On Saturday, September 14, The Hall on Dragon was transformed into a New Mexico festival thanks to the Wilkinson Center‘s Sixth Annual Spirit of Taos. From the greeting by a mariachi band to the live auction with a couple of getaway vacations and a gem of a timepiece, Event Chair Ellen Estee and her committee set the mood for fun and fundraising. Here’s a report from the field:
The Friends of Wilkinson Center, along with Event Chair Ellen Estee and Honorary Co-Chairs Missy Huber and Melanie and Jim Myers, were joined by 275 attendees at the sixth annual The Spirit of Taos presented by Highland Capital Management on Saturday, September 14, at The Hall on Dragon.
Upon arrival, patrons wearing Taos-inspired attire were welcomed by Ernesto’s Music Mariachi band as they entered the venue. Once inside, partygoers enjoyed Gin Gimlet and Bay Breeze cocktails, along with light bites, including sherry marinated tortellini kabobs, glazed honey walnut shrimp and Parmesan mini meatballs.
Guests mingled as they perused the silent auction featuring one-of-a-kind items and experiences, or purchased a chance in the gift card pull to be a guaranteed winner of a gift card to some of Dallas’ favorite restaurants. Raffle tickets were also available for chances to win one of four fabulous prizes: a weekend getaway to Taos, New Mexico; a custom suit from Q Clothier; a 14 karat gold and diamond ring from Halo Jewelry; and a Los Angeles getaway with VIP green room passes to Jimmy Kimmel! Live!, 50,000 American Airlines miles and more.
As guests took their seats for dinner, emcee Jenny Anchondo took the stage to welcome everyone to The Spirit of Taos and to thank all for their support of Wilkinson Center. Anchondo recognized event leadership and committee members, as well as the Friends of Wilkinson Center President Meridith Zidell.
The Special Edition Band began playing as partygoers like Anne and Terry Conner, Kelley and Mark McMahon, Scotti Hughes, Sloan Dix, Courtney Wise, Sara and Danny Matlock, Beth and Scott Johnson, Carly Allen-Martin, Lauran Cavenaghi, Logan Graham, Tiffany Sanford and Wilkinson Center Board President Kathy Koons enjoyed a dinner of chopped Romaine salad with candied pecans, dried cranberries and crumbled goat cheese followed by a slow-roasted beef brisket with sesame-hoisin au jus served with a potato torte and grilled asparagus. As a trio of mini desserts was enjoyed, Executive Director Anne Reeder took the stage and added her gratitude to all for their support of Wilkinson Center. She then introduced a newly produced video, which highlighted Wilkinson Center’s programs and client success stories.
Bidding for three exclusive live auction items got underway with auctioneer Filson Graham working the crowd for top bids. Auction packages included a Vermont getaway with three nights in a vacation home and American Airlines miles; a luxury Mexican vacation with up to seven nights stay at winner’s choice of Vidanta’s luxury one-to-two bedroom properties along the Mexico coast; and a Pieter Andries timepiece.
Honorary Co-Chairs Missy, Melanie and Jim closed out the auction with an ask to attendees to consider an additional donation as a “Gift of Love” to Wilkinson Center.
The Special Edition Band returned to the stage as revelers hit the dance floor, struck a pose at the photo booth or upped their bids in the silent auction.
As the evening came to a close emcee Anchondo wished everyone a final thank you and good night.
For more information visit wilkinsoncenter.org.
* Photo credit: Lisa Means