Two of Dallas’ first ladies of senior status, Ebby Halliday and Caroline Rose Hunt, got the VIP treatment at the 16th annual Attitudes & Attire Luncheon and Fashion Show at Dallas Trade Mart on March 1. While others had to wait in the check-in line and walk the long hallway to the great hall, Ebby and Caroline rolled in thanks to chauffeured wheelchairs. In addition to Ebby’s preparing to turn 102 and Caroline’s just joining the 90-year club, they were also past recipients of Attitudes & Attire‘s Kim Dawson Attitude Award.
This year it was to be presented to Center for BrainHealth’s Dr. Sandi Chapman. But before the platinum blonde in all white accepted the award, there was still much to do and see. Of course, there were men and women with purple balloons hovering over their heads promoting raffle tickets sales. And for $35 the orchid centerpiece was yours to take home thanks to event sponsor Whole Foods.
Promptly at noon the fashion show of Eileen Fisher fashion got underway. Unlike years past, the emphasis seemed to be on more business attire. The models are A&A friends and clients. By their waving to friends and “hamming it up” on the runway, it was obvious which one were friends. One might suspect that those models who appeared to be a bit shy in the spotlight might be A&A clients.
Toward the end of the show there was a slight slowdown. Probably a quick change backstage wasn’t so quick, but things picked up ASAP with the grand finale at 12:20.
A&A Executive Director/Founder Lyn Berman introduced Honorary Chair Michael Faircloth, who gave a very special “shout out thank you” to the woman who helped launch him by buying his designs 30 years ago — Faye Gould. From the back of the room, Faye stood and waved to former First Lady Laura Bush’s designer.
After recognizing Ebby and her turning 102 in the days to come, Lyn introduced Sandi, who was “thrilled to be in the same sentence as Kim Dawson.” In her talk to the crowd, she surprised some by reporting that “women are not good decision-makers. But they’re the most logical.”
At 12:37 p.m. Dr. Steve Levy and A&A Board President Karen Farris addressed the group about A&A’s Hopeful Smiles Program that provides dental services for A&A clients “with impaired smiles” resulting from poverty, neglect, violence, and illness. And then there is crystal meth. Dr. Steve told the group the damage done by the drug’s use is devastating. So much so, that he and Lyn agreed that showing before-and-after photos would be too much to show at the luncheon.
Karen then announced creation of the Attitudes & Attire Guild that will be open to men and women to help support the A&A efforts.
A&A Program Director Mary Pollinzi Brown was up next, telling the guests that 1,602 women were helped in 2012 and that since its start, A&A has helped 16,000 women.
She then introduced two clients with totally different stories — one who had been a valedictorian, got pregnant at 19 and made a number of bad decisions. The other who didn’t even know her dress size when she got her Tahari suit to go to Frank Crowley to be released from her drug rehab program.
Both of these women had turned their lives around and attributed it to the efforts of the AT&T staff and program.
As the two clients left the stage, the first one to rush up and hug them was Sandi.