There were fancy cars, Russian spies, games of chance, and shots fired! All the makings of a James Bond thriller! While perhaps not quite the intensity of “Spectre” or “Quantum of Solace”, “From Xenophon With Love” Gala was packed with excitement and was a huge success, raising over $200,000! There certainly was a “View To Kill”, with so many ladies dressed in gorgeous gowns, and neither Daniel Craig, Pierce Brosnan, nor Sean Connery had anything on the men in tuxedos that we had attending. The laughter and energy were palpable throughout the wine shoot game, the photo booth and the good-natured competitive bidding going on at the silent auction tables. All of this carried into the ballroom as well.
There was no mistaking the impact of our parent speakers, Lesley Drummond and Tim Hancock, who shared the moving story of the impact Hippotherapy has had on their daughter, Sierra. And of course, Lily Grenning, endeared herself to everyone while talking about the special relationship she has with her Xenophon partner, Ozzie. Their inspiration led to to the huge success of our Fund-A-Need, after which our auctioneers, Daniel Parino and Ron Angold took our live auction to inspiring heights. The Federal Reserve Tour, a highlight of last year’s auction, was snatched up through the Live Lot Raffle, and, yet again, the “Dinner With the Executive Director” was a top-bid item, coming in second to the 16th century French chateau. The evening ended with dancing to the “12th Root of Two”.
As is the tradition at the gala, we honored a Xenophon volunteer with the Jean Schaffner Spirit Award. This award is given to a volunteer who has gone above and beyond in their commitment to Xenophon. As can be imagined, it is a difficult task to choose one person, as so many give of their time and talents. Lindsay Hendricks received the honor this year. Lindsay has volunteered at Xenophon since 2011, and has served as sidewalker, horse handler, long-liner as well as committee member for various fundraising events. She can be found feeding on the weekends and mucking stalls during the week. Lindsay is currently an instructor-in-training and is going for her certification this spring. She was much deserving of this award.
There are so many people to thank with an event of this magnitude: our sponsors, our gala donors, our auction donors and all who attended. The success of the event was due to your generosity and support. Thank you also to our staff and committee members who saw to every minute detail. Round Hill Country Club sparkled. The gala raised over 2/3 of our operating budget. We can step into 2016 confidently; continuing to subsidize every rider in our flagship Therapeutic Riding and Hippotherapy programs, we can continue to fund our young adult program, and continue to pursue our hospital outreach with Children’s Hospital Oakland. Thank you to one and all for making this possible.