Shelby About Town
Jane Goodall meets the chimps, Becca books Maroon 5 and the Gulf gets ascientific love pat
British anthropologist Jane Goodall had the chimpanzees eating out of the palm of her hand at Houston Zoo on Saturday afternoon and then had patrons of the Zoo's soon-to-open African Forest exhibit mesmerized with stories of her amazing life and research, much of which has involved the primates.
She was in town only on Saturday to dedicate the new chimp habitat that is an integral part of the new 6.5-acre exhibit set to open in December. That evening zoo director Rick Barongi hosted a small reception in Goodall's honor at his home. Front and center at that gathering and at the zoo earlier in the day was Kay Onstead, the major donor for the chimpanzee exhibit.
Joining Goodall for her mostly under-the-radar visit were zoo CEO Deborah Cannon and husband Gardner Cannon, zoo board chair Annie Graham and husband Bob Graham and Diane Kendall, a zoo board member and Jane Goodall Institute board member, and husband Don Kendall. Also in the mix at Barongi's home were Anne and Charles Duncan, Peggy and Bill Barnett and Merrill and Joe Hafner.
Becca Cason Thrash, who set Paris on its gilded ear with her Liaisons au Louvre benefit in 2008 when she brought in Duran Duran for late-night entertainment in the I.M. Pei pyramid, has another musical coup up her designer sleeve. She has tapped Los Angeles rockers Maroon 5 to provide the tunes for the Nov. 16 Liaisons au Louvre II, under the patronage of French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
Among Houstonians signing on for three days of heady partying and mega-fundraising for the museum are Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Greggory and Pat Burk, Andrew Echols, Valerie Sarofim, Rosemarie and Mathew Johnson, Mica Mosbacher, Judith Oudt and Monsour Taghdisi.
Details are pouring in. Stay tuned.
Beyond the upcoming preview, yours truly will be in Paris for all three days of the festivities, reporting daily on the fun. In addition, look for our visit to Houston's own FotoFest making a splash in Paris with a portfolio review in conjunction with Lens Culture that coincides with Paris Photo. Two completely different groups of Houstonians making cultural marks in the City of Lights at the same moment.
It was a near record day for the Nature Conservancy when 600 supporters packed the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency to hear Sylvia Earle, oceanographer and Explorer-in-Residence for National Geographic. More than $500,000 was raised at the 18th annual Conservation Luncheon, celebrating the Gulf of Mexico and chaired by Jana and John Scott Arnoldy. "The Gulf of Mexico, The Blue Heart of Texas" was the theme of the event.
While Earle did not dwell on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, she did address the issue, focusing more on the life systems of the Gulf and its importance to Texas and the United States. Interestingly, the luncheon was underwritten by Chevron.
Among the heavy-hitters filling tables were Kim and Dan Tutcher, Patty Porter, Clayton Erikson, Joni Baird, David Ruiz, Anne and Charles Duncan, Carol Dinkins, Martha and Mark Carnes, Ann and Don Short and Leslye and David Weaver.
The big 5-1
Cindy Clifford had planned on a low-key approach to her birthday this year after blowing it out last year for her 50th. But at the last minute she decided on a Tex-Mex and margaritas party with music for 51 friends. Luckily, Jason Fuller, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's regional director, was available to help. They organized it all with only five days to spare.
Almost everyone invited turned out at the private room at Ruby Tequila's in Midtown for an over-the-top Tex-Mex buffet and grooving to the sounds of a DJ. Among them were Hines' George Lancaster, Port Commissioner Janiece Longoria and hubby Steve Lasher, Mayor Annise Parker's deputy chief of staff Adam Harris and fiancé Mary Bell, Judge Theresa Chang and Dr. Peter Chang, State Rep. Carol Alvarado, attorney Frank Rynd, Judge Zinetta Burney, Fulbright & Jaworski partner Neil Thomas and University of Houston admissions exec Jeff Fuller and wife Kristyn Fuller.
Clayton Erikson celebrating her birthday over lunch at Tony's with Frances Marzio, Nancy Kinder and Franci Crane . . .
Patricia Oliver, dean of the University of Houston College of Architecture, dining at Brenner's on the Bayou with Marvin Malecha, dean of the North Carolina State University College of Design; Houston AIA board president Kathleen English; Steve Stelzer, director of the city's Green Building Resource Center; Shafik Rifaat, UH architecture professor; and Mark Dillon, UH architecture lecturer.