The guests may have been skeletons, but make no bones about it: The Corinthian was alive and well last Saturday night for the Children's Museum of Houston's Día de los Muertos-inspired gala. The annual event—which transformed the downtown hotel into a Land of the Dead this year by way of a candle-lit stairwell; vibrant flowers; sugar-skull skeleton;, and suspended, confetti-colored papel picado banners—raised more than $1 million for the museum.
More than 550 guests played to the gala's theme with elaborate costumes and, in many cases, makeup, transforming into catrín and catrinas for the evening. Mariachi Monarcas de Mexico serenaded the crowd and Jackson and Company served a Mexican-inspired menu, including hos d'oeuvres like pork chalupas, stuffed jalapeños, and grilled shrimp jicama plus a three-course meal of three chile sauce and rajas steak, tomatillo and chipotle butternut squash, and desserts including white chocolate skull tres leches, flan, and Mexican wedding cookies. Chicken empanadas and churros made the rounds for late-night bites, and signature cocktails flowed courtesy of Hornitos Tequila.
Bergner & Johnson Design set the scene with festive ofrendas and marigold ceiling projections across a colossal sugar skull backdrop, and Audio House provided sultry music. Guests checked the score between dancing as the Astros vs. Red Sox game played live across all screens.
Caroline and Andrew Bean and Caroline and John Harrell served as co-chairs for this year's event, underwritten by BB&T and Phillips 66. Auction chairs Neekie Kashani and Kelly Sklar led the bidding on big-name items like a his-and-hers Rolex raffle valued at $15,700 from Deutsch & Deutsch jewelers and a slew of trips, including a South African safari, New Zealand getaway, and private island escape to St. Vincent and The Grenadines. The auction also featured tickets to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, a Houston Texans VIP game day experience, New York Fashion Week, and Diamond Club at the Astros, plus signed memorabilia from Jose Altuve, Dallas Keuchel, and Lance McCullers Jr.
The million-plus raised last week will go toward continuing the Museum's mission of transforming communities through innovative, child-centered learning. More than 854,000 people visited the Museum this past year.