Life and Legacy of Big-Time Benefactor Celebrated at MFAH’s Grand Gala Ball

Jenny Antill
Life and Legacy of Big-Time Benefactor Celebrated at MFAH’s Grand Gala Ball

Alanna Flores, Fayez Sarofim, Meredith Flores Barker, Gillian Sarofim

NEARLY 500 BLACK-tie-clad Houstonians turned out to toast the late billionaire-philanthropist Fayez Sarofim, who notably contributed tens of millions to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, at the MFAH’s annual Grand Gala Ball. This year, the event honored Sarofim’s legacy and that of his eponymous foundation, and celebrated the continuance of the family’s generosity, as several of the Sarofims were in attendance.


Guests entered through a clear, chandelier-bedecked tent into the museum’s Cullinan Hall, whose walls were covered in dozens of masterworks from Fayez’s personal collection. At the event, it was announced that 125 of the pieces will be placed on an extended loan to the MFAH beginning early next year.

The decorative floral walls and accents of navy- and peach-colored linens throughout, executed by The Events Company, were reflective of Fayez’s personal taste. His favorite dishes — from lobster salad to risotto Milanese — were whipped up by City Kitchen and beautifully served to galagoers during the seated-dinner portion of the evening. Another one of his faves? Whataburger, which inspired the late-night bites at the conclusion of the event.

DJ Chris Szenberg and Revel Arcade provided the soundtrack for the night, which raised nearly $2.4 million.

Will Denton and Sara Dodd-Denton

Albert and Anne Chao, with Lily and Hamid Kooros

Veronika and Marc Adler

Anne Duncan and Gary Tinterow

Bobbie Nau and Marc Grossberg

Thad and Sarah Smith

Stephanie and Frank Tsuru

Chris and Kristy Bradshaw

Christy Cham and Phillip Sarofim

Sheridan and John Eddie Williams, with Laura and Mike Sweeney

David Anders, Liz Anders and Hunter Bell

Robert Sakowitz

Isla and Tommy Reckling

Rich and Nancy Kinder

Elyse Lanier and Eva Robins

Evan and Nicole Katz

Herman and Aliyya Stude

Reggie Smith, Terry Wayne Jones, Bill Baldwin and Jay Jones

Joan Schnitzer and Susan Sarofim

Payson and Susie Tucker

Patrick Seabase and Allison Sarofim

Nicole Rose

Mona and Andrew Sarofim

Jim and Whitney Crane

Max and Lauren Barrett

Margaret Alkek Williams;

Lily and Johnathan Schnitzer

Keefer Lehner, Alex and Ali Weaver, and Laura Lehner


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