Time-Traveling Winter Ball Honors Women Of Distinction

By Jennifer Roosth
Photography by Kim Coffman and Michelle Watson

THE SCENE: An extravagant Egyptian journey met almost 650 guests who gathered at the Hilton Americas for A Night on the Nile, ABC-13’s Women of Distinction 2015 Winter Ball, presented by Mercedes-Benz Dealers of Greater Houston. Guests were met by hunky pharaoh’s guards as they entered the ballroom where Anthony and Cleopatra mingled, and even a snake charmer performed in the marketplace at the pre-event reception. After the presentation of the honorees, guests enjoyed an exciting evening of big board auctions, a wine pull, and a marketplace-style auction. Afterward, guests packed the dance floor for revelry that lasted late into the night.

THE VIBE: Everyone was celebrating as the evening raised nearly $900,000, a new record for the event. The high-energy crowd perpetuated the traditionally rowdy live auction that include a trip to Los Angeles to see Dancing With The Stars, a custom necklace and earrings made especially for the night by Franco Valobra, and a home in Costa Rica, generating excitement and funds for the Winter Ball’s mission. The highlight of the auction? A 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS 550 sedan donated by the Mercedes-Benz Dealers of Greater Houston.

THE CAUSE: Benefiting the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, the Winter Ball honors 12 Women of Distinction who have supported the community through volunteerism, including this year’s Queen of the Nile, Pat Breen. The event was chaired by Patti Murphy and Elizabeth Stein while the honorary chairs were Terrie and Mike Turner. This year’s honorees were Carol Beck, Suzan Deison, Lesha Elsenbrook, Gayla Gardner, Carol Linn, Kim Moody, Leisa Holland-Nelson, Susan Osterberg, Cynthia Petrello, Roberta Schwartz, and Trini Mendenhall as 2015 Ambassador. Additionally, the program honored over 50 women who were former Women of Distinction in the past 27 years, all of whom continue to do good works in Houston. In a touching moment, Youth Ambassador Nathan Miller shared his journey with Crohn’s disease, demonstrating the importance of the funds raised at the event and generating a standing ovation from the crowd.

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