What a glorious night it was at the Houston Museum of Natural Science when the house of dinosaurs and gemstones morfed into la villita mexicana. Gala chairs Joella and Steve Mach paid tribute to the museum's Lady of Guadalupe exhibition by selecting "Olé, A Night in Old Mexico" as theme of the annual fundraiser.
For the evening that raised $800,000, the museum's Grand Hall was transformed into a village setting complete with mariachis and waiters serving margaritas, and decorations of papel picado and vintage lights. Adding to the colorful tableau, a number of the 500 guests, embracing the gala tradition of costuming, dressed in traditional Mexico- and Frida Khalo-inspired attire.
After schmoozing and perusing the museum's always-popular exhibits, partygoers settled down for dinner, which was served throughout the museum in Glassell Hall, the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals, and the Frensley/Graham Hall of African Wildlife. Amid these intriguing spaces, they feasted on City Kitchen's Mexico-flavored menu featuring crab tostada, duck with mole, and rojo enchiladas.
Headlining the night's celebration were honorary chairs Randa Duncan Williams and Charles Williams along with museum president and CEO Joel Bartsch.
The festive lot included Cora Sue and Harry Mach, Carmen and Butch Mach, Courtney Hill Fertitta and Jason Fertitta, Laurence and Henry Bragg, Laura and Bill Wheless, Alfred Glassell III and Mari Andrade, Melinda and Sam Stubbs, Kelly and Russell Hamman, and Tara and David Wuthrich.