Hilton Americas Houston – February 8, 2020 – Amongst the mysterious dungeon backdrop for Whiskey Blackjack gamblers and the ethereal garden ambiance of the auction offerings, true magic took place on Saturday evening. Close to 600 neighbors and friends ascended upon the Ballroom of the Americas downtown for “A Medieval Knight in the Park”. The 29th annual Park Lovers’ Ball was an affair for the record books, raising over $490,000 to benefit the parks and greenspaces of West University Place. Event co-chairs Mary Frances and David DuMay and Kimberly and John Carr Eads, meandered amongst the incredibly social yet next door neighbor gathering of individuals who seem to all but plan their calendars around this annual fundraiser. The event honored loyal and generous Friends supporter IBC Bank. The President of IBC Houston, Jeff Samples, was amongst the attendees to accept the acknowledgement. IBC Houston has played a monumental role in the success of Friends’ fundraising efforts year after year.
Aside from the audience, the environment itself was truly stunning and transported guests to another time, evoking all the effervescence and regality of the period in theme. This highly fashionable crowd’s biggest struggle was saying hello to their closest of friends and neighbors while maintaining their highest bidder status on the coveted auction lineup. The evening was further graced by the dazzling and talented Ilona Carson of ABC 13, Master of Ceremonies.
The live auction featured some exceptional items including an Argentinian Dove Hunt, a trip to Napa, and a full week’s stay at a beautiful chalet in Breckenridge. The event chairs credit the success of “A Medieval Knight in the Park” to their team of steadfast and meticulous leadership. The auction co-chairs were Laura Avila and Elizabeth Rambin. Underwriting and sponsorship co-chairs were Lindley Arnoldy and Emily Yardley. Rounding out the captivating atmosphere were the décor co-chairs, Lauren Droubi and Kelly Beth Hapgood.
The evening concluded with everyone on the dance floor as Infinite Groove kept the party going until midnight. Mary Frances and David Dumay and Kimberly and John Carr Eads, along with Friends Executive Director, Donna LaMond, and Friends Chair, Sami Morrison, would like to thank all who attended and helped make Park Lovers’ Ball 2020 an unforgettably fabulous fundraising event. The evening’s sponsors and underwriters included Cherie and John Lindley/Mandy Rochelle Designs, IBC Bank, Valobra Master Jewelers, Greenwood King Properties, Carol Rowley, Compass Real Estate/Laura U Design Collective, Children’s Memorial Hermann Urgent Care, Conway MacKenzie, Jones Day, Kirkland & Ellis, Jane and Harry Pefanis, Whitney & March Walsh/Mitra & Josh Woody, John Daugherty, Realtors, Elite Care Emergency Center, New Leaf Real Estate, Brigid and Brett Bingham, DeDe and Will Bertron, Cammarata Pediatric Dentistry, Kirsten and Rob Galtney, Lynn and Graham Gordon, Sruba and Raj Guharoy, Kathleen and Travis Johnson, Locke Lord LLP, Stephanie and Brett Magill, Keller Williams Realty – Metropolitan Office, Bree Knodel - Stewart Title Kirbyl/The Swallen Mortgage Team, Laura and George Turley, Vinson & Elkins, The Woman’s Hospital of Texas, Rice Village, and Katherine Warren, Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty. Thank you also to the many other generous underwriters and sponsors who contributed to the success of the event and who are listed on the Friends website, westuparks.org.
Photography by: Katy Anderson Photography