The invitation to the Hermann Park Conservancy "Evening in the Park" might have initially thrown guests with its "Palm Beach Summer Whites" fashion dictate. But once they put their minds to it, park supporters climbed aboard the style train just as they hopped into cars on the Hermann Park Railroad Thursday night for the scenic ride from valet parking to the party tent.
The resulting tableau was a vision of white linens, silks and cottons — mixed with splashes of color — as guests sipped cocktails on the plaza at the foot of the Hermann Park reflection pool. It is an always-popular dinner evening despite the vagaries of Houston weather.
Thursday's steamy humidity was somewhat diminished by a light breeze. Good news for chairs Anne and Noble Carl and his parents Lucy and William Carl. (Previous "Evening in the Park" chairs Cherie Flores and Kara and Ray Childress couldn't help but recall the year that they chaired the benefit and it stormed with lightning, wind and oceans of rain.)
An exuberant Peter Brown, former city councilman and mayoral candidate, was honored for his support of the park and his civic leadership. In remarks, referencing the late George Hermann, who gifted the city with the land in 1914, Brown pronounced, "By George, I think we've got it!" He praised the 445-acre green space as Houston's Central Park, "a wonderful, enchanting place." Receiving special mention was his wife Anne Brown, a generous benefactor of the park.
In addition to the traditional pre-dinner schmoozing, entertainment included informal modeling of spring fashions from designer Devi Kroell, brought in by Saks Fifth Avenue. The lean and lanky models perched on the edge of the reflection pool and strolled through the crowd that was very well-dressed in its own right.
Dressed as smartly as if they had a stylist on contract were Ann and Don Short, George Lancaster, Jana and Scotty Arnoldy, Nancy Golden, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Susan and Dick Hansen, Lora and Dr. John Clemmons and Kim and Dan Tutcher.
This party scene is always packed with notables including those on the host committee — Susie and Sanford Criner, Alicia and Lance Smith, Sheridan and John Eddie Williams, Jennifer and Lance Gilliam, Kimberly and Frank DeLape, Kate and Steve Gibson, Kim and Dan Moody, Lorraine and Ed Wulfe, Bill Caudell and Randy Powers and Doreen Stoller, conservancy executive director.
The evening concluded for these and all 400 guests with dessert and dancing on the plaza to the sounds of the Richard Brown Orchestra.