JUST IN: 2017 ReuNight Honorary Chairs Include Such Dallas Icons As Andersons, Joneses, Kirks, Nasher-Haemiseggers And A Pickens

The 2017 ReuNight Co-Couple Chairs Jennifer and Richard Dix and Kristi and Ron Hoyl are taking full advantage of having The Family Place’s high-roller fundraiser at the legendary Statler on Wednesday, November 8. After all, the former hotel had been the site of some of Dallas’ most memorable galas way back when. Ah, memories! For instance, that October 20 night in 1973 when oil baron Ed Cox threw a little soiree for his daughter Chan Cox. The grand ballroom was turned into an undersea grotto with aquariums placed in the walls and Skitch Henderson and his orchestra performing in a pirate ship. Just around 10 p.m. the Jackson Five performed on stage to the delight of the thousand heavy hitters.

But over the years, the hotel was upstaged by newcomers like the Hilton Anatole, the Hyatt Regency, the Ritz Carlton and the Omni Dallas Hotel. The Statler fell upon hard times. But thanks to a recent gazillion-buckaroo renovation, she was rejuvenated into a multi-use, luxury high-rise complex with residences, hotel rooms, offices and restaurants.

Charlotte and Shy Anderson (File photo)

Gene and Jerry Jones (File photo)

While the Dixes and Hoyls had already scheduled “unofficial Statler mascot” Llinda Llee Llama … no, not the original, but one of her great, great grandllamas… to be available for photo opps with the 200 guests in the Statler Courtyard Garden, they weren’t satisfied. They wanted something to “pay homage to Dallas icons.” So, they set their sites on some local heavy-hitting headliners to serve as honorary chairs. Boy, did they land ’em — Charlotte and Shy Anderson, Gene and Jerry Jones, Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis Kirk, Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger and T. Boone Pickens.

Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis Kirk (File photo)

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher (File photo)

T. Boone Pickens (File photo)

Goodness! Talk about having folks who represent everything from sports and politics to retailing and energy. Makes perfect sense, since these are the elements that have made Dallas the powerhouse of Texas kingdoms.

The three-course dinner with wine pairings in the Grand Ballroom will be followed by a “curated live auction of luxury goods and trip packages.” Then it will be dancing on the original Statler dance floor and/or having a nightcap or two at Waterproof, the pool-deck bar.

Want to join the llama and other mamas and papas to support The Family Place? Here‘s where you can get your place at the dinner table.

Susan G. Komen’s 35th Anniversary Luncheon Celebrated The Lives Saved Thanks To A Deathbed Promise

In 1977 33-year-old Suzy Goodman Komen learned she had breast cancer. At that time those two words were verboten in polite company. Too often patients diagnosed with the disease shared the news, their fears and their struggle with the immediate family and perhaps extremely close friends. It was almost treated like a scandal. Susie undertook the treatments with her kid sister Nancy Goodman Leitstein (Brinker) at her side. But due to lack of funding, research and treatments, Susie died at the age of 36 in 1980.

As she lay dying, 34-year-old Nancy, who was divorced and the mother of a son, made a promise that changed her life and those of millions of others. She told Suzy that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer. War was declared.

From that promise sprang the annual Race for the Cure and a Komen luncheon that for years required boxes of tissues as breast cancer patients shared their journeys. Eventually, the effort to grow funds and awareness spread throughout the world. What didn’t survive was the luncheon. For whatever reason, it ended.  

Mary Lessmann, Gigi Hill Lancaster and Meredith Land

However, on Wednesday, September 27, the Komen Foundation of Dallas celebrated its 35th anniversary with a luncheon fundraiser at Belo Mansion. Chairing Susan G. Komen’s 35th Anniversary Luncheon was Gigi Hill Lancaster, who had lost her mother, the vibrant Gigi Griffiths Hill, to breast cancer at the age of 39 in 1984 when Lancaster was just 14.

Elizabeth Robertson, Jim and Alinda Wikert and Sharon McCutchin

Jill Smith, Lindalyn Adams and Randi Halsell

At 11:30 the VIP reception was already in full gear with Honorary Co-Chairs Linda Custard and Ruth Altshuler (Co-Chair Gene Jones had to be out of town), luncheon emcee Meredith Land, Diane Brierley, Nancy Halbreich, Janie McGarr and keynote speaker/breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic. In the ballroom were Komen past luncheon chair Randi Halsell, Lindalyn Adams and original chair Sharon McCutchins, Jill Smith, Elizabeth Robertson, Alinda and Jim Wikert and Brill Garrett. Komen Dallas Board President Connie O’Neill with two of her three daughters (Amanda Cacheris and Isabel O’Neill) was thrilled that so many young women were attending.

Connie O’Neill, Giuliana Rancic, Amanda Cacheris and Isabel O’Neill

Promptly at noon the luncheon crowd including Sara Martineau, Carol Huckin, Katy Bock, Cara French, Daffan Nettle and Vicki Howland took their places and from the podium Gigi thanked the honorary chairs, Alinda Wikert and her underwriting chair Rebecca Fletcher for having brought in $555,000. Gigi told how she was wearing waterproof mascara. Her mother had wished that she had worn waterproof mascara when she addressed the Komen luncheon just weeks before her death.

Gigi turned the podium over to St. Michael’s and All Angel’s/breast cancer survivor Rev. Mary Lessmann for the invocation.

Carlos Arteaga

Following a video, Connie was at the podium reporting that one billion dollars had been provided by Komen for research and two billion dollars dedicated for treatment for women in 30 countries. Their goal was to reduce breast cancer 50% by 2060.

She then introduced newly arrived in Dallas Dr. Carlos Arteaga, who had only recently relocated from Vanderbilt University Medical Center to head up the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern.

It was then time for Giuliana to tell her story in 25 minutes, but she immediately admitted that it was going to be tough to do it. Born in Italy at the age of six, she only spoke Italian. So, how did she learn English? She would watch TV, especially the evening news. Her initial plans to be a TV journalist changed to concentrating on fashion and entertainment, which led to her moving to LA.

Giuliana Rancic

There she ended up with her dream job of being a reporter for E News. While there she heard the assignments editor mentioning the name “Bill Rancic,” who had just won the first “The Apprentice.” She asked for the interview and got it only to google Bill Rancic romance, where it said that he was dating someone. When she got to the interview, she impressed Bill by looking “bored and distant.” Needless to say, she had lost interest in him but carried on with the interview. Her final question was, “Are you going to settle down?” He responded, “Actually we broke up three weeks ago.”

According to Bill, an “immaculate transformation took place.” Eight months later they were engaged with a wedding taking place six months after that.”

The couple was approached about their doing a reality show. They agreed only if it could be positive. During this time they tried to conceive, and eventually sought help from fertility experts. But they miscarried and tried again with no luck. Giuliana was sad, angry and depressed — “Why did this happen?”

They sought help from another fertility specialist. In filling out the questionnaire, the last quest on the check list was “Have you had a mammogram?” Giuliana hadn’t and wanted to skip it. After all, she’d had no family history; she was in her 30s; she was in great health. But the nurse insisted, so she agreed.

Then she got a call to come to the clinic. As she waited to learn the results, she got an eerie feeling and ran to the elevator. The nurse came after her and brought her back. The doctor said that she did have breast cancer. Her reaction? “Your life just changes. I felt like I was falling.”

She shared her story on the show to help other young women to get a mammogram. Initially she thought the lumpectomy would be the answer. It didn’t work. She and Bill talked about it. Her concern was that a mastectomy would make her unattractive. Bill’s response: “I don’t care what you look like. I just want you around for the next 50 years.”

Those words made her mind up to go through with the mastectomy. In the meantime, the couple decided to check into having a gestational carrier. She admitted that after the months of disappointment and cancer, she needed some good news. That came two weeks after her surgery in December when they found out that the carrier was pregnant. On August 29, Edward Duke Rancic was born.

Within one year, Giuliana had had the worst day of her life and the most amazing.  She also realized that had she gotten pregnant, she probably wouldn’t be here.

Since then she has made fertility and breast cancer her rallying points.

Then Giuliana recalled a year ago meeting Klarissa, who in her 20s was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Giuliana had just gotten an update that Klarissa was fighting for her life. Giuliana started to read a post from Klarissa’s Instagram the day before, but couldn’t go on. She asked Gigi to come to the podium and read: “…. I can’t help but wonder what memories I will leave behind.”

Giuliana summed up her talk saying, “You don’t have to travel 2,000 miles to climb a mountain to find your purpose. Your purpose is right here in this room.”

Just past 1 p.m., the luncheon was over. The next day Julia Louis-Dreyfuss announced, “One in eight women get breast cancer; today I’m the one.” But thanks to a sister’s promise made in 1980, Giuliana, Julia and millions of others will have their lives saved.  

Jubilee Park And Community Center’s 20th Anniversary Gala Patron Party Were Honored At Monica and Joe Eastin’s Preston Hollow Home

After providing education, affordable housing, public health, public safety and economic development for Jubilee Park and Community Center families in southeast Dallas for 20 years, Jubilee key supporters gathered for a cocktail party on Tuesday, September 26. The occasion was to hear about the 20th Anniversary Gala at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Saturday, November 4. Here’s a report from the field: 

Jubilee Park and Community Center with 20th Anniversary gala Co-Chairs Lydia and Bill Addy welcomed more than 100 sponsors, host committee members and supporters at a cocktail reception on Tuesday, September 26. 

Joe and Monica Eastin*

Diane Metcalf-Leggette and Taylor Miller*

Jubilee Park Commemorative 20th Anniversary bracelets**

Held at the Preston Hollow home of Monica and Joe Eastin, partygoers arrived and mingled while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. On view was a trio of Jubilee’s 20th anniversary commemorative bracelets, designed by Dallas jewelry designer Taylor Miller. The handmade bracelets feature natural materials, including wood and chyrsoprase beads, and a custom brass “Jubilee” charm, and are available on the Jubilee Park website.

Mid-way through the evening, Jubilee Park CEO Ben Leal welcomed attendees and thanked all for their support of the upcoming 20th Anniversary Gala.  Co-chairs Lydia and Bill added their gratitude to the evening’s hosts as well as the many sponsors and host committee members in attendance.   

Lydia then announced this year’s honorary chairs would be Peggy and Mark Anschutz, who were in attendance, and recognized them as two of the founding catalysts for Jubilee Park 20 years ago. She also revealed the gala’s presenting sponsor, ISN Software Corporation, along with generous support from The Moody Foundation.  

Bill and Lydia Addy and Ben Leal*

Peggy and Mark Anschutz*

David and Maria Martin*

Bill announced the gala’s additional lead sponsors including Crow Holdings, Park Place Dealerships, Mary Stewart and Jim Ramsey and Maria and David Martin.  The support of all of the gala’s generous sponsors will enable Jubilee to launch a new Specialized Student Support (S3) Program. 

Ben Leal returned to give additional details regarding the new Specialized Student Support (S3) Program for children with special learning needs. The S3 program will combine teacher training, adaptive technology, specialized curriculum and parent empowerment to make high quality education accessible for more families.  He shared that they know of at least 150 children in Jubliee’s area who are in need of these services, and that they want to use their best practices in education, plus new specialized components, to meet that need.  He also said that the 20th Anniversary gala’s net revenue goal of $1 million will make these critical interventions accessible over the next eight years as the S3 Program becomes part of Jubilee’s ongoing Out of School Time Programs. 

Bill and Anne Johnson*

Doris Bonvino and Mary Neely*

Jim and Nancy Skochdopole*

Daniel Gerber and Elizabeth Hoffman*

Betsy Mosquera and Aline Bass*

Jeff and Darrel Rice*

In closing the Addy’s encouraged everyone including Nancy and Jim Skochdopole, Doris Bonvino, Mary Neely, Anne and Bill Johnson, Betsy Mosquera, Aline Bass, Daniel Gerber, Elizabeth Hoffman, Diane Metcalf-Leggette, Jeff and Darrel Rice, Ellen Muth, Pat and Claude Prestidge and Tiffany Davis to promote the gala on Saturday, November 4, to their friends and colleagues, including an After Party hosted by the Young Friends Host Committee beginning at 8:30 p.m. 

Ellen Muth, Pat Prestidge, Claude Prestidge and Tiffany Davis*

The 20th Anniversary Gala will be held at the Omni Dallas Hotel, starting at 6 p.m. The black-tie optional evening will include cocktails, a seated dinner, party games, dancing to live music by Dallas’ renowned Emerald City Band, party games, raffle prizes, and an oversized surprise unveiled by Jubilee’s Young Friends Host Committee members. 

Individual tickets are $250 each and now on sale; sponsorships begin at $2,500. After Party tickets are $125 and include drinks, dancing, party games and late-night bites. To purchase tickets or sponsorships, visit www.jubileecenter.org/gala or contact Lindsay Abernethy at 469.718.5702 or [email protected]

 About Jubilee Park: 

Jubilee Park and Community Center is a catalyst for community renewal and enrichment to the Jubilee Park Neighborhood, a 62- block area in southeast Dallas. Founded in 1997, Jubilee Park and Community Center helps families and other members of the community identify and access resources that help to provide stability and enhance their quality of life through five pillars: education, affordable housing, public health, public safety and economic development.   For more information, visit www.jubileecenter.org. 

* Photo credit: Michael Bruno 
** Photo provided by Jubilee Park and Community Center

A Gentle Reminder: 2018 Crystal Charity Ball Grant Application Deadline Nears

The clock is ticking and there are a heck of a lot of nonprofit types who are hard at work to meet the Tuesday, October 17, deadline. That’s when the 2018 Crystal Charity Ball applications are due.  

Claire Emanuelson (File photo)

Patty Leyendecker (File photo)

2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson and Charity Selection Chair Patty Leyendecker are making no exception. The forms have to be physically in the CCB offices by high noon… not 12:01 p.m. No email applications will be accepted. FYI: If you decide to mail the application, it won’t matter what the postmark is. If it ain’t in the CCB office by noon, it ain’t gonna make the cut.

It’s well worth the hard work. Since 1953, CCB has provided $131,244,558 for Dallas children’s charities. If you need proof, check with any of the past beneficiaries.

So, stop reading and get back to filling out those dang forms. And if you’ve put it all off until the last minute, the form is available here.

The 2018 beneficiaries will be selected Thursday, February 1.

Tootsies’ Fashions Were Front-And-Center On Stage For KidneyTexas Inc.’s Behind-The Scenes “Transforming Lives”

The KidneyTexas Inc.’s Runway Report affair at Brook Hollow Golf Club on Tuesday, September 26, may have appeared to be a typical fashion show and luncheon ready for a crowd of 350. The runway was laid out in the ballroom and the luncheon tables in the Promenade. The reception was already underway even before the 10:30 start as guests with flutes of champagne strolled in spotting friends across the room. Emcee Ron Corning with left leg firmly held in place thanks to a brace following a nasty fall in Santa Fe posed for photos with guests like Donna Arp Weitzman.

Soon the room was filled with the likes of Event Co-Chair Susan Russell, Jocelyn White, Angela Nash, Ramona Jones, Di Johnston, Susan McSherry, Angela Randall, Cheryl Hall, Vicki Howland, Lynn Dealey, Jolie Humphrey, Patty Jo Turner, Lauryn Gayle White, Lisa Cooley, Patti Flowers, Delilah Boyd, Tracy Lange, Marj Waters, Mr. Mesero’s Mico Rodriguez and Tracy Williams, who was watching her 15-year-old daughter walk the runway.

Andrea Alcorn

Ron Corning

KidneyTexas Inc. President Andrea Alcorn had lost more weight that she remembered. It wasn’t because she’d signed up for Weight Watchers. It was the “Stealth Juggler’s” diet that many baby boomers are unknowingly part of. She was juggling her day-job as a PR person, her responsibilities as KidneyTexas Inc. president and taking care of her mother Mae Alcorn (the longest kidney transplant survivor) who had fallen and broken a couple of major bones.

Altuzarra fashion

A.L.C jacket

Cinq A Sept gown with LaMarque jacket

Enhanced Rob Bradford gown

Highlighting the Tootsies fashions on the runway was a model in a Rob Bradford figure-hugging gown wrapped in vines ladened with faux butterflies that reflected the day’s theme “Transforming Lives.” 

But it was the behind-the-scenes story that was the real reason for the gathering.

Then there was McKamy Tiner, who just the year before had co-chaired the luncheon. She was also the nation’s youngest kidney donor. Today she was all smiles. Not just because of her kidney sharing, but she was getting married the following Saturday to Joel Looney. Because one donates a kidney doesn’t mean they lost their sense of humor, too. She told how when Joel met with her father months before, the bridegroom-to-be was nervous. Her dad offered him a Scotch to sooth his nerves. As an added calm down, papa Tiner told Joel, “I was always worried that Tiner would marry an a-s-o-e. You are the nicest guy around, so I’m not worried.”

McKamy Tiner

Susan Russell and Christine Martin

John Castorr

Co-Chair Christine Martin was as bright and sparkling as Tinkerbell. But that wouldn’t have been so, if it hadn’t been for two kidney transplants.

Christine’s brother John Castorr told how one of the beneficiaries Camp Reynal was a true getaway for for children with diabetes. In addition to having outdoors activities and being like any other summer camp, Camp Reynal had dialysis machines and healthcare specialist on site. 

But with all these knock ‘em out of the park stories, there was someone missing. His name was Vinny Trezza and he was a hunk. Not only did he play golf and was a Boy Scout, he “had been living with hydronephrosis, a condition from birth that caused his kidneys to swell and not function property.”

While folks sat near Vinny’s mom, Melissa Trezza, they initially didn’t realize the struggle that she and her family had gone through. But thanks to Melissa being a perfect match and Dr. Dev Desai at Children’s, Melissa “donated her kidney to her son, allowing him to avoid dialysis.”  

So, how does a kidney transplant take place?  For Vinny and Melissa it was Dr. Desai working for hours cutting away tissue around Melissa’s kidney with the help of long surgical tools and a TV screen that enhanced the picture of the kidney. Once Melissa’s kidney was removed, time was of the essence. It had to be flushed out and prepared for transplant. The kidney’s turning gray was a good sign as it was placed in an ice chest and transferred to the operating room where Vinny was prepped. Once Vinny’s “bad” kidney was removed, the clock kept ticking. Within minutes, Melissa’s kidney was transplanted into her son.

But this recent transplant and May’s transplant that took place years ago only resulted from research and development funded by fundraising by events like Runway Report.

Sue Goodnight

Steve and Linda Ivy

Natalie Taylor

Dee Lincoln

Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb

Jody Dean

As auctioneer Jody Dean worked the room to bring bids just a wee bit higher, Melissa sat knowing that her Boy Scout son had been the recipient of the power of fundraising with the fashions from Tootsies, the efforts of heroes like Lifetime Achievement Awardee Sue Goodnight, Honorary Co-Chairs Linda and Steve Ivy, Sue Goodnight Services Award recipient Natalie Taylor and Over-The-Top Awardees Dee Lincoln and Tootsies’ Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb.

As for Vinny, he was in class just being a normal buy thanks to his mom, Dr. D and the folks who had provided funding to let him get on with life.

And while Vinny let it be known that he wouldn’t be on the scene, there were nearly 50, who no-showed without notifying organizers. The results? Prepared and paid-for meals had to be thrown out. Had the MIA notified the leadership, the Runway Report could have prevented the meals from being prepared and saved some bucks. 

For more photos from the runway and the audience, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: KidneyTexas Inc.’s Runway Report

While the Tootsies fashions took centerstage at the KidneyTexas Inc.Runway Report on Tuesday, September 26, at Brook Hollow, the scene stealers were stories of people like KidneyTexas Inc. President Andrea Alcorn‘s mother, McKamy Tiner, Luncheon Co-Chair Christine Martin and a young fella named Vinny Trezza and his mother Melissa Trezza, whose lives have changed thanks to research and treatments for the disease.

Andrea Alcorn

McKamy Tiner

However, it must be admitted that the closing fashion on the catwalk that reflected the event’s theme of “Transforming Lives” definitely got reactions from those in the audience.

Enhanced Rob Bradford gown

Susan Russell and Christine Martin

While the post is being finished, check out the fashions and faces at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Sold-Out Alert!: Dallas Women’s Foundation’s 32nd Annual Luncheon

Dallas Women’s Foundation*

So sorry if you held off on getting your ticket for the Dallas Women’s Foundation fundraising luncheon on Friday, October 20, at the Hilton Anatole. Luncheon Co-Chairs Shonn Brown and Lisa Singleton just reported that the 32nd Annual Luncheon featuring Dr. Hope Jahren is sold out.

BTW, if you didn’t get your reservation in, there’s always the hefty check that just might a spot available. In the meantime, the following sponsors have their place setting locked down:

  • Platinum sponsors — U.S. Trust and Lyda Hill
  • Speaker sponsors — Suzanne Ahn, M.D. Speaker Endowment Fund at Dallas Women’s Foundation and Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt
  • Crystal sponsors — American Airlines, The Men and Women of Hunt Consolidated Inc., Texas Instruments and Young Women’s Preparatory Network
  • Diamond sponsors — EY, FedEx, Freeman, Jones Day and Kimberly-Clark
  • Emerald sponsors — AT&T Inc., Ellenore and Kirk Baker/Carter Financial Mgmt., Barings Multifamily Capital LLC, Lucy and Henry Billingsley, Cecilia G. Boone, Chatham Hill Investment Partnership, Toni Muñoz-Hunt and Dan Hunt, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Paula and Ron Parker, Service King Collision Repair, Betty and Steve Suellentrop and Toyota
  • Gold sponsors — AdvoCare International LP, Sindley Austin, Bank of Texas, Baron and Blue Foundation, Ann M. Berger, Phyllis F. Bernstein, Brunswick Group, Nancy P. Carlson, Serena Simmons Connelly, Roslyn Dawson Thompson and Rex W. Thompson, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Cindy Engles/Dodee Crockett, The Episcopal School of Dallas, Patricia W. Fagadau, Amy L. Fikes, Frost Bank, Kay Winzenried and Sheila Gallagher, Greenhill School, The Hart Group Inc., Haynes and Boone LLP, Al G. Hill Jr., The Hockaday School, Jane and Michael Hurst, JLL, Locke Lord, Lottye and Bobby Lyle, Lynn Pinker Cox and Hurst, Marty Marks, Alice and Erle Nye, Parish Episcopal School, PepsiCo, Julia Simon/Mary Kay, Southwest Airlines, Tolleson Wealth Management, Trinity Industries Inc. and Donna M. Wilhelm
  • Silver sponsors — Aetna, Bank of America Plaza, Angie Bain, Julie Bleicher and Gail Griswold, Lael Brodsky, Shonn Brown, Veree Brown, CBRE, Capital One Bank, Children’s Health, Communities Foundation of Texas, Ka Cotter and Sidney Hicks, Cristo Rey Dallas, Kaleta A. Doolin, The Enrico Foundation, FedEx Office, Melissa Fetter, Marion T. Flores and Margaret Keliher, Michelle Frymire, Sidney Hicks, HilltopSecurities Inc., Hind for Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, HudsonLake, Insperity, JP Morgan Chase, Jackson Walker L.L.P., Brenda L. Jackson, Junior League of Dallas Inc., KIPP Dallas – Fort Worth, Kristi Kastl, Margaret Keliher, Katherine Glaze Lyle and Sharon Lyle, McKinsey and Company, Methodist Health System Foundation, Neiman Marcus, Ava Norris, Cecilia and Tim Norwood, Lori Reisenbichler, Karen J. Simon, The Sister Fund, Solis Mammography, Debby Hay Spradley, Gail Warrior-Suchy and Colleen Affeldt, Texas Woman’s University, Thompson and Knight, TIAA, UT Southwestern, UTA University Crossroads, The University of Texas at Dallas, Vinson and Elkins LLP, Katrina Watland, Westwood Management and Williams Family Foundation
* Graphic courtesy of Dallas Women's Foundation

Flamenco Dancers Kicked Up Their Heels To Benefit Children At Risk’s “A Night In Barcelona” At Hotel Zaza

Evidently Calvert Collins-Bratton and Vince Bratton have some pull with Mother Nature because the evening of Saturday, September 23, was just made for their “A Night in Barcelona” at Hotel Zaza. Benefiting Children at Risk, the festivities started off with a reception around the pool complete with flamenco dancers and then moved indoors for a delicious dinner. Here’s a report from the field:

Becky Hollands and Alex Abraham*

The evening began with a VIP poolside reception at the always fabulous Hotel Zaza. Chairs Calvert Collins-Bratton and Vince Bratton visited with guests who included Eric and Kate Sudol, former Dallas Cowboy Timmy Newsome, Stratton and Debbie Horres, Richard Collins, Steve Love, Susannah and Chris Watt, Ron Taylor, Michael Zangoei, Shara McClure and couture designer Becky Hollands.

Flamenco dancers*

Carole and Scott Murray*

Guests enjoyed the picturesque views of the Uptown Dallas Skyline before moving to the ballroom where they were swept into “A Night in Barcelona.” Guests were dazzled by flamenco dancers, bright colors and tropical breezes. Hosted by Children at Risk, this annual fall soiree benefits the children and families of North Texas.

Bob Sanborn*

Once in the ballroom, guests were welcomed by emcee Scott Murray who kept the event lively throughout the evening. As guests dined on grilled hanger steak, shellfish and vegetable paella with baby zucchini, and corn pudding, Children at Risk President and CEO, Dr. Bob Sanborn, and North Texas Managing Director, Dr. Charlotte Carlisle, shared highlights of how the nonprofit works tirelessly to ensure Texas children and families have access to healthy food, quality public education, evidence-based parenting programs and a safe environment free of traffickers.

Charlotte Carlisle*

After a delicious dessert of cinnamon-dusted churro with chocolate dipper and salted caramel pastry cream-filled profiterole and coffee, the Live Auction heated up. The exciting 2018 All-Star Game Package, including tickets to the Slam Dunk and 3-Point Shooting Competitions, and the NBA Legends Brunch, was won by Kyle Jennings; and a Romantic Stay in historic Jefferson, Texas, at the House of the Seasons, one of the Great Homes in Texas, plus dinner at Stillwater Inn and 2 pairs of hand-made slippers from Hadleigh’s, went to Dr. Martin Koonsman. Another big hit was the Aruba Vacation Package which included 5 nights in a beautiful five-bedroom, three-bathroom beachfront home on Malmok, just yards away from one of the most acclaimed snorkeling beaches on the island, and a pair of airline tickets. Pam Humphrey was the lucky winner.

Tom Lewis, Susan Sanders, Calvert and Vince Bratton*

Tom Lewis won the raffle, a 5-day trip to Barcelona, including airfare for two and five nights at the luxurious 5-star Monument Hotel located in the heart of Barcelona on the famed Paseo de Gracia.

The night ended with Dr. Sanborn and Dr. Carlisle thanking the 200 plus stylish guests, and wonderful sponsors and donors for their generosity to Texas children, before inviting everyone to kick up their heals with the Flamenco dancers.

Award-Winning Filmmaker Johnathan Brownlee To Head Up Dallas Film Society And Dallas International Film Festival

Johnathan Brownlee*

The Dallas Film Society and its Dallas International Film Festival have new leadership. Award-winning Canadian/American entertain veteran Johnathan Brownlee has been selected to serve as the Dallas Film Society’s CEO/President and the DIFF’s Executive Director.

According to DFS Chair Mark Denesuk, “The board had a tall order for its new leader – expand our community impact and energize our development efforts, all while managing the city’s largest film festival. After a long process, Johnathan emerged as the clear choice and we are delighted that he is now leading the organization during this exciting new chapter of growth.”

Johnathan’s involvement in the film and television industry ranges from feature films to conducting workshops at Harvard, MIT, etc.

Johnathan replaces Lee Papert, who left the organization this summer.

* Photo courtesy of Dallas Film Society

For the full-blown press release, follow the jump: [Read more…]

Dirk Receives Some Ribbing—And The H. Neil Mallon Award—At World Affairs Council Dinner

The H. Neil Mallon Award, the signature annual honor bestowed by the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, has had some pretty impressive recipients over the years, from Vice President Richard Cheney and President George H.W. Bush to Ray Hunt, Randall Stephenson and Rex Tillerson. But it’s safe to say it’s never had a taller—or a more gracious—recipient than it did Friday, September 22, when Dirk Nowitzki was presented with the WAC’s 34th annual award during a dinner event at the Hilton Anatole.

Dirk Nowitzki*

Guests including Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger, Brent Christopher, Allie Beth and Pierce Allman, Keven Ann Willey and Georges Badoux, Christopher Durovich, Tanya Roberts, Carolina Beltran, Consul General Francisco De La Torre, Jan Miller and Jeff Rich, James Waters, Maurizio La Noce, Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins, Kay and Rob Harrell and Mary and Bob Potter turned out to honor Dirk, the legendary, 7-feet-tall power forward for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. Besides holding many league and team records, the German-born hoopster is a much-honored philanthropist, serving as a guidepost with his wife, Jessica, for The Dirk Nowitzki Foundation.

Marjorie Adams*

After being welcomed by Dinner Chair Marjorie A. Adams, who also chairs the WAC board, as well as WAC President and CEO Jim Falk, the guests enjoyed a dinner of baby spinach and frisee salad, peppercorn crusted beef filet and jumbo shrimp, and an apple streudel dessert. Then they  heard from His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States.

Bret Baier and Yousef Al Otaiba*

Otaiba had flown in from Abu Dhabi and New York to introduce the evening’s guest speaker, FOX News Channel anchor Bret Baier, but he couldn’t resist some gentle ribbing of Dirk. “Please keep working on that jump shot,” he advised the Mallon honoree, “because you only shot 38 percent last year. It’s not like anyone’s going to block your shot …”

Baier picked up the joke from there, branding Otaiba’s 38 percent statistic “fake news.” Corrected Bret, deadpan: “I think it’s at least 42 percent.” Baier recounted a little about his show, “Special Report with Bret Baier,” and said that in the D.C. news business this year, “every day is like drinking from a firehose.” The FOX star, who’s an accomplished golfer, recalled playing golf with President Trump—”he is all about winning, and he doesn’t really care how he does it”—before lauding Dirk for his under-the-radar visits to young patients at Children’s Health in Dallas.

Following a video tribute to Nowitzki featuring the likes of Mavs owner Mark Cuban, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings took the stage, clad in a tuxedo, and said of Dirk, “He represents Dallas like no other, because he represents excellence.” The man of the hour then accepted the Mallon Award from Rawlings and Adams and, with characteristic good humor, leaned down into the mic to rebut Otaiba’s allegation about his poor jump shot: “Mr. Ambassador, I’m not sure where you’re lookin’ at your stats … but I’ll try to do better next year!”

With that, the 39-year-old star sat down for a casual, on-stage chat with Mark Followill, the Mavs’ TV play-by-play announcer. Here are a couple of Dirk’s observations from the talk on:

  • Coming from Germany to Dallas: “My parents watched the TV show ‘Dallas’ once in a while, but it was not my thing. I was into MTV and sports. [Once I got to] Dallas, it was almost like they wanted me to succeed here from Day One.”
  • What he’s been doing recently: “I’ve just been traveling for about six-and-a-half weeks with [the Nowitzkis’] three little kids. It was … what’s the word? … great! [Lots of laughter.] Challenging!”
  • His future plans: “When I retire from basketball, I’m sure Cubes will give me a job, hopefully. But hopefully I’ll do it another year or two, then let the young guys take over.”
* Photo credit: Steve Foxall