Published: September 5, 2013
It's charity gala attire women can usually only fantasize about: flipflops. Big baskets of the colorful rubber sandals put smiles on faces - and led to stilettos and dress heels being abandoned under dinner chairs - at Discover Goodwill's premier fundraiser Enchanted Evening.
It was just one of the special treats when Dave and Pam Keller were hosts Aug. 17 to a record 300 of the nonprofit's patrons who toured the family's comfortable 55-acre Black Forest country estate.
One of the first questions as guests stepped out of valet golf carts was about the summer's fire. Pointing just over a ridge to a line of burned trees along the far edge of the property, Dave Keller said how grateful he was for slurry planes and firefighters. The Kellers had been traveling when Black Forest was evacuated.
Enchanted Evening started with cocktails served on the sprawling front lawn a short stroll from the formal dinner in the party tent.
It was an evening of records that raised $379,000. Perhaps the most breathtaking was $112,200 in raise-the-paddle pledges for the Possibilities life-skills program.
Celebrity auctioneer Kevin Patterson had fun working up bids on auction items, which ranged from a week in a gated resort in Cabo on the Sea of Cortez ($15,000) to $11,000 for a stunning 70-carat blue topaz necklace with diamonds designed by Ruben Manuel. Another auction item: dinner at Bourbon Brothers Smokehouse and Tavern, which opens in December.
Event co-chairs were Ward Berlin, Mari Sinton-Martinez and Wendel Torres, assisted by Candy Baur, Diane Bell, Peggy Carmack, Katie Cobb, Cathy Coleman, Jeanne Conder, Ron Conder, Pat Cone, Lynn Cool, Anne De Vries, Li Felsen, Danielle Frisbie, Jennifer George, Kristin Guggenhime, Kristel Hybl, Jill Johnson, Judy Mackey, Peter Maiurro, Ruben Manuel, CJ Moore, Ginna Morgan, Sue Mulvihill, Wynne Palermo, Melanie Samuelson, Beth Self, Elizabeth Spittler and Christy Walsh.