Event Date: May 10, 2023
Event: Gala / Wine Dinner
Beneficiary: Women’s Fund for Health, Education and Resiliency
No. in attendance: 200
Money Raised: $200,000
Chairpersons: Elaine Turner and Misti Pace-Krahl
Honorees: Philamena and Arthur Baird
Sponsors: H-E-B and Insperity
Photography: Daniel Ortiz
The “8th Time’s the Charm” at The Women’s Fund Annual Wine Dinner
Culinary delights, aromatic and fragrant wines, a heartfelt testimonial, a silent auction, a high-energy “paddles up,” and 200 invigorated supporters united once again for the 8th Annual Wine Dinner benefiting The Women’s Fund for Health Education and Resiliency.
Guests entered the distinguished eatery to the sounds of soft jazz, scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, crystal flutes filled with sparkling champagne, and a warm greeting from restaurant owner Donna Vallone.
The engaging cocktail reception ended as the dinner chimes rang throughout the restaurant, and guests, filled with anticipation, took their seats as Emcee Courtney Zavala extended a heartfelt welcome. After sponsors, including floral sponsor H-E-B and entertainment sponsor Insperity, received their well-deserved recognition, LaToya Wolfe, a Cullen Middle School Wraparound Resource Specialist, shared a profound experience in dealing with a struggling student, and imparted the impact The Women’s Fund classes had on her, enabling her to achieve positive results in challenging circumstances.
The “four-star” culinary four-course meal, paired with fine wines, began with Risotto, followed by Salt-Crusted Gulf Coast Snapper, Prime Filet Mignon, and ended with Donna’s Red Velvet Cake and Bombe Glace. Tony’s Executive Chef, Kate McLean, guided diners through the delectable menu presentation.
Auctions brought in a tidy sum as designer David Peck, the silent auction sponsor, delighted bidders with experiences in dining, entertainment, travel, and luxury pieces. Enthusiastic and “table-hopping” auctioneer Johnny Bravo had everyone’s undivided attention at the live auction with items celebrating trips to Tuscany, the wine country, and Colorado, a dinner for six at Tony’s (which went for $10,000!), a Caribbean dinner for 24, and shopping at Elaine Turner’s new retail outlet called Edit by Elaine.
This exciting and well-attended gathering, which included Board President Jillian Nel, Chairpersons Elaine Turner and Misti Pace-Krahl, and Honorees Philamena and Arthur Baird, had a record-setting evening as over $200,000 was raised to help this organization continue its efforts.
Socially present (not previously mentioned): Paulina and Jim McGrath, Meghan and Jerry Hughes Jr., Edna Meyer-Nelson, Beth Wolff, Cynthia Wolff, Kathy and Alex Johnson, Katherine and Chris Gillman, Martha Walton, Katherine and Dr. Brian Parsley, Roxann and Tim Neumann, Anne Neeson, Craig Janies, Ambassador Arthur and Joyce Schechter, Paula Sutton and Bill Gross, Marilyn and Tom Sumner, Jackie Macha and Brian Faulkner, Alison and Randall Wilhite, Lisa Rogers, Nadia and Sylvia Akaweih, Dr. Sean Blackwell, Rita Wilson, Hershey Grace, Cheryl Byington, Evelyn Leightman, Matthew Massey, Kristina and Ron Tucker, and Hague and Eric Bing