JUST IN: LaunchAbility Announces Dana Carvey Will Replace Bill Cosby For “A Special Evening”

It was just a week ago Thursday that the LaunchAbility team announced that comedian Bill Cosby would be the headliner for its fundraising A Special Evening. Since then, Cosby has been slammed in the media with accusations of rape by women.

While the 77-year-old comedian has refrained from comment and has never been charged with a crime, he has been the center of controversy resulting in the cancellation of an NBC series and the postponement of a NetFlix special.

Due to the situation, LaunchAbility’s CEO Kathryn Parson was contacted about Cosby’s April 2nd appearance. The following statement was just received from Kathryn:

LaunchAbility® announced today that Emmy-award winning comedian, Dana Carvey will be performing at the organization’s annual fundraiser, A Special Evening, scheduled for April 2, 2015. The agency is excited to have an entertainer of Carvey’s caliber to perform in place of Bill Cosby who was previously scheduled.

Carvey was a regular on “Saturday Night Live” for seven seasons and well-known for his characters, The Church Lady, Hans (from the duo Hans and Franz), and the Grumpy Old Man. He is also known as Garth, the ‘most excellent’ co-host to Mike Meyers immensely popular Wayne’s World. His uncanny comedic impersonations of political figures such as George and George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, H. Ross Perot, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, as well as Johnny Carson, Andy Rooney, and Regis Philbin continue to add to his comedic legend.

“We are delighted that Dana Carvey is available to share his humorous personality as our entertainer for LaunchAbility’s 14th annual Special Evening Event on Thursday, April 2, 2015,” Kathryn Parsons, CEO of LaunchAbility® said. “We look forward to welcoming him as our host this year.”

Over the past 14 years, A Special Evening has garnered approximately 2,000 sponsors and raised more than $2 million. All of the proceeds from A Special Evening directly benefit LaunchAbility® and have allowed LaunchAbility® to continually expand its programs and grow each year.

Past entertainers of A Special Evening include the following: Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, k.d. Lang, Tom Jones, The Doobie Brothers, Dionne Warwick, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Bonnie Raitt, The Pointer Sisters, Willie Nelson, Kenny Loggins, Vince Gill and Smokey Robinson.

The 2015 A Special Evening Event Co-Chairs are Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins, and this year’s Honorary Event Co-Chairs are Ambassador Kathryn and Craig Hall. Past honorary chairs are Margot & Ross Perot, Ruth & Kenneth Altshuler, Linda & Bill Custard, Caren Prothro, Georgia & Doug Smith with Jessica Smith, Anne & Steve Stodghill, Sara & Glen Agritelley, Marinelle & Kip Sowden, Ebby Halliday, Laura & Ellison Hurt, Stacey & Nicholas McCord, Brill & Jason Garrett, Marianne & Roger Staubach, Beth & Steve McGaw, and Caroline Rose Hunt.

Past event chairs include Anne & Steve Stodghill, Kate Rose Murphy Marquez, Laura & Ellison Hurt, Stacey & Nicholas McCord, Jenny Wolf & Jay Fox, Kristi & Jody Bare, Nicole Kapioltas & Angie Hubach, Leigh Anne Haugh & Kristen Johnston, Diana Hamilton & Lauren Maggard, Elizabeth & Eric Gambrell, Laura Johnson & Wendy Messmann, Susan & George Kelly, Cecily & Scott Gooch, and Piper & Mike Wyatt.

Sponsorships for A Special Evening with Dana Carvey hosted by Alliance Data, begin at $750 for individual sponsorships and $2,500 for corporate sponsorships.  For more information, please contact Karen Cooper at (972) 991-6777 ext. 7120 or [email protected], or please visit www.LaunchAbility.org.

ABOUT LAUNCHABILITY®

For more than 50 years, LaunchAbility® has been expanding worlds for people with disabilities by providing services to help them reach their maximum potential. LaunchAbility is dedicated to helping employers build diverse cultures through disability hiring while supporting our clients, who are adults with diverse abilities, in leading independent lives. To do this, LaunchAbility’s team helps adults find and maintain meaningful employment, supporting employers throughout the employment relationship. Our services range from career development/coaching, resume/interview preparation, job identification, and on-the-job coaching for clients, to disability etiquette training and consulting for employers. Please visit our website at www.LaunchAbility.org to learn more.

Bill Cosby: Dr. Huxtable And Mr. Hyde

Bill Cosby (File photo)

Bill Cosby (File photo)

Bill Cosby is not a nice person. No, we’re not talking about the recent allegations of his raping women in the past. There is another issue about “Cos.” It is his Dr. Huxtable/Mr. Hyde personalities.

Having witnessed two episodes more than 10 years apart, it’s perplexing to see him bring an audience to their feet with his jokes, while there are others behind the scenes in tears from his demeaning behavior off-stage.

Such accusations need first-hand accounts.

In January 2011, it was pathetic to see the lovable Dr. Huxtable greeting and charming VIP guests at the Catholic Charities’ Bishop’s Ball at the Anatole. On one side of the room, he was such a doll that the patrons didn’t notice the Catholic Charities staffers on the side looking like puppies who had been beaten with a stick. For those who had witnessed his exchanges with the staff, he was a cruel bully who seemed to take delight in exercising his ability to abuse. His amazing skill with words and delivery that had made people laugh for decades was just as masterful at verbally berating low-paid staffers who indeed looked punch drunk.

The other episode was back in 1996, at a benefit for the St. Paul Foundation. In this case, a volunteer assistant made the mistake of opening the VIP lounge at the Meyerson and having the guests head to Cosby’s open-doored dressing room for the meet-and-greet. As the paid staff scrambled to corral the patrons back to the lounge for the grip-and-grin with Cosby, the comedian verbally dressed down the female staffer in front of the guests and volunteers. Despite her apologizing again and again and trying to explain that it was an innocent accident by a volunteer, he continued to berate and humiliate the staffer to a point where she would have welcomed a slap in the face instead.

Is Bill Cosby a nice person? No. He’s not even funny, when you know the back story.

Change Of Plans: City Lights Is Rescheduled To Sunday Evening

The City Lights switch on for Saturday night has been postponed until Sunday due to Mother Nature’s potentially throwing a temper tantrum Saturday. Everything else remains the same — loads of holiday activities, concessions, etc. And, yes, it’s still gonna be held from 3 to 8 p.m. at Main Street Garden and Pegasus Plaza.

Round Robin November 5: Too Many To Mention But Dang It If NorthPark Isn’t Part Of All Of ‘Em

According to six degrees of separation, everyone/everything is just six or fewer steps away from another person in the world. On Wednesday, November 5, NorthPark was less than two steps away from all the fundraising activities in the area.

Nexus Annual Appeal Campaign Kick-Off Party

Billie Leigh Rippey*

Billie Leigh Rippey*

The Nexus Annual Appeal Campaign Kick-Off Party was taking place at CH Carolina Herrera at NorthPark. According to plans, “The annual appeal kick-off event, chaired by Faye Briggs, will be hosted at CH Carolina Herrera in NorthPark Center. Guests of the chic occasion including society fixtures, fashion savvy personalities, media and Nexus patrons and leaders— will savor champagne, wine and heavy hors d’ oeuvres. In addition, partygoers will have the chance to win a donated CH Carolina Herrera tote. Mid event Nexus Executive Director, Becca Crowell, will express her gratitude to Faye Briggs and CH Carolina Herrera for their support. She will also highlight the annual appeal campaign which begins on November 7th with a mail drop of 9,000 appeal letters to supporters, associates, friends and family of Nexus and of Faye Briggs. Furthermore Carolina Herrera CH will announce that 15% of purchases made at the event will be donated to Nexus Recovery Center as well as any purchases made through November 9th, 2014 with a mention of Nexus Recovery Center.”

Everything went according to plan except Faye wasn’t there. A Nexus representative reported, Faye “had two events booked and wasn’t able to be in two places at once unfortunately. She was trying as far as my understanding to make both.

“The event however, despite her absence was a success.”

So, where was Faye? Check the next item.

TACA’s Founders Circle Dinner

Faye Briggs

Faye Briggs

Alas, poor Faye Briggs was in a quandary. She had just recently been named the honorary chair for Nexus Annual Appeal Campaign and they were having their kick-off party at CH Carolina Hererra in NorthPark. But she was also slated to be at Barbara and Don Daseke’s place for a seated dinner honoring the TACA Founders Circle. (The Founders Circle included people who’ve made multi-year commitments of at least $5K per year.) Since cloning was not available, Faye could only attend one and it was the Daseke dinner catered by The Joule Hotel with Chef Jaco Smith orchestrating in the kitchen.

Barbara Daseke and Nelda Cain Pickens

Barbara Daseke and Nelda Cain Pickens

Sure, it may have been dark, rainy and chilly outside, but inside the Daseke’s teak mansion, it was glowing with TACA art lovers. Despite the fact it was less than 24 hours after the area elections, the world “politics” never was heard. For this crowd of 20+ (Linda and Steve Ivy, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Nelda Cain Pickens, Karol Omlor, Addison Mayor Pro Tem Blake Clemens, Caroline Kohl and Holly and Tom Mayer) had art on the brain.

Caroline Kohl

Caroline Kohl

Karol Omlor

Karol Omlor

Linda Ivy

Linda Ivy

As guests gathered in the two-story living room overlooking the wooded grounds, Diane Brierley welcomed the group and TACA President Becky Young reported how TACA had grown over the past 30 years. She added that the Founders Circle’s commitments represented $2.5M to TACA through 2018.

Then it was time for a little art talk. That’s when Dallas composer Margaret Barrett, who is one of the TACA grant recipients, took over. She told about the “Universal Language” performed by The Obscure Dignitaries and inspired by the DMA exhibit “Concentrations 57: Slav and Tartars” taking place on Saturday, November 22. Free to the public, it will be performed in the DMA Horchow Auditorium.

Diane Brierley and Tom and Holly Mayer

Diane Brierley and Tom and Holly Mayer

While Barbara, Becky and Diane were single wives for the night, others enjoyed a fabulous dinner of scallops, lamb chops and killer lemon tart. And the talk of the performing arts continued to be the table topic.

Fall Into Fashion

Over at Neiman Marcus, the United Way was literally “falling into fashion. Here’s a report:

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas hosted a sold-out crowd for its fabulous ‘Fall into Fashion’ runway show and fundraiser on the third level of Neiman Marcus NorthPark.  More than 300 guests (Robin Bray, Debra SoRelle, Allison Shelton, Emily Hatcher, Brenna Pontarelli, Meryl Olsen, Laura Downing, Donna Epps, Lori Mc Williams, Susan Hutcheson, Debbie Stewart, Jessica Lee, Scarlett Landry, Pamela Osborne, Kristy Faus, Jan Strimple, Lauren Hendershot, Caroline Vu, Deborah Arango, Debra von Storch, Donna Sweatman, Ashley Wathen, Stacy Gibson, Margie Elkins, Cecelia Hodges, Arden Ellis, Jamie Sowa and Katie Anderson) sipped on champagne and cranberry cocktails as they enjoyed watching models display the latest fall must-haves.

Cecelia Hodges, Arden Ellis, Susan Hutcheson, Jamie Sowa, Katie Anderson and Debbie Stewart**

Cecelia Hodges, Arden Ellis, Susan Hutcheson, Jamie Sowa, Katie Anderson and Debbie Stewart**

Ginger Allen and Jan Strimple**

Ginger Allen and Jan Strimple**

“United Way supporters, many of them Women of Tocqueville members, mixed and mingled, nibbling on heavy hors d’oeuvres and listening to beats, courtesy of DJ Blake Ward.  Attendees were entered into a drawing to win a Gucci handbag, and all left with swag bags featuring the best in fall beauty.

“CBS 11/KTVT senior reporter Ginger Allen graciously served as the evening’s emcee.  Guests were generous in bringing their gently used career clothes, accessories, and shoes to donate to United Way programs supporting victims of domestic violence.  For more information about United Way programs, please visit www.unitedwaydallas.org.”

Trains At NorthPark Sponsor Party

And while the Ronald McDonald House’s Trains at NorthPark Sponsor Party didn’t take place at the shopping center, it was certainly center of conversation. Here’s a report from the field:

Tia Wynne, Len Critcher and Jamie Singer***

Tia Wynne, Len Critcher and Jamie Singer***

“Before The Trains at NorthPark, Dallas’ favorite holiday miniature trains exhibit, rolls through Dallas for its 27th year, there’s plenty of fundraising, building in the new trains space, and thanking the sponsors for their incredible support. At the November 5th Trains sponsor party, hosted in the home of Len Critcher, there was plenty to celebrate, but apparently the House is nearing capacity.

“The House referenced isn’t Critcher’s that could be in the pages of Traditional Home, but the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, the organizer of The Trains at NorthPark—its largest fundraiser.

Jill Cumnock, CEO of Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, welcomed about 100 supporters. ‘Thank you for your support. The House is at 93% capacity tonight, and The Trains raises nearly a third of our operating budget. Our Trains co-chairs, Jamie Singer and Tia Wynne, have done a tremendous job of fundraising, and we can’t wait to see all of you at the opening on November 22.’

Courtney Westerburg and Claire Raggio***

Courtney Westerburg and Claire Raggio***

“Jamie Singer, who has volunteered for the Ronald McDonald House since she was in high school, thanked Claire Raggio and Courtney Westerburg, last year’s Trains co-chairs who organized the sponsor party. ‘I’m also pleased to announce next year’s Trains co-chairs Jennifer Tobin and April Cook to fill our shoes.’

“Tia Wynne, who has taken her children to the attraction for seven years, added, ‘Thank you for Bank of Texas for helping make the Trains roll as our presenting sponsor for the sixth year.’

“Bank of Texas’ Bob White added, ‘What Ronald McDonald House of Dallas does is important work, and it’s a pleasure for us to be a part of this community.’

“Dr. Jeffrey Fearon and his wife, Regen Fearon, serve as this year’s Honorary Co-chairs. (Regen was just named the Junior League of Dallas’ Sustainer of the Year on November 6 at a luncheon where Laura Bush spoke.)

Bob White, Diane Fullingim, Regen and Jeffrey Fearon and Jill Cumnock***

Bob White, Diane Fullingim, Regen and Jeffrey Fearon and Jill Cumnock***

“He told a personal story from his childhood about how his mother had taken his sister to Boston Children’s when she was very ill, and there wasn’t a Ronald McDonald House for his mother. She stayed in a hotel by herself and apart from the family. Fast forward years later, and he worked at the same hospital.

“Through his practice as a craniofacial surgeon, he sees plenty of patients, many of whom stay at the House. He finally decided as a family that he and Regen needed to take their twins and visit this place. ‘I was taken by the humanity of the people feeding families at the House.’ He was referring to the fact that volunteers serve families three homemade meals a day, the caring staff that supports the families, and the comfortable accommodations each family receives. ‘The amount of stress that the House reduces is enormous.’”

* Photo provided by Nexus Recovery Center 
** Photo provided by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas 
*** Photo credit: Rhi Lee

Baylor University Louise Herrington School Of Nursing’s Going For The Gold Patrons Learn Deets About Upcoming Gala

As has recently been recognized, the profession of nursing is on the frontline in the world of healthcare. Due to advanced technology and research, the knowledge and information are constantly being updated. That is why the most up-to-date education of this vital force is paramount to the well-being of the community as a whole. To help fund this preparation, the following event took place on the evening of Monday, November 3:

Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing (LHSON) hosted its second annual PRE Gala VIP reception at the Belo Mansion in Dallas. This event continued the tradition of spotlighting championship efforts to help raise scholarship funds for student nurses.

Alice Starr, Tammy Simon and Shelley F. Conroy*

Alice Starr, Tammy Simon and Shelley F. Conroy*

“The evening was generously hosted by Baylor Scott & White Health to support the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing. Welcoming over 160 distinguished guests was Dr. John B. McWhorter III, Senior VP, Baylor Health Care System and President, Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, in addition to Joel T. Allison, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer, Baylor Health Care System and Baylor Scott and White Health. Extending thanks on behalf of LHSON and sharing the convocation was Dr. Shelley F. Conroy, EdD, MSN, RN, CNE, Dean and Professor, LHSON and Inaugural Dean of the new Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, Baylor University.

Bill Simon and Ken Starr*

Bill Simon and Ken Starr*

“Giving a short keynote address was Bill and Tammy Simon who were the events honored guests and are Baylor parents. Bill was U.S. CEO of Walmart from 2010-2014 and Tammy is a former Clinical Nurse Specialist in Obstetrics and Cancer survivor. The VIP reception included closing remarks by Judge Ken Starr, 14th president and chancellor of Baylor University, and Alice Starr, Baylor’s First Lady. In addition, a special video about the importance of nursing and nursing student scholarships was shown that included a message from Robert Lee Griffin III (RG3), NFL Quarterback for the Washington Redskins and Baylor University 2011 Heisman Trophy winner. RG3 will give the keynote address at LHSON’s 4th Annual 2015 Going for the Gold Gala on Saturday, February 28, at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Gala sponsorship opportunities will be available soon and individual tickets will go on sale in early 2015.

“The Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas is passionate about preparing exemplary nurses for the 21st Century and the key to doing that is recruiting and retaining outstanding students. Past Going for the Gold Galas featured champion athletes such as: America’s gold medal legend Mary Lou Retton in 2014; former Dallas Cowboy running back Emmitt Smith in 2013 and Baylor’s championship-winning women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey, who joined former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Troy Aikman at the inaugural gala in 2012. Over the years the three gala have raised more than $1.7 million for student scholarships.

* Photos provided by Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing

Use Those Warms Thoughts To Take The Chill Out Of Munchkin’s Holidays

The advantage of being a firstborn was you got new stuff. The problem with being #2, #3 or #4, you got hand-me-downs. By the fifth kiddo, the clothes were so threadbare, that your folks ended up getting new stuff.

So, the lesson learned is that new is always best when it comes to clothes, shoes and facelifts.

And that’s what Metrocare Services is aiming for this year. No, not the facelifts or even the shoes. They’ve set a goal to “collect 1,000 NEW coats, jackets, sweaters or sweatshirts in size 2-18 for many of the children and teens we serve.”

While some are asking for “gently used” items, Metrocare is ramping things up because “There is something special about receiving a gift with the tags still on, and for our kids, it is a very rare thing. It says, ‘You are special and you deserve this!’”

So, with the brutal chill of the past days in mind and your sights set on Black Friday, why not do one of the following things:

  • Individual donations of clothing or money. They need to be delivered to Metrocare Services (1380 River Bend Drive) from December 1 through 12 from 9 .m. to 4 p.m.
  • Host an Angel Tree at your office, in your community group or neighborhood for coats.
  • Volunteer your time to help the Metrocare team sort and match donations with a child. You can help out on December 11, 12, 15 and/or 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Or better yet, do two or three of the above suggestions.

Who Are These Kids Who Hope For A Holiday Gift?

Hello, Dallas? We’ve got a problem. There are people who are shivering without even the most threadbare coats. There are animals that are chained to outdoor porches without so much as a cover.

Those are dreadful situations. If you can help, go for it!!!!

Further down the priority list are the children who will have nada for the holidays.

Hey, so who are these kids? They should be grateful for what they have.

Who said that?

“These kids” are ones who have been snatched from abusive situations by Child Protective Services. They’ve witnessed scenes that would snap the backbones of most adults. They have been rescued from households that would shudder the strongest among the community. In many cases, they’ve never known a new dress, their own toy or even a book to read.

Who are these kids? They are the “clients” of Community Partners of Dallas. For them, there is no holiday from the horror that they have witnessed. And this year the “urgent need to fulfill the largest number of holiday wishes” is greater than ever. There are more than 8,100 wishes, an increase of 1,134 wishes over last year. Recalls Children’s Protective Services’ caseworker Natosha Hooks, “I had a case with seven children in the family. The oldest child, who was 13 years old, told me that for Christmas they get one toy and he, as the oldest, plays with it first and then it goes down the line to the smallest kids who get to keep it. This Christmas they all had their own toys thanks to the generosity of Community Partners of Dallas.”

What’s that? Do you have to be a Fortune 500 to help? Heck, no! Whether you’re a mega-buck corporation or an individual on a limited budget, you can help by providing anything — “bikes, African American dolls, items from Disney’s FROZEN, Barbies, basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, learning toys for toddlers, like a Vtech Learning Laptop, Dora dolls, MP3 players, LEGO sets, Tonka trucks and Bath and Body Works sets — at Peacock Alley Warehouse (2050 Postal Way) by 1 p.m. on Friday, December 12.”

Or better yet, just send mooh-la!

Graphic provided by Community Partners of Dallas

Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award Patrons Party At “The Dump Top” With Honoree Bobby Lyle

The Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award patron party was going to draw a crowd. After all, it was honoring Bobby Lyle.

But then the invitation arrived in mailboxes and that guaranteed a bona fide turn out. The party was to be at Mary McDermott Cook’s new, not-moved-into home, “The Dump Top.”

The view from "The Dump Top"

The view from “The Dump Top”

Mary explained the naming of the Bill Booziotis-design home was due to its being built on a former dumping site. The home has multiple balconies with flawless views of the Dallas skyline and with such perks as a master bedroom’s indoor and outdoor showers, two-sided elevator, a dramatic two-story cylindrical entry hall with a curved wall window and winding staircase and a culinary center that a professional chef would envy.

Winding staircase

Winding staircase

Still, not a chair was seen. According to Mary, the furniture was to be in place by Thanksgiving. Couldn’t tell if her fingers were crossed.

Ray Hunt and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal

Ray Hunt and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal

But the guests like Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Dr. Steve Mansfield, Gail Thomas, Gay and Bill Solomon, Nita and John Ford, Carolyn Miller, Nancy Dedman, Brad Kelly, Pete Schenkel and John Scovell, didn’t care if the furniture was MIA. Even when they gathered in the living room for the program, some sat on the window seat along the wall and others just stood.

Mary McDermott Cook

Mary McDermott Cook

Mary also admonished guests to look in closets and anywhere they wanted to because this was the last time the house would be up for total exploration.

Still, this occasion was not the house’s first party. Nope. That took place the night before when Mary hosted a party for the people who built the contemporary mansion.

April Box Chamberlain

April Box Chamberlain

Methodist Health System Foundation President/CEO April Box Chamberlain admitted that she hadn’t really known Bobby until he was selected as the 2014 awardee. But she added that she had become a quick expert and liked what she discovered.

She then revealed that already more than $1.4M had been raised for the Wednesday, November 19th dinner at the Hilton Anatole’s Imperial Ballroom. In keeping with the award’s tradition, in which the honoree gets to select how the funds will be designated, Bobby had selected medical education.

Barbara Rabin, Nancy Ann Hunt and Lotte Brodsky

Barbara Rabin, Nancy Ann Hunt and Lotte Brodsky

Bobby next eloquently thanked Mary for hosting the party as well as recognizing old friends Nancy and Ray Hunt, Linda and Mitch Hart and Lottye Brodsky.

Bobby Lyle

Bobby Lyle

As one point Bobby focused on Methodist Health System Foundation Board Chair Steve Folsom and told how Steve’s dad, former Mayor Robert Folsom (after whom the award was named), had been a dear friend and would have been so impressed by Steve’s leadership at Methodist. He recalled how Bob had been an investor in Bobby’s company.

Bobby admitted that he had been a bit apprehensive about the dinner — “One of the things I dislike most is big surprises.” Eyeing certain party guests, he suggested that Foundation staffers like April and Joy Duncan had tapped sources for insider info.

Then addressing Mary, he said, “Mary, this is the greatest dump site I’ve ever seen. And we’ll be back next week when you get some furniture.”

Despite Cowboys Loss To The Cardinals, CARE Breakfast Patrons Partied On Without A Care At Natalie And Mike McGuire’s Home

Despite the Cowboys loss to the Cardinals on Sunday, November 2, the 75 guests including Paula McLeod, Brenda and Bob White, Allie Beth and Pierce Allman and CARE Co-Founder Steve Schiff at the CARE Breakfast patron party were in a great mood. But how could it be otherwise at Natalie and Mike McGuire’s wonderful Park Cities home?

Scott and Jan Osborn, Steve Schiff and Natalie and Mike McGuire

Scott and Jan Osborn, Steve Schiff and Natalie and Mike McGuire

Natalie’s dad, Barry Andrews, who hasn’t missed a Cowboys game in 20 years, admitted that loss without quarterback Tony Romo “was a tough one.”

Barry and Lana Andrews

Barry and Lana Andrews

When CARE Board Chair Jan Osborn was asked if keynote speaker retired Celtic Chris Herren would be at the party on the eve of the breakfast, she explained that he was on his way….from New York. It seems that he had run in the New York Marathon earlier in the day and was flying in. Wasn’t that calling it close? After all the breakfast started bright and early at 8 a.m. at the Omni Hotel with 600 expected to attend. With total confidence, she said he would indeed make it. But again, what if? Then Jan smiled, “Then I’ll get up there and talk.”

Husband Scott smiled, knowing darn well that Jan would handle any situation that might arise.

Speaking of husbands, Honorary Co-Chair/Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw was looking a bit overwhelmed by all the guests. Luckily, Honorary Co-Chair/wife Ellen Kershaw eased his concerns during a brief time out in the hallway.

Bob and Brenda White and Ellen and Clayton Kershaw

Bob and Brenda White and Ellen and Clayton Kershaw

Then the golden Highland Park High School sweethearts posed for photos. When asked if they had been in Africa for their projects in Zambia, Ellen smiled and said that due to circumstances, they’d had to put the trip off to 2015. That circumstance is the upcoming January birth of their first child…a daughter.

How was Clayton handling the arrival of Baby Kershaw? Ellen glowed, “He’s thrilled.”

But before that took place, the Kershaws were carrying on with business as usual, including the Kershaw’s Challenge at the Rustic later in the week. It’s been a success in Los Angeles and this would be the first for their hometown.

Brian Bolke And Faisal Halum Celebrate The Past, The Present And The Future With Family, Friends And “Beautiful”

The towering, white geodesic dome outside the Rachofsky House, that appears annually, has become synonymous with the Two by Two fundraiser for the Dallas Museum of Art and amfAR. But this year it continued to stand in place for days after the big moneymaker.

There was a good reason. It was the scene for still another fundraiser, so to speak. In celebration of their meeting 10 years ago to the day, Dallas retailing impresario of good taste Brian Bolke and residential Realtor of luxurious properties Faisal Halum had more than 250 of their family and friends in for an evening for a couple of very personal reasons. The twosome were also “announcing” their August 18th marriage in Provincetown, Massachusetts. As if any announcement were needed, since everyone knew of the duo’s nuptials.

And because luxury experts Brian and Faisal were certainly in no need of kitchen appliances or linens, they requested that “in lieu of gifts, we ask that you consider a donation to Two by Two for AIDs and art.”

Don Bolke, Brian Bolke and Nancy Bolke

Don Bolke, Brian Bolke and Nancy Bolke

But don’t go thinking that it was simple cocktail affair. It was memory maker of a black-tie, seated dinner that had guests coming from as far away as Chicago, California, Singapore and Abu Dabhi. And it was strictly a family and close friends’ gathering. The Bolke clan included Brian’s father Don Bolke, uncle Ed Bolke, brother Darryl Bolke (a former Los Angeles policeman who now trains the military in the use of firearms and was at one time a security guard for Will Smith), niece Ashlynn Bolke and stepmom Nancy Bolke, who said, “You know that old saying, ‘If you work hard you can live the American dream.’? Well, Brian’s living the American dream.”

Sahar Halum

Sahar Halum

Faisal’s family also was well-represented with his sister Amna Halum and niece Nadia Halum in from New Orleans and cousin Sahar Halum in from California plus his niece Munda from Abu Dhabi. Nephew Fuad Shatara and his wife Lorena, whose fabulous wedding in Spain Brian and Faisal attended, were on hand to return the favor.

Despite the tent having been the scene of the previous Two by Two and Todd Fiscus’ way-over-the-top 10-year celebration of his company just days before, event producer Todd managed to create still another wonderland extravaganza with hundreds and hundreds of lights and white orchids. The front of the tent was for the cocktail hour, with DJ Lucy Wrubel in an OMG multi-colored, sequined blouse (“Brian picked it out!”) reading “We Will Win” holding court on half of a circular stage. Against the back wall of the tent, mammoth “windows” were projected making the scene appear to be a palace courtyard.

Lucy Wrubel on stage

Lucy Wrubel on stage

As guests entered the dome, they discovered their table assignments on a side table, couch seatings, oversized bars, a longer-than-forever table with flutes of champagne and a non-stop array of yummies reflecting Brian’s and Faisal’s travels (Greece — goat cheese and leek spanakopita “cigars” with dried currants; Dallas — BBQ smoked beef tenderloin, honey-glazed cornbread and celery root slaw; New Orleans — fried Gulf oyster on the half shell). The martini glasses were so chilled that Niven Morgan apologized for spilling his.

Erin Mathews

Erin Mathews

Ceron and Elaine Agather

Ceron and Elaine Agather

Missy Rogers

Missy Rogers

Jacqueline and Max Anderson and Jan Showers

Jacqueline and Max Anderson and Jan Showers

Speaking of a chill, many of the gals decided to keep their furs near and dear (Brooke Hortenstine, Elaine Agather, Missy Rogers, Jacqueline Anderson, Capera Ryan and Erin Mathews). Others took it all in stride showing bare shoulders, arms, backs and even midriffs (Vinita Schroeder, Jennifer Eagle, Shelle Sills, Piper Wyatt, Tracy Madans, Jan Showers and Nancy Rogers, who was dazzling in red and ice — diamond and ruby earrings and necklace). A couple, like Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Tina Craig, flirted with black lace insets. There was even a contingent that opted for short sparkly cocktail dresses (Muffin Lemak and Heidi Wehring). Still others came prepared for a nip in the air and were covered shoulders to stilettos, like Chicago first lady of retailing Ikram Goldman, Sue Gragg and Susan Kaminski.

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Anna-Sophia van Zweden

Anna-Sophia van Zweden

Ikram and Josh Goldman

Ikram and Josh Goldman

Muffin Lemak, Shelle Sills Vinita Schroeder and Claire Emanuelson

Muffin Lemak, Shelle Sills Vinita Schroeder and Claire Emanuelson

Piper Wyatt, Brooke Hortenstine, Faisal Halum, Suzanne Droese and Tina Craig

Piper Wyatt, Brooke Hortenstine, Faisal Halum, Suzanne Droese and Tina Craig

The fellows, on the other hand, stayed tried and true to black tie. Brian in Tom Ford and Faisal in black sequined Saint Laurent. Okay, so a couple of the gents dressed down their formal look with sneakers, and Howard Rachofsky sported an electric blue jacket. But, hey, it’s a guy thing.

This crowd was so gorgeous that instead of selfies being snapped, it was “swell-fies”.

Group swellfie

Group swellfie

At 8:30 the reception area was filled to the brim with the beautiful people and the signal was given that it was dinner time. Then guests made their way to the other side of the tent, with its tables covered in silver clothes, towering glass cylinder vases filled with white orchids, and personalized books containing the menu, photos of Brian and Faisal, and thank yous for those who had been part of the evening’s behind-the-scenes efforts. On the wall, a video of clips from “Dynasty” was shown on the wall. Once seated, the glamorous guests looked even more dazzling thanks to the overhead lighting, candles on the table and crystal.

Dinner

Dinner

At this point the Dallas String Quartet performed on the stage facing the diners.

Faisal Halum

Faisal Halum

A few minutes later Faisal took the stage. Despite being a bit nervous, he told the guests that the evening was indeed to celebrate their marriage and to express their gratitude — “You have shaped our success as a couple.” Among those he thanked were Ray Hom and Kent Grogin, who had flown in from Singapore, and “persuaded me to fly to New Orleans” 10 years ago. It was in New Orleans to celebrate Halloween where he and Brian met. Regarding their recent marriage, he said, “It really taught us that marriage is for everyone. Same-sex marriage is now legal and recognized in 32 states and, maybe someday, Texas will be one of those states.” At that moment, a slide was shown on the dome’s wall reading, “Vote Wendy Davis for Governor.” Faisal added, “We’re not trying to tell you who to vote for.” Laughter rippled through the group. It was followed by a video of the Bolke-Halum wedding ending with Shannon Johnson saying, “I now pronounce you, husband and husband.”

Matching the beautiful surroundings, the dinner’s courses were perfection thanks to catering czarina Cassandra. Keeping with Brian’s and Faisal travel theme, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky arranged to start off the supper with small mountains of American sturgeon caviar along with crème fraiche, quail eggs, chives and butter brioche a la New York and Napa Valley wine and champagne.

This was followed by the first course, Southern California — baby Romaine Caesar salad “box” with picked red onions, oven dried tomatoes and crisp Parmesan lid. Next was the second course, Provincetown, of lobster ravioli, roasted butternut squash truffle cream, chive oil and lobster cracker. The main entrée of the Middle East was black mission fig and goat cheese, crusted lamb chops with baby squash, zucchini, marble potatoes and carrots with pomegranate demi. Sweet trays a la Turkey were gold macaroons, dried dates and baklava. The desserts finished the world tour of cuisine with Paris (salted caramel and pots de crème), Italy (tiramisu) and Mexico (tres leches cake).

Brian Bolke

Brian Bolke

Just past 10:30, Brian stood on stage as Faisal stood tableside surrounded by his relatives. In Arabic Brian welcomed the Halum family. He thanked the numerous people, who had been involved with their relationship and the celebration. One especially poignant moment came when he addressed Meredith Musselman and her fiancée and recalled that it was three and a half years ago that her mother/his Forty Five Ten partner, Shelly Musselman, had died. He then told the group that “Faisal’s and my mother were born on the same day…1939.”

Brian Bolke, Gabby Porter and Faisal Halum

Brian Bolke, Gabby Porter and Faisal Halum

Turning his eyes to Faisal, Brian said, “Faisal, I have a gift for you; not a Rolex, it’s our song.” It was the song — “Beautiful” — that 10 years ago, Brian and Faisal heard in New Orleans sung before 3,000 people by a 16-year-old girl, Gabrielle “Gabby” Porter. A shocked Faisal watched as Brian left the stage and was replaced by Gabby, who sang their song.

It was indeed a beautiful night that was 10 years in the making and shared with those who appreciated and applauded their happiness.

Many more pictures of the evening can be found on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Art And Beautiful Peeps Fill F.I.G. For Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s Art For Advocacy

Despite the chill provided by the seasons first cold front, it was nice and warm with cocktails, food, beautiful peeps and loads of art up for bid over at F.I.G. Here’s a field report:

Art for Advocacy, an auction benefiting the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC), highlighted the unique role art therapy plays in healing the child abuse victims served at DCAC. The sold-out fundraiser, themed “Departure,” brought together more than 800 art enthusiasts, young professionals, and supporters. They were welcomed into a ‘desert chic’ space complete with top shelf margaritas and Texas tapas while the James Gabriano Trio played Spanish tunes.

Barry Whistler, Ricardo Paniagua and Jordan Roth*

Barry Whistler, Ricardo Paniagua and Jordan Roth*

“Sponsors at the $2500 level and up had the chance to purchase pieces at the buy-it-now price before doors officially opened to the rest of the crowd with more than a quarter of the work going for buy-it-now. The evening featured a silent art auction and live auction featuring the works of Ricardo Paniagua, Lekha Singh and Alexander Mijares. In total, the event netted more than $435,000 in support of the art therapy program and other crucial services for child abuse victims at the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center.

Stephanie and John Roberts*

Stephanie and John Roberts*

Judee and Chad Barrett*

Judee and Chad Barrett*

“Event Co-Chairs Stephanie and John Roberts, Honorary Co-Chairs Kara and Randall Goss, Underwriting Co-Chairs Judee and Chad Barrett, Art Chair Ashley Tatum and Friday Roundup Chair Nancy Cohen Israel each contributed to the success of the record-breaking event. Later in the evening, guests enjoyed a surprise performance by The Polyphonic Spree and gathered on the dance floor to the beats of DJ S.O.U.L.Jah.

Randall and Kara Goss*

Randall and Kara Goss*

Hunter Miller and Donnie Miller*

Hunter Miller and Donnie Miller*

“Since 2007, ART for ADVOCACY has raised more than $2.5 million to support DCAC’s work in improving the lives of abused children in Dallas County and providing national leadership on child abuse issues. The Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s therapy program uses art therapy to help children on their journey to hope and healing.

The Polyphonic Spree*

The Polyphonic Spree*

“Top Sponsors include:

  • “Presenting Sponsor – U.S. Risk Insurance Group Inc. and Kara and Randall Goss;
  • “Director – Fashion Industry Gallery (F.I.G.);
  • “Patron – Al G. Hill Jr., The Martha and Don Miller Family and TurningPoint Foundation;
  • “Collector – Ace Tree Service Inc., Allie Beth Allman and Associates, Dina and Jason Arnott, Judee and Chad Barrett, Beyond Pedaling, Colliers International, Christine and Mark Danuser, Catie and Aaron Enrico, Lara and Stephen Harrison, JW Homes, Selwyn Rayzor and Rich Moses, Y-C Nursery, Kerry and Don Peterson, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky,  Jenny and Adam Saphier, Tatum Art Advisory, T. C. Lupton Jr. Family Foundation, Helena and Doug Wall, Weedex Inc. and Westcott Foundation;

    Meghan Pawlowski, Jesse Lind and Kathi and Tom Lind*

    Meghan Pawlowski, Jesse Lind and Kathi and Tom Lind*

  • “Advocate – American Bank of Commerce, April Anthony, The Boundless Collection, Gail and Chris Bedford, Dr. Sami Arslanlar and John Clutts, Allyson and David Cooke, Digital Realty, Miller Egan LLP, Mr. and Mrs. Chris Floyd, Dawn and Bill Hennessey, Michelle and Austin Hopper, Christi and Warren Houser, Lauren Soulis and Robert W. Ivey III, Kathi and Tom Lind, Camille and Marlon McMakin, MassMutual Dallas – Fort Worth, NexBank, Perry, Schlegel Kloewer Real Estate Group, Rent-A-Center, Rachel and Dr. Hampton Richards, Ginny and Conner Searcy, Caroline and Chris Settle, Gail and Dan Settle, Anne and Steve Stodghill, Sarah and Russell Weinberg, Wick Phillips and Winstead PC.

“In-Kind Sponsors include:

  • “Auction Sponsor – Heritage Auctions;
  • “Catalogue Sponsor – Belanger Art Methods;
  • “Cocktail Sponsor – Republic National Distributing Company;
  • “Décor Sponsor – Suite 206;
  • “Fashion Sponsor – Forty Five Ten;
  • “Framing Sponsor – Debra Stevens Custom Framing;
  • “Host Sponsor – F.I.G. (Fashion Industry Gallery);
  • “Installation Sponsor – Martin&Martin Design;
  • “Media Sponsor – FD;
  • “Printing Sponsor – Millet the Printer;
  • “Valet Sponsor – Gold Crown.”
* Photos provided by Dallas Children's Advocacy Center

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: Brian Bolke and Faisal Halum Celebration

Group selfie

Group selfie

So, the black tie seated dinner for a mere 250+ proved to exceed the expectations of those, both near and far, who had flown in from Abu Dhabi, New Orleans, Chicago, California and Singapore.

Piper Wyatt, Brooke Hortenstine, Suzanne Droese, Faisal Halum and Tina Craig

Piper Wyatt, Brooke Hortenstine, Suzanne Droese, Faisal Halum and Tina Craig

Oh, the gorgeous crowd, the OMG food and the splendor “WOW!” factor came together for a legendary event — to celebrate the meeting of Brian Bolke and Faisal Halum that evolved into their August nuptials. Instead of gifts, they requested donations for the art and Two by Two for AIDs. But it was the marvelous touches of the couple that reminded many of their own splendiferous meeting resulting in a lifelong relationship.

Nancy Rogers and Brian Bolke

Nancy Rogers and Brian Bolke

The words are being crafted. Be patient. But the photos are available at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. Be forewarned. It’s a two-pager.

Women In Film Dallas To Honor Dennis Bishop, Ruth Buzzi And Allison Tolman With Topaz Awards

The weekend before Thanksgiving is going to be a film lover’s delight, especially focusing on women. Friday night the Dallas Film Society’s Art of Film will have Marisa Tomei on stage and at the dinner table at the Perot Museum.

Within 24 hours, like Saturday night, the Women in Film Dallas (WIFD) will salute two outstanding women and production executive Dennis Bishop with the presentation of the Topaz Award.

Ruth Buzzi (File photo)

Ruth Buzzi (File photo)

The two ladies? “Laugh-In” legend Ruth Buzzi and “Fargo”’s Allison Tolman. Talk about a range of talent and they all have true-blue Texas connections.

 

  • “A native Texan, Bishop began his career in Dallas and moved up the ranks to Production Executive. He has overseen commercially successful and award winning feature and television productions including ‘The Trip to Bountiful’, ‘The Fast and the Furious’, ‘And the Band Played On’ and the TV pilot of ‘Dexter’. Bishop has served as adjunct professor, mentor, and guest lecturer at USC, SMU, UTA and for the PGA, DGA, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He currently chairs the Motion Picture Production program he created at KD College in Dallas.
  • “Buzzi is a Golden Globe Award winner, Television Hall of Fame Inductee, NAACP Image Award winner, and 5-time Emmy nominee. The legendary comedienne is best known for her character, Gladys Ormphby, on ‘Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In’ and ‘Dean Martin Celebrity Roast’. She was a regular performer on ‘Sesame Street’ as Ruthie the Finders Keepers shop owner.*
  • “Tolman, a native of Sugarland, Texas, is a 2014 Emmy nominee and Critics’ Choice Award winner for her work as Deputy Molly Solverson on the FX series, ‘Fargo.’ After graduating from Baylor University, she moved to Dallas, Texas where she co-founded Second Thought Theatre. In 2009, she was accepted into Chicago’s Second City’s Conservatory Training Program. Before her work on ‘Fargo,’ Tolman wrote and performed sketch comedy and satire with several groups in the Chicago area.

 

As Kerri Navarro pointed out, “This year’s recipients have earned Golden Globe, Emmy, Television Hall of Fame, Clio, Critics’ Choice and NAACP awards — a new benchmark in the 27-year history of the WIFD Topaz Awards.”

Benefiting the WIFD Grant and Scholastic Fund, the event will take place at Wendy Krispin’s 7 for Parties. It’s a marvy place to meet the honorees and others, both guys and gals, who love film and those in the industry. Seating is limited, so hustle and get your tickets. Oh, and don’t forget your autograph book!

* Oh, you’re wondering what’s Ruthie’s Texas connection? Well, she lives on a ranch in North Texas with her tall, piano playing cowboy Kent Perkins.

Thanks To A Newborn Giraffe And Loads Of Human Critters, Zoo To Do’s Jewels Of The Kalahari Busted A Million

Those flaunty flamingos were in fine feather (many apologies for the pun) to greet guests as they arrived at the Dallas Zoo for the Zoo To Do fundraiser, Jewels of the Kalahari, on Saturday, November 1. There is a real difference between the ones that are “stuck” in front yards and the Zoo’s flock. This group is definitely not static. As one group of guests headed to the trams bound for the main festivities, the pink birds with the scrawny legs followed along until their handlers reminded them of their duties of greeting all 670 guests including Honorary Co-Chairs Lynn and Allan McBee, Brandy and Will Taylor, Ruth O’Donnell Mutch, Connie and Denny Carreker, Mary McDermott Cook, Diane and Hal Brierley, Barbara and Don Daseke and Diane and Dallas Zoo Chairman of the Board Mike Gruber.

Allan and Lynn McBee, Craig Glatthaar and Brandy and Will Taylor

Allan and Lynn McBee, Craig Glatthaar and Brandy and Will Taylor

Mike Gruber and Sharon and Gregg Hudson

Mike Gruber and Sharon and Gregg Hudson

And while the chill may have been a wee bit brisk for some, the penguins were in seventh heaven. Even the snakes rose to the occasion, slithering on the arms of their handlers. While some guests recoiled (dadgummit, another pun) at the offer to touch the boa constrictor across the way from the registration desk, other guests took a chance and were amazed at the uniquely smooth feel of the scales.

Laura and lesser anteater

Laura and lesser anteater

Angela and arrmadillo

Angela and armadillo

Chispa the two-year-old lesser anteater showed her dexterity clutching the limb, while slurping up goodies from a cup held by handler Laura. On the other hand, the nearby armadillo was bored with the whole affair and curled up for a good snooze, looking more like a textured bowling ball in handler Angela’s hands.

Jennifer Houser, Ruth O'Donnell Mutch and Tiffany Divis

Jennifer Houser, Ruth O’Donnell Mutch and Tiffany Divis

Co-Chair Jennifer Houser reported that the evening’s goal was to beat last year’s total of $918K. It would depend on the outcome of the live auction. Co-Chair Tiffany Divis said that a late addition to the live auction was the right to name the newborn giraffe.

In the Gorilla Lounge (aka Jewel Lounge), a mammoth light wall featuring a gorilla towered behind the bar. Zoo ambassador vet Rosie the owl had a “been-there-before” blasé attitude. On the other hand (sorry about that), Kimye the ball python was more than accommodating to be stroked in the hands of handler Cassie.

Gorilla bending tree

Gorilla bending tree

At one point the guests gathered at the lounge windows overlooking the gorilla compound to watch the gorillas make a brief showing. One even decided to effortlessly bend a small tree over to nibble at a tasty leaf. Well, after all, it was the cocktail hour. After they had made their personal appearance, the apes returned to their enclosure. Too chilly for them and nobody was going to debate their staying to entertain the gawking humans.

Afterwards came a strolling dinner provided by Abacus, Asador, Barter, Becks Prime, Blosa, Casa Rubia, Dallas Zoo Catering, Dragonfly at Hotel Zaza, Empire Baking Company, Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, Margaux’s, Meso Maya, Mozzarella Company, Neiman Marcus, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Parigi, Savor Gastropub, SER Steak + Spirits, Sevy’s Grill, Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar, Suze, Tillman’s Roadhouse and Two Sisters Catering.

As for the live auction, it was a gangbuster making national headlines. Seems that the last-minute addition of naming rights for the baby giraffe went to an anonymous donor for a cool $50,000. Even big spenders slowed down their paddle-raising when that number neared. The donor’s generosity only was heightened when it was announced that s/he would allow the final decision of the naming to be left to the public via an online vote. The outcome? The vote named him “Kopano”, meaning “united” in Botswana. And that’s exactly what happened at Zoo to Do as people united to raise $1.085M for one of the country’s leading zoos in one night.

Help The Senior Source Meet The $50,000 Challenge In Time For The 24th Spirit Of Generations Luncheon

Debbie Oates (File photo)

Debbie Oates (File photo)

The holiday season brings out the best in most folks. One person in particular has already hit the big time with The Senior Source. According to The Senior Source Chair of the Board Debbie Oates, “an anonymous donor has offered to match all gifts, dollar for dollar, towards the luncheon up to $50,000!”

Translation: You can donate a gift in honor of an “experienced” person and it will have double the impact. And if you don’t know someone who remembers when TV was in black and white, then go find somebody. They’re everywhere and many depend upon the services provided by The Senior Source!

Sarah Losinger (File photo)

Sarah Losinger (File photo)

Lydia Novakov (File photo)

Lydia Novakov (File photo)

And the timing is so perfect! It’s just a week before the Monday, November 24th Spirit of Generations Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole honoring former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and being co-chaired by Sarah Losinger and Lydia Novakov.

The luncheon is always remarkable, and the ideal way to start off Thanksgiving week. And think how lovely it would be to announce at the luncheon that the challenge had been met.

MySweetMonday Music November 17, 2014

We’re reaching way far back for this one. Before there was a Dallas Arts District. When the Dallas Cowboys played at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park. Even before there was a remote control for a television.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Zoo To Do

Laura and lesser anteater

Laura and lesser anteater

While the folks like TV weather guessers Dan, David, Pete and Larry are trying to figure out if sleet or snow is in tomorrow’s wake-up call, settle back with the MySweetCharityPhoto Gallery for the million-dollar Zoo to Do.

Jennifer Houser, Ruth O'Donnell Mutch and Tiffany Divis

Jennifer Houser, Ruth O’Donnell Mutch and Tiffany Divis

Alas, the fellow who caused the $50,000 bid wasn’t around. Guess it was past his bedtime.

JUST IN: 2015 Chick Lit Author And Cheeping Deets Revealed

Chick Lit Luncheon*

Chick Lit Luncheon*

The chic Chick Lit-ters nestled down last night to learn the deets for Community Partners of DallasChick Lit Luncheon. While others may have chattered in other parts of Dallas due to the evening’s chill, the gals warmed up with llittle girl jammies and  tunics at Roberta Roller Rabbit in Highland Park Village.

Wendy Messmann, Carol Seay and Paige McDaniel**

Wendy Messmann, Carol Seay and Paige McDaniel**

CPD President/CEO Paige McDaniel served as emcee telling the 50 guests (Sandy and Barry Moore, Jill Goldberg, Nikki Webb, Lindsay Ballotta, Andrea Cheek, Francie Mancillas, Katie Robbins, Jennifer Lelash, Maggie Kipp, Elizabeth Dacus, Lisa Bhattacharya, Elizabeth Gambrell and Jennifer Tobin) the luncheon is scheduled for Friday, April 24, at Brook Hollow, with Wendy Messmann as luncheon chair and Carol Seay serving as honorary chair, and the ORIX Foundation receiving the 2014 Partners for Children Award.

Stacey Ballis*

Stacey Ballis*

As for the author, it’s going to be Stacey Ballis, who in addition to writing such novels as “Off the Menu”, “Out to Lunch” and “Recipe for Disaster”, is currently working on a cookbook called “Cooking for You: Wellness in the Kitchen” for release in 2015.

Returning once again as presenting sponsors are Lara and Dr. Robert Tafel!

So mark your calendar and buy a couple of places. They’d make terrific holiday gifts and need minimal wrapping. All you need is to buy one of Stacey’s books and put the invite inside.

This luncheon is a sell-out each year, so don’t put it off.

BTW, if you want info on sponsorship, Joanna Clarke is your go-to-chick.

* Graphic and photo provided 
by Community Partners of 
Dallas
** Photo credit: Daniel 
Driensky

VNA Has “Pie-erful” Answer For Thanksgiving Dessert

In the world of desserts, Thanksgiving is the World Series for pies. While there are those who love the pie with the fluffy, puffy meringue top, there are others who feel the crusty top with delicious fruity filling is totally the only way. But this time of year, the seasonal favs are pumpkin and pecan.

VNA pumpkin pie*

VNA pumpkin pie*

VNA pecan pie*

VNA pecan pie*

Why this pie-in-the-sky debate? Because the VNA is offering a two-fer pie. No, it’s not two pies for the price of one. Oh, please! Rather, for $25 you can have a pumpkin or pecan pie for turkey day and help VNA’s VNA Hospice Care, Meals on Wheels and Private Call programs.

It’s simple to get your pie. Just go to Power of Pie and purchase the VNA pie of your choice for $25. On the Tuesday, November 25, or Wednesday, November 26, “pick up your VNA pie from your preferred Power of Pie pick up location.” Those locations are:

  • VNA Haggerty Center (1440 W. Mockingbird Lane) — Pick up from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on November 25 or 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. November 26.
  • Spring Valley United Methodist Church (7700 Spring Valley) — Pick up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. November 26.
  • Saint Michaels and All Angels Episcopal Church (8011 Douglas Avenue) — Pick up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. November 26.
  • 3015 @ Trinity Groves (3015 Gulden Lane) — Pick up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. November 26.

What’s that? Are these recycled frozen pies? Ah, come on. You know better. The pies are being donated by the following bakers and restaurants: Empire Baking Company, Central Market, Hilton Anatole, Abacus, Kent Rathbun Concepts- 40, Four Seasons Resort and Club, Norma’s Café, Spoon Bar and Kitchen, Knife Modern Steak, Front Room Tavern, Brook Hollow Golf Club, Lakewood Country Club, Café Momentum, 3015 @ Trinity Groves, Bark Chocolate, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Haute Sweets Patisserie, Parigi, Collin County Community College, Susie’s Cuisine, Uncle Willie’s Pies, Pie Flutin Pastries, Cydonia, Dessert Dreams Inc. and Karen Cassady.

You just gotta love the foodies, who are donating their time and ingredients for this program, when they’re in overdrive trying to meet their own customers’ needs.

VNA Zero Calorie pie*

VNA Zero Calorie pie*

Here’s an idea. Why not buy a couple or three or four pieces and share them with friends, neighbors and office buddies. They’ll love you more than ever for your good taste and they won’t even need a corkscrew for this all-age-friendly gift.

And for those who aren’t pie oriented but want to support VNA, there’s the  Zero Calorie Pie for $25. Actually, it’s a non-pie, but it allows you to support VNA and it ain’t fattening.

Now, you just have to decide on whether you’re going to top your pie off with whipped cream or ice cream. Decisions, decisions, decisions!

*Graphics courtesy of VNA

Each Moment Matters Brings Together Heroes/Heroines For Presbyterian Communities and Services And Step Challenges

Such a day! After making the rounds of responsibility, it was the Hilton Anatole for the Each Moment Matters Luncheon. The Presbyterian Communities and Services fundraiser had hardly started (20 minutes to be exact) and the lobby of the Chantilly Ballroom was already jammed thanks to Luncheon Chair Clare Buie Chaney and Honorary Chair Barbara Lord Watkins.

Alas, with a number of “experienced-types” in the crowd, walkers of all standards were rolling around. Some had seats. Some had storage compartments. Only thing missing were cellphone and cup holders.

Walkers and Chantilly Ballroom steps

Walkers and Chantilly Ballroom steps

But even the most agile of the group of walker walkers approached the ballroom hesitantly. There were those pesky steps. The one and only ramp in sight was at the far back of the lobby. Instead of heading all the way to the ramp, most carefully and slowly took their chances with the steps.

Walkers and Chantilly Ballroom steps

Walkers and Chantilly Ballroom steps

Once in the sunken lobby, there were chairs and photos with information about each of the dozens of recipients. Faye Briggs was with her daughter Pebble McGehee and honoree Debbie Branson.

Debbie Branson, Pebble McGehee and Faye Briggs

Debbie Branson, Pebble McGehee and Faye Briggs

Away from the growing crowd was the day’s keynote speaker/former trial lawyer/screenwriter, David Hudgins, and his wife Meghan chatting it up with KDFW’s Clarice Tinsley.

David Hudgins, Clarice TInsley and Meghan Hudgins

David Hudgins, Clarice TInsley and Meghan Hudgins

Despite his good looks and charm, David understood the need for the services provided by Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation. The loss of his sister who died at the age of 39 due to breast cancer was life changing for the Dallas native. He gave up his law practice and moved to Tennessee to take up screenwriting fulltime. In addition to achieving success in the television and movie industry and moving to California, he created The Catherine H. Tuck Foundation “to provide financial aid for women struggling to pay their bills while in treatment for breast cancer.”

Each Moment Matters honoree profiles

Each Moment Matters honoree profiles

Once the ballroom doors opened, introductions were handled by Carolyn Osoinach, Ashley Mead and Cindy Douglas. Following lunch, Clarice recognized the class of 2014 honorees including: Beverly and Ken Barry, Susan Cox and Rev. Brent Barry, Anna Michele Bobadilla, Debbie Dudley Branson, Donnie Breedlove and Frank Breedlove, Barbara Samuels Cambridge, Cissy and W. Plack Carr Jr., Rev. John “Jay” Wallace Cole III, Anne R. Compton, Marilyn Corrigan, Maurine Dickey, The Gorman Family (April, Tate, John, RoryCate and Greta), Grace Presbyterian of Plano Young Adults, Vicki Hamielec, Jan and Fred Hegi, J. Scott Hendon, Annabel Hoffman, Frank A. Hollingshead, Chris Howell, Larry M. James, Terry Kittleson, Dudley Lacey, Margaret E. “Peggy” and Charles C. “Lade” Ladenberger, Barbara Lee, Peggy Madsen, Melissa McCleskey, Billye Joyce Miars, Liz Minyard-Lockey, Sanford C. Mitchell Jr., Holly Reed, Rosemary Robbins, Annadele Holm Ross, Craig D. Rubin, Susan G. Simon, Candye and William S. Spears, Gayle Weber Strange, Pat Weaver, Jim Webb, Philip M. Wentworth, Teresa Whittington, Claudia Wilder, Stan Woodward, Carole S. and Jim Young and Elizabeth Zsohar.

In addition to the celebration of the honorees, it was revealed that Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation had reached its $38.6M goal to build phase one of Faith Presbyterian Hospice’s T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center.

According to Presbyterian Communities Services President/CEO Godwin Dixon, “I want to personally thank all of the donors who have helped us reach this milestone. Their gifts will allow us to provide a hospice center that will redefine end-of-life care. This is a proud day for all of us who are working together to bring this much-needed refuge to children and families in North Texas.”

Gingerbread Stroll For Texas Scottish Rite Hospital For Children Trumps Gwyneth’s Pop-Up In Highland Park Village

Am so thrilled that Gwyneth Paltrow is opening a pop-up shop for her GOOP line in Highland Park Village.

Seriously?

The rumor mills are buzzing that the GOOP-ster is $1.6M in debt. Hey, who hasn’t had a couple of IOU’s in their sphere of financial wonderfulness? Lots! But that little situation is between Gwenny and her accountants.

The problemo that bothers some locals is that there is no sign of her poppy-up benefiting a local charity. That just may happen. But why wait?

Gingerbread Mansion by the Rosewood Mansion's Nicolas Blouin (File photo)

Gingerbread Mansion by the Rosewood Mansion’s Nicolas Blouin (File photo)

There is a grand opportunity to visit HP Village, spend buckeroos, feel good and support the 4th Annual Gingerbread Stroll. Organized by Christine McKenny and benefiting Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, it’s a killer for tastebuds. Only thang missing is an ice-cold glass of fully-fat milk and/or some wicked whip cream.

Please stop drooling. It’s going to mess up your keyboard.

“The Gingerbread Stroll has become a wonderful tradition during the most wonderful time of the year,” said Christine. “People of all ages gather with their family and friends to attend, and it’s always fun to see how the chefs express themselves creatively. Everyone loves a gingerbread house!”

There’s a 99% chance that Gwenny won’t be there, but the gingerbread man will be and he’s dying to have you bite his head off.

You can toast him and event adviser Lynn McBee at Cole Haan on Tuesday, November 18, if you can find a parking space. If not, then use that killer charm of yours and have the valet take your wheels.

Or, better yet, you can “silently bid on ornately decorated gingerbread houses, crafted by 12 of Dallas’ premier pastry chefs” including  Celebrity Café & Bakery; Charlie’s, Pastry Chef Winter Lockwood-Frank; Chocolate Secrets; Fine Arts Concepts, Joy Lynn; Four Seasons Resort and Club, Cafe on the Green; Hilton Anatole; Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion; Omni Dallas Hotel; Rosewood Crescent Hotel; Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Catering Team; Tom Thumb and The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas.

JUST IN: Bill Cosby To Headline LaunchAbility’s A Special Evening

Bill Cosby (File photo)

Bill Cosby (File photo)

And the news can’t stop coming in.

Each year LaunchAbility has a major headliner on stage for it’s A Special Evening hosted by Alliance Data. Wednesday night at a kick-off party at Event Co-Chairs Regina Montoya’s and Paul Coggins’ home, it was revealed that comedian Bill Cosby will  be in the spotlight at the Meyerson Symphony Center on Thursday, April 2.

JUST IN: Christie Carter To Chair 2016 Crystal Charity Ball

Christie Carter (File photo)

Christie Carter (File photo)

The Crystal Charity Ball ladies have still three weeks before their mega-fundraiser on Saturday, December 6, and they’re already planning for CCB 2016. Yup, you read that right — two years from now! Word just arrived that Christie Carter has been tapped to head up the 2016 team of 100 women to raise loads and loads of money for nonprofits benefiting area children.

A member of CCB since 2006, Christie’s resume sounds like she could head up a Fortune 500. She’s been president of the Junior League of Dallas, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Dallas CASA Children’s Council. In addition to serving on the board of The Senior Source and Dallas Child and Family Guidance Center, she has served as underwriting chair for the Salvation Army Luncheon, the Senior Source and the CASA Capital Campaign and underwriting co-chair for 2013 Celebrating Women.

Whew! That’s just a smidgen of her leadership within the fundraising community. Looks like the tradition of amazing leadership is safely in place for CCB.

Congrats to CCB, Christie and the children of Dallas.

Round Robin October 29: The Stroud House Unveiling And The Dallas Historical Society’s Awards of Excellence Patron Party

Unless one was a World Series groupie, there were scant excuses for not being out and about on Wednesday, October 29. Yes, Todd “Fun Guy” Fiscus was celebrating his 10th anniversary of mirth making at the Rachofsky House. Smarty pants Todd had refreshed the digs of the past weekend’s Two by Two domed tent for his 10th anniversary celebration. Oodles and oodles of the beautiful peeps were lifting flutes of the bubbly. Gina Ginsberg was in drop dead leggings with husband ScottMatthews Simon was being hugged like a teddy bear as he bid a temporary farewell to Dallas buds (he and his partner Keith Schumann, who was recovering a major heart attack have relocated to Atlanta); Neva Hall was looking spectacular, as were Brooke Hortenstine, Shelle and Michael Sills, Barbara Daseke and Todd’s partner Ceron (they’re doing the Dallas-Houston shuffle).

With lady violinists perched on platforms covered in two-story white, billowing skirts, a butterfly-like dancer arrived on a centerstage surrounded by a gauzy white curtain.

But the nonprofits hadn’t taken the night off. Heck, no. They were in high gear across Dallas.

The Stroud House

Louise Cowan

Louise Cowan

In Uptown, the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture had good reason to celebrate and that they did. In addition to having simply spectacular weather, they were officially showing off their newest acquisition — The Stroud House. Why even legendary Dr. Louise Cowan was on the scene with a vigilante staffer clearing the way for her arrival on the brick walk leading to the festivities in the back.

The Stroud House

The Stroud House

The Stroud House is part of the Institute’s campus expansion. Right next door to the Institute’s Prairie-style headquarters, the Stroud House exudes New Orleans elegance with its red brick walls, balconies and non-stop fountain out front.

It’s called The Stroud House because Dr. Joanne Stroud provided the lead gift for the purchase that sold for $2.5M. Others who helped make the acquisition come true included Betty Regard and Margaret McDermott.

Communities Foundation of Texas Brent Christopher couldn’t stay for the official dedication due to a dinner commitment with Educate Texas Executive Director John Fitzpatrick, who was up from Austin.

Kim Hiett Jordan and Anne Reeder

Kim Hiett Jordan and Anne Reeder

On the other hand, Nancy Cain Marcus, Veletta and John Lill, Kim Hiett Jordan and Anne Reeder, who great grandfather had lived in the Dallas Institute headquarters when Dallas was just a small town.

Lynne Sheldon recalled how The Stroud House had previously been a frame store before it had been purchased  by the Institute.

While other similar properties are being felled by wrecking balls, it’s truly amazing to see these stately homes restored and made vital once again.

Awards For Excellence In Community Service Patron Party

The Dallas Historical Society was buzzing with news over at the Hall of State. Here is a report from the field about the patron party and the honorees for the upcoming fundraising luncheon:

“The Dallas Historical Society hosted a patron party for 2014 Awards for Excellence in Community Service recipients, sponsors and distinguished guests. It was a true Texas affair as guests arrived at the Hall of State at Fair Park, one of the most beautiful art deco buildings in the state. Set for Thursday, November 20, at the Fairmont Hotel, the luncheon is the Dallas Historical Society’s largest and most important fundraising event to support its educational and preservation programs.

Lynn and Allan McBee, Dallas Historical Society’s co-chairmen of the board of trustees, welcomed guests in the G.B. Dealey Library West Texas room.

Margaret and Glenn Solomon*

Margaret and Glenn Solomon*

“Lynn remarked, ‘Welcome to the Dallas Historical Society’s patron party. We are in a historic room that has been redesigned as a research library to access the organization’s extensive collection. DHS processes more than 2,000 research requests per year. Speaking of collections, just last week, the granddaughter of Judge Lew Sterrett donated scrapbooks and personal papers of the judge to the collection.’ She described the room. ‘Notice the Tom Lea murals with its cowboy motifs, the Spanish architecture, Dorothy Austin’s sculpture and the magnificent tile depicting Texas life from a studio that still exists in San Antonio.’

“Allan McBee introduced Margaret and Glenn Solomon, co-chairs of the DHS Awards for Excellence in Community Service event. Glenn said, ‘The Awards for Excellence in Community Service are presented on behalf of the Dallas Historical Society to the designated recipients who are deserving of recognition for their generosity of spirit, civic leadership and ability to encourage community-wide participation in a particular phase of the growth of the city. Thank you to the Honorary Chairs Lee Cullum and Laura Wilson.’

Patrick and Judy Kelly and Kevin Moriarty*

Patrick and Judy Kelly and Kevin Moriarty*

“The distinguished recipients were announced by Margaret Solomon and other DHS Trustees and came to the front to be recognized:

  • Arts Leadership – Kevin Moriarty (Award sponsored by Diane and Hal Brierley)
  • Business – Robert A. Estrada (Award sponsored by Al Hill Jr. family)
  • Creative Arts – Judy and Patrick Kelly (Award sponsored by Bobby B. Lyle, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gillikin, RWR Investments)
  • Education – Mary and Mike Terry (Award sponsored by David Miller Family Foundation and Friends of Mary and Mike Terry)
  • Stuart Bumpas*

    Stuart Bumpas*

    Health/Science Medicine – Claude B. Prestidge, M.D. (Award sponsored by BaylorScott&White and the Friends of Claude B. Prestidge, M.D.)

  • Humanities – S.M. Wright Foundation (Award sponsored by Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation and Allie Beth and Pierce Allman)
  • Philanthropy – Stuart Bumpas (Award sponsored by Ruth C. and Charles S. Sharp Foundation, Inc. and Linda and Bill Custard)
  • Volunteer Community Leadership – Judy Rorrie (Award sponsored by Stephanie and Hunter Hunt)
  • Schatzie Lee and Caro Stalcup*

    Schatzie Lee and Caro Stalcup*

    Jubilee History Makers – Natalie ‘Schatzie’ Lee (Award sponsored by Friends of Natalie ‘Schatzie’ Lee)

“In addition to the prestigious honorees, the McBees and the Solomons, others in attendance included Ruth Altshuler, Bill Graue, Steve Coke, Shannon Callewart and her daughter Lucy Callewart, Patricia Meadows, Deborah Ryan, William Ryan, Laura Estrada and Paul Hermann.

“The McBees thanked everyone for coming and encouraged those to let others know about the November 20th event. Those interested in purchasing tables or tickets can go online.”

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee