Photography: Wilson Parish, Dave Rossman, Gary Fountain, Jacalyn Lawton and Alida Bonifaz
Event Date: February 22, 2020
Location: Wortham Theater Center and Fish Plaza
Money Raised: $1,800,000
Beneficiary: Houston Ballet Foundation
Number of Attendees: 400+
Honorary Chairs: Pheobe and Bobby Tudor
Chairpersons: Beth and Nick Zdeblick
Honorees: Margaret Alkek Williams
Décor: The Events Company
A Golden Night for Houston Ballet Foundation
Dancers clad in golden costumes from classic Houston Ballet performances and a shimmering runway covered in red carpet lined with spotlights on Fish Plaza were just the first taste of what was to come for Houston Ballet Ball’s 50th anniversary evening, which raised $1.8 million, making it the most successful Ballet Ball in its history. Quite an accomplishment!
400 black-tie guests were on hand to celebrate this momentous occasion, which brought back this annual event to Wortham Theater Center (its performance home) for the first time since Hurricane Harvey. Chairpersons Beth and Nick Zdeblick and Honorary Chairs Phoebe and Bobby Tudor honored longtime supporter Margaret Alkek Williams for her dedication, leadership and commitment to Houston Ballet.
Once inside, attendees were busy perusing some rarely seen silent auction items, such as: A week-long stay on Nantucket Island, tickets for two to attend New York Fashion Week for three exclusive shows and a viewing booth for a Nutcracker performance.
Event designer extraordinaire Richard Flowers of The Events Company transformed Wortham Theater Center into a glamorous golden palace, with custom gold chandeliers and tables covered in a mix of sequined gold linens and mirrors.
During the dinner’s dessert course, Ballet company dancers emerged from their seats and surprised guests with a choreographed piece by Houston Ballet First Soloist Oliver Halkowich. Artistic Director Stanton Welch AM and Executive Director Jim Nelson joined the surprised performance. At the end, dancers rolled out a commemorative nine-foot cake, adorned with 50 “birthday” candles onto the dance floor before a gold confetti grand finale.
Socially present were: Lynn Wyatt, Rose Cullen, Anne and Albert Chao, Lilly and Harrison Cullen, Liz Schwarze, Richard Flowers, Claudia and David Hatcher, Milton Townsend, Elise and Russell Joseph, Carroll and Hugh Ray, Alicia Smith, Kelly Barnhart and Sean Wheeler, Deborah and Edward Koehler, Chad Libertus, Kelley and Stephen Lubanko, Jerry and Melaine Martin, Beth Madison, Anne Neeson, Akemi and Yasuhiko Saitoh, Allison and Troy Thacker, Stephanie and Frank Tsuru, Hallie Vanderhider, Gillian Hobson, Jo and Jim Furr, Jesse H. Jones II and Terry Wayne Jones, Elizabeth and Charlie Leykum, Jean and Henry May, Jim Nelson, Cabrina and Steven Owsley, Laura and Brannon Robertson, Leigh Smith, S. Shawn Stephens and James M. Jordan, Bill and Courtney Toomey and Stanton Welch AM.