JUST IN: Philanthropist Margaret McDermott To Serve As Honorary Chair For Dallas Symphony Orchestra 2017 Gala

The fall season of fundraising is already making news. Dallas Symphony Orchestra 2017 Gala Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley have just announced that North Texas matriarch of philanthropy Margaret McDermott will serve as the honorary chair for the Saturday, September 16, fundraiser at the Meyerson with world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma as the featured musician.

It will be a reunion of sorts. Just five years ago Yo-Yo performed with DSO Music Director Jaap van Zweden for the first time. Afterwards the two mega-stars joined Margaret at the post-concert reception.

Yo-Yo Ma, Jaap van Zweden and Margaret McDermott (File photo)

Alas, this performance may well be the final time Yo-Yo and Jaap will make beautiful music in the McDermott Hall, since Jaap is making his farewell tour as music director.

Tickets and sponsorships for the black-tie gala are available here!

In the meantime, why not check out the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Soluna? It’s going on now through Sunday, June 4.

Start Working Out Because A Weekend Of Fundraising Gala Collisions Lies Ahead

Côtes du Coeur (File photo)

Well, yuck! North Texas is preparing to have one of those fundraising collision weekends. Drat!

On Saturday, April 22, two major, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious events are taking place. The wine-loving types will be at the Omni Dallas for the American Heart Association graze and gaze with a corral full of chefs and more wines than California could produce for Côtes du Coeur thanks to Co-Chairs Kelly and David Pfeil.

Art Ball 2016 (File photo)

Over at the Dallas Museum of Art, new kid-on-the-block (aka Eugene McDermott Director) Agustin Arteaga will be introduced to fundraising Dallas-style with the 2017 Art Ball. With Art Ball Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson at the helm and the taste of romantic France via “All That Glistens,” it’s pretty darn obvious that it’s gonna be a night of killer fashions, food and fantastical auction items. The tent is already being erected next to the DMA.

Trammell S. Crow

2016 Children’s Cancer Fund (File photo)

And Friday is just as bad. Here, the EarthxGlobal Gala folks moved their big soiree from Saturday to Friday night to avoid the Art Ball/Côtes du Coeur traffic jam. Only problem: there’s still another mega fundraiser — Children’s Cancer Fund — taking place at the Hilton Anatole that night with kids and celebrities on the runway.

Oh, dear! What is one to do? Do two-a-night and then hit the after-soiree stop — Whataburger?

If either any of ‘em sounds to your liking instead of the same-old Friday and Saturday night sock-sorting and grilling steaks, there are still tickets available. Here’s the one for Côtes du Coeur and here’s the one for Art Ball. Either way you can win!

Horse racing (File photo)

BTW, if you think Sunday is gonna be any better, think again. The Retina Foundation‘s Racing for Sight at Lone Star Park is on a collision course with the Nasher Sculpture Center‘s Great Create.

The Great Create (File photo)

It just ain’t fair!

Turtle Creek Association’s Annual Fundraiser Will Offer A Home Tour Of Six Showplaces And An After Party Overlooking Turtle Creek

Boy, has the Turtle Creek Association lined up some incredible residences for its 2017 Home Tour. On Sunday, April 9, from 1 to 5 p.m., ticket holders will be able to check out the in-the-sky residences at 3525, The Claridge and Park Towers and the more down-to-earth homes on Turtle Creek Bend and Rock Creek Drive.

But wait! There’s more. The Association has also arranged for an after-party from 6:30 to 8:30 that evening at Greg Pearl’s and Ashley Akin-Pearl’s fabulous 6,500-square-foot residence nestled on nearly an acre overlooking Turtle Creek.

Greg Pearl’s and Ashley Akin-Pearl’s residence*

Originally the site of the late landscape architects Marie and Arthur Berger’s legendary mid-century home designed by O’Neil Ford in the early 1950s, it was replaced in the early 2000s by this outstanding French Normandy residence designed by Dean Smith and built by contractor/former owner George Pelletier. Hidden atop the hill from the street thanks to much of the Bergers’ originally landscaping, this is a hidden treasure that is rarely seen.

Providing the hors d’oeuvres for the after-party will be Chef Abraham Salum.

The two events are being ticketed separately, so here is the breakdown:

  • Afternoon tour — $60 for non-Turtle Creek Association members and $50 for members. Tickets purchased before Friday, March 31, are $54 for non-members and $45 for members.
  • After Party — A limited number of tickets are available at $125 per person on a first-come, first-serve basis.

According to Turtle Creek Association President/CEO Jennifer Schultz, “This year we are focused on featuring the art along the creek; all homes on the tour have spectacular art collections including regionally and internationally known artists. We deeply appreciate the homeowners who have so graciously opened their homes to our fundraising tour.”

Funds raised from the Home Tour and After Party will help preserve the Turtle Creek area’s 87 acres of greenways and parklands.

* Photo courtesy of Turtle Creek Association

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…]

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebrations Extend From Friday To Holiday Monday

Another federal holiday will have banks, government offices and most schools closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. But there is so much going on to celebrate the late civil rights leader. Here’s just a smattering of the events for your consideration:

  • FRIDAY, JANUARY 13 — Presented by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, the MLK Jr. Oratory Competition takes place at the Majestic Theatre from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It features fourth- and fifth-graders delivering three- to five-minutes original speeches. It’s free, but registration is necessary.
  • SATURDAY, JANUARY 14 — The 35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award Gala will get underway at the Fairmont Hotel with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and featuring Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough and special guests Laila Muhammad and Yolonda Williams. The Afterglow Event will follow the gala. Individual tickets are going for $85 for the gala and $20 for Afterglow Event.
  • MONDAY, JANUARY 16 — The 2017 MLK Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. at the intersection of MLK Boulevard and Holmes Street. It’s free for the viewing. Let’s hope the rain dries up in time for the bands to strut their stuff.
  • The 2017 MLK Symposium*

    MONDAY, JANUARY 16 — Presented by BaylorScott&White, the 12th Annual MLK Symposium: MLK’s Legacy: Issues of Social Justice in the 21st Century will feature presentations by journalist Jelani Cobb and #BlackLivesMatter Co-Creator Alicia Garza at the Dallas City Performance Hall from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance because they will not be sold at the venue.

* Graphic courtesy of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture

2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Made Some Tweaks To The POA Resulting In An Over-The-Top Fundraiser With Dwight Yoakam And Toby Keith

The 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball redefined the words Texas Proud on Saturday, October 15, at Gilley’s. Despite the MIA of Rogers, Hunts, Simmons and all the legendary names of giving, other philanthropists rose to the occasion of fighting cancer with funding.

Andrea Weber, DwightYoakmam and Cara French

Andrea Weber, DwightYoakmam and Cara French

In spite of Co-Chair Andrea Weber having given birth just two weeks earlier and Co-Chair Cara French having been hit by the making-the-rounds stomach virus, their game plan and committee of 100 rose to the occasion and impressed even the hard-to-impress oldtimers.  

Perhaps it was due to some rearranging of thangs. First of all, the decision was made to have two headliners perform — Dwight Yoakam on the Live Auction Stage and Toby Keith on the Andrews Distributing Main Stage. In the past, the evening had centered around one big name performer like Tim McGraw or Kenny Chesney on the Main Stage. This move was smart…very smart.

Dwight Yoakam

Dwight Yoakam

Another change in POA was having the VIP party take place in South Side Ballroom with the swells having their own private 30-minute concert provided by Dwight. In the meantime, the general admission types grazed on never-ending vittles, checked out the silent auction and rode the Ferris wheel. One Dwight devotee general admission guest was asked if he was disappointed about missing out on the private performance. His response, after he finished chewing a mouthful of food, was, “Heck, no. We’re having too much fun eating!”

At 7 p.m., the doors to the ballroom were open for all to catch the rest of Dwight’s performance.

Okay, so that’s what was going on publicly. Behind the scenes, just before Dwight went on stage, the VVIPs found themselves queuing up among the catering staff for their photo opp with Dwight. Behind the curtain, all was set up for a quick grip-and-grin including a box for the photogs to use. Seems Dwight prefers that arrangement. One onlooker suggested that it might be due to Dwight’s extra weight. Nah!

As the VVIPs lined up, word was passed that Dwight was present. He accommodated one and all except for one photographer’s request: “Could you raise your hat?” Dwight smiled and said, “No. People don’t want to see my eyes.”

But everybody wanted to see Dwight on stage and he did not disappoint one iota. Playing all his hits—from “Little Ways” and “Fast as You” to “Ain’t That Lonely Yet”—Dwight also performed several songs in tribute to the late Merle Haggard. Thanks to his performance, the energy was in “skyrocket drive.” Even the stuffiest types found themselves being part of the mosh pit.

Hal Brierley, Kent Rathbun, Diane Brierley, Kevin Garvin, Dean Fearing, Nick Barclay and Jim Severson

Hal Brierley, Kent Rathbun, Diane Brierley, Kevin Garvin, Dean Fearing, Nick Barclay and Jim Severson

Amy Turner and Stephen Ratchford

Amy Turner and Stephen Ratchford

It was the perfect warm-up for the live auction that took place almost seconds after Dwight and his crew left the stage. And what a live auction it was.

Hal Brierley hinted that he and wife Diane Brierley just might take a pass on the Smokin’ Chefs’ Silver Anniversary Dinner this year. They had already bought five or six in the past. Diane smiled. Perhaps Hal was doing a fake pass. Indeed! With chefs Kent Rathbun, Dean Fearing, Nick Barclay, Jim Severson, Kevin Garvin, David Holben and Richard Chamberlain on stage, the Brierley got into a bidding war with blonde, turquoise-wearing Amy Turner. Kent and the boys were determined to kick the final tab past the six-figure mark. After a brief huddle, the boys agreed to sell two dinners for $75,000 each. Someone recalled that this solution had taken place in past years, with the two dinners hitting the $100,000 mark.

Lisa Cooley

Lisa Cooley

Last year’s dinner co-winner Lisa Cooley had already won her party night earlier in the auction, by picking up the Texas-Sized Party At Gilley’s for 200, complete with Rivers And Rust, for $55,000. When asked how she planned to use the party time, she held up her two hands flashing five fingers on each. Hello? Come again. She’s going to use it for her upcoming 55th birthday.

Gail and Cliff Fischer

Gail and Cliff Fischer

The Bring Out The Big Guns! Package got a standing ovation, thanks to the presentation by Stand 2 Armory team made up of former Navy Seals, Army Rangers, Green Berets and Dallas SWAT, who would provide a day of shooting all types of machine guns for seven people. Said one of the guys, hyping the package: “Nothing says America more than guns, explosions, and curing cancer!” It went for $82,000.

But the big OMG number of the night was dropped by Cliff Fischer. He hit the $100K mark with a Texas-sized smile for the Steak You Claim On A Night With The Boys…. the boys being Troy Aikman, Charles Haley, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Darren Woodson and the steaks being courtesy of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Seems that Cliff bought the package last year, held it at his mansion-sweet-mansion, flew in folks from around the country and had one heck of a great time. This time he’s planning on doing it even bigger and better.

The bidding was so impressive that credit card companies were reeling from the numbers coming out of Dallas.

Of course, there was a bargain or two. For instance, Swiss explorer Johan Ernst Nilson told the crowd that the last time his Bhutan Adventure was put up for auction, it went for $170,000. Guess Dallasites aren’t into trekking through “the happiest place on Earth.” It was picked up for a measly $38,000.  

Mary C. Corrigan

Mary C. Corrigan

Andrea Nayfa, Dawn Greiner, Nancy Gopez and Kris Johnson

Andrea Nayfa, Dawn Greiner, Nancy Gopez and Kris Johnson

Brook Hortenstine and Paige Westhoff

Brook Hortenstine and Paige Westhoff

Samantha Wortley and Bina Patel

Samantha Wortley and Bina Patel

And that was just a snapshot of the live auction that ran right on schedule thanks to the Baronesses ringing those cowbells and auctioneers Wendy Lambert and Amy Assiter running a tight ship. In fact it finished early, so the folks could get back for seconds of food or hit the casino games that made Choctaw looked like a bingo parlor.

Luke Lange

Luke Lange

Toby Keith and gals in blue

Toby Keith and gals in blue

That was just enough time to amble next door to the bigger-than-a-small-town tent for Toby Keith on the Andrews Distributing Main Stage. Behind the scenes, the VVIPs lined up for a grip-and-grin with Toby. Despite the line seeming never to end, Toby howdy-ed everyone and even signed cancer-survivor Luke Lange’s cowboy hat.

Just after the last couple posed with Toby and he was headed to the stage, someone noted a couple of Dallas police standing nearby. Shoot! What was one more photo? Toby liked the idea and so did his crew and so did the policewomen. Picture snapped and Toby was on his way.

Like Dwight, Toby didn’t disappoint. It was as if more than 3,000 had all overdosed on Red Bull.

Toby Keith

Toby Keith

Still another change in operation this year was the line of security types stoically seated in front of the stage facing the thousands. This arrangement helped prevent a mosh pit from taking place and blocking the view of the peeps sitting at tables upfront.

And speaking of “change,” the CBB abacuses are still counting up the amount that will be put on the check to support cancer research and development.

2017 CBB Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill have their work cut out for them, and they love the challenge. It’s gonna be hard to improve on this one.

For more photos from the night’s fun(d)raising, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball

Toby Keith

Toby Keith

With a few adjustments to the usual POA, the 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball was a blowout hit for the 3,000+ at Gilley’s on Saturday, October 15. But then how could you miss with Dwight Yoakam kicking things off and Toby Keith keeping the momentum going? Even Mother Nature played nicely, so the view of downtown Dallas from the top of the Ferris wheel was spectacular.

Megan Flanagan, Jamie Jo Hayes, Karen James, Stacey Relton, Merrick Huckin, Annika Cail and Elizabeth Fischer

Megan Flanagan, Jamie Jo Hayes, Karen James, Stacey Relton, Merrick Huckin, Annika Cail and Elizabeth Fischer

No wonder the live auction rocked with those baronesses exercising those cowbells and revving up the lively auction

While the post is being prepared, check out the baronesses and buckaroos at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery

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 Opportunity: 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala

According 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Co-Chairs Marena and Roger Gault,

“As Chairs of this year’s Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala, along with Honorary Chair

Sherwood Wagner and Marena and Roger Gault (File photo)

Sherwood Wagner and Marena and Roger Gault (File photo)

Sherwood Wagner, we invite you to play your part on Friday, September 16 by purchasing a gala table or concert and After-Party tickets. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala kicks off the social season, and this year features world-renowned pianist Lang Lang along with our fantastic Dallas Symphony Orchestra and heralded maestro Jaap van Zweden.

Jaap van Zweden*

Jaap van Zweden*

“As one of the largest fundraisers for the Dallas Symphony, the Gala supports the DSO’s three goals: Creating Music, Enriching Lives and Advancing Dallas.

“The DSO regularly makes beautiful music both at the Meyerson Symphony Center and beyond. Every concert spotlights the superb talent of our musicians and entertains audiences each week. The DSO provides patrons with ways to enjoy music including DSO on the GO, which brings the full orchestra to neighborhoods around the Metroplex. ReMix, a casual, intimate concert series at Dallas City Performance Hall which gets audiences up close and personal with the orchestra. Parks Concerts in partnership with the City of Dallas have entertained neighbors and families for decades. This is all in addition to the classical music and terrific pops programs we all know and love. The DSO is committed to breaking down barriers to classical music so everyone can enjoy all it has to offer.

“But the DSO knows that they are more than a performing organization, and has a responsibility to serve its community. The DSO’s education programs brings classical music and music appreciation into schools, and the Young Strings program provides music instrument instruction to children as young as 6, free of charge. New programs such as the My DSO Concert, specially designed for audience members with developmental disabilities, allow the DSO to share music with more members of our community and make a difference in people’s lives.

“Our city is growing at a rapid pace, attracting new businesses and industries that are enhancing all of North Texas, and a strong cultural scene, and especially a strong orchestra, go hand-in-hand with a thriving city. Educated and skilled workforces continue to move to Dallas due to the quality of life that our cultural offerings provide. The Dallas Symphony’s international reputation are part of what attracts people when relocating their corporations. It makes Dallas an exciting place to live and work.

“We hope you will join us at the 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala. Table and ticket sales are open, and we’re pacing ahead of schedule, so don’t miss out! With your support, we can make this a record year and provide strong funding and foundation for the DSO to continue its mission to make beautiful music and important strides for future generations.”

* Photo courtesy of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

MySweetCharity Opportunity: CancerBlows

According to Cancer Blows Co-Chairs D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock and Anne and Steve Stodghill,

Jeremy Lock and D'Andra Simmons Lock (File photo)

Jeremy Lock and D’Andra Simmons Lock (File photo)

Anne and Steve Stodghill (File photo)

Anne and Steve Stodghill (File photo)

“CancerBlows was meant to be a one-time musical event bringing together legendary trumpet players in a special concert and after party benefiting the Baylor Health Care System Foundation cancer programs and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation with donations channeled through The Ryan Anthony Foundation in 2015.  Trumpeters included Doc Severinsen from ‘The Tonight Show,’ Lee Loughnane from Chicago, Arturo Sandoval, former trumpet players from Canadian Brass-all referred to as the Thirty Trumpet Legends.

Ryan Anthony*

Ryan Anthony*

“The event sold out and raised more than $1 million in cash and in-kind donations to help Ryan Anthony, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s principal trumpet and former Canadian Brass member, raise money for cancer research.  Ryan was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a typically terminal cancer of the bone, in 2012.  Fortunately, with great medical care Ryan remains in remission.  He and his wife, Niki Anthony, realized the event could be more than just a concert with funds used to raise awareness and money to further research that has helped give the Ryan family hope for the future.

“Just a decade ago, multiple myeloma was a death sentence with life span of three to five years.  While the cancer is considered incurable and terminable, recent advances in research have greatly expanded the life span of newly diagnosed patients.  In 2015, three new drugs were approved for treatment of multiple myeloma by the FDA increasing treatment options by 20 percent.

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher (File photo)

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher (File photo)

“CancerBlows will return to Dallas on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center with The Legends Concert followed by the After Party in the lobby.  Approximately 2,000 guests will experience the concert and approximately 300 guests will be included the in the After Party festivities.

 

“We thrilled to announce that philanthropists Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger are serving as honorary chairmen.

“There are a myriad of sponsorship opportunities for the 2017 CancerBlows event ranging from Presenting Sponsor to Student Experience Sponsor which allows students the opportunity to attend CancerBlows events, classes, discussions and meet and greet with event performers.

“Please visit www.CancerBlows.com for more information.”

* Photo provided by CancerBlows

2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Debutante Presentation Results Reported

Melissa Lewis and Nancy Labadie (File photo)

Melissa Lewis and Nancy Labadie (File photo)

The two biggy fundraisers for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra are the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s spring Debutante Presentation Ball and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Association’s Dallas Symphony Gala that kicks off the black-tie fundraising season in the fall.

How big? Well, 2015-2016 DSOL President Melissa Lewis just sent word that thanks to “the Ball (along with our other fundraisers), the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League raised over $773,000 which was given back to the Dallas Symphony in support of their outreach and education programs.”

A tip of the hat to 2016 Ball Chair Nancy Labadie and the rest of the DSOL-ers on a mission well done.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2016 Centerstage

Whenever the Dallas Theater Center peeps throw a party, you just know beige is not going to be anywhere in the area. And the 2016 Centerstage was so typical, complete with gals in neon catsuits and guests in evening slippers with needle-pointed teddy bears.

Neon gals in catsuits

Neon gals in catsuits

And to add to the festivities, Co-Chairs Melinda Johnson and Ann Mahowald arranged to have a DTC fav Justin Guarini at the mic and DJ Lucy Wrubel in charge of the sounds for the after party. While the post is being prepared, the pictures can be found over at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Cancer Blows Will Be Blowing This Way Come May To Battle Multiple Myeloma With All-Star Chairs

D’Andra Simmons-Lock is going to be spending a lot of time at the Meyerson in May. As if she didn’t have enough on her agenda chairing The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show and Luncheon on Monday, May 1, at the Meyerson, she’s added another ball to juggle. After launching Cancer Blows last year to raise funds for multiple myeloma, she’s just signed up to co-chair the 2nd Cancer Blows on Wednesday, May 10. And, yes, it will take place at the Meyerson.

Cancer Blows*

Cancer Blows*

Luckily, she’s going to have some heavy hitters helping her. Of course, it wouldn’t be Cancer Blows without Niki and Ryan Anthony, who inspired the creation of the multiple-myeloma fundraiser.

Back story: Dallas Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet Ryan was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a terminal cancer of the bone marrow that usually hits folks over 65. Ryan was just 43. Thanks to research and developments, Ryan’s treatments resulted in his remission. During his battle with the disease, he was overwhelmed by the support of trumpet players from all over the world. The Anthonys finished battling multiple myeloma and created The Ryan Anthony Foundation to provide funding for additional efforts.

Joining D’Andra, Niki and Ryan will be D’Andra’s husband, award-winning photographer Jeremy Lock, and her buds Anne and Steve Stodghill.

Ryan Anthony (File photo)

Ryan Anthony (File photo)

Jeremy Lock and D'Andra Simmons Lock (File photo)

Jeremy Lock and D’Andra Simmons Lock (File photo)

Anne and Steve Stodghill (File photo)

Anne and Steve Stodghill (File photo)

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher (File photo)

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher (File photo)

Making the leadership a true home run is the addition of Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger as honorary co-chairs!

All of these folks are on board because they have firsthand knowledge of how cancer can dramatically change the lives of the patients, as well as their families.

The evening will include a concert by some of the world’s most prestigious trumpets and an after-party at the Meyerson with the concert being simulcast to a nearby location and live streamed.

Funds raised from the concert and after-party will benefit Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and Baylor Health Care System Foundation.

Stay tuned for the list of artists who will be making music history and big bucks to tackle multiple myeloma.

* Graphic provided by Cancer Blows

 

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?

Multi-Talented Justin Guarini Is Returning To Dallas For Dallas Theater Center’s Centerstage, But It Ain’t Gonna Be At The Wyly

Justin Guarini*

Justin Guarini*

It’s been 14 years since a curly-haired, 23-year-old cutie by the name of Justin Guarini charmed the nation on the very first American Idols.  Even tough guy Simon Cowell was impressed with him, saying, “Justin, you know, occasionally you’re very privileged when you do a competition like this to hear somebody undiscovered who has a voice like yours.”

Holy cow! Frame those words! Still, Justin came in second place to Kelly Clarkson in September 2002. But unlike many runners-up, Justin didn’t disappear into oblivion nor did he become tabloid fodder. He continued singing, produced albums, appeared in Broadway productions and even had time to marry Reina Capodici in September 2009 and have three kids.

Lucy Wrubel (File photo)

Lucy Wrubel (File photo)

This past summer Justin won so many fans in the Dallas Theater Center’s production of “Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical,” that Centerstage Chair Ann Mahowarld and Co-Chair Melinda Johnson managed to get him to return for the DTC annual fundraiser on Saturday, May 14. He’s even bringing his band with him and he swears, “It’s going to be an awesome night.”

Whoa! Before you start envisioning Justin back in the Wyly, stop. He ain’t gonna be there. Hello? Where is this going? It’s a change of venue.

This year Ann and Melinda have moved the cocktail reception, the seated dinner, the performance and the after-party with DJ Lucy Wrubel across the street to the Winspear. And don’t go a-thinking that this is going to be a crowd of thousands. Nope. It’s going to be just 300 guests. Translation: no elbow-to-elbow crowd, no shuffling through the herd, no jammed-up concert hall. It’s going to be an intimate evening of you, Justin and a few other buds.

And the reason for the move? It’s simple. The production of “Deferred Action” is underway at the Wyly.

Suggestion on the attire: Creativity and festivity will be pluses, so the stuffy duds can have the night off.

How about a hand for the folks and companies that are helping make this event possible? Just follow the jump and you’ll see just some of ’em:

* Photo credit: Kevin York Photography

[Read more…]

Dallas Museum Of Art’s 2016 Art Ball: Art+Architecture Deets, Sponsors And Patrons Revealed

David and Ann Sutherland (File photo)

David and Ann Sutherland (File photo)

With the Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball 2016: Art+Architecture just a month away, Co-Chairs Ann and David Sutherland have just announced some of the deets and 2016 sponsors locked down. Yes, the black-tie gala will be held on Saturday, April 23, at the DMA with the seated supper in a huge tent on the DMA Plaza.

And, yes, there will be a silent auction with Gonzalo Bueno chairing the lineup that will include “a Red Tokyo chaise longue designed by Charlotte Perriand in 1940 and a Scarpa Table from Dennis and Leen.”

Gonzalo Bueno (FIle photo)

Gonzalo Bueno (FIle photo)

Brook Hazelton (File photo)

Brook Hazelton (File photo)

And, yes, there will a live auction with Christie’s Americas President Brook Hazelton in charge. As for the goodies, leave it to blue-eyed Trisha Wilson, who has already gathered up “an African safari, Napa Valley wine country getaway and a Rebecca Warren sculpture.”

Trisha Wilson (File photo)

Trisha Wilson (File photo)

Todd Fiscus (File photo)

Todd Fiscus (File photo)

But according to insider sources, event guru Todd Fiscus has been hard at work coming up with “some new surprises.” And, no, there are no plans to have the crane topple on the grounds again this year.

Plus, the DMA’s Junior Associates are launching the new Eagle Family Plaza with Folly at the Art Ball, as the after-party. But you already knew that.

According to Ann, “David and I are tremendously excited about Art Ball 2016. The Dallas Museum of Art is an incredibly important asset to our city, and we look forward to supporting the Museum through this fantastic event.”

As for the peeps, foundations and companies supporting with ca-ching and in-kind support, here is the roll out:

Art Ball 2016 sponsors include:

Richard and Nancy C. Rogers (File photo)

Richard and Nancy C. Rogers (File photo)

  • Entertainment Sponsor ($150,000): Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers
  • Silent Auction Sponsor ($50,000): Jennifer and John Eagle and John Eagle Dealerships
  • Patron Party Sponsor ($50,000): Forty Five Ten and The Joule Hotel
  • After Party Sponsor ($30,000): Stanley Korshak
  • Security Sponsor ($25,000): Sidley Austin LLP
  • Luxury Auction Sponsor ($25,000): Christie’s
  • Invitation Sponsor ($25,000): Dallas Art Fair
  • Travel Sponsor ($25,000): Durham Family Foundation
  • Catalogue/Program Sponsor ($25,000): Goldman, Sachs & Co.
  • Financial Services Sponsor ($25,000): J.P. Morgan
  • Red Carpet Sponsor ($25,000): Neiman Marcus
  • Communication Sponsor ($15,000): AT&T
  • Menu Sponsor ($15,000): Bank of America
  • Moving and Delivery Sponsor ($15,000): Delivery Limited, Inc.
  • Luxury Retail Sponsor ($15,000): NorthPark Center
  • Automotive Raffle Sponsor: Park Place Jaguar
  • In-Kind Sponsors include: Belvedere Vodka, Glazer’s Distributors, Hennessy Cognac, Modern Luxury Dallas, My Sweet Charity, Perennials, Pogo’s Wine & Spirits, Ruinart, Southwest Limousines and Todd Events

Art Ball 2016 Patrons include:

  • Andrea Palladio ($75,000): Olya Sinitsyna and Andy Beal
  • Mies Van Der Rohe ($55,000): Allen and Kelli Questrom and Ann and David Sutherland
  • Le Corbusier ($45,000): Charlie and Moll Anderson Family Foundation, Georgina Hartland/Thomas and Nasiba Hartland Mackie, The Eugene McDermott Foundation, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky and Marguerite Hoffman, Catherine and Will Rose and Deedie Rose
  • Louis Kahn ($30,000): Nancy and Clint Carlson, The Dedman Foundation, Laura and Walter Elcock, Ann and Lee Hobson and Peggy and Carl Sewell/The Sewell Automotive Companies
  • Antonio Gaudi ($20,000): Arthur J. Gallagher & Co./Cigna/One America, Gonzalo Bueno/Michael McCray/Robert Hallam Jr./Mitchell and Christina Sayare/Allan Knight and Cearan Henley, Lisa and Clay Cooley, Holly Hunt, Interceramic Inc., Mary Kay Inc., MDW Studio/Staffelbach, Lyn and John Muse c/o The Muse Educational Foundation and Connie and Marc Sigel/Elements
  • Frank Lloyd Wright ($15,000): Claire Dewar, Melissa and Trevor Fetter, Scott Ginsburg, Julie and Ed Hawes, Cynthia and Forrest Miller and Gayle and Paul Stoffel
  • Marcel Breuer ($10,000): Ola and Randall Fojtasek, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Jennifer and Tom Karol, Lock Lord LLP, Wendy and Bill Payne, Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation, Jan and Jim Showers, Tolleson Wealth Management, Merry and Chad Vose and Sharon and Michael Young

Tickets for both the swell-egant gala and the “Folly” are available. If you’ve already got your spots reserved, spend some of your allowance on some new spiffy duds to be artfully gorgeous..

Dallas Museum Of Art Junior Associates Replace Annual “Affair Of The Art” With “Folly At The Art Ball”

Whoopsie! A change is in the air over at the Dallas Museum of Art. No, a new director has not been named. Rather, those adorable Junior Associates have added some youthful, price-friendly splash to the much-vaunted Art Ball.

Rachel and Michael Osburn have shifted the group’s fundraising efforts. They shifted dynamics from the age-old An Affair of the Art to partner up with the 2016 DMA’s mega-fundraiser, “Art+Architecture” on Saturday, April 23.

Here’s the plan. As the high rollers are bidding on auction items and lavishly dining/partying in other parts of the DMA with Co-Chairs Ann and David Sutherland, the Junior Associate black-tie optional guests will starting partying at 8:30 p.m. in the Hamon Atrium at Folly at the Art Ball.

They’ll also crack the champagne bottle for the official reveal of the Dallas Museum of Art’s new north entrance and Eagle Family Plaza.

Then, as the Art Ball beautiful peeps stroll down the DMA Concourse, they’ll join the Junior Associates as they dance to the tunes provided by DJ Lucy Wrubel and the Georgia Bridgewater Orchestra.

BTW, tickets for “Folly at the Art Ball” are going for only $200. That’s such a bargain compared to the Art Ball’s grown-up price tag of $4,500 for two. And if you get a bunch of your pals together, they have choices for you. There’s the Lounge seating for eight going for $2,000 and the VIP Suite seating for 10 that can be picked up for $3,500.

And while in the spending mode, check out the raffle. Rachel and Michael have arrange for a snazzy 2017 Jaguar F-Pace Prestige valued at $60,000, with raffle tickets going for $100 per chance and only 1,000 being offered. This Jaguar SUV is being provided thanks to Park Place Jaguar of Dallas and Plano.

JUST IN: 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Plans Announced

Evidently good news doesn’t take the day off even for Presidents’ Day. With the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Debutante Presentation Ball this Saturday, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Co-Chairs Marena and Roger Gault are breaking news about the DSO’s fall fundraiser plans.

Marena Gault and Sherwood Wagner (File photo)

Marena Gault and Sherwood Wagner (File photo)

They’ve even tapped their best buddy Sherwood Wagner to serve as their honorary chair for the Friday, September 16th black tie gala at the Meyerson.

According to Sherwood, “Marena and Roger are so passionate about the symphony and its place in the community. I am excited to become involved with this year’s Gala to help further the exceptional work of the Dallas Symphony.”

Margaret Hancock (File photo)

Margaret Hancock (File photo)

Kristi Sherrill-Hoyl (File photo)

Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

Adding to the leadership will be Margaret and Barry Hancock and Kristi and Ron Hoyl, who will be the underwriting co-chairs.

And who will be joining DSO Maestro Jaap van Zweden and the orchestra on stage? International piano super-duper star Lang Lang!

If you’re interested in tickets to all the gala perks and/or sponsorship, contact Tab Boyles at 214.871.4045 and he’ll make you very happy. But if you just want to attend the concert and after-party, hold your horses. Those tickets can be gotten by calling 214.TIX.4DSO, but not before Monday, February 22.

Then start thinking what you’ll be wearing. After all, this gala is the official start for the fall black-tie season.

JUST IN: Dallas Opera’s First Night Results In Photographic Casualty

Kristina Bowman (This is not a selfie)

Kristina Bowman (This is not a selfie)*

It seems The Dallas Opera‘s First Night resulted in a visit by paramedics.

Event photographer Kristina Bowman took a very nasty spill shooting the after-party. She ended up being transported to Baylor to have her knee checked out.

Just heard from Lady Kristina, who’s snoozing after pulling an all-nighter in Baylor’s ER.  Instead of calling to check on her, emails would be better.

Guess that cancels out any trick or treating for Kristina tonight.

* Photo courtesy of 
Kristina Bowman

SOLD-OUT ALERT!: The Dallas Opera’s First Night

Keith and Jennifer Cerny (File photo)

Keith and Jennifer Cerny (File photo)

The Dallas Opera is on a roll. Its First Sight Luncheon sold out on October 16. Now, more “sold out” news is coming from the aria set.

First Sight First Night Event Co-Chair Don Winspear announced last night at the First Sight First Night patron party in Hall Arts that the First Night’s red-carpet, seated supper and after-party on Friday, October 29, is sold out, too. Needless to say, the news was greeted with cheers, smiles and applause.

First Night is being presented by Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management.

BTW, The Dallas Opera General Director/CEO Keith Cerny reported that wife Jennifer Cerny has picked out her gown for the big night. To top her gown from last year is gonna be tough, but Keith thinks she just might have done it.

 

2015 BvB Dallas Powder-Puff Football Game Had Brus Out For Revenge Against Pretty In Pink Blondes For A Record-Breaker Check

A lot of folks thought the brutal August heat and overpowering sunshine would be a real problem for the annual BvB Dallas Powder Puff Football Game on Saturday, August 8, at the Cotton Bowl. But whether it was a stroke of good luck or someone checking the setting sun, Old Sol hid behind the stands at the Cotton Bowl, causing a shade to cover the stadium’s stands and field.

On the other hand, the Fair Park parking lots were spilling over, especially with Rascal Flatts performing in nearby Gexa Energy Pavilion. But that didn’t really matter. Nothing was going to stop the BvB Dallas fans, players, coaches, sponsors and media.

But before the sun set, the pre-game preparations were buzzing. BvB Dallas Founder Erin Finegold with clipboard in one hand and walkie-talkie in the other was seamlessly juggling all questions, issues and people. She even managed to do it all with a non-stop smile, never giving a hint that she wasn’t all that happy. For the first time in the BvB Dallas history, they weren’t going to make their goal. Instead of writing a check for $600,000, she was disappointed that it would be for $475,000. Still, that was a record-breaker of an amount for the teams raising funds for Alzheimer’s research and treatment.

Erin and the other BvB vets had had such high hopes this year. They were returning to the Cotton Bowl. They were stepping back to let an executive director raise efforts to the next level. They had an outstanding group of sponsors, both old and new. Yup, they had come a long way since that first game back in 2008. Since then they had raised more than $1.8M.

Jennifer Bergman and Erin Cesla

Jennifer Bergman and Erin Cesla

Still, the game must go on. It was easy to tell the two teams — Blondes in pink and Brunettes in blue. The BvB Dallas leadership like BvB Dallas President Jennifer Bergman was in black. Sunscreen replaced perfume. Instead of makeup, faces were painted with Blondes or Brus.

Cash Sirois and Mike Sirois

Cash Sirois and Mike Sirois

The media was on hand to sweat through the event, too. Univision’s Pedro Silva did pre-game interviews. The Ticket was well represented Brothers Mike Sirois and Cash Sirois warmed up to do the play-by-play. They made it clear that they had their favs — Mike in his pink cowboy hat and Cash in his blue one. Ty Walker was the special guest and announcer and announced that “Cash will pound one Bud Light for every touchdown Team Brunette scores!”

DJ EJ

DJ EJ

For pre-game entertainment and between quarters, there was Dallas Cowboys DJ EJ and the Dallas Mavericks ManiAACs, who have more costume changes than an Academy Award emcee.

Mary Frances Burleson and Cody Baker

Mary Frances Burleson and Cody Baker

Longtime sponsor Ebby could be seen throughout the stands and on the field. No, not Ebby herself. Instead hand fans with “Ebby” stamped on them fluttered throughout the bleachers. Along the sidelines Ebby’s President Mary Frances Burleson and Marketing Guru Cody Baker arrived in a golf cart. Right at home, Mary Frances in white Puma sneakers, white blouse and slacks and black “shirt” was being diplomatically correct in taking sides. She swapped stories and laughs with others before the game commenced. On the field, the two teams worked out.

Greer Fulton, Jay Finegold and Erin Finegold

Greer Fulton, Jay Finegold and Erin Finegold

Other BvB vets on the sidelines included Erin’s dad Jay Finegold. Father of three girls, he was proud of what his daughter had created in the memory of her grandmother. But then he felt that way about the other original organizers of the fundraisers like 31-year-old Greer Fulton, who was just 23 at the first BvB when she was quarterback along with Erin that first year. And then there was Erin’s sister, Toby Finegold, who at the ripe old age of 14 ran the scoreboard way back then.

Brus' coaches in blue-and-white argyle sock

Brus’ coaches in blue-and-white argyle sock

A difference this year was that the two teams would not be on the same side of the field. The first half the Blondes would be across the field, while the Brus would be on the side where the fans were gathered. At halftime they would switch. Seems that the coaches wanted it that way. However, the Brus coaches in blue-and-white argyle socks were just too cute to complain. Luckily, there were big Coppus fans blasting cool air.

Cotton Bowl scoreboard

Cotton Bowl scoreboard

Not so cute was one of the scoreboards. Evidently, it was having a glitchy day. The right upper part of the screen just took a long coffee break, creating a black hole.

Brus arriving on

Brus arriving on

But once the announcement of teams arriving on the field came, nobody really cared. The Brus were first. They could be heard hollering their arrival as they walked down the tunnel arm-in-arm. There was no doubt that losing was not a part of their game plan as they smashed through their banner.

As they lined up along the goal line, someone suggested that they move to the far left. The Blondes were about to make their entrance.

Blondes arriving on field

Blondes arriving on field

Lindsey Kluempers and Becca Elinor

Lindsey Kluempers and Becca Elinor

With the confidence of having won all of the previous games except one, the Blondes in pink broke their banner with smiles. Co-Captain Becca Elinor held high a flag with a picture of the ultimate blonde babe — Dolly Parton — and Co-Captain Lindsey Kluempers carrying a Go-Pro on a selfie stick to be used for future promotion.

Like any other football game, the teams went through last minute warmups as the crowds in the stands filled. Someone noticed that one of the Brus was “firing bullet passes for the Brus.”

Over the PA system they announced the outstanding fundraisers on each team like MVP Billie Jo Davis, who raised $21,100. Unfortunately, that tricky scoreboard only partially showed their photos.

Then the drama built as over the PA was heard, “Last year the Brus knocked on the door, kicked on the door, this year they will knock down the door!” and “The Blonde beast has once again been awakened. The dynasty. Victors in six of the last seven games!”

Then it was time for the game to commence with the coin toss. Oops, instead of years past when Mary Frances did the toss, she was escorted to the center of the field only arriving just as the coin landed with the Brus happy as can be.

But before the fun began, a moment of silence was held for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and the singing of the national anthem.

The game was then on. Here’s a bit of play-by-play recap:

Sabrina Testut, Kimberly Burton and Lauren Davis

Sabrina Testut, Kimberly Burton and Lauren Davis

Blondes’ first possession is unsuccessful. Brus take over. #4 quarterback is Michelle Rowden. Hits a bullet pass to receiver #81 Vanita Krouch for a first down. But there’s a busted play on fourth down and Blondes take back over. Blonde QB #6 Becca Ellinor completes pass. But they give it up on fourth down, back to Brus. Michelle hits Vanita again for a long gainer. Then they’re just short of goal line. Completed pass to #14 Kristen Kramer for a TD. With extra point good, it’s now 7-0.

Leslie Chandler and Rita Metzinger

Leslie Chandler and Rita Metzinger

Blondes have ball. Drive down field. #39 Katie Tull is QB now. They score TD on completed pass to #57 Natalie Crittenden. Extra point no good, score now 7-6, and first quarter ends.

Mav ManiAACs Osito, Wild Dog, Munchie, Mardi Mar and Black Rhino

Mav ManiAACs Osito, Wild Dog, Munchie, Mardi Mar and Black Rhino

Between quarters, the Dallas Mavericks ManiAACs perform to the delight of the fans in the stands. Somebody noted that the quarters were lasting 20 minutes instead of the traditional 15 minutes.

The second period begins with Brus making a few long catches, including one to #91 Mikki Bailey and they score. Extra point is no good, so it’s 13-6 with 15:57 left in second quarter.

Over the PA is heard, “I speak for Team Blonde when I say, ‘Whatever.’”

Blondes with ball now. But, they soon turn it over to Brus. Says announcer: “It feels like a whole new year, Ty. Very Brunette-ish.”

A long pass is completed to #33 Jody Schueler and the announcer says, “Who are these girls? Do they even live in Texas? Brought in some ringers this year!” Then, #76 Jade Randle is all alone in the end zone and catches a pass. On extra point try, #42 for Blondes Lindsay Kluempers intercepts and runs the ball back 100 yards to give the Blondes 2 points. So, score is now 19-8. Blondes take over with 6:55 to play in quarter.

Can’t do anything. Brus take over. Vanita makes a nice run, then next play QB hands it off to V and she throws long pass to #33 Jody Schueler for a TD. Now 25-8. Blondes take over. #0 Kelsey Wasmer is QB. Makes nice long run. Completes some passes. Runs again. A fellow in stands yells: “Can you do anything but run?!” Brus take back over with seconds left. Half ends, score is 25-8.

At halftime the check presentation of $475K is made to Baylor AT&T Memory Center and The Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas Dallas.

2015 BvB Dallas check presentation

2015 BvB Dallas check presentation

Second half starts. Vanita runs long. Completes a couple of passes, near goal line again. Completes a pass to #76 Jade Randle for TD—score now 31-8. Lots of stroking of chins among the blonde coaches.

Will Braaf

Will Braaf

Football fan Will Braaf in pink headband and tank top with a couple of Buds in hand is not happy. Chris Neidhardt and others are with Will to support Blonde #9 Kristen Schoellhorn. Will yells, “No. 9, it’s all you out there!” and then: “Stop losing!”

Blondes deep in Bru territory now, but can’t do it. Brus take back over. Long pass completed to #91 Mikki Bailey and she does a long run. Quarter ends.

With another outfit change, Mavs Maniacs perform again to the delight of the fans.

The fourth quarter starts. TD pass is made to Jade and it’s now 38-8. Will yells out: “I encourage you now to disappoint me again!” Announcer says: “Come on Team Blonde. We’re only down 30.” Will: “You guys give me your best effort. It’s really working for you. Everyone gets a trophy.”

With mic in hand, Mike Sirois calls Will out to tone it down, but evidently Will doesn’t hear him and keeps up his remarks.

Whitney Bardales, Darby Chalko, Vanita Krouch, Sarah Hall and Elora Torres

Whitney Bardales, Darby Chalko, Vanita Krouch, Sarah Hall and Elora Torres

Vanita is QB now. Brus have it. Then Blondes. Back to Brus. Vanita completes pass to #4 Michelle Rowden, who started at QB for TD. Now 45-8 with 5:30 to go in game.

Blondes take over. Incomplete pass and someone in stands yells, “Hey, catch the f–kin’ ball!” Brus get it back with 2:18 to go. They threaten a TD but Blondes repel them, take over the football with :26 to go. They complete a pass and game is over. Final score: 45-8. Someone says it’s the most points ever scored in this game.

Brus claiming the win and the trophy

Brus claiming the win and the trophy

Following a presentation of the trophy to the Brus and the Blondes graciously accepting defeat, the fans, players, coaches and friends emptied the stadium for a party with Empire 6 on stage. Someone mentioned how the last time the Brus won was also the last time that Vanita had played. She evidently brought them luck.

For more photos and there are a lot of ’em, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: First Sight/First Night

According to First Sight/First Night Co-Chairs Ellen and Don Winspear,

Don and Ellen Winspear*

Don and Ellen Winspear*

“We are thrilled to be the chairs for The Dallas Opera’s season opening festivities. Opening night at the opera has traditionally been a very dramatic event, usually fashioned around all the pageantry of grand opera. This year, we have the chance to kick things back a little and create the opening around one of Texas’ great loves — football. It’s a unique, challenging and yet really wonderful opportunity. We know we’re going to have a lot of fun with this. Honorary Co-Chairs Mrs. Micki Rawlings and The Honorable Michael S. Rawlings are on board for the events which adds even more to the excitement! We hope you’ll join us!”

“Fall in Dallas is typically flush with high class events and posh occasions that accommodate virtually every artistic desire and inclination. However, none this year will compare to the season opening of The Dallas Opera: First Sight/First Night.

“The season kicks off with First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon presented by NorthPark Center on Thursday, October 29, 11:00 a.m. in the beautiful C. Vincent Prothro Lobby of the Winspear Opera House. First Sight is one of Dallas’ finest fashion shows, this year showcasing the remarkable designs of Mulberry. Additionally, the luncheon will introduce The Dallas Opera 2015-2016 Season Collection with five exquisite creations, one for each opera, from internationally renowned designers based in Dallas. Individual tickets for First Sight are available for $250 and tables start at $10,000.

Keith and Jennifer Cerny (File photo)

Keith and Jennifer Cerny (File photo)

“First Night presented by Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management features a ‘celebrity’ red carpet entrance, a gourmet pre-performance dinner, a world premiere opera and rockin’ After Party. The excitement begins on Friday, October 30 at 5:30 p.m. First Night showcases the Linda and Mitch Hart Opening Night performance of Great Scott. This will be the latest accomplishment from one of America’s most sought after operatic composers, Jake Heggie. The plot line of this witty opera is guaranteed to touch the hearts of Texans given one of its key elements—football. The story revolves around the conflict that occurs when the opening night of title character Arden Scott’s world premiere of a long-lost, never performed opera falls on the same night as the local football team’s championship game. Opera and football—what a novel pairing! Individual tickets for First Night are available for $1,000 and tables start at $25,000. All Dinner tickets include an After-Party ticket. Opening night opera performance tickets are sold separately.

“Together First Sight and First Night create the premiere events of the social season in Dallas!

“For details on all of these fascinating events including sponsorship opportunities, and to purchase tickets, please call 214.443.1063 or visit www.dallasopera.org/firstnight.”

* Photo provided by The Dallas Opera

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala

According to 2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala Co-Chairs Katherine Coker,

Key and Katherine Coker (File photo)

Key and Katherine Coker (File photo)

Jennifer and Coley Clark (File photo)

Jennifer and Coley Clark (File photo)

“My husband Key and I are thrilled to be co-chairing the 2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala with our friends, Jennifer and Coley Clark, on Saturday, September 26, 2015.

“Our commitment to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is personal as well as civic. Key and I had our first date at a Dallas Symphony concert in the Meyerson, and we have been attending concerts ever since. Under Music Director Jaap van Zweden the orchestra has never sounded better, and the excitement and inspiration achieved during concerts are moments we treasure. It is important for everyone in Texas to realize the musical gem we have in North Texas with the Dallas Symphony.

“We want to share our enthusiasm and invite everyone to experience the Dallas Symphony at the Meyerson. No matter your musical expertise or taste, the Dallas Symphony offers concerts that will appeal to all audiences. We welcome you to join us at the AT&T Gala and help us celebrate our world-renowned Dallas Symphony Orchestra!

“The 2015 DSO AT&T Gala is the Dallas Symphony’s largest annual fundraiser, benefiting the DSO’s music and education programs, which touch the lives of more than 230,000 North Texas residents annually, including 30,000 children. Art, culture and education are important to us, and we fully support the Dallas Symphony in its mission to share music and music education throughout North Texas. Imagine if this resource for uplift and entertainment were not available to all. The DSO AT&T Gala provides funds that allow many children their first chance to hear our wonderful orchestra, either at a youth concert, a community parks concert, or a performance in a school. Over the years, our children Key Jr. and Olivia have loved attending the Musical Petting Zoo, where they have had the opportunity to try playing the instruments before a concert.

“The Gala will feature a champagne and cocktail reception, three-course dinner, concert featuring legendary violinist Pinchas Zukerman performing with Music Director Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Gala After-Party featuring savories, desserts and dancing.

“We’re extremely grateful for our sponsors AT&T, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, NorthPark Center and Modern Luxury for helping us make this event possible. Full-evening Gala tickets including reception, dinner, concert and after-party start at $1,250. For more information about full-evening Gala tickets, table purchases and sponsorships, contact Tab Boyles at 214.871.4045. Tickets for the concert and Gala After-Party start at $99 and may be purchased at www.MyDSO.com or by calling 214.TIX.4DSO.

“We promise the evening will be spectacular!”

A Mother’s Quandary On How To Help Her Toddler Understand Alzheimer’s

A young mom of a beautiful little chap was both grateful and upset. Yes, she was indeed thankful that her picture-perfect son was sweet, loving and in very good health. He was surrounded by loving parents and big sisters. But the mom confessed that despite having what appeared to be the wished-for family, there was a problem — her mother (aka the toddler’s grandma).

While other parents worried about grandparents spoiling their children, she was nervous about her son’s visits with his grandmother for an entirely different reason.

It seems that despite the grandma’s being on the youthful side of the baby-boomer generation, she was suffering from Alzheimer’s. So much so that she was living in an area assisted-living home, as the disease took more and more of her memory.

The young woman’s anxiety was not based on her mother’s interaction with the child. Rather it was the other residents. What if the child’s presence caused another resident to be upset? Would it create a problem for both her child and the patient? How would she explain to the boy that it wasn’t his fault but something called Alzheimer’s?

That’s just an example of how Alzheimer’s is one of those diseases that affects all generations of the patient’s life.

As the flood of baby boomers marches in lock-step into the senior days, they will inundate the healthcare industry. One of those challenges will be Alzheimer’s and how to deal with it both firsthand and as a family member.

The young mother confessed, “I don’t know if it’s because people are living longer or it it’s because of the food we’ve been eating or what.” She just knew that the joyous relationship of her son and her mom would never be as she had dreamed.

Blondes take Dolly home (File photo)

Blondes take Dolly home (File photo)

This Saturday two teams of young women and their male coaches will complete under the brutal Texas sun at the Cotton Bowl for the 8th annual BvB Dallas.  The teams have been working out all summer in the sweltering temperatures not just to claim the win but to raise funds to beat the disease that has devastated their families.

If you aren’t headed to Colorado or Napa, drive on over to the Cotton Bowl. Kick off is 7:30 with an after-party with Empire Six following the handing over of the trophy. All they ask is a $25 donation.