Those who love fashion were having a love fest on Tuesday, March 29, at the Ally’s Wish‘s A Venetian Dream with Esé Azénabor collection impressing guests. While far from western wear, it still served as a warm up for the upcoming Boots and Blessing Gala on Saturday, April 30, at Gilley’s. Here’s a report from the field:
The Ally’s Wish Boots and Blessings Gala host committee welcomed more than 125 guests on Tuesday, March 29, to the gorgeous home of honorary chair Tricia Sims for an evening of fashion and philanthropy. “A Venetian Dream,” the collaboration of Ally’s Wish and local designer, Esé Azénabor commenced the countdown to the Flower Mound-based organization’s second annual gala to be held at Gilley’s Dallas on Saturday, April 30, 2016.
Inspired by the loss of their dear friend, Allyson Hendrickson, to ovarian cancer, Missy Phipps, Holly Reed, Melissa Cary and Heather Bryan founded Ally’s Wish to grant the last wishes of young mothers battling terminal illnesses. In just two years, the women have raised more than $100,000 and granted wishes like helicopter rides over the Grand Canyon and adventures swimming with dolphins to sixteen mothers.
After grazing the desert bar and sipping a cocktail, the glamorous Gina Ginsburg, Jennifer Gaydos-Hartman, Chuck Steelman, Melissa Roundtree, Dawn Mellon, and Amber LaFrance took their seats and all eyes turned to Mistress of Ceremonies and “Real Housewives of Dallas” cast member LeeAnne Locken. Her jovial opening question, “If you don’t know me, where have you been?” started off the night on the right note. She introduced gala chair Laura Downing who thanked sponsors before relinquishing the mic to Ally’s Wish President Missy Phipps.
“When dreaming up Ally’s Wish, I asked myself, what would want if I were dying? And the answer was obvious; memories and time with my children,” Phipps said. “Getting to know these strong moms is rewarding and bitter sweet. We get to be in their lives long enough to grant their wish, and it’s a precious time that we don’t take for granted.”
After Phipps’ heartfelt remarks, Locken announced the organization was only $40,000 away from reaching their goal of granting eight more wishes. After dozens more raffle tickets sold out in minutes, the house lights were dimmed and the models prepared to strut the runway. The young designer recently showcased her 2016 spring collection, Garden of Eden, at New York Fashion Week, but guests were in for a special treat as they got an exclusive preview of the Fall 2016 looks. Cheers ensued as the runway host, Carmen Surgent, sported an incredible gown that would turn heads at Chrystal [sic] Charity Ball. Azénabar’s designs were met with a standing ovation, and as she thanked friends and family, guests bid their farewells and headed to the valet line.
* Photo credit: Bob Manzano and Thomas Garza Photography