On the night the CDC declared masks could come off for vaccinated individuals — Thursday, May 13 — a coterie of Dallas philanthropists gathered in the Nasher Sculpture Center Gardens for one of the first in-person fundraisers in the city since the coronavirus pandemic began more than a year ago.
And ReuNight for The Family Place couldn't come a moment too soon. The Dallas agency's family violence shelter suffered severe damage when pipes burst during February's winter storm, forcing them to quickly move more than 100 clients to offsite locations. (It was one of two Dallas shelters devastated by the storm, and the one that did not receive a new roof from royalty.)
While Dallas poured out generosity in the days and weeks afterwards, the Safe Campus is still being repaired, and The Family Place’s clients are still living at an extended stay hotel three months later. The funds raised from ReuNight will help with crucial repairs — including new flooring coming in June — with the hope that displaced clients can return by July, representatives say.
The elegant evening dinner party, attended by just 150 people in an all-outdoor setting, was co-chaired by Kristen Sanger and Lisa Singleton with Kristy and Patrick Sands as honorary chairs. Patrons were welcomed by Family Place board chairman Harold Ginsburg, CEO Paige Flink, and vice president of development Melissa Sherrill.
Guests — including Stephanie Hollman, Travis Hollman, Marisa Howard, Joyce Goss, Max Trowbridge, Gonzalo Bueno, Michael McCray, Forrest Gregg, Robby Sturgeon, Lindsay Jacaman, Jennifer Dix, Kris Johnson, Kristi Hoyl, Greg Hext, Kim Hext, Pat McEvoy, and Charles McEvoy — first mingled at a cocktail reception. Glasses of HALL wines were kept full and hors d'oeuvres from Wolfgang Puck Catering were passed as the Dallas String Quartet serenaded.
When it was time for dinner, guests were led into a pretty outdoor dining setting among the modern sculptures, where tables had been amply socially distanced and decorated with chic florals by Bryan Long of Grey Gardens Florist. They dined on Roasted Filet Mignon, Shanghai Lobster Tail, Chocolate Hazelnut Dome Cake, and more.
During dessert, Louis Murad with Murad Auctions led a spirited live auction of six swoon-worthy packages of jewelry, trips, experiences, and memorabilia, including an autographed game-played basketball and jersey by Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Dončić. The evening concluded with an energetic Raise the Paddle, enhanced with a matching gift by an anonymous donor.
While a spokeswoman for the organization was not able to reveal the dollar figure raised at the event, "The Family Place did excitedly exceed their goal for the evening," she says.
Since 1978, The Family Place has empowered victims of family violence by providing safe housing, counseling, and skills that create independence while building community engagement and advocating for social change to stop family violence. To find out more about their critical work in Dallas, visit the website.