With a rare original edition of the Magna Carta at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, organizers of the annual gala decided it was a perfect opportunity to celebrate with a veddy British motif that included a salute to Bond . . . James Bond.
The witty "Shaken...Not Stirred" theme asked men to dress in black tie in the spirit of 007, and the gents rivaled the women in sartorial splendor. Co-chairs Mark Kelly and Maynard Holt looked debonair in white dinner jackets and tux ties in the pattern of the British flag while Sam Stubbs' Union Jack tie and cummerbund matched wife Melinda's clutch.
Buckingham Palace Guards (actually actors who looked like the real thing) and waiters offering martinis greeted the 820 guests as they entered the museum foyer while images of London landmarks flashed on the wall. During the cocktail hour, guests had the opportunity to view the 800-year-old Magna Carta, one of the most important documents in the history of democracy, in a special area of the museum with intricate stained glass replicas from a cathedral in Gloucester.
The document, which had never before left England, is on display through Aug. 17.
In the Morian Hall of Paleontology, giant dinosaurs hovered above as guests dined on a delicious British-themed menu from City Kitchen, including Scottish smoked salmon, braised short rib with Guinness Stout Ale, caramelized onions and smoked bacon, parsnip mash and sticky toffee pudding.
Afterwards, guests danced the night away to the tunes of the All-American band, the Atlanta Showstoppers, while bidding on a large array of eye-catching pieces of jewelry created from gems in the museum's collection.
The evening raised more than $1.1 million.
Joining in the fun were HMNS president Joel Bartsch and wife Susanne, HMNS Board of Trustees chair Pat Burk and wife Greggory, Christie and Billy McCartney, Jeanie and Wally Wilson, Stephanie and Ernie D. Cockrell, Randa and Charlie Williams, Lester and Sue Smith, and Courtney and Jason Fertitta.
Also celebrating were Windi and David Grimes, Alfred C. Glassell, III, Alice and Keith Mosing, Stephanie and Frank Tsuru, Dan Pickering, Carolyn and Garry Tanner, Faith and Lee Majors, and Karen and Byron Hood.