No tux, no gown — no problem. The Houston Museum of Natural Science’s soiree, The Great Outdoors Gala 2022, welcomed all with a decidedly casual, nature-centric theme. More than 500 guests packed the museum halls, donned in outdoorsy gear ranging from hunting boots to fishing poles and waders — and ghillie suits.
A fitting theme, as the event was chaired by Glenda and Russell Gordy, Alicia and Garrett Gordy, and Shaun Gordy. The Gordy Family, the masterminds behind upmarket Gordy and Sons Outfitters, oversaw an event that netted more than $2 million for the HMNS.
The fun started at the entrance, adorned with green turf carpet and wetland brush. A vintage, 1995 custom Toyota FJ Land Cruiser and Monty the English Cocker puppy (who looked sheepishly up with adorable eyes) greeted guests, who received ranch water and prickly pear margarita cocktails served in hollowed-out prickly pears. The museum was decorated with lush greenery, wildflowers, and touches of feathers and antlers.
Then it was off, as attendees were handed an “Adventure through HMNS Guide” that showcased a map of the event and highlighted the action.
American Dreamer, a festive folk troupe, strummed music in the lobby, as folks mingled around a custom teepee bar, the Milam & Greene Whiskey Tasting bar, and perused silent auction items such as stunning gems, minerals, fossils, and more. Popular items also included a private after-hours group Flashlight Tour of the Morian Hall of Paleontology, and a private partridge hunt in Livingston, Montana gifted by Gala chairs Glenda and Russell Gordy.
Speaking of stunning gems, lucky visitors were treated to a glimpse of ‘The King of Kashmir’ Ann Hamman Aquamarine — the only 100-million-carat specimen of its kind in the world. The massive gem made for quite the Instagram post and story.
Making the museum halls the centerpiece, a sumptuous dinner by City Kitchen was served all along the various exhibits, upstairs and downstairs. Some dined with the dinosaurs in the Morian Hall of Paleontology and Morian Overlook, while others enjoyed their meal in the Cabinet of Curiosities, Frensley/Graham Hall of African Wildlife, and Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals.
After dinner, fans flocked downstairs to the stage, where rockin’ cover band Manhattan wowed the crowd with danceable hits. (One tall, affable guest pulled others in and became the hit of the after party.)
Dancers took break to sip cocktails at the Changes in L’Attitudes boat bar and nibble on treats like chocolate truffles, bourbon freezes, and wild boar tamales. Others enjoyed the privilege of all-access viewing of the blockbuster “Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs” exhibition.
In all, the breezy night was a good-natured celebration of Houston’s hallmark of all things science, discovery, and wonder.
Seen enjoying the great outdoors were: HMNS president and CEO, Joel A. Bartsch, and wife Susanne; Glenda and Russell Gordy; Alicia and Garrett Gordy; Shaun Gordy; Bobbie Nau; Laurie and Reed Morian; Monica and Fox Benton; Mark Kelly and Patty Harris; Kelli and John Weinzierl; Diana and Russell Hawkins; Jennifer and Wil VanLoh; Sippi and Ajay Khurana; Bill Montgomery; Carolyn and Garry Tanner; Kristen and Scott Weber; Gary Cooney; The Smith Family; Kate and Steve Gibson; Kim and Dan Moody; Harry and Cathy Perrin; Jessica and Tom Roupe; Jo-anne and Mike Cousins; and Kristi and George Lindahl.