Yellow Rose Gala Masquerade Ball Raises Half Million for MS Research

Yellow Rose Gala tennis shoe wearers
Kennedy Wynne, Jennifer Troice, Katie Wynne, Toddie Lee Wynne, Michelle Hill, Gregory Martin Photography

The Yellow Rose Gala Foundation celebrated big at their April 15 Masquerade Ball, “Everything’s Bigger in Texas!” The ball, presented by Simmons Bank, netted more than half a million dollars for Multiple Sclerosis research. The funds benefit the International Progressive MS Alliance and UT Southwestern Peter O’Donnell Brain Institute.

During the cocktail hour, the theme was vibrantly brought to life with masked yellow rose-covered stilt walkers, giant masked jesters, and a parading brass band. The 500 guests took photos in front of an iconic 8-foot yellow rose wall, or sat in a Back to the Future DeLorean for a photo op. An array of 150+ silent auction items included incredible art by Nita Patel, Jennifer Troice, and Tayler Daum, plus lavish trips and stunning jewelry.

Impactful Testimonies

The messages of the night were real and impactful with personal stories from Gala Chairs Christie Eckler and David Moore, both MS warriors themselves. Heartfelt words were also heard from the Wynne family and their determination to carry on Yellow Rose Founder Dee Wynne’s legacy to find a cure. Touching testimony from Artist and MS warrior Jennifer Troice were also heard, and encouraging words from UT Southwestern researcher and neurologist, Dr. Benjamin Greenberg.

Yellow Rose Gala Masquerade Ball raises funds for MS
GC Cameron and Jane Lombardi photo by Sammy Estrada

Catherine Cox’s lovely rendition of “You’ll be in My Heart” from Tarzan honored the 2023 Courage award recipient, the Jean Bateman Family and their beloved Walker Bateman. Guests were also moved by the video of children who decorated 500 masks to personally raise money for MS research. Entertainment was provided by Motown icon and legend, GC Cameron, former lead singer of the Spinners and Temptations. Guests continued to dance the night away with a featured performance by 2023 Gala Chair David Moore’s band, Moore Melodies. The evening ended with late night bites from Whataburger.

Yellow Rose Gala Honorary Chairs

Honorary chairs were Patrick and Kristy Sands, longtime Yellow Rose supporters and Dallas Philanthropists. Chair Emeritus were Larry Lott and Sheree J. Wilson of the hit TV shows, Dallas and Walker Texas Ranger.

Yellow Rose Gala masquerade ball
Diana Miller, Jimmy Wynne, Co-Chair Christie Eckler photo by Gregory Martin Photography

Guests included Laurie Sands Harrison, Mary and Bob Black, Fran Cashen, Paula and Scott Burford, Patty and Andrew Jackson, Jane Lombardi, Allison and Justin McAfee, Jimmy Wynne, Diana and Mike Miller, Anne Davidson, Martha Tiller, Kim Dale Pflueger and Brad Pflueger, Tammany and Rob Stern, Jennifer Troice and husband Dr. Jaime Haidenberg, Dora Chu, Maria and Jock Stafford, Nora and Dale Jacobs, and Congressman Pat Fallon

The Yellow Rose Gala Foundation is an active 501(c)(3) that has the drive and vision to forever rid the world of Mutiple Sclerosis. Through this initiative the Yellow Rose Gala Foundation is partnering with the National MS Society where 100% of the net proceeds raised will go to Progressive MS research through the International Progressive MS Alliance. For more information, visit

The International Progressive MS Alliance is an unprecedented international initiative that is connecting resources and experts around the world to find answers and develop solutions to end progressive MS. The goal of the Alliance is to speed the development of new treatments for progressive MS by funding the best research, wherever it exists. The Alliance is led with management from MS organizations in Australia, Canada, Italy, the U.K, the U.S., and the MS International Federation, and expanding financial and resource support from these and other organizations, including the MS organizations in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain and Sweden.

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Jo Ann Holt
Jo Ann Holt is an award-winning journalist with 40+ years of experience as a writer and editor. She loves live performances, from country music concerts to Broadway musicals to community theatre productions. Holt also enjoys art and cultural festivals, and good food and wine. She’s toured Amsterdam, London, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and various cities in Mexico but looks forward to visiting even more countries. She has traveled by boat, plane, and train, but especially likes taking long road trips across the U.S. with her husband, retired history professor Durhl Caussey. They enjoy meeting friendly people, learning about different cultures, and visiting historic sites wherever they go.