Tony and Tamara Casillas | Photo c/o Bob Manzano
The Fifth Annual Boots & Blessings Gala took place on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at Austin Ranch to benefit Ally’s Wish. The Flower Mound-based organization grants wishes to mothers battling terminal illnesses, so they may create lasting memories with their children and loved ones. Attendees kicked off the night by perusing an extensive silent auction. TV personality Scott Murray served as emcee for the evening and gathered everyone to their seats where the program began with a rousing game of Heads or Tails with the winner receiving a pair of Dallas Cowboys football tickets. Larry and Pat Conner took to the stage to remember their daughter, Allyson Hendrickson, the inspiration for the creation of Ally’s Wish and the organization’s first wish recipient. They wistfully reminisced about her obsession with candy sprinkles and then invited each guest to take the small bottles of candy sprinkles at their place setting and dose their cupcake in memory of Allyson. Larry Conner then led the room in prayer and blessed not only the meal but prayed that guests would open up their hearts and wallets for the evening to support Ally’s Wish in their fundraising endeavors. Guests then enjoyed live Country-Western entertainment from The Breckenridge Band as they dined on a traditional BBQ fare.
As the dinner hour wound down, Murray returned to the stage to invite this year’s event chairs the Honorable Charlotte Wilcox and Terry Wilcox along with Honorary Chairs Judy and Jack Philips to the stage to say a few words. Charlotte thanked this year’s sponsors ValuTrac Software, Weight Loss Specialist of North Texas, J. Philips Mortgage, Inc, The Monarch Team/Stephanie Carter, along with table hosts, members of the Host Committee and generous event partners for making this year’s event a success. Victoria Van Winkle took to the stage and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house after hearing her speak passionately about the impact of having her Mother’s wish granted, giving the family a trip to Disney World and the memories created during that time.
Auctioneer Mike Trent then took to the floor to conduct the live auction. Former Dallas Cowboys legend Tony Casillas joined him to auction off a day of golf he would host. A few minutes into it, Tony grabbed the mic to announce that he was upping the ante by including two tickets on the 50-yard line to an upcoming Dallas Cowboys game, plus a parking pass. Needless to say, hands shot up around the room with this amazing package going for over $7000. The evening concluded with line dancing instruction provided by The Breckenridge Band.
Since its inception, Ally’s Wish has granted over a hundred wishes to mothers who’ve battled inflammatory breast cancer, Leukemia, colon cancer and other terminal illnesses. Ally’s Wish currently has 43 moms waiting to have wishes granted with new requests arriving daily. Wish requests and nominations are accepted year-round and while based in North Texas, Ally’s Wish grants wishes to mothers across the U.S. The stories of the women who have been granted wishes and have touched countless lives along the way are featured on the Ally’s Wish website. To learn more about Ally’s Wish, please visit www.allyswish.org
Photos c/o Bob Manzano