Goodwill Industries Of Dallas’ The Lunch Turned Into A Girls’ Chat Fest For W’s Chicks With Mitts Karen Hughes and Condoleezza Rice

Fall means golden leaves, weekend football games and class reunions. Okay, so The Lunch wasn’t supposed to be a “class reunion” benefiting Goodwill Industries of Dallas at the Omni Dallas Hotel. But that’s what it turned out to be.

David and Carolyn Miller

David and Carolyn Miller

With a front-row lineup of tables looking like SMU Family Weekend, the guests included Honorary Co-Chairs Carolyn and David Miller, Mike Boone, Gerald Turner, Cary Maguire, Luncheon Chair Jim Johnston and Goodwill Industries of Dallas Chairman of the Board Brooks Cullum Jr.

But the real reunion was the Bush gals. No, not Laura, Barbara I and II or Jenna. Rather, W’s daytime gal pals from his days in the White House including Harriet Miers, Karen Hughes and Condoleezza Rice.

Throughout the crowded room were smatterings of equally VIP-ish types like Caren Prothro, Nancy Halbreich, Ruth Altshuler, Gail Turner, Norm Bagwell, Laura Stockdale, Claire Emanuelson, Christie Carter, Bridget Goines, Ashley Miars, Pat McEvoy, Heather Smith, Kiley Faulkner and Elizabeth and Jack Wahlquist.

Harriett Miers

Harriett Miers

After an introduction by Harriet, featured speaker Condoleezza took her seat on stage in a chair facing Karen. At times it appeared as if the more than 700 peeps in attendance were eavesdropping on two college roommate reminiscing about the good ol’ days. The exchange was taken two different ways. One, there was a true comfort level in the conversation. Second, it seemed like it was a double bill of Karen talking as much as Condoleezza about her memories.

If anyone had expected headline-making revelations about the upcoming election,  a review of the current administration, or regrets about the Bush foreign-policy strategy, they were left hungry. Despite the softball questions lobbed by her old Crawford ranch roomie/Burson-Marsteller exec Karen, Stanford Professor Condoleezza did rise to the occasion, demonstrating her smarts, diplomacy and humor with such comments as:

Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice

  • George W. Bush’s calling the female White House staffers, who worked out with gloves, the “Chicks With Mitts.”
  • Her not-so-keen relationship with Barney. Seems upon first meeting the late Scottish Terrier in the Oval office, he ambled up in a friendly manner. She thought that was nice until she realized he was chewing on her shoe.
  • Karen’s having her over for dinner after one especially brutal week.
  • The importance of  female leadership and education. The K-12 system is in “crisis,” she said, leaving poor kids stuck in failing schools.
  • Her understanding (as a “Russianist”) of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin, she said, sees himself in the mold of Peter the Great and is out to re-establish Russian greatness.
  • Terrorists groups like Isis “just have to be defeated,” she concluded. Their “sexiness” or appeal needs to be degraded, while the western countries “have to have a better story than they do.”

Come Rain Or Shine, Sunday’s “Change Is Good” Is On

If you believe the weather guessers, lower temperatures and wet stuff are coming to the ‘hood this weekend. It will be nice to have the cooler weather. As for the rain, lawns will appreciate it, but event planners like the Plano Balloon Festival, the 6th Annual 5K “One Run” and Flight of the Monarch Festival may be tapping into their back-up plans.

Just heard from Community Partners of DallasJoanna Clarke about the status of Sunday’s 10th annual Change Is Good. Usually the outdoor/indoor kids’ fest turns Brook Hollow Golf Club into a mini-Six Flags Over Texas complete with mammoth bounce houses and bungee jumping.

Change Is Good Come Rain Or Shine*

Change Is Good Come Rain Or Shine*

Okay, so maybe the bungee jumping won’t be work in the ballroom, but the CPD team has managed to have a bounce house be bopping in the ballroom. In addition, there will be loads of face painting, sugary delights, games, prizes, music by DJ Bill Cody and the Rad Hatter, who will be making super-duper hats. BTW, both Bill and Rad have been part of the fun since it started ten years ago.

Cellphone photo alert: There will a huge “10” in balloons that will be a perfect spot for a photo of the munchkins.

It will be the perfect way to spend a wet afternoon (3 to 6 p.m.) with the kids just before the Cowboys play the Bears at 7:30. And do try to stay until the end because there’s gonna be a surprise.

So typical of CPD, they’re turning a rainy day into a play day. After all a little “change is good.”

Crystal Charity Ball’s Platinum Dinner Officially Kicks Off The Fall Fundraising Season

The official shot launching the 2016 fall fundraising triathlon was fired on Thursday, September 8, at the Dallas Country Club. Instead of tank tops, running shorts and Nikes, the participants were in Zac Posens, Herreras and Hermes for the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Platinum Dinner hosted by Comerica.

Barbara and Ralph Babb, and Pam Perella

Barbara and Ralph Babb, and Pam Perella

And, following the rules of hospitality, Comerica’s Ralph Babb and his bride Barbara Babb were Johnny-on-the-spot to greet the more than 150 guests, who were heavy hitters for the upcoming Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show and Luncheon on Friday, September 16, in the glamorama tent adjacent to Neiman Marcus Downtown.

The only challenges facing the crowd were the DCC windows, which cast a blinding light just behind the check-in table with envelopes containing table assignments. Ah, but the CCV-ers had a back-up plan. They had gals immediately behind the table handing out the envelopes before the guests tried to overcome the shine to find their own envelopes.

Jacka nd Deborah Gunter and Annette Simmons and Gerry Fronterhouse

Jack and Deborah Gunter and Annette Simmons and Gerry Fronterhouse

Nancy Dedman and Shelle Sills

Nancy Dedman and Shelle Sills

Jim Lee

Jim Lee

Shelby Wagner and Niven Morgan

Shelby Wagner and Niven Morgan

Stephanie Fox and Nick Sowell

Stephanie Fox and Nick Sowell

After getting their envelopes, guests like Deborah and Jack Gunter, Neva Hall, Shelle and Michael Sills, Nancy Dedman, DeeDee and Jim Lee, Mary and Bob Potter, Simona Beal, D’Andra Simmons, Lynn and Allan McBee, Susu and Jerry Meyer, Debbie and Nickey Oates, Lana and Barry Andrews, Patti Flowers and Tom Swiley and Alison and Michael Malone played the catch-up game since most had been away for the summer. CCB Underwriting Chair Claire Emanuelson and 10 Best Dressed Piper Wyatt were back from Wyoming…Still glowing Annette Simmons and Gerry Fronterhouse were back from Montecito…10 BD-er Mary Clare Finney insisted that she had gained a couple of pounds over the summer, but she appeared to have already dropped that weight…Stephanie Fox was with adorable Nick Sowell, whose mum Betsy Sowell is the 2016 Hall of Famer…Robyn and Don Conlon were bubbling with news. Yes, they’re downsizing and growing. What’s that? They were moving to a “smaller house” on Beverly this winter, but they were also preparing for grandbaby #3. Seems son Keith Conlon and his bride Megan Conlon, who were married last December, were going to have a daughter just in time for Christmas… NM Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron was solo, due to one of his pooches suffering from a diabetic episode requiring attendance by Kevin Hurst. As for the construction of the fashion show tent, Jeff reported that the tent had been under construction since Friday. When asked if featured designer Carolina Herrera would be receiving the Neiman Marcus Award at the luncheon, he said definitely. And like so many others, Jeff used the word “elegant” in describing the petite Venezuelan couturier… Not all had fled the Dallas summer heat, though. Niven Morgan in his hairdo du jour admitted that his business had required him staying put all summer.

Alison and Michael Malone

Alison and Michael Malone

Pete and Tanya Foster

Pete and Tanya Foster

Ben and Tracy Lane and Lisa and Clay Cooley

Ben and Tracy Lane and Lisa and Clay Cooley

Tom Swiley and Patti Flowers

Tom Swiley and Patti Flowers

DeeDee Lee

DeeDee Lee

Finally, after a couple or three requests for guests to go to their tables—and the bar being closed—the guests took their places. CCB Chair Christie Carter welcome the group and introduced Ralph, who thanked the group for supporting the CCB charities. Then Christie presented the 10 Best Dressed (Anita Arnold, Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Tucker Enthoven, Heather Esping, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Julie Hawes and Piper Wyatt) and Betsy.

Lara and Bob Tafel

Lara and Bob Tafel

Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson

Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson

Paige Slates

Paige Slates

Vinnie and Malcolm Reuben

Vinnie and Malcolm Reuben

Dinner was then served, including baby greens with shoestring cucumber, baby tomatoes, red onion, shaved Romano cheese and lemon thyme vinaigrette; filet mignon and grilled jumbo shrimp with risotto and baby vegetables and heirloom carrots; and a very impressive chocolate salted caramel mousse tart. Equally impressive was the talk around the dinner tables. Tracy and Ben Lange had already attended a fundraiser that night at Kendra Scott’s for son Luke Lange’s Fast Break T-shirts…Lara and Bob Tafel were like a twosome on a first date. Lara explained that despite having nearby offices, they rarely get a chance to just talk. And what were they talking about? Their mutual concern for the growing demands on community services to help children suffering from abuse and how to support those needs. When asked about the growing numbers of child abuse cases, Lara suggested that the rise was due to the fact that more were actually being brought to light…The evening’s chair Paige Slates and husband John Slates were seated next to Vinnie and Malcolm ReubenTanya Foster was preparing for her trip with Alicia Wood to New York’s Fashion Week… Clay Cooley was all smiles over Robbie Knievel’s recent motorcycle leap at his newest dealership. Wife Lisa Cooley recalled that the newest acquisition was a dealership where Clay had worked as a young whippersnapper salesman and they were newlyweds. When he inspected the property upon purchasing it, he called Lisa and reported, “It still has the same carpet.” Needless to say, the carpet was one of the first changes made.

For more faces and fashions, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery!

Park’s Park And Palate Will Have Even More Food And Fun For The Klyde Warren Fundraiser On October 21 And 22

Jody and Sheila Grant (File photo)

Jody and Sheila Grant (File photo)

When Sheila and Jody Grant took on the project of creating a park over Woodall Rodgers freeway, many thought they had pushed the dream envelope. But dang it, they pulled it off. Now Klyde Warren Park is the year-round place to play, dine and celebrate the coming together of Dallas downtown and uptown neighborhoods.

But Sheila’s and Jody’s involvement did end with the ribbon cutting. They’re just as giddy today as they were on the opening night when Owen Wilson and Jackie Evancho were among the celebrants back on October 24, 2012.

Jackie Evancho (File photo)

Jackie Evancho (File photo)

As proof of this commitment, Sheila just reported that she’ll be flying in from the American Ballet Theater performance in the David H Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Friday, October 21, and Saturday, October 22, Park and Palate, the annual Klyde Warren Park fundraiser. This year’s two-day food-athon is being co-chairs Carolyn and Robert Walters along with Lyn and John Muse and title sponsors Republic National Distributing Corporation and Central Market.

Hopefully, Sheila has her ticket for Friday night’s “Down To The Roots” because it’s already sold out. However, tickets are still available for the 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. “Grand Taste” on Saturday.

Kent Rathbun (File photo)

Kent Rathbun (File photo)

Dean Fearing (File photo)

Dean Fearing (File photo)

John Tesar (File photo)

John Tesar (File photo)

Headlining the food fest will be locals Kent Rathbun, John Tesar and Dean Fearing as well as San Antonio’s Jason Dady.

Klyde Warren Park (File photo)

Klyde Warren Park (File photo)

As for the chefs who will be cooking up a storm on Friday night, they’ll include Bruce Auden of Biga on the Banks, Jill Bates of Fearing’s, Tyson Cole of uchi, Jason Dady of Jason Dady Restaurant Group, Robert Del Grande of Café Annie, Dean Fearing of Fearing’s, Michael Fojtasek of Olamaie, Sharon Hage of Sharon Hage Farm to Fork Consulting, Brian Johnson of Central Market, Molly McCook of Ellerbe Fine Foods, Kyle Nelson of Central Market, Michael Thomson of Michael’s Cuisine and Ancho Chile Bar, Julie Vorce of Savor Gastropub and Hugo Ortega of Backstreet Café, Hugo’s and Caracol.

And things only ramp up for Saturday with loads and loads of chef cooking up a storm including Jeff Balfour of Southerleigh, Melody Bishop of Lark on the Park, Richard Blankenship of CBD Provisions, Nilton Borges Jr. of The Joule Hotel, John Brand of Supper, Jermaine Brown of Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine, John Coleman of Savor Gastropub, Jason Dady of Jason Dady Restaurant Group, Ross Demers of On the Lamb, Brandon Drew of The Pyramid at the Fairmont Hotel, David Fingerman of Madrina, Omar Flores of Casa Rubia, Diego Galicia of Mixtli Progressive Mexican Culinaria, Nick Hurry of Proof and Pantry, Dennis Kelley of Lark on the Park, Brian Johnson of Central Market, Geronimo Lopez of Botika, Brian Luscher of Luscher’s Red Hots and The Grape, Rebecca Masson of Fluff Bake Bar, Andrea Meyer of Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie, Suki Otsuki of Mudhen Meat and Greens, Kent Rathbun, Timothy Rattray of The Granary ‘Cue and Brew, Justin Richardson of Brigid, Joe Scigliano of Savor Gastropub, Philip Speer of Bonhomie, Shuji Sugawara of Shinsei, John Tesar of Knife, Rico Torres of Mixtli Progressive Mexican Culinaria, Julie Vorce of Savor Gastropub, Andrew Wiseheart of Contigo and Chicon, Nicholas Yanes of Juniper and more.

P.S — Park and Palate is an adults-only event. But there will still be “lots of free, family-friendly activities on the East Lawn during Park and Palate, including fitness classes, games, food trucks, music and more!”

You Did It Again: North Texas Giving Day Busts Previous Records With A Whopping $37,307,196 For 2,518 Nonprofits Thanks To 142,892 Gifts

Well, dang it! Once again Communities Foundation of TexasNorth Texas Giving Day broke all past records hauling in $37,307,196. Gee, don’t you just love the 142,892 North Texas givers who made it happen? Whether its multi-million-dollar buckeroos or the legions of $25 donors, this neighborhood shines in the world of giving.

North Texas Giving Day

North Texas Giving Day

You simply can’t even fathom the appreciation of the nonprofits for folks and organizations coming through on this legendary day.

By the way, this year’s record breaker is the very first in its eight-year history without former CFT Executive Director Brent Christopher, who announced his departure for Children’s Medical Center Foundation earlier this summer.

For a giggle, MySweetCharity contacted Brent about NTGD’s continuing its record-breaking record in the astrosphere of fundraising without him. His reply:

“The team behind North Texas Giving Day is incredible, not to mention all the participating nonprofits. But, I had no idea that I was holding everyone back all these years! This over-the-top total is nothing short of astounding. And, of course, all of us at Children’s Health are thrilled that donors to Children’s played a big part in that success, too.”

Congrats to Communities Foundation of Texas, the 2,518 nonprofits and Brent for creating one of the nation’s most remarkable fundraising accomplishments.

May the fundraising continue. But let’s let the emailboxes take a rest for a day.

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #9: Front Row At The Bruce Wood Dance Gallery

Dallas’ Bruce Wood was nationally known for his choreography. He was known for having “an aesthetic that set his work apart. He drew his subject matter from human nature, distilling the ups and downs, and the loves and the losses of daily life into pieces that range from dramatic to comic, compassionate to hilarious, psychological to pedestrian.” With his untimely death in May 2014, there was great concern about his legacy. But Bruce Wood Dance Project President/Producer Gayle Halperin used Bruce’s inspiration to continue on. One of the results was the creation of the Bruce Wood Dance Gallery that Theater Jones described as “a cozy and atmospheric space” in the Dallas Design District.

For the TACA Custom Auction Gala, a performance at the Gallery will be presented along with a menu created by Texas’ favorite boot-scootin’ Chef Dean Fearing.

Like the Farm-To-Table, this very special event will be sold to 30 couples, so when it hits the auction bloc, raise those paddles high.

Front Row At The Bruce Wood Dance Gallery* (Value: $725 per couple**)

Front Row At The Bruce Wood Dance Gallery*

Front Row At The Bruce Wood Dance Gallery***

Experience an exclusive private performance on Friday, February 24, of select dance works curated by local dance maven and Bruce Wood Dance Project President Gayle Halperin, all while enjoying signature cocktails and hors d’oeuvres prepared by the “Father of Southwestern Cuisine,” Chef Dean Fearing.

  • Private performance featuring local dance artists at the Bruce Wood Dance Gallery in the Dallas Design District
  • Menu created and prepared by Chef Dean Fearing
* Courtesy of Fearing’s Restaurant and Gayle Halperin 
** Only sold in pairs, limited to 30 couples 
*** Photo provided by TACA

From The Pop-Up Stands To The Mega-Events, North Texas Giving Day Is Raising Awareness and Millions For Area Nonprofits

By 3 p.m. today the North Texas Giving Day tote board was busting with more than $18.5 M and over 74,000 gifts. Throughout the region all types of activities are also busting loose thanks to Communities Foundation of Texas!

Celia Weitzel and Lindsay Moreau

Celia Weitzel and Lindsay Moreau

Over at Highland Park Village NTGD flags were waving and at Starbucks, Just Say Yes!’s Celia Weitzel and Lindsay Moreau were womaning a table for coffee-lovers to not only learn about their organization, which helps area students, but to, hopefully, get some donations.

As Celia put it, “We’re appreciative of every donation we can raise to help North Texas students.”

Ashley Wilson, Kevin Hurst and Ros Dawson

Ashley Wilson, Kevin Hurst and Ros Dawson

On the other hand over at NorthPark Center, Nancy Nasher and her team were hosting various nonprofits showing their stuff to all types of donors, beneficiaries and shoppers like Dallas Women’s Foundation’s Ros Dawson, Neiman Marcus’ Kevin Hurst, Business Council for the Arts’ Ashley Wilson, Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas’ Linda Kordek-Milton and Amanda Duquette, SPCA’s Victoria Albrecht and Friends of the Bath House Cultural Center’s Ann Slate Gaspari.

Billie the snake

Billie the snake

The showboaters of the day were, of course, the organizations with critters. From the Dallas Zoo’s Billie the snake fascinating Alcuin School students, Equest’s mini-ambassador posing for photos with folks to Chihuahua Rescue and Transport’s slimmed-down Ariel (she’s down to 12 pounds from 25 when she was in an Arlington ditch in 2013) accepting a Theodore gift card at the noontime drawing, the animals scored in popularity.

Diana Hightower, Ariel, Nancy Nasher and Jennifer Clifford

Diana Hightower, Ariel, Nancy Nasher and Jennifer Clifford

But the humans held their own with all types of entertainment. Whether it was Shakespeare Dallas or the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, NorthPark’s North Court was filled with music, drama and singing.

Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico

Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico

For a small group of donors, Communities Foundation of Texas board members and NTGD best buds, a private luncheon was held at Theodore’s patio. And despite it being one of the hottest days weather-wise and fundraising-wise, the outdoor luncheoners like Jane Pierce, Becky Bright, Lydia Novakov, Karen Shuford and Lydia Novakov were all smiles and cool.

Frank and Helen Risch

Frank and Helen Risch

CFT Board Chair Frank Risch was checking the leaderboard updates on his smartphone and very pleased with the results. He easily reeled off all of the past successes and had hopes of once again breaking another record with more than 2,500 nonprofits participating.

When asked about the search for CFT’s new executive director, Frank said the search was going very smoothly but they’re continuing to vet applicants.

The Slipper Club Of Dallas Provides Both Volunteers And Funding For 2016-2017 Beneficiary Rays Of Light

There may be those who think the Slipper Club of Dallas gals are former debs who simply know how to party. Oh, so very wrong. Ages ago, membership was dominated by non-bowing types, who wanted to combine having fun and raising funds.

This past month the Slipper Club board volunteered with Rays Of Light at the Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, where they were “paired with a special needs child and became their mentor and friend for the night. From basketball to puppets to arts and crafts to computer games, it was an enriching experience for both the child and board member.”

Slipper Club Board volunteer night*

Slipper Club Board volunteer night*

Rays Of Light provides free, quality respite care to families with children with special needs. The Slipper Club members are “striving to lend support and relief to these families through our respite care program called ‘Night Lights.’”

Thanks to their Olympic-themed event hosted at Barley House in August, the Club was able to provide close to $3,000 for Rays of Light.

But this is only the beginning of their campaign to assist Rays Of Light. In addition to Night Lights, they’re hoping to top last year’s total of $53,000 that went to I Have A Dream Foundation at their Slipper Club Gala on Saturday, February 4, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

* Photo provided by The Slipper Club Of Dallas

JUST IN: D’Andra Simmons Announces Deets About The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon

D’Andra Simmons’ summer vacation was nonexistent. For months, she’s been working around the clock on two mammoth undertakings — chairing The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary 2017 Fashion Show and Luncheon and co-chairing Cancer Blows. Both will take place at the Meyerson within a week of each other.

Elise Summers, Barbara and Jonathan Rich, Heather Washburne and D'Andra Simmons

Elisa Summers, Barbara and Jonathan Rich, Heather Washburne and D’Andra Simmons

Wednesday night she unleashed news about the fundraiser for The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command. While more deets will be provided in the days to come about the jammed gathering at Highland Park Village’s Market and typical over-the-top reveal, here is a rundown of the news.

Being a smart business woman, D’Andra had already raised $125,000 from two donations — $50,000 and $75,000. Now for more biggie news that Ms. D unveiled last night.

First the showing of “experienced clothes” will take place on Tuesday, May 2, at the Meyerson. But you already knew that. Just wanted to refresh those brain cells. And remember it’s not going to take place on the traditional Monday.

Joyann King

Joyann King

Second, the event will have a national sponsor — Harper’s Bazaar with HarpersBazaar.com Editor Joyann King as the event’s emcee. King trivia: Joyann’s mom just happens to be The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary’s President Kathie King’s daughter.

Third, the honorary co-chairs will be sisters Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne.

Fourth, fashionable producer Jan Strimple will be orchestrating the fashion extravaganza.

Fifth, the theme for the event will be “Fashion is art. You are the canvas.”

Sixth, clean out those closets now and drop them off at Tootsie’s. But if you have too many to fit in your SUV, give SAWA a call at 214.637.8121 and they’ll send an 18-wheeler over.

Whew!

North Texas Giving Day Is Underway With More Than $6M In Less Than Four Hours

At 6 a.m., did you discover that you were the most popular person in the world when your emailbox filled with “Today’s the day” type missives? Yup. You were warned. North Texas Giving Day has become the Olympics of area fundraising with nonprofits promoting their causes via all types of means — emails, TV, print media and carrier pigeons. Okay, so maybe not carrier pigeons, but you get the drift.

North Texas Giving Day*

North Texas Giving Day*

But it’s working. Within the first 3.5 hours, more than $6M has already been donated via more than 24,000 gifts.

If you want to monitor the progress of overall funding or your absolute fav organization, check the North Texas Giving Day website. You’ll also find a list of activities that are taking place throughout North Texas to promote the fun of fundraising.

And if you want to credit someone with all the hoop-la, send a note to Communities Foundation of Texas. They’re out to break another record this year. Stay tuned.