Texas icons host benefit dinner

The Houston Chronicle
Shelby Hodge
November 14, 2004, Sunday 2 STAR EDITION

NOT your typical dinner partners, the uninhibited Kinky Friedman, Robert Del Grande, Clyde Drexler and Jaclyn Smith stepped out as Texas "icons" at Hotel Icon Tuesday night to wine, dine and entertain on behalf of the Neuhaus Education Center.

Both Monday and Tuesday, more than 100 guests with an appetite for scintillating conversation and yummy fare plunked down a minimum $ 200 each for dinner with a supreme personality.

Hot rods in business, politics, medicine, etc. served as hosts at tables of 10. Everyones Internet Chairman Roy Marsh and developer Dick Weekley were among the table talk leaders.

Penny Butler chaired and her son Bo Butler co-chaired the fund-raiser that doubled as a kickoff for the center's 25th anniversary. With $ 100,000 in hand by Tuesday night's end, it was a decidedly good start.

Guests, who supped on the five-course meal, included Susan and Le noir Josey, Vance Muse, Laura and William Kelsey, Sissy and Denny Kempner, and Elizabeth and Peter Wareing.

One swingin' doctor

Dr. Kevin Smith, facial plastic surgeon, has ditched the surgery scrubs this week in favor of golf clothes. The good doctor left Thursday for Sydney, Australia, where he is one of three U.S. golfers competing in the BMW Golf Cup International World Final. Thirty-eight countries are represented in the tournament that begins Tuesday and concludes Friday.

With a handicap of nine, Smith bested golfers competing in the Houston BMW Golf Invitational at Champions Golf Club in September, thus earning his trip to Sydney, compliments of the German automaker.

He'll be competing on the links at the New South Wales Golf Club at Cape Banks.

Foreign players

That's former Houston Rocket Robert R eid, one of our favorite charity auctioneers, and his wife, Diana Linn, e-mailing from Debrecen, Hungary. The couple took up residence in Hungary's second largest city, population 200,000, in August, after he signed a four-year contract to coach basketball there.

Reid is coaching the local university team and a pro team, the Debreceni Vadkakasok, which is undefeated in regular play. While Reid is doing double coaching duty in the gym, Linn has landed a job as vice president-director of business operations for Mediaware Corp., a U.S. software company.

Don't kiss the couple goodbye. They've kept their home here. And Reid e-mails that they are sorely missing dressing up, chowing down on Mexican food and dancing and dining at Resa's Prime Steakhouse.

Big Apple anny

Dr. Jeffrey Ross, sports medicine podiatrist, and his writer wife, Jennifer, made it a triple-header in New York last weekend.

It was their ninth wedding anniversary, his fourth time to run in the New York City marathon (his 22nd marathon in all), and a one-time lecture stint at a sports medicine conference.

The night before the marathon, the Rosses celebrated their anniversary at an Upper West Side Japanese restaurant, located beneath the apartment where he lived when a podiatry student.

It was "a romantic evening of nostalgia," he e-mailed.

A platinum evening

The crowd was luxe, the watches playful and the food divine at Zadok Jewelers Tuesday night when Baume & Mercier teamed up with Gourmet magazine to celebrate the 10th anny of the Hampton watch collection.

Anne Carl, Diana Woodman, Kim Bartee and Alicia Smith were among customers gleefully modeling the jazzed timepieces. Particularly popular - the diamond watches with fluffy white mink bands. Price tag: around $ 4,500.

Gourmet tapped Ibiza chef/owner Charles Clark to prepare taste sensations that included Kobe beef hors d'oeuvres and striped bass topped with Osetra caviar.

Welcoming guests were Zadok owners Helene and Dror Zadok . In the crowd - Nicole and Jim Perdue, Rhea Wheeler, Jackie Nguyen, Dr. Thuan Nguyen, and Gourmet's wine and spirits consultant Michael Green.

NOTES: shelby.hodge@chron.com

© Copyright 2004 The Houston Chronicle Publishing Company