Years ago there was a group that held a dinner benefiting The Family Place. It was legendary for being frothy with fun. Alas, it disappeared like a wisp of smoke. But since The Family Place was celebrating its 35th anniversary, the original chairs of the past event decided to resurrect the dinner on Thursday, November 14, with a new name — ReuNight — and location — Place at Perry’s.
The rallying cry led by Co-Chair Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Heather and Bill Esping and Muffin and John Lemak was to support the 35-year-old agency in its fight against domestic violence. Of course, it didn’t hurt to have Mayor Mike Rawlings as the honoree and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management as the presenting sponsor leading the charge.
The sold-out crowd didn’t seem to mind the crammed, jammed reception. After all, you had some of Dallas’ best-looking folks including Dallas’ Linda Gray, who never seems to age. She barely made it through the front door when she was hijacked by a coterie of people.
As for the chatter among the crowd (Niven Morgan, Shelby Wagner, DeeDee and Jim Lee, Robert Weatherly, Sue and Jim Gragg, Kathy Crow, Jennifer and Cody Clark and Kimm Daulton Wynne and Shannon Wynne), it included Suzanne McGee telling that her mom, Margot Perot, was celebrating her 80th birthday both Friday and Saturday. Friday at the Perot Museum Gala and Saturday at Brook Hollow for a private party. . . Piper Wyatt explaining that since husband Mike was in Brazil on business, she had decided to bring along Brooke Hortenstine as her date. The twosome were later spotted in a booth crooning into someone’s tape recorder. . . Brooke’s reporting that she was just back from Ceron’s and Todd Fiscus’s bachelor party in Las Vegas. . . Phil Cobb and Steve Palma talking about neighbor Kenny Goss’s Harwood K. Smith-designed home being on the market. . . Gillian Breidenbach, Troy Schiermeyer and Keenan Delaney arriving from the green relighting of the Bank of America building in downtown Dallas.
As for the antics of the evening, Eric Reeves couldn’t resist adding his two fingers to a photo opp. That was unplanned, but Mary Clare Finney and Matthew Simons singing “Reunited” highlighted the non-professional entertainment, with Hunter Sullivan picking up the mic and carrying on for the rest of the evening. Later in the evening emcee Jody Dean conducted a game of heads or tails.
Before dinner was served, Jody introduced Mayor Rawlings, who once again made it clear that domestic abuse would not be tolerated in any form on his watch. With The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink looking on, Mike reported that in the high school sign-up pledging to take a stand against abuse, Bryan Adams came in first with the most signatures and Woodrow Wilson took second-place honors.
Unfortunately, due to the crowd and acoustics some folks had problems hearing the talk, but once the auction was underway the right persons’ ears were tuned it. Linda Gray arranged to have a walk-on for a scene in TNT’s “Dallas” for the highest bidder. In a side room Nancy Rogers conferred with organizers and snapped up the item for $20,000 with a slight adjustment. Instead of the gorgeous blond doing the walk-on, she arranged to have three Family Place residents do the job. Just minutes after winning the prize, Nancy and her assistant Kris Johnson slipped out.
Then it was time for dinner, and what a dinner it was! In addition to salad and entrées of either salmon or tenderloin, there were major portions of spinach, Brussels sprouts, mash potatoes and macaroni and cheese.