With the sun shining and a gentle breeze in the air on the evening of Thursday, May 12, the Nasher Sculpture Garden was simply ideal for 2022 ReuNight guests to wear their prettiest silks and floral patterns to be wined and dined at tables that stretched the length of the tree-shaded garden. But it wasn’t all sipping and supping. The purpose of the night was to raise funds for The Family Place and that was done thanks to a lively auction of luxury packages and a paddle-waving call for cash. Here’s a report from the field:
It was an enchanting “Evening in Provence” for a limited 175 guests at the annual ReuNight fundraiser benefiting The Family Place, Dallas-based family violence agency and largest service provider in Texas. On Thursday, May 12, at the refined Nasher Sculpture Center Garden guests like Deborah and John Scott, Stephanie and Travis Hollman, Jessica Nowitzki and Rajan Patel mixed and mingled amidst exquisite modern art to bring awareness to and raise money for ending domestic violence.
The weather held up perfectly after a warm start to the week, and guests dressed for the occasion arriving in elegant floral-inspired cocktail attire, some with a French-Provençal flair. The outdoor affair kicked off with passed Whispering Angel wines and hors d’oeuvres catered by Wolfgang Puck Catering passed during cocktail hour as guests meandered down the pink runway carpet to have their photo taken courtesy of photography sponsor GeneIQ. DJ Steffi Burns entertained guests as they strolled throughout the gardens and relaxed to socialize on the chic lounge furniture. ReuNight Co-chairs Marisa Howard, Roni Proter Kelly and Max Trowbridge along with Honorary Chair Shelle Sills mixed and mingled with guests, welcoming them into the gorgeous outdoor setting for the evening. Guests were even offered the luxury of lavender-scented ice towels to cool off throughout the warm outdoor evening.
“The Family Place could not have asked for a more perfect setting in which to ReuNight with friends old and new to raise crucial funds for our agency and mission,” shared The Family Place CEO Mimi Sterling.
For dinner, guests were led to the elegant outdoor dining setting that included architectural and chic floral arrangements by Bryan Long of Grey Gardens Florist, accompanied by place settings provided by Posh Couture Rentals, both of which complemented the modern art on display throughout the gardens. Each place setting was accompanied by a small piece of handmade art and a hand-tied bundle of lavender, made by a child at The Family Place.
Roni welcomed attendees to the evening’s event and programming and thanked Wolfgang Puck Catering for the exquisite gastronomical fare guests would enjoy throughout the evening. Marisa thanked the event host committee, top underwriters Nancy and Richard Rogers and Moll and Charlie Anderson, along with numerous top sponsors for their contributions to the event, including Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, The Durham Family Foundation, Headington Companies, “If Not You, Then Who?” Books – Emberli and David Pridham, Labora Group, the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, Kristy and Patrick Sands, Willis Towers Watson and valet sponsor Sewell Automotive, among many others. Max spoke about the inspiration for the evening’s event theme, the Jaquemus 2019 Spring Fashion show in lavender fields, and thanked top media sponsor PaperCity Magazine and Honorary Chair Shelle Sills for her commitment and support of the event and agency and introduced The Family Place CEO Mimi Sterling for additional comments.
Mimi warmly welcomed guests to the programming for the evening, thanking both them and the event co-chairs for their support, followed by sharing the impactful mission of The Family Place, updates regarding the agency after surviving the pandemic and Winter Storm Uri, and the power of saying “yes.” Mimi then introduced Shelle, who spoke about the importance of the work of The Family Place, its legacy over the years, and the ongoing significance of the agency’s annual fall fundraiser – Partners Card.
Wolfgang Puck Catering served a delicious meal for the evening. Once seated at the two long farm tables that expanded the length of the gardens, guests enjoyed a Potage Saint-Germain Soup and Haricot Vert Salad, followed by Tomato Confit Crusted Snapper and Filet Mignon. The evening’s menu was concluded with a delectable Farmer’s Market Berry Tart along with Triple Cream Camembert and Gruyère de Comté. Each course was accompanied by superb wine pairings.
During the dessert and French cheese course, Wendy Lambert with Lambert Auction Company led a spirited but intimate luxury live auction of six fabulous packages, including: a robust Bon Appétit dining experience for restaurants around Dallas, including an in-home chef experience with Roni Proter Kelly and Nikky Phinyawatana; a Shop, Dine, Spa l’Aventure for Five by Headington Companies with a custom clutch donated by Susie Straubmueller; a Dallas à Napa à Sonoma à Votre Santé wine trip for four with Gifting Brands gift cards; an Ultime Cordoba Golf et Hunting trip for four; a Casa Magnifica Costa Rica vacation for 11 guests; and a stunning ‘Let Me Wake in Golden Light’ art piece by Houston artist Kelli Vance donated by Cris Worley Fine Arts.
After the auction, domestic abuse survivor Susan Foster spoke to the audience about her journey in escaping domestic violence and the impactful role of The Family Place throughout the process, including their work with her children and how The Family Place inspires hope for brighter futures for victims of domestic violence.
The evening concluded with an energetic Raise the Paddle, enhanced with matching gifts by two anonymous donors. Through these donations alone, The Family Place raised enough funds to provide 3,027 nights of shelter beds for the men, women and children of domestic violence that they serve.
* Photo provided by The Family Place