When the first face greeting guests at the Cattle Baron’s Ball is Bocephus the steer, it’s a pretty good indication that this is not your usual Saturday night soirée. The annual fundraiser at George Ranch Historical Park always guarantees a fresh take on the charity event scene, serving up a rollicking good time with a serious focus on raising significant money for the American Cancer Society.
The evening’s theme was “Hope on the Range,” and chairs Allison Flikerski and Lauren Maloy created a night full of country-fried fun complete with the popular pig races, casino tables and butt sketches, which sounds much more scandalous than it actually is.
While guests rounded the auction tables laden with everything from exotic trips and sports memorabilia to fashion items and housewares, Ward Davis provided the live music. The big board auction items drew crowds of guests throughout the evening, keeping their fingers crossed and eyes on their bids.
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The chance to win a new car from Sonic Automotive kept the car raffle hopping all night too. Tickets were $50 or six tickets for $250 and an Audi A4, Chevy Camaro and a Cadillac CTS were among the cars to choose from.
Ultimately, it is traditionally the live auction that makes the Cattle Baron’s Ball so memorable. Waiters carrying sparkling trays introduced a five-course party catered by celebrity chef Bryan Caswell that sold for $10,000 and a dinner cooked by Johnny Carrabba and served at his home, sold for a whopping $45,000, garnering a standing ovation from the crowd for the winning bidder.
The beautifully touching “Hope on the Range,” dual-sided children’s quilt brought in a stunning $100,000. The live auction raised a total of $580,000 and the Cattle Baron’s Ball clocked in at $2,225,000.
Caswell & Co. created Taste of Texas stations throughout the cavernous hall, wowing guests with stuffed avocados, wild boar barbecue ribs and fire-roasted oysters, while towers of sweets offered bite-sized delights.
The Eli Young Band got all the boot clad cuties and their cowboys on the dance floor, ending the night on the ultimate country high note.
Those making the rounds at the the ball included Cattle Baron’s Ball Victory president Gigi Harbison and her husband, Russell, Anna and Holt McNair, Debbie and Kent Chenevert, Becky and Kelly Joy, Jody and Jeff Dyke, Jackie and Monty Eubank, Shari and Marshall Heins, Susie and Don Sinclair, Jenny and Todd Stone, Ellie and Michael Francisco, Elizabeth and Alan Stein, Bruce Padilla and Shelby Kibodeaux and Ed McMahon.