WAXAHACHIE — A celebratory night packed full of dessert buffets, awards, and seven Waxahachie High School Ex-students who excelled in fine arts is what was in store for the first-ever Fine Arts Hall of Fame inductees Saturday, Dec. 10. The ex-students honored work in a career field involved with musical, visual, culinary, communication, theater, literary arts and graduated from WHS least ten years prior.

Margaret Felty, Ex-Students Association president for the last four years, sparked the idea of the event just over a year ago when she realized how advanced the fine arts department at WISD was and is already planning for the second event.

"Fine arts at Waxahachie High School are a very prominent thing. We have a good fine arts department in all areas. We also want to promote arts at the school, and it will also offer scholarships to students who are planning to go forth in their career in fine arts," Felty said.

Ex-Students inducted into the Fine Arts Hall of Fame include Jeremiah Richey class of 1998, Sam Taylor class of 1970, Larry Felty class of 1958, Beverly Everett class of 1988, Park Cooper class of 1990, Scott Dorsett class of 1976 and former WHS band director Harold Dorsey.

Different criteria for each award was explained on the nomination form.

According to the form, a musician, artist, performer and writer must have "Excelled in Waxahachie High School Fine Arts with a minimum two-year letter award, all district, all-state, state recognition, college scholarship, professional career, etc."

The event featured a silent auction, art displays by inductee Larry Felty and WHS art students and a dessert buffet with chocolate chip cookies, strawberry shortcake bites, pecan pralines and various other items prepared by WHS culinary arts students.

“I had the help of the WHS culinary arts students and Chef Joel Skipper, the WHS art teacher Sean Cagle and theater teacher Ryan Mullican. They did so much and helped me set up for the entire event,” Felty said.

During the awards ceremony, a surprise appearance to accept his induction award made by WDL Photojournalist Scott Dorsett. His appearance highlighted the night for not only Felty but many Ellis County residents who were in attendance. Dorsett was struck by a car in August leaving him temporarily disabled.

“I think everybody was just overwhelmed when Scott came out to accept his award. There were lots of tears and an immediate standing ovation, it was beautiful,” Felty said.

Dorsett was the second award recipient of the night and blew a kiss to the crowd goodbye after making him first hometown debut since his accident.

“I am grateful for the hard work put in by committee members that contributed in some form or fashion, and we had success because of it. We are hoping to do this event again in January 2018, so people will not have Christmas events going on the weekends and it is easier to plan,” Felty said.

She noted that she was very grateful for the silent auction donors who helped in raising the near $2,000 that will benefit WHS senior scholarship recipients involved in fine arts.

“Their silent auction donations are what made this successful in raising a substantial amount of money for scholarships for this next year,” Felty said.

These donors include: Auto Tent & Design, Sugar Ridge Winery, Campuzanos Mexican Food Restaurant, Beauty Lane Spa, Shara Glass, Pro Star Rental, Berdolls Pecans, Painting with a Twist, Misty Pendleton Body & Soul, Boyce Feed & Grain, The Greenery, Comfort Suites, Compton’s Carpet Cleaning, Megan Hayes, Urban Air Trampoline, Glenn Smith Carpets, Bitter Sweets, Plain Jane & Co., Field to Meals, Ya Ya Foot Spa, Red Oak Valley Golf Club, Star Nails, Bundle of Love, Cross Country Pest Control, Eubanks Florist, White Buffalo, Christy Wolff, Patti Holloway, The Mix, Camp Gladiator, Casey Matthews, Ellis County Children’s Theatre, Meat Sweats, Gallery the Haque, M.E. Krans, Bless Your Heart Girls and Bobby McMillan.

In total, nearly $7,000 was raised for scholarship funds with the remaining $5,000 collected from monetary donations, advertisements sales and ticket sales.

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Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_WDL

(469) 517-1454