Shelby About Town
The Steer Auction breakfast and more happenings on the social scene
The Champagne Cowgirls stood out at the Steer Auction Breakfast like diamonds in a coal mine. The members of the buyer's group might have been wearing black, but they dazzled from their shimmering silver hat bands with Chanel "C"s to their lavish bounty of turquoise and silver baubles.
These women were dressed to kill, rodeo-style.
Actually, they were gussied up for victory — as in combining enough discretionary dollars to make the winning bid on the Steer Auction Reserve Grand Champion. When they arrived at Reliant Center on Saturday morning, they had $141,000 in the kitty, a figure that would grow thanks to the help of their husbands (a buying group called The Corkscrews) and a few kind gents, who didn't want to see the little ladies fail in their mission.
In the end, they paid $168,000 for the privilege, a win that had them squealing with excitement. Not since 2002 had females rounded up enough cash to make the second leading purchase at the Steer Auction.
Susan Krohn, Ellie Francisco, Donna Speer and Darlene Bisso were among the first of the Champagne Cowgirls to arrive for the legendary Steer Auction breakfast. This Bloody Mary- and Milk Punch-infused feast, where rodeo top guns schmooze with wealthy buyers, inspires the exhilarating mood of the auction. Floating around the Champagne Cowgirls' primo tables like bees to flowers were several husbands including Mike Francisco, John Speer, John Ellis and Philip Bahr.
Others setting the bidding pace for the fashionable buyer's group were Kim Tutcher, Guyla Pircher, Danielle Ellis, Denise Bush Bahr, Shelley Reeves, Kelly Lubanko,Elizabeth Stein and more. Among the many bidding groups were the Grotto 610 regulars, The Slackers, comprised of Ken Wise, Howard Hoover, Dr. Bob Conti, Bob Livermore and Walter Burnap.
A long-time regular on the program at the event is Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who showed no signs of bruising after her recent defeat at the poles by Gov. Rick Perry. (As for her future plans, Hutchison told CultureMap that she had not yet made up her mind about her political career. So don't say she is staying in the Senate and don't say that she isn't.) As is tradition, Hutchison made the first bid on the Grand Champion steer.
Thirty-two-year CIA veteran Jack Devine, president of the Arkin Group (an international risk consulting and intelligence group), held listeners to rapt attention Thursday night when he talked about his life in covert operations at the home of Judge Adele Hedges and Dan Hedges. He also shared his thoughts on U.S. policies in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.
Joanne King Herring, a long-time friend of Devine, was in the small group with her hosts Karen and Byron Hood. Other lucky ones in the intimate gathering included Honorary Consul General of Hungary Phil Aronoff, Joe Nelson, Gerold Reimondo, Jennifer Naedler, Rachel Palmer and Don Hooper, Sylvia and Jim Noteware and Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos.
Yao opens his home
Yes, but the press was not allowed and no photos were taken. So we can't tell you if the door frames of Houston Rocket Yao Ming's home are exceptionally high or the furnishings are super-sized. Those who were invited in were leaders of the Asian community, business execs and members of the Yao Ming Foundation Gala host committee.
While Ming spoke about his foundation's work aiding earthquake victims in China, the point of the gathering was to stir interest in the March 28 gala at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Chinese dancers will perform. Emmy award-winning chef Ming Tsai will present a food demonstration and singer Michael Cavanaugh, the Billy Joel sound-alike, will perform. Expect a tantalizing dinner courtesy of Yao Restaurant and Bar.
Tickets start at $500 with limited availability at this lowest price.
Rocking at RDG
Those birthday tequila shots went down way too smoothly Saturday night when Pat Burk celebrated with friends in the community room adjacent to Bar Annie. Wife Greggory Burk hosted the lively bash that included colorful celebrants Alexandra and Brady Knight, Leigh Williams, Tim Moloney, John and Becca Cason Thrash, Betsy and Tod Eason and Allie and Jay Fields. The group was so uninhibited that by the time the cake arrived, they all stood and sang a rousing "Happy Birthday."
That cute Nick Espinosa of the Houston Zoo celebrated his 32nd birthday on Saturday at El Pueblito Place where 40 of his friends took over the patio for a spring fling. After a few margaritas and South American-inspired taste treats, the party volume rose and before long guests were downing tequila shots, tropical drinks served in pineapples and coconuts and an original concoction of watermelon juice and vodka.
Still standing two hours after the appointed end time were guests including Carlos Meltzer, Katherine Orellana, Jennifer LeGrand, David Cordua and Ashley Allen, Mitchell Parker, StuartRosenberg, Dave Wrangler, Jennifer Juarez and Denise Furlough.