What: Boots & Salutes
Where: Equest at Texas Horse Park
The 411: More than 350 military members, horse lovers, and supporters gathered for a patriotic evening that benefited veterans. Equest’s second annual Boots & Salutes, a USO-themed fundraiser, was a sold-out event led by chair Carolyn Anderson. It raised over $93,000 for Hooves for Heroes, a program that helps warriors and their family members attain wellness through equine-facilitated therapies and activities while they transition to civilian life. Proceeds from Boots & Salutes will be matched by a Texas Health and Human Services grant.
The evening began at sunset with signature cocktails, a welcome from an 8-foot tall Uncle Sam, a World War II T-6 Texan fly-over, and Presentation of Colors by VVA 920 Honor Guard. Emcee William “Wags” Wagasy, retired Navy SEAL special operations chief, took the stage and paid tribute to six WWII veterans and additional military and first responders in attendance, as well as Veteran and Equest client Mike Maas, who received the first ever Mike Maas Circle of Excellence Award.
Patrons enjoyed cuisine from local restaurants including Asian Mint, Carlton Provisions, Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen, Haute Sweets Patisserie, Lucky’s Café, Farm to Market Catering, Seasons 52, and Taco y Vino. Guests had the chance to bid on fabulous auction items, such as a custom-built playhouse. The lively music Jordan Kahn Orchestra kept the dance floor lively.
Since its founding in 2012, Hooves for Heroes has helped more than 600 veterans and military family members at no cost.
Who: Lili Kellogg, Andy Steingasser, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Cindy Thomas, Bert Headden, Lezlie and Bill Noble, Connie and Denny Carreker, Pam Dealey Petty and Michael Petty, Russell Dealey, Kathleen and Ban Bywaters, Kristin and Mike Reed, Linda and Ray Tunnell, Wendy Faye, Michael Pitrello, Rachel Casagrande, Sara Bergman, and Adam Bergman.