The History of Kappa Tablescapes
In 1995, well into the second decade of successful Kappa Homes Tours, the Dallas Alumnae Association of Kappa Kappa Gamma was ready for a change. The idea was to design a luncheon that would kick off the Homes Tour, which raised money for community non-profits and Kappa philanthropies. If well received, it would become the future fundraiser for the Association.
The brainstorming began and ideas flowed, but the one that energized the committee the most came from a fundraiser recently begun in Ft. Worth. An event sponsored by Kappas and Pi Phis displayed tables decorated by various people, and nothing like it had yet been seen in Dallas.
The co-chairs of the Homes Tour Kick-Off Luncheon met with Kappas in Ft. Worth who generously shared their thoughts and ideas. The possibilities were exciting and they believed an event highlighting the abundance of talent in Dallas could be a premier event!
The venue was selected and the outline of the Tablescapes Luncheon event was formulated. Guests would arrive at 10:00 AM and have an hour and a half to tour the tables. At 11:30 a speaker would present an informative and entertaining program, followed by a delicious and enjoyable lunch with friends.
A committee was formed with eager Kappas filling the jobs of arrangements, menu planning, invitations, underwriting, reservations, volunteer recruitment, favors, etc. A gifted artist, public relation guru, and Kappa was asked to design the invitation and program.
Now that 'The Plan' and Committee were in place, table decorators had to be enlisted! A list of Dream Team designers was made to reflect a variety of artistic individuals and businesses.
Of course, many of our own talented Kappas were at the top of the list. Extraordinary floral designers were invited to participate along with unique boutique shops, well-known interior designers, party planners, and famous high-end stores. Everyone was excited for the opportunity to showcase their skills, talents and wares. Each would design a 60” round table seating eight guests. Designers were encouraged to let their creative juices flow and decorate in whatever theme they desired using place settings, centerpieces, etc.
While the decorators dreamed and schemed, underwriting packets were mailed, inviting donors to purchase tables and tickets for seating at each of the 58 tables. The response was overwhelming and in a short time the luncheon sold out!
After six months of preparation, the day came and the first Kappa Tablescapes was unveiled. The 500 guests and volunteers were thrilled and Kappas were on their way to a new and successful tradition!It has been amazing to witness how Kappa Tablescapes has grown since 1995! To accommodate the numbers of people who wanted to attend, in its second year, Tablescapes by Candlelight was added the evening before the luncheon, hosting more than 500 guests who viewed the artful tables while enjoying a cocktail buffet and music.
The diversity in Kappa Tablescapes has given it its energy! Guests have been inspired, amused and awed by the numerous productions that range from elegant to casual, and from formal to whimsical.
Tables have ranged from Elvis kitsch to the First Lady of Texas, Laura Bush’s table, which highlighted Texas authors’ books and antique silver wine goblets from the Texas Governor’s Mansion. We have delighted in tables celebrating Halloween, children’s parties, anniversaries, "girls night out", and every theme imaginable!
Creative themes include a table enclosed with netting to keep the live Monarch butterflies floating above its diners, a “Free Martha Stewart” table that portrayed a tongue-in-cheek jailhouse table décor, and a Kappa husbands' table with outdoor sportsman gear and turkey plates.
Designers have even brought their own tables and chairs. One year the outline of the Titanic was brought, on which the fated liner’s last meal was poignantly depicted. The sky truly is the limit when imagination is given free reign!
The best news to relate is that over $3,000,000 has been raised and distributed to more than 100 beneficiaries in Dallas County since 1995. We are thankful for the continued generosity and creativity of our incredible designers, for the support of our individual and corporate underwriters, and the enthusiasm and volunteer spirit of our Kappa alumnae. We have truly been blessed!