During the fall in Dallas, there are more charitable events than one can possibly attend, from luncheons with powerhouse speakers to celebrity-studded formal affairs. But in between is the intimate and sophisticated TACA Custom Auction Gala, recently held for the 10th time at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.
A fundraiser of this kind feels so very civilized, with guests kissing cheeks and chatting over Patron cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvre in the hotel’s beautifully lit promenade. There waiting were chairs Dianne and Mark LaRoe, who solicited help from Dean Fearing. The celebrity chef returned to his old stomping ground with squeeze Wanda Gierhart, and the couple served as honorary chairs.
Also during the reception, arts-minded attendees got a sneak peek at the live auction packages, detailed in programs lying on cocktail tables. Among the experiences up for bid were a getaway to Lake Austin Spa Resort, an artistic retreat in Marfa, an African safari, and a trip to the 2017 Emmy Awards.
Bidders contemplated their strategies over a seated dinner dreamed up by Mansion chef de cuisine Nick Walker: scallop crudo with tomato conserva, saffron aioli, and shrimp cracker served on an actual scallop shell, and a lamb duo (roast loin and crisp neck) with port mustard, fennel, and Swiss chard. Tables were scattered throughout the bar, dining room, wine cellar, and private dining rooms, and musicians from from Tuesday Nite Jazz and Fine Arts Chamber Players performed while everyone dined.
After dinner, it was back to the promenade for desserts from pastry chef Nicolas Blouin, music from New Ground Band, and the real action of the evening: the live auction led by auctioneer Kimberly Serrano of Heritage Auctions. To help TACA in its mission were Barbara and Don Daseke, Rachel and John Michell, Roslyn Dawson, Nadine Jones, Ken Villalovos, D’Andra Simmons and Jeremy Lock, Katie and Lawrence Bock, and Gowri and Alex Sharma.
Funds raised from the auction, ticket sales, and sponsorships from businesses like Deutsche Bank Wealth Management allow TACA to help 50 local performing arts organizations.
Established in 1967, The Arts Community Alliance (TACA) champions artistic excellence in North Texas performing arts organizations and encourages innovation, collaboration, and engagement through financial support, stewardship, and resources. Since its inception, TACA has distributed more than $24 million to emerging and established performing arts organizations with budgets from as little as $27,000 to as much as $30 million.