We’re Toasting: The John Wayne Film Festival

john wayne

Last night we wrapped an epic weekend of film and fun honoring the legendary actor, John Wayne, while raising money for his John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

In a record amount of time festival committee for the 1st Dallas John Wayne Film Fest, spearheaded by the amazing efforts of Co-Chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill, along with fellow Co-Chair David Hale Smith, called upon friends, neighbors, colleagues and associates to join in our efforts to raise funds for cancer research and assistance, while enjoying 4 days of Wayne….a slew of favorite John Wayne films shown on the big screens with reclining chairs at festival host, Look Cinemas.

Gary and I were honored to be asked to be a part of the festival committee, with Gary joining in to introduce films throughout the weekend and interview special guests attending, like Marisa Wayne, Ethan Wayne, Anita Swift, Melinda Wayne Munoz and Patrick Wayne, children and grand-children of the actor, Ed Faulkner who appeared in over 100 westerns throughout his acting career, and now at the age of 80-something had a ball reminiscing about those days working on classic films, and very special guest, actress Ann-Margret.

As good Texans know, every event needs a great party holding nightly post-film celebrations featuring music from Pat Green, Hunter Sullivan and our buddy, Robert Lee Kobb and his band, pouring favorite Texas spirits like Tito’s Vodka and Four Corners Brewery Beer, even pouring some of the first tastes of the soon to be released DUKE Bourbon, created by Ethan Wayne and his Monument Valley Distillers partners. Each evening’s festivities only enhanced the joy of watching film history for such an important cause.

No one but the Stodghills could have pulled off such a fantastic feat in such a short time, far exceeding donation goals for the foundation with festival preparations beginning just after New Year’s this year. Bravo and well done to all involved. Gosh, what are we going to do to top this when we have a whole year to plan….

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