It was no wonder that the Equest mini-ambassadors didn’t make it to the Equest Style Show and Luncheon patron party at Highland Park Village’s Etro on Wednesday, September 11. The parking lot was so jammed that it was the topic du jour. Even the use of the valet services had been slo-mo. One guest recalled how s/he had waited 30 minutes for their car to be found earlier in the day.
But thanks to Etro Store Manager Melinda Rathke, the reward for the parking space search was a celebration for the Equest fundraiser’s key supporters.
Midway during the evening guests like Equest Women’s Auxiliary Founder Louise Griffeth, Auxiliary President Cara French, Style Show Co-Chairs Julianna LeBlanc and Julie Bagley, Style Show Honorary Chair Rusty Duvall, Di Johnston and Prissy Gravely heard a testimonial from Caitlin Laughlin about the difference that Equest had made for her daughter Elizabeth Laughlin, who has Mild Athetoid Cerebral Palsy. Sitting on grandmother Lisa Loy Laughlin’s lap, Elizabeth looked like any adorable five-year-old. But Caitlin told the crowd how the Equest program had made such a difference in Katherine’s dealing with her ability to stand and walk.
Equest CEO Lili Kellogg also pointed out that on this day that was the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, Equest’s work with vets was vital. She reported that despite the fact that each day 20 vets commit suicide, the benefit provided for vets working with horse therapy has been remarkable.
But perhaps the most touching moment of the evening was thanks to Rusty, who told how she had a very special place in her heart for those going through such physical challenges. It seems that Rusty’s mother had died in an iron lung suffering from polio.
Tickets are still available for the fundraising luncheon on Tuesday, October 1, at Brook Hollow Golf Club with fashion provided by Highland Park merchants and Lisa Troutt receiving the Community Service Award. And, yes, the mini-ambassadors will be on hand for selfies with guests.