Brook Hollow Golf Club had just gotten back into hosting major events the week before the Women’s Auxiliary of Equest Luncheon and Fashion Show. And it was a timely opening. Over the weekend it had turned the Club into a small city of tents to accommodate pandemic concerns and threats of rain for a Perot wedding.
While remnants of the wedding were still seen in the outskirts of the clubhouse, the Equest Women’s Auxiliary was the first non-profit to hold forth at the Club on Tuesday, October 5, and enjoy the return of the Club’s legendary pecan-crusted chicken breast with mesclun greens with maple balsamic dressing with dried cherries and apricots.
Still keeping with the COVID safety protocol, the usual crammed-to-the-walls ballroom was much more open thanks to fewer guests. But despite the decreased attendance, Women’s Auxiliary President Katie Layton and her mom/Luncheon Chair Beth Layton had managed to provide the much-needed funding for the equine therapy program.
Outside on the lush, green grounds was proof of how the program had made a difference in lives. Astride Amigo, Stacey Johnson looked ready to take on the day to fundraise for Equest. An Equest client for 25 years, she was also looking forward to her participation in the Special Olympics next summer in Orlando. Regardless of the outcome, Stacey, her mother Martha Johnson and Equest had accomplished so much since those early days when Stacey and Equest were just youngsters.
Another Equest client in her early days of accomplishment was Lyric Hawkins, who was joined by Equest mini-ambassadors 12-year-old Ranger and 21-year-old Dare. As her mom Traci Hawkins told folks, despite being diagnosed with 8p Inverted/Duplicate Syndrome at the age of three, Lyric was showing remarkable progress developing her muscles and improving her coordination and balance and reducing the chances of falling.
As guests checked in and purchased raffle tickets, Don Conlon was wearing a suit that had not seen light of day in over a year. He smiled that putting his tie on was a bit of a challenge. Wife Robyn Conlon was doing double duty. In addition to being the 2021 Equest Community Service Awardee, she was also cheering her granddaughter eight-year-old Quinn Conlon’s debut on the runway… Greeters Angie Kadesky and Patti Flowers laughed in the entry that they had been called to duty a quarter of an hour before the greeting was necessary.
Following a welcome by Katie and Beth, who recognized Honorary Chair Nancy Carter, a moving presentation by Equest CEO Lili Kellogg of the organization’s mission, and Equest Women’s Auxiliary Founder Louise Griffeth presenting Robyn with her award, it was time for the fashion show featuring clothes and accessories from Highland Park Village merchants (Akris, Carolina Herrera, Etro, Jimmy Choo, Lela Rose, Roller Rabbit, St. John, St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange and Veronica Beard).
Of course, the highlights of the fashion show were the kids in Roller Rabbit attire with the “Bunny Hop” playing in the background. Some of the younger ones seemed to airlift from the stage, while older ones stayed pretty much grounded. Bringing the whole purpose of the fashion show and the work of Equest to the stage were Annie and her sister/Equest client Elizabeth on the runway with help from her walker.
But the kid-scene-stealing wasn’t done yet. After the last Carolina Herrera fashion disappeared, the music went silent and the emptiness briefly led some to believe the show was over. Some guests looked confused; others showed signs of picking up their purses and heading to lunch on the Veranda.
Ah, but fashion producer Jan Strimple knew that timing was everything. At just the right moment, two too-cute-to-be-real flower girls (Mollie and Samantha) in St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange outfits with floral wreaths in their hair appeared on stage and made their way down the runway, showering the walk with rose petals from their baskets.
No sooner had they taken their place in front of the backdrop than a model appeared in a Herrera wedding gown. In addition to carrying off her walk down the catwalk perfectly with her train and veil, she then gently helped the youngsters to stand close to her for the finale.
And speaking of Herrera and weddings, word has it that Katie will be wearing a Herrera creation at her own wedding in the spring.
For additional looks and fashions of the day, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.