Not Even A Rainy-Day Delay Could Put The Whoa For The Equesters Galloping Ahead From Their “Field Of Dreams” Gala

One thing is for sure. Those horse-loving Equest folks are flexible. When radar showed threatening weather storming into North Texas for Saturday, April 29th’s Equest Gala at Texas Horse Park, cool minds ruled, coordinated with vendors, sponsors, guests and the ponies and moved the whole kit-and-kaboodle to the next day. Here’s a report from the “field of dreams:”

Kelly Howard, Blair Dwyer and Elizabeth Schwartz*

Ray Johnston*

The Equest Gala, themed “A Field of Dreams,” was truly an inspirational evening of hope, determination and joy. With Saturday’s forecast of severe storms, a difficult decision was made to reschedule the gala to Sunday, and the Equest team, Gala committee, and event planner Katy Sky Group produced the unthinkable: a beautiful fundraising gala for 450 guests complete with all the bells and whistles. The 36th annual Equest Gala was another example of Equest’s can-do spirit.

Jocelyn White and Jody Dean*

Finely dressed in their equestrian best, guests perused the magnificently decorated Equest barns and arena at Texas Horse Park. Ray Johnston performed an acoustic set during the reception – providing the perfect soundtrack to the blue skies and cool temperature. Sipping on signature “Field of Dreams” margaritas and sampling the Bourbon and Biscuits Bar, guests cozied up with the lipstick-wearing Equest Mini-Ambassadors Cisco and Dare at the Mini Kissing Booth. Just as festive was the Tequila with Taco station where delighted guests enjoyed Milagro tequila and a photo with Equest’s famous donkey, Taco.  One of the best parts of the night was seeing the proud smiles worn by the Equest riders during Horse and Rider demonstrations.

Andy Steingasser*

Guests enjoyed a family-style southern gourmet dinner from Farm to Market Catering, while Emcees Jocelyn White of Designing Texas and Jody Dean of KLUV 98.7 FM introduced Equest CEO Lili Kellogg, Equest Chairman of the Board Andy Steingasser, and Equest Gala Co-Chairs Kathy and Jeromy Fielder, among others.

Kathy Fielder, Bella Fielder and Jeromy Fielder*

Cary Pierce*

A compelling video touched charitable hearts before the start of the live auction. Over $50,000 was raised during the fund-a-mission and five Equest therapy horses were sponsored by generous donors. Other guests bid on stellar live auction items including a four-night vacation in Breckenridge, a Napa Valley Getaway, a live painting by Dace Lucia Kidd, and a Belize Dream at the Las Terrazas Resort. Guests also had the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind silent auction items, and purchase a key for $100 that the lucky winner could use to unlock a $2,500 Neiman Marcus gift card.

An equestrian chic gala – especially one located in a barn – would not be considered a success without two-stepping. Dancers from Arthur Murray Dance Studio opened the dance floor, quickly followed by guests’ cowboy boots shuffling to the musical lead of Cary Pierce, and surprise musical guests Crystal Yates and Jon Christopher Davis.

Phyllis Comu and Susan Schwartz*

Darin and Margot Ruebel*

Additional attendees included: Equest Co-Founder Susan Schwartz, Bill and Lezlie Noble, Monique and Reed Williams, Margot and Darin Ruebel, Phyllis and CJ Comu, Phyllis Glazer, Bridget and Tom Black, Jessica and Michael Barnett, Ricky Callahan and Jennie Healy, Connie Sigel, Mimi and Rich Sterling, Patrick and Kristy Sands, Carolyn and Romy Anderson, and Alanna Smith of WFAA Good Morning Texas, among others.

* Photo credit: Thomas Garza

Round Robin April 15: Côtes Du Coeur Reception, Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Derby Day And Moonlight Ball Patron Parties

Accountants were hunkered down trying to meet the midnight tax deadline. But the evening of Wednesday, April 15, was one of those rare nights when the weather was ideal and partying indoors and out was incredible. Some of the events taking place included:

Côtes Du Coeur Reception

Kim Bannister, Mary Gill, Mary Martha Pickens and Wendy Messmann

Kim Bannister, Mary Gill, Mary Martha Pickens and Wendy Messmann

Heart disease survivor and fundraiser Mary Gill was being celebrated at Jimmy Choo in connection with the April 25th Côtes du Coeur benefiting the American Heart Association.

Jimmy Choo's Cinderella slipper

Jimmy Choo’s Cinderella slipper

It was a bittersweet occasion. Being toasted and surrounded by about 60 friends like Simona Beal, Elizabeth Washburn, Côtes du Coeur Gala Chair Kristen Johnston, Côtes du Coeur Chair Kate Rose Marquez, Kim Bannister, Mary Martha Pickens, Wendy Messmann, Kris Johnson, Cara French and Nancy Gopez cheered her a bit despite the recent loss of her brother Richie Humphreys, who succumbed to his years of battling cancer.

Helping add a touch of sparkle to the occasion was the presentation of Jimmy Choo’s made-to-order Cinderella shoe. Gals like Brittanie Buchanan Oleniczak tried it on. Even if the crystal-embellished shoe fit the lady’s foot, the glass slipper—a tie-in with the new “Cinderella” live-action movie, which was playing at the nearby Village Theatre—might have required a Prince Charming to help handle the near-$5,000 price tag.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Derby Day Patron Party

Aakash Patel

Aakash Patel

Susan Walker and Courtney Nall

Susan Walker and Courtney Nall

In Marion and Jim Moore‘s glorious house, Aakash Patel was playing his violin in the entry hall. About 35 guests were gathering for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Wells Fargo Derby Day patron party, which helps support programs including the DSO Young Strings, of which Aakash is a graduate. Co-Chairs Courtney Nall and Susan Walker had arranged for the event at the Moores’ just days before the Wells Fargo-sponsored derby at Lone Star Park.

H.M. and Marilyn Hailey

H.M. and Marilyn Hailey

In the den, Marilyn and H.M. Hailey were settled down in a comfy couch. The former Neiman Marcus house model recalled her days of working the couture salon and Zodiac Room with models Virginia Muncy and Desi. It was during this period that Marilyn met legendary hat designer Frank Olive. She was so caught up with the milliner that she started collecting his hats. Today she has 40 Frank Olive creations.

Who knows? Maybe Marilyn wore one of her prized chapeaus at the Sunday, April 19, Derby Day.

Under The Moonlight Ball Patron Party

Bob Penn was at the door of his 87-year-old mansion for the rescheduled Ronald McDonald House of DallasUnder the Moonlight Ball patron party.

Mother Nature hadn’t been a very nice party guest for the previous Moonlight events. First the patron party had to be rescheduled due to snow, and then she dumped rain on the main event itself. Still, Moonlighters took it in stride. Despite the rain, they partied indoors at Trinity Groves and thank heaven they picked a perfect night for the patron party.

With the grounds looking just a kiss away from spectacular, the Penns threw open the terrace doors and the 45 guests took full advantage of the Penns’ hospitality and glorious home that sits on more than an acre in Highland Park.

Catherine Penn and Cate Ford

Katherine Penn and Cate Ford

Moonlight Co-Chair Cate Ford pointed out the faces carved into the staircase leading to the living quarters. There was a rumor that it was of Bob and his brothers as children. Then Cate checked out the charming panels featuring the Penn daughters in the living room.

Carved faces in stairway

Carved faces in stairway

Panel of Penn daughters

Panel of Penn daughters

Katherine Penn admitted that 30 years ago, when they moved into the house which was built in 1928, she thought it was way too big, but they eventually filled it up with kids and furnishings. Luckily, Katherine and Bob kept the Santa Barbara style home built by Bob’s folks intact with some slight adjustments. Katherine said that such things as air conditioning and electrical adjustments were a bit challenging. But they met the challenge.

One of the original homes built in the immediate neighborhood, the estate’s magnificent trees suffered no damage in last year’s straight-line winds. The secret? Katherine is vigilant about keeping the trees trimmed.

If ever the Penns invite you over, accept. This house is beautiful, inviting and historic.

Postponement: Artscape Members-Only Preview

Due to the threatening weather, tonight’s members-only preview of Artscape benefiting the Dallas Arboretum is postponed until tomorrow (Saturday) morning from 7 to 9 a.m.

Smart thinking. The weather should be great and mimosas and “breakfast goodies” will be on hand along with the flowers.

Don’t think about crashing the party. Membership cards will be required for entry.

Sweet Sounds And Awesome Aromas Filled The Stemmons Ballroom For The Rescheduled A Symphony Of Chefs

What is it about the delicious aroma of garlic mixing it up with butter in a pan over a flame? Whatever it is, that yummy scent was not only filling the Stemmons Ballroom at the Anatole on Monday, March 30, it was wafting out into the lobby.

Dallas Chamber Symphony

Dallas Chamber Symphony

For those 200+ insider the ballroom for the 5th Annual Symphony of Chefs benefiting KidLinks, it was an incredible seated, five-course dinner. But it wasn’t supposed to be so late in March. Originally, scheduled for Monday, February 23, it like other events had to reschedule to a wintry storm.

Salvatore Giselli

Salvatore Giselli

But to reschedule guests plus 20 chefs was a real feat. Still the KidLinks’ funding of therapeutic music initiatives for critically ill and special-needs children across North Texas and the U.S.” was depending on the funds. Event Co-Chairs Bonnie and Nathan Shea and Summer and Jeff Olmstead made it happen with members of the Dallas Chamber Symphony performing on stage.

Chad Houser, Eric Shelton and Hannah Koski

Chad Houser, Eric Shelton and Hannah Koski

Chief Chef Salvatore Gisellu mustered his crew of chefs including such folks as David Sokol, Andre BeDouret, Chad Houser and Nathan Burke, and they arose to the occasions. With guests just a foot away from the chefs and their crews, it was a feast of everything from tuna tartar to sizzling tenderloin for the eyes and tummies making the rescheduling very well worth the wait.

Tuna

Tuna

2015 TACA Silver Cup Recipients Catherine Rose And Don Glendenning Are Honored At Rescheduled Reception

The 2015 TACA Silver Cup Award sponsors and underwriters literally filled the balconies and home of TACA Silver Cup Award Honorary Co-Chair/2001 Silver Cup recipient Mary McDermott Cook’s tri-level on Thursday, March 19. Unlike the canceled-due-to-weather-luncheon just a couple of weeks before, the weather on this evening was pristine.

Becky Young

Becky Young

It seems the morning of the March 5th luncheon, while TACA Executive Director Becky Young was coordinating the cancellation, she got a call from Mary, who wanted to host an event to help. The solution was a cocktail reception for the underwriters and sponsors of the event. Somehow, Becky found a date that worked for both honorees  — Catherine Rose and Don Glendenning — and at least a dozen past recipients and 16 different arts groups. It would serve as a mini-version of the originally planned luncheon presented by J.P. Morgan and Neiman Marcus.

View from Mary McDermott Cook's home

View from Mary McDermott Cook’s home

With perfectly flawless views of downtown Dallas, the Bill Booziotis-designed home only continues to get rave reviews.

Kern and Marnie Wildenthal, Carol Glendenning, Tom and Holly Mayer and Don Glendenning

Kern and Marnie Wildenthal, Carol Glendenning, Tom and Holly Mayer and Don Glendenning

Halfway through the evening, Becky started herding the guests into the living room. Eventually, the place was filled to the max with the likes of Silver Cup Honorary Co-Chair/first Silver Cup recipient Margaret McDermott, Elaine Agather, Keith Cerny, Dan Patterson, Betsy and Richard Eiseman, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Carol Glendenning, Deedie Rose, Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Jeremy Strick, Holly and Tom Mayer and Frank Risch.

Elaine Agather and Jennifer Karol

Elaine Agather and Jennifer Karol

Luncheon Chair Jennifer Karol reported that the cancelled event had turned into a blessing for others. The food had been sent to The Bridge that was sorely in need of additional food with the weather conditions turning sour. And the centerpieces and floral arrangements had been delivered to Parkland. Jennifer added that she thought Silver Cup founder/the late Annette Strauss would have approved of the deliveries.

And despite the cancellation of the annual event, a record-breaking $525,000 had resulted for the performing arts.

Next 2014 TACA Chair Nancy Carlson introduced the official, if abbreviated, presentation 2015 Silver Cup Awards presentation. It seems that current Board Chair Donna Wilhelm was under the weather.

Jin Young Kwon

Jin Young Kwon

Nathaniel Earhart

Nathaniel Earhart

And what would any TACA event be without a performance? And this one was no exception with 2015 SMU Meadows School of the Arts Mezzo-soprano Jin Young Kwon and guitarist Nathaniel Earhart.

Jennifer Karol, Don Glendenning, Nancy Carlson and Catherine Rose

Jennifer Karol, Don Glendenning, Nancy Carlson and Catherine Rose

Before Catherine and Don opened their blue boxes containing their silver cups, they each spoke briefly to the crowd with eloquence and appreciation of the arts and art lovers, only demonstrating the reason for their joining their illustrious predecessors. Catherine graciously accepted saying the number one lesson that she had learned from Margaret was to say, “Thank you.” She continued saying “Thank you” to Margaret “for setting a standard and an example for all of us to follow, for teaching us to reach for excellence and always say ‘thank you’ to all who help us.”

In comparing Dallas to the golden era of Florence, Don acknowledged the importance of families like the McDermotts, Perots and then, looking directly at Margaret, he reminded old-timers and newcomers of the importance that Texas Instruments played in the development of Dallas.

Margaret reciprocated the platitudes by saying that she constantly thought of both of them. She had been a good friend of Catherine Rose’s grandmother [the late Billie Marcus] and admired all that Don has done for this community. She concluded saying, “All I can think of is ‘aren’t we blessed.'”

Catherine Rose, Don Glendenning, Margaret McDermott and Mary McDermott Cook

Catherine Rose, Don Glendenning, Margaret McDermott and Mary McDermott Cook

Then Catherine and Don opened the boxes and under the wrappings discovered their silver cups. Immediately afterwards the twosome posed for photos with Mary and Margaret.

Rescheduled Boots And Horses Got A Sneak Preview Of Texas Horse Park

Their first planned gathering was squashed by Mother Nature’s icy downfall on March 4, so The Trinity Trust Rat Pack and River Rats regrouped and rescheduled their sneak preview of Texas Horse Park for Tuesday, March 10. There were some who wondered if having it during spring break would decrease the attendance. Word has it that ” an even large crowd that before” turned out. Here’s a report from the field:

More than 100 members of The Trinity Trust’s Rat Pack and River Rats were among the first to experience the magic of the not-yet-opened Texas Horse Park for an evening of horseback riding, cocktails, and Texas hospitality. Guests enjoyed exploring the trails and various venues, and many even saddled up a horse for a gallop in the arena.

“It is even more beautiful than we imagined it could be,” said Gail Thomas, President and CEO of The Trinity Trust.

Texas Horse Park architect Craig Reynolds spoke about the design and vision for the park and how it will be a community asset. “It’s hard to believe this is 10 minutes from Downtown Dallas,” he said, marveling about the beauty of the Great Trinity Forest.

“I am blown away by my visit to the Texas Horse Park,” said Salle Stemmons. “I can’t wait to share it with all my family and friends. What a magnificent gift for all of Dallas to enjoy! Well done!”

Other guests, including Texas Horse Park Foundation board member Carol Nichols, Annie and Bud Melton, The Trinity Trust board member Lynn McBee, Natalie and Evan Beattie, Calvin Bluiett and Dustin Bullard, enjoyed taking pictures – and even a ride – with the beautiful horses provided by River Ranch Charities. Sweet Pea and Pepper seemed to be the crowd favorites.

“This is so much fun. What a terrific venue for parties and events,” said The Trinity Trust board chair Mary McDermott Cook.

Located in the Great Trinity Forest near the Trinity River Audubon Center, the Texas Horse Park will host a public opening on March 28 from 10:30am-1:30pm. It will be a great way to explore the site and get the kids on a horse. The city-owned facility houses two nonprofits, Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship and River Ranch Charities.

Thank you to Smith Group Asset Management and Texas Capital Bank for their sponsorship of the 2015 Rat Pack and River Rats. Join today to participate in upcoming events cocktail events, grand openings, private paddling adventure on the Trinity River, Trails & Ales party in the Trinity River Corridor and more. Rat Pack members are invited to a special cocktail reception at Mary McDermott Cook’s “DumpTop.”

Rescheduled: Katy Trail Ice House Invitational

Another rescheduled event was just announced! It’s the Katy Trail Ice House Invitational that was to have taken place on Monday, March 2.

Troy Aikman (File photo)

Troy Aikman (File photo)

Jason Garrett (File photo)

Jason Garrett (File photo)

This inaugural event benefiting the Friends of the Katy Trail is being chaired by Buddy Cramer with Dallas Cowboy types Troy Aikman and Jason Garrett as honorary co-chairs. In addition to the golfing at Gleneagles Country Club, including lunch presented by Andrews Distributing at noon on Monday, March 23, there’s a Sunday Night Pre-Party sponsored by Perot on March 22 at…. Oh, but you’ve got to sign up to play or sponsor to find out where and when.

And if you do sign up as a sponsor, you’ll be in a flock of favs: Veritex Bank is the Golf Ball, Photo Book and Signage Sponsor; Andrews Distributing is also the Schooner Sponsor; Ermenegildo Zegna is the Goodie Bag Sponsor; Highland Park Village is the Hat Sponsor; PegasusAblon is the Koozie Sponsor; Defeaseit.com is the Bag Tag Sponsor; Ralston Outdoor is the Towel Sponsor; Beam Suntory is the Driving Range Sponsor; and Outdoor Signs is the Printed Program Sponsor.

Eagle Sponsors are Patty and Andy Smith, Balfour Beatty Construction, Post Uptown Dallas Apartment Homes and Sysco Foods.

Of course, you’re wondering if Troy and Jason were able to reschedule their participation. Here’s the inside scoop:

The rescheduling of the event has created some challenges for our distinguished co-chairs. Troy Aikman is supposed to be at both the pre-party and play in the tournament. Jason has obviously Cowboy obligations … he might be at the party, but he definitely can’t be at the golf tourney.

Regardless if the boys show or no, the money is going to support one of the most popular spots throughout Dallas — the Katy Trail. If you’ve ever walked or run the 3.5-mile path that winds through the Uptown and Oak Lawn neighborhoods, then you know that its popularity is due to its being maintained constantly. Such maintenance takes money.

According to Buddy, “The Katy Trail is in partnership with the City of Dallas, which owns the property; however, it is the Friends of the Katy Trail that raises over $700,000 per year for maintenance and management to keep the trail in peak condition. If you care about the Katy Trail, we encourage you to tee up with us on March 23.”

Rescheduled: A Symphony Of Chefs

While many have been away this week in far off places like Aspen, Cabo and Marble Falls for spring break, others have been hard at work rescheduling events that were casualties of the past weeks’ wintry snow and ice.

One of the first to slip because of the nasty weather was A Symphony of Chefs dinner at the Hilton Anatole benefiting KidLinks. Word just arrived that the Event Co-Chairs Bonnie and Nathan Shea and Summer and Jeff Olmstead along with Chef Chair Salvatore Gisellu have arranged to have the five-course, wine-paired supper with cocktails on Monday, March 30, in the Stemmons Ballroom at the Anatole.

The good news is that if you had a conflict that prevented you from attending the original date, you just might find the new date more agreeable. If that’s the case, check with Katherine Mathes by calling 214.350.6360.