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When the smoke cleared, $1 million had been raised

It might have been the last hurrah last week for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's, annual One Great Night in November men's smoker — at least as we have known it for these past 23 years. The city's new smoking regulations are threatening to turn to ash the great cigar tradition.

If it was the last night for fine wines, cigar smoke and male bonding in the museum, it went out with a bang. The black-tie evening netted more than $1 million for the purchase of artworks, topping previous years. Taking bows for the evening's success were chairs Tom Glanville, Frank Hevrdejs and Lenoir Josey.

Mayor Bill White lamented to the gathering of 305 that the failed attempt to exempt this and similar charitable nights from the no-smoking ordinance was a disappointment. Stay tuned. The museum, according to director Peter Marzio, is considering several creative approaches to the 2007 fundraiser.

As is tradition, guests voted on works of art for acquisition from dinner proceeds. The evening brought in 29 new pieces ranging from John Sargent Noble's 1881 Otterhounds for the European art collection to a 1905 etching by Pablo Picasso to a 4th century B.C. ceramic vessel.

In addition to shopping, there was the gourmet dinner by Jackson & Co., very fine wines sourced by the chairs and Davidoff cigars provided by Jeffrey Stone Ltd.

Among those helping with the heavy lifting were Jim Flores, Meredith Long, Gary Petersen and Christopher Sarofim. Longtime One Great Night supporters included Charles Duncan, Ted Gaylord, Lee Godfrey, Bob McNair, Bob Cavnar, Charles Tate and Tom Roupe.

Source: Houston Chronicle