With a saddened spirit GRACE CEO Shonda Schaefer announced the cancellation of the Designer Bags & Bingo event at last night’s meeting of the Board of Directors.
“We are crushed by this decision,” she said. “Our volunteers have worked so hard to make this a premier fundraising event for our Transitional Housing program. The events of this past week made it very clear we cannot hold the event and keep everyone safe.”
Shonda cited increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations, a pause in the phased opening of businesses, and masking and spacing mandates as some of the many factors in the decision.
Designers Bags & Bingo (DBB) was originally planned for Thursday, April 23. The rescheduled date was Thursday, July 16. A sell-out gathering of more than 300 guests was expected.
The dealership managers at Park Place Jaguar Land Rover DFW in Grapevine reworked their schedule to accommodate DBB in their showroom. Ted Bilsky at Scratch Kitchen had cleared his calendar to serve an overflow crowd that evening.
“It’s ironic. Just a few months ago we visited Park Place in hopes of finding more space for our guests,” said Lara Hohweiler, GRACE Director of Community Engagement. “Last week we returned to measure distancing restrictions, reduce seating, and cut our guest list by half.”
This past week, Lara and Christina Cates, GRACE Special Events Manager, sent a survey to guests asking for input on the Go/No Go Decision. The returns were nearly unanimous. Concerns about coronavirus exposure, large gatherings, masking requirements, and other elements were universal.
“We are so sorry for the inconvenience this has caused,” said Shonda. “Our volunteers and staff are regrouping and setting plans for Spring 2021. Next year, with the pandemic behind us, Designer Bags and Bingo will offer a wonderful way to celebrate.”
Many guests indicated a desire to convert their admission costs into an outright donation to support the GRACE Transitional Housing program. Shonda has directed staff to personally call all donors, sponsors, guests and volunteers within the next week to confirm.
For information, contact CiCi Cates, GRACE Special Events Manager, at 817-305-4672.