Business Council For The Arts Is Calling All Art Heroes For Obelisk Awards

Each year the Business Council for the Arts presents its Obelisk Awards at a luncheon to “honor businesses, business leaders, arts/cultural leaders and nonprofit organizations who have significantly advanced arts and culture in North Texas.”

Event Co-Chairs Thai-lan Tran and Steven Roth have just announced that nominations are now open.

Exactly what does it take to be a nominee? Here’s a breakdown of the requirements for your consideration:

For Businesses:

  • The New Initiatives Award recognizes businesses for supporting an innovative arts/cultural program created within the past three years. Awards are given to one large, medium and small business each.
  • The Arts Partnerships Award recognizes businesses that have provided sustained support to an arts/cultural organization for three or more years. Awards are given to one large, medium and small business each. A business may only win the Arts Partnership Award once every two years.
  • The Arts Education Award recognizes one outstanding business for its support of arts education programs.

For Individual Business Leaders:

  • The Business Champion for the Arts Award recognizes long-term leadership and commitment to arts/culture by a business executive (president, CEO, partner).
  • The Outstanding Leadership Arts Alumnus Award recognizes outstanding board leadership and commitment by a graduate of the Leadership Arts Institute.

For Individual Arts/Cultural Leaders:

  • The Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader Award recognizes an arts leader who has consistently demonstrated vision, impact, innovation, and successful alignment with business and community partners throughout their tenure.

For Nonprofit Arts/Cultural Organizations:

  • The Distinguished Cultural Organization Award is given by Neiman Marcus to recognize one outstanding nonprofit organization for a project or program that has enhanced the community through partnership with a business.

Larry Glasgow (File photo)

According to BCA Board of Directors Chair Larry Glasgow, “For more than a quarter century, the Obelisk Awards have been the symbol of excellence recognizing support of the arts in our community.  Past recipients include visionaries who represent diverse industries, each one making a unique contribution to our cultural vibrancy and quality of life. With the exponential growth of the arts in North Texas, we believe that this year’s nominations will include long-time arts supporters as well as the new and innovative.”

The awardees will be celebrated at the 29th annual Obelisk Awards luncheon at Belo Mansion on Wednesday, November 15.

The deadline for nomination submissions is Wednesday, June 21. That’s less than a month away, so put on those thinking caps and make the world know about an art hero.  Here’s a link for the nomination form.

JUST IN: Philanthropist Margaret McDermott To Serve As Honorary Chair For Dallas Symphony Orchestra 2017 Gala

The fall season of fundraising is already making news. Dallas Symphony Orchestra 2017 Gala Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley have just announced that North Texas matriarch of philanthropy Margaret McDermott will serve as the honorary chair for the Saturday, September 16, fundraiser at the Meyerson with world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma as the featured musician.

It will be a reunion of sorts. Just five years ago Yo-Yo performed with DSO Music Director Jaap van Zweden for the first time. Afterwards the two mega-stars joined Margaret at the post-concert reception.

Yo-Yo Ma, Jaap van Zweden and Margaret McDermott (File photo)

Alas, this performance may well be the final time Yo-Yo and Jaap will make beautiful music in the McDermott Hall, since Jaap is making his farewell tour as music director.

Tickets and sponsorships for the black-tie gala are available here!

In the meantime, why not check out the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Soluna? It’s going on now through Sunday, June 4.

2017 Côtes Du Coeur Gala Popped The Cork To Net A Hearty $4M For The American Heart Association Dallas-Fort Worth

While the art lovers were over at the Dallas Museum of Art for the 2017 Art Ball’s “All That Glitters” on Saturday, April 22, the wine lovers were bubbling with bid cards, grazing the the chef stations and raising wine glasses at the 2017  Côtes du Coeur to provide funding for the American Heart Association Dallas-Fort Worth at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Here is a report from the field:

2017 Cotes du Coeur*

The American Heart Association’s 2017 Côtes du Coeur Gala, held at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Saturday, April 22, hosted close to 1,200 business and wine industry leaders, community philanthropists, wine collectors and physicians. Led by renowned Chef Richard Chamberlain, a team of 18 acclaimed chefs visited with guests and served up selections from a boldly unique tasting menu accompanied by wine pairings created from the cellars of 30 elite wineries.

Richard Chamberlain and Steve Grimshaw*

The event featured 620 silent auction wine lots and 12 live auction items which offered opportunities to stay at exclusive luxury homes, tour vineyards, experience private chef tasting menus and much more.

Doug Hawthorne and Kelly and David Pfeil*

Barbara Smith*

Chaired by Kelly and David Pfeil with Barbara Smith as the Executive Leadership Team Chair, this year’s event grossed $4.6 million and netted $4 million to fund life -saving research and educational programs, making it a record breaking sum for the Dallas event and across the country for the American Heart Association.

The highest Live Auction package was an exclusive trip to Paris to privately tour the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles, which sold twice for $110,000.

Denise Hunter and Erin Hunter*

Heart disease survivor Erin Hunter shared her story on-stage with her mom, Denise. The survivor testimonial, Open Your Heart, was lead with a gift of $150,000, and matched in the room by an inspired couple, who prefer to remain anonymous.

“I don’t remember a time where I didn’t have to think about my heart. Between my surgeries and check-ups, I lived as normal a life as I possibly could,” said Erin, who is now a nurse at the Heart Center at Children’s Health where she underwent numerous heart surgeries as a child. “Many people have said that things happen for a reason, and I believe that is true. Because of my experiences, I am able to give back to parents and patients going through similar tough times that my family went through.”

“It is because of fundraising events like Côtes du Coeur, and the support of the generous individuals and businesses that attended Saturday night, that the funding for cardiovascular research and health education programs remains strong and continues to save lives,” American Heart Association Executive Director Melissa Cameron said.

Merry Edwards*

Mike and Diane Gruber and Kim and Greg Hext*

Some of the attendees in the room were Tete du Cuvee honoree Merry Edwards of Merry Edwards Winery, Barbara and Mike Smith, Kim and Greg Hext, Melissa and Steve Grimshaw, Anne Davidson, Diane and Mike Gruber, Diane and Hal Brierley, Laura and Eric Hutto, Tim Wallace, Carol and Matt Holmes, Katherine Wynne, Doug Hawthorne, Amy and Michael Meadows, Ron Haddock, Mary Parker, Pam and Mark Okada, Keli and Mike Jenkins, Jana and Mike Brosin, Eric and Amy Schoch and chefs John Tesar, Jim “Sevy” Severson, Dean Fearing, Kevin Garvin, Matt McCallister, Alex Astranti and Chad Houser.

Mary Parker and Tim Wallace*

Anne Davidson and Mark Porter*

The 2018 Dallas Côtes du Coeur will be held on Saturday, April 21, at the Omni Dallas. Terri and Tim Gallagher will serve as the chairs

For a full list of chefs, wineries, sponsors and committee members, visit dallaswineauction.com.

* Photo provided by American Heart Association Dallas-Fort Worth

Aware Affair Had Guests From Near And Far, Oldtimers and Newcomers Raising Funds To Combat Alzheimer’s

Bob and Myrna Schlegel

While the Yellow Rose Gala was under way across Stemmons Freeway for Multiple Sclerosis, and the No Tie Dinner and Dessert was raising funds for AIDs Services of Dallas at the Frontiers of Flight Museum, Aware’s “Aware Affair” was filling the Atrium lobby of the Anatole with about 300 guests on Saturday, April 8.

Sandi and Jim Treliving and Amy and Greg Osler

As Aware vets like Kay and Jim Hammond checked out the silent auction items, honorees Myrna and Bob Schlegel were thrilled to have fellow Canadians Sandi and Jim Treliving on hand. Jim, who owns the Boston Pizza company, has also been a regular for 12 years on the CBC-TV show “Dragon’s Den,” which is the Canadian counterpart of ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank.”

Penny Reid and Thomas Nolan, Ron Corning, Venise Stuart, Angela Fontana and Andre Szuwalski

Aware President Venise Stuart, decked out in a Patti Flowers ensemble, hardly made it past the check-in as she greeted guests like Dolores and Larry Barzune, Dee Holley, Debra Nelson, Harriet Kelly Gibbe, Misty Keown, Jolie and Bart Humphrey, Honorary Co-Chairs Amy and Greg Osler, Chairs Penny Reid and Thomas Nolan and Angela Fontana and Andre Szuwalski, the Center for BrainHealth’s Sandi Chapman, and Kimber Hartmann with husband Michael Hartmann.

Kimber and Michael Hartmann

Dolores and Larry Barzune

Justin Hinton, Shane Allen and Ron Corning

Master of Ceremonies WFAA’s Ron Corning arrived with graying Eye Opener’s Shane Allen and Asheville, North Carolina, TV reporter Justin Hinton. Ron reported having had a full day, as only a few hours earlier he’d been emceeing the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival in Ennis.

Debbie Oates, Christie Carter and Sandi Chapman

Pam and Dan Busbee

In another part of the lobby, honorees Pam and Dan Busbee greeted guests with Christie Carter, Debbie Oates, Gregory Dunbar and Terry Van Willson, as they entered the Stemmons Ballroom for dinner, a live auction and dancing to the Georgia Bridgewater Orchestra.

Thanks to funds raised from the dinner as well as the live and silent auctions, checks will be handed over to the Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas, Juliette Fowler Communities, NorthPark Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation, The Senior Source, Texas Winds Musical Outreach, and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

2017 TACA Lexus Party On The Green Line Up Of Chefs, Sponsors And Ticket Opportunities Revealed For Sammons Park Celebration

Katherine Wynne (File photo)

Tia Wynne (File photo)

Wine pull (File photo)

Official “Diet Drop Date” is Friday, May 12. That’s when 14 chefs will provide one of North Texas’ finest grazing experiences at the TACA Lexus Party On The Green at AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Sammons Park. Presented by Highland Park Village, Co-Chairs Katherine Wynne and Tia Wynne have arranged for celebrity chef tastings, a wine cork pull, a silent auction, live music and performances by TACA-supported arts organization in continuing celebration of TACA’s 50th anniversary.

According to TACA Carlson President/Executive Director Wolford McCue, “TACA’s mission is to support the performing arts community, so not only is the AT&T Performing Arts Center the perfect backdrop for TACA Party on the Green, it also provides us more space to showcase several of our beneficiaries. Tia and Katherine have planned an incredible evening with local celebrity chefs and performances by TACA supported arts organizations, all with the goal to raise critical funding for the local arts.”

Dean Fearing (File photo)

John Tesar (File photo)

The list of chefs includes Nicolas Blouin of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dean Fearing of Fearing’s Restaurant, Lisa Garza-Selcer of Sissy’s Southern Kitchen, John Gilbert of G Texas Custom Catering, Sara Griffin of Chelsea Corner, Jeffrey Kollinger of Tillman’s Roadhouse, Sader Matheis of Salum Restaurant, Sonny Pache of Ocean Prime and Rosewood Ranches Waygu Beef, Janice Provost of Parigi, Daniele Puelo of CiboDivino Marketplace, Gianni Santin and Tida Pichakron of Haute Sweets Patisserie, Drew Swanson of Wolfgang Puck Catering, John Tesar of Knife at The Highland Dallas and Participating Late Night Chef: Mesero.

The chef sponsors include Faye C. Briggs, Carlson Capital LP, Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians Inc., Gwen and Leldon Echols, Leah and Jim Pasant, Donna Wilhelm and Wynne Transportation.

Faye Briggs (File photo)

Donna Wilhelm (File photo)

Katherine and Tia have arranged for the following opportunities for guests

  • $500 — The entire evening plus early entry at 6:30 p.m.
  • $375 — The entire evening starting at 7:30 p.m.
  • $150 — Late night partying starting at 9:30 p.m.

Tickets and sponsorships are available here!

Thank you notes should go to the following sponsors:

  • Title Sponsor – Lexus / The Dallas – Ft. Worth Lexus Dealers
  • Presenting Sponsor – Highland Park Village
  • Patron Sponsor – The Rosewood Corporation
  • Cork Pull Sponsor – Bank of Texas
  • Wristband Sponsor – Frost Bank
  • Official Airline – American Airlines
  • Host – AT&T Performing Arts Center
  • Valet Sponsor – Platinum Parking
  • Media Sponsors – PaperCity, Texas Monthly, CultureMap and MySweetCharity

Equest Gala Organizers Have The Ponies Rearing To Party And Umbrellas Aplenty Just In Case Of Predicted April Showers Prove To Be True

Saturday’s Equest Gala at Texas Horse Park is being threatened by local weather guessers with stormy weather. But according to Gala Emcee and former weather-caster Jocelyn White, it’s always a guessing game.

So, don’t let the threats of showers dissuade you from heading to the protected stable area leading to the covered arena, where all the dining and dancing will be taking place. The horses have been spiffing up all week for the big fundraiser, and the humans have been taking precautions.

Jocelyn White (File photo)

Kathy Fielder (File photo)

Co-Chair Kathy Fielder reports, “We are still hoping our Field of Dreams will be dry, but we are prepared if spring showers come our way. Thankfully, the event areas, including the beautifully transformed arena, are covered. If needed, we will have plenty of umbrellas to keep folks dry, and bourbon to warm them up. Our Equest Clients and Therapy Horses are ready to shine.”

What’s more, you won’t have to worry about driving to and back from the festivities. The buses will be running come sleet, snow, soggy roads or whatever. Just make sure you have your spot on the shuttle saved by checking in with Amanda Fastle at 972.412.1099, Ext. 215.

Grovel Alert: A Chance To Soar Luncheon

Just heard from Jonathan’s Place CEO Allicia Graham Frye that as of noon today, there were just 10 tickets left for Tuesday’s “A Chance To Soar Luncheon” at the Hilton Anatole.

Trevor and Jan Rees-Jones (File photo)

No wonder! Just some of the VIP types in attendance will be enough to have cell-photos being taken nonstop. Co-Chairs Julie Bagley and Rachel Stephens have arranged to have Tiffany Cuban, Jessica and Dirk Nowitzki, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Meredith Land and Dillard’s Corporate Beauty VP Gary Borofsky tableside.

Simone Biles*

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the darling of the 2016 Olympics Simone Biles will be the keynote speaker. Her life story reflects Jonathan’s Place’s mission to provide a safe, loving home and specialized services to children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected.” Let’s hope that she doesn’t get eliminated on Monday night’s “Dancing With The Stars.” That would mean her taking the red-eye to NYC for Tuesday morning’s “Good Morning America.” But the money’s on Simone remaining as part of the cast and overnight flying to North Texas. And who knows? Maybe her dancing partner Sasha Farber will be with her at the lunch.

Remember, just 10 seats are left, so get that reservation in now.

* Photo provided by Jonathan's Place

Start Working Out Because A Weekend Of Fundraising Gala Collisions Lies Ahead

Côtes du Coeur (File photo)

Well, yuck! North Texas is preparing to have one of those fundraising collision weekends. Drat!

On Saturday, April 22, two major, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious events are taking place. The wine-loving types will be at the Omni Dallas for the American Heart Association graze and gaze with a corral full of chefs and more wines than California could produce for Côtes du Coeur thanks to Co-Chairs Kelly and David Pfeil.

Art Ball 2016 (File photo)

Over at the Dallas Museum of Art, new kid-on-the-block (aka Eugene McDermott Director) Agustin Arteaga will be introduced to fundraising Dallas-style with the 2017 Art Ball. With Art Ball Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson at the helm and the taste of romantic France via “All That Glistens,” it’s pretty darn obvious that it’s gonna be a night of killer fashions, food and fantastical auction items. The tent is already being erected next to the DMA.

Trammell S. Crow

2016 Children’s Cancer Fund (File photo)

And Friday is just as bad. Here, the EarthxGlobal Gala folks moved their big soiree from Saturday to Friday night to avoid the Art Ball/Côtes du Coeur traffic jam. Only problem: there’s still another mega fundraiser — Children’s Cancer Fund — taking place at the Hilton Anatole that night with kids and celebrities on the runway.

Oh, dear! What is one to do? Do two-a-night and then hit the after-soiree stop — Whataburger?

If either any of ‘em sounds to your liking instead of the same-old Friday and Saturday night sock-sorting and grilling steaks, there are still tickets available. Here’s the one for Côtes du Coeur and here’s the one for Art Ball. Either way you can win!

Horse racing (File photo)

BTW, if you think Sunday is gonna be any better, think again. The Retina Foundation‘s Racing for Sight at Lone Star Park is on a collision course with the Nasher Sculpture Center‘s Great Create.

The Great Create (File photo)

It just ain’t fair!

JUST IN: TACA To Undertake Three Major Initiatives Including The Funding For Both The Performing … And Visual Arts!

Back when TACA started, North Texas’ art community was pretty limited. The arts were largely contained at Fair Park with the opera and musicals taking place in the Music Hall and the visual arts at the Dallas Museum of Arts facility near the lagoon. The Fair Park band shell with its nighttime performances and flying insects created memorable moments for singers. The Dallas Theater Center’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Kalita Humphreys Theater along Turtle was considered the new hottie in the world of art.  

But that was way back when. As TACA celebrates its 50th anniversary, changes are definitely underway for TACA’s next 50 years to support the overwhelming wealth of art groups in North Texas.

Donna Wilhelm (File photo)

This morning, TACA Chairman of the Board of Directors Donna Wilhelm sent a note to the stakeholders about three new initiatives for TACA.

Of the trio, the one that pops to the top of the list is “TACA Funding All Of The Arts In Dallas.” In the past, TACA has only provided funding for the performing arts. But in the future it will also support the visual arts. Before it kicks into place, the criteria for submitting grants requests will be developed and published toward the end of 2017. The deadline for the letters of intent will be Friday, February 1, 2018. The grants for both the visual and performing art groups will be presented in January 2019.

According to Donna, “For 50 years, TACA has funded the performing arts.  However our current Board of Directors has expansive vision—we will now add support of the visual arts. And we will foster arts experience that impacts social change in our North Texas community.”

The other two initiatives, are

  • “Social Impact Through The Arts” — TACA will establish “funds to foster the creation of new performing arts works and innovative performing arts residence programs” focusing on cultural and racial equity, cross-sector partnerships, arts education focusing on under-resourced communities, cross-cultural community collaboration and social change capacity building.
  • “Increased Vibrancy Of The Arts” — TACA will “lead a multi-year effort to empower and expand” the number of artists and arts organizations. The intention is two-fold:
    • To make the Dallas area a destination for performers, visual artists, musicians, writers, directors, backstage professionals, etc.
    • To create an environment that encourages the launch and nurturing of new arts organizations.

To achieve these goals, TACA will “develop a blueprint to learn and adapt strategies” that have been undertaken in other cities and “recreate the best of the best in Dallas, and enhance the impact through collaborative partnerships.”

Donna explained, “TACA is deeply committed to an expansive arts vibrancy in North Texas. We assure our donors, prospective donors and arts organizations that, for over half a century, we have established a grants review process that evaluates, selects and supports the very best organizations.  Every contributed dollar invested in TACA will indeed transform lives through the arts.”

JUST IN: Attorneys Serving The Community Luncheon To Benefit Junior Players With “Hamilton”‘s Renée Elise Goldsberry As Keynote Speaker

Cancel any and all plans for summer vacation. Well, at least, plan on being in town on Friday, June 23. Attorneys Serving the Community have such a reason for staying put on that Friday for lunch.

They’ve really tied things together for the 31st Attorneys Serving the Community Luncheon fundraiser at the Hilton Anatole. First, this year’s beneficiary is the award-winning Junior Players, which is the oldest non-profit children’s theater organization in Dallas. Originally offering “traditional children’s theater productions performed entirely by children and teenagers,” it changed its direction in 1989 by “providing free programming accessible to all the children of North Texas.”

Attorneys Serving the Community beneficiary Junior Players*

According to Dallas Morning News theater expert Nancy Churnin, Junior Players is “not just the play that’s the thing at Junior Players. It’s the way the company puts kids first by making quality lessons and performances free for 4,000 kids a year.”

Great pick, but who would be the on-target speaker for such an event benefiting young theatrical types by legal experts? Hold on to your petticoats and breeches. Luncheon Co-Chairs Beth Bedell and Kara Altenbaumer-Price managed to land Tony Award-winner Renée Elise Goldsberry, who originated the role of Alexander Hamilton’s sister-in-law Angelica Schuyler Church in “Hamilton: The Revolution.” Just this past fall, she took leave of the Linn-Manuel Miranda hit.

Renée Elise Goldsberry*

But don’t think Renee is a one-note actress. This multi-talented and gorgeous gal is a perfect role model for young, aspiring performers. In addition to Broadway successes (“The Lion King,” “The Color Purple” and “Rent”) and numerous flat screen appearances, (“Ally McBeal,” “One Life To Live,” “Law And Order: Special Victims Unit,” “The Good Wife,” etc.), she’s now headed to the 25th century for Netflix’s 10-episode sci-fi drama “Altered Carbon” as Quellcrist Falconer.  In addition to theatrical and screen productions, she’s even been in the Super Bowl, where she and her Broadway sister updated “America the Beautiful.”

Outside of the theater and studio, Renee has a real life with attorney-husband Alexis Johnson and her two kiddos Benjamin and Brielle.

Trivia: The luncheon will have a tinge of irony. It will be a get-together for onstage Alexander Hamilton’s sister-in-law (aka Renée) with U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr’s descendant Jennifer Burr Altabef. If you skipped American History 101, Hamilton was killed in a duel with Burr nearly 213 years ago.

According to Jennifer, who along with her husband, Peter Altabef, are serving as luncheon honorary co-chairs, “Peter and I are thrilled to be honorary chairs for this event benefiting Junior Players, a vital arts resource for young people and a treasure in our community. We are looking forward to the event featuring Renée Elise Goldsberry, whose electrifying performance in ‘Hamilton’ brought to life the incredible story of the birth of our country. Aaron Burr was a part of that story, and in ‘Hamilton,’ the audience learns so much about him and his complex relationship with Alexander Hamilton.”

Mark Friday, June 23, as a “must-stay-in-Dallas” to see and hear from this lady, who “kicked failure’s ass.”

Sponsorships and tables are available here. Individual tickets, if there are any, will be up for grabs in May.

* Graphic and photo provided by Attorneys Serving the Community

JUST IN: Annual TACA Lexus Party On The Green Is Relocating From The Mansion To AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Sammons Park

Don’t plan on heading to the Mansion for the annual TACA Lexus Party On The Green, because it’s moving to the Sammons Park in the AT&T Performing Arts Center on Friday, May 12, with former Cattle Baron’s Chairs Katherine Wynne and Tia Wynne as the co-chairs.

Katherine Wynne (File photo)

Tia Wynne (File photo)

Is it because of the Mansion’s mega-renovations? According to TACA Carlson President/ Executive Director Wolford McCue, “TACA’s mission is to support the performing arts community, so not only is the AT&T Performing Arts Center the perfect backdrop for TACA Party on the Green, it also provides us more space to showcase several of our beneficiaries. Tia and Katherine have planned an incredible evening with local celebrity chefs and performances by TACA supported arts organizations, all with the goal to raise critical funding for the local arts.” 

Party on the Green (File photo)

It will have the traditional wine cork pull, music and silent auction. As of today, the participating chefs will include: Chef Dean Fearing of Fearings Restaurant, Chef John Gilbert of G Texas Custom Catering, Chef Jeffrey Kollinger of Tillman’s Roadhouse, Chef Sader Matheis of Salum Restaurant, Chef Sonny Pache of Ocean Prime and Rosewood Ranches Waygu Beef, Chef Tom Parlo of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Chef Janice Provost of Parigi, Chef Daniele Puelo of CiboDivino, Chef Gianni Santin and Chef Tida Pichakron of Haute Sweets Patisserie, Chef Andrew Swanson of Wolfgang Puck and Chef John Tesar of Knife at The Highland Dallas.

Presented by Highland Park Village, the event tickets are on sale. VIP tickets (translation: early-bird entry of 6:30 p.m.) are $500 and general admission for the 7:30 p.m. start at $375.

Junior League Of Dallas’ 55th Annual Ball Had The Best Of The Past Centerstage As It Took A Final Bow

For some, the Junior League of Dallas’ Encore gala on Saturday, March 4, at the Anatole was a time machine. For others, it was a history lesson of a bygone era when the annual fundraiser was a homemade production called The Junior League Follies. But on this night, it would be the last run of the annual fundraiser. As one organizer said, the 55-year-old event was going off into the sunset. And it was going out with a fanfare, thanks to Ball Chair Isabell Novakov.

Isabell Novakov

First, a little history lesson. The annual fundraiser started in 1962, when Jean Jarmon chaired the first Follies. It was a time when, as former JLD President/1973 Ball Chair Linda Custard recalled with 1977 Ball Chair Gail Madden, the late Doug Perry would create the Follies’ program and songs. For weeks leading up to the show, the JLD members, their husbands and kids would practice for the big show. Talk about “Babes In Arms!” Said Gail, who like Linda was wearing a Gardenia wrist corsage: “We filled the ballroom. That was kind of the heyday.”

Linda Custard and Gail Madden

During those early years, the social season from October to January was dominated by the debutante season, with galas like the Crystal Charity Ball, the Beaux Art Ball and JLD Follies still in their infancy.

But those early Follies undertakings were largely made possible by the fact that women weren’t juggling families, jobs and JLD commitments. Despite the group’s membership growing over the years, the involvement by JLD members and their families transitioned to the demands of the changing times.

Tanya Foster and Paige Slates

The Follies didn’t immediately disappear. But, standing in the reception area outside the Chantilly Ballroom, 2000 Ball chair Debbie Oates said that she saw the writing on the wall when big-name talent began hitting area fundraisers and more and more nonprofits fought for the dollars. She recalled how in her early years as a JLD member, the members would make the decorations and the costumes and try out for parts in the program. But the demands of family, JLD volunteer hours and jobs were reducing the woman-power for the show. So, Debbie slightly slimmed down the emphasis on the production and undertook the transition to a ball setting.

The next year, Ball Chair Nancy Saustad downsized things to a “mini-Follies,” and 2002 Ball Chair Tanya Foster admitted that she finally put the kibosh on the Follies.  

Past Junior League of Dallas Ball chairs

But standing in the VIP reception area, it was like a college reunion with some of the 55 past chairs being the center of attention after posing for a group photo in the ballroom.

Susan Roberds, Karen Shuford, Lydia Novakov, Tomas de la Mata, Debbie Snell and Louise Griffeth

Honorary Chair Karen Shuford, who had made her ball gown the year she chaired the event in 1984, had once again proved her “tailor talents” by making her own gown (black, with a blue overlay) for this evening… Former Fairmont Catering Director Tomas de la Mata, who had been so involved in the Follies during his many years at the Fairmont, was greeted by the likes of former chairs Susan Roberds (1995), Lydia Novakov (1991), Debbie Snell (1992) and Louise Griffeth (1990) like a star football quarterback. Recalled Louise about the Follies: “All the generations used to come. It was a blast!”

Joan Eleazer

Lynn McBee

Amy Turner

Tanya Foster

Elizabeth Gambrell

Wendy Messmann

In front of the ballroom were displayed the gowns of past chairs — Jan Pickens (1980), Joan Eleazer (1985), Lori Whitlow (2003),  Lynn McBee (2004), Amy Turner (2009), Angela Nash (2010), D’Andra Simmons Lock (2011),  Elizabeth Gambrell (2012), Wendy Messmann (2013) and others.

When the doors of the ballroom opened, it was obvious that second-generation JLD Ball Chair Isabell had created an elegant setting with just enough nostalgia for the Ball’s swan song. In addition to round and longer-than-long tables for the three-course dinner (first course: Bibb lettuce with red and yellow grape tomatoes, hearts of palm and lemon tarragon vinaigrette; entree: grilled filet of beef with peppercorn demi-glace potatoes au gratin with gruyere, fresh asparagus and heirloom carrots; and dessert: chocolate bavarois), there was a stage where a final mini-Follies would be performed by Bill Brantley, Clare Chaney, Rachel Davis, Patti Flowers and Kate Newman with Charlotte Ball belting it out.

Encore ballroom

At one point in the evening’s festivities, Linda Custard was asked her thoughts about the annual event’s closing act. “I think it’s just changing times,” she said. “It’s sad from a personal point of view, but [the proliferation of competing galas is] so wonderful for our city.” Then again, who knows? Perhaps in the years to come, like Brigadoon, the Follies/Ball may appear again to raise funds and memories.  

For more photos of the guests and gowns of yesterday, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Dallas AfterSchool’s 5th Annual Recess Netted $125,000 Thanks To Fun And Games

Robyn Siegel and Regina Merson*

Dallas AfterSchool’s 5th Annual Recess just took place Friday at the Arboretum and the bean counters have been busy, busy, busy.

Recess Co-Chairs Regina Merson and Robyn Sieger just reported the results. Thanks to digging for goodies in the sand pile, bag toss, playing musical chairs, balancing tumble tower, and dining on off-the-diet goodies, $125,000 was netted. BTW, that’s not the gross. It’s the real deal.  No kidding.

Musical chairs*

Dallas AfterSchool is celebrating its 10th anniversary and this is a sweet way to celebrate.

* Photo credit: Steve Wrubel

Sold-Out Alert!: 2017 Recess

Another state of “Sold Out” has been revealed. Friday night’s Recess at the Dallas Arboretum is a done deal. 

As for those predictions of stormy weather, they won’t be a problem because the NorthPark-sponsored Sandbox, games, spiked juice box and music provided by Prophets and Outlaws will all be safe and sound inside Rosine Hall.

Recess*

And no need to wear stuffy, grown-up attire. It will be strictly “schoolyard chic” (aka casual chic).

Benefiting and celebrating the 10th anniversary of Dallas AfterSchool, Event Co-Chairs Regina Merson and Robyn Siegel and Honorary Co-Chairs Tanya McDonald and Janet Mockovciak have arranged for the following sponsors:

  • Capture the Flag ($25,000) – The Baldridge Foundation
  • Simon Says ($10,000) – Lydia and William Addy, Baird, Strategic Wealth Partners/Colleen and Peter Bowler and Janet and John Mockovciak
  • Red Rover ($5,000) – Anne and Terry Conner, Christina K. Hanger and Tanya and Ken McDonald
  • Duck Duck Goose ($2,500) – Philip Theodore Bee Charitable Trust, Kristi and Brian Erickson, Cherri and Jack Musser, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Ernst and Young and Tenet Healthcare
  • Four Square ($1,000) – Christy Bednar, Sheela and Marc Birnbaum, Kathi and Chris Child, Serena Simmons Connelly, Maria and Douglas Cramer, The Donachie Foundation, Laurie and Craig Dunn, Angela and Mark Frederiksen, Abby and Michael Gregory, Sarah Losinger, Christina and Tim Norris, Tricia and Eric Stammberger, Social Venture Partners Dallas, Stacy and Mack Hicks and The Fijolek Family
  • Special Thanks and In-Kind Donors – Aimbridge Hospitality, BANCO, Cindy Ferris, Dallas Arboretum, Kent Rathbun Catering, LeForce Entertainment, Live Nation, McShan Florist, Microsoft, NorthPark Center, Paper City, Pop Parties, Topgolf, Yellow Rose Distilling and Housed Real Estate
* Graphic courtesy of Dallas AfterSchool

Retired Attorney Suzan Fenner And Northwood Woman’s Club To Receive Our Friends Place’s 13th Annual Ebby Award At April Gala

Ebby Halliday Acers (File photo)

The late Ebby Halliday Acers would have been 106 years old this month. Despite the loss of the first lady of residential real estate a year-and-a-half ago, her memory and inspiration continue. Timed in sync with Ebby’s natal day is the announcement of the Annual Ebby Award that is presented by Our Friends Place for those contributing to the advancement of girls and/or women.

Our Friends Place Executive Director Sue Thiers Hesseltine revealed the 13th Annual Ebby Awardees will be retired partner of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP Suzan E. Fenner and the Northwood Woman’s Club.

According to Sue, “Both award winners are truly passionate about serving our community and engage with a number of nonprofits, providing leadership and resources that contribute to the advancement of girls and women in North Texas. Suzan and the Northwood Woman’s Club have made Dallas a better place.”

Past recipients include Ebby, Sarah Losinger, Barbara S. Cambridge, the National Council of Jewish Women of Greater Dallas and Leigh Richter.

The presentation of the award to Suzan and the Northwood Woman’s Club will be made at the 14th Annual Our Friends Place Gala Auction And Casino Night on Saturday, April 29 at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Joining Event Co-Chairs Tonnette Easter, Barbara Milo and Leslie Simmons will be Honorary Co-Chairs LuAnn and George Damiris and Debbie and Jack Gibson.

The full release of the announcement follows the jump.

[Read more…]

The 2017 Dallas Symphony League Orchestra Swans Flawlessly And Touchingly Bowed At The Meyerson

Oh, those Californians! Each year they have those itty-bitty Cliff Swallows return to Mission San Juan Capistrano on March 19th. As remarkable as that may seem to the West Coasters, the arrival of the swans to the Meyerson is truly memory-making each year.

On Saturday, February 18, 35 glorious white swans (aka Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation debutantes) provided perfectly executed deep bows in support of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerson.

Jolie Humphrey, Eleanor Bond and Ginger Sager

And thanks to blonde DSOL President Sandy Secor, red-haired Ball Chair Jolie Humphrey and her committee (Lissie Donosky, Dixey Arterburn, Ginger Sager, Eleanor Bond and Therese Rourk) these swans had credentials that would have sent the California birds into a spiral diver. But more deb name dropping later.

2017 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball debutantes and escorts

Before the presentation in the McDermott Concert Hall, photographer James French mounted a sky-high ladder to memorialize the debs and the Honor Guard escorts on the steps leading to the concert hall. “Is that everybody? Who’s missing? 35? I need the Honor Guards,” shouted James, as assistants counted heads and straightened hems. Various setups were needed: first, the debs, then the debs with Honor Guard escorts and then one with Jolie in the center. After the final group shot was taken, the debs and escorts joined their families for cellphone photos.

Sara Lee and Stan Gardner and Wendy Kumpf

Libby Bender, Catherine Lane and Rachel Faust

Downstairs, the cocktail reception was underway in the lower reception area. While black- and white-tie seemed the majority rule, red was also highlighting the area, thanks to Sara Lee Gardner, Wendy Kumpf, Elizabeth Magee, Catherine Lane, Libby Bender and Rachel Faust.

Still coquettish buds of deb Caroline Jones like

Ashley McGaw, Brindley Mize, Rachael Levy, Sarah Ransan, Arlin Dawson, Peyton Dean, Caroline LeCrone and Carling Crawford

and gal pal friends of the other debs held their own in an array of colors and necklines.

And speaking of those tricky décolletages, some of the ingénues in bare-shouldered gowns were seen having to hitch up downward-bound tops. While the usual glittery purses and stilettos accessorized the looks of the evening, one or two gals downgraded their aura by chomping on gum.

William Richardson and Heather Hall

Melissa Macatee and John and Barbara Stuart

Ken and Gina Betts, Molly Nelson and William Nelson

And if anyone was expecting drama, they were sorely disappointed. For instance, deb Gracie Beal’s folks, who had been divorced for ages, were front and center with their significant others — mama Simona Beal with Ryan Green and papa Andy Beal with his fiancée Olya Sinitsyna, who revealed that their baby boy was due on May 18… Terry Bentley Hill was on hand to support her god-daughter Abby Loncar and her mom Sue Loncar… One Honor Guard parent was Brad Cheves, who was attending his first DSOL Presentation Ball for his son, Kyle Cheves… Also attending their first DSOL Presentation Ball were Gina and Ken Betts for deb Molly NelsonMarsha Cameron and her husband Michael Halloran were returning for the presentation ball for their son Bryce Halloran, who would be escorting deb Marina Frattaroli. It was just two years ago that their daughter Alix Halloran was a deb… Among the grandparents in the crowd were William Richardson for deb Heather Hall, Gene and Jerry Jones for deb Caroline Jones and Honor Guard escort Shy Anderson Jr. and Barbara and John Stuart for grandson John Macatee… At least two sets of parents were providing both debs and escorts. In addition to daughter Catherine Kumpf making her debut, Wendy and Rick Kumpf’s son Henry Kumpf was a member of the Honor Guard… And then there were Ana and Jim Yoder. Not only was daughter Maria Yoder bowing, but her escorts were her brothers/Honor Guard members James Yoder Jr. and Peter Yoder.   

Kersten Rettig, McKenna Cook and Spencer Fontein

Kersten Rettig, whose daughter McKenna Cook was one of the debs, admitted, “I’m a little teary, in a good way. I never thought McKenna would do it. Jolie asked me a year ago if McKenna wanted to be a deb. But, the parents and girls have really connected! This is Dallas. This is tradition. This is for the arts. The pageant is 100 times better than I thought it would be!”  

Lissie Donosky, Dixey Arterburn, Eleanor Bond and Therese Rourk

Dallas Symphony Assembly officers

Honor Guard officers

On cue, the Meyerson chimes called the guests to their seats in the concert hall. Before the first deb stepped on stage, introductions of those who had made the event possible were made including Sandy, Jolie, her committee and the Assembly and the Honor Guard officers. Then emcee Stan Gardner asked the audience to show proper respect for the occasion. In other words, this wasn’t a dang pep rally.

Gracie Beal

Caroline Jones and Stephen Jones

Alicia Crenshaw and Bob Crenshaw Jr.

Caroline Pratt and Jack Pratt Sr.

With families seated near the stage and friends filling the rest of the floor, the Orchestra Tier and Loge, the presentation got underway. Upon her name being announced and her selected song being played, each deb appeared at the head of the stairs and was joined by her father or male family member. The couple then walked down the steps to center stage, where the gentleman kissed the deb on the cheek and took his place to her right. Then the deb made her formal bow, as her escort(s) stood to her left. On cue as she lifted her head looking at the escort(s), the lead escort walked over and offered his hand to help her rise. After a photo or two was taken by French’s team, the couple/trio walked to the stairs leading from the stage to the floor for a couple of more photos.

David Vaughan and Emily Vaughan

Will Cohn, Elizabeth Matthews and Tyler Doshier

Stan Gardner, Andrew Hatfield, Aspen Moraif and James Diamond

Perhaps the memory maker of the night was the presentation of Abby Loncar on the arm of her brother Patrick Long. Despite the Loncar family’s recent losses, it was obvious from the response of the entire audience that the community was truly rallying around Abby.

Abby Loncar and Patrick Long

After the final deb Maria Yoder and her brothers/escorts (James Yoder Jr. and Peter Yoder) left the stage, the entire stage was filled with the 2017 debutantes and their Honor Guard escorts, to a standing ovation.

2017 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball debutantes and escorts

Stan then asked the guests to stay in place as Don Averitt and Mark Averitt directed the deb mothers, who had been seated on the aisles, to the lobby’s dance floor. The fathers, who had been seated in rows along the Orchestra Terrace, also departed to join their wives.

Wendy Kumpf, Simona Beal and Karen Jones

As anxious parents waited for their daughters to arrive at the dance floor, the rest of the guests filled the overhead balcony and lobby to see the first dances. Thanks to coordinators who served as traffic cops, a walkway through the crowd was created to allow the escorts to bring the debs to the floor.

Gabby Crank

Bailey Turfitt

Once there, the escorts peeled off and the debs sought their smiling parents. The debs looked so very relieved to have the bow over with, and the fathers looked a bit apprehensive about the next part of the evening — the first dance of the night. But the dads and debs had nothing to fear. Despite the crowded dance floor with the white billowing gowns, it was rather dreamy. Then the conditions got even more jammed with the escorts and mothers joining the debs and dads for a Glenn Miller tune, thanks to the Jordan Kahn Orchestra.  

Dancing debs and dads

While some continued to fill the dance floor, others headed to their tables for a salad (medley of baby greens, purple beets, goat cheese, walnuts and herbal vinaigrette dressing), entrée (grilled herb crusted beef filet with sherry reduction sauce, seasoned-roasted potatoes, tri-color carrots and steamed asparagus) and dessert (raspberry mousse tart and white and dark chocolate tower Swiss roll).

For more photos of bowing, dancing and beautiful peeps, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball

2017 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball debutantes and escorts

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball blends youth with tradition for the benefit of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. On Saturday, February 18, 35 young women in white ball gowns made their debuts to the approval of their families and the cheers of their friends at the Meyerson.

Stephen Jones and Caroline Jones

Of course, it helped to have loads of Honor Guard chaps in white tie and tails to escort them from the stage and on to the dance floor in the lobby.

Dancing debs and dads

While the post is being prepared, check out the 60+ pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.  

JUST IN: Life Lesson’s Nancy Kerrigan And A Chance To Soar’s Simone Biles Announced As 2017 “Dancing With The Stars” Cast Members

Bright and early this morning the 2017 celebrities were announced for the 2017 “Dancing With The Stars” lineup. A couple of them will be in town for fundraising lunches before competing for the mirrored ball.

Simone Biles*

Nancy Kerrigan**

And the announcement couldn’t be better timed for two area nonprofits. While award-winning gymnast Simone Biles‘ appearance at the Jonathan’s Place‘s  “A Chance To Soar” won’t take place until Tuesday, April 25, ice skating sweetheart Nancy Kerrigan will be at Belo Mansion Friday for the “Life Lessons Luncheon” benefiting The Elisa Project.

While there’s no telling who will be in the finals, good money is on Nancy and Simone. They’re both Olympian medalists, graceful, agile and pretty darn cute.

In the meantime, get your ticket for Friday’s lunch. Nancy’s life both on the rink and behind the scenes has been filled with highs and lows. 

* Photo provided by Jonathan's Place 
** Photo provided by The Elisa Project

Dallas Museum Of Art Became A 21st Century “Shaken, Style, Stirred” Speakeasy For 1,200 Femme Fatale Flappers And Dapper Dandies

The Dallas Museum of Art‘s current exhibition “Shaken, Styled, Stirred: The Art Of The Cocktail” provided the inspiration for more than a thousand guests to turn back the clocks on Saturday, February 4, to the Prohibition era. That’s when the right password provided access to the hottest speakeasy in town with music, dancing and naughty adult libations. Luckily, Prohibition is long gone, but the Hamon Atrium was as hot as a jazz baby. Here’s a report from the field:

The Dallas Museum of Art was transformed into a Prohibition-style speakeasy on Saturday, February 4, in celebration of the exhibition “Shaken, Styled, Stirred: The Art of the Cocktail,” an exhibition of cocktail ware from the late 19th century through present day.

Speakeasy in the Hamon Atrium*

Over 1,200 guys and dolls like Gwen and Eddie Lee, Melanie Cooke, Allie and Michael Gillam, Stephanie Gregory, Danielle Wessman, Angela and Kevin Jackson, Maria and Richard Von Horvath, Monica Berry, Sarah Stockton, Holly Bosler, Molly Meyer, Gary Beach, Cassandra Davis, Caitlin and Akers Moore, Jessica and Harl Asaff, Alia Reiners, Linda Snorina, Jack Tosi and Maggie Luttrell arrived in their best roaring-20’s attire and entered through the Museum’s Hamon Atrium. The 18-piece band, the Singapore Slingers, provided the big-band sound as guests enjoyed gaming tables, “French 75” specialty cocktails with ROXOR gin, and a buffet featuring sliders, a fries station with choice of sweet potato fries, regular fries or tater tots served in cones with custom toppings, mini carrot cake and cheesecake bites, and strawberry mousse cups.

Akers and Caitlin Moore and Jessica and Harl Asaff*

Molly Meyer*

Alia Reniers and Linda Snorina*

Gwen and Eddie Lee and Melanie Cooke*

Attendees posed in the nearby photo booth or in in front of the mint-condition period cars from the Dallas Model A Ford Club, posting their mugs on social media with the dedicated #dmaspeakeasy. For those hitting the dance floor, The Rhythm Room instructors provided the steps to 20’s favorites, including the Fox Trot and Charleston.

For VIP’s, the Focus One Gallery provided the perfect Hideaway with DJ Souljah spinning jazz-age hits with a twist, a ROXOR Gin Garden, private gaming tables and dedicated dance instructors. The savory and sweet cocktail buffet featured house-cured Gravlax crostini, dill and mustard dressing, caprese stacks with balsamic and basil, beef and horseradish rolls, home smoked chicken and mango tortilla cups, chocolate mousse shooters, lemon curd tartlets and pineapple upside down cake bites.

Jane Aldridge*

Stephanie and Phillip Robinson*

Mid-way through the evening all the Gatsbys and molls gathered at the main stage for the announcement of the winners of the costume contest. Contest judge and celebrity blogger Jane Aldridge of the Sea of Shoes blog awarded “Best Flapper” to Stephanie Surratt, “Best Dapper Dan” to Bennett Allen and “Best Couple” to Stephanie and Phillip Robinson.

Stephanie Surratt*

Bennett and Katie Allen*

As the fun continued, attendees enjoyed the exhibition that inspired the celebration, “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.” Featuring nearly sixty works, predominantly from the DMA’s extensive design holdings, the exhibition explores the culture of cocktails and the wares in which they are prepared and served. As well it follows the development of the modern cocktail from the late 19th century to the present day, tracing the stylistic reflections of the rituals of the cocktail’s preparation, presentation, and consumption. “Shaken, Stirred, Styled” features a range of objects, many of which are on view for the first time, including 19th-century punch bowls, Prohibition-era cocktail shakers, and Art Deco and modern barware.

Before the night came to an end, partygoers gathered once more for the announcement of the winners of five fabulous raffle prizes:

  • The Joule Hotel and Midnight Rambler Package: a one night get away in deluxe accommodations at The Joule Hotel with complimentary overnight valet parking and a $100-gift card for food and beverage at the premier craft cocktail bar, the Midnight Rambler.
  • Fossil® Q Wander rose gold stainless+Q Marshal in brown leather
  • Victor Tangos and Bella and Chloe: a $150 shopping spree at Bella & Chloe/Brethren Boutique and a $100 gift certificate to Victor Tangos, home to Rising Star Chef of the Year, Chef Kirstyn Brewer!
  • Ultra-Luxe ROXOR Gin Experience: six tickets to a private curator tour through the Shaken, Stirred, Styled  Then, enjoy an exclusive ROXOR cocktail-making class, perched 19 floors above Klyde Warren Park and the DMA, in a private residence.
  • Arts & Letters Live VIP Package for February 25th event featuring with Jessi Klein, the Emmy and Peabody award-winning head writer and executive producer of Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed series “Inside Amy Schumer”
  • Arts & Letters Live VIP package #2 for May 3rd event, Happy Hour! A talk, cocktail sampling, and performance inspired by “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.”
* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith

SPCA Of Texas’ Paws Cause “Fetches” $115,000 To Benefit Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter And Wellness Clinic At Village Fair And The South Dallas Initiative

Perhaps more than ever, the need for spay and neuter has been moved to the top of the list of longtime solutions for the area glut of stray animals. With such city officials as Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, City Councilperson Monica Alonzo and Dallas City Attorney Faith Johnson in attendance to drive the point home, the SPCA Of Texas‘ Annual Paws Cause — “Pawsitively Dallas Strong” — at the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center on Sunday, January 29, took on an added importance in fundraising for the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair and the South Dallas Pet Initiative. The result was netting $115,000 for the program. Here is a report from the field:

Monica R. Alonzo*

Faith Johnson*

On Sunday, January 29, the SPCA of Texas’ Paws Cause, “Pawsitively Dallas Strong,” at the SPCA of Texas’ Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center saw more than 300 animal lovers come together to benefit the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair and the South Dallas Pet Initiative. The event attendees were welcomed with a purple search light, a purple carpet, dancing dog and cat mascots and actual dogs and cats galore.

2017 Paws Cause’s “Pawsitively Dallas Strong”*

Inside, guests enjoyed gourmet food from some of Dallas’ finest chefs, imbibed luscious libations–including the “Pawsitive Delight” signature drink, danced the night away to musical entertainment by Goga, took part in the Bone Appetite restaurant drawing and had their pictures snapped at the Flipbook photo booth. A raffle of high-end items tempted attendees with fine art, photography packages, pet care products, designer purses, fine jewelry and more. A highly successful live auction and Pony Up for Paws fundraiser completed the night.

Haute cuisine stations from several of the Metroplex’s best restaurants, including Salum, Parigi, Pink Magnolia, Cane Rosso, Whistle Britches and 3015 at Trinity Groves tempted guests with everything from  sumptuous savories to decadent desserts.

Paws Cause 2017 was a tail-wagging success thanks to 2017 Paws Cause Honorary Chair  Andrea Alcorn, and the Steering Committee, which included: Jane Arrington, Steve Atkinson, Rebecca Belew, Diane Brierley, Andie Comini, Phyllis Comu, Giana DePaul, Gwen Echols, Kristen Greenberg, Whitney Keltch, Christina Miller, Pam Ragon, Abraham Salum, Gloria Snead, Karen Urie and Cathy Zigrossi

At the pinnacle of the party, Mayor Mike Rawlings first addressed the crowd saying, “The spay and neuter initiative that the SPCA is taking on is the lynchpin of the plan…to solve the situation in South Dallas that is hurting neighborhoods. We’ve got tens of thousands of dogs that need to have this operation and I believe that when we do that we will not only make the lives of those dogs better, but the lives of the neighbors and the strength of Dallas will come with it.”

Andrea Alcorn and Karen Urie*

Then, SPCA of Texas Senior Vice President Debra Burns, Karen Urie, Andrea Alcorn, SPCA of Texas President/CEO James Bias and SPCA of Texas Board Chair Katy Murray took turns thanking the guests and encouraging them to give. Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson spoke in support of the partnership between the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office’s Animal Cruelty Unit and the SPCA of Texas.

The event netted $115,000 for the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair and the SPCA of Texas’ South Dallas Pet Initiative.

All proceeds from the Paws Cause event benefit the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair and fund spay and neuter efforts in the Dallas community. This includes the SPCA of Texas’ programs that aim to support the pets and people of South Dallas to help address the serious stray animal, pet homelessness and pet overpopulation issues, also supporting the preservation of the bond between pets and people and keeping pets and the community healthy and safe.

Angela Thompson, Mary Spencer and Ann Marcus*

James Bias and Jan Rees-Jones*

Attendees also included Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Bobbi Snyder, Stacey and Arnie Verbeek, Bob Minyard, Angela Thompson, Candace Rubin, Ann Marcus, Hal Brierley, Leldon Echols, Marsha Pendleton-Gray and Dr. Richard Gray, Mary and Skip Trimble, Stacey and Don Kivowitz, Mary Spencer, Betsy Orton and Sharon Fancher, Mike and Catherine Merritt and Claire and Kurt Schwarz.

Event sponsors included:

  • Diamond Sponsors: Andrea Alcorn, Friedman & Feiger LLP and Dr. Richard Gray and Marsha Pendleton Gray
  • Gold Sponsors: Diane and Hal Brierley, the Durham Family Foundation, Forty Five Ten, Gwen and Leldon Echols, In Memory of Guy T. Marcus, Trinity Industries Inc. and Patricia Villareal and Tom Leatherbury
  • Silver Sponsors: Ralph Lauren – Highland Park and Skip and Mary L. Trimble
  • Copper Sponsors: Sharon Devereux, Stacey and Don Kivowitz, Katy Murray, Ray and Patricia A. Smerge, Pam Ragon, Redfin Real Estate, Claire and Kurt Schwarz and Sandra Urie and Frank Herron
  • Bronze Sponsors: MaryLynn M. Black, Karen and Phil Drayer, Cassie Evans and Hattie Pearl Decker, Hillary Hurst and Mark Schwarz, Bobby Minyard, Carol Orr, Penny Rivenbark Patton, Lucilo A. Pena, Candace Rubin, Mary Spencer, Susie Swanson, Chad West and Mr. and Mrs. David Yost.
* Photo credit: Thomas Garza Photography

JUST IN: Vogel Alcove’s 26th Annual Arts Performance Event To Have Cocktails On The Lawn With Loggins Inside

Leave it to Vogel Alcove to be combine a longtime favorite with something totally different and new. That’s what Co-Chairs Ricki and Andy Rabin and Lisa and Scott Wilson have arranged for Vogel Alcove’s 26th Annual Arts Performance Event on Thursday, May 11.  

Kenny Loggins*

The “longtime favorite” is Grammy-winning Kenny Loggins, who has been making beautiful music for dancing and listening for four decades. While some folks can’t help but start dancing when they hear his “Footloose,” others cruise his current tunes with country trio Blue Sky Riders. And Kenny is even reaching out to an audience that’s not old enough to drive a car with his “Children’s book called ‘Footloose,’ based on his mega-hit song for the eponymous film.”

And to provide the music for the after-party dancing, it will be none other than the Emerald City Band, which Mayor Mike Rawlings has tapped as “The House Band of Dallas.”

Now, for the “something totally different and new,” the Rabins and Wilsons are going to have the whole shindig at the Omni Dallas Hotel. So, what’s so new about the Omni? Well, the cocktail reception is not going to take place in the Trinity nor Dallas lobbies. It’s going “to be held for the first time on the Pegasus Lawn.” Then guests will amble across the driveway into the hotel for an elegant meal presented by McKool Smith and the entertainment.

If it rains…well, guess the whole kit and kaboodle will be indoors.

Tickets for the reception, dinner, performance and after-party start at $750. And, of course, sponsorships are available.

Suggestion: Leave the tuxedo and the frou-frou gown at home. Go shopping for something that goes well with spring lawn parties and dancing.  

* Photo credit: Stephen Morales

19th Annual Bishop’s Gala Had New Dallas Bishop Edward Burns In The Spotlight And Huey Lewis And The News On Stage Setting The Pace

Justin Bieber could have taken a lesson from Dallas’ new man-of-the-hour Catholic Bishop Edward Burns. As more than 1,000 guests gathered in front of the Omni’s Dallas Ballroom for the 19th Annual Bishop’s Ball on Saturday, January 28, the crowd seemed bigger than ever. Perhaps it was due to the get-the-action-going Huey Lewis and the News, but lights, cameras and handlers were buzzing as Dallas’ new bishop arrived for the Catholic Charities fundraiser.

Steve and Betty Suellentrop, Edward Burns and Kathleen and Dave Woodyard

Earlier in the evening, Burns had been part of a VIP reception upstairs with Co-Chairs Betty and Steve Suellentop, Kathleen and Catholic Charities CEO Dave Woodyard and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who was doing double duty at the Omni. After the private reception, Mike held a press conference in another part of the hotel to “make a statement and answer questions from the media” regarding the barring of certain immigrants at DFW Airport.

Admittedly the bishop looked a little amazed at all the hullabaloo, but with red cheeks and a true Irish grin, he smiled and accommodated all.

When asked what his former parishioners in Alaska thought about his move to Dallas, he flashed a killer smile and said, “Some people in Alaska think I’m being downsized!”

Bernie Gonzalez, Mary Drummond, Anna Salcedo and Reid Hatzmann

Rod Boudreaux, Charles Grahmann and Gwen Boudreaux

Barbara and Steve Landregan

As Burns was ushered through the crowd, including volunteers from Ursuline and Jesuit, past Dallas Bishop Charles Grahmann was greeted by friends like Gwen and Rod Boudreaux and Barbara and Steve Landregan. (Steve wrote Grahmann’s bio, “To Walk Humbly With Your God.”) The 85-year-old Grahmann felt right at home among the crowd and looked spry. He attributed it to his receiving dialysis three times a week. In fact, in seeking medical advice from Houston healthcare experts regarding a transplant, he was told the dialysis treatments were right on point and that he should continue with them and skip the transplant.

Since retiring in 2007, Grahmann has been living at a retirement center outside of San Antonio. It’s so pastoral that the deer come to the window and don’t mind being hand-fed.

But that quiet calm was anywhere but in the ballroom when Huey and his crew spread the “power of love.”

Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Founders Luncheon Had Heavyweight Couples As Chairs And Guests For The 40-Year Old Dance Troupe

Ann Williams, Verna Mitchell and Gilbert Gerst*

Back in 1977, Ann Williams‘ love of dance gave birth to the Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Over the years, while other dance troupes have come and many time gone, the Dallas Black Dance Theatre has grown in grace, style, popularity and support. In addition mesmerizing performances, the organization provides dance classes, workshops and lectures/demonstration to more than 20,000 students from DISD and other area private and home schools. To provide funding for the DBDT’s efforts, it holds it annual Founder’s Luncheon. This year’s meal took place on Wednesday, January 18, at Hilton Anatole. Here’s a report from the field:

Ann Williams, the Founder of the 40-year-old dance company, selected Verna Brown Mitchell and Gilbert Gerst as honorees for the luncheon that was held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel Wednesday, January 18. Williams said, “Both are two outstanding North Texans who have made long-term commitments to the art, arts education and have been exceptional arts champions to Dallas Black Dance Theatre.”

Ron Kirk and Carol West*

Gerst is Senior Vice President/Manager, Community Development Banking at Bank of Texas and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Verna is a retired principal and has volunteered with Dallas Black Dance Theatre on the Founder’s Luncheon committee for more than two decades.

The Honorary Chairs for the event were Ambassador Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis-Kirk, and the Luncheon General Chairs were State Senator Royce and Carol West, two high-powered couples with demanding schedules. Senator West was at the state capitol attending to legislative duties, and Matrice Ellis-Kirk was called out of town unexpectedly on a business trip.

Ron Kirk reflected on the international tours of the company telling the audience of more than 650 people, “No matter where they go, Dallas Black Dance Theatre represents the best of Dallas. Our best export is our culture. I salute the magnificent Dallas Black Dance Theatre.”

Frederick and Linda Todd, Rozene and Charley Pride*

Three-time Grammy winner country singer Charley Pride and his wife Rozene were spotted in attendance. They make the luncheon an annual event as longtime sponsors of DBDT.

Georgia Scaife, Michelle Thomas and Zenetta Drew*

JPMorgan Chase & Co. presented the Founder’s Luncheon for the seventh consecutive year. “The Dallas Black Dance Theatre touches thousands of local children, providing them with arts education programs every year. We are honored to partner with them so the dance company can continue to provide this invaluable outreach,” said Michelle Thomas, executive of Dallas/Fort Worth Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co. 

Jim and Joleen Chambers and Georgia Scaife*

Co-sponsors include Bank of Texas, Deloitte LLP, Hilton Anatole Dallas, Lock Lord LLP and Charley and Rozene Pride Enterprises. Additional support is provided by Dr. and Mrs. William J. Frazier, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Diane and Hal Brierley, Joleen and Jim Chambers/Victory Search Group, Stephanie and Bryan Carter/Concord Church Dallas, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Dr. Evelyn Green Daniels, Drs. Dralves Edwards and Ellen Cooper-Edwards, Fossil Inc., Billie Hawkins, New Birth Baptist Church, Kim and Jim Strong, Texas Instruments, Texas Woman’s University, Linda and Frederick D. Todd II, M.D., Paulette and Herb Turner/Integrated Leadership Concepts Inc., Wells Fargo, State Senator Royce West and Carol West, and VisitDallas.

For more information visit www.DBDT.com.

* Photographs provided by NLG Photography.

Crystal Charity Ball Had Fashions Springing Everywhere, A Winter Wonderland Blast On The Dance Floor And Falling Seasons

The much vaunted children’s nonprofit fundraiser, Crystal Charity Ball, was just an hour away on Saturday, December 3. But before the festivities got underway and while guests were on their way to the Hilton Anatole, there was a seated dinner taking place in a private dining room high atop the hotel in Sēr. The guests were the men and women who are off-duty members of Dallas law enforcement involved in the logistics of the annual ball. The supper was the brainchild of CCB office manager Cindy Ethel and the CCB committee “in appreciation for our friends in law enforcement.” Following the shootings of July 7 in downtown Dallas, an email was sent to the CCB membership with the idea of providing a nice meal for the two dozen members of the security team including Steve Walthall, Eric Jez, Dan Mosher and Reginald Luster and inviting support. The response was so overwhelming that it more than paid for the supper.

Dan Mosher and Reginald Luster

And what a feast it was. Upon taking their places around the table, they were presented with a menu of courses — Starter (jumbo lump crab cake or grilled shrimp cocktail), Second (petite greens or roasted pumpkin bisque), Entrée (filet of beef, Atlantic salmon, confit turkey breast or prime rib) and Dessert (Bumbleberry cobbler of chocolate). Afterward, one of the diners fessed up with a big smile, “I’m stuffed.” And, no, there was no alcohol served, just in case you were wondering.

Elizabeth Gambrell, Kristina Whitcomb, Christie Carter, Claire Emanuelson, Susan Farris and Ola Fojasek

Downstairs the finishing touches were underway. Outside the ballroom the reception area reflected 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Christie Carter’s theme — “To Everything There is a Season.” In the entry, four young women representing each of the seasons took their places as living statues on pedestals in alcoves located along the hall. Serving as a backdrop for the receiving line was a screen with a digital tree going through the seasonal changes.

Spring

Winter

Autumn

Summer

Against scenery of orange, gold and fall trees, the silent auction with its hundreds of goodies on tables with autumn-colored tablecloths was all ready for the bidding to begin. On the other side of the lobby was a summer garden with planters of sunflowers and lattice and another scenic backdrop of green and yellow-tinged trees and grounds for the casino and boutique. In the reception area in front of the ballroom were mountains of shrimp, mini-Reuben sandwiches and crostini with cheese and sun-dried tomato staged on tables with tablecloths of faux green leaves and oversized, stair-step centerpieces of flowers that reminded one of a French countryside picnic in spring.

Within the Chantilly Ballroom, winter was in its final stages of completion. The Dallas Chamber Symphony  and the James Davis Orchestra under the direction of Richard McKay were doing one last rehearsal of the 22-minute composition created for the evening. Behind the orchestra a mammoth screen displayed a video appearing to transport the orchestra through various snow scenes.

(Back story on Richard’s involvement with the event: CCB Chair Christie’s late mother had been a musician and over the years Richard had worked with her. In turn, Christie joined the board of the Dallas Chamber Symphony and was very supportive of the organization. So, the performance by the Symphony under the direction of Richard was a very personal one for Christie, Richard and the musicians.)

Perhaps it was traveling through the wintry wonderland or the Anatole’s A/C providing a true wintry feeling, but the Chantilly Ballroom was not suffering from a fever.

Matching the seasons perfectly were the fashions, jewels and extra touches like Lynn McBee in Dries Van Noten, Tucker Enthoven and past Ball Chair Robyn Conlon in Carolina Herrera, Gina Betts in Oscar, Piper Wyatt in Zac Posen, Claire Emanuelson in Jenny Packham, Ciara Cooley in Marchesa and Janet Brock in Brunello Cucinelli.

Robyn and Don Conlon

Crawford and Janet Brock

And the ladies kept local designers on pins and needles in the weeks and months preceding the fundraiser. Designer Patti Flowers created the gowns for Ball Chair Christie, Robin Carreker and Lisa Cooley  and “re-designed vintage gowns” for Mary Meier Evans and Pat Harloe. And, of course, Patti wore one of her own. Lisa Cooley’s turquoise gown had heads turning to catch the pink floral bustle. Since it was a seasonal theme, Lisa wanted just a touch of spring.

Lisa Cooley

Michal Powell

Fellow designer Michael Faircloth’s handiwork was worn by Lisa Troutt, Tiffany Divis and last year’s Ball Chair Michal Powell, who didn’t hesitate to say that she had gone the spring route with a white, off-the-shoulder lace blouse and vivid purple skirt that would have made Ray Rim Purple Petunias jealous. Coming handy for the pooch-loving Michal was her Leiber-designed Shih Tzu purse.

Pam Busbee

Alicia Wood

When it came to competition, Pam Busbee‘s black gown with red roses was a showstopper, but  Alicia Wood’s Narda’s train won hands down for length. She admitted after kicking it aside a couple of times that she would probably end up just picking it up and hauling it around.  

As for the accessories of the night, Jimmy Choos, Alexander McQueens, Manola Blahniks, Pradas, Stuart Weitzmans, Louboutins, Nichols Kirkwoods and Alaias were seen peaking from under hems. And hands down the handiest item of the night were the Judith Leiber purses. There were so many of the Leiber sparkling bags that the company should be one of the event’s underwriters!

Tucker and Rich Enthoven

Lisa and Kenny Troutt

Amit and Liat Berger and Stacy and David Blank

Adding to the evening look’s highlights were the array of jewelry from Susan Saffron (Tucker Enthoven), Sue Gragg (Gina Betts and Lisa Troutt), Diamonds Direct (Liat Berger, Stacy Blank, Tanya Foster and Alicia Wood), Eiseman (Claire Emanuelson), Bachendorf (Katy Bock), 64 Facets (Janet Brock) and Matthew Trent and Bulgari (Lynn McBee).

As for the gents, it was tuxedo alley — Nick Evan subbing in for Allan McBee in a Tom Ford tuxedo with Lynn McBee, Kenny Troutt in J. Hilburn, Dwight Emanuelson in Tux Cucinelli, Clay Cooley in Chris Despos, Chase Cooley in Q Clothiers and Ken Betts, Charles McEvoy and Loyd Powell in Zegna. However, a couple of the fellas — Chris O’Neill, Billy Esping, Bill Goodwin, Michael Sills, Paul Coggins, John Lemak, Pete Cline, Rich Sterling, Jerry Fronterhouse, Bob White, Robin Robinson and Ben Lange —  broke from the traditional black tie by adding a little color to their wardrobes thanks to natty ties.

Pete and Caren Kline and Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins

Robin and Debby Robinson

Chris and Connie O’Neill

Billy and Heather Esping

Mimi and Rich Sterling

Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse

Bill and Margo Goodwin

As folks posed for photos in front of the ever-changing tree, it proved comical as some appeared to be sprouting a tree out of the top of their well-coiffed heads.

John Clutts, Jill Rowlett, Richard Eiseman, Dee Wyly and Sami Asrlanlar

As guests arrived, there were the traditional photos opps with Christie and then there was the photo bombing by the likes of Richard Eiseman.

Caroline Rose Hunt and Del Frnka

Just seconds after Carolina Rose Hunt and escort Del Frnka arrived, the winter living statue took an unplanned break requiring assistance. Luckily, Dr. Dan Kadesky was nearby and came to assist the season, who was ushered away. A few minutes later Fall followed suit, leaving Spring and Summer standing in place.

From the left: (front row) Margo Goodwin, Barbara Stuart, Robyn Conlon, Christie Carter, Tom Addis, Connie O’Neill, Louise Griffeth, Lindalyn Adams and Nancy Chapman; (back row) Sara Martineau, Gloria Eulich Martindale, Aileen Pratt, Tincy Miller, Michael Powell, Connie O’Neill and Caren Kline

At one point in the evening, it was time for the group photos of the past CCB chairs with Christie. Gathering these ladies up made herding hummingbirds look easy. No sooner would one be found than another one would disappear surrounded by a group of friends. Finally, they thought all were present except for Jill Smith. No one had seen her and it was getting near time to open the doors to the ballroom. The photos had to be taken. After being positioned on the staircase and the photos done, the ladies insisted that the man who had handheld so many of them in years past, event producer Tom Addis, join them for one final snap. Then they were off in different directions. Alas, Jill arrived minutes later. Seems that she and husband Bob Smith had been the victims of a traffic jam.

Crystal Charity Ball dining table

Just before the doors opened to the wintry wonderland, the ballroom appeared to shimmer thanks to the white floral arrangements with touches of pink, the tables with gold tablecloths and white chairs and the walls covered in white draping cast in a flood of lavender lighting.  For Angel of Grace sponsor Annette Simmons and her tablemates (husband Jerry Fronterhouse, Anita and Truman Arnold, Kelli and Jerry Ford and Gail and Gerald Turner, the cloth napkins were monogrammed with Annette’s initials.

Monogrammed napkin

Jerry and Kelli Ford

Truman and Anita Arnold

Gail and Gerald Turner

When the doors opened, the orchestra started playing and the video scenery commenced to the wide-eyed guests’ delight. As one guest put it, “The ballroom was breathtaking. With that backdrop, it appeared as if the orchestra was traveling through a winter wonderland.”

Unlike years past when performers provided presentations, the orchestra and video eliminated the need to hold guests back from crossing the dance floor. It made moving throughout the room so much easier. However, some folks were so mesmerized by the 22-minute musical/digital performance that they just stood in place.

Randall and Kara Goss

Sherwood Wagner and Todd Clendening

David and Anne Sutherland

Aileen and Jack Pratt

Jason and Laura Downing and Brooke and Aaron Shelby

Eventually, guests like Debby and Robin Robinson, Kara and Randall Goss, Anne and David Sutherland, Phyllis Cole McKnight and Steve McKnight, Paige McDaniel with Joe B Clark, Laura and Jason Downing, Joanna Clarke, Sherwood Wagner with Todd Clendening, Mersina Stubbs with Mackay Boynton, Brooke and Aaron Shelby and Alison and Mike Malone  took their places for a menu that included First Course (Maine lobster salad, Belgian endive and frisee, watermelon radish, asparagus, confit tomato and shave fennel, pretzel crouton and Dijon herb vinaigrette), Second Course (Demi-glazed and roasted garlic crusted filet of beef, Gruyere-celery root pave, maple roasted parsnips, harvest squash and blistered red pepper, chard-filled golden tomato and green peppercorn glace) and Dessert (Peppermint white chocolate mousse, red velvet cake and linzer crisp).

Suzanne and Jim Johnston and Angela Nash

Norma Hunt

Dinner table chats included Travis Holman reported that after purchasing Lee Bailey‘s place on Turtle Creek, he was planning on expanding the three-car garage to six and other additions to the estate… Angela Nash introducing her new boss, Methodist Health System Foundation President Jim Johnston, and his wife Suzanne Johnston to friends… Norma Hunt being thanked for her donation of her Perfect Season wine for the CCB fundraiser.

Simply Irresistible

Kevin Dahlberg and Francie Moody-Dahlberg

Just as the Symphony completed its performance, the Simply Irresistible from Atlanta appeared on stage, changing the mood to Motown. The result? The dance floor that had glimmered like an ice rink was filled to capacity by the guests like Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg, Mary Clare Finney, David Nichols, Diane and Hal Brierley, Julie and Ed Hawes, Debbie Oates, Carolyn and David Miller, Anne Davidson and Mark Porter and Tracy and Ben Lange. At one point it was so crowded that one woman who lost her footing would have normally landed flat on the floor. But in this case, it was so tight that she recovered before hitting the ground.  

Mary Clare Finney and David Nichols

And that wintry chill that had initially filled the ballroom was history. Thanks to the dance floor action, the room was heating up for partying long into the night, with the goal of providing more than $5.6M+ for Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Hope Supply Co., Notre Dame School of Dallas, Parkland Foundation on behalf of Parkland Health and Hospital System, Teach for America, The Family Place and Crystal Charity Ball Educational Scholarship Project.

For more than 70 photos of the evening, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.