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.

Dallas Film Society’s 2017 Art Of Film Was A Double Header With Honoree Robert Benton And Dallas Star Awardee Faye Dunaway

Hayley Hamilton Cogill, Paul Coggins and Regina Montoya

Gary Cogill declared that Robert Benton was one of the nicest people in the film business. This claim took place on Wednesday, March 29, as guests like Co-Chairs Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins, Stacy Girard, and Haley Hamilton Cogill gathered at Sixty Five Hundred for the Dallas Film Society’s Art of Film honoring Benton for his multiple accomplishments in the film industry. Interestingly, the occasion coincided with the 50th anniversary of “Bonnie And Clyde,” which Robert co-wrote.

James Faust

As DFS Artistic Director James Faust talked film with others, DFS President/CEO Lee Papert said that “she and Robert are due at 7, but they may be running late.”

There was a way that Lee said “she” that made one realize the female in question was not your typical Kmart shopper.

Moments later, the red carpet was abuzz of activities with high-caliber photographers and cell photographers snapping away, for Faye Dunaway had arrived. That was the “she” in question.

Dunaway, who would be receiving the Dallas Star award the next day at the opening of the Dallas International Film Festival, was on the scene because of her fondness and admiration for Benton. The two had worked together 50 years ago on the making of “Bonnie And Clyde.”

As mics were thrust in front of Dunaway, the night’s interviewer Gary looked downright gleeful about his chat on stage with Benton.

Faye Dunaway

As Faye shaded her eyes from the bright lights and accommodated the reporters with mics in hand, Benton was nowhere in sight.

After the last interview was a done deal, Faye found herself in a one-on-one conversation with film Critic Joe Layden.  

The two found themselves sipping soft drinks on a nearby couch. Cogill noted, “That’s a Thomas Crown scene on the couch.” If you squinched your eyes, you could sorta think that despite the lack of a chess board.

Robert Benton

As photographers tried for shots of the two, Faye had had enough. Her initial wave-off didn’t dissuade the flashing photographers. A stronger wave and an unhappy face got the message across.

In the meantime, a car pulled up and a group stepped out with the last one being a man with a cane. It was the man-of-the-hour — Robert Benton.

When someone teased him that he was going to have to behave, a friend laughed, “Oh, don’t tell him that.”

Benton smiled and chuckled with a twinkle in his eye.

As he headed to the ramp leading to the festivities, Cogill’s description of Benton seemed more true than ever.

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.”

Actresses Faye Dunaway And Zoey Deutch And The Late Bill Paxton To Be Honored At Upcoming Dallas International Film Festival

The Dallas Film Society has just announced its line up of honorees for the Dallas International Film Festival taking place from Thursday, March 30, to Sunday, April 9.

On the eve of DIFF, The Art Of Film will celebrate Robert Benton, who co-wrote “Bonnie And Clyde,” at sixty five hundred on Wednesday, March 29.

Robert Benton*

Faye Dunaway**

In keeping with the “Bonnie And Clyde” 50th anniversary, the Opening Night Gala on Thursday, March 30, will kick off with a showing of the iconic film complete with Academy Award-winner Faye Dunaway, who portrayed Bonnie. She will receive the Dallas Star Award at the Opening Night Gala.

In addition to the comings and goings of various filmmakers during the festival, the DFS Honors presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation at The Highland Dallas on Friday, April 7, will be the posthumous presentation of the Dallas Star to Fort Worth native, the late Bill Paxton.

Zoey Deutch*

Bill Paxton***

Receiving the Dallas Shining Star will be “Before I Fall” star Zoey Deutch.

According to DFS Artistic Director James Faust, “Our two Dallas Star Award honorees hail back to something this festival has done from its inception – honor cinema legends, icons, and the film artists that made a difference in our film viewing lives. Faye Dunaway has been at the center of a number of certifiably classic films, and we joined so many in being devastated by the recent loss of Bill Paxton, on so many levels. To have Dunaway here on Opening Night will be a spectacular moment for Dallas, and to have Paxton here in spirit, was a must to anyone that knows anything about this film festival’s history and the people that are a part of it.

“Zoey Deutch is the quintessential choice for a Dallas Shining Star Award honoree. She has had a very impressive start to her career, and is now poised to take it to an entirely different level with wonderful performances in three different films this year.”

Tickets and festival passes are available here!

* Photo provided by Dallas Film Society 
** Getty image provided by Dallas Film Society 
*** Photo credit: Rachel Parker

Award-Winning Director/Screenwriter Robert Benton To Receive The Dallas Star At The Art of Film In March

Back in 1934, North Texas was just a conglomeration of small towns. Dallas and Fort Worth were considered the big-time cities. But they weren’t really all that big. SMU was just 19 years old. There was no Fair Park. But there was a couple who had become folk heroes after running roughshod over the law. Their names were Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

Less than four months after Bonnie and Clyde’s deaths in May of that year, a baby boy was born in Waxahachie to Dorothy and Ellery Benton. They named him Robert Douglas Benton. As a boy, he had a rough time in school due to his dyslexia.

Robert Benton*

According to Robert, “I was dyslexic before anybody knew what dyslexia was. I was called ‘slow.’” It’s an awful feeling to think of yourself as ‘slow’—it’s horrible.”  

Thanks to hard work, Robert attended both the University of Texas, where he was a classmate of future columnist Liz Smith, and Columbia University and eventually became the art director at Esquire magazine in the early 1960s.

It was around this time that Robert recalled stories that his father had told him about Bonnie and Clyde. So he and his writing partner David Newman put their heads together and wrote the script for “Bonnie and Clyde” that made stars of Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons. The movie was also a game-changing film for the industry.

Not only did the film set Benton in a different direction of screenplay writing, he also was given the opportunity to direct films like “Bad Company” in 1972 and “The Late Show” in 1977. But in 1979 he hit the jackpot with the release of “Kramer vs. Kramer,” which swept the Oscars for the film, actors Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep and Benton’s direction and original screenplay.

Once again the film shook things up about the role of parenting. As Robert put it, “I’d like to know what law is that says that a woman is a better parent, simply by virtue of her sex.”

Over the years, Robert went on to direct Justin Henry, Jane Alexander, Sally Field, John Malkovich, Lindsay Crouse and Paul Newman in Oscar-nominated performances.

His success extended beyond filmmaking. He dated feminist Gloria Steinem in the 1960s, was a friend of many greats including the late Paul Newman and had Richard Russo dedicate his Pulitzer Prize-winning Empire Falls to him.

But just as Robert was turning 52, he returned to his roots in Waxahachie for the award-winning “Places In The Heart” that was set in 1935.

On Wednesday, March 29, Robert will once again return to North Texas for The Art of Film to receive the Dallas Star Award from the Dallas Film Society at sixfivehundred. Unlike years past, when The Art of Film has taken place in the fall, this year’s event will be held on Wednesday, March 29, leading up to the 2017 Dallas International Film Festival and introducing the festival’s focus on the films of 1967, like “Bonnie and Clyde.”

James Faust (File Photo)

According to DFS Artistic Director James Faust, “Robert Benton is both an award-winning director and writer as well as a Texas treasure, who has been responsible for some of the most beloved film classics of the past five decades both through his director’s vision and his words placed on the page. The fact that he co-wrote ‘Bonnie and Clyde,’ which was part of the hallowed film class of 1967, makes this a wonderful time to honor him with our Dallas Star Award.”

Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins (File photo)

Craig and Kathryn Hall (File photo)

Event co-chairs will be Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins with Kathryn and Craig Hall serving as honorary co-chairs. Host committee members include Courtney and Benton Bagot, Matt Bivona, Janis Burklund, Melina McKinnon and Michael Cain, Kelly and Jason Cleveland, Judy and Sam Coats, Hayley and Gary Cogill, Erin and Trey Cox, Pam and Mark Denesuk, Sheri Deterling and Geoff Hawkes, Joy and Billie Ellis, Jenn and James Faust, Rebecca Flores, Clare Freeman, Suzanne and Michael Grishman, Mary and Bradley Hatcher, Eric Hirschhorn, Alison and Harry Hunsicker, Lynn Lewis, Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows, Jan Miller and Jeff Rich, Sarah and Lee Papert, Anne and Steve Stodghill, Deborah and Don Stokes, Erin and Larry Waks and Ken and Maureen Womack.

Tickets and sponsorships for The Art of Film are available at the Dallas Film Society’s website and by calling 214.720.0555.

* Photo provided by Dallas Film Society

Wine And Film Lovers Came Together At The Arboretum To See A Little Oscar And Learn Big Screen Predictions

While Mary Matalin and James Carville were chatting about the recent presidential election and things to come at the Party for Hope benefiting Hope Supply Co. over at the Bush Center on Thursday, January 26, the Dallas Arboretum’s Rosine Hall looked like a jammed-to-capacity drive-in movie theater. Rows and rows of tables and chairs were lined up facing a big, old screen. And to cap things off, every seat was filled!

Wine and Film, A Perfect Pairing Oscars Preview

The occasion was “Wine and Film, A Perfect Pairing Oscars Preview.” And thanks to wine/film lovers Hayley Hamilton Cogill and Gary Cogill, the Arboretum, and the recent Oscar nomination announcements, it was more than a resounding success.

According to Dallas Uncorked‘s Hayley, “We love the beautiful space at the Arboretum and the ability to do what Gary I do best — pair wine and film. Our podcast has been so much fun doing just this that it was great to be able to do it live for such a welcoming crowd.”

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill

 The original place was for 110 guests, but they ended up with 116 including newly engaged Judy Snyder and Roy Carson, Debra Nelson, Dianne and Shannan Pratt, Frank and Karen Needham, Lee Hobbs and Pat Holder Ritter and Wayne Ritter

One very special guest was a 1939 Oscar awarded to the late composer John Leipold for his musical score in “Stagecoach.” John’s granddaughter Jennifer Stewart brought the little fellow along for a first-hand view of the legendary statue.

When it came to the predictions and pairings, the Coghills put these together:

BEST MUSIC:

  • Best original score: “La La Land” by Justin Hurwitz
  • Best original song: “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana” by Lin-Manuel Miranda with Segura Viudas Brut Cava (Made in the traditional method from the classic varieties of Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel·lo in Penedes, Spain, this special Cava is filled with white fruit and citrus, along with tropical and light floral notes. Bright and fresh, with a balanced acidity, and a smooth finish.)

BEST SCREENPLAY:

  • Best Adapted Screenplay: “Arrival” by Eric Heisserer
  • Best Original Screenplay: “20th Century Women” by Mike Mills with Bodega Garzon Albarino (The white variety of Rias Baixas, Spain gets an unexpected lift when produced in Uruguay. Farmed sustainably, with heavy influence from the Atlantic Ocean, this lively white wine tells the story of the land and the people. Layers of white flowers, lemon-lime and stone fruit meld with a salty brininess from the breezes through the vineyards off the Ocean.)

BEST ACTRESS:

  • Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis for “Fences”
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman for “Jackie” with Truvée Rose (Started by the McBride Sisters in the Central Coast, this expressive wine blends classic Rhone varieties of Grenache and Syrah for a wine filled with strawberry, raspberry, and more wild flower aromas leading to a refreshing palate with notes of wild berry and Meyer lemon with a crisp, dry finish.)

BEST ACTOR:

  • Best Supporting Actor: Jeff Bridges for “Hell or High Water”
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role: Casey Affleck for “Manchester by the Sea” with Duchman Family Winery Sangiovese (Perhaps the best variety grown in Texas, from one of the best families. Duchman Winery is dedicated to crafting elegant, varietally correct, 100% Texas wines from Texas soils, with a focus on classic, Old World styled Italian varieties. Sangiovese, the variety of Chianti, thrives in Texas, producing a juicy, aromatic and food-friendly wine filled with red fruity, soft herbs, smoke and dense, dusty earth.)

BEST FILM of 2017

  • “Moonlight”
  • “La La Land” with Chateau Haut Caillou Bordeaux, Lalande-de-Pomerol (The best film of the year deserves a wine you will remember, and classic Bordeaux is always appropriate with great films, with [Haley’s] favorite always coming from the Right Bank. Merlot and Cabernet Franc dominant, with just a hint of Cabernet Sauvignon to add weight and texture to the luscious, red currant and black plum fruit filled wine. Elegant and inviting, with just a hint of earthy slate minerality on the finish.)

A couple interesting side notes of the evening’s pairings were:

  • The selection of pairing Viola Davis with the Truvee Wines Rose, which is owned by “the McBride sisters, two African-American sisters with the same father and different mothers. They found they both loved wine and started the company.”
  • Duchman Family Wine is born and bred in Texas and it only seemed right to salute “Hell or High Water” with a Lone Star vino.    

As for the rest of Gary’s predictions, the Cogills will be having another pairings get-together on Wednesday, February 22, at Studio Movie Grill to benefit The Dallas Film Society at Royal from 6 to 8 p.m.

JUST IN: Actor, Businessman, Thorn Co-Founder Ashton Kutcher To Be New Friends New Life 14th Annual Luncheon Speaker

Tanya Foster and Lisa Cooley (File photo)

This spring’s lineup of luncheon speakers/special guests was sorta looking like a girls-only situation (Simone Biles for Jonathan’s Place, Bethenny Frankel for Community Partners of Dallas, Robin Roberts for Interfaith Family Services, Rachel Zoe for Mad Hatters Tea, Nancy Kerrigan for The Elisa Project and Arianna Huffington for Genesis).

But leave it to New Friends New Life’s 14th Annual Luncheon Co-Chairs Lisa Cooley and Tanya Foster to provide someone smart, influential, successful and of the male gender to serve as guest speaker — Ashton Kutcher.

Ashton Kutcher*

Whoa! Why Ashton? Yes, he’s hot. Yes, he’s a movie star. Yes, the last time he was seen in this neck of the woods was for the iced-over Super Bowl with then-wife Demi Moore. And, yes, he’s now happily married to Mila Kunis and the very cool father of two.

So, what does he have to do with New Friends New Life’s mission of restoring and empowering formerly trafficked and sexually exploited women, teens and children?” A heck of a lot and it ain’t no recent undertaking!

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore (File photo)

When he was married to Demi, the couple founded Thorn, an organization that develops innovative technology solutions to fight the sexual exploitation of children.

According to Ashton, “Technology has completely changed the landscape when it comes to the abuse and exploitation of children. We created Thorn as a way to turn the tables and leverage technology to be a part of the solution, instead of a part of the problem.”

While the marriage didn’t last, Thorn did. It has “helped law enforcement identify and recover over 6,000 domestic human tracking victims to date (with 474 of those victims being received in the state of Texas).”

And Dallas is a major point of interest for his work.

Tanya pointed out that “In Dallas alone, sex trafficking is a $99 million criminal enterprise. Enlightened by so many staggering statistics and stories from survivors, Lisa and I are committed to rallying the support needed to bring an end to this injustice. There is much work to be done. ”

The luncheon will take place on Wednesday, May 10, at the Omni Dallas Hotel with Gail and Gerald Turner serving as honorary co-chairs. Sponsorships are now available ranging from $2,500-$100,000. Individual tickets will be available in March, but don’t wait. Splurge and become a sponsor by calling Jennifer Yarbrough at 214.965.0935.

* Photo credit: Nigel Parry/CPI Syndication

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.

 

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Crystal Charity Ball

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

Thanks to 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Christie Carter‘s ball theme of “To Everything There Is A Season,” the black-tie fundraiser for area children’s nonprofits was wide open for fashionable interpretation, as well as decor. And, boy, did the 100 CCB committee members, guests and event producer Tom Addis deliver!

Pam Busbee

Spring

Lisa Cooley

From the spring floral designs to the mammoth digital sleigh ride through snowy scenery complete with a 22-minute orchestral performance in the wintry wonderland of the Hilton Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom, the seasons were all there on Saturday, December 3.

Crystal Charity Ball dining table

While the post is being finalized, check out the two pages of more than 75 photos at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Multi-Talented Bernadette Peters Will Headline The Dallas Summer Musicals 2017 Gala In November

Bernadette Peters*

She’s the favorite of Stephen Sondheim, best buds with Mary Tyler Moore and has more curls than a bushel of rotini. She’s been in show biz since she was 3½ and got her Actors Equity Card at the ripe old age of 9. She’s appeared on TV, Broadway and the silver screen.  She’s written children’s books, dated Steve Martin and appeared in Playboy Magazine in lingerie designed by Bob Mackie.

She is multi-talented Bernadette Peters and she will be headlining the Dallas Summer Musical fundraiser at Fair Park’s Music Hall on Saturday, November 4.

Since “An Evening With Bernadette Peters” will benefit the Dallas Summer Musicals and its education and community outreach programs, it’s especially poignant to have TI executives Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld co-chairing the event.

Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld**

Each has childhood memories of attending the Dallas Summer Musicals and the long-lasting impressions they took away.

According to Paul, “Going to Dallas Summer Musicals at Fair Park with my grandmother was my first exposure to ‘real’ theatre on the big stage. Learning the stories and hearing the music instilled a love for the stage in me that endures to this day. I am thrilled at the opportunity to help another generation experience that same magic.”

As for Andy, he recalled, “My 16th birthday present was a trip from Tyler to see the DSM production of ‘Camelot.’ We (Paul and Andy) both fell in love with musical theater through DSM, and we’ve also seen how DSM has touched the lives of youth in our community through their outreach and education programs.”

While individual tickets are not available (drat!), sponsorships and underwriting opportunities can be discovered by calling the DSM Development office at 214.426.6333.

* Photo credit: Andrew Eccles 
** Photo provided by Dallas Summer Musicals

A Passing: “The Exorcist” Author William Peter Blatty, Multiple Myeloma And A Long Ago Story About A Dallas Encounter

MySweetCharity

Today CancerBlows Co-Founders Niki and Ryan Anthony were meeting with CancerBlows Co-Chairs D’Andra Simmons Lock and Anne Stodghill and a production crew from around the country for the upcoming May 8-10th multiple myeloma fundraiser at the Meyerson. (More about that in the days to come.)

While they were finalizing plans for the event that will have the world’s greatest horn players perform to support research and treatments about the disease that struck Ryan, multiple myeloma proved just how deadly it is. Academy Award-winning screenwriter/acclaimed author of “The Exorcist” William Peter Blatty died the day before as a result of the blood cancer.

Blatty’s death recalled an incident that took place in Dallas back in 1973. A very young and green society writer at The Dallas Morning News was assigned to cover a party hosted by Polly and Dick Hitt and Jeanne and Jim Butler for a novelist named William Peter Blatty. In a Google-less world, she wandered the newsroom asking reporters if they had ever heard of Blatty. All she got were shrugs. Well, there was one writer who said he thought the guy had written about teddy bears.

So, off the society writer went to the party at a mansion on Preston Road, where she encountered all types of local celebs like KVIL’s Ron Chapman and Hugh Lampman and Bettie and Fairmont Hotel General Manager Julian Abio. Once again, she asked, “Have you heard of William Peter Blatty?” Again, the responses were shrugs and side-shaking of heads.

Wandering into a small sitting room, she found a man seated in a chair whom she didn’t know. After exchanging “Hellos,” she again asked him if he knew of William Peter Blatty. He responded, “As a matter of fact I do. He wrote a book called ‘The Exorcist.’” Innocently, she asked if he had read it. He nodded. She followed that up with, “Is it any good?” He said he thought so.

She was on a roll and asked if her new friend could point Blatty out. He then aimed his index finger at his chest.

She smiled and they both laughed.

Now, having experienced the most awkward moment that could possibly happen in their relationship, she said, “Do you know that you look yellow? Is it the lighting or are you wearing some kind of makeup?” He said he hadn’t been feeling all that great and appreciated her concern.

After a few minutes, she departed.

The next day the society writer received a call from host Jim Butler saying that after she had left the party, Blatty had been taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with hepatitis. “He keeps asking for you,” Butler said.

Over the next few months, the movie version was released and the phone calls between the society writer and Blatty continued. He would talk about his life and how the movie’s popularity had been both flattering and weird. After she had seen the movie, she acted like a movie expert and wondered if it would have been better done in black and white. He laughed and said that he had lobbied for that, but the director and money people were totally opposed to that idea.

While staying in Colorado, Blatty called and insisted that the writer come to Colorado to meet his mother, Mary Blatty. He had spoken of his mother often and had told her about the writer. Bill just knew the two ladies would hit it off. The writer suggested that Blatty put Mary on the phone, so they could chat.

It was then that the relationship took a definite “exorcist” turn. He couldn’t put his mother on the phone. She had died in 1967. It was the last time the reporter and Blatty would talk.

A Passing: Liener Temerlin

During the ’60s and ’70s when Dallas had two daily newspapers and three TV stations, there were a handful of creative types and sales execs who gave birth to advertising/public relations/marketing agencies. Unlike the TV version of “Mad Men,” the Dallas men — Sam Bloom and his son Bob Bloom, Morris Hite, Stan Levenson, Stan Richards and Liener Temerlin — weren’t as much into martinis as they were into giving the New York ad community a run for their money. They were also helping the city of Dallas make it through the slow recovery from November 22, 1963.

Liener Temerlin (File photo)

Today it was reported that 88-year-old Liener died yesterday at his home in Austin.

According to The Levenson Group Co-Founders Barbara and Stan Levenson, “We always will be grateful to Liener for enriching both our personal and professional lives. Second to none, he was an industry icon and inspiring leader.”

With his bride Karla, the Ardmore native moved to Dallas to take a job a copywriter at Glenn Advertising in 1953. Over the years, he rose through the ranks becoming president of Glenn Bozell and Jacobs in 1974. Eventually the agency became Temerlin McClain in 1992 and TM Advertising in 2004. During his tenure, the agency handled such national accounts as American Airlines, Bank of America, Hyatt Hotels, J.C. Penney and countless others.

And he always seemed to be on the cutting edge. For instance, when his daughter Dana was married in the 1970s, he surprised locals by having a film crew tape the wedding reception at the Fairmont.  

But Liener’s life outside of the office was just as dynamic and visionary. He joined with the late Mayor Annette Strauss in orchestrating the building of the Morten H. Meyerson Symphony Center. That was unheard of back in that day with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra playing at Fair Park’s Music Hall.

And Liener’s foresight extended to still another art form — film. In 2006 he and Michael Cain sowed the seeds for the Dallas Film Society. In fact it was their connection to the American Film Institute that gave birth to the AFI Dallas International Film Festival that evolved into today’s DFS’s Dallas International Film Festival.

According to DFS President/CEO and DIFF Executive Director Lee Papert, “The Dallas Film Society is terribly saddened to learn of the passing of Liener Temerlin, our Founder and Chairman Emeritus. He was instrumental in the creation of the Dallas Film Society and the AFI Dallas International Film Festival. His passion and vision for film knew no bounds. That passion for this unique art form was limitless and he strived daily to bring a greater awareness of film to Dallas through the Film Society and the Dallas International Film Festival and the nation through his involvement with the American Film Institute. But beyond that passion, Liener was kind, genuine, and helpful – serving as a mentor to so many in the formation of a fledgling arts organization. He exuded class and most of all — he was our friend. We will miss our friend and we will continue to do our best to further his desire to celebrate this great medium.”

A Linz Award recipient, Liener was also involved with the Vogel Alcove, UT Southwestern Medical Center, SMU and a host of others.

Despite all these involvements, Liener’s top priority for more than six decades was his wife Karla Temerlin, their daughters Dana Temerlin Krebs and Lisa Temerlin Gottesman and their families.

On Sunday at 3 p.m., a memorial service will be held at in the Stern Chapel at Temple Emanu-El.

Dallas Arboretum And Dallas UnCorked Partner Up For “Wine And Film, A Perfect Pairing” Oscar Preview With Film-meister Gary Cogill

With budgets being tight after the holidays and folks recovering from weeks of partying, January and February are ideal for checking out movies. And the timing couldn’t be better with the 89th Academy Awards taking place on Sunday, February 26.

And to help with the Oscar predictions, the Dallas Arboretum and Uncorked Dallas are partnering up on Thursday, January 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to present “Wine And Film, A Perfect Pairing,” as part of the Arboretum’s Adult Education Program.

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill (File photo)

According to Dallas Uncorked Founder/President Hayley Hamilton Cogill, “We will preview some of the best films of the year, and pair special award categories with their ideal wines.”

Providing the insight on the celluloid choices will North Texas’ favorite film brain trust/Hayley’s husband Gary Cogill. But Mr. Cogill will have his work cut out for him. This year’s nominees won’t be revealed until Tuesday, January 24.

The gathering will take place in Rosine Hall with the Arboretum providing a few light appetizers that will complement the wines of the night selected by Mrs. Cogill.

While the general public tickets are $65 each, Dallas Arboretum members get in for a discounted $59. See — membership does have perks. You can sign up either way here!

Business And Art Community Leadership Turned Out For The Sold-Out 2016 Obelisk Awards Luncheon At Belo Mansion

The Business Council For The Arts was the brainchild of the late Ray Nasher. His hope was for the Dallas business community to get more involved and supportive of the various art organization. At the time the Performing Arts District was just on a wish list. But over the years, the Council evolved, adding a presentation of the Obelisk Awards to those businesses and art organizations that had shown true leadership in building Dallas’ arts. On Monday, November 7, Belo Mansion was filled to the brim for the presentation of the Obelisk Awards and to hear a moving presentation by Dallas Symphony Orchestra principle trumpet Ryan Anthony. Here is a report from the field:

This sold-out event on Monday, November 7, at Belo Mansion has been recognizing individuals and organizations that provide stellar nonprofit and business support for arts and culture for 28 years. As Obelisk Awards Co-Chair, Kevin Hurst said, “Some of the honorees are well-known to us and others are being recognized publicly for the first time.”  Kevin’s partner-in-celebration, Co-Chair Dotti Reeder added, “Their stories give us a unique perspective into mutually beneficial partnerships between businesses and the arts.”

Kevin Hurst, Mimi Sterling, Jennifer Lassiter and Jeff Byron

The 2016 Obelisk Awards honorees and those that nominated them were  

  • Arts Partnership Award (Large) — Fossil Group, nominated by Big Thought
  • Arts Partnership Award (Medium) — Taxco Food Produce, nominated by The Mexico Institute
  • Arts Partnership Award (Small) — Watters Creek at Montgomery Farms, nominated by Allen Art Alliance
  • New Initiatives Award (Large) — Cash America, nominated by Junior Players
  • New Initiatives Award (Medium) — UMB Bank, nominated by The Dallas Opera
  • New Initiatives Award (Small) — The Law Offices of Eric Cedillo, nominated by Cara Mia Theater
  • Meghan Hipsher and Lee Papert

    Distinguished Nonprofit Arts Organization — Dallas Film Society, nominated by ABCO Inc.

  • Outstanding Leadership Arts Alumnus Award — Zenetta Drew, nominated by Leadership Women
  • Business Champion for the Arts — Darrell Rodenbaugh, nominated by Plano Children’s Theatre & North Texas Performing Arts

Capera Ryan, Mark Roglan and Deborah Ryan

This year, Dr. Mark Roglán, Linda Pitts Custard Director of the Meadows Museum at SMU, became the inaugural honoree of the award for Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader. He was nominated by arts patron and professional, Patricia Meadows. The Meadows Museum and the Dallas Film Society were honored with donations from Tolleson Wealth Management and Neiman Marcus Group, in addition to the award.

Dotti Reeder and Larry Glasgow

Presentations by the esteemed co-chairs, BCA Board Chair Larry Glasgow and arts icon Nancy Nasher were followed by Ryan Anthony, Principal Trumpet and Diane and Hal Brierley Chair of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  If you’ve been reading this column, you know that Ryan is the charismatic world-talent who is battling Multiple Myeloma. He and his wife, Niki Anthony, along with many friends, have founded CancerBlows: the Ryan Anthony Foundation. Ryan’s mesmerizing words and performances – two, in fact – led to a standing ovation. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 10, and get your tickets now to see 30 world-renowned musicians playing together to fund a cure.

Andrea Devaldenebro, David Hamilton and Lona Crabb

Billy Hines and Jack Savage

Gerald Turner, Hal and Diane Brierley, Rhealyn Carter and Brad Cheves

In the crowd were Patricia Porter and Dennis Kratz, NorthPark Center’s Lona Crabb, Billy Hines and Andrea Devaldenebro, as well as Jack Boles’s David Hamilton and Meghan Hipsher, SMU’s Gerald Turner and Brad Cheves and Neiman’s Jeff Byron and Mimi Sterling.

KERA Vice President for Arts/Art & Seek Director Anne Bothwell expertly articulated just why each of the honorees is praiseworthy. Obviously a quick study, Anne stepped in when the traditional Master of Ceremonies, Mary Anne Alhadeff, was hit with a bout of bronchitis.

Blending the perfect mix of artistry with business professionalism, the Obelisk Awards logo, program and invitation were designed by graphics maestro Leon Banowetz and his team. We’re sure the brilliant centerpieces, created by Shirley Richardson of Big Box, Little Box are going to inspire mimicry. Not to be outdone, each of the awards is an original artwork, hand-blown by Jim Bowman of Bowman Studios.

Suffice to say that all of the attendants to the event are subscribers to the importance of business support. Lead sponsors for this year’s Obelisk Awards were: NorthPark Management, Capital One and Diane and Hal Brierley.  Table sponsorship was provided by Andrews Kurth LLP, Artemis Fine Art Services, Baker Botts LLP, Banowetz + Company, Inc.,  The Beck Group, BenefitMall, Big Thought, Bourland Octave Management, LLC, Comerica,  Corgan, City of Richardson, The Dallas Opera, Deloitte, LLP, Eiseman Jewels NorthPark Center, Fisher & Phillips LLP, Fossil Group, Frost Bank, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, Sherry and Kenny Goldberg, Harwood International,  Haynes and Boone LLP, HKS, Jack Boles Parking NPP, Jones Day, Leadership Arts Alumni, The Law Firm of Eric Cedillo, Maintenance of America Inc., Patricia Meadows, Morrison, Dilworth, & Walls, Neiman Marcus, Oncor, Parkland Health & Hospital System,  Powell Coleman & Arnold LLP, PwC, Southern Methodist University, Taxco Produce, Texas Instruments, Thompson & Knight LLP, Tolleson Wealth Management, Tucker David Investments, LP, University of North Texas, The University of Texas at Dallas, Patricia Villareal and Tom Leatherbury, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Whiting-Turner Contracting Company. Additionally, donations in honor of Ryan and Niki Anthony were made by Diane and Hal Brierley, Anne and Steven Stodghill and D’Andra Simmons.

What does next year hold? You’ll have to ask 2017 Obelisk Co-Chairs Thai and Steve Roth! BTW, nominations for the 2017 awards are due Friday, April 14.

JUST IN: Dallas Film Society Announces New Board Members And Reveals Returning/New Dallas International Film Festival Sponsors

Evidently, the Dallas Film Society isn’t taking time off for the holidays. Word just arrived that the film-loving organization has not only added a couple of new members to its board, but it’s also locked down some returning sponsors for its Dallas International Film Festival that kicks off on Thursday, March 30, at the Dallas City Performance Hall.

The new members of the board are advertising executive Eric Hirschhorn and University of Texas at Arlington adjunct professor Rebecca Flores.

Rebecca Flores*

Rebecca Flores*

Eric Hirschhorn*

Eric Hirschhorn*

According to DFS Chair Mark Denesuk, “As we head into the organization’s second decade, we continue to steadily add strength through new voices, new ideas, and new energy, from the arts, education, and business community. Drawing from both the film and education world, Rebecca continues to add emphasis to the two primary focuses of DFS, and Eric brings another valuable viewpoint from the world of advertising and marketing. Their talent, experience and vision, will help us greatly as we continue our efforts to grow in our second decade.”

They’ll be joining current board members Benton Bagot, Matt Bivona, Jason Cleveland, Paul Coggins, Clare Freeman, Suzanne Bock Grishman, Mary Hatcher, Geoff Hawkes, Harry Hunsicker, Lynn Lewis, Dallas Sonnier, Larry Waks and Maureen Womack.

As for the partnerships, The Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation will once again be the presenting sponsor “of both the legendary DFS Honors Awards Dinner and the DIFF 2017 Audience Awards.”

Joining the sponsorship list for a first time will be Mercury One Foundation that will be the new presenting sponsor for “DIFF’s annual High School Day and the year-round High School Roundtable program.”

The film submission software program Withoutabox is also a newbie on the sponsorship list joining other confirmed 2017 DIFF sponsors including Abco, Inc., Bloomberg Philanthropies, CineState, the City of Dallas – Office of Cultural Affairs, Commerce House, the Dallas Film Commission, Downtown Dallas Inc., El Creative, the Highland Dallas hotel, the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office – San Francisco, Lucky Post, the People’s Last Stand, PreKindle, Selig Polyscope, Stella Artois and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Follow the jump for the full-blown press release.

* Photos provided by the Dallas Film Society

[Read more…]

Rita Wilson Showed Spunk, Humor And Courage About Her Breast Cancer At The 17th Annual Celebrating Women Luncheon

North Texas treasure Lindalyn Adams was under the weather on Thursday, October 20. Of all days to be ill, this one was the wrong one. It was also the day when her brainchild fundraiser, the 2016 Celebrating Women Luncheon, was scheduled to take place at the Anatole. While it would be the first in its 17-year history for Lindalyn to miss, the show went on to raise funds for Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s efforts to battle breast cancer.

Despite her absence, Baylor Health Care System President Robin Robinson and Baylor Scott And White Health CEO/Luncheon Honorary Co-Chair Joel Allison lauded her from the podium giving her full credit for the $26M that the annual luncheon has provided.

Lynn McBee, Caren Kline and Ros Dawson

Lynn McBee, Caren Kline and Ros Dawson

Virginia Chandler Dykes

Virginia Chandler Dykes

Gail Fischer

Gail Fischer

Julie Turner

Julie Turner

Angie Kadesky, Tucker Enthoven and Nancy Carter

Angie Kadesky, Tucker Enthoven and Nancy Carter

Rita Wilson and Nancy Rogers

Rita Wilson and Nancy Rogers

The program for this year’s VIP reception in the Wedgwood Room was a tadbit different than past years. Robin decided all the speech making at previous pre-luncheon gatherings was unnecessary. So he killed the speeches and just let the crowd (Margo Goodwin, Julie Turner, Anne Nixon, Barbara Stuart, Sara Martineau, Randi Halsell, Angie Kadesky, Tucker Enthoven, Nancy Carter, D’Andra Simmons, Becky Bright, Caren Kline, Ros Dawson, Lynn McBee, Fredye Factor, Sarah Losinger, Gail Fischer, Virginia Chandler Dykes and Debbie Oates) have coffee, juice, pastries and chit chat. Great decision!

Kate Swail and Robin Robinson

Kate Swail and Robin Robinson

One topic was who the gal was in the hot pink embroidered caftan. It turned out to be Robin’s daughter Kate Swail.

Just outside the Wedgwood Room, a unique twosome posed for a photo — Gretchen Minyard Williams of the Minyard Food Store family and Connie Yates of Celebrating Women presenting sponsor Tom Thumbs. The two had a chuckle when Connie recalled upon arriving on the Dallas scene, folks would mistake her for Gretchen.

Connie Yates and Gretchen Minyard Williams

Connie Yates and Gretchen Minyard Williams

Joel and Diane Allison

Joel and Diane Allison

Honorary Co-Chair/Joel’s better half Diane Allison told how the couple had bought a condo in Waco and were looking forward to it. Only problem? Their Dallas digs sold faster than they had planned, so Diane was hustling to get things ready to move out. 

The only hitch was a very slow-mo, greet-and-meet photo session with keynote speaker/multi-talented Rita Wilson. While Rita was delightful, VIP guests were lined up three deep waiting for their photos.  

BTW, you would have loved Rita. Everyone did. Like you, she was gracious and fun. One couldn’t help but suspect she’s on everybody’s Christmas card list.

When the doors to the Chantilly Ballroom opened, you would have been amazed how filled the place was with Toni Brinker, Lana Andrews, Gene Jones, Lee Ann White, Al Hill Jr. with daughters Heather Washburne and Elisa Summers, Nancy Rogers and Niven Morgan and Shelby Wagner.

While Event Chair Aileen Pratt visited tables, husband Jack Pratt revealed the secret of youth. With a smile, the spry 90-year-young Pratt attributed it to having young children, Aileen and three points that he had learned from Dr. Kenneth Cooper:

  1. Go to sleep each night at the same time
  2. Sleep for eight hours
  3. Eat healthy.

Once the program got underway, the speakers (Aileen, Underwriting Chair Gloria Eulich Martindale, Robin and Joel) kept their words short and on point — genetic research is the future in the fight against breast cancer. Their words were supported by a video featuring experts like genetic counselor Ann Bunnell and breast cancer survivor Tracie Johnson

Aileen Pratt

Aileen Pratt

Gloria Eulich Martindale

Gloria Eulich Martindale

It was touching to see Joel on stage for his final appearance as CEO of Baylor Scott and White.

Another change in the luncheon’s program was the usual speech from the podium was replaced by a conversation between Rita and Robin. It was as if it was a chat in a living room as the two settled back in white easy chairs. It was the first time that Rita had discussed her having breast cancer in front of group, but her hopes was that one person might get a second opinion and save their life after hearing her story. 

Rita Wilson and Robin Robinson

Rita Wilson and Robin Robinson

Ten years earlier, Rita’s doctor told her that she was at high risk for having cancer, but not to worry. Still she went to have yearly mammograms and MRIs. All was fine until one in 2015. She had a needle biopsy with no resounding conclusions. Still Rita wasn’t satisfied and had two lumpectomies to remove tissues. Still there was no proof of cancer. Then she stressed that all should listen, “I just had a gut feeling that that just didn’t feel right.” A breast cancer survivor friend suggested her getting a second opinion and recommended Dr. Ira Bleiweiss.  It just so happened that she was doing a play in NYC and flying home on the weekends for her surgeries. One New York surgeon asked why she was having all these lumpectomies… “Why aren’t you getting a second opinion? The guy we use is Dr. Ira Bleiweiss.” Tissue samples were sent to Ira and after other testing, the results proved that Rita was likely going to have breast cancer. The decision was made to have bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

Rita Wilson

Rita Wilson

Robin asked, “Do you remember that ‘Ah, shoot!’ moment?” To which Rita broke up the seriousness of the situation by saying, “It was really more like ‘Ah, shit!’” It worked. The room was filled with laughter because everyone of the cancer survivors/patients understood Rita’s reaction.

A self-professed doer, Rita added the surgery to her “Must-Do-List.” But four months later when everything was done, it really hit her what she had been through.

Following the surgery, she returned to the play four weeks later and now admits that it was a bit ambitious.

Other highlights of their conversation included:

  • “I love anything that makes me feel happy. I look for project that make people smile.”
  • Life on the road with her band — “I was touring with the band Chicago and the bus broke down right around the Donner Pass. It was about two in the morning. We were stuck in the middle of nowhere.” But they made it to Reno for the performance. Still the bus needed to be replaced and it was in the middle of touring season when availability of buses is limited. They ended giving me Merle Haggard’s bus. He had bought this bus right before he passed away, which I thought was an amazing thing. He was thinking, ‘I’m just gonna keep on going.’ He had a safe in the box. I didn’t have the combo, so I don’t know what was in the safe.”
  • Her parents — “My mom [who died at 93] was a character. She was Greek. My dad, who died when he was 89. They were married 59 years. My mom always said things to me like, ‘You have to be your own best friend;’ ‘I like my own company;’ ‘You know in the beginning when you meet somebody and they say opposites attract? Later it’s opposites attack.’”
  • Her mother’s Alzheimer’s — “It’s (Alzheimer’s) really also a hideous disease. The last full conversation I had with her was really amazing because I went over to her house and I said, ‘Hi, mom, how are you doing?’ And she said, ‘Oh, I’m good.’ I asked if she knew who I was. And she said, ‘My daughter.’ I said, ‘That’s right. Which daughter?’ And she couldn’t answer that. So I said, ‘It’s me, Mom. It’s Rita.’ And she looked at me and said, ‘You’re too good looking to be Rita.’ I took it as a compliment.”
  • Her dad — “He escaped from Bulgaria and worked on a freighter ship to the Philadelphia, where he jumped ship. He worked as a bartender all his life and was supporting his family. His name was Hassan Halilov Ibrahimoff but he became Allan Wilson. My Dad’s name was difficult to spell or pronounce, so when he became a naturalized citizen, the judge said, ‘Do you want to change your name to something a little easier?’ He said, ‘Yeah, to Wilson,’ because that was the name of the street we lived on.’
  • Her birth name — “My original name was Margarita Ibrahimoff.” Robin told her that Margarita has special meaning here in Texas.
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding — Having attended lots of plays in New York, she felt she had given “short shrift” to productions on the West Coast and decided to see one in LA. “I opened the LA Times and there was a little square for an ad and it was maybe a two-inch square saying Nia Vardalos in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding.’ I thought that title makes me laugh. I’m going to see this. What’s the worst that can happen? I took my mom, my sister and my nieces and I thought, ‘The worst that can happen is we’ll have a bad show, but a great dinner somewhere.’ We went to see the show and it was great.” She told Nia that she thought it would make a great movie. Month or years later, Nia told Rita that they only had enough money to put an ad in the paper one day, one time and that was the day I saw the title.”
  • Her mom’s reaction to the movie — Imitating her mom, Rita said, ‘They are nothing like us!” Rita laughed saying, “Oh, no, they’re nothing like us. My sister lives next to my mom.
  • Meeting Tom Hanks — They met on the show “Bosom Buddies.” About two years later, they were cast in a movie called “Volunteers.” About a year afterward they started dating.
  • Rita Wilson

    Rita Wilson

    “Sleepless in Seattle” — The “That’s A Chick’s Movie” scene where the characters talk about “An Affair To Remember” was largely improvised. After Rita had done her scene recalling the emotional ending of the movie, Tom Hanks and Victor Garber improvised about “The Dirty Dozen.”

  • Her walk-up song — “Grateful”
  • Drug of choice — It used to be chocolate, but “I’ve been trying to give up sugar lately since Tom has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I also cut down on alcohol because my oncologist recommended five glasses or less of any kind of alcohol per week. He did say, ‘You can have it all in one day.’”
  • Bucket list — Not to have a definitive schedule and be more spontaneous.
  • Unknown — “I speak French and a little bit of Greek. I do ski. Don’t come with me if you want to go slow. I water color just for fun. I took lessons for five years and I learned that you can’t get worse at something, if you do it consistently.”
  • Message for those who are facing cancer — “For people who are not there yet, trust your instinct about anything and trust your gut and don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion from your doctor or a second opinion on your pathology. For those who are going through treatment or about to go through treatment, I know it feels like it’s never going to be anything other than what you’re doing and what that life is. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you’re going to be able to see that light sooner than you think. Keep the faith and do things that make you happy while you’re going through it.”

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2016 Celebrating Women Luncheon

Practically everyone added Rita Wilson to their Christmas card list after attending the 17th Annual Baylor Health Care System Foundation‘s Celebrating Women Luncheon on Thursday, October 20, at the Hilton Anatole.

Rita Wilson and Robin Robinson

Rita Wilson and Robin Robinson

Instead of giving a talk from the podium, she simply had a chat with Foundation President Robin Robinson. At times it felt like the Chantilly Ballroom was a living room with 1,200 buds sitting around.

Aileen Pratt

Aileen Pratt

Gloria Eulich Martindale

Gloria Eulich Martindale

While the post is being completed, check out the faces on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. But if you’re looking for Celebrating Women First Lady Lindalyn Adams, you’re gonna come up short. She was home under the weather and had to miss this one. And in turn Lindalyn was missed.

TACA And Business Council For The Arts Celebrated The Art Loving Greats

Thursday, October 13, must have been designated somewhere as Art News Day. In one part of town, the TACA crowd shifted their GPS from Jennifer and John Eagle’s nest for the traditional TACA Silver Cup Announcement reception to Marguerite Hoffman’s home. There it was announced that the 2017 Silver Cup Award would be presented to Nancy Nasher and Walter Elcock on Tuesday, March 7, at the Hilton Anatole.

Over at the Mayfair in the Sky Club, the Business Council for the Art held a thank you for sponsors and recipients of the Obelisk Awards.

Ah, shoot! What a loss that the two events celebrating the art loving supporter couldn’t have been held just 24 hours apart.

Kevin Hurst, Ryan and Niki Anthony and Jeff Byron

Kevin Hurst, Ryan and Niki Anthony and Jeff Byron

Snapshots: Gunnar Rawlings told Neiman Marcus Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron that his fiancée Gaby Gutierrez had purchased her wedding dress at the NM flagship… Obelisk Co-Chair Kevin Hurst reported the death of his beloved 12-year-old pup Skylar. Luckily, the household is not without a pooch with Ms. Hayden still in residence…Obelisk Award Luncheon keynote speaker Ryan Anthony and his wife Niki Ryan stopped by, but had to leave before the presentation by Board of Directors Chair Larry Glasgow, Kevin and Luncheon Co-Chair/Tolleson Managing Director Dotti Reeder…Others in the crowd included Patricia Meadows with Mark Roglan, Alfredo Duarte, Laura Einspanier, KERA President/CEO Mary Anne Alhadeff and her husband David Alhadeff, Big Thought’s Gigi Antoni and Business Council for The Arts CEO Katherine Wagner.

Laura Einspanier and Gunnar Rawlings

Laura Einspanier and Gunnar Rawlings

Dotti Reeder

Dotti Reeder

Katherine Wagner and Alfredo Duarte

Katherine Wagner and Alfredo Duarte

Mary Anne Alhadeff

Mary Anne Alhadeff

There are a couple of changes in this year’s presentation. Instead of taking place at the Fairmont, the event will take place on Monday, November 7, at Belo Mansion and Pavilion and tickets are moving briskly. Also, glass artisan Jim Bowman had designed the award that was more of an obelisk than last year’s model that was a transparent purple, kidney-shaped bowl.

This year’s honorees include:

Mark Roglan and Patricia Meadows

Mark Roglan and Patricia Meadows

  • Cash America nominated by Junior Players
  • Dallas Film Society nominated by ABCO Inc.
  • Darrell Rodenbaugh nominated by Plano Children’s Theatre and North Texas Performing Arts
  • Mark Roglan nominated by Patricia Meadows
  • Taxco Food Produce nominated by The Mexico Institute
  • The law offices of Eric Cedillo nominated by Cara Mia Theater
  • UMB Bank nominated by The Dallas Opera
  • Watters Creek at Montgomery Farms nominated by Allen Arts Alliance
  • Zenetta Drew nominated by Leadership Women

Sold-Out Alert!: 28th Annual Obelisk Awards Luncheon

Those favorite words have been sent again — Sold Out! Business Council for the Arts28th Annual Obelisk Awards Luncheon Co-Chairs Kevin Hurst and Dotti Reeder report that the fundraiser on Monday, November 7, at the Belo Mansion is at total capacity.

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

Dotti Reeder (File photo)

Dotti Reeder (File photo)

Ryan Anthony (File photo)

Ryan Anthony (File photo)

But come on. A very nice check and a pretty please might just open a seat or two.

In addition to recognizing a load of great supporters of the arts, the event will include a talk by Dallas Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet Ryan Anthony. Perhaps Ryan will bring along his horn for a mini-performance.

‘Larger Than Life’ Stodghills Are Feted At 10th Anniversary Dallas Film Society Luncheon

Anita La Cava Swift, the eldest of John Wayne’s 27 grandchildren, stood at the podium at Sixty Five Hundred on Tuesday, September 27, and spoke wryly to a luncheon crowd of more than 300 about her friends Anne and Steve Stodghill. “It was just a matter of time before the Wayne family and the Stodghill family would cross paths,” Anita said. “And not just because of that big portrait” of The Duke in the Stodghills’ house!

Wayne’s granddaughter was talking about Steve and Anne’s leading role in the annual John Wayne Film Festival, which was moved at their behest to Dallas a few years ago from Snyder in West Texas. Anita’s recollections were apropos, because they came at the 10th Anniversary Luncheon of the Dallas Film Society (DFS) honoring Anne and Steve—huge DFS supporters and big-time movie buffs. The couple co-chaired the DFS’ 2009 Dallas International Film Festival, and Steve owns a sizeable collection of movie memorabilia, including many Batman and John Wayne items.

Tom West, Steve and Anne Stodghill and Todd Wagner*

Tom West, Steve and Anne Stodghill and Todd Wagner*

In her luncheon talk, Anita told how the Stodghills had determined to bring the Wayne film festival to North Texas and to LOOK Cinemas. (LOOK’s Tom Stephenson and wife Blake were in the crowd.) “Everything we license, a portion goes to find a cure for cancer,” Anita went on. “The two festivals that Anne and Steve did raised over $450,000 for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. So, there will always be a place at the Wayne family table for Steve and Anne. We love you!”

Lee Papert*

Lee Papert*

Everybody seemed to have some love for the Stodghills at the DFS event, which was attended by the likes of Jennifer and Coley Clark, Harry Hunsicker, Michael Cain, Veletta Forsythe Lill, Holly and Stubbs Davis, Janis Burklund, Lynn McBee, Joanna Clarke and Paige McDaniel. As the guests chowed down on their grilled petit filet, oven-cured tomato, mixed greens, and salted caramel tart (it was adorned, appropriately enough, with a little Batman logo), they heard welcoming remarks by DFS officials Suzanne Bock Grishman (the event co-chair), Mark Denesuk (the board chair), and Lee Papert, the group’s president and CEO.

They were followed by Tom West, chief advancement officer for the American Film Institute, where Steve has served as vice chair of the AFI’s national council. Cracked Tom: “Hollywood is known for larger-than-life personalities, but Steve and Anne put La La Land to shame.”

James Faust*

James Faust*

Then West gave way to Dallas entrepreneur and philanthropist Todd Wagner, who was interviewed onstage by columnist Robert Wilonsky of The Dallas Morning News. After Wilonsky confessed that he enjoys “going to Steve’s house and raiding the liquor cabinet on occasion,” Wagner talked about his Todd Wagner Foundation, which focuses on at-risk youth, and his latest venture, called the Charity Network. The latter “harnesses the power of celebrity, technology and media” to raise money and awareness for nonprofits via three digital fundraising platforms: Charitybuzz, Prizeo, and Chideo. Asked how the venture had come about, Wagner replied, “What we’re doing now is the culmination of everything I’ve ever done. It’s entertainment and philanthropy … all rolled into one. My frustration had been that many of these organizations had been happy for me to write them a check. But I thought I could do much more.”

After Wagner delivered a humorous “Top 10 List” about Steve—it was payback for Steve having previously delivered a Top 10 List about Wagner—actress Peri Gilpin, a longtime friend of the Stodghills, was scheduled to speak. DFW Artistic Director James Faust closed out the bill in the same spirit of good humor, at one point even donning a Batman mask.

* Photos provided by the Dallas Film Society

Dallas CASA’s Champions Of Children Award Dinner To Honor NorthPark Center With Author Antwone Fischer As Keynote Speaker

Parade of Playhouses (File photo)

Parade of Playhouses (File photo)

After 21 years of Dallas CASA filling the NorthPark Center with adorable cottages for auctioning, Champion For Children Award Dinner Co-Chairs Christine and Jonathan Bassham, Karen and Mark Carney, Jeanne and Joseph Manogue and Kristy Hoglund Robinson just announced that the renowned retailing center will be presented with the Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award at the annual dinner fundraiser for Dallas CASA.

Dallas CASA*

Dallas CASA*

Joining the festivities on Tuesday, October 27, at The Fairmont Dallas will be Honorary Co-Chairs Micki and Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Karen Carney and Kristy Hoglund Robinson (File photo)

Karen Carney and Kristy Hoglund Robinson (File photo)

Micki and Mike Rawlings (File photo)

Micki and Mike Rawlings (File photo)

Another highlight of the event will be keynote speaker/film producer/director/screenwriter/author Antwone Fisher, whose “Finding Fish” resulted in a movie starring Denzel Washington.

 

According to Antwone, “I think back on a childhood of longing for belonging and see my life now as something created out of my dreams. I clung to that preposterous vision and with the force of those dreams willed it and made it happen. Not because I needed to be famous but because I needed a world that made me feel uninvited to be wrong. So I imagined myself free, I imagined myself loved, I imagined myself as somebody.”

Individual tickets start at $300 and are available now!

* Graphic courtesy of Dallas CASA

[Read more…]

JUST IN: The 2016 Obelisk Awardees Announced

The 2016 Obelisk Awards*

The 2016 Obelisk Awards*

The Business Council for the Arts just released the lineup for The 2016 Obelisk Awards that will be presented on Monday, November 7, at Belo Mansion. As part of the awards program, a new category has been added the list — Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader.

  • Arts Partnership Award (Large) — Fossil Inc., nominated by Big Thought
  • Arts Partnership Award (Medium) — Taxco Food Produce, nominated by The Mexico Institute
  • Arts Partnership Award (Small) — Watters Creek at Montgomery Farms, nominated by Allen Art Alliance
  • New Initiatives Award (Large) — Cash America, nominated by Junior Players
  • New Initiatives Award Medium) — UMB Bank, nominated by The Dallas Opera
  • New Initiatives Award (Small) — The Law Offices of Eric Cedillo, nominated by Cara Mia Theater
  • Distinguished Nonprofit Arts Organization — Dallas Film Society, nominated by ABCO Inc.
  • Outstanding Leadership Arts Alumnus Award — Zenetta Drew, nominated by Leadership Women
  • Business Champion for the Arts — Darrell Rodenbaugh, nominated by Plano Children’s Theatre and North Texas Performing Arts
  • Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader — Mark Roglán, nominated by Patricia Meadows

According to 2016 Obelisk Awards Luncheon Co-Chair Dotti Reeder, ““Now in its 28th year, The Obelisk Awards reflect a pantheon of businesses large and small that have made this region one of the nation’s most creatively vibrant.”

Dotti Reeder (File photo)

Dotti Reeder (File photo)

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

Another highlight of the luncheon will be the keynote speaker — Dallas Symphony Orchestra lead trumpet Ryan Anthony. Obelisk Awards Luncheon Co-Chair Kevin Hurst summed up the choice of speaker by saying, “At the very essence of BCA’s mission is the intersection of business and arts. I think Ryan’s story how he leveraged his professional passion with his personal passion will be most compelling.”

Follow the jump for a detailed description of the awardees. [Read more…]

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2016 Celebrating Women Luncheon

Gloria Eulich Martindale and Aileen Pratt (File photo)

Gloria Eulich Martindale and Aileen Pratt (File photo)

According to 2016 Celebrating Women Chair Aileen Pratt and 2106 Celebrating Women Underwriting Chair Gloria Eulich Martindale,

“We are honored to serve as chairs of the 17th annual Celebrating Women Luncheon, on Thursday, October 20, at the Hilton Anatole. Year after year, Celebrating Women brings together more than 1,200 supporters to increase awareness and generate funding for breast cancer research, diagnosis and treatment.

“It’s an important cause that hits so close to home for so many women and families in our community. Celebrating Women provides an opportunity for us to join together in support of those who have fought, are fighting, or will fight this dreaded disease.

Rita Wilson*

Rita Wilson*

“Each year, we learn something new Baylor Scott and White Health – North Texas is doing, thanks to funds raised through Celebrating Women, to advance the fight. This year, we will highlight Baylor’s efforts in breast cancer genetic testing, counseling and education, and hear personal stories from patients whose lives have been directly affected. After all, it’s those stories that help us connect to our mission.

“Another story we will hear is from our featured speaker, Rita Wilson. Rita is a multi-talented actress, producer, singer and songwriter, and wife of actor, Tom Hanks. Since being diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2015, she has shared her inspiring story with the world.

“Sponsorships and underwriting opportunities are still available; individual tickets start at $250 and table prices start at $2,500. For more information, call 214.820.4500 or visit the 2016 Celebrating Women website.

“We hope you’ll join us. Together we can find a cure for this disease that affects so many women and families in our community.”

* Photo provided by 2016 Celebrating Women

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Dallas CASA Champion Of Children Award Dinner

According to Dallas CASA Champion of Children Award Dinner Co-Chairs Karen Carney and Kristy Hoglund Robinson,

Karen Carney and Kristy Hoglund Robinson*

Karen Carney and Kristy Hoglund Robinson*

“Just before Christmas last year, Child Protective Services received a report about four young teenagers living with their mother, who was dealing drugs out of the house.

“What CPS found when they arrived was worse. There was no food in the pantry, refrigerator or freezer. The utilities to the home had been cut off. One of the teenagers had been using drugs and was suicidal. Two were still trying to go to school. Another had sought refuge with a friend’s family.

“We had just completed training to become Dallas CASA volunteers, and this was the case we were assigned. The months we’ve spent advocating for these children have shown us in person what a critical difference having a volunteer advocate can make for children removed from unsafe homes.

“This fall, we are two of the event co-chairs for Dallas CASA’s Champion of Children Award dinner Thursday, October 27, at The Fairmont Dallas. The dinner honors North Texans who are making a difference in the lives of children like the four teenagers we work with.

Mike and Micki Rawlings (File photo)

Mike and Micki Rawlings (File photo)

“The dinner will feature Honorary Co-Chairs Mike and Micki Rawlings and will honor NorthPark Center with the prestigious Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award for its decades of service to Dallas’ children. The award is given annually to individuals or organizations who significantly improve the lives of children in our community, particularly those whose young lives have been marked by abuse, neglect or other adversity.

“The highlight of the night will be our guest speaker, Antwone Fisher, film producer, director, screenwriter and author. Fisher was working as a security guard at Sony Pictures in Los Angeles when he took a free screenwriting course. The story he ended up writing was his own. Born in an Ohio prison to a teenage mother, Antwone grew up in an abusive foster home, escaping at age 14 only to become homeless on the streets of Cleveland. Ultimately, his life was saved when he joined the United States Navy, proudly serving for 11 years. Even in his darkest times, Antwone clung to a vision that he was worth something. He clung to that vision ‘not because I needed to be famous but because I needed a world that made me feel uninvited to be wrong. I imagined myself free, I imagine myself loved, I imagined myself as somebody.’

“The book, ‘Finding Fish,’ was made into a movie, ‘Antwone Fisher,’ starring Denzel Washington.

Champion Of Children Award Dinner*

Champion Of Children Award Dinner*

“Please join us and our dinner Co-Chairs Christine and Jonathan Bassham, Mark Carney and Jeanne and Joseph Manogue at Dallas CASA’s Champion of Children dinner on October 27 at The Fairmont Dallas. Together, we can make a difference for children like our four CASA youth. All four children are now in loving, safe homes, and we have high hopes for their futures. Like Antwone, we stubbornly cling to a vision for these kids that they can grow up safe, protected and loved.

For more information, visit Champion Of Children Award Dinner.

Presenting sponsor is Crest Cadillac/Crest Infiniti, and platinum sponsors are Angela and Jim Thompson.

* Graphic and photo provided by Dallas CASA