Been wanting to break your chaps and lasso out of the closet?

The Exchange Club of Lake Highlands has the perfect opportunity with its 16th Annual City Slickers Country & Western Charity Auction and Dinner. The event isn’t taking place until Saturday, April 1, but now’s the time to round up your tickets, says auction chairman and CPA Bill Sims, before they sell out.

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Oh, and about those chaps…we’re just kidding. Jeans, boots and cowboy hats are more likely to be the attire of the night, Sims says.

The yearly even is the club’s primary fundraiser, and most of the annual proceeds go toward funding scholarships for graduating high-school seniors.

“Last year the club gave out about $100,000 in scholarships,” says Sims, a five-year Exchange Club member, “and our goal this year is certainly to equal, if not exceed, that.”

Exchange Club members are also planning to donate a portion of the night’s proceeds to another worthwhile community project – the spray-ground at the Lake Highlands North Recreation Center. The Lake Highlands Junior Women’s League is trying to raise $50,000, over and above the Dallas Parks Department budget for this recreation area, for added amenities such as shade canopies, picnic tables and more.

“We think helping with that project would be a worthwhile thing on our part,” Sims says.

In the past, he adds, mostly club members and their families have attended the auction. He’d like to see more neighbors who aren’t involved in the Exchange Club come out for the event.

“That’s really something I would like to change. It would be nice to get more people involved in this, because I think our purpose is worthwhile.” Plus, he adds, the gala is “a fun time…we have good (auction) items and good food there.”

What are some of those auction items? Solicitation chairman Ryan Rommel says among the more tantalizing are:

  • A round of golf for four at the area’s top three private golf clubs
  • A seven-day, all-inclusive Caribbean cruise for two from SeaDream
  • A package of Holiday Blooms for each of the five special – occasion holidays from McShan Florist
  • A week stay in a Playa del Carmen vacation home, provided by Dean and Missy Vanderbilt
  • A weekend stay at the historic Monmouth Plantation in Natchez, Miss.

Even more coveted, adds Rommel, is the reserved parking space for five of the Lake Highlands High School Wildcat’s home football games.

“We know what is important to Lake Highlands, don’t we?” he jokes.

But high school football fans or not, Sims wants the whole neighborhood to know they’re welcome at the event.

“It’s a way for people to support the neighborhood and support the schools and their community.”