Shelby About Town

Kick-off parties for Astros Wives and Consular Corps & a 70th birthday bash with Marilyn Monroe keep things rolling

Kick-off parties for Astros Wives and Consular Corps & a 70th birthday bash with Marilyn Monroe keep things rolling

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Astrid Van Dyke, center, with the members of the "Rat Pack" at the Greater Houston Partnership kick-off party. Photo by Jeff Fitlow
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Bart Truxillo celebrates his 70th with Marilyn Monroe aka Mary Hooper. Photo by Jenny Antill
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Dan Tidwell, Guy Hagstette, Marilyn Monroe aka Mary Hooper, Bart Truxillo and Jamie Mize at the Magnolia Ballroom. Photo by Jenny Antill
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Kelley Smith, from left, Myla Rodriguez and Summar Buck at Astros Wives planning session at Fleming's. Photo by Fulton Davenport/PWL Studio
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Scott McClelland, from left, Becky Thomas, Leisa Holland-Nelson and Tony Chase at Hotel ZaZa for Greater Houston Partnership. Photo by Jeff Fitlow
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Host Sam Governale, from left, Carla Snyder, Rachel Weiland and Ronda Mills for Astros Wives at Fleming's. Photo by Fulton Davenport/PWL Studio
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News_Bart Truxillo party_May 2012_Marilyn Monroe
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Hotel ZaZa was hopping last night (when isn't it?) with the Greater Houston Partnership bunch launching festivities for the Aug. 25 World Trade Soirée, which is also set to take place in the Museum District's hip hostelry. The party followed the gala's Rat Pack theme with a few impersonators on hand to spice things up.

The August event will honor the Consular Corps and representatives from 11 countries joined the kick-off party along with honorary chair of the gala, H-E-B honcho Scott McClelland.

Among notables raising their glasses in anticipation of the upcoming event were GHP chairman Tony Chase, board member and Andrews Kurth chairman Tom Perich and wife Debra, Astrid and Gene Van Dyke, Leisa Holland-Nelson, GHP board member Harry Gee and Houston Community College chancellor Mary Spangler.

Younger than springtime

Even Marilyn Monroe couldn't stay away from Bart Truxillo's 70th birthday bash for which Mayor Annise Parker declared it Bart Truxillo Day in Houston. The youthful 70-year-old (we say 70 is the new 60, maybe the new 55) celebrated with several hundred friends at the Magnolia Ballroom, which he happens to own.

Those who have been pals with the historic preservationist and architect for many decades toasted the birthday boy while his friend actress Mary Hooper did a convincing Marilyn Monroe impersonation complete with a breathy singing of "Happy Birthday" a la Marilyn and JFK. The mayoral proclamation was presented by Minnette Boesel, Parker's assistant for cultural affairs.

Lemond Catering's Reggie and Merinda Martin supplied the party treats that included a beef carving station and a birthday cake large enough to serve all of the guests.

Celebrants included Bayou Bend Collection curator Michael Brown, former Houston Ballet artistic director Jim Clouser, sustainable gardening pioneer Camille Waters, Dan Tidwell, Jamie Mize, CultureMap editor in chief Clifford Pugh and John Dascoulias.

A twist for Astro Wives gala

Instead of selecting two women to chair the annual late-summer benefit for the Houston Area Women's Center, the Astros Wives organization has decided that this ship will have a score or more of captains. The wives and fiances are all joining forces to make the Astros Wives Black Ties & Baseball Caps Gala a success.

Six of those ladies gathered at Fleming's Monday to start those plans rolling. The group included Kelley Smith (engaged to outfielder Brian Bogusevic), Myla Rodriguez, Summar Buck, Carla Snyder, Rachel Weiland and Ronda Mills, wife of team manager Brad Mills. Fleming's operating partner Sam Governale briefly joined the party as host for the Astros group.

While noshing on heavy hors d'oeuvres, the ladies chewed over design theme, budget, auction items and more.

The gala is set for Aug. 16 on the field at Minute Park and will celebrate the Astros' 50th anniversary.

Sight 'ems

Millard "Mickey" Drexler, J. Crew CEO and chairman, lunching with several of his area retail members in the Paris room at Philippe Restaurant + Bar. While lunching primarily on specialty salads, the group of 19 talked business, including the opening of J Crew in CityCentre this past February . . .

Melinda Berkman celebrating her birthday with friends at RDG + Bar Annie including Diane Connally, Karen Johnson Karen Mayell and Sheridan Williams.