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The Social Book 2019 "Houston Treasures" Awards Gala-"Swan Lake at the Omni"

The Social Book"2019 Houston Treasures" Awards Gala

“Swan Lake at the Omni”

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Hosted by Omni Houston Hotel, Post Oak Ballroom


Houston, Texas—The Social Book, Houston's premier calendar of charitable events, resource guide and go-to compendium of all things social, awarded its 2019 "Houston Treasures" honorees at its annual dinner, hosted by Omni Houston Hotel. This beautiful hotel (after a $30 million renovation from Hurricane Harvey) “strutted its stuff” for our city’s movers and shakers to showcase the city’s best for a four-course seated dinner. The Social Book’s Scott Evans (publisher), Jeff Henry (editor), and Sami Shbeeb, along with “Houston Treasures” creator Warner Roberts and Omni Houston Hotel’s General Manager Allan Codore, welcomed guests to the induction of the sixteenth class of honorees.


The Social Bookis in its 24th year of publication and 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—earning them this distinct honor. Chosen by a select committee of The Social Book, the 2019 honorees are: Anne Carl, Honorable Ed Emmett & Gwen Emmett, Carolyn Faulk, Tyson & Tena Faust, Zina Garrison, Gina Gaston Elie, Susan Hansen, Alan Helfman, Wallis & DeeDee Marsh, Jim McIngvale, Ed McMahon and Dr. Stuart Yudofsky.  Neiman Marcus presented honorees with The Social Book’s signature Orrefors crystal "Houston Treasures" award.


Over 280 guests were treated to a Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine reception, followed by a four-course seated dinner created by Omni’s Executive Chef Stephen Strickland and Sous Chef Michael Olson with renowned estate wines by Acumen Cabernet Sauvignon and Cuvaison Chardonnay. Omni Houston Hotel with Director of Special Events Georgia Graugnard, and her team executed the entire evening flawlessly (and on schedule). 


The evening’s theme, “Swan Lake at the Omni,” (a play on the iconic swans swimming in the lake in front of the Omni) was carried out by the décor team at The Perfect Touch. Designs totally in white (to highlight the “White Swan”), created a sense of arrival at Omni Houston Hotel’s pre-function area, where long strands of crystals and stems of phalaenopsis orchids hung from large white trees underneath a luxurious white drapery. A feathered check-in table graced with giant calla lilies welcomed guests. The ballroom tables (themed to “Black Swan”) were covered in black feathered and sequined linens with slate gray/black chair covers. The centerpieces varied from tall cylindrical clear vases with giant black feathered plumes to dense arrangements of pale blue hydrangeas with dark purple calla lilies rising out of them which mimicked the grace and elegance of the swans.


Flowers by Nino took the theme to heart by creating beautiful floral displays of giant white calla lilies at the entrance (previously mentioned) to a beautiful display of interconnected calla lilies at the ballroom entrance and long stems of large phalaenopsis orchids hung from white trees in the prefunction area and black trees in the ballroom holding the same orchid stems. Some tables in the ballroom.


Richard Brown Music featured holiday tunes and standards. ENCORE Event Technologies, Omni’s in-house Audio/Visual team, draped the room with soft white lighting and snowflakes on the walls, creating a wintery environment. Their screens projected scrolling portraits of all prior fourteen years of "Houston Treasures" honorees, a “Who's Who” of Houston philanthropy and culture. GTX Productionsfeatured their stunning new Video Wall, which projected designs of swans, winter scenes, snowflakes and other images to evoke the “Swan Lake” theme.


Cakes by Gina created a stunning cake display beside the stage. Her design included two swans nestling their graceful necks together atop a four-layer cake filled with layers of chocolate cake, amaretto cake and filled with cream cheese icing and raspberry sauce. Gina's creative incorporation of disparate themes into her cakes is a hallmark of her ingenuity. The cake was beautifully combined with white/dark chocolate truffles topped with a swan emblem, courtesy of Mostly Chocolate & Catering.


Elsie Smith Designs created the “Swan Lake at the Omni” invitation & program.


Warner Roberts began the dinner program by recounting some special memories of President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush followed by operatic tenor Kenneth Gayle, who sang the national anthem along with the audience in collective tribute to the President. 


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.


The quartet of Alicia Smith, Kim Moody, Deborah Duncan and Pamela Wright spoke about honoree Anne Carl; Scott McClelland and Hon. Bill King presented Honorable Ed Emmett & Gwen Emmett; Don Jordan introduced Carolyn Faulk;Sidney Faust introduced Tyson & Tena Faust; Phyllis Williams introduced tennis legend Zina Garrison; Phyllis Williams and Millette Sherman introduced Gina Gaston Elie; Scotty & Jana Arnoldy introduced Susan Arnoldy Hansen; Lester Smith (via video) and Martin Fein introduced Alan Helfman; Laura Ward spoke about Wallis & DeeDee Marsh; Martha Turner helped induct Jim McIngvale; Don Jordan and Paul Somerville introduced Ed McMahon; Maureen Hackett introduced Dr. Stuart Yudofsky. Scott Evans presented Let It Fly Events’ Ellen Ramsey with the sixth annual “Social Book Salute.” 


"Houston Treasures" were presented with a treasure trove of gifts from The Social Book,Neiman Marcus, Tiffany & Co., New Orleans Auction Galleries, Saks Fifth Avenue, Guerlain, Fabergé, Tootsies, Sloan/Hall, 360 Vodka, Acumen & Cuvaison Estate Wines, Haute Pets, NICE Winery, and More Than You Can Imagine, among others.


Former "Houston Treasures" honorees in attendance (in addition to the aforementioned) were: Hon. Joanne King Herring, Margaret Alkek Williams, Lilly Andress, George & Annette Strake, Julia Frankel, Welcome & Joanne Wilson, Betty & John Hrncir, Fran Fauntleroy, Hon. Arthur & Joyce Schechter, “Bud” & Rachel Frazier, Hon. Charles & Lily Foster, Diane & Harry Gendel, Mady Kades, Nino Shbeeb, Yvonne Cormier, Philamena & Arthur Baird, Barbara Jordan, Francie Willis, Mary Ann & David McKeithan, Fran Peterson, Pamela Lockard, Joann & Bill Crassas, Judi McGee, Merele Yarborough, Hon. Bill King, Linda Lorelle, Jane-Page Crump, Leila Gilbert, Liz Jameson, Ernie Manouse, Franelle Rogers, Sybil Roos, Evin Thayer, David Adickes, Paul-David Van Atta, Gigi Huang, Jan Carson, Danielle Ellis and Nino Shbeeb.


Other notable guests were: Thurmon Andress, Russell Frankel, Walter Aymen, Sylvia Forsythe, Diane Lokey Farb, Kristina Somerville, Mario Elie, Faberge’s Michael McClure with wife Faleshia, Roz & Alan Pactor, Denman & Marijo Moody, Angie & Cliff Roberts, Vik & Angie Chadha, Mark & Paige Evans, Charity Yarborough, Elsie Eckert, Dick Hansen, David & Tara Wuthrich, Julie & David Brown, Tim Connolly, Susan & Henri Soussan, Wendy Phillips & Ron Corcoran, Cody Soutar, Sherri Zucker, Vicki Rizzo, Vicki West, Ralph Burch, Tripp Carter, Fady Armanious, Bill Baldwin, Chris Swanson, Andrea & Paul Stewart, and Reyne Hirsch.


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 Bookincludes 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.


For more information, please contact:

Scott Evans, Publisher

The Social Book

2332 Bartlett St.

Houston, TX 77098-5212

Phone:  713.965.2922 

Fax:  713.965.2967