Shelby's Social Diary

Breaking the mold of the traditional fundraising gala: Bobby Heugel and OKRA are floored

Breaking the mold of traditional galas: Bobby Heugel, OKRA floored

Steve Flippo, from left, Dawn Callaway, Brad Moore, Scott Repass, Miriam Carrillo and Scott Walcott at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Steve Flippo, from left, Dawn Callaway, Brad Moore, Scott Repass, Miriam Carrillo and Scott Walcott at the Rice Design Alliance Gala. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
Betsy Strauch and Lonnie Hoogeboom at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Betsy Strauch and Lonnie Hoogeboom at the Rice Design Alliance Gala. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
Michael Burnett, from left, Chris Shepherd and Bobby Heugel at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Michael Burnett, from left, Chris Shepherd and Bobby Heugel at the Rice Design Alliance Gala. Photo by Claudia Casbarian
Linda and Dick Sylvan at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Linda and Dick Sylvan at the Rice Design Alliance Gala. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
Charlotte and Larry Whaley at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Charlotte and Larry Whaley at the Rice Design Alliance Gala. Photo by Claudia Casbarian
Kathrin Brunner, from left, Ben Crawford and Albert Pope at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Kathrin Brunner, from left, Ben Crawford and Albert Pope at the Rice Design Alliance Gala. Photo by Claudia Casbarian
Lisa and Doug Combes at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Lisa and Doug Combes at the Rice Design Alliance Gala. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
Juliè Gauthier, left, and Kelie Mayfield at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Juliè Gauthier, left, and Kelie Mayfield at the Rice Design Alliance Gala. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
John Casbarian, from left, Natalye Appel and  India and Seth Mittag at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
John Casbarian, from left, Natalye Appel and India and Seth Mittag at the Rice Design Alliance Gala. Photo by Claudia Casbarian
Elaine Bradford art at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Elaine Bradford art at the Rice Design Alliance Gala. Photo by Claudia Casbarian
Chris Shepherd, from left, Brad Moore, Ceci Norman, Paul Petronella and Mike Criss at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Chris Shepherd, from left, Brad Moore, Ceci Norman, Paul Petronella and Mike Criss at the Rice Design Alliance Gala. Photo by Claudia Casbarian
Ben and Kate Crawford at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Ben and Kate Crawford at the Rice Design Alliance Gala. Photo by Claudia Casbarian
Bao-Tuong Nguyen, from left, Van-Tuong Nguyen, Chung Nguyen and Florence Tang at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Bao-Tuong Nguyen, from left, Van-Tuong Nguyen, Chung Nguyen and Florence Tang at the Rice Design Alliance Gala. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
Aria Anderson and Bobby Heugel at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Aria Anderson and Bobby Heugel at the Rice Design Alliance Gala. Photo by Claudia Casbarian
Steve Flippo, from left, Dawn Callaway, Brad Moore, Scott Repass, Miriam Carrillo and Scott Walcott at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Betsy Strauch and Lonnie Hoogeboom at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Michael Burnett, from left, Chris Shepherd and Bobby Heugel at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Linda and Dick Sylvan at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Charlotte and Larry Whaley at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Kathrin Brunner, from left, Ben Crawford and Albert Pope at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Lisa and Doug Combes at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Juliè Gauthier, left, and Kelie Mayfield at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
John Casbarian, from left, Natalye Appel and  India and Seth Mittag at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Elaine Bradford art at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Chris Shepherd, from left, Brad Moore, Ceci Norman, Paul Petronella and Mike Criss at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Ben and Kate Crawford at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Bao-Tuong Nguyen, from left, Van-Tuong Nguyen, Chung Nguyen and Florence Tang at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013
Aria Anderson and Bobby Heugel at the Rice Design Alliance Gala November 2013

As the 900 guests at the Rice Design Alliance "Live Feed" gala poured into the Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom, there was something a little different in store. For starters, rather than honoring an individual or corporation with roots in Houston's growth, the event spotlighted the non-profit Organized Kollaboration on Restaurant Affairs or OKRA with Bobby Heugel accepting on behalf of the 21 OKRA member organizations.

Adding to the twist on the traditional was the participation of Underbelly chef Chris Shepherd, who provided his famed Korean braised goat and dumplings as one of the dinner's four courses. Then there were the 14 custom works of art, inspired by collaborations between Houston artists and OKRA members and organized by Judy Nyquist.  Those pieces were in addition to the 104 silent auction items, organized by Juliè Gauthier and Kelie Mayfield

During the program, RDA Doug Combes gave special recognition to Linda Sylvan, who has served as the non-profit's executive director for 25 years. Betsy Strauch and Lonnie Hoogeboom took bows for their success as gala chairs with $520,000 in proceeds.

Once the business of the evening was complete, the black-tie crowd got down to dancing to the sounds of the Next Level Band. Spotted in the crowd were Charlotte and Larry Whaley, David Harvey and Mikki Hebl, Deborah Brochstein and Steven Hecht, Elaine and Ray Messer, John Marshall, Kathrin Brunner and Ben Crawford, and former Rice University School of architecture deans John Casbarian with Natalye Appel and Lars Lerup with Eva Sarraga.