Linda McMahon seemed pleased. As gowned and tuxedo’ed guests jammed the Hilton Anatole’s Chantilly Foyer to the max on Thursday, April 26, the president and CEO of The Real Estate Council was beaming about the success of Fight Night’s 30th anniversary celebration. The party featuring boxing, great food, casino gaming and Vegas-style entertainment is always one of Dallas’ biggest annual fundraising events, and tonight’s was no exception.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars would be raised for the Dallas Catalyst Project via the TREC foundation, and McMahon was buoyed by a turnout that in the end would top 1,400 guests. “We have 19 former Fight Night chairs in attendance, and 10 former TREC chairs,” she said. “We’ve also sold more tables this year, because it’s our 30th anniversary.”
Not far away, one of those former Fight Night chairs, Carol Reed, was seen rushing by, dressed in hot pink. A little further on, as Hunter Sullivan and his six-piece band cranked out cocktail tunes like “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” Lolette May was greeting old friends. Lolette, it seems, had just left a position in the nonprofit world to return to the title game with Old Republic Title.
Hunter’s set over, the crowd poured into the Chantilly Ballroom and began looking for their tables (no easy task, as the fancy-scripted numbers were hard to tell apart). A big boxing ring loomed high in the middle of the room as the white-swallow-tail-coated waiters and waitresses—the former in long pants, the latter in “shorts” and black nylons—scurried helpfully about.
At one table, Colleen and Dave Fazio (she’s with Jack Fraker‘s team at CBRE; he’s Steve Leiberman‘s right-hand man at The Retail Connection) enjoyed visiting with Trisha Ewert, who works for Kensington Vanguard National Land Services. They as well the other guests enjoyed the meal including a salad of Fresh Butter Lettuce/Mandarin Orange and Fresh Strawberries/Crumbled Goat Cheese and Slivered Almonds, and then the excellent entree: Grilled Filet of Beef, Mushroom Duxelle and Cognac Cream, Risotto Cake, Rainbow Chard and a Braised Carrot. Desserts were Blueberry Lemon Toasted Meringue or Layered Chocolate Truffle Cake.
Then, along with remarks by emcee Mark Elfenbein, TREC Chairman Ran Holman, and Chris Hipps, chairman of Fight Night XXX, some high-profile personages were recognized. They included City Council members Tennell Atkins and Kevin Felder and pro athletes Derek Harper, Terrance Smith, and Tyrone Crawford. A slick special video recounting Fight Night’s origins in 1989 was shown, and former middleweight boxing champ Marvelous Marvin Hagler climbed into the ring to take a bow.
Finally, with legendary ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. at the mic, it was time for the evening’s three boxing bouts to begin. While the first match-up pitting Tennessee’s Eric Bossler against Terry Chapwood of Arkansas ground on (Chapwood would win it with a unanimous decision), Linda McMahon made the rounds of all the tables, accepting congratulations for a great night. “I’m so chill!” she exclaimed. “I’ve even changed into my bejeweled flip-flops.” And sure enough, she had.
* Photo credit: James Edward