Miami in Houston
'Miami Vice' brings the sizzle of South Beach to Children's Museum Gala, raising nearly $1 million
The newest club to hit Houston brought the sizzle of South Beach and the pulsating beat of Latin music flowing into the street. The catch? It was only open for one night. The sign “Club Miami Vice” was just one of many set pieces at the Children's Museum of Houston's gala at TheCorinthian Saturday night.
More than 500 guests helped the museum raise more than $960,000 for its educational and outreach programs by celebrating the Miami Vice theme at the gala, co-chaired by Gina and Dr. Devinder Bhatia and Molly and Matthew LaFauci.
Décor by Bergner & Johnson Design included colorful neon signs and palm fronds projected on the ceiling. For a real smoky nightlife feel, you could even have a cigar rolled, courtesy of CF Dominicana Cigar Catering and take full advantage of it outside the doors of the ballroom.
While neither Don Johnson nor Philip Michael Thomas made an appearance, their influence was heavily felt in the galagoers' eye-catching attire.
A number of men rolled up the sleeves of their sport coats, rocked pastel-colored T-shirts, and stepped out with no socks and loafers, a nod to the style made popular by the hit '80s TV show. Guest Martial Burguieres went bolder, donning a flamingo-print suit and hairstylist Cerón showed his wild side in animal print.
Several women owned the throwback look, wearing white blazers and pants or weaving in the bright pinks and blues of Miami into their jumpsuits and gowns. It was also a good opportunity to wear sunglasses indoors – and a few did!
But what’s spending a sultry night on the town dressed to the nines without an equally exquisite ride? Donated by Valobra Master Jewelers, a white Ferrari Testarossa – like the one Don Johnson’s character drove in Miami Vice – was displayed in front of the venue, revving up the exotic vibe.
As the night heated up, so did the giving. This year, the museum added another element of philanthropy by partnering with the Houston Food Bank and devoting a portion of the live auction proceeds to providing meals and enrichment programs to families affected by Hurricane Harvey.
And it turned out, that live auction was a big way to bring in the bucks. Along with trips to Hawaii and Buenos Aires, bidders could also scoop up a purebred golden Labradoodle. The puppy found a forever home with Brook and Jeff Gunst while a Parson Terrier Mix named Thomas, who was rescued during Hurricane Harvey, also ended up with a new owner.
The his-and-hers Cartier raffle also dazzled galagoers with a Clé De Cartier 35mm steel watch and the Cartier Love Bracelet, valued at $11,350 total.
Yet for all the glitz and glam, Houstonians do love their sports: both college and professional. Not only were there auction packages for fans ready to get their game on, there was also one team that was top of mind. You know the one busy making a run for the World Series?
“Before we go any further, Go Astros!,” Children's Museum of Houston president Geoff Brackensaid in his opening dinner remarks.
One of the guests even sported a Houston Astros cap; after all, the team’s second win of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees had happened just down the street from The Corinthian a couple hours earlier.
The night might have been over for the Astros, but feasting inside the gala lasted for hours thanks to Latin-inspired cuisine from Jackson & Company. Trays of hors d’oeuvres laden with chicken empanadas with avocado sauce and fried coconut shrimp with mango jalapeño chutney floated around before the three-course dinner was served. Meanwhile, Beam Suntory kept the margarita and the El Presidente cocktails coming.
For those who preferred to shake things up on the ocean blue dance floor, party band Empire 6 churned out tunes, adding to the energy of the tropical paradise.
Among those keeping the evening steamy were Val Burguieres, Josh and Lisa Oren, Carolyn and Garry Tanner, honorary gala chairs Millette and Haag Sherman, underwriting co-chairs John and Caroline Harrell and Rachel and Sebastien Solar, Gina Gaston and Mario Elie, Nic and Winnie Phillips, Vuc and Ofelia Vujasinovic, Evelyn and Francisco Uzcategui,Krystal and Garrett Thompson, Courtney and Bill Toomey, Cameron Neal, Morgan Allen, Laura Sellingsloh and Dustin Selzer.