According to a Golfcrest County Club waitress, who will remain anonymous, Pearland’s 2019 White Out Night Out did not disappoint. The gala is known for its white theme and white dress code, which is used to be a statement of white-ing out the stigma of mental illness in our area. The women all looked amazing in their white outfits. And party-goers took in and enjoyed the 2019 Havana night theme. The waitress we spoke with said the party was such a hit it went on and on into the early morning hours, with guests partying the night away until 3 am when the country club finally had to close. The party, chaired by Angie Infante (of Graphic Icons) and benefiting Counseling Connections for Change, surpassed all expectations by every metric.
Financially, the party delivered major bucks for the charity that serves the mental health concerns of those in Brazoria County. Ticket sales were actually oversold with 241 seats purchased. In addition, the event saw 184 raffle tickets purchased for the chance to to win two giant barrels of spirits. Embrace Wellness Center went on to win the massive collection of liquor. The Live Auction portion of the night raised over $17,000 alone. Rick Torrison a local pastor and leader at One Pearland auctioned off one stay at his amazing (you have to see it-seriously click the link and check it out) Florida get-away. After the stay in Florida went for $3,500, Torrison offered yet another one week stay in his beach palace that went for another donation of $3,500. With these kinds of donations rolling in its no wonder that despite the over-the-top party costing $11,856, it was worth it because the party netted over $56,000 to the charity (according to Counseling Connections). The party featured major sponsors, with the premiere sponsorship made by Memorial Herman. Other premiere sponsors included Pearland City Councilman Tony Carbone and his wife Pearland ISD Trustee Crystal Carbone.
So where does the money go? Counseling Connections is a mental health charity that serves a diverse range of clients such as: veterans, abused children, court referred child & adult clients, victims of domestic or sexual abuse, and persons struggling with divorce. Overall the organization annually reports serving 910 clients via 6,657 hours of counseling and providing $237,818 worth of discounted or free services. The charity accepts insurance, has reduced rates, and even offers some pro bono work. The party stood to point out to the community that despite serving so many clients a year, last year 167 people had to be turned away from help due to lack of resources. The need is outpacing Counseling Connections ability to serve. And with financial donations, the center will be able to turn away fewer clients this year.
The night featured great entertainment such as salsa dancers from the Fred Astaire Dance School (although their dancing was not as good as an impromptu performance of *NSync’s Bye Bye Bye performed that evening). Inspiring speeches were given by persons involved with the organization. And amateur auctioneers Brandon Dansby and Pearland ISD trustee Jeff Barry provided comedy for the night.
The decorations were provided by Tammy Grohman of the design firm Pampered Treasures. Grohman is the premiere decorator and interior designer of Pearland. Grohman’s work included a paper flower sculpture with a waterfall of lights that stood as a backdrop for party goers to take amazing photos (like those seen below). Grohman’s signature attention to detail was clearly on display throughout the space. The table centerpieces were tropical flora with Cuban elements of domino pieces and cigar boxes. There was a beautifully decorated cigar patio with Cuban paper light ornamentation. Grohman’s use of the green to accent and offset the night’s theme of the color white constantly created a tropical feel so the party-goer really could experience a real Havana night.
We asked the event Chair, Angie Infante, to tell us what made the night unique. Infante said that Jared Morales of Party House Entertainment had donated his DJ services to the event. When Infante went to tip him $100, he told her he was so touched by the stories he heard of how much Counseling Connections changes lives that he donated his $100 tip to the organization. Morales even signed up to support the charity. Infante was also touched by the massive donation of Eric Elliot of his start-up business Boulder Designs which makes amazing outdoor Boulder signage. Infante also acknowledged large support for the event by Erik and Elizabeth Kinnear of Big Kountry Shooting Range in Alvin, Tx.
Infante was already promoting the charity’s next event The Depressed Cake Shop. The Depressed Cake Shop is a pop-up shop open 5pm to 8pm on May 18th at Pearland’s Drink Station The shop will sell cupcakes and cakes; some are grey on the outside and colorful inside to represent the hidden reality that so many of us have at one point in our life struggled with depression. Counseling Connections continues to wow us all with their amazing service and amazing events.