What: Heroes in Disguise Great Gatsby Gala
Where: Union Station
The 411: Ladies and gents got dolled up for a night of Great Gatsby-themed fun and fundraising for Heroes for Children in late September.
The night started with a cocktail reception (a special key got you access to a speakeasy) and chance to bid in an expansive silent auction of fabulous packages that ranged from music memorabilia to local art to dining experiences.
When the dinner bell rang, the crowd filled the Union Station ballroom and sat down to a dinner, provided by Wolfgang Puck Catering, that starred a delectable braised short rib.
American Idol alum Ron Bultongez serenaded with a special performance before welcome remarks were offered by Heroes for Children founders Larissa Linton and Jenny Scott. Executive Director Julie Siegel emphasized the organization's mission: to provide a community of support, including social and financial assistance, to Texas famlies with a child battling cancer.
Honorary chair Jo Trizila took the stage to deliver the keynote address of the night. She spoke touchingly of her personal health journey, having survived a life-threatening illness as a child. She recounted the difference that community support made in her own family’s life during their battle and underscored how important it is to provide that for families going through similar circumstances.
"Unfortunately, today, we are faced with a growing list of families we simply cannot support and there is no where else for them to turn," said Trizila, who is also a board member. "Just this year we have had to say no to 200 families. Our average gift to a family is $800 and we have had to say no. Thankfully, we have you to turn to. Texas families know that people like you and events like tonight help Heroes for Children do what they do."
After a few tears were wiped away, Trizila — along with event co-chairs Mandy Lu Ristow and Morgan Hallman — offered a toast to the 15th anniversary of Heroes for Children's impact in the community.
Mike Sadler conducted a spirited live auction of exclusive items including getaways to Monte Carlo, Argentina, and Crested Butte. Bidding got especially competitive for a private performance by Bultongez. It went for $5,000 not once but twice. A "live ask" portion saw hands flying up around the room to donate in amounts from $1,000 to $100.
After a few final celebratory remarks, half the crowd filled the dance floor to dance the night away, while the other half headed to the 1920s-style casino to roll the dice for a sweet ending to the night.
When all the receipts were counted, the gala raised over $202,500 in support of Heroes for Children's mission.
Who: Mel Butler, Jill Russell, Paul Freddo, Megan Freddo, Brandy Dalton, Leah Phillips, Eric Phillips, Stephanie Lee, Danny Lee, Adrianna Wrenske, Helena Banks, Kenneth Gay, Bob Manzano, and Michelle Capraru.