Insider Tips For Saturday’s 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball’s “Shooting For The Stars”

If there are some gals MIA today, they’re over at Gilley’s Dallas. No, they’re not line-dancing and bar leaning. They’re in T-shirts, old jeans and sneakers ripping open boxes, schlepping carts around, setting up tables and getting ready for Saturday night’s 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball. After all, that’s what CBB committee members do the day before the American Cancer Society mega-fundraiser.

Cindy Stager and Amy Turner

While some might think such a gaggle of females would be high drama and round-the-clock temper tantrums, they missed the mark big-time with this bunch. One gal said that everything is so organized that they just might finish earlier than planned. Why, they even had time to have lunch with some of the past CBB chairs like Mary Humphreys Parker, Cindy Stager, Amy Turner, Tia Wynne, Andrea Weber, Olivia Kearney, Kristi Hoyl and Kristin “KJ” Sanger.

Kristi Bare, Sunie Solomon, Anne Stodghill, Wendy Messmann and Karen James

When 2017 CBB Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill were asked their secret, they attributed it to their troops like Andrea Nayfa, Nancy Gopez, Kristi Bare, Katy Bock, Wendy Messmann, Karen James, Meaghan O’Leary and others who have been working with color-coded seating charts, spreadsheets and professionalism.

Nancy Gopez. Meghan O’Leary, Andrea Nayfa and Katy Bock

They’ve even arranged for a back-up plan to accommodate Mother Nature’s mood in case she boo-hoos on the festivities. Pat Green will be on the Winston and Strawn LLP Live Auction stage in Gilley’s proper, and Brooks and Dunn will be  on the Andrews Distribution Main Stage in the humongous tent with concrete floor. Even the never-ending grazing will be indoors!

But just in case you want to be in the ultimate know, here are some insider tips to avoid those “Gee, I wished I’d known” or “Wow! I forgot all about that!” moment.

Must Have

  • More important than your cellphone will be your tickets, wristbands and hang-tags, if you’re driving. No guest will be allowed on the premises without them.
  • Also, please don’t forget your favor bag ticket. It’s not required for entrance, but you’ll hate yourself when you aren’t able to get the Hirzel Capital Favor Bag with all the swag as you leave.

Parking is a bit different this year, so be prepared. According to traffic czarina Nancy Gopez, here is the breakdown:

  • Blue hangtags — Arrive and depart in the Gilley’s driveway for valet parking.
  • Gold hangtags — Arrive at the valet parking at Kay Bailey Hutchinson Lot D. Lot opens at 5:30 p.m. Shuttle buses will take guests to the Event Center at Gilley’s Dallas. The last shuttle bus will depart Event Center at 2 a.m.
  • White Hangtag — Self-park at Eddie Deen’s starting at 6:30 p.m. Shuttle buses will take guests to the Event Center at Gilley’s Dallas. The last shuttle bus will depart Event Center at 2 a.m.
  • Limousines — Arrive and pick up at Event Center.
  • Uber, Lyft, Wynne Transportation and other private driving services — Drop off at Gilley’s driveway and pick up at Event Center

Hint: Sunie strongly recommended Ubering.


Rhinestone longhorn head

  • The CBB Silent Auction and Big Board are available online. So, if you didn’t get your ticket in time or are at home with the sniffles, you can still bid and, hopefully, win a goody like the rhinestone longhorn head. Here’s the link to the online viewing and bidding.
  • Live Auction items will only be available at the Ball. However, if you’re out of town and really want one of the items, check with the CBB office now to make arrangements for proxy bidding.


  • No one under the age of 21 will be allowed to enter Gilley’s Dallas for the event.
  • No filming is allowed at the event.
  • Give the stilettos the night off and pull on those boots.

Check back with MySweetCharity during the day Saturday for any updates or news.

Runway Report Patrons Were Feted Where Penguins Once Partied

While Runway Report Honorary Co-Chairs Linda and Steve Ivy were world traveling and Co-Host Don Daseke was elsewhere doing deals, Co-Host Barbara Daseke carried on for the KidneyTexas Inc.‘ Runway Report patrons in the Daseke home-in-the-woods. It all took place on Thursday, September 21, in celebration of the “Transforming Lives Fashion Show And Luncheon” on Thursday, September 21, at Brook Hollow Golf Club. In addition to checking out the teak-wood mansion, guests were able to start bidding on the live auction items and raffle goodies. Here’s a report from the field:

Barbara Daseke, Christine Martin and Susan Russell*

Barbara and Don Daseke opened their fabulous home for the Patron Party honoring KidneyTexas Inc.’s The Runway Report Transforming Lives Fashion Show and Luncheon on Thursday, September 21, a wonderful treat for all!

Someone said the last time they were there for an event, there was a cheetah in the backyard and penguins in a pool. All of that is true! It happened when the Dasekes hosted an event for the Zoo To Do benefiting the Dallas Zoo, caretakers from the zoo brought some of the zoo’s residents for a road trip to the Daseke’s to meet and mingle with the upscale crowd. As longtime supporters of the Dallas Zoo, Barb and Don are chairing that event this year on Saturday, November 4.

Dee Lincoln and Jan Strimple*

Dustin Holcomb and Nerissa von Helpenstill*

KidneyTexas Luncheon Co-Chair Susan Russell and her husband, Don, joined Luncheon Co-Chair Christine Martin in welcoming friends, supporters and patrons in for the celebration. Enjoying the sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and artful scenery were Over the Top award honorees Dee Lincoln of Dee Lincoln Prime, who sponsored the wines this evening, and Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb from Tootsies that is also the fashion show sponsor. And the word is out, the ever-fashionable Jan Strimple, fashion show producer, has a special surprise up her sleeve to be showcased at the fashion show on Tuesday.

The Sue Goodnight Service Award recipient Natalie Taylor was there, along with the award’s namesake, Sue Goodnight, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.  

Natalie Taylor and Di Johnston*

Renee and David Winter*

Former Luncheon Chair Renee Winter and dear friend Pam Brock brought in orchids which will be featured as the luncheon’s centerpieces. Dr. David Winter, Renee’s husband, caught up on news with friends Dr. Warren Katz and his wife. Special thanks to Gold Crown Valet for sponsoring valet services for this and all of KidneyTexas’ special meetings and events.

The 2017 KidneyTexas beneficiaries include:

  • Parkland Foundation: $30,500 for kidney dialysis unit;
  • Baylor Health Care System Foundation: $30,000 for a five-year study of kidney transplants;
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center: $29,925 for kidney related research;
  • Children’s Medical Center Foundation: $20,500 for hemodialysis and blood pressure machines;
  • Camp Reynal: $19,500; and
  • Texas Health Resources Foundation: $14,214for a hemodialysis machine
* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

WFAA Provides $46,000 With Melted Crayons And Ringing Phones For Community Partners Of Dallas’ “Back To School Drive”

WFAA was on a tear the past week. Last Thursday they wanted to do something different to showcase North Texas three-digit weather. Sure, they could have tried cooking some food product on the sidewalk, but that’s been so overdone (no pun intended). Somebody got the bright idea of positioning a 22” by 28” white canvas against a wall in the afternoon sun between a clock and a thermometer. At the top of the board were 64 crayons pointed downward. As the clock ticked and the mercury rose, the crayons drooled down the board creating a waterfall of rainbow colors.

So, that was nice, but what do you do with this hot (okay, so this pun was intended) artwork? The WFAA brain trust decided to auction off the artwork with the proceeds going to help Community Partners of Dallas’ Back to School Program that provides school supplies for children who are in the Dallas County Child Protective Services.

WFAA’s melted crayons masterpiece*

The winning bid of $3,150 came from Create Church, but when they arrived to pick up their new masterpiece, they pumped the number up to $5,150!

Then word arrived that the Friends of Wednesday’s Children was shutting down operation on Monday. The folks at WFAA realized that the timing was right to rally viewers to pick up where the Friends had left off in providing for children in need. So, they held a phone bank on Monday at their 4, 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts to start the wheels turning for the CPD drive that would officially start on Friday, August 4. The receivers rang off the hooks to the tune of $40,850!

Cynthia Izaguirre (File photo)

Those two undertakings brought in a total of $46,000, all of which will be used to provide backpacks, construction and manila paper, colored pencils, folders, pencil sharpeners, block erasers, glue sticks, highlighters, markers, pencil pouches, red pens and scissors.

According to CPD President/CEO Paige McDaniel, “We are so grateful to WFAA, and especially to Cynthia Izaguirre, for their longtime commitment to and tireless advocacy on behalf of the foster children in our community. Additionally, to everyone who called in with their generous donations, thank you! We had so many wonderful donors support this cause — with gifts from a grandmother on a fixed income to people with charitable foundations. Dallas really stepped up to help children in foster care and we are appreciative!”

Congratulations to WFAA for connecting the dots to provide assistance for children in need. In the wake of the Friends closing, WFAA managed to help fill a void financially and spread the word.

If you would like to join the supply-the-kids program, here is a list of what they need. But if you don’t have time to shop, you can always donate money.

* Photo courtesy of WFAA


The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon Had Guests Shopping And Re-Invented Fashions On The Runway

Even before the official open got underway, the cars were lined up for The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Meyerson on Tuesday, May 2. Perhaps the reason was the sneak peek of the Chic Boutique of “experienced” clothes and accessories.

Joyann King

Surprisingly, most guests headed to the Opus Restaurant, where the silent auction was taking place. It didn’t take long for the smart shoppers to bird-dog the goodies on the upper level where folks like Tracy Lange, Dee Simmons and others checked out the racks curated by Tootsies. Among the shoppers was Executive Editor Joyann King. When asked if she had missed attending the Met’s red carpet the night before, she smiled and didn’t hesitate —“No.”

Despite a scheduled VIP group photo scheduled for 10, it didn’t happen. Event Chair D’Andra Simmons-Lock was behind the scenes taking care of last-minute details; Majors Barbara and Jonathan Rich were at the front managing things along with Women’s Auxiliary President Kathie King and daughter Joyann.

Suzanne Palmlund, Dee Simmons and Marian Barnes

Billie Leigh Rippey

Ramona Jones and Julie Patrick

Barbara Daseke

Louise Griffeth and Carol Seay

As the crowd including Bobbie Sue Williams, Linda Custard, Chris Hite, Mary Clare Finney, Christie Carter, Ruth Altshuler, Annette Simmons, Connie Carreker, Barbara Daseke, Lynne Sheldon, Angie Kadesky, Pat McEvoy, Suzanne Palmlund,  Marian Barnes, BJ Ward and Louise Griffeth grew, some decided to move into the McDermott Concert Hall. Love the Meyerson, but time and time again guests struggled to find the rows. Perhaps the grand old lady hall needs a little refreshing to make seat finding less challenging.

Dee Collins Torbert

Another problem was the seating of Dee Collins Torbert, who relies on a wheelchair. Her assignment was on the front row of the Orchestra Terrace. While the location provide an ideal place to observe the stage, it also required her to leave her wheelchair and for two gentlemen to help her carefully navigate the three steps down to the front row.

Finally, the chimes rang and Event Producer Jan Strimple’s voice called all to their seats. The lights dimmed. Serving as a backdrop for the “Fashion Is Art…You Are The Canvas!” theme was a wonderful, mammoth curved screen.

D’Andra Simmons Lock

Kicking things off was D’Andra, who told how this event was her dream come true. It has been rewarding and humbling. Recognizing Honorary Co-Chairs Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne, D’Andra told how she and Elisa’s and Heather’s mother Vicki Howland had “prayed together many times” on whether the girls should be part of the fundraiser. It must have worked, because the Al G. Hill Jr. family (BTW, their dad is Al G. Hill Jr.) and the family business — Highland Park Village — served as presenting sponsor. It was a first for the event to have a presenting sponsor.

Kathie then introduced SAWA Founder Margot Perot to present the Margot Perot Award to Ramona Jones. From serving as president of the Women’s Auxiliary of The Salvation Army in 2003 to making and taking food to the Carr P. Collins Center every Thursday for the past 15 years, Ramona has exemplified the purpose of the Margot Perot Award.  

Margot Perot, Ramona Jones and Kathie King

D’Andra then returned to the podium to introduce a video testimony revealing that she had been a victim of domestic abuse with her husband, Jeremy Lock, at her side. While obviously heartrending and sincere, some in the audience wondered who the perpetrator of D’Andra’s suffering was. But the reason for her admission was to support the Salvation Army’s work with such victims.

Following the video, Major Barbara alluded to the fact that the Salvation Army would soon be announcing more news about its domestic violence efforts and how the Army continues its efforts to help those in need.

Simone Garman

With that, cellist Simone Garman performed “Pray,” while a beautiful photomontage by Jeremy of Army clients was displayed on the curved screen behind her. Barbara returned to the podium to thank D’Andra, Jeremy, Kathie and her husband Randy King, Joyann and all involved.

It was a nice transition from Jeremy’s and Simon’s presentation to Joyann’s sharing tidbits about the upcoming fashion season.

  • Think pink
  • Bright, modern floral designs
  • Blue jeans combined with other non-traditional pieces
  • Light, frothy white dress
  • A brand new bag
  • Stripes
  • Blushes on eyes and cheeks and striking blue eye shadow

The Salvation Army Fashion Show

The Salvation Army Fashion Show

The Salvation Army Fashion Show

The Salvation Army Fashion Show

The Salvation Army Fashion Show

The Salvation Army Fashion Show

The Salvation Army Fashion Show

The Salvation Army Fashion Show

The Salvation Army Fashion Show

The Salvation Army Fashion Show finale

It was then time for the fashion show of gently used clothes that had been adapted for today’s hottest looks courtesy of Strimple’s direction, followed by lunch in the lobby giving organizers enough time to bid on ‘em before the silent auction ended at 2 p.m.

Check out the countless fashions that were on the runway and on their way to new owners at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Countdown Time For 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Is Underway

This evening while Dwight Yoakam is on stage in Midland and Toby Keith is singing at the BOK Center in Tulsa, there are 100 Cattle Baronesses who have been preparing for Saturday’s American Cancer Society fundraiser featuring both of these country western icons.

When the gals started out for Gilley’s this morning, all they knew was rainy skies outside and chilly temps inside the honky-tonk. Luckily, setting up the hundreds of silent auction items, doling out the goodies for the much-vaunted favor bags and arranging for final logistics warmed things up.

2016 Cattle baron's Ball committee

2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball committee

Even after lunch, when the entire committee gathered for a group photo, the thought was whether the wet stuff was going to hang around. It really, sincerely didn’t matter like the old days when the event was held in cow pastures and Southfork. Nowadays, the ladies have relocated the whole kit-and-caboodle to Gilley’s with its bigger-than-a-small-city tent for the main concert. However, drippy weather does take the bounce out of hair dos and who wants to splash their ostrich boots in puddles?

Luckily, the past CBB chairs brought good news with them for their group photo — the rain was gone. In its place was nothing but sunshine.

Past and 2016 Cattle Baron's chairs from the left: (seated) Cindy Turner, Amy Turner, Olivia Kearney, Cara French, Andrea Weber, Tanya Foster, Cindy Stager and Joan Eleazer; (standing) Cindy Lindsley, Vicki Chapman, Karol Bruton, Kristen Sanger, Tia Wynne, Mary Parker and Katherine Wynne

Past and 2016 Cattle Baron’s chairs from the left: (seated) Cindy Turner, Amy Turner, Olivia Kearney, Cara French, Andrea Weber, Tanya Foster, Cindy Stager and Joan Eleazer; (standing) Cindy Lindsley, Vicki Chapman, Karol Bruton, Kristen Sanger, Tia Wynne, Mary Parker and Katherine Wynne

But wait! There was even more good news. Saturday’s forecast is for more sun and warmer temperatures. So, there will be no need for umbrellas and long johns. Instead it will a strutting display of turquoise, leathers and Stetsons on some mighty fine looking fundraisers.

If you’ve got your ticket,

  • fast now and snarf down the vittles tomorrow night. It’ll crazy grazing time.
  • get in line for the Ferris wheel with its spectacular view of downtown Dallas and the Margaret bridges.
  • make sure you’ve got your “credentials” for entry and your favor bag ticket.
  • consider Ubering to and from.
  • start checking the silent auction items online now and pick out which ones you’re gonna take home.
  • get a great spot to bid on the live auction items. If your budget was blown on your wardrobe, then get a place to watch the highrollers roll up the bids.
  • budget some dough to buy raffle tickets. After all, you could probably use a new car or watch or …

A Gentle Reminder: 2016 Komen Dallas Race For The Cure Starts Setting Up For Saturday’s Fundraiser At NorthPark

Komen Dallas Race for the Cure route map*

Komen Dallas Race for the Cure route map*

If you haven’t made it over to NorthPark for your turquoise jewelry, suede outfit and killer boots for Saturday’s Cattle Baron’s Ball at Gilley’s, you might want to hustle big time. Preparations are starting to get underway at NorthPark for the Komen Dallas Race for the Cure that is taking place all around the NorthPark area Saturday morning.

Translation: If your Saturday morning is getting a cinnamon bagel and a cup of java at Panera’s or popping into Barnes and Noble to browse the shelves, you may want to sleep in. Or better yet, you just might want to be part of the thousands raising funds to battle breast cancer. The goal is to provide $1.3M and as of 9:30 a.m., they’re nearly halfway there.

BTW, if you just want to stay at home Saturday morning, why not check out the Cattle Baron’s  auction online? There are literally hundreds of trips, fashions, services and all types of goodies and you won’t even have to get out of your pj’s to bid.

* Graphic courtesy of Komen Dallas Race for the Cure

First Night’s Festivities Ranged From Glamorama Red Carpet To A Record-Breaking Crowd For Opera Simulcast In Klyde Warren Park

Nicole and Robert Furno

Nicole and Robert Furno

The red carpet extended from Flora to the Winspear Opera House front door on Friday, October 24. Along the way were mini-stages for one-of-a-kind creations by area designers. Each represented a Dallas Opera production (Elizabeth Anyaa — “LA Wally”, Michael Faircloth — “Iolanta”, Abi Ferrin — “Salome”, Khahn Nguyen — “La Boheme”, Edo Popken — “Everest” and Nicolas Villalba — “The Marriage Of Figaro”) that would take place during the 2014-2015 season.

Ellen and Don Winspear and Jennifer and Keith Cerny

Ellen and Don Winspear and Jennifer and Keith Cerny

Cellphone photographing

Cellphone photographing

Just the day before the designer’s outfits had been showcased on the runway in the Winspear lobby for First Sight luncheon and fashion show of the Roberto Cavalli collection.

But on this evening when “The Marriage of Figaro” was to officially open the DO’s season, Larry Leathers’ staging with models’ and guests’ gowns and jewelry glammed up the First Night walkway so much that passersby took cell phone photos.

Sara Wilson and Nick Even

Sara Wilson and Nick Even

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. First Sight First Night Co-Chair Nick Even was with his sister Sara WilsonDon Winspear was sporting red socks, while wife Ellen razzle-dazzled in jewelry heels…Designer Ed Popken watched from the sidelines…Lee Bailey was taking time off from tending her black swan, Ziggy, who had gotten in a rumble…First Sight First Night Co-Chair Lynn McBee and husband Allan were having a busy week. After the Friday night gala, they were setting sites on the Stars And Stripes Film Festival at the Angelika the following week and the BrainHealth Center’s Legacy dinner the next week…Doris Jacobs reported that husband Jack was on the mend and having dinner with their daughters…Emmanuel’s representative Brit/Yankee Jeffrey Vanderveen flew in for the evening. Before heading to the red carpet, he was greeted by Cleve Schneider and Jonathan Pell. He revealed that he and Emmanuel have “had crazy parties throughout the world. Ask him about the Ice Bar in London.” With a twinkle and a smile, he was off to join the other beautiful people.

Jonathan Pell, Jeffrey Vanderveen and Cleve Schneider

Jonathan Pell, Jeffrey Vanderveen and Cleve Schneider

Others strolling the red carpet included Sara and David Martineau, Patsy Donosky with sis-in-law Tincy Miller, Wanda Gierhart with Dean Fearing, Abraham Salum and Randy Katz, Kaki and Shelton Hopkins, Mary McDermott Cook with Dan Patterson, Britt Harless with designer Elizabeth Anyaa, Simona Beal with Bob Gibbs, Iain Day, Dee Simmons, Scott and First Sight Chair Liz Kimple with her sister Stefani Burns and Nicole and Robert Furno.

Mary McDermott Cook and Dan Patterson

Mary McDermott Cook and Dan Patterson

Scott and Liz Kimple

Scott and Liz Kimple

After a seated dinner chaired by Nancy D. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger in a tent adjoining the Winspear, the crowd attended the opera with music director Emmanuel Villaume at the helm.

Just a block away, the opera was being simulcast in Klyde Warren Park for a record-breaking crowd of 7,000.

Afterwards, the black-tie guests let their hair down for an after party back in the tent chaired by Jenifer Strauss and Robert Weatherly with Lucy Wrubel in charge of the music.

As for the designer gowns on the mini-stages, they were headed for an online auction conducted by Heritage Auctions benefiting the Dallas Opera, of course.

For more photos of the gowns and guys in tuxedos, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Sold-Out Alert!: Purses With A Purpose

You can just never have too many sold-out events! Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas is enjoying that status for its Purses With A Purpose today at the Frontiers of Flight Museum.

Purses With A Purpose*

Purses With A Purpose*

Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary will be the keynote speaker and National Foundation for Credit Counseling President Susan Keating will present Capital One Regional Commercial Executive of Commercial Banking Carol Nichols with the Financial Literacy Champion Award.

If you have your ticket, you’re a penny wise. If you don’t have a reservation, you can still bid on designer purses, restaurant packages, destination trips, jewelry, entertainment passes and more like Christmas lights via online.

* Graphic courtesy of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Purses With A Purpose

According to 2014 CCCS Purses with a Purpose Chair and Consumer Credit Counseling Service Board Member Laura V. Estrada,

Laura Estrada*

Laura V. Estrada*

“Since 1974, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas (CCCS) has helped more than 1.7 million people and just five years ago, we launched our first annual fundraiser, Purses with a Purpose. To celebrate these milestones, we’ve changed things up a bit. This year, we are hosting a luncheon Purses with a Purpose event with inaugural Financial Literacy Champion Capital One’s Carol Nichols and keynote speaker author and The Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary.

“I am delighted to recognize Carol for her longtime dedication to financial literacy education, and especially for her commitment to programs which support and educate women.

“Purses with a Purpose will be held on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 from 11:30 – 1:30 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Individual tickets at $95 or tables at $1,000 are for sale at You can also call 214-540-6880 for more information.

“I am working with CCCS to help build all the solutions we can to help women and families become debt free. All proceeds from Purses with a Purpose are used to provide free financial counseling and education to women and families in need at domestic violence shelters, legal aid clinics, prison systems, child care centers, housing programs and job re-entry training programs.

Save The Date for Purses With A Purpose*

Save The Date for Purses With A Purpose*

“And, yes! Fabulous purses along with trips, event tickets and restaurant deals will still be available for auction via an online auction opening Wednesday, September 10. Raffle tickets for three items including a Fuller’s jewelry ladies dinner ring, Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day Package and Fendi handbag will be available online and at the event as well.

“I am proud to be a part of nonprofit agency CCCS as it helps consumers find financial hope and freedom by providing free budget and credit counseling, financial education, housing counseling, bankruptcy counseling, student loan default counseling and debt management plans. CCCS also offers those in the United Way Metro Dallas service area the opportunity to earn matched savings of up to $300 a year through the CCCS AIM Individual Development Account. To see more about the requirements for AIM or to learn more about this program, please visit

“The Presenting sponsor for Purses is Bank of Texas and the Award Sponsor for the inaugural Financial Literacy Champion Award is AdvoCare International, LP.”

* Graphic and photo provided by Consumer Credit Counseling Service

Dallas Museum Of Art’s Art Ball Can-Canned Hemingway’s Paris With Glorious Gems, Gee-Whiz Glamour And A Generous Gal And Guy

There was a magic to Midnight in Paris. It took today’s ultra-cool back to 1920’s Paris when F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alice B. Toklas, Hemingway and Gertrude Stein schmoozed with Josephine Baker, Cole Porter, Picasso and Jean Cocteau.

Ken and Gina Betts

Ken and Gina Betts

With that in mind, Dallas Museum of Art’s 2014 Art Ball Chair Gina Betts had ventured to Paris last year to scope out the extreme locales of those golden days. Her journey was a result of a lunch date with DMA Board Chair John Eagle. The ultimate salesman, Eagle took her to lunch at Charlie Palmer, and it wasn’t to sell her a Honda. Cornering Gina in a booth, he notified the attorney that he wasn’t going to let her leave until she agreed to chair the 2014 DMA fundraiser. Eagle knew that Gina was a powerhouse fundraiser. Why, she had set a record when she chaired the 2007 Cattle Baron’s Ball. Since then she had had the Midas Touch for every fundraiser that she had chaired. Gina finally relented, but with one caveat: It had to be her way or the highway. Eagle agreed.

Part of her way included event producer Tom Addis and putting out bids for new vendors. Instead of a tent brought in from another state, she located a North Texas provider, saving bucks. Gina, who was juggling the transition of changing law firms, arranged to have Honorary Co-Chairs Nancy C. and Richard Rogers underwrite the entertainment — Grammy Award winning John Legend and Parisian DJ Stephane Pompougnac.

Another change was the auction house running the silent and live auctions. Again, she went with a hometown team: Heritage Auctions.

Instead of the red carpet entry of the past that slowed arrivals down, it would be a simple check-in after handing the car to valets at the Ross Avenue curb.

Suffering a bit from the $5,000-a-seat sticker shock herself, Gina managed to talk John into loosening up some cheap seats at $2,500.

As the big day approached, however, questions about the silent and live auction started popping up. Why weren’t catalogues being distributed to guests in advance, so they could plan bidding budgets? Yes, the auction was now online during the weeks prior to the gala, but the information was scant.

The night of the gala, there were even guests who had no idea of the offerings. HA auctioneer Mike Sadler advised guests at one point in the live auction that if they didn’t know about Meadowood, they could check the website on their smartphones.

But back to the evening’s developments.

Katherine Coker and Katy Bock

Katherine Coker and Katy Bock

As guests arrived to music a la Edith Piaf and a welcome from a Moulin Rouge Harold Zidler look-alike ringmaster on a pedestal and doormen in top hat and tails, it was obvious that the fashion was a step beyond perfection. Unlike years of yore when the Art Ball’s predecessor, the Beaux Arts Ball, was renowned for lavish costumes, the 2014 version was purely couture on parade including Gina Ginsburg in Herve Leger Runway, Ellen Winspear in Escada, Kris Johnson in Jenny Packham, Terra Perez and Jennifer Eagle in Ralph Lauren, Jacqueline Anderson in Zac Posen, Katy Bock in Herve Leger, Katherine Coker in Marchesa, Debbie Oates in Escada, Deedie Rose in Lela Rose (of course!), Terri Provencal in Binzario, Sunie Solomon in Luca Luca, Shelle Sills in Ann Demeulemeester, Amanda Johnson in Badgley Mischka, Nancy Carlson in Valentino, Holly Davis in Armani and Erin Mathews in Tom Ford.

Holly Deason found a fabulous golden Kaufman Franco. Problem was that due to her recent workouts and resulting weight loss, the Dallas gown was too big. No problem. Her Neiman’s advisor, Angela Malone, found a smaller size in Las Vegas and had it flown in.

One sweet young thing whispered that her budget had resulted in her being a modern-day version of Cinderella. That’s because her gown that retailed for more than $600 was only good for a one-night stand at $150. It had to be shipped back to the next day.

A couple of the ladies managed to adapt 21st century versions for the 1920’s Paris posh theme. Gina wore a limited edition midnight blue beaded Roberto Cavalli gown with a “borrowed” diamond and sapphire necklace. She’s put that on her wish list for the holidays or any other gift-giving occasion.

Nancy C. Rogers

Nancy C. Rogers

Nancy Rogers needed no spotlight, thanks to a collection of diamonds and emeralds (barrette in her upswept blonde hair, drop earrings, broach attached to a necklace, mammoth ring and bracelet) and all-diamond choker bracelet and a simple strand of diamonds that extended just perfectly down the back of her dazzling Roberto Cavalli Runway gown.

But the beautiful peeps weren’t girls only. The gents did their best to match the elegance of the occasion and to accommodate their ladies. Following the traditional guaranteed winning tuxedo route were Stubbs Davis in a Kiton and Michael Sills in Brooks Brothers. Michael Domke just blew off the whole dress-up issue by describing his tuxedo as “Mine’s by Legos.”

Alas, one poor chap proved to be supportive but clueless about his wife’s gown. He insisted that she was wearing a Valentino. Wife registered a look of puzzlement but couldn’t recall who the designer was. The following week, he admitted that he had been off by a designer or two. The designer was actually Melinda Eng.

After checking in, the 700 guests strolled up the Concourse to the stairway leading down to the Sculpture Garden that was enclosed in a clear tent.

 A living Picasso

A living Picasso

Ross Perot

Ross Perot

As another group of formally attired doormen opened the doors to the stairs to the steps, the boldface types ambled down the way lined with lounging models in hand-painted, Picasso-styled bodysuits and headdresses. They appeared so real that some art-loving guests didn’t guess they were actually living, breathing models.

The sea of elegant types filled the tent to the max. How filled was it? So filled that many claimed they didn’t know there was a silent auction in the place. But they had no trouble finding the Golden Girls, whose full metal skirts held rows of champagne filled flutes.

Cocktails in the tented Sculpture Garden

Cocktails in the tented Sculpture Garden

Then, without warning, a bevy of can-can dancers kicked the next part of the evening into place leading the guests up the stairs to a mirrored walkway to a mammoth tented ballroom that was encased in silvery blue pleated gauzy draping with two large flatscreens on the far sides of the area.

Some noted that the space was smaller than the 2013 arena. Correcto!

Unlike last year, when the tent extended to include the towering orange Mark di Suvero sculpture, the decision was made to not extend the ballroom tent to include the sculpture. Instead the huge orange metal artwork was hunkering down in an adjacent tent, where Cassandra’s catering army was prepping.

Gina attributed the look to Tom Addis, saying he “made all my visions come to life. I cried when I saw it. He is amazing.”

Maxwell Anderson

Maxwell Anderson

Unfortunately, getting the hundreds to settle down in their seats was challenging, so dinner was stalled. Finally, DMA’s Max Anderson took to the stage to welcome all and recognized chair Gina and mega donors. As he prepared to toast honorees John and Jennifer Eagle, the ever-smooth and elegant Max realized that he was without a toasting glass.

Luckily, Nancy Rogers was seated front row center and came to his rescue offering her glass to complete the tribute.

Before dinner got underway, Heritage Auctions’ Mike Sadler took his place on stage to auction off the eight remarkable items.

Nancy C. and Richard Rogers, Doug and Molly Barnes

Nancy C. and Richard Rogers, Doug and Molly Barnes

Once again the Rogers team came to the rescue, with Lady Nancy providing the top bids for the Sue Gragg rings and the Joule hotel weekend. The Rogers’ dinner companions Michael Flores won the shopping spree in NYC, and Doug Barnes bought a black Birkin purse, as wife Molly happily looked on.

For bargain hunters, it was a gold mine. . . if they were listening. A number of the table chatted throughout the auction, missing out on the treasures.

As the final paddle was raised, it was time for dinner and table-hopping. While visiting tables is a tried-and-true indoor sport, it can result in traffic jams for servers and the delaying of the rest of the program.

Finally, after the last table was served the entrée of tournedos of beef, foie gras and Roquefort pâté aux pomme de terre, fricassee of wild mushrooms, spring garlic, grand claret cotes de Bordeaux réduction, John Legend took his place at the baby grand on the stage surrounded by a guitarist and less than a handful of violinsts. Those in-the-know like Barbara Daseke were thrilled to have the world-famous musician on the premises playing. But a surprising number of guests were wondering, “Who’s the guy at the piano? He’s good. Is he local?”

John Legend

John Legend

Legend crooned his way into the hearts and ears of the vast majority. However, one local doyenne admitted later that she had fallen asleep somewhere between “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” and “All of Me.”

Ken Betts

Ken Betts

Sharon Young

Sharon Young

But as Legend finished his final song with no encore, the clock was approaching midnight, the bewitching hour both for parents with waiting babysitters and older folks wanting to head for home. Like salmons heading upstream, guests made their way to the doors heading for the valet or the after-hours party in the Sculpture Garden. The “upstream” challenge resulted from the parade of servers with foamy chocolate mousse cake with caramel sabayon sauce desserts heading for the abandoned tables. As a result, over half of the yummy desserts ended up uneaten. Those who stayed to sample the chocolate goodie had no regrets as they gobbled up every bite. One socialite, upon seeing the untouched desserts, gathered some up to “take home for my kids.”

Stephane Pompougnac

Stephane Pompougnac

Anna-Sophia van Zweden

Anna-Sophia van Zweden

While in his Legend made time for photos with VIP’s including Entertainment Chair Tanya Foster in his tour bus and then headed to his suite at Fairmont to join his wife Chrissy Teigen, Art Ball guests who still wanted to party made a beeline to the Sculpture Garden. There the after-party chaired by Kameron and Court Westcott and Chart Westcott was underway with  Parisian DJ Stephane Pompougnac looking right at home setting the pace for the festivities. In keeping with the evening’s theme, Anna-Sophia van Zweden appeared on the stairs wearing a delicious off-the-shoulder white Vionnet.

For those who had to bypass the after-party and head home, they found La Madeleine desserts and coffees set up along the museum’s circular driveway. As French music played, some of the ladies found their stiletto heels didn’t cotton to the cobblestone driveway. One observer noted that four of the ladies had already “gone down.”

More than 60 photos of the evening and fashions are posted on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for your consideration.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2014 Art Ball

The Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball has been known for decades as one of the most magnificent showcase for gowns, jewelry and flawless faces. On Saturday, May 3, the Art Ball’s 1920’s Paris theme was a perfect opportunity to incorporate old-fashioned glamour with OMG modern day razzle-dazzle.

Brad Kelly and Jacqueline Anderson

Brad Kelly and Jacqueline Anderson

As the lengthy write up on the DMA fundraiser is being finished, the multitude of photos of the beautiful peeps is posted on the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. Be prepared. There are more than 60 photos in the collection.

John Legend

John Legend

Art Ball Auction Item #10: Breathtaking Indonesian Getaway

There are just times when one needs to escape the noise, the traffic, the non-stop schedules and even being with the very best of friends. It’s a time to just take a breather and relax. But that doesn’t have to mean hunkering down in a tent in the wilderness and cooking over a campfire. The Art Ball committee has found the ultimate place to enjoy beauty, calm and luxury for five nights in this package**.

Breathtaking Indonesian Getaway* (Value: $5,577)

For decades Bali has been synonymous with lush tropical beauty, unique art forms and its unique cuisine. In addition to its coasts being kissed by waves and highlighted by coral reefs, the Balinese interior is breathtaking with Mount Agung and tropical forests. Located among the rice paddies and ravines of the central foothills is the town of Ubud. It’s considered to be one of the major arts and culture centers and has attracted the likes Charlie Chaplin, Noel Coward, Barbara Hutton and H.G. Wells in the past.

Viceroy Bali **

Viceroy Bali ***


Today another highlight of the town is The Viceroy Bali. Family-owned, the resort is “majestically situated in Bali’s ‘Valley of the Kings,’ an appellation given by locals for the generations of Balinese royalty who had resided in nearby villages.”

Deluxe Terrace Suite **

Deluxe Terrace Suite ***

Renowned for its emphasis on privacy, comfort and bliss, the highland property has 25 luxuriously appointed private pool villas that have spectacular views of the valley. Of course, there are marble bathrooms, twin vanities, shower plus separate bath, espresso coffee machines, 24-hour room service, bath robes and slippers, evening turn-down service and high-tech pluses (wireless internet connection, satellite TV, etc.). Ah, there’s more. For the winner of this package, they will enjoy the perks of calling one of the 1,615-square-foot Deluxe Terrace Villas home. Just imagine having a “bale” adjacent to your private outdoor pool and overlooking the Petanu River gorge. The perfect way to enjoy coffee in the morning and watch the sun rise, then settle back in evening with a glass of champagne and listen to the sounds of nature.

Lembah Spa **

Lembah Spa ***

And to remove those stresses of home that you perhaps brought along, the Art Ball committee has arranged for a two-hour couple’s spa treatment at the Lembah Spa featuring treatments developed by a certified Swiss therapist who combines Western knowledge with natural and traditional Balinese wellness techniques. Envision having those naughty tight muscles massaged away on the spa’s terrace.

In addition to daily a la carte breakfasts, the winners will also enjoy a five-course candlelit dinner at the resort’s CasCades Restaurant with “its breathtaking views, hushed atmosphere and conscientious service.” While being French inspired, the menu blends the finest from the world of international cuisine. The restaurant is a favorite of international travelers as well as island locals, who have been known to arrive by helicopter thanks to the Viceroy’s helipad.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself debating on what to do off property. There are so many things, from helicopter tours, horseback riding, places to see and art to peruse. But if you get a chance, check out Padangtegal Monkey Forest. But be forewarned. The long-tailed macaque are both entertaining and mischievous. If they spy a shiny object, they’re likely to snatch it away and hold it for the ransom of a treat.

So, start making plans for your trip and bid online or at Saturday’s ball on this package or one of the other goodies.

* Compliments of Viceroy Bali 
** Restrictions:
  • Voucher not valid for High Season periods: July 15th – September 30th, 2014,
  • and December 20th, 2014 – January 6th, 2015.
  • Voucher is non-transferable, non-changeable and non-refundable.
  • Reservations must be made in advance and is subject to availability.
  • Voucher must be presented at time of check-in.
*** Photos provided by Dallas Museum of Art's Art Ball

Art Ball Auction Item #9: Heather Asbury — Rare Gems Of India

All artwork isn’t found in museums or hidden away in private collections. Some of the most creative and fabulous masterpieces can be seen on wrists — bracelets. Some are simple tennis bracelets. Others are handcrafted cuffs of natural materials partnering up with precious jewels. This Art Ball auction item is such a cuff.

Heather Asbury — Rare Gems Of India* (Value: $6,500)

Dallas interior designer Heather Asbury has loved beautiful things since she was a little girl. But one of those “things” that was at the top of her list was jewelry. Back in 2003 she took a trip to Turkey, where the world of more exotic jewelry really got her hooked. When she discovered the prices that were being charged for such pieces, she decided that she had the talent and connections to create her own bracelets.

After creating the designs and having an Indian jeweler produce them, she was shocked. They not only were incredibly gorgeous, but the quality of craftsmanship was phenomenal. Her project was done. . . or was it? Instead the bracelets became compliment magnets forcing her to produce “a collection of more than 350 pieces.”

Heather Asbury cuff**

Heather Asbury cuff**

For the Art Ball, Rare Gems of India has provided a Heather Asbury one-of-a-kind, naturally shed horn cuff highlighted by a vintage Indian broach with rubies, sapphires, emeralds and rough-cut diamonds.

Bidding is open now online and will conclude the night of the Art Ball.

* Compliments of Heather Asbury — Rare Gems of India
** Photo provided by the Dallas Museum of Art's Art Ball

Art Ball Auction Item #8: Explore Napa Valley & Celebrate Sophia Loren With Robert Redford

There are some packages that are simple priceless because they’re a one-time-only opportunity. Any part of this Art Ball package would be drool-able, but all together. . . Well, you’re just going to have to settle back to take this one in. In fact, you may want to read it a couple of times. Then bid online or prepare to wave your paddle high Saturday night at the Dallas Museum of Art fundraiser.

Explore Napa Valley And Celebrate Sophia Loren With Robert Redford* (Value: $19,700)

Festival del Sole*

Festival del Sole**

It’s called Napa Valley Festival del Sole and takes place from July 11-20 in Napa Valley, where else. It’s a glorious time when the lush valley with its countless wineries and restaurants are the setting for enjoying 10 days of wining, dining and taking in 60 events with stars of music, dance and theater.

To start off, the twosome will have two-day VIP passes for the opening weekend (July 13-14). That’s when the Annual Gala at Meadowood Napa Valley takes place with special performance, lunches and dinners hosted by local wineries. Ah, just to say Meadowood is delicious. In a past life, it had been a private country club. H. William Harlan, who had been looking for property to raise grapes, fell in love with the property. So the story goes, Harlan called his partners and within 48 hours, the estate was theirs. Their goal: to create “an upscale resort in Napa Valley that would become a luxury destination for discerning travelers from around the world seeking an authentically Napa Valley experience.” Mission: accomplished.


Meadowood Napa Valley**

This 250-acre resort is the epitome of luxury. In addition to golf, tennis, swimming and spectacular scenery, a perfect evening is sitting on The Grill’s balcony overlooking the Jerry Stark Memorial Croquet Lawns and taking in the surrounding hills and forest. And the rooms! With their down bedding, fabulous views of the property, fireplaces and private outdoor terraces, it’s better than home. And the staff is so accommodating that if you write a thank-you note to General Manager Alex Kim, watch out. You’ll probably get a thank-you note thanking you for allowing them to pamper you. It’s a wonder anyone ever leaves.


Meadowood Napa Valley**

Speaking of which, the winner of this package will not only attend the July 13 and 14 festivities at Meadowood, they’ll call it home-sweet-home.

But, wait, there’s more. It only gets better.

Now that the winners have had time to get the feel of the “festival” fever, they can head to nearby San Francisco to shop, rest and prepare for the weekend. While there, they will have two nights in a Metropolitan Suite at The St. Regis with daily breakfast for two at Vitrine.

Sophia Loren and "friend" (File photo)

Sophia Loren and “unidentified person” (File photo)

Rested and pampered, the winners will head back to stay at Meadowood for July 18 and 19 and the closing of the festival on Saturday, when the stars will be in the sky and on the ground at Far Niente. From around the world, stars of stage and screen will be on hand to pay homage to a true legend — Sophia Loren. The emcee for the evening? Robert Redford. The conductor of the evening’s concert? Sophia’s son, Carlo “Cipi” Ponti Jr. Talk about history-making selfie heaven!

The Restaurant*

The Restaurant**

Far Niente*

Far Niente**

Just in case the winners meet up with “Bob” or “Sophia,” they can take the stars to The French Laundry thanks to a $1,500 gift certificate. After all, it’s the only restaurant, besides Meadowood’s The Restaurant, west of the Mississippi that has earned Michelin’s three-star rating.

And, if they’re feeling like showing the two legendary stars the sights, the winning couple will be able to take them for tours and tastings at both Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel wineries.

Nickel & Nickel*

Nickel & Nickel**

As for traveling to and from California, American Airlines will provide two round-trip, first-class tickets.

American Airlines **

American Airlines **

* Compliments of: Napa Valley 
Festival de Sole and Barrett 
Wissman, Meadowood Napa 
Valley, The St. Regis San 
Francisco, Nickel & Nickel, 
Far Niente, The French Laundry 
and American Airlines

** Photos provided by the 
Dallas Museum of Art's Art 

*** Restrictions include:
• Napa Valley Festival del 
Sole: Certificate valid for 
July 13-14, 2014, and July 
19, 2014 only. 
• Meadowood Napa Valley: 
Certificate valid for 
July 13-14 and July 18-19, 
2014, during Festival del 
• St. Regis San Francisco: 
Certificate is not redeemable for cash, non-transferable, and cannot be 
extended beyond the date indicated. 
• Reservation is based on space availability and blackout dates may apply. 
Original certificate letter must be presented at check-in.
• Far Niente: Certificate valid for four people. Luncheon by prior 
arrangement, valid for June-September of 2014. Date must be mutually 
convenient for bearer and winery.
• The French Laundry: Winner must contact Gina Betts on or before May 8,
2014, to confirm reservations.
• American Airlines:  Travel is from any destination in the 48 contiguous 
United States where American Airlines offers service and returning to 
the original starting point of the trip.