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Cowboys strutted in big boots and blue jeans and painted ladies sashayed in racy red dresses and silky black hose at Friday’s “Round-up Rendezvous” fundraiser for United Way of Northern New Mexico.
Modeled after Santa Fe’s Buckaroo Ball, Danette Clark of Los Alamos National Bank chaired the committee that brought the first “fancy western-styled gala” to Fuller Lodge.
“I want this to be the biggest, best, most successful, most fun event for United Way ever and for it to be the event that raises the most money ever,” Clark said as the evening got underway.
Silent and live auctions provided entertainment and brought in a considerable amount of money. United Way Executive Director Donna Schroeder said the cowpokes ponied up an estimated gross total of $30,000, which is right up there with the organization’s top fundraisers.
“I’m very pleased, Danette and her committee have done an amazing job and I’m excited for Los Alamos that we’re offering something different,” Schroeder said.
LANB Senior Vice President Jill Cook served as emcee and auctioneer for the event.
“We’ve had huge support from many businesses – even in this tough economic time people have come together and given all that they could to help others in need,” Cook said.
A bronze sculpture, original oil paintings, photographed art, hotel stays, two Apple iPads and even a couple of horse saddles are some of the items donated and auctioned off Friday. Highlights of the live auction included a genuine stirrup towel holder and a leather engraved toilet seat dubbed, “The greatest piece of furniture you will ever do your business on” donated by the Santa Fe Equestrian Center.
United Way 2011 Campaign Chair Katy Korkos of the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce also praised Clark and her committee for creating such a successful event.
“Danette and her group did a wonderful job of organizing this whole event – it’s so beautiful,” Korkos said as she surveyed the packed room filled with tables covered in red velvet and topped with plush floral arrangements, which were auctioned off as well.
Guests were treated to classic western BBQ fare and lively cowboy music performed by pianist Ann Parsons and the Fiddlin’ Doc Gonzales Band. De Colores Restaurant stocked the bar and donated 50 cents from each drink sold back to United Way.
“We’re mighty grateful for all your help in roundin’ up funds for United Way,” said Wild Bill Enloe, CEO of LANB to the generous donors who contributed to the evening’s success.
Clark’s committee included Cook, Ann Parsons, Ann Cain, Ann Wilson, Carlos Padilla, Cecelia Reid, Claire Bradley, Dara McKinney, Guy Gaffney, Jason Waterbury, Kathi Fisher, Matthew Miles, Michelle Stallings, Mickey Gulley, Ryan Tatro, Taylor Guskey, Tevi Torney, Veronica Rodriguez and William Brown.
This year’s United Way campaign drive officially concluded Nov. 30 but the organization is accepting donations through Dec. 31 for those individuals who would like to get their charitable gift tax deductions in.
Editor’s Note: Monitor reporter Carol Clark and Danette Clark of Los Alamos National Bank are not related.