Crystal Charity Ball Newbies Were Brunched With Their New Best “Friends” At Robyn Conlon’s New Home-Sweet-Home

The last day of January could have easily been mistaken for a day in April. The sun was shining just right. The temperatures started off in the 60s and hit the high 70s. To start the day off, the Crystal Charity Ball new members (Meredith Beebe, Dianne Laroe, Kim Quinn, Lisa Singleton, Shannon Thompson, Dee Velvin and Candace Winslow) headed to Robyn Conlon’s new digs on Beverly for a get-to-know-you brunch with CCB Chair Pam Perella and her committee chiefs.

But before the newbies arrived, a photo opp of the committee was herded into the living room for a group photo. And not just any old photo.

From the left: (back row) Elizabeth Gambrell and Anne Besser; (front row) Cheryl Joiner, Leslie Diers, Kristina Whitcomb and Pam PErella

Backstory: In keeping with the CCB tradition, the year’s chair selected two themes — one for the December ball and an internal working theme. For Pam, the internal theme was favorite television programs. For Pam herself, it was “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” For the new members, it was “The CCB Bunch,” as in “The Brady Bunch.” And for her committee, it was “Friends.”

So, with “Friends” in mind, the committee was positioned on the couch like Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross.

Tucker Enthoven,Claire Emanuelson, Lisa Longino, Susan Farris and Barbara Stuart

As soon as the final photo was snapped, the committee returned to the entry hall to greet the newbies and others like advisor Caren Kline (also on the Children’s Health Quality Board), frosh class advisors Tucker Enthoven and Susan Farris, Beneficiary Selection Chair Lisa Longino, Children’s Book Chair Elizabeth Gambrell, Silent Auction Co-Chairs Anne Besser (just selected Theta of the Year) and Cheryl Joiner, Decoration Chair Claire Emanuelson, Membership Chair Barbara Stuart, Contribution Ticket Co-Chairs Cara French and Mary Martha Pickens, Post Ball Arrangements Co-Chair Susan Glassmoyer and Public Relations Chair Pam McCallum, who had just gotten a new puppy.

From the left: (back row) Dee Velvin and Dianne Laroe; (front row) Lisa Singleton, Shannon Thompson, Kim Quinn, Candace Winslow and Meredith Beebe

As the new kids on the block arrived, they were ushered into the dining room for their individual photos to be taken by Melissa Macatee (aka Barbara Stuart’s daughter) and then directed to the staircase for a group picture or two or three. After having more photos than a college graduation, the ladies took their places for the program and brunch.

Then like sorority pledges, each of the new members was called up as their list of accomplishments was reeled off.  This was followed by the committee members taking their turns explaining their various roles.

For the vets, it was a familiar ritual and a great get-together. But as Pam recalled her frosh year 10 years ago, the get-to-know-you event could be overwhelming. On the other hand, it was just part of a great first year of making friends and raising funds for the area children’s charities.

For more photos of the ladies who brunched, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2017 Crystal Charity Ball New Members Brunch

From the left: (back row) Dee Velvin and Dianne Laroe; (front row) Lisa Singleton, Shannon Thompson, Kim Quinn, Candace Winslow and Meredith Beebe

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect on Tuesday, January 31, for brunching on Beverly Drive for the frosh class of Crystal Charity Ball. And, no, it wasn’t at the Dallas Country Club. Instead Robyn Conlon had 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella, her committee and the new members (Meredith Beebe, Dianne Laroe, Kim Quinn, Lisa Singelton, Shannon Thompson, Dee Velvin and Candace Winslow) in for a get-to-know-ya brunch at tables throughout the rooms overlooking Beverly.

From the left: (back row) Elizabeth Gambrell and Anne Besser; (front row) Cheryl Joiner, Leslie Diers, Kristina Whitcomb and Pam Perella

Before the new-kids-on-the-block arrived, the Pam and her executive committee had a group photo taken ala “Friends.” What’s with the “Friends” and why were the newbies tagged as “The CCB Bunch? Just wait til the write-up is posted. Until then, check out the oldies and newbies at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.  

How About A Whopper Of A Valentine’s Day Floral Arrangement?

Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and it’s to florists what the Super Bowl is to pizza shops. And like pizza, the usual dozen long stem, red roses will be history all too soon. Still, it’s the thought that counts.

But how about a gift of flowers that lasts all year round for the recipient? And the price is less than $100.

Dallas Arboretum (File photo)

It’s an individual membership at the Dallas Arboretum. Not only does it allow the lucky recipient free access to the more-than-60 acres of grounds overlooking White Rock Lake, it also provides a guest to come along free and free parking for one vehicle plus four total reservations to the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden.

And if you want to look like a really big spender, you might want to check out the other levels of membership.

While you’re being such a sweetheart, why not share your love with a child you don’t know but who sure could use that special feeling? You don’t even need a stamp to lick…just a finger to click here!

JUST IN: Crystal Charity Ball Names Annette Simmons As Lifetime Advisory Board Member, Rob Bowlby And Francie Moody-Dahlberg To Board

As the Crystal Charity Ball 100 are going through the final stages of selecting the 2017 beneficiaries, 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella has just revealed that for only the second time in the 65-year-old organization’s history has a Lifetime Advisory Board Member been named — Annette Simmons.

Annette Simmons (File photo)

Ruth Altshuler (File photo)

The only other person receiving this designation is Ruth Altshuler.

Rob Bowlby (File photo)

Francie Moody-Dahlberg (File photo)

Pam also announced that BT&T North Texas President Rob Bowlby and Moody Foundation Executive Director Francie Moody-Dahlberg will be joining the CCB advisory board that presently consists of Elaine Agather, Barry Andrews, Ralph Babb, Keith Cargill, Jason Downing, James Dunn, Kent Eastman, Lauren Embrey, Linda Perryman Evans, Paul Fields, Jacqueline Fojtasek, Paul Harris, Fred Hegi, Sally Hoglund, Richard Holt, Norma Hunt, Gene Jones, Jerry Meyer, David Miller, Caren Prothro, David Rosenberg, Carl Sewell, Randall Stephenson, Lisa Troutt, Jim Turner, Courtney Wang, Alan White and Sharon Worrell.

BTW, the beneficiaries will be selected on Thursday, February 2, with fundraising efforts officially commencing on Thursday, February 23. Mark Saturday, December 2, for the annual black-tie fundraiser for local children’s charities.

JUST IN: New Crystal Charity Ball Members Announced

2017 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Pam Perella just revealed the seven new members of the 65-year-old children’s nonprofit fundraising organization. The frosh class includes the following:

Dianne LaRoe (File photo)

Lisa Singleton (File photo)

Candace Winslow (File photo)

  • Meredith Miller BeBee,
  • Dianne Bradshaw LaRoe,
  • Kim Novel Quinn,
  • Lisa Bailey Singleton,
  • Shannon Saalfield Thompson,
  • Dee Dunk Velvin and
  • Candace Plummer Winslow

The work is already underway for the black-tie gala on Saturday, December 2, at the Hilton Anatole. Next on the agenda is the selection/announcement of the 2017 beneficiaries and the goal.

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

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

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

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill (File photo)

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

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

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

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

MySweetWishList: Dallas Heritage Village

According to Dallas Heritage Village President and Executive Director Melissa Prycer,

Melissa Prycer*

“My Christmas Wish for Dallas Heritage Village is that we enter our next 50 years with as much vision and enthusiasm as when we got our start in 1966. This entire year has been about looking back at our own institutional history, and I think we’ve all realized what extraordinary vision our founders, such as Mary Aldredge, Ruth Ann Montgomery and Lindalyn Adams had in those early days. They set us on an extraordinary path.

“Over the past 50 years, we’ve changed quite a bit, but the core of our mission remains the same: connect the present with the past. We see over 20,000 children each year, and those field trips are often their first exposure to ‘real” history.’ We’re active in discussions shaping the future of our historic neighborhood, the Cedars.  We continue to host remarkable special events, including Candlelight (celebrating its 45th anniversary this year), Old Fashioned Fourth and the newer Jazz Age Sunday Social. Thirty historic buildings are in our care, and it’s a constant battle against the elements to keep those buildings whole—and able to teach about the past. And this is just a snapshot of all we do—and all we are to our visitors, volunteers, and neighbors.

“If you’re still calling us Old City Park, it might be time for a return visit! To find out more, check out our website: And I hope you’ll consider moving the past forward by becoming an Urban Pioneer this year. ( ).”

-By Melissa Prycer, Dallas Heritage Village president and executive director

* Photo provided by Dallas Heritage Village

Genesis HeROs’ Gentlemen’s Night Had Cigar Rollings, Whiskey Tastings And Membership Sign-Ups At The Crow Library

The rain gods, “Drip” and “Sprinkle,” decided to hedge their appearance in North Texas on Wednesday, November 2. Perhaps it was because of the seventh World Series game, or the CMAs. Whatever.

Nearly 200 gents and their fav gals held forth at Kathy and Harlan Crow’s library, complete with shoes shines and cigar rolling on the covered side terrace and whiskey tastings in Harlan’s better-than-real-life Oval Office.  

Harlan Crow's Oval Office

Harlan Crow’s Oval Office

In the main room, a huge drop screen was on the stage where there is usually a piano. Instead guests could see live play-by-play of the Fall Classic.

And what was the uproarious occasion demanding stogies, drops screens, shoe shines and all those guy-like activities? Why, it was the inaugural Gentlemen’s Night created by Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Genesis HeROs program. “We wanted to do something that was fun for the guys,” said Jan Langbein, the Genesis Women’s Shelter CEO.

Chris and Nancy Mulder

Chris and Nancy Mulder

Morgan Meyer

Morgan Meyer

And what a gathering of eagles it was, including Texas State Rep. Morgan Meyer, Judge Nancy and Chris Mulder, Lisa and Marvin Singleton, Kristen Howell, Daniel Roby and Amber and Josh Ragsdale, the W.H. Adamson High School football coach who was the recipient of the 2015 HeRO Award for “taking a public stand against domestic violence by serving as a role model, mentor and change agent for W.H. Adamson High School football players and the greater Dallas community.”

Josh and Amber Ragsdale and Daniel Roby

Josh and Amber Ragsdale and Daniel Roby

For some, it was a return to one of country’s most outstanding private collections; for others, it was a first time at a wonderland of historic treasures. As one young woman pointed out Lincoln’s itty-bitty desk in Congress, Carolyn Miller in the adjacent alcove was focused on Lincoln’s death mask.

Carolyn Miller

Carolyn Miller

Crayton Webb and Jan Langbein

Crayton Webb and Jan Langbein

Dang, but it almost got embarrassing as CEO Jan and HeROs President Crayton Webb exchanged platitudes on stage with each other. Said Jan, of Crayton’s heartfelt speaking style: “I don’t know whether to vote for him, or to pass the collection plate. Ladies and gentlemen, the Rev. Crayton Webb!”

Crayton said, “I’m here to say, the good guys have got to do their part” against domestic abuse. He encouraged the multitude of men to join up and take a pledge to “create safe homes and a safe community for domestic violence survivors” and to commit to zero tolerance for domestic abuse in the community. Already on board are Jason Adams, Travis Armayor, Chris Ayres, Elias Bahar, David Camp, Chief (Ret.) Lowell Cannaday, David Carlock, Kendall Castello, Randy Golden, Taly Hafffar, Holt Haynsworth, Clint Hennen, Bill Howell, Heath Hyde, Chris Kolczun, Andrew Marcus, Tony McGuire, Prentis Murphy, Scott Murray, David Novak, Bryon Sanders, Lt. (Ret.) Miguel Sarmiento, Jim Savage and Rev. R. Casey Shobe.

Memberships range from the active members ($100 annually) to lifetime members (one-time payment of $1,000). Concluded Crayton: “We need your help.”

JUST IN: New Cattle Baroness Frosh Class Announced

On the heels of a knock-out of the park Cattle Baron’s Ball at Gilley’s on Saturday, October 15, orchestrated by Co-Chairs Cara French and Andrea Weber, the 2017 CBB Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill have started the march against cancer with news about the 2017 fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Vodi Cook (File photo)

Vodi Cook (File photo)

Heather Randall (File photo)

Heather Randall (File photo)

The news? The new pledge class! The newbies include Andrea Cheek, Vodi Cook, Elise Danner, Daniella Giglio, Hollee Hirzel, Lee McDonald, Heather Randall, Kelley Schadt, Stephanie Seay, Rachel Stienke and Kristina Wrenn.

Lesson for the frosh class: Learn to ring those cowbells!

Lee Park Junior Conservancy Closes Down The Summer Around Hotel ZaZa Pool With Announcements For The Upcoming Year

Those millennials really know how to close down the summer in style. A passel of Lee Park Junior Conservancy (LPJC) peeps were at the Hotel ZaZa on Wednesday, September 7, to bid a fond farewell to the warm season. But along with the partying by the pretty peeps, there was news about the upcoming year for the Conservancy. Here’s a report from the field:

Lee Park Junior Conservancy End of Summer Party*

Lee Park Junior Conservancy End of Summer Party*

Last night the Lee Park Junior Conservancy hosted an End of Summer Poolside Party at Hotel ZaZa. Over 100 young professionals attended, with many new faces in the crowd. The event is a way for LPJC friends to gather and visit about their summer, hear updates from the Conservancy and meet others who are interested in learning more about the organization. Hotel ZaZa’s Riley Nail provided an assortment of delicious summery appetizers and donated 10% of bar sales back to the group.

The LPJC hosts many social events, but is dialing up service opportunities and business networking with other main Conservancy members this year. Several guests decided to join the JC, including 2010 “The Bachelor” Jake Pavelka.

Lauren Ives, Ryan Kirkham, Gay Donnell, Dominique Patton, Tiffany George, Nicole Jacobsen, Petrushka Dickinson, Anne DeFillipo, Sarah Jones and Joe Atkins*

Lauren Ives, Ryan Kirkham, Gay Donnell, Dominique Patton, Tiffany George, Nicole Jacobsen, Petrushka Dickinson, Anne DeFillipo, Sarah Jones and Joe Atkins*

But it wasn’t all fun and membership driving. There was news! The announcement of the LPJC’s new board of directors, who include President Lauren Ives, Vice President Anne DeFilillpo, Secretary Tiffany George, Treasurer Sean March, Membership Co-Chairs Francesco Mainetti and Ryan Kirkham, Service Chair Sarah Jones, Underwriting Co-Chair Joe Atkins and Brock Bridges, Volunteer Chair Petrushka Dickinson, PR Chair Nicole Jacobsen and Events Chair Dominique Patton.

Camille Cain Barnes and Tyler Stevens*

Camille Cain Barnes and Tyler Stevens*

And speaking of LPJC events, plans were also announced about the 9th Annual Day at the Races. Co-Chairs Camille Cain and Tyler Stevens will be in charge of the signature event on Saturday, May 6, that will take place at Lee Park with loads of beauties and beaus in their finest “classic Kentucky Derby chic” attire. And, yes, the 143th Run for the Roses will be on the big screen.

* Photo credit: 
Clark Cabus

Dallas Museum Of Art’s Junior Associates Kicked Off Membership Drive At Eagle Family Plaza

Dallas Museum of Art’s Junior Associates’ Co-Chair Rachel and Michael Osburn have made themselves right at home in the DMA’s brand spanking new Eagle Family Plaza. To rev up memberships, they held a kick-off party on Saturday, August 27, in the Plaza complete with all types of news, fun, giveaways and, of course, a non-stop photo booth. Here’s a report from the field:

On Saturday, August 27, the DMA Junior Associates kicked off the 2016-2017 year with a tailgate-themed celebration at the DMA, taking full advantage of the Museum’s new Eagle Family Plaza. Party-goers snacked on sliders, mini tacos, and French fries in newspaper cones while sipping on watermelon and strawberry sangria.

Eagle Family Plaza*

Eagle Family Plaza*

On the Plaza, guests like Allison and Matthew Eagan, Jenifer Klos, Mary and Yair Frenkel, Sally Pretorious Hodge and Adam Hodge, Tyler Levy, Amanda Hyde, Bhavesh Pranav, Andrea Cheek, Rachel Nash, Kate Landrum and Laura Oslick challenged each other to games of bean bag toss and giant Jenga while enjoying one of the last days of summer.

Allison and Matthew Eagan*

Allison and Matthew Eagan*

Michael and Rachel Osburn*

Michael and Rachel Osburn*

Chairs Rachel and Michael Osburn unveiled an exciting calendar of events for the year—prompting nearly two dozen new Junior Associates to join during the festivities. Giveaways from Diane von Furstenberg and Denim and Soul added to the enthusiasm of new members and a photo booth by Flashbox Photobooth ensured everyone would remember the fun-filled evening.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron

Slipper Club To Benefit Rays Of Light With Funds And Volunteering

Leave it to the Slipper Club ladies to multi-task in supporting nonprofits. For ages they were largely a social club, but they added a new twist. Instead of just having social occasions, they decided to turn them into fundraising opportunities. Thus, their annual gala benefits a different nonprofit each year.

But then in this age when hands-on involvement is as valuable as funds, the Slipper membership has added volunteerism to their agenda of giving back.

This year they picked Rays of Light as their 2016-2017 beneficiary for the gala at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Saturday, February 4.

In addition to raising the funds, Slipper members “will also partake in volunteer opportunities” for the “local foundation dedicated to being the light at the end of the tunnel for both children with special need and their families in the Dallas metropolitan area.”

If Rays of Light is new on your radar, Slipperette Lily Kramlich-Taylor explains that, “Together with dedicated volunteers, Rays of Light creates a unique evening for special need children and their siblings on the first three Friday of every month at the Lovers Lane United Methodist church and Christ Foundry United Methodist Mission for Spanish-speaking families. This give the parents the opportunity to have four free hours, while the children get socialization and interaction with peers and volunteers through educational and fun activities.”

While tickets aren’t online, those wonderful sponsorship opportunities are, by contacting Amy Stone!

VNA To Launch “Society 34” At Top Knot For Young Professionals

Summer may be officially firing up, but fundraising news hasn’t chilled one bit. Instead of events taking place hourly, news is pouring in nonstop.

The VNA is the latest to report an undertaking. It’s the launch of a “young professionals group to carry on Dallas’ strong tradition of community service caring for seniors.”

The new group will be officially called Society ’34. Interesting name, but what does it mean? Well, membership will be open to anyone between the ages of 24 and 44 and 34 is smack, dab in the middle of that range. Now you know!

The organization will provide an opportunity for members “to learn, serve and enjoy leadership and networking opportunities” that include volunteering and social activities. There will also be  benefits like

  • Invitations to educational and networking events
  • Participation in volunteer activities
  • Discounts to special VNA events

To build its membership, a kick-off event will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28, at Top Knot, where “charter memberships will be offered at a discounted rate of only $34.”

According to VNA President/CEO Katherine Krause, the plan calls for “Society ’34 to engage today’s young professionals who will be the leaders and caregivers of tomorrow.”

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Frosh Class Of Members Were Honored At Luncheon In The Zodiac Room

Unlike freshmen, the Crystal Charity Ball newbies don’t have to go through all types of tests and teases. Instead they’re treated a bit like Princess Charlotte as they learn the organization’s fine art of fundraising. One of the perks is a lunch, where they get to meet and break bread with the upperclass(wo)men. This year, unlike others, it was held at Neiman Marcus Downtown on Monday, April 18.

Surprise! For the early arrival types, they checked their cars at the parking area adjacent to the flagship store. Alas, pity those who were tardy. After waiting a minute or two or three or five, they were waved off being told the lot was full.

After word was passed on by the rejected ones, NM Downtown VP Jeff Byron corrected that situation. According to insiders, the problem was due to NM staffers now officing in the store who parked their wheels in the lot.

Katherine Coker, Cheryl Joyner and Mary-Elizabeth Carrell

Katherine Coker, Cheryl Joyner and Mary-Elizabeth Carrell

(Shades of yesteryear, when there was a hyphen between Neiman and Marcus and the parking lot had been verboten for any but customers. Oh, well, those were the days when there were actual signs of the zodiac on the walls of the restaurant, gents had to wear jackets to dine and models visited tables showing new items for purchase.)

Muffin Lemak

Muffin Lemak

Layne Pitzer and Louise Griffeth

Layne Pitzer and Louise Griffeth

But back to the day’s events. As the ladies gathered, unofficial news filled the room. Amy Hegi and newbie Libby Hegi were still receiving kudos on their co-chairing the Interfaith Auxiliary Luncheon… Newbie Lisa Cooley was just days away from co-chairing the Children’s Cancer Fund’s first night-time gala…Muffin Lemak was looking great despite a battle with shingles in her eye, even though she’d had the shingles vaccination…Tiffany Divis was being asked about the past weekend party at the Bush Center hosted by Laura and George W. for their past staffers…Paige Slates and other moms were comparing notes about kids’ summer camps and trunks being personalized by Camille’s Creations….Sporting a new haircut, Louise Griffeth was back in town after spending months in Houston with husband Guy Griffeth.

Christie Carter and Lisa Cooley

Christie Carter and Lisa Cooley

Debbie Oates and Alison Malone

Debbie Oates and Alison Malone

Soon, the gals took their seats and Jeff introduced CCB Chair Christie Carter, who asked “den mothers” Heather Esping and Kim Miller to introduce the newest CCB members (Lisa Cooley, Michaela Dyer, Libby Hegi, Stacey McCord, Alison Malone and Layne Pitzer).

Marie Dean, Daffan Nettle and April Abney-Lambert

Marie Dean, Daffan Nettle and April Abney-Lambert

Then it was time to chow down. While some were a little surprised that there were no models showing off CCB Fashion Show designer Carolina Herrera’s designs, others were hungry for the legendary NM mouthwatering popovers. Despite requests, only one or two tables got the goodies. Oh, well, guess breaking bread just wasn’t on the agenda.

Dallas Museum Of Art’s Junior Associates Went “Unframed” And Interactive With Pollock-Inspired Artwork 2/26

Why is it when the Dallas Museum of Art‘s Junior Associates get together, there ain’t a wrinkle or pinch of fat anywhere on the premises? That was the case once again when they held their annual membership event “Unframed” on Friday, February 26, at the DMA. Besides being adorable and charming, they also interacted with “Pollock-inspired” artwork. Here’s a report from the field:

Michael and Rachel Osburn and Abigail and James Rust*

Michael and Rachel Osburn and Abigail and James Rust*

The Junior Associates of the Dallas Museum of Art welcomed over 380 partygoers to “DMA Unframed,” an annual membership event, formerly known as Curator’s Choice, on Friday, February 26, from 8–10 p.m.

The Hamon Atrium*

The Hamon Atrium*

After entering the Hamon Atrium, current and prospective Junior Associate members mingled over signature cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres. While some attendees toured the highly praised “Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots” exhibition, others enjoyed the Pollack-inspired activities throughout the atrium.

Junior Associates working on DIY Pollock project*

Junior Associates working on DIY Pollock project*

Partygoers could be seen striking a pose at the selfie station or gathered around the “DIY Pollock” collective art project, using yarn wrapped around pegs to create the effect of Pollock’s classic drip paintings.

John McCarley and Erica Denton*

John McCarley and Erica Denton*

Mid-way through the evening, Junior Associations co-chairs Erica Denton and John McCarly welcomed the crowd before sharing some benefits of the Junior Associates membership program. In addition to meeting other young professional who share of love of the arts and culture, the program also provides unique opportunities for members, including private home, gallery and studio visits, behind the scene tours and exclusive exhibition openings at the Museum.

As the evening came to a close, attendees were invited to continue the fun nearby, at a post-event after party.

* Photo credit: Kathy Tran

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Letters Launch Membership Sign-Ups

Normally Brenda Cockerell’s dining room table is just perfect for holiday feasting with loads of food on the table and family and friends settling back for a good time. But just last week, the table was covered with stacks of letters and pens. As for the group, it was elbow-to-elbow with Equest Women’s Auxiliary gals putting their John Joan Hancocks on the missives that just hit the mailboxes this week.

Michaela Dyer, Beth Layton, Anne Dyer, Linda Secrest, Pam MCallum, Marisa Huckin and Vicky Lattner

Michaela Dyer, Beth Layton, Anne Dyer, Linda Secrest, Pam MCallum, Marisa Huckin and Vicky Lattner

And, no, it’s not about the Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show. Fashion Show Chair Kara Axley is holding off making any announcements until all the deets are finalized. Well, not all the specifics. It will be at Brook Hollow. And the date will be Tuesday, October 4.

Kara Axley, Di Johnston and Brenda Cockerell

Kara Axley, Di Johnston and Brenda Cockerell

The letters were to invite folks to join the Women’s Auxiliary. In addition to supporting “one of the oldest and largest therapeutic riding programs in the United States,” members get invitation to the annually sold-out fashion show. Sorry, but before you ask — Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Di Johnston reports the membership doesn’t entitle you to ride one of the four-legged Equest residents.

And talk about a bargain! Memberships start at $45. Shoot it costs more to get a membership at Costco.

If your letter hasn’t hit your mailbox, don’t wait. This ain’t “by-invitation-only.”

Debbie And Frank Branson Host Kick-Off Party For Parkland Partners Program

While many battled traffic along Central, the Parkland Partners turned off of Turtle Creek Drive onto Debbie and Frank Branson’s driveway for the kick-off of the Parkland Partners. Was it part of the Partners Card program that was presenting a check across town to The Family Place? Nope. This was a different type of partnering.

Carlos Pená, Frankand Debbie Branson and David Krause

Carlos Pená, Frankand Debbie Branson and David Krause

It was the newly created organization that would support Parkland Hospital. And you thought that once the new Parkland was open, the heavy lifting was done. Heavens, no! Now come the days of supporting and growing the mega-facility and its state-of-the-art services.

Holly Pená and Reiner and Gretchen Brasch

Holly Pená and Reiner and Gretchen Brasch

Before the first guest crossed the Branson doorway, Co-Chairs Gretchen and Reiner Brasch and Holly and Carlos Pená had already signed up 94 folks to be partners.

With guests like Carol Seay, Laurie and Phil Evans and Sarah Cotton Nelson gathered in the den, guests learned about the perks of partnership, like being able “to attend exclusive educational and social events for an insider’s perspective on cutting-edge innovations from Parkland that will impact healthcare locally and nationally and opportunities to meet medical experts who are making a difference.”

Wendy Krispin catered dining room table

Wendy Krispin catered dining room table

But there was still more! They’ll be able to support the Second Annual I Play for Parkland on Friday, April 22, at Sixty Five Hundred Cedar Springs, where teams of 10 will play a “unique board game.”

Still another bonus was the Branson dining room that was chock-ful of Wendy Krispin delights.

BTW, 2016 Parkland Partners membership will run from January 1, 2016, thru September 30, 2016. Individuals can join up for $150, and couples can partner up for $300. Membership will include invitations to an education event on Thursday, February 25; I Play for Parkland; and the 2016-2017 education kick-off event in September. Members will be entitled to a $25 discount if they sign up for I Play for Parkland.

Dallas CASA Board To Be Headed By John Gibson And Joined By Mike Brosin And Cynthia Comparin

Word comes that Dallas CASA has new board leadership and members. Heading up the board will be Goldman Sachs Managing Director John Gibson. In addition to his new role of leadership, the Harvard graduate is also a Dallas CASA advocate and “currently working three open cases for kids who’ve been removed from their homes.”

John Gibson*

John Gibson*

Mike Brosin (File photo)

Mike Brosin (File photo)

Cynthia Comparin*

Cynthia Comparin*

Joining the board are Crest Cadillac/Crest Infiniti Managing Partner Mike Brosin and Animato CEO Cynthia Comparin.

Luckily for more than 2,000 abused and neglected children living in foster care in Dallas County, Dallas CASA volunteers are on the frontline “to advocate for the best interests of children under protective care of courts, so they will have safe, permanent homes where they can thrive.”

* Photo provided by Dallas CASA

JUST IN: New TACA Officers And Board Members Revealed

TACA made news last night with its grant presentation. Today TACA’s newest members of the board along with new officers were announced. With Donna Wilhelm staying at the “helm,” along with Gwen Echols in place as vice chairman of programs, the new officers are Treasurer Jim Nugent and Secretary Pete Chilian.

As for the new board members, they ranged from backgrounds in law and banking to education and volunteering. The frosh class of 2016 who will serve three-year terms are:

  • Jacquie Donovan is the Regional Community Relations Manager of Bank of Texas, where she has held numerous positions. Prior to coming to Dallas, Jacquie held marketing and community relations positions at Bank of Texas in Houston and at Bank of Albuquerque. Jacquie previously served as a TACA Grants Panel member and will be the newest member of TACA’s Profile and Brand Management Committee in 2016.
  • Alan Dorantes is Senior Legal Counsel with AT&T. Currently, he is co-chair of the AT&T Legal Department Diversity and Inclusion committee and active in the Legal Department’s educational pipeline initiatives. He serves on the Board of the Dallas Hispanic Law Foundation. He has had past roles on the Advisory Board of the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association (DHBA) and as a member of the Dallas Bar Association’s Diversity Task Force. Alan and his wife, Holly, are co-chairs for this year’s TACA’s Lexus Chance Ticket Campaign.
  • Barbara Durham is an active community volunteer. She served as a member of TACA’s Board of Directors from 2002 to 2004. Barbara is a member of the Dallas Museum of Art’s Board of Directors, where she currently serves as the underwriting chair for Art in Bloom. Barbara also serves on the Board of Governors for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Human Rights Initiative. Barbara and her husband Steve are members TACA’s Founders Circle.
Barbara Durham (File photo)

Barbara Durham (File photo)

Laree Hulshoff (File photo)

Laree Hulshoff (File photo)

  • Laree Hulshoff is an avid arts patron. Prior to her retirement, Laree was a Senior Vice President and Senior Investment Advisor for Morgan Stanley. Currently, she is on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Contemporary and WaterTower Theater. In 2013, she founded the Aging Mind Foundation in Dallas. Laree and Ben Fisher are members of TACA’s Founders Circle.
  • Debbie Lively is a Partner with Thompson & Knight. Her practice focuses on intellectual property, sweepstakes, and privacy law. She serves as Co-Chair of Thompson & Knight’s cross-practice Advertising and Social Media initiative. Debbie has twelve years of classical training in piano and is a patron of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Cliburn Foundation. She has attended performances at every Van Cliburn International Piano Competition since 1969.
Katherine Wynn (File photo)

Katherine Wynn (File photo)

  • Katherine Wynne is Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor with U.S. Trust in Dallas. Katherine is extensively involved in the community. Her current and former board positions include the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, and Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT), the Dallas Children’s Theater and the Housing Crisis Center. She has served as chairman of the 2009 Cattle Baron’s Ball and member of the Host Committee for the North Texas Super Bowl XLV. Katherine is the mother of two sixth-generation Texans.
  • Zannie Voss is Director and Chair of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship at SMU. She is a recognized authority on arts management, entrepreneurship and patronage. She is director of the first-of-its-kind National Center for Arts Research. The center, established by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business, uses the largest database of arts research ever assembled to investigate important issues in arts management and patronage. Zannie leads TACA Perforum each fall, and is rejoining TACA’s Board after six previous years of service.

MySweet2016Goals: Tara Null

According to The Warren Center Development Director Tara Null,

Tara Null*

Tara Null*

“My goal for 2016 is to unite mothers and fathers of young children and encourage them to join the Friends of The Warren Center Auxiliary Group.

“As a friend, they will be invited to exclusive events benefiting The Warren Center and assist our staff by sharing The Warren Centers mission of assuring that children with developmental differences or disabilities, and their families, receive the resources and support they need to reach their full potential. To learn more”

* Photo provided by 
The Warren Center

JUST IN: New Members Of Crystal Charity Ball Committee Revealed

Christie Carter (File photo)

Christie Carter (File photo)

News is continuing to come in after hours … as if there are any after hours in the North Texas nonprofit world.

This news flash comes from 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Christie Carter with the names of the new members of the 63-year-old fundraiser for children’s nonprofits.

Drum roll!

The frosh class of 2016 are Lisa Cooley, Michaela Dyer, Libby Hegi, Alison Malone, Stacey McCord and Layne Pitzer.

As for the 2016 beneficiaries, they will be decided at a meeting of the committee members on Thursday, February 4.

Since its creation back in 1952, CCB has provided “more than $123M for children, extending needed funds for 140 nonprofit agencies in Dallas County.”

Congratulations to Christie, Crystal Charity, the new six members and the children of Dallas on this news.

MySweet2016Goals: Anne Reeder

According to The Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder,

Anne Reeder (File photo)

Anne Reeder (File photo)

“My goal for 2016 is to recruit additional members for the Wilkinson Center Board of Directors. We are looking for experienced and strategic community leaders who have a passion for our mission and are willing to lend their time and talents to protect and promote our crucial work.

The mission of Wilkinson Center is to transform the lives of Dallas families by creating pathways to self-sufficiency with dignity and respect. New board members will join the all-star members of the current Board.”

MySweetWishList: The Trinity Trust

According to The Trinity Trust President and CEO Gail Thomas,

Gail Thomas (File photo)

Gail Thomas (File photo)

“My wish is for Dallas to have a central place where all citizens can come together to gather and build community: children flying kites, older couples sitting on benches, parents pushing baby carriages, bikers enjoying trails. A gathering place in nature revitalizes the soul and allows us to create a culture inspired by the love of the natural world.

“Our hearts long for nature, for green space, for bird-song, and the sounds of silence after a soft rain along the trails in the forest.

“This wish imagines a beautiful and usable green space that is accessible to all citizens, promoting a healthy lifestyle and an inspired way of learning from nature itself. This is education at its best. Dallas’ Trinity River Corridor Project will create this necessary space along the 20 miles and 10,000 acres of the Trinity Corridor and Great Trinity Forest.

The Trinity Trust*

The Trinity Trust*

“The Trinity Trust Foundation staff works to raise funds to create gathering spaces and amenities for the community such as trails, bridges, playgrounds and pavilions. We also work to educate the community about this City of Dallas project and our role within it.

“My wish is for more people to be engaged in this vision of Dallas’ future. Learn more about the Trinity River Corridor Project and become an active member of The Trinity Trust groups – the Rat Pack or the River Rats – and explore what the Trinity has to offer. Join the membership groups and enjoy a year of special events, sneak peeks and presentations, tours of the corridor and more.  For more information, visit or contact Tierney Kaufman at 214.740.1616.”

– Gail Thomas, The Trinity Trust president and CEO

* Graphic provided by The Trinity Trust

MySweetWishList: Friends Of BrainHealth

According to 2016 Friends of BrainHealth Membership Co-Chairs Pam Borders and Kay Hammond,

Pam Border and Kay Hammond*

Pam Borders and Kay Hammond*

“Every person we know—and that you know—is impacted by their brain’s performance. As one of our fellow Center for BrainHealth advisory board members once said, without brain health, you do not have health.

“We first became involved with the Center for BrainHealth because of its work involving healthy aging and its dedication to investigating scientific solutions that may stave off Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. We soon learned, however, that the aging brain is only one area of focus for BrainHealth. The Center for BrainHealth is committed to understanding, protecting, healing and enhancing the brain in people of all ages, whether in disease, injury or health.

“As 2016 Friends of BrainHealth Membership Chairs, we are thrilled to support our Friends of BrainHealth Co-Chairs Barbara Durham and Jane Smith, and the Co-Chairs of Junior Friends, an offshoot for the under 40 crowd, Anne MacDonald and Nena Oshman.

“Our wish is to have men and women in our community support Friends and help us fund at least four emerging scientists and their novel research initiatives each year.

2015 Friends of BrainHealth Award recipients (from the left): Hsueth-Sheng Chiang, Jenny Miller, Adam Teed and Matthew Kmieck*

2015 Friends of BrainHealth Award recipients (from the left): Hsueth-Sheng Chiang, Jenny Miller, Adam Teed and Matthew Kmieck*

“Scientists who are awarded the Friends $25,000 seedling grants conduct pilot studies that can serve as the groundwork for future, large-scale research initiatives and help forward the field of brain science.

“We humbly ask you to consider joining Friends of BrainHealth and support the work of future brain health leaders. Please visit or call Gail Cepak at 972.883.3408.

“There are seven membership levels:

  • Junior Friend ($250 for those under age 40),
  • Companion ($500),
  • Friend ($1,000)
  • Special Friend ($2,500)
  • Esteemed Friend ($5,000)
  • Distinguished Friend ($10,000) and
  • Visionary Friend ($25,000).”

-By Pam Borders and Kay Hammond, 2016 Friends of BrainHealth Membership co-chairs

* Photos provided by Center for BrainHealth