With entertainment by a classic barbershop quartet, Austin-based country band Reckless Kelly, and Houston party band Sunset BLVD, the 69th annual Junior League of Houston gala, dubbed "American Journey," was a blowout affair.
The three-night extravaganza, held in the ballroom at the League's River Oaks-area building, celebrated with red, white and blue décor, and a different patriotic theme — “Bayou City Lights” on Thursday, “Stars Over Texas” on Friday, and “Sea to Shining Sea” on Saturday — and entertainment each night.
Chaired by Jennifer Scheifley Roberts, along with underwriting chair Beth Zdeblick, community partner chair Abby Swalick Katiblou, and auction chair Bethany Buchanan, the gala raised $740,000 for the Junior League of Houston’s mission. Since its inception in 1925, The League has served the city by developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
Silent and live auctions, which added to the total raised, included the opportunity for six girls and their parents to meet Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and spend four hours with her at her gym; a diamond bracelet, necklace and ring donated by Tenenbaum Jewelers; and artwork by Taft McWhorter, who painted his auction piece during Friday’s gala as guests got a birds-eye view of the artist in action.
This year, the Junior League will contribute more than $2 million in volunteer time and financial support to 37 community projects, which address basic needs, abuse of women and children, healthcare, education and cultural enrichment.
Mixing fundraising with fun over the weekend were Jone and Mark Fichter, Brent Howard, Whitney Walsh, Perry Ann and John Reed, Mary Sharman, Mimi and Jared Foerster, Katie Mears, Casey Schrade, Junior League president Shannon Wiesedeppe, and incoming president Sarah Snyder.