Crystal Charity’s Ten Best Dressed Announced Plus Hall Of Famer Elaine Agather And Honorary Chair Annette Simmons

Lee Ann White, Nancy Rogers, Pat McEvoy, Ellen Winspear, Kim Miller, Pam Perella, Elaine Agather, Annette Simmons, Tricia Besing, Claire Emanuelson, Robyn Conlon and Nancy Carter

This morning Crystal Charity’s 2011 Ten Best Dressed list was announced including Tricia Besing, Nancy Carter, Robyn Conlon, Claire Emanuelson, Kim Miller, Pat McEvoy, Pam Perella, Nancy Rogers, Lee Ann White and Ellen Winspear.

The 11th member of the group was Elaine Agather, who was named to the Hall of Fame.

Aileen Pratt

Fashion show/luncheon chair Aileen Pratt told the assembled group in the couture salon of Neiman Marcus Downtown that Annette Simmons would be the honorary chair of the September 8th presentation at NMD.  Especially interesting because it’s only the third time in the luncheon’s history to have an honorary chair.

(Yes, of course, you want to know who were the two previous honorary chairs — the late Margaret Hill in 1997 and Nancy Dedman in 2009.)

Adding to the excitement of today’s event was the news from NMD’s VP/GM Shelle Sills that Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli would be attending the September 8th show/luncheon.

Word has it that the best-dressed ladies were busy checking out the Valentino collection Monday and having a jolly good time. Rightly so! As Shelle put described the results of the Valentino deign team are simply, “Perfection!”

Rummage Roundup Lassos Shoppers And Designer-Name Items

The Junior League of Dallas’s Rummage Roundup (formerly known as Trinkets and Treasures) kicked off the weekend sale-a-thon at Dallas Market Hall Friday night with a VIP party. Benefiting the Junior League of Dallas Community Service Fund, the booty took up 14,000 square feet of space and included $100,000 of donated goods. For the 175 who attended the Friday night special, it was an estate sale on steroids at much lighter prices.

Amy Bezdek and Kirby Stuart

According to event Rummage Roundup Chair Kirby Stuart, “It’s a mini-Neiman Marcus. We’re kind of making history. We want to change the stature of fundraising events.”

Operations chair Amy Bezdek looked over the assembled merchandise that included such names as Tory Burch, Escada, etc.

Their goal was to hit $15,000 by Sunday night’s close. Surprise! Rumor has it that the JLD provisionals hit the $14,000 mark by Saturday and the cupboards were starting to look sparse. The plan called for anything that didn’t sell would go to Genesis Women’s Shelter. Didn’t appear much was going to find its way to Genesis.

Photo credit: Glenn Hunter

USA Film Festival’s Malcolm McDowell Isn’t Intimidating. . . Really

Malcolm McDowell

This weekend Malcolm McDowell was a two-for-one. Not only was he in town for the USA Film Festival‘s showing of Pound of Flesh, he was also here for the 40th anniversary of A Clockwork Orange at Texas Frightmare Weekend.

Friday night Malcolm squeezed in a stop at Regen and Jeff Fearon‘s sleek contemporary home where he proved that his intimidating on-screen image was indeed an act. When asked if he really was “scary” as Dallas Morning News film critic Chris Vognar reported Wednesday, Malcolm shook his head in disagreement. But he added “I’ll take it. It’s good acting, isn’t it? I think my wife is more scary than I am.”

Standing in front of a David Bates painting in the Fearons’ home, Malcolm was joined by his old golf buddy Mickey Stuart, who recalled his first meeting with Malcolm. It was at Fort Worth Brent Hyder‘s villa in San Miguel, Mexico. According to Brent, Malcolm didn’t like golf until one day the actor was on set and his character was called upon to make a golf shot. He complied and sank it perfectly. He’s been a duffer ever since.

Photo credit: Glenn Hunter

Tina Brown Postpones Tonight’s Tate Lecture Series

Daily Campus editor-in-chief Taylor Adams just notified MySweetCharity that The Daily Beast’s Tina Brown has pulled out of tonight’s Tate Lecture Series due to the developing bin Laden story.

Never fear! Tina will appear at a date TBA. So hold on to those tickets because they’ll be honored at the rescheduled date.

Boy, will Tina have stories to tell then!

Junior League of Dallas To Present Lyda Hill With Lifetime Achievement Award And Announces 50th Anniversary Gala Plans Announced

Leigh Anne Haugh and Susan Wells

The Junior Leaguers of Dallas have been busy, busy, busy. Not yet officially president of JLD, incoming president Susan Wells and ball chair Elizabeth Gambrell were just full of news this morning at JLD headquarters.

Linda Custard and Lyda Hill

First on the agenda was the announcement of the upcoming Lifetime Achievement Award, that is given out once every five years. Previous recipients have included Ruth Altshuler, Lindalyn Adams and Linda Custard. While Ruth was suffering from bronchitis and Lindalyn was recovering from back surgery, Linda was there to support the newest member of the elite group — Lyda Hill.

In acknowledging the honor, Lyda emphasized her commitment to philanthropy telling the group that she was going to give all her money away in her lifetime with the “last check bouncing.”

Lyda also attributed much of her education to the JLD. She recalled how when she graduated from the University of Texas Hollins College, her mother had her sign up for the garden club and JLD. Lyda admitted that the “garden club” just didn’t take, but JLD was instrumental in her involvement in philanthropy.

Elizabeth Gambrell

Then Elizabeth revealed upcoming JLD plans. The luncheon at which Lyda will officially receive her award will be Tuesday, November 15, at Brook Hollow Golf Club.

Regarding the 50th anniversary of JLD’s annual ball, it will be held Saturday, February 25, at the Hilton Anatole. Upon announcing the theme, “A Night at the Peacock Terrace,” Elizabeth separated the generations. She told of the days back in the 1920’s when the chic gathered at the Peacock Terrace on the top floor of the long-gone Baker Hotel. The younger members seemed fascinated about the legendary hotel where AT&T now calls home base. Older members of the audience, who regarded the Baker as part of their “recent past,” felt a twinge of nostalgia and chuckled.

Kenny And Neil Goldberg Accept The 18th Annual Spirit Of The Centennial Award With Fireworks

Bob Goldberg

When you assemble the Bob Goldberg family (Kenny, Neil, Lindsay, Richard and Chad to name a few), it’s hard to upstage them. But that’s exactly what happened Thursday at the 18th Annual Spirit of the Centennial luncheon. With the marvelous Fair Park fountain in the background, guests at the Music Hall listened to former Spirit of Centennial recipient John Scovell do roasting roasting as he presented the 2011 award to the Goldbergs’ Gold Metal Recyclers.

(FYI: Founded in 1976, Gold Metal Recyclers was established by brothers Kenny and Neil Goldberg with only three employees. Today it is the largest, privately-owned metals recycling organizations in the country.)

First John did a little self jabbing. He claimed that Kenny had asked him to bring  his “B speech.” John was taken back. He had no such B speech in his repertoire. Kenny said, “Sure you do — ‘Be kind, be brief, be gone.'”

Kenny Goldberg

Then John turned his sites on the Friends of Fair Park, who are responsible for the luncheon. He recalled the great days of the Cotton Bowl when his father, the late Field Scovell headed up the Cotton Bowl Association. Then John added that now it was a “Texas-sized dog bowl!”

In accepting the award, Kenny recalled the days when he was a kid and his family would sit in the Cotton Bowl’s “cheap seats” on the grassy area behind the goal posts.

He also revealed that Friends of Fair Park president Craig Holcomb was very savvy in his negotiation skills. In discussing the last-minute funding for the 2010 4th of July fireworks, Kenny called Craig to confirm the final details of Gold Metal Recyclers’ making it happen. Without missing a beat, Craig responded, “That’s good — we just announced your gift at a news conference!”

Neil Goldberg

BTW, Kenny’s brother Neil had the final memorable words of the day. He announced that Gold Metal Recyclers would once again sponsor this year’s fireworks for Fair Park Fourth on Monday, July 4.

Attaway, Goldbergs!

2010-2011 Associate Leadership Council Cuts Ribbon At Promise House

Promise House expansion ribbon cutting

Thursday the 2010-2011 Associate Leadership Council of The Real Estate Council celebrated. As part of their leadership training program, the 29 young men and women selected Promise House as their leadership, philanthropy and fundraising project. Using 2,000 volunteer hours, they renovated and expanded the second floor  storage area into a multi-purpose room by project planning, moving, painting, carpeting, construction, site clean-up and landscaping. Valued at more than $100,000 including financial and in-kind donations of materials and services, it was a massive undertaking. Yet when they had gotten that completed, they tackled other an exterior R&R area.

Just to prove that they kept their eyes on the ledgers, the ALC leaders announced that they came under budget and were returning $10,000 to Promise House that had been committed by the PH. Elation filled the room.

Delia Jasso

In setting up the room for the press conference, Promise House facilities manager Randy Lewis admitted that he should have set up more chairs as he

Meredith Small

viewed the crowded room including City Councilperson Delia Jasso, ALC Class Chair Michael Krywucki, TREC Government Affairs Chair Manny Ybarra, Promise House VP Judy Wright and ALC members Brack Bryant, Meredith Small and Chris McNeer.

If you are new to Promise House, just ask any of the TREC ALC team. They’ll tell you how not only did they physically get involved with the facility’s improvement, they also emotionally learned of how needed the efforts of Promise House are.

David Yurman Buckles Up For Cattle Baron’s Ladies

There was a lot of show and swell Wednesday night at David Yurman‘s in NorthPark. But then that’s typical when one is entertaining the ladies of Cattle Baron’s. It wasn’t enough that Yurman  was launching their new fragrances  that you can pair or wear individually or that a percentage of the proceeds from the shop-til-you-drop night went to CBB.

Cattle Baron's buckle by David Yurman

No! In a glassed case the guests discovered a belt buckle custom-made  by David for the CBB

Cattle Baron's buckle by David Yurman

auction. On one side was sterling silver and turquoise and on the other was signed by David with the date of the 2011 CBB.

David Yurman ring

Since they couldn’t take the buckle home, the gals opted for jewelry. Well, duh! The most popular items were rings, rings, rings in all flavors — onyx, lavender, etc.

“Frasier’s” Niles And Cary Grant/Dyan Cannon’s Daughter Partied At The Stodghills For USA Film Festival

Hopefully, Anne and Steve Stodghill‘s neighbors have gotten over the mammoth traffic jam created Wednesday by their USA Film Festival opening-night, after-movie party. The block-long backup of cars was so great that the chief valet wrangler walked the line telling folks “turn your car off and leave the keys in the ignition.”

But once inside the Stodghills’ home, it was well-worth the vehicular situation. Yes, it was indeed crowded, but Anne just smiled and said she could have gotten 50 more people in.

Bobbie Wygant, David Hyde Pierce, Betty Bob Buckley

First of the VIP’s to arrived was David Hyde Pierce, who was three deep in admirers. Two of his favorites were Bobbie Wygant and Betty Bob Buckley, mother of actress/ singer Betty Buckley. It seems that the two gals had gotten to know David when he was rehearsing “Spamalot” with daughter Betty in New York.

When asked how he avoided being typecast as “Frasier’s” Niles Crane, he said that he intentionally stopped doing TV after that and headed to the New York theater for work. It was a conscious decision. Simply put: “The way I avoided it (typecasting) was, I stopped doing television.”

Ralph Randall and David Hyde Pierce

Local Ralph Randall told friends that while Frasier was on television, he was kidded for looking like Hyde Pierce.

Harry Hunsicker

Standing nearby with Allan McBee and Stubbs Davis, novelist Harry Hunsicker admitted that he’d missed the movies that night due to his father’s celebrating his 81st birthday, but he was looking forward to seeing the USA Film Festival’s “White Irish Drinkers” on Sunday.

Jennifer Grant, Steve and Anne Stodghill

Later in the evening the second VIP of the evening appeared — Jennifer Grant, the daughter of the late Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon. Word kept being passed throughout the crowd how much she looked like her mother. Somehow she was maneuvered into the kitchen, where people had her autograph her book, “Good Stuff, A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant.” Graciously, she handled each request.

When asked if having two such famous parents had been a curse or blessing, she seemed a little surprised and thought for a moment. Finally, Jennifer said, “I have to say, thankfully, that it’s been great. It’s been great.”

“Something Borrowed” Can Benefit Community Partners of Dallas Thanks To You And Central Market

Paige McDaniel and Emily Giffin

Remember how Emily Giffin was a hit at the Chick Lit luncheon benefiting Community Partners of Dallas?  She talked about the upcoming movie “Something Borrowed” starring Kate Hudson would be opening very soon. CPD’s Paige McDaniel put two and two together and came up with a private showing of the movie on Friday, May 6, at NorthPark AMC. Tickets are $11 and for every ticket purchased, Central Market will make a donation to CPD.

Here’s a thought — Take your favorite mom to the movie as an early Mother’s Day celebration. And since you’re feeling generous, splurge and buy a big box of popcorn.

JUST IN: Bill Lively Resigns

Bill Lively

Today the Dallas Symphony Orchestra issued a release announcing that Bill Lively resigned his position as president and CEO of the DSO due to health reasons.

According to the prepared statement, Bill said:

“Based on strong recommendations over the past few weeks from my physician, I have made this precautionary decision and will devote significant time this summer to rest and recuperation,” said Lively.

“I entered into this position with a full heart and intention to stay long-term as president, but it became quickly apparent that my health concerns would not allow me to fulfill these obligations,” he continued.  “It has been a privilege to work with Jaap van Zweden, the musicians, and the Dallas Symphony board and staff in the process of identifying and strategizing the immense opportunities this organization has in front of it.  I sincerely regret that I need to leave this role prematurely.”

Bill, who among other things, headed up the fundraising campaign for the AT&T Performing Arts Center and the North Texas Super Bowl Committee.

At this time no replacement has been named.

May Bill’s health issues be resolved very soon.

(The full release follows the jump.)

[Read more…]


Word has come to the MySweetCharity headquarters that a BIG announcement will be made this afternoon. If you are wearing a hat, make sure that you’re holding on to it. If you’re not wearing a hat, then you’ll just feel the earth shake a bit.

It’s really BIG news. Stay tuned.

JUST IN: Lynn McBee Named Dallas Film Society’s Chairman Of The Board of Directors

Lynn and Allan McBee

With the Dallas International Film Festival less than a month old, Lynn McBee has been named the new chairman of the board of directors for the Dallas Film Society. In addition to the Dallas Film Society, Lynn is also currently chairing The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ Tocqueville Society and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Opening Weekend Celebration.


“We are thrilled that Lynn is taking the lead as chairman of the board of directors at Dallas Film Society,” said Dallas Film Society President Tanya Foster. “Her love of film coupled with her vast volunteer and leadership background are exactly what we need to take our organization to the next level. There is no stone left unturned when it comes to working with Lynn. Her determination and willingness to succeed make her the ‘secret sauce’ to the Dallas Film Society.”

Lynn is also Chairman Emeritus and Life Member of the Board of Directors for the Visiting Nurse Association, Board Member, The Visiting Nurse Association Foundation, Board Member, The Trinity Trust, Board member, The Salvation Army, Immediate Past Chairman and Board member of TACA, UTD Center for Brain Health Board of Directors, Chi Omega Foundation National Board Trustee, Children’s Medical Center Foundation Trustee, The Chiapas Project Board of Directors, Dallas Historical Society Trustee, AT&T Performing Arts Center President’s Advisory Council, Dallas County Community College District Foundation  Board member, The Family Place Foundation, Vice Chairman of the Dallas Film Society Board, Community Partners of Dallas Advisory Board, Heroes for Children Advisory Board, Launchability Community Advisory Board, member of the Crystal Charity Ball, Sweetheart Ball, associate member of The Cattle Baron’s Ball, member of the Dallas Woman’s Club, Hesitation Club and the Junior Group of the Marianne Scruggs Garden Club.

She is a past President of the Junior League of Dallas, Chairman of the Cattle Baron’s Ball, Chairman of TACA, Junior League of Dallas Ball, TACA Silver Cup Awards Luncheon, Genesis Women’s Shelter Mother’s Day Luncheon, The Salvation Army Fall Luncheon, The Dallas Historical Society Awards for Excellence Luncheon, Community Partners of Dallas Chairman of the Board, The Family Place Partners Auxiliary Board President, Chairman of the Partners Card Fundraiser, and Chairman of the Chi Omega Christmas Market.  She is a graduate of Leadership Dallas and Legacy Dallas and was a 2006 finalist for the Texas Trailblazer Award.

This fall, she will be honored at the Presbyterian Foundation Luncheon with the “Each Moment Matters” Award.  She will also receive the 2011 “Real Women, Real Girls” Award from the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, and the 2012 “Partners for Children Award” from Community Partners of Dallas.

McBee is a seventh-generation Texan and is the great, great, great, great-granddaughter of Emily Austin, sister to Stephen F. Austin, The Father of Texas.  She is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry.  She has been employed as a consultant with New England Biolabs, a privately held Biotech firm, for 19 years.  Additionally, she is a principal in GenTest, Texas, exclusive distributor of OncoVue.

The one thing that Lynn doesn’t have is spare time.

United Way Hits The Jackpot With Women Of Tocqueville

Lynn McBee

While some gals were shopping to support nonprofits Wednesday night, Lynn McBee had the perfect excuse not to. She was hostessing a party for the Women of Tocqueville at her home. No, this group does not sample cucumber sandwiches or discuss the most exhilarating romantic novel.  These are top-notch, savvy women who define leadership in business and  philanthropy. Need names? Try Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Frito-Lay, Exxon Mobil Corporation, PepsiCo, JCPenney, Jones Day, Texas Instruments, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Locke Lord Bissell & Lidell and Baker Botts.

Their live-by-the-rule: “Give. Volunteer. Advocate.”

Debbie Taylor

Citi’s Debbie Taylor, who in 2007 realized that so many women were big givers, joined up with Ruth Altshuler to start the Women of Tocqueville. Starting with just 139 women, that number is now over 150 females.

The reason for Lynn’s having the party at her place was simple — she’s chairing the entire Tocqueville Campaign for 2011.

Just to be a member of the Tocqueville team, one contributes at least $10,000 a year. In 2010 there were 681 members of Tocqueville, an increase of 3% over the previous year.

Yes, we know your next question and got the MySweetCharity hand-crank calculator out. That means  this group of Tocques raised at least $6,810,000 alone to support United Way. Hard to believe! But we ran the numbers four times because it was so hard to believe.

With that past goal achieved, you just know that Ms. McBee is planning on topping that one. Let’s say a nice round number like $7 million. The MSC calculator is fired up to see how things add up.

BTW, they do more than count dollar signs. Seems they really got into the advocating part in the 2009 Legislative session, when a group of the women went to Austin to learn the fine art of lobbying, which they proceeded to do for a pre-school education program. It wound up passing the Legislature, but Gov. Perry vetoed the bill. They learned, you can never stop!


MySweetCharity Revolt — “My Nails Look Like They’ve Been Clawing Through Sandpaper”

MySweetCharity’s Queenie came back in a huff complaining about her nails being ragged and not having enough “quality time” to take care of her personal needs. The rest of the MSC minions looked at each other and then looked at the news reports about the tornadoes in Alabama and in the surrounding areas of Dallas. A slight revolt took place. Queenie was told that her attitude definitely needed adjustment or she would end up like a distant relative by the name of Marie Antoinette.

Lesson learned: Let’s be grateful that the small things are just that. . . small. Now let’s proceed with helping those with much, much bigger things than Queenie’s cuticle problems.

GROVEL ALERT: Genesis Family Shelter’s 18th Annual Mother’s Day Luncheon

Jan Langbein, Paige Wilbur, Ashlee Kleinert

It’s time to assume the groveling position, if you haven’t gotten your tickets for the 18th Annual Mother’s Day luncheon. Last night Genesis Women’s Shelter head-lady Jan Langbein alerted luncheon patrons gathered at Stacye and Mike McIntyre‘s home that the May 5 luncheon  at the Hilton Anatole was officially sold out. Co-chair Ashlee Kleinert smiled when Jan added that for a big enough check some seats just might be found.

Nancy Ann Hunt

Ashlee and her family have been long time supporters of Genesis and this year will be no different with three generations helping Ashlee in co-chair duties (Ashlee’s mother Nancy Ann Hunt, sister Heather Hunt and daughter Connie Kleinert).

As if that wasn’t enough, the team was delighted that this year’s event has more corporate sponsors than ever.

Tom Brokaw

What’s the big draw? Well, besides the event benefiting the Genesis Women’s Shelter, this year’s featured speaker is former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw. When last seen in these parts, Tom interviewed Bob Schieffer for the MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Living Legend luncheon.  Tom was terrific just sharing the stage with Bob, so you can only guess how great he’ll be doing a solo act. Be prepared to sit back and enjoy the lunch and Tom. . . that is, if you have your tickets.

Confession: MySweetCharity Has A Thing For Firemen

MySweetCharity admits to being prejudiced when it comes to firemen. They face daunting situations 365 days a year solely to help others. When asked, they are there ASAP.

So, if you see one on the corner today with a boot, give them a donation.

And you might want to add, “Thank you!”

Mad Hatter’s 2012 Leadership Picked

Barbara Daseke

The Dallas Arboretum’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is hardly a week old and, by golly, the newly-named

Carmaleta Whiteley

president and co-chairs are already setting up for spring 2012.  Sharon Ballew will be president with Barbara Daseke and Carmaleta Whiteley serving as co-chairs for the hatty fashion show/luncheon.

The Daseke-Whiteley teaming has been rumored for a few weeks, but was just confirmed yesterday.

Stephanie Anne’s 10-10-10 Sell-ebrates New Look While Benefiting Nonprofits

For old-time Parkies, the storefront at the southeast corner of HP Village was the site of Skillerns drugstore with its soda fountain where many tried their first chocolate soda and French fries. Well, now decades forward the spot where the Skillern’s cosmetics used to be sold is now Stephanie Anne, the jewelry boutique.

Stephanie Anne Burroughs

To debut her new line and the store’s “refreshed look,” Stephanie Anne owners Stephanie Anne and Anthony Burroughs came up with a clever way to draw the nonprofit supporters into the shop — 10-10-10.

No, that’s not the secret combination to the SA jewelry vault. The SA team selected 10 nonprofits that would receive 10% of every purchase made in the nonprofit’s name for two days for “10 times the fun.”

According to Anthony, “The organizations chosen were based on recommendations we received. There obviously are a lot of very worth causes but we tried to balance this as much as possible so we had organizations representing a range of issues – from the arts to children’s causes to healthcare to community programs, etc.”

Wednesday’s luncheon kicked off the project with all 10 profits being repped by a powerhouse group nonprofits show horses including Dallas Film Society/Dallas International Film Festival (Tanya Foster), Dallas Museum of Art (Julie Hawes), Dallas Summer Musicals (Mary Gill), Turtle Creek Manor (Nancy Gopez), Jewel Charity/Cooks Children’s Hospital (Olivia Kearney), Kids Come First Diamond Gala for Communities in Schools Dallas Region (Amy Turner), TACA (Ashley and Elizabeth Tripplehorn), The  Trinity Trust (Lynn McBee), Wipe Out Kids Cancer (Gina Betts) and Wish Auction/The Dallas Contemporary (Capera Ryan).

Sara Lee and Stan Gardner and Mary Gill

Later Wednesday evening Mary Gill was still upping the Dallas Summer Musical’s chances by having her troops including former DSM chairman Stan Gardner and his wife Sara Lee in to see the newly-revamped jewel box of a store and up the potential income for DSM. She evidently read the fine print that said an extra 5% would be given to the group that had the most purchases.

In another part of the shop Melanie Mills and Ellen

Ellen Harbison and Melanie Mills

Harbison were checking out the trinkets, while Paige Lane and Jennifer Metzger were deep in conversation.

Too bad the SA program isn’t a 10-10-10-10. What would have been the last 10? For the fundraiser to last 10 days, of course.

10-10-10 ends tonight, so shop-shop-shop.

Rummage Roundup Sale Cometh For Men, Too

Rummage Roundup

The Junior League of Dallas’ Rummage Roundup is this weekend at Market Hall with the VIP sneak preview Friday night. But you already knew that.

Someone sought information from MySweetCharity about the men’s opportunities. “Will there stuff for guys, too? Or, is it strictly for the ladies?”

Your question is MSC’s assignment. According to spokesperson Kelly White, “Yes, they have a huge men’s department. . . suits, lots of shoes and work attire.”

Anything else? If not, see you then and there.

A Tip Of The Hat And A Wink Of Mischief To The Maddest Hatters Of The Dallas Arboretum

Photo Gallery Alert: Additional photos are available for viewing MySweetCharity’s “Photo Gallery”

It’s a well-known fact that the late Frank Olive was literally “head man” when it came to women’s fashions. The designer of hats for stars and fashion houses was the mainstay of the millinery artform. According to Frank, who died in 1995, “I think that hats are an essential part of being a woman,” he told an interviewer in 1968. “I design hats for a woman who feels this. I want to help her discover herself.”

Steve Kemble, Dean Faulkner, Billy Fulmer, Shane Walker

Last Thursday hundreds of women discovered themselves as well as others in the sisterhood at the Dallas Arboretum’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Interestingly enough, this discovery was once again helped along courtesy of some designing men like Shane Walker, Todd Fiscus and Steve Kemble. More about that later.

Umbrellas and limousines

But before getting started, let’s set the stage. It was a gray, threatening day with dampness in the air. Oh, great! That translated into “Teflon-strength hairspray” for the hats’ hairdo foundations. And then what about the delicate hats surviving the potential drizzle. Not to worry. Valets with umbrellas allowed nary a drop to drip on the heads of those arriving.

Some guests had limousines and mega-SUV’s transport their entourage. Emerging from their vehicles, it was obvious the reason for the special carriage. Some of the hats were as big as a Smart Car.

Yvonne Crum and Jill Rowlett

Once within the walls of the Arboretum, the wet stuff seemed to disappear. But who would have noticed when being greeted by Jill “Tweedle Dee” Rowlett and honorary chair Yvonne “Tweedle” Crum, whose burlap look of last year was replaced with colorful “tweedle” outfits. The gals admitted the hardest part of their outfits was locating white tights.

Mad Hatter's table

Just beyond the greeting Tweedles was a fantasy table set up for the Mad Hatter, the white rabbit and the entire mad crew. Unlike the luncheon tables under the mammoth tent, the Mad Hatter’s table was out in the open and none the worse for it.

Photographing hats

Favorite game of the day was  guests checking each other out. After all this event requires more than dropping by MJDesigns and gluing a flower on a bonnet or digging out that ages-old hat from the attic. Nope. The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party has become a fierce but friendly undertaking creatively and financially.

Daniel Lewis, David Wren, Valerie Elizabeth, LeeAnne Locken and Lisa Garza

Pity the poor judges (Valerie Elizabeth, Lisa Garza, Daniel Lewis, LeeAnne Locken and David Wren), who scampered around trying to figure the winners of the day.

Susan Scully

Susan Scully, who won last year for best hat, once again took top honors as “Best of Show” by working with Atlanta designer Nicholas Kniel. Despite having never met, the two have got their program down perfectly. During the year, they exchange ideas and voila, the hat arrives. This year’s delivery was similar in color to her 2010 version, only scaled down dramatically. Instead of a 180-degree fan of deep-pink peacock feathers, it was an carefully designed anorexic gathering of feathers surrounding a red-hot cushioned heart. Susan admitted that last year’s was easier to wear, but , shoot, sometimes fashion demands a little pain, suffering and balancing.

Virginia Chandler Dykes

Speaking of feathers, Virginia Chandler Dykes, whose dazzling nest of white feathers, flowers and butterflies (no, not real ones!), was perhaps more subtle than others, but its beauty won her “Most Whimsical Hat.”

Faye Briggs and Carmaleta Whiteley

Some like Carmaleta “Most Botanical Hat” Whiteley and Barbara Daseke turned to local creative brain trust Todd Fiscus for their floral artworks. In Barbara’s case, it

Barbara Daseke

was too much of a good thing. There were so many flowers that the brim sometimes waylaid her view of the surroundings. On the other hand, Carmaleta  decided to make some last minute adjustments to her citrus-colored chapeau resulting in her winning one of the day’s awards.

Steve Kemble

But the ladies weren’t the only ones in the race for the roses. This year the gents decided to join in the fun and had a jolly romp. Steve “Most Outlandish Hat” Kemble had been a judge last year causing whiplash-damaged necks thanks to his hat — a Super Duper Bowl complex. This year he was back to compete with a “Kate in Wonderland” on his head complete with Kate Middleton, Prince William and Queen Elizabeth waving.

But giving Steve a run for his money was Shane Walker. Not only did Shane create some of the best looking hats at the event, he had a top topper, too. Among his clientele were —

  • Petite Faye Brigg‘s gray cocktail hat with inlaid rhinestone and topped off with white feathers and netting surprised no one when it was announced “Most Elegant Hat.”
  • D’Andra Simmons‘ gargantuan royal blue, purple and black hat with silk flowers and

    D'Andra Simmons

    bigger-than-life- feathers challenged many from closed encounters with her. She even managed to find a dress and pink shoes to fit the dramatic look.

  • Tanya Roberts‘s  “My Fair Lady” white showstopper thanks to feathers, flowers and gold

    Tanya Roberts

    highlights was positioned just right on her head, but pity the person who sat behind her at the fashion show.Earlier in the year, Tanya had won a Shane Walker creation for the Mad Hatter’s at an auction.

Shane Walker and Billy Fulmer

But that Shane was a smarty. He saved the very best for himself and his partner Billy Fulmer. After completing all this

Billy Fulmer hat details

commitment, he had burned the midnight oil to come up with two hats that set cell phone saluting from friends and wannabe’s. Their hats were mind-boggling in beauty and detail. While Billy’s featured a smiling green-and-yellow caterpillar encrusted with rhinestones happily settled among leafy greens, Shane’s had a white rabbit covered in

Shane Walker's hat details

rhinestones with his eyes focused on a clock just below a floral teapot. Shane and Billy tied for “Most True to Theme.”

When asked how much such a masterpiece would run retail, Shane replied a negotiable $3,000 depending on if you use rhinestones or the real things. That must be the going rate for over-the-top toppers because that was the same price that Steve Kemble quoted on his head-strong complex.

Barbara Bigham

But not everyone was out for awards and bankrolling a one-of-a-kind topper. Some of the girls just wanted to have fun. Barbara Bigham had the smallest fun with her itty-bitty Barbie top hat that was barely visible. . .  Chief judge Dee Wyly wore an invisible hat that was quite fetching according to those who saw it. . . Leigh Lombardi managed to wear an adorable rose

Leigh Lombardi

sundress that blended nicely with her pink sunhat topped with green flowers. . . . Jocelyn White and Dale Robinowitz decided red and wide brims were just right for the occasion.

Tootsies Mad Hatter

Then it was inside for the fashion show including everything from formal linen shorts to evening gowns from Tory Burch, Karen Millen, Betty Reiter, Anne Fontaine and Tootsies. Closing the show was a very formal Mad Hatter with the fuzziest ears, pocket watch at the neck and  mischievous look.


First Ladies Of North Texas Young Presidents’ Organization Discovered The Wonderful World Of Paula Froelich

Paula Froelich and Kimberly Whitman

Two years ago the first ladies of the North Texas Young Presidents’ Organization held their annual gathering at Wolfgang Puck’s Five Sixty restaurant. The entertainment was the Chanel show straight from the Russian runway.

Last year it was a private premier screening of “Sex and The City 2.”

This year the group went from fashionable  and naughty to a don’t-you-wish-you-were-there chat with Paula Froelich, the former deputy editor/columnist for the New York Post‘s Page Six, at Goss Michael Gallery last Wednesday.

While many of the spouses in the audience were executives and presidents in their own right, this night they were simply gal pals giggling about the TMZ types. Think grown up version of Girl Scout camp sitting around the campfire listening to tales of the famous and infamous.

Just to add a million-dollar touch of glitter to the British-art filled gallery, the Harry Winston team had jewels all over the place. But still the real gem was new BFF Froelich, whose buddy Kimberly Whitman got her to talk  with the group.

Christen Wilson and Paula Froelich

First thing Paula wanted to get straight was the definition of “gossip.” According to the gal who opened the can of worms about Rielle Hunter and John Edwards, gossip is simply “news that people don’t want to confirm yet.”

With that and a fabulous dinner from Kent Rathbun Catering on the table, the conversation was open to “anything goes” about the celebrities that used to fill Paula’s universe. Here are some comments about those shooting stars:

  • George Clooney — “Interesting dude. He has large hands and likes brunettes.”
  • Tom Cruise — “Will mesmerize you because he has two expressions.  (After talking with him), you realize that he hasn’t said anything that you care about.. . . Not gay but a narcissist.”
  • Talked about Cruise’s interviews with potential wives  including Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Alba. Jennifer Garner was a candidate but no showed for the “interview.” Yes, Cruise’s ex-, Nicole Kidman, was pregnant by him but lost the baby. The reason for the divorce was it was within the 10-year pre-nup agreement that prevented Nicole from getting more in a divorce.
  • Jennifer Lopez — “Ain’t charitable.”
  • Billy Ray Cyrus — “Billy Ray is a big old redneck and so is his wife.”
  • Child stars — “Any parent of a child star should be reported to child protective services.”
  • Charlie Sheen — “He’s a misogynist. He’s a piece of filth. He’s not done because he’s a man and can make money.”  Rumors of CBS wanting him back for “Two and A Half Men” were probably planted by “Charlie’s people.  I don’t think Leslie (Moonves) and Julie (Chen) would let him anywhere near their child (following remarks made by Sheen about the couple’s child).”
  • Ben Affleck‘s night with strippers back in 2003 — “Ben’s people had a problem with (the media mentioning his using) coke but not the sex.”
  • Christian Slater, who was part of Ben Affleck’s Vancouver shenanigans — Christian’s “wife (Ryan Haddon) walked into their bathroom and found a stripper shaving his back.”

Since her departure from Page Six, Paula has written a novel, “Mercury in Retrograde.” It’s a required summer read with such characters as Penelope Mercury, Lena “Lipstick Carcrash” Lippencrass and Dana Gluck. (Another must-read Froelich book is “It! The Nine Secrets of the Rich and Famous That’ll Take You to the Top.”)

And speaking of departures, Paula didn’t leave Dallas easily the next day. Seems that she lost her bag at the airport and the police and airport personnel “saved me. . . . Seriously, people at the Dallas airport are the nicest, most friendly, helpful people ever!”

Paula, you just come on back to Dallas anytime. But next time stay longer.

Lone Star Park Opened In the Winner’s Circle With “Racing For Sight”

Opening weekend at Lone Star Park, the ponies and the human were raring to go. The Retina Foundation of the Southwest was one of the first fundraisers out of the gate with its 14th annual Racing for Sight on Sunday, April 17.

Eagles guitar

As the general admission folks checked out the horses in the paddock or along the track, the RfS guests were happily ensconced high above in the glass-enclosed grandstand with food, food and more food. Besides lunching, guests checked out the silent and live auction items including a guitar signed by the Eagles.

Faye Briggs, Leesa Alhadef, Cindy Stager

Honorary chair Lisa Blue Baron and race co-chairs Leesa Alhadef and Cindy Stager arranged to have the races names after key sponsors (Faye C. Briggs Dash, Broughton Foundation Turf Dash, DFW Door & Hardware Mile, T. Boone Pickens Turf Classic, Mrs. Thomas L. Anderson Sprint, Lisa Blue Baron Route Classic, Nancy and Herbert Hunt Maiden Turf Mile, Sharif & Munir Luxury Custom Homes Run and Dr. and Mrs. Bill Snyder Turf Mile).

Ralph Gorman and Marsha Sonnenberg

While some guests were old hands at analyzing the racing forms, others like Faye Briggs fell back on the old standby, “I liked the name (of the horse.)” Alas, Faye’s strategy ended up in a minimal loss for the day. At another table, Ralph Gorman and his sister, Marsha Sonnenberg, were feverishly working the sheets and rarely looked up from their plotting.

Ah, but one of the day’s winners was Jack Jacobs, whose wallet was a lot fatter upon departure.

Herbert Hunt

Herbert Hunt in wrap-around sunglasses admitted that the horse expert in the family was his brother Bunker, who had one of the finest collections of race horses in the world.

According to Herbert, who was there to support the Retina Foundation along with wife Nancy and daughter Libby Allred, Bunker had “offered to let me in on it at the beginning, but I said I didn’t want to invest in anything that ate while I slept.”

Caroline Rose Hunt and Del Frnka

Another of member of the Hunt family supporting the sight-saving cause was Caroline Rose Hunt with a rose-wrapped cane in one hand and on the arm of  Del Frnka decked out in a king of spades shirt.

Billie Leigh Rippey

Speaking of lucky fashion, Billie Leigh Rippey brought along her “vintage” purse — the one with the horse-head clasp.

Horse-head clasp

Tis The Season For Crystal Charity Ball Theme Announced

Connie O'Neill and Tricia Besing

Start thinking Christmas. That is if the 2011 Crystal Charity Ball is in future plans. Ball Chair Connie O’Neill and her crew of

Suzanne McGee

merry ladies presented the plans at Suzanne and Patrick McGee‘s David Easton-designed home Wednesday. Too bad they could squeeze the ball into the McGee’s home. It’s one of those rarities that is fabulous to see and an envy to live in. In place of honor was a family favorite, a model of the Perot Museum, of course!

McGee grounds

With the doors facing the back grounds of the house open, it was a gorgeous setting for anything.

Natalie and Brian Bollinger

Back to the announcement. Sorry. Got carried away.

The announcement party was sponsored by Apollo Power & Light L.L.C.

Announcement dessert

After last year’s Japanese theme, the decision was made to return to a Yuletide feel with “Tis the season.” Just as the announcement was made, the pianist started playing “Tis the Season.” How appropriate! Then desserts were served with major snowflakes topping the chocolate concoctions.

The fun will be event designer Tom Addis‘s interpretation of “season.” But you’ll have to wait until Saturday, December 3.