Ally’s Wish’s Boots And Blessings Kicked Off With Krispin Munchies, Champagne And A 10% Give Back At Draper James

With the holiday season just days away, Thursday, November 15th was the perfect time to learn about plans for Ally’s Wish’s Boot And Blessings Gala at Draper James especially with the store’s providing a 10% give back. Here’s a report from the field:

Southern charm and southern hospitality couldn’t have made for a more perfect night at the new Draper James boutique in Highland Park Village on Thursday, November 15.  The 3-year-old nonprofit organization Ally’s Wish hosted a kick-off celebration for the annual Boots And Blessings Gala. The organization that grants wishes for terminally ill young mothers (many of whom are fighting terminal cancer diagnosis), celebrated with southern inspired bites by Wendy Krispin Caterer and Korbel California Champagne Non-Vintage Brut Rosé.

Draper James*

As guests filled the narrow boutique, scents of the Draper James holiday spice candle filled the room and the shopping commenced. A give back on the night of 10% of sales was all that guests needed to hear in order to do some early holiday gift shopping for friends and family.

Kersten Rettig, Jill Salinaro, Shirley Cohn and Mary Hubbard*

In attendance were former Highland Park Village Marketing Director, Kersten Rettig (she’s also the Gala Underwriting Chair), Erin Key, Andrea Reich, Jill Salinaro, Barbara Dianis, Jessica Velasco, Mary Hubbard and Laura Armstrong Downing, who will serve as this year’s Advisory Chair.

Kim Gilchrist, Kellie Rasberry and Missy Phipps*

Host/Emcee Kellie Rasberry gathered the crowd around the large in-store island and began sharing her connection to the organization and how it was so reminiscent of Kidd’s Kids, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary this month. As Rasberry noted, “It is the moms that the wishes are granted for, but the children who have the lasting memories”.

As Kim Gilchrist, one half of the event chair duo, made sponsor announcements and recognized the other members of the event leadership team she shared her excitement for the 2017 event. With over 19 moms on the waiting list for wishes to be granted, and more requests coming in monthly, the annual gala provides the necessary funds to create the memories that the moms’ desire.

Following Kim’s comments, Ally’s Wish Co-Founder/President Missy Phipps shared the history of the organization. With many new faces in the crowd, it was an opportunity to share the story of the late Allyson Hendrickson and how four friends created an organization that has impacted over 40 moms since its inception in March of 2014. 

Missy Phipps, Holly Reed, Kelly Walgamott and Melissa Cary*

As the evening was winding down and guests were making their final purchases, the Draper James team made the night a bit sweeter with branded cupcakes from Sprinkles!

With a successful kickoff event in the books, the focus now turns to the upcoming event. The 3rd Annual Boots And Blessings Gala will be held on Saturday, April 29, at Gilley’s Dallas. For more information, tickets or sponsorships please visit

Photo Credit: Bob Manzano

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Kicked Off Fundraising Luncheon Plans At Market

All the talk on Wednesday, May 4, was about cutie pie Reese Witherspoon’s opening up her latest retail venture — Draper James pop-up shop — at Market the day before. But, alas, the Academy Award-winning actress was nowhere in sight. No problem. The Equest Women’s Auxiliary crowd including Tiffany Divis, Louise Griffeth and Emilynn Wilson, didn’t seem to mind one iota with all the goodies on the shelves, the tables and in every nook and cranny.

For some, like Angela Nash, this was a first-time visit to Market; Angela hollered from her car, “Do you know where Market is?”

Someone pointed Angela to the former site of Patrizio (aka the longtime ago digs of S&S Tearoom). Still with us?

Market's candy

Market’s candy

Market's equine-style bracelet

Market’s equine-style bracelet

Once inside Market, it was a 21st century version of the Carriage Shop with colorful candies on the shelves, the bracelets and chokers that reminded some of equine bits and such.

Fleming Longino

Fleming Longino

Fleming Longino's Louboutin

Fleming Longino’s Louboutin

And speaking of fashion, Fleming Longino was just back from Europe and in a black jumpsuit that made her Louboutin stilettos “stand out.”

New Equest Executive Director Lili Kellogg introduced new Development Director Christine Volkmer, while Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Di Johnston revealed that Angie Kadesky would be replacing her in the year to come.  Another bit of news was that Beth Thoele will chair the 2017 Equest fundraising luncheon.

Angie Kadesky, Kara Axley and Bridget Miller

Angie Kadesky, Kara Axley and Bridget Miller

In the meantime, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show at Brook Hollow Chair Kara Axley revealed that the Equest fundraiser would take place on Tuesday, October 4.