JUST IN: Anne Davidson To Be Presenting Sponsor For The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Of Metro Dallas’ Fashion Show And Luncheon

Word just arrived from 2018 Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary of Metro Dallas‘ Fashion Show And Luncheon Chair Lisa Singleton about the fundraiser’s presenting sponsor. Nope, it isn’t going to be a corporation. It’s going to be blonde philanthropist/business woman/Bunny Love founder Anne Davidson.

Anne Davidson (File photo)

According to Lisa, “We are so grateful to Anne for her early support of the 2018 Fashion Show and Luncheon. Anne is highly regarded for her long-standing generosity to many organizations in our community, including The Salvation Army, and we are thrilled to have her onboard.  It is our hope that her early and most generous support of this event will serve as a catalyst for others to come onboard.”

Anne explained the reason for her taking on the sponsorship was, ““Helping others, especially in their time of despair and need, is something that’s close to my heart. The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary does so much good for so many in North Texas it was an easy decision to support the Fashion Show and Luncheon. I hope that by giving generously I can inspire others to dig deep and support this terrific organization and the work they do.”

The annual fundraiser will be returning to the Myerson Symphony Center on Wednesday, May 9 with Jan Strimple producing the runway show of donated “experienced” and new clothes. And, yes, the Chic Boutique and luncheon will also be a part of the festivities.

Sponsorships and tickets are available by contacting Tina Trejo at 214.637.8121.

Also, it might be a good time to start editing your closet and donating clothes for the presentation.

The Averitt Ladies To Tri-Chair Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Fashion Notes Luncheon And Style Show At The Fairmont Dallas

 

Susan Averitt Duval, Barbara Averitt and Kendra Averitt*

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League President Mari Epperson has hit a triple play for the Fashion Notes Luncheon and Style Show. To chair the event on Monday, October 23, at the Fairmont Dallas’ Venetian Room, she arranged to have the Averitt females — Barbara Averitt, Kendra Averitt and Susan Averitt Duval.

Sarah Hardin (File photo)

The ladies are carrying on the family’s involvement with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra started by the late Averitt matriarch Beth Averitt. It was just 30 years ago that Susan made her debut at the DSOL’s first Presentation Ball; son Mark Averitt was a member of the Honor Guard; son Don Averitt “graciously greeted guests;” and daughter-in-law Barbara “worked behind the scenes making sure the parties and presentation were flawless.”

Another longtime DSO supporter, Sara Hardin, will serve as honorary chair.

As for the fashions, they’ll be presented by Stanley Korshak and KidBiz. Instead of professional models, the lineup will include “mother/daughter dream teams, past and present DSOL presidents, debutantes, Symphony Assembly members and the cutest DSOL grandchildren.”

* Photo provided by Dallas 
Symphony Orchestra League

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Michael Faircloth Fashion Design Program At The University Of North Texas

According to Michael Faircloth Fashion Design Program at The University of North TexasMichael Faircloth,

Michael Faircloth designs (File photo)

The fashion design program at the University of North Texas prepares students for a career as a fashion designer, illustrator or for the many production positions in the fashion industry. The program educates students to create designs that are both innovative and current, while being marketable and suitable for manufacture.

Graduates have landed prestigious design positions for companies such as Oscar de la Renta, Dillards, Watters Bridal, Fossil, Ralph Lauren, Theory, Panhandle Slim, Haggar, JC Penney, Nicole Miller, Monique Lhuillier, Zac Posen and Calvin Klein. I am honored to have my name associated with the Fashion Design Program.

I am humbled and overjoyed that my friends and my alma mater desire to recognize my achievements by naming the fashion design program for me. My experience and education while studying fashion design at UNT certainly laid the foundation for my success, and it continues to support my view of fashion as a discipline of art.

Lisa Troutt and Michael Faircloth (File photo)

And, I am enthusiastically encouraging others to contribute to the fund so we continue to support the program and remind students of the success they can achieve with a degree from UNT. 

UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design has received a gift in the amount of $500,000 that will assist in the enrichment and renaming of the already noted fashion design program as the Michael Faircloth Fashion Design Program.

My friend and alumna Lisa Troutt, with a previous career in fashion design, and her husband, Kenny, have given the first major gift that will support the $2.5 million goal to name the program. My hope is that others will follow, at any level, and help with this important educational program. Please visit https://one.unt.edu/faircloth.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon

The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show and Luncheon is the one occasion when guests see “old friends” on the runway as models display donated outfits up for bid. There have even been rumors that some ladies have bought back their own outfits, especially after having fashion show producer Jan Strimple edit them to current trends.

D’Andra Simmons Lock

Joyann King

So, when Event Chair D’Andra Simmons Lock moved the fundraiser to the Meyerson on Tuesday, May 2, it called for more clothes, a celeb guest like HarpersBazaar.com Editor Joyann King, honorary co-chairs/sister Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne and a first-ever presenting sponsor.

The Salvation Army Fashion Show

The Salvation Army Fashion Show

The Salvation Army Fashion Show

The Salvation Army Fashion Show

It all came to pass and even more, like a photographic tribute to The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command. So, while the post is underway, check out the faces and fashions at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Crystal Charity Ball New Member Luncheon

Carolina Herrera Global Marketing and Communications VP Lauren Astry Sorensen had a whirlwind stop in Dallas before heading back to NYC for the Met Gala red carpet on Monday, May 1. But she wasn’t about to miss the Crystal Charity Ball new members luncheon at the Herrera’s salon in Highland Park Village.

Lauren Astry Sorensen

Lisa Longino and Dianne LaRoe

The occasion was a mixed bag of CCB oldtimers getting an official introduction to the newbies and all getting an eyeful of Herrera designs.

Carolina Herrera fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

The post is almost finished. In the meantime, check out the ladies and fashions at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Mad Hatter’s Tea’s “Under The Tuscan Sun” Soared To Sky With Over-The-Top Toppers And Rachel Zoe Fashions

After a day of chilly-will temperatures and rainy storms, the 29th Annual Mad Hatter’s Tea had a bright sun-shiny morning for its “Under the Tuscan Sun” on Thursday, April 27, at the Dallas Arboretum benefiting the Women’s Council of the Arboretum.

Kori Green, Caroline Kraddick and Tracy Rathbun

Tara Green and Micki Rawlings

Niven Morgan and Courtney Kerr

Unlike years before, the event started a half hour earlier at 10:30 with guests finding the Ginsburg Plaza roped off. Evidently organizers had hoped guests would flow away from Rosine Hall and the tented tables. Some heeded the suggestion, but the majority stayed clustered near the entry to watch the hat contestants wannabes hold their numbered cards up as they strolled the red carpet for the judges (Kori Green, Tara Green, Micki Rawlings, Niven Morgan, Lynae Fearing, Tracy Rathbun and Caroline Kraddick) who were seated on the elevated terrace in the shade. Judge Courtney Kerr didn’t sit because she didn’t want to wrinkle her outfit. Someone asked why she was wearing cherries in her hair. The person was corrected, “They’re tomatoes.” Oh.

Judge/designer Rachel Zoe was nowhere to be seen until the last moment. A coterie of lithe lassies popped out of a car with Starbucks in hand for Rachel, who had been sequestered away.

Soni Pancretz

Karen Lukin

Kunthear Mam-Douglas

Jordi Bostock

As for the guests’ interpretations of the day’s theme, it was obvious that Michael’s had been hit hard for sunflowers thanks to folks like Soni Pancretz. Needless to say, the results varied from subtle and beautiful to towering structures with wine bottle, plates, corks and even cars. Mary Tomas wore a Ray Conniff vinyl record with dolls and feathers … Proving that pink is always a standout were last year’s Mad Hatter’s Chair Jocelyn White, Donna Darling, Pebble McGehee and her mom Faye BriggsKaren Lukin’s looked like someone had used her brown hair as a platter for their pasta, complete with meatballs and fork …Corks were the lightweight accessory of the day. Amanda Johnson‘s cork-brimmed sunhat stayed put, but poor Steve Kemble’s cork vest was shedding corks as he strolled the grounds looking like a 21st century Bacchus…Kunthear Mam-Douglas’ hat appeared to be an entire Tuscan village… On the other hand, Jordi Bostock opted for a simpler look with checkered-tablecloth table for two… Lorenda Wyant towered among the group thanks to her Leaning Tower of Pisa … On the shorter structure side, Rene Farren‘s topper was delicious with an upside-down cone of faux spumoni … Still there were others who tossed the theme idea and went with their own vision, like Barbara Daseke with bird in nest and Virginia Chandler Dykes in white fur.

Lorenda Wyant

Cathy Vieth all in purple arrived with her equally purple hat of feathers, butterflies and flowers by her side. As her car pulled up, her chapeau designer Shane Walker and his partner Billy Fulmer were there to help her plant it on her head. With the wind picking up, Cathy seemed to sway a bit thanks to the “head wind.” Shane told her not to worry — the Plaza was much calmer… at least wind-wise.

Cathy Vieth and Shane Walker

Amber Griffin

No sooner had Shane got Cathy on her way to the Plaza than Amber Griffin arrived in an Italian flag dress. Quickly, she took a seat on a bench as Shane and Billy erected the hat that had plates, silverware, wine bottles, grapes, corks, peppers, candles and a loaf of Italian bread. It looked good enough to eat. The structure appeared to weight more than Amber. As soon as she entered the Plaza, the oohs and applause could be heard outside at the driveway.

Evidently Amber’s Italian flag dress wasn’t a one-of-a-kind idea. Lynne Lowder wore a sleeveless version that she got on Ebay with a hat featuring her cellphone playing a video. 

At 11:30 word was passed to head into Rosine Hall for the Jan Strimple-produced fashion show of Rachel Zoe’s clothes. Herding the hats and their underlings into the hall and their seats proved to be as challenging as Central Expressway at 5:30 p.m.

And then there was that issue of viewing the runway. Seems that some of the oversized hats may have been eye-catchers in the Plaza, but in the rows of chairs, they were eye-blocking. One gal was seen getting slapped around by the decorations of another guest’s hat, who kept turning her head to see others.

Rachel Zoe

Others had the problem of trying to see around the army of photographers, who were out to capture moments.

Following presentations to Honorary Chair Amanda Hill and her mom Amy Warren, the fashion show got under way with Rachel checking each of the creations, while husband Rodger Berman videoed the show on his phone.

Rachel Zoe fashion

Rachel Zoe fashion

Rachel Zoe fashion

Rachel Zoe fashion

Next up was the live auction. Instead of relying on local media types handling the auctioneering duties, they had award-winning Wendy Lambert, who kicked things off with Amy Warren raising her paddles and eyebrows with a winning bid of $10,000 for a Tootsies shopping spree. Not to be outdone, daughter Amanda snapped up a cooking lesson for $8,500. UPDATE: The live auction results added up to $33,400, but organizers later reported, “The Live Auction amount raised was $27,000.”

The live auction was followed by the usual shout-out that tends to be more awkward than profitable. Alas, this point became evident when Wendy’s announced the goal was for $35,000. The take ended up being $8,000 $26,000. But who knows? Wendy told the crowd that she would be available afterwards to accept donation from guests who might have been too shy to participate.

Finally, the time came for the judging results, with the following named winners:

Joani White

Cynthia Smoot

Tracy Rathbun, Carmen Surgent and Lynae Fearing

Terry Irby

  • Molto Italiano (Judge Caroline Kraddick) — Joani White
  • Most Elegant (Judge Kori Green) — Cynthia Smoot
  • A Taste of Italy (Judges Lynae Fearing and Tracy Rathbun) — Carmen Surgent
  • Bellissima Botanical (Judge Tara Green) — Terry Irby
  • People’s Choice (Judge Micki Rawlings) — Katherine Phillips
  • Fellini’s Follies (Judge Niven Morgan) — Chad Collom and Steve Kemble
  • Most Outlandish (Judge Courtney Kerr) — Lynne Lowder 
  • Rachel’s Pick (Judge Rachel Zoe) — Amanda Warren

Katherine Phillips and Micki Rawlings

Steve Kemble, Chad Collom and Niven Morgan

Lynne Lowder and Courtney Kerr

Amy Warren and Rachel Zoe

Rachel in making her presentation admitted,”I’ve had a pretty long career. In no part of my life have I ever experienced anything like this….I’m going back to L.A. and talking about this. I love Texas.”

As the ladies and guests headed to their tables to take in the beautiful day, it was learned that Venise Stewart would be chairing the 2018 Mad Hatter’s. Can’t wait to hear how Venise plans to stage the 30th anniversary of this fundraiser for A Woman’s Garden.

2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Committee Had A Stiletto Workout Before Checking Out Fashions With Designer Nicole Miller

Those Cattle Baron’s Ball gals really are in shape. And they proved it on Thursday, April 12, at the three-story Saint Rocco’s in Trinity Groves. The occasion was billed as the Spring Luncheon with designer Nicole Miller and her spring line on hand thanks to Amanda Shufeldt, but it also turned out to be a workout of the stiletto-loving ladies.

Nicole Miller

Isabell Novakov and Nancy Gopez

CBB Isabella Novakov self-parked because she didn’t have tip money. Besides it was a pretty day, so she walked across Gulden Lane to the restaurant. Others opted for the valet and were directed to the third level for an open-air reception. One or two chose the lift; others took the stairs.

Anne Stodghill

Sunie Solomon

After a half hour or so of catching up, Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill said it was time to head downstairs for the annual group photo. The early birds went one floor down to the dining room set up for lunch and the fashion presentation. They were told that they had jumped the gun and hadn’t gone down far enough.

2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball committee

As the valets looked on wide-eyed, thinking that the herd of women were coming out the door en masse for their cars, they appeared equally relieved when the parade of ladies headed around the corner of the building. They strolled around to the front of Rocco, where photographer Holt Haynsworth was ready with a ladder to shoot the gaggle of gals. When the last snap was taken, the ladies headed back to the restaurant hiking up the stairs to the dining room.

After a report by Sunie and Anne about the status of their fundraising to fight cancer, they recognized the past chairs who were jammed together at the front row table. One past chair, like others, was not all that happy. It seems that she had called the CBB office that morning to inquire how many past chairs would be at the lunch. The staff reported two. The real number resulted in the past chairs drafting a second table for their number. No problem. The past chairs are troopers and can handle any situation.

Then it was announced that lunch would be served, followed by the fashion presentation. Somehow signals got mixed and the CCB ladies, who were to model the clothes, left their places. Nicole registered a look of something’s not quite right. Less than two minutes later, the models returned to their seats to await the post-lunch fashion show.

Only problem was there was a delay in removing the salad plates, placing the lunch plates, and serving of the bowls of pasta to be passed around.

Brooke Hortenstine and Olivia Kearney

Lisa Shirley and Marybeth Conlon

In the meantime, it was time to play a favorite indoor game of “Catch Up.” Brooke Hortenstine was heading out of town to the family ranch to celebrate her birthday and re-educate her horseback-riding skills… Model Marybeth Conlon was using a shawl to either keep her warm or to minimize the low cut of her Miller gown…. American Airlines flight attendant Mary Parker is a pro when it comes to flying. She’s been through all types of weather conditions and knows the importance of safety in the air. So, why was she all smiles about her leaping from a plane with eight of her buddies (Tanya Foster, Louise Griffeth, Jenna Jackson, Lynn McBee, Mary Meier-Evans, Mary Martha Pickens, Lisa Shirley and Amy Turner) over Whitewright on Wednesday, May 3*? It was a challenge — Birds Eye View Bombshells— to raise $10,000 each to support wounded veterans and first responders.

* That date was changed to May 15, due to windy weather.

Let Your Party Dresses Pay It Forward For The Third Annual Prom Dress Drive

It’s Super Bowl weekend, but who cares? It’s just not the priority it was when there was a chance of Dak, Zeke, Jason, Dez and the Cowboys heading to Houston. Why, word has it that since the ‘Boys were eliminated, ticket sales drooped like a beehive hairdo in the rain.

Adding to the weekend dreary wearies, the lovely temperatures of the past days have been replaced by chilly, humid conditions.

But don’t get all down and out. Instead, head to that closet and edit. And while you’re picking dresses, accessories and goodies that don’t fit in your future, don’t forget those party pretties. Come on. Bite the bullet and admit it — you may have had a love affair with that pink organza or that bare-shoulder white silk, but you’ve moved on.

Now, what to do with your gowns, purses and heels? Have we got an answer for you and you’re gonna feel like a Super Bowl champ!

Comerica Prom Dress Drive*

For the third year Comerica is holding its Prom Dress Drive during the month of February. No, the dresses are not going to be given to Comerica staffers, but you knew that. Instead, the formal attire will be offered to youngsters from Dallas CASA and Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas just in time for spring proms.

According to Dallas CASA’s Rosanne Lewis, “It is a wonderful thing to give girls in foster care a chance to experience the fun of prom in a fancy dress, feeling beautiful. Once all the dresses and accessories are here and organized, we will have two prom dress boutique-shopping days for the girls we work with. Shoes, bags, lots of bling, plus help with makeup and hair make it a great day for the girls.”

All you have to do is gather up your collection and take it to one of the following Comerica Banking Centers:

  • NorthPark — 8850 Boedeker Street (Dallas)
  • Forest-Inwood — 5200 Forest Lane (Dallas)
  • Cole-Fitzhugh — 3202 North Fitzhugh (Dallas)
  • Preston Center — 8225 Preston Road (Dallas)
  • Chapel Hill-Tollway — 2560 Dallas Parkway (Plano)

After you drop the items off, head to your favorite store and treat yourself to some new clothes. After all, there is a now some empty space in your closet.

* Graphic courtesy of Comerica

MySweet2017Goals: Michael Faircloth

Michael Faircloth (File photo)

According to UNT Distinguished Alumnus/designer Michael Faircloth

“My 2017 goal is to wrap up fund-raising for The Michael Faircloth School of Fashion Design Endowment Fund capital campaign at the University of North Texas. I am honored to have my name associated with this great institution and I am hopeful many students will benefit from this important educational experience.

“With an emphasis on art research, fashion history and trend analysis, UNT’s fashion design students learn to take their ideas from inception, to sketch, to finished garment. They also learn practical skills like patternmaking, draping, fashion sketching, industrial sewing and computer-aided design that lead to rewarding careers.”

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

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

Dan Mosher and Reginald Luster

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

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

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

Spring

Winter

Autumn

Summer

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

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

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

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

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

Robyn and Don Conlon

Crawford and Janet Brock

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

Lisa Cooley

Michal Powell

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

Pam Busbee

Alicia Wood

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

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

Tucker and Rich Enthoven

Lisa and Kenny Troutt

Amit and Liat Berger and Stacy and David Blank

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

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

Pete and Caren Kline and Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins

Robin and Debby Robinson

Chris and Connie O’Neill

Billy and Heather Esping

Mimi and Rich Sterling

Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse

Bill and Margo Goodwin

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

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

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

Caroline Rose Hunt and Del Frnka

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

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

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

Crystal Charity Ball dining table

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

Monogrammed napkin

Jerry and Kelli Ford

Truman and Anita Arnold

Gail and Gerald Turner

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

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

Randall and Kara Goss

Sherwood Wagner and Todd Clendening

David and Anne Sutherland

Aileen and Jack Pratt

Jason and Laura Downing and Brooke and Aaron Shelby

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

Suzanne and Jim Johnston and Angela Nash

Norma Hunt

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

Simply Irresistible

Kevin Dahlberg and Francie Moody-Dahlberg

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

Mary Clare Finney and David Nichols

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

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

 

JUST IN: 33rd St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Designers, Patron Party And Raffle Item Plans Revealed

2017 St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show*

With the Christmas holidays in the rear view mirror, retailers are filling shelves with all types of sweetheart deals getting folks in the mood for St. Valentine’s Day. And this year the stars are truly in alignment for the 33rd Annual St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show. Unlike many years past, this year’s “Affair of the Heart” will indeed take place on Tuesday, February 14!

Nancy and Richard Rogers (File photo)

Presented by Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers, the extravaganza will take place once again at the Meyerson with the fashion show under the direction of event producer Jan Strimple.

And, boy, has red-haired Jan been busy. She’s been scurrying around Highland Park Village cherry-picking the very best from Brunello Cucinelli, St. John, Market, Escada, Etro and Carolina Herrera.

Heather Randall (File photo)

While on the subject of Highland Park Village, in addition to being the fashion show and luncheon sponsor, HPV’s Jimmy Choo will be the site of the patron party on Tuesday, February 7, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. In addition to a percentage of Jimmy Choo sales benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser that night, the luncheon/fashion show raffle items will be revealed and chances will be available for purchase. Word has it that trips are gonna be included in the items with American Airlines serving as the “official travel sponsor.” Just imagine what a hit it would be to win a trip to give your special Valentine that evening over a cozy dinner!

Event Chair Heather Perttula Randall has arranged to use “two floors for the luncheon. Priority placement for the Main Floor for the luncheon will be based on giving level and time of receipt of your contract.”

The champagne reception will start bubbling at 10 a.m., so lock down your ticket. Then splurge and buy yourself a red, hot outfit to the St. V-Day lunch.

 

JUST IN: With An Italian Flavor, 2017 Mad Hatter’s Chair Linda Spina Reveals Eight Categories For Under The Tuscan Sun’s Judging

Under The Tuscan Sun*

And the news that Mad Hatters and their chapeau designers have been waiting for has just been revealed. 2017 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Linda Spina revealed that in keeping with the “Under the Tuscan Sun” theme, the following categories will be judged at the Dallas Arboretum on Thursday, April 27, for the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum fundraiser:

  1. Molto Italiano (“Very Italian”) — Most True-to-Theme. Everything Tuscan, from the rolling hills of Tuscany to the art treasurers of Florence to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and everything in between. 
  2. Rachel’s Pick — Special guest Rachel Zoe’s favorite hat. The best of the best, from her point of view.
  3. Bella Donna (“Beautiful Woman”) — Most Elegant. 
  4. A Taste of Italy — The food and drink of Italy.  Wine, cheese, pasta, pizza and more!
  5. Bellissima Botanical — Best Botanical. What would Mad Hatter’s at the Arboretum be without hats adorned with beautiful flowers?
  6. Fellini’s Follies — Famed late Italian film director Federico Fellini always worked in a group. Best Group of Hats.
  7. Mamma Mia! — Most Outlandish. Go wild!
  8. Ciao Bella! (“Hello Beautiful”) — People’s Choice. The best of the best, as voted on by the attendees.

Now, get those glue guns warmed up and have a glass of France MayesToccare le Stelle, while you’re at it.

Mad Hatter’s “Under The Tuscan Sun” Reveal Party Had Loads Of Surprises And Rachel Zoe Name Dropping

With just five months to prepare their dazzling headpieces, the Maddest Hatters gathered at Tootsies on Thursday, November 17. Besides celebrating any occasion connected with the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum, the guests were there to learn the details for the Thursday, April 27th Mad Hatter’s Tea at the Arboretum.

Dyann Skelton, Melissa Lewis and Emilynn Wilson

Yes, the date was important because, unlike a few years back when guests shivered in near-freezing temperatures, Women’s Council President Melissa Lewis and Event Chair Linda Spina picked a date in late April when frost will be long gone. It also allows more time to prepare those hats for showing and competing.

Linda Spina and Lynn Dealey

Under The Tuscan Sun*

But the big news was the event’s theme. This news was the one that warmed the hearts and glue guns of hat designers. Drum roll. The theme for the 29th Mad Hatter’s Tea will be “Under the Tuscan Sun.” No wonder the gals picked a sun-friendly date and artist Lynn Dealey’s sunflowers artwork took full advantage of the theme.

But wait, there was still more news and it was a real head turner. Thanks to Tootsies’ Nerissa von Helpenstill and the Mad Hatters brain trust, super-duper special guest will be fashion designer, author, business woman, nuclear scientist Rachel Zoe. (Okay, so maybe not that last one about the nuclear scientist, but she’s everything else and so much more.) Is anyone surprised that Mad Hatters fashion sponsor Tootsies carries Rachel’s line of fashions? Nah!

Sharla Bush and Amy Warren

While a couple of the guests (mostly guys) looked a little baffled about the younger crowd getting downright thrilled over Rachel’s participation, they’ll wise up by the big day, especially if they check out The Zoe Report.

Adding to the namedropping of the occasion, it was revealed that Amy Warren and her daughter Amanda Hill would serve as honorary co-chairs thanks to their buddy Mad Hatter’s Co-Chair/Warren buddy/McKinney shop keeper Sharla Bush.

But there was even more good news. Individual tickets are available now at $350 via the Women’s Council website. Later in the spring a limited number of tickets will be made available for $250. But who wants to wait and take a chance on missing the fashion show produced by Jan Strimple, a seated luncheon overlooking the Arboretum grounds, and being seen on the scene?

Proceeds from the event will “grow and maintain A Woman’s Garden.”

* Graphic courtesy of Lynn Dealey

MySweetWishList: Interfaith Family Services

According to Interfaith Family Services’ Board of Directors Chair Ashley Blanchette,

Ashley Blanchette*

“As the chair of Interfaith Family Services’ Board of Directors and as a mom, I was shocked to learn that Dallas now leads the nation in child poverty.  While many of us are blessed to enjoy a warm meal, a bed to call our own and the knowledge our children will have gifts to open during the holiday season, this is not the case for many Dallas families.  My wish is for the community to help us provide our families, who recently experienced homelessness, a joyous and memorable holiday with some of the basic comforts needed to thrive. Many families don’t have access to items that you and I might not think twice about, including warm coats or shoes, as they come to us from incredibly difficult situations, such as fleeing domestic violence or living in a car. Through your donation, Interfaith will be able to provide our families with essential items, including a hot Christmas dinner, which we plan to enjoy with our families this month. The season of giving is all about appreciating what we have and helping others who are in need of a ‘hand up’ this holiday!

Interfaith Family Services*

“Thanks to a number of organizations and individuals, Interfaith will provide each family with a Christmas tree, holiday décor, gifts and more. Though gifts and toys are a blessing to have, many families are still in need of everyday necessities. My hope is that our community can contribute to making this holiday season less stressful for families in Interfaith’s program.  Below is a breakdown of how each donation will directly benefit a family.

  • “$25 — Give one child a new pair of shoes
  • “$50 — Give one child a warm winter coat
  • “$100 — Give a family a holiday dinner
  • “$250 — Give a family a very Merry Christmas

“As members of the community, we have the great privilege of being able to serve the working poor and provide their children with a meaningful Christmas. To all the wonderful MySweetCharity readers out there, God Bless and I hope you enjoy the holidays!

“For more information on Interfaith Family Services and how to participate in the holiday giving, contact Ashley Agnew at 469.828.1805, or visit www.interfaithdallas.org.”

-By Ashley Blanchette, Interfaith Family Services board of directors chair

* Graphic and photo provided by Interfaith Family Services

St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show And Luncheon Chair Heather Perttula Randall Reveals Deets For Leukemia And Lymphoma Fundraiser

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza (File photo)

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza (File photo)

Gee, whiz. Could those with news slow down? Heck, no! Another missive arrived for sharing. 2017 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon Chair Heather Perttula Randall just sent word that those vets of leukemia, Tracy and Ben Lange, will be the honorary co-chairs for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser.

Luke Lange, Tracy and Ben Lange and Livia Lange (File photo)

Luke Lange, Tracy and Ben Lange and Livia Lange (File photo)

If you just hopped off the bus at the Greyhound station, then you just might not know how Tracy and Ben not only journeyed through their son’s Luke Lange’s battle with lymphoma, but they also made lemonade out of the leukemia lemon. Not only did adorable Luke create Luke’s Fast Break T-shirts, but just as importantly they kept their family together. Too often the family unit can become a casualty of battling leukemia, cancer and other deadly diseases.

Don and Robyn Conlon (File photo)

Don and Robyn Conlon (File photo)

But Heather had even more news about the 2017 awards. The Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award will be presented to Robyn and Don Conlon, who know the devastation of leukemia and lymphoma. Their new daughter-in-law’s mother, who happened to be a dear family friend, died of the disease.

Sponsored by Baker and Botts, The Spirit of Tom Landry Award will be presented to six-year-old Bennett Williams, who is an acute Lymphoma leukemia survivor.

The Memorial Hero Award, sponsored by Robyn and Don Conlon, will honor Lillie Young’s late Charles Young, “who fought a valiant battle again myeloma.”

BTW, this year’s luncheon will take place at the Meyerson on….believe it or not, on Tuesday, February 14. Yup, you read that right. It will actually be on St. Valentine’s Day. And the fashions will be provided by Highland Park Village merchants, so you just know it’s gonna be clothes tailor made for ladies who set trends.

Joining Heather in putting the festivities and fundraising together are Underwriting Co-Chairs Daffan Nettle and Yvette Ostolaza and Advisory Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Michael Flores.

Tickets and sponsorships are available via phone, mail, online or carrier pigeon. No, that last one isn’t true, but we just we’d see if you were really paying attention.

Mary Kay Foundation’s 2016 Suits For Shelters Fashion Celebration Was Definitely In The Pink At Tootsies

As so many have realized recently, domestic violence doesn’t take a second off. Whether it’s in the low-income community or the highfalutin neighborhoods, anger and physical abuse are not limited to one ZIP code.

But on Wednesday, July 20, the Suits for Shelters program celebrated the hope for many suffering from domestic violence. It was the annual fashion show at Tootsies benefiting the Mary Kay Foundation‘s effort to collect clothes for victims trying to find new lives of independence. And pink was definitely the color the day!

It was a great turnout of frontliners in the battle against abuse. The Family Place’s VP of Development Melissa Sherrill was standing in for The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink , who was MIA. It seems that after 25 years of working at The Family Place, Paige was on a sabbatical that had coincided with the Suits for Shelters get-together.

On the other hand, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein in her most adorable explosion of pink sundress said that she was already on the search for the Genesis Luncheon 2017 speaker. OK, so she admitted that to outdo 2016 speaker Tyler Perry was going take some doing, but Jan enjoys a good challenge, don’t you know.

Jan Langbein

Jan Langbein

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

But the true-blue standouts of the evening were Maleiah and Ryan Rogers. Gee, were these two made by Mattel? They greeted one and all with graciousness and dang! They looked so fabulous. Ryan’s grandmother, the late Mary Kay Ash, would have been so proud to have seen her mission to help those overcoming domestic violence being carried on by Maleiah and Ryan.

Mary Kay Foundation that is the driving force of the event also had Mary Kay Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility VP Crayton Webb, who had missed last year’s event due to a trip to China. Now, the father of three sons and a brand new daughter was looking over the crowd for his wife Nikki Webb, who was on her way.

It’s hard to imagine a more dedicated advocate in the battle against domestic violence than HeROs President Crayton, but the March birth of a daughter has made his mission even more personal.

Crayton Webb

Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Melissa Cameron

Melissa Cameron

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

All too soon the capacity crowd including Nancy Gopez, Kris Johnson, Melissa Cameron and Michaela Dyer, moved upstairs for the fashion show. After the welcomes by Emcee WFAA’s Cynthia “Izzy” Izaguirre, Ryan, Crayton and Tootsies Store Director Nerissa von Helpenstill, the fashions were on parade worn by WFAA’s Alexa Conomos and Charlotte Huffman, The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show’s Kellie Rasberry, Attitudes and Attire’s Evelyn Earl, Battered Women’s Foundation’s Roze Kluttz, Brighter Tomorrows’ Tina Strand, Denton County Friends of the Family’s Alicia Froidl, Dress for Success’ Karis Renee, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Tamika Jackson, Hope’s Door’s Megan Rutherford, Mosaic Family Services’ McKenzie Hoopfer, New Beginning Center’s Rhonda Aicklen, Safe Haven of Tarrant County’s Dakota Hart, The Salvation Army’s Vicki Wheaton, The Family Place’s Ericka Johnson and Mary Kay’s Marci Burns, Morgan Calhoun and Lisa Petty.

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Suits for Shelter fashion show

Suits for Shelters fashion show

Then the raffle took place with the highlight being the announcement of the winner of the $5,000 donation in the name of the winner to a domestic violence group.  Provided by Maleiah and Ryan, this item is the most-sought-after of the raffle packages for the nonprofit representatives. The moment Esmerelda Rodriquez’s name was called was electric. Irving-based Brighter Tomorrows’ CEO Diana Franzetti was truly beside herself. It seemed pretty obvious which organization Brighter Tomorrows’ Board Member Esmerelda was going to pick.

On a sidenote: Tootsies’ Sales Manager Dustin Holcomb admitted that the entire Tootsies’ family was still adjusting to life without Tootsies’ founder Mickey Rosmarin. Still Dustin assured that the Dallas operation was not only carrying on, it was going to celebrate its 25th anniversary this fall.

JUST IN: Big Plans Revealed For Fourth Annual ReuNight Including Donna Karan And The New Forty Five Ten For The Family Place

Donna Karan*

Donna Karan*

Since stepping down as head of her very fashionable company last June, Donna Karan has not retired to her home in Turks and Caicos Islands and watched the waves. Just last month she was presented the prestigious Founder’s Award at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards dinner by her designing buddy Calvin Klein. Despite having been in the rag business more than 40 years, she still manages to get younger and be more vibrant over the years.

Faisal Halum and Brian Bolke (File photo)

Faisal Halum and Brian Bolke (File photo)

Michael and Shelle Sills (File photo)

Michael and Shelle Sills (File photo)

And she’ll be bringing that zest to Big Old D on Thursday, November 10, for The Family’s Place’s Fourth Annual ReuNight thanks to Event Co-Chairs Brian Bolke and Faisal Halum and Shelle and Michael Sills and Honorary Chair Mary Clare Finney.

Mary Clare Finney (File photo)

Mary Clare Finney (File photo)

And to do it up right, the evening will start with cocktails at the spanking new, can’t-wait-to-see-it Forty Five Ten in downtown Dallas. For dinner the guests will “be escorted” across the street for dinner at The Joule Terrace.

Topping off the evening will be a “small luxury live auction.” And the emphasis is on “small” as in limited and “luxury” like rarefied finds.

The fundraiser is the rebirth of the legendary Palm Night that raised millions of dollars from 1994 to 2008. After going into hibernation, it rose with a new name, ReuNight, and longtime supporters. In fact this host committee is made up of a lot of those vets including Moll and Charlie Anderson, Gonzalo Bueno and Michael McCray, Nancy and Clint Carlson, Brenda and Clay Cockerell, Tina and David Craig, Leah and John Davis, Suzanne and David Droese, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Heather and Billy Esping, Todd Fiscus and Ceron, Meg and Doug Florence, Joyce Goss, Kenny Goss, Sue and Jim Gragg, Karen and Stephen Jones, Olivia and Jeff Kearney, Liz and Scott Kimple, Jenny and John Kirtland, DeeDee and Jim Lee, Muffin and John Lemak, Lynn and Allan McBee, Jan Miller and Jeff Rich, Niven Morgan and Shelby Wagner, Allane O’Neil, Rajan Patel, Pam and Vin Perella, Michal and Loyd Powell, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Katherine and Eric Reeves, Nancy and Richard Rogers, Kayla and Brian Roughton, Connie and Mark Sigel, Laurie-Jo ad Steve Straty, Leisa Street, Joanne and Charles Teichman, Debbie and John Tolleson, Ben and Max Trowbridge, Robert Weatherly, Kim and Justin Whitman, Kathy and Rodney Woods, Lucy and Steve Wrubel, Piper and Mike Wyatt and Sharon and Michael Young.

Sponsorships and tickets are available here! So, dig through your wardrobe and find that Karan bodysuit. Now’s the time to diet for a reunight with that classic Karan design.

Plans Announced For The Dallas Opera’s First Sight First Night As Part Of Its 60th Anniversary

Leave it to The Dallas Opera types to get ahead of the heat of summer. Word has it that DO General Director/CEO Keith Cerny and his team got those music loving Winspears (i.e. Ellen and Don) to chair this fall’s First Sight First Night fundraising for the DO’s 60th anniversary.

Ellen and Don Winspear and Jennifer and Keith Cerny (File photo)

Ellen and Don Winspear and Jennifer and Keith Cerny (File photo)

Gee, it was three years before Don was even born and such names as Elsa von Seggern, Larry Kelly and John Ardoin were mainstays along with Juanita and Henry S. Miller Jr. in making arias the hip of hop of Dallas sounds back then.

But there’s more to the reveal. Joyce and Harvey Mitchell will be the honorary co-chairs.

Tiffany Divis (File photo)

Tiffany Divis (File photo)

Kara Goss (File photo)

Kara Goss (File photo)

Rhonda Marcus (File photo)

Rhonda Marcus (File photo)

More good news! NorthPark will be the presenting sponsor for the First Sight Luncheon Fashion Show that will be returning to the Winspear on Thursday, October 27, with fashions gloriously provided by NorthPark’s Versace, of course. The luncheon co-chairs will be the willowy fashion-loving trio of Tiffany Divis, Kara Goss and Rhonda Marcus.

Of course, there will be the designer highlights, but those details are forthcoming.

Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis-Kirk (File photo)

Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis-Kirk (File photo)

As for the black-tie goings on, Matrice Ellis-Kirk and Ron Kirk will co-chair the cocktails, dinner, opera — “Eugene Onegin” —and after-party with Hunter Sullivan providing the non-operatic tunes. That will all take place on Friday, October 28, at the Winspear. The evening’s festivities are being presented thanks to Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management.

As for the vittles, the Wolfgang Puck crew will be in charge for both the luncheon and dinner.

Before heading to Pilates, why not get your tickets now?

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Mad Hatter’s Fashion Show And Luncheon

Marena Gault, Marielle Gault, Steve Kemble and Sherwood Wagner

Marena Gault, Marielle Gault, Steve Kemble and Sherwood Wagner

Oh, those Mad Hatters really used their thinking caps in coming up with chapeaus to celebrate this year’s theme, “Steel Magnolias,” at the Dallas Arboretums on Thursday, April 21. Ranging from southern elegance to beauty parlor giggles, the heady creations topped off the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum’s annual fundraiser.

Robin Carreker

Robin Carreker

Carmen Surgent

Carmen Surgent

And if a picture’s worth a thousand words, hold on to your hats because more than 38,000 words worth of photos can be found over on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

In the meantime, the post is being prepped. Stay tuned!

Fashion Guru Tim Gunn, Who’s In ‘Awe’ Of Dallas Women, Attracts Huge Crowd To CPD’s 10th Anniversary Chick Lit Luncheon

Anyone doubting the popularity in Dallas of “Project Runway” co-host/producer Tim Gunn should have checked out the scene at the Friday, April 1, Chick Lit Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole. The event benefiting Community Partners of Dallas and featuring the author and TV star drew a crowd of 1,100—up from the annual luncheon’s 650 or so that it’s usually drawn at its longtime venue, Brook Hollow Country Club.

This was Chick Lit’s 10th anniversary luncheon, but surely the huge crowd wasn’t due only to that? “I give credit to our chairs—and to Tim,” CPD President and CEO Paige McDaniel said before the luncheon at the VIP reception in the Anatole’s Stemmons Ballroom. “All girls like fashion, and he’s just … well, when Joanna [Clarke, CPD’s development VP] and I used to talk about guests at our fantasy dinner party, we each had two people in common: Tim Gunn and Jesus!

“So, it was easy this year,” McDaniel went on. “Everybody wanted to come.”

Tim Gunn, Lara and Robert Tafel*

Tim Gunn, Lara and Robert Tafel*

At that moment, the star of the day was demonstrating his charisma across the room at the step-and-repeat, where guests were lined up to meet Gunn and have their photos taken with him. Among them were Elizabeth Gambrell (she’s a CPD director), Anne Stodghill, Dee Simmons, D’Andra Simmons, and Lara Tafel, who was once again the luncheon’s presenting sponsor along with her husband, Dr. Robert Tafel.

Megan Flannagan, Fasi Boltchi, Roz Colombo and Samantha Wortley*

Megan Flannagan, Fasi Boltchi, Roz Colombo and Samantha Wortley*

Jennifer Evans Morris, Krissy Turner and Lauren Reed*

Jennifer Evans Morris, Krissy Turner and Lauren Reed*

Soon Dr. Bob joined his wife for a photo with Gunn, who promptly remarked on the doctor’s colorful pocket square. The TV star pulled the handkerchief out of Tafel’s suit coat, demonstrated another way to fold such an adornment, and then stuffed it back into Bob’s breast pocket—much to Bob and Lara’s delight.

Soon enough, the 1,100 guests including CPD Board Chair Krissy Turner, Jocelyn White, Lee Bailey, Lisa Cooley, Faisal Halum, Holly Davis, Lori Williams, Alissa Gearing, Jennifer Evans Morris, Lauren Reed, Megan Flanagan, Fasi Boltchi, Roz Colombo, Samantha Wortley, Katherine Coker and Simona Beal began making their way into the Imperial Ballroom upstairs.

Kristi Hoyl*

Kristi Hoyl*

Nancy Rogers and Brian Bolke*

Nancy Rogers and Brian Bolke*

Luncheon Chair Kristi Hoyl made the welcoming remarks, thanking the Tafels, Honorary Chair Brian Bolke, Underwriting Chairs Cindy Stager and Jill Tananbaum, and Paige and Joanna (“they are angels walking on the earth”). Then Kristi brought up Rev. Elizabeth Moseley from Highland Park United Methodist Church, who delivered the invocation. (Rev. Moseley, BTW, was introduced as a “minister of discipline,” rather than with her actual title, “minister of discipleship.” Hmmmm. Maybe Queenie needs to hire a minister of discipline for misbehaving elves.)

Paige McDaniel and Jill Bee*

Paige McDaniel and Jill Bee*

After lunch was served—a delicious Mediterranean chicken salad and a strawberry “Happy Birthday” cupcake—videos were played honoring Jill C. Bee with the 2016 Partners for Children Award and the Tafels, who were presented with the 10th Anniversary Champions of Hope Award. Then Paige took the stage, telling how all the guests had “agonized over our outfits” trying to impress Gunn, before launching into a tearful talk about children who’d been helped by CPD, like two toddlers nicknamed Princess and King. Paige gave way to Bolke, who introduced the featured speaker as one of two people who’ve had a profound recent influence on the fashion world (the other, he said, was Sarah Jessica Parker of TV’s “Sex and the City”).

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and Tim Gunn*

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and Tim Gunn*

With that, Gunn—a former chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne Inc. who’s written four books—mounted the stage along with Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, who would interview him. Kim began by asking the fashion guru what led him to write books (his latest is titled “The Natty Professor: A Master Class on Mentoring, Motivating, and Making It Work!”). Gunn, the son of an FBI agent, grew up with words and books, he replied, and developed an interest in fashion history as an academic at the Parsons School of Design. “Most of the books [about fashion] are giant snoozefests,” he said. He set out to take a livelier approach, crediting the success of such works as “Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible and “Gunn’s Golden Rules in part to his editor and co-writer, Ava Calhoun.

Kim asked next what’s behind Gunn’s “kind but firm” approach to young designers on Lifetime’s “Project Runway,” now entering its 14th season. “I can’t want you to succeed more than you do,” Gunn said he tells the fledgling designers. In lieu of direct criticism he peppers them with questions about their design choices, hoping they’ll eventually see what he sees. What’s his favorite of Gunn’s “golden rules”? “The world owes you absolutely nothing!” he replied quickly. “Even though young people don’t like it. … We each have to make our own way and establish our value.” Gunn also explained his “TEACH” philosophy with students and mentees, using an explanation for each letter in the acronym: Truth-telling; Empathy; Asking lots of questions; Cheerleading; and Hoping for the best.

Tim Gunn*

Tim Gunn*

Prompted by his interviewer, Gunn said that when it comes to fashion, “I’d rather work with women than with men. Women are more open to experimentation, and men are so ridiculously intractable. I’ll tell them, ‘Good heavens, it’s a shirt. Put it on!’ ” He also complimented Dallas women on their fashion sense, adding, “I’m in awe of you! … I’d like to take you home with me!” Expanding on fashion in general, he said most people wear their clothes too big. (“Never use the phrase, ‘I only dress for comfort’ with me,” he said. “If you want to feel like you’re in your pajamas, don’t get out of bed.”) He also ripped the current “athleisure” trend including yoga pants, tights, and leggings worn as pants. “It’s an excuse to be a slob,” he said, calling leggings “a form of underwear.”

Wrapping up with a few questions from the audience, Gunn was asked his advice for budding designers. Since designers are barometric measures of our culture, he answered, they should watch TV and movies, read blogs and newspapers, and “assimilate it all” in order to “have a point of view and know who you are. [Knowledge of] construction is important, too,” Gunn said in conclusion, “as are perseverance and tenacity.”

The thunderous applause from the big crowd that followed was a testament to the fashion guru’s tremendous popularity, as mentioned by Paige at the VIP reception. But so, too, was the long wait for their cars that some in the huge crowd had to endure in the lengthy valet line. Although the luncheon wrapped up by about 1:15, some 50 guests were still standing outdoors in the cold breeze, scanning the horizon hopefully for their vehicles, nearly an hour later. There were just too darn many cars, it seems, for the valets to easily handle.

* Photos provided by Community Partners of Dallas

Fashion Stars For A Cause Sparkled Among The Diamonds At The Suicide And Crisis Center Of North Texas Fundraiser Patron Party

While the rains of Wednesday, March 9, slowed to a trickle, so did the traffic. Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas Executive Director Margie Wright found herself stuck in traffic. She was making her way to Diamond Doctor for the Fashion Stars for a Cause reception.

Amanda Ward, David Blank and Gina Marx

Amanda Ward, David Blank and Gina Marx

Luckily the blonde made it without a drip. It had been a busy year for Margie. Despite the death of her husband Frank, Margie had thrown herself into work. No retiring for her. She proudly reported surrounded by counters of diamonds that she had added all types of bankers and executive types to her SCCNT board.

Across the way past the case gleaming with diamond goodies, the red carpet step-and-repeat was taking place with all types like 2016 Fashion Stars Amanda Ward and Gina Marx and even Diamond Doctor David Blank, who was on his way to the Mavericks game.

Jacque Wynne

Jacque Wynne

Amanda sound like a true-blue sorority sister said that at least two of the FSFC would be MIA due to spring break. (Highland Park and Richard ISDs, Jesuit and Ursuline were all on spring break)

Amanda was husbandless initially. It seems spouse Lloyd Ward had been in Arkansas and before heading to the Diamond Doctor event, he wanted to check in with their kids.

Others in the crowd for the event were Regina Bruce, Jacque Wynne, Martha and David Tiller and Bryant Tillery sans wife Carolyn Tillery, who was home in bed. When asked what ailed Mrs. Tillery, Bryant said, “It’s either what’s been going around or she’s on deadline.” What deadline? Carolyn is in the final stages of producing the Fashion stars for a Cause magazine that would debut at the SCCNT fundraiser on Friday, March 25, at the Dallas Country Club.

Grovel Alert: 10th Annual Chick Lit Luncheon With Tim Gunn

Joanna Clarke and Paige McDaniel (File photo)

Joanna Clarke and Paige McDaniel (File photo)

Community Partners of DallasPaige McDaniel and her sidekick Joanna Clarke just sent word that Friday’s 10th Annual Chick Lit Luncheon at the Anatole is within a feather of being sold out. Well, but with tastemeister Tim Gunn as the center attraction, what else would you expect?

So, the scant remaining tickets will be available until 5 p.m. Thursday. Yipes! That’s tomorrow!

Suggestion: get your ticket pronto and even if you have one, upgrade. Why? Because the patron types are gonna have a party Thursday night and you just know you would have a blast.

Mad Hatter’s Tea’s Chair Jocelyn White’s Arranged For A Passel Of Celebs To Be On Hand For “Steel Magnolias”

Jody Dean and Jocelyn White (File photo)

Jody Dean and Jocelyn White (File photo)

When Jocelyn White becomes the trail boss of a fundraiser, she brings her posse of celeb pals in on the fun and the raising of money. So, it’s only natural that her chairing the Mad Hatter’s Tea’ “Steel Magnolias” on Thursday, April 21, at the Arboretum would be her cup of tea, literally.

Where to start? Well, it’s already been revealed that fashions will be from Tootsies and blonde Connie Carreker will be the honorary chair, but the newest well-knowns to join up are Celebrity Co-Chairs Linda Gray and Janine Turner. BTW, Linda will be doing double duty while in Big D. In addition to her helping Joce at the Arboretum, she’ll be the headliner the next day at “Authors at The Adolphus” luncheon in the hotel’s French Room chatting with Joce about her memoir, “The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction.”

Linda Gray (File photo)

Linda Gray (File photo)

But back to the Mad Hatter’s. Serving as emcee Jocelyn has tapped KISS FM 106.1 Kellie  Rasberry with KLUV 98.7’s Jody Dean handling the auctioneering.

But there’s still more. The announcement of the hat judges has just been announced. Now, before the names are listed, remember that bribes are tacky. Well, they are if you’re caught. Here is the rundown of the judges:

  • Karen Carroll, contributor, Flower Magazine;
  • Kathy Fielder, lifestyle designer, creator and manufacturer;
  • Janelle Friedman, author of “You Are Invited: How to Plan Everything from Intimate Gatherings to Texas-Sized Parties” and executive with Friedman & Feiger, Attorneys At Law;

    Diane and Daryl Johnston (File photo)

    Diane and Daryl Johnston (File photo)

  • Diane and Daryl Johnston, professional model and former National Football League fullback with the Dallas Cowboys/current NFL analyst, respectively;
  • Matthew Campbell Laurenza, jewelry designer. His jewelry will be in the Fashion Show and the Live Auction;
  • Robert Leleux, editorial director, Domino Magazine;
  • Jane McGarry, host, “Good Morning Texas” on WFAA Channel 8;
  • Gary Riggs, interior designer and owner, Gary Riggs Home.

As for the categories that are in keeping with the “Steel Magnolias” theme, here’s the list:

  • Most True-To-Theme:  Magnolias in ev’ry incarnation. Faux or real.
  • The Southern Belle:  Shelby’s girly-girl look. Can you say pink?
  • Simply Elegant:  Beautifully chic!  If Audrey Hepburn had been Southern …
  • Mother Nature Winks:  Makin’ Mama Nature proud with the best use of her bounty.
  • The Social Sorority:  Best Sisterhood (Brotherhood?) award.  We come in groups.
  • Miss Merry Christmas:  Crowns, Tiaras, Headdresses. Oh, my Stars!
  • What Was She Thinking?: The Ouiser Boudreaux Award. It’s what YOU think!
  • Best of Show/People’s Choice: Self-explanatory. The Steel Magnolia.   Best of the Best!

Don’t you just know somebody’s gonna should up with a red-velvet armadillo!

A Woman's Garden (File photo)

A Woman’s Garden (File photo)

Tickets and sponsorships are available here with proceeds going to the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and A Woman’s Garden.

The Weather Was Perfect For Attitudes And Attire’s 20th Anniversary Fashion Show And Luncheon

Attitudes and Attire Executive Director/Founder Lyn Berman was almost as sunny as the skies above on Friday, February 26. It was just a year ago, that her annual fundraising luncheon had been put in jeopardy due to frigid temperatures and snow. Sure, there had been some empty places due to the wintry conditions, but still diehards showed up.

Lyn Berman

Lyn Berman

This year the weather couldn’t have been more picture perfect at the Dallas Market Center. Wish parking had only been more user friendly. Folks drove around and around searching for a parking space. Those who gave up the search found themselves in the conga line to the valet. Other hearty souls put their stilettos to a test for the journey from the far reaches of the parking lot. One gal grumbled that she should have parked at the Anatole, “It would have been closer.”

But once inside the Grand Pavilion, nary a memory of the parking hassles made it past the check-in for the 20th Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show featuring Eileen Fisher and Attitudes and Attire Boutique runway fashions.

Madelyn Farquhar and Evelyn Earl

Madelyn Farquhar and Evelyn Earl

Honoring the schedule, things kicked off with Madelyn Farquhar playing a guitar while A&A Boutique Manager Evelyn Earl sang the national anthem that was followed by the invocation. With lunch being served, guests were told about A&A’s Hopeful Smiles and Boots to Heels programs, the raffle and the sponsors like Tom Thumb and Levy restaurants.

Kay Weeks

Kay Weeks

At 11:56 the fashion show commenced with Kay Weeks on the catwalk strumming a ukulele in memory of the late Ebby Halliday, who was a previous Kim Dawson Award recipient. Another runway highlight was the models waving flags were vets. Still another was Lyn’s granddaughter, Caroline, modeling.

Within 15 minutes, the show was over and Lyn returned to the podium recalled how she and her husband Harold Berman approached Sylvan Landau with their program to help women build self-esteem and enter the workforce. Thanks to Sylvan and the Dallas Market Center, A&A has  5,000 square feet of space to accommodate its needs. For the past 20 years, more than 20,000 women have come through the A&A doors.

Tessa Mosteller

Tessa Mosteller

Shannon Johnson

Shannon Johnson

Honorary Co-Chairs Shannon Johnson and Tess Mosteller thanked all who had made the day possible. After recognizing past Kim Dawson Awardees, Kim’s daughter Lisa Dawson presented the award to Ret. Brigadier Gen. Robin Akin, who suggested that next year combat boots should be included in the fashion show.

Robin Akin

Robin Akin

On a more serious note, Robin told how her favorite four-letter word is “Hope. It has been an enabler in my life.” She told of her childhood being raised by a mother, who had been “harder than a woodpecker’s lips.” While attending the University of Tennessee, Robin entered the ROTC and found a career in the military. With pride, she added that during her 32 years in service she didn’t lose one soldier.

After asking those who had served in the military or had someone in their family who had to stand, she changed her focus to those who are transitioning from the military to civilian life. According to Robin, vets want to be re-integrated into the community. They need help getting jobs. Only 6% of children born in poverty have the chance to rise.

Following a standing ovation Lynn returned to the podium reporting that Robin had coined the phrase “Boots to Heels.”

Brandy Baxter

Brandy Baxter

Casey

Casey

At 12:42 A&A Boots to Heel Director Brandy Baxter introduced two A&A clients — Casey and Trellis.

Nervous and nearly tearing up Casey told of her earlier days living a wild life including drugs with her husband. When she got pregnant, she got off drugs cold turkey. Eventually she left her husband and started working. A&A helped her developed the self-esteem to get her life pulled together and helped her replace her teeth that had fallen victim to her previous lifestyle. She proudly added that she had lost weight and was doing much better. The audience’s response? A standing O.

Trellis

Trellis

A vet, Trellis said that she had been a victim of sexual trauma during her tenure in the military. Following a marriage that involved violence, where her husband threw her through the drywall of the house. Bundling up her five children, she was homeless and unable to go to her work because her husband was stalking her. After staying in a homeless shelter, she arrived at A&A and thought, “Oh, not another workshop.” But it wasn’t. She discovered she wasn’t the only one going through such a situation. Trellis now had a clear goal for her life. She went back to college and graduated with honor and got her license in nursing.

As for her five kids, Trellis proudly reeled off her boys got full scholarships to Preston Christian Academy and graduated with honors, the oldest son now works on the rapid-response team in Colorado prison system, the second boy worked with Tennessee State Senator Brian Kelsey, her oldest daughter is working at two full-time jobs to support her four-year old son, her 16-year-old daughter has earned a scholarship and her 14-year-old daughter is an honor student as well.

Needless to say, another standing ovation celebrated another A&A client’s rise to independence.

For more photos of the Attitudes and Attire 20th Anniversary Fashion Show and Luncheon, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.