NIGHT IN OLD HAVANA

The Texas Biomedical Gala brings a little Cuba to Central Texas

By: Terran Duhon and Ellie Leeper
Photography By Greg Harrison

Stepping out of the car onto the manicured lawn of the historic Argyle Club was like being transported to another era in time. The bustling city life of San Antonio had simply melted away while the bright lights, music, and the gorgeous couture made the evening feel as though Havana itself had dropped into our tiny part of San Antonio to pay a festive visit, but could only stay for a single, glorious night. With food, fun, and fashion, what more could anyone ask for?

This was the 2013 Texas Biomedical Gala, aptly named “La Gloria Havana”. The gala’s chair and co-chair were Melissa Morgan and Courtney Duphorne, along with assistance from Daniela Serna, and also was hosted by the members of the Texas Biomedical Forum, in partnership with Neiman Marcus. Prior to the evening’s cocktails and dinner, Neiman Marcus created a fashion show that kicked off the gala and showcased an array of dazzling gowns. Beyond the sparkle and the glamour, the main purpose of the night was to raise awareness and much needed funds for one of Texas’s most prominent and influential medical research centers.

The Texas Biomedical Research Institute is one of the world’s leading nonprofit biomedical research institutions. Texas Biomed has enhanced and enriched lives through breakthroughs in fields such as genetics, cancer research, and neonatal diseases (to name a few). Through the work of its 85 doctoral scientists, Texas Biomed has remained at the forefront of human health issues affecting the world’s populations, but this comes at great cost. This research requires a budget of nearly $54 million. Luckily, through the last 13 years of fundraising and charitable donations given at this particular gala alone, the Forum has allowed researchers to apply for additional grant monies amounting to $30 million. “La Gloria Havana” was a night to be remembered, thanks to the support of Neiman Marcus, several generous local families, and the Texas Biomedical Forum.

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