Winter Ball Houston Wows With Gala
By Jennifer Roosth Photograph by Catch Light Group and Daniel Ortiz
THE SCENE: Over 500 guests gathered at the Hilton Americas for the Club 31 themed 2018 Winter Ball that benefited the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, honoring 11 Women of Distinction who have supported the community through volunteerism. This year’s honorees were Kristy Bradshaw, Kim Padgett, Amy Pierce, Denise Castillo-Rhodes, Leigh Smith, Kristina Somerville, Ileana Trevino, Stephanie Tsuru, Hallie Vanderhider, Sharleen Walkoviak, and Carol Sawyer as the 2018 Ambassador. 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 VIBE: The evening’s vibe, that of a high energy supper club, entailed mingling, bidding on unique auction items, pulling numbers for a wine pull and buying raffle tickets for a $15,000 Tenenbaum and Co. gift card. As the guests moved to their black and gold dressed tables, the live entertainment ensued with an opening performance of Andy Dimino, a Dean Martin look-alike singer. Images changed on the LED wall throughout the night keeping the attendees wrapped in the allure of the event. After the honoree presentation, three exciting live auction items generated excitement and funds for the cause, while the dance floor was packed to the sounds of David Caceres Band well past closing time.
THE CAUSE: The gala, which raised over $600,000, was chaired by Alissa Maples, DeeDee Marsh, and Kelli Weinzierl, along with honorary chair Trini Mendenhall. The evening was orchestrated by event producers Ellie Francisco and Niki Smith and was led by longtime emcees Tom Koch and Melanie Lawson. The event also honored Hero Emma Vallejo who shared her journey with ulcerative colitis demonstrating the importance of the funds raised at the event, generating a standing ovation from the crowd. Major sponsors for the gala included Tootsies, Gittings and Tenenbaum Jewelry.