The Social Book 2019 Launch Party
“A Royal Social”
Designed and produced by Kat Creech Events in partnership with The Social Book
celebrating the twenty-fourth anniversary edition of The Social Book
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Westin Galleria Hotel, Monarch Room and Galleria Ballroom
Houston, Texas—The Social Book, a comprehensive calendar of Houston fundraising events, unveiled the 2019 edition at its annual launch party. The Social Book‘s owners Scott Evans, Jeff Henry and Sami Shbeeb welcomed more than 600 guests to celebrate the grand occasion of its 24thanniversary edition. The Social Book partnered with renowned event coordinator Kat Creech and her special events company Kat Creech Events for a “royal” night filled with food, song and merriment.
VIP guests gathered prior to the main event for a private reception in the hotel’s 24th floor Monarch Room to mingle with sponsors and The Social Book’s 2019 “Houston Treasures” honorees [see list below], which were introduced on-stage by celebrity socialite and television personality Warner Roberts, founder of “Houston Treasures.” Guests nibbled hors d'oeuvres by Westin Galleria, sipped estate wines by Acumen Peak and enjoyed harpist selections courtesy of Richard Brown Music. Let It Fly Events produced the magnificent floral stage backdrop and table linens for the beautifully appointed special event space with floor-to-ceiling windows on opposite walls offering spectacular sunset cityscape views. PSAV produced the VIP experience light and sound.
The 2019 “Houston Treasures” honorees, previously presented at a gala dinner on December 2ndat Omni Houston Hotel, (all of whom were in attendance with the exception of Jim McIngvale) are: Anne Carl, Honorable Ed Emmett & Gwen Emmett, Carolyn Faulk, Tyson & Tena Faust, Zina Garrison, Gina Gaston Elie, Susan Arnoldy Hansen, Alan Helfman, Wallis & DeeDee Marsh, Jim McIngvale, Ed McMahon, and Dr. Stuart Yudofsky.
Elsie Smith Design created the event invitation, which gave participating vendors a color palette and design ideas to jump-start their creativity. Arriving at the main event, the foyer was replete with golden décor including a metallic gold feature wall in geometric relief created by Stage Directions, surrounded by buffet stations, bars, and casino tables from Monte Carlo Plus. The Galleria Ballroom was a "royal court" divided into four quadrants, each with its own color: Queen’s Parlor (Red), King’s Court (Purple), Duchess’ Garden (Green) and Prince’s Lodge (Blue), with a central court that was resplendent gold, white and crystal. Ballroom décor was courtesy of Let It Fly Events, EB Inc. Event Rentals, AFR Event Furnishings, Flowers by Nino and Stage Directions.
EB Inc.'s table settings featured their exquisite color-matched linens and chairs of differing styles appropriate to the quadrant's theme (e.g., garden, lodge, etc.). Each area had lounging furniture (couches, upholstered chairs, coffee tables, etc.) color coordinated, of course, courtesy of AFR Event Furnishings.
Gene Ruple and his company GR Services executed the unenviable task of draping the entire ballroom to theatrical effect with theme colors: a tall task considering the 16-foot ceilings and hundreds of linear feet. Completing the color saturation demarcating the quadrants was Bright Star Productions'dramatic up-lighting and majestic gobos along with Flowers by Nino's coordinated rose and orchid arrangements.
The central court lifted eyes up to gold bunting swags terminating in an enormous gold and crystal chandelier surrounded by Let It Fly Events’ iconic columns topped by crowns. Reaching high into the chandelier was floral Michelangelo Nino Shbeeb's jaw-dropping masterpiece: giant white phalaenopsis orchid sprays arrayed among a golden architecture of his invention.
GTX Productions was at the heart of the main event, where they “set the stage” for all to see and hear—showcasing their one-of-a-kind Lucite stage and amazing sound technology for the evening’s entertainment. Their vertical L-E-D video walls showcased the event participants and photos of “Houston Treasures” honorees. Richard Brown Music and his 10-piece orchestra played all evening and gave guests a vast array of musical styles to tempt dancing feet onto a dance floor emblazoned with the event logo: "A Royal Social," courtesy of Laced Vinyl.
#BE_SCENE, pop-up portrait studio which made its Houston debut at last year's Launch Party, is now a “must have” for all types of events. Professional lighting and photography complete the studio-quality portraits for guests in under one minute per shot (and can immediately be posted to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). In keeping with the royalty theme, Houston photographer Jeff Myers joined forces with Houston Jewelry to showcase their magnificent “Crown Jewels,” which owner Rex Solomon had re-created from the original British collection. The Royal Court was designed by one of The Social Book’s advertisers, Jane-Page Crump and her team from Jane Page Design Group, who created a dazzling display the monarchy would love. Printed photographic party favors were a huge hit at The Face Exchange booth where guests had fun with playful props, Queen Elizabeth II (played by Tirey Counts), and engaging photographers.
Magician Ben Jackson strolled through the packed crowd and performed close-up magic leaving guests in awe!
Eleven food and dessert stations provided the evening’s fare fit for kings and queens. Guests lined up for: Benjy’s (teamed with Local Foods and The Classic), Cakes by Gina, Dolce Boccato, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Emmaline, H-E-B, Macaron by Patisse, Roma, Sushic, and Westin Galleria.
360 Vodka served its top-shelf eco-friendly traditional product, as well as Peach, Double Chocolate and Lemon flavors. Tarantula 100 Tequila, Broker’s Gin (a prized British Gin), Ron Rio Rum, Triple Crown Whiskey, Woodford Reserve, Highland Queen Scotch, Five Farms Irish Cream Liqueur, KeKe Beach Key Lime Liqueur rounded out featured spirits offerings. Silver Eagle Distributors stayed with the event theme and provided Bud Light and Stella Artois beers served in collectible challises.
Notables in attendance and not previously mentioned were: Warner Roberts, Lynn Wyatt, Margaret Alkek Williams, Trini Mendenhall, Rosemary Schatzman, Lilly & Thurmon Andress, Diane Lokey Farb, Joann and Bill Crassas, Monica Hartland, Brooks Ballard (with Engel & Völkers--a Social Book sponsor), Fran Fauntleroy, Mady Kades, Walter Aymen, Karen Henry, Gigi Huang, Carol & Tom Sawyer, Betty & John Hrncir, Steve Mach, Yvonne Cormier, Jane-Page Crump, Helen & Jim Shaffer, Cliff and Angie Roberts, Sybil Roos, Alicia Smith, Kim Moody, Frank Billingsley, Tripp Carter, Douglas Drummond, Bob Jones, Elsie & Les Eckert, Hon. Bill King, Leisa Holland-Nelson, Vicki Rizzo, Michael McClure, Mary Ann & David McKeithan, Ellie Francisco, Leisa Holland-Nelson, Maggi Jones, Franelle Rogers, Sharon Michael Owens, Gayla Gardner, Shawntell McWilliams, Alan & Roz Pactor, Linda Lorelle & Lou Gregory, Sami & Danielle Shbeeb, Nino Shbeeb, Pam Lockard, Nancy & Hans Strohmer, Dick Hansen, Cheryl Byington, Vicki Rizzo, Susan Soussan, Melanie Johnson, Randy Canche & Scottie Gatarz, John Evatz, Nancy Marcus Golden, Chloe Dao and many others.
The Social Book, a compendium of fundraising events, is an invaluable tool for individuals, companies and non-profit organizations. This book is a comprehensive red leather-bound binder, updated throughout the year with new event listings and a source book for Houston’s top companies. The cost for the book is $320.00 for the calendar year and includes website access and printed updates quarterly.