TACA Distributes $1 Million To Art Groups . . . Again!

They did it again! Despite the frustration and challenges presented by the teeth-gnashing economy, the TACA team raised $1 million for area art groups this past year. To celebrate the feat, they played Santa Monday night at the Wyly handing out grants.

The recipients knew they were going to pick up a check, but they didn’t know the figure on it. The biggest one went to the Dallas Theater Center — $100,000. It was obvious from DTC’s Kevin Moriarty‘s (pictured) expression that he was pleased as punch! but then they all were pretty dog-gone thrilled with these late Christmas gifts.

“We are so pleased to have met our goal of distributing a million dollars for the fourth consecutive year,” said Lynn McBee (pictured), chairman of TACA’s 2009 and 2010 Board of Directors.  “This accomplishment is indicative of the extraordinary commitment the many individuals, companies and foundations have toward our performing arts community.”

It’s been under Lynn leadership that TACA has met its million-dollar goal for two very tough years.

Despite playing Mother Claus, Lynn had a little problem on her hands. While she was doling out money for TACA, her other pet project, The Trinity Trust, was lighting up the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in blue and white as part of Super Bowl Week. For once, Lynn couldn’t be in two place at one time. So, husband Allan was recruited to help light the bridge.

In addition to doling out the dough, award-winning actor/playwright/educator Will Power (pictured) entertained the assembled group along with the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Dallas Black Dane Theatre, Dallas Theater Center and Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas.

(While MySweetCharity is not a critic, the opening performance by Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Nycole Ray was amazing. The fragrance of baby powder was everywhere. If you don’t understand, ask someone who attended the presentation.)

According to organizers, “TACA’s grants will help support more than 4,648 performances that approximately 1.3 million people will attend.”

Grants were distributed to the following groups:

  • $5,000 —  Cara Mia Theatre Company, Contemporary Ballet Dallas, Irving Chorale, Lone Star Wind Orchestra, Meadows School of the Arts, SMU and Upstart Productions
  • $7,000 — Dallas Chamber Music and Voices of Change
  • $9,000 — Dallas Bach Society and Orchestra of New Spain
  • $10,000 — Echo Theatre, Second Thought Theatre, Teatro Dallas and Turtle Creek Chorale
  • $14,000 — Sammons Center for the Arts, Sammons Jazz
  • $15,000 — Chamber Music International, Dallas Museum of Art, TITAS, Undermain Theatre and Uptown Players
  • $18,000 — Orpheus Chamber Singers
  • $20,000 — Fine Arts Chamber Player and Kitchen Dog Theater
  • $30,000 — Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas, Junior Players and Shakespeare Dallas
  • $34,000 — Dallas Wind Symphony and Lyric Stage
  • $38,000 — Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra
  • $40,000 — Theatre Three and WaterTower Theatre
  • $55,000 — Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • $60,000 — Texas Ballet Theater
  • $70,000 — Dallas Children’s Theater
  • $95,000 — Dallas Opera and Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • $100,000  — Dallas Theater Center

“Hitting the $1 million mark four years running is great incentive as we embark on a new fundraising year,” said Andrew Teller Jr. (pictured), chairman of TACA’s 2011 Board of Directors.  “TACA and its supporters remain steadfast to the mission of sustaining a vibrant performing arts community for North Texas.”

Andy also heads up RBC Wealth Management which has been a major supporter of TACA. According to New York-born Andy, that support will continue.

Before the audience was invited on stage to celebrate the evening’s distribution, the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas entered the Wyly and surrounded the crowd to perform The Lark. Seemed a little ironic that the closing act was a taste of the future talent (pictured) within the community that has thrived thanks to TACA.

Kids And Adults Make News at SLANT 45 Movie Premiere

The official debut of Mark Birnbaum‘s movie on SLANT 45 occurred  Friday at the Angelika in Plano. It was attended by lots of munchkin veterans of the SLANT 45 project for the North Texas Super Bowl Committee. From planting trees to art projects, 45,000 children took part in efforts to improve their communities.

Many hardcore reporters diss the red carpet opportunity to interview celebs. Evidently one enterprising reporter took advantage of the moment and chatted with ESPN broadcaster Craig James (pictured) and got a quote that has lit up the Internet.

Another VIP making the red carpet strut was the North Texas Super Bowl’s #1 man Bill Lively. When ask if the NFL was going to take the SLANT 45 concept to other cities, Bill said, “They’re talking about it very seriously  — whether to do this instead of something else. We’ll know very soon.”

Chef Kent Rathbun dropped in long enough to make sure that the catering was going smoothly. Duh! Yes, his team was handling the catering. Then Kent was off to see Cirque du Soleil: OVO at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco.

Just before the movie started SLANT 45 Chair Daryl “The Moose” Johnston (pictured) thank Shannon and Ted Skokos and Bank of America for helping to underwrite the program and media types like Clarice Tinsley, FOX 4 and the Dallas Morning News.

Then the lights dimmed and a year’s effort by the thousands of children and adult who came together for their communities was told thanks to Mark.

If you didn’t make Friday’s show, here are the scheduled dates and theaters.

Photos provided by Glenn Hunter

MySweetCharity News: Blog Sponsor For Dallas Film Society

With the promise that the MySweetCharity eats popcorn nonstop, was read Photoplay by her mother as a child and once advised Sophia Loren (pictured left with MySweetCharity’s chief scribe) on beauty tricks, MySweetCharity is very pleased to announce that MSC will be the blog sponsor for the Dallas Film Society.

Everyone at MSC including the elves in the MSC cubbyhole is high-fiving each other.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Regarding MySweetCharity blog sponsorships, each sponsored organization understands that coverage of their events and people will be reported according to the same standards that all groups receive.

We just wanted to make it clear to the MSC community that the sponsored groups receive no winks of the eye or convenient ignorance.

And, no, MySweetCharity receives no money for blog sponsorships just in case you’re wondering.

A Wilson McClure Home Was The Marvelous Scene Of The Moonlight Ball Patron Party

One of the pluses of sponsorship is the opportunity to see homes you’ve always admired from the curb. Such was Thursday night when Nancy (pictured) center with, from the left, Kerri Davis and Ronnie Sussman) and Mike Kerr opened their Wilson McClure home for the patrons of the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas‘s Moonlight Ball.

With “great bones” from the 50’s, the former home  of the late Betty and Ben Carpenter was the perfect blending of traditional structure, modern art and great taste. Nancy was quite upfront that they didn’t change much of the basic home because it was so wonderful. They just refreshed certain areas. Don’t you just love someone who doesn’t have a bulldozer up their sleeve?

Gala Co-chairs Natalie Dossett and Gigi Sussman (pictured right with Natalie Dossett) told guests that all arrangement for the Saturday, March 5th gala at Brook Hollow Golf Club were in place for the black tie evening of dining and dancing. Last year’s gala had 300 guests in attendance.

In the crowd were Honorary Chairs Bob (past chair of the RMHD Board) and Katherine Penn and Ronald McDonald House of Dallas Board of Directors Chairman Mike McWilliams (pictured right with, from the left Bob and Katherine Penn).

NFL Players Wives Make A Sneak Play With Abi Ferrin At The Shak

The Super Bowl Week activities really got started last Thursday unofficially at The Shak. Leave it to the NFL Players Wives to get a step ahead of everybody else. The gals and select pals got together for a super-duper preview of Abi Ferrin‘s fashions at The Shak Thursday night. With Abi looking on with total approval, football pro spouses Sherice Brown (pictured right with Abi Ferrin), Janet Dorsett, Romonda Jordan and Becky Nguyen modeled some of Abi’s outfits.

The full-blown collection will hit the runway at the 10th Annual Off-The-Field Player’s Wives Awards Banquet and Fashion Show benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital  at the Fairmont Friday.

Tried but couldn’t tell if fashion show Co-chair Sherice had her fingers crossed for husband Tim’s being up for the Hall of Fame. The vote takes place Saturday before the Super Bowl.

Despite the fact that players like Tony Dorsett, Randy Jordan and Dat Nguyen (pictured left with Becky Nguyen) were on hand to support the gals, the handful of smiling uniformed officers were evidently more impressed with the leggy ladies like Amy Hunniford and Chrissy Tebbe (pictured right with Amy Hunniford).

Ironically just across the aisle from The Shak, Wisby-Smith Fine Art Gallery opened at the Crescent this week with Peter Max-ified football helmets.

Before The Super Bowl, The Souper Bowl Was Definitely On For The Stewpot Alliance

Despite all the talk about the upcoming Super Bowl, Dallasites focused on the third annual Soup’s On!, the real souper bowl, Tuesday at Union Station. With nine generous chefs (pictured from the left, Keith Hanks, Abraham Salum, Joel Harloff, Bruno Davaillon, Keith Hanks, Kevin Garvin, Brian Luscher, Randall Copeland and Jim Severson) toiling in the kitchen to feed a sell-out crowd benefiting The Stewpot Alliance, guests sauntered around the silent auction of art and the goodies. Among them were Sam and Karen Blair, who were catching up with Ed “Mr. Levee Singer” Bernet (pictured right with, from the left, Sam and Karen Blair) about the musical group’s upcoming 50th anniversary.

Before anyone knew it, a call to lunch rang through the hall. No, they didn’t bong dinner chimes or whistle. Instead the strong, wonderful voices of the Hamilton Park Men’s Choir (pictured) belted out songs that could not be denied.

Among the crowd hearing the call were Laura and Mayor Tom Leppert, who ran into former Homeless Czar/presently Park Board President Mike Rawlings (pictured right with, from the left, Tom and Laura Leppert). Gee, everyone seemed to be button-holing Mike. You’d think he was running for mayor or something.

Robyn Conlon arrived with a great tan having just returned from Grand Caymen. She was thrilled about the video that was to be shown and with good reason. It was a tribute to her father, the late Gillis Thomas, who died last year and had been so instrumental at the Stewpot and helping the homeless.

Emcee Gary Cogill got things started with the help of the Rev. Dr. Joe Clifford, Luncheon Chair Lillie Young (pictured), Mayor Tom and Rev. Dr. Bruce Buchanan of The Stewpot. They couldn’t help but give keynote speaker Mort Meyerson a bit of a hard time claiming that Mort reported the sell-out was the result of “my mother has been on the phone again.” Enjoying the joke was mother Bernice (pictured) front and center at the #1 table.

The guests also learned that The Stewpot was celebrating its 35 anniversary and had served more than four million meals since its start back in 1975.

As the speakers took their turns, the servers presented the tables with bowls of soup. Each table had a soup created by one of the nine chefs.  BTW, insiders know that the take-home goodies from this lunch not only include a soup bowl designed by children in the Stewpot’s Saturday morning program but also a copy of the chefs’ soup recipes.

In addition to the soup, guests were served a nice chicken dish. As lunch was devoured, the chefs took a break (pictured) before being introduced. One of them told Abraham to sit and back and relax. They all knew that Abraham is with days of opening his new restaurant Komali, right next door to Salum. (Sneaked a peak of the Komali after Soup’s On! and, boy, has it been worth the wait.)

After the introduction of the chefs, the schedule started showing signs of running over its 1 p.m. conclusion resulting in Mort (pictured) not taking the podium until 12:59. Before starting his 11-minute talk, he turned the tables on the crowd by pulling out a camera and taking a photo of the audience so Bernice could show it to her bridge club.

MySweetCharity Succumbs To Super Bowl Madness

MySweetCharity has always played by the rules and adhered to our policy of covering only events and people in the Dallas nonprofit community.

Due to popular demand (the checkout lady at the grocery and a reclusive spinster), we’re going to make an exception this week. Because so many of the Super Bowl activities benefit nonprofits and we all love a good showing of names and events, MSC will be including Super Bowl coverage as well as the normal, amazing feats of greatness by Dallas charities.

Bill Cosby At Bishop’s Gala Proves It Takes A Lot To Be Funny

Saturday night’s “Reaching for the Stars” benefiting the Catholic Charities proved that the folks behind the scenes put up with all types of things to make an event a success. But more about that later.

It was a record-breaking guest count at the Hilton Anatole for the annual Bishop’s Gala. With a mix of black tie, suits and cleric collars, the common look was happy folks. During the pre-dinner reception, Marti and Jim Burke (pictured left with Marti Burke) were one of the happiest couples in the place. When asked if they were there for the evening’s entertainment, Bill Cosby, they said it was largely to support Catholic Charities. Besides being CEO for TXU Energy, Jim’s also a heavyweight at Christ the King and one of Fr. Don Zimmerman‘s chief cheerleaders.

Bishop Kevin Farrell (pictured) arrived and was greeted like a rock star. There’s just something about the twinkle in his eye and that touch of Irish accent that knocks you out. Just ask him to say, “charity.”

The Dallas Cowboys were well represented. Biddie and Lee Roy Jordan were talking with Marianne (pictured left with from the left Lee Roy  and Biddie Jordan) and Roger Staubach. The Staubachs will be wearing several hats in the Super Bowl days to come — hosting Jones Lang LaSalle corporate types, heading up Super Bowl committee obligations and being Dallas Cowboy alums. Why, next Friday alone they have three parties to juggle.

Across the way in front of the hallway leading to the Sapphire Room, two official types stood allowing only v-e-r-y special people in. But more about that later.

Just as the reception seemed to be over capacity, the doors to the Chantilly Ballroom opened and the crowd flowed in. After the guests took their places and dinner was a done deal, a game of “Heads and Tails” was played. Colleen Barrett and Herb Kelleher (pictured right with Colleen Barrett) stepped outside, so she could grab a quick smoke.

Lillian Taylor-Blackmon was thrilled about the evening of Cosby entertainment. It was an early birthday gift from her date/husband, Deloitte manager Matthew (pictured). Lillian laughed, “You gotta love the Catholics. There are 10 bars and four drink tickets for each guest.”

Then the live auction commenced at 8:10 p.m. with everything from elk hunts, Mavericks packages, a Notre Dame football weekend, and trips galore. Fr. Josef Vollmer-Konig‘s (pictured) bringing ingredients to the winner’s home and creating a custom gingerbread house was so popular, it sold twice to the John O’Dwyers and Thomas Valentas.

The auction ended with the selling of two red Catholic Charities’ sweatshirts signed by Cos for $7,000+.

Finally the show was going to start with a lone chair draped in one of the sweatshirts on stage. Cosby entered wearing the other sweatshirt and helped Catholic Charities’ Sr. Mary Anne Owens (pictured right with Bill Cosby) announce the endowment campaign of $5 million had been reached thanks to an anonymous person’s $2.5 million challenge. Cos asked the question on everyone’s mind, “Who gave $2.5 million?” Answer: “It was anonymous.” Without missing a beat, Cos said: “What’s his last name, then?”

After the check and Sr. Mary Ann left the stage, Cos settle back to provide more than an hour of non-stop humor. The only time he hesitated was when he took a swig from his water bottle.

One of the auction items was a call from Cos on stage to the winner’s person of choice. That one went for a nifty $5,000 to Cathy and Dan Basso. A perfect match. Cosby invited Cathy (pictured center with, from the left, Bill Cosby and Dan Basso) to the stage to help with the call. A spunky Cathy appeared without hesitation and notified Cos that he would be calling her son, Franklin, who was at his 40th birthday party at a bar across from Baylor Hospital. The exchange was priceless including Cosby telling Franklin, “Your dad spent $5,000 to call you. There goes your trip to France. . . Somebody’s trying to get in heaven.”

If the show had stopped there, many would have gone home happy. But, no. They were in for an evening of laughter sans profanity or suggestive stories. For instance,

  • In Philadelphia, Cosby said he went to public schools, where their teams played Catholic schools and the Catholic schools always won. So he had a dislike for the Catholic people. “They even beat Wilt Chamberlain!”
  • He pointed out the difference in the ways that Protestants and Catholics worship. “Our pastors talk to God and Jesus, Catholics have signals. Protestants have no signals. That’s why they yell: ‘Jesus!’ I was in boot camp with an Italian fellow and we got to be friends. He was from Pittsburgh and said Catholics go to church for 48 minutes on Sunday. ‘You’re lying,’ I said. In the Corinthian Baptist Church, at 48 minutes the choir’s just coming down the aisle!”
  • “My waistline is dyslexic. Used to be 24; now it’s 42.”
  • At their wedding, “Camille (Cosby’s wife) started crying when the priest said, ‘Do you promise to obey?’ She cried because she knew she was lying when she said, ‘Yes.'”
  • Talking about marriage in general, Cosby told the men, “It was right there in front of your eyes all along, but you didn’t see it: your mother manipulating your old man.”
  • Camille to their kids: “Don’t worry about him (Cosby). I’ll take care of him.”
  • “Regardless of what women do to us, we still have instinct that helps us survive. I had a horrible thought at the dinner table one night: ‘If I wasn’t working, these people would have me killed.'”
  • “Behavior of the male is very important. If you think you’re the boss, my advice is to ‘Forget about it,’ because eventually she’s going to own you. Your wife is not your ‘friend.’ A diamond is a girl’s best friend; you gave her that ring and in return she gave you … nothing. She’s gonna be your wife, not your friend. I can get a friend with a beer. She’s a wife, way above a friend.”
  • “The (bride)groom has no power. He does only one thing at the wedding: picks out the groomsmen. Because it’s the last time he’ll ever see them. Except maybe as a pallbearer.”
  • At the wedding the groom’s father should be replaced with the groom’s mother, because then he (the groom) can see his whole life in front of him — “The woman who brought him into the world, and the woman who’s going to take him out.”
  • He told the story of his friend named “Ed,” who volunteered to pick him up in middle of night after Cosby’s car broke down. Whereas Camille gave Cos static for not listening to her about fixing the car, and told him to call AAA.

Then it was over and Cosby exited the stage quickly. Just as quickly City Council members Pauline Medrano and Dwaine Caraway arrived on the stage to present Fat Albert’s friend with the key to the city for all he has done for humanity. But it seemed that Cos had headed straight to his car. Somehow, they managed to get him back. Looking at the key securely suspended in a clear paperweight case (pictured), Cos said, “I can’t get it out and open anything!”

Pauline asked where he was going to put it. Cosby responded: “On my desk, where my wife will touch it.” He then thanked all the volunteers, saying, “You don’t need money; you just need intelligence, good instincts and yourself to make a difference.”

With that he was gone.

Ah, but you want to know about those “More about that later’s.” Follow the jump. [Read more…]

Share-The-Date: TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon

Friday, March 4, 2011: Yes, it’s between Texas Independence Day (March 2) and Ebby’s birthday (March 9), but TACA Silver Cup Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole is one of the best lunches around. This year’s honorees are Sarah Perot and John Eagle (pictured left with Sarah Perot). If you have been to one, you’ve probably already gotten your reservation in. If you haven’t been, get your reservo now!

Following in the tradition, last year’s winners will introduce this year’s recipients. Can’t wait  to hear what Cindy Rachofsky has to say about John and what John Cody sings about Sarah.

2011 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show And Luncheon’s Snow Strategy Is Announced At Patron Party

Janie Condon, DeeDee Lee, Natalie and Rainey Fogiel IMG_0372Last year’s St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon was within a snowflake of being a disaster. No, the show and lunch were fabulous thanks to mom/daughter co-chairs Rainey and Natalie Fogiel (pictured  right with, from the left, Janie Condon, Dee Dee Lee and Natalie Fogiel). But once the event broke up the guests were greeted by the frosty breath of old man winter as he created a Big Chill for North Texas. Luckily, the event’s timing was perfect, so the ladies got home just in time to heat up some hot chocolate.

With this memory in mind, the 2011 luncheon Chair Holly Pellham Davis announced her “just in case” plans for the Feb. 9th “The Art of Romance” luncheon at the patrons party Thursday in Terri and Bobby Brittingham‘s (pictured right with Terri Brittingham) fabulous home.

Holly (pictured) announced to the crowd that if there’s any chance of snow in the forecast, all the girls are to come to the Anatole the night before and have a slumber party! One guest nudged another saying, “Gee, I sorta hope it does snow now.”

Then the sponsors and underwriters including Gold Crown, Modern Luxury Dallas, Park Place, Renee Rouleau, Kristina Bowman and Stanley Korshak (“We have Carolina Herrera through them!”) were thanked. It was then reported that Honorary Chair Margot Perot had left the party a smidge early to catch a flight to Pennsylvania.

It was then time for a mini-live auction with bargains being snapped up. A Night in the City/Mansion stay retailed for $3500 and went for $1,500. Dinner for 10 at Abraham Salum‘s new restaurant (Komali) was valued at $2,500 and got picked up for $1,700. Underwriter Renee Rouleau even got into the bidding bargains and picked up a rather fabulous Dolce Gabanna purse, as her bud Maxine “Pink Memo” Trowbridge (pictured right with Renee Rouleau) looked on.

Helping to get the bidding up was Brendan Higgins (pictured ) who later told friends that he’s working on several projects at the moment.

While the auction was going on in the main living room, there was activity in other parts of the Brittingham manor. In the back room, Jim Turner (pictured) was jawboning with Holly’s husband Stubbs Davis about Turner’s greatly successful new Advanced H20 LLC, a private-label bottled water business. They have four plants around the country now, in California, Washington state, Pennsylvania and Dallas; provides water for the Safeways of the world, etc.

Jim, being a smart fella, told Stubbs that his wife Julie was the brains behind Deja Blue, another of the Turners’ successful water-bottling ventures.

In another room, plans for the Super Bowl were being discussed by a trio of “should-be-Cowboys-cheerleader types Quick‘s Kyle Kearbey, Park Place’s Carolyn Slovick and Allie Beth Allman’s Allison Moran (pictured right with, from the left, Kyle Kearbey and Carolyn Slovick). Kyle fessed up saying that she wasn’t looking forward to much of the Super Bowl hoop-la, frankly. But on second thought, she admitted that she was interested in one party. You know the GQ one with Andy Roddick.

Why does one suspect that the main topic at the St. Valentine’s Day luncheon will be Super Bowl debriefings?