The Nature Conservancy in Texas preserves and protects wide open spaces, so it just made sense to let the starry skies reign at Houston's Annual Conservation Gala benefiting The Nature Conservancy at the Houston Polo Club on Thursday night. The open-air evening celebrated the work of the Conservancy with a wild safari theme and an impressive $300,000 raised.
Among the zebra print, cheetah scarves, and Savannah Chic threads, a chatty crowd of more than 300 guests applauded the work by gala chairs Mary Jane and Mike Gallagher and Jean and Rick Jenner. Chevron continued its support of the annual gala as the presenting sponsor.
Always a casually elegant event, the gala is also fun, which is why Laura Huffman, state director of the Nature Conservancy in Texas, kept the speeches to a minimum, but definitely addressed the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the people and land in the Houston area.
“I just want to give all of Houston a big hug,” Huffman said. “Houston, this is what community heart looks like.”
She announced all proceeds from the gala will be kept in the Houston area and encouraged planner to “rethink the rebuild,” moving forward. The Conservancy’s continued focus on the Gulf Coast and surrounding areas is especially poignant after hurricanes like Harvey.
Strings of Edison lights hung from bare beams and leather couches and knobby wooden tables added a rustic touch to the al fresco evening. Guests swooned over a menu by Swift + Company that included petite Swiss cheese soufflé, quail breast and an elaborate dessert station. The high-energy band Password lit up the dance floor with a Conga line and live performances in the crowd.
Those spotted at the gala include, Kate and Steve Gibson, Abbi and Rob Antablin, Carolyn and Paul Rizza, Michelle Beale and Dick Anderson, Joni Baird, Melissa and Oliver Tuckerman, Lisa and David Stone and Zane and Brady Carruth.