A sold-out crowd of nearly 500 of Dallas' most festive and charitable young professionals gathered at the Hall on Dragon for an evening of glamorous casino games and making a difference.
They were there to support the nonprofit Dallas CASA, which provides volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children living in protective care. Dallas CASA's Young Professionals and the Hiduke Fundation threw a blowout bash for the fourth annual CASAblanca, with event co-chairs Reasha Hedke, Elise Nichols, and Dana Swann making attendees feel like James Bond with poker, blackjack, craps, and roulette.
The guests themselves added a splash of color to the all-white space, with Dallas CASA board members Corey Anthony, Jonathan Bassham, Janice Davis, Erin Jesberger, Woody McMinn, Scott Orr, Cynthia Pladziewicz, Linda Swartz, board chair Bob Schleckser, Young Professionals president Kenneth Wherry, and Dallas CASA president and CEO Kathleen LaValle in attendance.
In addition to posing on the red carpet and at the photo booth, guests could bid on fitness classes, arts and sporting event tickets, artwork, a lake house weekend, airplane tickets, and a golf outing in the silent auction. At the end of the evening, everyone's winnings transferred to raffle tickets that could win an evening at The Statler, a cosmetics party, restaurant gift cards, and a massage.
Child advocate and Young Professionals member Megan Sterquell spoke to the crowd about her experience serving children in need, reminding everyone of the purpose for the evening.
In between nibbling on passed appetizers such as truffle mac and cheese balls, Vietnamese spring rolls, walnut and ginger crispy shrimp, and beef meatballs with marinara sauce, supporters got down on the dance floor to the sounds of the 10-piece Special Edition Band. Passed cheesecake and brownie bites signaled the sweet evening was coming to an end, and on their way out the door, attendees were given a chicken and biscuit sandwich for the ride home.
CASAblanca began as a way to raise awareness among young Dallas citizens of the critical role an advocate can play in the life of a child living in foster care. Dallas CASA Young Professionals is an outreach, volunteer, and fundraising arm for Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). The group is open to anyone ages 21 to 40 who wants to make a difference in the lives of abused children.