In recent weeks, H-town's big spenders have been spewing money into charity coffers with the force of a South Texas gusher. Just look at Saturday night's Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction and Dinner at Reliant Center. By night's end, that event had joined the citywide ranks of fundraisers easily crossing the seven-figure line with more than $1.41 million raised.
That astonishing figure almost doubled the 2011 take.
While there is plenty in the 52 wine lots to bid on for those lacking in oil field millions, the diamond Rolex crowd did its part to raise money for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo scholarship fund. Top bid on the Grand Champion Best of Show Wine, Marchesi Antinori Srl Guado Al Tasso, Bolgheri 2007, went for a show record of $211,000. Thank you, Mimi and Tom Dompier, Paul Somerville and Kristina Hornberger, Joe Van Matre and Jennifer Currey and John Eddie and Sheridan Williams.
The Reserve Grand Champion Best of Show, Cellar Costers del Ros L'Obila, Priorat 2004, sold for a show record of $160,000. That buyer group was comprised of Beau and Eva Bisso, Anne and David Dunlap, Ronnie Murphy and John and Kristi Schiller.
The diamond Rolex crowd did its part to raise money for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo sc holarship fund.
Special guest was Piero Antinori, director of the family concern that has been making wine in Italy for 600 years. "In Houston, they love to eat well and drink well more and more. So it is becoming a very good market for us," he said on this his third visit to the city.
He was among the sellout crowd of 900 sitting down for the multi-course dinner by Rosemary's Catering and, at the big-gun tables, sampling the wining wines.
The heavy-hitter crowd included Rodeo Uncorked! committee chair Stephanie Earthman Baird, Officer-in-Charge Steve Roe, wine events chair Jeanne Shirey-Lord, Wine Garden chair Curtis Clerkley and HLS&R president Skip Wagner.
The party crowd included Cynthia and Bucky Allshouse, Paula and Butch Robinson, Bruce Buckley, Diane and John Connally, Rachel and Tom Regan, Susan Vick, Carol and Dr. Tom Sawyer, Andy Delery, Bear Dalton, Aimee and Roy Marsh, Bryon Johnson and Melissa DeMontrond.