Party Watch

Welcome to the jungle: Partygoers have a wild time at glow-in-the-dark gala for literacy

Welcome to the jungle: Partygoers have wild time for a good cause

Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Nick Lovitt, Fidel Garza, Madeline Matthews, Michael Mandola
Nick Lovitt, Fidel Garza, Madeline Matthews, Michael Mandola. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Brittany Guarglia, Nillie Dj, Shannon Smith, Ashley Metcalf
Brittany Guarglia, Nillie Djassemi, Shannon Smith, Ashley Metcalf. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Wilner Mercilus, Yvrose Mercilus
Wilner Mercilus, Yvrose Mercilus. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Alex Samia, Shelby Samia
Alex Samia, Shelby Samia. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Ron Finck, Julie Baker Finck, Whitney Mercilus
Ron Finck, Julie Baker Finck, Whitney Mercilus. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Alicia Fitzpatrick
Andrew Fitzpatrick, Alicia Fitzpatrick. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Morgan Stautzenberger
Morgan Stautzenberger. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Pace Andrews, Elizabeth Andrews, Maria Bush
Pace Andrews, Elizabeth Andrews, Maria Bush. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Wade Smith, Neera Patidar
Wade Smith, Neera Patidar. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Danny Brennan, Katherine Morille, Christine Hill, Trevor Garfield
Danny Brennan, Katherine Morille, Christine Hill, Trevor Garfield. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Chloe Rushing, Barrymore Matthews
Chloe Rushing, Barrymore Matthews. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Morgan Colt, Walker Colt
Morgan Colt, Walker Colt. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Nick Lovitt, Fidel Garza, Madeline Matthews, Michael Mandola
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Brittany Guarglia, Nillie Dj, Shannon Smith, Ashley Metcalf
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Wilner Mercilus, Yvrose Mercilus
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Alex Samia, Shelby Samia
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Ron Finck, Julie Baker Finck, Whitney Mercilus
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Alicia Fitzpatrick
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Morgan Stautzenberger
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Pace Andrews, Elizabeth Andrews, Maria Bush
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Wade Smith, Neera Patidar
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Danny Brennan, Katherine Morille, Christine Hill, Trevor Garfield
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Chloe Rushing, Barrymore Matthews
Houston, Jungle Book Gala, Sept. 2017, Morgan Colt, Walker Colt

A sold-out crowd of 250 took a walk on the wild side at the third annual Jungle Book Gala, held in the lush setting of glass-enclosed event space, The Dunlavy at Buffalo Bayou Park.

Along with dancing late into the night to tunes spun by DJ Ivan, guests mingled with a stilt walker clad in a zebra costume while sipping cocktails and enjoying light bites.  

The fun-filled evening, presented by Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation’s Young Professionals Group along with co-chairs Alexa Bode and William Finnorn and honorary chair Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus, was all for a good cause: The event raised more than $80,000 for the purchase of new home libraries for children affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Guests at the black tie affair added a pop of vibrant color thanks to glow-in-the-dark necklaces handed out, each representing a home library purchased on the night.

Proceeds from a silent auction with items ranging from an exotic seven-day trip to Costa Rica to footballs signed by Texans Whitney Mercilus and J.J. Watt, contributed to the total amount raised.

The focus of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation is to improve the quality of life for Houston residents through the power of literacy, and the organization’s Young Professionals Group goal is to engage the next generation of Houston’s leaders in the literacy cause.

Spotted at the soiree were: Maria Bush, Wilner and Yvrose Mercilus, Wade Smith, Lucas Somoza, Nick Lovitt, Matt Vandever, Michael Mandola, Brittany Guarglia, Lauren and Roy Sweeney, Courtney Blackburn, Sally and Ed Thayer, Fidel Garza, Madeline Matthews, and Kimberly Lombardino.