A crowd of 300 locals and business owners came out to support the Gardenia E. Janssen Animal Shelter during its highly successful annual fundraiser event held at the Round Top Rifle Association Hall. The beloved La Grange animal shelter has been in operation for almost three decades, and boasted a 97 percent live release rate in 2021.  

Fundraiser guests entered into the famed hall, once home to the original Round Top Antiques Show, through a fabulous display of colored palm fronds. Stevie Thompson of The Garden Co. helped create a kitschy, funky, vintage Western theme for the evening with duo-tone prints of previously adopted pets captured by Janie Laufenberg, displayed throughout the hall. The Newzboys band from Austin cranked out pop and country hits as guests toured the transformed hall and perused the silent auction table.

The Newzboys band, of Austin entertained the crowd.

Local businesses and individual donors stocked the live and silent auction with incredibly posh and generous gifts. Another festive touch was The Whiskey Wall —  a large installation of old crates that held a dozen or two handles of unique whiskies donated by friends and family of the event organizers. With the purchase of a $50 playing card, fundraiser guests were entered into a drawing to win a random bottle. 

As attendees enjoyed their Texas chic dinner, catered by Celebrations of La Grange, shelter director Teresa Stanley-Brown recognized a local fundraising group dubbed The Elite Pet Owners.

“The Elite Pet Owners are local icons of the community,” event co-chair Ellen Hart tells RoundTop.com. “We asked them to help us fundraise (throughout the year) and whoever raised the most won Pet Owner of The Year”.

This year, Gardenia E. Janssen Animal Shelter crowned (or leashed!) local business owner Marla Hurley of Modern Marla Luxury Consignment as its top earner.

Fundraiser co-chair Ellen Hart and shelter director Teresa Stanley-Brown recognizing Pet Owner of the Year —Marla Hurley.

The live auction ripped and roared in classic Round Top fashion, complete with an auctioneer outfitted in sequins and a cowboy hat. The big ticket item(s) of the night came from local entrepreneurs Cinda and Armando Palacios of Hotel Lulu and Frank Hillbolt of Round Top Real Estate. Together, they donated an evening of fun dubbed Tacos and Rock ‘n Roll, consisting of a party for 50 at the winner’s property with food provided by Armandos restaurant’s food truck and music from the Black Cat Choir. This prize was so nice, they sold it twice.

“Both super generous members of our community, Armando and Cinda Palacios and Frank Hillbolt offered to donate a second private party to the person that didn’t win, so we sold it twice,” Hart says. 

RT Seen: Kasey and Mayor Mark Massey, Kathy and Dale Young, Beth Weishuhn and Andy Johnson of the Crown Bar, Kim and Richard Rolland, Fayette County Judge candidate Craig Moreau and wife Jamie, and Jordan, Clemencia and Bella Larimore of Tre for the Gathering.