Girlfriends sip and shop at fashionable fundraiser for Tarrant County schools
With a name like Wine, Women & Shoes, how could the annual benefit for Communities in Schools not be THE girlfriend gathering of fall?
Hundreds of guests slipped into their strappiest stilettos, chicest cowboy boots, and most fab flats on October 5 and arrived at a sold-out event at Fort Worth's newest venue, the 4 Eleven, on the Near Southside. What awaited was a fun night of shopping, sipping, dining, and donating to an organization that directly affects students at 53 Tarrant County schools.
Co-chairs for the seventh annual edition, Tiffany Cason and Vaughna Galvin, planned an extravaganza that started with the chance to stroll and shop throughout the boutiques in the 4 Eleven building — Greenhouse 817, LTO, and Winton and Waits — all of which were giving 20 percent of purchases back to the cause. Wineries including Conundrum, Boisett Family, Wild Acre, and Quintessential set up stations in virtually every nook and cranny to pour sips and samples.
Outside, no one had to look too hard to find cute things to buy from the likes of Mustard Seed Jewelry and Stanley Eisenman Fine Shoes. That was thanks to 17 "Sole Men," who carried and presented shoes, jewelry, and accessories on silver platters. Doing their job ably were Fort Worth favorites Mike Micallef, Matt Dufrene, Bill Fairley, Beau Jennings, Hunter Witt, Ryan Barrerra, Dr. Johny Garner, and more.
When the doors opened to dinner, attendees found tables decorated with adorable floral centerpieces set in Campbell's soup cans and surrounded by "canvas painting" cookies on mini easels at each place setting. They dined on a delicious Reata dinner of spinach-strawberry salad, grilled chicken and salmon, mashed potatoes, and green beans; teeny-tiny Nothing Bundt Cake bundt bites ended the meal on a sweet note.
Emcee Michelle Rodriguez of 96.3 KSCS welcomed guests, who then bid fast and furiously for fabulous auction items. Big bucks were spent on an escape to Tuscany ($8,500, sold twice); dinner for six with mayor Betsy Price at Clay Pigeon ($2,500); and a trip to Napa Valley ($4,000, sold three times).
The evening's poignant highpoint came when Communities in Schools' Lindsey Garner interviewed two local students, Aylissa Hatter and Paulina Sifuentes, about their future dreams and plans. Guests then got the opportunity to contribute directly to the organization's life-changing programs.
Then the featured entertainment began — a fashion show produced by Karl Marshall Productions. Professional models were joined on the catwalk by celebrity models Becky Renfro Barbolla, Janet Hahn, Jennifer Kieta, Ana Martinez, Karen Molinar, Carolyn Phillips, and Gloria Starling. They showed off the latest cocktail, casual, and Western looks from Dillard's.
In the crowd, cheering them on were Marilyn Riner, Marion Snipes, T.K. Dorsey, Amy Rasor, Courtney Garner Lewis, Cortney Gumbleton, Marcelle LeBlanc, Megan Gee, Harriet Shields, Holli Davies, Laura Patton, Lindsay Klatzkin, Carley J. Moore, Liz Weaver, Terri Roberts, Paula Southard-Ramirez, and Karen Green. Every guest went home with a cute and clever favor bag — a shoe bag filled with goodies, including jars of locally made Mrs. Renfro's salsa.
Communities in Schools is the nation's leading dropout prevention organization. This academic year, it is serving more than 5,000 students with intensive case-management inside 53 Tarrant County schools.