Passionate supporters shatter fundraising records at Park Cities Quail Dinner and Auction
Southerners take their game seriously, especially when it comes to hunting quail. The significant decline in the species has hunters concerned about the game and the environment, but Park Cities Quail is dedicated to quail research, preservation and education to help uncover the reason for the degeneration.
We were blown away by the 2013 Park Cities Quail Dinner and Auction at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. There was an unbelievable amount of passion filling the airy space, with a crowd of more than 1,000 devoted to the love of game, species and habitat.
To start, A.V. Jones Jr. was presented with a beautiful quail sculpture by Walter Matia upon accepting the T. Boone Pickens Lifetime Sportsman Award. Jones was honored for his love for the outdoors, generosity and respect for natural resources.
More than 100 of Jones' friends from his hometown of Albany, Texas, flew in to support the honoree. In his acceptance speech, Jones expressed his concern for the quail species. "When I was a kid, there were birds under each bush. I thought it would be that way forever. I was wrong," he said. "You are really the impetus. It's difficult to raise money for a pastime, but there are larger things at stake here, and you are a part of getting it fixed."
Sophisticates made eclectic fashion statements. The PCQ committee flaunted navy vests with the PCQ logo, and ladies donned everything from flirty dresses to jeans and boots. A source told us that when someone asked Jones what to wear to the evening affair he said, "Whatever [you] feel comfortable in, from camo to tux."
We were most impressed by the over-the-top auction items, which included a $150,000 Bahamas experience for 10; a pheasant shoot in Hungary; a dinner party by Kent Rathbun (who offered bidders the option to host the party in their home or his); a dinner in Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones' Ritz-Carlton penthouse, prepared by Dean Fearing; and a T. Boone Pickens hunting trip (on his Mesa Vista Ranch), which reeled in a whopping $280,000.
We're still awaiting the final tally, but event chair Jack Wilson said, "All records were shattered, and the fundraiser grossed over $1 million. We anticipate making record donations to beneficiaries."
PCQ will be accepting requests from potential quail research beneficiaries through May, and recipients will be announced in June.
Among the passionate supporters: Amanda and George P. Bush, Craig James, Searcy Woodall, Jim Hamby, Paige Puckett, Blake Sherrick, Jason Willaford, Gigi and Carl Allen, Jean Jones, William E. Tucker, and Christie Louise Smith.