Oh, the lucky ones who ponied up between $1,250 and $25,000 for the Texas Children's Cancer Center Casino Night in Kemah. Those privileged few joined benefit chair Kolja Rockov on a private yacht for a sunset cruise on the calm bay waters before the party swung into high gear.
It was the second annual Casino Night spearheaded by Rockov, executive vice president and CFO of Linn Energy. While the inaugural was held at the Downtown Aquarium, the main event this year took place in the Nautilus Ballroom at the Kemah Aquarium where, from the balcony, guests had an on-high view of the happenings along the Kemah Boardwalk. That yacht delivered the high-end patrons right to the aquarium.
Between trying their luck at the gaming tables, guests grazed through the ballroom sampling Landry's Restaurants fare at food stations that offered everything from seafood-stuffed avocados to pork tenderloin to bananas foster. The music and the gaming were so enticing that a number of the partygoers stayed into the wee hours. No worries about the drive home as many booked rooms at the adjacent Boardwalk Inn. A portion of the room rate went to the cancer center.
In the final tally, the evening netted more than $170,000. And that brought a smile to the face of center director Dr. David Poplack, who was back on his feet after having had back surgery only two weeks prior.
The rather flamboyant if good-hearted Rockov and his steady, Roxanne Murcia, traveled all the way to Miami to get him just the right jacket for the evening. His off-white silk blazer with rhinestone detailing came from U-Rock Couture in Miami Beach.
Among the seaworthy celebrants were Kelli and Eddy Blanton, Kristin and Rick Brice, Angela and Tom Byargeon, Donna and Clay Jeansonne, Annette and Doug Liftman, Mike Oxley, Shari and Tofigh Shirazi and the Rockov family including Bora, Christina, Katica and Vladimir.