Society / The Seen

A $71 Million Cowboy Tradition

Music Superstars Help this Boot-Scootin’ Ball Add to Its Legacy

BY // 01.05.17
photography Haynesworth Photography


It’s one of the most anticipated events of the fall season: the Cattle Baron’s Ball. Lucchese boots are customized. Sales of turquoise spike at every store. And fringe and leather can’t stay on the shelves. The city turns upside down to prep cowboy-style for the ultimate party, because Cattle Baron’s Ball is the largest single-night fund-raiser in the world for the American Cancer Society.

The 43-year-old boot-scootin’ soirée has raised more than $71 million for cancer research projects in North Texas. This year alone added $3.4 million to that tally, thanks to chairs Andrea Weber and Cara French, who led the charge for 2016. How did two women and a committee of baronesses make it all happen? Read on …

Thousands packed into Gilley’s Dallas, where said baronesses — aka the Cattle Baron’s Ball committee — awaited. These girls know how to run a seamless operation, from check-in stations to enlisting patrons to purchase last-minute raffle tickets.

“It’s amazing to see all 100 women who give so much of their time, energy, and talents to raise money for cancer research,” Weber said.

The visionaries at Fauxcades once again brought out the big guns: Welcome lights glowed from the arch way, a larger-than-life 10-gallon hat perched prominently at the entrance, and there were hay bales aplenty. Some took a quick spin on the Ferris wheel and snacked on Shiner Bock Frito pie, while the Townview Big D Band marched into Gilley’s.

Holiday Gifting

  • Casa di Lino
  • Cle Du Peau - Lip Gloss
  • Oscar De La Renta - Clutch
  • Bond No 9 - Perfume
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Nocturne Studio
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Loeffler Randall - Clutch
  • Cle Du Peau - Nail Polish
  • Loeffler Randall - Shoes
  • Oscar De La Renta - Earrings
  • Bond No 9 - Candle

One of our favorite Baronesses, Lynn McBee, told us the marching band is one of her favorite parts of the Ball.

Patrons scurried about the 90,000-square-foot space as endless activities abounded: Guests gave their best poker face at the casino tables; country pioneer Dwight Yoakam transported us to the Tennessee mountains on the inside stage; and those feeling lucky polished their paddles for the live auction.

Once the cowbell starts ringing, those covetable items such as a fashion trip to Milan with Etro, or a trip to Bhutan with Johan Ernst Nilson go quickly. After the bidding was over and prizes were won, with brews in hand, it was time to head to the Main Stage, where Toby Keith roped in the crowd with his chart-topping hits, “Whiskey Girl,” “Red Solo Cup,” and “Beer for my Horses.”

Home, chic home.

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