Jessica Benavides
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Photography Credit: Joseph Brewster Trevor Rees-Jones, Jan Rees-Jones, Karen Froehlich

It was a night of champagne, cheers and celebration on Thursday, September 12 at the SPCA of Texas’ annual Fur Ball Patron Party. Ecstatic animal lovers, SPCA of Texas supporters and excited staff and volunteers crowded into the handsome French Country-style home designed by Milan Design + Build LLC in Old Preston Hollow, enjoying the panoramic views from the floor-to-ceiling windows and awaiting a very important announcement, as the early evening sunset bathed everyone in gold.

The 2019 Fur Ball Family, Chairs John and Lana Payne and their children and co-chairs, Katherine and Jacob Payne, kicked off the night’s festivities. John thanked the Fur Ball Committees and Auction Chairs, Sandra Fite and Julia Howard, Auction Co-Chair Amber Camper and Underwriting Chair Arlene Kirkland for their tremendous work and effort on making Fur Ball 2019 the best yet.

Next up was Steve Atkinson, Vice Chair of the SPCA of Texas’ Board of Directors, with a special announcement. The cheerful crowd gasped and applauded as Atkinson revealed that Karen Froehlich, interim President/CEO was the organization’s new, official President and CEO, effective immediately.

“Karen is a dedicated and passionate leader,” said Atkinson. “And, over the past months, it has become increasingly clear that she is the right person to lead the SPCA of Texas as we continue in our mission to provide every animal exceptional care and a loving home.”

Froehlich thanked the crowd, saying she is excited for the future of the organization and is honored to take on the roll. Finally, Debra Burns, SPCA of Texas Senior Vice President for Development pumped up the crowd, adding in her thanks to the Payne family and the Auction Committee for such a splendid evening. The night’s surprises didn’t stop there. Burns and Fur Ball Auction Chair, Sandra Fite also presented a special gift to Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones for their continuous support, which has saved the lives of countless animals.

Guests chatted and wandered through the gorgeous home while listening to the harpist, Cindi Horstman, play classical musical and the Beatles interchangeably. Fifteen seniors from Jesuit were there promoting the Fur Ball raffle and providing hospitality. All while enjoying samplings of delightful nibbles, including a tomato bruschetta crostini, grilled beef tenderloin with mini homemade yeast rolls and mini crab cakes served Aioli sauce. Assorted petit sweets and chocolate dipped berries polished off the decadent menu, all thanks to Preston Hollow Catering. All while sipping on wine, thanks to Burgundy Swine, and the night’s specialty drink, the “Corgi Cocktail”, with lemonade, vodka, a lemon wedge and garnished with a mint, thanks to Tito’s Vodka for Dog People.

The SPCA of Texas is grateful to Susie Swanson and Milan Design + Build LLC (Scott Trahan and Eric Mistrata) for welcoming the cheerful crowd into the lovely home, which was decorated with various breathtaking, beautiful and exotic purple flowers and stunning greenery provided by Simply Elegant. Spectacular valet service was provided by Gold Crown Valet Company.

The event was held to thank all of the donors and sponsors of the SPCA of Texas’ Fur Ball 2019. The elegant black-tie gala will delight the senses with dancing and live and silent auctions. The SPCA of Texas’ Fur Ball 2019 will be held on Saturday, September 21 from 6:30 p.m. - midnight at the Hyatt Regency.

Guests included Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Steve Atkinson and Ted Kindcaid, Gus Hinojosa, David Kubes, Donna and Brian Loughmiller, Katy Murray, Hiren Patel, Christina and Chase Sanders, Sonja McGill, Christie Choi, Brian Curtis, Russell E. Dealey, Giana DePaul, Lisa and Christopher Fox, Pamela Graham and Phil Hixon, Kristen and Scott Greenberg, Maureen and Joe Hafertepe, Cindy and Don Lindsley, Jennifer Lindsley, John Mayfield, Carol Nelson, Betsy Orton and Sharon Fancher, Matt and Mary Metz, Marsha Pendleton-Gray and Dr. Richard Gray, Joan Rogers, Alicia and Alan Skinner, David Soto, Susie Swanson, Karen Urie, Anja and Jeff Woodson, and Randy Zoetewey.  

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