Shelby's Social Diary
Not since Nancy and Lucian Morrison arrived on camels for the Houston Grand Opera ball some years ago, has there been a ball chair arrival like the one that Lisa Oren and Rachel Regan pulled off Saturday night in the ballroom of the Hilton Americas-Houston. Wearing full-length gowns, the duo made their grand entry astride longhorn steers.
Aside from their unusual mounts, the ladies were over the moon with the success of the evening that doubled last year's attendance, with 950 guests pouring in and $700,000 in the bank long before the big board action and the vast silent and live auctions. By night's end, the total raised had surpassed $1.3 million. "We are still floating on Cloud 9," says Rachel.
How did these women, who joined forces for the JDRF Promise Ball only in November, accomplish such? "We were blessed," said Rachel. "We work together really well and we put a team together that worked really hard." The team included tireless auction chair Susan Vick and committed underwriting chair Marshall Lang.
The evening honored Amy and John Cone, whose daughter, Olivia, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2005. Since that time, they have been tireless fundraisers for and supporters of JDRF. The Cone family, including daughters Sophia and Victoria, and their friends have raised more than $450,000 for research.
In addition, Matthew Oren (the ball chair's husband) received the Sam Smith Volunteer of the Year award.
Fashion played a key role on the night's entertainment as guests came up with a variety of interpretations of the "western couture" dress code. The chairs wore traditional gowns as did many in the crowd but then there were those frisky fillies in cocktail dresses and cowboy boots and their handsome cowboys wearing jeans and boots with their tux jackets and crisp formal shirts. We love that look — when combined with the dress black cowboy hat there's just something Texas sexy about it.
A few of the ladies stepped out in jeans as well, But heavily encrusted with crystals and other beads, these weren't your mama's Wranglers. The profusion of turquoise jewelry and concho belts with black gowns and cocktail dresses launched a new approach Texas formality.
Among those in various modes of western couture were presenting sponsors Patty and Fred Hagans, Tom Regan, Suzette Lang, Kathryn and Jeff Smith, Elizabeth and Tim Vail, Christina Sacco, Kim and Dan Moody, Jennifer and Lance Gilliam, Al Trullenque, Shirin and Preetish Nijhawan, Pam and Mark Carmain, Meredith and Fielding Cocke, Joycelyn Marek and William Morris, Dede and Connie Weil, Debbie and Vidal Martinez, Libby Cagle and George Lancaster.
Particularly loving the evening's success were JDRF executive director Molly Naylor and associate executive director Alicen Swift.