Nine months in the making, the beautiful white tent rose from the fields with event-planning help from Big Time Creatives. The Round Top Festival Institute’s first fundraising gala, held inside the gloriously climate-controlled tent erected on the grounds of the historic arts and entertainment venue, raised more than $450,000. It was an enchanting evening with a menu from Royers Round Top Cafe and dancing to jazz guitarist Ric Cortez and Jazz Rico. More than 400 locals and supporters of the arts flocked to raise funds for Festival Hill’s operations, student scholarships, and concerts.

Best dressed: an elegant scene was set for the first-ever Festival Hill Gala. Floral arrangements were created with locally grown flowers by Cuts of Color out of Weimar.

            During the evening, guests watched a video of the Texas State History Museum Foundation’s History-Making Texan Award presentation to Festival Hill founder and artistic director James Dick, which recently took place at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. “It was a very moving overview of the 50 years of Festival Hill,” said gala coordinator Pat Johnson. The living-legend presentation included tributes from board member Mandy Dealey, conductor Perry So, and longtime docent Jack Elvig. To further commemorate the night, co-chairs Katrina and Mark Elvig presented engraved crystal music boxes to Dick and the volunteer planning committee.

Round Top icons: Festival Hill founder and creative director James Dick with Bybee Foundation managing director and owner of Round Top Design Group, Jacquelyn Ditsler.

            To boost the bottom line, guests enthusiastically bid on trips and more. Cheryl and David Snell were top bidders of the night, laying down $22,000 for a one-week stay at BirchHaven, the private Maine retreat belonging to the co-chairs, and $14,000 for a five-day stay at Mountain Shadows, a Spanish Colonial-style estate home on 100 acres near Marfa donated by board member Susan Ashcroft and her husband, RichardFrank Hillbolt of Round Top Real Estate won a dinner for 10 from Ellis Motel, Round Top Smokehouse, and Little Cheese Shop for $7,200, and funded a $6,000 scholarship for Festival Hill’s Summer Festival young artists. Two tickets to a Lyle Lovett concert, donated by the singer and his wife, April Kimble, also numbered among the hottest items up for bid, going for $1,000. 


Spotted: Committee members Jessica AndersSusie GlasscockJudy HancockJoanie HavlickJoan and Jerry Herring of Red & White Gallery, Sandy and Father Bill MillerSusannah MikulinAnna OedingLeslie PenelloFrances Pittman of Oak Hill Ranch, and Cindy StephensJB and Jamie Len Royer of Royers Round Top Cafe; Denise Jacobs of Round Top Real Estate; Steve Ditsler, board member of the Round Top Family Library; Festival Hill program director Alain DeclertRalph and Faith Frerichs of The Jersey Barnyard; Janet and Richard Schmidt of Richard Schmidt Jewelry; Clemencia and Jordan Larimore of Tré for the Gathering; Martha Turner | Sotheby’s International Realty agent Linda PlantMelissa RobertsRuth Elvig; Fayette County Chief of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Craig Moreau and wife JamieCinda and Armando Palacios of Hotel Lulu, Lulu’s restaurant and Mandito’s; John Cone and Greg Fourticq of Red Antler bungalows, along with Patsy FourticqNichole Petrie and Christopher Bachman of Bachman + Petrie, with SimonRandy and JillWendy Burks, who headed the Fayetteville Community Center Theater Gala, with husband Cade.