ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

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ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Ajay and Sippi Khurana SILHOUETTE PG 2

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston AMBIANCE PG 1 MEDIUM SIZE

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston AMBIANCE PG 2

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Bill and Courtney Toomey PG 1 SILHOEUTTE

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Brigitte and Bashar Kalai

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Burke Saucier and Susan Sarofim

Honoree Susan Sarofim with Burke Saucier at the 30th Anniversary Diamond Winter Ball benefitting Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America at the Hilton Americas Hotel Saturday Feb. 11, 2017.(Dave Rossman photo)

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Caroline Kenney

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Carolyn Faulk and Pat Studdert

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Claudia and Jan Rask

Claudia and Jan Rask at the 30th Anniversary Diamond Winter Ball benefitting Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America at the Hilton Americas Hotel Saturday Feb. 11, 2017.(Dave Rossman photo)

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Claudia Rask, Cathy Brock, Bobbie Nau and Anita OShaughnessy SILHOUETTE PG 1

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Cyndy Garza Roberts and Winell Herron

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Franelle Rogers PG 1

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Hallie Vanderhider and Fady Armanious

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Jo and Jim Furr

Honoree Jo Furr and her husband Jim at the 30th Anniversary Diamond Winter Ball benefitting Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America at the Hilton Americas Hotel Saturday Feb. 11, 2017.(Dave Rossman photo)

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Judi McGee

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Keith and Shawntell McWilliams

Honoree Shawntell McWilliams and her husband Keith at the 30th Anniversary Diamond Winter Ball benefitting Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America at the Hilton Americas Hotel Saturday Feb. 11, 2017.(Dave Rossman photo)

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Kelli and John Weinzierl

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Kevin and Alissa Maples SILHOEUTTE PG 2

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Kevin Black, Tony Bradfield and Gracie Cavnar

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Kim and Dan Tutcher

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Margaret Williams and Jim Daniel SILHOUETTE PG 1

Honorary chair Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel at the 30th Anniversary Diamond Winter Ball benefitting Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America at the Hilton Americas Hotel Saturday Feb. 11, 2017.(Dave Rossman photo)

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Paul and Kristina Somerville

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Sofia Adrogue and Jessica Rossman

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Vivian Wise, Fanco Valobra and Beth Muecke

ENTRANCE HOUSTON: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
2017MayJune Events Houston Women of Distinction PG 1 OPENER

Women Of Distinction Winter Ball Celebrates 30th Anniversary

By Jennifer Roosth    
Photography by Kim Coffman, Dave Rossman and Daniel Ortiz

 

THE SCENE: Over 650 guests gathered at the Azure blue-lit Hilton Americas for The Diamond Ball 30th Anniversary Winter Ball that benefited the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, honoring 11 women who have supported the community through volunteerism. This year’s honorees were Jo Furr, Dr. Sippi Khurana, Alissa Maples, Shawntell McWilliams, Cyndy Garza Roberts, Jessica Rossman, Susan Sarofim, Kim Tutcher, Kelli Weinzierl, Vivian Wise and Judi McGee as the 2017 Ambassador.

 

THE VIBE: The high-energy crowd started the evening mingling, bidding on unique auction items, pulling numbers for a wine pull and buying raffle tickets. The Diamond theme made for lively evening from the start, with an entertaining opening performance by a Marilyn Monroe impersonator singing Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend. Olympic-bound Jonathan Tybur shared his journey with ulcerative colitis demonstrating the importance of the funds raised at the event and inspired a standing ovation from the crowd.  After the honoree presentation, five over-the-top live auction items helmed by auctioneer Vincent Montalbano included a trip to Los Angeles to see Jimmy Kimmel Live, a custom necklace made especially for the night by Franco Valobra, and a home in Cabo San Lucas donated by Paul and Penny Loyd. The highlight of the auction, two donated Mercedes-Benz vehicles donated by the Mercedes-Benz Dealers of Greater Houston, sold for over value and had everyone applauding. Afterward, the dance floor was packed to the sounds of Password well past closing time.

THE CAUSE: Chaired by Franelle Rogers and honorary chairman Margaret Alkek Williams, the gala was the culmination of ABC13’s Women of Distinction 2017 campaign, presented by Mercedes-Benz Dealers of Greater Houston. Everyone was celebrating as the evening brought in $1 million, a new record for the event.  Also honored during the program were over 50 ladies who were former Women of Distinction from the past 30 years, all of whom continue to do good works in Houston. The evening was orchestrated by event producers Ellie Francisco and Niki Smith, and all the major sponsors including Tootsies and Gittings Photography were thrilled with the fundraising results.