It’s a done deal. Groveling won’t even help. . . well, maybe if you know the right person, but still doubtful.
Since it was established in 1992 by Rainbow Days, the Promise Awards has honored nearly 200 individuals, corporations and organizations that have “made extraordinary contributions to benefit the children and further the mission” of Rainbow Days.
Thursday the following honorees were recognized at Brook Hollow Golf Club -
- Board member: Chuck Curtis and Jason Hammons
- Community organization: MetroCare Services
- Education partnership: Mountain View College
- Foundation: Graham and Carolyn Holloway Family Foundation
- Government official: Senator Florence Shapiro
- Individual: Susan Hoff
- Local partnership: Hunger Busters
- Unsung heroes: Michele Danches and Rosie the therapy dog
- Individual volunteer: Josephine Rihoo
- Corporate volunteer: Bank of America
- Youth services: Chelsea and Dori Neason
- Memorial: Mike Williams
The plans are in place for the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Celebration to take place on the MHHB Friday. As Event Chair Lynn McBee put it this morning, “We are rolling and all is going to be superb!”
But this is not going to be like events at the Hilton Anatole or Brook Hollow. Translation: What makes it special and a little challenging is that it’s never been done before, so we thought you might like some tips on how to enjoy the experience.
First of all, let’s get this out of the way for the naysayers. The funds raised by this $200-a-head event with Lyle Lovett on stage are going to help pay for the free weekend of activities open to the public on the MHHB.
TENTATIVE TIME LINE:
- 6:00 p.m. — Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge gets lit. No, the bridge is not going to get tipsy. The lights will be turned on. Really!
- 7:00 p.m. — Official start time
- 7:45 p.m. — Brief remarks by dignitaries and members of the Margaret Hunt Hill family
- 9:00 p.m. — Lyle Lovett and his Large Band will perform on stage
- 10:00 p.m. — Fireworks and a final number by Lovett and his band
DIRECTIONS AND PARKING:
There will be complimentary valet parking on the west side of the Trinity River. To get to the parking, you are advised to use the Continental Bridge or Singleton. If you’re on Continental, get in the left lane. Be patient. You just know there’s likely to be a lineup for parking.
TICKETS: There are none, but don’t get any ideas of crashing the party. The organizers have a mammoth list with the names of all the guests. If your name ain’t on the list, you ain’t getting on the bridge. Check-in will be just behind the valet parking area.
ATTIRE: Leave the silks, satins and pearls at home. Wear comfortable shoes or boots because you’ll want to stroll the bridge. Also, a jacket would be a good idea. At Monday’s press conference, the temperature seemed cooler on the bridge thanks to the winds. Layered dressing has always been a lifesaver in Texas.
SEATING: There will be seats throughout the venue, especially in the VIP area, but this event is not a sit-down-dinner affair. It’s a walk around to explore the bridge and the booths which “contain interactive displays from non-profit organizations involved in the Trinity River Corridor development (Trinity River Audubon Center, Trinity Waters, Groundwork Dallas and The Trinity Trust Foundation).”
FOOD: Lots of it from Trinity Groves celebrity chefs and specialty drinks, .
ENTERTAINMENT: In addition to the Lyle Lovett concert, Lucy Wrubel will be DJ-ing, Street Corner Symphony will perform, Dallas Pedicabs will be there, and more.
RESTROOMS: Portable lavatories will be in place.
RECOMMENDED MUST-ACCESSORY: Cameras. On the other hand, sunglasses won’t be necessary. That is unless you’re having eye problems or want folks to think you’re special.
WEATHER: Let’s be honest. Nobody can guarantee the weather conditions, so check with MySweetCharity. If there are any POA changes, they will be posted here immediately.
SMOKING: Yes and no. Signs will be posted around the tents designating “No Smoking” areas. Otherwise, light up. UPDATE: We’re oh-so flattered! Seems that someone in charge of fire dug into the situation and decided “No Smoking” anywhere on the bridge. No, it’s not because of some city ordinance. Well, not exactly. Seems that due to the fuels on the bridge for cooking, etc., they’re fearful that one loose spark might give birth to an unwanted fire grill. . . uh, drill. So, if you want a smoke, you’re going to have to march down to the Trinity basin and light up there.
FINAL SUGGESTIONS: This will be the one-and-only-time that a gala will ever be held on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, so you’ll be a part of history. So be patient, be safe and have fun.
As the majority of guests gathered just outside the Hilton Anatole’s Grand Ballroom for the annual TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon, a coterie of VIP’s were holed up in the Plum Blossom Room across the way Friday. These were the current and past recipients, family and “friends.”
Among the friends was Mayor Big Mike Rawlings, who seems to be everywhere, everywhere from Central Market openings to major fundraisers. On this occasion, he was not only here to promote the arts within the community but to have an impromptu chat with Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Celebration General Lynn McBee (aka former chairman of the TACA board). They were probably touching base on plans for a press conference Monday regarding the final arrangements for the March 2-4 bridge festivities.
Just inches . . . okay, so it was a couple of feet away. . . no, make that a yard or so away, were Pisces types Diane Brierley (February 23), Caroline Rose Hunt’s girl Friday Charlene Howell (February 20) and society photographer Dana Driensky (February 24), who were high-fiving each other on their birthdays. (Editor’s note: the Brierleys have two silver cups in their household. Hmm, requires a lot of polishing, no doubt.)
Luncheon Chairs Suzanne and David Droese were chatting with Barbara Daseke about her new teak home that architect David designed.
Barbara also reported that to accommodate the 280 guests at the WaterTower gala Saturday, they removed the seats in the main theater, so “People could talk.”
Suzanne looked terrific despite just having knee surgery. She later admitted that just minutes before the party, hair designer Ceron had been putting the finishing touches on her tresses. Poor boy was a busy one. Just as he arrived at the VIP party, he was checking on Todd Fiscus‘s tie to make sure it was straight.
AT&T PAC top man Mark Weinstein told TACA President/CEO Becky Young, “We have three different tables for AT&T PAC. It’s very exciting. Congratulations in advance.”
Rosewood’s newish President Radha Arora arrived with wife, Karen, and Mansion GM Duncan Graham. This was one of Radha’s first events in Dallas because he’s been traveling these past five months or so since his appointment. After all, there are 17 Rosewood properties and he’s been making the rounds. As a matter of fact, he had just flown in from the company’s newest property in Mexico, the Rosewood Mayakobo.
Billie Leigh Rippey opted for wearing a fur because, “I stepped out on the terrace, and it was cold! Eighty degrees two days ago! That’s why we Texans are so flexible.”
Over on the couch was TACA Silver Cup recipient Caroline Rose Hunt with Barbara Womble. When asked how she felt about being in the spotlight, Caroline admitted, “Everybody’s said such sweet things. So it’s a pleasant experience being in the spotlight for something like this, rather than for something negative!” Then she admitted to being a bit nervous because she had not prepared notes. Instead she was going to speak from the heart.
Unlike years past when the presentation and opening of the “silver cups” was cause for guests to be silent and admire the newest recipients untie ribbons and pull out the cups, this year it was done while guests kept talking. Too bad because it turned out to be a moment of laughter, as Frank struggled with the bow and Becky Young suddenly realized that each had opened the other’s box. After a quick switcheroo, the mix-up was history and photos were taken.
Then the task of rounding up all the past recipients for the traditional picture was undertaken. It was like herding polite Persian cats. They were lovely and accommodating, but still all over the place. And, of course, there was always the fear that not all were really truly present. But time was moving ahead and schedules needed to be kept. Photos were taken. Just as the “kittens” scampered off, past recipient Elaine Agather arrived with apologies.
Once inside the ballroom, guests took their seats with mini-stages set up for performances by representatives from James Gilyard Ensemble, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Opera Orchestra, Junior Players, Cara Mia Theatre and Lone Star Wind Orchestra.
But this crowd wanted their full serving of catch up.
Caroline’s buddies Ruth Buzzi and husband Kent Perkins told of their newest project — a wild-hog pen at their ranch near Fort Worth. Seems they capture the hogs without violence and take them to a place where they’re raised as domestic hogs before winding up as “prosciutto.” When rounding up the hogs, Ruth doesn’t get on a horse. Instead, she demonstrated squatting down, she mugged, “I have strong thighs!” Kent with a smile added, “I’m proud of this little lady!”
Finally emcee Lee Cullum called the group to order because again there was a timeline to
be fulfilled. In introducing Rabbi David Stern for the invocation, Lee admitted she had initially mistaken David for the other David (Droese) earlier in the day.
Rabbi Stern’s invocation was both beautiful and mistaken. It seems that many in the audience thought he was just doing a “lead-in” and continued to sip their ice tea and keep their heads up. A few realized that this was the invocation and bowed their heads. Guess the others initially thought those with bowed heads were checking their smartphones. Eventually, more caught on that this was the main event and heads dropped. Regardless, it was a beautiful prayer and received applause with Lee adding, “It’s certainly OK to applaud such elegance and eloquence.”
As guests began their lunches, some seemed a little confused by the offering on the table. One asked, “Is this the salad course?” No, it was the whole enchilada, preventing the need to remove and replace plates for a variety of courses. The menu included Vietnamese vegetable spring roll with hoisin peanut sauce; chilled cucumber soup with curry leaf accent; beef tenderloin with chili-teriyaki glaze and local greens; and a multi-tiered centerpiece of desserts (toasted coconut pudding, deconstructed lemon meringue pie, creamy mango custard, caramel-chocolate budinos and rainbow cookies).
After Mayor Mike won the group’s heart by saying that Dallas knows how to make money and he wanted business to support the arts, Lee gave her state-of-the-arts report. At one point she addressed the city council members in the audience, saying, “Don’t you dare sell WRR! You know you’d just spend the money in a week anyway!” That statement probably made new WRR GM Sarah Colmark feel encouraged. One person in the audience said, “She [Lee] tells it like it is!”
Neiman’s Ginger Reeder followed TACA Chair Andy Teller, who reported that TACA has distributed $1 million in grants to the arts yearly for the past five consecutive years. Ginger’s job was to introduce Meadows Performer Hando Nahkur, who masterfully played “Rigoletto Paraphrase de Concert, S. 434″ on the stage in front of the faux-grassed covered podium at the head table.
Then 2011 Silver Cup recipient John Eagle introduced Caroline, who said, “I consider myself blessed, because I’ve enjoyed the performing arts. We lived in Tyler” and she recalled the family riding in the car all the way to Shreveport to hear Paderewski play. Then there were the five years of piano lessons, but, “I can hardly even play ‘Chopsticks.’” Despite her lack of piano skills, Caroline’s involvement has resulted in ongoing support of the performing arts including the Dallas Children’s Theater having a home base, resulting in its being “one of the best in the country.
Then 2011 Silver Cup recipient Sarah Perot introduced Frank, describing him as “financially savvy as well as artistically sensitive.” Having served on the board with Frank, where he quietly builds consensus, the blonde added, I would never vote against him.”
Like Caroline, Frank told of his early introduction to art. He recalled buying for $10 (“half of his and Helen’s net worth at the time!”) a piece of art at a student art show at college in the ’60′s. He went on to encourage the audience, “We need the arts to build a great city! . . . [Dallas' greatness] is recognizing when there’s a challenge, and stepping up when you have to. That’s what’s been happening in the arts.”
It was a great way to end the luncheon celebrating heroines and heroes of the Dallas community.
BTW, if you’re wondering about Rabbi Stern’s invocation, we got a copy of it and have it after the jump. Read it, enjoy the eloquence and be inspired. [Read more...]
In preparation for hearing Lyle Lovett Friday at the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Celebration, turn on WFAA’s “The View” now. He’s performing.
BTW, stay tuned to MySweetCharity for tips on Friday night’s happenings.
The 7th Annual No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party organizers are revealing plans like Angelina Jolie‘s right leg — very interesting! They’re expecting 2,000 guests for the event benefiting AIDS Services of Dallas.
Dessert time at the Frontiers of Flight Museum will start at 8 p.m. with yummies providing by Komali Restaurant, Dallas Affaires Cake Company, Nothing But Bundt Cakes and Bread Winners Cafe and Bakery.
The top-sought spot to dine will no doubt be No Tie Media Ambassador D’Andra Simmons‘s new cottage. Okay, so maybe a 6,659-square-foot mansion is bigger than a bungalow, especially when it includes five bedrooms, six bathrooms, an art and music studio and the usual accessory rooms.
For this dinner catered by Jim Lee Events, they’re expecting 200-300 including D’Andra’s fiancé Colin Duchin, No Tie Chair David Nelson, Honorary Chair Dr. Gary Tigges, ASD President and CEO Don Maison.
If you’re one of the lucky ones to make the dinner, ask D’Andra about the master bedroom headboard. Seems it’s actually a “gate from a Tibetan Buddhist Temple,” and getting it transported to Dallas in the bedroom was epic.
Remember, the No Tie is the largest fundraiser for ASD, which provides housing and supportive services for low-income and formerly homeless men, women, children and families with HIV/AIDS.
#2 UPDATE: Less than 125 tickets are left. Groveling may not work, so get your tickets ASAP, or listen to Lyle’s newest CD and wait for cover on MySweetCharity.
UPDATE: WFAA‘s tall Brad Watson just reported city officials were going to enforce the limit of 6,750 people on the bridge Friday night. Well, uh, event planners are only planning on a max of
3,000 2,720 guests for the gala. Think the limit only applies for the Saturday and Sunday events. It was nevah an issue for the Friday night party. No doubt the lead will be changed by the 10 p.m. newscast.
Just back from a press conference on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge about the upcoming weekend of celebrations. Everyone from Bridge-o-Rama, Trinity Trust, Trinity Levee Run, musicians to event producer Todd Fiscus was on hand to put rumors to rest.
What rumors? Like Mary McDermott Cook donning Victoria Secret wings and para-gliding off the top of the MHHB arch or Lyda Hill flying a plane under the arch.
Let’s get the big message over with — the celebration is taking place regardless of when the traffic will be allowed on the bridge or whatever the weather may be.
That last one has been an ever-changing subject of discussion. Texas weather has caused more ulcers than a bride’s mother the week before the wedding. Every day the forecast for Friday has changed lately. One minute it’s going to be clear and in the 70′s. The next report says 20% chance of showers.
Why just as the press conference was taking place, clouds hovered overhead and disappeared and temperatures went from nice to a bit of chill.
Todd assured everyone the weather backup plan is for the Friday night fundraising gala with Lyle Lovett to take place at Gilley’s if Mother Nature cries on the big night.
As the media listened to every word of the press conference, Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm sat on the sidelines holding a turquoise blue MHHB Celebration T-shirt. Perhaps she’s saving it for Friday night.
It’s going to an incredible weekend, but three caveats — now pay attention:
- The nightly fireworks over the Trinity are going to be dazzling. Make sure you have your cameras out, but absolutely under no circumstances, stop on one of the nearby bridges to view the light show. That is, unless you want to get to know a tow truck driver.
- City officials have let it be known that while they’re expecting more than 20,000 for the Saturday and Sunday events, there will be a limit on how many people can be on the bridge at any one time. That number is 6,750.
- No pets (except service animals) allowed on the bridge at any time.
Check back with MySweetCharity for any changes for the upcoming MHHB celebration.
Oh, and tickets for Friday night are still available, though, Celebration Chair Lynn McBee is selling them at an average of 20 per hour.
On The Heels Of Taking Home Five Academy Awards, 3D “Hugo” Slated For Nasher’s Spring Break Til Midnight
You’ve got to hand it to the folks at the Nasher. Their timing is darn good. After last night’s five wins at the Academy Awards, the Nasher Sculpture Center is having a “Special Spring Break ’til Midnight” on Friday, March 16, with a 3D screening of “Hugo.” You know! That’s the film that Marty Scorsese directed and the Joule’s Tim Headington produced.
Here’s the game plan:
- 6 p.m. – doors open
- 7 p.m. – Emerald City performs
- 9 p.m. – “Hugo” is shown
And it’s all free. Well, almost. The Wolfgang Puck picnic baskets and salads, sandwiches, snacks and beverages at Café Nasher have price tags, but they make life so much easier. Remember, you’ve got to pre-reserve your picnic baskets. They don’t grow on trees!
Don’t plan on heading to Tootsies on Saturday, March 3, for the Dallas Stiletto Stampede. The 100-yard dash for high heelers has been moved to May 24. That’s the Thursday before Memorial Day. And instead of being held in the morning, it will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
According to the official word, the change of date was
“Due to utility construction beginning on Luther Lane, the stampede course was in jeopardy as well as the safety of participants, so organizers agreed to postpone the event.”
Benefiting the Susan G. Komen County affiliate, organizers say that the event is competing for the Guinness Book of World Records of 1,000 persons.
But if you’re looking for a reason to run this Saturday, you can participate in the 8th Trinity Levee Run over the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge! Suggestion: Leave the stilettos at home for this one.
So often when a gala is held, the ladies take over the helm and the gents’ main responsibility is hand holding and check writing. Ah, but last Saturday’s Billiard Ball not only broke that traditional relationship, it also had a mix of guests that resulted in a great time at the Ritz-Carlton and raised funds for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas.
First, let’s start with the chairs. It was solo-gal JB Hayes and couple Rachel and Chris Trowbridge. From the start, Chris took the lead. . . well, sorta. He included the gals on all decisions and attention, but he was definitely the front man. Were the girls upset with this man-o-man? Heck, no. The threesome were always on the same page.
According to JB, “He is awesome. He is the only reason I was there in my role last night. He convinced me I needed to co chair with them when I kept saying – no! I told Chris and Rachel I’d chair anything with them – any time. He is the hardest working co-chair I’ve met. Most guys let their wives do the work. I think I mentioned – he wrote all our letters – even the one in the program. He rocked it.”
(If you’re wondering whose fingers are behind Chris and Colin, it’s JB.)
Now, as for the mix of guests, someone once said that in Dallas society there are pods and the pods don’t cross over or mix. Well, the pod rule was dropped for the Billiard Ball. What’s more even Dallas’ best dressed types put aside their cutting-edge couture and flapped. Excuse me? Well, it was a jazz theme and 21st century Dallas jazz babies interpreted the style with long strings of pearls, headbands with feathers, wing-tipped collars and white dinner jackets. Mayor “Big” Mike Rawlings, looking like a Texas version of Casablanca’s Rick, explained, “I thought I’d do the Gatsby look. and if they need a [musical] conductor, I thought I could do that, too!”
Of course, a best dressed type still must have a touch of elegance even in costume. Rachael Dedman‘s Valentino’s stilettos felt right at home with all the pearls in the room. Myrna Schlegel kept her full-length white fur coat on during the reception. Unfortunately, every time a new guest arrived via the adjacent circular driveway, the wind blew a chill through the lobby. Perhaps that’s why the one-third of the room was rather vacant and the ladies checking folks in wore pashminas.
But once the ballroom doors opened, the guests easily found their way into a marvelous room and a fabulous dinner (mixed greens with marinated tomatoes, hearts of palm and picked red onions, shallot thyme vinaigrette; smoked almond and chile crusted airline chicken with creamy collard greens, roasted fingerling potatoes, tangerine cinnamon sauce; and classic crème brulee madeleine and fresh seasonal berries).
Then Chris told the sold-out gathering that this was the largest crowd in BB history because of the sponsors and the Nancy and Robert Dedman family (” a lot of them are in headbands and feathers tonight!”). This gala was the ninth year that the multi-generational Dedman clan has “been there for us.” BTW, this year there was a new addition to the “clan” with the recent wedding of Jonathan Dietz and Saryn Hoover in January.
The he added, “If you want to sell out an event, invites the Durhams!”
Speaking of the Durhams, Barbara and Steve were at what someone described as a “wedding-styled” table front row center with Linda and Steve Ivy, Myrna and Bob Schlegel and a host of others.
After a video presentation in which Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas’ President Charles Englishdescribed the clubs as “learning centers,” Scott Murray took over the emcee duties saying, “This is no longer your father’s Boys & Girls Club.” This lead
into the introduction of Chadae Catherine Sauls, who gave a stirring description of her life and how the B&GCGD had impacted her. Chadae had trouble at home. Parents argued about money. Dad drank and partied. Mother lost her job and they became homeless. She said during those days she dreamed of “a magical place where everything was perfect, and nothing could go wrong.” The Oak Cliff B&GC became her magical place.
In closing, she said, “I’m a leader. I’m a winner. I’m strong and talented.. . The sky’s the limit.”
It was such a strong, impassioned speech, that Scott looked in the direction of the Rawlings’ tables and said, “Mayor Rawlings, you better watch out!”
It was then time to present the Robert H. Dedman Lifetime Achievement Award for Philanthropy and another brief video was shown with tribute from Sheila and Jody Grant, the Schlegels, Toni Brinker, the Ivys and Durham kids Bill Durham and Julie Rado.
Patty Dedman Nail officially did the presentation adding, “This is dad’s (the late Robert Dedman Sr.) birthday week.”
In accepting the award, Barbara and Steve kept their remarks very brief and appreciative, but in closing Steve said that as a matter of fact there were several Pisces in the audience, but only one with a 1911 birthday (specifically March 9, 1911) — Ebby Halliday. With that everyone stood and sang “Happy Birthday” to the soon-to-be 101-year-old, who looked rather surprised by the recognition.
As the Durham were invited to lead off the dancing, the first one to congratulate Ebby was Mayor Mike, as he hustled across the room.
While the dance floor filled, others kept up the conversation end of the evening. Diane and Hal Brierley reported that they had asked their names be taken off the Brinkers series for the March 2 lecture becuase of the conflict between Alex Baldwin‘s appearance and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge gala. . . Susan and Tom Stanzel (aka Rachel’s parents) were beaming over the incredible success of the evening. . . Lynn McBee reported that it was all-systems-go for the MHHB gala and she should know since she’s chairing the three-day opening. But she hasn’t got much time to rest before she oversees the Dallas Film Society’s Dallas International Film Festival in April. . . Chadae and hip-hopper Xaiver, who headlined the BB patron party walked through the crowd arm-in-arm, until they got caught in to different conversations. Xaiver found himself getting advice from Jeff Rich, who advised young hip-hopper to smile real big when they take your picture and it will end up in the paper.
What was most interesting in looking out on the room of flappers and dignitaries was it almost seemed like a multi-family affair with Dedmans, Durhams and Stanzels. Perhaps it was because these families truly appreciate how the Boys & Girls Club provides “a magical place” when it’s lacking at home.