Warner Roberts

March 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs

in the Heart of Houston

APRIL .. and don’t let me hear anything about tax time. Let me hear about the beautiful springtime and flowers POLLY ANNA always talks about. Actually, I heard she’s pretty bummed out about all the plants she lost when we saw Houston’s temps plunge to the 20s in February.

BEAU TERRIOT, master design guru of the Brownstone Gallery and Brownstone Restaurant in Houston and The Oasis Restaurant and The Treasury in Austin, is now building a European village adjoining The Oasis Restaurant – Oasis Texas. . Last year Beau converted his Brownstone Restaurant into the lounge/bar Red Room which cried out to provide the background for a Valentine’s Tea. The 65 beautiful women in red raised their bubbly to Beau for the creativity and artistry that he has brought to Houston and Austin for the last 40 years. In the Red Room crush: Dallas Hill, Angie Roberts, Alicia Smith, Mollie Hill, Kimberly DeLape, Maryann Hoffer, Frann Lichtenstein, Leila Gilbert, Carol Sawyer, Liz Peckham, Betty Tutor, Mary Ann McKeithan, Diane Gendel, Laurette Veres, Anne Carl, Kim Moody, Sheridan Williams, Leisa Holland-Nelson, Patti Dale Tye and, and, and ..

The surprise party that MICKY FREEMAN hosted for his wife, Alden Hotel General Manager, SUSAN WARD FREEMAN, was a biggie. Celebrating her major 5-0 , MICKY not only succeeded in pulling off the surprise but pulling out all the stops. Over 200 friends toasted SUSAN and topped it off with a cake in the shape of SUSAN’S favorite design, a St. John knit suit courtesy of SCOTT EVANS and JEFF HENRY and created by Who Made the Cake’s NADINE MOON.

SPOTLIGHT: Look what our volunteers are doing .. cold or hot..rain or shine..night or day.

JEFF SHELL, Concho Honcho of Neal Hamil Agency, fell in love with the Recipe for Success Foundation and chaired the inaugural “In Love with Fashion” event at Tootsie’s benefiting RFS. You may know that RFS is at the forefront of a national movement to combat childhood obesity by delivering nutrition education to elementary students in their classrooms. The Foundation encourages long-term health by changing the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food. (Maybe this organization should team with First Lady, MICHELLE OBAMA!)

LYNN MCCARLEY and KIM MOODY chaired the “respond/react/results,Getting the Best Results for Life” luncheon benefiting The Joy School; this school prepares students with learning DIFFERENCES (not difficulties or disabilities) to return to traditional classroom settings by enabling them to reach their social and academic potential in a safe, supportive environment. Guest speaker and author, PETE HIMOJOSA, has created a student leadership program that has impacted thousands of students’ lives across the country. What I learned: Loving, understanding teachers allow children to think “out of the box.” And, Pete Himojosa’s father never let him leave his house starting at age 5 without answering the question, “What kind of day are you going to have?” Correct answer: I’m gonna have a great day!” Instilling these messages means something! February 18

SHANE and HEIDI BATTIER held an inaugural fundraiser in their home for their newly formed Battier Take Charge Foundation that benefits Houston children in need,. The Superstar RocketMan and his bride are quite the wine gurus and opened their private wine cellar for the event. TAD BROWN, Rocket CEO and LES ALEXANDER .. etc. February 19

The On the Move Luncheon Celebration benefited the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and was chaired by FRANELLE ROGERS, with Honorary Chair, EMIL MESINGER. Beautiful ABC Channel 13 new anchor, MELANIE LAWSON, who herself suffers from M. S., was the featured speaker. March 3

On March 10, The Christus Foundation luncheon, chaired by Tom and Lu Caltigirone and honoring Ted and Lorraine Dinerstein, featured Laura Bush as guest speaker.

STYLIN’: March 23 .. Passion for Fashion Luncheon promoting Beautiful Lifestyles Through Design Education .. Chair LEISA HOLLAND-NELSON, co-chairs, GABRIELA DROR and NIDHIKA MEHTA, famed designer DANA BUCHMAN on stage at Hotel ZaZa interviewed by CultureMap.com, CLIFFORD PUGH. Houston Community College Foundation established The Design Society at HCC to engage Houston’s fashion and interior design community in support of HCC’s award-winning design education programs.

Have you heard about The Giving Gown Foundation? This project is SO great. It is a non-profit that collects donations of new and “like-new” formal gowns and accessories and provides them FREE of charge to high school girls who would otherwise be unable to attend their Prom. Most girls have to worry about a date, not a dress. Pick up the phone 832.381.6565 or e-mail: GivingGown.org.


The winner of four Tony Awards and Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, In the Heights, comes to the Hobby Center April 6-18. Call 800.982.2787 or www.BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com

April 6 marks the fifth annual Taping for the Blind Luncheon and Fashion Show, “Out of Sight” featuring dazzling jewelry from the vault of the Neiman Marcus Precious Jewels Salon. Email bteichman@tapingfortheblind.org fmi.

On April 9, Crisis Intervention of Houston will host its third annual gala honoring five fabulous women who have “answered the call: of service to the community. They share a name that begins with the letter “E” – ERICKA BAGWELL, ELIZABETH DELUCA, ELIZA DUNCAN, ELLEN SUSMAN AND ELLIE SWEENEY. Call 713.524.8170 fmi.

Spring IS in the air and on April 11 Mt. Carmel High inaugural fundraising event, Spring Fling, is scheduled at the Houston Polo Club. Chairs LISA MOSCARELLI and THERESA PIZZO BORDAGES promise a full-filled afternoon for the whole family. PAGE PARKES, founder of the largest modeling and talent agency in the Southwest will be honored with the “Never Say Never” award. Funds from the event will help the school purchase a van as well as to continue to serve these talented, working class and underprivileged children from Southwest Houston.

April 14 -April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and the 11th Annual Spirit of Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show benefits The Children’s Assessment Center, designed to raise funds for programs that are critical to the healing of child victims of sexual abuse. Chaired by LISA HOLTHOUSE and AMY M. LEE, the fashion show features Fendi collections. Call 713.986,3370 fmi.

April 22 – The 8th annual Butterfly luncheon benefiting the Butterfly Program of Houston Hospice , a national leader for the advancement of pediatric hospice care. Chairing the luncheon are NINA and SMITH JOHNSTON, III. Call 713-467.7423 fmi.

April 23 – 2010 Power of Legacy Soiree features Nuttin’ by Stringz, those talented brothers from Jamaca who amaze with their urban pop violin sound. They were finalists on America’s Got Talent, performed at the inaugural ball for PRESIDENT OBAMA and are Emmy winners for their composition featured in the film Step Up. Chaired by MERELE YARBOROUGH and benefiting the American Heart Association. Call: 713.610.5000 for more information.

APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE: GAYLA BENTLEY started her Gayla Bentley Fashion Design Group with the goal of providing beautiful clothing for plus size women. Looks like dreams have come true for GAYLA who just won ABC’s Shark Tank, the Fashion Group International Star Award, Women Business Owner of the year in ’09, the Make Mine a Million winner in ’07, Texas Executive Woman on the Move in ’06. P. S. Her designs are now in Neiman Marcus. Go Gayla!

Put your hands together for the arrival of RACHEL REGAN and husband Tom’s baby boy who arrived on March 18. Wow! Rachel continued all her charity work or boards during her entire pregnancy. Congratulations! Here comes another volunteer! OK, so he’s only 22” long right now, but just wait!

KEN HOFFMAN, the Houston Chronicle columnist, is just plain funny,. How does he eat all those hamburgers and not gain weight? Life is not always fair, but KEN definitely makes it fun!

LIFE IS AN ADVENTURE: And, speaking of the Houston Chronicle, the new faces and writers of its society columns, DOUGLAS BRITT and LINDSEY LOVE, seem to have settled in and are doing a good job of covering many of Houston’s most important social events. BRITT moves over a few desks at the Houston Chronicle from his erstwhile assignment as an art writer and LINDSEY brings her sense of fashion and sense of humor to her new position.

Much beloved former society editor of the Houston Chronicle, SHELBY HODGE, has found that her magnanimous audience followed her to her new position as editor-at-large of CultureMap.com. She and editor-in-chief, CLIFFORD PUGH, are making Houston very proud with this new venture.

Baylor trustees, deans, chairs and center directors are all smiles because of Baylor College of Medicine’s unanimous decision recently to continue as an independent, autonomous institution.. Facing financial difficulties, due in large part to a declining economy, BMC was considering all types of solutions. After extensive discussions with several respected institutions exploring the possibility of partnerships, BMC also spent thousands of hours looking at their own organization; with the advice and counsel from their faculty, students, staff and alumni, Baylor College of Medicine found its solution – and, it’s Baylor College of Medicine. Yea!!

Path of Tea owners, THIA and CHRIS MCKANN will open a wellness center, The Path, April 15 at Timmons and Westheimer. The Center will include warm yoga with Jennifer Burgermeisteer and energy healing with Harry B. Happy; The Path of Tea and My Fit Foods partner to present the first totally organic store.

A BIG welcome back to Alex Brennan-Martin and his Brennan’s after a devastating fire started during Hurricane Ike. Brennan’s is back and beautiful after extensive renovations.

GRAPEVINE GOSSIP: JONNI HARTMAN ROGERS, national publicist to the stars, spent her March birthday at the Regency Hotel in NYC with husband, RAY feted at a birthday do hosted by famed artist, PETER MAX and his right hand (connected to the rest of him) GENE LUNTZ. Houston’s JOAN SCHNITZER LEVY jetted in to join the celebration.

Sex and the City star, Cynthia Nixon, quietly slipped into the city recently to visit with Houston friends.

ANGELS IN OUR MIDST: BILLY GRAHAM said, “Angels are spiritual creatures without a body created by God for the service of christendom and the church.” I believe there are angels walking around IN bodies.

Rienzi, the magnificent, art-filled home of the late CARROLL STERLING MASTERSON and HARRIS MASTERSON III, was bequeathed to the Museum of Fine Arts. The Rienzi Society holds an annual event to raise funds for the acquisition of antiques to compliment the current collection. Recently JACKSON HICKS, the well-respected catering genius, won the hearts of all for his unexpected purchase of a 1764 sterling silver and ivory tea urn for the museum.

ANNE VAN HORN with Baylor Teen Health Clinics, sent out an urgent request saying that the clinics have been seeing an increase in young men and women with special needs seeking services. These patients have a lower IQ and do not have the ability to make educated choices, particularly when it comes to sex. Ann’s request: Help fund Dr. Buzi’s special education program. By late afternoon, CYNTHIA PETRELLO had answered the call, flown to the rescue and the program is funded. Angels? No doubt about it!

LESTER SMITH, oil executive and philanthropist, with TRISH MORILLE, has a new book just out with this description, “a two-time cancer survivor and two-time national ballroom dance champion takes life for a spin.” Proceeds from the book, “You Gotta Dance Like No One’s Watching” are designated for breast cancer research, and SMITH will match all monies raised.

BRINGING IT HOME so, somebody said, “I just don’t believe they are going to start ANOTHER charity event.” And, I thought, “I can’t believe they are NOT going to start ANOTHER charity event .. when the need is So great!” It’s hard to see how all the non-profit organizations are surviving with the current state of the economy, but life has a way of working things out. People are good!”

When I interviewed the late Texas Senator, BARBARA JORDAN, she said something that I’ll always remember: “If you can sit and talk with someone long enough. you’ll find the humanness in that person; you’ll find something about them to like.”

Did you do something for somebody today?

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