The coterie of Small Steps Nurturing Center supporters represents a bit of a different group from the usual suspects on the gala fundraising scene. Sure, there is some overlap but the majority of supporters of the non-profit come from the energy industry with BreitBurn Energy and EnCap Investments on board as major supporters of the recent wine classic along with Julie and John Howie.
In fact, Breitburn CEO Hal Washburn and his steady Kevyn Wynn (daughter of Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn) flew in from California for the evening. EnCap Investments managing partner Marty Phillips was there as were any number of up-and-coming energy titans.
More than 450 supporters filled the party tent, erected at a private club on the edge of Memorial Park for a four-course gourmet dinner and paired wines. Master Sommelier Guy Stout conducted the wine tour through the dinner.
While raising $475,000 for Small Steps, the evening was chaired by Kelli and John Weinzierl of Natural Gas Partners and Nicole and David Zarr of Wortham. Small Steps former president and board chair John Rathmell introduced the evenings honorees Lilly and Thurmon Andress, BreitBurn managing director and a long-time Small Steps supporter.
Helping raise funds for the non-profit that provides early childhood education to at-risk children in Houston's inner-city were Clayton and Shel Erikson, Jan Duncan, Alice and Keith Mosing, Ann and John Bookout, Cynthia and Bucky Allshouse and Mary and John Eads.