An Elegant Affair Full of Love and Support at the Patron Party for the Equest Gala

This article originally appeared in Park Cities Bubble Life on March 11, 2019, and Preston Hollow People on March 21, 2019.

Hombre and Amigo, two Equest therapy horses dressed in Arabian-inspired costumes, welcomed guests to the patron event for the Equest Presents Arabian Nights Gala at the striking home of Diane and Hal Brierley. Approximately 80 guests celebrated the nearly sold-out fundraiser while paying tribute to Equest’s remarkable 38-year history of enhancing the quality of life for children and adults with diverse needs through the human-horse connection.

bert_headden_cindy_thomas_teal_and_annie_griffeth.jpg

Guests mixed and mingled while feasting on an oversized charcuterie assortment and passed hors d’oeuvres provided by Food Glorious Food Catering. The libations flowed with Veuve Cliquot champagne and wine, sponsored by Connie and Denny Carreker and William Noble Fine Jewelry, and mixed cocktails featuring Reyka Vodka, Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey, Hendrick’s Gin, Milagro Silver and Fistful of Bourbon.

 Equest CEO Lili Kellogg addressed the crowd, expressing her gratitude to Equest’s generous supporters. She said, “This party is about you and your support. It may be chilly outside, but there are a lot of warm hearts in here.”

 The sparkling husband-and-wife-duo and Gala Co-Chairs Annie and Teal Griffeth, whose happiness is contagious, also celebrated the gala patrons and Equest team. “When we first started, we didn’t know what we were getting into,” joked Teal, “but great causes come together, because great people put them together.” He was sure to highlight his mother, Louise Griffeth, who founded the Equest Women’s Auxiliary in 1986 and has continued to vigorously support Equest for the past 33 years. It is because of her passion and commitment that Annie and Teal wanted to carry on her legacy.   

 Guests were then directed to the backyard to see equine therapy in action, demonstrated by four-year-old Equest client Elizabeth Laughlin who had been excited and nervous all day to display her equine skills. Blowing kisses to the crowd, she stole the show with her skilled abilities, and hearts swelled as she ran to her parents afterwards crying, “I did it! I did it!”

 Additional attendees included Equest Co-Founder and Board Member Susan Schwartz, Equest Chairman of the Board Lane Cates, former Chairman of the Board Andy Steingasser, Honorary Co-Chairs Cindy Thomas and Bert Headden, Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Cara French and mother Prissy Gravely, Ben Casey, Connie and Denny Carreker, Lezlie and Bill Noble, Katherine Coker, Maggie Kipp, Elsa Norwood, Janey McIntire, and Farrah Cargile. Amy Causey, director of program quality at Equest, impressed in traditional costume for showing Arabian horses.

 The Equest Presents Arabian Nights Gala will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2019 starting at 6:30 p.m. at Sixty Five Hundred (6500 Cedar Springs Road, Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75235). Underwriting opportunities are available at various levels starting at $2,500 as a category sponsor and $5,000 for a table of ten. Patron tickets may be purchased for $500 each and include priority seating and two raffle tickets. General tickets are available for $250 each. Dress is cocktail, Arabian-inspired outfits welcomed. For more information, visit www.equest.org/gala or call 972.412.1099.

 About Equest

Founded in 1981, Equest provides equine assisted learning, therapies and counseling to children and adults with physical, cognitive, sensory, coping and learning disabilities and veterans with adjustment challenges. The services provided include physical and occupational therapy, equine facilitated counseling and equine assisted learning, therapeutic carriage driving, therapeutic horsemanship and competition. With the help of 30 therapy horses, eight instructors, four therapists, two counselors, and 400 volunteers, lives are changed for more than 2,000 served annually. Equest was the first PATH International Premier Accredited Center in Texas and remains one of the largest in the country. Equest offers an engaging volunteer program that provides 30,000 hours of direct program service opportunities each year. www.equest.org

 In Photo: 2019 Equest Gala Honorary Co-Chairs Bert Headden and Cindy Thomas and Co-Chairs Teal and Annie Griffeth.

Photo Credit: Bob Manzano

CJ Bankhead