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Shelby's Social Diary

Oilman's $5 million birthday gift for Hermann Park a surprise for "An Evening in the Park" guests

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Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Marcus Smith and Heidi Smith, Melissa Mithoff and Michael Mithoff
Chairs Marcus and Heidi Smith, left, with Melissa and Michael Mithoff at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Shafik Rifaat and Shelby Hodge
Honorary chairs Shafik Rifaat and Shelby Hodge at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Susie Criner and Sanford Criner
Susie and Sanford Criner at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Phoebe Tudor and Bobby Tudor
Phoebe and Bobby Tudor at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Doreen Stoller, Ann Kennedy
Doreen Stoller, left, and Ann Kennedy at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Karen Beal and Chris Bilton
Karen and Chris Bilton at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Jason Volz and Rachael Volz
Jason and Rachael Volz at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Lee Majors and Faith Majors with Isabel David and Danny David
Lee and Faith Majors, left, with Isabel and Danny David at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Jennifer Segal and Justin Segal
Jennifer and Justin Segal at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Jana Arnoldy and Scotty Arnoldy
Jana and Scotty Arnoldy at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Cece McCann and Ghent Lummis
Cece McCann and Ghent Lummis at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 John Casbarian from left David Leebron, Natalye Appel and Y. Ping Sun
John Casbarian, from left, David Leebron, Natalye Appel and Y. Ping Sun at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Rudy Festari and Debbie Festarii, Fady Armanious
Rudy and Debbie Festari, left, and Fady Armanious at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Gregory Burke and Patrick Burke
Gregory and Patrick Burk at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Doug Herron and Winell Herron
Doug and Winell Herron  at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Evan Katz, Nicole Katz, Chris Goins
Evan and Nicole Katz, left, and Chris Goins at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Tom Glanville, Liz Glanville
Tom and Liz Glanville at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Divya Brown and Chris Brown
Divya and Chris Brown at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Diane Lokey Farb and Mark Sullivan
Diane Lokey Farb and Mark Sullivan at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 crowd, venue
The weather was perfect for the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Amy Richie and Chris Richie
Amy and Chris Richie at the Herman Park Conservancy's "Evening in the Park." Photo by © Gary Fountain
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Marcus Smith and Heidi Smith, Melissa Mithoff and Michael Mithoff
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Shafik Rifaat and Shelby Hodge
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Susie Criner and Sanford Criner
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Phoebe Tudor and Bobby Tudor
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Doreen Stoller, Ann Kennedy
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Karen Beal and Chris Bilton
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Jason Volz and Rachael Volz
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Lee Majors and Faith Majors with Isabel David and Danny David
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Jennifer Segal and Justin Segal
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Jana Arnoldy and Scotty Arnoldy
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Cece McCann and Ghent Lummis
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 John Casbarian from left David Leebron, Natalye Appel and Y. Ping Sun
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Rudy Festari and Debbie Festarii, Fady Armanious
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Gregory Burke and Patrick Burke
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Doug Herron and Winell Herron
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Evan Katz, Nicole Katz, Chris Goins
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Tom Glanville, Liz Glanville
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Divya Brown and Chris Brown
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Diane Lokey Farb and Mark Sullivan
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 crowd, venue
Hermann Park Conservancy Gala April 2013 Amy Richie and Chris Richie

Cherie Flores received oodles of wonderful gifts for her birthday but none more lasting and more meaningful to the community than the $5 million that her husband, oilman Jim Flores, gave to the Hermann Park Conservancy in her honor. In return, the Centennial Gardens Pavilion will bear her name.

Announcement of that pretty package was made Thursday night at the conservancy's annual al fresco benefit, "An Evening in the Park," with the 500 guests offering up generous applause. The Flores weren't there to bask in the appreciation as he is chairing the All American Wildcatters annual bash in Las Vegas this weekend.

Hermann Park Centennial campaign chairs Phoebe Tudor and Sanford Criner made the announcement of the gift that placed the campaign within shouting distance of its $30 million goal for the Centennial Gardens project, groundbreaking for which is set for the fall.

The evening's theme, "Havana, A Night in White Linen," inspired all manner of white attire from gents in linen suits to ladies in garden party whites. Setting the fashion pace were chairs Heidi and Marcus Smith and Melissa and Michael Mithoff and honorary chairs Shafik Rifaat and this writer. As is rain-or-shine tradition, the party began with cocktails beside the Jones Reflection Pool, continued with dinner in a party tent overlooking McGovern Lake and closed with dancing to DJ spins in the Molly Ann Smith Plaza.

Adding to the Havana magic of the night was the open-air cigar lounge provided by Hector Villarreal, owner of Lucho, where the hand-rolled, Cuban-style cigars are available. A Fare Extraordinaire put a flavorful spin on the Cuban theme with dinner and the dessert bar that followed on the plaza.

The weather was perfect for outdoor partying, a happy circumstance for Hermann Park Conservancy director Doreen Stoller and board chair Ann Kennedy, both of whom have seen this fundraiser take place during downpours.

Stepping out in a white night mood were guests including Laurie and Reed Morian, Dorothy and Mickey Ables, Andrea White, Lora and Dr. John Clemmons, Valerie and Tracy Dieterich, Kim and Dan Tutcher, Jana and Scotty Arnoldy, Karen and Mike Mayell, Anita and Gerald Smith, Patsy and Greg Fourticq, Isabel and Danny David, Ann and Don Short and Winell and Doug Herron.

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