Shelby About Town
From Vail to local ballrooms and a lab, Houston social figures stir things up
So many parties, so little time — the social engine is ginning with its usual high-season fervor. Everybody who is anybody is out and about most nights of the week, keeping up with the social swirl that extends from art galleries to hotel ballrooms to medical clinics.
First in our spotlight is Joanne King Herring, who spent the weekend in the posh ski resort of Vail at the Four Seasons Hotel for a fete that had nothing to do with black diamond runs. Herring was guest of honor and speaker at the 40th anniversary of The Vail Symposium, which was founded in 1971 to bring thought-provoking programs to the skier's paradise. (In keeping with the ruby anniversary, Herring wore a form-fitting crimson velvet gown by Oleg Cassini.)
Following a film montage honoring Herring for her work in Afghanistan, she spoke on her new mission, the Marshall Plan Charities for Afghanistan, and on her book, Diplomacy and Diamonds: My Wars from the Ballroom to the Battlefield, set for release in October. The woman who was portrayed by Julia Roberts in Charlie Wilson's War had a few things to say about that film as well. We are told that symposium members ordered 200 copies of her upcoming book in a pre-order offer.
Herring joins a prestigious list of Vail Symposium speakers that have included Tom Brokaw, Larry King, former President Gerald Ford and Robert Redford.
Getting their young compadres out of the clubs and into a cultural atmosphere for mixing and mingling was the motivation for Lauren Fred and Eloise Frischkorn when they began planning "Canvases and Cocktails," a casual social at Colton & Farb Gallery.
Frischkorn is associate director at the gallery and she felt that the current exhibition, Mixing the Medium, curated by Philip Berry and Philip Beck who are co-chairs of CAMH's young arts patrons Studio group, would be totally accessible to their friends. The exhibition showcases the work of young artists represented by the gallery.
The minimal entry fee of $10 was used to purchase art supplies for students at Yellowstone Academy.
Supporters turned out in full force for the grand opening of the Christus Stehlin Foundation's new state-of-the-art laboratory on Stella Link. Showing off the slick 27,000-square-foot lab were doctors, researchers and Stehlin Foundation president Bobby Anderson, all of whom led tours of the building.
While a jazz combo played and champagne glasses were raised in toasts, guests made the rounds and, we are told, found the most interesting aspect of all to be the nude mice lab where cancer experiments are conducted.
The new space, representing the Stehlin Foundatin's first move in 40 years, was made possible through the support of the CHRISTUS Health organization, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and numerous friends who have donated time and funds to advance the mission.
Checking out the latest in cancer research were Sally Anderson, Nancy Riviere, Harrison and Tamara Bibb, Dana Vereman, Sue Kelly, Lin Mills, Bill Smolensky, Ashley Anderson, Keith Pettibon, Cory and Carley Giovanella and Susan and Jeff Koch.
A terrific string quartet performed and waiters circulated with trays of bubbly and wine and with trays of tasty hors d'oeuvres while supporters of Virtuosi of Houston gathered at Hotel Granduca for the unveiling of Gittings portraits of Virtuosi's 2011 honorees. The five couples and two individuals will be presented at the Virtuosi dinner gala May 7.
Hosted by gala chairs Linda and John Barrett and Zarine and Meherwan Boyce and Hotel Granduca, the evening served as an elegant salute to the honorees — Donna and Bob Bruni, Monzer Hourani, Barbara and Ulyesse LeGrange, Nidhika and Pershant Mehta, Mary Kay and Michael Poulos, Margaret Alkek Williams and Phyllis and Cornell Williams.
The musicians were representative of the high talent of the Virtuosi students. Applauding their music were guests including one of Virtuosi's conductors Andrzej Grabiec and wife Danuta, Olga and Gerald Bush, Philip and Denise Bush Bahr, Lora and Dr. John Clemmons, Guyla Pircher and Boyd Harris,Danielle and John Ellis and Randy and Leslie Tyler Fink.
Shopping 'til dropping
More than 650 Ronald McDonald House supporters poured in to the Hilton Americas Houston ballroom for the annual Girls Just Wanna Have Fun evening that this year took on new life. The "Funky Town" theme inspired costumes that included feather boas, tutus, hot pink wings, tie-dye outfits and more as the girls enjoyed a night of male-free shopping.
The party scene included fortune tellers, a DJ spinning groovy tunes, professional dancers and loads of comfort food offerings. Mac and cheese with ice cream sundaes, anyone?
The shopping throng included Tracy Erwin, Phyllis Rawls, Mady Kades, Marilyn Mogas, Debbie Adams, Julie Haralson, Vicky Dyer-Smith, Sharon Brier, Susan Glover and Maidie Ryan.