Signature Chefs Made A Perfect Landing At Frontiers of Flight Museum Wednesday

Chef Kent Rathbun has added still another item to his resume — philosopher. Wednesday night as the Lead Chef marshaled the Signature Chef’s “Angels & Aces” at the Frontiers of Flight Museum, he was asked about his non-stop schedule of activities. His response, “There’s a window, and it’s always closing. So you’ve got to get in an doubt of the window before it closes.”

And there were 20 of Dallas’ leading chefs and 40 wineries from the Napa Valley, who were probably thinking the same thing. This time of year the food and beverage industries are in overdrive donating time, money and services to help non profits like the evening’s March of Dimes.

For instance, Abraham Salum reported that the following Sunday he was headed to Balch Springs to prepare a dinner for 100 at one big communal table to raise funds for the farmers. In the meantime, he’s gotten his permits approved to move with his new restaurant that will be located right next door to his Salum.

Another person who has windows closing all around her is Ellen Winspear(pictured).  The petite blonde may appear to all the world as the epitome of femininity, but step back and rethink that image. She’s not limited to one image. Wednesday night she was all revved up for the upcoming days ahead.  Ellen admitted that she’d have a tear in her eye seeing Mike Modano playing in a Detroit uniform at the Stars  game. Friday, she was headed to the Rangers’ game against the Yankees. Saturday, she would be back to the Stars. Sunday, she was having an October birthday brunch for the opera singers in town for Don Giovanni with Gretchen Rose catering.

But Wednesday night was to raise money for the March of Dimes and once again the Signature Chefs proved to be a hit across the boards. Unlike last year’s event at which the heat from all the cooking warmed up the Fairmont’s ballroom, Co-chairs Brynn and Taylor Allday and Sue and Britt Fair had seen to it that the Frontier of Flight Museum’s thermostat was set just right to accommodate the 550 guests on both the main floor and the upstairs landing.

While the big screens showing live interviews with various personalities and chefs, it was the first hand chats with the chefs and vintners that hit the spot. Marc Cassel (pictured) was treated like a rock star. Perhaps it’s his trademark goatee and sneakers that sets him apart from others.

Alas, the only place that seem sparse was the upstairs VIP Lounge where the Moet Chandon hostess admitted, “I’m all by my lonesome.” Little did she know that even the VIP’s were too busy in line getting food to lounge.

Dallas CASA Celebrates 30th Anniversary Of Advocacy Saturday With A Big Old Party

Some dread turning 30, while others celebrate the occasion big time. The folks at Dallas CASA are having a big old celebration for their 30-year anniversary “Dallas CASA Homecoming Reunion”  this Saturday at Eddie Deen’s. This group has tirelessly been advocates for children who have suffered abuse for 30 years. Their efforts are invaluable.

Chairing the 30th anniversary campaign are Southwest Airlines’ Madeleine Johnson and Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell’s Paul Coggins. Now, if those two names sound just a tad bit familiar, it’s because they both were federal prosecutors.

Tickets and sponsorships are still available for the evening of food, raffles and dancing with music by Party Crashers.

Most Likely to Succeed – $10,000: The Jim and Angela Thompson Foundation

Best Personality – $5,000: Archon Group L.P., The Berg Family, Dallas Mavericks, Stanford C. and Mary Clare Finney Foundation, Sally and Forrest Hoglund, Marcia and Mark King/MMK Foundation, Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP, Eleanor and Steve Penrose, Kristy Robinson/The Hoglund Foundation, Deedie and Rusty Rose, Southwest Airlines, Pam and Jeff Stegenga and Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Williamson Jr.

Most Spirited – $2,500: AT&T, Suzanne and Bert Bryan, Alyson and Scott Griffith, Vicky and Michael Gunning, Lisa and Dave Kroencke, Jeanne and Joseph Manogue, Nancy and Rex Spivey and Mersina and Phin Stubbs

Most Talented- $1,000: Debby Buchanan, Marcia Cluxton, Julie and Mike Fisher, The Gayden Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Goodwin, Kathleen and Michael LaValle, Roblyn and Kurt Mai, Mary Kay Inc., Nancy Perot Mulford, Pat and Claude Prestidge, Mary Kay and Kenneth F. Reimer, Carol and Frank Riddick and The Mike and Mary Terry Family Foundation

Most Friendly- $500+: Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Altshuler, Colleen and John Aspinwall, Mason Brown Family Foundation Inc., Elizabeth and Michael Daane, Jill and Charles Johnson, Sarah Losinger, Shirley and William S. McIntyre Foundation, Danika and Kip Mondrygal, Carolyn and Denton Newham, Emily Parker, Cindy Pladziewicz, Kathleen and Rocky Powell, Jeff and Darrel Rice, Sara and Robby Rockey and Mr. and Mrs. R.P. Washburne

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon Will Have Names Plus Romance . . . With An Edge

Despite the minds and hearts of many being with the Rangers in Tampa Bay Thursday night, Holly Pellham Davis gathered about 80 of her friends at Mary and Luke Crosland‘s Park Cities home to announced their plans for the 2011 St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon & Fashion Show by Stanley Korshak. Slated for Wednesday, February 9, at the Anatole, the theme will be “The Art of Romance.” But don’t be deceived by the title. It’s not going to be Romeo and Juliet.

And talk about having the right names involved with the event! Margot Perot, who was out of the country for the kick-off party, will be Honorary Chair of the event that benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. On hand for the night was the ever-gorgeous and much-deserving Nancy C. Rogers, who will receive the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award for her many years of supporting the group’s efforts. Also accepting accolades at the lunch will be Trinity Christian Academy sixth grader Justin Thompson, (pictured right with mother Cathy Thompson) who was selected by Alicia Landry to receive the Spirit of Tom Landry Award for “his courageous battle with acute lymphocytic leukemia and for his strong spirit and many volunteer hours on behalf of the disease.

And while pats on the back are being handed out, Wendy Krispin donated the food for the evening, while Gold Crown Valet Parking donated the valet parking. Love those people and companies that donate.

(Photo credit: Kristina Bowman)


Robert Duvall Is Returning For Dallas Film Society, But Don’t Tell Anyone Until Friday

The official release will go out tomorrow morning, but we picked up this little item tonight in the MySweetCharity wanderings — Robert Duvall (pictured) is returning to Dallas with his gorgeous wife Luciana for the Dallas Film Society on November 19. According to DFS maven Tanya Foster

“We are very excited to announce that Robert Duvall will be our honored guest for the Art of Film on Friday, November 19. The cocktail attire event will feature an elegant gathering for 400 patrons to have a conversation with Mr. Duvall in The Margaret and Al Hill Lecture Hall followed by a seated dinner in the Great Hall.”

If you haven’t see Bobby and Luciana tango, check this link and you’ll see how the real stars dance!

Zoo To Do’s Top Patrons Gather At The Winspears With A Leppert Among Them

The original plan for the  Zoo To Do patron party Tuesday night at Ellen and Don Winspear‘s place was to share the developments with the blue-ribbon crowd. First Dallas Zoological Society President/CEO Michael Meadows (pictured) and Executive Committee Chair Jennifer Altabef discussed past accomplishments like “Giants of the Savanna” reminding guests that if they hadn’t visited the newsmaking facility, they should.

But the true rallying point was the November 6th Zoo To Do’s “Under the Serengeti Sky” with 25 of Dallas’ premier chefs cooking up a storm at the zoo.

While the list of chefs and auction items including diamond bracelets and trips to Africa were being reeled off, Mayor Tom Leppert quietly slipped into the back of the living room. Well, he may have made a stealth arrival, but he started working the room like a politician up for election. But he’s not! Still it was a treat to see him in action. Moving and quietly chatting his way from Mark Royse (pictured with Tom Leppert) past Hal Brierley to Sean Greene (pictured right with Don Winspear), he was as graceful and charming as a Errol Flynn.

But he never distracted the rest of the room from the main subject — Zoo To Do. Even after the official talking was done, Ellen and Don were giving first-hand testimony on the wonderment of Africa having just returned from an extended visit to Africa with Shannon and Ted Skokos.

It’s a good thing that the Winspears are back because they’ve been hosting soprano Claire Rutter, who is Donna Anna in the upcoming Don Giovanni at The Dallas Opera. Claire had wanted to be there for the Zoo To Do evening’s festivities, but TDO Artistic Director “Jonathan (Pell) has them (the cast) working.”

Speaking of a cast, the following sponsors are helping to raise funds for the zoo: [Read more…]

Just Discovered: Misplaced Notes

Don’t you just hate it when you come upon notes that you put in the wrong pocket? Well, here are some notes discovered in a MSC pocket for your consideration:

  • TACA Silver Cup Announcement at Jennifer and John Eagles‘ home: The dining room is smack in the middle of a pool. John Eagle says about 14 people have fallen in so far. When someone does fall, they get a towel written in a “1950s Holiday Inn” style reading “I fell in the Eagles’ pool and all I got was this crappy towel.” So far more men have fallen in than women.
  • FreshPoint‘s Lucian LaBarba has been floating the question — “Why doesn’t Dallas have a statue of Stanley Marcus?” Good question, but who’s going to come up with the answer. Good location might be in the Arts District.
  • Friday night Don Daseke (pictured) was in Indiana being recognized by his alma mater DePauw University as one of the “Distinguished Alumni.” He had no sooner received the 2010 Old Gold Goblet, then he was flying back to Dallas for Cattle Baron’s Ball on Saturday and the Cowboys game on Sunday.

TREC Pint-Sized Playhouses Are A Real Estate Boon At The Giving Gala

Despite the fact that Thursday night’s Giving Gala at the Anatole is sold out, The Real Estate Council has arranged for folks to participate in the auction of this year’s Pint-Sized Playhouses. Last year one real sweetie actually bought one of the houses and turned around and gave it to a non-profit.

According to sources, if you were to step up with a bid of $7,500 before the auction, you could clinch the deal.

In case you’re brand new to TREC, you need to know that the “Pint-Sized Playhouses” are the results of the TREC members using their noggins and their skills. Here are the official descriptions and photos provided by TREC:

  • MYCON Playhouse: The team has designed and constructed a literal “play” house, a modern structure serving as a blank canvas for children to perform. The construction is traditional wood framing clad in finished boards with a metal roof. The side panels that enclose the space are also moveable and pivot along steel columns so children can expand the stage size. Writable surfaces are incorporated into the design so children can draw backdrops and scenery for performances.
  • Freese & Nichols/Pacheco Koch/Hill & Wilkinson Playhouse: This playhouse is a fan structure with activities inside and outs. Features include ladder rungs that lead to a slide, an interior chalkboard wall, an exterior climbing wall, a tic-tac-toe game, sand box, garden and hummingbird feeder. There is also a garden planter alongside the structure.
  • Corgan/Austin Commercial Playhouse: Transformer was the concept behind this playhouse. A simple cube design is meant to expand and transform with a child’s imagination. The structure is comprised of stained wood framing articulated with lightly washed wood slats. The transformation begins with a pivot hinged door and provides numerous other evolutions including a sliding monkey bar and loft space.
  • Beck: This Little Castle Pop Up Playhouse captures the imagination of youth and adventure by letting children climb inside a book. The outside features a storybook opening, and the book is shaped like a gothic-style castle with wrought iron window framed windows, a bell, decorative light fixtures, a wooden deck and a ladder. The  playhouse interior also features writing/drawing surfaces.

The auction will take place before singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen takes to the stage.

Presenting sponsor Deloitte is joined by the following greats:

  • Limelight Sponsor: Schwob Building Company.
  • Spotlight Sponsors: CMC Commercial Realty Group, Comerica, Corgan, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, Holt Lunsford Commercial, Jackson-Shaw and Thackeray Partners.
  • Paramount Sponsor: Encore Enterprises.
  • Platinum Sponsors: Archon Group L.P., Balfour Beatty Construction, Granite Properties, Hillwood, KeyBank and KPMG.
  • Gold Sponsors: American National Bank of Texas, Austin Commercial, Bank of America, Beck, Behringer Harvard, Bodman LLP, Butler Burgher Group, CB Richard Ellis, Corgan, Freese and Nichols, Hart Advisors Group LLC, Haynes and Boone, Hill & Wilkinson, Hunt Realty Investments Inc., Jones Lang LaSalle, JPMorgan Chase, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr P.C., MYCON General Contractors, Pacheco Koch, Regions Bank, Republic Title of Texas, Rosewood Property Company, Stewart National Title Services, US Bank and Workplace Solutions/Teknion.

American Heart Association and W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation Team Up To Save Lives

The American Heart Association and the W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation of Communities Foundation of Texas are joining forces on a two-year project that will allow the AHA “to enhance the heart attached emergency response system in Dallas County.” This $3.5 million grant “has the power to transform patient care for future heart attack victims in Dallas and to serve as a model for the rest of the state and country.”

Thank you notes should be in the mail today!

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’ “Real Girls Real Women” Prove To Be Pretty Sharp Cookies

The gals invaded the Anatole Tuesday. All ages of ’em. It was the Girl Scouts’ Sixth Annual Real Girl Real Women Luncheon honoring Real Women (Ebby Halliday, Harriet Miers and Becky Sykes) and Real Girls (Haley Ann Avery and Ashton Gepfert) with nearly 700 guests in attendance. With Gina Betts chairing the event, you just knew that it was going to run as efficiently as an atomic clock. Just as promised, the program started at high noon with KDFW-CH.4’s Clarice Tinsley (pictured) handling the emcee duties in a Girl-Scout-green dress with her lifetime pin prominently on display.

Now when you are the mistress of ceremonies at one of these events, you are supposed to know everything that is to happen. No surprises! But the Girl Scouts claimed, “Exception!” After being introduced by Clarice, Frito-Lay North America’s Jenny Birgé amazed the crowd with all the projects that had been undertaken by the partnership of Girl Scouts and Frito-Lay with Clarice’s hands-on-involvement. Then Jenny went totally off script. As organizers were flipping through their pages trying to see where that presentation was in the script, Jenny presented Clarice with a “very special patch” for her help. Surprises can be fun and this one was!

But this was not to be the only touching moment in the luncheon that caught guests off guard. For instance, first Lifetime Achievement recipient Betty Perot (pictured) surprised some guests by assisting in the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to 99-year old Ebby; and Gina’s revelation that she would be chairing next year’s luncheon.

Despite all the high-powered “women” in the room, the scene stealers were the two young recipients Haley and Ashton. Ashton (pictured), who has overcome the challenge of profound hearing loss to be a member of the National Honor Society, is in her 11th year of scouting. Within the Girl Scout world, she is a golden girl having  received the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Haley, who suffered life threatening burns while conducting a science experience when she was 13, joined the Scouts when she was in kindergarten. She is working on her Gold Award by volunteering at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

It was in Haley’s acceptance speech that Haley (pictured) showed true Girl Scout compassion and honesty in recognizing a man who was so instrumental to her recovery — Dr. Gary Purdue, who headed the burn unit at Parkland until his untimely death last week .

For nearly 100 years Girl Scouts have been developing leadership in girls and Ashton and Haley just prove that it’s paying off.

Dean Foods Employees And Foundation Made A Big Difference For The North Texas Food Bank

Since September was “Hunger Action Month,” the employees at Dean Foods made it a priority to “help collect and put food in the hands of those who need it most.” Their work paid off sorting and packing more than 83,000 meals and donating 3,740 pound of food that translates into 13,000 meals.

To enhance this roll-up-the-sleeves attitude, the Dean Foods Foundation has just announced its pledge of $300,000 over a three-year period to North Texas Food Bank programs to feed and educate at-risk children and youth.

This pledge is the largest in NTFB history.

“Dean Foods is dedicated to providing wholesome dairy products every day to families and children across the country,” said Chris Sliva, president of the Morningstar Division of Dean Foods and a NTFB Board member.  “Giving North Texas children access to healthy nutrition and educating them on positive lifelong eating habits are critical services that are an ongoing passion for our employees and a natural fit for the Dean Foods Foundation’s support.”


‘nother AT&T PAC Exec Type Departs

On the heels of Mike Granberry‘s Sunday story in The Dallas Morning News about the “challenges” facing the AT&T PAC after its first year, word has just arrived that another PAC exec type if packing her stuff.  VP of External Affairs Jill Magnuson has turned in her resignation.

But she’s just going down the block to handle the external affairs for the Nasher Sculpture Center.


Cattle Baron’s Is Back Thanks To Feedback And Backup Plans

(Please note: Check out the Photo Gallery for more Cattle Baron coverage!)

If it’s not one thing, it’s another! Just when you think you’ve got all your hens safely in the hen house, a couple of boards come loose, causing pause. It’s a turning point — either you handle it seamlessly or all heck breaks loose.

That was the situation for the ladies of Cattle Baron’s this past weekend. Unlike last year, with its biblical rainstorm, the days leading up to the Saturday event at Southfork Ranch were perfect. It would have been fine even it had rained. For a year, CBB Chair Kristi Sherrill Hoyl and her merry maids had strategized, organized, sought feedback and re-examined their plans to prevent any problems from arising. This was their D-Day and they were ready to march to victory.  Weather plans had back-up plans that had back-up plans. They were prepared for a snowstorm. The vendors and sponsors were impressed with the management and bought in.

The days leading up to CBB’s version of “The Great State Fair” were a weatherman’s idea of A+ — no rain, just cool enough and no changes in store for the future. Committee members sans makeup worked alongside production crews tearing open boxes, learning the computer auction system, setting up the silent auction, doing everything but putting the stages together. Caterer Eddie Deen fed the masses. Production master Robert Hayden (pictured left with Kristi Sherrill Hoyl) surprised Kristi with a mega-popcorn box as a food station. Reminded one of Glee, only happier.

Friday night, after everything was more or less locked down, there was even a celebration at The Apartment for the committee. Ah, but don’t think the ladies were counting their chickens before they hatched. They were up bright and early Saturday to nail things down . . . again.

Then the showdown took place, beginning with the VIP party at the main house (the Ewings’ home) at Southfork. To add that touch of western, the guests drove up the main entrance with horses lined up on one side. Even CBB vets were then surprised as they exited their limos to be greeted by committee members like Mary Gill and escorted into the party by the Apache Belles. Seems the Belles were on hand to honor their alumna Annette Simmons, who arrived with husband Harold. When a photographer told Harold that Annette (pictured left with Harold Simmons and Kristi Sherrill Hoyl) never takes a bad picture, he smiled, “She’s the most beautiful woman in the world.”

With a band playing and food and beverages everywhere, it was hard for first timers to imagine the ball being even bigger and better. Ah, but just wait.

It also became apparent that the ultimate status symbol of the evening was the golf cart. Suggestion for next year: Have golf cart sponsorships available.

Snapshots and chat-shots: Lynn and Allan McBee brought Canadian filmmakers Eric Mantion and David Alexandre-Coiteaux, whom they’d met at the Dallas International Film Festival when the boys’ “Snow and Ashes” flick was screened. Seems the association clicked because there’s talk of doing some business together. But according to Lynn, oil-and-gas-man Allan “is not quitting his day job!” . . . Western boots came in all colors and designs. . .  Holly Reed, Jill Malouf, Jamie Jo Hayes and Holly Forsythe (pictured right with, from the left, Holly Reed, Jill Malouf and Jamie Jo Hayes) arrived à la “Sex in the City.” Holly F., who is known for her support of animal causes, said that she was going to get more involved with efforts to have Dallas death-row dogs shipped and adopted in the Northeast . . . Black continues to be the fashionable color as proved by Elizabeth Tripplehorn, Tanya Foster, Isabell Novakov and Betsy Sowell.

By 7, the sun was setting and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. As the dust started flying in the horizon from all the cars entering the ball’s main entrance, a handful of special folks climbed the steps up to the back balcony of the Ewing house to meet featured entertainer Jack Ingram. Looking and acting like the guy you had a crush on in college, Jack was generous with his time spent chatting with guests.

Ah, but there were schedules to keep and committee members with headsets were bound and determined to stick to their timeline, so Jack’s visit was too brief. Shoot! After performing at CBB, Jack had to hightail it to Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth to do a 10:30 gig.

Now the sun was done, and VIP guests strolled along a dark path to join the “fairgoers.” One group of four gals (pictured) decided to take a rest on a sidelined tractor.  They should have kept going quickly. The fair was dazzling and jammed-packed. A lot of the sports enthusiasts made it no further than the AT&T Cotton Bowl, where the big screens broadcast any and every sporting event in a setting with oh-so-comfy, double-padded chairs and couches. Too bad because if they stayed put they missed out on the rest of the fair.

Lines formed for the lit-up, old-fashioned ferris wheel. You would have thought these folks had never ridden one. Then there were lines all over the place for food. Luckily the lines moved quickly, thanks to efficient servers and the guests chatting it up with friends who were also doing time in the line. Only thing missing was enough seating. If you weren’t one of the lucky ones like Rod Lake (pictured), you quickly learned to juggle and eat.

Someone asked where the usually-on-hand mechanical bull was. A committee member smiled and said it had been retired. Because, according to one bystander, a female rider last year obviously was not wearing any undies, it was a forced retirement resulting in “No bull!”

But, who cared about a bull when you had a midway with Sling-A-Ring, Bottle Toss, Hunt-And-Shoot, Quarterback Challenge and Maker’s Marker Bell Ring (pictured Jane Wood with sledgehammer)? Matrice and Ron Kirk were just passing by when a young lovely took the sledgehammer and rang that dang bell. Then a hunky type of fella took the mallet from her and barely got the weight to rise. “You’re not gonna let that girl beat you, are you?” Ron asked, starting to make signs of picking up the hammer. Thanks to Matrice’s entreaties, Ron kept his position as an observer.


Photo credit: Randall McCoy


At 7:30 Jack Ingram (pictured) took over the Bank of America stage and got things going. Thanks to his music the crowd started growing in preparation for the Live Auction, which started at 8:30. Following tradition committee members rang cowbells throughout the auction as background music. Definitely not Muzak.

First thing up for grabs was an Eddie Deen’s dinner, with Jack Ingram providing an acoustic accompaniment. It was too good to be true when auction spotters notified that there were two bidders vying for the item. Through negotiations a second offering was provided, so it was a double sale.

Still, some auction observers looked a bit apprehensive. The front rows of the auction area were sparsely filled. “Where are the people?” asked one.

But items kept coming, bells kept ringing and items kept being auctioned off.

Then one of the big ticket items came up: a 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo with a trip to its German factory. Valued at $122,000, it was a real biggie.

And bidding proved the point. Finally with a wave of the red-light wand, a gent at one of the tables near the stage had won the bid. Cheers, loud bell ringing and whoop-la.

Then it was on to the next item and more bids.

But wait. There was a problem. The top baronesses regrouped. The gent had decided that he wasn’t going to live up to his bid for the Porsche. Awkward! A little like being homecoming queen and then having your date cancel at the last minute. But, Cattle Baron ladies know how to handle any situation with class and minimal embarrassment. They owned up to the audience that the bid hadn’t worked out, so the Porsche was again put up for an offer. As all eyes looked at the table to check out the man causing the situation, but he was nowhere to be seen.

Yahoo! Ashton Robusto-puffing/Dr Pepper CEO Larry Young placed the winning bid and pulled out his black card to finalize the deal.

“We are tremendous  supporters of the American Cancer Society. We really believe in giving back to the community,” said Larry with his best gal Colette (seated right with Larry) next to him. “We have a tremendous CSR [Corporate Society Responsibility] program at our company, and we are major sponsors of the music tonight.”

Restaurateur Jim Severson came to Larry’s table and shook his hand. Jim was diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago with metastatic prostate cancer. They gave him two to three years to live. Sevy admitted that a decade ago the cure would have been castration, but “I’m (still) kicking ass.”

Another member of the hospitality industry who valued the monies raised in the battle against cancer was Dawn Rizos, who was preparing to close the deal on a property for her new Dallas restaurant near the Meddlesome Moth. “We’re gonna have some b-tchin’ parties,” Dawn confided. Seated on the second row, she also revealed that her mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.


Photo credit: Randall McCoy


Following the auction it was fireworks time, allowing guests to move on to their tables for a memorable concert by Alan Jackson (pictured) on the Dr Pepper Main Stage.

As guests eventually left, they lined up for the Inwood National Bank canvas favor bags like children lining up for Santa at NorthPark. Every year the bags are very hot commodities, and this year the red-and-white bag with its zipper top was tantalizing. Rummaging through the bag on the drive home one of the true finds was the Bickel &  Brewer portable speakers.

And, what were that issues that the Cattle Baron’s strategists hadn’t foreseen? A back-out bidder that they handled with true grit and panache–and some guests suffering from morning-after sniffles and coughs from allergies and hay fever thanks to the dust and pollen in the air. So, if it’s not a flood, it’s air pollution.

Regardless, it was a stellar comeback for a CBB crew that worked for success — and got it.

Jill Cumnock Named Ronald McDonald House of Dallas CEO

Photo provided by Ronald McDonald House of Dallas

When Ronald McDonald House of Dallas CEO Barbara McDermott announced her retirement, it set wheels in motion to find her replacement. Today it was announced that Jill Cumnock (pictured), who has most recently served as executive director of Frisco Family Services Center, will take over Barbara’s duties.

“While we are sad to lose Barbara to retirement after so many years of outstanding leadership, we are extremely pleased to have somebody of Jill’s background and experience ready to leverage the strengths of the organization and continue our mission of serving as a home-away-from-home for seriously ill children and their families,” said Mike McWilliams, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas board chair. “Jill has an impressive record from her time with FFSC, and we look forward to welcoming her to the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.”

One of the first things on Jill’s agenda will be learning the in’s and out’s of running a mega-miniauture train operation. Choo-choo!

Best of retirement for Barbara!

Troutt Lecture Series Drew Big Crowd For Author S. Michael Craven

Lisa (pictured) and Kenny Troutt opened their mega-estate in Preston Hollow for the Council For Life‘s presentation of “The Troutt Lecture Series” Thursday. As if that wasn’t enough, there were desserts and wine plus author S. Michael Craven, who discussed “Moving from a Culture of Death to a Culture of Life.”

To accommodate the hundreds in attendance, the Troutt’s indoor basketball court was transformed into an auditorium with rows of white wooden folding chairs. Among the faces in the crowd were founders Ann Caruth, Sue Justice, and Jill Smith (pictured left with Sue Justice).

In thanking hosts Lisa and Kenny, Michael mischievously told the crowd that the Troutt’s court reminded him of his. . . only without the giant TV screen that hung behind him.

The Council’s next big event,  Celebrating Life Luncheon on Tuesday, November 9, at the Anatole, is being chaired by Sarah and George Seay.

Friend Of St. Jude’s “Evening Under The Star” Celebrate At Kathy And Harlan Crow’s Library

One of the finest private libraries in Texas was the scene of the St. Jude’s Evening Under the Star party for supporters  (pictured from the left, Shannon Smith, Patti Brown and Sue John) Thursday night. Despite the major refreshing of the wall fronting Preston Road, Kathy and Harlan Crow‘s estate with it gargantuan treasure trove of books, artifacts and finds had both first-time guests and veterans in awe of the two-story structure. Why just a couple of nights before it had been the site of a private gathering for Mary Matlin and James Carville!

While the highlight of the evening was the talk by noted pediatric hematologist/oncologist Dr. Greg Armstrong (pictured), this crowd of friends couldn’t help but catch on up on news, especially when it came to the St. Jude’s first family of Dallas — Isabell and Joe Haggar (pictured). The matriarch and patriarch of the multi-generational clan were all smiles about grandson/college football coach Daniel Novakov‘s engagement to Sarah Conrow. But that seemed light years away for Daniel’s sister Isabell, who was just hours away from joining her Cattle Baron’s committee sisters in prepping for Saturday’s big event at Southfork.

But the gathering served as an appetizer for the upcoming shindig at Cowboys Stadium on Friday, October 29, and the St. Jude/Derek Harper Golf Classic on Monday, October 18, at Stonebriar Country Club.

Sneak Preview Of Cattle Baron’s “Great State Fair” Plus Tips

Just returned from Southfork where the Cattle Baron’s committee is setting “The Great State Fair” for Saturday night. Prepare yourself. With everything (ferris wheel, margarita carousel, a ginormous indoor midway and food stations everywhere) you can imagine of an upscale state fair, the ladies have cranked it up even higher. That’s why Ball Chair Kristi Sherrill Hoyl is literally floating around the acreage. Robert Hayden (pictured left with Kristi Sherrill Hoyl) and his of Fauxcades production team even created a gigantic popcorn box in her honor!

Of course, you want details, so here are just some tidbits:

  • There’s an incredible Cotton Bowl, where you can settle back and watch the sports of the day. Whether it’s the Rangers playing late or college football, AT&T will have media areas all set up.
  • To even out the footing in the silent auction area, the entire thing has been covered with wood flooring.
  • The ferris wheel is ultra cool because you can see both stages. Only problem is going to be the wait in line. This is going to be a very popular ride.
  • Eddie Deen has been feeding the entire crew all week and you should see what he has planned for the menu Saturday night. Think along the lines of chicken-friend chicken sliders, cilantro burger sliders, hand-battered chipotle corny dogs, Frito chili pies and deep-fried pickle spears.
  • A lovely 921 Rolls-Royce (pictured) is parked nicely in the silent auction tent all revved up for a winning bid thanks to Ann and Hugh Corrigan.
  • Tyler Junior College Apache Belles will be performing on the Bank of America Live Auction Stage in honor of their fav alumna Annette Simmons.
  • Jack Ingram appears on the BofA stage at 7:30 p.m.
  • Live auction starts at 8:30 p.m. and hopefully big numbers will be chalked up.
  • Alan Jackson performs on Dr Pepper Main Stage at 10:30 p.m.

Making all of this happen are about 100 women (most of whom have ponytails and no makeup) who are ripping open crates (pictured), walking around with power tools (Laura Jorgeson pictured with power drill) and learning how to operate the state-of-art computers for the auctions. (Check out MSC’s photo gallery for proof.)

The interesting thing is that there is a mood on the property that is contagious. Everyone is happy. And they have a right to be. It’s going to be a great event.

To make your drive safe, here are some tips:

When you take the Parker Road exit off of I-75, get in the far right lane on the frontage road. (There’s all types of construction equipment hunkered down on the left side of the road.) Stay there until Parker Road. Do no go under the overpass. You’ll want to, but don’t! Turn right and take Parker through Plano (speed limit is a sedate 40 MPH) and into Parker (speed limit is 45 MPH). After about 5.5 miles, you’ll see the lights of Cattle Baron’s Ball. Turn right on FM 2551 and you’ll be part of the Great State Fair.

You’re on your own going home, but please drive smart and safely home.

AWARE’s March Luncheon To Honor Juanita And Henry S. Miller Jr.

Plans for the annual AWARE luncheon were announced Thursday night at the Crescent Club. While last year’s lunch was a mega-event honoring Dandy Don Meredith, the March 31, 2011, at the Hilton Anatole has all the earmarks of upping the ante.

AWARE President Carmaleta Whiteley introduced Luncheon Chair Deborah Packer who revealed that the theme will be “A Dallas Love Story — A Tribute to Juanita and Henry S. Miller Jr.

“When our committee met to determine this year’s theme a common subject came up — The Caregiver. When you think of a caregiver, you think of someone taking care of someone who is ill. But a care giver can be many things. A caregiver may care for  a loved one, may care for a child, may care for a hobby, may care for  a passion such as the arts; dance, theatre, opera and symphony, they  may care for a friend, they might even care for a community.

“We asked ourselves if there was someone who possessed all of this? Not only did we discover one person, but a couple! One who cared  with passion, compassion and love for each other, their family, the arts, and the development of their community of Dallas. They did this for over 60 years!!

“We are pleased to announce our theme for this year….A Dallas Love Story: A Tribute to Juanita and Henry S. Miller Jr.”

Representing the family, Miller daughter Patsy Donosky (pictured right with, from the left Carmaleta Whiteley and John Gilchrist) the told the group of her parents’ great love for each that was reflected in their holding hands and having a glass of champagne each evening together. Joining Patsy were Tincy and Vance Miller.

If just half of the Miller clan attends the lunch, the place is going to be sold out with proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Cattle Baron’s Dress Suggestion

Mother Nature is working hard to make up for last year’s nasty weather. Not only is she keeping the rain away until after Cattle Baron’s Ball is done, she’s also making it a tadbit warm Saturday.

Is that good?

Well, if you’re wearing a suit outdoors, no. But if you’re one of the young lovelies who stroll the acreage in cooler-than-cool ensembles, then you’re in luck. . . and so, are the people watchers.

So, think warm weather (light wear), earthy terrain (boots) and plastic (credit cards for the auctions).

Oh, and if you can arrange for it, bring along a designated driver. They’re lifesavers!

Perfect Weather Cancels Need For Cattle Baron’s Rain Plan

It’s official. The Cattle Baron’s Ball with Alan Jackson and Jack Ingram will take place as planned with no rain plan needed.

The Mud Ball of 2009 will not be replayed.

If problems develop, MySweetCharity will be posting live both on MSC and at MyTweetCharity on Twitter. Feel free to let us know if you spot any problems or advantages in getting to Southfork.

CBB Alert: Drive Nice Especially In Plano

Since the majority of guests are going to drive through Plano to get to Cattle Baron’s Ball Saturday at Southfork, remember that Plano police are pretty vigilante about “unreasonable” driving habits.


Cattle Baron’s Weather And Live Traffic Reports

The Cattle Baron’s Ball committee is not leaving anything up to chance this year. They have back-up plans for the back-up plans for Saturday’s gala at Southfork.

If a rain plan is to be activated, MySweetCharity will post the news Friday at noon.

Reality check — There is not a weather predictor this side of the Pacific that hints of rain for Saturday, so don’t get your hopes up for a rain plan being put into action.

HOWEVER, if there is a snag in traffic, MySweetCharity and the lovely and charming folks at Jack Boles are coordinating arrangements to let you know.

Shout Out To Scott Pelley: You’re So Yesterday

Loved Scott Pelley when he and his wife Jane Boone were working in Dallas way back when. It’s been years since Scott headed up to the northeast and started working for “60 Minutes.”

This past Sunday he did an interview with philanthropist Melinda Gates, who is married to Bill Gates and graduated from Ursuline Academy. At one point in the interview, this exchange took place:

Pelley: “Now, I’m from Texas, too, so I can say this. You don’t wear your wealth like a Dallas gal.”

Gates: “Mmm hmm.”

Pelley: “You don’t seem to be a big consumer of jewelry and cosmetics.”

Scott, you’ve been gone way to long, sweetie.  The driving force for philanthropy in Dallas, Houston and Texas for that matter is made up of women who have their priorities nicely arranged. No one has ever, ever, ever thought of people like Margaret McDermott, Caroline Rose Hunt, Mary McDermott, Diane Brierley, Lynn McBee or Marguerite Hoffman (to name just a few) as being “big consumers of jewelry and cosmetics.”

Perhaps you need to visit Dallas and update your “Dallas gal” impression.

JUST IN: TACA Silver Cup 2011 Recipients Announced

Sarah Perot

The 2011 TACA Silver Cup Recipients were just announced! They’re Sarah Perot and John Eagle!

Put March 4 at the Anatole on your schedule for the Silver Cup lunch. Great fun for the art of it.

John Eagle

Announcement of 2011 TACA Silver Cup Recipients Pending

Am off to cover the announcement of the 2011 TACA Silver Cup recipients.