Call it one for the books: The Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation Young Professionals presented an exquisite fifth annual Jungle Book Gala all in the name of literacy at The Revaire. The vibrant evening was hosted by emcee Ruben Galvan and chairs Amy and Kyle McCully, Morgan Stautzenberger, and Cameron Stubbs.
Guests in jewel tones and animal print were greeted at this year’s soirée with auction tables grand enough to make Houston’s 1970’s society matrons blush. Items included top-shelf whiskey, French-pink rosé, luxe vacation packages for stays in Florida and Argentina, and complimentary classes to Houston’s hottest fitness studios — including Barry’s Bootcamp and SoulCycle. The grand raffle prize highlighted a stunning diamond with a $1,000 gift certificate for design setting services from Tego Jewelers.
The ballroom featured captivating aerial artists, capuchin monkeys, a mesmerizing yellow snake, and a charming backdrop for photo opportunities. Attendees were treated to an open bar, hors d’œuvres by A Fare Extraordinaire, and live music by Austin’s award-winning Matchmaker Band.
Foundation co-founders Maria and Neil Bush took to the stage to present the inaugural Childhood Literacy Impact Award to Betty Hrncir for her outstanding dedication to childhood literacy and instrumental role in forming the Ladies for Literacy Guild.
Since its inception in 2014, the Young Professionals Group has implemented vital programs that make a notable difference in the lives of Houston’s disadvantaged families. Activities and programs include the Mentor Program, Read Aloud Month, and Tacky Sweater Party, and Book Drive.
Following the award presentation, Cameron Stubbs took a moment to acknowledge the support from this year’s crowd and exceptional sponsors. “It’s truly amazing to see what this event has become, and so many people have made this possible,” said Stubbs. “We are all here for a cause that runs deeper than just this night.”
The Carnrite Group served as the evening’s title sponsor for the second year in a row, with additional support provided by Stavis & Cohen Financial and P2 Energy.
Kyle McCully urged party-goers to view their donations as an investment in Houston’s future. “Every dollar you give tonight goes to support literally programs for underserved children in our city. You could be educating the next great educator, Nobel laureate, or even the President of the United States.”
Spotted in the crowd: Julie and Ron Finck, Betty and John Hrncir, Whitney Mercilus, Ashley and Adrian Peterson, Marshall Bush, Sarahbeth and Pierce Bush, Al Carnrite, Jeff Carnrite and Joselyn Tego, Nick Carnrite and Kasey McNorton, Chester Pitts, Meredith Flores and Mason Barker, Lisa and Mark Jakel, Deborah and Dr. Monte Stavis, Emily Smith, Victoria Villarreal, Tom and Grace Gosnell, Heather Duval, Aubrey and Peyton Leatherman, Alexa Bode, Allison and Preston Schultze, Lauren and Lawson Gow, Mitchell and Brooke Eads, Devon Sauer and Lindsey Koszela, and Kayla and Rory Tolunay.