French Quarter Fun

French Quarter fun is just the ticket for rockin' Children's Museum gala, raising close to $1 million

French Quarter fun is the ticket for gala, raising close to $1 million

16 Hustler's Brass Band at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Hustlers Brass Band of New Orleans leads Children's Museum  gala guests to dinner tables in the Corinthian. Franco Valobra, left, and Cappy Bisso wave their napkins as is tradition. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
2 Jeff and Kathryn Smith at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Children's Museum gala chairs Jeff and Kathryn Smith. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
1 David and Courtney Toomey, from left, and Carmen and Butch Mach at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Underwriting chairs Bill and Courtney Toomey, left, with Carmen and Butch Mach. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
12 Jennifer and Lance Gilliam at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Jennifer and Lance Gilliam. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
22 Tiffany and Rick Smith at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Tiffany and Rick Smith. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
6 NAME and Ting Bresnahan at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
John and Ting Bresnahan. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
14 Frances Marzio, from left, Franco Vallobra and Diane Lokey Farb at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Frances Marzio, left, Franco Vallobra and Diane Lokey Farb. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
19 Greggory and Pat Burke at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Greggory and Pat Burke. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
30 The amazing scenery at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Bergner & Johnson created the fabulous decor that had everyone swooning. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
21 Jay and Ali Fields at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Jay and Allie Fields. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
33 Krystal Thompson, Jared Thompson at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Krystal and Garrett Thompson. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
28 Monsour Taghdisi, from left, NAME and Henry Richardson at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Monsour Taghdisi, from left, Brian Thomas and Henry Richardson. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
25 Dueling pianos at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Dueling pianos from New Orleans provided dinner music. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
10 Liz and Tom Glanville at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Liz and Tom Glanville. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
29 Michael and Melissa Mithoff at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Michael and Melissa Mithoff. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
7 Rebekah Johnson and Tim Moloney at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Rebekah Johnson and Tim Moloney. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
15 Hustler's Brass Band at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Hustlers Brass Band dancers had umbrellas swaying. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
31 NAMES at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Christine Falgout and Bill Gutknecht. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
20 NAME, from left, Vanessa Sobers and Ericka Bagwell at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Leyla Sallek, from left, Vanessa Sobers and Ericka Bagwell. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
9 NAME, left, and Jennifer Roosth at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Shushana Castle and Jennifer Roosth. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
27 NAMES at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
Scarlett and Scott Hankey. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
16 Hustler's Brass Band at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
2 Jeff and Kathryn Smith at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
1 David and Courtney Toomey, from left, and Carmen and Butch Mach at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
12 Jennifer and Lance Gilliam at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
22 Tiffany and Rick Smith at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
6 NAME and Ting Bresnahan at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
14 Frances Marzio, from left, Franco Vallobra and Diane Lokey Farb at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
19 Greggory and Pat Burke at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
30 The amazing scenery at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
21 Jay and Ali Fields at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
33 Krystal Thompson, Jared Thompson at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
28 Monsour Taghdisi, from left, NAME and Henry Richardson at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
25 Dueling pianos at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
10 Liz and Tom Glanville at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
29 Michael and Melissa Mithoff at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
7 Rebekah Johnson and Tim Moloney at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
15 Hustler's Brass Band at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
31 NAMES at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
20 NAME, from left, Vanessa Sobers and Ericka Bagwell at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
9 NAME, left, and Jennifer Roosth at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014
27 NAMES at the Children's Museum Gala October 2014

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 FieldsCarson 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.

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