Jessica Benavides
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Thomas Garza Photography Mrs. Joan Rogers plays the piano while James Bias and Jan Rees-Jones look on

Ecstatic animal lovers and supporters of the SPCA of Texas were in for a presidential treat at the Fur Ball Patron Party on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at the home of Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones. The panoramic views from the floor-to-ceiling windows of stunningly serene Turtle Creek and the rolling greens of the Dallas Country Club, backed by a gorgeous post-rain sunset, were a lovely lead up to a delightful visit from Fur Ball 2018 Honorary Chairs, President and Mrs. George W. Bush.

Elated guests stood on tiptoe to keep the stately couple in sight. The former president and his wife were front and center as the SPCA of Texas President and CEO, James Bias, kicked off the night’s festivities. Mr. Bias thanked Chair Cindy Lindsley, Co-Chair Jennifer Lindsley, Auction Chair Julia Howard and Auction Co-Chair Sandra Fite for their tremendous work and effort on making Fur Ball 2018, celebrating the organizations 80th anniversary, the best yet.

Next to offer thanks to the gracious hosts as well as the auction committee and host committee was Fur Ball 2018 Chair Cindy Lindsley. As Mrs. Lindsley thanked Fur Ball 80th Anniversary Sponsors, Dr. Larry and Mrs. Joan Rogers, Dr. Rogers surprised everyone with a check presentation, handing his $80,000 check to Mr. Bias. Dr. Rogers jokingly admonished the SPCA of Texas to cash the check as soon as possible. “If one has more than they really need, then give part of it away so as to enjoy the pleasure of giving while still alive,” Dr. Rogers added with great sincerity, sharing his charitable wisdom. Mrs. Lindsley also thanked Presidential Sponsors, Russell E. Dealey and Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones.

Next up was Debra Burns, SPCA of Texas Senior Vice President for Development, who checked in with President Bush on his very own SPCA of Texas rescue pup, Freddy. Joking with the president she asked how many shoes the shepherd mix had chewed up. Mrs. Burns also thanked Fur Ball 2018 Emcee, NBC 5 News Anchor Brian Curtis. Mr. Curtis thanked Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, adding that their support of the SPCA of Texas helped him make his eighth shelter adoption, of his beloved dog, Ocho, possible.

The night’s surprises didn’t stop there. Jaws dropped as none other than Emmitt Smith, former Dallas Cowboys running back, also joined the intimate celebrations. Even President Bush stopped to shake the Hall of Famer’s hand before heading home for the evening.

Guests chatted and wandered through the gorgeous home, examining the exquisite artifacts and art highlighting the history of the West. All while enjoying samplings of delightful nibbles, including a fire roasted crudité in petit savory cones, tomato bruschetta cucumber cups and jalapeno pimento cheese pretzel bites that were passed around. Guests also dined on light bites, including mini crab cakes with Aioli sauce, grilled beef tenderloin sliders with creamy horseradish and cornbread chicken lollipops from the buffet. Assorted petit sweets and chocolate dipped berries polished off the decadent menu, all thanks to Preston Hollow Catering.

The SPCA of Texas is grateful to Jan and Trevor-Rees Jones for welcoming the cheerful crowd into their lovely home, which was decorated with various beautiful, earthy and exotic purple flowers and stunning greenery provided by Flower Reign by Shane Walker.

The crowd also enjoyed the scenic, tranquil views from the Rees-Jones’ expansive, wrap-around patio. The calming sounds of a breathtaking fountain feature added to the ambiance as they sipped on white wine, champagne and the signature drink of the evening, Tito’s Greyhound with a fresh lemon wedge and garnished with a sprig of rosemary, provided by Tito’s Handmade Vodka. All the while, they perused the featured live auction items for next week’s Fur Ball.

The star-studded evening wrapped up with one final surprise from Mrs. Joan Rogers. She gave the evening’s talented pianist, Kevin Sutton, a break and graced everyone with a performance of her own. Playing several songs from memory as her fingers danced across the keys of the Steinway & Sons Grand Piano.

The event was held to thank all of the donors and sponsors of the SPCA of Texas’ Fur Ball 2018, in celebration of the non-profit’s 80th anniversary. The elegant black-tie gala will delight the senses with dancing and live and silent auctions. The SPCA of Texas’ Fur Ball 2018, which is completely sold out, will be held on Saturday, September 22 from 6:30 p.m. - midnight at the Hyatt Regency.

Guests included President and Mrs. George W. Bush, John Ackerman, Lydia and Peter Addy, Steve Atkinson, Jim Bass, Katie and Lawrence Bock, Diane and Hal Brierley, Paul and Cathy Brown, Pamela Busbee, Christie Choi, CJ and Phyllis Comu, Russell E. Dealey, Beverly Dealey, Giana DePaul, Gwen Echols, Pooya and Patra Fazel, Chris and Lisa Fox, Mike Glazer, Dr. Richard Gray and Marsha Pendleton-Gray, Dean Gresham, Maureen, Joe and Heidi Hafertepe, Caleb Hernandez, Sally Jalonick Hudnall, Mary Jalonick, Felicia Kerney, David and Carolyn Kubes, John Mayfield, Catherine and Mike Merritt, Katy Murray, Carol and Ed Nelson, Lana, John and Katherine Payne, Meredith Perot, Hillary Hurst Schwarz and Mark Schwarz, Jim Snodgrass, Carolyn Speed, Mary and Arnold Spencer, Skip and Mary Trimble, and Dr. Jeff and Anja Woodson.

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