Children’s Memorial Hermann’s Memorial Park ‘Fête’ a Spectacle of Over-the-Top Elegance

Children’s Memorial Hermann’s Memorial Park ‘Fête’ a Spectacle of Over-the-Top Elegance

Leisa Holland-Nelson Bowman, Frann Lichtenstein, Monica Hartland, Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell

IN WHAT HAS been described as a friend-raiser — as opposed to a fundraiser, since the intimate group of VIP guests weren’t asked to pay to be there — Children’s Memorial Hermann took over a big swath of Memorial Park’s verdant, still new Clay Family Eastern Glades for an over-the-top evening promoting the hospital’s mission and its “world-class orchestra of pediatric specialists,” per a rep. Dubbed Faire la Fête, the fabulous to-do boasted French theme.

“Guests were greeted with champagne while walking down a lit, tree-lined path, where they got their first glimpse of the garden chic ambiance unfolding before them,” cooed the rep for the hospital. “Upon entering the tent, attendees were met with an eight-piece string orchestra and an abundance of florals by Blooming Gallery in warm autumn tones alongside green pears, aromatic rosemary and mint. Bubbly wines and cocktails were served from the ornate four-sided bar, which featured towering, vine-wrapped arches and a flowing water fountain bestrewn with flowers.”

And that wasn’t the end of the grandeur. Tables, some of them S-shaped, some of them set under flower-bedecked arches, were laden with a dense assortment of florals and herbs presented as fragrant arrangements. Menus placed under clear glass chargers were printed with each guest’s name. And, as the evening was cool, a gift of a cream-colored cashmere wrap was laid across the back of every chair.

Dinner was appropriately impressive. Course One featured artisanal cheeses, soufflé, fresh fruit, an array of spreads, and baguettes. A surf-and-turf entrée was comprised of beef Tenderloin, seared Alaskan halibut and grilled artichoke hearts. As an extra treat, servers wafted through the tent, aglow with real candles, offering hot French fried with truffle aioli. For dessert: chocolate soufflé cake which fresh whipped cream served in tableside dallops. French wines were served, naturally.

After dinner and remarks by the likes of Memorial Hermann exec Amalia Stanton and Children’s Memorial Hermann CEO Marissa Kiefer, guests enjoyed the sophisticated old-school styling of the David Caceres Orchestra. The glittering spectacle of harpist Tulani — a beautiful harpist in a sequined mini-dressed who sang and danced and delighted the crowd — was a musical highlight; her “Purple Rain” brought the house down.

As they left, guests were given more loot, including flowers and herbs wrapped in brown paper a la the streets of Paris — and a chocolate-dipped croissant.

Kristina Somerville, Jennifer Allison, Valerie Dieterich, Rachel Regan and Felicia Stone served as chairs for the event. The fab fete was intended to raise the profile of the world-class care and affiliated physicians available at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, and to highlight the institutions more than 40 pediatric and women’s specialties and services in high-risk pregnancy and neonatal critical care. Besides top docs from the hospital, VIP guests included Melissa Juneau, Chita and Lane Craft, Jill and Brad Deutser and Elizabeth and Alan Stein.

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