique Sachse emceed and Discovery Green board chair Anne Duncan introduced past Gala on the Green chairs who were present. Taking bows for their previous fundraising efforts were Franci Crane, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor and Bobbie and John Nau. Duncan also recognized Nancy and Rich Kinder, the forces behind the public/private partnership that made Discovery Green possible. After that, it was dancing long into the night to the sounds of Simply Irresistible. 

Savoring the California-style weather were Discovery Green executive director Barry Mandel, Susan McEldoon and Nick Smeloff, Sharon Adams, Saundria Chase-Grey and Jerome Grey, Katy Caldwell, Gilbert Herrera, Zane and Brady Carruth, Yvonne and Rufus Cormier, Meredith Cullen, Lori Krohn and Phillip Sarofim, Donna and Tony Vallone, receiving kudos for the delicious dinner.

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