Genesis Young Leaders Took To The Conga Lines And Casino Tables For Their Fifth Annual Masquerade Celebrating The Big Easy

Leave it to the Genesis Young Leaders to don the masks, conga the line, shake the dice and bring the Big Easy to the Big D. That’s what they did for the Fifth Annual Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade at Sixty Five Hundred on Saturday, February 17. What better way to spend the Saturday night before Lent! With Co-Chairs Kirstin and Holden Godat and Sarah and Hayden Godat leading the charge, the more than 700 gowned and tuxedo types raised funds for the Genesis Women’s Shelter And Support. Here’s a report from the field:

Kirstin Godat leading conga line*

With masks firmly in place, Kirstin and Holden Godat and Sarah and Hayden Godat co-chaired the sold-out Fifth Annual Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade on Saturday, February 17, at Sixty Five Hundred. Presented by the Genesis Young Leaders (GYL), a group of young professionals who work to end intimate partner violence through volunteerism, education and community awareness, it raised funds for the women and children of Genesis.

As guests arrived to the premier warehouse venue, they crossed the threshold from the heart of Dallas into a night in the Big Easy. The room was softly lit with New Orleans-style lanterns and strings of fairy lights. Park benches perched amid a spring garden of white hydrangeas and lush green hedges. A woman atop a giant tricycle served champagne in the French Quarter, amid colorful tiers of macaroons, sponsored by Hazen And Co. Food Glorious Food Catering provided hors d’oeuvres like Cajun chicken and Andouille Skewers, mini Muffaletta sandwiches, jambalaya served over Creole rice and warm New Orleans-Style beignets topped with powdered sugar. Guests sipped on signature drinks like the Masquerade Mule and the Whimsical Whiskey courtesy of Absolut.

The Project Band performed live music from Frank Sinatra to The Black Eyed Peas and everything in between. While many of the more than 700 guests in elegant gowns and tuxedos donned sparking masquerade masks and moved to the dance floor with Kirstin leading the conga line, others headed to the casino tables to play black jack and craps. As the chips multiplied, the lucky winners turned them into raffle tickets to win prizes including 250,000 Hilton Honors points, 12 months of gift cards to the best Dallas restaurants and a VIP valet pass to NorthPark Center for a year.

The Project Band*

Genesis Women’s Shelter CEO Jan Langbein thanked GYL Board Presidents Jenny and Dan Harris and all of the general members for planning such a spectacular evening. Platinum Sponsors for the event included Jackson Durham, Locke Lord, Perch Event Décor, and Sewell Automotive Companies. Genesis Senior Director of Fund and Community Development Bianca Jackson told the liberating story of a client who came to Genesis and realized everything her abuser had told her had been a lie. Inspired attendees were invited to text-to give to help spell out “Genesis” at the light wall, where each light bulb represented a $100 donation that will help women and children create the abuse-free lives they deserve.

Throughout the evening, guests had the opportunity to bid on silent auction packages like an Austin weekend-getaway for a UT game or a stay-cation at the Rosewood Mansion for a Sam Smith concert. For a fun surprise, guests participated in a designer jewelry pull to win Kendra Scott necklaces, Tory Burch watches and Julie Vos earrings and bracelets. In the VIP Quarter, special guests enjoyed the lounge area with mixed drinks made with Mighty Swell spritzers. Toward the end of the night, servers passed cheeseburger sliders with tiny matchstick fries.

* Photo provided by Genesis Women's Shelter

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