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Longhorn Ballroom Opens With An Evening of Philanthropy, Music, and Food

The new owners of “America’s most unique ballroom” are proud to open its doors for an inaugural celebration of Texas music, culinary delights, visual arts and, most of all, disadvantaged children across the Metroplex. Taking place on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 7 p.m. to midnight at the newly renovated Longhorn Ballroom, Love for Kids’ 7th annual fundraising event Palette to Palate will serve as the historic venue’s first event since changing hands to the LaFrance family in February of this year. “The Voice” of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys Leon Rausch to perform alongside a slew of talented musicians in a Bob Wills Tribute Band following a lighting ceremony celebrating the return of the original landmark sign marquee during a VIP event at 6 p.m. RSVP here to attend. The ceremony is free and open to the public. The inaugural fundraiser themed “Stetsons and Stilettos” will also act as a celebration for the local charity’s 42nd anniversary. Tickets to the event are $70 in advance here or $80 at the door.

The Longhorn Ballroom is located at 216 Corinth St., Dallas, Texas 75207. “We’re honored to have Love For Kids help us re-open the Ballroom,” said LaFrance. “It will be a wonderful opportunity to give back to our community, while enjoying live music by Texas country legends.” This year’s fundraiser has a “western twist” with traditional food, wine, art and showcasing a slew of top Texas red dirt country western talent during the tasting hours of the evening. A night full of 15 artist exhibit areas, 12 culinary tasting tables and four wine tasting booths, “Stetsons and Stilettos” will also offer cowboys and cowgirls a chance to bid on over 150 silent and live auction items and sample dishes to from Dallas’ best restaurants. Celebrity chef and CEO of The Spice of Life Catering, Tillman’s Roadhouse and Innovative Hospitality Group Jeffrey Kollinger will be the evening’s featured chef.

Kollinger is also at the helm of the Ballroom’s in-house chef and caterering group. “We can’t wait to announce the culinary partners and visual artists for this year’s event,” said Carolyn Hrncir, vice president of Love For Kids and event chair for Palette to Palate. “The combination of outstanding wineries, alongside the best in Dallas’ culinary and visual arts, will be a wonderful complement to our stellar music line- up.” Decades since country music legends like Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard performed, The Longhorn Ballroom welcomes Love For Kids with open arms and an open stage. The first live music performance at the historic venue in at least ten years will not disappoint, with Love For Kids corralling the best in country music for the over-the-top western glam event this September. Seven-time Grammy Award nominee Stefani Little Lynes will lead the Bob Wills Tribute Band with “The Voice” of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys Leon Rausch, Layne Golden on guitar and vocals, late Ballroom owner and bandleader Dewey Groom’s nephew Lynn Groom on keys and vocals, Junior Knight on steel guitar, Rob Flickinger on Fiddle, Brook Wallace Deaton on fiddle and vocals, Roger Ramsey on bass guitar, Paul Paymon on drums and Ginny Hix on vocals. Last but not least, a plaque is to be presented by Hrncir to Jay LaFrance, owner of The Longhorn Ballroom, in honor of the “King of Western Swing.” to be on display in the Ballroom’s first-ever Hall of Fame will be revealed as attendees enter the newly renovated space, showcasing 67 years of music history and a shadowbox filled with memorabilia from the Bob Wills Foundation. The evening will be a family affair with members of millionaire O.L. Nelms’s family and former Ballroom owners’ Bob Wills, Dewey Groom, Raul Ramirez and Jay LaFrance’s families in attendance. Love For Kids late co-founder and philanthropist Bill Barrett’s daughter will present honorary chair Barry Corbin, who has acted in over 200 films and is known for his charitable endeavors across the nation, Love For Kids, with the 2017 Bill Barrett Humanitarian Award. A second award will be given to Dallas restauranteur of Desperado Mexican Restaurants, Jorge Levy, by Love For Kids former chairwoman and representative of The Barrett Family Foundation Martha Barrett Zamorano. Special performances by up-and-coming country stars like Jason Ashley, Bradley Banning, Jayne Carter, Erin Kinsey and several others will also take place. The event will be emceed by Trey Morgan of the WOLF.

A wide array of visual artists will be creating live and showcasing original works of art at the event including featured figurative sculpture artist Juju Bartush, Italian-Lebanese painter and sculptor Masri and portrait artist Isabelle Guillen. Jackie Johnston, Milessa Murphy Stewart, Lina Rincon-Hoover, Stephanie Itzel, Chris McCarra, Traci Lester, Steve Uriegas and Linda Chidsey Designs’ work will also be on display.

“Love For Kids held three of our senior events at The Longhorn in the ‘80s and ‘90s,” said Sandy Huffman, president of Love For Kids and chair advisor for Palette to Palate. “What a great remembrance of the past and a celebration for the future growth of our signature events and programs at this year’s event.”

90 percent of all funds raised on Sept. 9 at the 7th annual Palette to Palate Western-themed event will go towards its yearly events and community based programs providing for underserved and high-risk children and for the chronically ill and in-need senior community. Love For Kids hosts three events each year, its

“Children’s Holiday Event,” “All Kids Count” and “Senior Spring Fling,” an event with deep roots in The Longhorn Ballroom’s past.

For more information about Palette to Palate and to purchase tickets to this year’s event “Stetsons and Stilettos,” visit

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