The 2017 Dallas Symphony League Orchestra Swans Flawlessly And Touchingly Bowed At The Meyerson

Oh, those Californians! Each year they have those itty-bitty Cliff Swallows return to Mission San Juan Capistrano on March 19th. As remarkable as that may seem to the West Coasters, the arrival of the swans to the Meyerson is truly memory-making each year.

On Saturday, February 18, 35 glorious white swans (aka Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation debutantes) provided perfectly executed deep bows in support of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerson.

Jolie Humphrey, Eleanor Bond and Ginger Sager

And thanks to blonde DSOL President Sandy Secor, red-haired Ball Chair Jolie Humphrey and her committee (Lissie Donosky, Dixey Arterburn, Ginger Sager, Eleanor Bond and Therese Rourk) these swans had credentials that would have sent the California birds into a spiral diver. But more deb name dropping later.

2017 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball debutantes and escorts

Before the presentation in the McDermott Concert Hall, photographer James French mounted a sky-high ladder to memorialize the debs and the Honor Guard escorts on the steps leading to the concert hall. “Is that everybody? Who’s missing? 35? I need the Honor Guards,” shouted James, as assistants counted heads and straightened hems. Various setups were needed: first, the debs, then the debs with Honor Guard escorts and then one with Jolie in the center. After the final group shot was taken, the debs and escorts joined their families for cellphone photos.

Sara Lee and Stan Gardner and Wendy Kumpf

Libby Bender, Catherine Lane and Rachel Faust

Downstairs, the cocktail reception was underway in the lower reception area. While black- and white-tie seemed the majority rule, red was also highlighting the area, thanks to Sara Lee Gardner, Wendy Kumpf, Elizabeth Magee, Catherine Lane, Libby Bender and Rachel Faust.

Still coquettish buds of deb Caroline Jones like

Ashley McGaw, Brindley Mize, Rachael Levy, Sarah Ransan, Arlin Dawson, Peyton Dean, Caroline LeCrone and Carling Crawford

and gal pal friends of the other debs held their own in an array of colors and necklines.

And speaking of those tricky décolletages, some of the ingénues in bare-shouldered gowns were seen having to hitch up downward-bound tops. While the usual glittery purses and stilettos accessorized the looks of the evening, one or two gals downgraded their aura by chomping on gum.

William Richardson and Heather Hall

Melissa Macatee and John and Barbara Stuart

Ken and Gina Betts, Molly Nelson and William Nelson

And if anyone was expecting drama, they were sorely disappointed. For instance, deb Gracie Beal’s folks, who had been divorced for ages, were front and center with their significant others — mama Simona Beal with Ryan Green and papa Andy Beal with his fiancée Olya Sinitsyna, who revealed that their baby boy was due on May 18… Terry Bentley Hill was on hand to support her god-daughter Abby Loncar and her mom Sue Loncar… One Honor Guard parent was Brad Cheves, who was attending his first DSOL Presentation Ball for his son, Kyle Cheves… Also attending their first DSOL Presentation Ball were Gina and Ken Betts for deb Molly NelsonMarsha Cameron and her husband Michael Halloran were returning for the presentation ball for their son Bryce Halloran, who would be escorting deb Marina Frattaroli. It was just two years ago that their daughter Alix Halloran was a deb… Among the grandparents in the crowd were William Richardson for deb Heather Hall, Gene and Jerry Jones for deb Caroline Jones and Honor Guard escort Shy Anderson Jr. and Barbara and John Stuart for grandson John Macatee… At least two sets of parents were providing both debs and escorts. In addition to daughter Catherine Kumpf making her debut, Wendy and Rick Kumpf’s son Henry Kumpf was a member of the Honor Guard… And then there were Ana and Jim Yoder. Not only was daughter Maria Yoder bowing, but her escorts were her brothers/Honor Guard members James Yoder Jr. and Peter Yoder.   

Kersten Rettig, McKenna Cook and Spencer Fontein

Kersten Rettig, whose daughter McKenna Cook was one of the debs, admitted, “I’m a little teary, in a good way. I never thought McKenna would do it. Jolie asked me a year ago if McKenna wanted to be a deb. But, the parents and girls have really connected! This is Dallas. This is tradition. This is for the arts. The pageant is 100 times better than I thought it would be!”  

Lissie Donosky, Dixey Arterburn, Eleanor Bond and Therese Rourk

Dallas Symphony Assembly officers

Honor Guard officers

On cue, the Meyerson chimes called the guests to their seats in the concert hall. Before the first deb stepped on stage, introductions of those who had made the event possible were made including Sandy, Jolie, her committee and the Assembly and the Honor Guard officers. Then emcee Stan Gardner asked the audience to show proper respect for the occasion. In other words, this wasn’t a dang pep rally.

Gracie Beal

Caroline Jones and Stephen Jones

Alicia Crenshaw and Bob Crenshaw Jr.

Caroline Pratt and Jack Pratt Sr.

With families seated near the stage and friends filling the rest of the floor, the Orchestra Tier and Loge, the presentation got underway. Upon her name being announced and her selected song being played, each deb appeared at the head of the stairs and was joined by her father or male family member. The couple then walked down the steps to center stage, where the gentleman kissed the deb on the cheek and took his place to her right. Then the deb made her formal bow, as her escort(s) stood to her left. On cue as she lifted her head looking at the escort(s), the lead escort walked over and offered his hand to help her rise. After a photo or two was taken by French’s team, the couple/trio walked to the stairs leading from the stage to the floor for a couple of more photos.

David Vaughan and Emily Vaughan

Will Cohn, Elizabeth Matthews and Tyler Doshier

Stan Gardner, Andrew Hatfield, Aspen Moraif and James Diamond

Perhaps the memory maker of the night was the presentation of Abby Loncar on the arm of her brother Patrick Long. Despite the Loncar family’s recent losses, it was obvious from the response of the entire audience that the community was truly rallying around Abby.

Abby Loncar and Patrick Long

After the final deb Maria Yoder and her brothers/escorts (James Yoder Jr. and Peter Yoder) left the stage, the entire stage was filled with the 2017 debutantes and their Honor Guard escorts, to a standing ovation.

2017 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball debutantes and escorts

Stan then asked the guests to stay in place as Don Averitt and Mark Averitt directed the deb mothers, who had been seated on the aisles, to the lobby’s dance floor. The fathers, who had been seated in rows along the Orchestra Terrace, also departed to join their wives.

Wendy Kumpf, Simona Beal and Karen Jones

As anxious parents waited for their daughters to arrive at the dance floor, the rest of the guests filled the overhead balcony and lobby to see the first dances. Thanks to coordinators who served as traffic cops, a walkway through the crowd was created to allow the escorts to bring the debs to the floor.

Gabby Crank

Bailey Turfitt

Once there, the escorts peeled off and the debs sought their smiling parents. The debs looked so very relieved to have the bow over with, and the fathers looked a bit apprehensive about the next part of the evening — the first dance of the night. But the dads and debs had nothing to fear. Despite the crowded dance floor with the white billowing gowns, it was rather dreamy. Then the conditions got even more jammed with the escorts and mothers joining the debs and dads for a Glenn Miller tune, thanks to the Jordan Kahn Orchestra.  

Dancing debs and dads

While some continued to fill the dance floor, others headed to their tables for a salad (medley of baby greens, purple beets, goat cheese, walnuts and herbal vinaigrette dressing), entrée (grilled herb crusted beef filet with sherry reduction sauce, seasoned-roasted potatoes, tri-color carrots and steamed asparagus) and dessert (raspberry mousse tart and white and dark chocolate tower Swiss roll).

For more photos of bowing, dancing and beautiful peeps, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball

2017 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball debutantes and escorts

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball blends youth with tradition for the benefit of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. On Saturday, February 18, 35 young women in white ball gowns made their debuts to the approval of their families and the cheers of their friends at the Meyerson.

Stephen Jones and Caroline Jones

Of course, it helped to have loads of Honor Guard chaps in white tie and tails to escort them from the stage and on to the dance floor in the lobby.

Dancing debs and dads

While the post is being prepared, check out the 60+ pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.  

The Slipper Club Presents A Record-Breaking Check Of $116,621 To Rays Of Light Thanks To Its Beyond The Mask Gala

If the sound of something breaking was heard last night, it was the Slipper Club’s presenting a record-breaking check of $116,621 to the organization’s 2016-2017 beneficiary, Rays of Light.

Caroline Baliker, John Bonadelle, Billy Nayden, Chelsea Parish, Stephanie Tatum and Billy Machina*

The funds were the result of fundraising efforts throughout the year, especially the 21st Annual Gala and Silent Auction — “Beyond the Mask.” Held on Saturday, February 4, the black-tie gala at the Omni Dallas had more than 800 guests in attendance, including leadership of the various men’s social club (Idlewild, Calyx and Terpsichorean), past and present Idlewild debs and others like Caleb Powell, Stephanie Smartt, Jillian Mock, Abbey Mock, Maddie Beckham, Kelly Gillespie, Fallon Bock, Porter Fuqua, Walter Spradley, Travis Andres, Anna Alaback, Chloe Reed, Leslie Ingram, Lauren Metzel, Camille Sokolosky, Blaire Metcalfe, Heather Trumpfeller, Alex Bjornnes, Caroline Baliker, John Bonadelle, Billy Nayden, Chelsea Parish, Stephanie Tatum, Billy Machina, Elizabeth Metzger, Hartley Hobson, Carley Nelson, Mary Valuck, Caroline Hanson, Heather Trumpfeller, Trevor Cadigan, Houstoun Waring, Charlotte Barnett, Jake Winstel, Sam Fritsch, Alex Spinazzola, Patrick Harris, Courtney Quinn, Madeline Buckthal, Meredith Allen, Kamel Brakta, Mandy Morgan, Minette Morgan, Ali Morgan, Evan Weir, Julie Butkus, Lauren Sears, Lily Kramlich-Taylor, Peter Whaley, Lily Kramlich-Taylor, Meredith Allen and Slipper Club President Morgan Madison.

Caroline Estes and Morgan Madison Wade*

Meredith Allen and Meg Sokolosky*

According to Gala Chair Meg Sokolosky, “This year was really unbelievable, not only in terms of breaking the record for money raised for a beneficiary, but also getting to volunteer our Friday nights with the children of Rays of Light and seeing directly how we will impact these children and the organization.”

Dedicated to providing free, quality respite care for families with children with special needs, Rays of Light hosts Night Lights that “gives the parents the opportunity to have four free hours and the children get four hours of socialization and interaction.”

Congratulations to the ladies of Slipper Club and their masked friends for breaking a record.

* Photos provided by Slipper Club of Dallas

19th Annual Bishop’s Gala Had New Dallas Bishop Edward Burns In The Spotlight And Huey Lewis And The News On Stage Setting The Pace

Justin Bieber could have taken a lesson from Dallas’ new man-of-the-hour Catholic Bishop Edward Burns. As more than 1,000 guests gathered in front of the Omni’s Dallas Ballroom for the 19th Annual Bishop’s Ball on Saturday, January 28, the crowd seemed bigger than ever. Perhaps it was due to the get-the-action-going Huey Lewis and the News, but lights, cameras and handlers were buzzing as Dallas’ new bishop arrived for the Catholic Charities fundraiser.

Steve and Betty Suellentrop, Edward Burns and Kathleen and Dave Woodyard

Earlier in the evening, Burns had been part of a VIP reception upstairs with Co-Chairs Betty and Steve Suellentop, Kathleen and Catholic Charities CEO Dave Woodyard and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who was doing double duty at the Omni. After the private reception, Mike held a press conference in another part of the hotel to “make a statement and answer questions from the media” regarding the barring of certain immigrants at DFW Airport.

Admittedly the bishop looked a little amazed at all the hullabaloo, but with red cheeks and a true Irish grin, he smiled and accommodated all.

When asked what his former parishioners in Alaska thought about his move to Dallas, he flashed a killer smile and said, “Some people in Alaska think I’m being downsized!”

Bernie Gonzalez, Mary Drummond, Anna Salcedo and Reid Hatzmann

Rod Boudreaux, Charles Grahmann and Gwen Boudreaux

Barbara and Steve Landregan

As Burns was ushered through the crowd, including volunteers from Ursuline and Jesuit, past Dallas Bishop Charles Grahmann was greeted by friends like Gwen and Rod Boudreaux and Barbara and Steve Landregan. (Steve wrote Grahmann’s bio, “To Walk Humbly With Your God.”) The 85-year-old Grahmann felt right at home among the crowd and looked spry. He attributed it to his receiving dialysis three times a week. In fact, in seeking medical advice from Houston healthcare experts regarding a transplant, he was told the dialysis treatments were right on point and that he should continue with them and skip the transplant.

Since retiring in 2007, Grahmann has been living at a retirement center outside of San Antonio. It’s so pastoral that the deer come to the window and don’t mind being hand-fed.

But that quiet calm was anywhere but in the ballroom when Huey and his crew spread the “power of love.”

JUST IN: Lisa And Clay Cooley To Chair 2017 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala With Yo-Yo Ma As Featured Musician

The day is already starting with breaking news. This announcement comes from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra about its 2017 DSO Gala on Saturday, September 16. DSO President/CEO Jonathan Martin just revealed that Lisa and Clay Cooley will be co-chairing this year’s black-tie gala at the Meyerson.

Clay and Lisa Cooley (File photo)

According to Jonathan, “We are delighted that Lisa and Clay have agreed to chair this year’s gala. Their philanthropic work in Dallas is strongly recognized in our community, and we know they will lead an event that will be a night to remember.”

Among the Cooleys’ numerous philanthropic involvement are The Crystal Charity Ball, The Cattle Baron’s Ball, The American Cancer Society, The Family Place, New Friends New Life, Family Gateway, American Heart Association, The Dallas Opera, Callier Center for Communication Disorders, St. Mark’s School of Texas, The Hockaday School and Southern Methodist University.

The gala event is considered the fall season opener for black-tie fundraising with photographers hustling to snap the elegant crowd during the reception preceding the seated dinner in the Meyerson lobby and the concert in the Eugene McDermott Concert Hall.

But there’s still more news from Jonathan! Internationally renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will be the guest musician performing the Dvořák Cello Concerto with DSO Music Director Jaap van Zweden and the DSO. 

Japp van Zweden and Yo-Yo Ma (File photo)

Jonathan said, “There is no bigger soloist in classical music than Yo-Yo Ma. He is revered for his musicianship as well as his commitment to education. We are so pleased that he will be the Gala guest artist to kick off and celebrate the 10th and Farewell Celebration Season of Music Director Jaap van Zweden.”

Yo-Yo is a perfect pick. In addition to being over-the-top brilliant with a bow, he’s incredibly fun and, like the Cooleys, has a killer smile.

There are three opportunities to join the fun:

  • For full blown gala tickets, table purchases and gala sponsorships, contact Tab Boyles at 214.871.4045.
  • If you’re a season subscriber or were thinking about it, you can purchase concert/after-party tickets starting Saturday, February 11.
  • Single tickets for non-subscribers will go on sale Wednesday, April 12.

For a complete read of all the deets, follow the jump for the full release. Then get your reservations in and go shopping for that pretty new frock. [Read more…]

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

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

Dan Mosher and Reginald Luster

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

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

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

Spring

Winter

Autumn

Summer

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

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

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

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

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

Robyn and Don Conlon

Crawford and Janet Brock

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

Lisa Cooley

Michal Powell

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

Pam Busbee

Alicia Wood

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

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

Tucker and Rich Enthoven

Lisa and Kenny Troutt

Amit and Liat Berger and Stacy and David Blank

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

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

Pete and Caren Kline and Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins

Robin and Debby Robinson

Chris and Connie O’Neill

Billy and Heather Esping

Mimi and Rich Sterling

Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse

Bill and Margo Goodwin

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

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

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

Caroline Rose Hunt and Del Frnka

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

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

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

Crystal Charity Ball dining table

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

Monogrammed napkin

Jerry and Kelli Ford

Truman and Anita Arnold

Gail and Gerald Turner

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

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

Randall and Kara Goss

Sherwood Wagner and Todd Clendening

David and Anne Sutherland

Aileen and Jack Pratt

Jason and Laura Downing and Brooke and Aaron Shelby

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

Suzanne and Jim Johnston and Angela Nash

Norma Hunt

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

Simply Irresistible

Kevin Dahlberg and Francie Moody-Dahlberg

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

Mary Clare Finney and David Nichols

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

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

 

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Crystal Charity Ball

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

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

Pam Busbee

Spring

Lisa Cooley

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

Crystal Charity Ball dining table

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

MySweetWishList: Junior League Of Dallas 2017 Ball

According to Junior League of Dallas (JLD) 2017 Ball Chair Isabell Novakov and Honorary Chair Karen Shuford,

Isabell Novakov (File photo)

Isabell Novakov (File photo)

Karen Shuford (File photo)

Karen Shuford (File photo)

“The JLD’s wish this holiday season is for the community to make plans to join us for the 55th Junior League of Dallas Ball, themed ‘Encore,’ which will be held on Saturday, March 4, in the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole Hotel.

“This year’s Ball theme, ‘Encore,’ will celebrate and pay tribute to our dedicated past ball chairs who are now serving as Sustaining Advisors. We plan to showcase past balls and bring back elements of our history once more for this ‘Encore’ presentation.

Junior League Of Dallas Ball "Encore"*

Junior League Of Dallas Ball “Encore”*

“For 95 years, the League has played a pivotal role in shaping the Dallas community. This milestone achievement commemorates our agencies, and, above all, our committed donors and membership. By purchasing a ticket or sponsoring a table, you allow the opportunity for us as a League to further serve the city of Dallas by cultivating leaders who collectively address the critical needs of our community. 

“In the spirit of this year’s theme, the ball will feature musical numbers from past ‘JLD Follies’ and the upbeat Georgia Bridgwater Orchestra will provide late night entertainment.

“For individual tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.jld.net or contact the JLD Development Office at 214.357.8822, Ext. 118, for more information.

“We hope to see you there!”

-By Isabell Novakov and Karen Shuford, 2017 Junior League of Dallas ball chair and honorary chair, respectively

* Graphic provided by Junior League of Dallas

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Night Of Stars

Monique Lhuillier fashions

Monique Lhuillier fashions

The Fashion Group International‘s Night Of Stars had all the signs of stellar event on Friday, November 4, at Fashion Industry Gallery (F.I.G.). Among the heavy weight attendees were designer Monique Lhuillier and her adorable husband Tom Bugbee and newlyweds Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch, as well as local fashionable types like Nancy Rogers, Brian Bolke, Sue Gragg, Lynn McBee, Ken Downing and Allan Knight.

Niven Morgan, Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch

Niven Morgan, Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch

No wonder FGI Regional Director Chuck Steelman and Event Co-Chairs Rachel Roberts and Britt Harless had produced a sold-out event! While the post is being prepped, check out the fashions and faces of the night at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Just 48 Hours Before His Accident, Chef Kent Rathbun Was Heading Up The March Of Dimes Signature Chefs Dinner

The fall temperatures weren’t the only things in the “change mode” on Thursday, November 3, While the Flora Award Gala black-tie set were celebrating adorably cute couple Myrna and Bob Schlegel at Texas Discovery Gardens, the short-skirted, stiletto types were grazing over at the Hilton Anatole for the March of Dimes’ Signature Chefs Dinner.

Despite years past of partying at the Omni, the 500+ crowd owned the Chantilly Ballroom with Lady Lucy Wrubel at the musical helm. And it truly was the type of music to diner with and bid on.

Lucy Wrubel

Lucy Wrubel

Alina and Ruben Esquivel

Alina and Ruben Esquivel

Fraser and Rhonda Marcus

Fraser and Rhonda Marcus

Andrea Weber

Andrea Weber

As Diane and Hal Brierley, Laura Moon, Andrea Weber and Rhonda and Fraser Marcus sampled around the room that was lined with chefs like Jim Severson, Gilbert Garza, David Hoblen, Janice Provost, John Tesar, Chad Houser, Nicolas Blouin and Elvis cooking up a storm, Chief Chef Kent Rathbun had his arm around longtime cooking pal Aaron Staudenmaier. While Kent was pulled away to talk with another pod of pals, Aaron remembered how sad Kent had been when the kerfuffle with his business partner had taken place. But Aaron quickly added, “But Kent is strong.”

Hal Brierley, John Tesar and Diane Brierley

Hal Brierley, John Tesar and Diane Brierley

David Holben

David Holben

JIm Severson

JIm Severson

Elvis

Elvis

Gilbert Garza

Gilbert Garza

Aaron Staudenmaier and Kent Rathbun

Aaron Staudenmaier and Kent Rathbun

Little did Aaron or Kent know that just 48 hours later, Kent’s strength would be put to the test following a devastating ATV accident in Marfa that resulted in his being air-lifted to Odessa and then Parkland with punctured kidney, fracture vertebrae and 27 ribs.

We are pleased to report that thanks to outstanding medical care, wife Tracy Rathbun’s constant presence and the support of family and friends, Kent made it home in time for Thanksgiving.  

JUST IN: Crystal Charity Ball Sneak Peek Hints Of Saturday Evening’s Galore And Norma Hunt’s Great And Generous Tastebuds

This year’s Crystal Charity Ball theme may have had some scratching their heads how CCB Chair Christie Carter and Event Producer Tom Addis would pull off the theme – “To every thing there is a season.”

But, sneaking a brief gander at the layout in the Hilton Anatole, it’s evident that they gonna pull it off with all four seasons in array.

The silent auction will take place amid the autumn colors; the spring will bust loose with loads of seating against a backdrop of bluebonnet blue and plenty of food; and the gaming operation and goodies will be decked out in summer sojourn.

As for winter, that baby is decked out in the Chantilly Ballroom with rose gold tables surrounding a musical symphony against a backdrop of video snowfall. Gee!

Among the many sussies on hand is one from ever-sweetheart Norma Hunt. In addition to being ageless, Norma has become a world-class vintner. The former schoolteacher’s Perfect Season from Knight Valley wines has achieved accolades from the newbies as well as the true wine aficionados.  

According to Robert Parker, Perfect Season achieved a 95-point rating with the description, “The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Bidwell Creek Vineyard is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot aged 18 months in 75% new French oak. It’s a beauty with lots of blackberry and cassis fruit, licorice, incense and camphor. It is ripe, full-bodied opulent and already showing exceptionally well.”

Norma Hunt's "Perfect Season" wines*

Norma Hunt’s “Perfect Season” wines*

Well, golly! That sounds like the ultimate in date descriptions.

But back to Norma: Blending her love for kiddos and expertise in grape growing, she has donated 300 bottles of wine for purchase due to the event’s theme. Smart girl!

But wait! Don’t go thinking that you’re going to bid against your buds for the trio. The bottles are not part of the silent auction. Instead, they are just for a “go-straight-to-purchase” with the proceeds going to children’s area charities.

For $375, you take home three bottles of the vino as you leave the mega event.

If you have any questions about where and how to get to Norma’s wine, just ask the folks at the check-in and they’ll direct you to the spot in the season for purchasing a trio of Perfect Season.

* Photo provided by Crystal Charity Ball

 

JUST IN: Claire Emanuelson To Chair 2018 Crystal Charity Ball

The letters are hitting The Crystal Charity Ball member mailboxes today with the name of the 2018 Crystal Charity Ball chairperson — Claire Emanuelson.  

Claire Emanuelson

Claire Emanuelson

As a member of the Crystals since 2007, she has chaired the organization’s Children’s Book and the CCB Fashion Show and Luncheon, as well as co-chairing the Silent Auction and Special Gifts and Ball Reservations committees. For the 2016 ball, she is serving as the Underwriting Chair. In addition to being chair-elect in 2017, she will also be the Ball Decorations Chair.

But Claire’s involvement in Dallas has not been limited to CCB. Among the events she’s chaired over the years are the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon, Vine And Dine, Stiletto Strut and Palm Night. She has also founded and chaired the UTSW Friends of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and is on The Family Place Foundation and the Clayton Dabney Foundation for Kids With Cancer Advisory boards. 

A New Orleans native with a business degree from Louisiana State University, Claire and her husband Dwight Emanuelson have two sons, Hillis Emanuelson and James Emanuelson.

According to the 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella and 2017 CCB Leadership Selection Chairman Debbie Oates, “Claire’s extensive experience in the Dallas community, her proven ability to raise significant funds, her generous nature, intellect and commitment to The Crystal Charity Ball will ensure continued success for The Crystal Charity Ball.”

BTW, she’s smart. She’s has fabulous taste. She’s funny. She’s tireless. And she wouldn’t admit to any of that.

JUST IN: 2017 Art Ball Co-Chairs Ann And Lee Hobson Announce Gala’s Theme And Deets

Ann Hobson

Ann Hobson

Leave it Dallas Museum of Art 2017 Art Ball Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson to know the perfect setting to announce plans for the 2017 Art Ball benefiting the Dallas Museum of Art. Last night, they borrowed interior designer Cathy Kincaid Hudson’s way too adorable “cottage” for the announcement party that was filled to the rafters. The full write up is yet to come, but here is the news.

The theme for the Saturday, April 22nd fundraiser at the DMA will be “All That Glitters,” but don’t go thinking John Travolta and mirrored balls. Rather, dream about the romance of spring in Paris and envision the sights, sounds and fragrances.

Flowers in a Vase With Two Doves by François Lepage*

Flowers in a Vase With Two Doves by François Lepage*

It’s a perfect tie-in with the DMA’s “most recent acquisition, ‘Flowers in a Vase with Two Doves,’ by 19th-century French painter François Lepage.”

Event producer Todd Fiscus will be handling the interpretation of the theme for the evening’s black-tie gala at the DMA including “a cocktail hour inspired by one of the Champs-Élysées’ most iconic landmarks, The Grand Palais.”

And what would a Paris-themed event be without delicious food? Not to worry. Cuisine queen Cassandra will be in the kitchen cooking up a storm for “a lavish multi-course seated dinner.”

Ah, and, of course, just a touch of mystery was hinted at about the after-dinner activities. Though, the indication is for “Texas-sized surprises.”

The Hobsons picked the perfect worldly types — Merry Vose and Rajan Patel — to curate the live auction.

According to Ann, “I’m very proud to be part of an event that supports the DMA, especially its commitment to free general admission, access, and educational programming.  All of the money raised by the Art Ball goes to toward the operating budget that supports access to art. Unfettered access to art is a cause that is very near to my heart, and it is my hope that this year’s Art Ball will allow us to share the Museum’s beautiful collection and educational resources with more visitors than ever before in 2017.”

* Graphic provided by Dallas Museum of Art

SPCA Of Texas’ Fur Ball Was A Howling Success And A Purr-fect Delight Despite A Glitch In A Donkey Offering

Sometimes the best intentions have a glitch or two. And when you’re dealing with animals, it usually ends up bringing smiles to the face or chuckles. Such was the situation at the SPCA of TexasFur Ball on Saturday, September 24, at the Omni Dallas Hotel. It seems that the evening’s emcee offered to be photographed wearing a faux donkey’s head with the winning bidder. The price? A four-figure number. Alas, things didn’t go as planned as the offer dwindled down eventually to a lower three-figure number. While that “asinine” situation didn’t make it to the following report from the field, the evening was indeed memorable anyhow, thanks to Chair Phyllis Comu:

The SPCA of Texas’ Fur Ball 2016, “Shedding Light on Their Future,” was held on Saturday, September 24 from 6:30 p.m. to midnight at the Omni Dallas Hotel. The elegantly futuristic, totally sold-out, black-tie evening included dinner, dancing and live and silent auctions for over 1,100 guests. Chair Phyllis Comu announced that thanks to the generosity of sponsors, patrons and guests, Fur Ball 2016 raised funds to help the SPCA of Texas serve 50,000 animals and their people in 2016 and beyond.

Steve Kemble, Rhonda Sargent Chambers and LeeAnne Locken*

Steve Kemble, Rhonda Sargent Chambers and LeeAnne Locken*

Guests were greeted with passed bubbly and savory hors d’oeuvres as they made their way up to the Omni’s Dallas Ballroom. During cocktail hour, elegantly clad ladies and gentlemen walked the purple carpet and chatted with Emcee/Real Housewives of Dallas LeeAnne Locken and America’s Sassiest Lifestyle Guru Steve Kemble about everything from what they were wearing to why supporting the animals is so important.

Kelly Thompson*

Kelly Thompson*

Also, a three-piece combo from Limelight jazzed it up and a whole passel of puppies from the SPCA of Texas’ iFoster program (all spayed and neutered!) romped and played as they were cooed over and petted by the glittering guests. Competition was fierce at the over 300-item silent auction, which featured everything from sports memorabilia, fabulous spa packages, high-end jewelry, dining experiences (from the fun to the fine) and so much more.

Cathy Vieth, Shane Walker and Tommy Vieth*

Cathy Vieth, Shane Walker and Tommy Vieth*

Each beautifully appointed table was graced with gorgeous, glowing floral centerpieces thank to Flower Reign by Shane Walker. The delightful dinner included the Space Station Stack Salad with heirloom tomatoes, Buffalo mozzarella and basil with a balsamic drizzle and an herb-seared petite filet of beef and prosciutto as well as a spinach- and mushroom-stuffed chicken breast with sweet potato, broccolini, baby carrot, acorn squash and blistered cherry tomato with bourbon sauce. The delicious dessert, the Galaxy Tartlet, was blackberry-filled shortbread with sage mint gel, peppercorn Chantilly and was dusted with edible glitter.

Katy Murray*

Katy Murray*

Emcee LeeAnne put the fun into fundraising with her energy and love of animals. SPCA of Texas President and CEO James Bias welcomed guests, staff and volunteers, thanked sponsors and shared with guests the important work the SPCA of Texas will be bringing to South Dallas in the future to help transform the community for people and animals, improving public safety and providing for the welfare of animals. SPCA of Texas Board Chair and Chief Financial Officer for A. H. Belo Corporation Katy Murray thanked the board of directors for their guidance and spoke about how the SPCA of Texas’ staff, volunteers and partners are intently focused at all times on saving lives, making a difference and never resting until the organization makes our community a better place for people and their pets.

The SPCA of Texas also presented the 2016 Spencer Humanitarian Award during Fur Ball. Named for warm-hearted entrepreneur and long-tenured, past SPCA of Texas Board member Mary Spencer, the Spencer Humanitarian Awards recognize an individual, company or group whose extraordinary efforts have made a positive difference for animals. Mary presented the 2016 recipient of the Spencer Humanitarian Award to Karen Urie, a dedicated SPCA of Texas volunteer, board member and animal advocate. Karen’s voice for animals speaks loud and clear, and the SPCA of Texas is indeed fortunate to have her support. Karen Urie is currently a real estate agent and internal marketing consultant with Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate.

Senior Vice President for Development Debra Burns wrapped up by thanking guests, celebrating the generosity of North Texans for their gifts to the SPCA of Texas on North Texas Giving Day, just two days prior, and bringing home why supporting the SPCA of Texas is so important to change the lives of thousands of animals, especially those living in poverty.

Guests then bid often and bid high on the evening’s nine fabulously over-the-top live auction items and “Pony Up for Paws” raise the paddle feature. High-rolling patrons won delicious dining experiences, glamorous getaways, a stunning black diamond ring, decadent cases of wine and more. The top three live auction items of the evening were all once-in-a-lifetime experiences. One of these was a two day, two-night package for four to the world-renowned animal sanctuary, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, complete with personalized tours and more.

Another was a total surprise! Michael “Mico” Rodriguez generously, and on the spur of the moment, gave a 100-guest dinner, complete with tequila tasting and more, to the auction, and the package just about brought the house down! And, the biggest wow of the live auction came when Auctioneer Mike Jones announced the final package of the evening: 12 luxury suite tickets to Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Adele’s sold-out performance on November 2nd!

Fur Ball 2016 then brought the high-voltage fun with headline entertainment by Dallas’ ultimate party band, Limelight. Guests rushed the dance floor and partied under a stunning, purple-lit chandelier that twinkled like a thousand stars until after Midnight.

Kristen Greenberg, Sandra Fite and Phyllis Comu*

Kristen Greenberg, Sandra Fite and Phyllis Comu*

Fur Ball 2016 was a tail-wagging success thanks to honorary chairs D’Andra Simmons and Jeremy Lock, Anne and Steve Stodghill and Drs. Wendy and John Vandermeer; Chair Phyllis Comu; Co-Chair Kristen Greenberg; Auction Chair Sandra Fite; and event emcee LeeAnne Locken. The evening’s production was provided by Nomad Productions and RSC Show Productions. Photographers for the evening were Bret Redman and Gregory Martin.

The SPCA of Texas sincerely thanks special partners, including

  • Rescuer sponsor: Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones.
  • Defender sponsors: Linda Genneken, Marsha Pendleton-Gray and Richard Gray, Stacey and Don Kivowitz, Katy Murray, Patricia Villareal and Tom Leatherbury.
  • Patron Party Sponsor: Northern Trust.
  • Liberator sponsors: Diane and Hal Brierley, H-E-B/Central Market, Hill A. and Rene Feinberg, Hillary Hurst, Anne and Steve Stodghill and Sandra Urie.
  • Advocate sponsors: Alphagraphics at Market Center, Andrea Alcorn, BKD, LLP, CityVet, Earthwater/Phyllis & CJ Comu, Gwen and Leldon Echols, Sandra and Colin Fite/TEAM FITE-O, Gay and Lesbian Fund for Dallas, Robert Goldberg, Grand Spa, Kristen and Scott Greenberg, Dean Gresham and Caleb Hernandez, Ken Hatley, Teresa Henderson, Hollywood Feed, Robert C. Horne, Jimmy Choo, Jeri Kleiman, Jack Knox, Suzanne and David Palmlund, PwC, Joseph Quinn, Pam Ragon, Residences at the Stoneleigh, Steven Rivard, Law Office of Claire Collins Schwarz and Mary Spencer, U.S. Trust, Bank of America and Drs. John & Wendy Vandermeer.
  • Exclusive Print/Digital Media Sponsor: PaperCity Magazine.
  • Proud Official Wine Sponsor: Barefoot Wine and Bubbly and Edna Valley Vineyard.

Guests included Andrea Alcorn, Heidi and Bill Dillon, Fox 4’s Jenny Anchondo and Jennifer Meyers, WFAA-TV Channel 8’s Wex Houx and Monica Hernandez, Angie Barrett, Jocelyn White, Pamela Thompson Moayedi, Pamela Martin, Cynthia Smoot, Cathy and Tommy Vieth, Tricia Sims, Shane Walker and Billy Fulmer, Betsy Orton and Sharon Fancher, Brian Walker, Gus Hinojosa, Teresa and Chic Henderson, David and Carolyn Kubes, Pam Ragon, Danny Tobey and Patricia Villareal and Tom Leatherbury.

Fur Ball is DFW’s salute to the bond between people and their pets and a celebration of the SPCA of Texas’ important mission to provide every animal exceptional care and a loving home. All money raised through Fur Ball 2016 will go directly to the SPCA of Texas to help rescue, heal and find homes for thousands of animals.

Next year’s event is already in the works. Fur Ball 2016 will be held on Saturday, September 30, at the Omni Dallas.

* Photo credit: Bret Redman

2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Razzle-Dazzled With The Finest In Formal Fashions And Fundraising For Beautiful Music

As the near most perfect harvest moon rose like a magnificent balloon over North Texas with nary a cloud in sight, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Denise McGovern’s tootsies were worn out from doing non-rain dance on Friday, September 16. Despite predictions of pop-up and cluster showers sprinkled rain in the territory, none were spilling over the Meyerson.

Here was the scene for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala co-chaired by Marena and Roger Gault. Unlike years past, when AT&T was the presenting sponsor and the honorary chair was a politico, the Gaults decided to shift directions and have a hands-on, fun type be honorary chair. The pick was a hands-down Midland transplant Sherwood Wagner, who had set the mood with a kick-off extravaganza that had been the talk of the spring season.

Todd Clendening, Sherwood Wagner, Roger and Marena Gault, Gina and Tom Landry

Todd Clendening, Sherwood Wagner, Roger and Marena Gault, Gina and Tom Landry

Marena in a Patti Flowers creation was topped by a bigger-than-usual blond hairstyle. Fessing up, Marena said, “Sherwood did it. She said that the higher and bigger the hair, the closer to God.”

Midland transplant Sherwood on the other hand had her mama Lissa Wagner, who had flown in from Midland and was wearing a Fe Zandi gown. Admitting that she couldn’t have pulled off this black-tie extravaganza without her mom — “I called her five times a day!” — Sherwood proudly wore a magnificent diamond necklace with three diamond broaches that Lissa had given her over the weekend.

Marena, Roger and Sherwood joined the VIPs in the Hart Atrium for official photos. Organizers advised that Mayor Mike Rawlings’ not being in formal attire was due to his having to attend another event with the attire being T-shirt. As usual, Mike opted for the safe business-suit look.

Mike Rawlings, Sanjiv Yajnik, Sanford Weill and Jonathan Martin

Mike Rawlings, Sanjiv Yajnik, Sanford Weill and Jonathan Martin

Among those in the VIP reception were Capital One’s Sanjiv Yajnik plus Joan and Sanford Weill in from New York. Their presence was just another of the changes in the DSO Gala format. A “member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of the 2009 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy,” Sanford was being recognized at the Gala for “his unparalleled contributions to arts and education in the United States.”

Nancy Nasher and David Haemisseger

Nancy Nasher and David Haemisseger

Greg and Kim Hext

Greg and Kim Hext

Nelda Cain and Don Fischer

Nelda Cain and Don Fischer

Kara and Randall Goss

Kara and Randall Goss

Upstairs, the Renaissance Foyer was turning into a showcase of couture designs, jewelry and men in tailored tuxedos. Snapshots of the scene: Nancy Nasher, with hubby David Haemisegger, was in “everything Neiman Marcus from NorthPark,” natch, including a Prada dress and Brian Atwood shoes. (Quipped David: “I make my own clothes.”) … Kim Hext‘s gown was by Burberry, while husband Greg‘s tux was from J. Mendel. … Nelda Cain Pickens opted for Melinda Eng, while date Fr. Don Fischer was in Hugo Boss. … Kara and Randall Goss were a striking duo, as always, she in Rosie Assoulin and he in a tux by Brioni. The latter was a popular choice for the gents, with Blaine Nelson and Jim Keyes also opting for the Italian designer.

Fraser and Rhonda Marcus and Patti and Blaine Nelson

Fraser and Rhonda Marcus and Patti and Blaine Nelson

Sheila and Jody Grant

Sheila and Jody Grant

Jolie and Bart Humphrey

Jolie and Bart Humphrey

Rhonda Marcus was in an Amanda Wakeley, with Louboutin shoes; Sheila Grant chose a classy, pale-blue Oscar de la Renta number; and Jolie Humphrey selected a gown by a “new designer,” Osman, paired with Jimmy Choo shoes (her Bart was in Armani, also the choice of Jeff Byron). … Lynn McBee said she was in a gown by Minika “Ko — that’s an L.A. designer,” and solo, since husband Allan McBee was away for a seminar. … Meanwhile, a pair of foursomes swept in: the first included Lisa and Clay Cooley (she was in Michael Faircloth, with Oscar shoes) with Tracy and Ben Lange (she opted for Michael Faircloth as well, plus Jimmy Choos). The second foursome included Faith and Garrett Smith and Fay and Ken Moraif (she in a Carmen Marc Valvo).

Clay and Lisa Cooley and Tracy and Ben Lange

Clay and Lisa Cooley and Tracy and Ben Lange

Nick and Karen Adamson

Nick and Karen Adamson

Jeremy Lock and D'Andra Simmons Lock

Jeremy Lock and D’Andra Simmons Lock

Ross and Margot Perot

Ross and Margot Perot

Margo and Jim Keyes

Margo and Jim Keyes

Also spotted: Tanya and Pete Foster, Karen and Nick Adamson, D’Andra Simmons Lock (in Oscar) and Jeremy Lock (in a Zegna tux), Doris and Jack Jacobs, Margot and Ross Perot Sr., Erin Von Villas with her sister, Moody’s communications guru Salli Schwartz, and Gina and Tom Landry Jr. Asked for the names of their designers, Tom replied with a smile, “We’re not designer types.”

Over in the dining area, Margaret McDermott decided to bypass the VIP reception and headed her wheelchair straight to her table.

Dallas symphony Orchestra Gala dining room

Dallas symphony Orchestra Gala dining room

Margaret McDermott

Margaret McDermott

While the reception was indeed dressed to the hilt, one guest noticed a Dallas Fire and Rescue Team including Mark Breidenbach set up near the check-in. Their presence was just a fortunate precaution. Seems one guest was feeling under the weather and decided to take advantage of the team’s services and their stretcher.

Pretty soon the guests took their places for a meal and adjourned to the Eugene McDermott Concert Hall, where Sanford thanked the organizers for the recognition. He was followed by a performance by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Jaap van Zweden and highlighted by pianist Lang Lang.

Following the last note, Gala guests headed to the After-Party chaired by de Boulle first son/race car enthusiast Nick Boulle and Honorary Chair/DSO First Daughter Anna-Sophia van Zweden. MIA was DJ Lucy Wrubel, who traditionally has been in charge of the music at the late night festivities. The reason had to do with a class reunion.

An added touch for the feet that felt the punishment of stilettos dancing the night away on the Meyerson’s marble floors were foot massages provided by the Ritz-Carlton spa. Hopefully, Denise took advantage of the services following her successful non-rain dances of the day.

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery!

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala

Friday nights in the fall usually have North Texans in bleachers watching high school football games. Ah, but not on Friday, September 16. After an afternoon nappy-poo following the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show at Neiman Marcus Downtown, the beautiful people donned their finery for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala at the Meyerson.

Todd Clendening, Sherwood Wagner, Roger and Marena Gault, Gina and Tom Landry

Todd Clendening, Sherwood Wagner, Roger and Marena Gault, Gina and Tom Landry

Scott Cantrell’s review of the concert in The Dallas Morning News only described the fundraising gala patrons of the DSO as “well-dressed Dallas swells.” Ah, shoot! It was a heck of lot more “swell” than the classical music critic wrote.

Margaret McDermott

Margaret McDermott

Mike Rawlings and Joan and Sanford Weill

Mike Rawlings and Joan and Sanford Weill

But let’s leave Scotty to reviewing the audio features of the night. Instead, let’s just focus on the visuals and interaction of the local DSO supporters like Margaret McDermott and out-of-towners like Joan and Sanford Weill. After all, without those “swells,” there might not be any concerts to review.

For a look at some of Scott’s “swells,” check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery while the post is being prepared.

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #9: Front Row At The Bruce Wood Dance Gallery

Dallas’ Bruce Wood was nationally known for his choreography. He was known for having “an aesthetic that set his work apart. He drew his subject matter from human nature, distilling the ups and downs, and the loves and the losses of daily life into pieces that range from dramatic to comic, compassionate to hilarious, psychological to pedestrian.” With his untimely death in May 2014, there was great concern about his legacy. But Bruce Wood Dance Project President/Producer Gayle Halperin used Bruce’s inspiration to continue on. One of the results was the creation of the Bruce Wood Dance Gallery that Theater Jones described as “a cozy and atmospheric space” in the Dallas Design District.

For the TACA Custom Auction Gala, a performance at the Gallery will be presented along with a menu created by Texas’ favorite boot-scootin’ Chef Dean Fearing.

Like the Farm-To-Table, this very special event will be sold to 30 couples, so when it hits the auction bloc, raise those paddles high.

Front Row At The Bruce Wood Dance Gallery* (Value: $725 per couple**)

Front Row At The Bruce Wood Dance Gallery*

Front Row At The Bruce Wood Dance Gallery***

Experience an exclusive private performance on Friday, February 24, of select dance works curated by local dance maven and Bruce Wood Dance Project President Gayle Halperin, all while enjoying signature cocktails and hors d’oeuvres prepared by the “Father of Southwestern Cuisine,” Chef Dean Fearing.

  • Private performance featuring local dance artists at the Bruce Wood Dance Gallery in the Dallas Design District
  • Menu created and prepared by Chef Dean Fearing
* Courtesy of Fearing’s Restaurant and Gayle Halperin 
** Only sold in pairs, limited to 30 couples 
*** Photo provided by TACA

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #8: Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa

South Africa is known for its magnificent natural beauty and the most amazing animals roaming the earth. But there is so much more. For instance, from true African villages to breathtaking estates, it is a world that constantly amazes. Many are surprised to learn that just 30 minutes outside of Cape Town, there is the Cape Winelands region with its scenic vineyards that produce everything from “Rhone-style red wines to aromatic Sauvignon blancs.”

For the lucky winner of this TACA Custom Auction Gala package, a trip for two translates into a fabulous 10-night stay in “lodge-style accommodation” and tours that suggest bringing along your camera and your taste buds.

And if you haven’t gotten your tickets locked down for the TACA Custom Auction Gala, better scurry hurry. The places at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek’s dinner tables and paddles at Friday’s auction are getting scarce.

Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa* (Value: $32,350)

Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa**

Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa**

Experience the journey of a lifetime in South Africa. See some of the region’s most majestic creatures – including elephants, lions, and rhinos – up close from your deluxe Land Cruiser. Visit an authentic Swazi village, tour beautiful Cape Town, and explore the grand estates and lush vineyards of the Cape Winelands.

  • Guided photo safari tours for two at locations throughout South Africa, including the Kruger National Park, KwaZulu Natal, and the St. Lucia Estuary
  • Guided day-trip for two to the Kingdom of Swaziland
  • Wine tastings at vineyards in the Cape Winelands, South Africa
  • Ten-nights of deluxe, lodge-style accommodations and seventeen meals for two
  • Round-trip, business-class air transportation for two provided by American Airlines
* Courtesy of the American Fundraising Foundation and American Airlines 
** Photo provided by TACA

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #7: Sophisticated Evening At The Mansion

Talk about impressing your friends with a perfect night of wining and dining without the muss or fuss of a caterer invading your own home-sweet-home. Thanks to this TACA Custom Auction Gala package, for one night the legendary Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek will be your stand-in home, one where you’ll entertain eight of your BFFs in the Wine Cellar with a multi-course dinner. And, of course, each course will be enhanced with the perfect wine. Mansion trivia: The Wine Cellar was originally built as a vault for the family’s furs and silver.

After you bid a fond farewell to your well-fed guests, you’ll toddle on up to your deluxe guestrooms for a good night’s sleep. And to complete the perfect stay, you’ll take home a set of Chateau Baccarat crystal wine tasting glasses.

Sophisticated Evening* At The Mansion** (Value: $5,500)

Sophisticated Evening At The Mansion**

Sophisticated Evening At The Mansion***

Make Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek your home away from home. Share an elegant, multi-course dinner and hand-selected wine parings with your guests in the private Wine Cellar. Following dinner, spend a romantic evening in one of Rosewood Mansion’s deluxe rooms, and take home a set of exquisite Château Baccarat crystal wine tasting glasses as your souvenir.

  • Multi-course dinner for 10, with wine pairings, served in the Wine Cellar at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
  • Menu created and prepared by the Rosewood Mansion culinary team
  • One-night stay at Rosewood Mansion for the host couple
  • A set of Château Baccarat crystal wine tasting glasses for the host couple
* For date to be mutually agreed upon
** Courtesy of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dean Driver and 
Allen Dean Home 
*** Photo provided by TACA

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #6: Chairmen’s Favorite Things

The TACA Custom Auction Gala crowd is no stranger to the best dining and entertainment. Say “Hamilton,” and they’ve probably seen it before Lin-Manuel Miranda left the production. Say “masters” and the first thing that pops in their minds is a classic piece of art and not a golf tournament. Say “sautes, jetes, entrechat and cabriole,” and they know you’re not rattling off a French menu.

For these been-around-the-art-block types, this package is ideal. Betcha they’ve never had this experience that includes a multi-course dinner complete with wine for 22 on artist Oliver Clegg’s very unique revolving sculpture. Yup, it’s truly a moveable feast.

If your paddle is the last one up when Heritage Auctions’ Kimberly Serrano closes the bidding, your next challenge is going to be editing your list of supper buds.

Chairmen’s Favorite Things* (Value: Priceless)

Host a dinner party unlike any other, where you and your guests will enjoy a sophisticated “Joule” of a feast while seated at artist Oliver Clegg’s one-of-a-kind table sculpture, which will rotate periodically throughout the evening, housed in a rustic West Dallas warehouse.

  • Multi-course dinner and wine for 22 guests, served on Oliver Clegg’s “Until the Cows Come Home rotating table sculpture in Trinity Groves
  • Menu created and prepared by The Joule Hotel
* Courtesy of Oliver Clegg, Erin Cluley, The Joule Hotel and Terri Provencal 
** For date in Fall/Winter 2016 to be mutually agreed upon 

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #4: Shop And Dine

The curator for this year’s TACA Custom Auction Gala’s package is none other than Rachel Michell. So among her collection of luxurious, dreamy goodies would of course be something in the panache realm of retailing.

And leave it to Rachel to have more in this package that a panache shopping spree. The gal knows how to roll out the red carpet for the Rodeo Drive of Dallas. In addition to $3,000 purchase power with a personal shopper to show the ins and outs, there’s a multi-course tasting for eight complete with grown up libations. Suggestion: First do the shopping. Then show off your acquisitions at the Bistro 31 tasting. Your buds will be eaten up in envy that you topped the other bidders on Friday, September 23 at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

Shop And Dine* (Value: $5,500)

Shop And Dine At Highland Park Village**

Shop And Dine**

Spend the afternoon at one of North Texas’ premier shopping destinations. Visit any of the more than 40 luxury boutiques – including favorites like Alexander McQueen, Carolina Herrera, and Dior – with your own personal shopper. Then enjoy an elegant tasting menu at the French Riviera-inspired Bistro 31.

  • $3,000 in shopping spree
  • Up to three hours with a personal shopper
  • Four-course Chef’s Tasting Menu at Bistro 31, with cocktail and wine pairings, for eight
* Courtesy of Bistro 31 
** Photo provided by TACA

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #5: Live Painting At Samuel Lynne Galleries

When it comes to Dallas performing arts, some folks might wonder if visual art fits the description. Ah, but they haven’t see artist JD Miller in action. For ages, JD has mesmerized art lovers with his live painting exhibitions. So, it’s only natural that this lively creation should be one of the TACA Custom Auction Gala packages.

Ah, where is the perfect setting for such a happening? Why, JD’s home base at Samuel Lynne Galleries, of course. So why not make a party of the occasion. Invite 100 buds to watch the birthing of this tailor-made painting, complete with yummies from Sissy’s and wine from Ste. Michelle.

Live Painting At Samuel Lynne Galleries* (Value: Priceless)

Live Painting at Samuel Lynne Galleries**

Live Painting at Samuel Lynne Galleries***

Invite up to 100 guests for an intimate evening** at Samuel Lynne Galleries in the heart of the Dallas Design District. Watch as local artist JD Miller creates one of his signature 3D oil paintings live, while you and your guests enjoy hors d’oeuvres created by Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar and fine wines provided by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Afterwards, take home your new original JD Miller to add to your private collection.

  • Reception for up to 100 guests at Samuel Lynne Galleries
  • Menu created and prepared by Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar
  • Wines provided by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
  • Original oil painting created by JD Miller for the host
* Courtesy of Samuel Lynne Galleries and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates 
** Date to be mutually agree upon 
*** Photo provided by TACA

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #3: Live At The 2017 Emmy Awards

Television has come a long way since the black-and-white days of the stand-alone boxes without remote controls. Nowadays there is 24-hour news, breathtaking dramas and documentaries that bring the world to the drive-in-movie size flat screens throughout homes and even on smartphones.

No, it’s not your grandpappy’s TV world any longer and the industry’s awards have annually recognized the quality of such progress at the Emmy Awards.

Need proof? Then just watch Sunday’s 68th Emmy Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Then envision yourself as part of the audience for the 2017 presentation. But why not make that vision reality for you and your best boob-tube buddy by being the winner of this TACA Custom Auction Gala package on Friday, September 23?

Live At The 2017 Emmy Awards* (Value: $17,550)

Live At The 2017 Emmy Awards**

Live At The 2017 Emmy Awards**

Experience the glamour of Hollywood at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2017, where you and your guest will see your favorite celebrities from the silver screen. Enjoy a relaxing four-day, three-night stay in Los Angeles, including round-trip, business-class air transportation for two.

  • Tickets for two to the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2017 at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles
  • Three-night deluxe accommodations for two
  • Round-trip, business-class air transportation for two provided by American Airlines
* Courtesy of the American Fundraising Foundation and American Airlines 
** Photo provided by TACA

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #2: Farm-To-Table Dinner

This annual favorite TACA Custom Auction Gala package is the one that has some of Dallas’ top art-loving types sipping and supping in the Lavon Farm pasture on a Sunday afternoon. Instead of the usual highest bid winning, it’s open season with paddles being raised throughout the black tie gathering at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek on Friday, September 23.

This year’s package will be available for just 30 couples, so warm up your bidding arm and be prepared to compete to be one of the lucky pairs.

Farm-To-Table Dinner* (Value: $750 per couple**)

Farm-To-Table (File photo)

Farm-To-Table (File photo)

Enjoy a multi-course meal al fresco on Sunday, April 2, surrounded by the beautiful, pastoral expanse of Lavon Farms, a third-generation dairy farm tucked away north of Dallas. Chef Abraham Salum of Salum and Komali will create an unforgettable meal featuring locally-sourced ingredients, all accompanied by live entertainment.

  • Cocktails, appetizers, and family-style dinner service
  • Menu created and prepared by Chef Abraham Salum
  • Live musical entertainment
* Courtesy of Chef Abraham Salum and Lavon Farms 
** Only sold in pairs, limited to 30 couples