JUST IN: Shannon Roberts Named Dallas Historical Society Executive Director

After searching the nation to head up the Dallas Historical Society (DHS), the new executive director is a hometown gal — Shannon Roberts.

Shannon Roberts*

Shannon Roberts*

A fourth-generation Dallasite, Episcopal School of Dallas graduate Shannon received her B.A. in communications and journalism from Baylor University. She is currently an M.B.A. candidate at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business.

But she brings to the position more than smarts. Most recently she has served as executive director of the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, “where she successfully restructured museum operations, programming and financial dependencies after a significant financial crisis nearly closed the institution.”

According to Shannon, “I started visiting Santa Fe when I was 19 years old. When the museum was in crisis, I realized that I have experience with other organizations that could help. I was called to save the institution for the sake of my daughter and the other children who visit it. Now that the museum is in great shape, I have moved back to Dallas for another wonderful opportunity.”

Prior to the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, Shannon was “development director of the Resource Center, executive director of the Dallas Children’s Museum when it merged with the Children’s Museum @ Perot Museum (formerly the Museum of Nature and Science), and development director for Dallas Children’s Theater.

Heading up the search was DHS board members Bill Helmbrecht and Andrew Clendenen joined by DHS Trustee Mary Brinegar and DHS Co-Chair Lynn McBee.

According to Lynn, “We were most impressed with Shannon because of her extensive experience in the non-profit world in various management positions, and her demonstrated skills in fundraising, financial management, community outreach, team building, and in clearly defining the missions of the organizations where she has worked.”

Shannon officially starts Monday, June 1.

* Photo credit: Jennifer Esperanza

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Taste Of The NFL

AT&T Cowboys Stadium had ‘em lined up waiting to get in on Sunday, May 3. No, Kenny Chesney hadn’t arrived yet for his May 16th concert. There was no football game on the field. But there were plenty of former Dallas Cowboys (Troy, Preston, Charles, Chad, etc.), cheerleaders and Super Bowl memorabilia in the “Cowboys on Tour” mobile museum.

Kent Rathbun

Kent Rathbun

Dunia Borgia

Dunia Borgia

Tom Landry statue

Tom Landry statue

It was the Taste of the NFL with “chef quarterback” Kent Rathbun and 20+ area chefs cooking up all types of goodies for more than 800 people to raise money for the North Texas Food Bank. Delicious doyenne Dunia Borgia was strolling the grounds offering tastes of her pistachio ice cream. Even folks who don’t usually like ice cream asked for seconds.

Preston Pearson

Preston Pearson

Gina Miller

Gina Miller

Rowdy

Rowdy

And, of course, there was a mechanical bull and guess who gave it a try? Check that photo out and the rest at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Children’s Advocacy Center Of Collin County’s Black Tie Gala Folks Partied With Guests Joining The Pointer Sisters On Stage

There are just no two ways about it. Collin County is the kissing cousin of Dallas. The folks there are energetic, growing and bound and determined to do the best thing…especially when it comes to kids. Perhaps that’s why the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County felt right at home holding its annual Black Tie Gala presented by Rent-A-Center at the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, May 2.

Christa Carrell and Richard and Cindy Sutley*

Christa Carrell and Richard and Cindy Sutley*

Tony Bradley, Dan Powers, Dave Hoffman and Richard Estell

Tony Bradley, Dan Powers, Dave Hoffman and Richard Estell

As 825 of the black tie and glittery set including Christa Carrell, Cindy and Robert Sutley, Angela and Attorney General Ken Paxton, Tony Bradley, Dan Powers, Dave Hoffman, Richard Estell, Frank Stanesic and Ana and Raj Asava arrived, the gargantuan silent auction practically filled the reception area outside the Chantilly Ballroom with treasures ranging from clothes and jewelry to travel, wine and sports memorabilia.

Carolyn Speese and Cathy Ramsey

Carolyn Speese and Cathy Ramsey

And then there were those rows of bags lined up on the tables behind a gong. As usual the bags sponsored by Willow Bend’s Neiman Marcus was a huge success with surprise goodies inside.

Longtime CACCC supporter Carolyn Speese told a buddy, “You’d better get a bag before they’re all gone.” And everybody knew when the bag count was dwindling. A gong was sounded as the sale was made.

Richard and Cathy Riccardi and Angela and Ken Paxton

Richard and Cathy Riccardi and Angela and Ken Paxton*

But it wasn’t just a silent auction. Heck, no! Of course, there was a dinner, but then there was the entertainment. Gala Co-Chairs Cathy and Richard Riccardi had arranged for the Pointer Sisters to entertain.

Realizing that the evening was to be a full one with a drive back to Collin County, the decision was made to have the meet-and-greet with the trio before the dinner.

One party circuit vet upon hearing that the Pointer Sisters would be on stage shrugged. Another, who had witnessed the Sisters in action at the Children’s “Celebration of Our Century” fundraiser in 2013, chastised the vet saying, “Just wait and see. The place is going to explode.”

Sadako Pointer, Anita Pointer and Ruth Pointer*

Sadako Pointer, Anita Pointer and Ruth Pointer*

Ruth Pointer and Anne Davidson*

Ruth Pointer and Anne Davidson*

Truer words were never uttered. In addition to two of the original Sisters — Anita Pointer and Ruth Pointer — on stage, they were joined by Ruth’s granddaughter Sadako Pointer, who was obviously pregnant. Didn’t matter. The grandmother Sisters and mother-to-be nearly rocked the Chantilly’s chandeliers from the ceiling. At one point they offered to let anyone who made a nice financial contribution to CACCC to join them on stage. Whoa! Hands immediately went up and the sisters were joined by the likes of Anne Davidson.

Yup, those Collin County cousins know how to party and how to raise funds. In this case, the net was $525,000 to support abused and neglected children.

* Photo credit: 
Kristina Bowman

Center For BrainHealth’s TAG Cuties Were Off And Partying At The Empire Room For Day At The Races

This year’s Kentucky Derby was the perfect occasion to celebrate and fundraise in Dallas. The lawn of Lee Park in front of Arlington Hall grew with ladies in hats and gents in khakis waiting for the Day at the Races benefiting Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy. On the other side of I-35, the Center for BrainHealth’s TAG’s long-legged gals in sundresses and hats and fellows looking very dapper gathered at The Empire Room with horsepower in place thanks to Co-Chairs Gabi Sztamenits and Jodi Sparrow.

Jessica Edwards, Ashton Pearley, Gabi Sztamenits and Anne Brown

Jessica Edwards, Ashton Pearley, Gabi Sztamenits and Anne Brown

Mike Rials and  Bethany Voss

Mike Rials and Bethany Voss

Kinsey Blalock and Jason Stangel

Kinsey Blalock and Jason Stangel

Sullivan Franklin Mitchell, Adrienne Gehan and Natalie Chavez

Sullivan Franklin Mitchell, Adrienne Gehan and Natalie Chavez

But that horsepower was more than the four-legged variety. Sure, 18-year-old gelding Lazer was posing for photos, but it was the white Lexus inside that was being considered for future relationships.

Suzanne and Kevin Burns and Jaimee Perra

Suzanne and Kevin Burns and Jaimee Perra

As Suzanne and Kevin Burns and Jaimee Perra posed for photos at the Photomadic booth, they soon found themselves dining on fried macaroni and cheese and pecan tarts. What tasted best? “Everything!”

The trio of Katie Bivins, Judson Stafford and Stephanie Schwartz posed for a photo after sending a buddy home via Uber. Seems his legs, unlike Lazer’s, had gotten a bit wobbly due to partying and they wanted him to make it home safe and sound.

Katie Bivins, Judson Stafford and Stephanie Schwartz

Katie Bivins, Judson Stafford and Stephanie Schwartz

Editor’s note: Such friendship deserves a tip o’ the hat. In addition to friends making a smart choice for their “buddy,” the fellow agreed to being driven home without making a scene.

But back to the party. As the minutes ticked away for the horses to break at the Derby, the crowd could have cared less. They were having too much fun.

On the other hand, it appeared that the band was having issues. Looking like parents trying to put together a train set on Christmas Even with little success, the musicians tried their best even as the seconds clicked down to the Derby start.

Derby watching

Derby watching

But again, who cared? American Pharoah won, the long-legged gals looked fabulous and the fellows were two-minute racing experts. As soon as American Pharoah crossed the finish line, it was back to partying.

For more photos, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery!

JUST IN: Allie Beth Allman, Mark Craig And Paul Rasmussen Join Methodist Health System Foundation Board Of Trustees

And you thought the rain and people heading out of town for summer were going to stop the action in Dallas. Au contraire!

Methodist Health System Foundation President/CEO April Box Chamberlain just sent word that the Foundation’s board of trustees have added three to their ranks. And their names are so familiar.

Allie Beth Allman (File photo)

Allie Beth Allman (File photo)

Mark Craig (File photo)

Mark Craig (File photo)

Paul Rasmussen*

Paul Rasmussen*

The three newbies are residential real estate czarina Allie Beth Allman and two men well associated with Highland Park United Methodist Church — retired senior minister Rev. Mark Craig and current senior minister Rev. Paul Rasmussen.

Follow the jump for all the accomplishments these three have racked up.

* Photo provided by Methodist Health System Foundation [Read more...]

Dallas Was Filled With Music From Flying Horse To Curtain Call

May busted loose with a heck of a lot of talent on stage for fundraising in Dallas. For Friday, May 1, Julie Hawes and Muffin Lemak were reining the Flying Horse 2015’s Made in the Heart of Dallas. Things started off in the east patio of the Winspear Opera House with a pre-show cocktail party followed by a Booker T. Washington Student Showcase in Booker T. Washington High School’s Montgomery Arts Theatre. Afterward the party continued for patrons at Place at Perry’s to raise funds for Booker T.

Across town at Fair Park, the Dallas Summer Musicals’ Curtain Call had the Music Hall filled with boldfacers, music and food. Here’s a report from the field:

Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM) rolled out the red carpet to welcome guests arriving at the Music Hall at Fair Park for the 11th Annual Curtain Call gala honoring Ruth Sharp Altshuler and celebrating Dallas Summer Musicals’ 75th Anniversary.

Dorsey Baskin*

Dorsey Baskin*

Dee Simmons and Calvin Frank*

Dee Simmons and Calvin Frank*

Cindy and Chuck Gummer*

Cindy and Chuck Gummer*

Ross and Margot Perot*

Ross and Margot Perot*

Among those joining in the celebration were DSM President and Managing Director Michael A. Jenkins, Chair of the Curtain Call Steering Committee Wendy Jenkins, DSM Chairman of the Board Dorsey Baskin, Nancy and Ron Natinsky – Nancy had just wrapped up chairing DSM’s High School Musical Theatre Awards a couple of days before – Margot and Ross Perot, Ed Cox, Sally Hoglund, Cindy and Chuck Gummer, Holly and Brad Reeves, Sara Lee and Stan Gardner, Dee Simmons, Regina Pistor, Suzanne and David Palmlund – Suzanne is chairing next year’s gala – and more, most of whom were members of the host committee.

David and Suzanne Palmlund and Michael Jenkins*

David and Suzanne Palmlund and Michael Jenkins*

While enjoying wine, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the bidding in the silent auction was the topic of conversation, especially the Premier items, including a Breathtaking Autumn Mountain Getaway in Colorado, a Grand Slam Evening with The Texas Rangers at Globe Life Ballpark and a Panama City getaway. One of the most exciting of all prizes was the raffle of 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles.

The 75th Anniversary program The Music, The Magic, The Memories began with Dorsey welcoming everyone and thanking Superstar underwriters, including Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians, Inc., Caroline Rose Hunt, Billie Leigh Rippey and DSM’s 75th Season Sponsor, Texas Instruments, and the Steering Committee of past chair women including Cynthia Beaird, Wendy Bridges, Patti Flowers, Mary Gill, Cindy Gummer, Wendy Jenkins, Milla Perry Jones, Holly Reeves and Sandy Watson.

Ken and Ruth Altshuler*

Ken and Ruth Altshuler*

Michael Jenkins introduced Ruth as not only a friend but a member of the DSM family and related a story of her late husband, Charles Sharp, and his involvement in the early 1960s. Since those years, Ruth has continued her involvement in DSM both as an honorary chair and as a member of the Executive Committee, giving countless hours and contributions.

Taking the stage, Ruth related many stories of her recollections of memories with former DSM Managing Director Tom Hughes, and her involvement through the years not only with Dallas Summer Musicals, but with the community and the many personalities, political and business leaders with names familiar to everyone in the audience.

Joseph Scott Holt, Traci Lee, Victoria Valentine, Sally Soldo and Blake Davidson*

Joseph Scott Holt, Traci Lee, Victoria Valentine, Sally Soldo and Blake Davidson*

The show began with a video celebrating the rich history of Dallas Summer Musicals, including a selection of melodies and photographs from over 660 productions. Accompanied by a live orchestra conducted by Brian Piper, an ensemble of performances by Blake Davidson, Megan Demsky, Joseph Scott Holt, Keron Jackson, Traci Lee, Sally Soldo, Victoria Valentine and Richmond Punch – a violinist who, as a former usher at DSM, received a scholarship funded by the coins in the fountain downstairs at the Music Hall and today, came back to perform for DSM. The performances were topped off with a special treat: Tony® Award winner and Fort Worth native, Betty Buckley, who has been called “The Voice of Broadway,” sang a selection of Broadway favorites.

Betty Buckley*

Betty Buckley*

After the show, dinner was served and a champagne toast celebrated DSM’s 75th Anniversary to a standing ovation. Everyone left with a copy of the newly published 75th Anniversary book, 75 years of Creating Memories, full of photos and a timeline of performances, dating back to the first performance in 1941, and a custom candle gift sponsored by Thompson & Knight Foundation and created especially for this event by Lakewood Candle Company.

2015 Curtain Call program*

2015 Curtain Call program*

Funds raised from Curtain Call benefit the children’s programs of Dallas Summer Musicals, including High School Musical Theatre Awards, the Academy of Performing Arts, Stage Right, Seats for Kids, Kids Club and Hear Us Now!™

For the past 75 years, DSM has played a leading role as the oldest and largest nonprofit theater company in North Texas and a presenter of extraordinary musical theater productions, while increasing its presence in education and community programs which invest in the next generation of artists, performers and future patrons.

The Jenkins agree, saying, “DSM is a professional and personal passion for both of us, one we have been involved with for numerous years and one that is dear to our hearts. We encourage everyone to attend in support of these programs which bring the magic of musical theater to thousands of children each year. These programs are the very heart of Curtain Call. Seventy-five is the year of the diamond, but what really makes us sparkle is the opportunity to open a child’s eyes to musicals and watch how that experience changes their life.”

The host committee is Cynthia and Dorsey Baskin, Cynthia and Brice Beaird, April and Michael Bosworth, Dianna and Ed Bratton, Wendy and Brad Bridges, Diane and Hal Brierley, Connie and Denny Carreker, Angela and Brad Cheves, Cindy and Scott Collier, Richard Collins, Dolorie and Paul Corley, Jr., Kathy and William Cothrum, Betsy and Guinn Crousen, Barbara and Don Daseke, Peggy Dear, Patti Flowers and Tom Swiley, Jay Fox, Sara Lee and Stan Gardner, Mary Gill, Donna and Rick Graham, Cindy and Chuck Gummer, Kay and Jim Hammond, Shyla High and Ed Valentine, Sally and Forrest Hoglund, Caroline Rose Hunt, Linda and Steve Ivy, Doris and Jack Jacobs, Sue and Phil John, Milla Perry Jones, Darrell Jordan, Shanna and Sheffield Kadane, Norma and David Little, Sara and David Martineau, Cynthia and Lester Melnick, Jennifer and Steve Metzger, Anne and Bruce Monning, Nancy and Ron Natinsky, Suzanne and David Palmlund, Jane and Chick Pierce, Regina Pistor, Gail and Bill Plummer, Patsy and Bud Porter, Holly and Brad Reeves, Billie Leigh Rippey, Carol and Don Spies, Victoria and Michael Steindorf, Anne and Steve Stodghill, Sandy and Steve Watson, Jane and Clark Willingham, Susan and Addison Wilson, Debbie and Robert Witte, Laura and Randy Wright, Kimberly Yamanouchi and Jim Sackett.

Curtain Call media sponsors are Modern Luxury Dallas and Park Cities News/The Waters Family. Dallas Summer Musicals presenting sponsor is Texas Instruments. Season partners are American Airlines, Dallas Morning News and WFAA Channel 8.

* Photo credit: Christian Waits

Gen. Tommy Franks (Ret.) To Be Keynote Speaker At Stars & Stripes Film Festival Luncheon Benefiting Sons Of The Flag

Pete and Tanya Foster (File photo)

Pete and Tanya Foster (File photo)

Timing is everything. And 2015 Stars & Stripes Film Festival Co-Chairs Tanya and Pete Foster are right on time. With Memorial Day reminding young and old of the sacrifices those serving in the military have made, they’ve announced initial plans for the Sons of the Flag fundraiser.

Of course, there will be the film festival that is “anticipated” to have nine screenings at the Angelika Theater at Mockingbird Station starting on Thursday, November 12. Coordinating arrangements with the Dallas Film Society, they plan to announce final deets for the festival in August.

Re. General Tommy R. Franks*

Ret. Gen. Tommy R. Franks*

But what they have locked down is a seated luncheon on Friday, November 13, at the Dallas Country Club. The keynote speaker will be none other than Gen. Tommy Franks (Ret.).

According to his bio, “President George W. Bush calls Franks ‘a down-to-earth, no-nonsense guy.’ His troops call him ‘a Soldier’s General,’ and his associates call him ‘an astute businessman.’ His grandkids call him, ‘Pooh.’

Since the luncheon is a part of the overall festival, it will be included in the various sponsorship packages.

According to Tanya, “We do not anticipate having single luncheon tickets available once we process the sponsorship contracts.”

Translation: If you want to lock down a place at the luncheon, better check out the sponsorship level that suits you. And it would be wise to go ahead and do it now instead of waiting until August when the final rundown of films is announced.

* Photo provided by Stars & 
Stripes Film Festival

Memorial Day Allows For The Living To Honor The Dead With A National Moment Of Remembrance

Old Glories

Old Glories

Memorial Day is a day to recognize and honor those in the military who have died while serving this country. There are those who pooh-pooh Memorial Day as a “Yankee” holiday. In a way they’re right. Originally it was called Decoration Day following the Civil War.

The date was selected because the flowers would be in bloom and it would serve as a day of healing. But that was a time when the country was physically divided following devastating years of mayhem.

Following World War II, it was decided to honor those killed “who have died in all American wars.”

In 1971 Memorial Day was officially made a holiday honoring those service people who lost their lives in military service.

In December 2000 the National Moment of Remembrance was passed decreeing that at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, one minute of silence would take place remembering and honoring those who have died in service to the nation.

For those who still cling to the idea that it is a “Yankee holiday,” give it up. We allow this one day to honor the hundreds of thousands of service people — men and women — who lost their lives serving this country dating back to the Revolutionary War.

And while we celebrate all who have served in the armed forces on Veterans Day, today belongs to those who died wearing a United States uniform.

The United States may not be a perfect spot on the globe, but for those who died defending its ideals, this country was honored with their ultimate sacrifice.

A Passing: Jac Alder

Jac Alder and Ken Villalovos (File photo)

Jac Alder and Ken Villalovos (File photo)

It was just this past January when Theatre Three  co-founder/executive producer/director Jac Alder stole the show at the Wyly for TACA’s presentation of checks to area performing arts. After receiving his $30,000 check, he headed back to his seat, almost skedaddling away before his photo with the check and Ken Villalovos was taken. Luckily, Jac backtracked amid the laughter and had the photo taken.

But that was Jac. There wasn’t a stage on which he didn’t make his presence felt. It was also the final appearance that many within the arts community will remember seeing 80-year-old Jac. He died Friday at Baylor from respiratory failure.

And the tributes from the performing arts community have already started pouring in.

TACA Executive Director Becky Young said, “Jac is /was a colleague who kept us honest. He taught each of us who came to Dallas (or to this work after he did) how the theatre scene in Dallas came to be…right down to where the buildings were located… Including under bridges.

“I saw ‘for colored girls’ and ‘little shop of horrors’ in his theatre. Both made huge, very different impressions.

“Jac led all of us toward the work of collaboration – long before it was the buzz word that it is today. He always took the time to help one understand where he thought our arts scene was on any given day. And, if he called you for coffee or breakfast you went because you knew you’d come back to your own work smarter and with more tools to work with.

“He never hesitated to share his perspective and each of us is the wiser and more dedicated arts professional for it.”

According to Dallas Theater Center Creative Director Kevin Moriarty, “Jac Alder was a friend to me, as he was to so many of us in the Dallas theater community. His death is a cause of great sorrow for everyone who loved him, but it is also an opportunity for us to reflect upon his life. Because of Jac’s remarkable leadership, Theatre 3 has provided outstanding art for our community for more than 50 years. His commitment to collaboration has been an inspiration to all of us, as has his love for artists and his steadfast belief that North Texas could support a great, thriving theater community. Theater 3 stands as an enduring testament to his artistic vision and the power of his belief.

“On a personal level, I will miss our lively conversations, often-long breakfasts filled with Jac’s entertaining anecdotes, insights, wit and the positive energy and great warmth with which he inspired me and made me feel welcome from the moment I first arrived in Dallas. He is irreplaceable.”

The curtain may have come down on Jac’s life, but his love of theatre and his personality will continue on through those he inspired.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 5th Annual TAG Kentucky Derby

Suzanne and Kevin Burns and Jaimee Perra

Suzanne and Kevin Burns and Jaimee Perra

American Pharoah is on a roll with the Belmont up ahead. His start got underway at the Saturday, May 2nd Kentucky Derby with a bunch of adorable gals and gents watching at Dallas’ Empire Room. Besides killer-looking fashions — hats, sunglasses, bowties and frocks showing off long legs — the guests were also fundraising for the Center for BrainHealth’s TAG.

Derby watching

Derby watching

The 5th Annual TAG Kentucky Derby post is being prepped, but the pix can be found at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery now!