Villa Finale Gala Honors Patsy Steves
By Jake Gaines
Photography by Gary Stanko
THE SCENE: Villa Finale, the only National Trust Historic site in the state of Texas and located in the King William Historic District, was the setting for a recent gala themed Moonlight At Villa Finale. Preservationists, architects, arts patrons, collectors, nature professionals, community leaders, and friends gathered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to present the 2016 Inaugural Walter Nold Mathis Preservation Award to Patsy Steves for her commitment to the promotion of local history and the preservation of cultural, architectural, and nature heritage, and whose vision and determination has made a positive contribution to the quality of life for current and future generations.
THE VIBE: Inspired by over 130 lions in the venue’s 12,000-piece collection, the co-chairs chose ‘The Lion’ to represent the gala and the courageous determination required for preservation. VIP guests in festive spring attire were greeted with champagne, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres in the gardens, and 420 guests dined by moonlight in the garden along the San Antonio River with catering by The RK Group. Stunning glass hurricane vases bearing lion medallions, ringed with white calla lily, hydrangea, and lambs ear designs by Danny Cuellar of Trinity Flowers, and filled with fairy lights created a magical setting. A magnificent lion cake-sculpture created by Morsels by Josie highlighted the sumptuous dessert presentation served with brandy freezes.
THE CAUSE: Nancy Marchbanks Steves, Gloria Steves Dilley, Sarah Hause Steves, Megan Hoffman Steves, and Emily Steves co-chaired the committee with a team of 60 mothers, daughters, and daughters-in-law to plan the gala. Villa Finale was built in 1876 on part of the original farmlands of The Alamo, and restored in the late 1960s by Walter Nold Mathis, who also spearheaded the preservation and revitalization of the King William area as well as many other preservation efforts. The mission of Villa Finale Museum and Gardens is to interpret its collections and site in order to foster an appreciation of the value of cultural heritage and historic preservation. Proceeds from the evening will support educational and cultural programming, historic preservation initiatives, and conservation at Villa Finale Museum and Gardens.