Rockwall Women’s League hosts Big Hat luncheon, announces Grant and Scholarship Program

From left: The Millionaire (Best Ball Theme “A Million Dreams”): Misty Carlyle; The Mini (Best Fascinator): Mary Anna Rilat; The Mask (Best 2020 Themed): Judy Jones; The Dreamer (Most Unique) – Xandra Blevins; The Hat-A-Tude (Most Outrageous): Michelle Van Parys; The Pearl (Best “Girls in Pearls” Theme): Lindsey Collins; The Hattie (Best Overall): Sandra Ownby.

ROCKWALL, TX  – February 7, 2021 – The Big Hats & Girls in Pearls fundraising luncheon for the Rockwall Women’s League (RWL) was held Friday, February 5 at the Yacht Club in Chandler’s Landing. The event included a silent auction, designer handbag raffle, centerpiece contest and a fashion show by the Rockwall ISD advanced fashion design students.

Event Chair Amanda Duquette (left) and Silent Auction Chair Karen Brecheen.

“Planning a fundraiser in the middle of COVID restrictions was a challenge, but we are thrilled at the success of our event.  Moving our silent auction and handbag raffle online this year allowed the community to get involved even if they weren’t able to attend,” said Amanda Duquette, event chair. “Together, we raised more than $42,000.”

Approximately 150 ladies in our community fashioned their hats and put on their pearls to raise money for the RWL Scholarship and Community Grant fund.

The Yacht Club at Chandlers Landing provided the perfect backdrop for the event.

Congrats to the designer handbag winners!
Hattie Award Winner Sandra Ownby earns best overall.

“We are honored to be able to give back to our community in this way,” said Holly Dorward, RWL president. “We’ve raised nearly than $4 million since we began our scholarship and grant program and are excited to continue to award grants and scholarships this spring.”

The highlight of the event was the Rockwall ISD fashion student’s design showcase.  Approximately 15 students modeled evening gowns and fashions they created, several of which have placed in state competitions. Marqelle Fisher, Bella Statham and Karli Bierstedt helped to emcee the show.

Million Dreams Gala coming April 10 

Rockwall Women’s League invites the community to attend the upcoming “A Million Dreams” gala on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at The Star in Frisco.  This 98,000 square foot facility provides plenty of room to spread out tables and social distance. Table sponsorships and individual tickets are available at or on the Rockwall Women’s League site To get a sense of where we’ll be, take a look at this short preview:

About the Rockwall Women’s League community grant & scholarship program

Proceeds from the Rockwall Women’s League annual fundraising Big Hat luncheon and annual charity ball will be used to provide grants to area not-for-profit organizations and scholarships for Rockwall County high school seniors. For the 2019-2020 year, RWL awarded $108,500 to area organizations and $107,500 in scholarships. Starting February 1 through April 1, 2021, grant requests should be submitted in writing and mailed to:

Rockwall Women’s League, PO Box 383, Rockwall, TX 75087. Please contact Karen Koepke at with questions related to grants.

To be considered for a grant request, organizations must be tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The organization must serve Rockwall County. Grant requests should include the program name, program description, program beneficiaries, amount requested, and most recent financial statement.

Scholarship applications for Rockwall ISD, Royse City ISD and Quest Academy students are part of the local scholarship application and can be obtained from the campus high school counselor.  Visit for more information.

Blue Ribbon News staff report. Photos  courtesy of Rockwall Women’s League. 

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