What: Friends of West U Parks’ Pearl Gala
Where: Hotel ZaZa - Museum District
The scoop: Back after a year away due to the pandemic, more than 420 of West University Place movers and shakers — and park lovers — gathered for the Pearl Gala, which plays on the 30th anniversary (pearl) of the group’s annual Park Lover’s Ball. The night raised more $400,000 for the green space-loving group.
Faces familiar and new gathered at Hotel ZaZa in the Museum District, greeted by event co-chairs Kimberly and Dimitri Ang and Kelly and Blake Hill at the bustling cocktail reception. Also on hand were Donna LaMond, Sami Morrison, auction co-chairs Jordan Jewett and Buckley Morlot, and underwriting chair Erin Gaston.
Apropos to the “30” theme, the scene boasted a 1930s feel and elegance, with the ballroom festooned in black, cream, and gold. On theme, guests donned pearls, wraps, shawls, and metallic fabrics.
A parlor room welcomed attendees with a whiskey blackjack table, putting green, and sports memorabilia up for auction. Then it was on to the event, where Dr. Linda Christians, senior pastor of West U Methodist Church, delivered the invocation and handed off to Ilona Carson, ABC13’s Emmy Award-winning former anchor and reporter — and proud West U resident.
A rousing live auction The live auction featured a seven-day stay in Seagrove, Florida; a dove hunt in Argentina, a stay at a casa in Santa Fe, New Mexico; a family football gathering for Thanksgiving, and a “Uniquely Houston” package boasting a custom David Peck dress, a Rosie Cannonball gift certificate, and a stay at Hotel ZaZa. Another coveted item was a pair of aquamarine and diamond earrings from Valobra Master Jewelers.
Finally, lively band Password rocked the crowd, keeping the Friends of West U Parks rooted in the dance floor until midnight.
Seen in the crowd: Kimberly and John Carr Eads, Becca and Rob Prichard, Nancy Kate Prescott and Allison Parker, Susan and Philip Berry, Rae and Geir Solberg, Owen Parker, Lauren Droubi, Libby and Ray Cook, DeDe and Will Bertron, Christine Parker, John Montgomery, Lainey and Sam Seidel, and Austin McDowell.