Instead of TGIF happy hour, it was “Pop Fizz Click! A Wings Fling Brunch at the Thompson Hotel on Friday, April 29th benefiting Wings Dallas. In addition to dizzying artists, entertainment of all kinds and glasses of champagne for everyone, the inaugural Ebby Halliday Empowering Women Award was presented to Ann Motzenbocker. Here is a report from the field:
Wings’ reimagined spring event “Pop Fizz Click! A Wings Fling brought people together to enjoy their favorite brunch, engage in out-of-the-box entertainment and learn more about Wings’ mission to empower women, fight poverty and impact generations. Against the background of the beautiful decor of Thompson Dallas, the co-chairs of the event Annika Cale as well as Stephanie Sayhonorary chairman Kim Hextand CEO of Wings Kate Rose Marquez they were joined by a full ballroom of guests dressed in their finest brunches.
While the décor, entertainment, and vendor activation drew a lot of attention from guests, the theme of empowerment was the focus of the day.
The morning started with a VIP reception hosted by Oncor. Guests enjoyed champagne served from a ball gown for drinks and a variety of appetizers served by Thompson staff including mini lox, mini brisket tacos and mini cream cheese pancakes.
When the doors of the ballroom opened, the guests were greeted by a tall mirrored stilt walker, and they entered with an expression of shock and delight on their faces. By handing out colorful dresses and eye-catching accessories, the guests made the space look more like a catwalk than a ballroom. Thanks to event designer Prashe, the ballroom has been transformed into a colorful and enticing stage with a DJ focus. Christy Ray on the main stage.
Event attendees frequented various vendors throughout the room. They giggled as they tasted helium-filled candy from the Edible Bubble Bar. They were good for Party Illustrations, a fashion sketch artist. They visited the Mary Kay Lipstick Salon, selected one of eight shades of the new Mary Kay® Supreme Hydrating Lipstick, and applied it as predicted by lipstick readers from Pucker Up Impressions. Pop-up performances by circus performer and electric violinist Clover made the room dynamic and exciting as guests enjoyed their favorite brunches from stations around the venue and sipped champagne from the mimosa bars.
At noon, after the guests looked around the room and compared the most fashionable things with friends around the hall, the program began with the clink of glasses. Annika and Stephanie took the stage to greet everyone, thank the generous sponsors and share how inspired they were by the women of Wings. Annika remarked, “These women are making a statement about their future and the future of their children and are taking an active part in moving towards their pole star – a better and more sustainable tomorrow.” Stephanie echoed this sentiment and encouraged everyone to support each other and help more women climb the Wings programs.
The highlight of the day was the presentation of the first Ebby Empowering Women Award Ann Motzenbocker. Named after the deceased Abby Hollidaythis award was created to recognize her legacy in women’s empowerment and positive impact on the Dallas community.
In presenting the award, Kate Rose began by recognizing the legendary Abby Holliday for her contributions to the Dallas community and her deep connection to Wings. “It was important for us to honor Abby’s legacy as one of Dallas’ pioneering women entrepreneurs with an award that speaks to how she inspired countless women around her and encouraged growth,” said Kate Rose.
While choosing an award recipient is a process that requires careful consideration, Kate Rose mentioned that choosing Anna didn’t take long. Having recently stepped down as managing director of JPMorgan Chase, Ann has paved the way for women’s leadership throughout her personal and professional life. She listed Anna Motzenbocker’s many accomplishments, both personally and professionally, and emphasized how Anne had consistently supported other women as she paved her way to success.
Ann took the stage in her bright turquoise dress with green floral accents, smiling from ear to ear to applause from the entire ballroom. Kate Rose gave Ann a custom-painted bottle of champagne Teresa Mangum in commemoration of this event, and the audience raised their glasses to make a toast to Ann.
Ann’s remarks were elegant and persuasive. She became emotional as she expressed her gratitude to her friends, mentors, and peers in the audience who contributed to her journey by encouraging her, giving her advice, and supporting her. She spoke about Abby’s legacy and praised the incredible work Wings is doing to uplift and empower women and truly impact generations. “I have seen firsthand that when you impact a woman, you also impact her family and the community around them for generations,” Ann said. To end her presentation, Ann’s call to action was simple: As you walk up the stairs, reach out and pull someone up.
The award was followed by a video sponsored by Mission Impact sponsor Toyota. Video detailed Jacqueline Greenhistory is a history of resilience, empowerment and strength. Jacqueline found Wings when she applied for WIC benefits. Recently pregnant, she had just lost her mother-in-law and the support system she provided. Jacqueline reached out to the Nursing Families Partnership at Wings for information, advice and support. As part of this program, Jacqueline became a partner ronda, a registered nurse who walked by her side to make sure she had a healthy pregnancy and baby until the baby was two years old. Fueled by confidence and motivation, Jacqueline then joined the Wings Economic Advancement program, which helped her find out her credit score, helped develop a savings plan, and allowed her to pay for and finish college.
As the video ended and the lights came on, Kate Rose took a moment to remind the audience that the women, not the Wings, are the protagonists of the story. Each client comes to Wings with their own unique goals. Wings staff simply provides the tools, personalized training and accountability to help them achieve these goals.
Chairman of the Board of Wings / Vice President of Mary Kay Inc. James Vaughan joined Kate Rose on stage and solidified Mary Kay’s support for Wings and the women they serve. Kate Rose announced a $25,000 gift from an anonymous donor, and James began the offer with a personal donation of $5,000. As Kate Rose and James detailed how each level of donation provided significant support to the women of the Wings, bright orange donation cards flew around the room. The room filled with energy as Wings staff collected postcards and thanked donors for their generous support.
Kate Rose ended the quick but effective program by thanking everyone in attendance. While this is the first year of this event, it certainly isn’t the start of Wings. Kate Rose reiterated that Wings, formerly the YWCA, has supported the Dallas community for the past 114 years and continues to evolve over time to meet the needs of women in the community.
DJ Christy Ray kept the music going until the event ended at 1:00 pm, after which many event goers continued to celebrate at the Catbird, which opened early exclusively for Wings guests.
* Photo provided by Wings