Dallas Children’s Theater’s “Knights And Princesses Dream Ball” Had A “Young” Co-Chair Help Exceed The Evening’s Goal

Inside the dimly lit theater at the Rosewood Center for Family Arts, children as well as adults dressed up as “knights” and “princesses” were scurrying around the room, laughing and chatting and waving swords around and having their photos taken onstage. Even Dallas Children’s Theater Executive Artistic Director Robyn Flatt and DTC board member Yvonne Crum had donned royal outfits. The occasion was the Dallas Theater Center’s Knights and Princesses Dream Ball, a fundraiser held in conjunction with the DTC’s current production, “Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale“.

In addition to the photo opps, the unique, fairy-tale-themed fundraiser featured a “Royal Feast,” and then a dance (to Disney-type music) spun by DJ Sir Seth. About 160 adults and kids turned out for the event, which was the first of its kind and intended to raise money for the DTC’s “sensory-friendly shows” for children with developmental disabilities. Under Chair Karen Travis, and with former Texas Ranger Michael Young and his family serving as honorary chairs, the fundraiser exceeded its $25,000 goal. As a result, the DTC says it will be able to produce three more sensory-friendly shows in 2015. The October 11 performance of “Rapunzel!”, by the way, will be the DTC’s last sensory-friendly performance of this calendar year.

Sold Out Alert!: 13th Annual Grand Rounds Golf Tournament

If you had your hopes up to play a round of golf at Northwood Country Club next Monday (October 6)  as part of the 13th Annual Grand Rounds Golf Tournament, your hopes are going to have find another “course” of action.

Even with 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. tee times, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation fundraiser is so very sold out across the board with more than 200 signing up.

Monies raised by the duffers will go to the medical education of young physicians.  Did you know that “Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas trains more than 200 residents and fellows in 27 specialties each year – ranging from internal medicine to vascular surgery to pathology”?

If you’re bound and determined to be on the Northwood greens, perhaps you could volunteer to be a caddy.

* Graphic courtesy of Baylor Health Cares System Foundation

 

Co-Hosts Nasiba Hartland-Mackie And Nancy Rogers Kick Off The Mario Testino Exhibition With A VIP Din-Din

You’ve got to hand it to Nasiba Hartland-Mackie. With her baby due in just a couple of weeks, she still managed to co-host the Friday, September 19th opening night VIP-ish festivities for photographer Mario Testino‘s “Alta Moda” exhibition at Dallas Contemporary. But then she had Nancy Rogers as her co-hosting partner, so it was pretty obvious that the activities were going to be extremely successful with beautiful and smart art lovers. But while Nancy looked picture perfect as always, she had been working on a second project  helping the Cabo San Lucas residents recover from the September 14 hurricane. In addition to putting together three plane loads of “relief items and food” for Cabo for the humans, she was also helping Los Cabos Humane Society.

Ah, but back to the Testino festivities. Here’s a report from the field on the two-day launch:

“This past weekend saw the opening of ‘Alta Moda,’ an exhibition by photographer Mario Testino at Dallas Contemporary.

Nancy Rogers and Nasiba Adilova Mackie*

Nancy Rogers and Nasiba Hartland-Mackie*

“DC Executive Director Peter Doroshenko said, ‘It is important to have a major photography exhibition of Mario Testino’s work at Dallas Contemporary. As a bi-lingual museum, this seminal exhibition will bridge Latino culture and contemporary art for all audiences in Texas.’”

“The weekend of festivities to mark the exhibition coming to Dallas was kicked off on Friday with an intimate fundraiser reception at the Dallas Contemporary, followed by a dinner on the rooftop terrace of The Joule Hotel, co-hosted by Nasiba Hartland-Mackie and Nancy Rogers. The crowd included John Clutts, Tammy Cotton Hartnett, Thomas Hartland-Mackie, Georgina Hartland, Rajan Patel, Shelle Sills, Julie Hawes, Michael Flores, Gina Betts, Brian Bolke, Muffin Lemak, Shelby Wagner and Carly and Justin Fields.

Rajan Patel, Georgina Hartland and Thomas Hartland Mackie*

Rajan Patel, Georgina Hartland and Thomas Hartland-Mackie*

“Mario said, ’I am Peruvian and it is one of my missions to celebrate my country’s rich culture on a world stage. I hope that through this exhibition I am able to do that. The Dallas Contemporary is such a dynamic institution and I am delighted to bring this body of work there.’

Erin Wasson and Mario Testino*

Erin Wasson and Mario Testino*

“The following night opening was attended by special guests, including Erin Wasson, Tim Headington, Michael Tregoning, Chandra North Blaylock and her husband Daniel and Anna-Sophia van Zweden, as well as curator Alison Gingeras and fellow artist Piotr Uklanski.

“’Alta Moda’ is a series of photographic portraits of Peruvians from the mountainous region of Cusco wearing traditional and festive dress. The works present a bold departure for Testino from his work for fashion magazines, investigating both Peruvian traditions and the history of photography. The exhibition will be on view at Dallas Contemporary from Sunday, September 21 through Sunday, December 21, and is supported by The Joule Hotel, Nancy C. & Richard R. Rogers and Burberry.

* Photo credit: Jenifer McNeil Baker

Round Robin Sept. 18: Too Many To List

Every now and then, there are “go-figure moments” in fundraising scheduling. Thursday, September 18, was such a day. Here it was the tsunami of nonprofits emailing, calling and tapping sources to donate to the North Texas Giving Day. Last year most groups went dark to allow the big day to take place uninterrupted. This year the pendulum swung in the opposite direction with receptions, parties and announcements taking place all over the place. The AT&T Chairman’s dinner was being held at the Winspear and Dallas Opera’s First Sight was filling Roberto Cavalli with beautiful people including First Sight/First Night Co-Chairs Nick Even and Lynn McBee.

Nick Even, Cristiano Mancini and Lynn McBee*

Nick Even, Cristiano Mancini and Lynn McBee*

Here are just a smattering of the multitude of things that were going on from field reports:

Art For Advocacy Kick-Off Party

Greg Lauren and Brian Bolke*

Greg Lauren and Brian Bolke**

“Art and fashion enthusiasts gathered at Forty Five Ten for a special event to kick off the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s upcoming fundraiser, Art for Advocacy. Special guest and fashion designer, Greg Lauren, showcased his newest collection while guests sipped on Austin Cocktails. DJ Lucy Wrubel kept the party going with beats that pulsed throughout the store. In support of the event, Forty Five Ten’s Brian Bolke offered 10% of the evening’s proceeds to benefit DCAC and will extend 10% of sales from the Greg Lauren collection to the agency through Nov. 1.

“Art for Advocacy celebrates the transformative power of art therapy in helping children process trauma and heal emotional scars as a result of abuse. Proceeds support DCAC’s work in improving the lives of abused children in Dallas County and providing national leadership on child abuse issues. The event draws community and business leaders, young professionals, local arts organizations, artists and gallerists, art collectors, and art patrons.

Lynn M. Davis, Chad and Judee Barrett, Randall and Kara Goss, Stephanie and John Roberts*

Lynn M. Davis, Chad and Judee Barrett, Randall and Kara Goss, Stephanie and John Roberts**

“Guests included DCAC CEO Lynn Davis, Underwriting Co-Chairs Judee and Chad Barrett, Honorary Co-Chairs Kara and Randall Goss, Event Co-Chairs Stephanie and John Roberts, Helena and Doug Wall, Lee McGuire, Allyson Cooke, Leisa Street, Cile McCorlek, Joyce Goss, Kenny Goss, Muffin Lemak, Shelby Wagner, Jamie and Jeremy Saylor, Christine and Mark Danuser, Susan and David Brown, Camille McMakin and Kelly Moser.

Mark and Christine Danuser and Susan and David Brown*

Mark and Christine Danuser and Susan and David Brown**

“This year’s Art for Advocacy event will feature 100 local and regional artists in a silent and live art auction. The 8th annual event makes a departure to a Saturday night featuring tequila, Texas tapas, and desert vacation packages guaranteed to inspire wanderlust. The Art for Advocacy auction party will take place at 7 p.m. on November 1, at F.I.G. to raise funds to aid the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC) in its mission to improve the lives of abused children in Dallas County. An Art Preview will be held at 6 p.m. for $2500+ sponsors offering the first opportunity to buy-it-now. DCAC coordinates the investigation and prosecution of the most severe cases of child abuse in the community and provides national leadership on child abuse issues. For more information email [email protected].”

Capital for Kids Anniversary Party

Ann and Lee Hobson***

Ann and Lee Hobson***

Capital for Kids kicked off its 10th anniversary celebration last night in the Highland Park home of Ann and Lee Hobson. Celebrating 10 years of changing lives in North Texas, the invitation-only sponsor party featured a special presentation by children from the Trinity River Mission of West Dallas – a Capital for Kids grant recipient.

Scott and Amy Houdek***

Scott and Amy Houdek***

“Among the guests were Rob Hayes, Reid Walker, Amy and Capital for Kids 2014 Co-Chair Scott Houdek, Katy and Lawrence Bock (who donated an emerald-cut 10-carat aquamarine surrounded by 66 dimaonds to celebrate CFK’s 10th anniversary), Carroll Watson, Reed Carroll, Rachel and Brad Stephens, Allison Carlisle, Susan Nichol, Dawn Blankenship Hennessey, Michael Watson, Michael Massad, Jason Hill, Lucas Legera, David Smith and Gentry Beach.

Lawrence and Katy Bock***

Lawrence and Katy Bock***

“Capital for Kids is a network of individuals in the asset management community dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children in need. Through the partnership of our sponsors and grant recipients over the last 10 years, Capital for Kids has supported organizations that educate, protect and encourage at-risk children. They provide financial support to organizations that help break the cycle of child abuse, poverty and neglect through education, advocacy and emergency resources.

“Since inception, Capital for Kids has donated $8.7 million to more than 50 different charitable organizations in North Texas. They have a goal to give $10 million in 10 years to North Texas children’s charities. 100% of sponsorship and donation dollars go directly to the charities they support. Capital for Kids will be hosting its main event on Thursday, November 20, at the FIG. Tickets can be purchased at www.capitalforkids.org.

KidneyTexas Patron Party

Linda Dodd, Ola Fojtasek and Lissie Donosky****

Linda Dodd, Ola Fojtasek and Lissie Donosky****

KidneyTexas, Inc. patrons of The Runway Report Luncheon and Style Show gathered at the Highland Park home of Ola and Randall Fojtasek and had much to celebrate!

“As the evening began, the verandah was bathed in soft lighting opening into the expansive courtyard. Guests enjoyed wines donated by Barbara and David Farmer as M3Trio serenaded them into the evening, under the stars. Sumptuous hors d’oeuvres donated and catered by Angela Gordon of Angela’s Catering filled the formal dining table and were passed inside and out. Valet parking was generously donated by Gold Crown Parking.

Anna Bland Aston and Scott Aston****

Anna Bland Aston and Scott Aston****

“Guests included patron party chair Anna Bland Aston, her husband Scott and daughter, Annalee; Jolie Humphrey, president of KidneyTexas, Inc. and her husband, Bart, and Lezlie and Bill Noble, who donated a strand of South Sea pearls valued at $32,000 to the live auction.

“The buzz was about the upcoming The Runway Report luncheon and fashion show at the Brook Hollow Golf Club, which presents Faye C. Briggs as honorary chair and honors Janelle Friedman with the Goodnight Service Award. The Goodnight award is named in honor of Sue Goodnight, a founding KidneyTexas, Inc. member and longtime volunteer and supporter of the organization, who attended with her sister, Faye Wheeler.

Janelle Friedman and Sue Goodnight****

Janelle Friedman and Sue Goodnight****

“Tooties fashions will rule the runway in a fashion show produced by Jan Strimple and also feature fashions from KidBiz and Pockets.

“The live auction also features a Santa Fe, New Mexico vacation package valued at $10,000 which includes a 5-bedroom house and other delights! It is all topped off with a delicious luncheon.

“The luncheon, chaired by Karen Settle, benefits KidneyTexas, Inc. beneficiaries: Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Children’s Medical Center, National Kidney Foundation – Camp Reynal, UT Southwestern Medical Center.

VNA Kick-Off Party

“The VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon Committee held a kick-off celebration Thursday that brought together sponsors, board members and VNA executives. Some 30 guests joined the event at Molto Formaggio in Highland Park Village to sample fine wines and cheeses. Michael Perlmeter and Christy Martinez, the owners of Molto Formaggio, hosted the event and are donating a portion of all proceeds to VNA.

Katherine Krause, Lori Whitlow and Ryan Stegall*****

Katherine Krause, Lori Whitlow and Ryan Stegall*****

“The 5th Annual VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon will be held on October 15 at VNA’s Haggerty Center in Dallas, benefiting VNA’s Meals on Wheels program. This year’s Celebrity Chef is Uchi Chef and Owner Tyson Cole.

Francie Mancillas and Katie Johnson*****

Francie Mancillas and Katie Johnson*****

“Among those attending the kick-off celebration were: 2014 Celebrity Chef Luncheon Co-Chairs Katie Johnson and Francie Mancillas, VNA Board Development Chair Lori Whitlow, VNA President and CEO Katherine Krause, VNA Board Chair Sara Fraser Crismon, VNA Board Vice-Chair Janet Ryan Stegall, VNA Board Members Jay Oppenheimer, Catherine Sweet, John Sears and Cathy Vanden Eykel. Many of those attending are sponsors for the Celebrity Chef Luncheon, including Sara Fraser Crismon, Ike Vanden Eykel, Lynn Sears, Mike Sweet and Janet Ryan Stegall.

Ike and Cathy Vanden Eykel*****

Ike and Cathy Vanden Eykel*****

For more information about VNA’s 5th Annual Celebrity Chef Luncheon and how it will benefit VNA Meals on Wheels, please contact VNA’s Annual Giving and Special Events Manager Laura Muñiz at [email protected] or 214.689.3484.

Slipper Club Announcement

Over at Trinity Groves, the Slipper Club gals gathered for the announcement of the 2015 gala plans. According to Slipper Club President Susan Deasy and Gala Chair Erika Burton, the annual party will benefit Camp John Marc. It will take place at Belo Mansion on Friday, February 27.

Junior League Announcement

The Junior Leaguers and their fans assembled at the Galleria’s Belk to hear deets about the 53rd annual fundraising ball. Ball Chair Beverly Cahill revealed the theme will be “The Magnolia Ball.” Why, oh, why does one suspect that magnolias will be abundant that night?

Beverly explained the thinking behind the theme, “This year’s theme will embrace the elegant heritage of our great city of Dallas with a classic, yet stylish twist,” said Cahill. “The Magnolia Ball will be the Southern Chic dinner and dancing event of the season!”

Then she added another twist to the annual gala. Instead of an entertainer, she’s arranged to have two — jazz singer/songwriter Gabbie McGee to set the mood for the evening and Emerald City for post-dinner dancing and gyrating. Okay, so maybe one doesn’t necessarily gyrate in formal wear, but a whole lot shaking and dancing usually takes place when Emerald City is on stage.

The black-tie fundraiser will take place in the Chantilly Ballroom of the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, February 21.

Lynn McBee will serve as honorary chair. At the rate Lynn is going, she’ll probably end up chairing the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship.

* Photo provided by First Sight/First Night 
** Photos provided by Dallas Children's Advocacy Center
*** Photos provided by Capital for Kids
**** Photo credit: Daniel Driensky
***** Photos provided by VNA

Eiseman Jewels Celebrates Its Expansion With Memories And Champagne To Benefit Crystal Charity Ball

One guest glibly described the crowd at the right official unveiling of the expanded and refreshed Eiseman Jewels as, “It’s a St. Mark’s/Hockaday gathering.” Well, sorta, maybe, perhaps.

Eiseman Jewels

Eiseman Jewels

Actually the Wednesday, September 17th cocktail reception was benefiting the Crystal Charity Ball. To accommodate the 500 guests that included a full court press of CCB gals (Pat McEvoy, Patty Leyendecker, Vinnie Reuben and Tiffany Divis), the party spilled out as planned into the courtyard outside of Eiseman. To make it a private affair, the  area was black curtained off. Within the draping, Todd Events and Cassandra Fine Catering turned the center’s courtyard into an elegant feast of vision and food — a longer-than-long white bar, leather chairs, cocktail tables and never-ending trays of food. Course, the jewels on the models and in the display cases didn’t hurt the sparkle factor.

Model in Eiseman jewelry

Model in Eiseman jewelry

The whole occasion made a couple of older types laugh at the memories back in the 50’s when a grand opening resulted in orchid corsages or plastic drink glasses being handed out.

Louise Eiseman and Sistie Stollenwerck

Louise Eiseman and Sistie Stollenwerck

Eiseman matriarch Louise “Queen Mum” Eiseman initially welcomed guests within the entrance. But that ended when she spied Sistie Stollenwerck and the two decided to peruse the wall of Eiseman memories that lined towering display walls along the walkway leading to NorthPark. Among the clippings and photos on the boards were such familiar faces as Mimi Lay, the Browning ladies (Jane, Fallon, Katherine and Allison), Sistie, Juanita Miller, Sis Carr and Dick Eiseman.

Melanie and Eugene Jabbour

Melanie and Eugene Jabbour

Richard Eiseman, like his mother, was greeting each guests with a kiss on the cheek like an old friend and rightly so. He knew each and every one of the 500 including Margot and Ross Perot (he was giving a thumbs up to guests as he passed by), Carol and Don Glendening, new homeowners Melanie and Eugene Jabbour, Joe Haggar III and his mom Isabell Haggar, former CCB chairs (Cynthia Mitchell in elegant black slacks and Caren Kline in flawless white), Stanford grad Mary McDermott Cook on her way to Boston for Dan Patterson’s Harvard reunion.

Pat and Charles McEvoy and Richard Eiseman

Pat and Charles McEvoy and Richard Eiseman

CCB Chair Robyn Conlon in dazzling blue cocktail dress took dazzle up a notch or a hundred with a diamond necklace that husband Don had bought at Eiseman… Neiman’s NorthPark GM/VP Malcolm Reuben was teased about his store’s signage just above the black curtain…Jane Pierce reported that daughter/Communities Foundation of Texas’ Carol Goglia was preparing for the next day’s North Texas Giving Day…As models on platforms displayed jewels, the ducks in the court’s ponds didn’t seem the least bit impressed by the boldfacers or expensive accessories. Talk about blasé wildlife.

As Nancy Nasher and husband David Haemisegger were leaving the party, she recalled how her folks used to take her to the Eiseman counter, when it was located in Titche.

Now, Titche is part of NorthPark’s history and Eiseman is part of its future as they prepare to celebrate NP’s 50th anniversary.

Kershaw’s Challenge’s Dallas Deets Revealed For November 6 “Live Benefit Concert”

In this time when sports lovers shudder at new “problems” for professional athletes, it’s nice to know that Dallas has produced one whose only problem is that there’s just not enough of him to go around. The chap is former Parkie/present L.A. Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

Jan Osborn, Ellen and Clayton Kershaw, Sarah Oliai and JoAnn Ryan (File photo)

Jan Osborn, Ellen and Clayton Kershaw, Sarah Oliai and JoAnn Ryan (File photo)

He and his high school sweetheart/wife Ellen must have been made by Mattel. They’re just too good to be true. In addition to being professional baseball darlings, they established Kershaw’s Challenge in 2010 to help “impoverished children.”

Since then the twosome have had a very hands-on involvement working with organizations and pulled together more than $900,000 for programs.

For the past three years, they’ve held fundraising events in Los Angeles. Well, shoot! That’s where Clayton works. But now it’s time to raise fun as well as funds in the Kershaws’ hometown.

As reported earlier, they’re gonna have a party and not just any old party — LIVE Benefit Concert! It will take place at The Rustic on Thursday, November 6, and will benefit Dallas’ Mercy Street’s effort to build a Little League “Field of Dreams,” as well as CURE International and Arise Africa.

Mercy Street welcome committee (File photo)

Mercy Street welcome committee (File photo)

Oh, you want to know who will be on stage. Emerald Blue will be the opening act and Clay Walker will be the main act.

General admission tickets will be going for $60, but you might want to check the VIP ones because there will be a VIP reception and you just know the Kershaws will be easier to congratulate there.

After you get your ticket, reward yourself by shopping for something casual and adorable.

For ticket info and sponsorship opportunities, you’ll need to sweet talk Anna Staples.

Just In: The James Beard’s Taste America: Dallas Sous Chefs Picked Up Their Jackets And Auction Tips

Donna Arp Weitzman and Herb  Weitzman

Donna Arp Weitzman and Herb Weitzman

Well, goodness, gracious! The James Beard’s Taste America: Dallas just revealed the OMG auction items that will be on the bloc Friday night. The reveal took place high atop the Hilton Anatole tonight in SER with folks like Donna Arp-Weitzman and her sous chef Herb, sous chef Joe Pacetti, Vicki and Jim White (they were picking up Jim Moroney‘s jacket) and a ton of Dallas foodie bloggers. This group has never missed a meal!

Joe Pacetti

Joe Pacetti

Here are the items. Drop the diets and get a bid in:

  • Mercury’s Rising So Frost Yourself (Value: $2,600) — Get dolled up and go on the town! Diamond Doctor has donated a lovely $2,500 gift certificate to pick out the perfect bauble for your big night out. After you sparkle, arrive in style to a delicious dinner for two at the Mercury donated by the M Crowd. (Donated by Diamond Doctor and M Crowd. Restrictions: Not to be combined with other promotions. Not redeemable for cash.
  • High Time In Texas Wine Country (Value: $3,666) — Good wine, good food, good history in the Lone Star State. You and three of your friends will enjoy everything the Texas Wine Country has to offer. Spend your days soaking up the history with a VIP tour of the historic LBJ Ranch and then head over to the National Museum of the Pacific War. Feel the southern hospitality with a two-night stay at the Inn on Baron’s Creek. When you are ready to wet your whistle, there are tours of two of the most popular wineries, Becker Vineyards and Grape Creek Vineyards! Don’t worry, we won’t leave you hungry! Enjoy dinner with wine pairings at two fantastic restaurants, August E’s Fine Dining and Otto’s Restaurant. This is one you will not want to miss! (Donated by Inn on Baron’s Creek, August E’s Fine Dining, Otto’s Restaurant, Grape Creek Vineyards, Becker Vineyards, LBJ Ranch, National Museum of the Pacific War). Restrictions: Travel not included. Please see gift certificates for other restrictions.
  • Savor The Flavor of Savor Dallas (Value: $10,000) —An exclusive, 5-course private dinner with wine for up to six guests in the home of The Dallas Morning News VP and Editorial Page Editor Keven Ann Willey prepared by her Belgian husband, internationally acclaimed chef Georges Badoux, and a Mystery Guest to be named later. And six Access Weekend passes to Savor Dallas 2015 to experience the best of food, and culture March 19-22, 2015. This package includes round-trip transportation to Savor Dallas Saturday evening guests “The Reserve Tasting” and “The International Grand Tasting.” Donated by The Dallas Morning News, the new owner of Savor Dallas, Jim and Barbara Moroney, Georges Badoux and Keven Ann Willey. Restrictions: Dinner held on a mutually agreeable date. Expiration is September 2015. Savor Dallas passes must be used March 19-22, 2015. Passes are transferrable. Must be 21 to attend Savor Dallas.
  • Capital Gains (Value: $5,200) — Get a behind-the-scenes look and at the George W. Bush Presidential Center with former Chief Gift Officer for the Office of Protocol for President George W. Bush Tiffany Divis. After this exclusive tour, head to the restaurant inside the Center enjoy lunch at Café 43. This is a prelude to a wonderful Washington DC trip with hotel stay and dinner for 2 at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel in the shadow of the White House. Then spend the next night at The Little Washington hotel and have dinner with wine pairings at the restaurant Patrick O’Connell made famous. This is not to be missed! Donated by Willard InterContinental Hotel, The Little Washington, Tiffany Divis. Restrictions: Travel not included. Please see gift certificates for other restrictions.

Gals Lay Claim To Gray Matter At The Friends Of BrainHealth Luncheon

Gray-matter types don’t just sit around playing Mensa games. The Friends of BrainHealth proved that point on Wednesday, September 17, at the Dallas Country Club. Here is a field report from someone who is smarter than most of us:

“While there may be a shortage of women in science that was not evident at the Friends of BrainHealth Scientist Selection luncheon last week where four young female brain scientists were each awarded a $25,000 research grant. A dynamic donor circle dedicated to advancing Center for BrainHealth research, the Friends of BrainHealth raised more than $300,000 to support, in part, the unique program designed to give young scientists an invaluable opportunity to design and lead their own research studies at an early point in their careers.

“A family friendly event, 2014 Friends of BrainHealth chairs, Tracy and Ballard Castleman, along with membership chairs Helen and Rives Castleman (Ballard and Rives are twins), spearheaded this year’s efforts that culminated last week with a vote to select one of three finalists live.

Linda and Joel Robuck, Katherine and Bob Penn and Dana and Kate Juett*

Linda and Joel Robuck, Katherine and Bob Penn and Dana and Kate Juett*

Bob Penn who, along with wife Katherine, made the luncheon possible and has also graciously committed to making next year’s possible, kicked-off the luncheon at the Dallas Country Club. BrainHealth’s vibrant board president, Debbie Francis, presided over the program in the absence of Center founder and chief director, Dr. Sandi Chapman who had been called away to last-minute meetings in Washington, D.C.

“While ballots were being tabulated, three scientists chosen prior to the event to receive named awards created by members at the Visionary level ($25,000) explained their innovative projects.

“Visionary Friend Joel Robuck, attending with wife Linda, introduced the pre-selected scientists. Paying homage to his Oak Cliff roots, he bestowed each research project with a spirited and humorous title to dispel any intimidating scientific language surrounding the research projects of Lee Ann Young, the Linda and Joel Robuck award recipient who will use virtual-reality to revolutionize traumatic brain injury diagnosis and treatment; the Sapphire Foundation awardee, Dr. Lori Cook, who will adapt high performance brain training for elementary-aged students; and Dr. Nyaz Didehbani who will use the Katherine and Bob Penn grant to explore the efficacy of an ocular test that assesses youth sports concussions on the playing field.

Lee Ann Young,Bambi DeLaRosa, Nyaz Didehbani and Lori Cook

Lee Ann Young,Bambi DeLaRosa, Nyaz Didehbani and Lori Cook

“Bambi DeLaRosa’s popular vote win for her neurofeedback brain training proposal was perhaps preordained by her auspicious dress choice that was in the same black and white stripe vein as Friends chair Tracy Castleman.

Lindsay Billingsley and Lucy Billingsley*

Lindsay Billingsley and Lucy Billingsley*

“Brain Performance Institute executive director Eric Bennett announced the passing of the Friends torch to the Billingsley family. He charmingly challenged incoming co-chairs Lucy Billingsley and Lindsay Billingsley to fill the Dallas Cowboys stadium with next year’s luncheon attendees.

“Former honorary chairs of the Friends of BrainHealth include Toni and Norm Brinker, Sue Justice, Sammye Myers and Dee Wyly. Former Friends of BrainHealth chairs include Caroline Gehan with Ross and Anne Helbing, Kimber Hartmann with Angie Kadesky. Although Caroline Gehan could not attend, daughter Lindsay Gehan who serves on BrainHealth’s young professionals board and also works for the Brain Performance Institute, attended with sister Adrienne.

“The Friends of BrainHealth kicks off their 2015 campaign on Saturday, November 1.”

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

Texas Trailblazer Awardee Harold C. Simmons Is Honored With Joe Torre Going To Bat For The Family Place

The Texas Trailblazer Award Luncheon VIP reception in the Anatole’s Carpenter Ballroom was filled with those who love baseball and hate abuse. While featured speaker Joe Torre stood his ground with a big smile posing for photos with guests, others had a cup of coffee and a chat to catch up before the luncheon benefiting The Family Place. One of the big topics was Saturday September 27.

Annette Simmons, Amy Simmons and Joe Crafton

Annette Simmons, Amy Simmons and Joe Crafton

Pegasus Ball Honorary Chair Yvonne Crum was talking about the Autism Treatment Centers of Texas fundraiser taking place at the Fairmont, while Mission Ole Co-Chair LeeAnne Locken was promoting the Trinity River Mission funder that will be underway at the same time at One Arts Plaza…Carolyn Tillery, who departed Beverly Drive before it departed newsstands, has been busy writing a book. She was a happy camper about some recent news and has already started working on her second one…WFAA’s Dale Hansen briefly appeared and quickly disappeared…On the other hand, Annette Simmons and Amy Simmons stayed for the entire reception with Joe Crafton…Foodies Bo Pilgrim and Connie Yates were catching up.

Bo Pilgrim and Connie Yates

Bo Pilgrim and Connie Yates

At 11:25 the reception broke up and the herd of guests headed to the Imperial Ballroom on the third level. For many it was their first time to venture into the former Khmer Ballroom that had spent the summer getting a new look. Like a socialite with a recent “well-done refreshening,” the difference was pleasantly noticeable. First thing was the smell of new in the air. It was as if the carpenters, painters and other craftsmen had just left the place. The hallway leading to the ballroom was a bit on the dramatic side with new carpeting and lighting that spotlighted the art along the way. The reception area and ballroom were basically the same space, but the new paint, carpeting and lighting had turned the old girl into a more polished lady.

In the back of the room near the production platform, emcee Gloria Campos was being fitted with her mic. Her hair is a bit longer and she’s loving “retirement.” Her version of retiring is another person’s idea of a second career.

Lana and Barry Andrews

Lana and Barry Andrews

As she headed to her place up front, the nearly 1,000 guests kept arriving. Michal Powell on crutches arrived with Aileen PrattMary Brinegar was keeping her fingers crossed that the weather would hold out for the Rory Meyer’s First Anniversary dinner scheduled the following Sunday…At front row tables were Kelli Ford, Sydney Huffines, Lana and Barry Andrews and Sharon McCutchin…Co-Chairs Stephanie and Travis Hollman, Carol Seay and Stephanie Seay were receiving congratulations for the record-busting luncheon.

Travis and Stephanie Hollman

Travis and Stephanie Hollman

Stephanie Seay

Stephanie Seay

At 11:42, the Booker T. Washington Jazz Combo 1 played “Proud To Be An American” with the female singer not quite sounding like Lee Greenwood. Hey, it’s not an easy song to sing, but the meaning is easy to understand. You just try singing it in front of 900 strangers.

Almost immediately the program was underway with Gloria welcoming the group. She also accidentally described Dale as “a domestic violence advocate.” Hey, it’s easy to do. No, he doesn’t advocate domestic violence, but “an advocate against domestic violence” sounds pretty convoluted. Anyhow, everybody in the room understood what she meant and many got a chuckle out of it.

Before he led the group in the invocation, Fellowship Pastor Gary Brandenburg reminded the guests that the late Harold Simmons, who was being honored at the luncheon, always ended his prayers by saying “…and, Lord, let us never forget how very blessed we are.”

Lunch was served with the menu “inspired by Harold.” Later Dale Hansen would tell the group how he got into it with his table’s server — “I’m gonna need another plate.” But she wouldn’t give it to him. So, he confessed, “I’ll look for a McDonald’s on the way out.”

Paige Fink and Carol Seay

Paige Fink and Carol Seay

As a surprise, The Family Place’s Paige Flink announced the presentation of a video on Harold would be shown. The touching tribute with scenes from his childhood, with family and even walking with his dogs emphasized Harold’s being “loyal, faithful and loving.”

Following the video, Paige revealed another surprise. The Family Place’s child development center at its Safe Campus was being renamed the Harold C. Simmons Child Development Center.

She also acknowledged those present who had been instrumental in helping combat family violence, including the late Dr. Ron Anderson, whose memorial service would take place later in the day.

Then baseball-loving Gloria introduced Joe, reminding the group that he had just been inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Then she attempted to introduce Dale by calling him “the other big white guy in my life” in reference to the first one, her husband. But before she could finish with Dale’s intro, he walked on stage, grabbed her by the shoulders and said, “Okay, that’s all.”

Dale being Dale described Mayor Mike Rawlings and his domestic violence initiatives: “I think Mayor Rawlings is one helluva visionary and one helluva mayor of Dallas. I can’t say that, though!”

He then reeled out the ugly statistics compiled by the Dallas Police Department on the number of domestic violence calls received each year — 13K! Looking out at the audience, Dale stated: “Real men, gentlemen, don’t hit women.”

Dale Hansen and Joe Torre

Dale Hansen and Joe Torre

Then the conversation between the sports anchor and the baseball legend commenced. It surprised a couple or three folks, who had thought it would cover Joe’s career, as well as his childhood in a family in which his father abused his mother.

Instead the focus stayed pretty straight on domestic violence and on Joe’s taking up the cause against it. Dale told how Joe had been instrumental in getting the Violence Against Women Act passed in 1994, and established the Safe at Home Foundation.

It all stemmed from his childhood. Joe was the youngest of five children. “My dad was a bully. He made his wife feel inferior.” His father threw his mother down the stairs when he discovered she was pregnant with Joe.

Dale Hansen and Joe Torre

Dale Hansen and Joe Torre

“I was a nervous kid” growing up, with a lack of confidence, because of his father’s violence, Joe said. When Joe saw his father’s car parked at home, Joe went elsewhere. Dale and Joe agreed that the “impact on children has been lost in conversation about domestic violence.”

Joe said, “If you save one child, that’s worth the effort.”

Joe said one of the biggest problems in the crusade against domestic abuse is lack of “awareness.” While the problem needs to be brought to the forefront, he also felt half the stories one sees in the media aren’t true, because of pressures of the Internet. Anybody can make accusations about anything, Joe said. They need to be thoroughly checked out.

Joe Torre

Joe Torre

When the subject of the recent NFL issues with domestic violence was brought up, Joe said, “We can all do more. Mixed message: go be violent on the field on Sunday, and then go on a date.”

But it wasn’t all domestic violence. Touching on baseball, Joe admitted, “I became smarter when I had better players.” He recalled being fired by three teams. Regarding his work with New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, he related advice provided by friend Joe Garagiola: “You take somebody’s money, you gotta take their crap, too.”

About the Texas Rangers, Joe said, “They can’t come any closer [to a world championship] than they did.” Just before Game 7 of the 2011 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Joe told Ron Washington, “I’m pulling for you, because I pull for good people.” Joe then added, “Ron seemed to care about the players.”

And, of course, humor found its way into the discussion when Joe reported that male brains don’t fully develop until they’re 25. Dale followed up with, “Or 66.”

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #1: Farm-To-Table Dinner

The TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction’s Farm-To-Table Dinner is a favorite. But this year, they’ve put a spin on it. And, what a spin it is! This one will be like none in the past and may never happen again.

Farm-To-Table (File photo)

Farm-To-Table Dinner* (Value: $30,000)

To some, they might seem like the odd couple. One is an outgoing, clean-shavened blonde who has worked for two the world’s most famous luxury hotels. The other is a brunette with trim facial hair, who prefers to quietly chat with others. He’s been his own man opening a number of well-known restaurants throughout Dallas. Both have been James Beard Award Winners; both have authored well-received cookbooks; both have been dedicated to locally produced resources; and both shared in the creation of Southwestern cuisine a couple of decades ago.

Stephan Pyles (File photo)

Stephan Pyles (File photo)

Dean Fearing (File photo)

Dean Fearing (File photo)

They are Chef Dean Fearing and Chef Stephan Pyles.

For the past 20 years, the two best friends have both experienced reputations that have only grown in stature. But, alas, they haven’t had the opportunity to partner up on a menu. This auction package ends that dry spell. For 30 couples, the twosome will prepare a three-course meal in the pastures of Lavon Farms in Plano. The chefs will “use all of their top resources for the best local farm ingredients.”

And, of course, a great meal is only enhanced by great music. So, Obscure Dignitaries will be providing the sound effects.

Farm-To-Table bidding (File photo)

But remember — This one is limited to 30 couples and will be going to $1,000 per couple. The Mansion ballroom will be fluttering with paddles when this one goes on the auction bloc. Get yours up fast!

* Courtesy of Dean Fearing, Stephan Pyles and Lavon Farms

If You’re On A Diet, Ditch It

Some folks are all a ga-ga over the main meal at Friday’s Taste America: Dallas affair for Café Momentum and the James Beard Foundation.

Oh, please!

Before the heavy-duty vittles take place courtesy of Dallas’ own Stephan Pyles and Inn at Little Washington’s Patrick O’Connell, there is a five-star reception. If the tasties like the following don’t excite you, then hit the drive-thru at Sonic and order yourself a blast:

Omar Flores, Janice Provost , Matt, David Uygar, Stephan Pyles and Tim Byres (File photo)

Omar Flores, Janice Provost , Matt, David Uygar, Stephan Pyles and Tim Byres (File photo)

  • Omar Flores of Casa Rubia — Rabbit rillettes, artichoke, sorrel, radish salsa verde
  • Matt McCallister of FT 33 — Gently grilled kale with oyster mayonnaise
  • Janice Provost of Parigi — Mascarpone crab cake
  • Tim Byres of Smoke — Garlic & Mint Roasted Leg of Lamb with Chickpeas Sprouts, Honey & Sourdough on toast
  • David Uygur of Lucia — Arancini, fermented fennel, chili and aioli.
Jim Moroney

Jim Moroney (File photo)

As if that wasn’t enough, prepare yourself for who will be the sous chefs (Texan translation: main chef’s #1 go-to-cook) for the reception. They include Joe Pacetti with “food diamonds” to wear on his jacket; Savor Dallas’ Jim Moroney; former grocery exec Liz Minyard; engineer Wendy Lopez and real estate mogul/aka Donna Arp hubby Herb Weitzman.  IBM financial whiz honorary sous chef Steve Reiter will be celebrating is celebrating at the event and ‘nother honorary sous chef Mico is leaving Mr. Masero for the night to “assist” his restaurant buds.

Just In: Ralph Hawkins To Receive Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award

Chairman of the HKS Inc. Board Ralph Hawkins has been announced to receive the 13th annual Virginia Chandlers Dykes Award.

The luncheon will benefit the Texas Woman’s University’s Virginia Chandler Dykes Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Despite The Death Of His Brother, Joe Torre Made It To The Texas Trailblazer Award Patron Party To Support The Family Place

Joe Torre

Joe Torre

Despite the death of his big brother, Frank, the previous Saturday, and the funeral Monday, Joe Torre was on hand to meet and greet the Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon patrons on Tuesday, September 16.

Benefiting The Family Place, the cause was one that was very near and dear to both Joe and Frank  — domestic abuse.

The Terrace Ballroom at Le Méridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh was jammed with folks. So much so, that if you didn’t know your baseball, you would have sworn that Joe was just another guest. He melted into the crowd that included Amy Simmons, Lee Ann and Alan White, Brill Garrett, Jill Smith, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Maggie Kipp, Amanda Ward, Dawn Spalding and Ramona Jones.

Faye Briggs

Faye Briggs

Diminutive philanthropist Faye Briggs taking time out from preparationfs for Saturday’s celebration of her daughter Pebble McKenzie‘s marriage to Mike McGehee. The wedding was a family affair literally. Mike is Ralph Gorman‘s nephew. In turn, Ralph is Faye’s longtime “boyfriend.” You may need a chart to figure out the relationships.

Back to the patron party.

Luncheon organizers were whispering that the Wednesday luncheon was going to be a record breaker for the annual event “honoring those who create significant positive change in our North Texas community.”

Annette Simmons and Carol Seay

Annette Simmons and Carol Seay

This year’s event honoring the legacy of the late Harold C.  Simmons was a first for two reason: First, it was the first time that a man had been named a Texas Trailblazer. Second, it was the first time it was being given to someone posthumously.

Stephanie Seay and Stephanie and Travis Hollman

Stephanie Seay and Stephanie and Travis Hollman

After The Family Place’s Paige Flink welcomed the crowd and recognized key people like Harold’s widow Annette Simmons and daughter Amy, Mayor Mike Rawlings and Luncheon Co-Chairs Stephanie and Travis Hollman, Carol Seay and her daughter-in-law Stephanie Seay, the guests lined up to have their photos taken with Joe.

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #2: Wine Cellar Dinner With DSO And A Dutch Treat

This TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction package is tailor made for the person, who loves fabulous food, great company, table talk involving world-class music, travel and the wonderment of Europe’s most fascinating cities.

Wine Cellar Dinner With The Dallas Symphony Orchestra And A Dutch Treat* (Value: Priceless)

This past December the Dallas Symphony Orchestra leadership announced that Karina Canellakis had been named the DSO’s assistant conductor. Talk about an impressive coup! To quote DSO Music Director Jaap van Zweden, “Karina won over the orchestra and me with her insightful musicality and command of the score. She will be a wonderful addition to our staff, and I look forward to her ongoing development as an exciting and inventive podium artist.”

Karina Canellakis*

Karina Canellakis**

In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in violin from the Curtis Institute of Music, she earned her master’s in orchestral conducting from the Julliard School. The New York-born conductor’s career has filled the pages of her passport with performances in Berlin, Norway, Japan and Switzerland.

With such a busy schedule of fulfilling her Dallas responsibilities, as well as other performances throughout the world, it’s amazing that TACA managed to arrange this package!

Bruno Davaillon (File photo)

Bruno Davaillon (File photo)

It includes a four-course dinner in the Mansion’s wine cellar prepared by Executive Chef Bruno Davaillon for 10. The “host couple” will need not worry about ambling home. They’ll spend the night at the Mansion.

In addition the couple will also enjoy a three-night-stay in Amsterdam at the five-star Sofitel Grand Legend. During their visit to the “Venice of the North,” they’ll take a private excursion to The Hague and Delft complete with private driver and guide. And what is Amsterdam without visiting Museum Square? The couple will have access to the various museums including the Gerrit Rietveld-designed Van Gogh Museum and the newly reopened Rijksmuseum with its marvelous collection of Rembrandts. If the twosome decides to take their trip in the winter, they might want to take along their ice skates. After all the rectangular pond in front of the Rijksmuseum becomes an ice rink that Hans Brinker would have loved.

Suggestion: Venture to Amsterdam before din-din at the Mansion with Karina. Make sure you bring photos along of your Dutch holiday!

* Courtesy of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Executive Chef Bruno Davaillon, 
Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Strong Travel
** Photo provided by TACA

Connecting Point Of Park Cities Officially Sets Up Operation At Central Christian Church With A Party

Hollee and Rick Mills*

Hollee and Rick Mills*

It’s been in the planning for a while, but the big day finally came for the official opening of Connecting Point of Park Cities within Central Christian Church on Sunday, September 14. Two of the people on hand were 2015 Connecting Point of Park Cities Luncheon Co-Chairs Hollee and Rick Mills. Here’s a report from the field:

“On Sunday, September 14, 2014, Connecting Point of Park Cities (CPPC) celebrated the grand opening of its new facility, located in Central Christian Church. CPPC is an all-inclusive day program for adults with disabilities, and the new location offers a wide range of educational, social and recreational services for adults with special needs.

Geoff and Kelly Schorr*

Geoff and Kelly Schorr*

“During the event, guests had the opportunity to meet CPPC staff members, who were on-hand to explain CPPC’s programs and mission and give tours of the facility. The facility includes a large classroom, yard and community garden. Attendees also had the chance to enter a raffle and view projects created by CPPC teammates. The Schorr Law Firm graciously donated light appetizers and refreshments from Central Market.

Emily Hines, PARO Therapeutic Robot and Katelyn Courtney*

Emily Hines, PARO Therapeutic Robot and Katelyn Courtney*

“A PARO Therapeutic Robot, which resembles a real baby seal, was also in attendance for the individuals with special needs. PARO is an advanced interactive robot that allows the documented benefits of animal therapy to be administered to patients in environments such as hospitals and extended care facilities where live animals present treatment or logistical difficulties. PARO has been found to reduce stress, stimulate interaction and improve socialization between patients and their caregivers.

“The grand opening also kicked-off Connecting Point of Park Cities’ participation in the September 18th North Texas Giving Day. The proceeds raised through North Texas Giving Day will assist with general operations and a bus. The bus will be a vital addition and help connect CPPC members to off-site recreational activities, educational classes, museum trips and a lunch outing every Thursday.

JoAnn Ryan, Jody Johansen and Sarah Oliai*

JoAnn Ryan, Jody Johansen and Sarah Oliai*

“Connecting Point of Park Cities (CPPC) is an organization committed to integrating individuals with disabilities into the Park Cities and surrounding communities. CPPC was created to provide an all-inclusive safe, nurturing and stimulating day program and to fulfill the demand for a community-based program that offers quality service programs. CPPC plans to partner with local education agencies, businesses and recreational centers to encourage substantial community volunteerism. For more information, please contact CPPC President Sarah Oliai at [email protected] or visit http://mycppc.org/.”

* Photo credit: Jan Osborn

2014 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Turned Out The Swells In Couture Designs And A Surprise VIP

The Morton H. Meyerson was celebrating its 25th anniversary in early September. And like any 20-something, the sky was the limit for its celebration.

Jan Miller and Jeff Rich

Jan Miller and Jeff Rich

But the ultimate highlight was the Saturday Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala. In the months leading up to the big hoop-la, Gala Co-Chairs Jan Miller and Jeff Rich promised a grand affair. Private dinners had been held to ramp up the interest of committee members and sponsors.

In the weeks leading up to the black-tie fundraiser, thing started falling into place. Margot and Ross Perot, who had made the “Wow!” contribution to make the building reality and had requested the place be named in honor of Perot associate Mort Meyerson, were named as the gala’s honorary co-chairs. Then Micki and Mayor Mike Rawlings were added to the honorary chair roster. Carole and Scott Murray would be honorary media co-chairs. AT&T was returning as title sponsor were building the promise. Then it was announced that legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman would be performing with DSO Maestro Jaap van Zweden conducting the DSO musicians.

Still it wasn’t enough for the Miller-Rich team. Less than two weeks before the big night, it was announced that, like the Dallas Opera, a simulcast would broaden the opportunity for the non-black-tie-types to take in and enjoy the musical experience of the night. The simulcast was being presented by Bank of America, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and U.S. Trust and produced in partnership with WFAA. The lawns of Klyde Warren Park would be the spot if the weather cooperated.

Just hours before the first guest arrived on Saturday, September 12, emails were sent to certain folks that “a special guest” would be part of the festivities. Would it be someone from the Meyerson past? Would it be another world-famous musician? Would it be a politico bold facer with credentials more impressive than a senator?

The answer would arrive around 7. Stay tuned was the word passed.

In the meantime, guests arrived both at the Flora Street main entrance and the underground driveway. The threat of weather proved to be nothing more than yesterday’s news. Actually, it was rather perfect for those lounging at the park. In fact, Merrill Lynch’s Troy Schiermeyer opted for the private party at Savor for bank friends instead of joining the black tie set. His reason? He could enjoy a glass of wine, while listening to the concert.

As the first hints of guests arriving took place, the key players gathered downstairs for official photos and to meet the students from Booker T. Washington.

Margot and Ross Perot

Margot and Ross Perot

Upstairs the crowd came in waves of formal finery. After all this event was the first black tie function of the 2014 fall season. In other words, there was no holding back when it came to couture fashions, makeup, hair or jewelry.

Holly Reed, Gillian Breidenbach and Leslie Diers

Holly Reed, Gillian Breidenbach and Leslie Diers

Hal Brierley, Richard and Kathy Holt and Diane Brierley

Hal Brierley, Richard and Kathy Holt and Diane Brierley

In honor of the Meyerson’s 25th anniversary, gals like Holly Reed, Leslie Diers and Linda Ivy wore shimmering silver gowns. Both Holly and Leslie claimed not to recall the designer, but Linda didn’t hold back. It was a Donna Karen and the earrings were from Heritage Auction…D’Andra Simmons-Lock opted for Carolina Herrera fabric but had it designed by Jamal, while her pal Jeri Kleiman was in a very form-sitting Fendi…Speaking of Herrera, Dallas First Lady Micki was in Herrera with earrings from Eiseman and a “classic” velvet Armani shawl…Gillian Breidenbach was in a black gown made for her with her hair pulled back in a tight bun (It’s giving me a headache.”)…Kathy Holt wore a slender lace Kay Unger, while Jan Miller opted for a white tunic by Linda Platt topped off with vintage 1940’s earrings that she bought in Paris and a dazzling 1960’s gold flat-collar-style necklace…Betsy Whitson-Crousen swept in wearing a black Oscar de la Renta with Dolce Gabbana earrings…Vicki Briley White had friends check out the back of her St. John evening…Pat McEvoy, having just chaired the Crystal Charity Ball’s 10 Best Dressed, wore Zac Posen, while buddy Claire Emanuelson was in black Valentino with Eiseman earrings…Margo Keyes accentuated her Escada skirt and black beaded top with hotter-than-hot Louboutin pink heels…Barbara Durham was in Dolce Gabbana with a necklace that husband Steve had given her for completing the New York City Marathon…Myriam Graham was in Diane von Furstenberg… Sparkling with beads and crystals were Gina Ginsburg in Sherri Hill and Anna-Sophia van Zweden in Naeem Khan and Eiseman twinkles…Carrie Scotti stood out in the crowd with her sequined calypso pants and Alice + Olivia top… Another in Naeem Khan was Laree Hulshoff, who accessorized it with cat slippers… Past DSO Gala Chair Barbara Daseke wore Balenciaga…Pat Smith with daughter Skylar in gowns from Belk.

Betsy Whitson-Crousen

Betsy Whitson-Crousen

Jim White and Vicki Briley-White

Jim White and Vicki Briley-White

And the fellas weren’t too shabby either in the designer department. Bryan Diers was in Zegna (“I left my Versace at home.”) with James Reid studs from Santa Fe. He picked them out and wife Leslie gifted him with them…Scott Ginsburg in Brioni… Jeremy Lock in “Whatever D’Andra picked out.” She picked out Joseph Abboud…Dwight Emanuelson and David Kleiman in Isaia…Charles McEvoy in Zegna… Jim White in Pal Zileri…Steve Durham in Hadleigh…Steve Ivy in Burberry…Randall Graham and Anthony Scott in Armani.

Of course, there were hints of orange throughout the throngs (Jonathan’s bowtie, Jan’s clutch, etc.) Hello? Orange and AT&T go together like Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Beyoncé and Jayz or Batman and Robin.

Out for just the second time in recent weeks, Hal Brierley sported a pair of crutches he picked up in England after taking a nasty fall in Bath. The ambulance ride cost $6. Despite compliments to the British medical community, he still had Baylor operate on his knee within 24 hours of landing in Dallas. As for the evening’s concert, Dallas Symphony President/CEO Jonathan Martin arranged for a footstool in the Brierley’s box for Hal.

Mary McDermott Cook, Margaret McDermott, Jonathan Martin and Sandi Pei

Mary McDermott Cook, Margaret McDermott, Jonathan Martin and Sandi Pei

Having just flown in from Frankfort, Mary McDermott Cook “escorted” her mom Margaret McDermott to the gala. Immediately upon arriving, they were greeted by Jonathan and Sandi Pei, who was subbing for his father/Meyerson architect I.M. Pei.

As a Dutch film crew made the rounds interviewing guests, word was quickly passed that the VIP guests was pulling up in “that black SUV.” Photographers were sent rushing to catch the moment of arrival. The back door opened and orange was everywhere. Orange gown topped off with flaming red hair. It was the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson. Thanking the driver, she proved the “Fergie” likability element to one and all.

Jonathan Martin and Sarah Ferguson

Jonathan Martin and Sarah Ferguson

As she walked to the Meyerson entrance, someone told her it was good to have her back in Dallas. She smiled and thanked the person and then asked hesitantly, “Do you recall when I was last here?” Before an answer could be provided, she found herself being hugged by Jan, welcomed by a svelte Jonathan (he’d lost 80 pounds) and interviewed by another film crew.

She had just arrived in time to meet and be greeted by the swell set.

At 7:20 the fine set were called to dinner with Fergie graciously obliging those who wanted her in their selfies.

As hundreds gathered for a seated dinner of heritage field greens with grilled shrimp, grilled roma tomato, roasted pepper, caper pearl pasta and mozzarella salad with spice raspberry chipotle dressing following by an entrée of roasted tenderloin of beef, cognac bordelaise, golden sweet yam and parsnip whipped potato, maple glazed baby carrots and fine green beans, the crowds at Klyde Warren were growing for the concert.

Afterwards, the black-tie set moved from the McDermott Concert Hall to Opus for the after party with Lucy Wrubel once again in charge of the music. Meanwhile, those in the Park watched a dazzling firework show that concluded the 25th anniversary celebration.

For more photos of the crowd, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #3: Custom Canyon Ranch

This item just depends on whether the winner likes to do their getting healthy above or below the Mason Dixon.

Custom Canyon Ranch* (Value: $8,400)

Ah, decisions, decisions! This TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction package offers such wonderful choices. First, where does the pampering and feel good best take place? Is it Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, or the Lenox, Massachusetts Canyon Ranch? Guess it just depends on whether you would four nights in the dry altitude of the Sonoran Desert with panoramic views of the Santa Catalina Mountains in the distance and the sun showering beams on you. Or, perhaps you prefer calling the beautifully restored Bellefontaine Mansion home in the “wooded Berkshires” and within walking distance of Tanglewood for three nights.

Canyon Ranch in Tucson*

Canyon Ranch in Tucson*

Whichever the choice, there will be three nutritious gourmet meals daily as well as full use of the equipped spa complex, as well as more than 50 complimentary fitness activities daily.

But if you’re just too weary from choosing the location for your venture, there will be a personal program advisor on hand to “custom design your stay.”

Never has being healthy been so luxurious.

* Courtesy of Canyon Ranch, Cami and John C. Goff and Crescent Real Estate 
** Photo provided by TACA

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2014 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala

Jan Miller and Jeff Rich

Jan Miller and Jeff Rich

Jan Miller and Jeff Rich promised a big hoop-la for the 2014 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala. Margot and Ross Perot and Micki and Mayor Mike Rawlings were the honorary co-chairs; Carole and Scott Murray were the honorary media co-chairs; violinist Itzhak Perlman was the headliner with Maestro Jaap van Zweden and DSO musicians on stage; and a “surprise guest” arrived on the scene, in addition to I.M. Pei‘s son Sandi.

Mary McDermott Cook, Margaret McDermott, Jonathan Martin and Sandi Pei

Mary McDermott Cook, Margaret McDermott, Jonathan Martin and Sandi Pei

And you just know that the black-tie hundreds of guests succeeded in living up to Dallas’ reputation for dressing to the nines. A Dutch film crew was busy recording the scene.

Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Jaap vanZweden

Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Jaap van Zweden being interviewed

Check out the loads of pics on the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. Stay tuned. The writeup is due tomorrow.

Grovel Alert: Concert For A Cure Is Nearing The Done Deal Stage

Better hustle if you were planning on partying Texas/OU Thursday with the Leukemia Texas crowd. Just got word from Leukemia Texas that tickets for the October 9th Concert For A Cure “are close to selling out with a limited number of VIP spots left.” VIP places are going for $75 donations.

Jack Ingram (File photo)

Jack Ingram (File photo)

Alicia Landry and the rest of the Landry clan are the honorary chairs.

It’s taking place at The Rustic with Jack Ingram on stage. Event Tri-Chairs/buddies Alyson Feaster, Terri Fishman and Lori Glasser have arranged for all types of fun including the giveaway for two game-day tickets. Don’t you dare ask what game!

Lori Seinera, Alyson Feaster and Terri Fishman (File photo)

Lori Seinera, Alyson Feaster and Terri Fishman (File photo)

So, why not give your tuxedo and gowns the night off. OK, so if you really have a need to gussy up, you can wear your formal gear, but you’ll stick out like an old maid at a bachelor party. If you want to play it safe, don’t wear red or orange. But then you’ve never played safe, so pick out your Red River Showdown colors and party to raise funds for Leukemia Texas Research and Patient Aid Programs.

5th Annual Each Moment Matters Luncheon Honorees Revealed

Each year Presbyterian Communities and Services (PC&S) honors dozens of unsung heroes within the Dallas community. The selection is based on their being “change agents, everyday heroes and philanthropic visionaries.”

The presentation of the honorees takes place at the Each Moment Matters Luncheon to a jam-packed room.

Larry James (File photo)

Larry James (File photo)

Holly Reed (File photo)

Holly Reed (File photo)

This class of 2014 includes 44 outstanding folks and organizations including Beverly and Ken Barry; Susan Cox and Rev. Brent Barry; Anna Michele Bobadilla; Debbie Dudley Branson; Donnie Breedlove, Ph.D., and Frank Breedlove; Barbara Samuels Cambridge, Ph.D.; 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, LVN; Jan and Fred Hegi; J. Scott Hendon, CPA; 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-Lokey; Sanford C. Mitchell Jr.; Holly Reed; Rosemary Robbins; Annadele Holm Ross; Craig D. Rubin, M.D.; Susan G. Simon; Candye and William S. Spears, Ph.D.; Gayle Weber Strange; Pat Weaver; Jim Webb; Philip M. Wentworth, FACHE; Teresa Whittington, RN, BSN; Claudia Wilder, RN, DNP; Stan Woodward; Carole S. and Jim Young and Elizabeth Zsohar.

Luncheon Co-Chair Clare Buie Chaney and Barbara Lord Watkins have arranged to have Dallas TV writer and co-producer David Hudgins to be the featured speaker at the Friday, October 31st event in the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole.

Funds raised at the lunch benefit the Faith Presbyterian Hospice Caring Fund that “helps the premier hospice provider offer specialized bereavement services for children, innovative programs including pet therapy, massage therapy and music therapy, as well as benevolent care.”

Co-Chairs Wanda Gierhart And Dean Fearing Give A Sneak Preview Of Some TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Items

On the Dallas nonprofit circuit, there are certain people who could talk a vegetarian into buying a meat packing plant. Dean Fearing is one of ‘em.

Friday, September 12, he was in fine fiddle at the Ritz Carlton. No, he wasn’t just cheffing. He was at the TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction preview party with his Co-Chair/NM Arbitror of Magnificent Taste Wanda Gierhart.

Don Daseke, Nick Even, Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing

Don Daseke, Nick Even, Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing

Wand and Dean are the perfect team. She’s elegant, understated and cool like champagne. He’s a little bit country, outgoing and as understated as an Aggie yell leader. The two had gathered the group to hint at the treasures they had collected for the Friday, September 26th black-tie auction.

Joey Wilkensen, Megan Bowdon and Andy Teller

Joey Wilkensen, Megan Bowdon and Andy Teller

Sipping a special Patron laced drink and sampling Dean’s fare like friend goat cheese pops, the crowd included Shelle and Michael Sills, Lisa and Bill Ogle, Kevin Hurst, Jeff Byron, Nick Even, Don and Barbara Daseke, Laree Hulshoff, Joey Wilkensen, Megan Bowdon, former TACA Chair Andy Teller and TACA Chair Nancy Carlson and husband Clint.

Bill and Lisa Ogle

Bill and Lisa Ogle

Nancy Carlson

Nancy Carlson

Then Dean with a longer hairstyle that he attributed to Wanda’s influence, kicked the announcements off with a trip to Mexico. He recalled years ago when he was working at the Mansion and he was told that a guest had just ordered a bottle of wine priced at more than $300. It turned out to be Sammy Hagar. The chef and rocker bonded over music and food. So when it came to an auction item at Cabo San Lucas, Sammy offered dinner at his fabulous estate overlooking the Pacific. Of course, Dean will prepare the meal. Perhaps Wanda will be the sommelier. Afterwards, Dean and Sammy will entertain the guests at Sammy’s Cabo Wabo. As for where to stay, the winning bidders will call the over-the-top, luxurious Capella Pedregal* home.

By the time Dean was finished with the description of the package, couples were already nudging each other on how high to bid.

Wanda admitted that she didn’t know how to top that. However, she did with two packages — an around-the-world with Rosewood and a Paris adventure ala Chanel.

Then Dean finished the preview with the annual Farm-to-Table package. What’s new about that? A lovely meal out in a pasture? Well, this one will be the teaming up of Dean and Stephan Pyles. The two chefs who gave birth to southwestern cuisine haven’t partnered up on a meal in 20 years. This meal should be historic and histrionic.

There are still more items that will be up for bid. They been posted on MySweetCharity in the past days and next few leading up to the black-tie auction.

If you were too late getting your reservation for the dinner/auction, see if you can get some buddy to bid for you.

* Since the preview party, Cabo San Lucas was hit by Hurricane Odile. Not to worry. The town, Capella Pedregal and Sammy are taking the opportunity to improve on the resort’s renowned perfection.

Sold Out Alert: TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction

Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing (File photo)

Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing (File photo)

With still a week to go, the TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction is a done deal. The Mansion will be filled to capacity with dinner being served in every nook and cranny. Boy, when that Dean Fearing and Wanda Gierhart put their heads together, you just know it’s going to be a home run.

So, if you have your tickets, gussy up your tuxedos and gowns.

Stephan Pyles (File photo)

Stephan Pyles (File photo)

But if you just put it off, there’s still hope for you to have a swell time on Friday. And you won’t even need fancy black tie duds. Understand that there are a few places left at the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America: Dallas on Friday at the Anatole with Stephan Pyles heading up a rock-star cast of Dallas chefs. The event will benefit Café Momentum and the James Beard Foundation.

Don’t wait, or you’ll be disappointed when the “Sold Out” sign is hung out on that one, too.

The Great Texas Food Truck Rally Rolls Into 99-Year-Old Reverchon Park Sunday Benefiting Executives In Action

It was just 99 years ago that Reverchon Park was considered to be in “far North Dallas.” It was named after “a well-known botanist and a member of La Reunion Utopian Community,” Julien Reverchon. According to city fathers it was “designed to be the Central Park of Dallas.” Like anything with that types of mileage, it had its good times and not so great times. But the best times started taking place in the 21st century. The Friends of Reverchon Park rolled up their sleeves and “drafted a master plan.” That plan included the baseball field’s lights being upgraded, a ramp being built to connect the park to the Katy Trail and the Hillside stonework being restored.

In other words, the old girl has become a real showgirl.

The Great Texas Food Truck Rally*

The Great Texas Food Truck Rally*

This Sunday she’ll be all decked out for The Great Texas Food Truck Rally from noon to 8 p.m. benefiting Executives in Action. Naturally, Dallas’ favorite mobile food establishments will be on site to provide all types of “delicious gourmet dishes.” To quench adult thirsts, the Nodding Donkey is even sponsoring a Beer Garden.

As for food for the ear, The Spazmatics and Hard Night’s Day will be on stage.

And how much does it cost to be part of the festivities? $100? Nope. Take away one of those zeroes and you’ve got it — $10.

Line up at Ruthie's (File photo)

Line up at Ruthie’s (File photo)

If you’ve ever lined up for a food truck, you know it’s easy, fun and delicious. If you’ve been a wee bit too shy, then this is the perfect opportunity to give it a try with the excuse that you’re supporting EIC.

* Graphic courtesy of Executives in Action

Tracy And Kent Rathbun Literally Open Their Home-Sweet-Home For Signature Chef Patron Party

After years of living in the clouds at the high rise across “the pond” from NorthPark, Kent and Tracy Rathbun’s dream house was in place and operation.

It was well worth the wait.

Rathbun kitchen

Rathbun kitchen

Guests at the Signature Chefs Auction patron party discovered the brilliance of the home Thursday night. But what would one expect when two foodies put their noggins together.

Matt McCallister and Kent Rathbun

Matt McCallister and Kent Rathbun

As Kent and FT33 Chef Matt McCallister chatted at the covered terrace area with a barbecue that would thrilled the best grill master, Kent admitted that the predicted storms hadn’t occurred. Instead the humidity had calmed down and the “cold front” had dropped temperatures just enough to have the huge wall of sliding glass doors open, expanding the free-flowing partying into the backyard with its marvy pool and Jacuzzi.

Rathbun backyard

Rathbun backyard

Inside Linda and Steve Ivy were telling Katherine and Chris Lalonde about their summer — a couple of months in California and one in Colorado.

Steve and Linda Ivy and Katherine and Chris LaLonde

Steve and Linda Ivy and Katherine and Chris LaLonde

MIA were Stacy and Dallas March of Dimes Ambassador Bryon Sanders’s wife, Celeste. Tracy was still at Shinsei and teacher Celeste was working with her students’ parents.

However, all will be present at the Signature Chef Dinner in the Omni on Thursday, October 30.