There was a true celebration at the Joule hotel on Wednesday, December 10, when 160 friends and supporters of Partners Card gathered to mark the culmination of the 2014 signature fundraiser for The Family Place and to—what else?—do a little shopping of their own. But more about that later.
The guests who’d gathered by 7 p.m. in the Joule ballroom looked like a cross-section of Dallas’ nonprofit chic set. Among them: Carol Seay, Maggie Kipp, Robert Weatherly, Claire Emanuelson and DeeDee Lee. The latter two were chatting it up with Shelle Sills, the 2014 Partners Card honorary chair, while, nearby, Renee Rouleau was talking up her imminent relocation from Dallas to east Austin. (Her new home there, the celebrity esthetician pointed out proudly, has been featured in Dwell magazine.)
Up on the raised stage, Partners Card Co-Chairs Andrea Cheek and Diana Hamilton talked excitedly about the success of the 2014 campaign, whose $70 card offered savings at more than 750 local retailers over 10 days. (The third co-chair, Lisa Bhattacharya, wasn’t able to make it.) Then they introduced Bob White of presenting sponsor Bank of Texas, who offered some excitement of his own.
Because BOT is “so proud to have our named associated” with Partners Card, White said, “we made a commitment today to continue to play this role for the next two years. We moved our schedule up a little.”
White noted that the fundraiser is entering its 22nd year, something that Family Place executive director Paige Flink also stressed during her remarks. Paige recalled seeing a similar program in Chicago more than two decades ago, and deciding that something like it could be “big” in Dallas, because “shopping is a sport here!”
During the Family Place program’s first year in North Texas, she added, 100 stores participated, helping to rake in $100,000. How times have changed. In 2014, it was announced, the program had raised at least $1,130,000. The year’s top individual sellers included Nancy Scripps, who sold 157 Partners Cards; Paula Davis, who wasn’t far behind with 154 sales; and Sara and Cass Robinson.
But, what would have evening devoted to the celebration of shopping have been without some shopping of its own? To cap the festivities, guests were told they would receive 20 percent off their purchases at the Joule’s Traffic LA, ESPA, Tenoversix and Taschen Library—“but only tonight.” Smart move, as there was still a lot of holiday shopping left to be done.
* Photo credit: George Fiala