Organizers had little trouble filling the River Oaks Country Club ballroom to the max when the call went out for a luncheon fundraiser benefiting the Houston Botanic Garden. The sell-out gathering of 530 raised a whopping $400,000 net (yes, net) at the "Botanical Beginnings" event.
The program was full of good news for fans of the project with Houston Botanic Garden president and CEO Jeff E. Ross announcing that landscape architecture firm West 8 New York had been selected to design the garden, which will be located on the 120-acre site of the Glenbrook Park Golf Course. Adriaan Geuze, founding partner and design director of West 8 New York, was in town to share preliminary design concepts for the garden.
Houston Botanic Garden board chair Nancy O'Connor Abendshein announced that she and Mel Glasscock will chair the garden's capital campaign, fundraising for the luncheon spearheaded by chairs Martha and Richard McDugald and Emily and Carlton Wilde.
Special guest was Mary Pat Matheson, president and CEO of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, who shared her enthusiasm for the Houston garden.
Among those joining the scene were Mayor Annise Parker, City Council members Stephen Costello and Robert Gallegos, plus Susie Glasscock, Kate McNair, Kim Van Gundy, Peter McStravick, Butch Abendshein, Clare Glassell, Cherie Flores, Susan and David Lummis, Aliyya Stude, Laurie Liedtke and Meredith Cullen.