New Mexico Nights
Dallas nonprofit channels the spirit of Taos for 40th anniversary celebration
What: Spirit of Taos benefiting Wilkinson Center
Where: On the Levee
The 411: More than 170 attendees gathered in the Dallas Design District to support the Wilkinson Center on Friday, October 14.
Friends of Wilkinson Center president Ellen Estee and event chairs Shannon Hanberry and Ashley White welcomed Taos-attired guests to the ninth annual fundraiser while Ernesto’s Music Mariachi Band serenaded.
At dinner time, emcee Jenny Anchondo, host of CW33’s Inside DFW with Jenny Anchondo, emceed presentations from Wilkinson Center leadership, including executive director Anne Reeder Corley. She underscored the organization's mission to serve families facing critical life challenges, including food insecurity, lack of education, economic instability, and unemployment.
A video celebrated 40 years of Wilkinson Center, which was founded in 1982 when the Rev. Clayton Lewis, then pastor of Munger Place United Methodist Church, saw a child scouring a dumpster for food and resolved to help neighbors in need. The video featured interviews with Lewis’ sons Jim Lewis and Mark Lewis, Sande Wilkinson Ford, daughter- in-law of Ruby Wilkinson, for whom the Wilkinson Center is named, former executive director Brian Burton, and others.
A live auction conducted by Wes Poole of Murad Auctions got guests bidding competitively for fabulous packages and chances to give back to Wilkinson Center. Patrons then danced the night away to the live tunes of the Jimmy Stadler Band and stopped at a photo booth to take memorable photos of the night.
Who: Caitlin Maddox, Emily Hildebrand, Danielle and Ron Cooper, Heath Oakes, Marc Janni, Kara Janni, Holly Ross, Drew Ross, Meridith Zidell, Katy Lopez, Joanie Khoury, Suzi Nguyen, Kayla Hodge, Ashley Mallone, Charlie Morris, Lindsey Morris, Charles Morris, Carlin Morris, Caitlin Hyatt, Mike Hyatt, Kylie and Corey Nathan, Maddie Rhone, Derek Cohen, Alex MacKillop, and Avery Freese.