Armand Bayou – ‘The Jewel on the Bay’

John Collier, from right, and other guests welcome Pasadena Mayor Jeff Wagner as retiring Armand Bayou Executive Director Tom Kortrude looks on in the background.

Rick Clapp and Jackie Young of THEA

By Rick Clapp

One of Bay Area’s most precious jewels is the Armand Bayou Nature Center in Pasadena. The Annual Earth Day Party for the Planet was held on Saturday, April 28 and was another big success — raising thousands of dollars and was a total sellout. The annual Spring Celebration and fundraiser included a lavish silent auction featuring Astros tickets, feeding the Bison, nature paintings, Yeti Coolers, signature Audubon style bird dinner plates and more. Hors d’oeuvres galore were hand passed and served by an attentive wait staff from Melange Catering.

The highlight each year is the incredible buffet dinner and drinks served under the big white tent. It was again provided by the Kessler’s of One Stop Tents and Events. Dinner included tender grilled Airline chicken, mouthwatering beef tenderloin Au Poivre, mixed green salad, roasted basil, new and Peruvian purple potatoes, oven roasted Brussel sprouts and a vegetable medley. The dessert was divine — a Tiramisu trifle or a strawberry shortcake trifle. It not only looked great, it tasted d’lish. The Crème de la Crème was provided at the events end which was a decadent late night snack, a farm table s’mores station.

The live auction was well bid on, and all went for great value. It included Astros memorabilia, a fishing trip, pontoon boat tour for 80, an evening of art and cheese at Disegno Studio in Houston, a round of golf at the premier Golf Club of Houston for four with caddies and a trip to Florida’s Disney World. There was also a guided private canoe trip for six on Armand Bayou with Mark Kramer. Evening entertainment was live music by Andy and the Dreamsicles.

The evening honored the hardworking, dynamic Tom Kortrude, who celebrated his 10 years as the executive director of ABNC and will graciously retire this summer. Congratulations Tom, and best wishes in your new ventures. A job more than well done. Bravo. Special thanks goes to David Rante, Laurel Williamson, Garry McMahan, Linda Retherford, all the sponsors and people at ABNC.

Mark your calendar for next year’s Armand Bayou Nature Center Party for the Planet. Your funds will protect our Jewel on the Bayou, and I personally guarantee you a grand ole time on the bayou.

Armand Bayou Nature Center extends it gratitude to everyone who made the 2018 Earth Celebration another huge success. For more information call 281-474-2551.

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