Gallery: A Vine & Dine Kick-Off Party

Vine & Dine co-chairs Maggie Kipp and Melinda Knowles kicked off the 12th Annual Vine & Dine festivities at the picturesque Highland Park estate of Rosser Newton on Aug. 27.

Guests enjoyed a respite from the August heat in the enchanting English-style gardens, enjoying Bubble Tap Dallas and fine wines from Ben E. Keith Company.

The kick-off party also included Steve Kemble, America’s Sassiest Lifestyle Guru, who encouraged everyone to visit Ability Connection and learn more about the nonprofit’s commitment to daily serving more than 700 individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. With approximately 100 guests in attendance, Kipp and Knowles introduced DeeDee and Jim Lee, the event’s honorees, applauding them for their longstanding service dating back to 1986.

(Photos by Daniel Driensky)

Debbie Francis, whose son Bo is a member at Ability Connection, thanked all in attendance, including Neva Hall and Shelle Sills, founders of the annual fundraiser. Hall created the concept after she started serving on the board. Sills, who at that time was General Manager of the Downtown Neiman Marcus, brought Vine & Dine to the stylish Zodiac Room, home to the fundraiser for ten years. Francis currently serves as one of the nonprofit’s board members and one of the Vine & Dine advisors.

Extraordinary plans are underway for the Thursday, November 14 event. Taking place at the prestigious Brook Hollow Golf Club, Vine & Dine begins at 6:00 p.m., where Kemble will be emceeing the evening and bringing his dose of sass. Sentimental Journey from Texas Winds Musical Outreach, a group which enriches the lives of isolated seniors, hospital patients, veterans and at-risk children through live musical programs, will be providing the beautiful, uplifting sounds for the evening. In addition to a delectable dinner paired with fine wines, attendees will also enjoy both live and silent auctions.

“We appreciate the energy and passion that Maggie and Melinda are bringing to Vine & Dine as we at Ability Connection continue to bring life-changing benefits and support to Texans with disabilities,” states Jim Hanophy, the nonprofit’s President and CEO.

Individual tickets and underwriting packages are available ranging from $500 to $50,000. To purchase tickets or become an underwriter at the upcoming “Vine & Dine”, visit or call 214-351-2500.

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