For many of the city's cultural non-profits, the focus is on a new generation of patrons, a bent often reflected in guest lists that favor new blood and corporate leadership. But Houston Ballet proved that a carefully-crafted development strategy can include both the new and the established. Witness the blue blood turnout for the Ballet Ball kick-off.
One need look no further than the address for the party in order to establish this ball's tony credentials. The cocktail reception took place in the River Oaks home of Mike Stude, a family as venerable as they come. Add Sue Trammell Whitfield and Ann Carlton to the guest list along with Jim Crownover (Molly was away) and the picture becomes clear. And who better to exemplify a genteel presence than Ballet Ball honoree Lynn Wyatt.
All gathered under the watchful eyes of kick-off party chairs Rosemary Schatzman and Vanessa Sendukas, regular headliners in the fundraising arena, and ball chairs Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein and Martin Fein, all of whom bring a contemporary cachet to the picture.
Tony's staff swirled through the art-filled home assuring that tasty food and drink were plentiful for the heavy-hitter crowd that included a number of ballet company members and artistic director Stanton Welch.
Balletomanes revving up for the Feb. 16 black-tie gala included Merrill and Joe Hafner, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Joan Lyons, Jo and Jim Furr, last year's ball chair Becca Cason Thrash, Melza and Ted Barr, Dominique Sachse and Nick Florescu, Sharin and Larry Norman and Houston Ballet veteran managing director C.C. Conner.