JUST IN: Hold On To Your Hats! The 2017 Mad Hatter’s Tea Judges Were Just Announced

Despite the stormy weather, Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Linda Spina had folks gather at Tootsies this afternoon for “Mimosas and Millinery,” plus the great reveal of the judges for the Thursday, April 27thUnder The Tuscan Sun” hat competition at the Dallas Arboretum.

Hat by Cassandra MacGregor

Surrounded by a collection of chapeaus including some by Cassandra MacGregor for the “Mimosas and Millinery” reception, Linda announced the following judges:

Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing (File photo)

Caroline Kraddick*

Niven Morgan (File photo)

Micki Rawlings (File photo)

Celebrity judge Rachel Zoe, restaurateurs Lynae Fearing and Tracy Rathbun (a judge team), Klyde Warren Park President Tara Green, Kerrently website editor Courtney Kerr, Kidd’s Kids CEO/Chief Happiness Officer Caroline Kraddick, fragrance guru Niven Morgan and Dallas First Lady Micki Rawlings.

The judges will be eyeballing the guests finery for awards in the following categories:

  • Molto Italiano “Very Italian” — Most True-to-Theme.  Everything Tuscan from the rolling hills of Tuscany to the art treasures of Florence to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and everything in between.
  • Rachel’s Pick – Rachel Zoe’s favorite hat.  The best of the best, from her point of view.
  • Bella Donna “Beautiful Woman” — Most Elegant.
  • A Taste of Italy — The food and drink of Italy.  Wine, cheese, pasta, pizza and more!
  • Bellissima Botanical — Best Botanical.  What would Mad Hatter’s at the Arboretum be without hats adorned with beautiful flowers?
  • Fellini’s Follies — Famed Italian film director Federico Fellini always worked in a group.  Best Group of Hats.  Men may compete in this category.
  • Mamma Mia! — Most outlandish.  Go wild!
  • Ciao Bella! “Hello Beautiful” — People’s Choice.  The best of the best, as voted on by the attendees.

Warning: Please do not try to bribe the judges, but do get your hats ready for the champagne reception on the Ginsburg Plaza and reserved your seats for the Tootsies fashion show in Rosine Hall and the seated luncheon in the tented Outdoor Plaza.

* Photo provided by 2017 Mad Hatter's Tea

Actresses Faye Dunaway And Zoey Deutch And The Late Bill Paxton To Be Honored At Upcoming Dallas International Film Festival

The Dallas Film Society has just announced its line up of honorees for the Dallas International Film Festival taking place from Thursday, March 30, to Sunday, April 9.

On the eve of DIFF, The Art Of Film will celebrate Robert Benton, who co-wrote “Bonnie And Clyde,” at sixty five hundred on Wednesday, March 29.

Robert Benton*

Faye Dunaway**

In keeping with the “Bonnie And Clyde” 50th anniversary, the Opening Night Gala on Thursday, March 30, will kick off with a showing of the iconic film complete with Academy Award-winner Faye Dunaway, who portrayed Bonnie. She will receive the Dallas Star Award at the Opening Night Gala.

In addition to the comings and goings of various filmmakers during the festival, the DFS Honors presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation at The Highland Dallas on Friday, April 7, will be the posthumous presentation of the Dallas Star to Fort Worth native the late Bill Paxton.

Zoey Deutch*

Bill Paxton***

Receiving the Dallas Shining Star will be “Before I Fall” star Zoey Deutch.

According to DFS Artistic Director James Faust, “Our two Dallas Star Award honorees hail back to something this festival has done from its inception – honor cinema legends, icons, and the film artists that made a difference in our film viewing lives. Faye Dunaway has been at the center of a number of certifiably classic films, and we joined so many in being devastated by the recent loss of Bill Paxton, on so many levels. To have Dunaway here on Opening Night will be a spectacular moment for Dallas, and to have Paxton here in spirit, was a must to anyone that knows anything about this film festival’s history and the people that are a part of it.

“Zoey Deutch is the quintessential choice for a Dallas Shining Star Award honoree. She has had a very impressive start to her career, and is now poised to take it to an entirely different level with wonderful performances in three different films this year.”

Tickets and festival passes are available here!

* Photo provided by Dallas Film Society 
** Getty image provided by Dallas Film Society 
*** Photo credit: Rachel Parker

YPO Gold Members Get A Class In Genetics At Baylor’s Sammons Center

John D. Harkey Jr. is a true Renaissance man. Besides heading up the Dallas company called Consolidated Restaurant Operations, he’s a longtime private-equity investor and co-founder of a gene therapy company called AveXis Inc., which Goldman Sachs recently took public. He’s also a director of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation and, together with Peni Barfield, the current education chair for the Dallas YPO Gold group—a group of successful CEOs who are at least age 49. 

John Harkey, Peni Barfield and Camila Iribe Orive and Adolfo Orive

So, it made perfect sense when John went last June to Robin Robinson, president of the Baylor Foundation, and asked whether Baylor would consider hosting the YPO group for a dinner and educational session on the increasingly important field of genetics. Robin not only said yes, he said, “It’s on us.” Which led to the event for about 100 YPO Gold members and their spouses Thursday, March 2, at Baylor’s Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center. 

Stephen Lerer, Libby Allred and Barbara Crow

Myrna Schlegel

Patty and Mark Langdale

As attendees including Craig Hall, Myrna and Bob Schlegel, Brent Christopher, Barbara and Steve Durham, Libby Allred, Barbara Crow, Camila Iribe Orive and Adolfo Orive, Caroline and Rick O’BrienJane Saginaw Lerer and Stephen Lerer, Ashley Arnold, Leslie and Nick Merrick, Patty and Mark Langdale, and Todd Furniss gathered to enjoy the delicious dinner, there was an extra sense of anticipation in the air. About 70 of the 100, it seems, had agreed in advance a while ago to undergo genetic testing. And tonight, the results of their collective—and anonymous—gene profiles were going to be revealed. Talk about a dessert surprise!

Rick OBrien

Leslie Merrick

Nick Merrick

Jane Saginaw Lerer

Before introducing several top experts in the field to the YPOers, Robin told the group that genetics is “one of the fastest-moving areas in medicine,” and that he himself had “spit in a cup” once for the company called 23andMe. The result: Robin was told that 95 percent of his ancestors were from Northwest Europe … and he had a 70 percent chance of hair loss!

Richard Gibbs

The foundation president then gave way to Richard Gibbs, Ph.D., the founder and director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at the Baylor College of Medicine. Gibbs explained that there are several good reasons for a person to pursue genetic testing, including if you have a genetic disease or if you’re considering having children.

Next on the program were Peter Dysert II, M.D., who’s chief of the pathology department at Baylor University Medical Center, and George Jackson “Jack” Snipes, M.D., Ph.D., the co-medical director, molecular pathology, at BUMC. Snipes explained some genome basics, and shared the amazing fact that humans share 99.5 percent to 99.9 percent of their DNA with each other. The more “SNPs” (or “snips”) that you share with a group—SNPs are the most common type of genetic variation among people—the more you are like that group, Jack went on.

With that, it was time to reveal the YPO Gold group’s collective genetic profile. In terms of average ethnicity, the experts explained, the bulk of the group broke down like this: 36 percent were of British/Irish ancestry; 26 percent were German/French; 14 percent were Ashkenazi Jew; and 7 percent were Scandinavian. Then the experts turned to the business of recessive genes among the group, and revealed the following: 22 of the 70 (or 31 percent) were carriers of 29 different inherited genetic disorders. Three were carriers for cystic fibrosis; three were carriers for Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (that’s an error in cholesterol synthesis); and three were carriers for “apnea following anesthesia.” 

Robin Robinson, Peter Dysert II, Jack Snipes, Michelle Shiller, Connie Bormans and James Denison

But, that’s not all as scary as it might sound, the group was told. While everyone is very likely a carrier for something, it’s important to know, especially for your children’s sake, whether both of your parents may have carried recessive genes, the attendees learned. With that, James C. Denison, Ph.D.—he’s the resident scholar for ethics with Baylor Scott & White Health—told how his son had suffered from a very rare form of cancer caused by a genetic mutation, and how he prays every day that the mutation will be reversed.

The evening wrapped up with a presentation by a Houston company called Gene By Gene Ltd., which started off specializing in DNA-based ancestry and geneology before expanding into the medical and research fields. The company’s mission is to “unleash the power of genetic testing for everyone, giving unparalleled insight into ourselves and the future.” Filing out of the Sammons Center around 9 p.m., members of the YPO Gold group had a much better understanding of that power—thanks to Robin, John, and Peni.  

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Get Down To Earth And Join Up For The Trinity River Conservation Corps’ Corporate Day Of Service

As daunting as tending to a backyard garden is, just imagine trying to take care of acreage along the Trinity River Corridor. There were more than 400 folks and 42 companies that last year learned just how amazing the task is. The occasion was the Trinity River Conservation Corps’ 2nd Annual Corporate Day of Service when folks like Southwest Airlines Chairman/CEO Gary  Kelly collected “10,000 pounds of trash and invasive species and made thousands of seed balls to disburse in the corridor.”

Gary Kelly shoveling*

Launched in 2013 thanks to a three-year gift of $150,000 from Southwest Airlines to the Trinity Park Conservancy (formerly known as The Trinity Trust Foundation), the grant was made for the creation of the Trinity River Conservation Corps to clean and conserve Dallas’ Trinity River Corridor.

That first year ” hundreds of Southwest Airlines volunteers cleaned and cleared the Cedar Creek Overlook, giving their time from the heart. The group helped restore this riparian area by planting 400 love (or LUV) grass plants and 100 native blooming and non blooming species provided by the Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility.”

The next year the first Corporate Day of Service was officially established with 15 local companies and over 75 participants collecting 1.5 tons of trash and invasive species and planting hundreds of native plants along the Trinity Skyline Trail. 

Unfortunately, due to the 2015 flooding the effort was put on hiatus until April 2016, when things literally picked up again.

This year’s Corporate Day of Service will take place on Friday, April 7, starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Trinity River Corridor, Moore Park Gateway and Santa Fe Trestle Trail, 1837 E. 8th Street. Kicking things off will be remarks by Trinity River Conservancy VP/ Boone Family Foundation President Garrett Boone.

The TRCC will provide the shovels and equipments and you’ll just need to dress casually with closed-toed shoes, long pants and gloves.

The event will be a done deal by noon, so you can toddle off with your buddies for a celebration lunch or just take the rest of the day off.

In addition to 250 volunteers and companies (City of Dallas, Downtown Dallas Inc., Energy in Action, Hayden Consultants, HDR Inc., Muse Integration and TXU Energy) having already signed up to participate, the following sponsors have come on board:

  • Founding Sponsor: Southwest Airlines
  • River Sponsor ($2,500): Quiling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett And Moser P.C.
  • Wetland Sponsor ($1,000): HDR Engingeering Inc. and Oaxaca Interest LLC
  • Steam Sponsor ($500): Connectrac and Tenet Healthcare
  • In-Kind Sponsor: City of Dallas, Groundwork Dallas and Kroger
  • Media Sponsor: MySweetCharity

Why not get your pals together, plaster on some sunscreen and help bring the best out in the Trinity Corridor? For more info about registration and sponsorships, check out Trinity River Conservation Corps or call Tierney Kaufman Hutchins at 214.720.1616.

* Photo provided by Trinity River Conservancy

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Baylor Health Care System Foundation YPO Gold Supper

John Harkey, Peni Barfield and Camila Iribe Orive and Adolfo Orive

The Baylor Health Care System Foundation hosted a dinner for Dallas’ YPO Gold members and their spouses. But what was served up was more than just a tasty meal on Thursday, March 2, at the Charles Sammons Center. The genetic makeup of the guests was the main course provided by experts in the field of medicine and ethics.

Myrna Schlegel

Craig Hall

As the post is being prepared, get a look at some of the gold-standard types of YPO at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Hefty, Young Couple Meets Up In Dallas For Arranged Relationship

They didn’t know each other. They hadn’t even met via an online dating service. She had been living in Albuquerque and he hailed from glamorama Los Angeles. But they rendezvoused in Dallas this week for an arranged relationship. Sure, they’re a bit hefty and she’s just 10 years old, but according to those-in-the-know, they would find bliss together.

Boipelo*

Adhama**

Whoa! Before getting the wrong impression, it’s not what you think.

The two are Nile hippos and the new residents of the $14M,  2.1-acre Simmons Hippo Outpost at the Dallas Zoo. While Boipelo is a svelte babe weighing in at 2,395 pounds, six-year-old hunky Adhama hits the scales at 3,722 pounds.

According to Dallas Zoo Animal Operations and Welfare VP Harrison Edell, “Over the next 30 days while the hippos are in quarantine, our keepers, veterinary staff and nutritionists will keep a close eye on them to ensure they continue to do well. For now they’re living in separate halves of the new barn, but because of its open design, they’ve already ‘met’ each other through the fences and are getting along well.”

It’s been 16 years since the Zoo’s last Nile hippo, Papa, died. At the time of his death, he was 53 years old and “the oldest Nile hippo being cared for in a U.S. zoo.”

The official debut of the newbie river horses will probably take place in April. Stay tuned.

* Photo credit: ABQ BioPark./Courtesy of ABQ BioPark 
** Photo credit L.A. Zoo./ Courtesy of L.A. Zoo

North Texas Food Bank Makes Changes In Its Annual Food Raising Event With Cowboys And Chefs

Change is in the air. The North Texas Food Bank has made changes for its fundraising “Taste of the NFL.” First, the name has readjusted. It’s now known as “Taste of the Cowboys.” And they don’t mean rodeo types.

Taste Of The Cowboys*

Second, the location has been moved from AT&T Stadium (the home turf for the Dallas Cowboys) to The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco (aka the new home base for the Dallas Cowboys).  

But what stays the same is the involvement of past and present Dallas Cowboys, entertainment (Reckless Kelly) and top-area restaurants and chefs participating Shinsei, The Capital Grill Plano, Seasons 52, Asador, Lockhart Smokehouse, Texas de Brazil, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Bistro 31, Kent Rathbun, Taverna, Toulouse, The Common Table, Perry’s Steakhouse And Grille, Cane Rosso, Howard Wang’s China Grill, il Calabrese Ristorante And Bar, Yucatan Taco Stand, Mayfield Ice Cream, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen And Bar, Legends Hospitality, Cowboys Club, Off the Bone Barbeque, Frosted Art, Omni Frisco Hotel/Neighborhood Services, Rye. Craft Food And Drink, La Duni and Mi Cocina.

Reckless Kelly*

The shindig takes place on Sunday, May 7, with the Main Event taking place from 6 to  10 p.m. For a few bucks more, the VIP Event (5 to 6 p.m.) is available.  Tickets are online now!

Presented by Caliber Collision, all proceeds from the tasty event will benefit NTFB’s child programs.

* Graphic and photo provided by North Texas Food Bank

The 5th Annual Reading Partners Celebrity Spelling Bee Had City Performance Hall Buzzing With Boldfacers Competing

For some, auto-spell check has relieved some of the angst of getting words spelled correctly. But a group of area hotshots, they found themselves relying on their own gray matter to compete in the Reading Partners Spelling Bee on Wednesday, March 1, at City Performance Hall benefiting Reading Partners North Texas. Here’s a report from the field: 

What do Don Quixote, Pharrell Williams and Hermione Granger all have in common? Their names were each spelled (not necessarily correctly) by local celebrities at the 5th Annual Reading Partners Celebrity Spelling Bee on Wednesday, March 1, at City Performance Hall. Following a cocktail reception, Co-Chairs Jenny and Loren Koziol kicked off the evening with powerful statistics about the current state of child literacy in North Texas before introducing emcees Katy Blakey and Kristi Nelson of NBC 5. Byron Sanders, Vice President of U.S. Trust, assumed his position as Official Spelling Bee Judge on stage shortly after. Then, one by one, the five teams entered the stage with hopes of being crowned spelling champions by the end of the competition. Each sponsored by a company or individual, the teams were divided as follows:

  • Team Neiman Marcus — Brandon Carr of the Dallas Cowboys; Tyrone Crawford of the Dallas Cowboys; and Jennifer Lassiter, Vice President of Internal Corporate Communications at Neiman Marcus
  • Team EY — Ryan Burke, partner at Ernst And Young; Lesley McCaslin, Fox Sports reporter; and Dr. Kent Scribner, Superintendent of Fort Worth ISD
  • Team U.S. Trust — Tiffany Bias of the Dallas Wings; DJ Poizon Ivy, DJ for Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Wings; and Janet Ryan, Managing Director and Private Client Advisor at U.S. Trust
  • Team Mike And Mary Terry — Bill DeOre, former editorial cartoonist at The Dallas Morning News; Michelle Staubach Grimes, children’s author; and Mary Terry, co-founder of The Mike And Mary Terry Family Foundation
  • Team Vinson And Elkins — John Coleman, Executive Chef and Owner of Savor and Relish; Jim Meyer, partner at Vinson And Elkins; and Cary Pierce of Jackopierce.

From the left: (back row) John Coleman, Jim Meyer, Kent Scribner, Ryan Burke, Kristi Nelson, Mary Terry, Bill DeOre, Brandon Carr and his children; (middle row) Byron Sanders, Cary Pierce, Lesley McCaslin, Jennifer Lassiter, Tiffany Bias, Janet Ryan, DJ Poizon Ivy and her daughter; (front row) Katy Blakey, Jenny Koziol, Michelle Staubach Grimes, Tyrone Crawford, Byron Jones*

Just before the competition kicked off, Dallas Cowboy Byron Jones joined Team Neiman Marcus from the crowd as a surprise last-minute addition. The spelling bee then began with one practice round, but not before each team purchased passes for $1,000 each to be used in case they got stumped. Words were pulled from one of multiple categories, such as pop culture, literature or geography. After six or seven rounds—and all passes used on difficult words—a winning team rose to the top. When Team U.S. Trust misspelled the word ‘bourgeoisie,’ Team EY became the 2017 Reading Partners Celebrity Spelling Bee Champions. After posing for a photo with their trophies, the winning team joined their defeated opponents to mingle with guests across the street at Jorge’s during the after party.

Team EY may have taken home trophies, but Reading Partners was the real winner of the evening. The Celebrity Spelling Bee raised $155,000, which supports Reading Partners’ proven child literacy intervention program. In addition to each team sponsor, the event was made possible by Holly Energy Partners, AZZ Inc., Topgolf, Make It Count Family Foundation, Bandera Ventures, Downtown Dallas Inc., ExxonMobil, Frost Bank, Industrial Valuation Services, The Hoglund Foundation, Oncor, Price Waterhouse Cooper and TIER REIT.

* Photo provided by Reading Partners North Texas

Dallas Women’s Foundation’s Ros Dawson Thompson Hosts A Dinner For Maura And Young Leader Awardees To Get To Know Each Other

While the Dallas Historical Society was “celebrating Texas” at Julie and George Tobolowsky’s home staring at walls of vintage map on Wednesday, March 1, NorthPark was buzzing with activity. At Vineyard Vines, Lee Park Junior Conservancy’s 9th Annual Day At The Race’s Co-Chairs Camille Cain Barnes and Tyler Stevens were kicking off plans for the Saturday, May 6, fundraiser for Lee Park and Dallas Women’s Foundation President/CEO Ros Dawson Thompson was hosting a dinner at Seasons 52 as a get together for the 2017 Maura Women Helping Women and Young Leader Award recipients. Here’s a report from the field about the gals at Seasons 52:

On Wednesday, March 1, at Seasons 52 at NorthPark Center, Dallas Women’s Foundation held a dinner for the recipients of its 2017 Maura Women Helping Women and Young Leader Award to meet each other, the co-chairs and DWF leadership.

DWF will honor this illustrious group of leaders, who have positively impacted the lives of women and girls in the North Texas area, at the Leadership Forum And Awards Dinner, presented by AT&T, on Tuesday, May 9, at the Dallas Omni Hotel. Co-chaired by Cheryl Alston and Laura V. Estrada, the fundraising dinner will include a presentation of the Maura Awards and Young Leader Award, presented by Capital One.

The evening will also feature keynote speaker Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley. Harris is the author of “Strategies to Win” and “Expect to Win,” and a presidential-appointed chair of the National Women’s Business Council.

Dallas Women’s Foundation President and CEO Roslyn Dawson Thompson said, “We are truly inspired by these women and their stories of success in their professional lives. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments on May 9.”

From the left: (standing) Ellenore Baker, Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Hind El Saadi El Jarrah, Laura V. Estrada and Cheryl Alston; (seated) Tonya Parker, Lupe Valdez and Cynthia Nwaubani*

The Maura Women Helping Women Award recipients are Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation Executive Director Hind El Saadi El Jarrah, Ph.D.; TexProtects (The Texas Association for the Protection of Children) Founding CEO Madeline McClure, LCSW; Judge of the 116th Civil District Court in Dallas County The Honorable Tonya Parker; and Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez. The Young Leader Award will be presented to Wells Fargo and Company Relationship Manager Cynthia Nwaubani, CPA .

For those interested in purchasing tickets to the dinner, which start at $150, or a sponsorship, visit https://www.dallaswomensfdn.org/2016/events/leadershipawards.

* Photo provided by the Dallas Women's Foundation

Dallas Historical Society “Celebrate(s) Texas” With George Tobolowsky’s Collection Of Historic Texas Maps As The Centerpiece

Most folks know George Tobolowsky for his sculptures. But it was his wife Julie Tobolowsky’s complaining about his watching “The Simpsons” about 20 years ago that added an entirely different interest in his life — historic maps.

So the story goes that Julie suggested that reading a book would be better than boob-tube watching. The first book that George picked up was “Maps of Texas and the Southwest, 1513-1900.” Not only was Julie right on, she set her husband into collecting every map that was in that book and a lot more.

Historic maps display

Since artist George recognized the detail and beauty in the maps, he had them framed and displayed on the walls of the Tobolowsky home. Some were even framed in wood made from trees that George had felled.

Knowing this, the Dallas Historical Society held a “Celebrate Texas” party on the evening of Wednesday, March 1, the day before Texas Independence Day.

Alan Olson, Molly Nolan and Julie and George Tobolowsky

While DHS Executive Director Amy Aldredge was unable to attend, DHS Deputy Director  Alan Olson and DHS Development Associate Molly Nolan represented the DHS staff.