Postponement: Artscape Members-Only Preview

Due to the threatening weather, tonight’s members-only preview of Artscape benefiting the Dallas Arboretum is postponed until tomorrow (Saturday) morning from 7 to 9 a.m.

Smart thinking. The weather should be great and mimosas and “breakfast goodies” will be on hand along with the flowers.

Don’t think about crashing the party. Membership cards will be required for entry.

A ‘Verklempt’ Blythe Danner Helps Jump-Start The Ninth Annual Dallas International Film Festival

The opening night celebration for the Dallas International Film Festival is always a memorable event. And the ninth annual one, held Thursday, April 9, at the historic Majestic Theatre downtown, was no exception. How could it have been anything but, with the beautiful and talented, Emmy-winning actress Blythe Danner walking the red carpet, then accepting her Dallas Star Award before the Opening Night Centerpiece screening of her latest feature, “I’ll See You in My Dreams”?

Clad in a white blouse and long black skirt, Danner, 72, began the evening by moving graciously along the red carpet in front of the theater, posing for photographers and chatting amiably with reporters. Not far away from her was Dallas resident Mary Crosland, who was described as an executive producer on the “Dreams” film. Crosland was being cheered on by Debra Nelson, a Dallas friend who was watching the action from the sidewalk.

With the Carpet duties behind them, the group headed next into the Majestic lobby, where such first-nighters as Anne and Steve Stodghill and big DIFF sponsors Randall Goss and Arthur E. Benjamin were among the excited, chit-chatting crowd. Then the lights blinked on and off and everyone headed into the seating area for the opening ceremony. The crowd was welcomed by Don Stokes, chairman of the board of the Dallas Film Society, and Lee Papert, the society’s president and CEO.

Lee, standing at a podium on the raised stage, recognized the evening’s presenting sponsor, AutoNation, before giving way to Goss. Randall pointed out that the 11-day festival would be a “Herculean effort,” featuring 165 movies from 32 countries. Then, bringing on James Faust, the film society’s beloved artistic director, Goss said, “I’d like to introduce the DFS athletic … er, artistic … director, James Faust!” James, ever the wise-cracker, continued the joke as the audience roared: “My first job as athletic director will be to …” After giving a shout-out to the “1,400 volunteers who work with us year-round,” Faust brought on veteran Dallas TV reporter/critic Bobbie Wygant, who introduced a video reel featuring clips of Danner’s work.

When the video was over Blythe herself emerged, to hearty applause, to receive the film society’s Dallas Star award. “I’m thrilled, thrilled, thrilled to be here,” she said. “In fact I’m getting a little verklempt—[partly] because my cousins are here tonight.”

After poking fun at her current TV ad for an osteoporosis treatment—“Thanks to my Prolix commercial, my bones are strong!”—Danner explained that the evening’s Centerpiece film had been shot in just 18 days and had featured an “extraordinary script.” She also said the flick’s director, Brett Haley, had brought great sensitivity and humor to the movie, which tells the story of a widow whose quiet life is turned upside down when she meets several new people, including a handsome widower played by Sam Elliott.

Surprising as it was for many in the audience to learn, “I’ll See You in My Dreams” is Danner’s first leading role ever. However, “there have been better roles for women lately, than when I first started years ago,” she said. Then it was time to screen the Centerpiece film—but not before Faust got in one last wisecrack. “Blythe is cool,” James said. “But we’re here for a movie … ‘Fast & Furious 8.’ ”

Grovel Alert: Recess!

Playgrounds don’t have to be limited to kids. And proof of that is the popularity of “Recess!” benefiting Dallas Afterschool. The third annual backyard event will be taking place Friday, May 1, at adorable philanthropist Faye Briggs’ estate. Of course, there will be the sandbox, where you can dig for goodies, loads of food and games galore.

Sandbox (File photo)

Sandbox (File photo)

So much fun!

Funds raised help make “out-of-school time a safe, engaging learning environment for over 9,000 at-risk children in Dallas.”

But there’s a problem with your being one of the big kids partying at Faye’s. Darn it. There are only 20 tickets left. So, hustle now. Otherwise, you’re gonna feel like the kid who was sent to the principal’s office.

Round Robin April 9: Turtle Creek Karaoke Lounge And Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board Receptions

Alas, so many ultra-exclusive gatherings going on in Biggest D on Thursday, April 9, like former President Bill Clinton in town for dinner at Wendy Stanley’s home for The Clinton Foundation and Kevin Costner schmoozing with the New Friends New Life top supporters at Hunt Consolidated. Still, there were other gatherings that were weren’t so restricted, like:

Karaoke Lounge

Ken Downing

Ken Downing and Nanette Lepore model

Neiman Marcus Fashion Guru Ken Downing told the crowd in for the Nanette Lepore trunk show that as a young man, he fell in love with the word “culottes.” Ken added with a twinkle in his eye, “It was in high school when I dated girls.”

Ken and Nanette had a great time talking about the spring collection that indeed included culottes.

Ashlee Weidner

Ashlee Weidner

Paige Westhoff

Paige Westhoff

Originally planned as an event for the Turtle Creek Recovery Center’s A Night At The Turtle Creek Karaoke Lounge crowd like Diana Hamilton, Nancy Gopez, Kristi Hoyl, Jill Tananbaum and Paige Westhoff, a number of drop-in NM clients took their seats to learn about the collection.

Violet Savage

Violet Savage

Nanette Lepore

Nanette Lepore

One of the folks in the crowd was Nanette’s daughter, Violet Savage, who was part of the catwalk crew in her mom’s recent Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week show.

Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board

Lisa Troutt and Vicki Chapman

Lisa Troutt and Vicki Chapman

Lisa Troutt laid the groundwork. Despite early plans by Crystal Charity Ball organizers for its advisory board and the beneficiaries, who had figured on the program starting at 7:30 p.m., Lisa stalled it until 8:00. She wasn’t about to let anyone miss the buffet with mountains of shrimp and other goodies.

But the night was perfect to wander the grounds of the Troutt estate, and guests seemed to enjoy gathering. While Kenny disappeared to take a delayed conference call, the more than 200 guests took their place on the Troutts’ indoor basketball court.

Ruth Altshuler and Michal Powell

Ruth Altshuler and Michal Powell

2015 CCB Chair Michal Powell welcomed all and thanked the Troutts, advisory board members, longtime friends and introduced Capital One Bank President Kent Eastman, who thanked the group for all they do.

Michal returned to the podium telling how one of the most disturbing facts learned this year was that one-third of Dallas children live in poverty. She then introduced a touching video succinctly showcasing the heart-wrenching 2015 beneficiaries. Michal proudly told the group that her California nephew, Cameron Cone, had produced it.

Rainy Days And Fridays Aren’t So Terribly Bad

It’s raining….again! Yes, the drip drops are causing major anxiety attacks for North Texas fundraisers. Even if it’s an indoor event, the showers may cause some folks to have second thoughts on attending. And then there are the poor organizers who are rustling up the much dreaded “back-up plans” into effect.

Wet streets

Wet streets

Yes, the humidity is creating all types of hair problems and you’re sick of dragging your umbrella to every outing. But on the other hand, the watery stuff is helping to replenish area lakes and yards have never been so green. Trees and flowers are flourishing much to allergists’ delight. And, so far, no tornadoes have torn up the place.

So, take heart and embrace the rain. There are some folks in California that are downright envious of our wet days.

Elvis And Friends Of Fair Park Celebrate James “Jim Bob” Graham With Spirit Of The Centennial Award

Tornadoes were tearing through the Midwest and occasional drips were hitting windshields locally. But the threats of morning showers on Thursday, April 9, just didn’t happen. Still, the humidity and occasional raindrops didn’t make for wonderful.

Jim Graham

Jim Graham

Didn’t matter to the friends of James “Jim Bob” Graham and the Friends of Fair Park, since the Spirit of the Centennial Award Luncheon was honoring him for his support of Fair Park for more than 30 years and chairing the 1994 Dallas World Cup Bid Committee that brought the FIFA World Cup to Fair Park, among other achievements.

With the luncheon originally scheduled to take place in the Cotton Bowl, Luncheon Chair Melissa Rieman had made the gut-wrenching decision to move the scheduled fundraiser to the former home of the Women’s Museum because of weather predictions earlier in the week. In hindsight, it was the right choice, since off-again, on-again showers sprouted up throughout the day.

Looking like a lottery winner, Jimmy was congratulated by old friends, city leaders and those who had worked with him in bringing soccer to the Dallas forefront.

Craig Holcomb

Craig Holcomb

Carol Reed and Willis Winters

Carol Reed and Willis Winters

It was a record-breaking crowd with friends coming from near and far — Carol Reed, Joan and Alan Walne, Max Wells, Kristi Hoyl, Bryon Sanders, Sarah Jackson, Dwight Emanuelson, Ed Hawes, Jeannie Terilli, Willis Winters, Key Coker, Olivia and Jeff Kearney, John Scovell, Donny Anderson, Mike and Deborah Montgomery, Billy Dean, Mary Suhm, Tyler buds Lonnie Holotik and Cam McIarty, Houston pals Suzanne and Richard Brown with Gary Weber and Sam Glast, who flew in from Seattle.

Max Wells and Alan Walne

Max Wells and Alan Walne

Byron Sanders and Sarah Jackson

Byron Sanders and Sarah Jackson

Adding to the crowd was the Graham clan, which included wife Pamela (Pam and Jim had just celebrated their 40th anniversary by vacationing in the Caribbean), sons Jace Graham with wife Hilary and Tyler Graham with fiancée Jessie Walling, Pamela’s brother Bill Loaring-Clark with his wife Barbara and nephew Chad Cook.

Dwight Emanuelson and Pamela Graham

Dwight Emanuelson and Pamela Graham

Hilary and Jace Graham*

Hilary and Jace Graham*

After a brief appearance and serenade by a faux Elvis, the crowd adjourned to the buffet with returns for seconds of the banana pudding and cobbler.

Following lunch, Melissa introduced a video that had been compiled and produced by Pamela, Jace and Tyler. It was memorable, highlighting the Grahams’ love of kilts, bull dogs and Fair Park.

Then the tributes got underway, with white-haired Craig Holcomb, former Dallas Park Department Director Paul Dyer and former State Legislator Terri Hodge. It was a close call, but Terri’s talk was memorable. She told how Jim had gotten her to go door-to-door handing out fliers in the Park Cities.

At one point it was remembered that Jim had requested a slight change to a plaque honoring the family. Craig said that since the Grahams had been so supportive, it would be considered. The change was to add the Graham’s bulldog to the plaque. The revision was made.

Jimmy then took the podium and admitted that it was going to be hard to follow Terri. But he indeed held his own.

He recalled when, as a boy living in Tyler and following his mother’s death, his father decided the two should head to Dallas for the Fair to take their minds off of their loss. Then he remembered how disappointed he was later when they painted over the voluptuous art deco ladies that adorned the buildings. And then there was that chicken. Jim Bob had prided himself as a youngster for his talent in playing Tic-Tac-Toe. That was until he encountered a chicken at the Fair that won each time. Jim was indeed humbled by the feathered player.

In closing his acceptance speech, Jim accepted the tribute graciously. Still, he had a request. He didn’t want any more plaques or platitudes. He just wanted another chance to play Tic-Tac-Toe with that chicken.

* Photo provided by Pamela Graham

Soup’s On! Teams Serves Up A Tasty Check To The Stewpot Alliance

While the Trinity Rats were at Mary McDermott Cook’s Dump Top sipping wine with perfect views of downtown Dallas and the Art Ball 50 patrons were being deliciously gorgeous in the Hartland-Mackie mansion sneak peeking Brian Bolke’s pop-up shop, The Stewpot team was happily collecting a check on Wednesday, April 8. Here’s a report from the field:

The Stewpot Alliance presented The Stewpot with a check for $375,000 at the annual spring membership party. 2015 Soup’s On! luncheon Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Jackie Moore along with Chef Chair Brian C. Luscher made the announcement Wednesday at the home of Susie Simon.

Bruce Buchanan, Lee Hutchins, Brian Luscher, Jackie Moore and Anne Besser*

Bruce Buchanan, Lee Hutchins, Brian Luscher, Jackie Moore and Anne Besser*

“Executive Director Rev. Dr. Bruce Buchanan and Development Director Lee Hutchins accepted the check on behalf of The Stewpot and Encore Park.

Christi Nicolas and Charlotte Legg*

Christi Nicolas and Charlotte Legg*

“2016 Co-Chairs Charlotte Legg and Christi Nicolas announced that the 2016 Soup’s On Luncheon and Art Sale will be held January 19, 2016, at Union Station. Guest speaker will be Collins Tuohy, subject of The Blind Side, who will discuss ways in which everyone can do something to change the life of another person.”

Susie Simon and Rosemary Robbins*

Susie Simon and Rosemary Robbins*

“Additionally, Stewpot Alliance President Rosemary Robbins honored Stewpot employee Betty Heckman and Stewpot Alliance member Susie Simon for their outstanding work for The Stewpot Alliance in supporting the work of The Stewpot, which offers a safe haven for homeless and at-risk individuals of Dallas, providing resources for basic survival and opportunities to start a new life.

“For 40 years, The Stewpot has provided meals to our homeless and at-risk neighbors. Programs have developed to assist with medical needs, counseling, enrichment of children and youth, job training, and cultural expression. Seizing a remarkable opportunity to acquire the historic buildings at 508 and 515 Park, The Stewpot has embarked on a groundbreaking project entitled Encore Park. When completed, this expanded campus will include an outdoor amphitheater, community garden, a Museum of Street Culture, an Art Gallery for the Open Art Program, and expanded space for its partner agencies and its own programs.”

* Photos provided by The Stewpot Alliance

Top-Tier Art Ball 50 Patrons Warm Up For Gala At The Hartland-Mackie Estate

New kids on the block might have thought that the main topic at the Art Ball 50 patron party on Wednesday, April 8, would have been the crane that nested on the Dallas Museum of Art on the past Good Friday.

Thomas  and Nasiba Hartland-Mackie and Ann and Lee Hobson

Thomas and Nasiba Hartland-Mackie and Ann and Lee Hobson

Sorry. But that was so yesterday’s news. Instead it was a competition between the fashion plates at the party and the dressed-up house … no, make that killer mansion … of Nasiba and Thomas Hartland-Mackie.

Merry Vose and Jennifer Karol

Merry Vose and Jennifer Karol

Allen Questrom

Allen Questrom

Simona Beal

Simona Beal

Robbie and Nancy Briggs

Robbie and Nancy Briggs

As 100 guests like Kelly and Allen Questrom, Jennifer and Tom Karol, Merry and Chad Vose, Ann and Lee Hobson, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Nancy and Robbie Briggs, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Nancy Rogers, Simona Beal, Kara and Randall Goss, Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Julie Hawes arrived at the Volks Estate estate via the way bigger-than-huge silver frames on either side of the front doors, they discovered the silver pointed balloons hovering overhead in the entry halls. And then there was the study with its backdrop of gigantic Brillo boxes as a photo backdrop.

DMA in cabana

DMA in cabana

And what about that Texas-size “DMA” in silver fronting the cabana and the silver balls floating in the pool?

Little Mr. Hartland-Mackie

Little Mr. Hartland-Mackie

Dressed in black bowtie for the evening was Gerber baby lookalike little Mr. Hartland-Macke, who was being squired around by smiling grandmama Georgina Hartland.

In the dining room was a sneak peek of the Brian Bolke-curated pop-up shop that would be up for grabs at Saturday’s DMA fundraiser. Well, OMG! Talk about $225,000 of delicious items. Elder Statesman beige cashmere softer-than-soft lingerie going for $1,400. A briefcase by Proenza Schouler that would seal a deal before even entering negotiations could be snapped up for $2,150. A one-of-a-kind $100,000 Hoorsenbuhs Forever Mark Diamond cuff twinkled. Somehow Brian had put the ask out to his Forty Five Ten vendors and the first wave of the asks signed up immediately donating the merchandise. Talk about some kind of wonderful.

Max and Jacqueline Anderson

Max and Jacqueline Anderson

When DMA top guy Max Anderson took over the mic and wife long-haired  Jacqueline in white looking lean and adoring joined the crowd in listening to him, he thanked all and asked, “Where’s Nancy?” He was talking about Art Ball 50 Chair Nancy Carlson, who was way in the back. Shannon Wynne hollered out, “Somebody get Nancy!”

Before Max finished the presentation, Nancy appeared to applause.

Only problem with the evening? It set the bar awfully high. It’ll be hard to imagine the Art Ball topping this one.

For more photos, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

SOLD-OUT ALERT: 2015 Equest Premier Celebration

Word just arrived that Saturday’s Equest Premier Celebration at Texas Horse Park is a done deal with 500 expected in boots. Among those buckaroos will be Co-Chairs Connie and Denny Carreker, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Congressman Pete Sessions and the mini-ambassadors.

Equest rider Hillary with Dena Miller (File photo)

Equest rider Hillary with Dena Miller (File photo)

If you’ve got your heart set on checking out the Equest‘s newest digs for horses to help vets and  children and adults with challenges, then you can always beg, plead and/or write a nice fat check. Who knows? It just might work.

Kids And Artists To Party Hardy At The Nasher Sculpture Center’s Third Great Create

There are times when it seems like absolutely all events are grown-up oriented. Thank heaven, that isn’t the case. Need proof? The Nasher Sculpture Center’s got it. One of the most joyous, beautiful and fun occasions is so focused at kids that adults go into envy mode. It’s The Great Create.

The Great Create (File photo)

The Great Create (File photo)

Held in the grounds of the Nasher Sculpture Center, munchkins and area arts interact and create great pieces of art of all kinds. Oh, so that’s why it’s called The Great Create!

The Great Create (File photo)

The Great Create (File photo)

This year’s co-chairs Courtney and Jeff Sinelli and Meredith Land Moore and Xan Moore along with their children Story Sinelli and Sky Sinelli and McCall Moore and Alexander Moore have arranged for such artists as Tony Tasset, Liz Glynn, Jason Middlebrook, Micah Yarborough, Margaret Meehan, Francisco Moreno, Kristen Cochran, Rick Lowe, Allison V. Smith and Color Condition.

The fun will take place on Sunday, April 26, from 1 until 4 p.m. with the dress being casual, colorful and cool.

The Great Create (File photo)

The Great Create (File photo)

In addition to bringing out the creative talents in the little ones, there’s entertainment, food and the garden with its fabulous pieces of artwork.

Proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships will benefit the Nasher’s “providing outstanding youth education programs throughout the year.”

Mothers May Collide Today

Today is Earth Day when the world comes together to celebrate Mother Earth and the bounty she provides with her natural resources.

Unfortunately, another mom (aka Mother Nature) is threatening to be a spoiler this late afternoon and evening. Evidently she just may bring along her naughty children — rain, hail and tornadoes.

So, check your weather predictors on how things are developing. If you haven’t got a weather app on your smartphone, this might be the perfect day to get one.

To quote an old friend from the Hill, “Let’s be careful out there.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: Art Ball 50 Patron Party

Thomas  and Nasiba Hartland-Mackie and Ann and Lee Hobson

Thomas and Nasiba Hartland-Mackie and Ann and Lee Hobson

Once again it paid to upgrade. The Art Ball 50 patron party at Nasiba and Thomas Hartland-Mackie’s proved that. Even old timers who had been to the WOW! Mansion were amazed how the twosome had dressed the place up with ceiling covered in silver balloons, a Fort Five Ten sneak preview shop and DMA spelled out in silver fronting the cabana.

DMA in front of the cabana

DMA in front of the cabana

Whew! While the write-up is being prepped check out the photos of the beautiful people and their surroundings at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

The Trinity Trust Rat Pack And River Rats Partied At The Dump Top

Mary McDermott Cook was tan. Had she been spending a couple of sessions at a tanning salon? Nope. She had been in Hawaii before hosting The Trinity Trust Rat Pack and River Rats at her Dump Top home.

Mary McDermott Cook, Mike and Mary Silverman

Mary McDermott Cook, Mike and Mary Silverman

With perfect views of the Margaret Hunt Hill, Continental Bridge and the under-construction Margaret McDermott Bridge, the evening of April 8th was perfect before the predicted storms approached.

Shirley and Bill McIntyre

Shirley and Bill McIntyre

And what better group than the 130 or so guests who were championing the efforts for The Trinity Trust like Carol and Don Glendenning, Sara and David Martineau, Shirley and Bill McIntyre, Lynn and Allan McBee and Mary and Mike Silverman! Trinity Trust Executive Director Gail Thomas was at the front door introducing daughter Electra to friends. Mary explained the piece of art that was placed in the grassy island in front of her home.

River Rat/Rat Pack wrangler Tierney Kaufman, who just recently got engaged to boyfriend Jared Hutchins, revealed they plan on a destination wedding in Mexico this fall.

Dwell With Dignity’s One-And-Only 2015 Thrift Studio Kicks Off This Week With Loads Of Goodies And A Preview Party

Good news and disappointing news. Dwell With Dignity has held its Thrift Studio fundraiser twice each year, where those generous interior designers and furniture types have donated merchandise for sale.

Thrift Studio preview (File photo)

Thrift Studio preview (File photo)

Talk about finds and bargains.

This year’s on and only Thrift Studio starts officially Friday, April 24, and continues through Saturday, May 23, at Dallas Design Center, with interior designer John Phifer Marrs serving as honorary chair and buddies Jennifer Karol and Merry Vose co-chairing the host committee.

John Phifer Marrs (File photo)

John Phifer Marrs (File photo)

Merry Vose and Jennifer Karol (File photo)

Merry Vose and Jennifer Karol (File photo)

 

Now, the disappointing news. Organizers have decided to have just one Thrift Studio this year. But let’s have a half-full glass attitude — it means one-stop-shopping to benefit Dwell With Dignity.

Remember patronage has its advantages. Upgrading to patron levels means attending the preview party on Thursday, April 23, and first dibs on the goodies.

Round Robin April 7: The Billiard Ball Patron Party, KidneyTexas Luncheon And John Wayne Film Festival Reveals

While Warren Buffett was talking with folks in The Colony for a sneak peek of the new Nebraska Furniture Mart benefiting the Cancer Support Community North Texas, other fundraisers were taking place elsewhere on Tuesday, April 7, including:

KidneyTexas Reveal

It’s the dread of every hostess. That’s what KidneyTexas‘ “The Runway Report Luncheon” Co-Chair Donna Arp Weitzman feared. Earlier in the day, she told her caterer that 10 people had RSVP-ed. By afternoon the number had jumped up to 20, then by the time the valet parkers had appeared, the number had risen to past 30.

Donna Arp Weitzman and Therese Rourk

Donna Arp Weitzman and Therese Rourk

While old-timers admitted that most folks don’t RSVP until the last minute, one scarred vet harrumphed, “If they RSVP at all.”

But sure enough they came. Adorable Isabell Haggar and sis-in-law Rosemary Haggar Vaughn arrived together. Hostess Donna told them of her first job as a teenager was as a seam buster.

Just halfway through the party plans for the Kidney Texas luncheon and fashion show were announced. It will be Brook Hollow on Tuesday, September 23, under the direction of Jan Strimple with WFAA Ron Corning serving as emcee.

As for the clothes, they’ll be provided by Carla Martinengo, Lublu, St. John at Highland Park Village, Tootsies and Vintage Martini.

In addition to Robin and Norm Bagwell serving as the honorary co-chairs, there will a new twist this year for the honorees. According to Kidney Texas President Therese Rourk, the area hospitals and media teams will be honored including Dr. Michel Baum, Children’s Health; Dr. Jim Brugarolas, UT Southwestern Medical Center; Richard Dickerman, M.D., F.A.C.S., Surgical Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant, General and Vascular Surgery The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas; Rabbi William Gershon, Shearith Israel; Goran Klintmalm, MD, PhD, Chairman and Chief, Baylor Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute; Dr. Mark Lerman, Medical City Dallas; and Dr. Henry Quinones, Parkland Health & Hospital System.

The luncheon will benefit Parkland Health & Hospital Foundation, Children’s Medical Center Foundation, National Kidney Foundation Camp Reynal and UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The Billiard Ball Patron Party

Rachel Trowbridge is trying to hold off on delivering the Trowbridges’ newest kiddo until after the April 18thBilliard Ball” fundraiser at the Ritz-Carlton for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas. But on this evening she appeared to have everything under control at Gail and Dan Cook’s ultra-contemporary home.

While B&GCGD clients (aka kids) and guests took full advantage of the perfect weather by dining poolside, others ventured downstairs into the museum and adjoining workroom. The museum is an amazing collection of 400 antique dolls in glass cases. Gail explained the reason for the dolls being in the windowless room is so that sunlight does not damage their delicate outfits. Over the years, Gail has collected the 100-year-old and older dolls in various stages of conditions. Meticulously, she has “dolled” them up using the finest fabrics in keeping with their eras and accessories.

Gail Cook doll

Gail Cook doll

Gail Cook doll

Gail Cook doll

Gail Cook doll

Gail Cook doll

Gail Cook dolls

Gail Cook dolls

Gail Cook doll

Gail Cook doll

Gail smiled recalling that as a girl, she hadn’t been interested in dolls, since she had a slew of brothers. Then when her daughter said she wanted a doll more than 30 years ago, that request opened a whole world and vocation for Gail, who has gained the reputation as an outstanding expert and judge for the United Federation of Doll Clubs. Her collection has been the subject of the book, “In Perspective The Gail Cook Collection.”

Dan Cook

Dan Cook

On the other hand, Dan held court with Carole and Scott Murray, Carol Seay, Susan Stanzel, Don Glendenning and Ball Co-Chairs Barbara and Steve Durham.

Across the living room, Jeff Rich told how he and wife Jan Miller would be hosting a discussion with Dr. Michael D. Lairmore, the dean of the University of California at Davis veterinary school. They had developed the relationship when their beloved beagle “Schumacher’s” sister was in desperate need of dialysis, which UCD offered. Jan was so impressed with the school that she is on the board.

John Wayne Announcement Party

The big question at the gathering of John Wayne fans was “Where is the Mockingbird Room?” That’s where the kick-off plans were to take place in Highland Park Village. When they realized that it was the gathering room in the HP Village Management Office, it made perfect sense. After all, it overlooks Mockingbird Lane.

Steve and Linda Ivy, Patrick Wayne and Patti and Blaine Nelson

Steve and Linda Ivy, Patrick Wayne and Patti and Blaine Nelson

And it was just the right size for the posse that included Leslie Light, Hayley Hamilton Cogill and Gary Cogill, Holly Reed, Carter Malouf, Holly and Doug Deason, Linda and Steve Ivy, Patti and Blaine Nelson, Anne and Steve Stodghill, Leslie Ann Crozier, Piper Wyatt, Holly and Stubbs Davis, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Debra Nelson and Tiffany and Paul Divis.

Leslie Light

Leslie Light

Randall Goss

Randall Goss

The big draw was the announcement of plans for the 2015 John Wayne Film Festival that’s being co-chaired by Kara and Randall Goss. The twosome revealed that it will be held from Thursday, September 24 – Sunday, September 27 at HP Village Theater and Look Cinemas benefiting the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

Paul Divis, Anita Swift and Chris Divis

Paul Divis, Anita Swift and Chris Divis

Joining the local were the Wayne kin including the Duke’s sons Ethan Wayne and  Patrick Wayne, daughter Marisa Wayne and grandchildren Anita Swift and 7-year-old Duke Ditteaux.

Ethan Wayne

Ethan Wayne

Marisa Wayne and Duke Ditteaux

Marisa Wayne and Duke Ditteaux

According to Anita, “Texas is the place for John Wayne, so it’s the perfect place to have a John Wayne film festival.”

She added that Pat Green may just play again this year and there also may be a free outdoor screening of movies at Klyde Warren Park.

SOLD OUT ALERT: Great Big Jam

Let’s start the week off with good news. This Saturday’s ChildCareGroup’s very first ever Great Big Jam is sold out! What? You didn’t know about it? What’s it about? No, it’s not a get together to make preserves.

Great Big Jam*

Great Big Jam*

It’s kid-oriented at the Dallas Country Club from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. with activities and crafts. Ah, but the real emphasis is going to be on literacy. To do that, Great Big Jam Co-Chairs Elizabeth Malone, Leigh Mundinger and Winifred Mundinger have arranged to have New York Times best-selling author Eric Litwin entertain the children. Eric not only wrote “Pete the Cat” but also the new musical series, “The Nuts.”

According to Leigh, “We are so excited about the overwhelming response to the first-ever Great Big Jam. There are very few fundraising events in Dallas where children can get involved and engaged in philanthropy. We are thrilled that the Great Big Jam provides that opportunity, in a fun, family event.”

In addition to wearing their fav PJ’s, munchkin guests “are asked to bring new pajamas to donate to the children served by ChildCareGroup.

While he’s in town, Eric will also perform for the youngsters and families at ChildCareGroup’s MLK Center. And Half Price Books is donating books for the children at MLK.

* Graphic provided by ChildCareGroup

Celebrating Women Luncheon Letter Signing Filled Robyn’s Nest

While the honeybees were checking out the wisteria and flowers blooming all over town, gals were heading to Robyn Conlon’s home sweet home the morning of Tuesday, April 7. No, it wasn’t for Crystal Charity Ball. It was for 2015 Celebrating Women Luncheon.

As Robyn was eating a Jenny Craig omelet (claims she gained a pound during her CCB tenure) with her trusty McDonald’s Diet Coke, hands were personalizing letters for the fundraiser to battle breast cancer at Baylor Health Care System.

This year’s luncheon on Thursday, October 15, at the Anatole will featured breast cancer survivor/former “Good Morning America” co-host Joan Lunden.

But on this day Chair Nancy Carter was the main draw. She’s earned so many points by helping others that, of course, folks were going to pitch in.

Barbara Stuart, Melissa Macatee and Pat McEvoy

Barbara Stuart, Melissa Macatee and Pat McEvoy

Letter signing is a bit like a quilting bee. It brings people together for a purpose. In this case, it separates a typical form letter from one that is personalized with a note from a friend. And for this luncheon, it means each signer must go through hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of letters.

Vinnie Reuben

Vinnie Reuben

Debbie Oates

Debbie Oates

Lindalyn Adams

Lindalyn Adams

In the dining room, Lindalyn Adams, Pat McEvoy, Barbara Stuart, Melissa Macatee, Kristina Whitcomb, Vinnie Reuben, Debbie Oates and Tiffany Divis chatted and signed letters. In the breakfast nook, it was Di Johnston and Pam Busbee.

Just as the clock ticked toward noon, Underwriting Co-Chair Beth Layton brought in lunch. No, it was not a catered affair a la Al’s or Cafe Pacific. Think egg salad, pimento cheese, chicken salad and ham-and-cheese sandwiches with chips.

Lunch

Lunch

Check your mailboxes in the days ahead. If the letter isn’t there pretty soon, then let the Baylor team know. They’ll get it to you ASAP.

Community Partners Of Dallas Team Announces Date And Co-Chairs For 2015 Stiletto Strut

After taking the year off and cooling their heels, the Stiletto Strutters are returning this fall! The ladies will be doing the walk once again around Neiman Marcus Downtown’s home block fueled by the bubbly energy drinks.

Stiletto Strut (File photo)

Stiletto Strut (File photo)

 

As reported earlier, this year’s beneficiary is Community Partners of Dallas.

Here are the deets. It’s gonna be on Thursday, October 15. Whoa! That’s gonna be a very busy day, but aren’t they all? However, this one is gonna have folks hitting the Celebrating Women Luncheon at the Anatole for lunch, taking a nap and then heading to NMD to walk.

Paige McDaniel and Joanna Clarke (File photo)

Paige McDaniel and Joanna Clarke (File photo)

CPD-ers Paige McDaniel and Joanna Clarke have arranged to have the HuffinesHolly and Haley — co-chair the event with Honorary Co-chairs Sydney Huffines and Patty Huffines.

So, start thinking about which pair shoes will be hitting the streets with you and schedule your pedicure now if you’re gonna go open toed.

2015 Côtes Du Coeur Patrons Sip The Product Of The Grape At “The Beck House”

Naomi Aberly and Larry Lebowitz opened their fabulous estate (aka The Beck House) on Thursday, April 2, for the 2015 Côtes du Coeur patron party, and what a turnout it was. With Baylor Scott & White doctors, retailing arbiters like Shelle Sills and Jeff Byron and movers-and-shakers like Nikki and Crayton Webb, it was a real mix of smart and fashionable types before fundraising efforts went quiet for the holiday weekend.

Jeff Byron and Shelle and Michael Sills

Jeff Byron and Shelle and Michael Sills

For some who had been to the mansion back in the day when Patty and Henry Beck were the homeowners, they were surprised to see how the main house had been updated and expanded. The water features were fabulous/

Matt McAllister

Matt McAllister

Typical of most parties, the kitchen turned into the gathering spot with Matt McAllister and Omar Flores cooking up a storm. While the chefs were preparing food, the talk included Mary Kay’s Crayton Webb back in town and Nikki swearing she was going to stay true to saying, “No” for volunteering…except for Cattle Baron’s…Shelle and Michael Sills were headed to a birthday party…Jana and Mike Brosin reported that they’ll be heading up Dallas CASA’s Champion of Children Award Dinner on Wednesday, October 14, at the Fairmont.

Kate Rose Marquez and Gillian Breidenbach

Kate Rose Marquez and Gillian Breidenbach

Mike and Jana Brosin

Mike and Jana Brosin

But before everyone toddled off, Côtes du Coeur Chair Kate Rose Marquez took her place on the winding stairway and addressed the group (Nancy Gopez, Jennifer Sampson and Côtes du Coeur Gala Chair Kristen Sanger), introducing sponsor Merrill Lynch’s Gillian Breidenbach. Then Kate Rose told of the developments that took place resulting in her personal battle against heart disease. Despite having a healthy heart, her episode with strep throat ended up with entering the world of heart disease and the threat that she would never have children. Thanks to research and technologies, she was able to have three healthy kids, but she and her medical team still carefully monitor her heart.

She then introduced Baylor Scott & White cardiologists, who told of the amazing promises that were in the future for those battling heart disease.

JUST IN: Lyda Hill Receives Association Of Junior Leagues International’s Mary Harriman Community Leadership Award

When it rains, it pours. No, this post isn’t about the weather. It’s about Lyda Hill. Back on Thursday, April 2, she received the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from the Cary Maguire Center of Ethics. Today she just received the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc.’s 2015 Mary Harriman Community Leadership Award.

Lyda Hill*

Lyda Hill*

Considered “the most prestigious award given by the League each year,” it is present to “an esteemed woman who embodies the same sense of social responsibility and volunteerism as the Junior League founder herself Mary Harriman.”

Past recipients have included former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, former Texas Senator Florence Shapiro, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support CEO Jan Langbein and community volunteer and philanthropist Ruth Altshuler.

According to Junior League of Dallas President Julie Bagley, “We could not think of a more deserving recipient of this award than Lyda Hill, knowing the purpose is to honor those who are committed to life-long philanthropic efforts in the community. Her incredible and successful efforts to fund medical, scientific and educational communities in Dallas are unparalleled. It is an absolute privilege to have her as a member of the Junior League of Dallas, and it is only fitting for her to receive such a high honor.”

Among just a smidgen of her accomplishments are her chairing or serving as president of “many charities including: Crystal Charity Ball, the Dallas and Texas chapters of the American Heart Association, the Visiting Nurse Association, the Dallas Easter Seal Society and the Women’s Texas Golf Association.

“In 2011, the JLD presented Hill with its Lifetime Achievement Award, which is given every five years to recognize an outstanding sustaining member, at the Leagues’ 90th Anniversary Celebration Luncheon. She was the fourth recipient to receive the award, joining Ruth Sharp Altshuler, Lindalyn Adams and Linda Pitts Custard, who were previous recipients of this prestigious award.”

* Photo provided by the Junior League of Dallas

JUST IN: 2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Leadership And Plans Revealed

Plans are already being announced for the fall season. Yahoo! Here is the one that traditionally kicks off the black-tie lineup — the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala. Word just arrived that the date will be Saturday, September 26. Yes, it will be at the Meyerson.

Coley and Jennifer Clark

Coley and Jennifer Clark (File photo)

Key and Katherine Coker (File photo)

Key and Katherine Coker (File photo)

But here is the surprise: it’s not going to be chaired by a couple. Nope. It’s going to two couples! 2012 Gala Co-Chairs Jennifer and Coley Clark are returning to the helm to join Gala Co-Chairs Katherine and Key Coker. These four people exemplify formal galas to the letter. They’re gorgeous, have incredible taste and excel in being gracious. They’re also fun to be with.

As for the onstage talent, it will be Maestro Jaap van Zweden and violin virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman. What a combination they’ll make.

Tickets for the full complement of the evening’s activities (cocktail reception, dinner, concert and after party) start at $1250 per person. If your budget is really tight, then a ticket for just the concert and after party is $99.

AIA Dallas Celebrates And Honors Architectural Accomplishments By Individuals And Companies At Klyde Warren Park

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher*

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher*

While the Crystal Charity Ball committee was handing out checks at Communities Foundation of Texas, AIA Dallas was presenting awards to various individuals and corporations including James Clutts, Trammell S. Crow and Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger at Klyde Warren Park for the Fourth Annual Celebrate Architecture. Here’s a report from the field:

Klyde Warren Park and downtown Dallas’ stunning skyline served as the backdrop for AIA Dallas’ fourth annual Celebrate Architecture last Thursday. At the event, AIA Dallas honored 19 architects, firms, community champions and distinguished works set to receive local, state and national awards.

Bob Bullis, Mary Clutts, Walt Humann, James Clutts and Jan Blackmon*

Bob Bullis, Mary Clutts, Walt Humann, James Clutts and Jan Blackmon*

The keynote speaker was Walt Humann, who last year was awarded the AIA National Honorary Membership, one of the highest honors the American Institute of Architects bestows. Among his many accomplishments, Humann is heralded across Dallas for creating the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system, helping desegregate Dallas schools and developing Jubilee Park. His remarks were centered on the role architects can play in not just solving infrastructure problems but Dallas’ human problems.

Humann closed his remarks with, “Take the unique training and skills you have to help solve problems in a thoughtful, long term way. Get involved and stay involved. It will make a big difference in your life and in the lives of others.”

* Photo credit: WJNPhoto

Dallas International Film Festival Celebrates The Toga Party King And Blues Bro John Landis With A Dallas Star Award

There was a giggling, laughing and major league chortling from Queenie’s ultra-private complex. The elves were perplexed. She usually only guffaws when a country falls or when a face lift rises. But, no!

Upon entering her extremely secured media room, Elder Elf asked what was so amusing to her ladyship. With a box of double-butter popcorn box in one hand and another hand smearing her mouth of the chocolate mousse that she had just devoured, Queenie hung her head. She admitted a shortcoming in her film snobbery.

“I love National Lampoons ‘Animal House.’ I subbed in for Mrs. Wormer, but they said I was too classy to play the role.“

John Landis*

John Landis*

If you have seen director John Landis and his “National Lampoon” debacle, then head over to The Highland because tonight John is gonna be there to accept the Dallas Film Festival International’s Dallas Star Award. Toga party!!!

If you can’t make it, then hustle over to the Dallas Museum of Art on Saturday for a Conversation with John at 2:30.

* Photo courtesy of Dallas International Film Festival

Cindy And Bill Ward Provide A $25,000 Match Offer To Raise Funds For Klyde Warren Park

Klyde Warren Park seems to be the busiest place in Dallas. Morning, noon and night people, kids and pooches are enjoying Dallas’ latest and only over-the-freeway park. While it’s free for the walking, it still depends on money to maintain and improve it. That’s why the “i heart park” campaign was created.

Klyde Warren Park*

Klyde Warren Park*

The goal is to raise $50,000 by Friday, May 15. To help accomplish….and maybe even surpass this goal… Cindy and Bill Ward have issued a $25,000 matching challenge. For every dollar donated, the Wards will match it.

According to Cindy, “Klyde Warren Park has created new life and energy for our city, and it’s now time for us – the community – to give back. Bill and I have believed in this park from the beginning, and we are excited to see the community continue to come together to support our new town square through ‘i heart the park.’”

Just think. With the $25,000 already raised, this matching challenge just could result in $75,000 being provided. But remember. The deadline is May 15. So, skip that second cup of java and donate. Every penny donated ends up being two pennies going to award-winning Klyde Warren Park.

* Photo credit: Thomas McConnell