Event Date: December 12, 2021
Location: The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, Grande Ballroom
No. of Attendees: 200
Honorary Chairs: Scott Evans, Warner Roberts, Jeff Henry and Sami Shbeeb
Honorees: Kelly Amen, Lara Bell, Susan & Dan Boggio, Drs. Julie & Marc Boom, Elsie Eckert, Tim Miller, Amy & Rob Pierce, Reverends Juanita & Rudy Rasmus, Chris Shepherd, Hallie Vanderhider, Beth Wolff and Sherri Zucker
Wines: Cuvaison and Brandlin Estate
Stage Décor, Lighting, Sound, Video and Special Effects: 360AV Design
Florals: Flowers by Nino
Nutcracker Décor and Red Drapes: Kirksey Gregg Productions
Entertainment: Richard Brown Music
Linens, Sashes and Chargers: EB, Inc.
Video Production: Firefox Video
Elegant Furniture Display: BeDESIGN
Invitation and Evening Program Design: Elsie Smith Design
Printing of Invitation and Evening Program: Minuteman Press, Missouri City
Nutcracker Cake and Dessert Display: Cakes by Gina
Coffee Bar: Three Commas Coffee, Reyne Hirsch
Social Book Facial Mask: David Peck
Photography: Daniel Ortiz
White-Glove Moving Services: C & M Moving
The Social Book 2022 “Houston Treasures” Awards Gala-“Treasures in Toyland” Gives the Social Nutcrackers an Opportunity to Honor More of Houston’s Finest
It was one of those magical fun-filled child-like nights as 200 social luminaries gathered at The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa to celebrate The Social Book’s 18th annual “Houston Treasures” Awards Gala, which honors twelve individuals and couples in the fields of philanthropy, volunteerism, medicine, arts, business, sports, politics and media. The Social Book began in 1996, and in 2004, creator Warner Roberts added this valuable “treasure” to the publication as a way to recognize the accomplishments of those who had built the city and continue to contribute in innumerable ways.
Chosen by a select committee of The Social Book, the 2022 honorees are: Kelly Amen, Lara Bell, Susan & Dan Boggio, Drs. Julie & Marc Boom, Elsie Eckert, Tim Miller (founder of Texas EquuSearch), Amy & Rob PIerce, Reverends Rudy & Juanita Rasmus, Chris Shepherd, Hallie Vanderhider, Beth Wolff and Sherri Zucker. Neiman Marcus presented honorees with The Social Book’s signature Orrefors crystal “Houston Treasures” award. Warner Roberts spoke about the Treasures Award legacy and announced Legendary Treasures Lilly Andress, Linda McReynolds and Jeanie Kilroy Wilson. Receiving “Social Book Salutes” were Saks Fifth Avenue’s Sylvia Forsythe and videographer Chris Swanson.
On behalf of Hotel General Manager Steve Fronterhouse, The Houstonian Hotel’s Director of Marketing Seliece Womble spoke warmly and eloquently about the hotel’s long history of serving the incredibly generous and big-hearted Houston community, and she introduced a short video illuminating The Houstonian’s prominence in Houston history, with references to the collegial George H. W. Bush relationship and Houston’s hosting of the G7 Summit of World Leaders in 1990.
Guests celebrated the evening’s theme, “Treasures in Toyland,” (a play on the iconic Disney movie) by bringing toys for the children at The Mission of Yahweh, a homeless shelter for women and children. The theme was further enhanced by the individual décor teams at Flowers by Nino, Kirksey Gregg Productions, and EB, Inc. Kirksey Gregg Productions decorates Nutcracker Market each year so he was the man to call to create the evening’s sense of arrival and the stage surround. Kirksey’s 8’ Nutcrackers greeted guests at The Houstonian Hotel’s entrance to the foyer area and in front of the ballroom doors. The stage was surrounded by 18’ Nutcrackers. Flowers by Nino imported breathtaking red roses from a remote area in Peru just in time for this lavish event. EB, Inc. covered the ballroom tables in a vibrant red satiny fabric with red beaded tinsel alternating with tables of textured gold shimmery bark-like fabric. “Toyland” fabrics featured elsewhere evoked visions of candy canes, wrapping paper, and Christmas plaid.
As mentioned, many new items were unveiled at this auspicious dinner including 360AV Design’s “Edison Bulb Curtain,” comprised of multiple styles and sizes of amber apothecary lights laid against a black velvet curtain for a sense of depth.
Richard Brown Music and his merry band of musicians entertained the crowd with holiday tunes and jazzy standards.
Cakes by Gina created a stunning 5-feet-tall Nutcracker cake that was placed in prominence near the stage. In the foyer, her individual desserts─including gingerbread persons and figgy pudding─were invitingly displayed in several areas. Accompanying Gina’s tasty treats was Three Commas Coffee, (there are 3 commas in a billion dollars), a delicious new brew unveiled at this party courtesy of billionaire Mark Cuban and his Houston publicist partner Reyne Hirsch. With the invaluable assistance of wine author, educator and sommelier Denman Moody, renowned winemaker and Two Estates Collective CEO Dan Zepponi flew in from Napa Valley to introduce his Brandlin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Cuvaison Chardonnay to accompany Houstonian Chef Neal Cox’s four-course dinner. These vintages went nationwide after this dinner.
Famed furniture design company and Houston favorite BeDESIGN showcased beautiful pieces in a custom setting amid the foyer’s fireplace. Other vendor support for the gala came from Elsie Smith Design (invitation), Minuteman Press, Missouri City (printing), David Peck (Social Book mask creation) and Firefox Video (filming of Houston Treasures introductory videos by past honorees).
Past honorees introducing the 2022 honorees (via video) were Mayor Annise Parker, Ellie Francisco, Tena Faust, Honorable Ed Emmett and Gwen Emmett, Sidney Faust, Laura Ward, Deborah Duncan, Phoebe Tudor, Susan Sarofim and Jane-Page Crump.
Past honorees in attendance (not previously mentioned) were: Tony & Mary Gracely (who gave the poignant invocation), Rose Cullen, Lynn Wyatt, George & Annette Strake, Betty Hrncir, Fran Fauntleroy, Hon. Charles & Lily Foster, Tyson Faust, Richard Flowers, Diane & Harry Gendel, Mady & Ken Kades, Nino Shbeeb, Yvonne Cormier, Paul-David Van Atta, Mary Ann & David McKeithan, Judi McGee, Hon. Bill King, Linda Lorelle, Jim & Jo Furr, Phyllis Williams, Gayla Gardner, Sharon Michael Owens, Susan Hansen, Alan Helfman, Wallis & DeeDee Marsh, Ed McMahon, Kim Moody, Alicia Smith, Helen Shaffer, Betty & Jess Tutor and David & Tara Wuthrich.
Notable guests in attendance included: Neiman’s Heather Almond, Dr. Walter McReynolds, John Hrncir, Chris Kase, Walter Aymen, Saks G.M. Ryan Jay, Sylvia Forsythe, Lukas Forsythe, Adrian Dueñas & Marcelo Saenz, Carrie & Sverre Brandsberg-Dahl, Nina & Karun Magon, Leisa Holland-Nelson Bowman & Bob Bowman, Michael & Faleshia McClure, Roz Pactor, Denman & Marijo Moody, Maggi Jones, Angie & Cliff Roberts, Dick Hansen, Susan Soussan, Sharon Abercia & John Evans, Reyne Hirsch, Angel Rios, Cody Soutar, Vicki Rizzo, Vicki West, Brian Corless, Roz Pactor, Fady Armanious, Kim Padgett, Jerry To, Beth & Phil Purpich, Jeff Myers and Lee Womble.