Shelby's Social Diary

Houston's wildest Million Dollar Party: A plane, a python and an arresting theme bring in big bucks for HMNS

Houston's wildest party: Plane & python bring in $1 million for HMNS

News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015, Scott Holstead, Jill Holstead, Amy Murchison, Hardy Murchison
Houston Museum of Natural Science "Out of Africa" gala chairs Scott and Jill Holstead and Amy and Hardy Murchison. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 , party scene
A bi-plane circles above the dance floor. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 Courtney Fertitta, Jason Fertitta
Courtney Hill Fertitta and Jason Fertitta. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015Isla Jornayvaz, Celina Brener
Celina Hellmund. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015, Sam Stubbs,Melinda Stubbs
Sam and Melinda Stubbs. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 Corby Robertson, Brooke Robertson
Corby and Brooke Robertson. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 Laurie Morian, Reed Morian
Laurie and Reed Morian. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 Jeanie Kilroy Wilson, Wally Wilson
Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson, Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015Isla Jornayvaz, Amy Murchison, Courtnay Springmeyer
Isla Jornayvaz, from left, Amy Murchison and Courtnay Springmeyere. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015Isla Jornayvaz, Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Gina Bhatia
Dr. Devinder and Gina Bhatia. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 Kelly Montgomery, Bill Montgomery
Kelly and Bill Montgomery. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 Joella Mach, Steve Mach
Joella and Steve Mach. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015, Lester Smith, Sue Smith, Stephanie Cockrell, Ernie Cockrell Jr.
Lester and Sue Smith, left, with Stephanie and Ernie Cockrell. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 Jennifer Segal, Jason Sega.
Jennifer and Jason Segal. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015, Lester Smith, Sue Smith, Sheri Bailey, Camp Bailey
Sheri and Camp Bailey. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015, Scott Holstead, Jill Holstead, Amy Murchison, Hardy Murchison
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 , party scene
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 Courtney Fertitta, Jason Fertitta
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015Isla Jornayvaz, Celina Brener
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015, Sam Stubbs,Melinda Stubbs
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 Corby Robertson, Brooke Robertson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 Laurie Morian, Reed Morian
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 Jeanie Kilroy Wilson, Wally Wilson
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015Isla Jornayvaz, Amy Murchison, Courtnay Springmeyer
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015Isla Jornayvaz, Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Gina Bhatia
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 Kelly Montgomery, Bill Montgomery
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 Joella Mach, Steve Mach
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015, Lester Smith, Sue Smith, Stephanie Cockrell, Ernie Cockrell Jr.
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015 Jennifer Segal, Jason Sega.
News, Shelby, Museum of Natural Science gala, March 2015, Lester Smith, Sue Smith, Sheri Bailey, Camp Bailey

Beyond clever — that biplane spinning over the dance floor as more than 800 partygoers boogied to the beat of the Houston Museum of Natural Science's "Out of Africa" gala. Deliciously successful, the event raised $1 million.

The museum with its intriguing collection of dinosaurs, fossils and gemstones is always a grand setting for the annual fundraiser but the Africa-inspired theme added an extra layer of fun to the evening. Consider the auction items displayed around a mount of two lions and the African-themed menu from City Kitchen.

And then there were the costumes. Guests had the option of black tie or "safari best" and many, including chairs Amy and Hardy Murchison and Jill and Scott Holstead, stepped out in safari costumes circa 1920, inspired by the Meryl Streep/Robert Redford film. Ladies dressed in animal print gowns while gents sported bow ties and cummerbunds with leopard spots.

Let It Fly Events pulled together the African elements including a python that greeted guests as they arrived in the Grand Hall and Serengeti style backdrops for photo opps. While dinner was served throughout the museum, the throng reunited after for dancing beneath that spinning biplane to the sounds of New York's DJ Martial.

Hot ticket of the night that is always filled with enticing auction items was the raffle ticket for the fab amethyst/turquoise/diamond earrings from Bvlgari's Mediterranean Eden collection.

Seen in leopard spots, tiger stripes and zebra prints as well as in more formal party attire were Randa and Charlie Williams, Lacy Baird and Dan Dinges, Amy and Peter Shaper, Mimi and Todd Marix, Laurie and Reed Morian, Celina Hellmund, Stephanie and Ernie Cockrell, Melissa and Doug Schnitzer and Sue and Lester Smith.

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