The social swirl: 5 not-to-be-missed galas

Houston ChroniclePosted January 10, 2013 in In The News

Right on the heels of holiday cards, invitations to the year’s first galas have arrived. Here are some of the upcoming events you won’t want to miss.

Martini Madness
When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main

Wear: Midcentury or cocktail

Why: A fun benefit featuring bottomless martinis in one-of-a-kind glassware you can take home, sizzling snacks and music by the Jimmy Dorsey Trio. Marie Louise and David Kinder chair with honorary chairs Alton LaDay, Libbie Masterson and Judy Nyquist.

Tickets: $125-$150 per person at 713-529-4848, ext. 202 or

21st Great Grown Up Spelling Bee

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Julia Ideson Library, 500 McKinney

Wear: ’20s-inspired or business attire

Why: After dinner, get your team’s Ps and Qs in order to benefit Houston Center for Literacy. Meredith Walker, co-creator and executive producer of TV’s “Smart Girls at the Party,” is the pronouncer. Isabel and Danny David and Heather and Rob Safi chair.

Tickets: $500 at 713-640-8230 or

Beyond Boundaries: Arts of the Islamic World Gala

When: 7 p.m. Jan. 25

Where: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet

Wear: Black tie

Why: One of the most globally glam events of the year will give patrons the first look at the newly installed al-Sabah Collection from Kuwait. That’s a long-term loan. But guests will also select works of art for permanent acquisition. We’re casting a vote for “Nonagon,” one of Monir Farmanfarmaian’s fabulous mirror and reverse glass mosaics. It’s one of several on display in Cullinan Hall.

Tickets: $500-$50,000 at 713-639-7523

The Renaissance Ball: Winter Ball 2013

When: 7 p.m. Jan. 26

Where: Hilton-Americas Houston, 1600 Lamar

Wear: Black tie

Why: Chairs Danielle Ellis and Mary Ann McKeithan and honorary chairs Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein and Martin Fein honor the 2013 Women of Distinction to benefit Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Plus, the live auction features a 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUV.

Tickets: $500-$75,000 at 713-572-2232 or email

Waltz Across Texas: 29th Annual Mardi Gras Ball

When: 6 p.m. Feb. 9

Where: The Tremont House, 2300 Ships Mechanic Row, in Galveston

Wear: Country-Western glitz or black tie

Why: Who can resist pairing cowboy boots and Mardi Gras beads, especially when there’s music to fill both moods from Jesse Dayton, Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel and the Dr. Michael White Jazz Quartet? The Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade kicks it into another sphere.

Tickets: $200 at 409-763-0300 or Weekend ball package at the Tremont House hotel ($998 double occupancy) includes other perks plus two tickets to Friday’s Boots on the Beach concert near the Hotel Galvez with Jerry Jeff Walker, Joe Ely and others.

By Molly Glentzer for