It was 30 years after Conrad Hilton opened his legendary Statler Hilton Hotel that Aware took up the battle against Alzheimer’s in 1989. So, Aware President Venise Stuart and Aware Affair Co-Chairs Jolie Humphrey and Josey Kennington picked the revitalized Statler for their annual fundraiser on Friday, April 13.
And fitting the earlier life of The Statler, they arranged to have a couple of llamas on hand like their predecessor Llinda Lee Llama did back in the ’50s.
While the party raised the roof and funds, the valet parking raised some to wonder if they should have checked in for the night. Here’s a report from the field:
Guests were truly surprised at the opportunity to take selfies and have photo ops with llamas representing former Hollywood and Broadway star Llinda Lee Llama at the Aware Affair “Celebrate the Moments – A Modern American Evening” at the newly renovated Statler. The legendary Llinda Lee Llama was the famous llama that stayed for two weeks at the former Hilton Hotel by owner Conrad Hilton during the 1959 Neiman Marcus Fortnight. There is even a statue by Brad Oldham commemorating her status as a cultural ambassador in The Statler’s rooftop pool/spa area.
Gala chairs Jolie Humphrey and Josey Kennington took the celebration a step further with the JoJo signature cocktail mixed with a special recipe including Elderflower liqueur from donor Glass vodka in a commemorative brass cup. It was so popular, it sold out early in the evening.
Guests like Stacey and Charles Angel, Janet and Jack Broyles, Carla and Pat Hrncir, Bart Humphrey, Craig Kennington, Chris and Clark Kennington, Evelyn Ponder, Dyann Skelton, Therese and Chris Rourk, Carol Stabler, Larry Stuart, Sharon Walker and Penny Reid and Thomas Nolan mingled and bidding was competitive on the fabulous silent auction items accompanied by musicians from the trio L’Aquestra. Aware president, Venise Stuart welcomed the crowd and introduced Rev. Nicole Bates from Westminster Presbyterian Church for the invocation.
The savory three-course dinner included a first course of profound microgreens and a second course of NY strip with a Szechuan steak sauce and poached shrimp with mushroom trio. The supper was finished off with individual dessert plates of cream puffs, smoked chocolate ganache brownies and pumpkin cheesecake.
Emcee Ron Corning began the evening welcoming everyone, thanking underwriters and introducing Honorary Co-Chairs Kim and David McDavid Jr. An emotional video was shown about her being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. The McDavids were joined on stage by Jolie and Josey, who presented them with a lovely crystal host gift.
Gifts were also presented to Whitney Taylor Long, Patrick Mancenido and Haili Rumsey, who represented honorees BvB Dallas, the powder-puff football game and fundraiser young professionals support group for their efforts over the past nine years raising over $3.5 million and recruiting over 1,000 volunteers to help with Alzheimer’s research and care in North Texas.
Honoring the memory of Frances B. Chantilis, the chairs were joined by her family, Cheryl and Sam Chantilis, M.D. and Stephanie and Bennie Bray.
In announcing the awards, a video shared the story of Amy Osler, the namesake of the Amy Osler Spirit of Education Leadership Award that is given to an Aware member who has demonstrated a high level of leadership in educating members and the general public about Aware, its mission and Alzheimer’s disease. Amy became involved with Aware a few years ago shortly after she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Amy has used her public speaking background and her story to help bring about awareness of this horrible disease. Joined by her husband Greg Osler, Amy presented Holly Hull Miori with the 2018 Award.
Recognition was also given to the Myrna D. Schlegel/AWARE Scholarship Fund, which for over two decades has awarded scholarships to nursing students from Baylor and Texas Women’s University to further their studies in the field of gerontology, especially dementia. This year’s recipients were Nora Drutz-Rogney of Baylor University and Lindsay Ross of Texas Christian University.
Special thanks was also given to Patron Party hosts D’Andra Simmons Lock and Jeremy Lock for opening up their wonderful home to underwriters just a few days earlier.
One of the highlighted of the live auction was David McDavid Jr., who auctioned off his purple jacket, the signature color representing Alzheimer’s Awareness.
Membership in Aware is open to the public and more information is available by visiting the website at AwareDallas.org
2018 Aware Grant Recipients are: Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Center for BrainHealth’s Discovery Group, Dallas Museum of Art, Jewish Family Service, Juliette Fowler Communities, NorthPark Presbyterian Church’s Casa de Vida, Texas Winds Musical Outreach, Presbyterian Communities And Services Foundation, The Senior Source’s Senior Companions, UT Southwestern Medical Center, The Myrna D. Schlegel Aware Scholarship Fund.
Unfortunately, the fun times slowed down when guests picked up their cars for the ride home. Despite the evening’s program telling guests,
Prior to departing tonight, be sure to text valet for your car. Please allow a minimum of 10 minutes for car retrieval. See your valet ticket for details.”
For some that 10 minutes last more than a half hour. Perhaps they should have hitched a ride on one the llamas or just checked in for the night.
* Photo credit: Dana Driensky and Matthew Shelley