Shelby About Town
Santa was a man on a mission
Who knew that the imposing, larger-than-life Frank DeLape would be such a congenial and believable Santa Claus? Or that he has such a generous heart?
DeLape was hard at work last week getting ready for his seasonal starring role. For 14 years, DeLape, in full Santa regalia, and his wife, Kimberly DeLape, have been delivering presents to the Bridge Over Troubled Waters shelter for victims of domestic violence. Each year, youngsters who are served by the shelter write a letter to Santa requesting their two "must-have" toys for Christmas. The DeLapes get the requests, then scurry around town picking up the coveted items and wrapping them in time for a "Santa" delivery on Christmas Eve.
Kimberly explained that this altruistic adventure serves as Frank's Christmas gift from her and their children, his choice—sort of the ultimate "better to give than to receive" Christmas philosophy. Channel 11 morning show host Deborah Duncan joins the party by creating gift bags for the mothers and the MichaelHodges family leads the shelter residents in singing Christmas carols before Santa arrives. And so it was Thursday night.
But it didn't stop there for Frank. On the eve of Christmas Eve, this Santa Baby and Kimberly decided to give the kiddos at Ericka and Jeff Bagwell's holiday party a special treat. Frank donned his custom-ordered, size 15 Santa boots and the custom size 52 Santa jacket and all the rest, adding bells to his Santa pants and boots because he believes that Kris Kringle should always jingle.
Santa Frank entertained children and adults alike at the casual gathering that doubled as a house warming party for the Bagwell's new home in the Memorial Area. The fun continued with Bubba McNeely, who warbled Christmas tunes while a chorus of little girls sang along.
Adding to Santa's Christmas wish list were Bagwell guests including Gary and Elizabeth Petersen, scheduled to give birth to twins in less than two weeks; Sofia Adrogué and Sten Gustafson; Cindi and Dr. Franklin Rose; Jo Barrett; Linda Lorelle and Lou Gregory; and Lacy Baird with her beautiful young daughter, Stella.
Before Santa arrived
While many proscrastinators were in a shopping frenzy the days before Christmas, the energetic advisory committee of Flock, the young professionals group of the Houston Zoo, was busy planning ahead for the coming year. They gathered in the bar at La Griglia to toast the fact that they have raised more than $30,000 in support of zoo programs since launching in April.
Among the Flock-sters were Jared Lang, Gloria Luna, Jennifer LeGrand, Dan Gilbane, Jennifer Juarez, David Cordua, Katherine Orellana and Kent Oliver. They put their heads together on the next Flock event—the Beastly Brunch at the zoo—on Feb. 28.
Talk about a powerhouse crowd—that would be the group that gathered Sunday night at the Montrose area home of publicist Cindy Clifford and photographer David Bray for their annual "After Christmas Jingle Bells & Cocktails" party, co-hosted by Jason Fuller, regional director for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Among the 125 guests, who had the hosts wondering if the floor to the house would hold, were Mayor-elect Annise Parker and her partner Kathy Hubbard. To the hosts delight, Parker, who has a few things on her plate before her private inauguration on Saturday, stayed an entire two hours.
That was icing on the cake for the partygoers who included Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, the mayor-elect's campaign chair Gilbert Garcia, Parker's finance chair David Arpin, Fulbright & Jaworski's Adrian Patterson, engineering whiz Wayne Klotz, Society for the Performing Arts' Priscilla Larson, developer Ed Wulfe, Metro's marketing and PR exec Raquel Roberts, and a host of current and soon-to-be city council members.
The main topic—City Hall and the upcoming inauguration and surrounding parties. The fact that most guests stayed past midnight, with offices to report to on Monday, was testament to the potent nature of this gathering.
Vogue editor Anna Wintour, wearing Chanel, lunching at Tiny Boxwoods today, creating a twitter and e-mail stir. Don't forget that she and Shelby Bryan, a man with family roots in Houston, have been an item for a number of years . . .
Former President George H.W. Bush enjoying a pre-Christmas lunch at DaMarco, arriving just as Geo. H. Lewis & Sons honcho Bob Jones was exiting. They exchanged greetings and 41 quipped that the Christmas present that Jones was carrying was surely for him . . .
Voice of the Astros Milo Hamilton and son Mark Hamilton dining at Mockingbird Bistro . . .
A crowd partying at Mo's . . . A Place for Steaks where the throng included Beth and Jerry Eaton, Kristi Eaton, Catherine Anspon, Lilly and Noel Braniff, former Houston Oiler John Schuhmacher and Elizabeth and Dr. Steve Sachs.