The Children's Museum of Houston gala was rocking even before the Hustlers Brass Band descended the stairs of the Corinthian, horns blasting, umbrellas swaying above the dancer's heads. But this added dose of New Orleans was just the ticket to thoroughly transport the crowd of 610 into the "Rue des Bourbon" night.
Chairs Kathryn and Jeff Smith had envisioned an elegant soirée in the French Quarter and all parties delivered from Rebekah Johnson creating a stunning New Orleans courtyard decor to J&D Entertainment bringing in the Bourbon Street talent to Jackson and Co. serving a Creole-inspired menu (turtle soup, anyone?).
Guests paraded behind the brass band to enter the main hall of the Corinthian which was lighted in brilliant swaths of orange and pink and decorated with vine-covered street lamps, bountiful bouquets of roses and, overhead, a network of graceful vines and Spanish moss interworked between gleaming crystal chandeliers. Breathtaking, yes.
While guests dined divinely on turtle soup with sherry, bourbon-glazed short ribs with sweet potato puree and dessert of Bananas Foster and French chocolate cake, dueling pianos (Piano Punch from New Orleans) kept the energy level high.
Museum board chair Randy Allen, noting that the museum hosts 1 million visitors each year, said, "It really is a tribute to this group tonight that makes this happen."
Joining in the program were underwriting chairs Carmen and Butch Mach and Courtney and Bill Toomey, who will chair the 2015 gala, and Jeff Smith who served as auctioneer. Special thanks was given to auction chairs Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Elizabeth DeLuca, Robin Klaes and Kelly Sklar. By night's end the event had raised $950,000.
Following the auction, E.L.S., also from New Orleans, cranked up the dance tunes that had this party rocking well into the night.
Tripping this night fantastic were Allie and Jay Fields, Carson and Arthur Seeligson, Angie and Danny Holloway, Katie and A.J. Brass, Elizabeth and Tim Vail, Tiffany and Rick Smith, Vanessa Sobers, Ericka Bagwell, Anne and Dr. Jim Muntz, Darlene and Cappy Bisso and Heather and Wayne Kearney.