The first night of the Junior League of Houston Charity Ball got the three-night extravaganza off to a rousing start as more than 250 guests turned out to The League’s River Oaks-area building to celebrate the 71st annual soiree, themed “Fire and Ice.”
Chaired by Tanya Merla Leiber in collaboration with assistant chairman Kenedy Hughes, underwriting chair Amanda Boffone, community partner chair Jaclyn Luke, and auction chair Taylor McDaniel, the evening kicked off with photos at a step-and-repeat as partygoers made their way to the courtyard, where a heated tent kept them warm, as hors d’oeuvres were passed and the chilled champagne flowed.
As background music by DJ London played, guests mingled and bid on silent auction items, from a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” package with a morning meal at the Galleria luxury jewelry retailer for a party of 26, to a freshwater pearl necklace by Nacol & Co.
After the cocktail hour, attendees moved to the ballroom to enjoy the League’s legendary, all-member cast show, which featured singers, dancers, a cellist and a pianist. The toe-tapping 20-minute production included six numbers set to hit songs like “Hazy Shade of Winter” by The Bangles, “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” by Shania Twain.
For dinner, a large buffet of fare was served, including chilled avocado and cucumber soup, sweet corn fritters, street tacos, tortilla-crusted jumbo shrimp, and chocolate mousse.
The chic soirée continued into the night as DJ London cranked out party tunes and guests stayed to enjoy nightcaps and dancing.
Much thought was put into the “Fire & Ice” theme, which inspired hot and cool couture including lots of red, blue and sequined outfits.
“When selecting a theme, we knew we wanted something that represented our membership and our generous Junior League supporters,” Leiber told the crowd. “We are forces of nature, who have a fiery passion to build a better community and leave behind a crystallizing brilliance on the lives that we touch.”
Thursday evening’s soirée, alone, raised $50,000, and there are still two nights to go as the gala continues through the weekend, with black-tie events on both Friday and Saturday night.
Proceeds support The Junior League of Houston’s mission. Since its inception in 1925, The League has served the city by developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. In 2018-19, more than 1,400 volunteers will contribute over 100,000 hours of service in the Houston community.
Enjoying the evening were: Mary Lee Wilkins, president Steph Magers, president-elect Jayne Sheehy Johnston, Anne Sears, Amy Dunn, Jennifer Howard, Amanda Boffone, Abbey Roberson, Mitra Woody, Michael Wishniewski, Danielle Betscher, Alissa LaVergne, Bobby Martin, Selby Bush, and Carolyn McCormick.
Source: February 8, 2019, The Houston Chronicle, Marcy de Luna