So much for the bountiful red rose centerpieces in the Omni Houston Hotel ballroom Friday night. Even before the fashion parade of gents began, the ladies were ripping out the roses, shredding them into petals, preparing to toss them to the catwalk stars of Una Notte in Italia. And what stars they were — Matt Schaub, J.J. Watt, Owen Daniels, Duane Brown, Kareem Jackson and more — strutting the latest fashions from Festari for Men.
With play-off hopes faintly hanging in the air, these guys ruled over the SRO crowd of more than 600. The cheers, the hoots, the hollers, the tossed roses and blasting confetti guns greeted each of the Houston Texans and for quarterback Schaub it was a rocking standing ovation. There were plenty of cheers as well for Brian Cushing, who due to his knee injury had to cancel his runway moment but made the party with his wife, Megan.
Chairs Diane Caplan and Megan Sutton-Reed spearheaded the energized event along with honorary chairs and major domos of the fundraiser Debbie and Rudy Festari. The dinner evening raised more than $380,000 for Bo's Place.
As is tradition with this feel-good night, the two dozen male models selected their own music for the catwalk stroll, which for many turned into dance city. None did it better than attorney Travis Torrence but winning high marks for effort were Texans COO Cal McNair, Butch Mach and Edward Treistman. Among those strutting their stuff and dusting off the showers of confetti and rose petals were Dr. Franklin Rose, businessman Chris Reed, fashion designer Jonathan Blake, chef Charles Clark, Houston Texan Chris Myers and make-up artist Edward Sanchez. Debbie Festari shared introduction duties with emcee Dominique Sachse.
Among those showing the love to the Houston Texans and the other runway stars were Michael Caplan, Susan and Mike Plank, Cora Sue and Harry Mach, Susan and Charlie Neuhaus, Lindy and Larry Neuhaus, Susan Boggio, Stephanie and Bill Perkins, Carmen Mach, Diane Lokey Farb, Christie and Mark Sullivan, Joanna and Brad Marks, Joella and Steve Mach, Melissa and Michael Mithoff, Jennifer Brown, Meredith Riddle and Patrick Chastang.
This was one of those parties that never wanted to end. Following dinner and the live auction, guests stayed on to dance, dance, dance and then moved downstairs to the Black Swan where a number or the nightcrawlers shut it down at 2 a.m. But the Texans, of course, were home and in bed long before that.