Celebrating 125 Years
"May the happiness of the past be not forgotten in the future." - Amon G. Carter
A party 125 years in the making
On the evening of June 10, 2010, 125 years after The Fort Worth Club was established, members and staff threw a party that was destined for the history books. The tone for the evening was set early. Members were greeted with champagne in the parking garage, took the elevator to the 12th floor, and were welcomed by event chair Gail Landreth, who led them to the Top of the Town. A buffet of blinis and caviar awaited them, situated around a massive centerpiece of pink and orange flowers that nearly reached the ceiling.
"I could not wait to see everyone's reaction," Landreth said.
James Davis played the piano briefly to a crowd of more than 340 packed into the reception room. Camera bulbs flashed as guests slowly made their way to the Trinity and Horizon rooms for dinner. Shades of coral lighting traveled up the Club's walls and pin spots focused on candelabras and crystal on each table. The gold damask linens were carefully selected by the decor committee, and complemented the fine, gold-rimmed china.
"There were a number of memorable moments," said Pollard Rogers, the 125th anniversary co-chair. "The table settings, the video, the well-orchestrated flow of the dinner...as well as each course."
Rather than host a key note speaker, the 125th anniversary committee opted to show a custom-produced film, highlighting the history of the Club with interviews from members and employees. The concept worked.
"I experience a lot of different emotions during the production of the video," said Shirlee Gandy, the event's historical chair and lead in video planning. "I was concerned about timing, budget and getting a good representation of Club members and long-time employees to share their memories."
Members cheered with excitement throughout the video when it premiered. Humor, touching moments and a glimpse at Fort Worth history combined for a 15-minute film that touched the hearts of many.
A new generation
Most members showed up in pairs however one imaginative group of young men broke the norm. Nearly 10 "bachelors for the evening" attended the event stag, making for a memorable table.
"We had a great time and it really showed me the friends I've made because of the Club," said junior member Gordon Rhodes. "Joseph DeWoody said to me, 'Man, this is great. I love that we are the new generation of this Club."
Long-time member Arnie Gachman, the event's co-chair, says it was gratifying to see the results and so many people pleased.
"We started about two years ago with a concept, but taking that concept into really specific, executed parts of plan was the hardest part," Gachman said. "And you cannot leave out the role of the staff. They did a great job of fulfilling their part of making that evening so special."