One woman’s dream has become a reality — a unique event and wedding facility in Keller, one that will benefit the Greater Keller Women's Club Foundation and provide a beautiful venue for weddings and civic events.
The Bowden held a dedication ceremony Aug. 20, which was attended by hundreds of Keller citizens, city officials and family friends of the facility's benefactors, Don Bowden and his late wife, Linda, who died in May at the age of 76.
The couple donated $20 million to build The Bowden, which saw its first wedding reception Sept. 2.
Building the facility was a dream of Linda Bowden, her husband said, and after accepting proclamations and expressions of gratitude from various speakers, Don Bowden said he was very pleased with how the facility has turned out.
“More than we anticipated — it’s great, just great,” Don Bowden told K Magazine at the dedication. “It turned out wonderful.”
Linda Bowden was a former president and longtime member of the Greater Keller Women’s Club and had long lamented the lack of places in Keller where special events could be held.
Her husband has had a long, successful career as a businessman and entrepreneur in the restaurant and food industry.
The Bowdens bought the 11-acre lot at 1747 Keller Parkway for the project that was then gifted to the foundation.
All profits from the facility will go to the Greater Keller Women’s Club Foundation, which will redirect them back into the community through the charities the club supports.
The Bowden will serve as the home of the Greater Keller Women’s Club and its foundation.
Nestled behind a stand of trees off Keller Parkway, The Bowden features the Holly Chapel, which can accommodate 250 quests for a wedding. It has 20-foot windows framed by Douglas fir beams.
The Holly Chapel, named in honor of the Bowdens’ late daughter, Holly, has separate suites for the bride and groom that will enhance preparations for the wedding ceremony.
The Greater Keller Ballroom in the event center has just under 10,000 square feet of space for receptions and other large events. The entry to the event center is constructed of a dozen massive wood trusses, making it appear similar to a ski lodge.
The ballroom's floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of the patio, pond and nature abundant behind the center. The ballroom features a state-of-the-art audiovisual system, 16-foot-wide screens and adjustable lighting. It can seat more than 560 people.
At the dedication ceremony, Esteva Bargo, executive director of The Bowden, thanked the Bowdens for their generosity and said, “We will forever see the imprint of Linda Bowden” on the center.
She also thanked the center’s builder, McShane Construction, and the designer of the building, Jacob Engineering, for paying such close attention to vision of the Bowdens and the foundation.
Those attending the dedication ceremony were treated to delicious foods and drinks from The Bowden’s preferred caterers and vendors — area restaurants and caterers including the Classic at Roanoke, Devivo Bros. Eatery, FnG Eats, Mockingbird Food Co., TCP Catering, Jedidah Coffee Mobile Bar and Dandelion Cheesecakes.
Other preferred vendors who exhibited were Dan Quinn Band, Fleurs & Events by Amparao, GBS Linens, Plush Photo Booth and Studio 3.
The facility has its own kitchen under the direction of Chef Kevin Cedillo, who says he’s excited about the center’s opening. He adds it already has a busy schedule of events planned ahead.