That whimsical Mother Nature. Some years, she smiles on the Bayou Bend Garden Party. Other years, she presents a chilly, drizzly challenge.
The latter was the case Sunday night when a number of savvy guests opted for the Lazy Lane entrance to the historic Ima Hogg home rather than the preferred Westcott entrance which required an open air stroll across a swinging bridge for party access.
Benefit chairs Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson were early arrivals at the annual event on the verdant grounds of Bayou Bend, making sure that the 500 guests would be properly cosseted by the City Kitchen team. After all, this generous collection in their spring frocks and summer suits brought in $700,000, reaching the fundraising goal thanks to a generous anonymous donor who ponied up the remaining $45,000 before night's end.
Also getting a head start on the 90-minute cocktail hour were Vivien and Scott Caven and Juanita and Jack Markwalter, both men of Atlantic Trust, Garden Party grand underwriter. Key players on the scene included Bayou Bend director Bonnie Campbell and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston director Gary Tinterow.
We heard more than one gent remark that this is his favorite party of year. Short on speeches, long on socializing and the beautiful setting, a party tent gloriously decorated in floral wonder by McDugald Steele and In Bloom, add up to one special night. It starts early, ends early. And on this night the David Caceres group provided cocktail hour entertainment and the dance tunes that filled the dance floor, even on a Sunday night.
VIP guests (and all of them were) mingling in the shadow of the magnificent Bayou Bend house included Bobbie and John Nau, Ann and John Bookout, Linda and Dr. Walter McReynolds, Diane Lokey Farb, Frances Marzio, Carol and Michael Linn, Sue Trammell Whitfield, Krista and David Elizondo, Courtney and Bas Solleveld, Lisa and Downing Mears and Martha Long and Sean Wade.