By: Diane Cowen

Aisles of booths with fine antiques, shining silver and glittering crystal will line the ballrooms of the George R. Brown Convention Center this weekend for those heading out to the Theta Charity Antiques Show’s grand finale.

This is the 68th and final year of the longtime Houston event that has brought fine antiques to a central marketplace and raised $8 million for local charities.

In the past few years, the Theta show — a function of the Houston Alumnae Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority — has worked to revive attendance and sales at the show as the popularity of traditional antiques has waned and shoppers have so many other ways to find them.

They added Designer Walks and Art Walks events with local interior designers and art experts taking small groups through the show to educate them about how antiques and art can be used in a variety of home-décor styles. Those events were popular but couldn’t make up for the huge effort it takes year-round by volunteers to put on a show for an audience that has gotten significantly smaller in the past decade.

Jennifer Donovan O’Donnell, a co-chair for the Theta show, said the group has had a committee studying the decline for the past three years. In January, it concluded that it was time to host one last show and move on to a new community-service initiative. Others co-chairing this year’s event are Courtney Hill Fertitta and Giggy Martin Thanheiser.

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