Round Robin December 3: Crystal Charity Ball Prep Lunch, St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange Party And KidneyTexas Check Presentation

Despite the tradition of fundraising powering down in December, that theory was hard to prove on Thursday, December 5.

Crystal Charity Ball Prep Lunch

With pony tails, jeans and boots, the Crystal Charity Ball leaders were prepping the Anatole for the annual mega-fundraiser for kids’ charities just two days away. Whether it was organizing the goodies for the silent auction, putting the finishing touches on the favors or just schlepping carts of “stuff” around, the 100 gals were hard at work to create an event that would provide more than $6.3 M for 11 nonprofits.

However, even the hardest working had to take a break along with the professionals like event producer Tom Addis, photographer James French and the Lamberts’ crew for a Mexican lunch courtesy of Misero in the Anatole’s Wedgwood Room thanks to CCB member Ann Dyer‘s son, Trey Dyer.

As an added surprised, Trey arranged for a mariachi trio to play until CCB Chair Michal Powell took charge of the program.

First she played a Texas trivia quiz with questions like, “What is the largest city in Texas?” and “What are the six flags that have flown over Texas” and “What is the one word that had changed in the state song (‘Texas My Texas’)?”

Then Michal read a poem to her committee a la “The Night before Christmas.” Without taking count, it seemed that most of the 100 committee members were mentioned.

After a standing ovation, the commitee got back to work.

St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange

After months of being elsewhere, the legendary St. Michael’s Women’s Exchange was back in its original spot in Highland Park Village and just in time for the holidays!

To celebrate the return with far more than a new coat of paint, it had an official re-opening party with Debbie Shuey, Ann Geddes and Lynne Burkhart greeting folks at the door.

Debbie Shuey, Ann Geddes and Lynne Burkhart

Debbie Shuey, Ann Geddes and Lynne Burkhart

And while the unique boutique has really had a total new look with bright color and lighting, the St. Michael’s magic was still found on the shelves and in the faces of the volunteers and friends like Debbie Cowden, Judy Russell, Carolyn Fisher and Katharine Felder, who handle everything from buying the merchandise to “manning” the cash registers.

Debbie Cowden, Judy Russell, Carolyn Fisher and Katharine Felder

Debbie Cowden, Judy Russell, Carolyn Fisher and Katharine Felder

Sure, there were the silver goodies that are perfect wedding gifts, to adorable kids’ stuff and Michael Aram tableware. But the hottest item was the S’well bottles that were flying off the shelves.

S'well bottles

S’well bottles

Shelves of gifts

Shelves of gifts

While the zebra pattern ones were quite crowd pleasing, the insiders whispered that the silver and gold ones in the front of the shop were the season sweethearts.

Proceeds from the store go to the outreach programs of St. Michael and All Angel’s like Alley’s House, Attitudes and Attire, ChildCareGroup, Dallas CASA, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center Dwell With Dignity, Family compass, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Jonathan’s Place, New Friends New Life, North Texas Food Bank, Rainbow Days, The Family Place, The Senior Source, The Stewpot, Turtle Creek Recovery Center, VMLC and Wilkinson Center to name just a few.

KidneyTexas Check Presentation

And speaking of sweethearts, Drs. Susan Watts and Greg Kozielec hosted the check presentation by KidneyTexas to the four beneficiaries: Parkland Health and Hospital Foundation, Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Camp Reynal and UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Mary Lee Cox

Mary Lee Cox

The foursome was reportedly dividing up $254,000 that had been raised from the KidneyTexas’ The Runway Report that had been co-chaired by Donna Arp Weitzman and Mary Lee Cox in September at Brook Hollow.

While Donna was unable to make the presentation, Mary Lee and daughter/KidneyTexas President Therese Rourk were on hand to dole out the envelopes in the living room.

Following the check presentation, incoming KidneyTexas President AB Aston presented Therese with a silver box from Neiman’s that contained an engraved crystal vase.

Therese Rourk and AB Aston

Therese Rourk and AB Aston

McKamy Tiner

McKamy Tiner

As for the 2016 KidneyTexas Runway Report, adorable McKamy Tiner, who is the youngest living donor of a kidney, will be co-chairing the 2016 Runway Report.

Round Robin November 19: Mad Hatter’s Reveal, Art Of Film Patron Party And Vine And Dine

With Thanksgiving just one week away, the evening of Thursday, November 19, seemed like a Republican debate with all types of fundraising activities vying for attention. And, boy, did they get it!

The Lee Park Junior Conservancy was doing a very happy hour for the young professional crowd at Texas Ale Project on N. Riverfront. A percentage of sales was going to the group’s support for “the care and conservation of Lee Park and Arlington Hall.”

Mad Hatter’s Tea Reveal

Jocelyn White, Renee Farren, Connie Carreker and Nerissa Von Helpenstill

Jocelyn White, Renee Farren, Connie Carreker and Nerissa Von Helpenstill

And speaking of care and conservation, the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum was filling Tootsie’s to sip champagne and more importantly to learn 2016 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Jocelyn White’s plans for the Thursday, April 21st fundraiser.

Connie Carreker hat

Connie Carreker hat

First off, the honorary chair should have been nobody’s surprise — Connie Carreker. And already living up to honorary responsibilities, Connie was wearing a hat that promoted the event reading, “Wish You Were Here” on the white sunhat brim.

With typical sparkling personality, Jocie revealed the theme for the event at the Arboretum would be “Steel Magnolias” with fashions on the runway in Rosine Hall from Tootsie’s and produced by Jan Strimple. Well, duh!

Tootsies fashions

Tootsies fashions

Steel Magnolias logo designed by Rongrong Devoe*

Steel Magnolias logo designed by Rongrong Devoe*

But she wasn’t finished. Unveiling the logo by Houston illustrator Rongrong Devoe for the heady affair, she announced that Linda Spina would be in charge of the judges, who would include Gary Riggs; “floral engineer” Shane Walker would be creating the luncheon centerpieces and Patricia Armstrong would be chairing underwriting.

With the announcement of the theme, smoke was seen arising from the heads of Women’s Council President Reneé Farren, Mary Lee Cox and Nancy Labadie on how their chapeaus would vie for prizes in the hat competition. The clock is ticking. Get those designs going.

The Art Of Film Patron Party

Brett and Lester Levy

Brett and Lester Levy

Brett and Lester Levy Jr.’s love of the late artist Andy Warhol was obvious to all as they entered the Levy home. In the entry of their Highland Park residence were the Warhol portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Chairman Mao.

Was this interest new? No, according to Lester, who’s also a photographer, he started collecting art when he was in his 20s.

And exactly what was the connection between the Levys’ Warhols and their hosting The Art of Film patron party the night before the Dallas Film Society’s fundraiser? Simple. The dinner and conversation with featured actress Isabella Rossellini would be taking place at The Space, where an incredible collection of Warhol drawings and photos would serve as a backdrop for the film lovers.

Seems so right, since Isabella was one of the late artist’s muses and friends.

Stan Levenson, Stacy Girard and Lee Papert

Stan Levenson, Stacy Girard and Lee Papert

In the crowd was Honorary Co-Chair Stan Levenson telling Art of Film Co-Chair Stacy Girard and Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert that wife/Co-Chair Barbara Levenson was under the weather, but she would definitely be showing up the next night fit as a fiddle.

Vine and Dine

At the Neiman Marcus flagship store in downtown Dallas, meantime, about 145 guests gathered for the eighth annual Vine and Dine event benefiting Ability Connection Texas, which provides a range of services for people with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford**

Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford**

The fundraiser, co-chaired this year by Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford, provided the nonprofit group with money to “empower individuals to live the best life possible by removing barriers that inhibit independence and autonomy.”

Now that Margaret has “retired” from her duties at PaperCity, she’s turned her sights to supporting various efforts like Ability Connection Texas in addition to watching son/Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford playing football on Sundays.

DeeDee Lee, Kayla Roughton and Inette Brown**

DeeDee Lee, Kayla Roughton and Inette Brown**

Pam and Vin Perella**

Pam and Vin Perella**

Among those enjoying the festive evening were new Uptown residents DeeDee and Jim Lee (they sold their big old home and decided to downsize and revitalize in the Uptown neighborhood), Debbie and Chuck Wilson, Lynn McBee, Meredith and Jack Woodworth, Kayla Roughton, Inette Brown, Kristin and Quintan Cockerell and Vin Perella with wife Pam Perella, who was receiving congrats on being announced just a couple of days before as the chair for the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball.

Jack Woodworth, Jeffrey Woodworth and Meredith Woodworth**

Jack Woodworth, Jeffrey Woodworth and Meredith Woodworth**

Following a cocktail reception on the store’s ground level, the guests moved up to the sixth floor Zodiac Room for a wonderful dinner prepared by NM Chef Kevin Garvin, complete with wines. Then there was a live auction.

* Graphic provided by the Women's Council of the Dallas Arboretum 
** Photo credit: Andy Keye + Whitney Photography

Round Robin November 12: Crystal Charity Underwriters And AWARE Announcement Parties, A Night Of Light And Urban Revival

Thursday, November 12 was a gangbuster of a night for Dallas fundraising. Following an earlier of day of nonprofit loving, it was hard to imagine anyone had recovered long enough to make the evening rounds, but they did just that.

Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters Party

Sarah Perot and Christi Urschel

Sarah Perot and Christi Urschel

The Crystal Charity Ball underwriters gathering at Sharon and Terry Worrell was such a big hit thanks to gal pals/evening Co-Chairs Sarah Perot and Christi Urschel that within the first hour, minions were sent out because they were worried about running low on wine and tonic.

The bar in the Worrells great room

The bar in the Worrells great room

No surprise! The Worrells’ house was a killer. One top-ten gorgeous blonde type told her bestie pal, “You should see the bar!”

Good luck on that. The bar was located just under a balcony in the grandest great room in these parts. But just getting to the great room was an interior decorator’s delight. You had to go past the leisurely winding staircase with its non-aggressive lions and then past the “let me have a book” library to discover the great room.

But the conversation of the night focused on, of all things — pooches.

Comerica’s Ralph Babb was soloing the event. Wife Barbara Babb was grandchild tending and Ralph’s stay was gonna be brief. He had lab work. No, not the medical type. The Labrador type that were at home waiting for Ralph.

Michal Powell and Sharon Worrell

Michal Powell and Sharon Worrell

And then there was hot Terry, who had spotted a lynx in the back grounds. Not good for the Worrells’ Cavalier Spaniels. Terry reported that despite living in the very civilized Volks Estate, the neighborhood was still the stomping grounds for coyotes and now lynxs.

Adorable newlyweds April and Russ Lambert check out the display of gifts for the guests. It was so perfectly arranged by Gregory Dunbar, that it hurt to have one taken.

AWARE Announcement

Janet Broyles and Christie Scardino*

Janet Broyles and Christie Scardino*

Speaking of great rooms, Joyce and Larry Lacerte put theirs in Highland Park to use for the announcement of the 2015-2016 grant recipients. With the Texas Winds Musical Outreach musicians playing, AWARE President Janet Broyles reported the following groups will receive funds thanks to AWARE Affair’s Celebrate the Moments on Saturday, April 9th, at the Hilton Anatole:

  • Baylor AT&T Memory Center: Salary support for a Ph.D. Psychology Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Baylor AT&T Memory Center;
  • Center for BrainHealth: Support for researching the efficacy of early intervention in Mild Cognitive Impairment with cognitive training;
  • Center for Vital Longevity: Support for Dr. Denise Park’s online repository of data from the Dallas Lifespan Brain Study;
  • Jewish Family Service: Salary support for a Clinical Social Worker to provide independent living services to adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias;
  • Juliette Fowler Communities: Support for a music therapist to work with JFC memory care residents;
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center: Support for Dr. Roger Rosenberg’s research on the development of a vaccine to prevent Alzheimer’s disease;
  • Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation: Support for the Grace Caring Fund, specifically to help residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementias;
  • Texas Winds Musical Outreach: Support for music programs for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementias.
AWARE Affair Celebrate The Moment*

AWARE Affair Celebrate The Moment*

Christie Scardino will be chairing the gala with both silent and live auction and a three-course dinner. The evening’s entertainment will once again be Wayne Foster Entertainment from LA.

In other words, get your dancing shoes in fine shape. They’ll have a real workout that night.

The evening’s honorees will be Sally and Forrest Hoglund, Sarah and Alan Losinger and Gail and Bill Plumber. Honorary chair will be Robert “Bob” Miller.

A Night Of Light

Over at Sixty-Five Hundred, Nikki and Crayton Webb chaired the 2015 A Night Of Light benefiting CNM Connect where the following awards were presented:

  • 2015 Nonprofit of the Year presented by Atmos Energy
    Equest
  • 2015 Nonprofit CEO of the Year presented by Wells Fargo
    Michelle Kinder of Momentous Institute
  • 2015 Nonprofit Board Leader of the Year presented by Deloitte, EY and PwC
    Greg May of Dallas CASA
  • 2015 Nonprofit Communicator of the Year in Honor of Robert Miller presented by Communities Foundation of Texas and The Dallas Morning News
    New Friends New Life
  • 2015 Corporation of the Year presented by Texas Instruments
    Southwest Airlines nominated by VNA

Urban Revival

Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity Event Co-Chairs Beverly and Al Childs and Kristen and Ladd Sanger welcomed over 150 guests to the third annual Urban Revival benefiting Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at 3015 at Trinity Groves.

Al and Beverly Childs and Ladd and Kristen Sanger**

Al and Beverly Childs and Ladd and Kristen Sanger**

Upon arrival, partygoers entered the venue, which had been transformed into a swanky lounge with white banquettes, cocktail seating and bright pops of colorful linens in orange, fuscia and purple – all created by event designer Tom Addis. House elements, such as windows, doors and trusses, were painted white and suspended above the crowd to represent the homes built by Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity in partnership with hard working Dallas families. Top donors enjoyed their own private Metropolitan lounge, with dedicated bar and delicious passed hors d’oeuvres. DJ Andre 7 with Medric G on drums provided a cool vibe while patrons mingled, sipped cocktails and posed for party pics in the photo booth.

Urban lounge**

Urban lounge**

Chef Van Meter’s delicious cuisine took center stage with an artisan cheese display upon guests’ arrival. followed by food stations offering small plates including jalapeno glazed fired chicken on Callie’s hot little biscuit with pimento chees simmered field peas; ancho braised duck on homestead gristmill grits and southern greens; Coca-Cola braised pot roast with gold potato puree with roasted Brussel sprouts and bacon and her crusted pork loin with hominy grill tomato pudding. For dessert, a pink petit dessert station sponsored by Mary Kay featuring pink velvet cakes, French raspberry macarons, pink frosted rice crispy treats, white chocolate pretzels; pink lemonade bars and prink sugar cookies.

Pink desserts**

Pink desserts**

A highlight was this year’s silent auction of five unique designer series Habitat houses, 3D printed in full-color and designed by Kevin Page 3D Gallery.  Each home model was based on Habitat’s most recent home designs.

Bill Hall**

Bill Hall**

Mid-way through the evening Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity CEO Bill Hall took a few minutes to thank everyone for attending the third annual fundraiser and shared the importance of their financial support to the work Dallas Habitat is doing in the community. Co-Chair Al Childs followed and added his thanks to the many sponsors and donors who had made the evening possible. He then encouraged all including Cara and Jim French, Nancy Gopez and Katy and Lawrence Bock to continue to support Dallas Area Habitat’s mission of revitalizing neighborhoods, by purchasing raffle tickets or by bidding in the silent auction.

Cara French, Katy and Lawrence Bock and Nancy Gopez**

Cara French, Katy and Lawrence Bock and Nancy Gopez**

At 9:00 Co-Chair Kristen Sanger announced the four lucky winners of this year’s raffle prizes, which included a Dallas Design package of one-of-a-kind fashion and home accessories package from some of Big D’s talented designers, a Mountain Getaway with a five-day, four-night stay at Casita Eileen, a two bedroom home (sleeps six) nestled in the Sangre de Cristo mountains just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, with airfare, Dinner with Chef Samir, which includes an exclusive dinner for six in your home prepared by the renowned Nick & Sam’s Executive Chef Samir Dhurandhar, and a one-of-a-kind 3D printed 14k gold Habitat house charm representing Habitat’s ongoing commitment to urban renewal.

* Graphic and photo provided by AWARE 
** Photo credit: Rhi Lee

Round Robin November 3: Christmas In The Park At Fair Park And Dallas Museum Of Art’s Silver Supper Announcement Parties

With Halloween hardly a sugary memory, Christmas lights were already brightening up yards on Tuesday, November 3.

At Highland Park Village the boo-hoo memories of the late Tom Thumb had been put to bed and the welcome wagon was out for Royal Blue Grocery as people checked out the foodie boutique. Thank heaven! It happened just in time. Because the HPV’s Starbucks was all papered up due to an interior refreshening. Shocked caffeine fiends looked as if they were going through withdrawal as they saw their beloved jolt-source closed. One fella was pointed to Royal Blue Grocery, but he admitted that he had no coin and had planned to use his mobile Starbucks card. Last seen he was headed to the Knox Starbucks.

Christmas In The Park At Fair Park

On the other hand, another group of men gathered upstairs at HPV’s Mockingbird Room to learn about the plans for the upcoming Christmas in the Park at Fair Park. Plans call for the S.M. Wright Foundation’s Christmas celebration to provide toys for munchkins thanks to “area Santas.”

It will take place in the Automobile Building at Fair Park on Saturday, December 19. While it officially starts at 8:30 a.m., the lineup gets underway in the wee hours of December 19th.

If you would like to share in the giving, you can donate here or sign up to volunteer here. If you know of someone with a child who just might be in need of a toy, registration info can be found here!

Silver Supper

Trevor and Melissa Fetter*

Trevor and Melissa Fetter*

On the other side of Preston Road, new Dallas Museum of Art Board of Trustees Chair Melissa Fetter and her husband Trevor Fetter opened their Mediterranean-style mansion for art lovers like Jennifer and Coley Clark, Nancy Dedman, Emily and Steve Summers and James Campbell to hear about plans for the Dallas Museum of Art’s Silver Supper in the Chilton 2 Gallery from Co-Chairs Claire Dewar and Cathy Kincaid Hudson.

Claire Dewar and Cathy Kincaid Hudson*

Claire Dewar and Cathy Kincaid Hudson*

But before the announcement, the 100 guests explored the breathtaking home. John Phifer Marrs was full of superlatives as he admired the estate. Even John, who has had his share of show-stopping residential projects, confessed that the estate was an amazing accomplishment.

Nancy Dedman and Brad Kelly*

Nancy Dedman and Brad Kelly*

And what was so out-of-this-world remarkable? The main house that was built in the 1930’s was meticulously updated and enhanced by a truly spectacular second building that included a guest quarter, four-car garage, Melissa’s office, an exercise room and much more. And yet, thanks to J Wilson Fuqua and Associates Architects, Brad Kelly and other craftsmen, the connection between the 1930’s and the 21st century was absolutely seamless.

And on this clear night and thanks to exquisite lighting, it was spectacularly perfect.

Laura and Walter Elcock*

Laura and Walter Elcock*

So was the announcement. IMA Interim Director Walter Elcock briefly told of the history of the DMA’s silver collection and how the dinner started 24 years ago. Last year’s dinner brought in $300K.

Claire revealed that in addition to the exclusive dinner on Friday, January 29th, at which the DMA’s collection of silver is trotted out, there would be the addition of a symposium at Brook Hollow.

Cathy picked up from there. telling the guests that the head of Hearst would be in attendance and that House Beautiful and other Hearst publications would be involved. In addition to the dinner, there would be a symposium involving the Duquette Foundation for the Living Arts on Thursday, January 28, at which Hutton Wilkinson, business partner of the late American design icon Tony Duquette, will join the DMA’s Olivier Meslay and British antique dealer Peter Woods. It will be interesting to see if Hutton drops a couple of tales !

Tickets to this super-duper-special supper don’t come cheap. They start at $2,200 per person, and the Gilded Level seating goes for $10,000 a head.

But if you can’t fit the supper into your budget, you can still attend the symposium. Here’s the breakdown for the symposium:

  • $125 (9:30 a.m. to noon) — Symposium only
  • $250 (9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Symposium and lunch

For more information or to purchase tickets, send Claire an email.

Funds raised from the event will go to the Decorative Arts Acquisition Fund.

* Photo credit: 
Tamytha Cameron 
Smith

Round Robin October 29: 16th Annual Mission Ole And Stars And Stripes Film Festival Sponsors Party

Thursday, October 29, proved to once again return Thursday to its status as the busiest day of the week. Earlier in the day there were The Dallas Opera’s First Sight luncheon and fashion show at the Winspear and Mosaic’s 5th Annual Partners and Possibilities Luncheon at the Addison Conference and Theatre Center north of town. That was just the warm up for the evening’s activities that included the 2015 David Wiessman Bridge Builder Award Dinner at The Adolphus Hotel co-chaired by Holly Deason and Blaine Nelson and honoring Ron Haddock. Even Fort Worth was buzzing with the NewDay Services for Children and Families at The Cendera Center!

But back in Dallas, there was still fun and fundraising going on.

16th Annual Mission Ole

Greg Nieberding

Greg Nieberding

The Day of the Dead makeup

The Day of the Dead makeup

Mission Ole alter

Mission Ole alter

Despite being within a hair’s breadth of October 31, the Trinity River Mission fundraiser’s 16th Annual Mission Ole could have easily been mistaken for a Halloween dress rehearsal. Evidently Chair Greg Nieberding recognized the growing popularity of “Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)” and deemed it to be the theme for the gathering at 3015 at Trinity Groves.

Gary and Cindy Turner

Gary and Cindy Turner

Against a wall was a presentation of art that was in keeping with “The Day of the Dead” tradition in which “alters” are created as a tribute and celebration of the life of a deceased loved one. The artwork contains such things as the person’s favorite things like food, pets, musical instruments, etc.  On this occasion the alter was filled with artwork honoring Donna Graham, who founded Trinity River Mission.

Trinity River Mission Ballet folklorico dancers

Trinity River Mission Ballet folklorico dancers

One highlight of the evening was the ballet folklorico performance by Trinity River Mission students. Not only were they adorable in their colorful costumes, they knew how to do a showstopping presentation to the delight of their parents and guests like Cindy and Gary Turner, Paige McDaniel and Joanna Clarke.

Still another memorable moment was TRM grad Carina Torres, who went on to graduate from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance. She told of the importance TRM had in her life.  A little later in the evening Carina, who is a founding member of Nicolay Dance Works in Huntsville, returned to perform a solo dance.

The evening was such a hit that they’ve already reserved 3015 at Trinity Groves on Thursday, November 3, for the 17th Annual Mission Ole.

Stars & Stripes Film Festival Patron Party

Tanya Foster and Lisa Cooley

Tanya Foster and Lisa Cooley

North of the Dallas North Tollway at Lisa and Clay Cooley’s spread, the sponsors of the Stars & Stripes Film Festival were filling the mansion to talk about the upcoming fundraiser for Sons of the Flag. While some guests chose to ride the Cooley Cart from the estate’s entrance to the residence, others decided to walk along the drive past the tennis court and pond and over the bridge to the front door. Shoot! It was such a gorgeous night, why not?

Pam and Vin Perella, Pam Busbee and Christie Carter

Pam and Vin Perella, Pam Busbee and Christie Carter

With SOTF Founder/President/CEO Ryan Parrott greeting folks like Pam and Vin Perella, Lynn and Allan McBee, Christie Carter and Pam Busbee at the door, Festival Co-Chairs Tanya and Pete Foster were talking with vets and going over details of the November 12-15 festivities at the Angelika plus the lunch on Friday, November 13, at the Dallas Country Club with Gen. Tommy Franks.

Midway through the evening, the Cooley staircase was put to use to tell about the upcoming film festival. From it Ryan told the history of Sons of the Flag and how it really started with his meeting Ret. Capt. Sam Brown, who suffered third-degree burns over 30% of his body.

Ryan and Director of Development Mary Meier even got David Sargent of Stripe-A-Zone to get up on the staircase and tell how important it was for his company to be the presenting sponsor of the festival.

 James Faust

James Faust

BTW, the opening night will not only feature “Zero Dark Thirty,” but Seal Team Member/native Texan Tyler Black will be on hand.

Also on hand was Dallas Film Society Artistic Director James Faust, who helped curate the collection of films. He was also looking forward to the DFS’s The Art of Film on Friday, November 20, at The Space on Oak Lawn with Isabella Rossellini.

Round Robin October 14 Part II: Champion Of Children Award And Les Femmes Du Monde Woman Of The Year Dinners

One of the MySweetCharity elves was so weary s/he missed these two events that were supposed to be posted with the October 14th Round Robin. The elf is taking some time off…an hour to be exact to catch up on their sleep needs. In the meantime, check out what Les Femmes Du Monde and Dallas CASA folks were doing the evening of Wednesday, October 14.

Champion of Children Award Dinner

Jerry and Gene Jones and Kathleen and Michael LaValle*

Jerry and Gene Jones and Kathleen and Michael LaValle*

Over at the Fairmont Dallas, the excitement was palpable at the jam-packed reception before Dallas CASA’s big annual fundraising dinner. AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson was making a rare public appearance, shaking hands and mingling with the crowd. Not far away, the Dallas Cowboys’ First Couple Gene and Jerry Jones were doing the same. All around them were guests like Event Co-Chairs Jana and Mike Brosin, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Christie Carter and Caroline Rose Hunt. Also spotted: Cortland Grynwald, lead co-chair of Attorneys Serving the Community, which named Dallas CASA its 2015-2016 beneficiary.

Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones*

Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones*

Greg May and Randall Stephenson*

Greg May and Randall Stephenson*

Dallas CASA president and executive director Kathleen LaValle was saying the dinner crowd of about 550 would be the fundraiser’s biggest ever. “We’re so excited to honor AT&T,” she said. “Three of their executives are on our board, and we’re honored to be honoring them.” Dallas CASA gave its Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award to the telecom giant at the dinner.

It also heard from Ashley Rhodes-Courter, a best-selling author whose book, Three Little Words, described her nine years in foster care. Rhodes-Courter was interviewed by Gloria Campos, the event’s honorary chair.

Les Femmes Du Monde Woman Of The Year Dinner

Across town at the Dallas Country Club, meanwhile, Realtor Virginia E. Cook was being honored as Les Femmes du Monde’s 2015 Woman of the Year. About 150 guests enjoyed dinner (Panzanella salad, Boursin chicken, Julienned vegetables, chocolate mousse) and a tastefully-done video tribute to Cook starring the likes of Herb Weitzman, Roger Staubach, Tincy Miller and Lee Kleinman.

Emcee Jody Dean kept the program moving along, delivering quips like this one about Les Femmes du Monde President Alyce Heinrich: “She asks and won’t take no for an answer. It’s like talking to a tornado,” Dean said. “A wonderful, gracious tornado.” Heinrich was ably assisted at the podium by Dinner Chair Venise Stuart, who warned before the video played: “You’re going to need tissues.”

After the SMU Stampede singers serenaded Virginia with tunes like “Blackbird” by the Beatles and “My Girl,” Heinrich took to the dance floor to cut an elaborate rug with her longtime dance instructor. “You’ve heard of ‘War and Peace’?” Alyce’s dance partner asked when the couple finally took a break. “I’m Warren Slaughter.”

* Photo credit: Lara Bierner

Round Robin October 22: March Of Dimes Signature Chef Auction And First Sight First Night Patron Party

Mother Nature had pushed the limit. While she boasted that she hadn’t drenched one fundraiser in 32 days, those-in-the-know just knew she couldn’t contain herself much longer.

On Thursday, October 22, she unloaded complete with her accessories thunder and lightning. The result was a back-up of cars waiting to getting to the preview festivities at Harlan Crow’s Old Parkland Part II.

Other fundraising comings and goings included:

March Of Dimes Signature Chef Auction

You could sniff the chefs at work a floor away. The scent of garlic wafted through the Omni for the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction. Inside the Dallas Ballroom were food stations bordering the room with chefs (Richard Blankenship of CBD Provisions, Nilton “Junior” Borges of Uchi, Donald Chalko of Texas Spice at the Omni Dallas Hotel, Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House/Fish Market Grill, Samir Dhurandhar of Nick & Sam’s Grill/Steakhouse and Coal Vines, Omar Flores of Casa Rubia, Gilbert Garza of Suze Restaurant, Dwight Harvey of Off the Bone Barbeque, David Holben of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly at Hotel Zaza, Matt McCallister of FT33/Filament, Kent Rathbun of Kent Rathbun Concepts, Jeramie Robison of Shinsei Restaurant, Stephen Rogers of Gemma, Abraham Salum of Komali /Salum, Jim Severson of Sevy’s Grill, Nathan Tate of Boulevardier / Rapscallion, Anthony Van Camp of SĒR Steak + Spirits and Chris Vogeli of III Forks) cooking up a storm.

Heath Oakes, Jenny Anchondo, Sandy Schwan and Amy Green

Heath Oakes, Jenny Anchondo, Sandy Schwan and Amy Green

While some of the 650+ guests like Jenny Anchondo with fiancé Heath Oakes, Amy Green, Sandy Schwan and Rhonda and Fraser Marcus checked out the new chefs, others made a beeline to their old-time favs.

A lineup that would put the introduction of a new Apple iPhone to shame was over at Komali, where owner/chef Abraham Salum was ladling out a soup of sweet corn, chowder, cilantro, crab and pasilla chile oil with totopos.

Bradley Anderson

Bradley Anderson

Over at the Boulevardier and Rapscallion eateries, co-partner Bradley Anderson admitted that his main job was maintaining the quality and attributed the restaurants’ success to the chefs as well as the support staff.

Mojan Safavi and Bardia Amirlak

Mojan Safavi and Bardia Amirlak

Seated on a banquet, Dr. Mojan Safavi and Dr. Bardia Amirlak had different opinions on the best of the food entries. Mojan reported that her fav dish of the evening was the Pancetta Wrapped Pig-A-Loaf from Hotel Zaza’s Dragonfly, while Bardia voted for the Green Chile Shrimp from Sevy’s.

Speaking of Sevy’s, while Chef Jim Severson had his hands full serving guests, wife Amy Severson reported that the twosome was headed to the coast to satisfy Jim’s love of fishing. BTW, Amy is working on a book on Dallas restaurant history with D Magazine’s Nancy Nichols.

Sevy's dishes

Sevy’s dishes

Kent Rathbun

Kent Rathbun

Signature Chef Chieftain Kent Rathbun, who once again curated the March of Dimes fundraiser, fessed up that he had indeed lost some weight. To be exact it was 85 pounds. And, yes, he still wanted to lose 50 more pounds. When asked his original weight before the reductions, he wasn’t fessing up. As a comeback, he was asked if being a chef was tough in trying to lose weight. He answered, “Heck, yes! But you’re surrounded by the best food.”

Getting back to the evening’s purpose, Kent reported, “We came in the door with more money than we ever had before, so it’s gonna be a great night!”

First Sight First Night Patron Party

Just across Flora from the Margot and William Winspear Opera House, the Dallas Opera’s First Sight First Night (FSFN) patron party was taking place in the brand-spanking new Halls Arts lobby.

The pouring rains tested the resolve of the 90 opera lovers. The valet line took a while. The reason was with only one umbrella available, the valets could only escort guests one at a time to an elevator that took them to the Plaza level. There, Dallas Opera Development Director Tracy Mott with umbrella in hand escorted them to the front door.

Craig Hall

Craig Hall

But once inside it was well worth the effort. There they discovered flutes of champagne and wine, fabulous surroundings and host Craig Hall doing double-duty, since wife Kathryn Hall was in New York City. He was busting with pride about his new building, saying that it was 74% occupied. However, the top floors are still available. Craig reported that the building will soon have a restaurant and eventually a nearby hotel.

Steve Stodghill, Ellen Winspear, Anne Stodghill and Tiffany and Paul Divis

Steve Stodghill, Ellen Winspear, Anne Stodghill and Tiffany and Paul Divis

Howard Hallam

Howard Hallam

Ellen Winspear, Gene and Roxanne Phillips

Ellen Winspear, Gene and Roxanne Phillips

When asked about the building’s red lights that night, he reported that it was in honor of the opera and that the evening’s event was the first one for the building that included Roxanne and Gene Phillips, Jolie and Bart Humphrey, Nick Even, Sara and David Martineau, John Cody, Rhonda Sargent Chambers and Diane and Hal Brierley on their way from the Old Parkland opening along with Lynn and Allan McBee.

FSFN Co-Chair Don Winspear, whose mother Margot Winspear had just passed away, told Paul Divis and Steve Stodghill, “Grief is the price that we pay for love.”

Speaking of Steve, he lost 40 pounds this summer and has fully recovered from his automobile accident that had a 12-foot-long steel pipe slide off a truck in from of him and impale his Mercedes SL500 convertible, barely missing him. Despite the destruction of his car, he’s more devoted to Mercedes than ever. He also noted that as part of his recovery, he learned that in rehab one of the challenges was remembering certain nouns.

Ellen and Don Winspear in front of Richard Long's artwork

Ellen and Don Winspear in front of Richard Long’s artwork

With artist Richard Long’s mammoth “big white wreath” made of mud as a backdrop (yes, it’s actually made of mud), Don kicked off the evening’s program thanking NorthPark Center for its support for the First Night sell-out. Craig told how the building had been in the works since 1995. Much to the delight of the guests, The Dallas Opera Executive Director/CEO Keith Cerny reported that for the third year in a row, the company was in the black.

Ailyn Perez

Ailyn Perez

To cap off the evening, “Great Scott”/”Tosca” soprano Ailyn Perez performed, leading off with “Summertime.”

Round Robin 10/21: Scripps Society, Junior League Of Dallas Reception, KIPP DFW And LaunchAbility Kick-Offs

The weather play nicely for fundraising on Wednesday, October 21, and the nonprofits were taking full advantage of it all over town.

Scripps Society

Mary McDermott Cook’s Dump Top has become the hot showplace for nonprofits to wine, fundraise and gaze at the Dallas skyline complete with the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge and the soon-to-be-completed Margaret McDermott Bridge.

Why just days before, around 1,100 people toured the multi-level, Bill Booziotis-designed home as part of the Oak Cliff Home Tour.

Scripps Society table

Scripps Society table

Scripps Society table

Scripps Society table

But it had never been the scene of a seated supper for more than a handful of Mary’s pals. That was until the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute’s Scripps Society. This elite group, including Spring Wen, Woo-ping Ge, Bob Chereck, Alan and Randy Engstrom, Christina and Chris Durovich and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, that believes and supports the Children’s programs to the tune of $1M or more were the first to have place cards at dining table in the outdoor terraces, in the living room and the in the dining room, as well as the enclosed terraces.

Bob Chereck, Christina and Chris Durovich and Mary McDermott Cook

Bob Chereck, Christina and Chris Durovich and Mary McDermott Cook

Randy and Alan Engstrom

Randy and Alan Engstrom

Spring Wen and Woo-ping Ge

Spring Wen and Woo-ping Ge

IMG_1045 Jennifer and Andy Scripps

The treetops views alone were spectacular, as was the Cassandra meal that included a first course (baby greens salad, butternut squash ribbons, pomegranate arils, shaved manchego cheese, pumpkin seeds and sage vinaigrette), a second course (pan-roasted loup de mer, petit zucchini, fava bean-artichoke salsa, shaved carrots and com foam) and dessert (raspberry lemon mousse tower, tuile cookie raspberry compote and exotic fruit coulis).

But such privileges come with restrictions. As guests arrived, the ladies were asked to check in their purses. Parting with her handbag, one guests inquired, “What if I need my lipstick?” The Children’s staff was Johnny-on-the-spot assuring her not to worry. They would have her purse delivered pronto.

Junior League Past Leadership Reception

Over at Debbie and Nickey Oates’ handsome home, meantime, about 65 guests gathered for the Junior League of Dallas’ Past Presidents and Past Ball Chairs Reception. Attendees including Christie Carter, Pam Perella, Lydia Novakov, Isabell Novakov, and Paige Nash enjoyed the Wolfgang Puck canapés and caught up before the traditional presidents’ and chairs’ photos were taken. At one point they all gathered in the living room to hear the latest Junior League news, including a report about the upcoming annual Ball.

“Tonight is all about celebrating you,” said Meredith Mosley, the league’s current president. She talked about one of her favorite expressions—“I learned it in the league!”—and told how important it was for all members to attend league events, such as the upcoming Milestones Luncheon on November 12. Soon Mosley gave way to Ashley Allen, who’s chairing the league’s James Bond-themed, 54th annual “To Dallas With Love” Ball at the Hilton Anatole on February 20.

“It reminds me, looking around here tonight, that we have big shoes to fill,” Ashley began. So far, she said, the league has raised more than $700,000 for the annual ball, but “there’s a lot of work left to do” to reach the fundraising goal. “As I told the development committee,” Ashley quipped, “it’s like losing that last five pounds!” She then introduced Debbie Oates, who’s serving as the event’s honorary chair. “Dallas is a lot more competitive now,” Debbie advised the guests. “We need to be on top of our games. Not only do we support the [beneficiary agencies financially,] but we send them our volunteers. No one else does that!”

KIPPster Kick Off

The night was beyond perfection. So, the guests for the “Are You Smarter Than A KIPPster?” kick-off party handed over their cars at Lexington and Lakes. Then they strolled across the bridge over the Turtle Creek Dam past the Teddy Bear statues to the Pumphouse to hear plans for the Thursday, April 28, fundraiserfor KIPP DFW at the Frontiers of Flight Museum.

And, of course, The Starlight Singers (aka KIPP Destiny Elementary’s show choir) will return!

According to KIPPster Co-Chairs Barbie Cobb and Sarah Weinberg, the adult know-it-alls will include Texas State Representative Rafael Anchia, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas President/CEO Jennifer Sampson, Editor-in-Chief of Modern Luxury Dallas Kristie Ramirez. Byron Sanders will serve as emcee. And they reported that it will be a tad bit more interactive with the guest participation.

Barbie Cobb and Sarah Weinburg

Barbie Cobb and Sarah Weinburg

Dawne Tribolet

Dawne Tribolet

Lael Brodsky

Lael Brodsky

Jennifer and Tom Karol

Jennifer and Tom Karol

 

The host committee so far includes Lydia and Bill AddyJennifer and Peter AltabefLindsay and George BillingsleyLael and Peter Brodsky, Barbie and Steve CobbMacey and Steve DavisKoshi and Arun DhingraBerkeley and Jason DownieKristine and Mike DozierBetsy and Richard EisemanNatalie and Rick FielderRebecca and Barron FletcherCassidy and Ben HummelLibby and David HuntAmy and Andrew JentJennifer and Tom KarolJen and Kevin LavelleFay and Brian Lidji, Michelle and Bill LockhartJanie and Cappy McGarrPhyllis and Steve McKnightNicole MusselmanSharon Lyle and Mark MutschinkSusan and Steve O’BrienKaren and Richard PollockKate PorterStephanie and John RobertsCatherine and Will RoseAbigail and Andrew SinwellDawne and Pat TriboletCarol and Ben VigAngela and Brian WalshNicole and John Weeldreyer, Sarah and Russell Weinberg and Michelle and Peery Wood.

This event is one of the really, absolutely, truly fun events. It’s also the fundraiser that makes most adults realize they’re not quite as smart as they thought they were.

LaunchAbility Reveal

Over at the Brad Oldham studios off Ross Avenue, about 65 guests gathered to hear LaunchAbility announce the performer at its annual Special Evening With bash April 5 at the Meyerson Symphony Center. The answer, it was soon disclosed: Martin Short, the Canadian comedian who’s starred in movies (“Three Amigos”) and on TV’s “Saturday Night Live.”

Launchability CEO Kathryn Parsons said that the event would be chaired by Hilda and Mike Galvin—they were hand-picked by last year’s chairs Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins, Kathryn revealed—and that guests would “fill the house,” which seats 1,800. Tickets will go on sale in January.

The selection of Short was sort of a natural, Kathryn added, since comic Dana Carvey was such a smash hit at the LaunchAbility fundraiser last year.

The reveal party also gave attendees an excuse to quaff Dynasty Spirits’ Nue Vodka and visit the studio and retail shop of Oldham, who creates the LaunchAbility awards. Brad and his wife Christy Coltrin have been in the 10,000-square-foot space for about a year.

Round Robin October 14: Art In Bloom International Announcement Party And Celebrating Women Patron Party

When did Wednesday become the new Thursday? That was the question being bounced around as the evening of Wednesday, October 14, was buzzing with activities.

Art In Bloom International Announcement Party

Avant Garden blossoms

Avant Garden blossoms

Just above Bistro 31 and to the right in Highland Park Village is Avant Garden. As soon as the door opened, the fragrance of roses and hydrangeas welcomed guests for the Art in Bloom announcement party.

Oliver Meslay and Barbara Daseke

Oliver Meslay and Barbara Daseke

One of the first announcements made by AIB Chair Barbara Daseke was this year’s Dallas Museum of Art fundraiser will be “Art In Bloom International.” The reason is because the presentation will be made by Gardens Advisor to Historic Royal Palaces Dr. Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, who is both a gardener and historian with “projects in Britain and abroad, many with a conservation slant.”

Second announcement was the table design competition for guests that will be judged by Todd with first prize being “a trip to London with a private tour of gardens at Kensington Palace Gardens.”

The honoree of this year’s luncheon will be the DMA’s Oliver Meslay. Barbara also revealed that Linda Ivy (she was out of town) would be the honorary chair for the Monday, March 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dallas Museum of Art. Barbara Durham has taken on the underwriting duties and tickets are available for purchase now!

Celebrating Women Patron Party

Just blocks away in University Park’s Volk Estates, the soccer kids and moms were jamming the streets around Goar Park. Just beyond the kids playing, Ola and Randall Fojtasek’s marvelous home was creating its own traffic jam as guests arrived for the Celebrating Women patron party on the eve of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Celebrating Women Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole.

It’s amazing how narrow ordinary streets can become when there are two SUV’s parked on both sides of the street.

Beth Layton, Vicky Lattner, Nancy Carter and Joel Allison

Beth Layton, Vicky Lattner, Nancy Carter and Joel Allison

Claude and Emilynn Wilson

Claude and Emilynn Wilson

Nancy Carter and Robin Robinson

Nancy Carter and Robin Robinson

Nevertheless, guests kept coming like Luncheon Chair Nancy Carter, Underwriting Co-Chairs Beth Layton and Vicky Lattner, Baylor Health Care System/Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Joel Allison, Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson, Tiffany Divis, Jerry Joyner, Lindayln Adams, Susan McSherry and Emilynn and Claude Wilson, who were heading to the Tyler Rose Festival for the weekend.

Fojasek’s gardens

Fojasek’s gardens

Dining table

Dining table

Despite the 90-degree temperatures, the Fojasek’s beautifully landscaped grounds with its over-sized fountain and pool were just too wonderful. Of course, the musicians on the elevated terrace with vine-covered pergola and the nearby outdoor bar provided a great reason to stroll outside.

For those inside, the entry was brimming with guests and the dining room table was filled with bite-able goodies courtesy of Cassandra’s Fine Catering.

Luncheon speaker Joan Lunden arrived halfway through the reception after being picked up at the airport. As a thank you, each guest discovered a copy of Joan’s latest book, “Had I Known” in their cars thanks to Gretchen Minyard Williams.

RR 10/13: Great Adventure Hunt And Notre Dame School

The charming lanes of Preston Hollow were packed with cars for fundraising on Tuesday, October 13. Interestingly, two of them were just a block or two away, and they both dealt with youngsters’ well-being and education.

Great Adventure Hunt Kick-Off

In the backyard of Barb and Mike Tonti’s marvelous estate were hi-top tables adorned with orange tablecloths. On the evening of Tuesday, October 13, as guests gathered for the Great Adventure Hunt kick off, someone asked GAH Co-Chair Barb if she’d arranged for the touches of orange because it was well-known that it was longtime GAH supporter/puzzle master sponsor Lyda Hill’s #1 color. Barb fessed up that it was not a one-night-only splash of color. She just liked orange, too.

Peggy Allison

Peggy Allison

As it was, Lyda wasn’t able to make it due to a prior commitment, but her teammate Peggy Allison was on the scene to learn about plans for the next GAH at the Perot Museum on Saturday, January 23.

As the family’s 11-year-old Yorkie wandered in and out of the stiletto heels and loafers belonging to such guests as Deborah and Arthur Budge, Kemp Sawers, Co-Chairs Christy and Robby Berry and Tessa and Bob Mosteller, Tom Shroder mingled in. Little did many of the guests realize that Tom in his unassuming black T-shirt was the GAH puzzle master. Newbie game player Bob White admitted that he had heard about the ChildCareGroup fundraiser from Norm Bagwell and been curious about it. (The fundraiser has grown steadily over the years, raising $50,000 in 2012 and $350,000 last year.)  Luckily, Bob got some one-on-one time with Tom.

Tori Mannes, Tom and Barb Tonti, Tom Shroder, Christy and Robby Berry and Tessa and Bob Mosteller

Tori Mannes, Tom and Barb Tonti, Tom Shroder, Christy and Robby Berry and Tessa and Bob Mosteller

Tom Shroder

Tom Shroder

Off to the side, Tom revealed that puzzle mastering was as much fun for him as it was for the game players. Pulitzer-Prize winner Tom, who used to work at The Washington Post, has the Pulitzer in his gene pool. His grandpa MacKinlay Kantor won the coveted award for his “Andersonville.” Since leaving the Post, Tom has focused his writing talents on books. His “The Hunt for Bin Laden” became a #1-bestselling Kindle book. Tom’s most recent work, “Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy and the Power to Heal,” deals with the medical community reconsidering the possible use of psychedelic drugs.

This fundraiser is one of the true-blue fun events, especially since it has moved to the Perot which has become the ultimate Chuck E. Cheese for adults.

If you’re one of the lucky team members playing, leave the silks, satins and tuxedos at home. But pack laughs and curiosity with a smidge of All-American competition.

Notre Dame School

When folks hear Notre Dame, a lot of ‘em think of the Paris cathedral and the South Bend university. But Dallas has its own Notre Dame that is both legendary like the church and bent on education like the college.

Since 1963, Dallas’ Notre Dame School has been “exclusively devoted to educating those with intellectual disabilities.” It provides students with IQ scores ranging from 30 to 70 with programs focusing on reading, technology, vocational training and extracurricular activities that “aren’t available in any public institution.”

With a curriculum that is tailor-made for each of the 150 student’s needs, the student-to-teacher ratio is 5:1.

A year ago non-stop philanthropist Mary Terry kicked off the Hearts & Hammers Capital Campaign to raise $11M with three goals in mind to:

  • renovate the 61-year-old school
  • provide for current and future faculty needs and
  • double the size of the school’s endowment.
John and Vicky Day, Micki and Mike Rawlings and Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones*

John and Vicky Day, Micki and Mike Rawlings and Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones*

Dallas First Couple Micki and Mike Rawlings held a reception at their home that included Vicky and John Day and Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones to celebrate the progress of the campaign. To date, $10M has been raised. They just have $1M rest to raise and then it’s “Mission: Accomplished”.

Perhaps Notre Dame’s Affair of the Heart on Saturday, November 7, at the Hilton Anatole will help do just that.

* Photo provided by Notre Dame School

Round Robin September 19: The Great Texas Food Truck Rally, Fur Ball And Director’s Cut To Name A Few

Bouncing around Dallas on Saturday, September 19, was like a pinball machine that was going through a major power surge. In addition to a ton of morning activities (Tour Des Fleurs, One Love Fits All, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Friends of the Poor Walk,  etc.), the P.M. fundraisers started in early afternoon. Over at the Winspear, it was Ladies Night Out for Twyla Tharp‘s 50th Anniversary performance. At the Dallas Children’s Theater, it was a gathering of young princesses in diva-like sunglasses attending a performance “Fancy Nancy: The Musical” for the Fancy Nancy and Friends Party. And then, of course, Garth was packing ‘em in at the American Airlines Center for two performances, which made downtown Dallas getting around even more interesting.

The Great Texas Food Truck Rally

The Great Texas Food Truck Rally

The Great Texas Food Truck Rally

It may have sounded like an 18-wheeler cauliflower, but the Executives In Action’s Great Texas Food Truck Rally was far from it.

Even in the glow of the afternoon sun, the crowds were growing to hear musical guests James Otto, CJ Solar, the Ray Johnston Band, Northern National and Cameron Ernst on-stage, and to line up at one of the 20+ food trucks lining the perimeter of the Reunion Tower Lawn. Among the trucks was the EIA’s new food truck that was created to provide random acts and snacks of kindness “without a profit in mind.”

Executives In Action's Random Acts And Snacks of Kindness

Executives In Action’s Random Acts And Snacks of Kindness

With EIA Founder Ashlee Kleinert waving to all from Reunion Tower and folks settling in for a long stay, the afternoon food festival wasn’t a first timer for this group. No, siree. Last year the event took ….no…overwhelmed Reverchon Park, with 10,000 showing up.

This year EIA Kimberly Westphall orchestrated mini-events to see how the Reunion acreage would handle the estimated 20,000 guests.

By the time the Great Texas Food Truck Rally was opening at 2 p.m., everything was pretty much locked down including portable ATM’s, volunteers like Nancy Gopez checking folks in, perfect views of the tower and Omni Dallas Hotel and, later, the setting sun in the west just past the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

Fur Ball

Brian Miller, Mark Soto, Rhonda Sargent Chambers and Phyllis and CJ Comu

Brian Miller, Mark Soto, Rhonda Sargent Chambers and Phyllis and CJ Comu

Speaking of the Omni Dallas, it was the site of the SPCA of Texas Fur Ball with 800 including Doris and Jack Jacobs, Brian Miller, Mark Soto, Rhonda Sargent Chambers and Phyllis (she’ll be co-chairing the 2016 Fur Ball with Kristen Greenberg) and CJ Comu in black tie and nearly a dozen in tails. Yup, adoptable pups were in playpens toward the back of the reception area on the third level. Very smart placement. Why? Because at points during the evening, the Kaminari Taiko Japanese Drumming Ensemble drummers let loose with earthquake-like performances on the second level near the escalator. As guests passed by the musicians, it was hard to look cool or cop an “I didn’t notice the music” attitude when the room shook.

Kaminari Taiko Japanese Drumming Ensemble

Kaminari Taiko Japanese Drumming Ensemble

Looking quite stunning were Honorary Co-Chairs Janelle and Larry Friedman.

Larry and Janelle Friedman

Larry and Janelle Friedman

Mike and Micki Rawlings

Mike and Micki Rawlings

Mayor Mike Rawlings and his bride Micki Rawlings popped by for a greet-and-meet with SPCA’s James Bias and co-chairs Stacey Kivowitz, Katy Murray and Jocelyn White. Then they quickly headed into the sunset, or rather to their vehicle. Seems Dallas’ first couple still had a couple more events on their schedule.

Katy Murray, James Bias, Jocelyn White and Stacey Kivowitz

Katy Murray, James Bias, Jocelyn White and Stacey Kivowitz

Too bad they didn’t stay around. In addition to Kelly Thompson receiving the Mary Spencer Humanitarian Award, there was a very special item in the live auction: a suite at American Airlines Center for the Tuesday night Garth Brooks concert plus a signed guitar. And to add to the sweetness of the deal, Garth was going to match the bid. Who won that one? Why Andrea Alcorn, who quickly became everybody’s BFF.

Director’s Cut

Maxwell and Jacqueline Anderson and Rachel and Michael Osburn

Maxwell and Jacqueline Anderson and Rachel and Michael Osburn

The Dallas Museum of Art’s Junior Associates were on to a mystery venture. They had been invited to attend the Director’s Cut for an announcement, but were not told where to show up until the last minute. It turned out to be at Harwood International. As they emerged from their cars, they were to follow a trail of stickers leading to the elevator. Once inside there was sticker on one of the buttons. Pushing the button, they found themselves on the second floor of the building and in a raw space that was filled to the gills with a photo booth, never-ending bar, loads of food and Dallas Museum of Art Eugene McDermott Director Max and Jacqueline Anderson in the back of the room with Co-Chairs Rachel and Michael Osburn.

Chela Moros, Tierney Kaufman and Vodi Cook

Chela Moros, Tierney Kaufman and Vodi Cook

Bonnie Karamalegos, Brent Crenshaw and Kadi Eykamp

Bonnie Karamalegos, Brent Crenshaw and Kadi Eykamp

As the body count rose, so did the room temperature. The valets had been told to expect 50, but more than 200 (Vodi Cook, Tierney Kaufman with fiancée Jared Hutchins, Bonnie Karamalegos, Brent Crenshaw, Kadi Eykamp, Kristina Kiik, Valerie Maniscalo, Taylor Zakarin, Rachel Roberts, Cameron Kimmel-Spivey, David Kimmel-Spivey, Tristan Fernandez, Michelle de Metz and Bill DeArman) showed up. By 8:40, the parking garage was already full!

Michelle de Metz and Bill DeArman

Michelle de Metz and Bill DeArman

Taylor Zakarin and Rachel Roberts

Taylor Zakarin and Rachel Roberts

Cameron Kimmel-Spivey, David Kimmel-Spivey and Tristian Fernandez

Cameron Kimmel-Spivey, David Kimmel-Spivey and Tristian Fernandez

When the time came for the announcement, Max let Jacqueline do the honors. The announcement was that the annual Affair of the Art had been cut, so JA’s could take on the April 23 Art Ball after-party. Instead of tears, cheers were heard and then it was back to partying.

Little did anyone suspect that another cut was in the works and that this would be the Andersons’ final public appearance for the DMA. Nine days later, Max announced that he was cutting ties with the DMA and heading to New York City to join up with New Cities Foundation.

Round Robin September 17 Evening: KidneyTexas Runway Report And Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show Patron Parties

As the money kept pushing the North Texas Giving Day leaderboard to new, staggering heights on Thursday, September 17, the area nonprofits saw no reason to stop their extracurricular activities. The No Tie Dinner and Dessert crowd kicked off their plans at Scott + Cooner for their 10th anniversary benefiting the ASD Services on April 9th at Frontier of Flight Museum. This year’s theme will have guests going James Bond…The high rollers of the art-loving world got a sneak peek at the Giuseppe Penone exhibition “Giuseppe Penone: Being The River, Repeating The Forest” at the Nasher Sculpture Center…Shakespeare Dallas celebrated North Texas Giving Day by partying at Samuell Grand Park with all types of goings-on like animal adoptions and fencing demonstration. Touche!…And speaking of East Dallas, Foodiepalooza at 7 for Parties was benefiting the East Dallas Boys And Girls Club.

Whew! But there was still more. Here are a couple for your review:

KidneyTexas  Runway Report Patron Party

Banker Norman Bagwell met car dealer Clay Cooley at Kathy and Larry Helm’s Highland Park home for the KidneyTexas Runway Report patron party. After the first howdy do’s Clay learned why Runway Report Honorary Co-Chair Norm was involved with KidneyTexas. Norm had survived kidney disease thanks to the funding of research and developments.

While some might have listened politely, Clay launched into a full conversation about such advancements with Norm, who had received a kidney. Norm then praised the amazing transplant programs taking place at Baylor and U.T. Southwestern. He explained that he had indeed been lucky not only to have time to make decisions on how to proceed, but both his wife Robin Bagwell and his sister had been viable donors.

Here were two men who had only just met and yet they both understood and were amazed at the life-changing developments taking place in North Texas.

Therese Rourk, Donna Arp Weitzman, Clay Cooley, Mary Lee Cox and Lisa Cooley

Therese Rourk, Donna Arp Weitzman, Clay Cooley, Mary Lee Cox and Lisa Cooley

But soon they found themselves in the study surrounded by KidneyTexas President Therese Rourk, Runway Report Co-Chairs Mary Lee Cox and Donna Arp Weitzman.

In the hallway was retail real estate whiz Herb Weitzman, who is helping wife Donna write her next book, “How Dallas Became a Retailing Mecca.” According to Donna, it’s not so much about Herb as it is the various Dallas retail real estate projects that he’s been involved in.

Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show Patron Party

Barry and Lana Andrews, Annette Simmons and Gerald Fronterhouse

Barry and Lana Andrews, Annette Simmons and Gerald Fronterhouse

Just blocks away at Lana and Barry Andrews’ home, they had expected around 225 guests. Instead the number was hitting the 300 mark that included Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing talking with Cliff Fischer, April Box, Angela Nash, Annette Simmons with Gerald Fronterhouse, Michal and Loyd Powell, Vicki and Bob Chapman with Preston Evans, Piper Wyatt, Claire Emanuelson, Muffin Lemak, Anita and Truman Arnold, Jennifer and Richard Dix, Alicia and Scott Wood, Gene and Jerry Jones, Debbie and Nickey Oates, Jill and Bob Smith, Tiffany and Paul Divis, Amy Green, KJ and Ladd Sanger, Patsy Donosky with Harold Pruner, Tucean and David Webb and of course, the 10 Besties (Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Heather Esping, Margaret Hancock, Pat Harloe, Julie Hawes, Patty Leyendecker, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt and Christi Urschel). The draw was the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show patron party underwritten by J.P. Morgan with Elaine Agather greeting one and all at the front door.

Tucean and David Webb, Patsy Donosky and Harold Pruner

Tucean and David Webb, Patsy Donosky and Harold Pruner

Elaine Agather

Elaine Agather

Hal and Christi Urschel

Hal and Christi Urschel

Peter Copping

Peter Copping

Adding to the panache of the evening was Oscar de la Renta designer Peter Copping in attendance; Peter’s arrival in Dallas had been slightly delayed to an American Airlines computer glitch. Another person suffering from AA’s gremlins was Key Coker. His plane from South Carolina was also held up.

Jim and DeeDee Lee

Jim and DeeDee Lee

Pete and Caren Kline

Pete and Caren Kline

Well, OMG, the gals were dressed to the uber nines with Lela Rose taking the lead worn by Pat Harloe and DeeDee Lee. Caren Kline drew second and three looks in Halston. She said that since the party was for a fashion show, “I had to step it up a little.”

As hot as the fashions were, the temps in the house thanks to the body count caused smart fellas like Allan McBee and Peter Foster to stake out spots over floor air vents. One of the coolest rooms was the dining room, where the air was breezing and the Cassandra-laden table was a never-ending feast for the eye and tastebuds.

Kevin Hurst and Jeff Byron

Kevin Hurst and Jeff Byron

In a corner CCB Honorary Chair Ruth Altshuler and Nancy Dedman discussed Na’s day-before as a new board member of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation…NM Exec Kevin Hurst was talking about his chairing The Obelisk Awards that will be presented on Friday, November 13, at The Fairmont…Phillip Huffines shared photos from his attending the CNN Republican debate the night before in the Reagan Library. His twin brother State Sen. Don Huffines was on camera for much of the night, since he was seated behind CNN moderator Jake Tapper.

But it was an early evening because the next morning’s 10 Best Dressed was on the schedule at Neiman Marcus Downtown.

For more photos of the party, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Round Robin September 17 Daytime: North Texas Giving Day And A Tribute To Ebby

If ever there was a Super Bowl of North Texas philanthropy, Thursday, September 17, was that day. Bad enough that it was the humpback whale fundraisers — North Texas Giving Day — but that didn’t stop other activities from taking place, like a very special tribute to legendary Ebby Halliday Acers. Here are just a couple of the activities that took place during the daylight hours.

North Texas Giving Day

The day started fresh out of the gate at 6 a.m. with Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day online on little screens and on-air appearances at WFAA’s “Daybreak.”

The goal was to rise above last year’s total of $26.3Mm.

Throughout the day the events popped up throughout North Texas with dollars surging on the leaderboard. Organizations were competing for prizes. On Cistercian alum proudly revealed the school’s strategy. They aimed a whole lot of their fundraising efforts for that one day. It worked as they continued to be among the very top on the board ending up with a whopping $486,575 and the #1 spot among schools.

Ballet Folklorico dancer

Ballet Folklorico dancer

Around noon the Dallas activities centered at a center — NorthPark Center’s North Court complete with Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger on hand looking pleased as punch. With organizations like the Dallas Zoo, The Birthday Party Project, SPCA and others filling the area, Communities Foundation of Texas CEO Brent Christopher took the mic to introduce the Ballet Folklorico after the raffle drawing for a nifty check of $1,953 that went to Friends of the Bath House Cultural Center.

Brent admitted that NTGD had grown to gargantuan proportions and was concerned about its maintaining its original can-do spirit, while still growing to help all the North Texas nonprofits from the itty bitty to the big boys.

While emails flooded potential donors’ emailboxes throughout the day, others staked out spots to champion their causes. Over at Highland Park Village Starbucks, Just Say Yes Dan Bailey and Marissa Leach were manning the corner table to promote participation in NTGD and Just Say Yes.

Like cheerleaders, they were frontline cheerleaders encouraging folks about the importance of the day’s effort.

Dan revealed that four Dallas schools had been so impressed with Just Say Yes, they had managed to help fund the program.

By midnight when the final donation was made, NTGD did indeed beat last year’s goal by hitting $33,092,687.13. However, the accountants are burning up their calculators to figure out the absolute, final total that will be revealed on Monday, November 16.

Plans are already underway for next year.

Ebby’s Farewell

Hardly lunch had been gobbled up than cars headed to Park Cities Baptist Church for the 3 p.m. memorial service for Ebby Halliday Acers, who had died on Tuesday, September 8. As guests started arriving more than an hour beforehand, one of the ushers warned — “The sanctuary is already filling up.”

Ebby Halliday Acers memorial service*

Ebby Halliday Acers memorial service*

The service was so very Ebby. Speakers (Dr. Jim Denison, Laura Bush, Don Glendenning, Ebby’s niece Joan Patmore and Ebby Realtor CFO Ron Burgert) told stories that produced smiles, tears and unforgettable memories. Some guests wore touches of Ebby red, while a gaggle of gals wore black, topped with hats and yellow roses.

Upon looking at the mammoth drop-down screen displaying Ebby photos from the past, one young thing said, “She looks like Ann Landers.”

Brent Christopher had broken away from his North Texas Giving Day non-stop activities to attend the service. Seated along an exterior aisle, he was amazed when Ebby Halliday President/CEO Mary Frances Burleson pitched guests to donate to one or all of Ebby’s fav charities before the NTGD deadline.

Even Park Cities Baptist Church Senior Pastor Dr. Jeff Warren was amazed that the celebration had resulted in two standing ovations without the honoree even being present. But he soon found he erred on two points. The crowd of nearly 3,000 stood in a final celebration of Ebby as a video of the 104-year-old playing “Happy Days Are Here” again on her ukulele.

The other point? As one Ebby executive confessed, “I just know Ebby was here.”

* Graphic provided by Ebby Halliday Realtors

Round Robin September 15: Equest Reception And Soup’s On! Kick-Off Reception

When did Tuesday become the new Thursday? When area fundraisers realized the fact that Thursday, September 17, was going to be overwhelming for nonprofits from 6 a.m. until midnight, thanks to North Texas Giving Day. And then there was going to be the memorial service for the late Ebby Halliday Acers with thousands in attendance at Park Cities Baptist Church at 3 p.m. on that Thursday.

So, the smartest event planners decided to scoot their events to Tuesday, September 15. Boy, did they!

The Les Femmes du Monde gals headed across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge for their party to honor past Les Femmes presidents at Souk Restaurant. The High-Tech High Heels crowd assembled friends at the Perot Museum to rally awareness and funding for helping more local students pursue STEM degrees and careers. Everyone was talking about Goodwill’s “The Lunch,” but no one could record, photograph or take notes at the Omni. Perhaps it was because the “special guest” was a former President who lives in North Texas. Too bad. Reviews were top notch. The Two by Two artsy crowd was gathering at Highland Park Village’s Alexander McQueen with Gala Chair Nancy Rogers just back in town from New York and Fashion Week activities for the festivities. Up north at Neiman Marcus Willow Bend, Hope’s Door was having its kick-off party for its annual “An Evening of Hope.” This year’s theme will be “A Night in Morocco.”

As for other going-ons in the area, here are some:

Equest Reception

Karen Briggs, Emilynn Wilson and Diane Brierley

Karen Briggs, Emilynn Wilson and Diane Brierley

Akris fashions

Akris fashions

Just a few doors down Alexander McQueen, Equest Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson was joined by Tiffany Divis, Diane Brierley, new HPV Chief Marketing Officer Mia Meachem and fashion producer Jan Strimple.

Alas, Emilynn was disappointed. She had bought a smashing Akris outfit for Friday’s 10 Best Dressed Fashion Show, but it appeared the outfit was going to have to stay in the closet. Due to a family illness, she was headed to Houston.

In addition to the fashions on the models and on the mannequins catching second looks, heads whipped around when catering cutie Cassandra walked by sporting a new, shorter haircut. Cassandra had hoped that she would have an Anna Wintour look. Instead people kept telling her how they like her new “Dutch boy” do.

The ladies sipped and shopped for outfits to wear for the Tuesday, September 29th, luncheon benefiting the Equest Women’s Auxiliary at Brook Hollow.

Soup’s On Kick-Off Party

Gretchen Gerlach and David Nichols

Gretchen Gerlach and David Nichols

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for Karen James to incorporate her backyard as well as her contemporary home. The place was filled with all types of folks like Taylor Overstreet, Stephen Page and Jennifer and Joe Clifford, who were beaming over the numbers being turned in from North Texas Giving Day.

David “Mr. Hermes Tie” Nichols and the evening’s chair Gretchen Gerlach were discussing the 2013 talk by Liz Murray, who wrote “Homeless To Harvard.” That was the year that Gail Davis and her daughter Sarah Leverett Charbonnet chaired the annual fundraiser for The Stewpot Alliance.

Christy Coltrin and Brad Oldham were excited about Brad’s new project in Midlothian. It’s a 26′ tall twisted steel beam symbolizing the city’s new tagline: “We are Midlothian.” Midlothian is a “city of industry” where things are built, Brad said.

Christi Nicolas, Charlotte Legg and Gail Davis

Christi Nicolas, Charlotte Legg and Gail Davis

But the big news of the night were the plans for the 2016 super-duper lunch — Soup’s On! Chairing the event will be Charlotte Legg and Christi Nicolas along with Honorary Co-Chairs Micki and Mike Rawlings. Of course, The Grape’s Chef/owner Brian Luscher will be organizing the chefs, who will provide soups for all, along with their recipes.

The speaker for the upcoming luncheon will be Collins Tuohy, who was “The Blind Side’s”/NFL’s Michael Jerome Oher’s “other” sister.

While it may still seem a little warm to be thinking of soup, remember that come Tuesday, January 19, it will hit the spot and raise loads of green stuff for one of downtown Dallas’ treasures. BTW, the event is returning to Union Station this year.

Round Robin September 1: WaterTower Theatre President’s Circle Reception And Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon Happy Hour

Yes, the valet ballet is underway. Philanthropists, fundraisers and plain generous folks are bumping into each other as they travel from one event to another. Tuesday, September 1, provided such run-ins as:

WaterTower Theatre President’s Circle Reception

A cocktail reception was being held north of LBJ for WaterTower Theatre’s President’s Circle at Barbara and Don Daseke’s teak home with The Joule serving up the most delicious vittles for more than 30 guests like Wade Owens of Regions Bank, Lisa Clawson of Happy State Bank and Hollis Ard of American Bank of Commerce.

Don and Barbara Daseke and Terry Martin

Don and Barbara Daseke and Terry Martin

While some guests toured the house, old timers checked out the scrapbook of the Dasekes’ trip to South Africa last year with the Dallas Zoo. Speaking of the zoo, Barbara is hosting the 2015 Zoo To Do patron party and it should be a must-attend. Plans call for the Daseke pool to be drained and filled with natural water (i.e. no chlorine), so the penguin ambassadors can have a splash. Word has it that cheetah Winspear and his companion Lab Kamau will be onsite, but not at the same time as the penguins.

Margo Keyes revealed that thanks to husband Jim Keyes’ position as CEO of Fresh And Easy in Torrance, California, they were doing the commuter cha-cha between Dallas and Redondo Beach…Barbara Bigham was all smiles telling friends that she is still cancer-free after a real “tussle” with the disease just a year or so ago.

But the purpose of the evening was to celebrate WaterTower Theatre’s President’s Circle that is made up of folks who commit to a minimum of $1K a year for a minimum of three years.

Don welcomed the guests and told them to “Feel free to walk around the house. Just don’t open the closet doors. Our cat is in hiding.”

As President’s Circle Co-Chair Stan Graner put it to the President’s Club members and potential members, “We welcome all tonight. But the next time it will be members-only.”

Donald Fowler

Donald Fowler

As “Creep” creator Donald Fowler watched from the sidelines, WaterTower Theatre Director Terry Martin did a brief report on WaterTower plans including the 2016-2017 season marking the group’s 20th anniversary with Barbara Daseke chairing the anniversary gala on April 9.

As for the world premiere of “Creep,” Terry reminded guests that it will open on Sunday, October 4, with a cast of 18 and ten in the orchestra. It’s hard to imagine that the first read was on WaterTower’s stage way back in 2010.

Calvin Scott Roberts

Calvin Scott Roberts

Kathryn Taylor Rose

Kathryn Taylor Rose

But for this evening, Terry admitted that despite many of “Creep’s” cast being in other parts of the country performing, they had managed to have “Creep” cast members Calvin Scott Roberts and Kathryn Taylor Rose perform “A Boy With Dreams” and “I Think That He Loves Me,” respectively. The twosome will also be singing at WaterTower’s Community Cast Party on Saturday, September 12. On hand to serve up the food and beverages for the night will be Table 13, The Egg and I Restaurant, Dough Bro’s, Union Park Restaurant, Suga’s Cakery, Outback, D’Sweets, Carrabba’s Italian Villa, Puerta Vallarta, Lakewood Brewery and Goody Goody Liquor. Steering committee Co-Chairs April Bosworth, Stan Graner, Corky Pledger and Debbie Staggs have arranged to have Frost Bank sponsor the party.

Texas Trailblazer Award Luncheon Committee Happy Hour

Carol Seay hit the door as soon as it opened on the second floor of Mesero on Henderson. She was there to support The Family Place’s Texas Trailblazer Award Luncheon fundraiser on Thursday, October 1, at the Hilton Anatole. On her way out, she ran into tall drink of blonde water Stephanie Hollman, who had co-chaired last year’s Texas Trailblazer Award luncheon with Carol’s daughter-in-law Stephanie Seay. Carol was in a rush because she had to meet Toni Pickens for dinner at Hillside.

Inside the dining room, Luncheon Co-Chairs Michaela Dyer and Layne Pitzer were welcoming the 25 to 30 guests. Over at a table along the wall, Texas Trailblazers emcee Gloria Campos sporting a new haircut was seated with her son/musician Ditch Prince, who has a “record” out called “Knife.” After living in Philadelphia, Ditch was back residing in Dallas.

As The Family Place’s Paige Flink arrived, she was followed by Lynn McBee, who had still another event to attend.

The luncheon will have keynote speaker Marisa Tomei, and Nancy Nasher and Robert “Bob” Miller receiving the Texas Trailblazer and Real-Life Hero awards, respectively.

If you’re wondering what Marisa has to say in connection with The Family Place’s mission to assist those overcoming domestic abuse, you need to dig deeper into Marisa’s projects. The Academy Award winner “traveled to Ethiopia to direct a short film based on the book ‘Half the Sky’ by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn. The film, which was also her directorial debut, focuses on a 13-year-old girl’s struggle with the institutionalized oppression of women in Ethiopia.”

Yup, the comings and goings are underway. Warm up your engines.

Round Robin August 27 Part II: Great Texas Food Truck Rally Kick Off And Fantasy Football Draft Night

But wait! There was still more underway on Thursday, August 27, from Uptown to AT&T Stadium. Check ’em out!

Great Texas Food Truck Rally Kick Off

The Great Texas Food Truck Rally Kick-Off Party did take place at Nodding Donkey. The problem was a couple of folks didn’t read the fine print and headed to the “Donkey” near SMU.

Instead it was filling the Uptown location. Why, just trying to get to the valet or find a parking place was like trying to find a newscast without Donald Trump in the lineup.

David Goldstein and Gary Cogill

David Goldstein and Gary Cogill

But it was worth the effort. A skinny Gary Cogill was telling friends like Executives in Action’s David Goldstein about his months in Hawaii with wife Hayley Hamilton Cogill. Not only was Hayley MIA (she was working the vineyards on the West Coast), but also 35 pounds of Gary were gone with the wind. When asked the reason, Gary said it was great food and lots of drinking.

BTW, the time in Hawaii allowed the Cogill twosome to decide what they were going to do now that Gary’s Lascaux Films had shuttered down. The surroundings of Hawaii inspired Hayley and Gary to realize the power of two together. They’ve launched Cogill Consulting, where they’ll create venues and programs involving films, wine and wonderment.

Tyler Kleinert, Jacqueline Meyers and Chris Kleinert

Tyler Kleinert, Jacqueline Meyers and Chris Kleinert

As Executives in Action Co-Founder Chris Kleinert walked in the door with son Tyler Kleinert and Jacqueline Meyers, one person mentioned that Chris’ wife Ashlee Kleinert had just been honored by the Dallas Business Journal as one of the 2015 Women in Business.

Another piece of news of note is that the Saturday, September 19, Great Texas Food Truck Rally has more than 50 food trucks signed up to participate at Reunion Lawn benefiting Executives in Action. The Nodding Donkey will be sponsoring a beer garden. Organizers promise lots more food trucks, a lot fewer long lines, lots of live music and lots of fun. To get in, you’ll need a wristband that is going for $10.

Fantasy Football Draft Night

DFW football fans gathered at AT&T Stadium to play the Warren Center’s 22nd Annual Fantasy Football Draft Night. Here’s a report from the field:

22nd Annual Fantasy Football Draft Night*

22nd Annual Fantasy Football Draft Night*

“With the blazing August heat, AT&T Stadium’s Gate 10 was hit with scorching rays and warm temperatures to begin the cocktail hour and silent auction preview featuring a Swarovski Necklace and bracelet, getaway to Margaritaville Resort Casino, a yacht charter, Big Screen Under the Stars package that includes an outdoor movie screening for 50 of your closest friends and a wine package including Silver Oak Cellars wine and tour at Silver Oak/Twomey Cellars.

Randy White and Timmy Newsome*

Randy White and Timmy Newsome*

“As the sun went down, guests filled up on a Mexican dinner buffet as former Dallas Cowboy Randy White and Emcee/WFAA Sportscaster Joe Trahan welcomed the crowd and introduced former Dallas Cowboy Timmy Newsome, who was in attendance.

Diedre Thornell*

Diedre Thornell*

“As the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders practiced on the field, The Warren Center story was featured on the stadium big screen. Guests then enjoyed the Live Surprise featuring two Apple watches and the infamous Heads or Tails game, where guests placed their hands on their head or tail with one lucky winner receiving $500 cash. The live auction ended the presentation with one lucky guest winning a 4-night stay at an Exclusive Resorts location of their choice.

“Singer Diedre Thornell sang the National Anthem as guests began drafting their own Fantasy Football team. Each table or league will compete throughout the 2015-2016 NFL Season. The Super Bowl Champion of Fantasy Football XXII receives two-season ticket packages to the 2016-2017 Dallas Cowboys season. Winners of each league receive an autographed football signed by former Dallas Cowboy Randy White.

Nathan, Hudson and Katrina Baker*

Nathan, Hudson and Katrina Baker*

Karly and Brett Butler*

Karly and Brett Butler*

“Seen in the crowd: Michelle and Todd Steudtner, Beverly and Bill Warren, Carla and Mike Austin, Ann and Bill Dandridge, Karen and Nick Adamson, Mike Andereck, Carrie and Jim Benson, Kristen and Mike Caine, Sharon and Steve Folsom, Tresa and Harry Simmons, Mary Beth and Ed Fikse, Wendy and Andrew Warden, Diane and Scott Williams, Rob and Sarah Mitchell, Colleen and Mike Jacoby, Bart and Heather Massey, Britt and Karly Butler, Maggie Werking, Charlie Quinn, Tad MacIntosh and Katrina and Nathan Baker with toddler Hudson.

“For more information about The Warren Center, please contact Tara Null at 972.490.9055 or 214.709.8901.”

* Photo credit: Rudi Holt of Rudi Holt Photography

Round Robin 8/27 Part I: DSOL Reception, La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Check Presentation And Stars And Stripes Festival Kick Off

As a warm-up for the upcoming fall fundraising season, the evening of Thursday, August 27, was a real workout all over town. Here is Part One of the evening’s activities:

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Past Chair Reception

Venise Stuart

Venise Stuart

Melissa Lewis

Melissa Lewis

Jolie Humphrey

Jolie Humphrey

Tincy Miller

Tincy Miller

Just up Preston Road, Tootsie’s upper level was a showcase of formal evening gowns. And checking out the dazzling threads were members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League with all types of DSOL Presentation Ball chairs doing the modeling like Kay Weeks, Dixey Arterburn, Jolie Humphrey, Sarah Frazee, Venise Stuart, Melissa Lewis and Tincy Miller, who founded the event in 1987. Providing the background of each of the models’ involvement with the ball plus the 2015-2016 fashion trends was Jan Strimple, who will manage to produce the extravaganza on the Meyerson stage on Saturday, February 20.

La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Check Presentation

Mary Hubbard, Tom and Julie Trigg and Lori Martin

Mary Hubbard, Tom and Julie Trigg and Lori Martin

Anne Besser and Kathleen Whalen

Anne Besser and Kathleen Whalen

Just south of Tootsie’s on Preston Road in Highland Park Village’s Mockingbird Room, the 2015 La Fiesta De Las Banderas Co-Chairs Mary Hubbard and Lori Martin were doling out $454,950 to recipients like The Family Place’s Paige Flink, University Park Library’s Kathy Cosgrove, Sharon Martin, Barbara Daniel and Julie Nunez and Highland Park Literary Festival Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Kathleen Whalen.

New kid-on-the-block Highland Park Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg and his wife Julie Trigg were feeling right at home among the Parkies.

Stars And Stripes Film Festival Kick Off

Just down the way in HP Village at the movie theater, Stars And Stripe Film Festival Co-Chairs Tanya and Pete Foster were hosting the kick-off of the Sons Of The Flags fundraiser.

Ryan Parrott, Mary Meier and Tanya and Pete Foster

Ryan Parrott, Mary Meier and Tanya and Pete Foster

After SOTF founder/President/CEO Ryan Parrott briefly explained how important funding was to help military, first responders and civilian burn victims, Tanya and Pete revealed plans for the festival that will run Thursday, November 12 thru Sunday, November 15, at the Angelika.

Tanya told how Lynn and Allan McBee had been the chairs for the first festival last year and “They set the bar really high last year.”

Pete then explained how the number of new burn victims outnumbers burn specialists, creating a lack of available care.

Syd and Margaret Carter

Syd and Margaret Carter

Honorary Co-Chairs will be Margaret and Syd Carter with SOF Board of Director Connie Boucher chairing the luncheon at the Dallas Country Club featuring retired Gen. Tommy Franks on Friday, November 13.

Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert introduced a reel of trailers promoting just a smidgen of the films to be screened at the festival including “Patton,” “We Are Soldiers” and a documentary on 9/11 first responders,

Sons of the Flag Director of Development Mary Meier reported that already $75K had been raised and emphasized that people should stay after the screenings of the movies for the Q&A’s. For instance, the Native American community is bringing in WWII code talkers to discuss “Windtalkers.” Honorary Co-Chair Syd will speak at the end of “Bridges of Toko Ri.” Following the showing of “Patton,” the late Gen. George Patton’s grandson, George Patton Waters will discuss “life with George.”

While individual tickets don’t go on sale until October, sponsorships are available now.

Round Robin August 26: Equest Women’s Auxiliary Reception And Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction Reveal

As summer ends and schools kicks back into session, the queen bees were fundraising along Preston Road on Wednesday, August 26:

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon Reception

From 4 to 6 p.m. the Equest Women’s Auxiliary was a farrier’s dream at Jimmy Choo’s. The stiletto salon on the corner facing the Highland Park Village had the gals kicking off their “experienced” shoes for some new recruits.

Pam McCallum and Barbara Stuart

Pam McCallum and Barbara Stuart

But if you think Jimmy C’s is footwear only, program your brain to the re-think-that-one mode.

As one gal checked out the newest JC sunglasses, Barbara Stuart recalled how she bought her killer “cheaters” when she chaired the Equest Fashion Show and Luncheon with daughter Melissa Macatee in 2011.

Speaking of Barbara, she was checking out vacation notes with Pam McCallum on their summer stays in different coasts of Canada. Then they launched into reminiscing about their annual lunch at Café Pacific on the Friday before TX-OU. Seems OU Pam and Longhorn Barbara shed their proper ways for mischievous gifts for each other with the alma maters in mind.

Michele Dunn, Emilynn Wilson, Katie Layton and Beth Layton

Michele Dunn, Emilynn Wilson, Katie Layton and Beth Layton

In another part of the salon, this year’s Equest Fashion Show and Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson and daughter Michele Dunn were catching up with Equest Women’s Auxiliary Chair Barbara Layton and her daughter, Katie Layton, who was on her way to Bachendorf’s for the Cattle Baron’s live auction reveal party just down the road.

Emilynn revealed that the funds were coming in and the fashion show tickets were flying like thoroughbreds from the gate. She told how this year’s presenting sponsor was philanthropist Al Hill Jr., who had provided a $50,000 check. The fashions will once again be provided by Highland Park Village merchants with Jan Strimple reining in the action on the runway.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction Reveal

Bachendorf’s didn’t have a refreshening over the summer. It had a major face lift. Where once were shelves of crystal, now was an elegant showroom for Rolex timepieces. But don’t worry about the crystal. It was beautifully displayed in a nearby alcove.

Katy and Lawrence Bock and Sheryl Callewart

Katy and Lawrence Bock and Sheryl Callewart

As for the rest of the store, it was open with marvelous new carpeting, gleaming display cases and a whole feel of 21st century sparkle.

Katy Bock admitted that it had come together just in time for the Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction Reveal reception. A couple of days before, there had been no chandelier and the carpeting was just being laid.

And what had Katy been doing? Lolling by a pool or having a facial? Nope. She had been a perfect wife and had been in the store helping display merchandise.

Lawrence Bock looked relieved and dressed perfectly in blue shirt and tie to match the blue palette of the store.

Diane and Hal Brierley

Diane and Hal Brierley

While rings were bring tried on by many, blonde Sheryl Callewart was sporting a cast on her right little finger. Seems that a kitchen oop’s had resulted in a slice requiring an ER visit and 11 stitches. While the cast would come off in 10 days, Sheryl admitted that the metal finger cover was a hassle.

Diane and Hal Brierley were just back from a sea jaunt on the Queen Mary 2. Their trip had been delayed arriving on schedule due to a crew member falling overboard. Despite days of attempting to find the crewman, the search failed to locate the man.

Lisa Cooley, Mary Martha Pickens and Clay Cooley

Lisa Cooley, Mary Martha Pickens and Clay Cooley

Other Cattle Baron’s Ball supporters included Lisa and Clay Cooley, birthday gal Nancy Gopez, Marybeth Conlon, Lisa and Bill Ogle, Jane Rozell, Cindy Stager, Kristi Bare and Wanda Gierhart, who was relieved that she was only responsible for two items for the upcoming TACA Custom Auction.

Tia Wynne, Marybeth Conlon and Heather LeClair

Tia Wynne, Marybeth Conlon and Heather LeClair

CBB Co-Chair Mary Martha Pickens had to head out early. Seems she was having dinner with her new boss. In addition to partnering up with Tia Wynne to head up this year’s CBB, Mary Martha just got a very big promotion at Bank of America.

As for the live auction items, they once again were made up of the things that folks dream of including—everything from fabulous travel packages like the Tower of London, Canyon Ranch, Tequila Herradura, Abu Dhabi and the Taj Mahal; a poker game with Dallas Cowboys legends; to naming rights for the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge at Baylor Scott & White Health. And that’s just a few of the goodies that will be up for bid at Gilley’s on Saturday, October 3, with Tim McGraw providing the musical memories.

Round Robin April 23: Thrift Studio Preview, Anna-Sophia Van Zweden Reception And Chick Lit And Genesis Annual Luncheon Patron Parties

People were literally bumping into each other trying to hit all the fundraisers on Thursday, April 23. As one vet put it, “I just keep telling myself that June is up ahead.” But until then, here’s just a smidgen of the fundraising hit-and-runs that were taking place on April 23. While patrons of the Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy’s Day at the Races prepped for the Kentucky Derby, others headed to:

Thrift Studio Preview

2015 Thrift Studio vignette

2015 Thrift Studio vignette

Before the sneak preview of the Dwell With Dignity pop-up Thrift Studio even officially opened the doors in the Design District, a lineup of people were spilling into the parking lot waiting to get in. Luckily, the mobile photo trailer was a fun distraction.

The reason for the plethora of folks was the goodies provided by area interior designer types. Surrounded by his “faithful gals” Valerie Cain and Lauren Thomasson and looking as pleased as a peacock, Thrift Studio Honorary Chair John Phifer Marrs proclaimed that the vignettes and furnishings were “Great!”

Lauren Thomasson, John Phifer Marrs and Valerie Cain

Lauren Thomasson, John Phifer Marrs and Valerie Cain

When asked why the Dwell With Dignity team had decided to reduce the Thrift Studio from two-a-year to once-a-year, John looked a bit amazed at the question. His answer was a question, “Do you know how much work goes into this event?”

He then admitted that the good resulting from the funds raised was amazing. As the crowds poured into, John recalled a boy who didn’t have friends to his home because he was ashamed. That changed once Dwell With Dignity stepped in and created a home that he was proud to show off to his friends.

2015 Thrift Studio vignette

2015 Thrift Studio vignette

As for this Thrift Studio, it will continue through Saturday, May 23. As items are purchased, new merchandise will be brought in. In other words, it’s an ever-changing cornucopia of marvels.

Chick Lit Patron Party

Carol Seay

Carol Seay

Wendy Messmann

Wendy Messmann

Over at Highland Park Village it was beautiful clothes and loads of gals including Chick Lit Luncheon Chair Wendy Messmann and Honorary Chair Carol Seay.

Paige McDaniel and Stacey Ballis

Paige McDaniel and Stacey Ballis

Over on the couch at the back of the salon was author Stacey Ballis, who was observing the crowd including Lynn McBee and Jolie Humphrey.

Before long she was meeting and greeting folks like a veteran politician the night before an election with Community Partners of Dallas Paige McDaniel making the intros.

Genesis Annual Luncheon Patron Party

Kathy Helm

Kathy Helm

Emilynn Wilson and Larry Helm

Emilynn Wilson and Larry Helm

Just south of Highland Park Village, Kathy and Larry Helm created a traffic jam with valets running non-stop. The draw besides the Helms’ home, with their lanai, terrace and pergola with fire pit, was the Genesis Annual Luncheon patron party.

Suzy and Tom Rhodes and Jan Langbein

Suzy and Tom Rhodes and Jan Langbein

As Larry and Genesis CEO Jan Langbein greeted guests like Gail Turner, Underwriting Chair Robin Bagwell, Angela Nash, Donna ChereckEmilynn and Claude Wilson, Eve Wiley, Brenda and Bob White, Michal Powell and Suzy and Tom Rhodes.

Bianca Jackson, Robin Bagwell and Angela Nash

Bianca Jackson, Robin Bagwell and Angela Nash

According to reports, tickets were flying for the May 5 luncheon featuring Maria Shriver.

This year it’s taking place in the Anatole’s Trinity Ballroom. Leave it to the Genesis crowd. They’re planning on dressing up the huge room for the fundraiser.

Departure

Up north at NorthPark, Dallas Symphony Orchetra First Daughter Anna-Sophia van Zweden was being toasted at Mont Blanc for her masterminding the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Soluna International Music and Arts Festival, Dallas’ three-week festival of music and art.

Laree Hulshoff, Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Barbara Daseke

Laree Hulshoff, Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Barbara Daseke

This mega three-week visual art and music festival runs from May 4 through May 24, capping off with a free concert on Sunday, May 24, conducted by Dallas Symphony Orchestra Maestro Jaap van Zweden at Klyde Warren Park honoring members of the armed forces and “showcasing” work by Monte Laster.

The project includes artists from around the world, as well as local talent, to provide a feast of visual and orchestral delights.

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.

Round Robin April 10: DIFF Chair Reception And Dallas CASA Champion Of Children Award Dinner Kick-Off

The fundraising efforts were stretching resources thin on Friday, April 10. Over at Goss-Michael Gallery, the crowds were spilling out on to the sidewalks as guests entered for MTV Re:Define honoring Michael Craig-Martin and benefiting The MTV Staying Alice Foundation and Dallas Contemporary.

The Junior League of Dallas was playing fun and games over at House of Blues for its Queen of Hearts Casino night. Word was making the rounds that one area jeweler had pulled out of providing a tidy donation for the evening. After digging through the rumors, it was learned that evidently no gem guy had squelched the deal. It was a breakdown in communication and an “Oops!” by an over-enthusiastic committee member.

Still other evening activities included:

Dallas International Film Festival Chairman’s Reception

Lee Papert

Lee Papert

Dallas Film Society Chairman of the Board Don Stokes lucked out with the weather. Following the first official day of the Dallas International Film Festival, he hosted a reception for DIFF supporters around the pool at The Highland Hotel. The weather was just this side of spectacular.

The crowd was still talking about the night before, when actress Blythe Danner was presented the Star of Texas Award at the Majestic Theatre.

Michael Cain

Michael Cain

Melina McKinnon

Melina McKinnon

While Michael Cain was chatting with folks like DFS President/CEO Lee Papert and Paul Divis about his work on “Mr. Stanley,” wife Melina McKinnon reported that she was taking time off from the film business to take care of daughter Athena and the newest family member, who is on the way.

Bandit

Bandit

Still, the scene stealer of the evening was Arthur Benjamin’s sidekick, Bandit, the four-year-old Lhasa/Shitzu rescue, in a service dog vest. After living with Arthur the past couple of years, Bandit knows how to work a party with the best of them.

Dallas CASA Champion of Children Award Dinner Kick-Off

Mike and Jana Brosin and RIchard Chamberlain

Mike and Jana Brosin and RIchard Chamberlain

Jana and Mike Brosin have hardly had time to unpack their belongings since moving into their new digs in North Dallas, and they’ve already had a couple of parties. This newness may have explained why the 60 guests arriving at the Dallas CASA Champion of Children Award Dinner kick-off party found the entrance hall dark. Seems Mike couldn’t figure out how to turn on the lights.

Glen Ashworth, Christie Carter and Jim Thompson

Glen Ashworth, Christie Carter and Jim Thompson

Didn’t matter. Most guests like Debbie Oates, Christie Carter, Sarah Losinger, Glen Ashworth, Jim Thompson and Dallas CASA’s new Director of Development Kersten Rettig with husband Clark Knippers moving effortlessly to the back terrace and grounds with its fire pit and pool.

Kathleen LaValle

Kathleen LaValle

Meanwhile in the kitchen, Chef Richard Chamberlain was delighted with the professional-style Wolf range and equally impressive Sub-Zero. It was just made for his creating the delicious food that made the rounds.

According to Dallas CASA Executive Director/President Kathleen LaValle, Jana and Mike will be chairing the Champion of Children Award Dinner on Wednesday, October 14, at the Fairmont Hotel with former WFAA anchor Gloria Campos serving as honorary chair. This year’s event will honor AT&T and its employees with the Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award. Dallas CASA also was hoping the Brosin party would help bring to a close its $37 million capital campaign. With just $2.2 million left to raise, they’re planning to celebrate “The Closing” of the campaign with another party in July.

Round Robin April 9: Turtle Creek Karaoke Lounge And Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board Receptions

Alas, so many ultra-exclusive gatherings going on in Biggest D on Thursday, April 9, like former President Bill Clinton in town for dinner at Wendy Stanley’s home for The Clinton Foundation and Kevin Costner schmoozing with the New Friends New Life top supporters at Hunt Consolidated. Still, there were other gatherings that were weren’t so restricted, like:

Karaoke Lounge

Ken Downing

Ken Downing and Nanette Lepore model

Neiman Marcus Fashion Guru Ken Downing told the crowd in for the Nanette Lepore trunk show that as a young man, he fell in love with the word “culottes.” Ken added with a twinkle in his eye, “It was in high school when I dated girls.”

Ken and Nanette had a great time talking about the spring collection that indeed included culottes.

Ashlee Weidner

Ashlee Weidner

Paige Westhoff

Paige Westhoff

Originally planned as an event for the Turtle Creek Recovery Center’s A Night At The Turtle Creek Karaoke Lounge crowd like Diana Hamilton, Nancy Gopez, Kristi Hoyl, Jill Tananbaum and Paige Westhoff, a number of drop-in NM clients took their seats to learn about the collection.

Violet Savage

Violet Savage

Nanette Lepore

Nanette Lepore

One of the folks in the crowd was Nanette’s daughter, Violet Savage, who was part of the catwalk crew in her mom’s recent Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week show.

Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board

Lisa Troutt and Vicki Chapman

Lisa Troutt and Vicki Chapman

Lisa Troutt laid the groundwork. Despite early plans by Crystal Charity Ball organizers for its advisory board and the beneficiaries, who had figured on the program starting at 7:30 p.m., Lisa stalled it until 8:00. She wasn’t about to let anyone miss the buffet with mountains of shrimp and other goodies.

But the night was perfect to wander the grounds of the Troutt estate, and guests seemed to enjoy gathering. While Kenny disappeared to take a delayed conference call, the more than 200 guests took their place on the Troutts’ indoor basketball court.

Ruth Altshuler and Michal Powell

Ruth Altshuler and Michal Powell

2015 CCB Chair Michal Powell welcomed all and thanked the Troutts, advisory board members, longtime friends and introduced Capital One Bank President Kent Eastman, who thanked the group for all they do.

Michal returned to the podium telling how one of the most disturbing facts learned this year was that one-third of Dallas children live in poverty. She then introduced a touching video succinctly showcasing the heart-wrenching 2015 beneficiaries. Michal proudly told the group that her California nephew, Cameron Cone, had produced it.

Round Robin April 7: The Billiard Ball Patron Party, KidneyTexas Luncheon And John Wayne Film Festival Reveals

While Warren Buffett was talking with folks in The Colony for a sneak peek of the new Nebraska Furniture Mart benefiting the Cancer Support Community North Texas, other fundraisers were taking place elsewhere on Tuesday, April 7, including:

KidneyTexas Reveal

It’s the dread of every hostess. That’s what KidneyTexas‘ “The Runway Report Luncheon” Co-Chair Donna Arp Weitzman feared. Earlier in the day, she told her caterer that 10 people had RSVP-ed. By afternoon the number had jumped up to 20, then by the time the valet parkers had appeared, the number had risen to past 30.

Donna Arp Weitzman and Therese Rourk

Donna Arp Weitzman and Therese Rourk

While old-timers admitted that most folks don’t RSVP until the last minute, one scarred vet harrumphed, “If they RSVP at all.”

But sure enough they came. Adorable Isabell Haggar and sis-in-law Rosemary Haggar Vaughn arrived together. Hostess Donna told them of her first job as a teenager was as a seam buster.

Just halfway through the party plans for the Kidney Texas luncheon and fashion show were announced. It will be Brook Hollow on Tuesday, September 23, under the direction of Jan Strimple with WFAA Ron Corning serving as emcee.

As for the clothes, they’ll be provided by Carla Martinengo, Lublu, St. John at Highland Park Village, Tootsies and Vintage Martini.

In addition to Robin and Norm Bagwell serving as the honorary co-chairs, there will a new twist this year for the honorees. According to Kidney Texas President Therese Rourk, the area hospitals and medical teams will be honored including Dr. Michel Baum, Children’s Health; Dr. Jim Brugarolas, UT Southwestern Medical Center; Richard Dickerman, M.D., F.A.C.S., Surgical Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant, General and Vascular Surgery The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas; Rabbi William Gershon, Shearith Israel; Goran Klintmalm, MD, PhD, Chairman and Chief, Baylor Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute; Dr. Mark Lerman, Medical City Dallas; and Dr. Henry Quinones, Parkland Health & Hospital System.

The luncheon will benefit Parkland Health & Hospital Foundation, Children’s Medical Center Foundation, National Kidney Foundation Camp Reynal and UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The Billiard Ball Patron Party

Rachel Trowbridge is trying to hold off on delivering the Trowbridges’ newest kiddo until after the April 18thBilliard Ball” fundraiser at the Ritz-Carlton for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas. But on this evening she appeared to have everything under control at Gail and Dan Cook’s ultra-contemporary home.

While B&GCGD clients (aka kids) and guests took full advantage of the perfect weather by dining poolside, others ventured downstairs into the museum and adjoining workroom. The museum is an amazing collection of 400 antique dolls in glass cases. Gail explained the reason for the dolls being in the windowless room is so that sunlight does not damage their delicate outfits. Over the years, Gail has collected the 100-year-old and older dolls in various stages of conditions. Meticulously, she has “dolled” them up using the finest fabrics in keeping with their eras and accessories.

Gail Cook doll

Gail Cook doll

Gail Cook doll

Gail Cook doll

Gail Cook doll

Gail Cook doll

Gail Cook dolls

Gail Cook dolls

Gail Cook doll

Gail Cook doll

Gail smiled recalling that as a girl, she hadn’t been interested in dolls, since she had a slew of brothers. Then when her daughter said she wanted a doll more than 30 years ago, that request opened a whole world and vocation for Gail, who has gained the reputation as an outstanding expert and judge for the United Federation of Doll Clubs. Her collection has been the subject of the book, “In Perspective The Gail Cook Collection.”

Dan Cook

Dan Cook

On the other hand, Dan held court with Carole and Scott Murray, Carol Seay, Susan Stanzel, Don Glendenning and Ball Co-Chairs Barbara and Steve Durham.

Across the living room, Jeff Rich told how he and wife Jan Miller would be hosting a discussion with Dr. Michael D. Lairmore, the dean of the University of California at Davis veterinary school. They had developed the relationship when their beloved beagle “Schumacher’s” sister was in desperate need of dialysis, which UCD offered. Jan was so impressed with the school that she is on the board.

John Wayne Announcement Party

The big question at the gathering of John Wayne fans was “Where is the Mockingbird Room?” That’s where the kick-off plans were to take place in Highland Park Village. When they realized that it was the gathering room in the HP Village Management Office, it made perfect sense. After all, it overlooks Mockingbird Lane.

Steve and Linda Ivy, Patrick Wayne and Patti and Blaine Nelson

Steve and Linda Ivy, Patrick Wayne and Patti and Blaine Nelson

And it was just the right size for the posse that included Leslie Light, Hayley Hamilton Cogill and Gary Cogill, Holly Reed, Carter Malouf, Holly and Doug Deason, Linda and Steve Ivy, Patti and Blaine Nelson, Anne and Steve Stodghill, Leslie Ann Crozier, Piper Wyatt, Holly and Stubbs Davis, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Debra Nelson and Tiffany and Paul Divis.

Leslie Light

Leslie Light

Randall Goss

Randall Goss

The big draw was the announcement of plans for the 2015 John Wayne Film Festival that’s being co-chaired by Kara and Randall Goss. The twosome revealed that it will be held from Thursday, September 24 – Sunday, September 27 at HP Village Theater and Look Cinemas benefiting the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

Paul Divis, Anita Swift and Chris Divis

Paul Divis, Anita Swift and Chris Divis

Joining the local were the Wayne kin including the Duke’s sons Ethan Wayne and  Patrick Wayne, daughter Marisa Wayne and grandchildren Anita Swift and 7-year-old Duke Ditteaux.

Ethan Wayne

Ethan Wayne

Marisa Wayne and Duke Ditteaux

Marisa Wayne and Duke Ditteaux

According to Anita, “Texas is the place for John Wayne, so it’s the perfect place to have a John Wayne film festival.”

She added that Pat Green may just play again this year and there also may be a free outdoor screening of movies at Klyde Warren Park.

Round Robin March 26: Women’s Auxiliary Of The Salvation Army Texas Tea And Côtes Du Coeur Catalog Announcement

Wicked weather hit Oklahoma and the North Texas area dodged the torrential bullet on Thursday, March 26. Since the temps dipped, woolly wear didn’t reappear. But don’t worry. The nonprofits were still hot-to-trot.

Women’s Auxiliary Of The Salvation Army Texas Tea

Dixey Arterburn and Ramona Jones

Dixey Arterburn and Ramona Jones

The question for the Women’s Auxiliary of the Salvation Army on a normal day might have been, “How are the clothes coming?” or “How are ticket sales going for the Salvation Army fundraiser at Brook Hollow?”

Instead it was, “Did you find a parking space?” Seems the Crescent Court launched its face lift on the very same day as the SAWA’s Texas Tea at Stanley Korshak.

Libby Hunt

Libby Hunt

Evidently, everyone didn’t get the memo that the usual valet at Korshak’s front door would be replaced by the one at Capital Grille. But even then Salvation Army Fashion Show and Luncheon Co-Chair Dixey Arterburn arrived early and couldn’t find a parker at the Grille. Upon inquiring in a ladylike fashion with the Capital Grille staff, she was told to just leave her keys and it would be taken care of.

Guess it was just one of the adjustment to new arrangement days, but Women’s Auxiliary President Betsy Chambers, Ramona Jones, Honorary Co-Chairs Libby Hunt, Lissie McCullough and Sharon McCullough were right on time.

Lissie McCullough, Crawford Brock and Sharon McCullough

Lissie McCullough, Crawford Brock and Sharon McCullough

Regardless, Dixey and her Co-Chair Ginger Sager have arranged to have loads of the gently experienced designer clothes hanging around for sale on Monday, May 4, at Brook Hollow. Suggestion: start doing your arm exercises because you’re gonna be carrying out armfuls of fashions.

But on this day it was Korshak’s brand-spanking new clothes and “Texas Tea.”

Côtes du Coeur Catalogue Announcement

David Blank and Kate Rose Marquez

David Blank and Kate Rose Marquez

Later that evening, Diamond Doctor was being hit from all sides by the Côtes du Coeur gang. For a while DD David Blank stood outside greeting guests like Cindy Stager, Gillian Breidenbach, Corry Schiermeyer, Kevin Curley, Kim Bannister, Dick Meyer, Mary Martha and John Pickens, Nick Tarantello and Micheala Davis.

Cindy Stager, Gillian Breidenbach and Corry Schiermeyer

Cindy Stager, Gillian Breidenbach and Corry Schiermeyer

Kim Bannister

Kim Bannister

Mary Martha and John Pickens

Mary Martha and John Pickens

One reason for his doing the meet-and-greet outside was that the store was pretty well filled with peeps with glasses of wine in hand.

Whether it was the Côtes du Coeur wine lovers checking out the Red Escalade in front of DD, hunkering down over the cases of gems on the ground floor or venturing upstairs to see the OMG items, it was an amazing gathering. In addition to the gazillions of dollars of jewels, another reason for the turnout was the presentation of the Côtes du Coeur catalog for the April 25 fundraiser at the Hilton Anatole. Just in the nick of time, Côtes du Coeur Chair Kate Rose Marquez rang the bell calling all to the stairs for the catalog presentation. As the information about the wines was being read, it was obvious that some folks were already planning their bids.