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The Social Book Revisits History with a Star-Studded Awards Gala

The Social Book "Houston Treasures" 2020 Awards Gala

“Repeating History-Connecting our Past to the Present”

Sunday, December 9, 2019

Hosted by C. Baldwin Hotel, Barbara Jordan 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 2020 "Houston Treasures" honorees at its annual dinner, hosted by C. Baldwin Curio Collection by Hilton. This beautiful hotel (after a $70 million renovation) “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 Shbeebalong with “Houston Treasures” creator Warner Roberts and C. Baldwin Hotel’sGeneral Manager Maggie Rosa, welcomed guests to the induction of the seventeenth class of honorees.


The Social Book is in its 25th 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 2020 honorees are: Yolanda Adams, Lauren Anderson, Penny & John Butler, Jo & Jim Furr, Monica Hartland, Bill Meek, Edna Meyer-Nelson, Malcolm Morris, The Honorable Annise Parker, Page Parkes, Dr. Peggy Smith & Mr. Ashley Smith and Tara & David Wuthrich.  Neiman Marcus presented honorees with The Social Book’s signature Orrefors crystal "Houston Treasures" award.


300 guests were treated to a Cuvaison Sparkling Wine reception, followed by a four-course seated dinner created by C. Baldwin’s Executive Chef Sasha Grumman and Pastry Chef Valerie Trasatti with renowned estate wines Brandlin Cabernet Sauvignon and Cuvaison Chardonnay. C. Baldwin Hotel’s team led by Director of Food & Beverage Charles Skipsey and Catering Manager Caprile Capetillo, executed the entire evening flawlessly (and on schedule). 


The Social Book Houston Treasures Awards Gala-"Repeating History—Connecting our Past to the Present"  at the newly imagined C. Baldwin Curio Collection by Hilton provided 300 guests with much to celebrate   The Social Book is celebrating its 25th silver anniversary edition. Warner Roberts created a new section to the book, aptly named “Houston Treasures,” 17 years ago and this year added new special honors: Legendary and Historic Houston Treasures. Tributes were given to Historic Legendary Houstonians Charlotte Baldwin Allen, the Mother of Houston and the hotel’s namesake, and, Ima Hogg, Oveta Culp Hobby and Barbara Jordan. Legendary Houston Treasures awards honored The Honorable Joanne King Herring, Rose Cullen, Margaret Alkek Williams and Lynn Wyatt who all received standing ovations. The  beautiful ballroom was laden with centerpieces containing masses of roses, anoemonies, peonies, calla lilies and assorted flowers, flown in from six countries especially for this event, courtesy of Flowers by Nino; and the stunning table decor was courtesy of EB, Inc. Jill Raines, owner of EB, Inc. searched through her massive inventory of linens and discovered bespoke and heritage linens in blue velvet, blue and cream damask and navy blue ruffles. Contrasting navy blue and burgundy napkins were coordinated with Swarovski crystal antique napkin rings on gold/glass chargers.


Richard Brown Music featured holiday tunes and standards from the early 1920’s-1940’s. PSAV, C. Baldwin’s in-house Audio/Visual team, draped the room with soft white and blue lighting and snowflakes on the walls, creating a wintery holiday environment. Their screens projected scrolling portraits of all prior sixteen years of "Houston Treasures" honorees, a “Who's Who” of Houston philanthropy and culture. 


Cakes by Gina created a stunning cake display beside the stage. Her design included a Victorian-style five-tier cake filled with layers of honey cake, lemon cake and filled with lavender buttercream filling and vanilla icing. Gina's creative incorporation of disparate themes into her cakes is a hallmark of her ingenuity. The cake was beautifully combined with Panna Cotta and Berry Compote with Polenta Crumble, and Italian Wedding Cookies, courtesy of C. Baldwin Hotel and its Rosalie’s Restaurant.


Elsie Smith Designs created the beautiful antique “Repeating History” invitation & evening 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.


Merele Yarborough spoke about Grammy-winning honoree Yolanda Adams; Lynn Wyatt presented Lauren Anderson; Lilly & Thurmon Andress introduced Penny & John Butler; Lily & The Honorable Charles Foster introduced Jo & Jim Furr; Twin sisters Joanna Marks and Hannah McNair introduced their sister Monica Hartland; Dr. Carolyn Farb introduced artist Bill Meek; Laura & Dave Ward introduced Edna Meyer-Nelson; Anne Carl introduced Malcolm Morris; Ernie Manouse spoke about former Mayor Annise Parker; Deborah Duncan helped induct Page Parkes; Beth Madison introduced Dr. Peggy & Mr. Ashley Smith; Joella & Steve Mach introduced Tara & David Wuthrich.


"Houston Treasures" were each presented with a treasure trove of 31 gifts (valued at over $5,700) from The Social Book, Neiman Marcus, Kelly Amen (KGA), New Orleans Auction Galleries, Flowers by Nino, Cakes by Gina, Williams-Sonoma, Saks Fifth Avenue, CLARINS, Fabergé, Sloan/Hall, Riedel, Andrea Montgomery Designs, 360 Vodka, Benjy’s Restaurant & The Classic, ROMA Restaurant, River Oaks Chrysler Plymouth, Brandlin & Cuvaison Estate Wines, and More Than You Can Imagine, among others.


Former "Houston Treasures" honorees in attendance (in addition to the aforementioned Legendary Treasures and those who introduced our new class of honorees) were: Mary & Tony Gracely, Jeanie Kilroy Wilson, Linda McReynolds, Hon. George & Annette Strake, Frann Lichtenstein, Honorable Bill King, Betty & John Hrncir, Richard Flowers, Brad Marks, Hon. Arthur & Joyce Schechter, Hon. Charles & Lily Foster, Betty & Jess Tutor, Diane & Harry Gendel, Frank Billingsley, Nino Shbeeb, Yvonne & Rufus Cormier, DeeDee & Wallis Marsh, Philamena & Arthur Baird, Mary Ann & David McKeithan, Linda Ewing, Carol Sawyer, Pamela Lockard, Sidney Faust, Judi McGee, Helen & Jim Shaffer, Linda Lorelle, Gayla Gardner, Kim Moody, Alicia Smith, Franelle Rogers, Zina Garrison, Gina Gaston Elie, Evin Thayer, David Adickes, Paul-David Van Atta, Jan Carson, Susan & Dick Hansen, Kappy Muenzer, Sharon Owens and Andy Delery.


Other notable guests were: Neiman Marcus GM Stephen Brunelle with PR Director Stacey SwiftDr. Devinder & Gina BhatiaHallie Vanderhider, Walter Aymen, Kathie Hubbard (wife of Annise Parker), Kristina Somerville, Michael & Faleshia McClure, Roz & Alan Pactor, Leisa Holland-Nelson & Bob Bowman, Denman & Marijo Moody, Angie & Cliff Roberts, Chris Kase, Elsie & Les Eckert, Tim Connolly, Wendy Phillips & Ron Corcoran, Cody Soutar, Brooks Ballard, Brittany Zucker, Stuart Rosenberg with Jose Ocque, Vicki Rizzo, Chris Swanson, Charlie Hartland, Christine & Steve Johnson, Andrea & Paul Stewart, Maggi Jones, Marilu Garza, Randy Canche with Hong Bui, Faberge’s Yoon Smith with husband James Smith, and Carson Brown.


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 highly visited website—www.socialbook.com—and best-magazine-quality advertising. Non-profit subscribers receive additional benefits and opportunities.