Clear Lake Chatter

December 1st, 2018

Clear Lake Panhellenic Fall Fashion Show Chairman Greta Mee, right, can hardly wait for the production to begin as she goes over the program with Laurie Vaughn, who headed the Finance Committee.

Panhellenic takes guests ‘Around the World’

CLEAR LAKE Panhellenic took the community on a trip “Around the World in 80 Days” at its 33rd annual Fall Fashion Show Luncheon Nov. 2 at South Shore Harbour Resort with Chairman Greta Mee and Co-Chairman Jill Stephenson leading the way.

Panhellenic President D’Lisa Johnston joined Vice Presidents Sheryl Williams and Kathryn Vernau, Secretary Darla McKitrick and Treasurer Kim Barker in welcoming the crowd, which quickly filled up the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom as several Panhellenic husbands filled the role of champagne stewards – Dan Reason, Jim Overman, Frank Prochaska, Joe Mee, Robert Barfield and Richard Beecher.

All were anxiously waiting to see the style show put on by fashion guru Lenny Matuszewski, and he didn’t disappoint as Panhellenic members Annette Dwyer, Beth McDaniel, Jennifer Prochaska, Jenny Frantz, Courtney Myers, Sandy Records, Hillary Gramm, Marcy Ortega, Rhonda Salinsky, Becky Hensley, Diane Overman, Wendy Shaw, Janet Jones, Carrie Peters, Kathryn Vernau, Michelle Lillie, Stacy Lyon, Cindy Priebe, Mackenzie Walker and Judge Holly Williamson modeled fall and winter fashions from Dillard’s at Baybrook Mall.

Dana Brown, left, and Sally Jordan help sign the crowd in for the Clear Lake Panhellenic Fall Fashion Show.

Afterwards, guests bid on a number of trips – to Paris, France; San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; Zulu Nyala, South Africa; Napa Valley, Calif.; and Bali, Indonesia.

Others who played key roles in the annual production included Janet Jones, Kim Barker, Karen Douglas, Rachel Stephenson, Laurie Vaughn, Diane Overman, Elizabeth McCarty, Kelsey Richardson, Lisa O’Brien, Sue Broughton, Barbara Dickey, Sheryl Williams and Becky Hensley.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Crawford-Zbanek Scholarship Foundation, which awards college scholarships to area women and sends local girls to Girl’s State.

 

The honorees get together for a group photo as the annual gala gets under way. They are, from left, front row, Anita Lewis, Becky Day, League City Mayor Pat Hallisey, Crystal Starke, Dee Scott; back row, Christian Bionat, Bob Mitchell, Michael Kramm, Lynn B. Watkins and Greg Ploss.

CCEF Gala honors 10, raises $75,000

A CROWD of more than 350 helped honor the award winners at the 18th annual Clear Creek Education Foundation gala, “A White Haute Affair,” which raised $75,000 for innovative programs for students in the Clear Creek School District.

League City Mayor Pat Hallisey was named Citizen of the Year, an award voted on by the CCISD trustees and the CCEF, and Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership President Bob Mitchell was the recipient of the George B. Carlisle Distinguished Service Award – both honored for their consistent commitment to the school district.

Other honorees included:

The Distinguished Alumni Award — presented to individuals who are CCISD alumni and are now accomplished professionals who support their community — went to Christian Bionat (Clear Lake High ’09) and Lynn B. Watkins (Clear Creek High ’66).

The Valor Award, which honors a public servant (military, police, fire, etc.) who has gone above and beyond the call of duty, was presented to Michael Kramm.

The CCISD Superstar Award, bestowed on a select group of individuals who support and enhance CCISD whether alumni or not, went to Becky Day, Dee Scott, CCISD Secondary Teacher of the Year Anita L. Lewis and CCISD Elementary Teacher of the Year Crystal Starke.

Greg Ploss, Chemical Process and Production official, was the recipient of the Dennis Johnson Memorial Small Business Award, presented to a small business owner within CCISD who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the district through active participation in multiple activities:

Volunteers who worked on the CCEF fundraiser were CCEF Community Marketing and Events Manager Kelsey Richardson; Co-Chairmen Cameron Cannon and Jana Miller; and committee members Joyce Abbey, Kim Barker, Katy Bastedo, Janet Brown, Suzanne Fair, Kimberly Fleming, Ann Hammond, Lisa Holbrook, Laura Mackay, Joan McKinney, Sarah Moutz, Jill Reason, Elaine Renola, Deena Rigby, Mary Ann Shallberg, Teresa Vencil, Rhonda Quillin and Elizabeth Wiehle Wang.

All funds raised from the gala go toward inspiring educational excellence in CCISD through CCEF’s programs: Educational grants for both teachers and students, Clear Horizon Early College High School and National Board Teacher Certifications.

Clear Lake Chatter: Parties Keep Bay Area in a Happy Mood

January 1st, 2018

Ava Galt, Bay Area Museum Guild co-president, from left, and Nina McGlashan welcome new Guild member Kathy Riggle.

BAY AREA MUSEUM Guild officials were all in a partying mood as their annual holiday party got underway at the museum in Clear Lake Park where Co-Presidents Carole Murphy and Ava Galt welcomed Robert and Nina McGlashan, Frank Perez and Priscilla Ennis, Peter and Pam Culpepper Cronk, Anita Fogtman and Jerry and Peggy Clause to come right in and join the fun.

First Vice President Jan Larson, who came with her husband, Gib, quickly invited them to sample the array of refreshments, along with new arrivals Pat Biddle and her husband, Ron Kahl, Emmeline Dodd and Gene Hollier, David and Cindy Kuenneke, Sharon Ferguson and new members Todd and Kathy Riggle, Neldon and Lois Costin and Donnie Johnson.

Others joining the celebration included Tony Galt, Gail and Don Devens, Sandi Allbritton, Louise Russell and Keith and Sally Jordan.

Clear Lake Panhellenic President Michelle Richardson, right, joins hostess Barbara Dickey and Co-Chairmen Judie Ferguson and Sue Ellen Jennings, from left, as they prepare to welcome the arriving crowd to their annual Christmas Party.

Panhellenic party draws happy crowd
EARLIER THAT DAY, Clear Lake Area Panhellenic members gathered for their annual Christmas Party at Barbara Dickey’s Bay Oaks home in Clear Lake with Co-Hostesses Sue Ellen Jennings and Judie Ferguson assisting and the Clear Lake Soundwaves choir providing entertainment.

Besides the beautiful music, some 60 members enjoyed a wonderful buffet lunch provided by board members Michelle Richardson, D’Lisa Johnston, Katheryn Vernau, Greta Mee, Darla McKitrick, Lisa O’Brien and Jill Reason. Another highlight of the day was raffling off five items to raise funds for their scholarship to be presented in the spring.

Among those enjoying it all you might have spotted Suzie Rogers, Priscilla Ennis, Kathy Wiley, Jo Cat Bruce, Karen McCorkle, Ondie Lyon, Judy Raiford, Kay Lee Benoit and Jo Nell Hunter, to name a few.

Vicki Buxton, right, chairman of the Houston Symphony League Bay Area Holiday Party, goes over final details for the event with hostess Carole Murphy.

Symphony League ready to celebrate
THE INVITATION went out and nearly a hundred Houston Symphony League Bay Area members and their guests arrived at Carole Murphy’s Brook Forest home in Clear Lake, ready to celebrate the season and enjoy each other’s company.

With Co-Chairman Vicki Buxton assisting, they quickly welcomed Stephen and Mariglen Glenn, Nina and Bob McGlashan, Jim and Aggie Moore, Glenda and Gene Toole, Anita and Bill Knoles, Kathleen Kearns, Deanna Lamorux, Dr. Horacio Guzman and his wife, Julia, Don and Judy Young, Eva Koll, Myra Barber, Sally Watt, Gillian Ford and Lew and Joan Wade.

They had hardly had time to say hello when in walked former Nassau Bay Mayor Don Matter, who now serves on city council, and his wife, Sherri; Janet and Jim Greenwood, Alice Steele, Vicki Buxton and Jim Hall, Pam and Matthew Vining, Betty Geehan, Louise and John Russell, Dana Puddy, Bobbie and Mike Munze, Jane Lackow, Jerry and Mary Ann Brown, Martha Mc Williams, Jean Raffeto, Gayle Nelson and Bobbie and Mike Munze and many more, ready to enjoy a delightful evening.a delightful evening.

Kathy Tamer, right, stops to talk with Yvonne Perrin, left, and Elaine Rister as she mingles with the crowd at the Assistance League Holiday Open House.

Assistance League hosts Open House
ASSISTANCE LEAGUE of the Bay Area members held their annual Holiday Open House Dec. 12 at the home of Cecilia Dismukes in Kemah’s Waterford Oaks.

Planned to perfection by Social Chairman Susan McCoy and Vice Chairman Arlis Miles, not a detail was missed. The venue was beautifully decorated, the sweet and savory snacks a delight to everyone’s palette, and a festive environment allowed for great conversation and visiting with both long-time and new friends.

In addition to lots of members taking a break from helping the area’s needy, many chapter supporters and partners could be found in the crowd. Many volunteered to prepare favorite recipes from both of the league’s award-winning cookbooks, Settings on the Dock of the Bay and Setting Sunrise to Sunset.

Clusters of people, such as Yvonne Perrin, Lisa Holbrook, Priscilla Magnuson, Badiha Nassar, Sandra Sellers, Barbara Weitenhagen and Elaine Rister, were found at a variety of locations, inside and out. Whether munching on treats inside, surrounded by lights, trees, and wreaths, or enjoying the beautiful view of the lake, it was a pleasure for all who attended, including Kathy Tamer, Sandra Kelver, Sarah Foulds, Linda Kelly, Ann Hammond, Jean Simms, Annette Snow Falks, Sharon Dillard and President Ann-Marie Doolin.

Clear Lake Chatter: What fun it is to party every day!

January 1st, 2017

NO DOUBT about it – the Bay Area loves to party, and what better time than the holidays?

Actually, the wee set got the parties started with the Bay Area Houston Ballet’s Breakfast With the Sugar Plum Fairy at South Shore Harbour Resort and the Bay Area Museum Guild’s Toyland Fantasy breakfast at Bay Oaks Country Club.

What fun it was to watch the little ones in their party garb, dancing around and wearing smiles a mile wide.

Bay Area Museum Guild President Brandie Corrao welcomes Lunar Rendezvous Queen Madelyn Chicester and Festival Capt. Alex Struss to the Guild Holiday Open House at the museum.

And then the parties began with Museum Guild members opening the museum doors Sunday, Dec. 4 for their annual Holiday Open House, where President Brandie Corrao joined Co-Chairmen Ava Galt and Jan Larson in welcoming the crowd that included Taylor Lake Village City Councilman Tony Galt, Matthew and Angie Weinman, Delicia and Alex Struss, Cindy and Dave Kuenneke, Anita Fogtman and Emmeline Dodd.

Lunar Rendezvous Queen Madelyn Chicester joined the party, as did Festival Capt. Alex Struss with the Clear Lake Sound Waves providing entertainment.

 

UH-CLEAR LAKE kept up the beat, hosting its big annual Holiday Reception Dec. 7 at Bay Oaks Country Club, where retiring President Bill Staples and his wife, Darlene, were on hand to welcome the happy crowd.

Area Legislators Dennis Paul of Clear Lake and Ed Thompson of Pearland were among the crowd, as were Pearland Mayor Tom Reid, attorneys John Gay and his wife, Becky Reitz; Marilyn and Glynn Lunney, Alan and Peggy Hill, Theresa Presswood, Marilyn and Charles Sims, Ken and Nedra Gurry, Kippy Caraway, Mary Ann Shallberg, Rob and Karen Barbier and Rhonda Thompson.

Plus, Science and Engineering Dean Zbigniew T. Czajkiewicz, College of Education Dean Mark D. Shermis, Business Dean William T. Cummings and Human Sciences and Humanities Dean Rick J. Short.

 

Michelle Richardson, Kelli Baliker, Diana Shuman and Ondi Lyon, from left, share a light moment as at the Clear Lake Area Panhellenic Holiday Brunch at the Shuman home in Bay Oaks.

CLEAR LAKE Panhellenic kept up the beat the next day, Dec. 8, with Diane Shuman hosting the sorority alumnae group’s big annual Holiday Brunch at her home in Bay Oaks.

Diane, in a bright red outfit, joined Brunch Co-Chairmen Judie Ferguson and Sue Ellen Jennings, both wearing colorful Santa hats, and Panhellenic President Jill Reason, wearing white, in welcoming the festive crowd.

Among them were Peggy Clause, Lisa O’Brien, Jennie Hampton, Jo Cat Bruce, Michelle Richardson, Sue Broughton, Judie Ferguson, Kay Lee Benoit, Ondi Lyon, Ruth Beecher, Ellen King, Karen McCorkle, Diane Overman, Jo Nell Hunter, Kathie Wiley, Barbara Dickey, Judie Raiford and Kelli Baliker.

 

BAY AREA HOUSTON Economic Partnership members gathered at Lakewood Yacht Club later that day with Mayors Glenn Royal of Seabrook, Johnny Isbell of Pasadena, Carl Joiner of Kemah and Michel Bechtel of Morgan’s Point in the crowd that filled up the ballroom.

Joining them were State Rep. Dr. Greg Bonnen, Houston City Councilman Dave Martin and a host of business men and women celebrating the holiday season.

Plus, UHCL President Bill Staples,  San Jacinto College Chancellor Brenda Hellyer and Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Greg Smith.

 

JOHNSON SPACE CENTER Director Ellen Ochoa hosted another big party with a number of city officials and aerospace executives joining her and her husband, attorney Coe Miles, Friday, Dec. 9 in JSC’s Building 9 for some good conversation and an update that included noting that we have had a continuous presence on the International Space Station now for 16 years.

Familiar faces in the crowd included Mayors Jon Keeney of Taylor Lake Village and Louis Rigby of La Porte with their wives, Lynn and Marlene, Jacobs Technology Senior VP and GM Lon Miller, Barrios Technology President Robbie McAfoos and his wife, Victoria, and Clear Lake Area Chamber President Cindy Harreld DeWease and her husband, businessman Jeff DeWease.

Plus JSC Deputy Director Mark Geyer, who brightened up the party when he arrived in one of the most colorful jackets we’ve ever seen.

 

Assistance League Holiday Reception hostess Cecilia Dismukes, right, joins President Dee Cover, left, and Reception Chairman Elizabeth McCarty before the annual party at the Dismukes’ lovely home.

ASSISTANCE LEAGUE members were all wearing big smiles as Cecelia Dismukes hosted their big annual Holiday Reception at her home in Kemah’s Waterford Harbor.

ALBA President Dee Cover and Chairman Elizabeth McCarty joined the hostess in welcoming the arriving crowd, which included Yvonne Perrin, Pam Bungo, Melanie Lovuola, Kathy Panneton, Justine Powell, Badiha Nassar, Kim Barker and Lisa Holbrook.

Others you might have spotted were Brunella Altemus, Becky Richey, Barbara Groh, Katy Bastedo, Kathleen Courville, Mari Stockard-Young, Leslie Schwanke, Dee Wolfe, Janet Vallelungo, Elaine Rister, Barbara Weitenhagen, Jean Simms, Mary Vaughn, Brook Cimas, Betty Walcott, Sandra Kelver, Cookie Derderian, Amy Wortham, Betty Stoub and Joyce Alderman.

 

Houston Symphony League Bay Area President Mary Voigt, center, looks on as Dana Puddy, left, and Alice Steele prepare for the holiday party.

HOUSTON SYMPHONY League Bay Area members gathered at the home of Vicki Buxton in Clear Lake for their annual Holiday Reception, chaired by Special Events Coordinator Carole Murphy.

Buzzing around the Buxton home, you probably would have bumped into President Mary Voigt, Dana Puddy, Pat Biddle Kahl and Alice Steele and former Presidents Jim Moore and Patience Myers – just a few of the many who dropped by for the holiday celebration.

OTHERS joining the party-go-round included the Clear Lake Area Chamber and League City Regional Chamber Holiday Receptions at their offices, Recherche Christmas Brunch at Lakewood Yacht Club, Bay Oaks Country Club and Lakewood Yacht Club holiday parties for members and on and on…

Panhellenic fall tea kicks off new season

October 1st, 2015

Hostess Stacy Bush Lyon, and Panhellenic Fall Friendship Tea Co-Chairmen, Lisa O’Brien and Ondi Lyon, from left, get all the desserts in place as the crowd begins arriving for the popular annual event.

Hostess Stacy Bush Lyon, and Panhellenic Fall Friendship Tea Co-Chairmen, Lisa O’Brien and Ondi Lyon, from left, get all the desserts in place as the crowd begins arriving for the popular annual event.

Clear Lake Chatter By: Mary Alys Cherry

AS HAS BEEN the custom for many years, Clear Lake Panhellenic members launched the Bay Area’s fall social season with their annual Fall Friendship Tea.

Stacy Bush Lyon was hostess at her new Bay Oaks Home in Clear Lake Sept. 13 with Panhellenic President Kay Lee Benoit and Vice Presidents Rikie Bowker, Jill Reason and Ellen King welcoming the many members who dropped by during the afternoon.

Some of those you might have spotted in the crowd were Kim Barker, Peggy Clause, Diane Overman, Laurie Vaughn, Ann Gay, Kathie Wylie, Lisa O’Brien, Ondi Lyon, Sue Broughton, Karen McCorkle, Judie Ferguson, Jo Nell Hunter, Sheryl Williams, Ruth Beecher, Linda Kmjecik, Annette Dwyer, Ann Brady, Karen Malkey, Karen Douglass, Dewanna Norris and Judge Holly Williamson.

Clear Lake Panhellenic President Kay Lee Benoit, center, was at the door to welcome members to their annual Fall Friendship Tea, along with Jo Nell Hunter, left, and Second Vice President Jill Reason

Clear Lake Panhellenic President Kay Lee Benoit, center, was at the door to welcome members to their annual Fall Friendship Tea, along with Jo Nell Hunter, left, and Second Vice President Jill Reason

Ellen King and Karen Weber told of their plans for Panhellenic’s “Glamour and Glitz – Vegas Style” big fall fashion show Friday, Nov. 6, at South Shore Harbour Resort in League City. No ticket? Better hurry or you’ll miss all the fun.

Fashion guru Lenny Matuszewski has been inked as producer of the show, and Ellen says we’ll once again be amazed at Lenny’s ability to pick the perfect runway fashions from Dillard’s for the show. Fashion show proceeds benefit the Crawford-Zbanek Scholarship Foundation, which awards scholarships to women from local high schools attending Texas universities.

Reservations are $75 for general seating and $100 for a runway seat.  For information on seating, email Karen McCorkle at panhellenicreservations@gmail.com or call her at 713-582-5884. Seating is limited, so make your reservations early, she said.

Jackie Daley, Virginia Hosea, Betsy Salbilla and Ann Brady, from left, stop for a photo as they arrive at Bay Oaks for the BOWA style show luncheon.

Jackie Daley, Virginia Hosea, Betsy Salbilla and Ann Brady, from left, stop for a photo as they arrive at Bay Oaks for the BOWA style show luncheon.

Bay Oaks Women eye new fashions
TWO DAYS LATER on Sept. 15, Bay Oaks Country Club Women’s Association members got the season underway with their annual Fall Fashion Show Luncheon.

BOWA Vice Presidents Becky Hensley and Cambry Rogers chaired the event which included fall fashions from The Clotheshorse in League City – modeled by a number of pretty models, including Karen Reed, Janet Greenwood, Mary Colombo, Lea Bodie, Sue Broughton, Jody Schnabel, Tia Neyman, Emmeline Dodd, Judy Ferguson, Tia Neyman, Melissa McKinnie and Sarabeth McClintock.

Among the smiling faces we spotted at the always fun event were, Jackie Daley, Ann Brady, Pam Ploss, Carol Bobo, Diane Konick, Kay Lee Benoit, Judy Raiford, Judie Ferguson, Sharon Dillard, Joan Wade, Susan Franklin, Glenna Crist and Ebby Creden  — many catching up on each other’s summer news and all abuzz over the upcoming fashion show.

Jodie Schnabel, left, and Tori Buttle look for their table at the Bay Oaks Women’s Association style show luncheon.

Jodie Schnabel, left, and Tori Buttle look for their table at the Bay Oaks Women’s Association style show luncheon.

As they mingled with the crowd, President Sue Broughton and Hospitality Committee members Ann Dooley, Angela Swint and Kay Lee Benoit were busy welcoming Jenny Frantz, Lisa O’Brien, Mary Smith, Diane Overman, Betsy Salbilla, Gayle Beaty, Gloria Wong, Ruth Beecher, Joy and Jill Smitherman, Sharon Christman, Betty Woodhouse,  Donna Crenweige, Lucille Terraso, Quaisra Shah, Jodi Schnabel, Angela Bivens, Badiha Nassar, Joy Muniz, Norma Ogletree, Katherine Kiesselhorst, Priscilla Ennis and Yvonne Perrin.

Along with Jordin Nolan Kruse, Janice Gornto, Lynn Smith, Bobbie Moutz, Trisha Gunn, Cynthia Villareal, Kathy and Linda Costanza, Margaret Vail, Allyson Jackson, Linda Herzfeld, Kim Steele, Virginia Hosea, Leigh Meza, Amy Roppolo, Peggy Sturiale, Becky Bryan, Julie Zamarripa, Danele Buehler, Priscilla Fletcher, Suzanne Sparks, Jo Nell Hunter, Tonia Wooldrige, Fran Gentry, Martha Kaminsky, Jean Hays, Patrice Sallans, Suzanne Leatherman, Sue Laabs, Marilyn Lunney,  Delores Hoover, Stacy Lyon, Sarah Beth McClintock, Linda Kelly, Tia Neyman, Sharon Phelps, Kimberly Weathers, Barbara Spencer and Carole Murphy.

Clear Lake Chatter

July 1st, 2015

Well, dahling, come and join us, Kathleen Courville says while offering a welcoming smile to Assistance League members arriving for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” at Bay Oaks Country Club.

Well, dahling, come and join us, Kathleen Courville says while offering a welcoming smile to Assistance League members arriving for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” at Bay Oaks Country Club.

Assistance League ends year with snazzy brunch

WELL, DAHLINGS, if you missed the Assistance League’s May luncheon, you missed one of the snazziest events of the spring – “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Ladies in little black dresses, white gloves and hats combined with little blue Tiffany boxes, and dainty flowers and desserts everywhere you looked – all of which added up to a great morning for some of the hardest working volunteers in our community.

A number won awards with Carol Latimer the recipient of the Sue Holstein Award and Kim Barker  taking home the Sue Brady Award and also winning an ABCD Award along with Katy Bastedo and Valerie Piercy. The Glass Slipper Award went to the St. Bernadette Catholic Church Christian Action Committee.

New Assistance League officers get together for a photo op as a new year begins. They are, from left, Secretary Ginger Darnell, President Peggy Clause, President-elect Dee Cover, Treasurer Jane Sweeney and Parliamentarian Sharon Dillard.

New Assistance League officers get together for a photo op as a new year begins. They are, from left, Secretary Ginger Darnell, President Peggy Clause, President-elect Dee Cover, Treasurer Jane Sweeney and Parliamentarian Sharon Dillard.

Outgoing President Brunella Altemus used candy bars and some well-chosen words to introduce and install each new officer for 2015-16. They are President Peggy Clause, President-elect Dee Cover, Vice Presidents Ann Marie Doolin, Sara Foulds, Carol Latimer and Gail Ashby, Secretary Ginger Darnell¸Treasurer Jane Sweeney and Parliamentarian Sharon Dillard.

Lisa Holbrook was elected Assisteens coordinator, Arlis Miles as education chairman, Ronda Wegman as marketing chairman and Ann Hammond as strategic planning chairman. All are looking forward to another busy, busy year of helping the not-so-fortunate in our Bay Area community.

 

Citation Award winners Jill Reason, left, and Ellen King wear big smiles after receiving their Clear Lake Panhellenic awards at this year’s May luncheon.

Citation Award winners Jill Reason, left, and Ellen King wear big smiles after receiving their Clear Lake Panhellenic awards at this year’s May luncheon.

Clear Lake Panhellenic gets ready for new year

A FEW DAYS later, Clear Lake Area Panhellenic was also busy preparing for the coming year and awarding scholarships to some deserving area high school graduates.

Kay Lee Benoit  is Panhellenic’s new president, serving with First Vice President Jill Reason, Second Vice President Ellen King, Treasurer Michelle Richardson, Secretary Cheryl Williams, Jo Cat Bruce, Corporation, and Parliamentarian Kim Barker.

Some of the biggest smiles of the day were worn by Ellen King and Jill Reason, both winners of the Citation Award.

Along with the winners of $8,000 college scholarships — Natalie Barringer, Camille Camavata, Megan Conley, Michelle Tran and Alice Yau.

A distinguished panel of astronauts shared stories about their time in space at Space Center Houston’s inaugural Galaxy Gala. The panel included, from left, astronaut Mark Kelly, former astronaut and now director of Johnson Space Center Ellen Ochoa, and astronaut Gene Cernan, who was the last man to walk on the moon. Former CNN anchor Miles O’Brien, right, was master of ceremonies and led the panel discussion.

A distinguished panel of astronauts shared stories about their time in space at Space Center Houston’s inaugural Galaxy Gala. The panel included, from left, astronaut Mark Kelly, former astronaut and now director of Johnson Space Center Ellen Ochoa, and astronaut Gene Cernan, who was the last man to walk on the moon. Former CNN anchor Miles O’Brien, right, was master of ceremonies and led the panel discussion.

Space Gala nets over $1 million

SPACE CENTER Houston’s hugely successful Galaxy Gala raised more than $1 million for the Manned Space Flight Education Foundation with Alice and Keith Mosing chairing the inaugural event.

Developer Fred Griffin. left, a Manned Space Flight Education Foundation board member, and his assistant, Heather Waters, meet award-winning actor Gary Sinise at Space Center Houston’s inaugural Galaxy Gala.

Developer Fred Griffin. left, a Manned Space Flight Education Foundation board member, and his assistant, Heather Waters, meet award-winning actor Gary Sinise at Space Center Houston’s inaugural Galaxy Gala.

The pre-gala area showed historic films about the space program and displayed artifacts from Space Center Houston, an educationally focused, nonprofit space museum. Included in the exhibit were space suits, items brought back from several space missions and the presidential podium from which John Kennedy made his historic speech announcing the goal of landing a man on the moon.

As guests entered the main dining area, huge screens from corner to corner gave them the sensation of floating in zero gravity. Countdown to start the evening filled the room with the roar of the blast off from a rocket launch. Sending everyone into orbit, a message from astronaut Terry Virts Jr., currently aboard the International Space Station, greeted the 700 guests. A special treat was Gena and Chuck Norris’ introduction of the gala co-chairs.

NASA Associate Administrator for and astronaut John Grunsfeld, center, is inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Shaking his hand is Dan Brandenstein, chairman of the board of directors for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, as former NASA astronaut Steve Hawley looks on.

NASA Associate Administrator for and astronaut John Grunsfeld, center, is inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Shaking his hand is Dan Brandenstein, chairman of the board of directors for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, as former NASA astronaut Steve Hawley looks on.

President and CEO of Space Center Houston Richard Allen Jr. applauded the leadership for the evening and the impact the funds will have on the nonprofit’s largest and most ambitious exhibit ever built. Opening later this year, the new exhibit, “Independence Plaza,” will feature a high-fidelity space shuttle replica, the Independence, mounted on the historic NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft. Only at Space Center Houston will visitors be able to go inside both the shuttle and the airplane. Most importantly, the shuttle complex and surrounding exhibits will expand and enhance Space Center Houston’s award-winning educational programs that motivate students to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The evening featured a top-flight keynote panel including astronaut Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to go into space and director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center; astronaut Gene Cernan, who flew three historic space missions and was the last man to walk on the moon; and astronaut Mark Kelly, shuttle commander and husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona.

Space Center Houston President and CEO Richard Allen Jr. applauded the supporters and donors who helped raised more than $1 million for the new exhibit, “Independence Plaza,” opening later this year.

Space Center Houston President and CEO Richard Allen Jr. applauded the supporters and donors who helped raised more than $1 million for the new exhibit, “Independence Plaza,” opening later this year.

Award-winning science journalist and former CNN correspondent and anchor Miles O’Brien was master of ceremonies and led the panel discussion. The audience gave a standing ovation to these distinguished speakers.

Guests filled the dance floor and grooved under the stars to the sounds of the Lt. Dan Band led by award-winning actor Gary Sinise, who starred in the film “Apollo 13.” People stood in front of the stage and sang while cell phone cameras flashed throughout the night to capture the fun.

Star-studded guests included Jo Lynn and Gregg Falgout, Susie and Pat Cunningham, Betsy and Fred Griffin, Kim and Dan Tutcher, Jeanne and Richard Filip, Martha and James Madget, Paula McCann Harris, Cyndy and Thomas Roberts, Leslie and Adam Schneider, Mo and Ric Campo, Bobbie and John Nau, John Poindexter, Winell Herron, Ileana and Michael Trevino, Debbie and John Daugherty, Yvonne and Walter Johnson, Trini Mendenhall and Kyla and Ron Kapche.