With much of River Oaks Country Club dazzling with enticing holiday decor — everything from decorated trees to a Nordic moose — the Trees of Hope "Winter White" gala proved to be an unexpected success, bringing in more than $838,000. Thanks was in part to the bidder who wagered $55,000 for a trip to France and to Faith and Lee Majors who were high bidders on two magnificent trees.
The Six Million Dollar Man and his bride laid claim to the Baccarat “Champagne Dream” tree, a white beauty dressed in a dozen red Baccarat champagne flutes, the tree designed by Bruce Padilla and Blake Barber, and placed the high bid on the traditionally-decorated “Sparkle and Shine” tree by holiday designer Regina Gust.
The sound of those credit cards running through the credit card machines was beautiful music to Trees of Hope chairs Carol Buckley and Michelle Stewart as well as honorary chair Lynn Wyatt, who has supported the organization since its inception in 1990.
Among the popular auction items were the multi-candy wrapper wine glass artwork created by anesthesiologist Dr. Alicia Kowalski, purchased in fierce bidding by Louise and Gary Moss, and the artwork created by the children of Star of Hope’s Emergency Shelter, that piece going to high bidder and the evening's honoree Robin Klaes.
Those jumping into the holiday spirit before Thanksgiving included Rihl Buckley, Duncan Stewart, Lesha and Tom Elsenbrook, Stephanie and Ernie Cockrell, Allison and Stephen Lewis, Roseann Rogers and Dr. Aashish Shah, Heather and Richard Holmes, Julia and Eric Gutierrez and Christy and Matt Rowland.