35th Annual Friends Of Dallas Police Banquet Salutes The Heroes In Blue With Fanfare, Elected Officials And Awards

With Dallas’ new Police Chief Reneé Hall and loads of city leaders in attendance, the 35th Annual Friends of Dallas Police Banquet was quite a stellar affair complete with Dallas Metro Police Pipe and Drums and the Dallas Police Honor Guard on Monday, November 6, at the Hyatt Regency. In additions to awards being handed out to officers in blue, there was fire fighter / paramedic / new dad William An, who knew firsthand how Dallas’ finest will make the difference in lifesaving situations. Here’s a report from the field:

Dallas Metro Police Pipe and Drums and Dallas Police Honor Guard*

Described as the Oscars for the Dallas Police Department, more than 600 gathered to attend the 35th annual Friends of Dallas Police Banquet held Monday, November 6, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

The stars of the evening were the 115 police officers and non-sworn employees honored for their strong leadership, courage and exceptional service demonstrated throughout the past year. Not only were Medals of Valor and Life Saving Awards presented, but top honors were announced for Officer of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, Detective of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Non-Sworn Employee and more. For a fifth year, Highland Capital Management stepped up as presenting sponsor.

George Dunham and the Dallas Police Choir*

The Ticket radio host George Dunham was tapped to keep the jam-packed program moving. The evening began as the Dallas Police Honor Guard and the Dallas Metro Police Pipes and Drums presented the colors in a moving ceremony, followed by the National Anthem performed by the Dallas Police Choir and the invocation given by Dallas Police Chaplain Rayford Butler.

Friends of Dallas Police Chairman Lamonte Thomas described the DPD as “one of the finest police departments in our nation.”

“When I hear of the everyday sacrifice and heroism demonstrated on the streets and behind the scenes by the men and women of the Dallas Police Department, I am humbled, proud and grateful,” he added.

This was the first Friends of the Dallas Police Banquet for Dallas’ new “top cop” – Chief U. Reneé Hall, who was on hand to present the awards and take photos with all 115 winners.

Tennell Atkins, Jennifer Staubach Gates, Mike Rawlings and Omar Narvaez*

Elected officials from local to national levels were there in force to back the blue. In addition to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who delivered remarks at the VIP reception, special guests included Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano and Dallas City Councilmembers Rick Callahan, Jennifer Staubach Gates, Omar Narvaez, Adam McGough and Casey Thomas. Also attending were Dallas City Manager T. C. Broadnax, Dallas Fire and Rescue Chief David Coatney, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas County Commissioners Dr. Elba Garcia and Theresa Daniel, Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, State Senator Don Huffines, State Representative Cindy Burkett and State Representative Toni Rose, and representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman Pete Session and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson.

Rick Callahan and Elba Garcia*

Mark Okada and Don Huffines*

One highlight was the introduction of Dallas Fire and Rescue firefighter and paramedic William An, who was seriously injured when shot by a suspect. Nine officers – including Sergeant Robert Watson who rescued An, put him in his police car and took him to the hospital thereby saving his life – were awarded Medals of Valor for their bravery under fire. Watson invited An and his family to sit at his table with his family members. (It was the first time they’d seen each other in a very long time.) The Dallas Morning News’ Naheed Rajwani interviewed An that evening and reported the following:

William An, Robert Watson and An son*

“An’s 3-week-old son is named Watson, which An’s wife had picked out before the shooting. The couple realized later that it was the lifesaving sergeant’s last name, too.
“‘Purely coincidental,’ An said, ‘but some people say there’s no such thing as coincidences.'”

Top awards were given to Officer Joe King, who was named the John T. McCarthy Officer of the Year, and Stephanie Mendoza, who was named the James Taylor Non-Sworn Employee of the Year. Officer King works in the Legal Services Division, and Mendoza works as an office assistant in the Auto Thefts Division.

Joe King and Reneé Hall*

Stephanie Mendoza and Reneé Hall*

Noe Camacho and Reneé Hall*

Ivan Gunter and Reneé Hall*

Other winners included Detective Noe Camacho named the James R. Leavelle Detective of the Year, Sergeant Ivan Gunter named the Marvin R. Bullard Supervisor of the Year, Senior Corporal David Feinstein named Field Training Officer of the Year, Reserve Lieutenant D’Andrea Gadbury named Supervisor of the Year, Fernando Garcia named the Johnny Sides Rookie of the Year, and Supervisor III Brian Hansen named Non-Sworn Supervisor of the Year.

David Feinstein*

D’Andrea Gadbury and Reneé Hall*

Fernando Garcia and Reneé Hall*

In addition to their awards, the top honorees received a variety of prizes, ranging from hotel stays and entertainment packages, to dinners and VISA cards. 

Also, two $1,500 scholarships were presented to the children of Dallas police officers. The 2017 Educational Scholarship Awards went to Courtney Jones, the daughter of Detective Charles Jones, and Hannah Kim, daughter of Senior Corporal David Kim.

There was no lack of community support! In addition to

  • Presenting sponsor — Highland Capital Management,
  • Chief Sponsors ($10,000-$25,000) — The Men & Women of Hunt Consolidated Inc., The Marilyn and Sonny Oates Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Kenny A. Troutt
  • Major Sponsors ($5,000 level)— Cigna, Freeman Auto Group, Don Henley & Family, Al G. Hill Jr., Ellen and John McStay, Scovell Family Foundation, Sewell and Marianne and Roger Staubach
  • Lieutenant Sponsors ($3,500 level) — Central Market, Helen LaKelly Hunt and Harville Hendrix, Kroger and Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson, LLP.

For more information about the Friends of the Dallas Police, go to friendsofthedallaspolice.org.

* Photo credit: James Edward

Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. Receives Methodist Richardson Medical Center Foundation’s Legacy Award At Yellow And Black Gala

It was as if Saturday, November 4, had become the perfect storm of fundraising in North Texas with Jubilee Park And Community Center celebrating its 20th birthday at the Omni Dallas, the animal lovers partying is up at Zoo To Do at the Dallas Zoo, the Dallas Summer Musicals Gala on stage at Fair Park’s Music Hall and Art for Advocacy at General Datatech. But north of the Dallas CBD, the black-tie set was raising fun and funds for Methodist Richardson Medical Center Foundation at its annual Yellow and Black Tie Gala. Here’s a report from the field:

Richardson luminaries lit up the night on Saturday, November 4, at Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel for the Methodist Richardson Medical Center Foundation’s Yellow and Black Tie Gala. 

Parin and Stuti Makadia, Sharon Snayd and Randy Montgomery*

This annual event is the crown jewel of Richardson and dazzled more than 500 guests that support the hospital in Richardson. Guests like Ann and Charles Eisemann, Stuti and Parin Makadia, Sharon Snayd, Randy Montgomery, Judy and Max Martin, Anne and Bernie DiFiore and Stephen Mansfield were captivated by a riveting story about a patient who died for virtually 55 minutes and was brought back to life because of the type of equipment that the Foundation helps to fund and the expert physicians at the hospital. The evening also included a live auction that was a source of fun and funding for the Foundation. 

Charles and Ann Eisemann*

Judy and Max Martin

Bernie and Anne DiFiore*

Clay and Shelly Harrison*

Each year, the Foundation also gave the Legacy Award to a person or organization that has been one of its ardent supporters. Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. received this year’s honor with its president and CEO, Mikito Kiname, graciously accepted the honor from Methodist Richardson Medical Center President Ken Hutchenrider and Methodist Richard Medical Center Foundation Chair Colleen Halbert commending the Foundation on its mission and important work in the community. 

Mikito Kiname, Ken Hutchenrider and Colleen Halbert*

The evening was capped off with a casino afterparty, where guests chanced their luck and danced late into the evening.

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

Jubilee Park And Community Center Celebrated Its 20th Birthday With Balloons, Cakes, Cannon Confetti And Some Off-Scripted Moments

The Omni was the site of two groups that split centuries ago on Saturday, November 4. In the Dallas Ballroom, a largely Catholic contingency rallied for 2017 St. Jude Evening Under The Stars. Just a hallway way in the Trinity Ballroom, the Jubilee Park and Community Center’s 20th anniversary “Celebrate Love Dream” was being celebrated with a large number of Jubilee’s founding partners, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church.

But both groups faced a common challenge. It was in the bathrooms. Despite the best efforts, people emerged from the restrooms with soapy hands. It seems that the sensor-detecting faucets in the lavatories were playing hard to get. One woman, upon seeing another guest failing to find water at any of the six basins, buddied up and held two fingers against the sensors, resulting in flowing water. The soaped-up guest’s wasn’t very quick. By the time she put her hands under the faucet, the water had stopped. The two women partnered up; while one blocked the sensor, the other finally got the now sticky soap off. Gents reported a similar situation in their lavatory.

Anne and Bill Johnson

Ken Malcolmson and Stacey Paddock Malcolmson

But the soapy challenge was soon forgotten as the partying commenced. Before even entering the cocktail party in the ballroom’s lobby, arriving guests saw hundreds of colorful ribbons hanging from equally colorful balloons hovering overhead.

As the 800 members of the Jubilee black-tie set like Marla and Evening Emcee Tony Briggle, Brent Christopher, Anne and Bill Johnson, Stacey Paddock Malcolmson and Ken Malcolmson, Heather Furniss, Delilah and Sam Boyd and Amanda and Price Johnson cocktailed, chatted and made great use of MirMir in the lobby, Event Co-Chair Lydia Addy was in the ballroom going over last-minute details.

Delilah Boyd and Price and Amanda Johnson

Heather Furniss

Lydia Addy

The room was like a mega birthday event, with a mammoth chandelier of huge balloons, party games like “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” and “Putt Putt” in the corners of the room, and a 12-foot-high, multi-layered birthday cake in the center of the dance floor.

Birthday cakes

On each table was a cake topped with electric candles. The confections looked good enough to eat, and guests would soon learn that they were, indeed. Despite looking like faux cakes, they actually were chocolate and vanilla, double-layer cakes.

Organizers had planned to run a tight program, with each speaker limited to two minutes. But as speakers with the best of intentions addressed the crowd, they said those infamous words that give event planners conniption fits — “I’m going to go off script.” It started when Rev. Mark Anschutz, who was to provide the invocation, told the audience that they should have known better than to give a minister the mic. His two minutes ended up being a lengthy thank you to individuals who had worked over the years to make Jubilee happen. That opened the floodgates, with Lydia and her Co-Chair/husband Bill Addy also expanding upon their two minutes in making their remarks. One behind the scenes person said that Jubilee CEO Ben Leal would stay on script, only to hear Ben tiptoe off script, too.

Ben Leal

But seriously, who could blame them if they wanted to thank everyone involved in the success of the southwest Dallas oasis? Since 1997, Jubilee Park has strengthened the 62-block community in southeast Dallas based on the five pillars of education, affordable housing, public health, public safety and economic development for both children and adults. As Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings noted of Jubilee Park and its supporters in addressing the crowd: “This marks the best of Dallas.” Not to mention that, instead of hitting the goal of $1.3M, the event had brought in more than $1.4M!

Ann and Bob Dyer, Guy and Louise Griffeth and Les and Linda Secrest

In between the speakers, salads were followed by chewy short ribs. Servers removed the centerpieces and returned minutes later with slices of the cake on plates and flutes of champagne. Ben invited all who had had any part of Jubilee to come to the dance floor to toast the occasion. With the dance floor filled, the rest of the guests, like Louise and Guy Griffeth, Linda and Les Secrest, Ann and Bob Dyer and Ken Schnitzer, stood in their places to join the birthday toast and sing “Happy Birthday.” With that, a confetti canon showered the room with paper.

Confetti Cannon

Then, to keep the action going, Emerald City quickly followed to transform the dance of toasters to dancers with glow sticks.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2017 Zoo To Do

Ajabu

Subira

Before the Full Hunter’s Moon arrived on the scene for the Dallas Zoo’s 2017 Zoo To Do on Saturday, November 4, the guests were discovering the residents were all fine and dandy for the fundraiser. From elephant toddler Ajabu to silverback Mr. Cool Subira, they were almost blasé about the two-legged critters ogling them.

Lisa Martel, Cessy Mendoza, Dennis Egert and Chris Patrick

Janice Provost and Abraham Salum

Amy and Jim Severson

Aaron Staudenmaier and Meaders Ozarow

Don and Barbara Daseke

In the meantime, the chefs like Chris Patrick, Janice Provost, Abraham Salum, Jim Severson, Aaron Staudenmaier and Meaders Ozarow were finetuning their stations for the graze around prior to the live auction and festivities arranged by Co-Chairs Barbara and Don Daseke.

For a look at the festivities, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

With Stars And Stetsons Overhead, The Spirit Of Taos Was Picture Perfect At The Lot With Downtown Fever And A Miniature Burro

Once again an almost perfect moon shone over The Lot for The Wilkinson Center’s Spirit of Taos on Friday, November 3.

There was no need to explain the attire for the evening. It was strictly jeans, squash blossom necklaces and bracelets decked out in turquoise, crushable Stetsons, perfect smiles and not a suit in sight.

Thanks to a perfect night and Co-Chairs AC Contreras, Lauren Cavenaghi, Caitlin Morris Hyatt and Meridith Myers Zidell, the crowd filled the beer garden as everything from mariachis to Emerald City’s Downtown Fever played. Inside was the silent auction. But, of course, the hit of the night was split between the photo booth and the miniature burro.

Ross and Sally Taylor, Anthony Contreras, Daniella Giglio, Larry Giglio and Krystin and Nick Gerlach

Looking over the crowd of 300+ including Daniella Giglio, Larry Giglio, Leslie and Bryan Diers, Krystin and Nick Gerlach, Sally and Ross Taylor, Sarah Matlock, Sloan Milton, Lauren Schneider, Lindsay Morris, Carolyn Daniel, Ashlea Bennett, Natalie Patten, Amy Ridings, Justin James, John James, Laura Munoz, Karrie Cato, Pam Karlos, Roxann Staff, Sydney Menefee, Crystal and Jarrett Woods, Natalie Nihil Roberto, Tara Versfelt, Ann Damele, Caly Allen-Martin, Katy Lopez, Gable Roby, Kate and Will Walters and Lara and Jesse Smith, Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder admitted that the night’s fundraiser was a real draw for the upcoming generation.

Anne Reeder and Sarah Matlock

Marsha and Craig Innes

While 60-somethings Marsha and Craig Innes initially felt like they were chaperoning, that was not the case as they soon started hanging out with the under-35 types. Marsha told how she had recently joined her Tri Delt sisters in Fort Worth for their 50-year pins. She admitted that it may have sounded “cheesy,” but it was a moment that she treasured.

Pretty soon all ages settled down at the picnic tables with cactus centerpieces for dining and talking.

Harlan Crow Library Dazzled CCB Circle Of Angels Guests With Its Amazing Collection Including A Stradivarius And Lincoln’s Senate Desk

Despite a record-breaking 94-degree temperature, the Crystal Charity Ball Circle of Angels dinner was as cool as the caviar that was served with the first course on Thursday, November 2.

Earlier organizers had worried. Was their concern, “What if you gave a party and no one came”?

Au contraire. Their problem was that Kathy and Harlan Crow’s Library could seat about 100 for dinner, and 124 RSVPs of Dallas most glamorous had checked the “accept” box on the reply cards. But thanks to the CCB space engineer and event chair Rachael Dedman, all fit. From tables of ten to the more intimate tables in the library’s alcoves, it was a one-night-only dining experience, all underwritten by Deloitte.

Tucker and Rich Enthoven and Julie Ford

Christina and Chris Durovich

Pam Perella and Caren Kline

But before Cassandra‘s first course of baby greens, Madeira port poached pear, goat cheese, celery and honey pearls was even presented, guests like Laura and Jason Downing, Christina and Christopher Durovich, Caren and Pete Kline, Liat and Amit Berger, Marilyn Augur with Margaret and Barry Hancock, Julie Ford with Tucker and Rich Enthoven, Jennifer and Richard Dix, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Patti Flowers and Tom Swiley, Courtney Wang and Lori Barber checked out the wonders of the library. One guest wondered why the Lee Park statue hadn’t found a home at the estate. Another pointed out in amazement the death mask of a past president. Still another guest discovered Abraham Lincoln’s desk when he was a senator. Others just eyeballed the thousands of books. This institution is one that never gets old and always impresses.

Barry and Margaret Hancock, Marilyn Augur and Pat and Charles McEvoy

Alas, the hosting Crows were not around to accept accolades. Kathy was still mending from a car accident and Harlan was elsewhere.

But not to worry. The talk among the crowd kept things interesting from soup to nuts. Cliff Fischer, who was making his first trip to the Crow Library, was just back from a business trip to India… CCB Chair Pam Perella , who was in a Zac Posen, told a friend, “I wish the days would stretch out a little more, so I could enjoy the moment”…Ben Lange told Annette Simmons how her late husband Harold Simmons had backed his company in the early days… Robin Robinson was still receiving kudos about the Celebrating Women Luncheon with Jamie Lee Curtis… Pianist Tommy deSalvo was in seventh heaven playing the magnificent Steinway concert piano with a legendary Stradivarius safely in a glass case on the wall over his shoulder…

Tommy deSalvo

For more photos from the evening, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Crystal Charity Ball’s Circle Of Angels Dinner

Courtney Wang and Lori Barber and Rachael and Bob Dedman

It was a gathering of angels at Kathy and Harlan Crow’s library on Thursday, November 2. In this case, the angels didn’t float in with wings. Rather they arrived via Mercedes, Bentleys and other luxury four-wheelers for the Crystal Charity Ball’s Circle of Angels dinner.

Jason Downing

Pam Perella and Caren Kline

Filled to capacity, the main room of the library was a showcase for the CCB underwriters to be wined, dined and thanked for their support. But then, what else would one expect when Rachael Dedman was in charge of the evening?

While the post is being prepared, the pictures are over at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

The Senior Source Honored 2017 Spirit Of Generations Awardees Diane And John Scovell With Some Tricks And Treats

Hyatt Regency Dallas guests probably thought that Halloween was getting an early start on Tuesday, October 31. Passing them by were a blonde in black attire topped off with a black cowboy hat and red cape, a person in oversized cowboy costume, cheerleaders and munchkins in red T-shirts reading 2027 Panthers.

Actually, all these characters were on site as part of The Senior Source’s Spirit of Generations Luncheon honoring longtime Texas Tech loyalists Diane and John Scovell, as well as present the 2017 Molly H. Bogen Service Award to Lori Daniels.

Fred and Jan Hegi

Bob White

Carolyn Miller

As the Landmark Circle filled to capacity for the VIP reception with Gail and Gerald Turner, 2016 Spirit Awardees Jan and Fred Hegi, 2011 Spirit Awardee Carolyn Miller, 2010 Spirit Awardees Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Sarah and Alan Losinger, Caren Kline, Kristen and Jim Hinton, Tucker Enthoven with her mom Julie Ford, John and Betty Crawford, Debbie Oates, Brent Christopher, Robin Robinson and Margo Goodwin, The Senior Source President/CEO Cortney Nicolato and Bank of Texas Dallas Market Executive Bob White welcomed the crowd.

Diane Scovell

One or two of the group admitted that they had headed to the Anatole, where the event had been held in the past. But since John had built the Hyatt along with the world-renowned tower, it was only right to honor him in his hotel.

One guest was huffing as she arrived after parking her car in the satellite parking lot. She admitted that the lunch was just the second time that she had been to the Hyatt and climbing the hill in high heels for John was a labor of love. The next time she was gonna valet.

Alan White and John Scovell

Mary Montgomery and Kristi Hoyl

At 11:30 the Landmark Ballroom was filling with longtime friends of the Scovells like Texas Tech buddy Alan White was tableside with Pat SchenkelKristi Hoyl and Mary Montgomery spied each other across the way. They were both in similar dresses… Alan Walne was still sporting a sling due to surgery…Former Senior Source President/CEO Molly Bogen arrived to hugs from Lindalyn Adams …’nother former Senior Sourcer Betty Houser reported that after a year off for “temporary retirement,” she was considering a return to the nonprofit sector… and Pat McCallum, Barbara Stuart, County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia, District Attorney Faith Johnson and Brad Cheves.

Pete Schenkel, Brad Cheves and Alan Walne

Betty Houser and Stephanie Russell

Just past noon Senior Source Board Chair John Taylor III got things started by introducing Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church Senior Pastor Rev. Matthew Ruffiner, who gave the invocation, and Luncheon Chair Carol Lupton Huckin and Diamond Underwriter Baylor Scott And White Health CEO Jim Hinton addressed the crowd as lunch was served.

In presenting the Bogen Service Award with Molly to Lori, Cortney told how Lori had served in various capacities to help the elderly. Lori even created an underwear donation drive called “The Reverse Panty Raid” and a gift drive for the holidays. That first year, “ten seniors were adopted.” Last year 200 personalized gifts were delivered to clients.

Lori Daniels, Cortney Nicolato and Molly Bogen

Lori recalled how she had joined The Senior Source after seeing a notice in The Dallas Morning News for a volunteer opportunity. That was 20 years ago. Since that time, she has involved friends, family and especially her husband, Jim Daniels.

A video was shown detailing the countless programs that The Senior Source provides. Just last year they accommodated 33,000 “older adults.”

As the lights came up, a couple of white rocking chairs were now on the left side of the stage in front of a row of faux hedges with twinkling lights. In the back of the ballroom, cheerleaders and other characters waited.

Red Raider and Masked Rider

Following the video, Cortney asked that guests visit a senior and text donations. She then explained that while the fundraiser often took place around Thanksgiving, this year “We’re just trying to mess with you today and do it on Halloween.”

As Cortney left the stage and Diane and John took their places in the rocking chairs. A voice over the PA revealed how it was a Scovell tradition at Halloween that trick or treaters must do a trick before getting a treat. In keeping with that idea, it was announced that Stage Fright Events had been hired to screen the masses who seek their 15 minutes of fame “on the Scovells’ front porch.

John and Diane Scovell

The skit provided laughs as one of the screeners proved not to be the sharpest tack in the box saying that

  • John had met Diane when she was a traveling rodeo clown. No, Diane had been a rodeo queen in Brady. And they met in college — Texas Tech, of course.
  • John’s dad, Field Scovell, had been “Mr. Spandex Bowl.” No, Field had been Mr. Cotton Bowl.
  • John had built the Eiffel Tower. No, he had built Reunion Tower.
  • In college, Diane and John were named Mr. and Miss Texas A and …. No, they were named Mr. and Miss Texas Tech.

Preston Hollow Elementary School third graders

The first to tryout were future Hillcrest Panthers/third graders from Preston Hollow Elementary, who sang “Skin and Bones.” [Editor’s note: It was pretty darn adorable.]

Next up was the Reunion Tower Ball that texted via the big screen that it and the Scovells go back 39 years. For its trick, the revolving ball displayed a lit pumpkin.

Reunion Tower

Texas Tech cheerleaders

The final tryout on stage was the Texas Tech crew including the cheerleaders shouting “Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar. All for seniors  stand up and holler.” With that the Tech fight song played, Masked Rider and Raider Red arrived on stage and the guests stood.

With the Diane and John still rocking, Underwriting Chair John Crawford replaced the Stage Fright team and told how the Scovells had made a dynamic impact on Dallas education, business, health and environment by looking “to the future with a reverence for the past.” In the Scovell world, “Success is a team sport.”

John Crawford, Carol Huckin, John and Diane Scovell and John Taylor

John Taylor and Carol joined John Crawford in presenting the award to the Scovells.

After receiving the award, John Scovell retired to his chair and Diane admitted, “I want to shut the doors and get around to everybody…We’re appreciative and so very uncomfortable. It’s kinda not our style.” She asked everyone who had been involved with any of the Scovell projects for the betterment of Dallas. It seemed like all but a handful stood. At one point she told how their sons had been such troopers even when John coached them in soccer but knew nothing about the sport.

It was now time for John to address the group by defending his soccer skills. “My father told me early on. He said, ‘Son, if you can’t use your hands, it must be a communist sport.’ That was my introduction to soccer.” He then had Diane join him at the podium. Once again he recalled something his father had told him, “He had spent a lot of time at events like this and he said, ‘Son, if you’re to speak and have a nice audience, here’s what you tell them. You stand up to be seen. You speak up to be heard. You sit down to be appreciated.”

And from the audience’s response, the Scovells were truly appreciated.

For more photos of the day’s activities, head on over to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Grovel Alert: Tutu Chic Fashion Show And Luncheon

Texas Ballet Theater dancers (File photo)

Not all the nonprofits are going quiet between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Well, of course, there is Crystal Charity Ball on Saturday, December 2. But on Tuesday, November 28, the Tutu Chic Fashion Show And Luncheon at the Winspear will have the champagne bubbling and the dancers doing pas de deux, pirouette and grand jeté in the Naeem Khan designs from Stanley Korshak with the guests on stage for a up-close view. 

Co-Chair Marybeth Conlon and Heather LeClair along with Presenting Sponsor Nancy Carlson have been busy getting guests on board for the Texas Ballet Theater fundraiser.

If you’ve purchased your tickets, congratulations! If you haven’t, you’d better hurry-scurry.

According to Texas Ballet Theater Development Manager Theresa Ireland-Daubs, “We are so close to hitting our goal of 30 tables!”

So, put off the grocery shopping for Thursday’s feasting and make your reservation here.

Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Kim Noltemy Selected To Be President/CEO Of Dallas Symphony Association

While all types of stuff are happening in the Dallas arts neighborhood like Dallas Museum of Arts Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Gavin Delahunty‘s unexpected resignation, the Dallas Symphony Association have good news with the announcement of a new president/CEO, who will be in place on Monday, January 22.  Dallas Symphony Association board of Governors Chair Sanjiv Yajnik announced that Kim Noltemy has been selected to head up the DSO.

Sanjiv Yajnik*

Kim Noltemy*

Having been associated with the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1996, where she held various positions including Director of Sales and Marketing, Chief Marketing Officer and most recently Chief Operation and Communications Officers.

She has also served as president of the non-profit Boston 4 Celebration that produces Boston’s ever popular Fourth of July festivities.  

According to Sanjiv, “Kim comes to the Dallas Symphony with decades of experience at one of the world’s top orchestras. She combines a profound knowledge of orchestra management with a stellar reputation for growing an orchestra’s brand in and beyond its hometown. We welcome Kim to Dallas, and we look forward to working with her to continue the DSO’s commitment to artistic excellence, while reimagining what an orchestra can be.”

Jonathan Martin (File photo)

Michelle Miller Burns (File photo)

Since former DSA President/CEO Jonathan Martin’s announcement of his departure in June, Michelle Miller Burns has served as Interim President/CEO. Plans call for her to “continue as Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Chief Operating Officer. She will work closely with Yajnik and Noltemy to ensure a seamless transition.”

* Photo provided by Dallas Symphony Association

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: The Spirit Of Generations Award Luncheon

Preston Hollow Elementary School third graders

Red Raider and Masked Rider

Texas Tech cheerleader

Some guests at the Hyatt Regency probably thought that Halloween was being celebrated early on Tuesday, October 31, with Hillcrest 2027 graduates, Texas Tech Masked Rider and Red Raider walking through the lobby area. Actually the future Panther grads and Tech mascots were on hand for The Senior Source’s annual Spirit of Generations Luncheon honoring Diane and John Scovell.

John Crawford, Carol Huckin, John and Diane Scovell and John Taylor

While the post is being finalized, check out the notables in attendance at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: 30th Anniversary Mad Hatter’s Tea Theme, Date And Plans Revealed

Last night 2018 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Venise Stuart announced plans for the annual fundraiser benefiting the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum‘s A Woman’s Garden at the Dallas Arboretum.

Melissa Lewis

Venise Stuart

On the ground level of Tootsies, Venise revealed that the 30th anniversary would be a salute to the grandeur and elegance of a bygone era.

A Garden By The Sea*

Women’s Council of the Arboretum President Melissa Lewis stressed it was not a Gatsby-period theme. Rather think of the Vanderbilts summered in Newport at The Breakers, Marble House and Rough Point, when the magnificent estates enjoyed the cool breezes.  

To visually explain the feel, Melissa and Venise unveiled the graphic designed by Lynn Dealey that benefited the “A Garden By The Sea” theme perfectly.

Serving at honorary chair will be Linda Burk, who has been a longtime supporter of the Arboretum.

The fashion show of Tootsies fashions and luncheon will take place on Thursday, April 12, at the Arboretum under the direction of Jan Strimple.

As for the chapeau judging details, stay tuned.

* Graphic credit: Lynn Dealey

18th Annual Mission Ole Guests Got All Painted Up To Raise Funds For Trinity River Mission At Chicken Scratch And The Foundry

That first wave of winter chill really hit North Texas on Saturday, October 28. But thousands still rallied for area walks/runs in the morning. By evening the brisk temperatures had nonprofits pulling portable heaters out of storage and guests releasing their furs, cashmeres and leathers from closets.

The Trinity River Mission’s 18th Annual Mission Ole held forth in jeans, boots, cowboy hats and day of the dead painted faces at Chicken Scratch.

Margaret Spelling

Ann Kellogg Schooler and Matt Schooler

Lisa Cooley, Cindy Turner, Gail Fischer and John Corder

Earlier in the day, Mission Ole C0Chairs Ann Kellogg Schooler and Margaret Spelling and Advisor Extraordinaire Cindy Turner had a tent installed over the outdoor picnic tables and stage just in case the rain continued. There was no need. The rain had stopped and the reception took place in the open area around the fire pit and near the portable heaters. For those in need of greater heat, there was the shed with the silent auction items and the never-ending buffet.

Ciara Cooley and Katekyn Fletcher

Clay Cooley and Aaron McWhorter

Hillary Turner and Chris Calandro

Tanya McDonald and Paige McDaniel

As guests like Honorary Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley, Ciara Cooley with Chi O sister Katekyn Fletcher, Tanya McDonald, Paige McDaniel, Carole and Scott Murray, Hilary Turner, Chris Calandro and Luanne McWhorter arrived, mariachis and painted faced models proved the perfect selfie backdrops.

Mission Ole models

Yatzil Rubin and Thomas Surgent

Web Pierce

Lesley Lanahan

Lauren Thedfor

Face artist at work

While some guests like Yatzil Rubin, Thomas Surgent, Lauren Thedford and Webb Pierce arrived with faces ready made, others like Lesley and Michael Lanahan and Matt Schooler got in line to have customized painted faces.

Charles Haley

Honorary Chair Gail Fischer arrived late in the night. Husband Cliff Fischer was in India on business. As for Gail, she had a couple of reason for the delayed arrival. First the electricity in the family digs had gone out. Just as Gail had set up lit candles to see her way around, the electricity came back on. Then she took a wrong turn on her way to Chicken Scratch resulting in her heading to Fort Worth.

An hour into the event Gail arrived and immediately set about locating longtime Fischer bud Charles Haley. Someone told her that he had arrived early and left. But, no. Gail spotted the tall former Dallas Cowboy surrounded by fans and friends at the far end of the shed. She also laughed that another guests was also sporting the same black shirt with day-of-the-dead accents that her brother John Corder was wearing.

Other points of interests included Sunie Solomon reporting that monies were still being counted for the week-before Cattle Baron’s Ball; Greg Nieberding and Eddie Ortega telling how the night before they had hosted the past chairs and president of the Junior League of Dallas; rancher Aaron McWhorter preparing to head to Las Vegas with some of his bulls for the bull riding competition.

Steve and Sunie Solmon

Greg Nieberding and Eddie Ortega

For more looks are the faces in the crowd, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Body Oak Cliff Founder Joel Pulis And Sheriff Lupe Valdez To Receive The Well Community’s First Founder’s Award At Recovery Live Benefit Concert

The Well Community is adding a new element to its annual Recovery Live Benefit Concert on Thursday, November 30, at The Kessler. In the past, the fundraiser to help adults dealing with severe mental illnesses has just a great time with great music.

Lupe Valdez (File photo)

But after four years, they decided to put some bells and whistles to the festivities. In addition to having WFAA’s Brett Shipp as emcee and Floramay Holliday and Over the River and The Rosemont Kings performing, they’ve added a silent auction and the Founder’s Award.

This first-time award will be presented to Body Oak Cliff Founder Joel Pulis and Sheriff Lupe Valdez.

According to The Well Community Executive Director Alice Zaccarello, “This award has been created to acknowledge those whose action have opened up new avenues of recovery and hope to individuals suffering from mental illnesses.”

Event sponsors include Good Space, Ged Dipprey Realtor, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, Bret and Karen Schuch, Steven and Dawn Camp, Roland Warnock, Hanes and Boone LLP, K and L Gates LLP, Beth and Wes Keyes, Jim Lake Advisors LLC, Republic Title Turtle Creek, Amy Carenza and Nathan Offerdahl, Potpourri of Silk, Soap Hope, Shirlee and Charles Bealke, Suzanne and Wayne Braddick, Diana and David Ezzell, Scott Griggs, Colleen and Ken Kelley, Cornerstone Home Lending, Masterman, La Calle Doce and El Ranchito, Methodist Medical System, Norma’s Café, RPGA Design Group, Ryan Frahm – Origins Bank Home, Lending, Square Foot and Vickie Turner.

Tickets start at $50. And if you’re already got plans that night, consider taking a tour of The Well Community and discover the various programs that are offered to help deal with an very real challenge within lives.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 18th Annual Mission Ole

Lesley Lanahan, Matt Schooler and Ann Kellogg Schooler and Michael Lanahan

Despite the ghoulish faces and the chill in the air, the Trinity River Mission’s 18th Annual Mission Ole at Chicken Scratch and The Foundry was festive, fun and fundraising on Saturday, October 28. With the fire pit blazing and portable heater blowing, the cold factor was nihil. But at times it was hard to know just who was behind the painted faces. Why the face painters were busier than NorthPark Neiman’s cosmetic counter on a Saturday afternoon!

Web Pierce

Yatzil Rubin and Thomas Surgent

While the post is being finished, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Gingerbread Stroll Returns To HP Village For Viewing And Bidding Thru December 1 For Clayton Dabney Foundation For Kids With Cancer

Yum! The holidays are just brimming with sugary delights and Highland Park Village will be a sweet-tooth stroller’s delight thanks to real estate sweetie Christine McKenny and Event Advisor Lynn McBee, the 5th Annual Gingerbread Stroll will be delighting all from Friday, November 17, through Friday, December 1.

Christine McKenny (File photo)

Lynn McBee (File photo)

This year’s gingerbread house displays will benefit Clayton Dabney Foundation for Kids with Cancer with 100% proceeds going to the nonprofits.

According to Christine, “The Gingerbread Stroll has become a wonderful tradition during the most wonderful time of the year. People of all ages gather with their family and friends to attend, and it’s always exciting to see how the chefs express themselves creatively. Everyone loves a gingerbread house!”

This year’s culinary architects will include Bird Bakery, Architecture Demarest, Chocolate Secrets, Hilton Anatole, Hotel Crescent Court, Hyatt Regency at Reunion, Omni Dallas Hotel, Charlie’s Pastry Chef Winter Lockwood-Frank and Pastry Works’ Pastry Chef Arielle Sutcliffe.

The Gingerbread Stroll*

Hosting the confectionary cuties will be Beretta Gallery, Bird Bakery, Bistro 31, Draper James, Kiehl s Since 1851, Leggiadro, Market Highland Park, Robert Talbott, Roberta Roller Rabbit, Royal Blue Grocery, The Tot and Trina Turk.

Well known for delicious abodes, Allie Beth Allman and Associates will be the presenting sponsor.

It’s free for the walking and viewing. But to help raise the funds, all can bid on the gingerbread homes via the silent auction. And there will be giveaway prizes, including a holiday carriage ride for six by Threejays Carriages.   

* Graphic provided by Gingerbread Stroll

Flora Award Black-Tie Guests Celebrated The “Terrific Trio” At Texas Discovery Gardens With A Seated Dinner, Music And Clear Skies

The sky couldn’t have better on Thursday, October 26, for the black-tie guests to enjoy the Texas Discovery Gardens grounds before going indoors for the dinner celebrating the “terrific trio’s (Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith and Marilyn Waisanen) receiving the Flora Award . Here’s a report from the field:

Texas Discovery Gardens presented its prestigious annual Flora Award on Thursday, October 26, to Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith and Marilyn Waisanen, otherwise known as the ‘terrific trio’.

Marilyn Waisanen, Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith, Kathryn Febbroriello, Amelia Valz and Angela Shank*

Graced by $200,000 worth of deBoulle jewels, who designed the actual Flora Award, Kathryn Febbroriello, Angela Shank and Amelia Valz co-chaired the elegant evening for their second consecutive year. The enchanting garden grounds served as the opening act for the black-tie occasion; accented with glimmering lights and surrounded with whimsical music by the Steve Bayless Orchestra.

Steve Bayless Orchestra*

A seated dinner by Food Company was served in the Grand Hall. Tables laden with elegant linens housed Garden Gage arranged terrariums with live Monarch butterflies, all placed upon repurposed native Texas Tree ‘cookies’ from the ranch of TDG Executive Director Dick Davis.

Dick and Libba Davis*

Tom and Suzy Rhodes*

David and Waverly Smith*

Kristy and Patrick Sands and Erin Shields*

More than 240 guests celebrated the 2017 honorees and helped raise more than $190,000. The crowd consisting of Barbara Hunt Crow, Caroline Rose Hunt, Kristy and Patrick Sands, Ann and Bob Dyer, Myriam and Randall Graham, Lyda Hill, Erin Shields, Suzy and Tom Rhodes and David and Waverly Smith. 2017 Honorary Co-Chairs Bob and Myrna Schlegel, who were presented the Flora Award in 2016, and the ‘terrific trio’ are members of the prestigious honorees including Peggy and Carl Sewell, Laura and President George W. Bush and the late Ebby Halliday Acers, who are all recognized for their commitment to community service.

Lyda Hill, Caroline Rose Hunt, Barbara Hunt Crow and Bobbie Sue Williams*

The generosity of those who support the Flora Award fundraiser support the first public garden in the state of Texas to be certified 100% organic by the Texas Organic Research Center.  Children and adults discover and learn to sustain the natural world at the Fair Park grounds which will debut a new hummingbird garden and children’s playscape in the near future. To learn more, visit or support Texas Discovery Gardens and Butterfly House see www.TexasDiscoveryGardens.org or call 214.428.7476.

* Photo credit: James Edward

Animal-Loving Karen And Jeff Banister Step Up To The Plate As Honorary Co-Chairs For Operation Kindness’ 25th Annual Canines, Cats And Cabernet

Alexandra Banister, Jacob Banister and Jeff and Karen Banister*

Texas Rangers General Manager Jeff Banister is a familiar name in the sports pages and on the evening news. But what some might not know is that he and his wife Karen Banister have two kids, Alexandra and Jacob, two Labradors (Bella and Scout) and two Maltese (Gracie and Cooper).  

Since the baseball season ended last month, the folks at Operation Kindness took advantage of the pooch-loving Banisters’ down time and arranged to have them serve as the honorary co-chairs for its 25th Annual Canines, Cats and Cabernet at the Omni Dallas on Saturday.

Nelda Cain Pickens (File photo)

According to Operation Kindness CEO Jim Hanophy, “Canines, Cats and Cabernet gets bigger and better every year, and we are honored to celebrate our 25th anniversary of this event with Jeff and Karen Banister. We know that with their support we will be able to knock this year’s event out of the park.”

But the Banisters aren’t the only ones cheerleading for the organization. Operation Kindness supporter Nelda Cain got involved with the no-kill shelter through her friend/OK Board Chair Kathy Kinser. As Nelda explained, “I have loved getting to know the powers that be at Operation Kindness and feel my efforts are entirely worth it. It is the oldest no-kill shelter in Dallas and serves the entire county including Fort Worth. It is also amazing what a following the organization has attracted, as the work is needed and successful.”

One of the highlights will be the furry guests of honor that have loved staying at Operation Kindness, but would love to find permanent homes.

Hoss*

Abby*

Cupcake*

Marlon*

In addition to a dinner and a live and a silent auction, there will be a raffle for a seven-night stay at an RCI Resort in the city of the winner’s choice plus a $500 Visa gift card for airfare. Chances are just $50, but are in limited supply.  

Tickets are the gala are available here.

* Photo courtesy of Operation Kindness

1,300 People Had A “Hinge” Experience By “Connecting” With New BFF Jamie Lee Curtis At The Celebrating Women Luncheon

Editor’s warning: This post is a very long one, but it’s worth the read. So, settle back to find out why the 2017 Celebrating Women Luncheon was one of the most memorable get togethers of the year.

It depended on your age when it came to Jamie Lee Curtis. Those with decades on their meters remembered her as the darling daughter of Hollywood’s golden age couple of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. Then there was the generation that immediately thought of her being terrorized in “Halloween” and “Terror Train.”  Others recalled her as the “bod” in “Trading Places” and “Perfect.” And, yes, there’s a current generation who have read her 14 books to their children.

The question at the Baylor Health Care System Foundation‘s Celebrating Women Luncheon was, “Who really is Jamie Lee Curtis?” That’s because Jamie (“Just call me Jamie, not Jamie Lee”) was going to be the featured speaker at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, October 26.

Before heading down to the VIP meet-and-greet in the Anatole’s Wedgwood Room that Thursday morning, Jamie showed the first signs of how the day would go. She told an event staffer that she was wearing no makeup and had done her own hair. But if they wanted someone to do her makeup, it was up to them. No need; Jamie was just fine in her own skin. Earlier someone had asked if she wanted to review the questions that would be posed to her in the chat with Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson. Nope. She would just take them as they came.

Vicky Lattner, Nancy Carter, Emilynn Wilson and Di Johnston

Before she entered the room, the crowd including Kristen Hinton, Norm Bagwell, Barbara Stuart, Carol Seay, Jimmie Westcott, Lisa Cooley, Tanya Foster, Aileen Pratt, Kate Swail, Pam Perella, Leslie Diers, Debbie Robinson, Polly Tadlock, Fredye Factor, Sarah Losinger, Debbie Oates, Christie Carter, Julie Ford, Rich Enthoven, Trisha Wilson, Tiffany Divis, Jennie and Stuart Reeves, Caren Kline and Dallas Morning Newsies Deborah Fleck, Selwyn Crawford and Mike Wilson was happily chatting and drinking coffee. Only a handful of people were getting in line for the grip-and-grin. That would quickly change.

Barbara Stuart, Carol Seay and Jimmie Westcott

Like a quarterback preparing for the big game, Jamie checked out the setup and approached the event photographer and suggested a place where she would stand with guests. As another photographer took a photo from the side, Jamie called the second photographer over and gave instructions to shoot directly in front of her. It wasn’t an order. She was advising the team on a game plan that would seamlessly score success. 

Even the guests became part of the team effort. Jamie would talk with each one and make sure that all were picture-perfect. When Gretchen Minyard arrived for her photo, Jamie adjusted the flower on Gretchen’s jacket. One young woman quickly put the finishing touches on her own makeup as she went through the line. She was thrilled for the photo opp. From the big smile in being photographed with Jamie, no one could tell that she had just had her first round of chemo the day before. Linda Custard, who had successfully gone through a year of treatments, had a special glow about her as she and Jamie embraced.

Linda Custard and Jamie Lee Curtis

Lindalyn Adams and Jamie Lee Curtis

After having her photo taken with Lindalyn Adams, Jamie called time-out and went to the side of the staging area to talk with Lindalyn, who had initiated Celebrating Women 18 years ago.

Now, the guests were starting to take notice and lined up for their picture with Jamie. A handful of guests stood back, saying they weren’t all that interested in a photo with Jamie. That would change. Soon enough the line was winding past the stanchions, and in the line now were those who’d said earlier they weren’t all that interested in a photo with Jamie.

Observers started taking note of how in each shot, Jamie would hit her mark with her legs crossed at the ankle, confidently hold her head high, smile with lips together and have an expression on her face as if she was truly proud to be in the picture. Her arms would adjust a bit with each photo, but they never struck the “sorority girl” pose.

Peggy Riggs, Jamie Lee Curtis and Leonard Riggs

Aileen Pratt and Jamie Lee Curtis

Selwyn Crawford, Deborah Fleck, Jamie Lee Curtis and Mike Wilson

When the final photo was taken, one of the photographers approached her and thanked her for her earlier direction, adding that each photo had turned out great. Jamie smiled with a twinkle in her eye and said, “I knew where the lights were.”

Dennis Bassler and Connie Yates

Nancy Dedman and Jill Smith

As the doors opened to the Chantilly Ballroom, the 1,300 guests like Tom Thumb President Dennis Bassler with Tom Thumb First Lady Connie Yates, Sara Martineau, Vicki Chapman, Joan Eleazer with daughter Layne Pitzer, Debbie Raynor, Nancy Dedman, Jill Smith, Gene Jones, Anita Arnold, Al Hill Jr., Linda Perryman Evans, Jan Langbein, Leslie Gosnell and sisters Nancy Marcus and Nelda Cain were taking their places. Before things got underway, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell stood behind Jamie, who had taken her place at the table next to Honorary Co-Chair Leonard Riggs. The Powells had their cellphones ready to snap a photo with her. When Jamie realized the situation, she stood up and took hold of the phone for a selfie with the girls.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell

Soon, the program was underway with London Hibbs entering the center aisle singing “Heroes” and joined by dancers en route to the stage.

London Hibbs and dancers

They were followed by Event Chair Tucker Enthoven, who welcomed the guests and told how the monies raised at the luncheon stayed in North Texas. To emphasize the point, she told of 43-year-old attorney/wife/mother Carolyn Brown, who just the year before had been diagnosed with stage III tripe-negative breast cancer.

Carolyn Brown and her team of health care providers

Following a video about Carolyn’s journey, an army of 20 men and women lined up along the back of the stage. Through the group entered Carolyn, who explained that these people had been the ones who had taken her through nine months of surgeries, chemo and radiation, resulting in her being cancer-free. 

Ola Fojtasek and Tucker Enthoven

Following lunch, Tucker returned to the podium with her Underwriting Chair Ola Fojtasek, who acknowledged Lindalyn, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation staff, the committee, presenting sponsor Tom Thumb and the mega donors. Ola then got the activity meter raised, explaining that at each table there was one program that was marked for the holder to receive an $80 gift certificate for Kendra Scott. 

Jim Hinton

Tucker thanked Honorary Co-Chairs Peggy and Leonard Riggs, announced a matching challenge of $25,000 and introduced Baylor Scott And White Health CEO Jim Hinton. Jim told how his life had been influenced by the women in his life, including his daughter, 12-year-old Nora Hinton, who the morning after the recent presidential election announced that she could still be the first female president. He emphasized the importance of the Celebrating Women Luncheon by announcing that, over the past 18 years, it had raised more than $30M, and more than 100,000 women had been screened last year at the Darlene Cass Imaging Center.

Following Jim, Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson introduced Jamie for a chat on stage. It would be a chat to be remembered.

Before getting started, though, Jamie addressed one part of the audience. “I was raised well. Not really, but I was raised semi-well. I actually made them move the chair so my back wasn’t to you. But I apologize that my back is to you, and I will try to pin it like a Rain Bird.”

Jamie Lee Curtis and Robin Robinson

Who is her hero? Robin asked. “I am almost 60, and I have spent a lot of time in ballrooms sitting around tables of 10 with well-heeled, well-dressed people like yourselves advocating for causes in ways to come together to raise money for important causes,” Jamie replied. “And I have seen myriad ways that these are done. I have never in my life seen a more moving example of what this is, the reason we are here, than that team of people coming up on the stage. I’ve done a lot of these and I think that’s why that challenge grant … and I hope we make it … I’d like to see a show of hands of 25 people in this room who will give a thousand dollars with me.* I want it right now. 25 people to give $25,000. [Hands went up throughout the room.] I want to know that $50,000 extra was raised in one minute for the work of those people who stood here for her and work for people you will never know. There is no more important thing for us to do today than to support them. I’m just privileged to be here.” 

Hands raise for the challenge

Did you have a cancer scare? Robin then asked Jamie. “I did, and in coming here I recalled it,” she answered. “My memory of it was the wait in that room for the diagnosis. Either an all-clear, which was my case, or the diagnosis of breast cancer and then the eventual treatment plan and care team stepping in. And what I remember about it, and the reason why I try to stay active, is that moment of feeling alone, even though my sweet husband Christopher [Guest] was sitting with me. It is a profound moment of truth. I was prepared for it. And as I got the ‘All clear’ from it, I was grateful to my doctor who found it. It was not noticed on the mammogram. It was not noticed radiologically. It was done from palpitation, by actually laying on his hands. I’m incredibly luck, but I’ll never forget that moment.”

In receiving the tough news from your doctor, Robin asked next, do you want her to ask how your life is going, or do you want straight talk? “Me? I’m coming up, if I’m lucky enough, on February 3rd of next year, I’ll be coming up on 19 years sober from drugs and alcohol,” Jamie answered. “In my opinion [addiction] is hereditary—my dad, my mom, my brother. And [for me] it was an opiate addiction. It was a small plastic surgery moment that led to an opiate addiction. It is no accident today that we have an epidemic in this country. I’m in recovery, and I want it as straight as you can give it to me. I’m as straight a person as it is. I want no subterfuge. I want it unvarnished. I want you to tell me the truth. I try to live an incredibly truthful life.”

How do you select the causes that you support? Robin asked. “I think like all the rest of us, I get touched by something,” Jamie replied. “As it is with breast cancer, it is a concentric circle in our lives. There is no place that I would go in the world and not come in contact immediately with someone either recovering from breast cancer, undergoing treatment or they have a sister or mother with breast cancer. I was in Los Angeles at a surprise wedding. I was seated at a long table, as we all were.

“I was chatting with three people across the table, and the woman seated directly across from me was from Italy. Lovely. I found her charming. And then another woman introduced herself and said that she and her husband were from Dallas. I said, ‘Oh, I’m going to Dallas in four days.’ She asked why and I said, ‘I’m going to speak at the breast cancer luncheon connected to Baylor.’ And she said, ‘Oh, those are my people! You’ll meet my oncologist.” She’s a 15-year survivor. And then the woman directly across from me, the one from Italy, said to the woman, ‘I just had a double mastectomy.’ Here we were a triangle. Three women connecting about breast cancer at a surprise wedding. To me the reason we’re here is to connect. We are not here to do anything but connect.”

Jamie Lee Curtis

Then Robin asked, “What got you into acting?” “It was an accident,” Jamie said. “There is a book that I love, ‘Special Topics in Calamity Physics,’ by Marisha Pessl. In it there is this great quote. She says you know, most people think life is all about like where you go to school, what degree you get, what college you get into, who you marry, what your first job is, what your starting salary is, blah, blah. She said, and I roughly quote, ‘It’s not. Life hinges on a couple of seconds you never see coming, and what you decide in those seconds determines everything from then on. And you’re not going to know what to do until you’re there.’ That’s my life.

“I was a D+ student, who got into the only college where my mother was the most famous alumnus. I majored in track. I was a non-student. I could barely spell ‘student.’ I came home for Christmas and ran into a guy who was a tennis teacher at my friend’s court and he said, ‘Hey, Jamie, I’m now managing actors, and they’re looking for someone to play Nancy Drew. Why don’t you go up for it?’ I was like ‘Okay.’ I didn’t get it, but then I ended up literally signing a seven-year contract with Universal Pictures (because they used to have contracts then). My point is that I went over to my friend’s house and a tennis teacher said, ‘Hey they’re looking for actors,’ and the next I knew I quit school and I connected in the exact same way the rest of my life.

“I never thought I would write a book in my life. As I mentioned, my SAT scores—I proudly say this for all you underachievers out there, you could be up here with your—excuse my French, your shitty SAT scores! My four-year-old daughter walked into my room one day and said, ‘When I was little, I used a diaper. But now I use the potty.’ And she walked out of the room. I just thought that was hilarious. I wrote down on a piece of paper, ‘When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth.’ I wrote the list of things that she couldn’t do and could do and at the end I wrote three things,

  • When I was little, I didn’t know what family was.
  • When I was little, I didn’t know what dreams were.
  • When I was little, I didn’t know who I was, but now I do.

 

“When I was finished writing that, I was sobbing and I realized I could write a book. Though I never dreamed I’d write a book, I sold it that day to a publisher in New York, and it was the first of 14 books I’ve written for children. I say it because the last thing in the world I thought I would do is write a book, and yet a book popped out.

“I’m going to tell you one more thing about life hinging on seconds you never see coming. It was 1984. I was single, sitting my apartment with my friend Debra Hill, who is no longer here, and I was getting ready to do the movie ‘Perfect.’ I opened Rolling Stone magazine. There was a picture of three guys with their arms around each other like guys do with shirt sleeves. There was a guy on the right who had a face like this [she made a funny face]. And I said to Debra, ‘I’m going to marry that guy.’ She said he was Chris Guest. I called his agent the next day, who told me he knew I was calling about Chris Guest. Debra had already called. He never called me.”

Jamie went on to tell how she continued with her life, and was even dating a fellow. After taking him to the airport one day, she drove to West Hollywood for dinner with Melanie Griffin and her husband Steven Bauer. A couple of tables away, Christopher was sitting there. Recalled Jamie: “He looked at me and went like this” [she shrugged her shoulders and made a face]. She responded in a similar fashion. As he got up to leave, he repeated the expression, to which she once again responded in the same way. The next day he called her, and they were married four months later.

Did you have mentors who helped you focus on what is important? Robin asked. “No. I’m not going to lie to you,” Jamie replied. “My mother was a surviving woman. She had a rough life. But she was a very grounded human being, and I credit her with a lot of the way I walk through the world. To be perfectly honest, mostly men hired me. It was because the business that I was in was predominantly male. Over the years I’ve partnered with women. My editor is a woman.”

Then came the moment that would become “the talk” for days to come.

Robin asked how she used her platform to address the issue of people using power over others. Looking at the floor clock, which showed that the time for their conversation was running out, Jamie said, “And that’s the real time we have left?”

Replied Robin: “I’ll tell you when we’re finished.”

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie said nothing. To the delight of the 1,000+ women in the room, she just held her index finger up and looked out at the audience as if to say, “Did he really just say that?”

And she let that expression and silence sit there for what probably seemed like an eternity for Robin. The oxygen in the room had been replaced with laughter.

With perfect timing, she said, “We need to talk. You’ll tell me when I’m done? I was merely trying to play by the time rule. I saw that the clock was running out. I was just asking … you’re blushing.”

The laughter only grew, and it was suspected that Robin was wishing that he could have taken back his “hinge” moment.

But like a great conductor, Jamie brought the room back to the serious subject that Robin had introduced. “What is happening today has been happening since the beginning of time,” she said. “And it always takes show business to be a catalyst for change. In recovery, I always knew that someone super-famous was going to have to die from an opiate overdose, before we changed the way we thought about opiates. Prince, a brilliant artist, was a fentanyl addict and he died from that. And now we change the rules. Now the president is convening a whole epidemic group to combat this.

“Sexual harassment and abuse have been in play since men in power have been in place. Through every generation, every business, every field, every color—there is no boundary. It’s just the nature of the beast, and it is a beast. And we are taking a look at it through the lens … pardon the pun … of Hollywood.  And it is going to create transformative change. It is going to take a little time. It is going to be a very challenging time for all us to look deep in ourselves and really figure out how we feel about it.”

She predicted that, as a result, more women would be put in positions of leadership.

Robin then said, “With your permission, I have one more.” Laughter.

Jamie answered, “That was flirting.” More laughter. “Yes, dear.”

His final question was, “What was the best moment of your life?”

She replied that it was being an adoptive mother of two children, Annie and Thomas. The moment was when, at 12:58 in the morning, Annie’s birth mother had called to say that she had given birth. Said Jamie: That was the “most transformative moment in my life. It began what has continued to be the greatest thing I will ever do in my life besides being sober. It is to share a life. It is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. It has made me look in the mirror more often about myself. It has brought us a lot of grief in our family, and a lot of healing. A child wants connection. They don’t want stuff. They want people to lean in and look at them and hear them and cherish them. The modern world makes that very difficult. We all have to work very hard to counteract that. ” 

Thanks to Jamie, 1,300 people experienced hinge moments allowing them to connect with a very special cause and person.

So, who was Jamie Lee Curtis? On Thursday, October 26, she was the BFF for more than 1,300 people—and she’s welcome back anytime she wants.

Check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for more pictures from the luncheon.

* Follow up on the match challenge: Jamie’s invitation for people to join her in meeting the match not only met the goal, it surpassed it resulting in $60,000 from the challenge. And, no, the Celebrating Women organizers had no idea she was going to ask people to join her in donating $1,000.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2017 Celebrating Women Luncheon

Guests at Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Celebrating Women Luncheon on Thursday, October 26, at the Hilton Anatole had more to celebrate than raising mega funds for breast cancer. They discovered a new BFF — guest speaker Jamie Lee Curtis.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell

Lindalyn Adams and Jamie Lee Curtis

While some admitted that they had had no preconceived ideas about the day’s program chaired by Tucker Enthoven, they left the event delighted with Jamie’s honesty, openness, humor and range of subject matter. In fact, one luncheon-attending vet claimed that not since last year’s Hoda Kotb and Tim Gunn appearance had they been so impressed with a presentation.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Robin Robinson

The post is being prepared, so check out the pictures on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Aileen Pratt and Jamie Lee Curtis

Peggy Riggs, Jamie Lee Curtis and Leonard Riggs

Tucker Enthoven, Jamie Lee Curtis, Robin Robinson and Ola Fojtasek

PS — For those who are aficionados of the art of posing for photographers, check out Jamie at the grip-and-grin session. Observers noted how she always stood erect with her head up, looked at the camera straight on, never struck the “sorority-girl pose” and crossed her legs at the ankle in every shot. If you get a chance, just try to strike the “Jamie pose.” It’s a balancing act, but it works.

The Scripps Society Celebrated The Moody Foundation’s Announcement Of A $12M Gift To CRI With Dinner And A Very Special Singer

While Kathy and Harlan Crow were in Washington, D.C., they left “the key under the mat” for The Scripps Society’s annual dinner on Tuesday, October 24.

For newcomers, The Scripps Society was named after Debbie and Ric Scripps, who “have embodied the Children’s Medical Center mission.” It’s made up of people who have provided one million dollars or more for the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, better known as CRI.

Sean Morrison, Christopher Durovich, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Kevin Dahlberg and Brent Christopher

But on this occasion, Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher and Children’s Health CEO Christopher Durovich had a breathtaking surprise for the group whose funds had generously supported pediatric healthcare.

Following dinner in the Crow Library, it was announced that The Moody Foundation had gifted a whopping $12M for CRI.

Jamie Williams and Ralph DeBerardinis

Despite having coordinated the arrangement of the gift, Foundation Human Resources Director/Regional Grant Director for North Texas Jamie Williams admitted that it had been quite an undertaking, but well worth it. Thanks to the gift, CRI will be able to “attract the world’s top scientists to Dallas to work alongside other researchers at CRI and will fuel their research for the next decade.”

As for Moody Foundation Chair/Executive Director Francie Moody-Dahlberg and husband Kevin Dahlberg, they were amazed at the magnificence of the library. It was their first time to visit.

In the crowd were CRI’s Dr. Sean Morrison, Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, Dr. Hao Zhu,Christina Durovich, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Sherry Vittrup and CRI’s Dr. Sean Morrison, Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, and Dr. Hao Zhu.

Hao Zhu, Russell Vittrup and Sherry Vittrup

Another highlight of  the evening was Children’s patient Russell Vittrup‘s singing some “Old Blue Eyes” favorites. Having been diagnosed with leukemia his first  year in college, Russell’s story, like his singing, is mesmerizing.

Thanks to The Moody Foundation and the members of The Scripps Society, medical research is creating life-saving treatments and diagnoses for others like Russell.

SOLD-OUT ALERT!: 2017 Obelisk Award Luncheon

Business Council for the Arts Katherine Wagner just sent some good news and some not-so-good news. First, let’s get the not-so-good news over with. If you were waiting until the last minute to get your spot at the Obelisk Award Luncheon, you waited too long and you’re out of luck.

2017 Obelisk Award (File photo)

Now for the good news: The November 15th lunch at Belo Mansion is sold out.  

But you were really hankering to be part of the occasion, you know better than anyone that Katherine could find one more place if the check is written with the right amount. Wink, wink.

Korshak And KidBiz Showcased “Fashion Notes” For The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League In The Venetian Room

The Fairmont has had all types of singers and musicians perform in its legendary Venetian Room. So it only made sene for the music-loving Dallas Symphony Orchestra League hold its Fashion Notes Luncheon on Monday, October 23. And instead of having professional models showcasing the Korshak and KidBiz fashions, Co-Chairs Susan Averitt Duvall, Barbara Averitt and Kendra Averitt tapped local favs to showcase the clothes including one tyke, who stole the show. Here’s a report from the field:

Susan Averitt Duvall, Barbara Averitt, Bret McKinney and Kendra Averitt*

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League (DSOL) presented Fashion Notes Luncheon and Style Show on Monday, October 23, in the Venetian Room of the Dallas Fairmont Hotel. The morning began with a reception and silent auction followed by a fashion show topped off with a delicious lunch generously underwritten by the hotel. The always lively Bret McKinney served as emcee.

Darlene Ellison*

Kevin Hall*

Donna Arp Weitzman*

Maureen Brodnax, Allison Brodnax and Tucker Brodnax*

There were no professional models on the runway. Instead, the stunning fall fashions from Stanley Korshak and KidBiz featured on the catwalk were modeled by strong, successful, and stylish contributors to our community. Dallas Symphony Association Director of Volunteers Services Allison Brodnax modeled with her one-year-old son Tucker and mother-in-law Maureen Brodnax. Tucker pushed a small stroller down the runway and melted the hearts of the audience. A first time model was Kevin Hall, COO of Grant Halliburton Foundation which helps raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental health awareness for young adults. Other models included Donna Arp Weitzman, author of ‘Cinderella has Cellulite,” columnist, and blogger; Darlene Ellison with Veritex Community Bank; Doris Jacobs and her daughter Teffy Jacobs and Carole Ann Brown.

Sarah Hardin served as honorary chair of the event and it was co-chaired by Barbara Averitt, Kendra Averitt and Susan Averitt Duvall. Mari Epperson is the DSOL President.  

The League strives to raise funds that support the love of music and the arts for thousands of youths and young adults in the Dallas Metroplex. Funds raised help to provide quality outreach educational programs, and musical competitions that light the way for talented local musicians.

Since 1946, the League has worked to support the Dallas Symphony Orchestra through service, education and fundraising efforts.  Since 1998, the League has contributed more than $12 million in support of the Dallas Symphony Association’s Community Outreach and Education programs, which help bring the wonder of music to thousands in the Dallas Metroplex.

* Photo credit:Barbara Gary

Despite Ma Nature’s Threatening With Weather Woes, Cattle Baron’s Ball “Shot For The Stars” With Paddles Waving And Guests Partying

Las Vegas oddsmakers thought they had all their bets covered on Saturday, October 21. The Astros were facing off against the Yankees in the 2017 American League playoffs, and the 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball was facing incredible odds to raise bunches of money for cancer research.

While the Astros won the pennant in Houston and prepared to meet  the L.A .Dodgers in the World Series, the CBB-ers were also rising to the occasion at Gilley’s Dallas. With all types of ugly weather once again threatening to create a Debbie Downer predicament, CBB Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill prepared for battle, making Eisenhower’s D-Day playbook look loosey-goosey.

Steve and Anne Stodghill and Sunie and Steve Solomon

The layout had been redesigned from past CBB gatherings at Gilley’s to address any possible stormy outburst. And as the days got closer and a norther started ambling its way southward, tents sprung up like bluebonnets in spring. Even the brief crosswalk between Gilley’s proper and the football stadium-size tent for the Brooks and Dunn concert was encased. Only the Ferris wheel lay bare.

Ferris wheel

But then, the Baronesses were old hands at dealing with Ma Nature, and Sunie, Anne and their committee members were prepared to take the old wet gal on. One longtime CBB vet was amazed at how seamless the evening went. The POA was created to be flexible, just in case an “Oops!” situation arose. And it did—but more about that later.

While the very fashionable types sported everything from suede skirts to custom boots, the accessory du jour was made of paper. No matter the amount of turquoise worn, it was the color of a guest’s wristband that established their pecking order. Talk about a caste system! It not only determined when and where a guest could venture, but it also reflected your exact ranking of table assignments at the Brooks and Dunn concert—if you scored the limited meet-and-greet with the duo.

Alison and Mike Malone and Hallie Lawrence

John Buchanan and Ken Paxton

Dwight and Claire Emanuelson

Andrea Weber, Mary Parker and Olivia Kearney

Rhonda and Fraser Marcus

Barbara and Don Daseke

Stubbs and Holly Davis and Kent Rathbun

Phil White and Danice Couch

Alex Laurenzi

Tom and Amy Hughes and Pam and Vin Perella

As guests like Ken Paxton (who was attending his first Cattle Baron’s in six or seven years), Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Pam and Vince Perella, Rhonda and Fraser Marcus, Angela Nash with Billy Martin Jr., Lisa and Marvin Singleton, Olivia and Jeff Kearney, Barbara and Don Daseke, Bethany and Stephen Holloway and past CCB chairs (Olivia Kearney, Jennifer Dix, Cindy Stager, Mary Martha Pickens, Mary Parker, Amy Turner, Katherine Wynne, Tia Wynne, Kristen Sanger and Brooke Shelby) partied in the main ballroom, some super VIPers waited for their meet-and-greet time with Winston and Strawn Live Auction entertainer Pat Green.

Among them: Co-chair Husbands Steve Solomon and Steve Stodghill, longtime friends who passed the time bantering about their outfits (Stodghill bought his tricked-out C&W jacket at Manuel’s in Nashville, it seems, while Solomon joked that he got his duds at Neiman’s). Stodg also revealed that his Winston and Strawn law-firm pals had bought five tables for the big party.  

Terra Najork

Steve Lamb, Pat Green and Deborah Ferguson

Katie Layton, Megan O’Leary, Paige Westhoff, Andrea Nayfa, Pat Green, Diana Hamilton, Terra Najork, Katy Bock, Nancy Gopez

That’s when the “oops” happened. As it turned out, the Pat Green meet-and-greeters waited … and waited … and waited. Seems that Pat had gotten a late start and then had been stuck in traffic. Not to worry, though. Food and beverages were brought in, creating a mini-party, as calls were made checking on Pat’s progress. Once he finally appeared, though, things went perfectly, with Green apologizing to each of the guests as their photos were taken. “It was the craziest thing in the world, trying to get here,” he explained to anyone who would listen. Who couldn’t forgive the baby-faced blonde? In the meantime, Pat’s wife, jewelry designer Kori Green, made her way to Jacqueline Cavender’s table for the performance leading up to the live auction, which would have a different feel tonight.  

Jacqueline Cavender and Kori Green

Pat Green and Steve Stodghill

As the two Co-Chair Hubby Steves introduced Pat to the audience, Pat came up behind Stodgie and wrapped his arms around the attorney. At points throughout his performance, Pat managed to not only play his guitar and sing, but to pose for selfies with loving admirers on the floor. He also chided the crowd at one point: “It’s Saturday night, and you don’t have to apologize until tomorrow. You all sure are quiet Christians! I guess for the Brooks and Dunn show, you’re gonna be hammered!” Pat even spied his Cavendar pals and thanked them for supplying his evening’s entire wardrobe—right down to his undies.

Kevin Kuykendall

Annika Cail

Elizabeth Tripplehorn-Laurenzi

No sooner had Pat left the stage than it was time for the live auction to get underway. Some longtime observers were concerned. After all, stalwart paddle-hoisters like Nancy Rogers, Diane and Hal Brierley and Lisa and Clay Cooley were MIA, due to out-of-town ventures and other commitments. Not to worry. Such names as Wagner, Kuykendall, Fischer, Turner and Maguire not only filled the void, they raised eyebrows. One CBB vet stood in amazement as uber-bidding took place.

An auction package of a trip to Umbria and Florence to create custom porcelain place settings for 16, plus dinner afterwards at Truluck’s Dallas for 20, was won by Sabrina and Kevin Kuykendall for $100,000.

Kevin and Sabrina Kuykendall

Gail and Cliff Fischer

When the poker game with former Dallas Cowboys went up for bid, Cliff Fischer put on his best poker face, waved off auctioneers and watched the bidding proceed. He had snapped it up last year for $100,000 and was playing hard-to-get. Just as the bids slowed to a standstill, Cliff raised his paddle to snap it up for $75,000.

Cary Maguire wheeled up to the Deason table on the front row with his posse just long enough to have the last paddle standing for the Las Vegas package that included a concert with Reba McIntire and Brooks and Dunn for $50,000. No sooner had he signed on the dotted line than the Maguire entourage was gone.

Steve Stodghill and Todd Wagner

Amy Turner

Todd Wagner took home the Indie package for $41,000 and Amy Turner picked up the Chefs’ dinner for a nice round figure.  

A last-minute add was artwork by Ronnie Dunn, who appeared on stage to discuss his artistic venture. Art-loving Steve Stodghill couldn’t resist and snapped up Ronnie’s piece for $14,000.

Like clockwork, the live auction ended and the thousands headed to the big tent. For a handful of super-duper VIPs, it was backstage then for the meet-and-greet with Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn. As per the routine of most grip-and-grins, guests are photographed sans purses and other distractions.

Ronnie Dunn, Anne Stodghill, Sunie Solomon, Kix Brooks and Steve Solomon

But on this occasion, there were the exceptions. Barry Andrews proudly hoisted a Miller Lite. Who could blame the Miller distributor, who had once again sponsored the Miller Distributing Main Stage presented by Miller Lite?

Mike McGuire, Ronnie Dunn, Sophie McGuire, Natalie McGuire, Barry and Lana Andrews and Kix Brooks

Ronnie Dunn, Kinky Friedman, Nicole Barrett and Kix Brooks

And then there was this one fella who couldn’t be separated from his stogie. His name was Richard Friedman, but he’s more commonly known as Kinky Friedman. Perhaps he hadn’t been told that the fundraiser was benefiting the American Cancer Society?

Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn

No sooner had the photo session ended than it was time for Sunie and Anne to greet the more than 3,000 guests from the stage, announce the winners of the raffle, and get the concert underway with salutes to the military. And, what a concert it was! As two-steppers flocked to the front of the stage, Brooks and Dunn pumped out hit after hit: “Brand New Man,” “Red Dirt Road,” “Lost and Found,” “Play Something Country,” “Neon Moon,” “Cowgirls Don’t Cry,” “Husbands and Wives,” “My Next Broken Heart.” Suffice to say, the big crowd got their money’s worth—and more. 

In the distance, meantime, Mother Nature was holding off. She was either was on her best behavior, or flat scared that Steve Stodghill would sue her for tortious interference. Regardless, as if perfectly planned, the heavens opened up and the rain started pouring down just as the final shuttles were hauling guests back to their cars at 2 a.m.

Yup, this year the CBBers had a game plan ready to take on all challenges. And the plan worked out just beautifully.

For a look at the festivities, check out the 90 pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.