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The Social Book presents "The Bright Lights of Houston"

The Social Book "Houston Treasures" 2016 Announcement Dinner

“The Bright Lights of Houston”

Monday, November 30, 2015

Hosted by Hyatt Regency Houston, Imperial Ballroom



Hyatt Regency BallroomHouston, Texas—The Social Book, Houston's premier calendar of charitable events, resource guide and go-to compendium of all things social, awarded its 2016 "Houston Treasures" honorees at its annual dinner, hosted by Hyatt Regency Houston.  The Social Book’sScott Evans (publisher), Jeff Henry (editor), and Sami Shbeeb, along with “Houston Treasures” creator Warner Roberts and Hyatt Regency Houston General Manager Tom Netting, welcomed guests to the induction of the thirteenth class of honorees.


The Social Book is in its 21st year of publication. Its "Houston Treasures" award, created by Warner Roberts in 2004, honors individuals and couples in the fields of philanthropy, volunteerism, medicine, arts, business, sports, politics and media. Honoree photos and biographies grace the calendar tab pages of January through December in The Social Book. Warner Roberts recounted the awards’ history and continuing legacy of commemorating those whose contributions to the Houston community have been extraordinary. Chosen by a select committee of The Social Book, the 2016 honorees are: Donna & Robert Bruni, Fran Fauntleroy, Hon. Charles & Lily Foster, Nancy Gordon, Terri & John Havens, Betty Hrncir, Pam Lockard & Ron Sterlekar, Joella & Steve Mach, Kim Moody, Judy & Scott Nyquist, Hon. Mark & Linda Gale White and Joanne & Welcome Wilson.  Neiman Marcus presented honorees with The Social Book’s signature Orrefors crystal "Houston Treasures" award.


Over 270 guests were treated to a Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine cocktail reception, a four-course seated dinner created by Hyatt Executive Chef Frank Majowicz with renowned wines by Duckhorn. Hyatt Director of Events Leo Hamel and his team executed the entire evening flawlessly (and on schedule).


The evening’s theme, “The Bright Lights of Houston,” (a play on the honorees and the downtown setting) was carried out by décor vendors who created “brilliant” designs and formed a sense of arrival at every entry point, beginning with The Perfect Touch’s lobby décor featuring beautiful sapphire blue sequined linens atop cocktail tables, new high-back tufted sofas and king/queen chairs and mirrored side tables. Ballroom table linens were of alternating sapphire blue sequins or iridescent purple/blue/pewter sateen. Chairs were covered in silver satin tied with a royal blue sash held by an ornate sapphire and silver brooch.


The ballroom was illuminated by Flowers by Nino's $5,000 of white dendrobium orchid and electric light sprays designed into tiered palm trees flanking the stage’s oversized, back-lit backdrop of Downtown Houston's nighttime skyline by famed Houston photographer Iraj Ghavidel.  The Perfect Touch and Flowers by Nino collaborated to create a variety of dichromatic floral centerpieces featuring multi-level mercury glass candelabra, inverted oversize martini glasses and Swarovski crystal cylinders.  Hydrangea and rose bouquets were embedded with soft glowing lights complementing the theme to ethereal effect.


Retro musical entertainment by Richard Brown Music featured tunes of Frank Sinatra, “Downtown” by Petula Clark, as well as holiday standards.  PSAV’s (Hyatt Regency Houston’s in-house Audio/Visual team) draping and dramatic royal blue lighting replicated the night sky with starry images creating a themed ambience. Their screens projected scrolling portraits of all prior twelve years of "Houston Treasures" honorees, a Who's Who of Houston philanthropy and culture.


The dinner program opened with a short video (shot in the daytime, pre-decorated Hyatt ballroom) of the humorously self-deprecating Warner Roberts and Scott Evans to set up their live "sparkling" appearance on stage draped in twinkling lights (to facetiously draw attention to themselves among the "luminaries" present).


"Cakes by Gina created a skyscraper-tall, nine-tier cake in midnight blue depicting silvery skyline silhouettes, detailed Houston landmarks, and fireworks."


Elsie Smith Designs created “The Bright Lights of Houston” invitation & program.


Honorees were commemorated in video tributes (interspersed between dinner courses) by previous recipients of the "Houston Treasures" award, generously filmed and produced by Chris Swanson and Firefox Video. As tributes were shown and brief live presentations announced, honorees were brought to the stage to accept their awards, giving impassioned gratitude for the community and inclusion in the illustrious company of past and present honorees.


Ellie Francisco and Rudy Avelar spoke about the Brunis; Annette and Hon. George Strake presented Fran Fauntleroy; Hon. Bill King and Hon. Fred Zeidman introduced the Fosters; Jan Duncan introduced Nancy Gordon;Mary and Tony Gracely introduced the Havens; Hon. Joanne King Herring introduced Betty Hrncir; Deborah Duncan spoke about Lockard/Sterlekar; Cora Sue and Harry Mach helped induct Joella and Steve Mach; Alicia Smith introduced Kim Moody; Diane and Harry Gendel introduced Scott & Judy Nyquist; Barbara Hurwitz and Shara Fryer presented the Whites; and Kristi Schiller helped induct Joanne and Welcome Wilson. Scott Evans presented long-time lighting and special effects genius Bright Star Productions’Malcolm Hackney with the third annual “Social Book Salute.”


"Houston Treasures" were presented with a treasure trove of gifts from The Social Book,Tiffany & Co., Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, CHANEL, Bvlgari, Tootsies, Ralph Lauren, Sloan/Hall, 360 Vodka, Jordan Wines, SWANK Interiors, Chef Adrian Perez and Complete Eats (a catered dinner party for 8), engraved bottles of Glenfiddich Scotch and Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Nice Winery and Brittany Blake Interiors, among others.


Former "Houston Treasures" honorees in attendance (in addition to the aforementioned) were: Margaret Williams, Martha Turner, Paul & Kristina Somerville, Joan Lyons, Danielle & John Ellis, Nino Shbeeb, Helen Shaffer, Rufus Cormier, Joann Crassas, Dr. Bud & Rachel Frazier, Carolyn Farb, Jan Carson, Hon. Bill King, Linda Lorelle, Rudy Avelar, Cora Sue & Harry Mach, Dr. John and Anne Mendelsohn, Jana & Scotty Arnoldy, Hon. Fred Zeidman, Diane & John Riley, Franelle Rogers, Evin Thayer, Kappy Muenzer, Paul-David Van Atta, Barbara & Ulyesse LeGrange, Sharon Owens, Mary Ann & David McKeithan and Maryann & Jodie Hoffer.


Other notable guests were: Tony Bradfield & Dr. Kevin Black, Hon. Steve Payne, Monica Blaisdell, Neda Ladjevardian, Stephanie Von Stein, Bill Crassas, Bill Stubbs, Ed McMahon, Chris Kase, Angie & Cliff Roberts, Danielle & Sami Shbeeb, Jay Bell, David & Tara Wuthrich, Jay & Sara Bhatty, Vik & Angie Chadha, Reyne Hirsch, Bruce Hutmacher, Tim Connolly, Fady Armanious, Hallie Vanderhider, Sherri Zucker, Brittany Zucker, Vicki Rizzo, Charles Hurwitz, Elsie Eckert, Chris Nicolaou, Melissa & Jimmy Malone, Roseann Rogers, Lara Bell, Chris Swanson, Andrea & Paul Stewart, Benjamin Berg, and Marguerite Swartz.


The Social Book's reason for being, since its inception in 1996, has always been to support the charitable and non-profit community by publishing the comprehensive calendar of Houston’s fundraising events and guide of the best companies, especially vendors that produce events from luncheons to galas.  It is an invaluable resource for the generous individuals and companies who give of their time and resources to address countless needs.


A $320.00 annual subscription to The Social Book includes its red leather binder containing the calendar—updated through the year, a license for full access to the calendar on its website—www.socialbook.com—and best-magazine-quality advertising. Non-profit subscribers receive additional benefits and opportunities.