At this year’s Ronald McDonald of Dallas‘ Under The Moonlight gala on Saturday, April 2, at sixty five hundred had a backstory that raised funds and spirits. Here is a report from the field:
Two years ago, the Hyland family from Waco, Texas, had plans to go to Hawaii. It was a place they had always dreamed about going, but in one night this trip and their lives were put on hold. At his weekly gymnastics practice, fourteen year-old Blake Hyland, suffered a traumatic head injury that had him fighting for his life. The doctors didn’t know if he would survive, let alone walk again. He was moved to Cooks Children’s Hospital to undergo surgery, and after two months, he and his family moved into the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. They needed a place to stay whilst he underwent extensive rehabilitation in Dallas. For over a year, Blake and his mother Cindy [Hyland] stayed at the Ronald McDonald House Dallas with visits from his father Pat [Hyland] every weekend. The impossible turned possible and with support from family, friends, staff, volunteers and an entire community, Blake turned his fight into inspiration.
It was this story that was shared at the Ronald McDonald House Dallas annual gala, Under the Moonlight, on Saturday, April 2. Held at sixty five hundred, chairs Lindy Berkley and Hadley Galt and Honorary Chairs Natalie and Drew Dossett and Nancy and Mike Kerr drew a young, vibrant crowd to shine a light on the trials and triumphs of the “house that love built.”
Board Chair Doug Smellage, Pat and Cindy Hyland and long-time volunteer Mark Adelstein all spoke passionately about the impact of the Ronald McDonald House Dallas on families from across the world. But, it was 16-year old Blake Hyland who stole the show. Decked out in a sharp suit and bow tie, he had a peaceful moment with Chief Cheer Officer, Shiloh, he had the crowd laughing with his mic checks, and he strutted his moves on the dance floor to DJ Chicken George.
As he kicked off the live auction, all the guests, including Mack and Stacey Hicks, Melissa and Travis Hodges, Bert and Hayley Crouch, James Carroll, Holland Burian, Cate Biggs, Kathleen and Keith Cargill, Cate and Jeremy Ford, Lauren and Stephen Swann, Katie and Nathan Walters, Amy and Chase Laws, Dr. Nathan and Katie Walters, Cecilie and Ronnie Holman, Melinda and David Emmons, Dr. John and Radha Michels, Bunny and Harold Ginsburg and Anne and Kathy Musgrave gave him a standing ovation.
Not only did the evening raise crucial funds for deserving families to have comfort, shelter and support in their time of need, it also created one more gift. As the dancing was in full swing, CEO Jill Cumnock pulled the Hylands to one side, and gave them some surprise news. The donor who had purchased the trip to Hawaii in the evening’s live auction had gifted it back to the Hylands.
The family will get their trip to Hawaii after all.
* Photo credit: Rhi Lee