BY CORINNE WHITE
Editors note: Along with her husband, Bruce, Beth White, one of the country’s most informed philanthropists and cleverest entertainers, created a legend of a weekend in Wyoming to honor one of her favorite organizations. Beth has added a few personal memories to daughter Corinne’s article for Classic Chicago.
Chicagoans gathered at the extraordinary Brush Creek Ranch in Saratoga, Wyoming, for a special two-night event to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago in September. The 65 guests raised more than $650,000 for the organization.
Beth: Soon after we moved to Chicago, I joined the Women’s Board of BGCC in 2006, when I saw how the clubs had such a positive impact on kids living in tough neighborhoods. Thanks to BGCC, kids are staying in school and growing in such encouraging ways.
Two years ago we did an adventure in Austin with about 45 people to benefit BGCC, and we decided we wanted to welcome everyone to our Wyoming ranch where we spend most of our time.
Six years ago we hosted ‘Cowgirls for the Cure’ at Brush Creek. We loved entertaining this opportunity to introduce the Brush Creek magic and its tranquility to our BGCC supporters.
Bruce and I were delighted to double our numbers for this 48-hour Western experience.
Recently voted #1 resort in the country by readers of Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler, Brush Creek Ranch offers over 30,000 acres of majestic mountain beauty with all of the comforts of a luxury resort.
Attendees were welcomed with an exclusive, interactive tour and dinner at the Ranch’s newest addition, the Farm at Brush Creek.
Beth: It is amazing how, in 48 hours, friendships can grow and new ones be made. Our guests were not just from Chicago. The Constable of London was among those in attendance as well as friends of ours from Colorado. And, most importantly, they knew that they were there to support the BGCC.
The Farm offers a suite of premier culinary experiences including a brewery, distillery, creamery, bakery, spirit vault, fine dining restaurant, and world-class wine cellar. Next door, over 20,000 square feet of greenhouse space grows fresh produce for the farm and resort.
Dinner was hosted in the 94-yard long Wine Tunnel. All 70 guests sat at one long table.
Beth: Velvet tablecloths, beautiful art work, candlelight, and great wines created a dramatic setting. The evening was held in the same place we celebrated Corinne’s wedding last summer. The wine cellar and its several different rooms, including the founder’s cellar, and the barrel tasting room, surrounded the guests. We also have a bakery at the end of the cellar.
For the late evening festivities, guests were surprised via a secret entrance to the Spirit Vault, an underground speakeasy that carries some of the most exclusive whiskies and bourbons in the world.
The next day featured a variety of ranch activities including horseback riding, fly-fishing, shooting, archery, hiking, biking, and yoga.
Beth: And you can be quite happy just sitting on your porch in a swing and letting Brush Creek work its magic. It is often a spiritual experience.
After cocktail hour in the ranch’s authentic saloon and a delicious dinner, guests were treated to a private performance by the incredible Lyle Lovett and His Large Band. The concert took place in the ranch’s historic Cowboy Chapel, built in 1934.
Beth: Everybody was dancing! Many of our guests are operagoers but quickly took to Lyle, who is so warm, at his intimate concert. The historic barn was once a hayloft.
It was a fabulous couple of days for a great cause!
For more information, visit brushcreekranch.com or call 307-327-5284.