Turquoise Ball hits home run for Nagel Clinic
By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor
Although the final tallies are not in yet, by all accounts, the Melissa Benge Turquoise Ball, a benefit for the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic, was an unprecedented success.
According to Nagel Clinic Executive Director K. Irene Stone, the live auction brought in $18,000 and the results of the silent auction are still being tallied. Proceeds will be earmarked for the healthcare clinic's building expansion.
Using her magic, Benge transformed the Mansfield Park Show Barn into glittering spectacle of elegance that left mouths agape and the usually mouthy speechless.
When greeted by a "Turquoise carpet" - and prerequisite "paparazzi" - participants had an inkling they "weren't in Kansas or even in Bandera, anymore."
Translucent fabric panels covered the barn's frankly utilitarian walls and myriad sparkling chandeliers cast a flattering glow on the stylish participants gathered below.
Glancing around, one Bandera wiseacre remarked, "Well, this place won't look like this in two weeks." On Saturday, Nov. 2, the show barn will assume a more rural demeanor for the Bandera Chamber of Commerce Hunters Bar-B-Q & Outdoor Expo.
Servers passed trays of hors d'oeuvres and a seamlessly smooth Southwestern buffet consisted of station-prepared tri-color pepper quesadillas, salsa bar, tamales, pinto bean and corn chilled salad and smoked brisket tacos with pico de gallo and cider and chile sauce. Those who had prudently "left room for dessert" were rewarded with chocolate churros and a decadent chocolate fountain.
Bandera Music Hall of Fame inductees, Art & Lisa, entertained during the pre-party cocktail hour and Texas Swing Hall of Famer Bobby Flores and the Yellow Rose Band kept the dance floor jumping from 8:30 pm until closing time at 11 pm.
Recapping some of the clinic's achievements, Dan Wise, president of the board of directors, told the overflowing crowd that, in 2010, the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic was named a Methodist Healthcare Ministries Funded Partner, enabling MHM to provide at least 10 percent of the clinic annual operating budget. "In 2011 the clinic received Kronkosky Charitable Foundation's annual $50,000 prize, an unsolicited and unrestricted grant, for use where the need was greatest," Wise said.
Additionally, Susan Broa, the clinic's RiskBusters program director, will receive the Outstanding Program Award from the Texas Rural Health Association at their annual conference on Oct. 31.
"Last week we signed an affiliation agreement with the Schreiner University Nursing Program, allowing Schreiner to send their RN students to the Nagel Clinic for 'on-the-job' training," Wise revealed.
By his accounts, fundraising for the $450,000 building expansion had exceeded all expectations. Clinic administrators recently learned the Mabee Foundation in Oklahoma had approved a $90,000 capital grant and another foundation was considering approval of a $100,000 grant.
"Which means that with your generous bidding, tonight could put us over the top in reaching our $450,000 goal," Wise explained. "As soon as we hear from the other foundation, we may be ready to break ground on the expanded Arthur Nagel Community Clinic."