|Houston’s Society for the Performing Arts (S.P.A.), recently held their annual gala at Wortham Theater Center to benefit SPA’s education and outreach programs.
This year’s theme was Rock the Casbah and was chaired by Julie Shannon, Kathryn Smith and Edward Sanchez, with the auction being chaired by Gina and Devinder Bhatia.
Founded in 1966, Society for the Performing Arts (S.P.A.) is the largest independent non-profit presenting organization in the Southwest. Since its inception, S.P.A. has sponsored more than 700 performances of the world’s finest music, dance and theater events, in adherence to the belief that the arts are fundamental to the overall enrichment and quality of life within the community. In addition to presenting artists, S.P.A. provides a variety of learning experiences for adults and children through master classes, lectures and special student performances, as well as build relationships between the performing arts and other interests within the greater Houston area and throughout the state of Texas.
The Ball is a major part of S.P.A.’s annual fundraising, allowing the organization to continue bringing outstanding talent to Houston, such as violinist Itzhak Perlman, American Ballet Theatre, Philip Glass, Paul Taylor Dance Company, MOMIX, Three Mo’ Tenors, STOMP, and David Sedaris.
|Stand Up for Houston’s Children with CBS’ The Late Late Show Host Craig Ferguson, a benefit for non-profit CHILDREN AT RISK, was a record-breaking event held earlier last month at the Verizon Wireless Theater. They raised more than $250,000 as well as awareness of the major issue of child trafficking in Houston.
“Stand Up for Houston’s Children” chair Dr. Carolyn Farb, said, “It was such an honor for me to be able to support the life-saving work of CHILDREN AT RISK. The spirit and generosity of Houstonians always answers the call.”
All proceeds will be directed toward the creation of CHILDREN AT RISK’s Center to End Trafficking and Exploitation of Children- a collaborative and multi-faceted effort to restore the innocence lost by the child victims of this terrible crime. The Center is a much needed resource in Houston, which has become the largest hub of human trafficking in the country.
Over 1,200 hundred guests attended. Benefactor hosts were given Big Bertha drivers generously provided by Academy Sports + Outdoors. Mr. Ferguson’s comedy routine had the audience in stitches. He covered topics from marriage, family and politics, to his becoming an American citizen in 2008. The guests were also feted by the amazing three course dinner provided by Chef Bruce McMillan of famed restaurant Tony’s. Chef McMillian debuted his chocolate mascarpone "Tuxedo" cake.
In keeping with the theme of the evening, several men opted with the traditional Scottish kilt including Ceron, Mark Sullivan, Robert Nowak, Drew Wilson and fashion designer Caesar Galindo. Other faces in the crowd included: Emcee Bob Boudreaux and wife Jennie Moroney, Deborah and Bill Colton, incoming CHILDREN AT RISK Board Chair David Roylance and wife Deborah, Trish Hamilton, Garry Huddleston, Erica and Jeff Bagwell, Cappy and Darlene Bisso, Tena Faust, Jo Lynn and Gregg Falgout, Jerry and Lisa Simon, Rachel and Dr. Michael Brown, Edward Sanchez, Doug and Jennifer Bosch, Betty and John Hrncir, Debbie and Rudy Festari, Amy and Roy Marsh, Alicia and Lance Smith, Jerry Davis, Charles Ward, and Dr. Fred Aguilar.
CHILDREN AT RISK believes that every child has the right to a safe, stable home in which to grow; sufficient shelter, food and medical care; and adequate opportunity for social, emotional and intellectual growth. The focus of CHILDREN AT RISK is to make Greater Houston a place where children’s needs come first, where families thrive and where ample resources are available to children and their families.
|Fireworks, like puppies, have the unique ability to bring out the kid in everyone. And so it was on Sunday night as Palm Beachers gathered in support of FoundCare’s new community health center for uninsured children and adults, which is now up and running and serving thousands.
Billed as “POP!- Party On the Plaza,” the Young Friends of FoundCare pitched a clear tent on the water’s edge at Royal Poinciana Plaza and filled it with folks to watch the annual Sunfest fireworks, dance to the Rick Bauer Band and drink Grey Goose vodka, Martini & Rossi Prosecco courtesy of Bacardi USA.
Event chairs were Sara Groff and Piper Quinn, Andrea and Brian Kosoy, Victor Moore and John Tatooles and Elisabeth and Adam Munder. In the crowd: FoundCare CEO Yolette Bonnet, Mona de Sayve, Ann Downey, Betsy and Wally Turner, Robin and Norberto Azqueta, Lee Bierly and Chris Drake, Eles Gillet and James Kaufmann, Toinette Boalt, Steven Stolman, Merrilyn Bardes, Kenn Karakul, Tom Samet, Tom Shaffer, Marsha Tanner Wilson, Ashlyn and Mark Montgomery, Kirk de Gooyer, Sarah Flynn, Earl Crittenden and many more- especially a very happy John Strangi who made the winning bid for a posh London weekend at the Connaught Hotel along with tickets to the West End production of “Dirty Dancing.”
|Every year, Landmarks Illinois’ Legendary Landmarks Gala honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the civic and cultural life of Chicago. This year’s honorees were philanthropist and leading figure in the Chicago Historic Preservation movement, Richard Dreihaus; Michael Kutza, founder of the Chicago Film Festival, and Susan and Lew Manilow, Community leaders with a passion for human rights, the environment, art and politics.
|More than 400 attended the black tie affair at the historic Palmer House Hilton and they raised a total of $225,000. During his acceptance speech, Mr. Dreihaus announced a four year $1 million commitment to Landmarks Illinois to establish a grant program to restore historic county courthouses in the state.
“Novelist William Faulkner,” Dreihaus reminded, “once characterized the American courthouses as the ‘repository and guardian of a county’s aspirations and hopes.’”
|Photographs by Diane Alexander White Photography (Chicago)|