When the 2019 Fur Ball patrons gathered at Milan Design + Build’s mansion on Thursday, September 12, they had more than fine food and beautiful surroundings. In addition to an award being presented to Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, there was news about the the SPCA of Texas‘ permanent leadership. Here’s a report from the field:
It was a night of champagne, cheers and celebration on Thursday, September 12, at the SPCA of Texas’ annual Fur Ball Patron Party. Ecstatic animal lovers, SPCA of Texas supporters and excited staff and volunteers like Ted Kindcaid, Gus Hinojosa, David Kubes, Donna and Brian Loughmiller, Katy Murray, Hiren Patel, Christina and Chase Sanders, Sonja McGill, Christie Choi, Brian Curtis, Russell E. Dealey, Giana DePaul, Lisa and Christopher Fox, Pamela Graham and Phil Hixon, Kristen and Scott Greenberg, Maureen and Joe Hafertepe, Cindy and Don Lindsley, Jennifer Lindsley, John Mayfield, Carol Nelson, Betsy Orton and Sharon Fancher, Matt and Mary Metz, Marsha Pendleton-Gray and Dr. Richard Gray, Joan Rogers, Alicia and Alan Skinner, David Soto, Susie Swanson, Karen Urie, Anja and Jeff Woodson and Randy Zoetewey crowded into the handsome French country-style home designed by Milan Design + Build LLC in Old Preston Hollow, enjoying the panoramic views from the floor-to-ceiling windows and awaiting a very important announcement, as the early evening sunset bathed everyone in gold.
The 2019 Fur Ball Family, Co-Chairs John and Lana Payne and their children and Co-Chairs Katherine Payne and Jacob Payne, kicked off the night’s festivities. John thanked the Fur Ball Committees and Auction Co-Chairs, Sandra Fite and Julia Howard, Auction Co-Chair Amber Camper and Underwriting Chair Arlene Kirkland for their tremendous work and effort on making Fur Ball 2019 the best yet.
Next up was the SPCA of Texas’ Board of Directors Vice-Chair Steve Atkinson with a special announcement. The cheerful crowd gasped and applauded as Atkinson revealed that Interim President/CEO Karen Froelich was the organization’s new, official President and CEO, effective immediately.
“Karen is a dedicated and passionate leader,” said Atkinson. “And, over the past months, it has become increasingly clear that she is the right person to lead the SPCA of Texas as we continue in our mission to provide every animal exceptional care and a loving home.”
Froehlich thanked the crowd, saying she is excited for the future of the organization and is honored to take on the roll. Finally, SPCA of Texas Senior Vice President for Development Debra Burns pumped up the crowd, adding in her thanks to the Payne family and the Auction Committee for such a splendid evening. The night’s surprises didn’t stop there. Burns and Fur Ball Auction Chair Sandra Fite also presented a special gift to Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones for their continuous support, which has saved the lives of countless animals.
Guests chatted and wandered through the gorgeous home while listening to the harpist, Cindi Horstman, play classical musical and the Beatles interchangeably. Fifteen seniors from Jesuit were there promoting the Fur Ball raffle and providing hospitality. All while enjoying samplings of delightful nibbles, including a tomato bruschetta crostini, grilled beef tenderloin with mini homemade yeast rolls and mini crab cakes served Aioli sauce. Assorted petit sweets and chocolate dipped berries polished off the decadent menu, all thanks to Preston Hollow Catering. All while sipping on wine, thanks to Burgundy Swine, and the night’s specialty drink, the “Corgi Cocktail”, with lemonade, vodka, a lemon wedge and garnished with a mint, thanks to Tito’s Vodka for Dog People.
The SPCA of Texas is grateful to Susie Swanson and Milan Design + Build LLC (Scott Trahan and Eric Mistrata) for welcoming the cheerful crowd into the lovely home, which was decorated with various breathtaking, beautiful and exotic purple flowers and stunning greenery provided by Simply Elegant. Spectacular valet service was provided by Gold Crown Valet Company.
The event was held to thank all of the donors and sponsors of the SPCA of Texas’ Fur Ball 2019 to be held on Saturday, September 21, at the Hyatt Regency.
* Photo credit: Joseph Brewster Photography