Shelby About Town
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones takes Steve Tyrell's charity gift and multiplies ittimes 10, plus more party buzz
Joan Schnitzer Levy, with one home in Houston and another in Dallas, proved on Sunday that the two rivaling cities can come together for a good cause — in this case, ESCAPE Family Resource Center. With a big helping hand from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (apparently a lot nicer here than when in NFL lockout debates), the annual Celebrity Serve benefit dinner at Tony's approached the half million dollar mark in proceeds.
Schnitzer Levy, along with Gerald Franklin, has chaired this annual fundraiser for decades and each year brings in a big-name guest to ramp up the celebrity quotient. Her long-time friend Jerry Jones and his wife, Gene, flew down in their private jet for the evening which, by all accounts, showed the NFL owner as congenial, gracious and generous.
As celebrity waiters such as Lynn Wyatt, Michael Garfield, Sharron Melton, Cerón, Milo Hamilton and Miya Shay scooted around the tables in Tony's dining room, Jerry Jones told his hostess that he had something special to help fill the kitty — a Dallas Cowboys football that he had autographed. Jones announced to the gathering that he would give 10 times as much as was bid for the football up to $100,000. Songman Steve Tyrell made the high bid of $22,000. Jones was so impressed that he upped his personal ante to make it the full 10 times value thereby contributing $220,000.
"Isn't that the most classy, amazing thing you've ever heard," said a clearly ecstatic Schnitzer Levy. A Houston native, she is married to Dallas' charming Irvin Levy and they divide their time between homes in both cities, gracefully bridging the competitive spirit.
Opera ball update
That cute Rudy Avelar, chair of Saturday Night's Houston Grand Opera Ball. Having worked closely with all the opera ball chairs during his 34-year-tenure as director of development and patron services, he honed a special relationship with each of the ladies. So on his special night, Rudy had a surprise for those in the white-tie-and-tails crowd.
He had nosegays made for the past chairs in attendance and added a personalized note to each thanking them for their work in orchestrating their particular opera ball. He presented the nosegays as the ladies sat down for dinner. Nice touch.
Among those applauding the lovely gesture were Donna Bruni, Lynn Wyatt, Denise Bush Bahr, Joanne King Herring, Jana Arnoldy, Eileen Hricik, Franelle Rogers, Terrie Hogan Turner and Lynn Guggolz.
Legends of the Galleria
A very good corporate citizen, the Apache Corp. was spotlighted as honoree at the Galleria Chamber of Commerce "Texas Legends Gala" at the InterContinental Houston Hotel. More than 300 community-minded supporters turned out for the dinner evening chaired by Lauren Nolasco.
Radio host Sam Malone emceed the event for which Old School Harmony provided the dance tunes. In addition to Obie O'Brien, who accepted the award for Apache, the crowd included Philamena and Arthur Baird, Karen and Byron Hood, Aimee and Roy Marsh, Astrid and Gene Van Dyke and Karen and Rudy Wildenstein.
Party designer Darryl Murchison is still getting raves for his energy-inspired decor that included glittery oil wells with black ostrich plumes rising like gushers from the top.