We'd forgive you for thinking you were in France last weekend if you spent any time with the Junior League of Houston. The women's organization held its 70th annual charity ball over two nights, February 2 and 3, and effectively transformed its uptown headquarters into a Parisian estate.

The gala's theme, "Une Belle Nuit," came to life with spirited Marie Antoinette and Louis XIV-inspired performances by League members, elaborate champagne presentations, and candle-lit, romantic interiors evocative of Versailles. A cocktail hour and silent auction beneath a large tent in the garden preceded each night's events, which culminated with live auctions, dinner and dessert, night caps and dancing.

All told, the two-night affair raised $800,000 for the Junior League's community program and volunteer initiatives—its stated goal since its origin in 1949. This year, the League's 1,400 volunteer members (82 percent of whom work outside the home) will contribute over 100,000 hours of service in the community.

Jayne Sheehy Johnston chaired this year's ball. Guests sipped champagne as artist Patti Stenson painted her take on Marie Antoinette for auction later. Also up for bidding: a VIP Indy 500 experience. a private tour of the Cockrell Butterfly Center, and an Astros homerun package including dinner with Reid Ryan in the Diamond Club.

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