About 7,000 friends of The Lanier Law Firm braved chilly temperatures, threatening skies and mud on Sunday afternoon to hear a rocking performance from New Jersey band Bon Jovi at the Houston firm’s annual family-oriented holiday party. Mark and Becky Lanier invite friends of the firm to the party held at their property in the Cypress area located northwest of downtown Houston. Local lawyers and judges and their families were among the partygoers. A capacity crowd under a massive white tent listened to Bon Jovi play hits including “Living on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive” before the rockers ended the hour-long concert with an encore of “Run Rudolph Run.” Bon Jovi’s party performance came a few hours after the band took the stage in New York City on the NBC late-night entertainment show "Saturday Night Live." In fact, Mark Lanier told the crowd that the flight the band took to Houston was diverted because of weather conditions, but the airplane was able to land at another airport. When not listening to the music, partygoers ate fajitas and barbecue and listened to carolers sing in a new stone chapel the Laniers built on their property. Children went wild playing carnival games and laser tag, and there was a climbing wall and a bounce house among other things. For the second year in a row, the firm invited guests to make a contribution to Guatemala SANA, a charity that builds schools, equips classrooms and provides food for children of Guatemala. Lanier says the firm raised more than $250,000 for the charity. Last year the firm raised a similar amount when a record 8,600 people attended the party. Teen popster Miley Cyrus entertained that crowd, which included thousands of screaming, dancing preteen girls.
-- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys