MySweetMusic For Christmas 2017 – Part 1

What better way to kick off Christmas Eve then with Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and the late Luciano Pavarotti? So, turn up the sound and watch the video of the Three Tenors’ Christmas concert at Konzerthaus in Vienna with conductor Steven Mercurio.

If You Don’t Believe In Santa, NORAD Does

If you have munchkins, grand munchkins or still wonder if Santa really exists, then there are bona fide experts who have all the information to back old Kris Kringle. It’s the North American Aerospace Defense Command (aka NORAD) located in Colorado Springs. Starting at midnight NORAD will be monitoring Santa and his team’s travels through the world. But the NORAD Tracks Santa website is up now!

NORAD Tracks Santa*

Thanks to corporate sponsors, NORAD’s website is a holiday delight and as slick as a North Pole breeze. There are games, music, reading materials, movies and all types of activities and items.

They’ve come a long way since 1955 when a Sears Roebuck ad accidentally posted the wrong phone number for children to call Santa. Instead of Sears, the number directed the callers to (Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Commander-in-Chief hotline, where the late Col. Harry Shoup started the tradition of monitoring Santa’ annual trek around the world.

So, if you’re a Doubting Thomas or a Skeptical Suzy, check out NORAD Tracks Santa just for the fun of it.

* Graphic courtesy of NORAD Tracks Santa

Cristo Rey Dallas’ “Grow The Grove” Boasted Cheerleaders, Live Auction, Dinner And Student Panel Discussion On Protecting The Dream

Whether it’s “Draft Day” or a sporting event, the Cristo Rey Dallas College Preparatory School students and supporters always have enthusiasm, commitment and, of course, cheerleaders. Thanks to Co-Chairs Muffin Lemak and Susan Palma and Honorary Co-Chairs Mary and Mike Terry, those ingredients were on hand for the school’s fundraiser “Grow The Grove” at sixty five hundred on Friday, November 17.

Oh, why was it called “Grow the Grove”? Silly! Because the school that is located in Pleasant Grove. Here’s a report from the field:

Mary and Mike Terry*

Susan Jenevein, Susan Palma and Muffin Lemak*

Attendees of the 2nd annual Grow the Grove arrived to a pep-rally style welcome by Cristo Rey Dallas cheerleaders on Friday, November 17. Honorary Co-Chairs Mary and Mike Terry and Event Co-Chairs Muffin and John Lemak and Susan and Gene Palma, were joined by supporters at venue sixty five hundred for the sold-out fundraiser benefitting Cristo Rey Dallas, an innovative high school located in Pleasant Grove that offers students who would otherwise not consider private school a rigorous college prep education paired with a valuable work study program.

Once inside, partygoers mingled over wine, courtesy of Coquerel Family Wine Estates, signature cocktails, including the “ACT ace,” and light bites of wrapped apricots, Parmesan cheese tarts and crab cakes, while enjoying the sounds of the Cristo Rey student musicians under the direction of music teacher Dr. Alex Fraile.

Around the room, students showcased some of the school’s curriculum through interactive activities, including art students working on current art projects using acrylics and charcoal; a Theology Smackdown, in which students and guests, including guest participant Father Joshua Whitfield from St. Rita Catholic Church, competed with each other to get the right answer on questions that CRD students know from their theology coursework; and science demonstrations featuring an extraction of DNA from strawberries; using a universal indicator to show how dry ice goes from a base to an acid as it melts; and the use of a Van de Graaff generator to show how guest’s hair became electrified.

Cristo Rey cheerleaders*

At that appointed time, the cheerleaders made their way through the crowd leading guests to the dining area to be seated. Co-chairs Susan and Muffin took the stage to welcome attendees and thank them for the support of this year’s Grow the Grove. They then asked everyone to hold up the Cristo Rey Rules rulers, that they had placed at each place setting, and to please repeat after them: “I promise that I will try to win the good behavior award by not disturbing my neighbors and table mates. And I will bid high on these fabulous auction items tonight.” Student Ryan Olson followed to ask everyone to join him and his fellow students, who were surrounding the stage, in prayer. Olson then welcomed guests and added his thanks for their support of Cristo Rey Dallas.

Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows*

Scott and Laura Moore and Gunnar Rawlings*

Claire Straty and Steve and Laurie-Jo Straty*

Ellie Lemak and John Karigan*

Guests including Donna Woodard, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Pam and Vin Perella, Christie Carter, Micki and Mayor Mike Rawlings, Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows, Shelby Wagner, Julie Hawes, Liesl and Karl Kuby, Beth and Chuck Thoele, Leisa Street, Mersina Stubbs, Ginny and Randy Bailey, Ron Corning, Jonathan Moon, Suzy and Larry Gekiere, Shelle and Michael Sills, Debbie Tolleson, Laurie-Jo and Steve Straty, Janie and David Condon and Melinda and Steve Winn enjoyed their first course of a classic wedge salad with a Texas-sized garlic crouton and buttermilk herb yogurt dressing followed by an entrée of petite filet of beef with foraged mushroom demi, mashed potatoes with garlic and herb butter and roasted rainbow of carrots and parsnips, while listening to the sounds of Billy Joel, a hint for one of the highly-anticipated live auction packages.

Craig and Martha Burkert and Janet and Crawford Brock*

Ron Corning and Jonathan Moon*

Kelby and Donna Woodard*

As a trio of desserts was served, Olson returned to introduce Cristo Rey Dallas President Kelby Woodard, who extended his gratitude to the co-chairs, honorary chairs, host committee and sponsors for helping raise a record-breaking amount from this year’s event.

He then shared with the crowd the state of the school, now in its third year with 375 students enrolled. In academics, results of the Measuring Academic Progress national standardized test had just been released with the class of 2019 having grown at four times the national average in math and reading and the class of 2020 having grown at two times the national average. Through the school’s innovative Corporate Work Study Program, where Cristo Rey students work one day per week offsite for one of 107 corporate partners, students will earn over $3.0 million towards their own education this year. Additionally they are earning strong evaluations from their supervisors, 97 percent of the time meeting or exceeding expectations, which has ranked them in the top four of all Cristo Rey schools across the nation.

He also cited that enrollment continues to increase with anticipation this year of more than 3 applications for every one spot available. And in sports, Cristo Rey students have worked hard on the track, field and the court, competing well against other local schools, including a place in the state semi-finals in soccer against Covenant School.

David Moran, chair-elect of the Cristo Rey Dallas board of directors and managing partner at Jackson Walker, a founding Corporate Work Study Program partner, followed with his firm’s experiences with the student workers through CWSP, and in closing encouraged others to consider the rewarding partnership.

Emily Casanova-Castillo, Alexis Vargas, Rhonda Hughes, Emmanuel Moreno and Dipaouly Shah*

The program then concluded with a panel discussion, “Protect the Dream: A Conversation” led by moderator Rhonda Hughes, a principal of Hughes Strategy, which is a boutique leadership development and communications firm. Joining Hughes onstage, Alexis Vargas, Emily Casanova-Castillo, Emmanuel Moreno and Dipaouly Shah each shared their experiences as students, how attending Cristo Rey Dallas has impacted their plans for the future and their experiences working for some of Dallas’ most prestigious companies through the work study program.

It was then time to let the bidding begin in the live auction with packages featuring a stay at a private home in Colorado; a work of art created by students using acrylic paint pens and wooden Popsicle sticks, entitled “Protect the Dream;” box seats for four to the Big 12 Championship on December 2; a private dinner for eight with Bishop Burns catered by Nick and Sam’s Grill; an earth-moving day of fun for 12 at Extreme Sandbox including cocktails and a catered barbeque following; and New York City trip including tickets to the sold out Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, December 20, tickets to Broadway’s School of Rock including backstage tour and accommodations at the Omni Berkshire, which garnered the highest bids of the night.

The live auction concluded with an announcement of The Partnership, a group of supporters of Cristo Rey Dallas students who co-invest $3,200 each year to bridge the tuition gap that remains after students earn over 60 percent of the education at their corporate work study jobs and their parents pay tuition based on ability.  With students earning the majority of the cost of their education, members of The Partnership are truly partners with the students themselves as they earn their own way. Auctioneer Wes Pool then asked for all in attendance to consider raising a paddle to support this important initiative.

As the evening came to a close, partygoers were treated to a late night snack of coffee and donuts, glazed in one of the school’s signature colors, orange.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron

 

MySweetWishList: Art Ball 2018

According to Art Ball 2018 Chairman Rebecca Enloe Fletcher,

Rebecca Enloe Fletcher*

“We recently announced Art Ball 2018, themed ‘Horizon – Now. New. Next,’ will be held Saturday, April 21, at the Dallas Museum of Art. Proceeds from the 53rd  annual Art Ball will directly affect the DMA’s ongoing commitment to providing free access to its world-renowned collection, as well as various exhibitions and educational programs throughout the year.

“’Art Ball 2018: Horizon – Now. New. Next’ will be a fresh, inventive take on this celebrated evening full of contemporary color and artistic surprises. We will recognize a new chapter in the Museum’s history, both celebrating our current accomplishments as well as looking toward the future.

“We hope you will consider joining us for an unforgettable evening of dinner and dancing that will provide vital support to our museum. With assistance from Todd Fiscus of Todd Events, the event will feature modern, contemporary décor with a sculptural feel. Cascading color from the ceiling will mimic the vibrant horizon and will be reflected throughout in the mirrored décor. Guests will be welcomed into an elegant, seated dinner catered by Cassandra Fine Catering, and an after party for Art Ball Patrons will follow the dinner and live auction.

“Proceeds from The Art Ball directly benefit the DMA’s programs, special exhibitions and collections. The DMA’s global collection of more than 24,000 works is nationally regarded and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Its programs are among the most innovative and robust in reaching new audiences. The DMA anchors the Dallas Arts District, and over the past fiscal year was visited by more than 800,000 people. Over the past 20 years, the DMA’s Art Ball has raised more than $28 million to support the Museum’s mission of engaging and educating the community through art. Last year’s event raised $1.3 million in net revenue, and the 2018 gala is expected to continue the strong tradition of giving, which has greatly benefited the Museum and its visitors for more than 50 years.

“For tickets or to learn more about underwriting opportunities, please visit www.DMA.org or contact the Art Ball Office at [email protected] or 214.922.1800.”

-By Rebecca Enloe Fletcher, Art Ball 2018 chairman

* Photo provided by Dallas Museum of Art

JUST IN: Dr. Kern Wildenthal To Serve As Interim General Director/CEO Of The Dallas Opera Following Keith Cerny’s Resignation

With The Dallas Opera‘s General Director/ CEO Keith Cerny‘s announcing his resignation last Friday, the interim stand-in has just been revealed.

According to The Dallas Opera Board Chair Holly Mayer, “As has been the case in the past, there is a need for an executive presence in the office during this transitional period, while the search committee prepares to begin its task of identifying a permanent replacement.

Holly Mayer (File photo)

Kern Wildenthal (File photo)

“The transition team offered the post of Interim General Director and CEO to former Board Chair Kern Wildenthal, who has accepted. Dr. Wildenthal is well known and respected, not only within The Dallas Opera, but throughout the community.”

Until the full-time position is filled, Kern will “be serving with no compensation.”

Business Council For The Art’s 2017 Obelisk Awards Luncheon Was A Salute To The Arts And Business And A Swan Song For Two

Some of the 2017 Obelisk Awardees were wondering why the pre-luncheon VIP reception at the Belo on Wednesday, November 15, was starting at 10 a.m. After all, the luncheon wasn’t scheduled to start until noon. Still there were group photos to be taken and individual ones with VIP types like Business Council for the Arts Chair Nancy Nasher and mic tests. But this group was well versed into production and found themselves done with all the preparations within a half hour.

Luckily, there were plenty of things to catch up about and check out like the arrangement of the awards that were strategically positioned in front of the ballroom. The beautiful pieces of glass were the artwork by Dallas artisan Jim Bowman. This collection would be Jim’s swan song, since he and his wife Mary Lynn Devereux-Bowman were moving to North Carolina.

2017 Obelisk Awards by Jim Bowman

And speaking of swan songs, little did anyone suspect that this would be one of the awardee’s farewell appearances. But more about that later.

David Haemisegger, Nancy Nasher and Larry Glasgow

Carolyn Brown

James Faust

Niki Anthony

Across the room, the late art scribe Patsy Swank’s son, Sam Swank played his guitar as around 500 guests like  David Haemisegger, Business Council for the Arts Larry Glasgow, NorthPark crew (Billy Hines and Lona Crabb), Neiman’s Kevin Hurst, Nasher Sculpture Center’s Jeremy Strick, Jo Staffelbach Heinz and Andre Staffelbach, James Faust, Dotti Reeder, Carolyn Brown, Patricia Meadows and Dr. Richard Sachson waited for the ballroom doors to open.

At one point the entry of the guests came to a standstill as one Mercedes driver forgot something in her care and searched and searched for it with cars coming to a standstill in the Belo circular drive.

At 11:41 a.m. the doors opened and the room filled, but it took a couple of call-to-chairs by a voice over the PA. Even after taking their places, the crowd was in a talkative mood. Due to the chatter in the room, many didn’t realized that art-loving/real estate kingpin Craig Hall was appearing in a video on the screens at the front of the room. He was introducing the backstory of Jim’s creating the awards. Too bad because the process was both fascinating and a salute to the artist.

Following the videos, Business Council for the Arts Board Chair Larry Glasgow addressed the group and immediately the talk stopped. Perhaps if he had introduced the videos, more folks would have learned about the work that went into the awards that were underwritten by Craig.  

Steven Roth and Thai-Lan Tran

Luncheon Co-Chairs Dr. Thai-Lan Tran and Steven Roth spoked how the arts contribute to the well-being of people and that Keynote Speaker Karen Brooks Hopkins would be addressing the group in a few minutes.

For the next ten minutes, guests were put to the test of Etiquette 101. At many tables, some guests were served their lunches, while others didn’t. As forks stayed in place waiting for the rest of the table to be served, the chicken Provencal with asparagus and crispy potatoes cooled. A floor managed walked the room appearing to be satisfied with the progress, while more than one guest tried to grabbed the attention of a passing server. Eventually, plates made their way to the empty spots and no one starved.

At 12:15, Karen posed the question if the arts and business can help and provide real service? She believed the answer was a definite, “Yes.” Highlights of her talk included

  • Art is the only thing that endures over the years.
  • Too often art is dismissed as frivolous.
  • The arts only receive 5% of corporate philanthropy.
  • Inclusion of arts in low income neighborhoods results in positive ways.
  • The arts can be a powerful force for change.
  • Businesses must be incorporated in supporting the arts to get the job done.

In emphasizing the need for the need to appreciate corporate support, she recalled that during the 2008 recession, she was involved in a gala at which the head of the sponsoring bank was called to the stage and he was boo-ed. “It would be the long time before the bank would sign up again. I learned a hard lesson that night.”

Ryan Anthony

Finishing her talk at 12:28, Karen said that business should be creative in giving.

Next up was Nancy, who like a general taking command said, “We’re going to keep on schedule.” That said, she didn’t mince words and introduce Dallas Symphony Orchestra Lead Trumpet Ryan Anthony, who played three tunes making it seem so effortless. He finished up with “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from “Carousel.”

At 12:39 North Texas Public Broadcasting President/CEO Mary Anne Alhadeff took her place at the podium on the left side of the stage to announce the recipients including

From the left: (front row) : Keith Cerny, Nancy Carlson, Alexa Spears, Gail Sachson, Bill DiGaetano and Eddie Reyes; (back row) : Adam Conway, Kevin Hurst, Julius Pickenpack, Kathy Litinas, Javier Martinez and Jacques Marquis

  • The Arts Partnership Award
    • Large Business — Target
    • Medium Business — Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
    • Small Business — Angelika Film Center
  • The New Initiatives Award
    • Large Business — Corgan
    • Medium Business — West Village
    • Small Business — C.C. Communications
  • The Distinguished Cultural Organization Award — The Cliburn
  • The Business Champion for the Arts Award — Nancy Carlson
  • The Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader Award — Keith Cerny
  • The Arts Education Award — Neiman Marcus Group
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award — Ask Me About Art/Gail Sachson
  • The Community Champion Award — Kathy Litinas

All gave touching and revealing acceptance speeches. They ranged from Nancy Carlson’s “It’s my privilege to support the arts” to Gail Sachson’s “Art is good for your eyes and all your other body parts. But it especially good for your heart. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Ironically, the last recipient was The Dallas Opera General Director/CEO Keith Cerny who sounded like he was doing a Reader’s Digest version of the State-Of-The-Opera. In addition to achieving financial stability and gaining international recognition, his proudest achievement was the Linda and Mitch Hart program for women conductors.

Exactly one month later to the day, Keith would announce he was leaving The Dallas Opera to head up the Calgary Opera.

MySweetWishList: AT&T Performing Arts Center

According to AT&T Performing Arts Center Director of Education and Community Engagement Glynis Brault,

“Happy holidays, fellow Dallasites!

Motown the Musical*

“The nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center passionately believes that everyone deserves to experience the power and wonder of the arts. Our wish this holiday season is that you’ll join us in our efforts to educate, entertain and inspire audiences from every part of North Texas.

“The Center has a unique program called Community Partners. Working with social service agencies, we provide tickets to individuals and families who face challenging circumstances or have little to no access to the performing arts. Through this highly collaborative solution to the problem of arts access in North Texas, the Center provides approximately 1,500 free tickets each year to a variety of partner organizations. However, as a nonprofit arts foundation which presents shows rather than produces them, the Center must purchase the tickets we use for this program. Currently, Community Partners is supported by the visionary Donna Wilhelm Friendship Fund, Texas Commission on the Arts and individual contributions to our annual fund – from generous supporters like you!

AT&T Performing Arts Center **

“And the outcomes are exciting! Just ask Kamica King, a music therapist at The Bridge, a Community Partners agency which serves the homeless community. Last year she brought a group to see Grammy Award-winning blues musician Keb’ Mo’.

“’I wanted to say a huge thank you for the opportunity to bring Bridge guests to see Keb’ Mo’,’ said Ms. King, who turned the concert into a classroom and concert experience! ‘The cohort enjoyed learning about Keb’ Mo’ and his music, loved the show and had really great reflections on the experience as well. This would not have been possible without the generosity of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. You all do tremendous work to make the arts accessible and we are truly thankful. It is an honor to be a Community Partner!’

Winspear Opera House***

“Well, the feeling is mutual! We’re honored to partner with The Bridge. The same goes for all of our Community Partners which include The Family Place, HopeKids North Texas, Jonathan’s Place, Jubilee Park & Community Center, Lumin Education, Nexus Recovery Center Inc., Resource Center, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, Uplift Education – Peak Preparatory, Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation, Wesley-Rankin Community Center and Wilkinson Center.

“Our wish this holiday season? That you’ll help us continue serving all these great partners and the people they serve!

“Likewise, if you represent an agency that you’d like to see involved in Community Partners please let us know.

“Happy Holidays!”

-By Glynis Brault, AT&T Performing Arts Center director of Education and Community Engagement

* Photo credit: Nate Rehlander, courtesy of AT&T Performing Arts Center
** Graphic provided by AT&T Performing Arts Center 
***Photo credit: Carter Rose, courtesy of AT&T Performing Arts Center

A Passing: Shelly Katz

Back in the early 1970s, international travel was a big deal with Dallas only having one airport — Love Field; photographers were shooting cameras with film; and less than a half dozen television channels were available.

The late Stanley Marcus had come up with a brilliant idea to shore up the business that tended to go downward in October — Fortnight. Each year he and his staff would turn the downtown Neiman Marcus into a luxurious mini-version of a far-away country — Italy, France, England, etc. In addition to bringing in celebrities like Sophia Loren and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., dignitaries like Lord Mountbatten and designers like Gina Frattini and Hanae Mori, one of the highlights was the fundraising Fortnight Gala that was held at the Fairmont on the first Saturday of the two-week showcase.

It was in 1974 that Japan was the country in the spotlight and headlining the Gala was legendary comedian Jack Benny. A young society writer covering the event stood in the back of the ballroom, when she started talking with a handsome gentleman with a New York accent. The two of them hit it off. He asked if she would like to meet “Jack.” It turned out that he was Irving Fein, Benny’s agent, and the comedian was warming up in a room down the hall. Thrilled at the idea of meeting the star, she didn’t hesitate.

Shelly Katz*

Overhearing the conversation between the two was a freelance photographer, who was short in stature but long on his ability to get “the shot.” His name was Shelly Katz and for local newspaper photographers, the bearded photographer was their nemesis because he was game to get “the shot” for national publications and wire services. Perhaps it was because he was lacking in height that he always managed to get that unique shot that made the final cut.

Like a bloodhound sensing prey, Shelly joined the twosome as if he were part of the young writer’s team. She didn’t mind. She liked Shelly and didn’t see any harm in his tagging along.

As they entered the room filled with Neiman Marcus execs, there was a conversation going on between Benny and his valet. The performer had been practicing with his violin, and for some reason his fingers and arms just didn’t seem right. The valet suggested that Benny was exaggerating the problem or perhaps there was something wrong with the violin. Benny protested. There was something definitely not right, and it was not the instrument.

Now, it just so happened that on this night, the Gala was benefiting the local medical association, with every heavy-hitting medical expert in town seated just feet away in the ballroom. By this time the agent was totally focused on his client and had forgotten the writer and photographer, who were watching from the sidelines.

As three of the area’s top doctors in tuxedos were brought into the room, Shelly saw an opportunity. He knew there was no way he was going to take a photo and blow his cover. But he spotted something in the writer’s hand — a small tape recorder. Quickly, he grabbed it, pushed the record button and placed it on the table near Benny. No one noticed the move. Their eyes were all on the doctor who was now seated directly in front of Benny and holding his hands.

The doctor said, “Mr. Benny, would you please say, ‘Round the rock ran the red rabbit’?” Silence filled the room. Benny’s eyes grew, as he looked at the doctor in a state of bewilderment. All breathing seemed to stop in the room. Had he had a stroke? Then looking up at the valet, Benny said, “Can you believe him? He wants me to say, ‘Round the rock ran the red rabbit.’” Immediately, the room that had been filled with anxiety burst into laughter.  

But the doctors still weren’t all that pleased and recommended his not going on stage. Despite protests, Benny acquiesced and was escorted to his suite with doctors on both sides. Before following the group down the hallway, Shelly handed the recorder to the writer with a smile. He had captured the story for her.

Benny would be dead two months later from pancreatic cancer. On the other hand, Shelly would continue on getting stories for Life, Time, People Weekly and other publications. When the world of digital photography and personal computers arrived on the scene, Shelly immediately jumped on board, “working closely with various manufacturers in developing electronic photo gathering systems as well as consulting with ABC-TV, CBS-TV and Showtime Network.”

The New York Times reported in 1991 how, 11 years earlier, “Time asked him to find a way of producing ‘clearer and cleaner’ electronic still images of a NASA space mission than were possible from shooting off a television monitor. He and NASA scientists worked out a system using available technology to get an image directly on tape as it was being shown on a monitor.”

On Friday, December 15, Shelly died at the age of 75, leaving behind a much-loved son, Andrew Katz, and a priceless collection of images from his 64-year relationship with photography. His funeral will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 19, at DFW National Cemetery.

* Photo courtesy of Andrew Katz

Top-Tier Types Celebrated First Lady Of Dallas Philanthropy Margaret McDermott’s Receiving Center For BrainHealth’s Legacy Award

The Brook Hollow parking lot looked like the world’s most luxurious car lot with Bentleys, top-tier Mercedes and cousins like Range Rovers, Lexuses and Cadillacs on Tuesday, November 14. No, it wasn’t a glamorous car convention. It was the Center for BrainHealth’s Legacy Award Dinner honoring North Texas First Lady of Philanthropy Margaret McDermott.

While Margaret tends to shy away from pomp and circumstance recognition, the Brainiacs had three things going for her to agree:

  • Margaret’s love for UT Dallas – of which Center for BrainHealth is a part,
  • Margaret’s beloved late husband Eugene McDermott, who had co-founded UT Dallas with the late Erik Jonsson and Cecil Green in 1969 and
  • BrainHealth Advisory Board Chair Debbie Francis’ husband, Jim Francis, who sealed the deal on getting Margaret’s blessing. Margaret had grown up in Highland Park with Jim’s uncles and, after the pair had laughed recounting old stories, she emphatically told Jim, “Let’s do it!” and the Legacy Dinner planning was underway.

With nearly 260 of toppest of the types like Edith and Peter O’Donnell, Lottye and Bobby Lyle, Linda Perryman Evans, Linda and Mitch Hart and Nancy Dedman, it was a true lovefest for the centenarian.

Caren Prothro, Margaret McDermott and Deedie Rose

But then what else could one expect when Caren Prothro and Deedie Rose were chairing?

Sandi Chapman

As guests arrived for the reception in the Oak Room, Center for BrainHealth Founder/Chief Director Sandi Chapman was there to greet with a smile, a twinkle and a hug.

And that hug wasn’t the only closeness of the evening. After being greeted by Sandi, it was a squeeze-athon rubbing shoulders, elbows and all body parts in the reception. The lady-of-the-hour held her own in front of the fireplace seated in her rolling throne… uh, wheelchair. Pity the poor servers who tried to wiggle their way with tray in hand through the boldface set.

Gail Thomas

Mitch Hart

Nancy Dedman

Lottye and Bobby Lyle

Rena Pederson and Nelda Cain Pickens

Dan Patterson

Dee Wyly

Gabriel Barbier-Mueller

And the conversation included retired Trinity Trust maven Gail Thomas was into painting. But instead of sweeping landscapes, she’s leaning toward more contemporary projects…. While Hobson Wildenthal was still receiving congratulations on his being recognized at the Dallas Historical Society’s Awards of Excellence in Community Services, his brother Kern Wildenthal was heading across the pond to present a paper on cardiology… One fundraising vet couple admitted that they were worn out. They had been to five evening events that week and were truly weary. They also admitted that they were surprised at the number of event taking place in November… Ross Perot Jr. congratulated the lady-of the hour McDermott, who had positioned her wheelchair in front of the fireplace. Others in the crowd included Mary Suhm, the Strauss sisters (Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr), Mary McDermott with Dan Patterson, Kaki and Shelton Hopkins, Lynne and Roy Sheldon, Lynn and John Sears, Rena Pederson, Sharon and Mike McCullough, Nancy Perot, Linda McFarland, Delilah and Sam Boyd, Susan and Joel Williams, Ka Cotter, Nelda Cain Pickens, Diane Sealy, Mary Jalonick, Jeanne Whitman Bobbitt, Nikki and Crayton Webb, Joan and Alan Walne, Jennifer and Keith Cerny, past Legacy Awardees (Jane and Bud Smith, James Huffines with wife Patty Huffines, Dee Wyly, Lyda Hill and Dan Branch with his wife Stacy) and McDermott Scholars (Dr. Eric Kildebeck, Drs. Jessie and Benedict Voit, Dr. Eric Kildebeck and Dr. Jonathan Coker).

Edith and Peter ODonnell and Debbie Francis

Ross Perot

Sharon and Mike McCullough

Patty and James Huffines

Jennifer and Keith Cerny and Nikki and Crayton Webb

Bypassing the guests jam in the Oak Room, former first lady Laura Bush arrived with little fanfare to congratulate Margaret, Caren, Deedie and her old pal/Legacy Awardee/BrainHealth Advisory Board Chair Debbie Francis.

Debbie Francis, Laura Bush, Margaret McDermott, Deedie Rose and Caren Prothro

With clipboards in hand, the BrainHealth staff wrangled the guests to follow the evening’s program. After being called to the ballroom for dinner by the chimes, some just couldn’t fully commit to the POA. They just wanted to stand around and chat. Ah, but the Brainiacs knew how to ease them into the plan. As three string musicians played in front of the stage in the ballroom, the signal was given and violinists entered playing. The errant guests got the message and took their seats.

Brook Hollow ballroom

UT Dallas President Dr. Richard Benson welcomed the guests and said that he wished he could show Eugene the modern-day version of the campus that he and Erik Jonsson and Cecil Green helped establish. He rattled off a list of impressive facts about the university, including its recent distinction as the Times Higher Education’s No. 1 university in the US established less than 50 years ago. “I have no doubt that Mr. McDermott, Mr. Jonsson and Mr. Green dreamed big – but I wonder if they could have dreamed that big?” Dr. Benson wondered.

He said that Margaret had carried on the founders’ tradition of inspiring others in a big way through the transformation and beautification of the campus, the establishment of the McDermott Scholars program, and most recently the establishment of a similar program for outstanding doctoral students at UT Dallas who will go on to careers in research.

Thanks to her involvement in carrying out Eugene’s vision, 222 past and current students have been chosen for The Eugene McDermott Scholars Program, which includes a full scholarship to UT Dallas.

It was interesting to note that in the evening’s printed program, the McDermott Scholars collectively expressed that Margaret had taught them to always pursue excellence while giving back to their community, calling her their “greatest champion, genuine friend, and true home away from home.”

Joining Margaret and her family at her table were McDermott Scholars Drs. Felicity and Walter Voit, who had created a living tribute to Margaret, naming their daughter—you guessed it—Margaret.

Following dinner and as dessert was served, Debbie Francis introduced a special tribute video celebrating Margaret’s positive influence on the city in which Mayor Mike Rawlings acknowledged “[Margaret] doesn’t want any credit; she wants to just keep giving back because she feels so thankful” and UT Dallas Executive VP Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, referred to her as a “chief executive of a major enterprise of doing wonderful things”.

Lyda Hill

Sandi joined Margaret at her table to officially present her with the 2017 Legacy Award saying “This will go down as one of the most magnificent nights in Dallas. Margaret, we are honored to bestow the Legacy Award to you this evening. You are immensely valued by everyone in this room. Your friendship and mentorship has inspired each of us. Thank you for letting us have a night to truly express our respect and love.”

Joining Sandi at Margaret’s table, past Legacy Award recipients Dan and Lyda welcomed her to the club saying, “Margaret, you make our hearts and minds sing.”

Lyda shared that Margaret had caught her mother’s wedding bouquet and dubbed Margaret the “Queen of Dallas.” As Lyda put it, Eugene made things happen at UT Dallas and in our city, but Margaret made things beautiful.

Despite the event’s masterminds assuring Margaret that she would not have to speak, she could not let the evening conclude without giving the last word. With her daughter, Mary, and granddaughter, Grace Cook, on either side, Margaret rose from her chair and expressed her gratitude for everyone in attendance and ended with a fitting cheer of “hooray for friends!”  

For more photos of the evening’s gathering, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: The Dallas Opera’s GM/CEO Keith Cerny Resigns To Head Up Calgary Opera

Keith and Jennifer Cerny (File photo)

The Dallas Opera‘s GM/CEO Keith Cerny has just turned in his resignation to take over the position of general director/CEO of Calgary Opera in January.

During his seven-and-a-half years with the Dallas company, Keith presided over five consecutive balanced operating budgets and a host of artistic projects, expansions, and technical innovations.  These include a highly-successful simulcast program; regional, U.S. and world premieres; and innovative community outreach programs.  

According to Dallas Opera Board Chair Holly Mayer, “Keith has every reason to be proud of his legacy. We wish him every success with his new responsibilities as we turn our efforts to maintaining this company’s impressive forward momentum and strengthening the collaborations with other arts organizations that have marked Keith’s tenure here in Dallas.”

Dallas’ loss is Calgary’s gain.

MySweetWishList: 2018 Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball

According to 2018 Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball Co-Chairs Kirstin and Holden Godat and Sarah and Hayden Godat,

Hayden and Sarah Godat and Kirstin and Holden Godat*

“This holiday season, our wish is for women and men across Dallas to help end domestic violence by purchasing tickets to attend the 2018 black-tie Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball. Our goal is to raise $200,000 for Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, an organization that provides safety, shelter and support to women and children fleeing abuse.

“The fifth annual Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, at the hit event venue Sixty Five Hundred. Hundreds of young professionals will come together to raise funds and awareness for Genesis Women’s Shelter while treating themselves to a formal night out. 

Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support*

“The evening promises to be one to remember, with live entertainment, casino games and a silent auction you won’t want to miss. Whether you make plans for a date night or a night out with friends, make sure to mark February 17 on your calendar. Last year’s Masquerade was a sold-out event, so get your tickets quickly. Tickets and more information can be found here.

Have a magical holiday season, and we can’t wait to see you on February 17!

“Questions? Contact Amy Norton at 214.389.7705 or [email protected].”

-By Kirstin and Holden Godat and Sarah and Hayden Godat, 2018 Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball co-chairs

* Graphic and photo provided by Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support

Art Ball 2018 Is Celebrated At Forty Five Ten

The gleaming Forty Five Ten store on Dallas’ Main Street was the setting on Monday, November 13, for a much-anticipated “celebration” of Art Ball 2018.

Geoff Green and Pat and Charles McEvoy*

Before details about the ball were revealed on the store’s fourth floor, more than 100 guests including Laura and Walter Elcock, Art Ball 2017 Co-Chair Ann Hobson, Brian Bolke and Faisal Halum and Pat and Charles McEvoy mingled throughout the retail palace, catching up with friends and checking out the luxurious offerings. [Editor’s note: Photo provided by Art Ball PR ID-ed Brian Bolke as “Brian Eloke.” Evidently, another media outlet didn’t catch the “oops!”].

Lucy Wrubel, Brian Bolke and Faisel Halum and Lisa Rocchio*

The guests had good reason to check out the offerings: 10 percent of the evening’s purchases were to be donated to the Art Ball beneficiary, the Dallas Museum of Art. The museum relies on money raised through the Art Ball to fulfill its mission.

As partygoers chatted and shopped and munched on delicious lobster rolls to the peppy tunes of spin-meister Lucy Wrubel, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director Agustin Arteaga finally took the mic and addressed the expectant crowd.

After noting that former Art Ball chairs Melissa Fetter and Catherine Rose were in the house, Agustin said, “We have a dynasty of great chairs, and now we have one more: Rebecca Enloe Fletcher!

“I want to thank her for taking this huge job. I promise her that I will be right there next to her, supporting her,” Agustin went on, adding, “I know that doesn’t mean anything,” to a burst of laughter from the crowd. 

Augustin Areteaga, Rebecca Enloe Fletcher and Carlos Gonzalez-Jaime*

After thanking the event’s premier hospitality sponsor, Forty Five Ten owner the Headington Cos., Arteaga gave way to Rebecca, who will chair the museum’s 53rd annual gala on Saturday, April 21, at the DMA.

Rebecca said that, with Agustin on board, the DMA is “entering a new chapter,” inspiring her theme for the upcoming ball: “Horizon: Now. New. Next.” Explained Rebecca: “There will be a lot of color, a contemporary theme, and a lot of surprises.”

The event will include a seated dinner, a luxury live auction chaired by Faisal and Brian, and a festive after-party.

With that, Rebecca thanked a number of the ball sponsors, including Fendi, Peggy and Carl Sewell, J.P. Morgan, Jennifer and John Eagle, Clay Cooley Auto Group, Neiman Marcus, Bank of America, and Sidley Austin LLC.

Then everyone went back to visiting and shopping for the worthy cause.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron

2018 Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Farewell Founder’s Award Luncheon To Honor Founder Ann Williams As Awardees Andy McCarthy, Herdercine Nash And Linda Todd

Back in 1996 Dallas Black Dance Theatre Founder Ann M. Williams wanted a fundraising event to support the organization’s community outreach and education programs in the area including dance classes, workshop and lecture-demonstration for students. She also wanted to recognize “civic and business leaders of Dallas who have impacted Dallas Black Dance Theatre and the Dallas arts community.” Her supporters came up with the perfect solution — the Annual Founder’s Award Luncheon

Thanks to the support of such sponsors like Presenting Sponsor Chase, the event became the major community fundraiser for the “oldest, continuously operating professional dance company in Dallas,” that was established in 1976.

But the upcoming fundraiser on Wednesday, January 17, at the Hilton Anatole has been renamed the 2018 Farewell Founder’s Award Luncheon. The reason is that it will be the last one. It’s time to launch a new “initiative.”

But the luncheon will be far from a boo-hoo occasion. It will be a celebration highlighting “the legacy and extraordinary service of Ms. Williams, to Dallas and the field of dance,”as well honoring the 2018 awardees Andy McCarthy, Herdercine Nash and Linda Todd

Doug Curtis, Lucy Billingsley and Ann Williams*

Joining Event Co-Chairs Kimberley Runnels and the Rev. Lelious Johnson will be Honorary Co-Chairs Lucy Billingsley and Doug Curtis.

With this finale luncheon just a few weeks away, better lock down your reservations pronto. Plans for the fundraiser’s replacement will be revealed at the meal.

* Photo credit: Derrick Waiters

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Association Of Fundraising Philanthropy Greater Dallas Luncheon

Meagan Burton, Ken and Julie Hersh, Karen Simmons, Pagett Gosslee, Micha, Lynn McBee, Kevin Hurst, Sandra and Henry Estess and Mary Freeman

Once again the Association of Fundraising Philanthropy Greater Dallas Luncheon’s was totally upstaged by the cutest recipient. But this year there was a wrench thrown into the plans. It had to do with the announcement of the Veterans Day Parade schedule.

Doug Murray, Kit Sawers and Carole and Scott Murray

The results were traditional Emcee Scott Murray arriving via a police escort.

Micah Pinson

While the post is trying to reorganize, check out the cute red-haired Micah Pinson and other recipients of the National Philanthropy Day of Greater Dallas Awardees at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Star 102.1 Personalities To Broadcast “Miracle Day Radiothon” Friday From Children’s Medical Center Dallas From 6 a.m. To 7 p.m.

Lacey Parker and Renee Parker (File photo)

Friday is going to be a bit warmer, but there’s still going to be a holiday chill in the air. That translates into the taste of hot chocolate at the desk and the aroma of homemade bread baking away. But what would be the ideal sound to go with all these senses of the holidays?

It’s “Miracle Day Radiothon”! Presented by Neighborhood Credit Union, iHeartRadio  Star 102.1’s Leigh Ann, Amanda Flores and Rick O’Bryan will be broadcasting from Children’s Medical Center Dallas. From 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., there will be patients like Kristin Alcaraz, Shantisa Anderson, Julissa Garcia, Sadie Granberry, Emmy Kaighan, Maddox Kindiger, Katie Kramer, Braden McCollum, Jacob Mowl, Samantha Raack, Makenna Rodolph, Sim Scott, Ace Shelton and Miguel Soto and their families telling memorable stories about their relationship with Children’s.

Tom Thumb’s Connie Yates (File photo)

In addition to reminding listeners of the true meaning of the holidays, the hope is that listeners will reach in their pockets to support program at Children’s Health, in partnership with Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals. Donations can be made online or by calling 800.800.7277.

Factoid: Last year the Children’s Health system provided care for more than “278,000 unique patients at its hospitals, specialty centers and pediatric group practices. It is the second-busiest pediatric health system in the nation in terms of admissions and pediatric emergency department visits.”

Joining the effort to provide health care for children will sponsors Albertsons/Tom Thumb, Granite, AT and T, Cisco and The Residences at Rough Creek Lodge.

Caroline Kraddick Shares Her Personal Journey Into Philanthropy At Morgan Stanley Annual Women’s Luncheon

Since Kidd Kraddick‘s death in 2013, his daughter Caroline Kraddick has carried on his legacy of helping children with life-threatening and altering challenges. On Thursday, November 9, Caroline shared her journey at the Morgan Stanley Annual Women’s Luncheon. Here’s a report from the field:

On Thursday, November 9, about 50 of Dallas’ most philanthropic women attended an intimate luncheon hosted by Morgan Stanley at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas. The women gathered together to hear how Caroline Kraddick is growing out of the shadow of her father and into her own.  As “Chief Happiness Officer” of Kidd’s Kids, she is determined to grow the family legacy of hope and happiness which her Dad, the late Kidd Kraddick started over 25 years ago. 

Melanie Schnoll Begun, Caroline Kraddick, Christine Ashmore and Sallie Behnke*

Melanie Schnoll Begun, head of Stanley Morgan’s Philanthropic Management, interviewed Caroline over lunch on a number of topics including Caroline’s new efforts to create more awareness and raise more funding to expand Kidd’s Kids programming, including her signature Teen Trip that was added to the list of offerings this year.

Caroline is the original, “Kidd’s Kid.” Her parents were told she was likely to be born with disabilities, so her dad made a deal with God! She was born healthy, and the mission of Kidd’s Kids to provide hope and happiness by creating beautiful memories for families of children with life-altering or life-threatening conditions was born with her.

Caroline grew up around the Kidd’s Kids families and when her dad, passed away unexpectedly in 2013, she began a very personal journey. After a year of mourning, making music and soul searching, Caroline found her calling and returned to Dallas as the driving force and voice of the foundation, Caroline wants to spread the word about Kidd’s Kids to the world.

As the centerpiece of the foundation, Kidd’s Kids provides an all-expense-paid trip for approximately 50 children and their families to Walt Disney World® in Florida each year. For many families that have children with life-threatening and life-altering conditions, this becomes the trip of their lifetime.

The lively discussion continued with Caroline sharing her personal goals and using her voice (literally with her passion for singing!) for the future growth. Caroline hopes with more donations in the future, she can increase the number of families to take to Disney World. She also started a signature Teen Trip to Florida earlier this year by partnering with Give Kids the World; teens battling life-altering conditions continue to need hope and happiness too! Overall, Caroline’s stories inspired the room full of women who are ready to make a bigger impact in our philanthropic community.

Courtenay DeHoff and Amy Vanderoef*

Jo-Ann Saunders and Celia Saunders*

Among the luncheon crowd were Kellie Rasberry, Amy Vanderoef, Jo-Ann Saunders, Celia Saunders, Christine Ashmore, Sallie Behnke, Jocelyn White, Courtenay DeHoff, Alex Cohen and Carol Charette.

Ways to help this holiday season: Text KIDD to 52000 anytime to donate $10.

Buy your tickets to Enchant Christmas https://enchantchristmas.com enter Promo Code KIDD in the upper right hand box on the ticket purchase page for a portion of ticket and skate rental proceeds to support Kidd’s Kids.

To get involved and get or more information on how to support Kidd’s Kids, please go to www.kiddskids.com

* Photo provided by Morgan Stanley

Dallas Historical Society’s Awards For Excellence In Community Services Recipients Displayed Insight And Graciousness In Accepting Their Honors

While the Dallas Historical Society‘s 2017 Awards for Excellence in Community Services crowds gathered outside the Fairmont’s International Ballroom, the VIPs and 2017 Awardees attended a private reception in the Venetian Room on Thursday, November 9. For some it was a great opportunity for people whose paths had never crossed to meet up.

Lindalyn Adams, Mary McDermott Cook and David Brown

Diane Bumpas and Bill Helmbrecht

Caro Stalcup

Joan Walne, Mary Suhm and Laurie Evans

For instance, historical preservationist Lindalyn Adams was almost giddy meeting former Police Chief David Brown. Speaking of David, he reported that due to his ABC contract, he was splitting his time between Dallas and New York City… Across the way, Laurie Evans was doing the swivel head looking for her husband Dr. Phil Evans to arrive. She knew he would be there, but when? … Already on the scene were past Award recipients Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, who were there to celebrate Kern’s brother Hobson Wildenthal’s being recognized for his work in education…. Patricia Meadows reported that the family home in the State Thomas neighborhood was on the market… and others like Joan and Alan Walne, Mary McDermott Cook, Louise Caldwell, Diane Bumpas, Caro Stalcup, Mary Suhm, Creative Arts Awardee Carolyn Brown, Arts Leadership Awardees Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller and Sports Leadership Awardee Tony Dorsett with his wife Janet Dorsett.

Louise Caldwell

Marnie and Kern Wildenthal and Mary McDermott Cook

Janet and Tony Dorsett

Phil Evans

 

Just moments before the chimes called the group to the luncheon, Laurie was relieved to see her husband arrive with a big smile. Seems he had gotten an early Christmas gift — a million-dollar grant —from an “anonymous” donor. That’s a pretty darn good excuse for a delayed arrival.

The ballroom was filled to the max, as people like Jill Bernstein, Sandi Chapman, Kimber Hartmann, Gail Thomas and Lee Cullum took their seats. At 11:50 a.m., Master of Ceremonies Stewart Thomas called the group to order. Following an invocation by St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church Rev. Chris Girata, Stewart introduced Luncheon Co-Chairs Carol Montgomery and Kaysie Montgomery, who welcomed the group. They were followed by Dallas Historical Society Chair Bill Helmbrecht, who officially thanked all for attending and supporting the society.

Kaysie Montgomery and Carol Montgomery

All of this was done within six minutes! Promptly at high noon, Stewart reported that the program would continue in a few minutes and guests should settle back for lunch. Missing in action was table host Bobby Lyle, who was under the weather, but his table was filled with Adam McGill, Stan Levenson and Robert Prejean… Arriving just after luncheon was underway was Shirley Miller.

Adam McGill, Stan Levenson and Robert Prejean

At 12:25 p.m. Stewart was back at the podium and invited the award recipients to take their places in chairs on the stage.

Some of the highlights from the acceptance speeches were:

Carolyn Brown and Hobson Wildenthal

  • Hobson Wildenthal for Education — The University of Texas at Dallas Executive VP recalled how 50 years ago TI was created and the UTD resulted. 157 National Merit Scholars were in this year’s freshman class and it was designated as the Best U.S. College less than 50 years old. He finished saying, “Margaret McDermott is the queen of Dallas.”
  • Steve Pounders for Health/Science — The internist told how in 1981 he was just starting his care and discovered a disease that was affecting young men that would late become known as AIDs. It would become his life’s calling resulting in his serving as the primary physician for men in the Dallas Buyers Club. He thanked Veletta Lill, Resource Center’s Cece Cox and his spouse James O’Reilly.
  • Willis Winters for History — The Dallas Park and Recreation Department Director gave thanks for the recent passage of the bond: “One of the first projects will be the restoration of the Hall of State.”
  • Jorge Baldor for Philanthropy — The Cuban-born businessman acknowledged that 800,000 have been the recipients of DACA and encouraged audience members to support the Dream Act. He went on to thank the event and kitchen staffs and finished by reporting that several hundred students are living under bridges and still going to school.

Then the most poignant moment came unexpectedly. It was when former Dallas Cowboy Tony Dorsett accepted his award for sports. He admitted that he was a little taken aback by the people, and went on to recognize the late Cowboys Coach Tom Landry, who made Tony understand that things were going to be tougher in the NFL. Landry held Tony back and it taught the young football player patience.  Tony went on, saying, “I was always told that I was too small, time and time again.” Through effort and determination, he was able to play in the NFL for 13 years.  

Looking at the other recipients seated on stage, he went on to saying “These are fantastic and incredible people up here.”

He thanked his wife Janet saying, “What I’m going through is tough, and she puts up with me. It can be really difficult and she understands that that’s not the real me. This is tough.”

Having gone beyond his two-minute limit, Janet was seen quietly approaching the side of the stage. Tony heard her say, “Tony,” and he took note and sat down.

Moments later David Brown took his place at the podium to accept the Jubilee History Maker Award. He could have easily sucked the air out of the room for his leadership for the July 7 tragedy. Instead, David rallied the audience to give Tony another round of appreciation. The applause was deafening for both Tony and David’s act of graciousness.

David went to tell how his father hadn’t wanted him to be “a cop.” But on the day when he was made a lieutenant at the Hall of State, he had what would be the last conversation with his father, who said “You were right in your choice.”

Then David went further back in his history, telling how in fourth grade, he had played Captain George Ludwig von Trapp in the “Sound of Music.” The students had to do more than learn their roles. They had to research the backstory of the musical. Today he had become nostalgic when seeing the white flowers on the tables and hearing the musician play “Edelweiss” — the last song Richard Rodgers wrote with Oscar Hammerstein.

Tying it all together, he said, “Remember who we are, what we stand for, how we should treat each other.” Then he voiced disappointment at the lack of participation in the recent election.

At 1:14 p.m., Bill Helmbrecht returned to the stage and invited all to take part in the annual A.C. Greene Toast.

For more pictures of the day, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Grovel Alert: Dallas Uncorked Holiday Dinner

Just heard from that wine-loving Haley Hamilton Cogill that there were just a mere five tickets left for Dallas Uncorked’s Annual Holiday Dinner on Sunday, December 10, at Salum. To complement the evening’s multi-course feasting will be Domaine Caneros sparkling and still wines with the Eileen “Doyenne of Sparking Wine in California” Crane on hand for table talk.

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill (File photo)

Leave it to Haley and restaurateur Abraham Salum to schedule the dinner on the heels of the Cowboys game against Giants in the Big Apple. If The Boys win, what a way to celebrate. If they lose, the dinner will be a perfect way to wash away the blues.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit Les Dames d’Escoffier and The Edible Schoolyard. Hopefully, tickets are still available here.

BTW, if you aren’t lucky enough to pop the cork on this one. You might want to check out Haley’s appearance with husband/film-meister Gary Cogill at the Dallas Arboretum’s “Wine And Movies: A Perfect Pairing With Gary and Hayley Cogill” on Monday, December 11. The twosome will talk about their favorite movies of 2017 and seamlessly pair the films with wines. For Arboretum members, the price is $70. For non-members, it’s $75. Once again, membership has its perks.

Crystal Charity Ball Committee Does A “Mary Tyler Moore” Singalong For CCB Chair Pam Perella On The Eve Of The Children’s Nonprofit Gala

T’was the night before Crystal Charity Ball and all through the Anatole the finishing touches were being polished up for the 2017 fundraiser for the Dallas County children’s nonprofits. With nails broken and fashionably torn jeans, the committee had finished their three days of installing the “Evening In The Alps” finery in the Chantilly Ballroom. To celebrate their year of working under the leadership of 2017 Chair Pam Perella, a champagne get-together was held in a suite high atop the hotel.

When Pam started her reign a year ago, she announced that the internal working theme would be TV shows of the ’70s. Still it became known that Pam’s fav program had been “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” How simply wonderful and typical of ever-smiling Pam.

But as CCB Underwriting Chair Leslie Diers noted tonight, “Mary Tyler Moore died just days later.” That might have put a crimp on the POA, but this was a Pam project and the energy and collaboration continued in a MTM spirit.

Anne Besser, Leslie Diers, Cheryl Joyner and Elizabeth Gambrell

Tonight as a surprise for Pam, the committee led by Pam’s chief lieutenants (Anne Besser, Leslie, Cheryl Joyner and Elizabeth Gambrell) led the group in singing the theme song of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” with the lieutenants tossing their berets as the end.

Stacey Walker, Lisa Cooley, Caren Kline, Connie O’Neill and Angela Nash

While the CCB team is a gangbuster in raising funds for area charities, they had better not think about going professional with their choral singing. Still, Pam, with husband Vin Perella supporting her, was truly touched by the moment, the laughter and her cohorts.

Vin and Pam Perella

Another surprise was the arrival of Matthew Trent’s donation to the silent auction. For ages, Silent Auction and Special Gifts Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Cheryl Joyner had been crossing their fingers for the arrival of Trent’s handiwork. Alas, it arrived just that night and too late for the catalogue. As the ladies opened the box, they discovered a beautiful gold necklace with a brilliant gold fish highlighted by white sapphires valued at $15,000+.  BTW, Event Producer Tom Addis has truly created an Alpine experience, from a skiers’ hut to the aroma of fresh-cut firs. And that’s just for the cocktail party!

Legendary B.J. Thomas Took The Stage For Northwood Woman’s Club’s Annual Kaleidoscope Fundraiser At Intercontinental Hotel

While the rest of North Texas was resting after a morning of runs/walks on Saturday, October 28, the Northwood Woman’s Club was in overdrive at the Intercontinental Hotel for its annual Kaleidoscope 2017 “Believe in Love” fundraiser. In addition to having The Triumphs on stage, the star of the night was the legendary B.J. Thomas. Here’s a report from the field that was delayed due to a MySweetCharity elf’s being asleep at the wheel: 

No raindrops fell Saturday, October 28, on the Northwood Woman’s Club Kaleidoscope 2017 “Believe in Love” Gala at the Intercontinental Hotel. The only raindrops at the event came later in the evening in a song when music legend B.J. Thomas took the stage and sang his Grammy winning hit “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”

Upon arrival, guests mingled and explored the silent auction items and wine pull. As guests moved to their tables for dinner, they viewed a slide show featuring the beneficiaries of the event—Attitudes and Attire, Callier Center for Communication Disorders at UTD, Cristo Rey Dallas, Dallas CASA, Interfaith Family Services, St. Simon’s After-School, and NWC Scholarship Fund at Communities Foundation of Texas.

Gala chair Leslie Apgar welcomed guests into dinner as the band The Triumphs took the stage to play during dinner. The Triumphs, the original band that recorded with B.J. Thomas, added a touch of nostalgia to the evening with their familiar hits from the sixties and seventies.

Sharyl Weber, Patricia Kay Dube and Vaughn Gross*

To start the evening’s program NWC President Patricia Kay Dube welcomed everyone and thanked them for supporting the event. She then turned the program over to Master of Ceremonies and Auctioneer Dean McCurry, who recognized guests from each of the beneficiary organizations, including Dallas CASA President and Executive Director Kathleen LaValle and St. Simon’s After School Executive Director Maria Vizzo.

To start the live auction, Dean urged the crowd to “bid up” on a variety of live auction items. He kept the bidding lively for hot sports items such as a Cowboys game experience that includes tickets in a suite and on field passes, and a suite at a Mavericks game for twelve people. Travel items up for auction included a vacation home in Breckenridge, Colorado and a stay at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in Hawaii. The live auction concluded with a trip to New York in December to see the Billy Joel concert, and this item generated so many bids that several additional trips were awarded to bidders.

B.J. Thomas*

Ready for the featured entertainment of the evening by five-time Grammy winner B.J. Thomas, the crowd enthusiastically welcomed B.J. to the stage and filled the dance floor to sing along and dance as he performed his many hit songs, including “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, “Hooked on a Feeling” and many others.

The Triumphs closed out the evening with more music and dancing.

The best part of the evening was the success of the event in raising funds for NWC’s beneficiaries and scholarship fund.

* Photo provided by Northwood Woman's Club

JUST IN: 2017 Crystal Charity Ball’s 452-Page “Children’s Book” Is Unveiled Today Thanks To Wells Fargo Private Bank

Today the Crystal Charity Ball elves committee members donned their “Alpine” sweaters and started schlepping flowers, favors and all kinds of goodies at the Anatole in preparation for Saturday night’s “Evening in the Alps.”

In addition to the activity, 2017 CCB Underwriting Chair Leslie Diers revealed a first for CCB. According to Leslie, the legendary “Children’s Book” that will be given to guests was being sponsored by Wells Fargo Private Bank.

Leslie Diers, Phil White, Pam Perella and Elizabeth Gambrell

On hand for the delivery and the unveiling of the 452-page book by 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella and 2017 “Children’s Book Chair” Elizabeth Gambrell was Wells Fargo Private Bank DFW and Oklahoma Regional Director Phil White.

If you’re one of the lucky ones to get one of these keepsakes, you’ll have a wonderful time checking the beautiful photos of area children photographed and donated by John Derryberry Photography, James French Photography, Gittings and Haynsworth Classic American Portraiture.

ReuNight’s Four-Legged Guest Of Honor Stole The Fundraiser’s Limelight At The Statler And Nary A Person Minded

Just as temperatures and rain were dropping, the fundraising season had hitting an all-time high on Wednesday, November 8. As one vet put it, “Tonight I just have too many fires to put out and it’s cold and wet.” Still that person made the time for The Family Place’s ReuNight at The Statler.

Instead of having a fashion designer like last year’s Donna Karan, the guest-of honor was The Statler mascot llama that could only stay for cocktails.

Thanks to the chill and wet stuff, plans to have the cocktail party and meet-and-pet with the llama were moved to the lobby on the ground level below the ballroom. It didn’t bother the two- or four-legged critters at all.

That person with the fires to put out even made time to have a photo taken the ears-up llama that was picture perfect every time.

Kristi Hoyl and Jennifer Dix

Ron Hoyl, Amy Turner and Richard Dix

ReuNight Co-Chairs Kristi Hoyl was receiving non-stop congrats on her new role at Baylor Scott And White Health…Co-Chair Jennifer Dix was the ultimate hostess greeting guests with a hug…Co-chair Husbands Richard Dix and Ron Hoyl were the supportive and adoring husbands… Speaking of dutiful husbands, Allan McBee hit the couch as soon as he escorted wife/Texas Trailblazer Lynn McBee into the reception. Allan was waylaid by a years-old knee injury that may require revisiting.

JB Hayes and Robert Weatherly

Allan McBee

The arrival of the Jones clan rallied the photographers with Gene Jones and Charlotte Jones Anderson and Shy Anderson being flashed like the llama in the back of the room.

Kristi Hoyl, Jennifer Dix, Paige Flink, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Gene Jones

Ahead of schedule, the crowd including Caren and Pete Kline, Pam and Vin Perella, Mersina Stubbs, Angie and Kevin Kadesky, Amy Turner, Shelle and Michael Sills, Niven Bannister, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Cindy Stager, Neil Patel, Tim Adair, Cara French, Heather Randall, Tia Wynne, Mary Martha Pickens, Brooke Shelby, JB Hayes, Robert Weatherly, Tucker Enthoven with mom Julie Ford and Lisa Ogle, moved to the upper level ballroom which Kim Bannister’s design was simply captivating with columns showcasing the ReuNight icons (Charlotte Jones Anderson and Shy Anderson, Gene and Jerry Jones, Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis Kirk, Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger and T. Boone Pickens).

Neil Patel and Tim Adair

Kim and Niven Bannister

ReuNight ballroom

After dining and bidding on a few luxury packages, they danced into the night with the Jordan Kahn Orchestra on stage.

More than one guest worried about the llama’s stress level as the ever-changing guests and camera flashes. Not to worry. As the final photo was taken, the llama sauntered out the front door like any pooch on a evening walk, as a pizza delivery fella walked in with box in hand for a hotel guest.

For more photos of the llama and other pretties, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Jewelry Designer Jorge Adeler’s His-And-Hers Package Of Historic Note Added To The Array Of Crystal Charity Ball Silent Auction Items

Unlike other fundraisers, the Crystal Charity Ball has no live auction with that arm-raising competition. Heavens, no! Instead, they have a glamorama silent auction of luxury items that would impress the most persnickety Black Card holder. In preparation for the sleek bidding, the CCB committee sends out a fabulous book containing the goodies to guests.

This year Silent Auction and Special Gifts Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Cheryl Joyner really challenged postal carriers with their 230-pager for the Saturday, December 2, so-very-sold-out gala at the Anatole.

But, alas, one of the dreamy items arrived just as the tome had left the printers. Provided by jewelry designer Jorge Adeler, who is sold exclusively at Forty Five Ten, this his-and-hers package is perfect for the gal and guy who appreciate “unique pieces that are seeping in history and tradition, while being transformed into current, wearable art to enhance any wardrobe.”

Jorge Adeler pendant and cuff links*

For the lady, Jorge has created a pendant mounted in 14kt gold featuring the authentic ancient coin of the Constantine the Great’s son, Emperor Constantius. For non-history buffs, Constantius ruled from 337-361 AD in which he made “a concerted effort to promote Christianity at the expense of Roman polytheism.”

As for the gentlemen, Jorge has transformed “authentic ancient Isshu-Gin coins that were minted in Japan when shoguns ruled” into exquisite cuff links.  Mounted by hand in 18kt gold in Adeler’s atelier, the coins were used by Shogun to pay the Samurai.”

Retail value of these historic treasures is $9,476.

Get your credit cards warmed up.

* Photo provided by Crystal Charity Ball

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 ReuNight

JB Hayes and Robert Weatherly

The llama of honor was picture perfect on Wednesday, November 8, at the Statler for The Family Place’s ReuNight. After standing for more than an hour, its ears were still standing straight up and it never shied away from the camera flashes and the guests taking selfies.

Kristi Hoyl, Jennifer Dix, Paige Flink, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Gene Jones

And when the chimes called the guests upstairs for the seated dinner and live auction, the step-and-repeat, four-legged star made a brief exit out the front door passing by Honorary Co-Chairs Gene Jones and Charlotte Jones Anderson on their way in.

While the rest of the soiree write-up is being prepared, check out the llama and faces at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.