Harvest Provides Food For Soles And The North Texas Food Bank At The Shed

Over at the Dallas Farmers Market, an expected attendance of 400 turned into more than 500 guests for the Harvest fundraiser on Friday, September 19, benefiting the North Texas Food Bank. The first special event ever held at the market’s newly renovated Shed, the fundraiser buzzed with excitement as attendees like Lucian LaBarba, DeeDee and Jim Lee, Debra Nelson, Betsy and Richard Eiseman and Claire and Dwight Emanuelson threaded their way among tasty treats prepared by 20 featured chefs.

As the result of work by Co-chairs Kristi Bare and Nancy Gopez and Honorary Co-chairs Janet and Phil Cobb, Ruthie and Jay Pack, and Katherine and Eric Reeves, the event included silent and live auctions, tunes by DJ Lucy Wrubel and recognition of the Food Bank’s Golden Fork recipients. While Paula Lambert of the Dallas Mozzarella Company handed out her award-winning cheese nearby, Caren Kline spoke for many of the guests in lauding Harvest—and the NTFB. “I love the Food Bank. I love all that they do,” Caren said brightly. “And this is great tonight—especially for a first-time event.”

Round Robin Sept. 18: Too Many To List

Every now and then, there are “go-figure moments” in fundraising scheduling. Thursday, September 18, was such a day. Here it was the tsunami of nonprofits emailing, calling and tapping sources to donate to the North Texas Giving Day. Last year most groups went dark to allow the big day to take place uninterrupted. This year the pendulum swung in the opposite direction with receptions, parties and announcements taking place all over the place. The AT&T Chairman’s dinner was being held at the Winspear and Dallas Opera’s First Sight was filling Roberto Cavalli with beautiful people including First Sight/First Night Co-Chairs Nick Even and Lynn McBee.

Nick Even, Cristiano Mancini and Lynn McBee*

Nick Even, Cristiano Mancini and Lynn McBee*

Here are just a smattering of the multitude of things that were going on from field reports:

Art For Advocacy Kick-Off Party

Greg Lauren and Brian Bolke*

Greg Lauren and Brian Bolke**

“Art and fashion enthusiasts gathered at Forty Five Ten for a special event to kick off the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s upcoming fundraiser, Art for Advocacy. Special guest and fashion designer, Greg Lauren, showcased his newest collection while guests sipped on Austin Cocktails. DJ Lucy Wrubel kept the party going with beats that pulsed throughout the store. In support of the event, Forty Five Ten’s Brian Bolke offered 10% of the evening’s proceeds to benefit DCAC and will extend 10% of sales from the Greg Lauren collection to the agency through Nov. 1.

“Art for Advocacy celebrates the transformative power of art therapy in helping children process trauma and heal emotional scars as a result of abuse. Proceeds support DCAC’s work in improving the lives of abused children in Dallas County and providing national leadership on child abuse issues. The event draws community and business leaders, young professionals, local arts organizations, artists and gallerists, art collectors, and art patrons.

Lynn M. Davis, Chad and Judee Barrett, Randall and Kara Goss, Stephanie and John Roberts*

Lynn M. Davis, Chad and Judee Barrett, Randall and Kara Goss, Stephanie and John Roberts**

“Guests included DCAC CEO Lynn Davis, Underwriting Co-Chairs Judee and Chad Barrett, Honorary Co-Chairs Kara and Randall Goss, Event Co-Chairs Stephanie and John Roberts, Helena and Doug Wall, Lee McGuire, Allyson Cooke, Leisa Street, Cile McCorlek, Joyce Goss, Kenny Goss, Muffin Lemak, Shelby Wagner, Jamie and Jeremy Saylor, Christine and Mark Danuser, Susan and David Brown, Camille McMakin and Kelly Moser.

Mark and Christine Danuser and Susan and David Brown*

Mark and Christine Danuser and Susan and David Brown**

“This year’s Art for Advocacy event will feature 100 local and regional artists in a silent and live art auction. The 8th annual event makes a departure to a Saturday night featuring tequila, Texas tapas, and desert vacation packages guaranteed to inspire wanderlust. The Art for Advocacy auction party will take place at 7 p.m. on November 1, at F.I.G. to raise funds to aid the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC) in its mission to improve the lives of abused children in Dallas County. An Art Preview will be held at 6 p.m. for $2500+ sponsors offering the first opportunity to buy-it-now. DCAC coordinates the investigation and prosecution of the most severe cases of child abuse in the community and provides national leadership on child abuse issues. For more information email [email protected].”

Capital for Kids Anniversary Party

Ann and Lee Hobson***

Ann and Lee Hobson***

Capital for Kids kicked off its 10th anniversary celebration last night in the Highland Park home of Ann and Lee Hobson. Celebrating 10 years of changing lives in North Texas, the invitation-only sponsor party featured a special presentation by children from the Trinity River Mission of West Dallas – a Capital for Kids grant recipient.

Scott and Amy Houdek***

Scott and Amy Houdek***

“Among the guests were Rob Hayes, Reid Walker, Amy and Capital for Kids 2014 Co-Chair Scott Houdek, Katy and Lawrence Bock (who donated an emerald-cut 10-carat aquamarine surrounded by 66 dimaonds to celebrate CFK’s 10th anniversary), Carroll Watson, Reed Carroll, Rachel and Brad Stephens, Allison Carlisle, Susan Nichol, Dawn Blankenship Hennessey, Michael Watson, Michael Massad, Jason Hill, Lucas Legera, David Smith and Gentry Beach.

Lawrence and Katy Bock***

Lawrence and Katy Bock***

“Capital for Kids is a network of individuals in the asset management community dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children in need. Through the partnership of our sponsors and grant recipients over the last 10 years, Capital for Kids has supported organizations that educate, protect and encourage at-risk children. They provide financial support to organizations that help break the cycle of child abuse, poverty and neglect through education, advocacy and emergency resources.

“Since inception, Capital for Kids has donated $8.7 million to more than 50 different charitable organizations in North Texas. They have a goal to give $10 million in 10 years to North Texas children’s charities. 100% of sponsorship and donation dollars go directly to the charities they support. Capital for Kids will be hosting its main event on Thursday, November 20, at the FIG. Tickets can be purchased at www.capitalforkids.org.

KidneyTexas Patron Party

Linda Dodd, Ola Fojtasek and Lissie Donosky****

Linda Dodd, Ola Fojtasek and Lissie Donosky****

KidneyTexas, Inc. patrons of The Runway Report Luncheon and Style Show gathered at the Highland Park home of Ola and Randall Fojtasek and had much to celebrate!

“As the evening began, the verandah was bathed in soft lighting opening into the expansive courtyard. Guests enjoyed wines donated by Barbara and David Farmer as M3Trio serenaded them into the evening, under the stars. Sumptuous hors d’oeuvres donated and catered by Angela Gordon of Angela’s Catering filled the formal dining table and were passed inside and out. Valet parking was generously donated by Gold Crown Parking.

Anna Bland Aston and Scott Aston****

Anna Bland Aston and Scott Aston****

“Guests included patron party chair Anna Bland Aston, her husband Scott and daughter, Annalee; Jolie Humphrey, president of KidneyTexas, Inc. and her husband, Bart, and Lezlie and Bill Noble, who donated a strand of South Sea pearls valued at $32,000 to the live auction.

“The buzz was about the upcoming The Runway Report luncheon and fashion show at the Brook Hollow Golf Club, which presents Faye C. Briggs as honorary chair and honors Janelle Friedman with the Goodnight Service Award. The Goodnight award is named in honor of Sue Goodnight, a founding KidneyTexas, Inc. member and longtime volunteer and supporter of the organization, who attended with her sister, Faye Wheeler.

Janelle Friedman and Sue Goodnight****

Janelle Friedman and Sue Goodnight****

“Tooties fashions will rule the runway in a fashion show produced by Jan Strimple and also feature fashions from KidBiz and Pockets.

“The live auction also features a Santa Fe, New Mexico vacation package valued at $10,000 which includes a 5-bedroom house and other delights! It is all topped off with a delicious luncheon.

“The luncheon, chaired by Karen Settle, benefits KidneyTexas, Inc. beneficiaries: Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Children’s Medical Center, National Kidney Foundation – Camp Reynal, UT Southwestern Medical Center.

VNA Kick-Off Party

“The VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon Committee held a kick-off celebration Thursday that brought together sponsors, board members and VNA executives. Some 30 guests joined the event at Molto Formaggio in Highland Park Village to sample fine wines and cheeses. Michael Perlmeter and Christy Martinez, the owners of Molto Formaggio, hosted the event and are donating a portion of all proceeds to VNA.

Katherine Krause, Lori Whitlow and Ryan Stegall*****

Katherine Krause, Lori Whitlow and Ryan Stegall*****

“The 5th Annual VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon will be held on October 15 at VNA’s Haggerty Center in Dallas, benefiting VNA’s Meals on Wheels program. This year’s Celebrity Chef is Uchi Chef and Owner Tyson Cole.

Francie Mancillas and Katie Johnson*****

Francie Mancillas and Katie Johnson*****

“Among those attending the kick-off celebration were: 2014 Celebrity Chef Luncheon Co-Chairs Katie Johnson and Francie Mancillas, VNA Board Development Chair Lori Whitlow, VNA President and CEO Katherine Krause, VNA Board Chair Sara Fraser Crismon, VNA Board Vice-Chair Janet Ryan Stegall, VNA Board Members Jay Oppenheimer, Catherine Sweet, John Sears and Cathy Vanden Eykel. Many of those attending are sponsors for the Celebrity Chef Luncheon, including Sara Fraser Crismon, Ike Vanden Eykel, Lynn Sears, Mike Sweet and Janet Ryan Stegall.

Ike and Cathy Vanden Eykel*****

Ike and Cathy Vanden Eykel*****

For more information about VNA’s 5th Annual Celebrity Chef Luncheon and how it will benefit VNA Meals on Wheels, please contact VNA’s Annual Giving and Special Events Manager Laura Muñiz at [email protected] or 214.689.3484.

Slipper Club Announcement

Over at Trinity Groves, the Slipper Club gals gathered for the announcement of the 2015 gala plans. According to Slipper Club President Susan Deasy and Gala Chair Erika Burton, the annual party will benefit Camp John Marc. It will take place at Belo Mansion on Friday, February 27.

Junior League Announcement

The Junior Leaguers and their fans assembled at the Galleria’s Belk to hear deets about the 53rd annual fundraising ball. Ball Chair Beverly Cahill revealed the theme will be “The Magnolia Ball.” Why, oh, why does one suspect that magnolias will be abundant that night?

Beverly explained the thinking behind the theme, “This year’s theme will embrace the elegant heritage of our great city of Dallas with a classic, yet stylish twist,” said Cahill. “The Magnolia Ball will be the Southern Chic dinner and dancing event of the season!”

Then she added another twist to the annual gala. Instead of an entertainer, she’s arranged to have two — jazz singer/songwriter Gabbie McGee to set the mood for the evening and Emerald City for post-dinner dancing and gyrating. Okay, so maybe one doesn’t necessarily gyrate in formal wear, but a whole lot shaking and dancing usually takes place when Emerald City is on stage.

The black-tie fundraiser will take place in the Chantilly Ballroom of the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, February 21.

Lynn McBee will serve as honorary chair. At the rate Lynn is going, she’ll probably end up chairing the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship.

* Photo provided by First Sight/First Night 
** Photos provided by Dallas Children's Advocacy Center
*** Photos provided by Capital for Kids
**** Photo credit: Daniel Driensky
***** Photos provided by VNA

Eiseman Jewels Celebrates Its Expansion With Memories And Champagne To Benefit Crystal Charity Ball

One guest glibly described the crowd at the right official unveiling of the expanded and refreshed Eiseman Jewels as, “It’s a St. Mark’s/Hockaday gathering.” Well, sorta, maybe, perhaps.

Eiseman Jewels

Eiseman Jewels

Actually the Wednesday, September 17th cocktail reception was benefiting the Crystal Charity Ball. To accommodate the 500 guests that included a full court press of CCB gals (Pat McEvoy, Patty Leyendecker, Vinnie Reuben and Tiffany Divis), the party spilled out as planned into the courtyard outside of Eiseman. To make it a private affair, the  area was black curtained off. Within the draping, Todd Events and Cassandra Fine Catering turned the center’s courtyard into an elegant feast of vision and food — a longer-than-long white bar, leather chairs, cocktail tables and never-ending trays of food. Course, the jewels on the models and in the display cases didn’t hurt the sparkle factor.

Model in Eiseman jewelry

Model in Eiseman jewelry

The whole occasion made a couple of older types laugh at the memories back in the 50’s when a grand opening resulted in orchid corsages or plastic drink glasses being handed out.

Louise Eiseman and Sistie Stollenwerck

Louise Eiseman and Sistie Stollenwerck

Eiseman matriarch Louise “Queen Mum” Eiseman initially welcomed guests within the entrance. But that ended when she spied Sistie Stollenwerck and the two decided to peruse the wall of Eiseman memories that lined towering display walls along the walkway leading to NorthPark. Among the clippings and photos on the boards were such familiar faces as Mimi Lay, the Browning ladies (Jane, Fallon, Katherine and Allison), Sistie, Juanita Miller, Sis Carr and Dick Eiseman.

Melanie and Eugene Jabbour

Melanie and Eugene Jabbour

Richard Eiseman, like his mother, was greeting each guests with a kiss on the cheek like an old friend and rightly so. He knew each and every one of the 500 including Margot and Ross Perot (he was giving a thumbs up to guests as he passed by), Carol and Don Glendening, new homeowners Melanie and Eugene Jabbour, Joe Haggar III and his mom Isabell Haggar, former CCB chairs (Cynthia Mitchell in elegant black slacks and Caren Kline in flawless white), Stanford grad Mary McDermott Cook on her way to Boston for Dan Patterson’s Harvard reunion.

Pat and Charles McEvoy and Richard Eiseman

Pat and Charles McEvoy and Richard Eiseman

CCB Chair Robyn Conlon in dazzling blue cocktail dress took dazzle up a notch or a hundred with a diamond necklace that husband Don had bought at Eiseman… Neiman’s NorthPark GM/VP Malcolm Reuben was teased about his store’s signage just above the black curtain…Jane Pierce reported that daughter/Communities Foundation of Texas’ Carol Goglia was preparing for the next day’s North Texas Giving Day…As models on platforms displayed jewels, the ducks in the court’s ponds didn’t seem the least bit impressed by the boldfacers or expensive accessories. Talk about blasé wildlife.

As Nancy Nasher and husband David Haemisegger were leaving the party, she recalled how her folks used to take her to the Eiseman counter, when it was located in Titche.

Now, Titche is part of NorthPark’s history and Eiseman is part of its future as they prepare to celebrate NP’s 50th anniversary.

Kershaw’s Challenge’s Dallas Deets Revealed For November 6 “Live Benefit Concert”

In this time when sports lovers shudder at new “problems” for professional athletes, it’s nice to know that Dallas has produced one whose only problem is that there’s just not enough of him to go around. The chap is former Parkie/present L.A. Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

Jan Osborn, Ellen and Clayton Kershaw, Sarah Oliai and JoAnn Ryan (File photo)

Jan Osborn, Ellen and Clayton Kershaw, Sarah Oliai and JoAnn Ryan (File photo)

He and his high school sweetheart/wife Ellen must have been made by Mattel. They’re just too good to be true. In addition to being professional baseball darlings, they established Kershaw’s Challenge in 2010 to help “impoverished children.”

Since then the twosome have had a very hands-on involvement working with organizations and pulled together more than $900,000 for programs.

For the past three years, they’ve held fundraising events in Los Angeles. Well, shoot! That’s where Clayton works. But now it’s time to raise fun as well as funds in the Kershaws’ hometown.

As reported earlier, they’re gonna have a party and not just any old party — LIVE Benefit Concert! It will take place at The Rustic on Thursday, November 6, and will benefit Dallas’ Mercy Street’s effort to build a Little League “Field of Dreams,” as well as CURE International and Arise Africa.

Mercy Street welcome committee (File photo)

Mercy Street welcome committee (File photo)

Oh, you want to know who will be on stage. Emerald Blue will be the opening act and Clay Walker will be the main act.

General admission tickets will be going for $60, but you might want to check the VIP ones because there will be a VIP reception and you just know the Kershaws will be easier to congratulate there.

After you get your ticket, reward yourself by shopping for something casual and adorable.

For ticket info and sponsorship opportunities, you’ll need to sweet talk Anna Staples.

Just In: The James Beard’s Taste America: Dallas Sous Chefs Picked Up Their Jackets And Auction Tips

Donna Arp Weitzman and Herb  Weitzman

Donna Arp Weitzman and Herb Weitzman

Well, goodness, gracious! The James Beard’s Taste America: Dallas just revealed the OMG auction items that will be on the bloc Friday night. The reveal took place high atop the Hilton Anatole tonight in SER with folks like Donna Arp-Weitzman and her sous chef Herb, sous chef Joe Pacetti, Vicki and Jim White (they were picking up Jim Moroney‘s jacket) and a ton of Dallas foodie bloggers. This group has never missed a meal!

Joe Pacetti

Joe Pacetti

Here are the items. Drop the diets and get a bid in:

  • Mercury’s Rising So Frost Yourself (Value: $2,600) — Get dolled up and go on the town! Diamond Doctor has donated a lovely $2,500 gift certificate to pick out the perfect bauble for your big night out. After you sparkle, arrive in style to a delicious dinner for two at the Mercury donated by the M Crowd. (Donated by Diamond Doctor and M Crowd. Restrictions: Not to be combined with other promotions. Not redeemable for cash.
  • High Time In Texas Wine Country (Value: $3,666) — Good wine, good food, good history in the Lone Star State. You and three of your friends will enjoy everything the Texas Wine Country has to offer. Spend your days soaking up the history with a VIP tour of the historic LBJ Ranch and then head over to the National Museum of the Pacific War. Feel the southern hospitality with a two-night stay at the Inn on Baron’s Creek. When you are ready to wet your whistle, there are tours of two of the most popular wineries, Becker Vineyards and Grape Creek Vineyards! Don’t worry, we won’t leave you hungry! Enjoy dinner with wine pairings at two fantastic restaurants, August E’s Fine Dining and Otto’s Restaurant. This is one you will not want to miss! (Donated by Inn on Baron’s Creek, August E’s Fine Dining, Otto’s Restaurant, Grape Creek Vineyards, Becker Vineyards, LBJ Ranch, National Museum of the Pacific War). Restrictions: Travel not included. Please see gift certificates for other restrictions.
  • Savor The Flavor of Savor Dallas (Value: $10,000) —An exclusive, 5-course private dinner with wine for up to six guests in the home of The Dallas Morning News VP and Editorial Page Editor Keven Ann Willey prepared by her Belgian husband, internationally acclaimed chef Georges Badoux, and a Mystery Guest to be named later. And six Access Weekend passes to Savor Dallas 2015 to experience the best of food, and culture March 19-22, 2015. This package includes round-trip transportation to Savor Dallas Saturday evening guests “The Reserve Tasting” and “The International Grand Tasting.” Donated by The Dallas Morning News, the new owner of Savor Dallas, Jim and Barbara Moroney, Georges Badoux and Keven Ann Willey. Restrictions: Dinner held on a mutually agreeable date. Expiration is September 2015. Savor Dallas passes must be used March 19-22, 2015. Passes are transferrable. Must be 21 to attend Savor Dallas.
  • Capital Gains (Value: $5,200) — Get a behind-the-scenes look and at the George W. Bush Presidential Center with former Chief Gift Officer for the Office of Protocol for President George W. Bush Tiffany Divis. After this exclusive tour, head to the restaurant inside the Center enjoy lunch at Café 43. This is a prelude to a wonderful Washington DC trip with hotel stay and dinner for 2 at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel in the shadow of the White House. Then spend the next night at The Little Washington hotel and have dinner with wine pairings at the restaurant Patrick O’Connell made famous. This is not to be missed! Donated by Willard InterContinental Hotel, The Little Washington, Tiffany Divis. Restrictions: Travel not included. Please see gift certificates for other restrictions.

Gals Lay Claim To Gray Matter At The Friends Of BrainHealth Luncheon

Gray-matter types don’t just sit around playing Mensa games. The Friends of BrainHealth proved that point on Wednesday, September 17, at the Dallas Country Club. Here is a field report from someone who is smarter than most of us:

“While there may be a shortage of women in science that was not evident at the Friends of BrainHealth Scientist Selection luncheon last week where four young female brain scientists were each awarded a $25,000 research grant. A dynamic donor circle dedicated to advancing Center for BrainHealth research, the Friends of BrainHealth raised more than $300,000 to support, in part, the unique program designed to give young scientists an invaluable opportunity to design and lead their own research studies at an early point in their careers.

“A family friendly event, 2014 Friends of BrainHealth chairs, Tracy and Ballard Castleman, along with membership chairs Helen and Rives Castleman (Ballard and Rives are twins), spearheaded this year’s efforts that culminated last week with a vote to select one of three finalists live.

Linda and Joel Robuck, Katherine and Bob Penn and Dana and Kate Juett*

Linda and Joel Robuck, Katherine and Bob Penn and Dana and Kate Juett*

Bob Penn who, along with wife Katherine, made the luncheon possible and has also graciously committed to making next year’s possible, kicked-off the luncheon at the Dallas Country Club. BrainHealth’s vibrant board president, Debbie Francis, presided over the program in the absence of Center founder and chief director, Dr. Sandi Chapman who had been called away to last-minute meetings in Washington, D.C.

“While ballots were being tabulated, three scientists chosen prior to the event to receive named awards created by members at the Visionary level ($25,000) explained their innovative projects.

“Visionary Friend Joel Robuck, attending with wife Linda, introduced the pre-selected scientists. Paying homage to his Oak Cliff roots, he bestowed each research project with a spirited and humorous title to dispel any intimidating scientific language surrounding the research projects of Lee Ann Young, the Linda and Joel Robuck award recipient who will use virtual-reality to revolutionize traumatic brain injury diagnosis and treatment; the Sapphire Foundation awardee, Dr. Lori Cook, who will adapt high performance brain training for elementary-aged students; and Dr. Nyaz Didehbani who will use the Katherine and Bob Penn grant to explore the efficacy of an ocular test that assesses youth sports concussions on the playing field.

Lee Ann Young,Bambi DeLaRosa, Nyaz Didehbani and Lori Cook

Lee Ann Young,Bambi DeLaRosa, Nyaz Didehbani and Lori Cook

“Bambi DeLaRosa’s popular vote win for her neurofeedback brain training proposal was perhaps preordained by her auspicious dress choice that was in the same black and white stripe vein as Friends chair Tracy Castleman.

Lindsay Billingsley and Lucy Billingsley*

Lindsay Billingsley and Lucy Billingsley*

“Brain Performance Institute executive director Eric Bennett announced the passing of the Friends torch to the Billingsley family. He charmingly challenged incoming co-chairs Lucy Billingsley and Lindsay Billingsley to fill the Dallas Cowboys stadium with next year’s luncheon attendees.

“Former honorary chairs of the Friends of BrainHealth include Toni and Norm Brinker, Sue Justice, Sammye Myers and Dee Wyly. Former Friends of BrainHealth chairs include Caroline Gehan with Ross and Anne Helbing, Kimber Hartmann with Angie Kadesky. Although Caroline Gehan could not attend, daughter Lindsay Gehan who serves on BrainHealth’s young professionals board and also works for the Brain Performance Institute, attended with sister Adrienne.

“The Friends of BrainHealth kicks off their 2015 campaign on Saturday, November 1.”

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

Texas Trailblazer Awardee Harold C. Simmons Is Honored With Joe Torre Going To Bat For The Family Place

The Texas Trailblazer Award Luncheon VIP reception in the Anatole’s Carpenter Ballroom was filled with those who love baseball and hate abuse. While featured speaker Joe Torre stood his ground with a big smile posing for photos with guests, others had a cup of coffee and a chat to catch up before the luncheon benefiting The Family Place. One of the big topics was Saturday September 27.

Annette Simmons, Amy Simmons and Joe Crafton

Annette Simmons, Amy Simmons and Joe Crafton

Pegasus Ball Honorary Chair Yvonne Crum was talking about the Autism Treatment Centers of Texas fundraiser taking place at the Fairmont, while Mission Ole Co-Chair LeeAnne Locken was promoting the Trinity River Mission funder that will be underway at the same time at One Arts Plaza…Carolyn Tillery, who departed Beverly Drive before it departed newsstands, has been busy writing a book. She was a happy camper about some recent news and has already started working on her second one…WFAA’s Dale Hansen briefly appeared and quickly disappeared…On the other hand, Annette Simmons and Amy Simmons stayed for the entire reception with Joe Crafton…Foodies Bo Pilgrim and Connie Yates were catching up.

Bo Pilgrim and Connie Yates

Bo Pilgrim and Connie Yates

At 11:25 the reception broke up and the herd of guests headed to the Imperial Ballroom on the third level. For many it was their first time to venture into the former Khmer Ballroom that had spent the summer getting a new look. Like a socialite with a recent “well-done refreshening,” the difference was pleasantly noticeable. First thing was the smell of new in the air. It was as if the carpenters, painters and other craftsmen had just left the place. The hallway leading to the ballroom was a bit on the dramatic side with new carpeting and lighting that spotlighted the art along the way. The reception area and ballroom were basically the same space, but the new paint, carpeting and lighting had turned the old girl into a more polished lady.

In the back of the room near the production platform, emcee Gloria Campos was being fitted with her mic. Her hair is a bit longer and she’s loving “retirement.” Her version of retiring is another person’s idea of a second career.

Lana and Barry Andrews

Lana and Barry Andrews

As she headed to her place up front, the nearly 1,000 guests kept arriving. Michal Powell on crutches arrived with Aileen PrattMary Brinegar was keeping her fingers crossed that the weather would hold out for the Rory Meyer’s First Anniversary dinner scheduled the following Sunday…At front row tables were Kelli Ford, Sydney Huffines, Lana and Barry Andrews and Sharon McCutchin…Co-Chairs Stephanie and Travis Hollman, Carol Seay and Stephanie Seay were receiving congratulations for the record-busting luncheon.

Travis and Stephanie Hollman

Travis and Stephanie Hollman

Stephanie Seay

Stephanie Seay

At 11:42, the Booker T. Washington Jazz Combo 1 played “Proud To Be An American” with the female singer not quite sounding like Lee Greenwood. Hey, it’s not an easy song to sing, but the meaning is easy to understand. You just try singing it in front of 900 strangers.

Almost immediately the program was underway with Gloria welcoming the group. She also accidentally described Dale as “a domestic violence advocate.” Hey, it’s easy to do. No, he doesn’t advocate domestic violence, but “an advocate against domestic violence” sounds pretty convoluted. Anyhow, everybody in the room understood what she meant and many got a chuckle out of it.

Before he led the group in the invocation, Fellowship Pastor Gary Brandenburg reminded the guests that the late Harold Simmons, who was being honored at the luncheon, always ended his prayers by saying “…and, Lord, let us never forget how very blessed we are.”

Lunch was served with the menu “inspired by Harold.” Later Dale Hansen would tell the group how he got into it with his table’s server — “I’m gonna need another plate.” But she wouldn’t give it to him. So, he confessed, “I’ll look for a McDonald’s on the way out.”

Paige Fink and Carol Seay

Paige Fink and Carol Seay

As a surprise, The Family Place’s Paige Flink announced the presentation of a video on Harold would be shown. The touching tribute with scenes from his childhood, with family and even walking with his dogs emphasized Harold’s being “loyal, faithful and loving.”

Following the video, Paige revealed another surprise. The Family Place’s child development center at its Safe Campus was being renamed the Harold C. Simmons Child Development Center.

She also acknowledged those present who had been instrumental in helping combat family violence, including the late Dr. Ron Anderson, whose memorial service would take place later in the day.

Then baseball-loving Gloria introduced Joe, reminding the group that he had just been inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Then she attempted to introduce Dale by calling him “the other big white guy in my life” in reference to the first one, her husband. But before she could finish with Dale’s intro, he walked on stage, grabbed her by the shoulders and said, “Okay, that’s all.”

Dale being Dale described Mayor Mike Rawlings and his domestic violence initiatives: “I think Mayor Rawlings is one helluva visionary and one helluva mayor of Dallas. I can’t say that, though!”

He then reeled out the ugly statistics compiled by the Dallas Police Department on the number of domestic violence calls received each year — 13K! Looking out at the audience, Dale stated: “Real men, gentlemen, don’t hit women.”

Dale Hansen and Joe Torre

Dale Hansen and Joe Torre

Then the conversation between the sports anchor and the baseball legend commenced. It surprised a couple or three folks, who had thought it would cover Joe’s career, as well as his childhood in a family in which his father abused his mother.

Instead the focus stayed pretty straight on domestic violence and on Joe’s taking up the cause against it. Dale told how Joe had been instrumental in getting the Violence Against Women Act passed in 1994, and established the Safe at Home Foundation.

It all stemmed from his childhood. Joe was the youngest of five children. “My dad was a bully. He made his wife feel inferior.” His father threw his mother down the stairs when he discovered she was pregnant with Joe.

Dale Hansen and Joe Torre

Dale Hansen and Joe Torre

“I was a nervous kid” growing up, with a lack of confidence, because of his father’s violence, Joe said. When Joe saw his father’s car parked at home, Joe went elsewhere. Dale and Joe agreed that the “impact on children has been lost in conversation about domestic violence.”

Joe said, “If you save one child, that’s worth the effort.”

Joe said one of the biggest problems in the crusade against domestic abuse is lack of “awareness.” While the problem needs to be brought to the forefront, he also felt half the stories one sees in the media aren’t true, because of pressures of the Internet. Anybody can make accusations about anything, Joe said. They need to be thoroughly checked out.

Joe Torre

Joe Torre

When the subject of the recent NFL issues with domestic violence was brought up, Joe said, “We can all do more. Mixed message: go be violent on the field on Sunday, and then go on a date.”

But it wasn’t all domestic violence. Touching on baseball, Joe admitted, “I became smarter when I had better players.” He recalled being fired by three teams. Regarding his work with New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, he related advice provided by friend Joe Garagiola: “You take somebody’s money, you gotta take their crap, too.”

About the Texas Rangers, Joe said, “They can’t come any closer [to a world championship] than they did.” Just before Game 7 of the 2011 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Joe told Ron Washington, “I’m pulling for you, because I pull for good people.” Joe then added, “Ron seemed to care about the players.”

And, of course, humor found its way into the discussion when Joe reported that male brains don’t fully develop until they’re 25. Dale followed up with, “Or 66.”

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #1: Farm-To-Table Dinner

The TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction’s Farm-To-Table Dinner is a favorite. But this year, they’ve put a spin on it. And, what a spin it is! This one will be like none in the past and may never happen again.

Farm-To-Table (File photo)

Farm-To-Table Dinner* (Value: $30,000)

To some, they might seem like the odd couple. One is an outgoing, clean-shavened blonde who has worked for two the world’s most famous luxury hotels. The other is a brunette with trim facial hair, who prefers to quietly chat with others. He’s been his own man opening a number of well-known restaurants throughout Dallas. Both have been James Beard Award Winners; both have authored well-received cookbooks; both have been dedicated to locally produced resources; and both shared in the creation of Southwestern cuisine a couple of decades ago.

Stephan Pyles (File photo)

Stephan Pyles (File photo)

Dean Fearing (File photo)

Dean Fearing (File photo)

They are Chef Dean Fearing and Chef Stephan Pyles.

For the past 20 years, the two best friends have both experienced reputations that have only grown in stature. But, alas, they haven’t had the opportunity to partner up on a menu. This auction package ends that dry spell. For 30 couples, the twosome will prepare a three-course meal in the pastures of Lavon Farms in Plano. The chefs will “use all of their top resources for the best local farm ingredients.”

And, of course, a great meal is only enhanced by great music. So, Obscure Dignitaries will be providing the sound effects.

Farm-To-Table bidding (File photo)

But remember — This one is limited to 30 couples and will be going to $1,000 per couple. The Mansion ballroom will be fluttering with paddles when this one goes on the auction bloc. Get yours up fast!

* Courtesy of Dean Fearing, Stephan Pyles and Lavon Farms

If You’re On A Diet, Ditch It

Some folks are all a ga-ga over the main meal at Friday’s Taste America: Dallas affair for Café Momentum and the James Beard Foundation.

Oh, please!

Before the heavy-duty vittles take place courtesy of Dallas’ own Stephan Pyles and Inn at Little Washington’s Patrick O’Connell, there is a five-star reception. If the tasties like the following don’t excite you, then hit the drive-thru at Sonic and order yourself a blast:

Omar Flores, Janice Provost , Matt, David Uygar, Stephan Pyles and Tim Byres (File photo)

Omar Flores, Janice Provost , Matt, David Uygar, Stephan Pyles and Tim Byres (File photo)

  • Omar Flores of Casa Rubia — Rabbit rillettes, artichoke, sorrel, radish salsa verde
  • Matt McCallister of FT 33 — Gently grilled kale with oyster mayonnaise
  • Janice Provost of Parigi — Mascarpone crab cake
  • Tim Byres of Smoke — Garlic & Mint Roasted Leg of Lamb with Chickpeas Sprouts, Honey & Sourdough on toast
  • David Uygur of Lucia — Arancini, fermented fennel, chili and aioli.
Jim Moroney

Jim Moroney (File photo)

As if that wasn’t enough, prepare yourself for who will be the sous chefs (Texan translation: main chef’s #1 go-to-cook) for the reception. They include Joe Pacetti with “food diamonds” to wear on his jacket; Savor Dallas’ Jim Moroney; former grocery exec Liz Minyard; engineer Wendy Lopez and real estate mogul/aka Donna Arp hubby Herb Weitzman.  IBM financial whiz honorary sous chef Steve Reiter will be celebrating is celebrating at the event and ‘nother honorary sous chef Mico is leaving Mr. Masero for the night to “assist” his restaurant buds.

Just In: Ralph Hawkins To Receive Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award

Chairman of the HKS Inc. Board Ralph Hawkins has been announced to receive the 13th annual Virginia Chandlers Dykes Award.

The luncheon will benefit the Texas Woman’s University’s Virginia Chandler Dykes Endowed Scholarship Fund.