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On The Town with Jan Carson – November 2016

The Trees of Hope Holiday Gala on Nov. 4 is considered Houston’s early kickoff to the holiday season. This much-anticipated event benefiting the Star of Hope is always a festive affair guaranteed to make you start planning your Christmas “to do” list. Lynn Wyatt again serves as Honorary Chair with Lisa and John Stoika as honorees with all proceeds benefiting the Star of Hope and its Children’s Programs. The auction of fabulous trees and wreaths is not to be missed, so be sure to make plans by calling 713-942-8733.


“Two Decades Of Caring”

Houston Children’s Charities

The Hyatt Regency Downtown, a longtime supporter of Houston Children’s Charities (HCC), treated 500 guests to lunch to help HCC celebrate its 20th anniversary. Awards were presented, not only for the Hyatt, but also for community volunteers and corporate leaders whose generous support has enabled HCC to care for 1.5 million children and help more than 300 agencies. Astros star Carlos Correa spoke movingly about the “A Better Night’s Sleep” program; Paige and Tilman Fertitta received the “Corporate Commitment” Award and the “Heart of Houston” award went to Trini Mendenhall.


1) Mayor Sylvester Turner with HCC Executive Director Laura Ward and ABC/13 icon Dave Ward, who received “The Voice of the Children” Award at HCC’s 20th anniversary luncheon.

2) Laura Ward with Jacah Jefferson, whose family received a van from HCC.

3) Gary Becker and Tama Lundquist were among the 500 guests invited to the celebratory luncheon.

4) Kim Padget with Rosalyn Caplan and her daughter Carol Sawyer, who received a Volunteer Award for her dedicated support of HCC.

5) Tilman Fertitta and Laura Ward present a giant check for $1 million to Dr. David Poplack, Director of Texas Children’s Cancer & Hematology Center. The funds will support the HCC Family Emergency Fund at Texas Children’s.



Mary Jo Peckham Award Luncheon & Fashion Show

The Assistance League of Houston


Twenty-five years ago the daughters of Mary Jo Peckham decided to honor their mother’s longtime support of the Assistance League of Houston by creating an annual fundraising luncheon. Since that time, Ann Berry, Leila Gilbert and Liz Jameson have helped the luncheon net over $1.3 million!   This year’s honorees were the “3 Generations of Holland Girls” — Phyllis Holland, her daughter Leisa Holland-Nelson, and granddaughter Laura Max Rose who brought along baby Selma Baines Rose to the oohs and aahs of the 250 guests.


1) Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Mary Jo Peckham Award Luncheon and Fashion Show were Ann Berry, Leila Gilbert, honoree Leisa Holland-Nelson and Liz Jameson. The three daughters — Ann, Leila and Liz – have kept their mother’s philanthropic spirit alive.

2) Assistance League members who took to the stage to model outfits from Escada’s spring/summer 2017 collection included Parissa Mohajer, Lou Shapiro and Mahzad Mohajer.

3) Elizabeth Anthony owner Julie Roberts (center) enlisted Escada’s Lauren Mirynowski and Phuong Nguyen in presenting a stunning collection of Escada designs for spring/summer 2017.

4) Mary Jo Peckham Award honorees Laura Max Rose holding
little Selma Baines Rose, Leisa Holland-Nelson and Leisa’s mother Phyllis Holland.

5) Past honorees (seated) Nancy Reynolds, Joan Lyons, and Jeanie Kilroy Wilson; (standing) Rose Cullen, Linda McReynolds, Truett Latimer, Ann Bookout and Jan Carson, who served as emcee.



Opening Night Concert & Gala

Houston Symphony


Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley delighted the crowd of 1,900 guests at the Houston Symphony’s Opening Night Concert with his dramatic reading of Peter and the Wolf. More thrills followed as the Symphony featured Rossini’s Overture to The Thieving Magpie. The festivities went on late into the night as the black-tie crowd wined and dined and toasted the Symphony’s success in raising more than $730,000, making it the second biggest haul in the history of the event.

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1) Andres Orozco-Estrada with Oscar winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley and Chairman Ralph Burch at the Houston Symphony Opening Night Concert & Gala. Kingsley narrated Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

2) Margaret Alkek Williams attended the Opening Night concert and the Gala dinner that followed
the performance.

3) Christina Hansen and Houston Symphony Executive Director and CEO Mark Hansen.

4) Lisa and Ryan Lance, who served as Honorary Chairs.

5) Underwriting Committee Chairs Robin Angly and Miles Smith.



Out And About


A fun night for literacy at “Scrabble in the City” that featured lots of spirited word play and creative costumes tops our Out and About this month, along with news of a brand new literacy initiative in Houston called “Ladies for Literacy Guild” which is launching a mobile library to bring books to directly to children to encourage reading.

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1) It gets a little wild and wacky at times at Literacy Advance’s “Scrabble in the City” as shown by (l-r) Abby Platt, Laura Lovett, Tamara East, Ellen Elam, Joe Colangelo and Susy Lopez. It’s all to support free adult reading classes throughout the city.

2) These clever gals wore their alter-egos on their sunglasses! Laura Eaton aka “Spunky,” Debra Ford “Trouble,”, Dee Dee Dochen “Mischief” and Leslie Rainwater “Danger” having fun at “Scrabble in the City” for Literacy Advance.

3) Stephanie Tsuru joins Ladies for Literacy Guild President Betty Hrncir, Alice Mosing and Trish Morille at the inaugural event for the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation’s “Ladies for Literacy Guild.” They unveiled a mobile library called the “Curiosity Cruiser” which hits the streets next summer.

4) Beth Wolff with Laurel D’Antoni, emcee Rachel McNeil and Julie Baker at the “Power of Literacy” luncheon.

5) Neil and Maria Bush at “Power of Literacy.” Neil Bush is Chairman of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. Founder Barbara Bush recorded a video message encouraging guests to get involved in solving Houston’s literacy crisis.


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Please e-mail me your latest information and party pics at jan@jancarson.com.

On The Town with Jan Carson November 2016

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