In 2016, two devoted children vowed to honor their mother’s legacy by resurrecting the powerhouse gala she founded to help raise money for multiple sclerosis research. Today, Fallon Wynne Way and her brother, Todd Wynne, are making momma Dee Wynne proud with a new Yellow Rose Gala that not only continues the fight to find a cure for MS, but also inspires the next generation of Dallas philanthropists.
Clearly undeterred by a surprising drop in temperature for the first weekend in April, those young professionals — including gala chairman Charlie Burford, Shannon and Tyler Nelson, Gillian Wiley, Adrienne Norris, Meaghan Viveros, Tracie Cirotto, Meredith Barnes, Rachel Koonsman, Mandi and Mac Schmitz, and Rebecca and Ryan Schultz — turned out in droves to the Renaissance Dallas Hotel. The evening’s theme, A Journey Through the Decades, was brought to life with models dressed in attire from the ’20s, ’50s, ’60s, and ’80s. Speaking of the ’80s, classic arcade games such as Mario Bros., Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong were there for the playing.
First on the agenda: taking snaps to share on social media. Some attendees posed on the EZGO golf cart (a raffle prize), while others clowned around in the photo booth with yellow rose backdrop (a gala staple). Once their pictures were posted to Instagram with hashtag #YellowRoseGala2018, partygoers could move on to the silent auction, to bid on items such as sports memorabilia, home décor, art, concert experiences, and jewelry.
With Yellow Rose whiskey cocktails in hand, guests continued to mingle until it was time to take their seats for the program emceed by the always charismatic Lauren Przybyl. Like most everyone in the room that night, the local TV personality has a personal connection to MS, making her a passionate advocate for the cause.
Highlights from the program included a live auction driven by Amanda Whatley, whose father, Randy Whatley, was the auctioneer at previous Yellow Rose events. Her charisma drove up the prices on once-in-a-lifetime packages like a fishing expedition in Chile and trip to Santa Fe on a private plane. On a more serious note, UT Southwestern’s Dr. Nancy Monson received the 2018 Dee Wynne Courage Award for her pioneering immunology work.
With the program wrapped, Starship could take the stage and guests could take the dance floor. The legendary band performed some of their greatest hits, like “Sara” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” as well as songs like “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit” from their Jefferson Airplane days.
But the fun didn’t stop with Starship. After-party band Empire 6 made sure these charitable young Dallasites got their money’s worth before heading home with warm cookies from Tiff’s Treats and memories of another successful soiree.