Mary Kay’s Annual Suits For Shelters Kick-Off Party Brought Out The Pink With A Surprise Reward For Attending Domestic Shelters

Barb Podbelsek may have looked like your typical shopper returning a purchase on Thursday, July 13. After parking her car across the way from Bachendorf’s, she carried a red jacket on a hangar to Tootsies. Oh, but rethink that one. Barb was taking her gently worn jacket to a private get-together at Tootsies. The jacket was to be part of the annual Suits for Shelters program that provides professional attire and accessories for women in area shelters.

Barb Podbelsek, Jana Jones and Theresa Powerski

As Barb handed over the jacket, domestic violence experts like Genesis Shelter’s Jan Langbein and Bianca Jackson, Attitudes and Attire’s Annabelle Baxter and The Family Place’s Melissa Sherrill, Mary Catherine Benavides and Shivangi Pokharel Perkins were on hand.

Mary Catherine Benavides, Shivangi Pokharel Perkins and Melissa Sherrill

Alas, this clothes collection kick-off was to be the last one for Shivangi. She was headed to Charlotte, North Carolina? The reason? Her husband’s job.

Speaking of The Family Place MIAs, CEO Paige Flink was nowhere in sight. Seems she was taking a break in West Virginia with husband Randy Flink.

Nikki and Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and models

Mary Kay Inc. VP of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb scoured the crowd for his wife, Nikki Webb. Perfect timing. She was just walking in as the 100 guests like Jana Jones, Theresa Powerski, Jennifer and Aaron Tobin, Tracy and Abe Minkara, Teresa Flores, Anne Crews, Diana Franzetti, Nancy Thomason, Michaela and Trey Dyer, Ashley Montgomery Lyon, Nancy Gopez, Cindy and Brian Hanson, Amy and Chase Laws, Hadley and Travis Galt, Colleen Jamieson, Bill Bernstein, Genevieve Peterson and emcee Cynthia Izaguirre headed upstairs for the evening’s program hosted by the Tootsie’s crew including Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Land and Dustin Holcomb.

Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Lander and Dustin Holcomb

Crayton admitted that in the days ahead, he would be doing heavy-duty babysitting for the four little Webb-sters. The reason? Nikki is co-chairing the Junior League of Dallas’ Milestones Luncheon on Friday, November 17, at the Hilton Anatole with Co-Chair Jennifer Scripps. Decked out in white, Nikki reported that in addition to Linda Perryman Evans receiving the Sustainer of the Year award, the speaker will be Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer. That’s all Nikki could reveal as she and Clayton hustled upstairs for the evening’s program.

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

As Mary Kay Ash grandson Ryan Rogers tried to juggle his microphone and a glass, wife Maleiah Rogers was the dutiful wife, walking over and relieving him of the glass. After Ryan told of his grandmother’s longtime concern and support of women in domestic violent situations, he asked all to toast the work of those in domestic-abuse efforts. But just as he realized he had nothing with which to toast, Maleiah was back on the spot returning his glass.

Speaking of Ryan and Maleiah, they looked rather flawless. When asked their secret, they chimed in — Mary Kay products! Maleiah reeled off the whole product line and finished it with Smooth-Action Cellulite Gel Cream. One woman upon hearing that last one nudged her gal pal and said, “Then I want a bath tub of the stuff. Just look at her.”

Ryan also reminded the guests that the next week would be the national gathering of Mary Kay associates.

According to Crayton, roughly 30,000 of them would be assembling in Dallas for the four-day convention, providing the city with “two to three times the economic impact of Texas-OU weekend.”

When it came to the evening’s highlight, there was a problem. The big draw of the night was the raffle item donated by the Rogerses — $5,000 to the domestic violence group chosen by the winning ticket holder. Alas, Piers Hurley was the lucky winner, but he just couldn’t pick just one. Leave it to Maleiah and Ryan to come up with the perfect solution: “All event program beneficiaries (Attitudes and Attire, Brighter Tomorrows, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, Mosaic Family Services, The Salvation Army DFW and The Family Place) in attendance at the event would receive $5,000 donations to help support their work and help survivors of domestic violence!”

Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits For Shelters Kick-Off Party At Tootsies Proves That It Pays Off To Show Up

With the sizzling heat growing, there is a hesitation to venture out of one’s air-conditioned comfort zone, even it if means just moving from the office to the car to the destination.

But for some domestic abuse nonprofits, it paid off big time in the pink.

But first let’s back up. Tootsies hosted The Mary Kay Foundation’s annual Suits for Shelters kick-off party on Thursday, July 13. Despite June being tepid, July was making up for lost time in the temperature department. Still, the place filled with supporters of the program including some of the domestic abuse nonprofits that would benefit from the clothes collection.

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

Despite the decision not to have a fashion show, the raffle commenced. It was an unusual raffle. One of the prizes would have the winner go home with just great feelings. Their win would be deciding which domestic abuse nonprofit would receive $5,000 thanks to Maleiah and Ryan Rogers (aka Mary Kay’s grandson).

But when Piers Hurley’s name was called, he couldn’t pick just one recipient.

Leave it to Maleiah and Ryan to come up with the solution. They decided that each of the seven nonprofits in attendance would be awarded $5,000 each. So, those walking away in a daze with $5,000 were Attitudes and Attire, Brighter Tomorrows, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, Mosaic Family Services, The Salvation Army and The Family Place.

See, it does pay to show up!

Speaking of which, it also pays to contribute to the clothes collection. In return for the donation, the donor will receive a $25 gift certificate from Tootsies. But better hurry, because the Suits for Shelter program ends on Friday, August 4.

25th Anniversary Partners Card Program Kicks Off At Highland Park Village Despite The Threat Of Stormy Weather

While some hunkered down due to threats of storms on Thursday, May 18, The Family Place folks weren’t gonna let a few drips hold them back from kicking off the 25th anniversary of its Partners Card program. Everybody from former chairs to longtime sponsors were on hand at Highland Park Village for the launch of the 2017 shopping extravaganza that will take place from Friday, October 27 through Sunday, November 5. For more deets, here’s a report from the field:

Jennifer Burns and Brynn Bagot Allday*

Despite anticipated storms, a lively crowd gathered in Highland Park Village Thursday, May 18, to help The Family Place kick off the 25th anniversary of Partners Card, presented by Bank of Texas. Co-chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns, Honorary Co-Chairs Joanne and Charles Teichman, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink and The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin welcomed guests as they mingled throughout the event space above the Village Theater. Guests enjoyed sounds by DJ Jennifer Miller, appetizers provided by Lombardi’s Family Concepts, an open bar and a fun photo booth from LeForce Entertainment.

Joanne Teichman, Lynn McBee and Charles Teichman*

Remarks were given by Co-Chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns who thanked retailers, shoppers, volunteers and sponsors Avant Garden, Beyond, LeForce Entertainment, Lombardi’s Family Concepts and DJ Jennifer Miller. They also introduced the new Partners Card App where you can buy or gift a card, view participating stores, see upcoming Partners Card events and more. The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin gave a special introduction to the honorary chairs Joanne and Charles Teichman of Ylang 23, who have been longtime supporters of Partners Card.

Ralph Prieto, Eric White and Mike Meredith*

“Bank of Texas is so proud to be partnering again with The Family Place for Partners Card for the ninth year,” said Mike Meredith, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, Bank of Texas. “The Family Place’s mission to end domestic violence is truly one of the most important causes of our times. It’s a difficult subject that many folks do not want to talk or think about, but it’s a reality for too many, and we’re very appreciative of the work The Family Place does to help so many people.”

Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill Martin*

The Family Place CEO Paige Flink reminded guests of the reason behind the card and noted that their money aided in a big way by helping The Family Place get the first men into shelters, as well as many women and children. The remarks concluded with attendees coming together in celebration of the cause as “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge played through the speakers.

Partners Card is the signature fundraiser for The Family Place, Texas’ largest and longest-serving family violence agency, and over the past 25 years has become one of the most popular shopping events in the Dallas Metroplex. Cardholders who purchase a $70 card receive a 20% discount at a variety of their favorite stores and restaurants while supporting The Family Place. In 2016, more than 750 retailers and restaurants participated in the program, raising more than $1 million to support The Family Place’s mission to provide life-saving shelter and support to victims experiencing family violence.

David and Sheryl Pidgeon*

This year’s 10-day Partners Card shopping event will be Friday, October 27 through Sunday, November 5. Cardholders are invited to shop with a purpose and help The Family Place reach its goal of raising $1.2 million.

Guests Included: Mary Catherine Benavides, Melanie Hancock, The Family Place Development Manager Heather Street Baker and The Family Place Development Associate Grace Dewar, Paula McCloud, Dana Clack, Robby Sturgeon, Katherine Wynne, Amy Camp, Sandy Stevens, Brett Dougall, Eleanor Watson, Angela Foster, Rebecca Meadows, Margaret Gall, Mary Gall, Stephen Bodwell, Naz Jannah, Walter Love, Kelly Jekauc, Kelly Perkins, Dominika and David Barnes, Elizabeth Barber, Linda Knox, Traci and Ryan Freling, Myriam and Anton Prodanovic, Sheryl Pidgeon and David Pidgeon, Roderick Bonds and Cameo Raymond and past Partners Card Chairs: Lisa Bhattacharya, Andrea Cheek, Samantha Wortley, Diane Fullingim, Maggie Cook Kipp, Lynn McBee and Diana Hamilton.

* Photo credit: George Fiala

JUST IN: Lisa Singleton To Chair The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary’s 2018 Fashion Show And Luncheon

Lisa Singleton may become the top contender for the lady who lunches for funds. She’s already chaired the Chick Lit Luncheon in 2013, St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show in 2015, The Family Place’s Texas Trailblazers Luncheon in 2016 and is co-chairing the Dallas Women’s Foundation’s 32nd Annual Luncheon on  Friday, October 20, at the Hilton Anatole.

Lisa Singleton*

Now, word comes that the blonde is already looking into next year and will be chairing The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary‘s 2018 Fashion Show And Luncheon on Wednesday, May 9.

According to Lisa, “I am honored to have been asked to carry on this 26-year tradition of raising funds to support The Salvation Army and those in need in North Texas. Although the event is a fashion show and luncheon, we can’t lose sight that through the dedication of the many volunteers involved in putting on this tremendous event, people in our communities receive the support they need. Together, we have the power to affect tremendous change.”

In addition to already selecting the date for the fashion show highlighted by donated clothes, Lisa revealed that the event will return to the Meyerson with the opening reception, silent auction, the Chic Boutique, the fashion show produced by Jan Strimple and a seated luncheon.

Sponsorships are available now starting at $5,000 and individual tickets can be had for $300 by contacting Tina Trejo at 214.637.8121.

BTW, if you have that gorgeous gown that you wore to a ball and just know you’ll never wear it again, donate it. Lisa is going to be looking for clothes to fill the racks and the runway.

* Photo credit: Beau Bumpas

It’s Time To Free Your Gently Experienced Clothes From Closet Confines For The Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits For Shelters Program

It’s time for an honesty check. Isn’t there just one, maybe two or even a dozen outfits in your closet that you will never, ever wear again? Perhaps they’re a season or two behind the times. Or, perhaps your body has changed just enough that it just isn’t simpatico with those duds anymore. Yes, it’s a hard fact to face. But it’s time to let your former fabric friends escape the dark confines of your closet and find a bright new life with someone who would think they’ve hit a jackpot.

Suits For Shelters*

Perfect timing all the way around. Not only is there a great chance that there will be one rainy day during the upcoming “four-day holiday weekend,” but the Suits for Shelters is kicking off this weekend. So, why not spend that rainy day editing your wardrobe and taking your gently experienced professional attire and accessories to Tootsies for the Mary Kay Foundation’s “Don’t Look Away” program that benefits women in need.

Not only will you have more space in your closet for new goodies, you’ll earn yourself a $25 Tootsies gift card to shop. Plus you’ll make a difference for someone you may never know.

And if you’re away for the holiday, not to worry. The Suits for Shelters collection program runs through July until Friday, August 4.    

* Graphic courtesy of The Mary Kay Foundation

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.

Let Your Party Dresses Pay It Forward For The Third Annual Prom Dress Drive

It’s Super Bowl weekend, but who cares? It’s just not the priority it was when there was a chance of Dak, Zeke, Jason, Dez and the Cowboys heading to Houston. Why, word has it that since the ‘Boys were eliminated, ticket sales drooped like a beehive hairdo in the rain.

Adding to the weekend dreary wearies, the lovely temperatures of the past days have been replaced by chilly, humid conditions.

But don’t get all down and out. Instead, head to that closet and edit. And while you’re picking dresses, accessories and goodies that don’t fit in your future, don’t forget those party pretties. Come on. Bite the bullet and admit it — you may have had a love affair with that pink organza or that bare-shoulder white silk, but you’ve moved on.

Now, what to do with your gowns, purses and heels? Have we got an answer for you and you’re gonna feel like a Super Bowl champ!

Comerica Prom Dress Drive*

For the third year Comerica is holding its Prom Dress Drive during the month of February. No, the dresses are not going to be given to Comerica staffers, but you knew that. Instead, the formal attire will be offered to youngsters from Dallas CASA and Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas just in time for spring proms.

According to Dallas CASA’s Rosanne Lewis, “It is a wonderful thing to give girls in foster care a chance to experience the fun of prom in a fancy dress, feeling beautiful. Once all the dresses and accessories are here and organized, we will have two prom dress boutique-shopping days for the girls we work with. Shoes, bags, lots of bling, plus help with makeup and hair make it a great day for the girls.”

All you have to do is gather up your collection and take it to one of the following Comerica Banking Centers:

  • NorthPark — 8850 Boedeker Street (Dallas)
  • Forest-Inwood — 5200 Forest Lane (Dallas)
  • Cole-Fitzhugh — 3202 North Fitzhugh (Dallas)
  • Preston Center — 8225 Preston Road (Dallas)
  • Chapel Hill-Tollway — 2560 Dallas Parkway (Plano)

After you drop the items off, head to your favorite store and treat yourself to some new clothes. After all, there is a now some empty space in your closet.

* Graphic courtesy of Comerica

Falling Temperatures Welcome Fall And The Need To Let Go

Well, yahoo! Get that duvet out and cozy up to a mug of hot cocoa. Tomorrow morning when you exercise those real and faux eyelashes, there’s gonna be a nip in the air. Open the door and that adorable nose is gonna inhale a crisp sniff of morning air courtesy of Mother Nature.

As promised, the cool front moved in overnight, but it didn’t exactly bring along temps that require nuclear-heated blankets, ice storm warnings, or even the need to hitch up your pack of huskies to the family sled. Those days are yet to come.

Snow covers neighborhoods (File photo)

Snow covers neighborhoods (File photo)

Instead, North Texas is easing into the cooler times of fall, when leaves turn orange, gold and brown before kissing lawns.

And while the outdoors beg for you to take a walk or settle down on your fav patio, think about your closet. There are so many old-timers there that you just know you’ll never ever wear, even if you lose that final ten. Why not donate and allow your past loves to bring wonderfulness to someone else?

If you need a suggestion for clothes adoption centers, think about The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show and Luncheon, Goodwill and Attitudes and Attire for starters.

And talking about closets, what about that linen hideaway? Betcha there are blankets in there that could really help warm someone on a chilly night instead of chilling in the closet. The folks at Goodwill and Dallas Animal Services have residents that would appreciate ’em.

Mary Kay Foundation’s 2016 Suits For Shelters Fashion Celebration Was Definitely In The Pink At Tootsies

As so many have realized recently, domestic violence doesn’t take a second off. Whether it’s in the low-income community or the highfalutin neighborhoods, anger and physical abuse are not limited to one ZIP code.

But on Wednesday, July 20, the Suits for Shelters program celebrated the hope for many suffering from domestic violence. It was the annual fashion show at Tootsies benefiting the Mary Kay Foundation‘s effort to collect clothes for victims trying to find new lives of independence. And pink was definitely the color the day!

It was a great turnout of frontliners in the battle against abuse. The Family Place’s VP of Development Melissa Sherrill was standing in for The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink , who was MIA. It seems that after 25 years of working at The Family Place, Paige was on a sabbatical that had coincided with the Suits for Shelters get-together.

On the other hand, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein in her most adorable explosion of pink sundress said that she was already on the search for the Genesis Luncheon 2017 speaker. OK, so she admitted that to outdo 2016 speaker Tyler Perry was going take some doing, but Jan enjoys a good challenge, don’t you know.

Jan Langbein

Jan Langbein

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

But the true-blue standouts of the evening were Maleiah and Ryan Rogers. Gee, were these two made by Mattel? They greeted one and all with graciousness and dang! They looked so fabulous. Ryan’s grandmother, the late Mary Kay Ash, would have been so proud to have seen her mission to help those overcoming domestic violence being carried on by Maleiah and Ryan.

Mary Kay Foundation that is the driving force of the event also had Mary Kay Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility VP Crayton Webb, who had missed last year’s event due to a trip to China. Now, the father of three sons and a brand new daughter was looking over the crowd for his wife Nikki Webb, who was on her way.

It’s hard to imagine a more dedicated advocate in the battle against domestic violence than HeROs President Crayton, but the March birth of a daughter has made his mission even more personal.

Crayton Webb

Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Melissa Cameron

Melissa Cameron

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

All too soon the capacity crowd including Nancy Gopez, Kris Johnson, Melissa Cameron and Michaela Dyer, moved upstairs for the fashion show. After the welcomes by Emcee WFAA’s Cynthia “Izzy” Izaguirre, Ryan, Crayton and Tootsies Store Director Nerissa von Helpenstill, the fashions were on parade worn by WFAA’s Alexa Conomos and Charlotte Huffman, The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show’s Kellie Rasberry, Attitudes and Attire’s Evelyn Earl, Battered Women’s Foundation’s Roze Kluttz, Brighter Tomorrows’ Tina Strand, Denton County Friends of the Family’s Alicia Froidl, Dress for Success’ Karis Renee, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Tamika Jackson, Hope’s Door’s Megan Rutherford, Mosaic Family Services’ McKenzie Hoopfer, New Beginning Center’s Rhonda Aicklen, Safe Haven of Tarrant County’s Dakota Hart, The Salvation Army’s Vicki Wheaton, The Family Place’s Ericka Johnson and Mary Kay’s Marci Burns, Morgan Calhoun and Lisa Petty.

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Suits for Shelter fashion show

Suits for Shelters fashion show

Then the raffle took place with the highlight being the announcement of the winner of the $5,000 donation in the name of the winner to a domestic violence group.  Provided by Maleiah and Ryan, this item is the most-sought-after of the raffle packages for the nonprofit representatives. The moment Esmerelda Rodriquez’s name was called was electric. Irving-based Brighter Tomorrows’ CEO Diana Franzetti was truly beside herself. It seemed pretty obvious which organization Brighter Tomorrows’ Board Member Esmerelda was going to pick.

On a sidenote: Tootsies’ Sales Manager Dustin Holcomb admitted that the entire Tootsies’ family was still adjusting to life without Tootsies’ founder Mickey Rosmarin. Still Dustin assured that the Dallas operation was not only carrying on, it was going to celebrate its 25th anniversary this fall.

It’s Time To Retire Your Suit For A New Life

Know that suit in the closet that you’ll never wear again? It’s not getting better with age. Perhaps it’s not as up-to-date as your fashion reputation? Or, maybe it’s just not fitting the way it used to. Regardless, why keep it? There’s someone else who would not only appreciate it, but it just might help them land a job or score a promotion.

Tootsies fashions (File photo)

Tootsies fashions (File photo)

Just think. Not only can you help someone else and make room for a new addition to your wardrobe, you can even be gifted with a Tootsies $25 giftcard.

It’s simple. Just take that outfit to Tootsies starting tomorrow for the annual Suits For Shelters sponsored by The Mary Kay Foundation. The staff will greet your clothing with welcome arms and present you with your gift card that you’ll probably put to good use ASAP.

And what will happen to your donation? It will be provided to a shelter working with victims of domestic violence like Kimberley.

What’s that? You’re out of town. Don’t let that little issue worry your pretty head of split-end-less hair. You’ve got until Saturday, August 6, to hand over your pretties.

Remember your not-gonna-wear-it-again outfit could help a woman, whom you’ll never know, take a totally new direction in her life and the lives of her children.

Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits For Shelters Had Guests In The Pink To Rally Clothes For Victims Of Domestic Abuse

On Thursday, July 9, Dallas was on the verge of the pink invasion. Yup, it was time for the annual Mary Kay Convention. But it was also the evening of the “Think Pink” event at Tootsies for The Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits for Shelters program with cocktails on the ground floor and a fashion show upstairs.

But this year there was a slight twist to the gathering. There were a lot more men among the 200 in attendance. While Mary Kay VP Crayton Webb was MIA (he was in China), his involvement in HeRO was felt with such men as David Shallenberger and Bert Burkhalter taking a stand against domestic violence by attending the event.

Bert Burkhalter

Bert Burkhalter

David and Punam Shallenberger

David and Punam Shallenberger

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

Luckily, Mary Kay Chief Investment Officer/scion Ryan Rogers was front and center with his wife Maleiah, who was OMG perfectly outfitted with pink accessories like an over-the-shoulder scarf and a dazzling pink clutch. Her pink toenails peeking out of her Louboutin open-toe heels were a nice touch, too.

Just when the downstairs showroom was about to burst with people, it was time to head upstairs for the fashions.

As the guests like Yvonne Crum, Melissa Sherrill, Kirsten Gappelberg, Ann Crews, Theresa Flores, Katharine Bain and Regina Bruce were taking their places, WFAA’s Cynthia “Izzy” Izaguirre was taking cellphone snaps of guests. She promised them that she would be showing them on the evening’s 10 p.m. newscast.

Rebecca Gibson and Cynthia Izaguirre

Rebecca Gibson and Cynthia Izaguirre

The Family Place’s Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill were bright-eyed and chipper despite the anxieties of moving TFP’s consulting and administration offices. Paige hinted that more changes would be announced in the months ahead. Stay tuned.

Kirsten Gappelberg and Jan Langbein

Kirsten Gappelberg and Jan Langbein

Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill

Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill

With Maleiah sitting nearby, Ryan called the group to order explaining the program and introducing Tootsies manager Nerissa von Helpenstill, who in turned handed the mic over to Izzy.

The petite anchorwoman found herself having to jump-start the runway action. Despite announcing the start of the show, no one came out. Cynthia gently admonished them to appear: “Where are they? Ladies!”

That got the action going. At first Izzy did a running commentary like, “Does Rhonda look hot or not?” and “That’s the kind of look that will wind up on TV!”

Amber Griffin

Amber Griffin

Eventually she stopped asking the models for their names, dropped the scripted remarks and just let the fashions flow. Every now and then she would announce the theme for the next group of fashions, like Boho Beach Party and Sophisticated Soiree. After all, the models had gotten in the swing of things. Model Amber Griffin blew kisses to the guests in one outfit and then appeared in a hot pink caftan with arms widespread, looking like a glorious pink eagle.

Following the finale, Ryan returned to the podium and had the raffle tickets pulled for prizes like gift cards, Mary Kay gift baskets and goodies. The final item was a $5,000 donation to the shelter of choice by the winning ticket holder. While Paige and Genesis Shelter’s Jan Langbein looked hopeful, their hopes were dashed when Joe Fox sprung up when his ticket won, rushed to the podium immediately, and reported that the money would be going to the New Beginning Center. Talk about being on a roll. New Beginning just this past May received a $15,000 emergency grant from The Mary Kay Foundation to “provide safe and secure housing in the midst of major plumbing repairs.”

It’s not too late to pop by Tootsies with that suit or those accessories that were such memory-makers a season or two ago. Why not let someone else get some mileage out of them, and you’ll be rewarded with a $25 coupon to replace it with something new from Tootsies?

Release Your Party Dresses From Their Closet Prisons To Help Dallas CASA’s Prom Dress Drive

Gown (File photo)

Gown (File photo)

Remember that gown you bought for that black tie event? Sure, you do. Everybody commented on how great you looked. Yes, everybody! Unfortunately, that means you just can’t wear it again. But then you can’t let such a great dress just age in your closet. Ah, come on. It made your night. Why punish it?

Here’s a thought: donate it. This month Comerica Bank “is accepting gently used formal dresses and accessories.” No, the bankers aren’t going to wear them to the Big Buck Ball.

Seriously, Dallas CASA is holding Prom Dress Drive to “benefit teen girls in foster care.” Imagine being a teenage girl going to her prom and having nothing… absolutely nothing to wear. Why not make her feel special because chances are “special” has not been a common occurrence in her life?

So, free your party frock and take it to the bank. And if you have some accessories like shoes, gloves, etc., include ’em.

But you’d better get hustling. The “shopping day” will take place in March.

Get A Pass From The Dallas Zoo For Turning In Your Closet Friend

It’s your closet friend. You know. It’s that coat that you really thought about and finally broke down and brought. Sue it love at first sight, and it kept you warm and even earned a couple of compliments. But times and trends change and newcomers eventually replaced it. So, it was more or less put into closet retirement.

Now it’s time to let it “out of the closet” and be that special coat for someone who doesn’t worry about being a trendsetter. It’s a person who would appreciate the warmth your old cover buddy can provide.

Yes, parting will be tough, but facing the chill will be a lot tougher for some without a coat.

Now, how about a special? The Dallas Zoo is offering a free pass on Saturday, December 6, in exchange for “gently used or new cold-weather gear — your coat, gloves, scarf.” And they’ll make sure that it goes to The Stewpot for someone who will make it a good home.

Lola (File photo)

Lola (File photo)

Ah, if you’re already a member of the zoo and already get in free, your donation will get a guest pass for your donation.

By the way, check out the Dallas Zoo membership levels. Talk about membership having perks. Everything from free admission, monorail passes to free parking. Everything except taking one of the zoo residents home.

Round Robin November 5: Too Many To Mention But Dang It If NorthPark Isn’t Part Of All Of ‘Em

According to six degrees of separation, everyone/everything is just six or fewer steps away from another person in the world. On Wednesday, November 5, NorthPark was less than two steps away from all the fundraising activities in the area.

Nexus Annual Appeal Campaign Kick-Off Party

Billie Leigh Rippey*

Billie Leigh Rippey*

The Nexus Annual Appeal Campaign Kick-Off Party was taking place at CH Carolina Herrera at NorthPark. According to plans, “The annual appeal kick-off event, chaired by Faye Briggs, will be hosted at CH Carolina Herrera in NorthPark Center. Guests of the chic occasion including society fixtures, fashion savvy personalities, media and Nexus patrons and leaders— will savor champagne, wine and heavy hors d’ oeuvres. In addition, partygoers will have the chance to win a donated CH Carolina Herrera tote. Mid event Nexus Executive Director, Becca Crowell, will express her gratitude to Faye Briggs and CH Carolina Herrera for their support. She will also highlight the annual appeal campaign which begins on November 7th with a mail drop of 9,000 appeal letters to supporters, associates, friends and family of Nexus and of Faye Briggs. Furthermore Carolina Herrera CH will announce that 15% of purchases made at the event will be donated to Nexus Recovery Center as well as any purchases made through November 9th, 2014 with a mention of Nexus Recovery Center.”

Everything went according to plan except Faye wasn’t there. A Nexus representative reported, Faye “had two events booked and wasn’t able to be in two places at once unfortunately. She was trying as far as my understanding to make both.

“The event however, despite her absence was a success.”

So, where was Faye? Check the next item.

TACA’s Founders Circle Dinner

Faye Briggs

Faye Briggs

Alas, poor Faye Briggs was in a quandary. She had just recently been named the honorary chair for Nexus Annual Appeal Campaign and they were having their kick-off party at CH Carolina Hererra in NorthPark. But she was also slated to be at Barbara and Don Daseke’s place for a seated dinner honoring the TACA Founders Circle. (The Founders Circle included people who’ve made multi-year commitments of at least $5K per year.) Since cloning was not available, Faye could only attend one and it was the Daseke dinner catered by The Joule Hotel with Chef Jaco Smith orchestrating in the kitchen.

Barbara Daseke and Nelda Cain Pickens

Barbara Daseke and Nelda Cain Pickens

Sure, it may have been dark, rainy and chilly outside, but inside the Daseke’s teak mansion, it was glowing with TACA art lovers. Despite the fact it was less than 24 hours after the area elections, the world “politics” never was heard. For this crowd of 20+ (Linda and Steve Ivy, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Nelda Cain Pickens, Karol Omlor, Addison Mayor Pro Tem Blake Clemens, Caroline Kohl and Holly and Tom Mayer) had art on the brain.

Caroline Kohl

Caroline Kohl

Karol Omlor

Karol Omlor

Linda Ivy

Linda Ivy

As guests gathered in the two-story living room overlooking the wooded grounds, Diane Brierley welcomed the group and TACA President Becky Young reported how TACA had grown over the past 30 years. She added that the Founders Circle’s commitments represented $2.5M to TACA through 2018.

Then it was time for a little art talk. That’s when Dallas composer Margaret Barrett, who is one of the TACA grant recipients, took over. She told about the “Universal Language” performed by The Obscure Dignitaries and inspired by the DMA exhibit “Concentrations 57: Slav and Tartars” taking place on Saturday, November 22. Free to the public, it will be performed in the DMA Horchow Auditorium.

Diane Brierley and Tom and Holly Mayer

Diane Brierley and Tom and Holly Mayer

While Barbara, Becky and Diane were single wives for the night, others enjoyed a fabulous dinner of scallops, lamb chops and killer lemon tart. And the talk of the performing arts continued to be the table topic.

Fall Into Fashion

Over at Neiman Marcus, the United Way was literally “falling into fashion. Here’s a report:

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas hosted a sold-out crowd for its fabulous ‘Fall into Fashion’ runway show and fundraiser on the third level of Neiman Marcus NorthPark.  More than 300 guests (Robin Bray, Debra SoRelle, Allison Shelton, Emily Hatcher, Brenna Pontarelli, Meryl Olsen, Laura Downing, Donna Epps, Lori Mc Williams, Susan Hutcheson, Debbie Stewart, Jessica Lee, Scarlett Landry, Pamela Osborne, Kristy Faus, Jan Strimple, Lauren Hendershot, Caroline Vu, Deborah Arango, Debra von Storch, Donna Sweatman, Ashley Wathen, Stacy Gibson, Margie Elkins, Cecelia Hodges, Arden Ellis, Jamie Sowa and Katie Anderson) sipped on champagne and cranberry cocktails as they enjoyed watching models display the latest fall must-haves.

Cecelia Hodges, Arden Ellis, Susan Hutcheson, Jamie Sowa, Katie Anderson and Debbie Stewart**

Cecelia Hodges, Arden Ellis, Susan Hutcheson, Jamie Sowa, Katie Anderson and Debbie Stewart**

Ginger Allen and Jan Strimple**

Ginger Allen and Jan Strimple**

“United Way supporters, many of them Women of Tocqueville members, mixed and mingled, nibbling on heavy hors d’oeuvres and listening to beats, courtesy of DJ Blake Ward.  Attendees were entered into a drawing to win a Gucci handbag, and all left with swag bags featuring the best in fall beauty.

“CBS 11/KTVT senior reporter Ginger Allen graciously served as the evening’s emcee.  Guests were generous in bringing their gently used career clothes, accessories, and shoes to donate to United Way programs supporting victims of domestic violence.  For more information about United Way programs, please visit www.unitedwaydallas.org.”

Trains At NorthPark Sponsor Party

And while the Ronald McDonald House’s Trains at NorthPark Sponsor Party didn’t take place at the shopping center, it was certainly center of conversation. Here’s a report from the field:

Tia Wynne, Len Critcher and Jamie Singer***

Tia Wynne, Len Critcher and Jamie Singer***

“Before The Trains at NorthPark, Dallas’ favorite holiday miniature trains exhibit, rolls through Dallas for its 27th year, there’s plenty of fundraising, building in the new trains space, and thanking the sponsors for their incredible support. At the November 5th Trains sponsor party, hosted in the home of Len Critcher, there was plenty to celebrate, but apparently the House is nearing capacity.

“The House referenced isn’t Critcher’s that could be in the pages of Traditional Home, but the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, the organizer of The Trains at NorthPark—its largest fundraiser.

Jill Cumnock, CEO of Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, welcomed about 100 supporters. ‘Thank you for your support. The House is at 93% capacity tonight, and The Trains raises nearly a third of our operating budget. Our Trains co-chairs, Jamie Singer and Tia Wynne, have done a tremendous job of fundraising, and we can’t wait to see all of you at the opening on November 22.’

Courtney Westerburg and Claire Raggio***

Courtney Westerburg and Claire Raggio***

“Jamie Singer, who has volunteered for the Ronald McDonald House since she was in high school, thanked Claire Raggio and Courtney Westerburg, last year’s Trains co-chairs who organized the sponsor party. ‘I’m also pleased to announce next year’s Trains co-chairs Jennifer Tobin and April Cook to fill our shoes.’

“Tia Wynne, who has taken her children to the attraction for seven years, added, ‘Thank you for Bank of Texas for helping make the Trains roll as our presenting sponsor for the sixth year.’

“Bank of Texas’ Bob White added, ‘What Ronald McDonald House of Dallas does is important work, and it’s a pleasure for us to be a part of this community.’

“Dr. Jeffrey Fearon and his wife, Regen Fearon, serve as this year’s Honorary Co-chairs. (Regen was just named the Junior League of Dallas’ Sustainer of the Year on November 6 at a luncheon where Laura Bush spoke.)

Bob White, Diane Fullingim, Regen and Jeffrey Fearon and Jill Cumnock***

Bob White, Diane Fullingim, Regen and Jeffrey Fearon and Jill Cumnock***

“He told a personal story from his childhood about how his mother had taken his sister to Boston Children’s when she was very ill, and there wasn’t a Ronald McDonald House for his mother. She stayed in a hotel by herself and apart from the family. Fast forward years later, and he worked at the same hospital.

“Through his practice as a craniofacial surgeon, he sees plenty of patients, many of whom stay at the House. He finally decided as a family that he and Regen needed to take their twins and visit this place. ‘I was taken by the humanity of the people feeding families at the House.’ He was referring to the fact that volunteers serve families three homemade meals a day, the caring staff that supports the families, and the comfortable accommodations each family receives. ‘The amount of stress that the House reduces is enormous.’”

* Photo provided by Nexus Recovery Center 
** Photo provided by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas 
*** Photo credit: Rhi Lee

Use Those Warms Thoughts To Take The Chill Out Of Munchkin’s Holidays

The advantage of being a firstborn was you got new stuff. The problem with being #2, #3 or #4, you got hand-me-downs. By the fifth kiddo, the clothes were so threadbare, that your folks ended up getting new stuff.

So, the lesson learned is that new is always best when it comes to clothes, shoes and facelifts.

And that’s what Metrocare Services is aiming for this year. No, not the facelifts or even the shoes. They’ve set a goal to “collect 1,000 NEW coats, jackets, sweaters or sweatshirts in size 2-18 for many of the children and teens we serve.”

While some are asking for “gently used” items, Metrocare is ramping things up because “There is something special about receiving a gift with the tags still on, and for our kids, it is a very rare thing. It says, ‘You are special and you deserve this!’”

So, with the brutal chill of the past days in mind and your sights set on Black Friday, why not do one of the following things:

  • Individual donations of clothing or money. They need to be delivered to Metrocare Services (1380 River Bend Drive) from December 1 through 12 from 9 .m. to 4 p.m.
  • Host an Angel Tree at your office, in your community group or neighborhood for coats.
  • Volunteer your time to help the Metrocare team sort and match donations with a child. You can help out on December 11, 12, 15 and/or 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Or better yet, do two or three of the above suggestions.

United Way Of Metropolitan Dallas’ Fashion Into Fall Will Fundraise And Raise Fashion Fun At Neiman’s NorthPark

The Neiman Marcus professionals are internationally renowned for being on the forefront of fashion. Whether it’s couture ball gowns, accessories du jour or assembling a total look complete with the right “Wow!” factor, Dallasites have been at Ground Zero for fashion thanks to these knowledgeable folks.

How about tapping into that treasure trove of talent for the upcoming season? The temperature is starting to edge downward, so the thoughts of cashmere sweaters, gloves and boots are starting to pop up in minds and discussions. But last year’s ensemble seems….well, so yesterday. What’s a girl to do?

The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and NM NorthPark, where NM VP/GM Malcolm Reuben rules, have come up with the answer and it won’t cost a mortgage payment!

Fall Into Fashion*

Fall Into Fashion*

It’s Fall Into Fashion on Wednesday, November 5. The main event including a runway fashion show starts on the third level at 6:30 p.m. According to organizers, guests “will learn from the style experts at Neiman Marcus about the latest fall must-have’s.” Plus there will be couture cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres and DJ Blake Ward in charge of the sounds of the night.

There is a problem, though. The tickets have been flying out the door, so there aren’t many left. The reason? They’re only $25 per person. Yup, you read it. $25! Heck, it costs more to go to a movie and get a box of popcorn and soft drink.

Oh, and the organizers would appreciate the donation of gently experienced “career clothes, accessories and shoes to donate to United Way’s programs supporting victims of domestic violence.”

So, have an intervention with the clothes. Pick out the ones that need to go and take them to Fall into Fashion. You’ll probably find their replacements pretty darn quick.

Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits For Shelters Program Gets In The Pink At Tootsies Kick-Off Reception

On the eve of the pink invasion by the Mary Kay forces, the Suits for Shelters program kicked off with a gathering to the max at Tootsies hosted by the ever-gorgeous Maleiah and Ryan Rogers (he’s the grandson of Mary Kay, as if you didn’t know). Guests arrived with clothes, shoes and accessories to be donated for the annual program helping women who are escaping abusive situations.

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Bird’s eye view, the scene looked like Maalox had stylishly been sprayed over the room. Pink was everywhere. From adorable pink frocks to touches of the color in men’s ties, it was definitely the shade of the night. Why, the Tootsies staff even had the mannequins in the tone for the evening.

Hayden and David Novak

Hayden and David Novak

One standout in the sea of pink was David Novak’s pocket square. Of course, it was pink, but it had more than its color going for it. The SMU grad’s Quixotic line of hankies that start at $35 is a double doozy of a winner for today’s gentlemen. First of all, 10% of sales go to organizations including The Family Place and Genesis Women’s Shelter. Second, they had a Square for Square program that “if you lose or damage your Quixotic pocket square in some gentlemanly act of kindness, then we will give your another.” Examples of such acts include: wiping tears, remove a spot, prevent a drip from a bottle of wine, pass something hot, etc.

Doug and Holly Deason

Doug and Holly Deason

But the crowd wasn’t all in pink and worried about good manners. Over to the side of the Preston Road entrance, Shelter Ministries of DallasJan Langbein was introducing guests to Dallas Police Lt. Miguel Sarmiento of the family violence unit. . . . Across the way were The Family Place’s Melissa Sherrill and Shivangi Pokharel and Habitat for Humanity’s  Melissa Cameron. . . . But the night was not “girls-only.” Thanks to Mary Kay’s Crayton Webb, men like Doug Deason, Bob Dyer and Jeff Cameron have taken on a major role in the efforts to reduce eliminate domestic abuse. Crayton indeed had his hands full. With thousands of Mary Kay associates on their way to Dallas, he was standing at the door waiting for his wife Nikki, who was delayed. The moment she appeared, he lit up. . . In one of the showrooms were racks and racks of true-blue bargains, in addition to pink items including shoes on sale. . . . Ironically the champagne was bountiful but not pink!

Myann Payne

Myann Payne

Following the reception downstairs, guests moved upstairs for the fashion show featuring Tootsies fashions on the following models: Evelyn Earl from Attitudes and Attire, Liz Slane from Battered Women’s Foundation, Linda Zander from Brighter Tomorrows, Myann Payne from Dress for Success, Susan Wells Jenevein and Abby Mayer from Genesis Women’s Shelter, Alma Catic and Megan Rutherford from Hope’s Door, Mirjana Omerajic from Mosaic Family Services, Isabel Camacho from New Beginning Center and Carmen Ponder from The Family Place.

Cynthia Izaguirre and Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and Crayton Webb

WFAA’s Cynthia Izaguirre was the show’s emcee and got things going with a selfie with the room full of guests. Then Crayton and host Ryan welcomed the group stressing the importance that the Mary Kay Foundation places on issue of domestic violence.

Then the “Think Pink” fashion show was underway with each model receiving cellphone salutes and some like Linda Slane getting a thumbs up from friends. Unlike other fashion shows, where guests smile in approval, this group let the world know their feelings with applause and cheers.

Linda Slane getting thumbs up

Linda Slane getting thumbs up

But even after the last guests toddled out of Tootsies, the effort to provide clothing for women in need didn’t end. The collection of new and gently used women’s professional attire, shoes and accessories continues through Monday, August 4, at Tootsies. In return donors will received a $25 Tootsies gift card that could be very useful during Tootsies’ summer sale.