Kershaw’s Challenge Sets Date For Fundraising Concert

Ellen and Clayton Kershaw (File photo)

Ellen and Clayton Kershaw (File photo)

Dallas’ own sweetheart Clayton Kershaw will be on Jimmy Kimmel tonight. It airs at 10:35 p.m. on WFAA after the 10 o’clcok newscast.

But that’s not the really big news. That involves Kershaw’s Challenge. He and his equally adorable wife Ellen will host their inaugural fundraising concert in Dallas on, Thursday, November 6.

More deets will follow as they are finalized. In the meantime, watch the baseball wunderkind tonight.

JUST IN: Grammy-Award Winning Wynonna To Perform At Dallas Area Habitat For Humanity’s Building Hope Celebration Dinner

Oh, boy! More good news. Remember back in June when the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity group announced plans for celebrating in big style this year with former First Couple Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter coming to town? The really big woo-ha — Building Hope Celebration Dinner presented by Pioneer Resources — takes place Thursday, October 9th at AT&T Stadium (aka Jerry World).

Wynonna Judd*

Wynonna Judd*

But you already knew all that. Here’s what you didn’t know. Co-Chairs Lynn and Allan McBee just revealed the evening’s entertainer. It’s gonna be five-time Grammy winner Wynonna Judd. You just know she knows her way around a stage and will provide fine entertainment.

The evening’s proceeds benefit “the 2014 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, where thousands of volunteers will help to build hope for low-income families in North Texas the week of October 5 -11, 2014.”

Tickets for the evening start at $250.

And, don’t forget about all the activities that will be taking place during the work week. It might be a good time to schedule some vacation time to do some neighborly assistance.

* Photo provided by Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity

JUST IN: Former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison To Receive The Senior Source’s Spirit Of Generations Award

Some folks dread Mondays. MySweetCharity love ‘em because the floodgates of good news opens up. Word just arrived from The Senior Source team about the recipient of the 2014 Spirit of Generations Award.

Kay Bailey Hutchison*

Kay Bailey Hutchison*

Spirit of Generations Luncheon Co-Chairs Sarah Losinger and Lydia Novakov have announced former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison to be the recipient at the Monday, November 24, luncheon at the Hilton Anatole.

What a great way to kick off the week leading up to Thanksgiving!

Joining Sarah and Lydia in the project are Corporate Underwriting Chair Bob Best, Individual Underwriting Co-Chairs Shirley and Bill McIntyre and The Senior Source Board Chair Debbie Oates.

According to Sarah, “Senator Hutchison’s dedicated work in both public and private arenas, her service to others and her unparalleled leadership characterize the meaning of the Spirit of Generations award.”

The award is “presented annually to an individual, or a group of individuals, who have contributed significantly in ‘thoughts, words and deeds’ to all generations of the Dallas community — past, present and future.”

Lydia said, “We’re extremely proud to recognize this remarkable woman for all she has achieved on behalf of her fellow citizens — and, of course Texans. She is truly a star.”

With tickets starting at $150, the luncheon benefits The Senior Source, “a longtime resource for Dallas’ older adult population that serves over 25,000 individuals each year.”

* Photo provided by The Senior Source

Dallas Foundation’s “Good Works Under 40″ Nominations Kicks Off At A Birthday Party Project

Worry, worry, worry. That’s what many nonprofits do when it comes to the next generation of fundraisers and volunteers. Are the millennials going to pick up where the baby boomers and their predecessors left off in supporting charities and the community? One organization not fretting is The Dallas Foundation that is saluting the under-40-set with its Good Works Under 40 program. To kick off the nomination submissions on Thursday, July 17, they had a birthday party, but not just any old birthday party. Here’s a report from the field:

“On Thursday, July 17, The Dallas Foundation kicked off their fifth annual Good Works Under 40 (GWU40) award nominations like never before – with a service project that truly celebrated volunteerism and philanthropy.

“Hosted at Annette G. Strauss Family Gateway center, over 20 volunteers from the GWU40 advisory committee, a volunteer group of emerging civic leaders in Dallas, as well as past award finalist teamed up with The Birthday Party Project to throw a birthday party for seven homeless children.

“Themed ‘Anchors Aweigh!’, the party was decked out in red, white and blue décor and included a wide array of birthday activities such as limbo, arts and crafts, birthday cake and live entertainment from committee member/2013 finalist J Mack Slaughter.

Courtney Underwood, Tonya Muraguri, Liz Healy and Roberto* Moreno

Courtney Underwood, Tonya Muraguri, Liz Healy and Roberto Moreno*

“The volunteers included: 2011 winner Courtney Underwood; 2011 finalists Gloria Alfaro, Akilah Wallace and committee member Liz Healy; 2013 finalists Brittany Byrd, Cassie Evans and Stephen Holley; committee members Rebekah Kay, Loren Koziol and Tony Muraguri and Advisory Committee Chair Roberto Morena.

Loren Koziol and Stephen Holley*

Loren Koziol and Stephen Holley*

“The Dallas Foundation plans to continue this tradition in the years to come as a way to celebrate young philanthropist and encourage others to become more involved in their community.

“GWU40 is an annual awards program that recognizes North Texas’ most committed, skilled and passionate volunteers under the age of 40. The award, co-presented by The Dallas Foundation and The Dallas Morning News, includes an $8,000 donation to the winner’s favorite charity. Four finalists will receive $3,000 checks for their nonprofit agencies. Nominations for this year’s award will be accepted between July 17 and August 21. The winner will be announced at a reception at Old Parkland on November 3. Award guidelines and the application are available at dallasfoundation.org.

“The Dallas Foundation, established as a community foundation in 1929, serves as a leader, catalyst and resource for philanthropy by providing donors with flexible means of making gifts and bequests, the income from which primarily supports the charitable causes of the city and county of Dallas. For more information, visit dallasfoundation.org.”

* Photo credit: Jason Janik

Trinity River Mission’s “Mission Ole” Kick-Off Party Reveals A Change In Arrangements For 2014

The Trinity River Mission’s Mission Ole has changed its usual POA for its fall fundraiser. Instead of having the party at a private home, it’s headed in a different direction. Here’s a report from the kick-off party that took place at Elements on Wednesday, July 16:

LeeAnne Locken and D'Andra Simmons-Lock*

LeeAnne Locken and D’Andra Simmons-Lock*

“This year’s Mission Ole benefiting Trinity River Mission will take place on Saturday, September 27, at 3015 at Trinity Groves. The VIP reception begins at 6:30 PM and the party starts at 7 PM. The fundraiser will feature Live & Silent Auctions, Tequila Tastings and Latin music and dancing.

LeeAnne Locken and D’Andra Simmons-Lock are the co-chairs this year, and Joyce and Linus Wright are the honorary chairs.

Phil Brumley*

Phil Brumley*

[At the kick-off party] “Guest Tiffany Hendra won a $200 gift card which was graciously donated by Elements for the raffle, and a huge highlight was the presence of both Dee Simmons and Doris Jacobs. Guests enjoyed the wonderful sounds Phil Brumley (photo attached) on guitar his renditions of John Legend‘s “All of Me” and Bon Jovi‘s “Living on a Prayer” had guests singing and humming along to the music!

“Trinity River Mission is a volunteer-based community learning center that promotes literacy, encourages academic success and develops effective life skills among disadvantaged youth in West Dallas.”

Photo credit: Thomas Garza

Hollywood Domino Dallas To Fundraise For Texas Scottish Rite Hospital And The Art Of Elysium

To passersby there were a lot of folks with back problems Saturday, July 12, as more than 100 people were seen arriving at Surgical and Spine Institute. Ah, but on second look a lot of them were in Saint-Tropez white and smiling. It turned out that they weren’t in any pain whatsoever. Instead they were there to learn about Hollywood Domino coming to Dallas to benefit Texas Scottish Rite Hospital and The Art of Elysium.

It’ll be taking place at FIG on Saturday, September 6, with Tri-Chairs Sally Evans, Reese Threadgill and Christa Wetzel at the helm. The question being posed first was, “What the heck is Hollywood Domino?”

Christa Wetzel, Sally Evans, Amy Vanderoef and Reese Threadgill*

Christa Wetzel, Sally Evans, Amy Vanderoef and Reese Threadgill*

First, dominoes is a “parlor game” that dates back to the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) involving numbered tiles, also known as “bones.” Needless to say, there have been variations of the game throughout the ages. While some folks think it was an old fellas’ game from the Depression Era, they’re so wrong. Why, this past winter a group of Dallas socialites spent a snowed-in-weekend in the mountains playing Mexican Train for a buck a round. But Hollywood Domino Dallas will put “a unique twist on the classic game by creating a movie reel of dominoes based on the film genre.”

Second, the Hollywood factor for the fundraising event will be Austin-born actress/The Art of Elysium supporter Amber Heard, who be hosting the night along with Honorary Chair Amy Vanderoef. Some might recall Amber’s debut in Friday Night Lights; others who follow TMZ will point out that she’s engaged to Johnny Depp.

According to event planner Kit Sawers, the theme is going to be in keeping with an Old Hollywood and black-and-white theme a la Casablanca. Plans call for 450 guests to wear black, white or black-and-white. You just know there will one smarty pants who’ll show up in red.

Michael Rimlawi and Haylee Gibson*

Michael Rimlawi and Haylee Gibson*

Hosting the announcement party was Surgical and Spine Institute’s Dr. Mike Rimlawi, who specializes in adult spinal surgery. He got involved in the fundraising project because of a trip to Peru and learning of the great need for medical treatments by children.

New York transplant Advisory Chair Ayaan Almed, who led the effort to bring Hollywood Domino to Dallas, explained her motivation: “Dallas is one of our most philanthropic cities, year after year. It is very open to new charities. I contacted my friend Russell Simmons to bring Diamond Rocks here in 2008 and 2009. A lot of my friends are involved with fundraisers.. . . The celebrities who participate in Hollywood Domino in other cities [London, New York, Cannes Film Festival, Puerto Rico, Panama and Los Angeles] not only lend their names, but support it with their presence by flying in from film locations to attend.”

Tickets and sponsorships are now available for purchase. In the meantime, it might be wise to buy yourself some dominoes.

* Photo credit: Bob Manzano

Two Harps Are Far “Better Than One” Harp For A Sunday Afternoon Of Chamber Music International Fundraising

There’s something soothing about the music emerging from the strings of a harp. No wonder angels claim them as their musical instruments of choice. And as the summer heats up hotter-than-the-opposite-of-heaven, soothing would be extremely nice in grand, air-conditioned surroundings.

Better Than One*

Better Than One*

Interested? Come Sunday, August 17, Classical Music International will present “Better Than One,” an hour-hour recital featuring Jaymee Haefner and Emily Mitchell playing “English folk songs, Argentinean tango, contemporary American sounds and Gypsy-like dances” on their harps.

And Jaymee and Emily aren’t just some street musicians. Of course, you’ll want their credentials to prove that point. So, here goes:

“Jaymee Haefner and Emily Mitchell have individually earned their acclaim for their artistry on the harp. Jaymee Haefner joined the faculty at the University of North Texas in 2006 and continues to maintain an active role in the American Harp Society as the National Secretary and Southwest Regional Director. Ms. Haefner has performed as a soloist all over the world including Mexico, Russia, and at the World Harp Congress in Prague. She also received numerous awards such as the Laurete prize at the Madame Dulova International Harp Competition in Moscow and won the President’s Concerto Competition in Tuscon, AZ.

“Professor of Harp at Stephen F. Austin State University, Emily Mitchell was raved as a ‘marvelous harpist’ by the New York Times. Her performances can be heard on many recordings with RCA Victor, NPR’s Performance Today, and has toured around the United States as a soloist and chamber musician for Colombia Artists. Ms. Mitchell has taught at NYU and Purchase College as well as given master classes at the Royal College of Music in London and Madrid conservatory. She has also won several awards including first prize at the 7th International Harp Contest in Israel.”

And just where would these heavenly sounds feel right at home? Why at angelic philanthropist Faye Briggs’ home, of course. But even Faye’s place can’t hold thousands plus two harps. So, attendance will  belimited to under 100 guests. For $75, guests will enjoy a Sunday afternoon of “light and delicate snacks and drinks,” as well as the performances.

If CMI is new to you, it’s a non-profit performing arts organization that’s been around since 1986 “to present the highest artistic level of chamber music to a broad spectrum of patrons in North Texas.”

For more info about CMI and/or the “Better Than One” concert, contact Sandra Wu.

A Passing: Nona Barrett

Dallas lost one of its true treasures on Saturday, July 12. She and her husband may have shunned the public eye, but their reputation for being the best of Texas and Swiss art collectors was renowned throughout the world. When their Texas collection grew so large that they ran out of room, they arranged for museums throughout Texas to receive the pieces.

She was born Lucy Norsworthy, but she didn’t care for being called “Lucy.” So she changed her first name to Nona in honor of her mother, None Blair Norsworthy. Then Nona married an elegant British gentleman, Richard Barrett, 28 years ago resulting in Nona Barrett. Despite the name changing, her personality did not change one iota. She was still brilliant, funny and interested in other people.

Her memorial service Friday had some of Dallas’ and the country’s leading art lovers in attendance, as well as friends and classmates from Dallas Country Day School and Hockaday School. In addition to outstanding solos by soprano Ekaterina Kim, her husband, four stepdaughters (Sarah Jackson, Libby Ferguson, Katie Campbell and Joss Carruthers), three sons-in-law (Tom Jackson, Andrew Carruthers and Stephen Ferguson) and Dr. Rick Brettell gave touching talks about her remarkable life.

She was indeed a woman whose presence enriched her family, friends and the world of art. Her memory, generosity and legacy will continue to inspire for generations to come.

Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits For Shelters Program Gets In The Pink At Tootsies Kick-Off Reception

On the eve of the pink invasion by the Mary Kay forces, the Suits for Shelters program kicked off with a gathering to the max at Tootsies hosted by the ever-gorgeous Maleiah and Ryan Rogers (he’s the grandson of Mary Kay, as if you didn’t know). Guests arrived with clothes, shoes and accessories to be donated for the annual program helping women who are escaping abusive situations.

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Bird’s eye view, the scene looked like Maalox had stylishly been sprayed over the room. Pink was everywhere. From adorable pink frocks to touches of the color in men’s ties, it was definitely the shade of the night. Why, the Tootsies staff even had the mannequins in the tone for the evening.

Hayden and David Novak

Hayden and David Novak

One standout in the sea of pink was David Novak’s pocket square. Of course, it was pink, but it had more than its color going for it. The SMU grad’s Quixotic line of hankies that start at $35 is a double doozy of a winner for today’s gentlemen. First of all, 10% of sales go to organizations including The Family Place and Genesis Women’s Shelter. Second, they had a Square for Square program that “if you lose or damage your Quixotic pocket square in some gentlemanly act of kindness, then we will give your another.” Examples of such acts include: wiping tears, remove a spot, prevent a drip from a bottle of wine, pass something hot, etc.

Doug and Holly Deason

Doug and Holly Deason

But the crowd wasn’t all in pink and worried about good manners. Over to the side of the Preston Road entrance, Shelter Ministries of DallasJan Langbein was introducing guests to Dallas Police Lt. Miguel Sarmiento of the family violence unit. . . . Across the way were The Family Place’s Melissa Sherrill, Shivangi Pokharel and Melissa Cameron. . . . But the night was not “girls-only.” Thanks to Mary Kay’s Crayton Webb, men like Doug Deason, Bob Dyer and Jeff Cameron have taken on a major role in the efforts to reduce eliminate domestic abuse. Crayton indeed had his hands full. With thousands of Mary Kay associates on their way to Dallas, he was standing at the door waiting for his wife Nikki, who was delayed. The moment she appeared, he lit up. . . In one of the showrooms were racks and racks of true-blue bargains, in addition to pink items including shoes on sale. . . . Ironically the champagne was bountiful but not pink!

Myann Payne

Myann Payne

Following the reception downstairs, guests moved upstairs for the fashion show featuring Tootsies fashions on the following models: Evelyn Earl from Attitudes and Attire, Liz Slane from Battered Women’s Foundation, Linda Zander from Brighter Tomorrows, Myann Payne from Dress for Success, Susan Wells Jenevein and Abby Mayer from Genesis Women’s Shelter, Alma Catic and Megan Rutherford from Hope’s Door, Mirjana Omerajic from Mosaic Family Services, Isabel Camacho from New Beginning Center and Carmen Ponder from The Family Place.

Cynthia Izaguirre and Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and Crayton Webb

WFAA’s Cynthia Izaguirre was the show’s emcee and got things going with a selfie with the room full of guests. Then Crayton and host Ryan welcomed the group stressing the importance that the Mary Kay Foundation places on issue of domestic violence.

Then the “Think Pink” fashion show was underway with each model receiving cellphone salutes and some like Linda Slane getting a thumbs up from friends. Unlike other fashion shows, where guests smile in approval, this group let the world know their feelings with applause and cheers.

Linda Slane getting thumbs up

Linda Slane getting thumbs up

But even after the last guests toddled out of Tootsies, the effort to provide clothing for women in need didn’t end. The collection of new and gently used women’s professional attire, shoes and accessories continues through Monday, August 4, at Tootsies. In return donors will received a $25 Tootsies gift card that could be very useful during Tootsies’ summer sale.

Friends Of Wilkinson Center Are Trading In Hifalutin Black Tie For Taos Chic With Native Son Michael Hearne

Bob and Ann Dyer (File photo)

Bob and Ann Dyer (File photo)

Those great Friends of Wilkinson Center have “reinvented the wheel.” Instead of doing their tradition gala, they’ve decided go a little more laid back. Instead of fancy duds and la-di-da glitter, Event Co-Chairs: Cathy Brittingham Saxon and Missy Huber and Honorary Co-Chairs Ann and Bob Dyer are opting for Taos chic wear and turquoise finery.

Anne Reeder (File photo)

Anne Reeder (File photo)

As for the entertainment, they’ve arranged for Dallas native Southwest Americana singer/songwriter Michael Hearne to perform at The Lot in Lakewood.

So, mark your calendar for Friday, November 7, to spend the evening with “friends.” All proceeds will go to The Wilkinson Center.

BTW, if you get a chance, send a get-well note to Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder. She now has matching state-of-the-art hips. As her Wilkinson munchkins say, “Hip, hip, hurray!”

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Suits For Shelters Kick-Off Party

Selfie in pink

Selfie in pink

It’s been way too long since the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery has popped with photos of locals helping others. Thank heaven, the Mary Kay Foundation’s “Suits for Shelters” program kicked off at Tootsies with loads of people in the pink and bargains galore.

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

Casey

Casey

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

While the write-up is being finalized, enjoy the photos of the guests, the models and the fashions.

UTA’s Kappa Sigma Fraternity Puts Backpacks To Work

Tis the season for school supply collecting. Haven’t heard of any that are seeking for computers or iPads. That would be rather over the top. Instead, the collection organizations are looking for relatively inexpensive, everyday items that most folks assume that every kid has. But there are students whose families are stretching budgets just to get their children in school uniforms.

One of the collecting groups is the Kappa Sigma fraternity at UTA. The gents are sponsoring Backpack By Brothers that will support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington. The brothers are “collaborating with 4D Outlets LLC to bundle an affordable school supply package to fulfill a number of elementary school supply requirements. For every $20 collected, a student will receive a school supply bundle which includes a backpack containing: a folder, glue, scissors, mechanical pencils, pens, a ruler, crayons and notebook paper.”

Their goal is 80 backpacks (aka $1,600). So far, the Kappa Sigs have raised $902. If they’re able to raise more than their hopeful goal, the funds will “go towards purchasing more backpacks for other locations.”

The boys are more than halfway to their goal, but time is running out and most of the fraternity brothers are away for the summer. So, they’re depending on a little extra helping hand from non-fraternity types. . . like you. Recent donations have ranged from $10 to $100.

Kappa Sigma trivia: Did you know that Robert Redford, Jimmy Buffett, Sam Donaldson, Steve Kroft, Ted Turner and Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones were members of Kappa Sigma?

Year-Old Amani And Winspear Celebrate With Icy Cakes, Tubs Of Water And Loads Of Two-Legged Critters At The Dallas Zoo

The only problem with a birthday is the aging situation. But when you’re a year old, what the heck? That was the situation that took place at the Dallas Zoo on Thursday, July 10.

It was a glorious day. . . almost too glorious. The sun was blistering sky high, but for youngsters patiently waiting to enter the zoo property, it was giggle, wiggle and wait.

Once within the confines of the zoo, it was a wonderland of “Wow!”

Oh, sure the area next to the parking lot had the every-day, grazing horses that frequent the North Texas area, but then past the entrance booths, it was an animal-watching adventure.

Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear

While some adults and children ventured to the Wild Encounters Stage in Wilds of Africa with Teddy Bear showing his quills, the real action was at the Cheetah Encounter just behind Picnic Ridge.

Gregg Hudson, Diane Brierley and Michael Meadows

Gregg Hudson, Diane Brierley and Michael Meadows

Here toddlers being chauffeured in strollers and older kids like Diane Brierley, Ellen Winspear, Phyllis Hall, Michael Meadows and Dallas Zoo Executive Director Gregg Hudson watched and “perspired” waiting for the birthday boys.

Birthday guests

Birthday guests

It was just a year ago that cheetah cubs Winspear and Kamau and the black Lab Amani were born. Within a matter of weeks the three were brought together. The hope was the cheetahs, whose species is renowned for being shy, would bond with the pooch, whose breed is known as calm, friendly and as outgoing as Jimmy Kimmel. The relationship worked with none of the boys threatening to eat each other.

But over the year, one of the boys was lost. Kamau died in January from a respiratory disease, breaking the hearts of the zoo staff and the young cub’s fans. But Winspear had Amani to fall back on for companionship. Guess no one had ever told them that cats and dogs weren’t supposed to get along.

As the sun did its work on the red/white/blue iceberg birthday cakes in the center of the Cheetah Run, TV cameras and children lined up along the enclosure eager for the boys to arrive.

Finally word over the PA announced the arrival of the boys. They sprung into the run with Amani taking the lead but only momentarily as Winspear sprinted ahead. But both put on the brakes when they spotted the two 3’-tall ice cakes of milk and chicken broth. On either side of the cakes were tubs of water with rubber toys floating.

Winspear and Amani sniffed out the situation, took a tentative lick of the icy desserts and then chased a ball that Dallas Zoo VP of Guest Experiences Sean Greene threw across the compound. Amani once again started off first, but was soon in second place for the toy as the graceful, sleek Winspear sped past him.

Amani in the tub and Winspear looking on

Amani in the tub and Winspear looking on

Shoot! Amani didn’t care if the cat got the toy. With pink tongue hanging out, he headed back to one of the tubs of water and without a second thought tried to fit his body into the pool.

Winspear and Sean Greene

Winspear and Sean Greene

On the other hand, Winspear sauntered back to the tubs watching his buddy splash away. He didn’t get his buddy’s fascination with the water. It seemed a little outgoing for him. Sean then presented Winspear with another rubber toy. Taking the toy, the cheetah purred and wandered over to shady spot next to the fence where his fans crowded. Winspear lay down to take in the adoration like Angelina Jolie.

JUST IN: Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award Dinner Date Change

April Box Chamberlain (File photo)

April Box Chamberlain (File photo)

When you’re dealing with some tip-top-tier-types, you’ve got to try to align all their schedules. The more impressive the collection of heavyweights, the more complicated the scheduling. Such was the situation facing Methodist Health System Foundation President April Box Chamberlain and her team. In May they announced the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award recipient would be Bobby Lyle and the date of the dinner would be Thursday, September 25, in the Anatole’s Grand Ballroom.

But that was before some additional impressive names were added to the committee.

Word just arrived that the new date for the dinner that is always full of surprises is Wednesday, November 19. And instead of the downstairs Grand Ballroom, the seated supper will be in the newly refurbished Imperial Ballroom (formerly known as the Khmer Pavilion).

And what types of VIP’s are involved in the fundraiser? Along with Linda and Mitch Hart and Carolyn and David Miller serving as the event co-chairs, honorary co-chairs will be Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt and Renda and Rex Tillerson.

Mary McDermott Cook (File photo)

Mary McDermott Cook (File photo)

And there’s still more news. For the underwriters at the $10,000+ level, there will be a patron party at Mary McDermott Cook’s “new hilltop home in Oak Cliff.” It will be the first time the house overlooking the Dallas skyline, Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the Trinity Corridor will be open for such a gathering.

So, right after you adjust your calendar, get your reservations in.

ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson To Receive H. Neil Mallon Award With Dr. Robert Gates As Keynote Speaker

Rex Tillerson is Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corporation’s chairman and CEO. While he is an international kingpin, he maintains a relatively low-profile locally. However, that will change on Friday, October 24, when he receives the World Affairs Council’s most prestigious award — the H. Neil Mallon Award.

RexTillerson*

RexTillerson*

According to Council Chair Robert W. Kantner, “Rex W. Tillerson’s leadership of Exxon Mobil Corporation, the largest publicly traded petroleum and petrochemical enterprise in the world, from its headquarters here in North Texas, makes him an outstanding recipient of the World Affairs Council’s Mallon Award. The Mallon Award honors its recipient for dedication to international relationships – business and personal – that enhance the standing of North Texas around the world. The Council is pleased to honor Mr. Tillerson for keeping North Texas in the forefront of international relationships through his well-respected and tireless work in the energy field and personally as a global citizen.”

Robert Gates*

Robert Gates*

Keynote speaker at the dinner will be Dr. Robert M. Gates, who in addition to serving as the nation’s 22nd Secretary of Defense and president of Texas A&M University, is presently the national president of the Boy Scouts of America.

Each year the award recognizes “an individual who has excelled at promoting North Texas as an important international gateway for business, industry and diplomatic relations.” The award was established 31 years ago and named after the chairman of Dresser Industries, who also founded the World Affairs Council in 1951.

Previous recipients have included Stanley Marcus, Ray Hunt, President George H.W. Bush, Ross Perot Sr. and Jr., Trammell Crow and his daughter Lucy Billingsley.

Presenting sponsors for the dinner are AT&T, BNSF Railway Company, ExxonMobil, Fluor Corporation and Hunt Consolidated.

Chairing the event at the Hyatt Regency are previous Mallon Award recipients David T. Seaton and Randall L. Stephenson, along with Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, Sarah and Ross Perot Jr. and Lisa and Matt Rose. Honorary chairs will be Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne.

This event is going to be a biggie with biggest names. Hop to it and make your reservations now.

* Photos courtesy of World Affairs Council

Lynn McBee And Nick Even To Co-Chair Dallas Opera’s First Sight/First Night

Is there anything that Lynn McBee is not chairing? Word just arrived that she and legal eagle Nick Even will co-chair the Dallas Opera’s First Sight/First Night this fall.

Nick Even and Lynn McBee*

Nick Even and Lynn McBee*

Dallas Opera General Director/CEO Keith Cerny said, “The Dallas Opera is truly grateful for the support and involvement of Chairs Lynn McBee and Nick Even. It is only through the dedication and commitment of these generous philanthropists that organizations like ours can thrive to successfully serve our audiences and community. With the enthusiasm and wide range of experience these accomplished individuals bring to our season-opening events, we are prepared to be both dazzled and delighted!”

According to Lynn, “I’m truly delighted to be a part of the wonderful events that open the Dallas Opera’s 2014-2015 Season! It’s a pleasure to work with and represent an organization that not only brings magnificent opera to the stage, but also enriches our community by touching thousands with its education and outreach programs.”

The two-day fundraising activities will kick off Thursday, October 23, at 11 a.m. with First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Winspear with a Rhonda Sargent Chambers-produced fashion show featuring “the iconic Italian designer Roberto Cavalli.” In addition to the Cavailli fashions will be six “custom-made gowns created by nationally renowned Dallas based designers — each reflecting the theme of one of the operas to be presented during the 2014-2015 ’Heights of Passion’ season.” The gowns will be auctioned off later by Heritage Auctions to benefit the Dallas Opera.

The next night (Friday, October 24) the First Night Pre-performance dinner will take place starting at 5:30 p.m., with the red carpet arrival of VIP guests and models displaying the six designer gowns unveiled at the Thursday luncheon.

Following a three-course supper prepared by Wolfgang Puck Catering in “a beautifully appointed tent on the approach to the” Winspear Opera House, the Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro will take place.

To close out the evening, DJ Lucy Wrubel will supervise the music at the First Night After Party following the performance.

Nick added, “There is something for everyone to enjoy with the season kick-off events from the fashion show and luncheon, to the pre-opera dinner, the performance itself and the after party. If you haven’t yet experienced the fun and inspiration that comes from the extraordinary events that the Dallas Opera produces, this is a great season to get involved!”

It should be a very fun and fashionable two days with Lynn and Nick at the helm. Last year’s luncheon proved to be a surprise when an “operatic flash mob” surprised guests at their tables. There are presently tickets and sponsorship opportunities available, so now is a good time to lock down a table.

Oh, you’re probably wondering what the 2014-2015 DO season will offer. Good question. The answer is:

  • October 24, 26 (m), 29, November 1, 7 and 9 (m), 2014 — The Marriage of Figaro
  • October 30, November 2 (m), 5 and 8, 2014 — Salome
  • January 30, February 1 (m), 4 and 7, 2015 — La Wally**
  • January 30, February 1 (m), 4 and 7, 2015 — Everest**
  • March 13, 15 (m), 18, 21, 27 and 29 (m), 2015 — La Bohème
  • April 10, 12 (m), 15 and 18, 2015 — Iolanta
* Photo provided by the Dallas Opera
** Double bill

Rory Meyer Children’s Adventure Garden Continues Celebrating The Year Of Children

It was just about a year ago that the Rory Meyer Children’s Adventure Garden opened and what a year it’s been. Just checked with the Dallas Arboretum’s “flower power” and learned that 271,419 children of all ages have visited the Garden since its September 21 opening.

Overview of Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden (File photo)

Overview of Rory Meyer Children’s Adventure Garden (File photo)

In winding down its Year of the Children, the following two programs will take place in July:

“Designing with Flowers, Sticks and Stones” (Tuesday, July 22, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Camp House)Elementary and middle school students (Grades 1-8) will learn tricks of design for fun, whimsical, beautiful or out-of-this-world arrangement in this arts and crafts activity. Event is free, but registration is required. A special thanks to Event Chair Stefani Podvin.

Wings of Life Movie Night (Tuesday, July 29, 6 p.m. at Rosine Hall) — The Dallas Arboretum will host a family nature movie night to show the acclaimed Disney nature documentary Wings of Life. Narrated by Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, the film employs stunning imagery to showcase the unsung heroes of the world’s food supply, showcasing the relationship between flowers and the increasingly threatened bees, butterflies, birds and bats that enable plants to reproduce. Adding to the ambiance of a movie-going experience, snacks, such as $1 popcorn and $1 hot dogs, will be available for purchase. Adult tickets are $5, children are $2, and children under 3 are free. Purchasing tickets in advance is recommended, but tickets, if available, can be purchased onsite.

Rory Meyer Children's Adventure Garden (File photo)

Rory Meyer Children’s Adventure Garden (File photo)

More activities will be take place in September to close out the year. Stay tuned.

“An Evening Of Friends And Music” Attracts All Types Of North Texans To Join Don Winspear In Conquering Transverse Myelitis

President Obama was creating all types of havoc in Preston Hollow and along the North Dallas Tollway with his Wednesday, June 9th visit to the area. At least that’s what Paul Divis and other guests at the Transverse Myelitis fundraiser groused at the Kessler.

Why, the Oak Cliff hood seemed like a sanctuary of seamlessly moving traffic and easy-going partying compared to north Dallas’ jammed and blocked off streets.

Don Winspear

Don Winspear

Little did Don Winspear know when he planned the fundraiser that south of Big Old D would be a haven.

But having encountered TM himself, Don has become known for being rather remarkable along with his wife Ellen.

Rosie and Mike Moncrief, Ellen Winspear and Tiffany Divis

Rosie and Mike Moncrief, Ellen Winspear and Tiffany Divis

After months of rehabbing and making progress, Don decided to add another “must do” to his list. An event that would raise funds and awareness of the rare autoimmune disease of the central nervous system.

That’s when his longtime friends got involved. Musicians Buddy Greene and Jeff Taylor, who met Don seven years ago, called Don up and said, “We’re on our way to Laity Lodge. Gonna be in Dallas. Any way we could put together a small little concert for you?”

Then Don’s local musician pal Brice Beaird joined the program.

Tom and Donna Rafferty

Tom and Donna Rafferty

Don even tapped former Dallas Cowboy Tom Rafferty, who now walks with a cane after being victimized by TM, to be the honorary chair.

The name of the event was a natural — An Evening Of Friends And Music.

As for where to hold the event benefiting Conquer Project at UT Southwestern Medical Center, the Kessler was perfect, since Don had invested in its return to the Dallas entertainment scene.

To build the awareness factor, Don found himself on Good Morning Texas and The Ticket with Gordon Keith, as well as in Keith’s Dallas Morning News column.

Still, holding a first-time event in July was chancy. Ellen said that one person told her they would be lucky to sell 80 tickets. Evidently that person didn’t know the pull of the Winspears. More than triple that number attended the concert.

David Pidgeon

David Pidgeon

When one person asked Don if he was proud of the fundraiser for the little-known disease, Don looked up, paused and said, “I am humbled.” He never expected such a turnout and the mix of bold faces from all around North Texas. Some had first-hand knowledge of the effects of TM, like Starpower Home Entertainment Systems’ David Pidgeon, who can’t bend his legs as a result of TM.

Keith Cerny and Holly Mayer

Keith Cerny and Holly Mayer

Others were just there to support the Winspears. Fort Worth’s Rosie and Mike Moncrief seemed like locals as they palled with friends and then hunkered down at a table for dinner. . . Hayley Hamilton Cogill and husband Gary Cogill were splitting up. No, it wasn’t what you think. Both were headed to the airport for different destinations. But after concluding their business obligations, they were meeting up in Paris. . . UT Southwestern’s Ruben Esquivel told friends, “I’ve known Don for many years, also Curtis Meadows (a TM patient).”. . . The Winspears’ Dallas Opera family was represented by Keith Cerny and Holly Mayer. . . The Dallas Zoo’s VP of Guest Experiences Sean Greene and President Michael Meadows told Tiffany Divis of plans the next morning to celebrate the one-year birthday of Winspear the cheetah and his companion/Lab Amani. Tiffany reported that she was going to present in spirit only. Seems she had to head to Chicago the next day. . Lynn and Allan McBee, who seem to be chairing everything in town reported that they’ve tapped Louise and Guy Griffeth to be honorary co-chairs of the Stars and Stripes Film Festival benefiting the Sons of the Flag. According to Lynn, it made perfect sense since they have a son in Afghanistan.

Dr. Benjamin Greenberg

Dr. Benjamin Greenberg

After the 250 guests settled into their chairs, a video featuring TM specialist Dr. Benjamin Greenberg was shown and the musicians played up a storm. Just as guests thought the performances were finished for the evening, up popped the surprise of the evening — Rudy Gatlin, who is always a crowd pleaser.

So, as others were stuck in traffic and others fundraised for political causes, more than 200 had a heck of a good time supporting a humble fella, who was victimized by a cruel disease. Little did TM know. Don has just begun the campaign to vanquish the disease with awareness, research and commitment.

Dallas Contemporary Offers “The Art Of Mexico Past & Present,” A Week-Long Tour Of Mexico City’s Finest Art In September-October

Dallas Contemporary is not a stay-home-type operation. Nope, they’ve put together “The Art of Mexico Past & Present,” a week (September 28 through October 4) of learning and enjoying the amazing and diversified art found in Mexico City.

From the murals by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco to the outstanding remnants of the Aztec culture, the city is teeming with art.

Mural by Diego Rivera (detail), Palacio de Bellas Artes*

Mural by Diego Rivera (detail), Palacio de Bellas Artes*

The week of art loving will include seeing to world-famous private collections. One at the Museo Soumaya, where the wealthiest man in the world Carlos Slim’s has his collection of works by Picasso and other European masters. The other is the Jumex Collection that is “said to be the largest private contemporary art collection in Latin America.”

Museo Soumaya*

Museo Soumaya*

Other offerings include the National Palace, a restored hacienda containing the largest single collection of Diego Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo and La Casa Azul, where Diego and Frida lived.

And while Dallas Contemporary is thought of being focused on contemporary art, the amazing history of Mexico is not going to be overlooked. The tour will also provide “a walk through Zocalo (main plaza), where the ruins of the Aztecs’ Templo Mayor at Tenochitlan abut the Metropolitan Cathedral, itself built atop a ruined Aztec temple,” as well as a private tour of the National Museum of Anthropology and an “an archaeologist-led exploration of the pyramids of Teotihuacan, a UNESCO-recognized site that reached its peak a thousand years before the Spanish arrived.”

During the week, guests will be staying at the Four Seasons in Mexico City.

This is an amazing and unique opportunity for educated art lover, as well as the novice who wants to learn.

* Graphic and photo courtesy of Dallas Contemporary

Laura And George W. Bush To Serve As Distinguished Chairs For 14th Annual Texas Trailblazer Luncheon

And the big, boldface names just keep coming in for The Family Place’s 14th Annual Texas Trailblazer Luncheon. Co-Chairs Stephanie and Travis Hollman, Carol Seay and Stephanie Seay just reported that former first couple Laura and George W. Bush have signed on as the “Distinguished Chairs” for the Wednesday, September 17th fundraiser at the Anatole.

George and Laura Bush (File photo)

George and Laura Bush (File photo)

But then what would you expect when the event is honoring the legacy of the late Harold Simmons?

Joe Torre*

Joe Torre*

As for Joe Torre, who will be headline “speaker”. . . okay, he’s not going to be at a podium giving a lecture. He’s gonna being interviewed by none other than WFAA’s Dale Hansen.

Well, back to Joe. In a Sunday interview with Larry King, he revealed how the domestic abuse he witnessed as a child affected his professional life:

“I probably didn’t enjoy my playing career as much as I really should have because if I didn’t get any hits I would really torture myself thinking I let everybody down. And of course if I did hit, I felt like I was worthy…It wasn’t until I went through a symposium which told me that all the abuse that was going on at my home was contributing to these feelings of insignificance and insecurity and nervousness.”

The former baseball legend’s being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this Sunday adding to the “Wow!” factor of his presence come September.

* Photo provided by The Family Place

Today’s Dallas Zoo Dollar Day Is A “Go” Come Rain Or Shine

The Dallas Zoo folks have been bracing for today’s Dollar Day for weeks. Annually it results in a tsunami of adults and children breaking attendance records.

Dallas Zoo Dollar Day*

Dallas Zoo Dollar Day*

Even with today’s rainy weather, the bargain day is still on. So, if you want a “cheap thrill,” grab an umbrella, put on your goulashes and head for the zoo. The animals will enjoy your company.

* Graphic courtesy of the Dallas Zoo

Cold Front Generously Hits North Texas With Lower Temperatures And Loads Of The Wet Stuff

For those who are not in North Texas this morning, you need to know the temperature is 70 degrees and rain is falling. Anyone waking up from a coma would swear it’s not July.

For those who are in North Texas, go outside and enjoy the wonderful, fresh smell of rain and the slightest chill in the air. It won’t last long.

Thank you notes should be addressed to Mother Nature.

Dr. Jared Farmer To Receive Dallas Institute Of Humanities And Culture’s 2014 Hiett Prize In Humanities

Established in 2004 by Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture and philanthropist Kim Hiett Jordan, the Hiett Prize in Humanities’ goal was to recognize and reward “a person who has not yet reached his or her potential, but whose work in the humanities shows extraordinary promise.”

During the past decade, it has earned the reputation for being the most prestigious award in the world of humanities for a couple of extremely good reasons.

First of all, the selection requires months of scrutinizing candidates by a panel of judges made up of “Fellows of the Dallas Institute, a distinguished group of scholars, teachers, writers and public intellectuals in the humanities, arts and sciences in both the U.S. and abroad.”

Second, there’s that nifty $50,000 check that is handed over to the winner.

Jared Farmer*

Jared Farmer*

The Hiett Prize for 2014 has just been announced — Francis Parkman Prize winner Dr. Jared Farmer, who is a professor at Stony Brook University in New York. Jared has earned a reputation as being “one of the finest young environmental historians writing today.”

Among his many accomplishments are his award-winning books “On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians and the American Landscape” and “Trees in Paradise: A California History.” He has also been published in Science, Environmental History, Reviews in American History, High Country News, Western American Literature, and Religion Dispatches. His current projects include two books — “Ancient Trees in Modern Times” and “The Aerial View.”

According to DIHC Executive Director Larry Allums, “This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Hiett Prize, which means in its lifetime thus far $500,000 has been awarded to young men and women who possess an exceptional commitment to the humanities. Jared Farmer’s accomplishments to date show without doubt that he belongs among these extraordinary first ten Hiett winners. Through his writing and photography, Jared brings to light hidden histories of landscapes and habitats and the ways human beings interact with them. His still-unfolding work in a relatively new field of the humanities is of such a high order that it promises to become a model for others who will follow him. And, in addition, its relevance and accessibility make Jared the ideal recipient of this year’s Hiett Prize. We are absolutely thrilled to pay tribute to his work in this way.”

Past Hiett awardees have included

  • 2005 — Brad Gregory, Notre Dame University
  • 2006 — Hilaire Kallendorf, Texas A&M University
  • 2007 — Tiya Alicia Miles, University of Michigan
  • 2008 — David Greenberg, Rutgers University
  • 2009 — James E. McWilliams, Texas State University
  • 2010 — Mark Oppenheimer, freelance teacher and writer
  • 2011 — Diana Senechal, Columbia Secondary School in New York City
  • 2012 — Elizabeth Samet, professor of English at the United States Military Academy at West Point
  • 2013 — William Deresiewicz, writer and critic

Jared will receive the award at a luncheon on Wednesday, November 12, at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. This year’s event is being co-chaired by Marie Brehm, Ann Drumm and Ginny Jackson with Honorary Chair Sally Hoglund.

* Photo provided by Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture

Baseball Royals Michael Young And Cristina Barbosa To Co-Chair Dallas Children’s Theater’s Knights And Princesses Dream Ball

Former Texas Ranger Michael Young and his wife Cristina Barbosa will be part of royalty on Saturday, September 20. But instead of Buckingham Palace with Kate, William, Harry and George, it will be the Dallas Children’s Theater for its Knights and Princesses Dream Ball.

Mateo, Michael, Antonio, Cristina and Emilio Young*

Mateo, Michael, Antonio, Cristina and Emilio Young*

Cristina and Michael will serve as honorary co-chairs, along with their children Mateo, Emilio and Antonio.

Cristina said, “Our family is pleased to serve as honorary chairs of the Knights and Princesses Dream Ball at Dallas Children’s Theater. Having seen firsthand the benefits that theater has provided our own children, we are excited to be a part of raising funds for adapted performances for children with special needs. After all, every child deserves great live theater! We hope everyone will join us in bringing in the magic of live theater to all children.”

This year the DCT “presented its first sensory-friendly production for children with special needs.” What does that mean? The DCT reduced sound levels, eliminated flashing lights and kept the overall house lights up a few levels higher than normal “to provide a more comfortable experience for the families.” The DCT staff didn’t just come up with these adaptions on their own. They received the recommendations from Autism Speaks, the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at UT Southwestern, University of North Texas Department of Speech and Hearings Sciences and Health Science Center and the Autism Center, Children’s Medical Center and the Dallas Museum of Art.”

The ball will follow a 4:30 p.m. performance of “Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale”. Tickets for the ball are $50 per person. Proceeds from the event will benefit adapted performances for children with special needs.

Tiaras and scepters will be the accessories du jour.

* Photo courtesy of Michael Young and Cristina Barbosa