Children’s Medical Center Foundation Is Prepared For Weather Questions About Saturday Morning’s Red Balloon Run And Ride

Wouldn’t you just know that the weather-guessers have been as fickle as Scarlett O’Hara filling out her dance card. Some are saying that tomorrow morning is going to be wet, windy and wild. Others are swearing that it will hit tonight and Saturday morning will be as dry and crisp as a nice bottle of Pinot Blanc.

Red Balloon Run And Ride*

Luckily, the Children’s Medical Center Foundation’s Red Balloon Run And Ride organizers are on top of developments. Yes, they’re in negotiations with Mother Nature, but they’re also prepared to communicate any changes.

According to the Foundation’s Heidi Cannella, “We will provide updates (any delays, cancellations, etc.) from now through tomorrow. Our primary concern is safety.” Those updates will be available at www.childrens.com/runandride.

Red Balloon’s corporate sponsor WFAA will also be providing information about the weather conditions and how they’ll be affecting the annual fundraiser.

* Graphic courtesy of Children's Medical Center Foundation

Despite The Threat Of Rain, North Texas Food Bank’s Empty Bowls Had Guests And Restaurants Spooning Throughout The Meyerson

Paula Lambert, Simon Powell and Meaders Ozarow

As the herds headed out of town for early spring break on Friday, March 10, 1,300+ supped up at the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser for the North Texas Food Bank. It was the first Empty Bowls, since the death of full-of-life NTFB CEO Jan Pruitt. While her spirit championed on with restaurants setting up at the Meyerson. Her team including Interim President/CEO Simon Powell rallied the area restaurants and foodies resulting in the event coming off without a hitch.

Even as Mother Nature threatened to damped the outdoor activities, the experienced NTFB-ers simply took the precaution of pulling the VIP entrance and Bowl Tent and Checkout back to the lower level of the Meyerson.

The True Food Kitchen and Paradise Bakery and Cafe stations were moved to the Opus restaurant.

Joseph Alexander, Diana Ivette, Brandon Williams and Juan Prado

Empty Bowls’ bowls to take home

As one poor soul sought a parking space in the bowels of the underground parking, cutie pies like Joseph Alexander, Diana Ivette, Brandon Williams and Juan Prado welcomed guests and handed out blue bags and direction for guests. But the crowds didn’t mind the hassle of finding parking spots. They were there to pick out their bowls, bid on the ones in the silent auction and graze on two levels of the Meyerson.

Suzy Sotelo, Jolie Oree Bailey and Oscar Aponte

Low Country Quisine’s Jolie Oree Bailley was pleased that their participation last year evidently moved them from the upper level to the main lobby. Others didn’t care one iota. They were too busy doling out food.

The chaps at the Samsung Photo Booth encouraged guests to step inside the oversized capsule to sample the next stage of selfism that proved to be pretty awesome. Just past the booth was the KPMG VIP area with tables and wine.

Bailee Weeks, Salvatore Gisellu and Monica Leibowitz

Upstairs Hill and Knowlton’s Mark Edgar sampled Salvatore Gisellu‘s handmade beef meatball in a cup from Urban Crust.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then there are thousands over at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery of the restaurateurs who made it all possible.

An Early Start Might Be Wise For This Weekend’s Home Tours

It almost seems like every house in North Texas is part of a home tour this spring. This weekend a couple of them —Park Cities 15th Annual Historic Home Tour and Munger Place Wine Walk and Home Tour — are bracing for some stormy weather.

4825 Miramar*

According to the weather guessers, the bruised clouds and blowing winds won’t hit until late-ish Saturday afternoon. So, why not tour early, grab a bite to eat to compare notes with your buds and head to your home to watch South Carolina play Gonzaga and Oregon play North Carolina?  

* Photo provided by Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society

To Heck With Winter Chills, Spring Is Heating Up With Summer Temps

Spring breakers, welcome back to the school drop-off/pick-up cha-cha and Daylight Savings rehabbing. Missed you tons during the spring break, but the nonprofits are rearing to go for the upcoming weeks.

Cold days of 2015 (File photo)

There’s just so much on the agenda. But not to worry. There isn’t a sold-out among them … yet.

Christian Dior stilettos (File photos)

So, while you’re putting those woollies in deep freeze storage for a while and pulling out those skimpy cottons, start checking your calendars for which ones you’ll be dressing up for.

In the meantime, replace whose yawn-last season stilettos with new kids-on-the-heel and spiffing up your oh-hum silks of last season with some spiff-ier frocks.

If you need help, you just know the retailers can advise you.

And while you’re at it, re-think your thermostats. The threat of the mercury hitting 90 is out there this week. The weather guessers are also suggesting that something not-so-friendly is coming up the end of the week. Stay tuned with bumbershoots in hand.

A Gentle Reminder: Greenville Avenue’s St. Patrick’s Day Run/Walk, Parade And Festival To Take Place This Saturday

2017 Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival map**

While St. Patrick’s Day is still a week away, the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade And Festival will take place this Saturday along Greenville Avenue benefiting the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association.

2017 St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville 5K*

But before the parade kicks off at 11 a.m., the 22nd Annual St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville will start at 8 a.m. Organizers are predicting 5,000 participants will run/walk the 5K down “the St. Patrick’s Day parade route, tree-lined Southwestern Blvd., Skillman and University Blvd.,” benefiting the North Texas Food Bank.

Hopefully, all the runners/walkers will be across the finish line before the parade’s floats hit the avenue.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival (File photo)

Now, some suggestions:

  • Barriers and other preparations for the run and parade will start showing up Friday afternoon. So, it might be wise to run those errands today and early tomorrow. Be forewarned: Some stores like Office Depot along Greenville might be closed Saturday during the parade.
  • Weather guessers are claiming that Saturday morning may be damp-ish, so if you’re gonna be among the 100,000+ spectators, you might want to bring along a slicker or umbrella.
  • Take DART to the Greenville station because parking is going to be painfully limited.
  • If you decide to linger into the afternoon and night enjoying the adult libations, reconsider driving yourself home. No matter how responsible you may think you are, you’ll be much more so by having Uber or another professional service drive you home.
*Graphic courtesy of Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival 
** Graphic courtesy of St. Paddy's Day Dash Down Greenville 5k

JUST IN: Friday’s18th Annual Empty Bowls Will Be Totally Indoors At The Meyerson

Just heard from the North Texas Food Bank team and “due to anticipated inclement weather conditions,” they’ve already kicked into back-up mode for the 18th Annual Empty Bowls food fest on Friday at the Meyerson. That means everything is gonna be indoors!

18th Annual Empty Bowls*

All the restaurants (Aisan Mint, Blue Bell Creameries, Blue Mesa Grill, Carso Mediterranean Grill, Celebration Restaurant, Dining at the Meyerson, Empire Baking Co., Kroger, Low Country Quisine, McAlister’s Deli, Meso Maya, Mozzarella Company, Norma’s Cafe, Paradise Bakery and Cafe, Royal Cup Coffee, Shake Shack, Snappy Salads, SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza, Tejano Brothers, Tortaco, True Food Kitchen and Urban Crust) will be high and dry inside the Meyerson serving up all type of goodies.

Bowls for sale (File photo)

And then there are the bowls that will be auctioned off and for sale.

Since parking is going to limited, why not buddy together for Uber?

* Graphic courtesy of 
North Texas Food 
Bank

BEWARE: Mother Nature Has Cooked Up A Weekend Of Weathery Upsy and Downsies

That Mama Nature is a tricky old gal. She had the weather guessers convinced that she would just snow flurry around this afternoon. And there were all types of impressive maps to back her claim. But then the white stuff started falling. Just one flake made people smile. Then a dozen made folks think how pretty the flurry is. But then the flurry became an afternoon drive-home fury of flakes that as soon as they hit the ground, they froze together making Central Expressway a glorified parking lot and teeny-weeny hills become icy roller coasters.

Traffic in the snow (File photos)

Now, what’s in the future? Take a deep breath and read this before venturing out Saturday morning. The stuff that’s wet and on the ground this evening is going to freeze thanks to temperatures in the 20s. Roads that were slippery today are going to be treacherous Saturday until afternoon when the temps get just barely above freezing.

Are you relieved? Don’t be. Sorry to report that Saturday night the stuff that started melting Saturday afternoon will refreeze Saturday night thanks to returning temperatures in the 20s. Rethink Sunday brunches and church services.

Dallas Arboretum squirrels (File photo)

But you deserve some good news and here goes. Sunday afternoon the temperatures will start rising above freezing and will stay there the rest of the week.

So, tell those sandals and shorts to take a break. Come Tuesday they’ll be needed for walking the dogs, sipping on patios, comparing notes with the penguins at the Dallas Zoo and checking out the blossoms at the Arboretum.

In the meantime, rethink that subscribing to Netflix and reading that book that has been gathering dusty. And what about that needlepoint that you’ve been meaning to finish up?

Mother Nature’s Going To Give North Texas A Real Cold Shoulder For A Couple Of Days

If you think it’s cold now, brace yourself. It’s downhill from here until Sunday. Head to the grocery now to get those fixings for soups, casseroles and brownies.

You’ve already gone over your chilly weather checklist of taking care of the “4 Ps” (people, pets, plants and pipes). The duvet is on the bed. The flannel jammies are ready for duty. Excellent

But before you totally close down the must-do freeze list, think wet. For instance, if you don’t want to be the neighborhood slip-and-slide pain, turn off your sprinkler system.

Dripping faucet

And, if you’re one of those folks who lets faucets drip, why not put a bucket or major league bowl under the faucet and use the water for your plants and pets? No sense in wasting that water.

If you have munchkins, be prepared for some unhappy campers. It appears Friday will not be a snow day. Rather it will be a dusting of flakes and schools don’t close down for that. Sorry.

The Winter Of 2016-2017 Continues To Have Its Ups And Downs

For all those that scurried to the Rockies and other high points in search of cooler temp, snow and the holidays, good move. Those photos of you on the slopes and partying with your pals around the fireplace have been memory keepers.

2016 fall/winter leaves

As for those seeking the perfect tan on sand-covered beaches, nice but wasn’t it sorta waste of American Express points?

With North Texas flirting with record-breaking temperatures, knee-high boots and swell sweaters have battle sandals and tantalizing tank tops thanks to 70- and 80-degree weather.

Instead of shimmering, ice covered terrain, the Christmas/Hanukkah week has been golden thanks to leaves now covering neighborhood as if it were Halloween.

But as local out-of-towners head back to North Texas, be forewarned. Winter ain’t over. So don’t put those warmies back into moth ball status. Stay braced and keep the Irish coffee prepared for appears to be on board for Wednesday.

Weather Ups And Downs In The Days Ahead

If your thrills come from roller coasters, then hold on. Last week’s dip in temperatures was just a hint of what’s ahead the next few days.

Thank heaven you’ve already pulled out that duvet and dual-temperature heated mattress cover. The weather guessers are all claiming that Friday and Saturday are gonna have shorts returning thanks to 70-degree temps. But Saturday night the bottom is going to fall out with temperatures dropping 40 50 degrees. Not to worry. Just cozy up with the love of your life, whether they be two- or four-legged types.

Frosty weather

The freezing chills are predicted to continue until at least Monday mid-morning. Some weather experts are even suggesting some flurries but nothing scary.  

While you know the drill, add this one to the list. Turn off your sprinkler systems unless you want to create a winter wonderland and a slip-and-slide for your sidewalk and street.

Plants Have Feelings, too

Today and tomorrow the Dallas Arboretum staffers are busy planting bulbs snug in the grounds and covering them with petunias. As the below-freezing temperatures approach Saturday night, here are some suggestions from Dallas Arboretum VP of Gardens Dave Forehand,

Dallas Arboretum crew planting bulbs before the freeze

  •  Water before it freezes: Watering material before the threat of frost protects the plant root zone. Water acts like a blanket insulating the roots. This makes the plant stronger against a freeze. When plant cells are full of water, they are less likely to be subject to frost damage. If possible, water a day or two before a freeze and make sure to water the entire root zone of the plant. This is especially important in newly planted trees and shrubs. Try watering early in the day so plants have time to absorb water before a freeze. If at all possible, avoid watering the foliage. If you have an irrigation system, hand watering might be the best option for certain locations. Keeping water off the foliage prevents the formation of ice on leaf material which can cause breaks and more damage.
  •  Use frost cloth: Frost cloth acts as a blanket and helps trap heat. Make sure that you secure the cloth entirely around the plant and tighten to the soil using fabric pins or bricks (anything that will hold it down firmly will work). Frost cloth is made from a product that “breathes,” and this cloth helps against burn caused by other materials. Purchase frost cloth months in advance. When the threat of a freeze is coming, frost cloth sells out quickly. Do not use frost cloth when there is a chance of snow. Otherwise, it will cause more damage breaking plants from the weight of the snow.
  • Check plant health: The healthier your plants are, the more prone they are to handle stress. Proper water and maintenance throughout the growing season will help in the winter months. It is also important to select the right plant for your area.  Check to make sure that the plant material you select is appropriate for your location. Check out USDA plant hardiness zone map to see what zone you live in. This information will help you purchase the best plant material for your zone.

So, if you’ve finished your uber shopping, then why not take advantage of this advice from a man-who-knows? Come spring you’ll be the standout among your neighborhood of cottages.

Brace Yourself For A Thrill Chill To Come

From those wonderful peeps, who predict all types of weather wonderment, comes word that North Texas is bracing for a Polar Plunge.

So, what does that mean? Hello? Polar plunge sounds like something that the Dallas Zoo would be holding for the polar bears.  But not!

The weather wizards are claiming that the local area codes will be hit starting late Wednesday with a frigid situation that hasn’t been seen in two years.

Cold days of 2015 (File photo)

Cold days of 2015 (File photo)

Think of it as the cold shoulder that you gave that geek, who crossed the line.

Okay, let’s be totally honest. It ain’t in all probability gonna snow or ice over, but it is gonna be cold and drizzle thanks to the dropping temps and the wind chill.

Regardless, you know the drill better than anyone.

Keep the pets in, the plants protected, the pipes covered and the cocoa simmering.

BTW, word has it on the boulevard that folks are hitting the grocery stores and are brewing up all types of soups, pastas and pastries. Don’t you just love comfort food?

Seriously, please check on your senior-type friends/family. They may brush you off and claim that they have all things under control. Don’t believe them. They’re adorable, but they fib. Why not invite them over to spend the night or provide them with that duvet that you have hidden away in your closet?

JUST IN: Children’s Health’s Holiday Parade Is Canceled, But A Get-Together Breakfast With Santa Is Still On At The Adolphus

There are just times when words have to be eaten and this is one of them. In an earlier post, the declaration was made that this year’s Children’s Health’s Holiday Parade would not be canceled.

Word just arrived from Children’s Scott Summerall, that indeed the parade is canceled.

No, there will be no frigid roads nor frozen tundra. But WFAA’s Colleen Coyle, who has a cot in the backroom at the studio, is warning that Saturday morning is gonna be ugly. With this in mind, wiser minds realized that the conditions just didn’t allow for safer health-conditions for participants and spectators.

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

The long story made short — the parade is canceled, not postponed.

The official word is, “Despite today’s beaming sunshine, weather forecasts for DFW include a high probability of heavy rain and cold temperatures on Saturday. Due to these impending weather conditions and the fact that many of the acts cannot perform in the rain, we are canceling the Children’s Health Holiday Parade out of concern for the well-being of the patients and families we serve. We sincerely appreciate all of the incredible patients, volunteers, participants, sponsors and attendees who help bring the parade to life each year, especially Santa. You can still tune in to WFAA channel 8 on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. to watch last year’s parade!”

Santa*

Santa*

However… and you just knew there would be a “however”… the Auxiliary’s breakfast with Santa is still on from 9:30-11:30 at the Adolphus with “traditional photographs with Santa Claus, face painting, balloon artists, breakfast treats and other fun festivities, we have also added special celebrity appearances and costume character visits.”

For those, who bought tickets to attend the parade and want a refund, no problem. But, gee whiz! Tis the season, so why not just let the unused tickets go to support the efforts at Children’s Health.

So snooze in on Saturday and dream that your contributions are helping youngsters at Children’s. Or attend brunch with Santa and make sure that you provide the old codger with a list of your wishes.

* Photos provided by Children's Health

Bundle Up For Saturday’s 29th Annual Children’s Health Holiday Parade Through Downtown Dallas

 UPDATE: The parade has indeed been canceled, but the sold-out breakfast with Santa is still on!

Just imagine. Toddlers, who attended the first-ever Children’s Health Holiday Parade in 1987, are all grown up and have toddlers of their own. For some it’s become a family tradition despite the changes of routes and the weather conditions.

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Speaking of which, this Saturday’s weather forecast is gonna be so very typical of North Texas winter. The day’s high is gonna maybe hit 50 degrees and there’s a very good chance of rain. But, shoot! That’s why retailers invented gloves, sock caps, bumbershoots, slickers and galoshes.

So, dig out all those warm clothes and head downtown early because the area’s biggest, most colorful walking extravaganza starts at 10 a.m. come rain or shine. If you want a reserved bleacher seat, you can get it here!

2016 Children’s Health Holiday Parade route*

2016 Children’s Health Holiday Parade route*

Afterwards, head to your favorite spot for a late morning brunch with hot chocolate, hot toddy, Belgian waffles and all that comfort food you deserve.

The parade has only been canceled once in history back in 2013 when an ice storm hit the area. But rest easy. This ain’t gonna be a repeat of that one. It’s just gonna be damp and chilly.

* Photo and graphic courtesy of Children's Health

Seasonal Dip In Temperatures Approaches

Some folks have been complaining about temperatures hitting the upper 80s this month. After all, it is November and it just seems downright unnatural to wear shorts when you have a herd of woollies in your closet bleating to come out.

February 2015

February 2015 (File photo)

Well, pack up the shorts and pull out the cashmeres because today the temps are going to be dipping like a debutante on stage. Word has it that Saturday night, it just might hit the upper 30s. But this first cold front of the season ain’t going to be anything like the freezers of 2011 or 2015. Still, why not prepare now for what probably lies ahead in the weeks to come?

For oldtimers, you know the drill. For newcomers, here are some suggestions:

Snow covers neighborhoods (File photo)

February 2011 (File photo)

  • Bundle up with gloves, caps and jackets, if you’re going to catch a Friday night lights game.
  • Remember to take care of the three P’s — pets, plants and plumbing. It’s not going to freeze, but why not prepare those pipes now?
  • Put a blanket and some water in your car. Who knows? If you get stuck, you just might want a gulp of water and a wrapper until you get a tow.
  • Have your HVAC checked. It’s been a while since you turned on the heating element.
  • Check on your senior buds and physically challenged folks. Cold weather seems to hit them harder than you hardy types. See if their windows and doors are sealed to keep out the cold. And while you’re at it check yours, too.
  • It’s not too late to have a chimney sweep check your fireplace. You might also want them to clean your clothes dryer, too. After all, you don’t want the holiday glow to be your home going up in smoke.
  • Stock up on all those comfort foods. Homes just seem to handle the chill when hot chocolate is served or brownies are in the oven.
  • Remember those old blankets that you replaced with brand new ones? Why not donate the older ones to Goodwill or Dallas Animal Services?
  • Stock up on batteries, candles and matches.
  • Get a book and a couple of board games and/or jigsaw puzzles. If you lose electricity, you’ll find high tech goes down the drain and these old-timers can come in handy to handle the boredom.
  • Buy a toy. No, it has absolutely nothing to do with staving off the cold, but you just know you’re going to want to donate to a toy drive, so why not buy something now!

Falling Temperatures Welcome Fall And The Need To Let Go

Well, yahoo! Get that duvet out and cozy up to a mug of hot cocoa. Tomorrow morning when you exercise those real and faux eyelashes, there’s gonna be a nip in the air. Open the door and that adorable nose is gonna inhale a crisp sniff of morning air courtesy of Mother Nature.

As promised, the cool front moved in overnight, but it didn’t exactly bring along temps that require nuclear-heated blankets, ice storm warnings, or even the need to hitch up your pack of huskies to the family sled. Those days are yet to come.

Snow covers neighborhoods (File photo)

Snow covers neighborhoods (File photo)

Instead, North Texas is easing into the cooler times of fall, when leaves turn orange, gold and brown before kissing lawns.

And while the outdoors beg for you to take a walk or settle down on your fav patio, think about your closet. There are so many old-timers there that you just know you’ll never ever wear, even if you lose that final ten. Why not donate and allow your past loves to bring wonderfulness to someone else?

If you need a suggestion for clothes adoption centers, think about The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show and Luncheon, Goodwill and Attitudes and Attire for starters.

And talking about closets, what about that linen hideaway? Betcha there are blankets in there that could really help warm someone on a chilly night instead of chilling in the closet. The folks at Goodwill and Dallas Animal Services have residents that would appreciate ’em.

Houston-Like Temperatures And Humidity To Drop In North Texas For Upcoming Outdoors Activities

Prelude: A Preview of Aurora 2017 event map*

Prelude event map*

Sick and tired of the sticky humidity and high temperatures? Seems like Houston, doesn’t it? But not to worry. Just in time for the coming days of outdoor fundraising activities (Prelude: Lights and Prelude: A Preview of Aurora 2017 in the AT&T Performing Arts Center Campus, Park and Palate at Klyde Warren Park, etc.) and the final days of the State Fair, a cold front is breezing through tonight complete with rain.

Klyde Warren Park (File photo)

Klyde Warren Park (File photo)

Okay, so it’s not gonna be a “cold” cold front. Rather, think of it as a cool front. And as for the rain, it will go “bye-bye” by Thursday afternoon.

The temperatures and the humidity will drop enough that a touch of cashmere might be wise for the evenings and the sunglasses will be the perfect accessory during the day.

* Graphic courtesy of Prelude: A Preview of Aurora 2017

Even Rainy Weather Couldn’t Take The Bounce Out Of Community Partners Of Dallas’ 10th Annual Change Is Good

North Texas is the Super Bowl for meteorologists and event planners. With all of Mama Nature’s children (northers rolling down from the Rockies, Arctic chills coming down the Midwest corridor, moist winds from the Gulf Coast and Canadian blowhards), the North Texas region is a mix master of weather.

That’s why Sunday, September 25, put the area activities to the test as wet weather, threats of thunder and promises of cooler weather hit.

The Plano Balloon Festival smartly cancelled early, but the Community Partners of Dallas had the Change Is Good prepared for whatever. And whatever was put to the test.

Mason Park and Beth and Larence Park

Mason Park and Beth and Larence Park

As the doors opened for the 10th Annual Change is Good at Brook Hollow, the weather looked promising for the event to be outdoor/indoor. Still the bungee cord jump stayed still, while the outdoor bounce house and inflated obstacle course had short ones lined up. Toddler Mason Park decided to take a pass on the obstacle course and stayed in the arms of his grandparents/Honorary Co-Chairs Beth and Larence Park.

Inflatable obstacle course

Inflatable obstacle course

Inside the smell of popcorn filled the Verandah, while palm readers got handy and Rad Hatter created millinery masterpieces.

DJ Bill Cody

DJ Bill Cody

Rad Hatter

Rad Hatter

Fortune teller

Fortune teller

In the ballroom, DJ Bill Cody had both kiddos and adults dancing underneath a netted gathering of balloons. At one side of the room was a balloon creation of “10”.

In addition to the “10,” there were families who have been sponsors since its beginning including Shonn and Clarence Brown, Jessica and Jeff Burrow, Sally and George Dutter, Elizabeth and Eric Gambrell, Heather and Malcolm Hicks, Christie and Chris Linebarger, Francie and Steve Mancillas, Emily and Todd Massey, Christina and Tim Norris, Katherine Reeves and Jody and Grant Swartzwelder.

Alas, Elizabeth Gambrell feared that this one just might be her swan song for Change Is Good. Her older two kids had outgrown the event and her baby girl Sarah Rose Gambrell was starting to look like one of the oldies despite the painted face.

Sarah Rose Gambrell and Elizabeth Gambrell

Sarah Rose Gambrell and Elizabeth Gambrell

Jack Landon and Chris Landon

Jack Landon and Chris Landon

On the other hand, those with toddlers found it easier to get around with child in arm like Lindsay and Chris Landon with one-year-old Jack Landon.

Across the room was the near-to-the-ceiling bounce house. At one point there was a group gasp as the house seemed to be tilting on its side. But the kids who were old hands at bounce houses shifted to the other side and all was right.

Still as usual the ultimate popular, line ‘em up was the face painting in the ballroom. Okay, so some fellas like William Spence weren’t so keen about the cosmetic fru-fru. But others like Co-Chair Caroline Ballotta looked right at home with her painted face and Rad Hatter. Brother William Ballotta was one of the little ones who initially was a bit overwhelmed by all the commotion.

Ray Ballotta, William Ballotta, Caroline Ballotta and Lindsay Ballotta

Ray Ballotta, William Ballotta, Caroline Ballotta and Lindsay Ballotta

An hour into the festivities, the feared rain that had hit the rest of the area found Brook Hollow. And despite the overload of kids, parents and grandparents, nobody really seemed to mind. Thought one single-child parent admitted that she was grateful just to have one kidlet.

Energized by the sugary delights of Book Hollow, the kids were in overdrive. In the ballroom where debutante parties had properly taken place and the ever-so-civilized Sweetheart Ball had raised funds, the too-young-to-have-drivers-license set scampered, danced and partied.

Lisa Catravas, Aiden Catravas and Jimmie Catravas

Lisa Catravas, Aiden Catravas and Jimmie Catravas

Shelly Slater, Hutcheson Huffstutter, Hawkins Huffstutter and Clay Huffstutter

Shelly Slater, Hutcheson Huffstutter, Hawkins Huffstutter and Clay Huffstutter

Snapshots: Aiden Catravas with a white streak in his brown hair broke from the herd and dined on carrots and veggies… While juggling her two sons Hawkins Huffstutter and Hutcheson Huffstuffer with husband Clay Huffstutter, Shelly Slater reported that she was still doing parttime work for WFAA as well as advising nonprofits and organizations. But, no, rumors that she was doing PR were so very wrong… Poor Spider Man. Upon seeing the comic superhero, two tykes burst into tears. Hey, it’s rough to be a rejected comic strip hero.

Despite the super-duper sugar high, the party wound down and just as the end came, the net holding the green and white balloons was let loose with balloons falling on the waiting guests.

BTW, the final count for the kids’ collection of change? How about a whopping 87,582 coins adding up to $19,617.55! That means that in its 10 years, 922,526 coins have been turned in resulting in $147,830 for Community Partners of Dallas. What is done with money? It goes to buying supplies, toys and clothes for children who are removed from neglectful and harmful situations.

But Change Is Good does even more than support the Community Partners of Dallas mission. It also is an opportunity for youngsters to learn about fundraising. This year’s efforts resulted in awards being given out including:

  • Most online — Harper Hinds and Haven Hinds ($1,195)
  • Most quarters — Brooke Gray, Cate Gray and Caroline Gray (1,383 quarters)
  • Most change collected —
    • 1st place — Harper Hinds and Haven Hinds ($1,598.01)
    • 2nd place — Brooke Gray, Cate Gray and Caroline Gray ($1,033.63)
    • 3rd place — Sydney Bonfield and Lola Bonfield ($953.25)

For more photos, head over to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Countdown Time For 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Is Underway

This evening while Dwight Yoakam is on stage in Midland and Toby Keith is singing at the BOK Center in Tulsa, there are 100 Cattle Baronesses who have been preparing for Saturday’s American Cancer Society fundraiser featuring both of these country western icons.

When the gals started out for Gilley’s this morning, all they knew was rainy skies outside and chilly temps inside the honky-tonk. Luckily, setting up the hundreds of silent auction items, doling out the goodies for the much-vaunted favor bags and arranging for final logistics warmed things up.

2016 Cattle baron's Ball committee

2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball committee

Even after lunch, when the entire committee gathered for a group photo, the thought was whether the wet stuff was going to hang around. It really, sincerely didn’t matter like the old days when the event was held in cow pastures and Southfork. Nowadays, the ladies have relocated the whole kit-and-caboodle to Gilley’s with its bigger-than-a-small-city tent for the main concert. However, drippy weather does take the bounce out of hair dos and who wants to splash their ostrich boots in puddles?

Luckily, the past CBB chairs brought good news with them for their group photo — the rain was gone. In its place was nothing but sunshine.

Past and 2016 Cattle Baron's chairs from the left: (seated) Cindy Turner, Amy Turner, Olivia Kearney, Cara French, Andrea Weber, Tanya Foster, Cindy Stager and Joan Eleazer; (standing) Cindy Lindsley, Vicki Chapman, Karol Bruton, Kristen Sanger, Tia Wynne, Mary Parker and Katherine Wynne

Past and 2016 Cattle Baron’s chairs from the left: (seated) Cindy Turner, Amy Turner, Olivia Kearney, Cara French, Andrea Weber, Tanya Foster, Cindy Stager and Joan Eleazer; (standing) Cindy Lindsley, Vicki Chapman, Karol Bruton, Kristen Sanger, Tia Wynne, Mary Parker and Katherine Wynne

But wait! There was even more good news. Saturday’s forecast is for more sun and warmer temperatures. So, there will be no need for umbrellas and long johns. Instead it will a strutting display of turquoise, leathers and Stetsons on some mighty fine looking fundraisers.

If you’ve got your ticket,

  • fast now and snarf down the vittles tomorrow night. It’ll crazy grazing time.
  • get in line for the Ferris wheel with its spectacular view of downtown Dallas and the Margaret bridges.
  • make sure you’ve got your “credentials” for entry and your favor bag ticket.
  • consider Ubering to and from.
  • start checking the silent auction items online now and pick out which ones you’re gonna take home.
  • get a great spot to bid on the live auction items. If your budget was blown on your wardrobe, then get a place to watch the highrollers roll up the bids.
  • budget some dough to buy raffle tickets. After all, you could probably use a new car or watch or …

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

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

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

Change Is Good Come Rain Or Shine*

Change Is Good Come Rain Or Shine*

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

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

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

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

A Gentle Reminder: Monday Officially Kicks Off Back-To-School And Rainy Day Reminders

Oh, goodness gracious! Traffic delays are on the menu for Monday. The reason: school officially is back in session and drop-off and pick-up lines plus absolutely no cellphone activity allowed are taking place.

Mother Nature's tears (File photo)

Mother Nature’s tears (File photo)

BTW, weather guessers are saying that an added challenge might be the first day of school being a wet one. So, rain slickers may be the fashion du jour. But, just in case, why not put a garbage bag with holes for the head and arms in your munchkin’s backpack. It will take a minimum of room and just might make for a less soggy student pickup in the days ahead.

Also, if you see a school bus stopped, you’ve gotta stop until it gets going. This allows kids to safely dart across streets to get to and from their mode of transportation. Not only is it the smart thing to do, it’s the legal thing.

After the kiddos are back at their desks getting educated, grownups should head back to their fundraising activities. With oil prices being as slippery as banana peels and economic jitters filling minds, non-profit organizations are more in need of help than ever before.

Tips For Attending Friday’s Media Panel

MySweetCharity

MySweetCharity

This wet stuff that has been falling from the skies is called rain. It’s resulted in cooler temperatures, frizzy hair, lower water bills and a wonderful fragrance in the air. Luckily, North Texas has been spared the overwhelming wash that has engulfed Louisiana and Houston.

Now if you signed up for Friday’s Media Panel, here’s a suggestion or two.

  • Get an early start. You know how wet weather tends to ramp up traffic hassles. So, if you want to get to PlainsCapital Bank’s headquarters by 8:45, take into account that Friday is predicted to be rainy. Translation: a ten-minute drive just might take 20 minutes.
  • Due to the gangbuster turnout, parking will be tight. So, if you and an office mate are attending the panel, consider carpooling to save a space.
  • Don’t worry about lugging along your bumbershoot. The garage is seamlessly connected to the building, so you won’t get dripped upon.
  • Please let MySweetCindy know if you are unable to attend, so someone on the wait list can take your place.
  • Don’t forget to bring your questions. Whether you’re the shy type and want to write it down on a piece of paper, or just want to have Ron Corning do his Phil Donahue with you, this opportunity allows for those questions you’ve always had.

See you Friday.

2016 Former Crystal Charity Ball Chairmen Dinner Was Held In Area’s Most Elegant Storm-Worthy Shelter

By Tuesday, May 10, tornado warnings seemed to have become routine. Still, with clouds looking like street gangs ready to rumble, locals were still heeding the words of weather guessers that North Texas should be prepared for another round of flooding, hail, wind and locusts. Okay, so maybe not the locusts, but everything else.

John and Mary Martha Pickens, Christie Carter and Hudson Weischel

John and Mary Martha Pickens, Christie Carter and Hudson Weischel

Luckily for the annual Crystal Charity Ball Former Chairmen dinner, 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter and her team had picked the perfect spot for the seated supper underwritten by Bank of America, U. S. Trust Private Wealth Management, Merrill Lynch: Joyce and Larry Lacerte’s estate.IMG_5859 Joyce Lacerte, Tucker Enthoven, Angie Kadesky and Caren Kline

When one guest inquired about possible tornadoes, hostess Joyce promptly replied, “We have a full basement and can just move the party downstairs.”

Karen Shuford

Karen Shuford

Randi Halsell

Randi Halsell

Jill Smith, Gloria Martindale and Vicki Chapman

Jill Smith, Gloria Martindale and Vicki Chapman

In addition to having the most palatial “storm shelter” in these surroundings, if guests like Barbara Varel (1970), Joyce Mitchell (1988), Sally Berry (1990), Sara Martineau (1993), Barbara Stuart (1994), Randi Halsell (1996), Tincy Miller (1997), Becky Bright (1999), Karen Shuford (2000), Nancy Chapman (2001), Lydia Novakov (2002), Margo Goodwin (2004), Jill Smith (2005), Debbie Snell (2006), Vicki Chapman (2007), Gloria Martindale (2008), Debbie Oates (2009), Cynthia Mitchell (2010), Aileen Pratt (2012),   Robyn Conlon (2014), Caren Kline (2013) and Michal Powell (2015) and and their husbands/dates were forced to hunker downstairs, Cassandra Fine Catering team plus Lacerte house manager Roxann Vyazmensky could easily have moved the feast from the elegant tables set up in the Lacerte’s great room on the ground level downstairs. Talk about glorious MREs — baby greens salad, pan seared beef tenderloin with lobster risotto and orange custard for dessert.

From the left: (front row) Barbara Varel, Gloria Martindale, Aileen Pratt, Nancy Chapman, Christie Carter, Cynthia Mitchell, Barbara Stuart, Karen Shuford and Tincy Miller; (back row) Margo Goodwin, Robyn Conlon, Debbie Oates, Randi Halsell, Joyce Mitchell, Lydia Novakov, Michal Powell, Debbie Snell, Jill Smith, Sally Berry, Becky Bright, Caren Kline, Vicki Chapman and Sara Martineau

From the left: (front row) Barbara Varel, Gloria Martindale, Aileen Pratt, Nancy Chapman, Cynthia Mitchell, Barbara Stuart, Karen Shuford and Tincy Miller; (back row) Margo Goodwin, Robyn Conlon, Debbie Oates, Randi Halsell, Joyce Mitchell, Lydia Novakov, Michal Powell, Debbie Snell, Jill Smith, Sally Berry, Becky Bright, Caren Kline, Vicki Chapman and Sara Martineau

2016 Former Crystal Charity Ball Dinner table setting

2016 Former Crystal Charity Ball Dinner table setting

Kathy and Richard Holt

Kathy and Richard Holt

But luckily the need to “seek shelter” didn’t take place and all went according to plan with Bank of America Dallas Market President Richard Holt and his blonde wife Kathy Holt greeting the 22 former chairs, who have helped lead the 64-year-old organization to provide more than $123M for Dallas area children’s charities.

For more photos from the dinner, please check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Dallas Symphony Orchestra Memorial Day Concert Moved To The Meyerson

Due to Mother Nature being literally a wet blanket, Monday’s Dallas Symphony Orchestra Memorial Day concert has been moved from Flag Pole Hill to the Meyerson Symphony Center. Start time for the free concert is still 8 p.m.

Another change: The firework display has been canceled.