While the youngsters were over at Gilley’s for the Junior Symphony Ball on Saturday, February 4, Dallas CASA‘s Young Professionals were fundraising and raising fun at the annual CASAblanca benefiting Dallas CASA. Thanks to Event Co-Chairs Anuka Dhakal, Brooke Donaldson and Melissa Wong, the good-looking crowd including Cristina and Michael Swartz, Kiana and Rob Calderin, Douglas Brown, Jade and Cooper Page, Caroline Montgomery, Steve Stroud, Ariel Cordova, Sara Zoglman and Lauren and Kevin Williams were having a great time dancing, cocktailing, grazing and gaming. Here’s a report from the field:
After nearly a week at home due to Dallas’ ice storm and the night before February’s full snow moon, guests were thrilled to be dressed up and out at Dallas CASA Young Professional’s CASAblanca.
The casino night, the YP group’s largest annual fundraiser, raises funds for the child victims of abuse and neglect served by Dallas CASA. Funds raised go to recruiting, training and supervising community volunteers who advocate for these children in court, with the goal of child safety and restoring their childhoods.
A sold-out crowd of more than 400 attendees had more room to move around, as Dallas CASA had a bigger space this year at The Hall on Dragon. Guests entered through a long, red-carpeted hallway and were greeted with bubbling dry ice CASA-ritas, before entering the large, open party space. A few tickets remained until a cold front started to blow through Dallas and had people thinking ahead to their plans for the weekend. Tickets sold out just before the ice storm hit.
Guests enjoyed tables of roulette, blackjack, poker and craps while the evening’s entertainment, The Special Edition Band sponsored by Lone Star Cadillac, played and performed pop songs for the crowd. Dressed in tuxedos, long, brightly-colored gowns, sequins, sparkles and heels, guests filled the dance floor all night long.
Dallas CASA board members Corey Anthony, Jonathan Bassham, Jamal Carty, Greg May, Juan Nevarez, Nicki Stafford, Megan Sterquell and Linda Swartz were there to support, bringing crowds of friends along with them.
Guests enjoyed passed appetizers like honey walnut shrimp, Vietnamese spring rolls, spicy chili chicken and mac and cheese balls, as well as a vegetable fried rice station with shiitake mushrooms and baby boy choy. A late night snack of fried chicken biscuit sliders was a parting treat on the way out.
The silent auction attracted special interest this year with items geared toward a crowd of under-40 professionals including golf outings, a Texas Rangers suite for 18, headshots, comedy show tickets, fancy dinners at area restaurants, local hotel staycations, brewery tours, pickle ball, mahjong and weekends away.
* Photo credit: Ray Carlin ** Photo credit: Jim Cowsert, Grapevine Photo