As Hope Cottage Warms Up For Its Centennial, CEO Sonyia Hartwell Is Retiring With Chief Program Officer Brooks Quinlan Moving On Up

Hope Cottage is getting ready to kick off its centennial warm-up year at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 3, with “Step Up For Hope Fundraising Walk” starting at Hope Cottage.  There will be no charge, but if a person raises $100 s/he’ll be rewarded with an event shirt and a goody bag.

All members of the family are invited to participate including the pets. (Cats might be a bit skittish about joining in, so let them stay at home on the couch.)

There will be games plus prizes for individual and teams who raise the most monies, best team costume and best dressed canine (leash required) in the pooch parade.

Sonyia Hartwell (File photo)

Brooks Quinlan (File photo)

Unfortunately, Hope Cottage CEO Sonyia Hartwell will not be a part of all the official festivities. She’s retiring to Arizona on Wednesday, June 28, after working at the adoption agency since 2009. During her tenure, she saw Hope Cottage through many developments, including the moving of its facility at Fitzhugh and McKinney to its brand spanking new sweetheart of a building in the Wilson Historic District.

As for who will be replacing Sonyia, it will be Hope Cottage Chief Program Officer Brooks Quinlan, who also joined Hope Cottage in 2009.

Dallas Film Society’s 2017 Art Of Film Was A Double Header With Honoree Robert Benton And Dallas Star Awardee Faye Dunaway

Hayley Hamilton Cogill, Paul Coggins and Regina Montoya

Gary Cogill declared that Robert Benton was one of the nicest people in the film business. This claim took place on Wednesday, March 29, as guests like Co-Chairs Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins, Stacy Girard, and Haley Hamilton Cogill gathered at Sixty Five Hundred for the Dallas Film Society’s Art of Film honoring Benton for his multiple accomplishments in the film industry. Interestingly, the occasion coincided with the 50th anniversary of “Bonnie And Clyde,” which Robert co-wrote.

James Faust

As DFS Artistic Director James Faust talked film with others, DFS President/CEO Lee Papert said that “she and Robert are due at 7, but they may be running late.”

There was a way that Lee said “she” that made one realize the female in question was not your typical Kmart shopper.

Moments later, the red carpet was abuzz of activities with high-caliber photographers and cell photographers snapping away, for Faye Dunaway had arrived. That was the “she” in question.

Dunaway, who would be receiving the Dallas Star award the next day at the opening of the Dallas International Film Festival, was on the scene because of her fondness and admiration for Benton. The two had worked together 50 years ago on the making of “Bonnie And Clyde.”

As mics were thrust in front of Dunaway, the night’s interviewer Gary looked downright gleeful about his chat on stage with Benton.

Faye Dunaway

As Faye shaded her eyes from the bright lights and accommodated the reporters with mics in hand, Benton was nowhere in sight.

After the last interview was a done deal, Faye found herself in a one-on-one conversation with film Critic Joe Layden.  

The two found themselves sipping soft drinks on a nearby couch. Cogill noted, “That’s a Thomas Crown scene on the couch.” If you squinched your eyes, you could sorta think that despite the lack of a chess board.

Robert Benton

As photographers tried for shots of the two, Faye had had enough. Her initial wave-off didn’t dissuade the flashing photographers. A stronger wave and an unhappy face got the message across.

In the meantime, a car pulled up and a group stepped out with the last one being a man with a cane. It was the man-of-the-hour — Robert Benton.

When someone teased him that he was going to have to behave, a friend laughed, “Oh, don’t tell him that.”

Benton smiled and chuckled with a twinkle in his eye.

As he headed to the ramp leading to the festivities, Cogill’s description of Benton seemed more true than ever.

Lisa Loeb To Emcee Wednesday’s Texas State Historical Marker For Dallas County Medical Society Alliance Foundation’s At Aldredge House

Some might think that Wednesday’s dedication of the Texas State Historical Marker for the 100th anniversary of the Dallas County Medical Society Alliance Foundation at the 100-year-old Aldredge House will be skewed to the geriatric set. Rethink that! Sure, the House and Alliance are both celebrating a double centennial, but it’s not going to be a gloves-and-support-hose affair.

Dallas County Medical Society Alliance Foundation Historical Marker*

Lisa Loeb*

Of course, proof is required and here it is — singer/songwriter/TV personality Lisa Loeb. Despite this Hockaday grad’s being on tour, she’s returning to her Dallas to serve as emcee for the event.

So, what’s the connection between Grammy Award-winner Lisa and the double centennial celebration and dedication? Before she became nationally known for her talents, Lisa was and still is the daughter of Dallas County Medical Society Alliance Past President Gail Loeb and has a slew of family members in healthcare.

In addition to her emcee duties, there’s a report that she will do some singing and, at the end of the ceremony, lead a “children’s sing-along of songs from her children’s album.”

Translation: Kids are welcome to be part of the festivities that start at 5 p.m. at The Aldredge House. Perfect timing! Pick up the munchkins from school and drive on over to Swiss Avenue to be part of a Double Centennial Celebration with elected officials and the unveiling of the Texas Historical Marker. Don’t forget your cellphones… as if you would… for photos with Lisa and the Marker.

* Photos provided by the Dallas County Medical Alliance Society Foundation

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Junior League Of Dallas’ “Encore”

Former Junior League of Dallas Ball chair gowns

The Junior League of Dallas’ “Encore” on Saturday, March 4, was actually a 55-year-old tradition “going into the sunset.” In the Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom reception lobby, there was a nostalgic collection of former ball chairs’ gowns while “oldtimers” recalled past glories to the delight of newbies.

Susan Roberds, Karen Shuford, Lydia Novakov, Tomas de la Mata, Debbie Snell and Louise Griffeth

Inside the ballroom was a stage all set for a group photo of the past chairs and just one final mini-follies.

Junior League of Dallas Ball chairs, past and present

As the post is being prepped, check out the gowns, gals and gents at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Actresses Faye Dunaway And Zoey Deutch And The Late Bill Paxton To Be Honored At Upcoming Dallas International Film Festival

The Dallas Film Society has just announced its line up of honorees for the Dallas International Film Festival taking place from Thursday, March 30, to Sunday, April 9.

On the eve of DIFF, The Art Of Film will celebrate Robert Benton, who co-wrote “Bonnie And Clyde,” at sixty five hundred on Wednesday, March 29.

Robert Benton*

Faye Dunaway**

In keeping with the “Bonnie And Clyde” 50th anniversary, the Opening Night Gala on Thursday, March 30, will kick off with a showing of the iconic film complete with Academy Award-winner Faye Dunaway, who portrayed Bonnie. She will receive the Dallas Star Award at the Opening Night Gala.

In addition to the comings and goings of various filmmakers during the festival, the DFS Honors presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation at The Highland Dallas on Friday, April 7, will be the posthumous presentation of the Dallas Star to Fort Worth native, the late Bill Paxton.

Zoey Deutch*

Bill Paxton***

Receiving the Dallas Shining Star will be “Before I Fall” star Zoey Deutch.

According to DFS Artistic Director James Faust, “Our two Dallas Star Award honorees hail back to something this festival has done from its inception – honor cinema legends, icons, and the film artists that made a difference in our film viewing lives. Faye Dunaway has been at the center of a number of certifiably classic films, and we joined so many in being devastated by the recent loss of Bill Paxton, on so many levels. To have Dunaway here on Opening Night will be a spectacular moment for Dallas, and to have Paxton here in spirit, was a must to anyone that knows anything about this film festival’s history and the people that are a part of it.

“Zoey Deutch is the quintessential choice for a Dallas Shining Star Award honoree. She has had a very impressive start to her career, and is now poised to take it to an entirely different level with wonderful performances in three different films this year.”

Tickets and festival passes are available here!

* Photo provided by Dallas Film Society 
** Getty image provided by Dallas Film Society 
*** Photo credit: Rachel Parker

Dallas Historical Society “Celebrate(s) Texas” With George Tobolowsky’s Collection Of Historic Texas Maps As The Centerpiece

Most folks know George Tobolowsky for his sculptures. But it was his wife Julie Tobolowsky’s complaining about his watching “The Simpsons” about 20 years ago that added an entirely different interest in his life — historic maps.

So the story goes that Julie suggested that reading a book would be better than boob-tube watching. The first book that George picked up was “Maps of Texas and the Southwest, 1513-1900.” Not only was Julie right on, she set her husband into collecting every map that was in that book and a lot more.

Historic maps display

Since artist George recognized the detail and beauty in the maps, he had them framed and displayed on the walls of the Tobolowsky home. Some were even framed in wood made from trees that George had felled.

Knowing this, the Dallas Historical Society held a “Celebrate Texas” party on the evening of Wednesday, March 1, the day before Texas Independence Day.

Alan Olson, Molly Nolan and Julie and George Tobolowsky

While DHS Executive Director Amy Aldredge was unable to attend, DHS Deputy Director  Alan Olson and DHS Development Associate Molly Nolan represented the DHS staff.

Partners Card Past Chairs, Sponsors, Retailers And Contributors Celebrated 25 Years Of Supporting The Family Place Fundraiser

For 24 years The Family Place clients have benefited from North Texas’ favorite indoor sport — shopping—thanks to the annual Partners Card. To celebrate its 25th-year anniversary, Sally Hoglund and Brenda West Cockerell had a lunch for near and dear at the Dallas Country Club on Tuesday, February 28. Here’s a report from the field:

Now in its 25th year, Partners Card kicked off its anniversary year with a celebratory luncheon hosted by Partners Card Co-Founder Sally Hoglund and The Family Place Board Member Brenda West Cockerell at the Dallas Country Club Tuesday, February 28. The ballroom was filled with past Partners Card chairs, sponsors, retailers and many more who contribute their time and talents to make the event a success.

Sally Johnson, Sally Hoglund and Brenda West Cockerell*

The Family Place CEO Paige Flink welcomed guests and shared how far Partners Card has come and noted that in its history, the community has helped raise more than $17 million to support victims of family violence through the Partners Card Program. Partners Card Co-Founders Sally Hoglund and Sally K. Johnson were recognized and received appreciation for believing in the Partners Card concept and establishing the program in Dallas. A video, donated by Beyond, played and featured interviews with “the Sallys” and summarized the success of the Partners Card program throughout the years.

Lynn McBee, Paige Flink and Joanne Teichman*

During lunch, Partners Card 2017 Co-Chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns graciously thanked past Partners Card chairs who are serving as committee members this year and announced this year’s “Together We Save” Partners Card will be held Friday, October 27 – Sunday, November 5. Burns offered special thanks to Partners Card retailers, many of whom have participated in the program since its inception.  For the silver anniversary, Allday and Burns shared their goal of making Partners Card 2017 bigger and better than ever with more retailers, sellers, sponsors, new technology and expanded social media campaigns.

Guests enjoyed tortilla soup, Southwest chicken chop salad and chocolate mousse prepared by the Dallas Country Club, snapped photos for social media with Partners Card props, and reminisced about the past 24 years through a montage of photos that played throughout the luncheon. Shopping bag cookies created by Kim Crigger Warren of KimCake4U were gifted to all guests, and the beautiful floral centerpieces from Branching Out Events also were available for purchase.

Ralph Prieto, Mike Meredith and Bob White*

Guests included Presenting Sponsor Bank of Texas team Bob White, Mandy Austin, Mike Meredith, Ralph Prieto, Scott Winton and Vickie Wise; The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin; 2017 Partners Card Co-chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns; Partners Card Development Manager Heather Street Baker; and Past Partners Card Chairs Annika Cail, Gay Donnell, Susan Farris, Diane Fullingim, Suzy Gekiere, Nancy Gopez, JB Hayes, Kathryn Henry, Teffy Jacobs, Maggie Kipp, Kate Rose Marquez, Lynn McBee, Molly Nolan, Jane Rozelle, Kristen Sanger, Kelley Schadt, Nancy Scripps, Jamie Singer, Andrea Weber, Melissa Wickham, Andrea Cheek, Anne Conner, Cynthia Beaird, Dawn Spalding, Debbie Munir, Katy Duvall Olson, Lisa Rubey, Melissa Cameron, Paige Westhoff, Sally Cullum, Sue Bailey, Susan Wilson, Suzanne Crews and Samantha Wortley.

* Photo credit: George Fiala

Celebrate Texas Independence Day By Listening To A Mockingbird

A copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence from the family collection of Northwood Women’s Club member Mary Anne Preston

Texas Independence Day is Thursday, March 2. Here are some thoughts on how to celebrate the 181st anniversary of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence:

  • Wear your favorite cowboy/girl boots.
  • Listen to a mockingbird.
  • Sing the state song Texas My Texas in a restaurant after you’ve wet your whistle with a shot or two of tequila.
  • Have “pecan” pie for dessert.
  • Kiss the state reptile horned lizard or the state small mammal armadillo.
  • Watch “Giant,” “Texas Rising,” “Lonesome Dove,” etc.
  • Buy a horse.
  • Say something nice about Houston, Fort Worth, Austin and/or San Antonio.
  • Send a bouquet of blue bonnets to your fav state politician. If you don’t have one, send it to a history teacher.

Or, if you have time, drop by the Hall of State. Or, better yet, make a donation to your favorite historic group, like the Hall, the Dallas Historical Society, the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society, etc.

Dallas County Medical Society Alliance And The Aldredge House To Hold Double Centennial Celebrations With Historic Marker And Luncheon

Margaret McDermott (File photo)

What were you doing 100 years ago? Probably the only one who could answer that is Margaret McDermott, who just celebrated her 105th birthday on February 18. It was when she was a five-year old living in Dallas that two totally different undertakings launched.

First, a stately mansion joined the other grand residences along Swiss Avenue. Taking two years to build by Dallasite Willie (Newberry) and her West Texas rancher husband William J. Lewis, the English Georgian/French Renaissance residence was designed by architects Hal Thomson and Marion Fooshee. Four years later the home was purchased by Rena (Munger) and her husband/banker George N. Aldredge, resulting in the residence being called “The Aldredge House.”

The Aldredge House*

Remember, at this time the population of Dallas was less than 158,000. The Park Cities was just a development in progress and considered by many to be a suburb of Dallas. The Highland Park Village wouldn’t open for 14 more years. Since there was no such thing as air conditioning, these showplaces that fronted Swiss had large windows that would allow the air to flow and fireplaces to warm the rooms with their tall ceilings. Word has it that Swiss Avenue was one of the first to be paved.

The Aldredge House*

Ironically, the same year that the Lewises moved into their home, the Woman’s Auxiliary to the Dallas County Medical Society was established. What most folks don’t know is that it “was the very first permanent woman’s county medical auxiliary in the nation, organized by a group of Dallas doctor’s wives. Mrs. John McReynolds was elected president and the group voted to support Red Cross work.”

Other auxiliaries sprung up throughout the country using the Dallas organization as the model. Over the years, the Dallas auxiliary grew both in membership and mission of supporting the Dallas County medical community. Eventually the name was changed to Dallas County Medical Society Alliance Foundation (DCMSAF).

Rena Munger Aldredge*

Lindalyn Adams (File photo)

It was in the early 1970s that Rena and the Foundation found each other. The 80ish widow of George Aldredge had decided to give her mansion to a nonprofit to “preserve her home and to maintain it as a welcoming part of the Dallas community.” It just so happened that DCMSAF President/historical preservationist Lindalyn Adams was seeking a permanent home for the Auxiliary at the same time. The match was made!

The grand lady on Swiss entered a new phase of life. In addition to serving as home base for the Foundation, it was also the Kappa Alpha Theta show house and provided interior scenes for the TV show “Dallas,” as well as serving as a meeting place for the Auxiliary. In 1982, the House was recognized as a Record Texas Historic Landmark.

But over the years, the old gal needed updating and upkeep and that required funding. So after various efforts, the Auxiliary realized that they had a perfect opportunity to fund-raise coming up — the Double Centennial Celebrations of the Auxiliary and the House!

Such a momentous celebration deserved more than just one event to raise monies and awareness.

According to Foundation President Barenda Hino, “The DCMSA Foundation is seeking community support, so they can continue to preserve the rich heritage of this magnificent house.”

To kick the double centennial activities off, the official Texas Historical Marker will be dedicated at Aldredge House on Wednesday, April 5, with city, county and Medical Society leaders taking part.

The second event will be a luncheon taking place on Tuesday, May 16, at the Dallas County Club.

Barenda has arranged for Sharon and Mike McCullough to serve as co-chairs of the luncheon’s Advisory Host Committee “because of their belief in historic preservation, its importance in an ever-changing society and their great respect for the outstanding preservation of the Aldredge House by the Medical Alliance.”

Mike and Sharon McCullough (File photo)

Ruth Altshuler (File photo)

Lindalyn, who arranged for the Foundation’s acquisition of Aldredge House, and noted author/White House historian Dr. William Seale will be co-chairing the luncheon. Serving as honor co-chairs will be Ruth Altshuler and Margaret McDermott.

Tickets to the luncheon are available by calling 214.521.4108. If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, you can still donate to The Aldredge House Preservation Fund.  

* Photo courtesy of Dallas County Medical Society Auxiliary Foundation

TACA Grant Awards Celebration Distributes $1.3M Again, But Opts Not To Reveal Individual Funding For 49 Performing Art Groups

Transparency. That is the sweet spot of all organizations nowadays, especially nonprofits. Whether it’s ‘fessing up the actual net figure or announcing the distribution of dollars to nonprofits, transparency is the key to over-the-top respect.

Perhaps that why it was surprising that, tonight, TACA shifted gears at its annual Grant Awards Celebration at the Wyly. In years past, the organization used the occasion to announce the exact amounts going to the nonprofits and formally present the thrilled representatives with a check, to the applause of an audience full of fellow nonprofits and TACA board members.

This year, though, there were no individual amounts revealed; nor was there a formal presentation. Instead it was announced that TACA had once again provided $1.3M in grants for area performing art programs. The reason for withholding announcement of the amounts, according to a source, was that they did not want “to hurt feelings.”

Ah, shoot! Feelings, schmeelings.

According to organizers, the determination of funding is made by TACA volunteers spending “many hours during the last 12 months attending performances, as well as evaluating grant applications. The distribution decisions are based on three primary criteria: artistic excellence, administrative and fiscal responsibility and community engagement.”

After being asked about the change of plans, organizers provided the following breakdown of ranges for the 49 organizations:

$5,000-$10,000

  • African-American Repertory Theater
  • Arts District Chorale
  • AT&T Performing Arts Center
  • Blue Candlelight Music Series
  • Chamber Music International
  • Chamberlain Ballet
  • Cry Havoc Theater Company
  • Dallas Bach Society
  • Dallas Chamber Music Society
  • Dark Circles Contemporary Dance
  • Echo Theatre
  • Nasher Sculpture Center
  • Plano Civic Chorus
  • Soul Rep Theatre Company
  • Teatro Hispano de Dallas
  • Voices of Change

$10,001-$20,000

  • Avant Chamber Ballet
  • Big Thought
  • Bruce Wood Dance Project
  • Cara Mia Theatre
  • Dallas Chamber Symphony
  • Lone Star Wind Orchestra
  • Orchestra of New Spain
  • Orpheus Chamber Singers
  • Plano Symphony Orchestra
  • Sammons Center for the Arts
  • Texas Winds Musical Outreach
  • Theatre Three
  • Turtle Creek Chorale
  • WaterTower Theatre

$20,001-$50,000

  • Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas
  • Dallas Winds
  • Fine Arts Chamber Players
  • Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra
  • Junior Players Guild
  • Kitchen Dog Theater Company
  • Lyric Stage
  • Second Thought Theatre
  • Shakespeare Dallas
  • The Black Academy of Arts and Letters
  • Undermain Theatre
  • Uptown Players

$50,001-$95,000

  • Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • Dallas Children’s Theater
  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Dallas Theater Center
  • Texas Ballet Theater
  • The Dallas Opera
  • TITAS

An additional $200,00 will be distributed via The TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund and the TACA Bowdon and Embrey Family Foundation’s Artist Residency Fund.

Instead of the usual check presentation, the evening included “a tribute to Becky Young, TACA’s leader retiring after 18 years, as well as students from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts performing a scene from Magnolia, written by special guest artist Regina Taylor.”

Becky Young (File photo)

Wanda Gierhart (File photo)

Oak Cliff native Regina then told of how the arts had led her into a career of acting and moderated a panel with Dallas Symphony Orchestra Principal Horn David Cooper, Dallas Black Dance Theatre Encore! Artistic Director Nycole Ray and Bruce Wood Dance Project Artistic Director Kimi Nikaidoh.

The evening also marked the kick-off of TACA’ 50th anniversary year with Wanda Gierhart spearheading the plans. With the former Neiman’s exec/Chef Dean Fearing‘s bride-to-be Wanda at the helm, it’s gonna be a jaw-dropping year.

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

At Mary McDermott Cook’s House, Readers 2 Leaders Celebrates Five Years

Philanthropist and community activist Fran Tynan is on the board of Readers 2 Leaders, a nonprofit whose mission is to develop and grow the reading skills of children in West Dallas. She’s also a neighbor of Mary McDermott Cook. So, thanks to Fran’s persuasive skills, Mary’s stunning, glass-and-wood home high above the Belmont Hotel in West Dallas was the setting for Readers 2 Leaders’ fifth anniversary party on Thursday, October 13.

“We’re about improving literacy in West Dallas,” explained Norma Nelson, the group’s executive director, as about 65 guests sipped drinks and munched hors d’oeuvres and admired the stunning views from Mary’s living room. “In 2015 we served 420 kids and 575 families,” Norma added, with initiatives including a core tutoring program called Team Read. It targets elementary-age students in West Dallas during regular school hours, after school, and during the summer months.

Not far away from Norma, attorney Ted Schweinfurth was chatting with friends. Schweinfurth, a partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP, founded Readers 2 Leaders and chairs its board of directors. (Ted also had a big hand in founding the VMLC nonprofit.) He proudly noted the progress Readers 2 Leaders has made, including gaining some funding from the Dallas Independent School District and just being selected as a three-year Community Impact grant recipient of funds from the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

Later, as guests including Janet Horton, Giles Davidson, Christina Hanger, and Daniel Waldmann looked on, Norma and Ted told the crowd how far Readers 2 Leaders had come in five years. It’s all thanks to the group’s “meticulous approach that moves the kids forward,” said Norma. Added Ted: “We have made an impact, even if we’ve only scratched the surface.”

There was also praise for Fran, who after all had made the party happen at Mary Cook’s house. “Fran Tynan’s gotten me into more ******* things than I can mention,” Mary jokingly told the crowd. Then came a shout: “Yay, Fran!”   

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon Celebrated Equest’s 35th Anniversary With Guests Ponying Up For A Match Offer

Amigo, Rico and Teddy found Brook Hollow Golf Club to their liking on Tuesday, October 4. After all, the weather was perfect, the grass was green and they were the center of attention as guests arrived for the 2016 Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon’s “Riding High.” For their being part of the greeting lineup, Equest‘s Amigo, Rico and Teddy had come all the way from Equest’s Wylie facility and they definitely didn’t use Uber. The three equines opted for trailer accommodations with their handlers (Alyssa Cigainero, Shelby Nicoletti, Lizzie Ball and Tia Turkeulainen) and riders (James Taylor in English attire and Ryan Wolf in chaps) in tow.

Teddy and Alyssa Cigainero

Teddy and Alyssa Cigainero

Rico and Tiia Turkulainen

Rico and Tiia Turkulainen

Ryan Wolf, Amigo and Shelby Nicoletti

Ryan Wolf, Amigo and Shelby Nicoletti

Program Director Joan Cutler, who started out as an Equest volunteer back in the ’90s, couldn’t have been happier with her crew of horses, volunteers and staffers on the country club’s grounds.

Inside the clubhouse, Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Di Johnston was also all smiles about the day. Thanks to fashion producer Jan Strimple and Highland Park Village’s Lela Rose, Alice and Olivia, St. John, Market, Etro, Akris, Carolina Herrera and William Noble Jewels, there would be more than 70 outfits on the runway.

But before the fashions would be presented to guests like last year’s Honorary Chair Carolyn Lupton, Jean Lattimore, Lisa Cooley, Elisa Summers, Heather Washburne, Nancy Carter, Jill Rowlett and Bela Piertrovic, the program got underway with Di revealing that one of the best days during her presidency was the one in which Kara Axley agreed to chair the luncheon.

Carolyn Lupton and Jean Lattimore

Carolyn Lupton and Jean Lattimore

Kara recognized the partnership that Equest has had over the years with Highland Park Village and its being this year’s presenting sponsor. She then introduced Park Cities Presbyterian Church Associate Pastor Dr. Pete Deison, who reminded guests that “the heart of Equest is compassion. It is a value that is slowly and sadly waning in our society because we have become a society that is more interested in what we see on our computers and on our phones that we do reaching out and touching other people. We are also interested in the things that go fast rather than the time it takes to saddle a horse and touch an individual that needs our help.”

Following the invocation, Kara introduced 2016 Honorary Co-Chair Bill Noble, who described the love that he and wife/2016 Honorary Co-Chair Lezlie Noble have for Equest as a star with the five points — the staff, the volunteers, the horses, the clientele (handicapped children and military veterans) and the donors. “Equest cannot do what they do without you guys.”

Equest CEO Lil Kellogg then described how children who spend most of their days in wheelchairs are taller than all others when they ride their therapy horses.

Following Lili, a video was shown with Equest Founder Susan Schwartz and others recalling Equest’s 35 years of providing equine power for those with physical and emotional challenges.

Louise Griffeth, Kara Axley, Lindalyn Adams and Di Johnston

Louise Griffeth, Kara Axley, Lindalyn Adams and Di Johnston

As the lights went up, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Founder Louise Griffeth was at the podium introducing the 2016 Equest Award for Community Service honoree Lindalyn Adams. Louise described Lyndalyn as a “Superwoman” who has been the driving force for countless nonprofits and community organization, as well as being a great grandmother of four.

Following Lindalyn’s being presented with an award from Tiffany, Louise said that she had more news. An anonymous donor had agreed to match any monies raised at the day’s luncheon in honor of the 35th anniversary of Equest.

Annie Griffeth

Annie Griffeth

She then added that the poster at the entrance of the clubhouse would report the tally of the day, and that the illustration had been created by her new daughter-in-law Annie Griffeth.

Kara provided one more bit of news. Fashion producer Jan Strimple and Akris would be hosting an event benefiting Equest in the Akris store on Thursday, October 6, featuring their new Aidentity handbag from 1 to 6 p.m.

She also announced that Beth Thoele would be chairing the 2017 luncheon.

With the removal of the podium, the fashions started parading down the runway.

The only oops of the day occurred when a couple of guests managed to sit down in front-row seats that had been assigned to others, driving the real seat-holders away to the north 40. Then the same twosome arrived at one of the big-buck tables, forcing one of the assigned guests to hit McDonalds for a bite—and the venue’s staff to squeeze in an extra chair and place-setting at the table for the other displaced guest. Confused by the situation, the table host thought the event organizers had reassigned her/his original guests with the permission and approval of the castaways. Oh, well, mix-ups do happen. But even a McDonald’s Southwest salad can’t hold a candle to Brook Hollow’s pecan crusted chicken.

25th Anniversary Of Zoo To Do Was More Fun Than A Barrel Full Of Monkeys Thanks To The Zoo Brothers

Greeting October, Mother Nature blessed North Texas with Chamber of Commerce picture perfect weather. Perhaps this condition was due to Zoo To Do Co-Chairs/Heavyhitters Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy (aka Zoo Brothers) producing an incredible 25th anniversary for the Dallas Zoo fundraiser.

Hal Brierley, Mary McDermott Cook, Don Glendenning and John Levy

Hal Brierley, Mary McDermott Cook, Don Glendenning and John Levy

They even managed to have philanthropist Mary McDermott Cook agree to serve as honorary chair.

Diane Brierley, Nick Even and Lynn McBee

Diane Brierley, Nick Even and Lynn McBee

When confronted about the back-scene goings-on and the boys’ efforts, Diane Brierley dismissed any idea that it was the result of the Brothers’ better halves. As impressive as the boys were about attributing their successes to others, Diane insisted that the Zoo Brothers were indeed responsible for the mega-turnout of roughly 750 and the hopeful blowout of fundraising.

As proof of the boys’ efforts, the property was jammed, with the zoo residents a little surprised at the off-hour activities.

Giraffe

Giraffe

Because the zoo critters were used to a regimented schedule, some animals like the giraffes chilled in their barn during the day. Their reward was a very happy hour with guests hand-feeding Romaine lettuce and doing selfies with the longnecks.

Even among the giraffes, there is a pecking order, with Tebogo seeming to be the top dog. It was well understood that Ferrell and Five would play second fiddle. By the way, someone noted Ferrell’s and Five’s tongues hanging out. Seems that as youngsters they’d both had jaw work done, resulting in their tongues hanging out. Not to worry, though; they can pull ’em back where they belong whenever they want.

Wart hog

Wart hog

Not so photogenic or endearing but still a crowd pleaser were the wart hogs. Despite being the most in need of a plastic surgeon, they still were eye-catchers but not dream dates… unless one was a warthog.

Not so active was Moto, the 16-year-old tortoise. Since Moto could live 100 years, he’s just a kid in a shell.

Moto

Moto

Gorilla

Gorilla

Over at the VIP reception in Gorilla Research Station, the gorillas made an appearance in their compound for photo opps. While accommodating, one of ‘em just didn’t care for the after-hours work and the noise. But inside the Station, a chinchilla, Layla the three-banded armadillo and Gimli the baby crocodile were much more receptive to a lookey, a picture and even a touch.

Crocodile

Gimli

Three-banded armadillo

Laya

But the showstoppers of the entire event were the inhabitants of the Giants of Savanna. Here zebras and elephants grazed as ostriches raced by like Las Vegas showgirls rushing to be on stage.

Giants of Savanna

Giants of Savanna

And as the four-legged critters grazed on grass, lettuce and fruit, the two-legged guests dined on incredible delights provided by area chefs like Janice Provost, Abraham Salum, Jim “Sevy” Severson, Blythe Beck, Gilbert Garza, Elvis, Anita Hirsch and goodies from Meaders Ozarow’s Empire Bakery.

Janice Provost and Abraham Salum

Janice Provost and Abraham Salum

Blythe Beck

Blythe Beck

Amy Severson and Meaders Ozarow

Amy Severson and Meaders Ozarow

Elvis

Elvis

Jim Severson and Laura and Tom Leppert

Jim Severson and Laura and Tom Leppert

Pat and Charles McEvoy

Pat and Charles McEvoy

Of course, the attire of the night was spotty to say the least. No, not that type of “spotty.” Tiffany Divis and Laura Leppert were channeling Winspear the cheetah with the spotted prints. In keeping with the silver anniversary of Zoo To Do, Diane Brierley got handsy. No, not that kind of handsy. She had silver nail polish and shoes… Lynn McBee, realizing that she had nothing zoo-ish to wear, dashed to Vince and bought some zebra printed shoes. How perfect they were to go with Nick Even’s zebra-designed socks! … Pat and Charles McEvoy were back just in time from ten days in Tuscany, where they attended Paula Lambert’s cooking class. While there they picked up a great piece of jewelry — a gold lion that Pat wore about her neck… Posing with unreal animals were David Davis, Tiffany Divis, Michael Faircloth, Lori Castillo and Rhonda and Fraser Marcus… Looking relieved to just be guests were 2015 Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Cindy and Chuck Gummer.

David Davis, Tiffany Divis, Michael Faircloth, Lori Castillo and Rhonda and Fraser Marcus

David Davis, Tiffany Divis, Michael Faircloth, Lori Castillo and Rhonda and Fraser Marcus

For more photos of all types of critters, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

 

‘Larger Than Life’ Stodghills Are Feted At 10th Anniversary Dallas Film Society Luncheon

Anita La Cava Swift, the eldest of John Wayne’s 27 grandchildren, stood at the podium at Sixty Five Hundred on Tuesday, September 27, and spoke wryly to a luncheon crowd of more than 300 about her friends Anne and Steve Stodghill. “It was just a matter of time before the Wayne family and the Stodghill family would cross paths,” Anita said. “And not just because of that big portrait” of The Duke in the Stodghills’ house!

Wayne’s granddaughter was talking about Steve and Anne’s leading role in the annual John Wayne Film Festival, which was moved at their behest to Dallas a few years ago from Snyder in West Texas. Anita’s recollections were apropos, because they came at the 10th Anniversary Luncheon of the Dallas Film Society (DFS) honoring Anne and Steve—huge DFS supporters and big-time movie buffs. The couple co-chaired the DFS’ 2009 Dallas International Film Festival, and Steve owns a sizeable collection of movie memorabilia, including many Batman and John Wayne items.

Tom West, Steve and Anne Stodghill and Todd Wagner*

Tom West, Steve and Anne Stodghill and Todd Wagner*

In her luncheon talk, Anita told how the Stodghills had determined to bring the Wayne film festival to North Texas and to LOOK Cinemas. (LOOK’s Tom Stephenson and wife Blake were in the crowd.) “Everything we license, a portion goes to find a cure for cancer,” Anita went on. “The two festivals that Anne and Steve did raised over $450,000 for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. So, there will always be a place at the Wayne family table for Steve and Anne. We love you!”

Lee Papert*

Lee Papert*

Everybody seemed to have some love for the Stodghills at the DFS event, which was attended by the likes of Jennifer and Coley Clark, Harry Hunsicker, Michael Cain, Veletta Forsythe Lill, Holly and Stubbs Davis, Janis Burklund, Lynn McBee, Joanna Clarke and Paige McDaniel. As the guests chowed down on their grilled petit filet, oven-cured tomato, mixed greens, and salted caramel tart (it was adorned, appropriately enough, with a little Batman logo), they heard welcoming remarks by DFS officials Suzanne Bock Grishman (the event co-chair), Mark Denesuk (the board chair), and Lee Papert, the group’s president and CEO.

They were followed by Tom West, chief advancement officer for the American Film Institute, where Steve has served as vice chair of the AFI’s national council. Cracked Tom: “Hollywood is known for larger-than-life personalities, but Steve and Anne put La La Land to shame.”

James Faust*

James Faust*

Then West gave way to Dallas entrepreneur and philanthropist Todd Wagner, who was interviewed onstage by columnist Robert Wilonsky of The Dallas Morning News. After Wilonsky confessed that he enjoys “going to Steve’s house and raiding the liquor cabinet on occasion,” Wagner talked about his Todd Wagner Foundation, which focuses on at-risk youth, and his latest venture, called the Charity Network. The latter “harnesses the power of celebrity, technology and media” to raise money and awareness for nonprofits via three digital fundraising platforms: Charitybuzz, Prizeo, and Chideo. Asked how the venture had come about, Wagner replied, “What we’re doing now is the culmination of everything I’ve ever done. It’s entertainment and philanthropy … all rolled into one. My frustration had been that many of these organizations had been happy for me to write them a check. But I thought I could do much more.”

After Wagner delivered a humorous “Top 10 List” about Steve—it was payback for Steve having previously delivered a Top 10 List about Wagner—actress Peri Gilpin, a longtime friend of the Stodghills, was scheduled to speak. DFW Artistic Director James Faust closed out the bill in the same spirit of good humor, at one point even donning a Batman mask.

* Photos provided by the Dallas Film Society

Even Rainy Weather Couldn’t Take The Bounce Out Of Community Partners Of Dallas’ 10th Annual Change Is Good

North Texas is the Super Bowl for meteorologists and event planners. With all of Mama Nature’s children (northers rolling down from the Rockies, Arctic chills coming down the Midwest corridor, moist winds from the Gulf Coast and Canadian blowhards), the North Texas region is a mix master of weather.

That’s why Sunday, September 25, put the area activities to the test as wet weather, threats of thunder and promises of cooler weather hit.

The Plano Balloon Festival smartly cancelled early, but the Community Partners of Dallas had the Change Is Good prepared for whatever. And whatever was put to the test.

Mason Park and Beth and Larence Park

Mason Park and Beth and Larence Park

As the doors opened for the 10th Annual Change is Good at Brook Hollow, the weather looked promising for the event to be outdoor/indoor. Still the bungee cord jump stayed still, while the outdoor bounce house and inflated obstacle course had short ones lined up. Toddler Mason Park decided to take a pass on the obstacle course and stayed in the arms of his grandparents/Honorary Co-Chairs Beth and Larence Park.

Inflatable obstacle course

Inflatable obstacle course

Inside the smell of popcorn filled the Verandah, while palm readers got handy and Rad Hatter created millinery masterpieces.

DJ Bill Cody

DJ Bill Cody

Rad Hatter

Rad Hatter

Fortune teller

Fortune teller

In the ballroom, DJ Bill Cody had both kiddos and adults dancing underneath a netted gathering of balloons. At one side of the room was a balloon creation of “10”.

In addition to the “10,” there were families who have been sponsors since its beginning including Shonn and Clarence Brown, Jessica and Jeff Burrow, Sally and George Dutter, Elizabeth and Eric Gambrell, Heather and Malcolm Hicks, Christie and Chris Linebarger, Francie and Steve Mancillas, Emily and Todd Massey, Christina and Tim Norris, Katherine Reeves and Jody and Grant Swartzwelder.

Alas, Elizabeth Gambrell feared that this one just might be her swan song for Change Is Good. Her older two kids had outgrown the event and her baby girl Sarah Rose Gambrell was starting to look like one of the oldies despite the painted face.

Sarah Rose Gambrell and Elizabeth Gambrell

Sarah Rose Gambrell and Elizabeth Gambrell

Jack Landon and Chris Landon

Jack Landon and Chris Landon

On the other hand, those with toddlers found it easier to get around with child in arm like Lindsay and Chris Landon with one-year-old Jack Landon.

Across the room was the near-to-the-ceiling bounce house. At one point there was a group gasp as the house seemed to be tilting on its side. But the kids who were old hands at bounce houses shifted to the other side and all was right.

Still as usual the ultimate popular, line ‘em up was the face painting in the ballroom. Okay, so some fellas like William Spence weren’t so keen about the cosmetic fru-fru. But others like Co-Chair Caroline Ballotta looked right at home with her painted face and Rad Hatter. Brother William Ballotta was one of the little ones who initially was a bit overwhelmed by all the commotion.

Ray Ballotta, William Ballotta, Caroline Ballotta and Lindsay Ballotta

Ray Ballotta, William Ballotta, Caroline Ballotta and Lindsay Ballotta

An hour into the festivities, the feared rain that had hit the rest of the area found Brook Hollow. And despite the overload of kids, parents and grandparents, nobody really seemed to mind. Thought one single-child parent admitted that she was grateful just to have one kidlet.

Energized by the sugary delights of Book Hollow, the kids were in overdrive. In the ballroom where debutante parties had properly taken place and the ever-so-civilized Sweetheart Ball had raised funds, the too-young-to-have-drivers-license set scampered, danced and partied.

Lisa Catravas, Aiden Catravas and Jimmie Catravas

Lisa Catravas, Aiden Catravas and Jimmie Catravas

Shelly Slater, Hutcheson Huffstutter, Hawkins Huffstutter and Clay Huffstutter

Shelly Slater, Hutcheson Huffstutter, Hawkins Huffstutter and Clay Huffstutter

Snapshots: Aiden Catravas with a white streak in his brown hair broke from the herd and dined on carrots and veggies… While juggling her two sons Hawkins Huffstutter and Hutcheson Huffstuffer with husband Clay Huffstutter, Shelly Slater reported that she was still doing parttime work for WFAA as well as advising nonprofits and organizations. But, no, rumors that she was doing PR were so very wrong… Poor Spider Man. Upon seeing the comic superhero, two tykes burst into tears. Hey, it’s rough to be a rejected comic strip hero.

Despite the super-duper sugar high, the party wound down and just as the end came, the net holding the green and white balloons was let loose with balloons falling on the waiting guests.

BTW, the final count for the kids’ collection of change? How about a whopping 87,582 coins adding up to $19,617.55! That means that in its 10 years, 922,526 coins have been turned in resulting in $147,830 for Community Partners of Dallas. What is done with money? It goes to buying supplies, toys and clothes for children who are removed from neglectful and harmful situations.

But Change Is Good does even more than support the Community Partners of Dallas mission. It also is an opportunity for youngsters to learn about fundraising. This year’s efforts resulted in awards being given out including:

  • Most online — Harper Hinds and Haven Hinds ($1,195)
  • Most quarters — Brooke Gray, Cate Gray and Caroline Gray (1,383 quarters)
  • Most change collected —
    • 1st place — Harper Hinds and Haven Hinds ($1,598.01)
    • 2nd place — Brooke Gray, Cate Gray and Caroline Gray ($1,033.63)
    • 3rd place — Sydney Bonfield and Lola Bonfield ($953.25)

For more photos, head over to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon

According to Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon Chair Kara Axley and Auxiliary President Di Johnston,

Kara Axley and Di Johnston (File photo)

Kara Axley and Di Johnston (File photo)

“Equest has enhanced the lives of children and adults using horses to bring hope and healing through equine assisted therapies for thirty five years. The annual Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show and Luncheon, Riding High, will be Tuesday, October 4, at Brook Hollow Golf Club and will continue the 35th anniversary celebration by raising much-needed funds for Equest’s unique therapy programs.

“Today, Equest is the leader in equine assisted therapy and serves hundreds of riders annually. These riders include those with cerebral palsy and autism as well as orthopedic ailments. Additionally, Equest serves our country’s brave veterans through our ‘Horses for Heroes’ program.

“When Equest Women’s Auxiliary founder Louise Griffeth started the organization thirty years ago, Equest was known as Freedom Ride and many people were unfamiliar with the cause and how to become supporters. A lot has changed in the past three decades as Equest has received national recognition for its work and the Women’s Auxiliary is a thriving organization comprised of hundreds of dedicated women who work tirelessly to provide invaluable funding.

Lindalyn Adams and Louise Griffeth (File photo)

Lindalyn Adams and Louise Griffeth (File photo)

“Riding High will be a fun-filled day of fashion, great food and a glimpse into the workings of Equest programming. Fashion icon Jan Strimple will produce the fashion show with some of Highland Park Village’s most noted international retailers showing their collections.  Highland Park Village is the presenting sponsor of the luncheon and we are most grateful to the Al Hill Jr. family for their generosity.

“In addition to the fashion show, we will honor beloved community leader Lindalyn Adams with the 2016 Equest Community Service Award for many contributions and advocacy for Equest over three decades. We are also pleased to have longtime Equest supporters Lezlie and Bill Noble serve as Honorary Luncheon Chairs.

“We hope you will join us for this worthy and life changing cause. Please visit www.equest.org for more information.”

Junior League Of Dallas Reveals Big Plans For Anniversary Year With Awards Luncheon Featuring Venus Williams And “Encore” Gala

The very idea of a coat, tie and suit on Tuesday, June 21, was like wearing mittens to thread a needle. But a handful of gentlemen like Dan Novakov, Brent Christopher and David Shuford mustered up their inner strength for the announcement of the Junior League of Dallas’ upcoming fundraising plans for its 95th anniversary.

But don’t be too teary-eyed for the men. After all, the event was taking place inside Joyce and Larry Lacerte’s mansion. And to keep things cool, the house general Roxann Vyazmensky scurried to the entry hall to close the front doors that were wide open. After all, the secret to summer party success is keeping things literally cool.

Roxann Vyazmensky, Lena Baca and Joyce Lacerte

Roxann Vyazmensky, Lena Baca and Joyce Lacerte

The plan for the evening called for the party to start at 5:30 and the “remarks” at 6 p.m. By 5:40, the streets were already lined with vehicles. Sure, some of ‘em belonged to folks at the Highland Park pool, but more than 170 were there to hear the JLD reveal.

Bonner Allen

Bonner Allen

Promptly at 6 on the dot, like a lead cheerleader 2016-2017 JLD President Bonner Allen welcomed the group including Nancy Halbreich, Lynn McBee, Aimee Baillargeon Griffiths with her old Vanderbilt roomie Dr. Regina McFarland (aka JLD-er Linda McFarland‘s daughter-in-law), Sarah Losinger with her son John Losinger and his wife Laura Losinger, Linda GibbonsMarian Bryan, Connie O’Neill, Gerald Turner, Louise Griffeth, Christie Carter, Nancy Gopez, Linda Secrest and Dee Collins Torbert.

Laura and John Losinger and Sarah Losinger

Laura and John Losinger and Sarah Losinger

Dee Collins Torbert

Dee Collins Torbert

Susan Nowlin

Susan Nowlin

Aimee Bailllargeon Griffiths and Regina McFarland

Aimee Baillargeon Griffiths and Regina McFarland

But let’s not dawdle with the niceties. It’s the news of the night that had the Lacertes’ great room greatly filled with two cloaked easels positioned in front of the fireplace.

Amanda Shufeldt and Amy Prestidge

Amanda Shufeldt and Pat Prestidge

First on the agenda were 2016 Milestones Luncheon Co-Chairs Pat Prestidge and Amanda Shufeldt, who revealed the event will be held at the Hilton Anatole on Wednesday, November 16. Then they announced three biggy surprises. First was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. It’s a highly prized acknowledgment among the JLD sisterhood, since it’s given only once every five years to a JLD Sustainer. Previous recipients had been Ruth Altshuler, Lindalyn Adams, Linda Custard and Lyda Hill. The 2016 honoree will be Caren Prothro. Next up was the announcement of which of the JLD Sustainers would be recognized for her work. It was no surprise that Linda McFarland will be the honoree.

Ruth Altshuler, Caren Prothro and Nancy Halbreich

Ruth Altshuler, Caren Prothro and Nancy Halbreich

Linda McFarland

Linda McFarland

Then the final luncheon surprise was who the speaker would be. In the past, it had been folks like Jan Langbein, Vernice Armour, Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager. Pulling the cloth off one of the easels, Pat and Amanda announced the keynote speaker would be tennis powerhouse Venus Williams. The news was greeted with cheers and applause.

KarenShuford

KarenShuford

Next up was Isabell Novakov, who is chairing the 55th Annual Junior League of Dallas Ball on Saturday, March 4, in the Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom. First out of Isabell’s bag of surprises was that Karen Shuford, who has chaired practically everything (JLD Ball, Cattle Baron’s Ball, Crystal Charity Ball, The Senior Source’s Spirit of Generations Luncheon and Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball when it was known as the Beaux Art Ball) except the Byron Nelson, will serve as honorary chair.

As for the theme, Isabell removed the drop cloth from the second easel and there was the theme —“Encore.”

Isabell is using the event to “celebrate and pay tribute to our dedicated 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 the ‘Encore’ presentation.”

Janet Quisenberry, Sandy Ammons, Paula Davis, Isabell Novakov, Lydia Novakov, Linda Secrest and Connie ONeill

Janet Quisenberry, Sandy Ammons, Paula Davis, Isabell Novakov, Lydia Novakov, Linda Secrest and Connie ONeill

Watching proudly from the sidelines was Isabell’s mom, Lydia Novakov. It was a bit like old home week for Lydia as she was joined by members of the executive committee (Janet Quisenberry, Sandy Ammons, Paula Davis, Linda Secrest and Connie O’Neill) who served with her when she was JLD president.

Tickets for the black-tie ball are available, as are tickets to the Milestones luncheon.

For more photos of the reception, check out MySwetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Junior League Of Dallas Anniversary Announcement Reception

Bonner Allen

Bonner Allen

It’s gonna be a very big year for the Junior Leaguers of Dallas. They’re not only celebrating their 95th year of providing volunteers and funds for the Dallas community, but their annual Gala is going to hit the 55-year mark. No wonder JLD President Bonner Allen was all smiles. All the plans for the biggy year were revealed on Tuesday, June 21, at Joyce and Larry Lacerte‘s home.

Lydia Novakov, Roxann Vyazmensky, Lena Baca, Joyce Lacerte and Isabell Novakov

Lydia Novakov, Roxann Vyazmensky, Lena Baca, Joyce Lacerte and Isabell Novakov

In the crowd were loads of JLD-ers, friends and family members like Joyce’s mom Lena Baca and sister Roxann Vyazmensky, Linda McFarland and her daughter-in-law Regina McFarland and Isabell Novakov and her mom Lydia Novakov.

As the write-up is being finished, check out the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for a gander of some of the folks.

Dallas Film Society To Celebrate Its 10th Anniversary With A Luncheon Honoring Anne And Steve Stodghill

The Dallas Film Society is known for red carpet debuts, theater screens filled with amazing films, celebrities being interviewed at dinner functions and an occasional cocktail party poolside. But for its tenth anniversary it’s doing something different. They’re having a sit-yourself-down luncheon on Tuesday, September 27, at sixty five hundred and the honorees will be those film-loving Stodghills (Anne and Steve).

Ethan Wayne, Anne and Steve Stodghill and Micki and Mike Rawlings (File photo)

Ethan Wayne, Anne and Steve Stodghill and Micki and Mike Rawlings (File photo)

And anyone who has even said “Howdy” to the couple knows that their fav movie types are The Duke and Batman. Whether it’s co-chairing the John Wayne Film Festival or knowing more about the masked hero than Alfred, these two are authorities. For this reason, the sponsorship levels for the luncheon include the following:

  • Batman Sponsorship — $25,000
  • The Duke Sponsorship — $15,000
  • The Dark Knight Sponsors — $10,000
  • Hondo Sponsors — $5,000
  • Bruce Wayne Sponsors — $2,500

While a limited number of individual tickets are going for $150, a table of ten including program mention can be had for $1,500. Proceeds from the event will “be directed to the Film Society’s ongoing education programs and the sure-to-be spectacular Dallas International Film Festival in spring 2017.”

In addition to honoring the Stodgies, 10th Anniversary Chair Suzanne Grishman adds that the occasion will provide an opportunity to “look back on ten years of the Dallas Film Society, ADI Dallas and the Dallas International Film Festival.”

For more info, contact Scott Rozsa.

A Gentle Reminder: 4th Of July Closures And Limited Services

Old Glories

Old Glories

The 4th of July holiday is Monday. But there are those crafty, creative types who are turning that one-day holiday into a four day weekend. Yup! The scheduling part of their brains figured out if they took Friday off, they could take full advantage of the weekend plus the Monday holiday. Some are already checking out.

However, not everybody could do just that. Here is a rundown of Dallas City offices and services that will be experiencing holiday closures or limited operation.

Closed on Monday, July 4

  • City offices
  • Libraries
  • Park and Recreation administrative office and Recreation Centers
  • Animal Services — The Shelter and Administrative offices will be closed. However, Animal Services staff will be available to respond to emergency call that will be handled thru 311. The Everyday Adoption Center at 16821 Coit Rd. will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Police administrative offices.
  • Dallas Fire Rescue administrative offices.
  • Sanitation administrative offices.

Closed Saturday, July 2, and Monday, July 4

  • Municipal Courts Building

Business as usual

  • Police
  • Dallas Fire Rescue
  • Sanitation

Regarding the U.S. Postal Service and banking institutions, they will be closed on Monday.

On the other hand, retailers, entertainment facilities and many restaurants will be wide open for business. And, of course, there are the neighborhood parades. So, don’t forget the sunscreen and DEET, while celebrating the U.S.’s 240th birthday. No gifts necessary.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Zoo To Do Kick-Off Party

Giants of Savanna

Giants of Savanna

Not even convoluted traffic hassles kept the animal-loving types from attending the 2016 Zoo To Do kick-off party at the Simmons Family Base Camp overlooking the Giants of Savanna at the Dallas Zoo on Tuesday, May 10.

Tom Leppert and Diane and Hal Brierley

Tom Leppert and Diane and Hal Brierley

Sean Greene

Sean Greene

In addition to having a look at the newest members of the elephant community, guests learned about plans for the 25th anniversary of the zoo fundraiser — Silver Safari — from ZTD Co-Chair Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy.

Dallas Zoo ambassador

Dallas Zoo ambassador

Dallas Zoo ambassador

Dallas Zoo ambassador

While the post is being finalized, all types of critters can be found over at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Auctions, Dancing, Dale Hansen And Mini-Ambassadors At Texas Horse Park Helped Equest Celebrate Its 35th Anniversary

One day before it took place on Saturday, May 7, Equest’s 35th Anniversary Gala at the Texas Horse Park was sold out. Walking around the gala off Pemberton Hill Road in South Dallas, it was easy to see why.

That situation was even more impressive since guests weren’t able to just drive up to the front door and turn their wheels over to car parkers. The vast majority had to be shuttled to the Park via chartered buses from locales in Dallas. After all, Texas Horse Park was built to be equine horsepower as opposed to an automotive parking lot. But despite the perceived inconvenience, the bus loads arrived for a night of fun and fundraising.

Stacey Hodge, Disco, Lisa Blackford, Sherry Wood, Dare, Christine Volkmer and Christa Collum

Stacey Hodge, Disco, Lisa Blackford, Sherry Wood, Dare, Christine Volkmer and Christa Collum

And, of course, there were the horses befitting the group that, since 1981, has used the four-hoofed critters to bring hope and healing to children and adults with diverse needs. (In fact, Equest was the first therapeutic riding program in Texas.) At the front door, there were the miniature equine stars Teddy Roosevelt and Tex; later, gals and guys could have their photo taken with Disco and Dare.

Susan Schwartz, Lili Kellogg and Helena Wall

Susan Schwartz, Lili Kellogg and Helena Wall

As the guests made their way into the grounds—among them, Stacey Hodge, Amy and Michael Meadows, Sherry Wood, Alan Curtis, David Whyman, Lezlie and Bill Noble, Jeff Byron, Kevin Hurst and Equest co-founder Susan Schwartz—they saw “client and rider demonstrations” happening in the outdoor pens. Moving down beneath the Equest covered arena, they encountered the reception and silent auction and, later, the table settings for the gala dinner and live auction. Among the auction highlights: a Costa Rica getaway (value, $12,000) and a Montana Sporting Club Retreat ($10,000).

Jody Dean, Maddie Dean and Jocelyn White

Jody Dean, Maddie Dean and Jocelyn White

Over at the “Equest Country Store,” meantime, mother and daughter Maggie and Annabelle Buckner (Annabelle’s 12) were checking out the goods. As Emilynn Wilson and her husband Claude strode through the stables, Emilynn said, “I just had a horse that fell in love with me.” Guests Phyllis Glazer and Susan Iannaccone were chit-chatting. While Maddie Dean patiently waited, her dad/emcee Jody Dean and co-emcee Jocelyn White huddled over last-minute details with the likes of Equest CEO Lili Kellogg and Helena Wall, who with her husband Doug Wall was serving as the Gala Chair. Despite all the hifalutin types, four-year-old mini-ambassador donkey Taco was quite content to stay in his stall and occasionally saunter over for a howdy do with a guest or two.

Susan Iannaccone and Phyllis Glazer

Susan Iannaccone and Phyllis Glazer

Taco

Taco

Honorary Chairs Chris and Dale Hansen soon pulled up in their big black SUV with Dale at the wheel and, much later, the Gala guests would be dancing up a storm to the music of Cary Pierce with Crystal Yates and John Christopher Davis. Really, now; with horses, good friends, great food and fun music, could there have been a better way to celebrate Equest’s landmark anniversary?

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?