Q & A With Therese Rourk and Dyann Skelton, Chairs, 16th Annual A Writer’s Garden- Tales From Highclere Castle

(Featured photo: Therese Rourk and Dyann Skelton* Lady Carnarvon**)

This exciting event celebrates the 25th Anniversary of A Woman’s Garden happening on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. Honorary chairs are Donna and Herb Weitzman. Therese Rourk and Dyann Skelton are chairs.  Women’s Auxiliary President is Sarah Jo Hardin

Featuring in person, Lady Carnarvon, The Right Honorable Countess of Carnarvon. She will discuss living at Highclere Castle (where Downton Abbey is filmed) and her newest book “Seasons at Highclere.”

Q: Lady Carnarvon in person in Dallas! How exciting! Give us an idea of what’s going to happen at the event.
A: Dyann: VIP champagne reception before the Luncheon to have a photo taken with Lady Carnarvon.
A: Therese: After the reception we will have Lady Carnarvon’s presentation followed by a live auction with some fabulous packages! Book signing is after lunch.

Q: We see there is an underwriting category that has a very special gift from Lady Carnarvon. Can you elaborate?
A: Dyann: Lady Carnarvon brings a gift form her home, Highclere Castle, to give to each of the top donors. This is a personal gift selected and given by her.
A: Therese: All the gifts will be different and a personal momento from her. This is such a special treat for our underwriters.

Q: What is the criteria to receive an invitation to the private Patron Party the night before A Writer’s Garden where Lady Carnarvon will be present?
A: Dyann: The guest must purchase a $1,000 ticket to attend. This can be a $1,000 ticket to AWG or a combo ticket $1,000 to AWG and RRG. Each Patron Party invitation is for 2 guests.
A: Therese: This will be a chance to visit with Lady Carnarvon in an intimate setting.

Q: Will Lady Carnarvon be signing books and chatting with underwriters?
A: Dyann:
She will be chatting with all guests but will only sign books at AWG.
A: Therese: To get a book personally signed you must attend AWG.

Q: Can you tell us any secrets that Lady Carnarvon might reveal?
A: Dyann: Did you know there is an Egyptian Museum in the basement of Highclere Castle?
A: Therese:  Lady Carnarvon’s husband’s great grandfather discovered King Tut’s tomb in 1922.

Q: How are ticket sales going?
A: Dyann: We have had an overwhelming response to AWG this year!
A: Therese: If you want to attend you should get buy your table or ticket now before they are sold out.

Q: How did you ladies get involved with A Writers Garden?
A:. Dyann: I have been involved with the Women’s Council for many years. I chaired The Mad Hatter’s Tea in the past. Also, my mother was one of the original Women’s Council members.
A: Therese: I love the Arboretum and wanted to raise money to support all the new programs for A Woman’s Garden.

Link to more information, sponsorships, tickets, etc. here.

ABOUT THE WOMEN’S COUNCIL: Celebrating its 40th Anniversary.
Since 1982 the major goal of the Women’s Council has been the design, construction, funding and endowment of A Woman’s Garden, the only public garden in the United States conceived by women, funded by the efforts of women and dedicated to the spirit of women. The support of over 500 members of the Women’s Council makes possible the continued expansion and development of A Woman’s Garden. The Women’s Council is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  www.wcdabg.org

At the May 2022 Women’s Council Meeting: Lisa Loy Laughlin, 2021-2022 President; Sarah Jo Hardin, 2022-2023 President; Karen Sargent, 2023-2024 President-Elect.****
Grand Entrance Dedicated To Carrie Marcus Neiman By Neiman Marcus***

ABOUT A WOMAN’S GARDEN: Celebrating its 25th Anniversary.
A Woman’s Garden is the only public garden in the nation conceived, constructed and maintained by the funding efforts of women. Ablaze with color in every season, A Woman’s Garden sits majestically as a living testament to the passion and vision of the Women’s Council founders and the boundless energy and devotion of its members whose commitment to creating a garden dedicated to the universal spirit of women across generations is realized in its inspired design. Our beautiful garden celebrates the power, creativity, resourcefulness, passion and unwavering commitment of the women who came before us and those entrusted with its care now, and into the future.   

*Photo by Danny Campbell

** Photo by Patsy Arnett

***Photo courtesy Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

****Photo by Rob Wythe/Wythe Portrait Studio

(Sharon Adams, Adams Communications Public Relations, is honored to represent the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden and post this Philanthropy Lifestyles Q & A.)


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly SocialWhirl.com), the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.