Anticipation is always high for this major spring fundraiser for The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary and this year’s fashion show and luncheon, “Twenty Five Years of Giving,” lived up to and even surpassed all expectations.
“We are thrilled to report this year’s event was tremendously successful, selling more tables and resulting in more participation than ever before,” said Carmaleta Whiteley Felton, luncheon chair.
Smiles were all around and cell phones were brought out as guests took selfies with the nine-foot tall Ivy man – on stilts and covered in ivy – and the flower girl mannequin, covered in flowers – at the entrance.
There was an excited buzz among the crowd at the silent auction where bidding was active throughout the event. Dressing rooms were busy as ladies enjoyed shopping at the Couture Closet and Chic Boutique, which filled two rooms, set up and styled by Nerissa Von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb from partner TOOTSIES. Barbara Charlton, the first Chic Boutique chair, was on hand shopping and encouraging others to shop and get those couture fashions now!
Honorary chairs Myrna Schlegel and her daughters, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Kari Schlegel Kloewer and Krystal Schlegel, were joined by friends Jennifer Clark, Gene Jones, Kelly Green and Lee Ann White as they surveyed the silent auction and caught up on news and happenings. Also spotted in the crowd were Charlotte Jones Anderson, Brill Garrett and Candice Romo.
In the ballroom for the fashion show, runway seating was prime as almost 750 women were seated and emcee Ron Corning, WFAA news reporter, welcomed the crowd and presented Karen Dealy, president of the Women’s Auxiliary, who thanked everyone for their support in this 25th year. She highlighted some of the Auxiliary’s programs, describing the many volunteer activities: Back to School, Angel Tree and Kettles at NorthPark, Santa Sacks, and this annual Fashion Show and Luncheon, along with community service projects from serving meals at The Salvation Army Carr P. Collins Social Service Center to celebrating sobriety at its Adult Rehabilitation Center.
Carmaleta expressed heartfelt gratitude to the honorary chairs, thanking them for their continued support and all of their efforts on behalf of The Salvation Army. She then introduced a very special film tribute which featured many of the founders with interviews and personal recollections of the beginning of the Auxiliary.All of the Women’s Auxiliary founding members were then asked to stand and be recognized.
Introducing Margot Perot, Carmaleta said, “This is a special year as The Women's Auxiliary of The Salvation Army is celebrating its 25th year. Twenty-five years ago Margot Perot gathered a small group of women together in her home to form The Auxiliary. These First Ladies took a small fashion show and made it what it is today. So we celebrate these ladies with the theme of our show - Celebrating 25 years of Giving with Style. This year we are proud to give a legacy award titled the Margot Perot Award. Mrs. Perot's leadership has evolved into a membership of more than 400 women who want to serve God through serving others.”
Mrs. Perot took the stage and presented the Margot Perot Award to Betty Harlan, first Auxiliary President in 1993. Joining in the rousing applause with Margot were former First Lady Mrs. Laura W. Bush, Annette Simmons and Nancy Dedman.
The Salvation Army's Associate DFW Metroplex Commander, Major Barbara Rich, who took the stage along with her husband, Major Jonathan Rich, DFW Metroplex Commander, said The Salvation Army serves in every ZIP code in the United States. Mention was also made of a health-and-wellness workshop which is a pilot program following up with Angel Tree participants. A moving story of survival was shared which detailed a cancer survivor’s journey - she was not able to receive treatment because she did not have insurance and because of this program, she was connected to a source for treatment.
After the live auction of The Royal Chef Darren McGrady package, everyone moved from the runway area to the luncheon section of the ballroom. Maj. Jonathan Rich gave the invocation and lunch was served. Another surprise – well-known and very popular Cuban artist Rolando Diaz created a painting titled “Salvation’s Angel,” which was auctioned live and is now in the collection of Gene Jones.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. The Salvation Army’s mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
For more information on the Fashion Show & Luncheon or Auxiliary membership, visit the website at http://www.sawadallas.org, fb:SAWADallas FashionShow , call 214-637-8121 or email email@example.com
Photos by Dana Driensky, Patrick Patey, Victor Texcucano.