Ricky Ricardo would have loved Trees for Houston's Root Ball. With David Caceres' musicians sporting colorful babalu costumes, flowing mojitos and Cuba libres and the hand-rolled cigar station, "A Night in Old Havana" oozed Cuban esthetics.
More than 400 guests, many of the gents in guayaberas and the ladies in Caribbean chic, raised a bundle for the organization that is working to re-green the city's drought-stricken landscape. The evening surpassed the $300,000 goal, bringing in $379,000. Applause applause for chairs Cherie Flores and Robin Wombwell.
"Especially after the drought here, Houston needs Trees for Houston more than ever," Flores said. "Right now with all the development and growth in Houston, we need more green and green spaces. So Trees for Houston is doing a wonderful job of greening the corridors and the Energy Belt around Houston and really putting in more green space and trees. It's just the right thing to do and we need it here in Houston."
Held in an open party tent adjacent to Memorial Park, where some 10,000 trees were lost due to the 2011 drought, the benefit provided a window on the devastated canopy.
Yet, within the tent, palm trees sprouted from dinner tables where tropical flowers blossomed atop bright, tropical-colored cloths. An old Havana backdrop added further authenticity to the setting as did the Caribbean inspired menu.
Soaking up the ambience on a perfect spring night were husbands of the chairs Jim Flores and John Wombwell, plus Eliza and Stuart Stedman, Sarah and Steve Pitt, Ginnie and Tim McConn, Cathy and Joe Cleary, Sarah Paschall Dodd, Gregory Fourticq, Kelli and Eddy Blanton, Leigh Anne and John Raymond, Marcy Wessel, Dorry and Carroll Shaddock, Trees for Houston founding chairman, and Kathy and Bill Van Wie, Trees for Houston president.