Pretty young things

Dallas young professionals glam up for favorite autumn charity bash

Dallas young professionals glam up for favorite autumn charity bash

Aida Kurtanovic, Nejra Kurtanovic, Jenna Jenovic
Aida Kurtanovic, Nejra Kurtanovic, Jenna Jenovich Photo by WJNPHOTO
Daniela Gutierrez, Anderson Beene
Daniela Gutierrez, Anderson Beene Photo by WJNPHOTO
Sydney Betton, Monique Malooly
Sydney Betton, Monique Malooly Photo by WJNPHOTO
Adam Krause, Chris Martin
Adam Krause, Chris Martin Photo by WJNPHOTO
Akbar Dosani, Areebah Ajani
Akbar Dosani, Areebah Ajani Photo by WJNPHOTO
Nicki Tomlinson, Conrad Johnson
Nicki Tomlinson, Conrad Johnson Photo by WJNPHOTO
Jerrett Patton, Cassie Dickerson, Andrew Afifian
Jerrett Patton, Cassie Dickerson, Andrew Afifian Photo by WJNPHOTO
Donovan England, Maegan Houghton, Ed Devol, Sarah Baldwin
Donovan England, Maegan Houghton, Ed Devol, Sarah Baldwin Photo by WJNPHOTO
Chelsea Groux, Amanda Paun
Chelsea Groux, Amanda Paun Photo by WJNPHOTO
Vodi Cook, Andrew Welker
Vodi Cook, Andrew Welker Photo by WJNPHOTO
Camille Vandorpe, Arden Taylor
Camille Vandorpe, Arden Taylor Photo by WJNPHOTO
Autumn Ball 2018
Party-goers enjoy a performance by Goldfish. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Bryan Casad, Jessica Schuermann
Bryan Casad, Jessica Schuermann Photo by WJNPHOTO
Cory Wiley, Marina Peterson
Cory Wiley, Marina Peterson Photo by WJNPHOTO
Derek Brooks, Kaitlin Brashear
Derek Brooks, Kaitlin Brashear Photo by WJNPHOTO
Nicole Marciano, Jill Berger, Vincent Dvorian
Nicole Marciano, Jill Berger, Vincent Dvorian Photo by WJNPHOTO
Autumn Ball 2018
An interactive photo booth in front of a balloon wall was a popular stop. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Autumn Ball 2018
Selfie time. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Aida Kurtanovic, Nejra Kurtanovic, Jenna Jenovic
Daniela Gutierrez, Anderson Beene
Sydney Betton, Monique Malooly
Adam Krause, Chris Martin
Akbar Dosani, Areebah Ajani
Nicki Tomlinson, Conrad Johnson
Jerrett Patton, Cassie Dickerson, Andrew Afifian
Donovan England, Maegan Houghton, Ed Devol, Sarah Baldwin
Chelsea Groux, Amanda Paun
Vodi Cook, Andrew Welker
Camille Vandorpe, Arden Taylor
Autumn Ball 2018
Bryan Casad, Jessica Schuermann
Cory Wiley, Marina Peterson
Derek Brooks, Kaitlin Brashear
Nicole Marciano, Jill Berger, Vincent Dvorian
Autumn Ball 2018
Autumn Ball 2018

When shoes are kicked off in the first 20 minutes, it's the sign of a fun night ahead. So the strappy stilettos abandoned at the edge of the dance floor at 9:20 pm perfectly foreshadowed things to come at the 2018 Dallas Autumn Ball.

Glamorous young professionals 650 strong dressed to impress — ladies in long, shimmery, cut-to-there gowns and men in black tie — and arrived at Hotel ZaZa on November 9 ready to party. And event co-chairs Madison McKay and Taylor Markey did not disappoint.

Officially, Autumn Ball raises funds for Reading Partners of North Texas, which places community volunteers in low-income schools to help kids ages kindergarten through fourth grade master basic reading skills. Unofficially, it's the be-seen YP party of fall.

Once guests got their IDs checked — it's strictly 21 and up — they posed for photos on the red carpet, nibbled passed apps, and fueled up at the top-shelf open bar. While many sipped bubbly from orange plastic Veuve Clicquot flutes, others opted for signature Patron margaritas, and some went straight for martinis.

Those lucky enough to sport VIP wristbands mingled in an exclusive party lounge, where they filled their plates with mini burgers, fried chicken sliders, shoestring fries, and gruyere-garlic mac and cheese. But no one relaxed on the VIP couches for too long because the action was next door on the dance floor.

Favorite party band Emerald City started playing when doors opened at 9 pm, and they didn't come up for air until 10:30. Like grown-ups at prom, the young adults danced and sang along to songs that were hits before many of them were born. Spice Girls' "Wannabe" got girlfriend groups moving, Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping" saw some twists and twirls, and House of Pain's "Jump Around" accomplished exactly that.

Between songs, guests mugged for an interactive photo booth set up in front of a pretty white and gold balloon wall.

When Emerald City took its final bow, the crowd hushed so Autumn Ball founder Adam Kraus could grab the microphone to announce that the event would be donating $30,000 to Reading Partners. Every $1,000 helps one child, he said.

"For six years now, we have celebrated bringing young professionals [together] to raise money and awareness for a life-changing organization to impact kids right here in Dallas in a fun environment," he said. "It is a testament to our city that young people are carrying on that philanthropic mindset embedded here in Dallas."

Without missing a beat, party planners handed out foam glow sticks to every guest, adding colorful movement to the ballroom. Headlining band Goldfish — an electronic duo from South Africa that has played festivals such as ACL and Bonnaroo — kept the dance floor grooving until the very last party-goers grabbed their gift bags and Ubered home.

Founded in 2013, the annual Dallas Autumn Ball brings civic-minded young adults together in the name of giving back and celebrating charity in a festive, philanthropic environment. Since its inception, DAB has donated more than $150,000 to Dallas education organizations.

Spotted having a great time this year were Aida Kurtanovic, Nejja Kurtanovic, Jenna JenovichChelsea Groux, Amanda PaunSydney Betton, Monique MaloolyNicki Tomlinson, Conrad JohnsonAkbar Dosani, Areebah AjaniJarrett Patton, Cassie Dickerson, Andrew AfifianDonovan England, Maegan Houghton, Ed Devol, Sarah BaldwinCamille Vandorpe, Arden TaylorBryan Casad, Jessica SchuermannCory Wiley, Marina Peterson, Daniela Gutierrez, Anderson BeeneDerek Brooks, Kaitlin BrashearVodi Cook, Andrew WelkerNicole Marciano, Jill Berger, and Vincent Dvorian.