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From the Palace to Dallas: Royal Treatment Results in Riches for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

December 12, 2008

To say that the more than 300 guests at the Northeast Texas Chapter-Dallas Office Royal Winter Ball dined on dishes fit for royalty is no exaggeration. Based on the Queen’s Winter Ball held each year in England, the elegant, black-tie evening of fabulous food, exciting auctions and dancing into the wee hours raised a kingly $275,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. 

 Dallas Winter Ball
Presenting sponsors Jacqueline and Dick Bowman flank Royal Chef Darren McGrady and his wife Wendy at the Royal Winter Ball in Dallas.

Details That Made a Difference

Prominent Dallas business executives and social and civic leaders streamed into the grand ballroom of the prestigious Adolphus Hotel, and guests feasted on a sumptuous menu of Gaelic chicken and beef tenderloin in a mushroom whiskey sauce and bread and butter pudding, selected by guest host Darren McGrady, former royal chef to Buckingham Palace and Princess Diana at Kensington Palace. McGrady, who currently resides in Dallas, was on hand to regale the guests with inside anecdotes of life with the royal family.   

High-ticket auction items included two delicious dinners straight from the kitchen of the Royal Chef and a fantasy baseball experience and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sit with the Texas Rangers during batting practice, throw out the first pitch of the game and visit with Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. But the live auction got even livelier when Chef Andrew Kelley, son of Royal Society 65 Roses Chair and longtime Foundation friend Pam Kelley, was so moved by the event that he donated—on the spot—a fabulous gourmet dinner for eight. When bids rapidly reached the $7,000 total, he generously added a second meal to the auction mix!

It was a night of moving moments, including the presentation of a bound book of letters from CF families to presenting sponsors Jacqueline and Dick Bowman, who in addition to a $25,000 event sponsorship, also made a $10,000 Bid for a Cure. “We have no personal connection to cystic fibrosis,” said Jacqueline, “but as we’ve learned more about the disease and the Foundation’s efforts to cure it, we have been incredibly touched by the courage of those families battling CF. We are enormously proud to support this life-saving mission.”   

Thanks a Million

Much gratitude goes out to presenting sponsors Jacqueline and Dick Bowman, as well as the following corporate sponsors:

  • American Airlines
  • C. B. Richard Ellis Investors
  • FelCor
  • Nieman Marcus Willow Bend

A heartfelt thanks to longtime Foundation friend and volunteer Pam Kelley and the rest of the Kelley family: event co-chairs Jackie and Michael Kelley and Chef Andrew Kelley.

Finally, the event could not have succeeded without the tireless efforts of co-chairs  Jessica and Dan Slaven and the following volunteers:

  • Bill Lokey, chair, Royal Order of 65 Roses
  • Karin Schwob, auction co-chair
  • Sarah Herman, auction co-chair
  • Travis Carter, chair, public relations, and wife Amber, Bid for a Cure speaker
  • Darren McGrady, guest host


The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.