Big Night Fundraiser Attracts Staubachs, Guests and Feathered Friends

By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager

How would you plan a big night? Would it include gourmet Tapas with craft beer and wine? How about music – maybe a live band? You must have a S’mores bar outside complete with marshmallow roasting fire pit. What about a bird show?

That was Big Thought Big Night at Trinity River Audubon Center. Our version of a big night highlighted Marianne and Roger Staubach, 250 guests, and four feathered friends.

Big Thought’s inaugural Big Night raised $126,535 to help close the educational opportunity gap for under-resourced children in Dallas. The casual-attired event, with TRAC’s 120-acre nature preserve as a backdrop, featured live music by Paradise In the Sun, a stocked bar loaded with craft beer and wine, delish finger foods that tasted as good as it looked, a S’mores bar overlooking the beautifully tranquil landscape.

Guests included Marianne and Roger Staubach, the evening’s Honorary Chairs; Melora and Bill Leiser, the Event Chairs; Big Thought President and CEO Gigi Antoni and her husband Dana Mullen. Also in attendance were Big Night Co-Chairs Alison and DeWitt Corrigan, Trish Parks, Giles Davidson, Emeka Anyanwu, and Irene Hosford.

We had many Big Thought Board Members in attendance including: Bill Albers, Phylecia Bare, Eric Brewer, Jennifer Chandler, Shaun Dowling, Melissa McNeil, Jeanette Johnson, Rina Parikh, Dan Patino, Pat Porter, Carol Riddick, Byron Sanders, Ketric Sanford, Kay McCallum, Terri and Steve Simoni, Joe Stout, Holly Tucker, and Larry Whitt.

Other notable attendees: Emily and David Corrigan, Maggie Corrigan, Haily Summerford, and many others.

The Window to the Wild bird show was certainly the hit of the evening. Window to the Wild co-founders Lindsey and Simon McNeny introduced us to four fine-feathered friends – a great horned owl, a black vulture, a Harris hawk and a screech owl. They flew for treats, perched on pedestals, and even landed atop one guest wearing a towering hat resembling a tree stump.

“Big Night was so wonderful,” said Melora Leiser, Big Night Chair and Big Thought Board Member. “Many people told me that they had a magical time. Roger and Marianne both said they hadn’t had that much fun at a fundraiser in a long time!”

The evening also included dancing, mingling, an Owl Prowl nighttime stroll, raffle giveaways, a student art exhibit themed to Where the Wild Things Are, naturally, and an inspirational call-and-repeat from DaVerse Lounge mentor Alejandro Pérez Jr.

“We all had a wonderful time on Friday at Big Thought Big Night,” said Deniz Usbug, Marketing Manager, IPS Advisors.

“Thank you again for the opportunity to learn more about Big Thought. The Big Thought team did a great job and every last detail was so well attended to from the food to the music.”

We would like to express deep gratitude to our sponsors Kroger, QuikTrip, Capital One, IPS Advisors, and Independent Bank for their generous support.



Big ThoughtBig Night Fundraiser Attracts Staubachs, Guests and Feathered Friends