Crystal Charity Ball Platinum Dinner Kicked Off The 2017 Fall/Winter Fundraising Season With Friends, Food And A Flourish Of Photos

Well, yahoo! The fall fundraising season of 2017 kicked off with a surprise refresh for an annual event! Once again the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show Platinum Dinner took place at the Dallas Country Club. But it had all types of adjustments and they were rewarded with a manicured thumbs-up.

Sure, the evening of Tuesday, September 5, had a hint of a cool front. But it also was the day after Labor Day weekend, which is considered a tricky situation for most event planners since folks are just settling back into their post-summer routines.

Ralph and Barbara Babb and Shelly Slater and Clay Huffstutter

But as the crowd gathered in the reception lobby, it became apparent that the fears were unwarranted. While the 10 Best Dressed proved their stuff, the rest of the 270 guests held their own fashionably, too. One of the first on the scene was Dallas Cowboy head man Jerry Jones, who was immediately surrounded by Comerica’s first couple Barbara and Ralph Babb and emcee Shelley Slater and husband Clay Huffstutter. About 15 minutes later Gene Jones arrived, all in black, and asked someone if she was the first Jones on the scene. When she learned Jerry was already in the ballroom, she registered surprise: “I told him to be here at 7:15, and he listened to me.”

Gene And Jerry Jones and Charlotte Jones Anderson

Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse

Daffan Nettle and Pam Perella

Lee Bailey told Mike Wyatt and Niven Morgan that after waiting months—or was it years?—she had a brand new steering wheel for her Rolls… Shelby Wagner was back from the family country place with Niven and Claire and Dwight Emanuelson. Claire claimed it was a great getaway, thanks to the property’s six dogs that kept things lively… Ola Fojtasek came with her mom Jacqueline Fojtasek and jeweler Ross Ameringer… Also returning back to north Texas were Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse. According to Jerry, “We were getting cabin fever in Carmel.” When asked if they were still in newlywed status, Jerry didn’t hesitate, “No longer. We’ve been married 16 months,”… Others who had just returned to North Texas were Ann and Matt Schooler, from Utah, and Lee Ann and Alan White, from Aspen. Said Alan of the Colorado town: “When I hang it up, we might go there to live.”

Gary and Cindy Turner and Ann and Matt Schooler

Jacqueline Fojtasek

Christi Urschel

From the left: (back row) Vicky Lattner, Michaela Dyer, Ann Dyer, Emilynn Wilson, Di Johnston and Susan Roberds; (front row) Beth Layton, Linda Secrest, Nancy Carter and Angie Kadesky

Chatting it up, this crowd would have been happy as ducks in Exall Lake with just the cocktail party, but the chimes called them to the ballroom, which had never looked better. CCB Chair Pam Perella, Event Chair Christi Urschel and event planner Tom Addis had set up the floor plan with the entire wall at the far end of the room draped in sheer white curtains, along with bigger-than-life individual photos of the 10 Best Dressed (Anita Arnold, Delilah Boyd, Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Lisa Cooley, Tucker Enthoven, Pat Harloe, Julie Hawes, Amy Hegi, Piper Wyatt) and Hall of Famer Charlotte JA.

One 10 Best Dressed husband, upon spying the photos, chuckled that the photos of the husbands should be on the opposite wall.

When it came to sitting down, that exercise went into slo-mo until Shelly went on the PA advising all to settle down. Originally, WFAA’s Ron Corning had been slated to emcee the dinner. But just weeks before he had fallen in Santa Fe, resulting in a broken knee cap, surgery, cast/brace, crutches and rehab for weeks to come.

But Shelly’s call to chairs worked, and the show got underway, with Pam welcoming all and Ralph showing his and Comerica’s appreciation for the work of CCB.

Then Shelly introduced the 10 Best Dressed. As each woman stood, she was presented with a token of appreciation.

Shelly Slater

When it came time for the announcement of the Hall of Famer, Shelly first introduced past HoFers (Annette Simmons, Lee Ann White and Gene Jones). First announced was Lee Ann, who looked a bit startled upon hearing her name. She thought she was being called out, due to her talking with Gene during the introduction.

In a break from the program, Shelly told how she’d first met Charlotte. Looking at the Jones’ table on the front row, she then revealed that Jerry would be introducing his daughter.

Taking the podium, the Jones patriarch recalled having watched Charlotte caring tenderly for her babies year before, adding that, in order to gain the same empathetic feeling, “Every husband should have to be a father first.” 

Jerry Jones

Next Jerry looked at Charlotte and said, “You’ve been a part of the Dallas Cowboys since I fired Tom Landry!” (Then he murmured, jokingly, “I still can’t get a joke out of that.”) With that, though, he turned serious, remembering Charlotte’s important role in persuading NBC to televise the halftime, “Red Kettle” Salvation Army show during the Cowboys’ traditional Thanksgiving Day game broadcast. “That was probably the most important thing we’ve done as the Cowboys,” he added, “and we wouldn’t have gotten it done if not for you, Charlotte.” (Ever the businessman, he said that the TV time was probably worth $2 billion over the years.) Tearing up, Jerry said, looking at Charlotte: “We’re here tonight to honor you.”

With that, Charlotte, with husband Shy Anderson next to her, smiled and hugged her dad and received a standing ovation.

After that, the crowd settled down to a dinner of baby greens, shoestring cucumber, baby tomatoes, red onion, shaved Romano cheese and lemon thyme vinaigrette; grilled filet and herbed sea bass, roasted fingerling potatoes, cauliflower puree and heirloom carrots and wild mushroom ragout; and a dessert of chocolate caramel hazelnut gateaux.

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

Gratitude Has Been The Main Dish Over The Centuries On Thanksgiving Day

The tradition of Thanksgiving began in 1621 when two groups from different backgrounds (the Wampanoag Indians and the Plymouth pilgrims) came together to break bread. Any school child can tell how the Indians had literally helped the newcomers survive the challenges of the new frontier.

Robbie and Nancy Briggs (File photo)

Robbie and Nancy Briggs (File photo)

The colonists created the meal with “fowl” to show their gratitude to the Indians for helping them settle in this foreign land. In turn, the native Americans brought five deer to add to the meal. Due to a lack of microwaves and Wolf ovens, there were no pumpkin pies.

Today is such a day when people of different backgrounds come together. It’s people like Nancy and Robbie Briggs, who will be serving meals to the homeless. It’s an occasion when most will have their eyes on the annual Thanksgiving Parade and/or The Boys and the Redskins. It’s the morning that loads of folks will hit the stores as early as possible for bargains. It’s, unfortunately, for far too many calling a car “home.” 

May your blessings be many and shared with all you know and need to know.

Communities Foundation Of Texas Holds A Two-For-One Reception For Departing President/CEO Brent Christopher

Tuesday, June 28, was not only to be a farewell reception for Communities Foundation of Texas’ outgoing President/CEO Brent Christopher, it was also his 50th birthday.

But before all the brief remarks were made, the CFT reception area filled with bigwigs like Amy and Michael Meadows, Jeanne Tower Cox, Mike Rawlings, Rena Pederson, David Johnson, Cheryl Hall, Molly Bogen, Kevin Hurst, Jane Pierce, Bill Holston, Katherine Wagner, George Ellis, Gail Thomas and Jim Bass.  So, who said the boldfacers had evacuated North Texas for the 4th of July holiday?

Bill Holston, Rena Pederson and Larry Sall

Bill Holston, Rena Pederson and Larry Sall

David Johnson and Carol Goglia

David Johnson and Carol Goglia

Asked how the search for Brent’s successor was going, CFT Board Chair Frank Risch reported that it was going amazingly smoothly. Leaving the next day for the holiday weekend at the Risch home in Cape Cod, he admitted that the summer hiatus would not slow down the search efforts.

Frank Risch

Frank Risch

But Frank was soon at the podium recalling Brent’s 11-year tenure, which had accomplished the following:

  • the number of funds have grown 30+%
  • assets have grown 43%
  • CFT has received $900M in gifts
  • and granted close to $900M
  • his 11 years represents over half of the total grant giving we’ve done in the past 63 years
  • trained 46 social service agencies in data-driven decision making
  • nine agencies implementing our working families success model with over 1,000 clients
  • 50% increase in discretionary grant-making
  • the staff has tripled
  • has grown Educate Texas, and much more

He also told that when he assumed leadership of the Board, Frank had been directed to check out an envelope left in the CFT library by his predecessor, Fred Hegi. The enveloped contained a piece of paper reading, “Don’t lose Brent.”

But typical of Frank, he eloquently summed up Brent’s departure as both leaving CFT in very good shape and moving ahead in supporting North Texas as CEO of Children’s Medical Center Foundation.

Brent Christopher

Brent Christopher

On cue, a birthday cake in the shape of a mammoth bow tie with 11 candles (one for each year that Brent had worked at CFT) was rolled out. With a deep breath, Brent blew out the candles, thanked the guests and emphasized the importance of philanthropy in the North Texas community. In closing he quoted Teddy Roosevelt,

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

Brent Christopher

Brent Christopher

Wearing a bow tie reflecting CFT’s colors, he went on to say, “This is a community that dares mighty things. We don’t live in the gray twilight here in Dallas. It’s an extraordinary place to call home and it’s an extraordinary community to be part of. Thankfully, I’m not moving. I’m just going to be at another institution and look forward to being with you in countless ways for years to come. But for now I am standing between you and cake.”

Brent then returned to farewell handshakes and hugs.

DCAC Guests Enjoy A Private Concert At The Home of Amy And Kelcy Warren

It’s not every day that guests get to visit the palatial home of Amy and Kelcy Warren in Preston Hollow, or enjoy an intimate concert there in the Warrens’ private music room. But that’s just what about 60 people did on Tuesday, April 5, when the Warrens hosted a thank-you event for generous supporters of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, which serves abused children in Dallas County.

Among the guests welcomed by Amy and Kelcy and Lynn Davis, DCAC’s president and CEO, were Barbara and Steve Durham, Imad Anbouba, and Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones. Imad and Trevor work in the same industry as Kelcy, the billionaire founder of pipeline powerhouse Energy Transfer. Imad is on the board of one of Kelcy’s companies, and Trevor—another energy billionaire—shares an office building with Warren. The Warrens and the Rees-Joneses also share membership in DCAC’s Circle of Hope for major givers.

The busy Warrens were just back from a trip to Washington D.C., where Sheila and Jody Grant helped them celebrate Kelcy’s induction into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. The evening’s hosts were also getting ready for their annual Cherokee Creek Music Festival on their ranch just outside Cherokee, Texas, northwest of Austin. One of the performers at the festival, David Barnes, was also the featured attraction for the DCAC supporters this evening.

After enjoying drinks and hors d’oeuvres on the first floor of the Warrens’ 8,000-square-foot mansion (it formerly belonged to software magnate Larry Lacerte and his wife, Joyce), the guests moved upstairs to the mini concert hall to listen to Barnes, whom Amy and Kelcy had not heard in person before. The Nashville-based, Grammy-nominated rock/country/Christian singer-songwriter has released eight albums, including his most recent, “Carry On, San Vicente.” In 2011 Blake Shelton recorded David’s song “God Gave Me You,” which became Blake’s fifth No. 1 country hit.

Caren And Pete Kline Welcome Dallas Children Advocacy Center Supporters With A White Mercedes Up For Grabs

Kody Followill had only been with Park Place Mercedes-Benz a few months, but as if he had Ken Schnitzer by his side, he cared for the gleaming white car at the entrance of Caren and Pete Kline’s residence on Wednesday, March 23.

Park Place Mercedes–Benz GLC300W

Park Place Mercedes–Benz GLC300W

With guests arriving, Kody made sure that the flawless white mid-size SUV with steel gray interior and all the 21st century gadgets stayed absolutely perfect. If so much as a leaf dared to land on the vehicle, Kody made sure the stay didn’t last more than a second. His one regret was that he hadn’t brought a cloth to keep polishing the Mercedes. Good thing, he didn’t because Kody would have probably rubbed the finish off.

The reason for Kody and his wheels being parked for guests to check out was this sweetheart of the Mercedes lineup will be the raffle prize at the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center luncheon on Tuesday, April 26.

Paula Richmond, Caren Kline and Megan Steinbach

Paula Richmond, Caren Kline and Megan Steinbach

Inside, Caren was greeting one and all after attending the J. Erik Jonsson Luncheon earlier in the day. It was a memorable lunch according to Caren, who recalled honoree Terry Flowers describing his daughters as “pieces of my heart that walk outside my body.”

Pete Kline and Lynn Davis

Pete Kline and Lynn Davis

But on this night the occasion was focused on thanking those who had been so supportive of DCAC and another luncheon — Appetite for Advocacy. In the living room, Pete talked with Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s Lynn Davis, who, when asked about the raffle, said he could cut a deal. Instead of the $100 per ticket, Lynn could sell 100 tickets for $1000. Well, yeah!

Event Co-Chairs Paula Richmond and Megan Steinbach have arranged for TED standout Brené Brown to be the speaker at the luncheon that has changed locations, sorta. It’s still at the Sheraton Dallas, but it will be take place on the upper level opposed to the ground floor.

Piece of trivia: Brené will be flying in that morning and heading out after the luncheon. The reason for the quick visit is a promise she made her family. She would only stay one night a month away from home. Now, that’s a lady who has her priorities in place.

Fifth Annual Going For The Gold Gala Had Guests All Scrubbed Up To Celebrate Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing

Long gone are the days when nurses were women in starchy white uniforms with their hair in tight buns and wearing white stockings and white leather shoes. Today’s backbone of the healthcare industry is made up equally dedicated professionals, but they’re both men and women in colorful scrubs and running shoes and clogs. They are also facing daunting challenges in a world of infectious diseases, ever-changing developments and the “every-day routine” of improving the well-being of their patients.

Dallas’ own Baylor University Louise Herring School of Nursing is providing the education for this vital resource. But it’s not all work. Here’s a report from the field about its Fifth Annual Going for the Gold Gala:

On Saturday, February 27, the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing hosted its “Fifth Annual “Going for the Gold Gala” at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel to raise scholarship funds for student nurses and support the new nursing school building fund.

Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing students in green with Alice Starr, Noah Galloway, Ken Starr and Terrance Williams*

Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing students in green with Alice Starr, Noah Galloway, Ken Starr and Terrance Williams*

Honoring the service of our military and nursing veterans, the gala drew more than 800 guests. Serving as keynote speaker was Noah Galloway, a wounded Operation Iraqi Freedom U.S. Army war veteran hero as well as a finalist on the popular TV program, “Dancing with the Stars.” Noah shared about his second tour of duty, life-changing injury and the care of nurses throughout his recovery. Plus, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Saralinda Garcia (BSN ’10) shared her compelling testimony as a mother of five and LHSON scholarship recipient, having served 18 years in the Navy and as a medic during a tour in Iraq. In addition, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver and former Baylor Football All American Terrance Williams (BU ’13) was our special guest, along with Emmy award-winning WFAA-TV meteorologist and Baylor parent, Pete Delkus as emcee.

Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing students in green with Shlley F. Conroy and Louise Herrington Ornelas*

Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing students in green with Shelley F. Conroy and Louise Herrington Ornelas*

Celebrating the spirit of generosity, LHSON recognized Louise Herrington Ornelas as this year’s Grand Golden Star Benefactor. Judge Ken Starr, 14th President and Chancellor of Baylor University, expressed his heartfelt thanks for her transformational and long-standing commitment to the school that bears her name.

The LHSON is proud of the rich history of service, sacrifice and support for all branches of the Armed Forces. Baylor nurses have cared for soldiers in every armed conflict since the civil war. BU LHSON endeavors to prepare students for their calling. In keeping with their commitment to our veterans, and in honoring the rich history of veteran nurses at Baylor, the LHSON endorsed the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative, a nationwide call to rally around service members, veterans and their families and support them through wellness, education and employment opportunities. As part of this Initiative, BU LHSON commits to strengthening the curriculum and instruction students receive on topics related to veterans’ issues like traumatic brain injury, PTSD and other concerns that impact their wellbeing.

* Photos provided by Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing

Children’s Health System Of Texas CEO Chris And Christina Durovich Know How To Show Their Appreciation

Some folks send thank you notes, but leave it to Children’s Health System of Texas CEO Chris Durovich to show real appreciation. After all the holidays and New Year’s hoopla, he took advantage of the “down time” to thank those who had supported the Children’s Health efforts to providing area children with excellence in healthcare like Carol Seay, Cynthia Beaird, Katy and Ken Menges, Cyndi Bassel and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal.

Chris Durovich and Katy and Ken Menges

Chris Durovich and Katy and Ken Menges

Despite NFL football competitions and a Democratic showdown, Chris and his wife Christina Durovich hosted a thank-you affair for about 200 at the Dallas Country Club on Sunday, January 17. It was one of those gatherings that was so user-friendly that everyone seemed to know everybody in the room and the hosts were chatting it up with one and all.

Cyndi Bassel and Marnie Wildenthal

Cyndi Bassel and Marnie Wildenthal

Peter Lutken and John Eagle

Peter Lutken and John Eagle

John Eagle was going solo. Wife Jennifer Eagle was MIA. She was helping Eagle patriarch, Bob Eagle, move to his new digs at Edgemere. In discussing the move, John voiced concern about the challenges of the AARP set when it comes to falling.

Craig and Annette Leslie and Kern Wildenthal

Craig and Annette Leslie and Kern Wildenthal

Upon hearing John’s concerns, Peter Lutken admitted that he had been surprised about the death of a friend, who just a couple of weeks before had fallen and then succumbed to his injuries.

On the other hand, Craig Leslie was reporting that Leslie’s son, who had been holed up in a spot near Telluride, just might be thinking about returning to the Dallas nest.