It’s rare that all the elements come together — the weather, the class, the elegance and the beautiful people. But it all happened Thursday for the Crystal Charity Ball’s “Circle of Angels” dinner at Elaine and Trevor Pearlman‘s grand estate.
Before proceeding, it should be explained what the “Circle of Angels” is. This group is the top-tier of Crystal Charity Ball’s toppest-tier sponsors ($25K and way above). Underwritten by Deloitte, the dinner is a simple acknowledgment by the CCB ladies of their appreciation for the financial support of the CCB effort to help children’s non-profits.
The daunting task of saying “thank you” was laid on the shoulders of Christi Carter, who not only rose to the occasion but surpassed it on all points. She even managed to get cranky old Mother Nature to cooperate.
First, the location. OMG! Taking up nearly four lots, the Pearlmans’ house was magnificent from the driveway entrance to the lighting of the elevated classic stone pavilion, where the seated dinner was held.
And yet despite the two-story library filled with countless books and the grandeur of the grounds, there was a sense of intimacy in the 17,824-square-foot main house.
And, of course, for this type of gathering, one doesn’t just ring the doorbell and waltz on it. No, at the entry were CCB Chair Aileen Pratt and Deloitte’s Jason Downing and his adorable wife Laura graciously welcoming guests like old friends.
Following the cocktail hour that had Lee Ann White, Annette Simmons, Betsy Sowell and Lauryn Gayle White on one couch with husbands Harold Simmons and Alan White nearby, it was time to stroll through the Pearlman gardens under a clear sky with a partial moon lighting the way to the pavilion bathed in a pink hue for supper.
Ah, yes, there was a slight chill in the air. But not to worry. Patio heaters were moved to accommodate the need. And if the heaters weren’t moved quickly enough, chivalrous types like Dwight Emanuelson quickly solved their wives’ chilled shoulders with their dinner jackets. Let’s face it. Chivalry ain’t dead with this crowd.
In officially welcoming the guests, Aileen reminded the group of the 17 years in which Deloitte had underwritten the dinner. She also told how when the recession was really hitting home, she approached one person whose portfolio had fallen by 42%. She was prepared for their backing off on their contribution. Instead they stepped up to the plate, doubled their contribution and gave $50K! The donor’s reasoning — “Children don’t know anything about my portfolio, and they still need the help!”
Then she told the guests that the box at their places were favors from Cartier, adding, “What a treat to get a party favor from Cartier!”
After the remarks, a fabulously delicious three-course dinner on gorgeous chinaware by Cassandra was served including
- First course — Baby romaine salad in a parmesan tuille with Caesar dressing, shaved Romano cheese and roasted pepper
- Main course — Pan roasted back angus beef tenderloin with caramelized onion whipped potato and broccolini and cauliflower ragout
- Dessert — Vanilla bean soufflé with warm valrhona chocolate sauce and rosemary orange shortbread
Only snafus of the dinner were a couple of misspellings on the menu cards. But the talk at the tables never missed a beat. Tom Swiley explained that wife Patti Flowers had to miss the evening due to an out-of-town business commitment. . .Pam Perella was warming up to tackle the CCB underwriting chairmanship for 2013. . . Baylor Health Care System’s Joel Allison was disappointed to have missed the Mary Matalin-James Carville discussion earlier in the day at the
Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council luncheon. Those prior commitments can really stymie a schedule. . .Robin Bagwell was getting kudos for her recent birthday. Seems she decided to give herself the gift of giving. On her recent 50th birthday, she rented Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe and had it stationed in front of the Juanita J. Craft Center’s Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute. That morning she had free bacon-and-sausage breakfast sandwiches distributed to all in the neighborhood. . . Speaking of healthy eating, Pam McCallum was talking about the upcoming Celebrity Chef Lunch on November 1 featuring Ree “The Pioneer Woman” Drummond, who hails from her hometown of Pawhuska, Oklahoma.