Unlike days of yore when ladies and their gents arrived together, today’s couples are coming from different commitments for a mutual occasion. A perfect example of 2023 “dating” was the Ability Connection‘s Vine And Dine on Thursday, April 6, at Arlington Hall.
While Event Co-Chair Debbie Francis was putting all the dots on the “i”s and crosses on the “t”s, she was also introducing Mary Tindall to friends. It seems that their connection got its start through the Center for BrainHealth. So, when Debbie said she needed a volunteer to help with the silent auction, Mary was more than willing to step up.
In the meantime, Jim Francis arrived minutes later just before Event Co-Chairs Sharon and David McCullough, Libby and Al Allred, Helen and John Carona, Allie Beth Allman, Paul Stafford, Lisa and Clay Cooley, Marilyn and Ben Weber, Evening’s Honorees Meredith and Jack Woodworth and auctioneer Dean McCurry in a silvery, glittering jacket.
Another couple coming from separate directions were Tucker Enthoven in hot, sherbet pink pantsuit arriving first and keeping an eye out for husband Rich Enthoven, who was stuck in traffic.
Looking over the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd in the lobby’s cocktail reception, Ability Connection President/CEO Jim Hanophy told how the evening’s big news was the move for Ability Connection from its Harry Hines location to Las Colinas that meant an additional 7,000-square feet for their clients and staff.
He smiled as he told that despite the move not taking place until Monday, May 1, already “new neighbors Big XII Conference, among other wonderful volunteers from other corporate groups, have stepped up. In fact, a rather large group from Citi is coming to the new location on Monday, May 15, to help us unpack the Training Center to prepare to open for our members that Wednesday, May 17. We truly have some good friends!”
Backstory: Founded in 1953, the Cerebral Palsy Women’s Guild “quickly became the largest women’s volunteer group in Dallas and the most pre-eminent! Membership was by invitation only; then we put you to work! Each year the Ball became more extravagant and fundraising increased. Over the years, millions of dollars were raised which provided therapy, transportation, respite care, residential support and life training for countless individuals.” Eventually it transitioned into today’s Ability Connection that “enriches the lives of people with disabilities.”
In recognition of the Guild’s work, members like Marilyn Klepak were on hand as well as Paige Locke, whose mother Billie Lee Rippey was one of the Guild’s original organizers.
Due to the overwhelming response, organizers had to set up additional tables in the adjoining room. Before starting the program, WFAA Daybreak Co-Anchor/the evening’s emcee Kara Sewell slipped into a side room. Seems her husband/WFAA Morning New Editor Nick Parker had suggested that her lipstick needed a little refreshening.
Then it was on with the night of wining, dining and bidding.