A Woodlands World of Wonder with two galas last weekend

By: Woodlands Online Staff
| Published 08/24/2022


THE WOODLANDS, TX – There was a gaggle of galas last weekend as two venerable Woodlands-area organizations held their showcase events to thousands of festive attendees. On Friday, Interfaith of The Woodlands held its inaugural runway-themed event, The Walk. The next night at the same location of The Woodlands Waterway Marriott, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Chairman’s Ball. Woodlands Online was at both.

Interfaith of The Woodlands, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce bring the glitz and glamor with a pair of star-studded events

The Walk – Interfaith of The Woodlands

A model’s runway dominated the dining area of the Marriott ballroom while the equally enormous reception area was festooned with photo booths, model cars from Sewell, a four-sided and fully stocked bar, champagne raffle table, piano with accompanying pianist Daniel Blanchard, and an entire wall dedicated to the luxury auction items whose bids were constantly updated on white boards.

Once the pre-dinner welcome reception festivities were moved into the dining area, the show began in earnest with a kickoff by event master of ceremonies and auctioneer Johnny Bravo. The crowd was welcomed by Missy Herndon, President & CEO of Interfaith Community Clinic and Interfaith of The Woodlands; William H. Murphy, Board Chair, Interfaith of The Woodlands, and Ray Sanders, Board Chair, Interfaith Community Clinic; afterwards, the invocation was offered by the chaplain of Interfaith, Dr. Daniel T. Hannon.

The program started off relatively low-key, with a raffle conducted by the general manager of Market Street The Woodlands, several client testimonials shared by local industry icons Kerrie Guerrero, Bret Strong, and Amy Torres. After a quick live auction of some world tour getaways, the lights dimmed and the music thumped as the Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show had dozens of models strutting their stuff on the runway. Some Interfaith insiders also got into the catwalk action as part of the Community Champions Presentation.

Finally, with a flurry of confetti cannons, the event moved back into the reception area, which had by now been redressed as a dance/music venue – complete with lighted dance floor – and live music headlined by Time Machine Band. Woodlands Online was able to grab a moment with Missy Herndon in the midst of the ceremonies.

“Oh my gosh, we’re so excited. This is going to be an absolutely wonderful night for the community,” she said. “It’s a brand new event, so we’re ecstatic that so many people trusted us and came out not really knowing what they were coming into. It’s just a beautiful night to serve others.”

Herndon revealed that it took an entire year to plan the event, and the next day would be the first step to creating the 2023 version of The Walk.

“We’ve been doing a similar type of event over the past ten years called Giving Goes Glam, but we’ve changed it up and made it an evening event. It’s for couples and it’s benefiting both Interfaith and the Community Clinic, which are both of our nonprofits under Interfaith’s umbrella. Our goal is to raise funds so that we can feed people, keep them in their homes, and provide insurance to those who don’t have health insurance.”

The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce’s Chairman’s Ball – A Night in Emerald City

The next night in the same enormous ballroom area, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce followed the yellow brick road to “A Night in Emerald City” to celebrate the vast accomplishments of 2021-2022 Board Chairman Julie Ambler of The Woodlands Christian Academy. It was also a time to celebrate and pass the gavel to the new incoming chairman Jim Carman of The Howard Hughes Corporation.

“A Night in Emerald City” is the chamber’s 44th annual event. Since 1978, The chamber has celebrated the past year’s work of the outgoing chairman by hosting what many would call, one of the most unique and amazing chamber events in The Woodlands. It is highly anticipated each year and for good reason. US Congressman, Kevin Brady was also in attendance and not only did he give a great speech honoring Julie Ambler, but Kevin also presented Julie with a congressional commendation from the US House of Representatives for her work as Chairman for The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce.

The annual Chairman’s Ball is built around a different theme each year. The theme for 2022 was called “A Night In Emerald City” and drew its inspiration from the movie “The Wizard of Oz.” The attire was formal as well as beautiful Wizard of Oz themed suits and gowns. The atmosphere was elegant and the decorations were spectacular. One element that was brought back this year that was missing from previous years was over-the-top table-top themed decorations. The companies that participated in decorating their tables went out of their way to create some of the most eye-catching themed arrangements we have seen in a long time. From munchkins and witches to flying monkeys and ruby slippers, you would swear that you were about to visit the great and powerful Oz himself. There were prizes for best table decorations as well as awards for best costumes. Guests were whisked away in tornado fashion to the land of Oz and what a ride it was.

Previous themes for this event included a circus theme called “Under the Big Top”, an event called “Celebrating The Heart of Our Community” and even one year with a Star Wars theme. The themes are always interesting, unique and fun. The decorations were beautiful and the themed attire for the guests greatly add to the festivities. “A Night In NAPA” was an exceptional evening of live music, great food, wine tastings and fun!

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