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Mahjong Play Day Unites Fort Worth’s Power Players in Support of Tarrant Area Food Bank

“The Year of the Ox” Raises $300,000 and Reaches a Milestone Achievement

BY // 09.27.21
photography Sharon Ellman

Have lunch at any Fort Worth club and you will see well-dressed ladies playing Mahjong. To say the tile-based game — whose origins experts typically agree are found in China during the mid-to-late 1800s — is a popular hobby would be an understatement. As a result, tournaments take place all over town, from Colonial to River Crest.

Six years ago, Elizabeth Ray and Mary Ralph Lowe channeled their Mahjong obsession into a charitable event for the Tarrant Area Food Bank. This year, they served as Honorary Chairs for the 2021 Mahjong Play Day alongside Roz Rosenthal, where they set the stage for another highly anticipated event.

2021 Mahjong Play Day: “The Year of the Ox”

Event Chair Dana Porter recruited VIP players to unite in style on September 22 at River Crest Country Club. The ladies enjoyed lunch and four rounds of Mahjong surrounded by fabulous décor by a popular local florist, Jim Irwin. Among those spotted playing that day: Sandra Luskey, Gina Ravnaas, Janis Brous, Beth Gideon, Marilyn Berry, Nancy Ginsburg, Janie Harper, Nancy Hallman, Susy Endicott, and Laurin Chevaillier to name a few.

Lisa Nik (Photo by Sharon Ellman)
Jewelry Designer Lisa Nik for Bachendorf’s at the 2021 Mah Jongg Play Day benefitting Tarrant Area Food Bank in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by/Sharon Ellman)

Patron Party

A Patron Party for top supporters and friends took place the night before the games began. Attendees were greeted by breathtaking white cherry blossoms, stunning bright red floral, and paper lanterns curated by GRO Floral & Event Design and coordinated by Ally Ravnaas. Afterward, they celebrated with cocktails and an Asian menu catered by Michael Thompson of Michael’s Cuisine fame.

Adding to the glamour and excitement, Bachendorf’s generously donated a gorgeous Lisa Nik amethyst ring to the live auction. In addition, Designer Lisa Nik made a personal appearance to deliver the ring. She also offered dozens of magnificent pieces from her collection. Other popular auction items included an overnight getaway to Greystone Castle and a fabulous Day of Mahjong for eight, including a catered lunch at Flowers on the Square.

“Mahj After Dark”

Play commenced before noon for many of the regular participants, but continued well into the night with the addition of the first-ever “Mahjongg After Dark.”  The festive after-party—the brainchild of Margaret Harper, Adair Ewin Shannon, and Allie Kobs Turney—attracted over 80 new players. Notable After Dark attendees: Becca Quisenberry, Lorene Agather, Anne Harper Mahaffey, Lauren Purvis, and Macon McColm.

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In all, Tarrant Area Food Bank will receive a record-setting $300,000 during the lucky “Year of the Ox.” Because of this good fortune, players must have been pulling plenty of Jokers.  After all, that kind of success is what we call a winning hand.

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