We're about to declare San Antonio's Donna Bruni an honorary citizen of Houston and Tuesday's "Hats in the Park" luncheon, which she chaired, was delightful testimony to her attachment to our city. La dame Bruni presided over the rich tableau of well-heeled lunching ladies, almost all of whom wore some form of elaborate head dressing.
This event chair knows a thing or two about hats — she has an entire closet in her San Antonio home dedicated to that compelling accessory. Likewise, she has a penchant for parks, making her a logical leader for the day benefiting the Hermann Park Conservancy.
"I love anything that has to do with conservation and I've always had a love of parks and green spaces where people can be," she said.
With the Hermann Park golf course as backdrop, the sellout crowd of more than 250 gathered in the party tent to celebrate the day's honoree, Ernie Cockrell, who recalled his days as a young boy romping through the park. The Bob & Elyse Lanier Award was presented to him by Mayor Annise Parker.
"Some of these tables look like they're having hat wars."
She brought an assortment of hats to the party indicating that, as mayor, she wears many hats in a single day. During her remarks, she switched from hard hat to rugby cap and then to her own personalized hard hat that she keeps in her city car.
Cockrell made one of the more astute observations of the day when he commented, "Some of these tables look like they're having hat wars." He added, "I was trying to get a few kisses and now I have a crick in my neck."
Indeed, the brims were wide and flopping in the relentless spring breezes, which at one point felled a few of the decorative planters. Holding on to their chapeaus were ladies including Jana Arnoldy, Ann Short, Lynn Wyatt, Bobbie Nau, Phoebe Tudor, Sallymoon Benz, Janet Cockrell, Karen Bradshaw, Franci Crane, Gracie Cavnar, Alice Burguieres, Regina Rogers and Mary Grace Gray, who manages Hotel Granduca where Donna and Bob Bruni bunk during their frequent visits.
Among the gents joining the party were C.C. Conner, John Ellis, Mack Fowler, Peter Brown, Cerón, Albert Rubio and Terry Zmyslo, Saks Fifth Avenue GM who provided Donna Bruni with a wealth of fab items for her raffle. Milton Townsend and Jackson Hicks, responsible for the ladylike luncheon fare, displayed a certain sartorial splendor in their hats. By the time all the well-dressed ladies and gents departed, the event had raised $206,000, above the goal.