There was little chance those attending the Yellow Rose Gala wouldn’t shed a tear during the evening. But that’s to be expected when event chairman Fallon Wynne Way, herself a new mother, resurrected one of the city’s most cherished charitable events to carry on her mother’s legacy.
Fallon’s mother, the late Dee Wynne, launched the fundraiser 30 years ago to raise money for multiple sclerosis, a disease from which she suffered. For 16 years, she inspired Dallas’ most charitable residents — and helped wrangle big-deal entertainers such as Marie Osmand, The Eagles, Stevie Nicks, and Trisha Yearwood — in an effort to fund MS research.
Fallon, together with father Jimmy, brother Todd, as well as the siblings’ spouses, saw the return of the Yellow Rose Gala April 2 at the Renaissance Hotel. It was a beautiful mix of those who actively attended the parties under Dee’s reign and a young crew of devoted committee members rallied around the Wynne children.
The crowd swelled outside the ballroom, where attendees perused the silent auction items, posed for pictures in front of a beautiful wall of yellow roses, and lined up for the Kendra Scott jewelry social media giveaway. They also formed a queue for a flute of champagne spiked with Sugaire cotton candy, a concoction dreamed up by Yasmeen Tadia.
Guests also were encouraged to download the Yellow Rose Foundation app, which made it easy to keep tabs on the auction items, learn about the speakers, get notifications about the schedule, and donate (of course).
As attendees dined on a fine three-course meal, emcee Lauren Przybyl kept the program moving smoothly, including speeches from the Wynne family, remarks from Cyndi Zagieboylo and Timothy Coetzee of the National MS Society, and a surprise Dee Wynne Courage Award presentation for Jane Lombardi. All parts stirred heartfelt emotion and, yes, some tears — especially a video explaining the evening’s purpose: to further research for progressive MS, the most stubborn and elusive kind, for which there are no drugs currently.
A proper gala must include live auction and entertainment, and the Yellow Rose delivered on both. A highlight from the former included a beautiful South Sea pearl necklace donated by William Noble Rare Jewels, which brought in $45,000 — a steal when you consider it retails for $88,000. As for the latter, that came in the form of a performance by disco queen Gloria Gaynor, who got everyone on the dance floor with a set of her classic hits.
Upon departure, partygoers — including Caitlin Rutland, Jon Lueders, Shannon Nelson, Taylor Mallia, Ken Carson, Kim Dale, Rachel Cannon, Shelby Strodel, Don Perry, Alex Flink, and Natalie and Justin King — received a bag full of goodies, from a bag of Live Love Pop popcorn to a jar of Yellow Rose marmalade. They were also handed a warm cookie courtesy of Tiff’s Treats.
To be sure, it was a night in which these dedicated children made their mother very proud.