When Ann and Don Short signed on to chair the Nature Conservancy of Texas gala celebrating 50 years in Texas, they felt sure that they could reach the fundraising goal of $250,000. Thursday night with the aid of co-chairs Allison and Troy Thacker, they nearly tripled that goal by bringing in more than $700,000.
The small town Texas-themed shindig at the Houston Polo Club drew 440 partygoers, dressed in various interpretations of western chic. Ann Short was the night's standout in a Chanel red-white-and-blue star-studded bolero worn over a Tom Ford fringed dress with custom crocodile boots.
The night was a whopping success despite the high temps and humidity that had more than a few gents shedding their tux jackets.
The Shorts and company looked right at home as they strolled through the party tent that was decorated to resemble a typical West Texas hamlet right down to the Devil's River Bar, where Catering by Culinaire served up yummy venison tamales. Before entering the town gates, guests could belly up to the bar and graze through a tempting array of Texas treats including fried catfish, crawfish etouffe, roasted pecans, oyster shooters and more. And that was before the three-course dinner.
The Cajun sounds of Bayou Roux ignited a dance fever that reached its pitch when Asleep at the Wheel cranked up its Texas swing tunes. Despite the miserable heat (Who knew it could be 83 degrees at 7:30 p.m. in October?), the dance floor was jumping. Among the first to two-step were Charles and Anne Duncan, Nature Conservancy of Texas board chair.
The night was a whopping success despite the high temps and humidity that had more than a few gents shedding their tux jackets and just about everyone mopping his or her brow. But the heat failed to slow the auction bidding on items that included an Audi Q5 Diesel and a selection of Tenenbaum & Co. jewelry for the top bidder to chose from.
Joining in the program were Texas state director Laura Huffman, State Rep. Gene Wu with a special proclamation and Chevron's Joni Baird ,who signed on the energy giant as major underwriter for the evening.
Nature Conservancy of Texas supporters included Carolyn and Jimmy Robertson, Barbara and Gerald Hines, Mary Tere and Ricardo Perusquia, Nini and Tino Bekhradi, Clayton and Shel Erikson, Sheridan and John Eddie Williams, Cynthia and Bucky Allshouse, Susan and Dick Hansen, Jana Arnoldy, Kristy and Chris Bradshaw and Heidi and Marcus Smith.