Hello, Yellow Brick Road! Oz-Themed YoPro Ball Raises Funds for Barbara Bush’s Literacy Mission

Nick and Kasey Carnrite, Joselyn and Jeff Carnrite (Photo by Jacob Power)

THERE'S NO PLACE like home, but the Hotel Zaza Museum District isn’t too shabby either! That’s where the 7th annual Storybook Gala supporting the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation — with this year’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” theme — was held.


Hosted by the organization’s young professionals group, this year’s “party with a purpose” drew more than 300, including the late First Lady’s son Neil and his wife Maria, to the venue — which Art Attack had transformed into “a whimsical wonderland with blooming red rose arrangements, fairy lights and glimmering red sequin linens,” said a rep for gala organizers. “The VIP reception featured black trees with hanging poppies, ruby red centerpieces, and a five-foot ruby slipper.”

The dinner buffet was inspired by Kansas, with barbeque pork presented on gouda grits, pork belly bites, and roasted corn in shot glasses. For dessert, cheesecake lollipops, rainbow sugar cookies, and munchkin-sized macaroons.

Houston’s Drywater Band entertained at the colorful ball and dance party, as did the likes of Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow — actors in costume from J&D Entertainment.

Auction items included an autographed Jose Altuve bat donated by Houston Astros Foundation, and a diamond and ruby necklace specially designed for the event and donated by Tego Jewelers. Joselyn and Jeff Carnrite and Kasey and Nick Carnrite chaired the event, with Matt Rogers as emcee and the Deloitte law firm as honoree. “Literacy has the power to transform lives,” said Amy Chronis, Houston managing partner for the firm, “and we are proud to work with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy foundation to help make a meaningful impact in our community.”

The haul for the evening topped $320,000.

Scott and Kelli John with Wizard of Oz Characters (Photo by Jacob Power)

Ben Cotting, Sarah Cotting, Morgan Relyea Colt, Walker Colt (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Joe and Ashley Edens (Photo by Jacob Power)

Caroline Edmundson, Anthony Tego (Photo by Jacob Power)

Kate and Joseph Cavanaugh (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Lindsey Buchanan, Allison Wells (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Carson Brown, Eric Brueggeman (Photo by Jacob Power)

Scott McAlpine, Meghan McAlpine, Nicole Aderholt, Jacob Gibbons (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Melissa McDaniel and Patrick Mikkelson (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Morgan Relyea Colt, Grace Gosnell, Victoria Villarreal (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Devin and Lindsey Sauer, Beverly and Steven Westbrook (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Dylan Siebenaler, Sarah Zschappel (Photo by Jacob Power)

Emre Ozsut, Jordan Khalil (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Grace Gosnell, Caitlin Rance, Victoria Villareal, Allie Jarreau (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

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