Surrounded by bootleggers and baubled babes, Equest Development Director Christine Volkmer looked downright relieved on Friday, April 20. For the first time in recent years, she wasn’t worried about having guests bused to Texas Horse Park or having to face torrential storms. The decision was made to hold the raise-the-roof Equest Gala fundraiser at The Bomb Factory.
And as unsettling as it may have been for some to be partying in the former plant birthing bombs, Equest Ambassadors Cisco and Dare amazed one and all, like Rob Bertino and Patricia Generes, on how chill the miniature horses were. One insider nudged another claiming that the ponies with feathers placed between their ears were perfectly happy concentrating on their buckets of hay.
And the little horses fit right in with their attire since the “Equest After Dark Gala” invite had suggested cocktail, modern or vintage. While some of the guests like Kumar Vinnakota, Kathy and Michael DeLano and Beth and Chuck Thoele played it safe in cocktail attire, others like Equest Founder Susan Schwartz, Equest CEO Lili Kellogg, Floyd Crews, Gianna Millares and Lara Vinnakota went whole hog in clothes that would have made Al Capone feel right at home.
Leading the charge for the look of the night of babes, bids and booze were Event Co-Chairs Susan and Jon Farrier and Honorary Co-Chairs Sue and Ben Casey.
Schmoozing around were Pat and Charles McEvoy, Lynn and Allan McBee (he’s appearing in his fourth performance for The Dallas Opera), Etro’s Melinda Rathke, Cartier’s Bora Song and Denny Carreker, who despite his business suit look was accompanied by his jazz babies wife Connie Carreker, Brook Carreker and Stephanie Anderson.
The place was buzzing for the first hours as guests checked out the rows of silent auction items, the “Wheel of Fortune” and the bathtub sans gin. Then curtains were pulled back and the dining room was revealed for the three-course dinner. To keep up the night’s festivities, there was a dance floor where Arthur Murray dancers performed, a stage with emcee Jocelyn White and auctioneer Wes Pool getting the bids in for the live auction packages.
Afterwards, the night only continued with an after-party celebration that had the dance floor filled thanks to Emerald City.