Hats Off To Children’s Museum Of Houston’s Annual Gala
By Jennifer Roosth
Photography by Alexander Rogers and Gary Maltz
THE SCENE: The Children’s Museum of Houston recently welcomed over 500 guests (many in exuberant hats) to this year’s annual gala, Mad Hatter’s Ball. The Corinthian Grand Ballroom was transformed into a wonderland scene, created by Rebekah Johnson of Berger and Johnson. As attendees entered through the looking glass, they were whisked into an outrageous “tea party” complete with floating playing cards, rampant vines and dazzling chandeliers.
THE VIBE: Guests rejoiced among the likes of Alice, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts, as Jackson & Company’s multi-course menu had guests noshing on a feast of delicacies, including “Tis the Voice of the Lobster” sherry bisque and herb crusted beef tenderloin medallions over madeira mushroom sauce served with potatoes, turnips and baton carrots. Alternating desserts included Earl Grey Mousse and flourless almond tea cake. The live and silent auctions were led by auction chairs Kelly Sklar and Liz Stephens and auctioneer Jeff Smith. Amongst the marvelous auction items was a Cartier watch courtesy of Deutsch & Deutsch Jewelers, as well as trips to the Grammys, Rome, and a Neiman Marcus shopping spree. Perhaps the happiest guests that night were winners Molly and Matt LaFauci, who won an adorable labradoodle puppy during the auction. The tunes of Skyrocket (presented by J&D Entertainment) later beckoned everyone onto the chess-inspired dance floor.
THE CAUSE: Gala chairs Elva and Truett Akin and Monica and Greg Meeks played host to the whimsical evening benefiting the Museum’s educational and outreach programs. Making this year’s gala possible were underwriting co-chairs Caroline and John Harrell and Lyndsey and Bret Zorich, as well as many longtime board members and their children (who are now adults with their own children) who enjoy supporting the organization. For the last 24 years, the Children’s Museum of Houston annual gala has made it possible for the Museum to prepare children to be successful in school and to instill confidence in lifelong learning. This past year, the venue welcomed more than 810,000 on-site visitors and impacted more than 344,000 children and parents through outreach programming.