Rain And Chill Didn’t Hamper Mission Ole One Little Drop Thanks To Laurie Sands Harrison’s Hospitality

After last week’s drench by the clouds above on Cattle Baron’s, Mission Ole‘s Co-chairs Kristi Bare and Nancy Gopez braced up for their Saturday night fundraiser for Trinity River Mission.

That may sound easy, but when you have more than 200 guests plus gaming plus entertainment plus an auction . . . well, there aren’t many homeowners who can accommodate a rainy backup plan.

Kristi Bare, Laurie Sands Harrison, Steve Kemble and Nancy Gopez

But Laurie Sands Harrison ain’t just any homeowner. When she got her divorce a couple years back, she considered selling the marvelous home, but then she rethought that idea. After all, she had remodeled the home ages ago with the idea of making it entertaining-friendly. Why, there are three spots just ideal for bars! And then there were the girls. Her girls. Her beautiful daughters, who saw home-sweet-home as a great place to bring friends over for partying and family celebrations. Well, that did it. Laurie stayed put and Mission Ole was oh-so grateful.

But still . . . the decision to tent the outdoor terrace still can throw even the most fabulous property into disarray. Again, not Ms. Laurie. The tent not only fit the terrace perfectly, its see-through walls allowed guests to see the marvelous grounds including “that pool.”

It was a perfect decision on the part of Kristi and Nancy, because with tables and chairs plus a bar, guests took to the tent like Texas-OU fans to a party. To play it safe because of the dip in temperatures, they girls also arranged for outdoor heaters including at the sign-in area, so guests would be nice and warm while registering.

Angela Choquette, Maggie Cooke Kipp, Shay Geyer and Katy Bock

But the chill of the night still inspired most of the gals to pull out those high-heel boots and vests and jackets in a variety of materials. Maggie Cooke Kipp had no idea what her vest was made of — it was on loan from her St. Valentine’s Day co-chair partner Angela Choquette.

Among the crowd who filled the mansion and the tent were Community Partners of Dallas’ Paige McDaniel carrying a small Neiman Marcus shopping bag. It was a gift for Greg Nieberding, who had hosted Paige and CPD Development Director Joanna Clarke at Cattle Baron’s. In addition to being the gals’ host, he also won the Mercedes in the CBB raffle. Knowing that Greg was going to be at the Mission Ole shindig, Paige was going to present him with a silver Gucci keychain. Speaking of raffles, Paige teased Joanna about her winning a $10,000 spending spree at Highland Park Village last year.

Now, you know why people buy raffle tickets!

In the back of the house right next to the kitchen, Robert Colombo was talking about his upcoming plans, including opening another Sfuzzi’s at the Shops at Willow Bend. It’s going into a redesigned space where Saks used to be. . . Betsy and Richard Eiseman were checking out the goodies in the open kitchen and making their way through the crowd. . . Caterer Wendy Krispin somehow managed to be everywhere — the outdoor grill, the kitchen and serving champagne — but she got stopped in her tracks by fans and friends … for two whole seconds. This Mission Ole is Wendy’s sixth year to cater the party.

Wendy Krispin, Jill Tananbaum, Nancy Gopez, Roz Colombo and Cindy Stager

Wendy Krispin, Jill Tananbaum, Nancy Gopez, Roz Colombo and Cindy Stager

One of the evening’s highlights was the live auction, with Steve Kemble doing the auction duties. The Grammy package was so successful that it sold twice to Simona Beal and to hostess Laurie. Perhaps they can get together with TACA Grammy package winner Annette Presley. Just wondering if L.A. is ready for that trio.


  1. What a GREAT Mission Ole – Nancy & Kristi threw a great party and Laurie is such a gracious hostess. Steve Kemble sure got the crowd laughing! Love that we were all so excited to wear fur (or in case of loaned vest – faux-PETA friendly “fur”) and warm boots when it was 55 degrees!! Great night for Trinity River Mission.

  2. This is such a BEAUTIFUL! write up!!!!! It tells the story of this AMAZING! evening to PERFECTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!