December 20 Round Robin: Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debs And Cattle Baron’s Ball Christmas Parties

There is no doubt that when it comes to December, the Park Cities know how to dress up mighty pretty. And like checking out an elegant ball gown by Diane Monique Lhuillier, it requires time to take it all in. Unfortunately, the streets lined with beautifully lit homes can also become log-jammed with cars and horse-drawn carriages.  Whether it’s a side street or a major boulevard, there is no such thing as hurry-scurry.

Perhaps the greatest traffic black hole of this season was on Thursday, December 20. It was a perfect storm of folks wanting to have that last minute gasp of partying before leaving for an extended holiday weekend and others leisurely making their way home from shopping.

Need a for instance?

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Débutante Holiday Party

Cynthia and Brice Beaird’s home

Let’s start with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League holiday party for the DSOL debs, honor guard and all their folks at Cynthia and Brice Beaird‘s marvelous home on Lorraine. Hmm, let’s see. Using all the fingers and toes, that meant more than 150 were expected to fill the 1927-built residence designed by HP Village architects Marion Fooshee and James Cheek.

Brice and Cynthia Beaird

But the challenge was not managing that number in the perfect-for-Christmas mansion with stained glass and beautifully restored decorated archways. Cynthia is an old hand at that. Why, she even had hot apple cider outside for those waiting for planned carriage rides or their cars.

The problem was getting to the Beairds’ homestead. First, there were two other parties being held on the street. Normally, that would have been manageable. But then the valets’ no-fail plan fell apart when a shuttle bus plugged up the already filled-to-capacity street like a cork in a bottle of Dom. And then there was that longer-than-condominium limo, whose passengers hopped out feeling no pain and walked down past a couple of houses and then fell back into their limo.

Sarah Frazee, Claire McCormick and Lizzie Weeks

Ah, but once inside the Beairds’ home,  the stalled parking situation was well worth it. Lizzie Weeks was welcoming guests and receiving birthday congrats at the front door; Deep-bow choreographer Channy Ronchetti was back in town after completing an internship with “Vogue International” and working for a fashion house.

DSOL Debutante Ball Chair Kay Weeks reported that Tom Addis and Junior Villanueva were creating quite a set for the February 2 ball at the Meyerson.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Christmas Party

On the other hand, parking conditions were more reasonable for the Cattle Baron’s Christmas party at Cate and Jeremy Ford‘s mansion on Beverly. Well, yeah! Lorraine to Beverly is like Keira Knightley to Dame Judi Dench. Both classy but totally different sizes.

Of course, it helped that the Fords’ home had an auto courtyard to expedite the arrivals and departures of guests like Olivia and Jeff Kearney who had made the trek from Fort Worth, where they had attended Elaine and Neils Agather‘s annual party. They had one more stop after the CBB party — dinner at Nick and Sam’s Grill with Tanya and Pete Foster and Gregory Dunbar and Terry Van Willson for belated birthday celebrations for Pete and Gregory and an early anniversary celebration for the Fosters.

2012 CBB Co-chair Skye Brewer was solo-ing it because husband Bill was prepping for a trial. JB Hayes was buzzing about her boss Ken Hersh‘s closing a deal earlier in the day where his NCP Energy Capital Management would be acquired by the Carlyle Group for $424M. Santa obviously came early at the Hersh household.

Melissa Sherrill, Cate Ford and Michelle Meadows

Hostess Cate was receiving accolades for her holiday-decorated home. She admitted that this time of year was her favorite. But she was also a little shy about her write-up on the “D Moms” blog earlier in the day. Why did she do it? To help promote The Trains at NorthPark that will continue to choo-choo until Sunday, January 6.

Mini-trains at the Fords’ home

2013 CBB Co-chairs Mary Gill and Brooke Shelby managed to herd the former CBB chairs together for a photo. Mary and Brooke plan to announce the headliners in January for the upcoming 40th anniversary gala. While they wouldn’t reveal the group, they were adamant that Mother Nature would not be a party pooper.

Past CBB Chairs Brooke Shelby, Mary Gill, Kristen Johnston, Jennifer Dix, Jacque Wynne, Skye Brewer, Tanya Foster and Olivia Kearney

But the partying didn’t stop at the Ford’s home. A passel of the guests headed over to Javier’s, where they proved that CBB-ers know how to continue the holiday celebration.

Accessible Luxury 2013 Kicks Off At Anteks For Texas Scottish Rite Hospital For Children Fundraiser

While the MySweetCharity elves have been helping Santa’s elves the last few weeks, freelance elves have been filling in. One reports from the field that

Peggy and Dan Meyer

“On Wednesday, December 5, Jason Lenox of Anteks graciously hosted the Accessible Luxury 2013 Host Committee Kick-Off Reception. Patrons, sponsors and associated elite of this anticipated annual event perused the Design District home furnishings store which specializes in sophisticated rustic interiors. In addition guests enjoyed beer compliments of  Four Corners Brewery, wine and hors d’ oeuvres by Parigi. Peggy Meyer greeted everyone and made introductions of speakers Dr. Karl Rathjen and Lisa and Dr. Dan Sucato (2013 Accessible Luxury Chairmen).

Guests learned that the 2013 event will be held at Park Place Premier Collection Dealership on Saturday, April 20, 2013. The event will include a fashion show, a variety of offerings in the Bentley Bubble Room, McLaren Roadster Room, the Rolls-Royce Runway Room and the Maserati Man Cave outfitted with Anteks furnishings. A lucky winners of the reception drawing walked away with a gift certificate to Anteks and a piece from the home accessories line which Jason recently designed and launched nationwide.”

FYI: Accessible Luxury benefits Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. . . as if you didn’t already know.

Photo provided by Anteks

YW Toy Drive Holiday Happy Hour Proves To Be A “Friend-Raiser” At Komali

Toys for YW

Ostensibly, it was celebrating a holiday “toy drive” to benefit YW’s Nurse-Family Partnership, a program that sends registered nurses into the homes of struggling mothers-to-be.

But to YW CEO Jennifer Ware, Tuesday night’s Holiday Happy Hour at the Komali restaurant was more about raising awareness of the group than raising funds.

A “friend-raiser,” as she put it.

“We’ve kept ourselves a secret for too long, so we’re trying to get the word out,” Ware said. “Today is kind of our ‘coming out’ party.”

The party may have been overdue.

Few may know that YW is short for Young Women’s Christian Association, an organization that is distinct and separate from the YMCA. Instead of running weight rooms and putting people up for the night, YW specializes in addressing the critical needs of women, helping them become self-sufficient.

Jennifer Ware, Tara Allison and Patricia Gregory

With programs including the nurse partnership, financial empowerment services, and women’s healthcare, the 105-year-old local group depends on foundations, corporations, and individuals for its roughly $3.7 million annual budget.

But, it’s begun thinking about a capital campaign, too.

Reason: While it only has a modest, crowded office off Central Expressway now, what’s really needed is a “center for women,” where women in Dallas could come for services, Ware said.

Such a center, she added, would take “a couple of million,” to start.

But, that’s down the road. On Tuesday, those who showed up mainly had Komali’s hors d’oeuvres and great drinks—and holiday cheer—on their minds.

Shelley Swan

Among the guests helping fill the YW toy box, or exchanging words of encouragement, were Dre Chatterji, Tara Allison, Patricia Gregory, Shelley Swan, and Karla Chavez.

Karla Chavez

Bids And “Babes” Like Ruth Buzzi And Houstonian Carolyn Farb Bring Museum Of Biblical Art To New Heights

Carmaleta Whiteley and Carolyn Farb

Guests at Wednesday’s 8X8 Holiday Exhibition and Auction at the Museum of Biblical Art may have been surprised to see Dr. Carolyn Farb, the Houston philanthropist and socialite, serving as co-chair of the event, along with Donna and Herb Weitzman.

Donna Arp Weitzman and Scott Peck

But, they shouldn’t have been. Farb has been a supporter of the Dallas museum for several years. She first visited it when she came to see her friend Vladimir Gorksy’s “Tapestry of the Centuries,” a monumental historical work whose Joan of Arc figure was modeled after Farb herself.

“I was amazed by what they had to offer,” Carolyn said of the museum on Wednesday, as she personally welcomed many of the evening’s 400 guests.

JD Miller

When planning for 8X8 began, Farb confided, “I thought I could help”—and she did. Besides lending ideas for the invitation’s design, she invited three of the participating artists: JD Miller, Ruth Buzzi, the former “Laugh-In” comedian, and Ruth’s husband Kent Perkins. (Buzzi and Perkins live on a ranch outside Fort Worth.)

Founded by Jeff Levine, the 8X8 fundraiser brought together artists, benefactors, and galleries to celebrate the Biblical significance of the number 8. The number symbolically represents the Hebrew word for life, and 8X8 represents “a doubly blessed life.”

Carrying out this theme, 100 artists created special works celebrating Christmas and Chanukah, with each piece measuring just 8 inches by 8 inches. The small pieces were offered in a silent auction, and Louis Murad conducted a live auction for some larger works.

Ruth Buzzi

Among the latter were offerings by JD Miller—he worked on the painting, live, at the event—Buzzi (a photographic work called “Ranch Hopping”), Perkins

Patricia Meadows and George Tobolowsky

(an acrylic titled “The Eyes Have It”), and George Tobolowsky (a big metal sculpture he called “Kosher Hanukah Menorah”).

Katy and Lawrence Bock and Janie and David Condon

With attendees in the house including Katy and Lawrence Bock, Janie and David Condon, Nora and Bob Hogan, Patricia Meadows and hostess Carmaleta Whiteley, Dallas artist and collector Edith Baker was honored with a special presentation. For good reason, too; Baker was instrumental in building up the museum’s art collections.

When all was said and done, all 100 of the 8X8 pieces were sold, with a portion of the proceeds going to the biblical museum’s exhibition and educational programs. And at least four of the big pieces found buyers in the live auction, including the ones by Buzzi, Perkins and Miller, as well as a bronze sculpture by Gib Singleton.

Can somebody say, “Amen”?

December 10 Round Robin: Park Cities Historic & Preservation Society, Northwood University and Communities Foundation Of Texas

Tuesday night it seemed like the party gods were in overdrive to celebrate the close of the year. Whether it was in warm and classic mansions or sky gazing from high rises, the nonprofits were making news in addition to hoop-la-ing.

Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society

Park Cities Historical Society seal

It was built in 1923 and designed by legendary architect Anton Korn. For nearly a century this elegant red brick grand dame across from Turtle Creek’s “big hole” has recalled a bygone era when stately manors were made to last through the centuries. In fact there is a big old plaque next to the front door stating seal of approval by the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society, when it was known as the Park Cities Historical Society.

How right it was that the 91-year-old Lovely Lady of Lakeside be the place for the holiday party for the nearly century-old Park Cities Historical and Preservation Society!

But oops! Instead of the original look of days of old, it had been staged . . . okay, it was “refreshed” like a Dolly Parton into Taylor Swift. While some things like the mural on three walls of the library had been replaced with modern art, the mansion still has fabulous bones, numerous fireplaces, stain-glass windows, two master suites and mega-silver closets and drawers.

Oh, did we mention that it’s for sale? Yup, the five-mega suites, 7.2 baths, dressing areas, offices on three-levels, elevator for the ground and second level, hand-blown glass windows and 10-foot ceilings on the ground level and hand-rubbed Bordeaux-patterned wood floors have a big, old “For Sale” sign plopped down in the front yard, with a $8.995M price tag.

Mack and Peggy Mims

But on this evening, the mansion proved that classics are timeless. With all types surrounding the buffet table in the dining room and people like Peggy and Mack Mims, Nancy and Bill McRae, Dan Owen and Kay and Frank Ellis hunkering down in the living room and den, the public rooms proved the perfect setting. On the staircase leading from the ground floor to the second floor were members of Highland Park High School’s Lads and Lassies.

Highland Park High School’s Lads and Lassies

PCPHS President Michael Tibbals was looking forward to the group’s annual spring home tour in April that will be part of the group’s 100th anniversary. Ah, but just before the home tour the PCHPS will hold its annual luncheon on Thursday, April 4 featuring Dealey Decherd Herndon, who, besides being part of the Belo family, also was involved in the restoration of the Caruth Homeplace and the Governor’s Mansion in Austin. Oh, and guess what her talk will be? “Restoring the Governor’s Mansion.”

Communities Foundation of Texas

Speaking of the Caruth Homeplace, across town that’s where the Communities Foundation of Texas held its holiday party/reception for around 65 including State Sen. Florence Shapiro, Linda Perryman Evans, Christine Rogers and Jan and Fred Hegi. The Neo-Colonial Main House with its green shutters and white columns, which was restored to its 1938 condition thanks to CFT, was simply perfect for the holidays.

Caruth Homeplace

One of the news items coming out of the evening was the announcement of the new members of the CFT Advisory Council, including Mary Durie, Michael Geary, Jerri Hammer, Charles Lemmon, Ken Malcomson, Carter Malouf, Mitch Miller, Paul Nipper, Mark Plunkett, Debra Brennan Tagg, Dusty Wallace, John Willding and Neil Waterman.

Northwood Univeristy

David Tiller and Leslie Ann Crozier

But all of Tuesday was not in surroundings of Dallas’ past. The Northwood University crowd kicked off the evening at The Plaza at Turtle Creek. Just before it got underway, a VIP reception including NU President/CEO Keith Pretty, Pat Holder, Joseph Willmon, Donna Arp Weitzman, Bill Wallace, David Tiller, and NU/Texas President Dr. Kevin Fegan took place high above in NU Distinguished Woman Leslie Ann Crozier‘s highrise home with its unique Leslie Ann touch blended with all types of Christmas decorations. “It’s all about me,” she said. “I love it. I like Old World traditional. My friends like sleek and contemporary. Sometimes I feel like the world is passing me by, but. . . .” Need a for-instance? On the balcony with a perfect view of

Silent butler

downtown Dallas was part of a cathedral church from near Rome. Just inside the glass door was a huge water fountain from France. Instead of a dining room table, there was a gathering table that required barstools. The dang thing weighed so much that it practically cost more to ship it to Dallas than its purchase price.

But the major conversation piece, in addition to Leslie Ann’s black cat Savannah, was the silent butler in the bar, who was literally that.

Keith Pretty

Downstairs in The Conservancy the crowd grew including NU Distinguished Woman Lynn McBee, the Dallas Morning News‘s Deborah Fleck and Martha Tiller gathered to learn about plans for the upcoming year. Keith announced the public phase of the University’s capital campaign in Texas for $10M to restore the “American Dream,” which includes the completion of “the construction of the DeVos Graduate School and an Event Center on the Texas campus in Cedar Hill.”

To achieve this financial goal, Kevin and NU Texas Board of Governors Chairman Jeff Sullivan have tapped former Colleyville Mayor and NU Distinguished Woman Donna Arp Weitzman to “lead the Texas capital campaign committee.”

Crystal Charity Ball’s “Le Grand Bal Parisien” — C’est Très Magnifique

Marie Antoinette wasn’t all that bad. If only she’d had advisers like the Crystal Charity Ball gals to whisper in her ear, “Think charity instead of vanity,” she might have kept her wits and wigged head.

Luckily the CCB ladies used all the beauty, glamour and “awe” factor to raise more than $4M for children’s charities Saturday night at the Hilton Anatole. In fact they even impressed some heady out-of-towners with Le Grand Bal Parisien. But more about those visitors later.

Le Grand Bal Parisien

Let’s start at the beginning. It was indeed a grand event under the leadership of CCB Chair Aileen Pratt and her conseiller/event producer extraordinaire Tom Addis.

PRE-GALA

Before the first slippered toe entered beneath the Arc de Triomphe with French flags on either side and “I Love Paris” and “The Last Time I Saw Paris” playing in the background, the CCB gals had worked until the latest second to make sure even last-minute “oops” were dismissed. For

Chantilly Ballroom

instance, those nearly 200 candelabra centerpieces with 10 electronic candles and crystals draped in the ballroom had proved to be as temperamental as a crazed prima donna. Earlier in the day they had started showing signs of being overwhelmed by the responsibility of lighting up the room,  and required some shoring up. The towering centerpieces were reinforced to perfection like a Sam Hamra facelift. After all, one would never want a candelabra to be a party pooper during the legendary fundraiser.

Eric Coudron and Emily Bernet

Even the Anatole’s tried-and-true elephant statues in the lobby outside the Chantilly Ballroom were undercover for the night. Thanks to truckloads of shrubbery and other lively greenery, the Lamberts team concealed the mastodons in a lush garden of colorful flowers. Within this Versailles-like garden of roses and peonies, Emily Bernet in 18th century attire sat prettily in a swing with Eric Coudron giving a gentle push every now and then. Despite a blinding spotlight, the two from the Preston Center Dance studio created a perfect backdrop for guests to be photographed.

Eiffel Tower in the Hilton Anatole lobby

Just behind this quaint scene was a magnificent 40-foot tall, gleaming gold Eiffel Tower that seemed to reach to the ceiling of the hotel’s second floor. You were expecting an oil derrick? At the base of the tower were garden statues and, nearby, ice sculptures of the Eiffel Tower atop mountains of shrimp that were the size of lobsters. You were expecting crawfish? Just a few steps away were baskets and arrangements of fruits, cheeses and breads.

On the left of the lobby was the silent auction, with treasures that would have  impressed Louis XIV’s court. This year the auction was beautifully divided into six categories (travel, sports, fashion, jewelry, dining and entertainment, and home and garden). And to designate each area, no tacky signs would be allowed. Instead magnificent framed tableaux by local creative royals (Paige Baten-Locke – travel, John Clutts – fashion, Brad Hatton – sports, Sherry Hayslip – jewelry, Tish Key – home and garden and Lynn Sears– dining and entertainment) presided over the biddables. Highlighting some of the scenes were live models (flight attendant, French damsel, equestrian).

Sherry Hayslip tableau

On the other side of the lobby were the BBVA Compass casino and gifts and prize shop.

And everywhere were more than 1750 formally attired guests impressing the Anatole guests who wandered through the lobby with their luggage.

COCKTAIL PARTY

As marvelous as the decorations and food in the Anatole’s lobby were, it was still the guests, their fashions and their tidbits of news that complimented the gala.

Fashion-wise —  Despite being under the weather and confined to her Anatole suite most of the day, Chair Aileen dazzled in her Oscar de la Renta gown and her own jewelry with husband Jack, children Caroline and Michael and her dad Teodosio Mejia. . . Jennifer Sampson wore her mom-in-law’s vintage Melinda Eng black gown. . . Clad in Vera Wang were Janie Cooke, Lynn

Caroline Pratt, Michael Pratt and Aileen and Jack Pratt

McBee with Loro Piana wrap and Kathleen Gibson . . . Despite the unusually warm first day of December, some gals (Jennifer Clark, in an Oscar cape that she bought at the CCB auction years ago, and Sarah Losinger) decided to play it safe and wore fur stoles and mini-capes. You just never know if the ballroom’s A/C is going to be blowing and going. . .  Ah, but the most popular item of the night — Judith Leiber purses. They were being clutched and hung from wrists everywhere (Diane Brierley in Carolina Herrera, Barbara Stuart, Lynn McBee, Jennifer Clark, Katy Bock, to name a few). . . But not all were in brand spanking new gowns. Faye Briggs was in a tomato red Galanos that the late designer fitted on her himself about 30 years ago . . . Barbara

Janie Condon , Lynn McBee and Mary Gill

Stuart wore a turquoise gown with wrap from Patti Flowers that she’s had for a couple or so years. . . .Alas, one poor gal had hit the Champagne with such zest that she couldn’t for the life of her remember who designed her ivory gown.

And the men managed to look pretty darn stellar in their formal attire. Hal Brierley in Zegna, Bob Schlegel in Armani tux with black shirt from Brioni, Pete Kline fiddling with his new studs, Coley Clark in a Hadleigh suit and Philip Wier in Joseph Abboud.

Gems of the night— In keeping with the razzle-dazzle of the occasion, jewelry was out in full bloom. DeeDee Lee left her jingle-jangle charm bracelet at home and opted for a cuff, necklace and earrings from DeBoulle. . . CCB 2013 Chair Caren Kline‘s cuff and earrings were from Eiseman’s, as were Catherine Regeher‘s pearls and Faye Briggs’ diamond necklace

Kimberly and Justin Whitman

and cross . . .Kimberly Schlegel Whitman complemented her low-cut brown Zac Posen with Cindi Chao earrings and a Van Cleef cuff. . . .  Roz Colombo‘s all-white diamonds from Graff looked like a universe of stars twinkling through her black hair and Nina Ricci black lace gown. . . And who says the theory about the cobbler’s child applies to the wives of local jewelers? Katy Bock in an oh-so-form-fitting Marchese gown sparkled in Bachendorf jewelry, while Stacy Blank in Diamond Doctor gems chatted with Dallas Deloitte’s First Lady Laura Downing in another low-cut midnight blue Jovani gown.

Some wore marvelous sentimental pieces like Janie Condon, who topped off her Notre Dame green Pamella Roland gown with a choker that belonged to her late grandmother, Juanita Miller. In addition to the necklace, Juanita provided the additional advice, “Hold your head up when you wear these.”. . Francie Moody-Dahlberg highlighted her Marchesa ballgown with Burmese ruby necklace and earrings from her father. . . Lynn McBee’s added

Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg

diamond earrings were from her mother. . . A fabulous Tiffany broach on Katherine Coker‘s Aidan Mattox gown was a gift from her father.

Talk About — Since this crowd tends to make headlines, conversations were rather newsy. Myrna in Vicky Teal and Bob Schlegel seemed to be wearing bigger-than-usual smiles, and with good reason. It seems daughters Kimberly Schlegel Whitman (and husband Justin) and Kari Kloewer (and husband Troy) just reported that they’re expecting babies in late spring. The elder Schlegels love nothing more than being grandparents to Kim’s and Justin’s J.R., and now they’ll have two more grand kiddos to adore. . . Faye Briggs was just back from her grandson’s wedding in Mexico. It was a Mayan theme on the beach. . . AT&T’s Holly Reed was talking about the newly announced golf course for South Dallas that AT&T is involved with. “There were so many moving parts,” she said. “And if we do it right, there will be so many more.” Plans call for the course to be able to host a major pro tournament plus the Ryder Cup, at least. . .  Longtime Parkie Robbie Briggs recalled the early days of the Highland Park Village.

Jason and Laura Downing

But even with all those 1700+ types cocktailing, there were some impressive names MIA. Lee Ann and Alan White, Betsy and Jim Sowell and Kelli and Gerald Ford couldn’t make it because they were partying in NYC. Perhaps it had to do with the finalization of Gerald’s Hilltop Holdings acquiring Alan’s PlainsCapital. . . The Deloitte crowd arrived late due to a private pre-gala cocktail party for Deloitte head Barry Salzburg and his wife Evelyn, who had flown in from New York to be at Laura and Jason Downing‘s table.

Annette Simmons, Ed Snider and Lin Spivak

Another elegant entourage that arrived a bit late into the cocktail party belonged to Annette and Harold Simmons. They had been at Jimmy and Carl Westcotts‘ oh-so-French mansion for cocktails. The group was made up of former Dallasite Craig McCaw and his blonde beauty wife Susan, Robin Baker Fell and husband Bob Fell and Comcast Spectator Chair/Philadelphia Flyers’ owner Ed Snider and Lin Spivak. Ed had made news just days before, revealing that he had proposed to Lin in Santa Barbara last week.

THE BALL

But don’t worry. They were there when the doors opened to the ballroom at 9 and they took their places at the table placed strategically between Aileen’s head table (Su-Su and Jerry Meyer, Sharon and Terry Worrell, Jill and Bob Smith, Sue and Joe Justice, Lana and Barry Andrews and Gloria and Bruce Martindale) and the dance floor. The reason for such prestigious placement? Oh, silly ones. Didn’t you know that once again Annette and Harold presented the CCB  with $1M? Within the CCB heavens, that made them the Angels of Grace.

Lana Andrews and Jill Smith

Nancy Dedman and Lauryn Gayle White

And just as the guests like Lisa and Kenny Troutt, Nancy Dedman sporting a cane after hip surgery, Lauryn Gayle White, Lee Bailey with son Mike Bailey, Rachael and Bob Dedman, Jacqueline Fojtasek, Lydia Novakov with Bishop Kevin Farrell, Gina and Ken Betts, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ruth and Ken Altshuler, Nancy and Jeremy Halbreich, Caren Prothro, Barb Reynolds, Amara Durham, Linda and Bill Custard, newlyweds Kristen Johnston and Ladd Sanger, oldie weds Skye and Bill Brewer, Rowland Robinson with daughter Kate Robinson Swail, Michal and Loyd Powell, Conlons (Robyn and Don and son Keith) and Perots (Margot and Ross Sr., and Sarah And Ross Jr.) entered the gloriously decorated ballroom, dancers from various French eras filled the dance floors. Wild can-can dancers kicked up their heels and did splits that boggled the mind. Beautifully elegant 18th century court dancers did the minuet, and pristine Harlequin ballerinas pirouetted and were lifted around the floor. No sooner had one group finished a routine than the next one was in place. It made “Dancing With the Stars” look like an elementary school dance recital. And to make sure that the Pratts’ and Simmons’ guests had a clear view of the proceedings, nicely attired security gents politely but firmly suggested that guests might want to observe the performances from other spots in the room.

In fact at one point in the dancing, a can-can dancer’s white spat went flying and fell on the edge of the dance floor. Somehow it ended up in the Westcotts’ hands. Instead of keeping it as an evening’s souvenir, they had it returned to the dancer.

Carl and Jimmy Westcott

Past Crystal Charity Ball chairs

It seemed that as soon as the professional dancers had scampered off the dance floor, guests including past CCB chairs (Connie O’Neill, Cynthia Mitchell, Debbie Oates, Gloria Martindale, Vicki Chapman, Debbie Snell, Jill Smith, Margo Goodwin, Louise Griffeth, Lydia Novakov, Nancy Chapman, Karen Shuford, Linda Beach, Tincy Miller, Randi Halsell, Barbara Stuart, Sara Martineau and Dee Hughes) realized they had truly entered a splendiferous French wonderland. The oh-so familiar Chantilly Ballroom was no more. Gargantuan murals with

Trisha Wilson

elaborate scenes covered the walls. Gilded statues stood beside even more candelabras on pedestals positioned around the dance floor. What was that? Had one of the statues moved? Yes! The statues were gals a la Goldfinger gilding. They had a marvelous spot to observe the boldface dancers (Trisha Wilson with perfectly toned arms outstretched, Chris Heinbaugh dipping Gillian Breidenbach, Linda and Steve Ivy, Paul and Tiffany Divis, Paige Westhoff with Troy Schiermeyer) fill the dance floor.

Chris Heinbaugh and Gillian Breidenbach

But it wasn’t all OMG huge and awesome. The tricky chandeliers that had acted like spoiled debutantes earlier in the day were now behaving themselves. Perhaps it was being paired with breathtaking floral arrangements by Junior Villanueva. Together they created a shimmering glow that made everyone seem younger and more dazzling.

One guest asked her table companion, “Do you think the centerpieces are for sale?” To this question, the companion winked and said, “Honey, for the right price, anything is.”

Place settings

Speaking of the tables, fortunate were those who had someone fluent in French at their opulent tables. While the French menu rolled off the tongue, the courses proved more interesting when served. The salad was a bit tricky for some. Seems that the exquisite candlelight resulted in some guests trying to pour the cup of supposed brown-looking thick dressing on their salade de homard. Oops; the cup contained foie gras. Unlike guests, the lobster salad did not require a fabulous dressing.

The surprise of the course was the tarte à l’oignon et gruyère. Again, the fabulous lighting of the evening made it a wee bit difficult to see exactly what lay flat on the plate. But after the first bite resulted in “Wow!”, the tiny pie was the first to vanish from the plate.

And then there was that tasty-looking napoleon de caviar. “I love caviar,” a matron said just before cutting into what she thought was a cake filled with the salty black roe. Alas, as she sliced into the little cake, the mini-tower toppled. She then realized that the caviar had only been the topping. Hey, this wasn’t a Russian ball! It was France at its finest to match the efforts of 100 women to raise $4,420,489 for such beneficiaries as Jubilee Park and Community Center, Letot Girls’ Residential Treatment Center, North Texas Public Broadcasting – KERA, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Retain Foundation of the Southwest, Voice of Hope Ministries, the Wilkinson Center and the Crystal Charity Ball Horizon Projects (The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society’s Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden).

For many, many more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Crystal Charity Ball 2012’s Le Grand Bal Parisien

Crystal Charity Ball’s Le Grand Bal Parisien minuet dancers

Oh, so many photos from Saturday night’s Crystal Charity Ball. . . but so much to cover! From locals to out-of-towners, the glamorous VIPs were blooming like cafes along the Champs Elysées.

Oh, the clothes, the jewelry, the beautiful people and the tales and news that they brought. Twas better than a casting call for an elegant remake of “To Catch A Thief.”

The story is in the works. Until then, if a picture is worth a 1,000 words, MySweetCharity Photo Gallery‘s coverage is bulging with 85,000 words worth.

Suggestion: Have a latte and a croissant while you click through the photos.

November 29 Round Robin: Gingerbread Stroll, Chick Lit, DIFFA, Dwell With Dignity, Artful Bowls And Artreach

“Why is Thursday the must-night for all events?” asked Jill Rowlett Wednesday, considering the plethora of goings-on the next day. Good question. Haven’t a clue. But last night proved her right. This Thursday night was especially taxing. Perhaps it was because it was the last hurrah before the December holiday parties kicked into gear. The full moon above seemed to the only place where Dallas gadabout weren’t partying.

Gingerbread Stroll

Lynn McBee, David Perry-Miller, Paige McDaniel and Christine McKenny*

Community Partners of Dallas‘s Paige McDaniel juggled fundraising events to a new max. On one side of the Highland Park Village she was thanking and shopping at Cole Hahn. Oh, it just so happened to be the site of the last-gasp of the Gingerbread Stroll benefiting CPD with

Gingerbread Mansion by the Rosewood Mansion’s Nicolas Blouin*

Gingerbread Stroll founder Christine McKenny thanking all for their support and encouraging them to keep bidding and voting on the houses located throughout the Village. Kids and parents filled the store along with chefs Nicolas Blouin of the Mansion and Joy Lynn . Nicolas admitted that in France they have no gingerbread houses, only castles. Dave Perry-Miller added that Nicolas had asked about the kind of house that DP-M agent Christine sold. Dave’s answer, “Park Cities mansion.” Voila — Nicolas created a gingerbread castle smack dab in the middle of Cole Haan. No sooner had the presentation been made than CPD VP of Development Joanna Clark was at Paige’s elbow reminding her of the Chick Lit announcement party benefiting CPD across the way. It was in a hold-mode waiting for Paige. So, paying up her bill and gathering her purchases, Paige followed by CPD fans like

Harker Sherrill with Melissa Sherrill*

Lynn McBee in beautiful stilettos with heels as skinny as toothpicks and Melissa Sherrill and her twins, Harker and Lily,  headed to Billy Reid.

Chick Lit Luncheon

Joanna Clark has a lot of personality highlighted by a laugh that could fill a ballroom. She also can smile when she threatens one with death. And that was the situation when someone asked her to name the author of the April 5th Chick Lit Luncheon at Brook Hollow benefiting Community Partners of Dallas. She had even threatened her boss Paige McDaniel with the same fate if she told one person.

Lisa Singleton and Paige McDaniel*

With Lisa Singleton assisting in the unwrapping of pashminas covering the reveal poster in the back of the stylish clothes boutique, Paige revealed the author would be movie producer Brian Grazer‘s ex — Georgianne Levangie. In addition to writing “The Starter Wife,” “Maneater,” “The After Wife” and “Queen Takes King,” Georgianne has promised to have tales to tell at the luncheon. In other words, dishing will not be limited to the plateware.

Ah, but there were still more surprised to be revealed. For instance, Allie Beth Allman will be the luncheon’s honorary chair.

Kristin Baker*

Then there was the drawing for a $250 gift certificate at Billy Reid’s. It was limited to only those who had successfully guessed the author. And the lucky person was Kristin Baker.

And to add to CPD’s win-win-win evening. Billy Reid’s Hillary Gilbert announced that 10% of all sales through the weekend would go to CPD.

DIFFA Holiday Wreath Party

More than 125 let’s-get-in-the-holiday mood types gathered at Timothy Oulton for the wreath auction benefiting DIFFA. Everywhere you looked, there were wreaths in every nook and cranny. Now these wreaths weren’t just the regular old garland splattered with holly berries and a ribbon or two. Nope! There was one blue one with fishes and a seahorse that was valued at $1,700 from Olivia Riegel. Excuse us. What? It was nice but $1,700? Ah, but upon reading the description card it seemed a three-day stay at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua in Maui was included.

Clint Mordecai’s “Holidazed” wreath*

And then there was Clint Mordecai‘s “Holidazed — Dirty Martini” wreath that came along with a Smartini gift basket and two uptown players tickets. That one was valued at $1,200.

Scott Pharr, Donna Sedota and Omar Esparza*

And just like the designer wreaths, the guests like Holly Haber, Joani White, Scott Pharr, Omar Esparza, Donna Sedota, birthday gal Carmaleta Whiteley wearing a brand new necklace, Lee Bailey, James Campbell, John Phifer Marrs, Simona Beal, James Shackelford, Rob Brinkley and Oulton neighbor Lisa Garza were standing, sitting and sipping everywhere you looked except in the tank with the yellow submarine.

James Shackelford and Simona Beal*

BTW, instead of the usual British guards in very proper, buttoned-up red jackets at the door, the delicious male models were totally unbuttoned.

Dwell With Dignity

Up on the 20th floor of The Azure high-rise condo building, guests enjoyed libations and light hors d’oeuvres as Sarah and (personal injury attorney) Doug Monsour opened the doors of their spectacular new three-bedroom unit, once the home of former Dallas Cowboy Terrell Owens. Redesigned recently in a “soft contemporary” style by Susan Smith and Vicki Crew of Urban Interiors, the Monsours’ place features lots of beautiful artwork from the Craighead Green Gallery. Urban Interiors and Craighead Green are donating a percentage of the gallery’s art

Vicki Crew, Sarah Monsour and Susan Smith**

sales to the nonprofit Dwell with Dignity group throughout the month of December.

Brad Ellis**

Partygoers including Kenneth Craighead and artists Kendra North and Brad Ellis enjoyed the stunning views of Dallas at night, while Vicki described what the place looked like when T.O. had it. Back then it featured a big central column that was covered in glass mirrors, a disco ball, and walls that were painted with different colors. Sarah, who said the Monsours spend 80 percent of their time at their more traditional home in Longview, showed off an automatic neon-lighting feature in the kitchen ceiling that flashes a rotation of different colors, like turquoise. The family’s three children like to keep the feature going 24/7 when they’re in town, Sarah said. Added Vicki: “It’s like a little remembrance of T.O.”

Over in the Design District, two more parties were also raising money for good causes.

Artful Bowls

Quan Dang and Mary Tomas**

At the Mary Tomas Gallery, about 150 guests showed up for the second annual Artful Bowls fundraiser, benefiting the 2013 Paws Cause. Under the direction of chair Karol Wilson, the event was on track to match last year’s net of $4,000. The funds will go specifically to the SPCA of Texas spay and neuter clinic at Village Fair in South Dallas.

Guests including Joe Pacetti, Diane Brierley, John Acton, Jocelyn White, Teena McMills, and SPCA president James Biasput in their silent-auction bids on a wonderful array of hand-painted ceramic pet-bowl sets. Once again, the ceramics were provided at a “very reduced rate” by BP’ers Ceramic Art Studio in Richardson.

Karol Wilson, James Bias and Diane Brierley**

One of the artists painting for the cause was Quan Dang, whose two kitty dishes drew a $100 bid. Asked what he called the dishes, if anything, Dang replied, “Can we call them Pussy Galore?”

Artreach-Dallas

Artreach holiday trees**

Up the street and around the corner, meanwhile, Artreach-Dallas hosted a holiday affair called Bough Wow! at the 129 Leslie space. With catering by Wendy Krispin, the bash showcased the likes of one-of-a-kind decorated wreaths; clothing from J. Hilburn Men’s Clothier; food from Mother Shucker’s Tamales; and several spectacular, 7.5-foot-tall holiday trees. Two that caught our eye in particular were sponsored by the Ben E. Keith Co. and Kaleta Doolin. Kaleta’s on the board of directors for Artreach, whose purpose is arts outreach to low-income families, the disabled and the elderly in North Texas.

* Photo credit: Jeanne Prejean
** Photo credit: Glenn Hunter

Mad Hatters And Announcement News Filled Number One Le Jus Beyond Capacity

Sue Ringle

Standing on the staircase inside Number One Le Jus Wednesday night on behalf of the 2013 Mad Hatter’s Tea, the first thing Sue Ringle told the 70 or so party-goers was that she was looking forward to “juicing up.” That’s juice as in the organic variety, a key attraction at Brian Bolke and Dana Card‘s brand-new Number One retail store in Highland Park Village.

Previously the location of the Skillern’s soda fountain, then the Centennial liquor store, the two-story space now offers clothing (Donna Karan’s Urban Zen line, for example), home decor items and organic food and drink. Joked Ringle, president of the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden: “I want you to know, Brian, that I will be coming here a lot more frequently now that this is not a liquor store!”

Brian Bolke

Guests at the announcement party for the 25th annual Mad Hatter’s Tea, the biggest fundraiser for the Arboretum Women’s Council, nibbled delicious and healthy hors d’oeuvres and sipped Number One’s trademark “Salty Chihuahuas.” What’s in those? Cold-pressed juice plus Dulce Vida, an organic tequila from … Austin, of course.

Enjoying the offerings and the lively conversation were Ramona Jones, still beaming about Thanksgiving spent in Fredericksburg with her five children and 12 grandchildren; Karen Lukin, who just marked her seventh anniversary with Whole Foods; Jill Rowlett, with word that the KTXD-TV news-talk program featuring her husband Tracy may be moving from live morning to live evening telecasts in January; Amy Vanderoef, who looked hot in her off-the-shoulder silk dress despite a slight chill in the air; Kersten Rettig in pearls, heels, skinny navy blue slacks, sweater over blouse and glasses. Glasses? Yup, seems after all these years the blonde turned in her contacts for no-line glasses and looked pretty darn adorable.

Amy Vanderoef and Shay Geyer

While some thought it a chilly idea to have doors open to the evening temperatures, it became obvious why. The place was so jammed with gals that they were spilling out on to the sidewalk.

But at 7 p.m. all eyes turned to the staircase, where Sue quickly gave way to Shay Geyer, co-chair of the 2013 Mad Hatter’s Tea along with Maggie Kipp. Shay explained that the 25th anniversary event on April 11, titled “Adventures in Time,” once again will feature a Jan Strimple-produced fashion show, this time showcasing fashions from . . . drum roll, please. . . Roberto Cavalli and Oscar de la Renta. Brandishing a poster for the tea featuring colors like turquoise, purple, hot pink and lime green—”Think about that as you’re putting your outfit together”—Shay announced that Patty Dedman Nail would serve as this year’s honorary chair. She also gave a big shout-out to Carmaleta Whiteley, last year’s co-chair who’s been serving as an adviser, or “fairy godmother,” to Shay and Maggie.

And for the competitive types, the hat categories will be:

  • Gents Top Hats: Timeless
  •  Most True to Theme: Back To The Future
  •  Botanical: Adam and Eve
  • Most Whimsical: Roaring Twenties
  • Most Elegant: Court of Versailles
  • Best of Show: 25th Anniversary
  • Most Outlandish: Wild, Wild West

Maggie, by the way, was nowhere to be seen. According to Shay, that’s because Maggie was in the hospital at that very moment undergoing a C-section, aiming to welcome her second daughter, Caroline Greer Kipp, into the world. Seems Maggie had been orchestrating the Mad Hatter’s, St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon and her day job since last week from a hospital bed in preparation for Caroline’s arrival. That was a pretty good excuse to be absent, everyone agreed. Then they turned back to their Salty Chihuahuas.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Perot Museum Of Nature And Science Pre-opening Parties

Drumbrella

Not even open and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science wow-ed guests at a slew of parties with worldly exhibitions, Wolfgang Puck food and more interactive entertainment than Dave & Buster’s.

The Museum’s already become the place to party and explore for kids of all ages. It makes learning fun.

Check out the photos on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

More deets to follow!

Multi-talented Jeanette Korab Whimsically Filled Allie-Coosh With Heels, Feathers And Sparkle For KidneyTexas

Jeanette Korab, Harriett Kelly and Paulette Martsolf

Popped by Allie-Coosh in Snider Plaza Wednesday, November 14, to see what was benefiting Kidney Texas. It was artist Jeanette Korab. And what pray tell was an artist doing in a fashion boutique? Well, it seems that Jeanette, who also is well known for her fashion photography, decided to stretch her creative muscles combining art and fashion resulting in a collection of whimsical shoes featuring jewelry and natural finery.

Jeanette Korab shoe and artwork

So adorable! In addition to shoes that were higher than almost-too-high stilettos with feathers and glitter, the artist in Jeanette couldn’t resist creating framed artwork of her little darling footwear.

A-C owner Paulette Martsolf was wearing devilishly red hot stiletto boots with ankle bracelets highlighted by a cluster of feathers and sparkling stones.

Among the guests filling the boutique were Carol Seay, Harriet Kelly and Beth Wilbins, who reported that she and husband Rick were back in town after a brief stay in California. Everyone thought they had moved to the West Coast permanently. But after getting v-e-r-y homesick for the Lone Star state, they headed their buckboard back to Big D. Now, it seems that Beth is trying to convince Rick, former managing director, advertising, at American Airlines, to join her Forte Public Relations.

Wilkinson Center’s Black And White Gala Fills Dallas Contemporary Galleries For 30th Anniversary Celebration

Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder claimed that the headcount at the 30th anniversary celebration Black and White Gala for Wilkinson Center was 390 guests Saturday, November 3. No way. It had to be way over that number that filled the Dallas Contemporary’s reception and seated dinner.

Anne Reeder, Sara Bell and David Resnick

Adding an elegant touch to the evening was the request to wear only black and white. Shades of Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball, but no shades of gray here. Of course, one or two had to be rule breakers. In fact, one wore a tomato red dress that would have made Scarlett O’Hara seem plain Jane.

Ann and Fred Margolin

But that’s not to say color was not everywhere. In addition to Dallas Contemporary art hanging around, flashing rings were worn by some guests like City Councilperson Ann and Fred Margolin for the “Heads & Tails” game after dinner for a new iPad.

With James Fabriano providing the music at the reception in one gallery, it wasn’t the only form of entertainment. Artists Breck Woolsey and Monica Taylor were standing over and squatting down on the floor painting a 48″ by 60″ canvas that would be completed and ready for bid at the live auction after dinner along with 10 other items including a rattlesnake hunt.

Breck Woolsey and Monica Taylor

When it was time for dinner, the lineup in the hallway stretched all the way. But once inside the

Dinner time

dining room/gallery, it was well worth the wait with caterer Wendy Krispin scurrying around to

Beth and Scott Johnson

make sure all were served including the likes of Jennifer LeBlanc, Beth and Scott Johnson, Sara Bell and David Resnick.

From a neighborhood effort spearheaded by Rev. Clayton Lewis in 1982 to today helping countless numbers of families in nine zip codes in east and southeast Dallas, the Wilkinson Center has come a very long way in its 30 years. Just in the first eight months of 2012, it has “provided food assistance to 6,931 families, including 17,525 children and adult family members.”

Thanks to Event Chair Millie Winston, Honorary Chairs Jill and Jim Cochran and the 390+ at the Black and White Gala, its work and successes continue.

November 1 Round Robin: Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters, Graeme Jenkins Farewell, Flora Awards And Art + Advocacy

Halloween costumes and decoration were old hat last Thursday, and the fundraisers were back in full gear from the Park Cities to Fair Park and from the F.I.G. to the Winspear.

Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters Party

Old timers were eager to see the used-to-be Jimmy and Carl Westcott‘s mansion of red-brick tradition that had been transformed to a cool estate of the very cool. Since Tracy and Richard Cheatham purchased the 12,957-square-foot home-sweet-home, it had gone through a very dramatic transition from classic to ultra contemporary. Let’s think moving from Burberry to Giorgio Armani.

Lucky were the Crystal Charity Ball underwriters. For they got the opportunity to see the mansion at its grandest, with beautiful weather and diamonds galore. No, the diamonds weren’t part of the digs.

Jim and Julie Turner, Aileen Pratt and Stacy and David Blank

As if the diamonds on the guests weren’t dazzling enough, David “The Diamond Doctor” Blank and his wife Stacy arranged to have a dozen freeze-framed, tall-drinks-of-water models decked out in their rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. And these weren’t just big diamonds. These were beautifully designed pieces of gem artwork.

Diamond Dollies

The first hint of the glitter was on the wrist of CCB Chair Aileen Pratt. Yes, the ring was hers thanks to husband Jack, but the scrumptious, 13-karat diamond bracelet was courtesy of Diamond Doctor David for the evening. Alas, Aileen had to return it at the end of the evening because it will be one of the items up for grabs at the CCB auction..

Dallas Opera

Don Winspear, Stacie Whitley and Graeme Jenkins*

There were some real surprises at the Winspear Opera House as 175 people showed up for the Dallas Opera’s “Toast to Graeme Jenkins.” Organized by the opera’s Women’s Board, the reception event marked Jenkins’ 20 years as a conductor and music director of The Dallas Opera—and his decision to retire as director when his contract expires at the end of the 2012-13 season. Jenkins cited an expanding schedule with European opera companies for his decision to step down.

Just before event chair Stacie Whitley welcomed the crowd at the Winspear, a flash mob “spontaneously” broke out in the room. Thirty-five or 40 members of the Dallas Opera Chorus put down their drinks and hors d’oeuvres and broke suddenly into a rendition of the va pensioro chorus from Giuseppe Verdi’s “Nabucco” opera. Later, DO Concertmeister Jing Wang played the “Meditation” from Jules Massenet’s “Thais” opera, accompanied by Michael Heaston on piano.

Leading the guests in a literal “toast” to Jenkins, Don Winspear, chairman of the DO board of directors, praised the London-born maestro’s brilliance and versatility. And Keith Cerny, the DO’s general director and CEO, said he’s been especially proud of Jenkins’ work on the operas “Boris Gudunov” and “Tristan und Isolde.”

During the reception, Cerny said discussions are continuing to bring Jenkins back to Dallas on occasion as a guest conductor. Winspear, meantime, said that a search for Jenkins’ successor is “ongoing,” and that he is “very excited and encouraged by the candidates interested in the position.” He added that he hopes a replacement can be named by early next year.

Flora Awards (Check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for more photos)

Waverly Smith and Marilyn Waisanen

The Texas Discovery Gardens had never looked more elegant.Thanks to Flora Award Co-chairs Waverly Smith and Marilyn Waisanen, it had to be. After all, Barbara Hunt Crow was the recipient of the annual award that recognizes “outstanding Americans, who have demonstrated their commitment to community involvement, education and advancement of the environment and quality of life.”

The cocktail reception looked like central casting had assembled the overflow crowd of black-tie types including  Libby Allred in tomato

Mary Anne Cree

red low-cut gown with exquisite ruby and diamond necklace, Ebby Halliday Acers holding her “elephant” handbag, Penny Rivenbark with her Judith Leiber butterfly purse and turquoise floral gown, Sue and Phil John, Sue Smith sans husband Bob (he was in Las Vegas), Cindy and Andy Clendenen with daughter Caroline Fung, Fred and Jan Hegi, Mary Ann wearing a butterfly pin (you do know that the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House and Insectarium is named after her late mother, don’t you?) and Richard Cree, Wendy and Michael Jenkins and Betty and John Crawford and loads of Hunt relatives (Herbert and Nancy Hunt, Caroline Rose Hunt, Lyda Hill and Libby Hunt).

Dinner time

Or perhaps it was the exquisite Grand Hall all decked out with glorious table settings from Posh Couture and the Steve Bayless Orchestra playing just the right tunes. And, of course, a simple daisy in a glass vase wouldn’t do on this night. Nope. Floral designer extraordinaire Junior Villanueva literally “rose” to the occasion providing the best for scents and sights.

As for the feast, Jim Lee Events served up

  • First Course — Mediterranean salad “Martini” accented with a grilled shrimp “Martini Pik”
  • The amuse — Rose petal and passion-fruit sorbet “spoon”
  • Second course — Pecan wood smoked beef tenderloin served with 3-peppercorn demi-glace, timbale of champagne risotto with Parmesan crust and brandied lobster cream, French green bean “bundle” with caramelized lemon glaze and artisan breads with custom butter
  • The dessert —Amaretto Godiva molten lava cake with cointreau-infused berries

Art + Advocacy

Lynn Davis, Laura Green and Jordan Roth*

Lynn M. Davis, president and CEO of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, said he was very pleased.

Before the 6th Annual Art + Advocacy Auction Party had even begun, the fundraiser had raked in $400,000 for the advocacy center, without selling a single piece of art.

That figure was already $25,000 more than was netted in total for the group at last year’s affair.

And, the 620 guests who turned out for the 2012 event at the Fashion Industry Gallery were determined to raise even more for the center, which serves about 2,000 local child-abuse victims and their families each year.

Chuck and Lindsay Jacaman*

The guests proceeded to do so by bidding in live and silent auctions on works of art by new and established artists, as well as art created by child-abuse victims in DCAC’s art therapy program.

Among the offered works—all of them donated–were oils, pencil drawings, photographs and mixed-media creations from galleries including Barry Whistler, Holly Johnson and Craighead Green.

Helping set the party mood at the F.I.G.—honorary co-chair John Sughrue donated the trendy space—were DJ Lucy Wrubel; Andrews Distributing; and caterer Wendy Krispin.

Patricia Meadows*

Event chairs Lindsay and Chuck Jacaman served as event chairs, while Patricia B. Meadows was the honorary art chair.

The day of the auction party, Davis disclosed, an anonymous donor came forward with $25,000.

During the evening’s Call for Cash this donor matched an additional $25,000—and then offered an additional $50,000 if the noisy crowd would pipe down so the auction could proceed.

Thanks to his and others’ generosity, the final net for the children’s advocacy center was more than $500,000. Now that was a pretty picture.

* Photo credit: Glenn Hunter

The Perfect Excuse To Use The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge To Support Dallas Area Habitat For Humanity — Urban Revival

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (File photo)

If you haven’t been across the Trinity since the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge got into action, here’s a perfect excuse to try it out tomorrow night — Urban Revival. It’s the “new signature event” benefiting Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity.

Co-chairs Ann and Trey Fielder and Paige and John Slates have arranged for Tom Addis to be in charge of the look with the beat provided by DJs Jennifer Miller and Paul Paredes and food by Chef Sharon Van Meter.

It will be held at 3015 at Trinity Groves starting at 6:30 p.m.

A few tickets are  still available.

October 27 Round Robin: Bones Bash, BeatLeukemia, Legends 2012 And MakeAWay

Saturday night downtown Dallas looked more like a Tim Burton movie than a civilized business district. Automobiles were locked in place vying for event parking, but the headlights and brake lights seemed to make the mess look rather festive. On the sidewalks were all types of strange creatures in costumes bound for pre-Halloween parties; all types of music rose in the air (Burt Bacharach, the Fab Four, Trombone Shorty, Polyphonic Spree); and the glittering skyscrapers looked like colorful giant druids overseeing the whole evening.

Arthritis Foundation’s 7th Annual Dallas Bone Bash

Emma Nichols

Pity the poor soul who had had one too many cocktails in the Fairmont bar as guests arrived for the 7th Annual Dallas Bone Bash. Having developed quite a reputation for making the most of Halloween dress up, the Arthritis Foundation fundraiser presented by The Carrell Clinic proved that imaginations were livelier and current.

Natty Harley Warren came in sports jacket and khakis as Mitt Romney with a “Women Binder” hanging around his neck. Uh, what about that mustache? Harley admitted that there was just so much he would do for the sake of dressing up.

Looking like she was fresh from a tanning salon, Emma Nichols, with a baby doll strapped to her chest and a sign reading “I’d Rather Be Tanning,” came as the New Jersey Tanning Bed Mom.

Paul Devereaux

Speaking of sunny topics, Paul Devereaux wore a sandwich board with a collection of items — sunglasses, fans, sun visors, sunscreen, grenades — grenades?! He was promoting the Nasher Sculpter [That’s the way Paul spells it] Center Souvenir Shop. No one came as the Museum Tower or Klyde Warren Park.

Ruth and Mike Doocy

Evening emcee/KDFW-CH. 4’s Mike Doocy and his wife Ruth looked a little out of place in normal cocktail  attire surrounded by the

Bo and Sharon Frederick and Detron Powell

likes of Queen Bee Clair Hyde and her husband/beekeeper William,

Detron Powell as “the tan version” Hugh Hefner with martini in hand, and Bo “Snow White” Frederick with his wife Sharon, who was the “eighth dwarf, ‘Psycho,” wielding a blood-drenched cleaver.

Travis and Amy Ripley

Winning the historical odd couple category were Amy and Travis Ripley, who came as Mary and Abraham Lincoln. What made them stand out was the fact that itty bitty Amy came as whiskered Honest Abe and Travis was a towering Mary. When asked why, they honestly said that when they discovered the costumes at the Dallas Costume Shoppe, they thought “trading places would be funny.” Must admit that it was downright tempting to give Amy’s whiskers a tug.

After a show-and-explain-your-costume reception, guests entered through a cave-like hallway into the Regency Ballroom for dinner starting with tomato basil bisque en croute following by an entree of Dijon and thyme roasted chicken with lemon caper sauce and butternut squash risotto, asparagus, carrots and  blistered red and yellow tomatoes. Dessert was a chocolate hazelnut mousse martini with whipped cream, cherries and chocolate swirl.

Paul Rook and Kevan Wong

While all looked right at home among the 500 costumed celebrants, one couldn’t help but wonder how the walk to the car and ride home would be. Pity the poor policeman who pulled over “satyrs with big horns” Kevan Wong and Paul Rook literally in red body paint and woolly looking leggings, black wigs, soul patches and “hooves” and gold horns.

BeatLeukemia Ball

Fab Four

This year’s BeatLeukemia Ball experienced some changes from last year’s fundraiser for Leukemia Texas. Instead of the Hilton Anatole, it was decided to hold it at the Omni Dallas. Instead of co-chairs, it was decided to “recognize a decade of chairwomen and men” (2003 Co-chairs Susan Holman and Lindalyn Adams, 2004 Chair Joanne Fay, 2005 – Co-chairs Stephanie and Dr. Robert Haley, 2006 Co-chairs Kaki and Dr. Shelton Hopkins and Honorary Chair Alicia Landry, 2007 – Co-chairs Patti Flowers and Tom Swiley, 2008 – Co-chairs Sally Cullum and Pam Busbee and Honorary Chairs Peggy and Carl Sewell, 2009 – Co-chairs Cynthia and Brice Beaird and Honorary Chair Lindalym Adams, 2010 – Co-chairs Pam Busbee and Sally Cullum and Honorary Chair Caroline Rose Hunt and 2011 – Co-chairs Kim Miller and Janie Condon and Honorary Chairs Julie and Jim Turner), and have retired Capt. Dick East and the Southwest Airlines Family as honorary chairs. That was a natural since it was Dick who lost his daughter, Muffy, to leukemia when she was just 9. In the early ’80s he got the idea that Southwest pilots on their layovers should volunteer to cook dinner for families staying at Ronald McDonald Houses. It was such a great idea that the flight attendants joined onboard, and so did SWA’s then-main-man Herb Kelleher and then-main-gal Colleen Barrett. In fact Colleen told Dick,  “You keep recruiting the pilots, we’ll get the SWA board of directors behind it,” and they did just that.

Dick and Peggy East, Gloria Schaffer and Michael Sharpe

Looking around at the crowd growing to 350, Dick claimed they [Leukemia Texas] “drafted’ me as honorary chair because of what I’ve done for leukemia.

Dinner consisted of tomato mozzarella salad (sliced red, yellow and green tomatoes, micro greens, sliced fresh mozzarella, basil pesto, cracked pepper and chilled lobster chunks served with balsamic vinaigrette), filet and shrimp duo (seared potato terrine, asparagus, baby carrots and baby zucchinis) and white chocolate mousse and raspberry cake with raspberry sauce and cream and truffles.

Then it was time for The Fab Four to take over and for the dance floor to fill.

Legends 2012

The lineup of cars heading into the House of Blues parking lot  was backed up as a Bentley eased its way into a primo parking spot. Six-figure vehicles definitely have privileges. As soon as the luxury car was in place, things picked up immediately. Guests for Legends  2012, the St. Paul Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern’s Heart, Lung, Vascular and Cerebrovascular programs fundraiser featuring Burt Bacharach, were directed to the Music Hall. No costumes for this group. They came as themselves and that was plenty enough.

Tanya and Pete Foster and Nancy Rogers

Honorary Chair Nancy Rogers was just back from a week in New York City with her gal pals like Gina Betts, Tanya Foster and Sunie Solomon. While there they attended the Anderson Cooper “Anderson Live” show, where her second-oldest, goddaughter worked. At the show it was announced that Mary Kay was presenting a check for $1M to Love in Respect to combat domestic violence. Nancy admitted that they had just gotten out of the Big Apple in time to miss Hurricane Sandy.

Olivia and Jeff Kearney

After a lot of talking and enjoying beverages, guests settled in to their seats on the main floor and in the balcony including Fort Worthies Olivia and Jeff Kearney, Ebby Halliday Acers with Cody Baker, Charlotte and Kirk Dooley,

Laura McClung and Dr. Hugh McClung

Laura McClung in from the country with her brother Dr. Hugh McClung, Katy and Lawrence Bock and Lynn and Allan McBee.

Michael and Betty Bullington and Mersina and Phin Stubbs

Unlike other parties where the event chairs find their front row seats after greetings from the stage, not so for Co-chair Couples Betty and Michael Bullington and Mersina and Phil Stubbs. After they handed out thanks and recognition to the people and companies supporting their efforts, they quietly went upstairs to the balcony.

Burt Bacharach

Then it was time for Burt to come on stage wearing an orange scarf that he quickly tossed on top of the piano, saying, “I’ve been cold all day,” but adding that he didn’t need it now.

One person was surprised that Burt was . . . shall we say, not as tall as thought. The guest described the multi-award (Academy, Golden and Grammy) winner as “an achondroplasic dwarf.” Dare you to look that one up.

Regardless of his height or age, Bacharach proved to be legendary as he launched into a medley dedicated to his late partner Hal David,  who died two years ago. It wasn’t a surprise that these guests were humming “Don’t Make Me Over,” “Walk on By,” “This Guy’s In Love With You,” “I Say A Little Prayer,”  “Trains and Boats and Planes,” “Wishin’ and Hopin’” and  “Always Something There to Remind Me,” as they drove home past the characters leaving the Bones Bash.

MakeAWay

Since MySweetCharity’s main forces were trapped downtown thanks to traffic, an elf north of LBJ filed this report:

More than 400 people attended the Get Groovy with MakeAWay Charities annual gala and donated $96,000 at the silent and live auction. Combining that with sponsorships and ticket sales, a total of $240,000 was donated. This 4th annual event was held October 27, 2012 at the Westin Galleria. With Pat and Emmitt Smith* as honorary chairs, the 60s-themed event featured entertainment by internationally top-rated Beatles tribute band Hard Day’s Night and 60s-themed dancing by Arthur Murray Dance Studios.

Aside from the band (which convinced me I would have been “one of those girls” in the 60s had I ever been exposed to any of the real Beatles), the highlight for me was when la Madeleine founder Patrick Esquerre took over the live auction mic to explain the Parisian trip he donated and spur donations. As the bidding for the trip appeared to be winding down at $15,000, he surprised everyone and asked if both bidders wanted to go on the trip. When they said yes, he agreed and threw his hands up in the air in celebration, doubling the donation to nearly $30,000. The photo of this moment is in the link above.

Another highlight is when a MakeAWay volunteer at the event was given a car that had been donated by an anonymous donor. Marshall is a hard-working single dad struggling to make ends meet with his wage-paid job and no car. Without a car or enough money for reliable transportation, he bikes or walks to work and can not easily see his son who lives apart from him. The anonymous MakeAWay donor donated their family’s used car with request that it be given to a single parent in need.

Jill and Jay Hellwig with Hard Day’s Night members in black jackets**

Before the band took the stage, founders Mike and Kathy Hayes and executive director Jay Hellwig hosted a speed-donating round of “Fund a Need” where they read excerpts from 20 financial assistance applications from struggling families. Individuals donated nearly $10,000 in 10 minutes to fully fund those 20 requests for energy, rent and medical bill assistance.

Donors and sponsors of this year’s Get Groovy Gala benefiting MakeAWay Charities include: Generational Equity (title), Metroplex Pain Management, la Madeleine and Covenant Church (presenting sponsors), and P.M. Standley Motors, PhotoStat, Jason Montgomery DDS and Uptown Enterprises.

If MakeAWay is new to you, it is relatively new considering it was created in 2008. But during this brief time it has helped “more than 1,000 families in North Texas. . . More than 95 cents of every donated dollar goes directly to families in need. The support allows families to stay in their homes, get vehicle repairs so they can transport children to school and commute to work, and not have to choose between keeping electricity or getting needed medical help.”

* Editor’s Note: Pat and Emmitt were able to greet guests via video, due to the fact that they had to be on the West Coast for Dancing With the Stars.

** Photo credit: Jason Janik

Downtown Dallas Welcomed The New Kid On The Block With A Picture Perfect Evening For Klyde Warren Park Donor Dinner

The donors dinner at Klyde Warren Park

Someone described it as a power crowd at the Klyde Warren Park donor dinner Wednesday, October 24. Actually it was a big, old block party for the newest kid on the block. With massive skyscrapers glittering on two sides, the Hunt Oil Building’s electronic sign reading “Welcome to the Neighborhood, Klyde Warren Park” and a partial moon peeking overhead, it couldn’t have been better.

Well, sorta.

As a result of blocking off streets for the dinner for the park connecting the CBD area with Uptown, an overly crammed traffic jam made Dallas look like a colossal parking lot. At some intersections, three policemen turned blue blowing whistles and waving their arms like West Texas windmills.

But once passed the clogged streets, the lucky guests found a sanctuary of beauty and calm. Alas, for this grand event you literally couldn’t buy a ticket. So how did folks get in? Well, it really helped if you had contributed substantially to the park, or were best buds with a big buck donor. Say, if you had purchased a lawn of sod like Scott Ginsburg or written a hefty check like Klyde Warren‘s pop, Kelcy, you could be part of the crowd.

There was a rumor that the event was a ripe opportunity for some smooth-talking party crashers [and Dallas does have them, you know] to schmooze their way into the 5.2-acre open park over Woodall Rodger Freeway. Yes, there was the ritual check-in, but old pro crashers know how to slide by that. Whether they arrived via valet or walked on up to the entry, they could just blend in with the crowd entering the area and chat it up, pretending to be one of the bigwigs’ guests. Then they were free to stroll the grounds that were divided into two sections: the cocktail reception with bars, high-top-tables and the smell of freshly laid mulch on the west side of the park, and the seated dining area with rows of white banquettes, brown wooden folding chairs and rectangular tables covered in multi-colored tableclothes extending from the stage.

During the cocktail reception the uninvited types might have had the chance to chat it up in perfect weather with the likes of Perots (Ross and Margot, Ross Jr. and Sarah in tight-fitting black leather slacks) and McDermotts (100-year old Margaret in her wheelchair and daughter Mary).

State Senator Florence Shapiro and Highland Park Mayor Joel Williams III

Other notable sights included Highland Park Mayor Joel Williams III dropping to one knee bowing his head to State Sen. Florence Shapiro in front of the Children’s Park. He later said, “This [the Klyde Warren Park] is the neatest thing I’ve seen built in Dallas!” .. Ebby Halliday being chauffeured around the park in a golf cart with Randall Graham trotting alongside like Secret Service. . . Shirley Miller stopping her electric scooter to talk with Myrna and Bob Schlegel. . . Ray Washburne, who had attended the presidential debates and was “feeling confident”. . . KERA’s Mary Anne Alhadef revealing that thanks to Lyda Hill‘s $1M gift, the station was able to hire Rick Holter as VP of news.

Elaine Agather

 

Despite the admonition to leave the heels at home, some gals like Grand Opening Event Committee Chair Sheila Grant, Chase’s Elaine Agather and emcee/KTVT-CH. 11’s Tracy Kornet could not be separated from their high-stepping ways. The gents, on the other hand, nailed the “park casual” with no problem. The most dressed-up fella was Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation Chairman Jody Grant in coat and tie. The majority of the chaps wore the upper crust’s interpretation of Dallas casual attire — blazers, open shirts and slacks or jeans. Why not? This was a park, not a deb ball. Others making the rounds were Lucy Billingsley, Jeremy Strick, Tom Dunning, Ken Schnitzer, Diana and Sam Self, Brian Bolke, Faisal Halum, Janis and Roy Coffee and Laura and Tom Leppert.

Jody Grant

Donor dinnertime

When the call to dinner took place, the smart crasher would have just lingered until all had taken their seats and then slipped into one of the few empties toward the back for a country-style supper including huge white bowls and platters of boneless fried chicken, biscuits, macaroni and beans.

But chances are there were no crashers and who cared because everything was moving along quite swimmingly.

Owen Wilson and Laura Wilson

Sure, the schedule was running just 20 minutes late, but the brief  formalities of welcomes and introductions from the stage got things back on track. Honorary Chairman Owen Wilson kept his remarks short and especially sweet when he graciously presented white roses to Sheila with his mother Laura Wilson proudly watching.

Jody briefly advised the fellows in the audience that he had learned a thing or two about fundraising — “For you guys out there, turn the fundraising over to the women.” He claimed all

Ross Perot and Sheila Grant

the Mr. Bigs would call Sheila back, but not him. He continued reporting that “The donors are our heroes. . . This is the capstone of everything I’ve done in my life. . . We reached for the moon, and now the moon shines on Klyde Warren Park.”

Jackie Evancho

That part of the program ran so smoothly that the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performance under the direction of Rei Hotada started earlier than the 8:45 scheduled start time.

For the non-KERA viewer or the person who’s never watched America’s Got Talent, they may have dismissed the announcement

Jackie Evancho

that Jackie Evancho would perform with the DSO. They may have even kept talking once the magnificent soprano voice was heard singing “When You Wish Upon A Star.” But then silence swept over the park. Looking up at the screen, it was apparent that the voice was coming from a diminutive girl barely 12 years old.

Museum Tower

Guests like Bobby Lyle, Lottye Brodsky, Diane and Hal Brierley, Lee Cullum, Roger Horchow, Caren Prothro and Nancy Dedman were mesmerized by the little blonde in the Cinderella blue ball gown. Her voice rose above the downtown traffic and briefly allowed the problems of the day to take a break. It was only in between songs that a schoolgirl giggle would be heard from the youngster.

Yes, it all came together that Wednesday with a perfect thank-you for The Klyde’s donors. Even the bickering Museum Tower and Nasher Sculpture Center seemed to call a truce for the perfection of an angelic child’s voice, the clear evening’s weather with the moon hovering overhead and the sanctity of the park. Just as Jackie sang, it was indeed an “enchanted evening.”

Northwood University’s Distinguished Women Of 2012 Had Plenty Of Fans And Fanfare

Let’s admit it. The Distinguished Women Class of 2012 was pretty well represented by Dallas. Why, heck, the three Dallas gals (Charlene Lake, Lynn McBee and Kimberly Whitman) may have dominated the eight DWs, but geography didn’t come into play for the October 19-20 weekend of activities. Instead they all came together for seminars, meals and getting to know each other.

Kimberly Whitman, Jocelyn Straus, Cynthia Pasky, Lynn McBee, Charlene Lake, Donalyn Kling, Gray Hawn and Gail Ayers

While the DWs came from different walks of life and interests, they shared the common denominator of success in their own fields. From high tech to philanthropy, from self-made to growing family empires, from barely entering mid-life to one celebrating her 90th birthday, they were diverse, thoughtful and inspirational.

Dr. Kevin Fegan and Marti Carlin

The Saturday night gala at the Hilton Anatole benefiting Northwood University started off with a cocktail reception with Northwood execs (President/CEO Keith Pretty, Dallas Campus President Kevin Fegan, Mary Frazier) and DW grads like Yvonne Crum, Pat Kerr TigrettNina Vaca-Humrichouse, Leslie Ann Crozier and Susanne Forbes Dicker, mingling with the frosh class and their families (Myrna and Bob Schlegel, Krystal Schlegel, Justin Whitman) and friends (Arthur Benjamin, Tanya Roberts, Marti Carlin, Melina McKinnon and Michael Cain).

Yvonne Crum and Pat Kerr Tigrett

To break from the weekend of education, the largely black-tie crowd talked about clothes. Gown catching most looks was Pat’s self-designed gown. While she may call Tennessee home, she got her start as the go-to bridal designer thanks to Dallas’ Neiman Marcus. . . David Tiller, who is looking to hip surgery again, was comfy in Ralph Lauren slippers that looked like opera slippers that were “basically tennis shoes and very comfortable, but [wife] Martha doesn’t let” him wear them that often. . . Lynn McBee’s “Trash” Louboutin stilettos that debuted at Stiletto Strut in the spring were still the #1 eye catcher on the floor. Unfortunately, she was having to solo the event due to husband Allan‘s being in Roswell at his alma mater New Mexico Military Institute, where they were having a Silver Taps ceremony in honor of his late father. . . 2004 DW recipient Nina and her husband Jim Humrichousearrived too late for the cocktail reception. Seems their daughter’s dance class ran late.

David and Martha Tiller and Carolyn and Bryant Tillery

Following dinner (Field greens salad with wine poached pear, candied pecans and blue cheese crumbles, herb bread stick, pomegranate vinaigrette and sliced tenderloin medallions of beef with wild mushroom demi-glace, roasted fingerling potatoes, golden beets with red pepper confetti and haricot verts followed by Chef Henri’s chocolate mousse tower), the presentation and induction of the eight took place with Northwood University students introducing the DWs.

Highlights from the acceptance speeches included:

  • Lawrence, Kansas’s Dr. Gail Ayers‘ recognizing Crew Network President/Dallasite Diane Butler.
  • Gray Hawn

    Houston’s Gray Hawn‘s “I believe the impossible is possible.”

  • Laguna, California’s Donalyn Kling, who turned 90 that day, whose father developed a valve for hydraulic control systems and held 25 patents, died leaving the family to tackle $24M in taxes [“He didn’t believe in estate planning”]. The family brought in a top CEO who said, “Okay, but I’m not going to deal with any family.”
  • AT&T’s Charlene being introduced by Lancelot Darville as “a brave, intelligent and strong individual. . . She is dedicated to protecting the public.” Addressing the group, Charlene responded, “I’m gonna sit right down. How can I top that? I just met Lance yesterday, and I already want to hire him!” In conclusion, she pleaded, “Don’t text and drive.”
  • Lynn dedicated her honor to “my sweet precious father, my mentor.”
  • Detroit’s Cynthia Pasky, who was described as liking to drink Scotch, smoke cigars and enjoy WWII movies, described U.S. businesses: “We’re still as good as it gets, and we’re going to get better.”
  • Jocelyn Straus

    San Antonio’s Jocelyn Straus kept her talk short and to the point saying, “It’s been a real wonderful weekend. It’s time to get back to work now, don’t you think? . . . Vote early, vote often. . . I shouldn’t have said that!”

  • Kimberly attributed her success in business to coming from a family of entrepreneurs — “They did build it!”  She also acknowledged her grandmother, who was in from Canada attending the dinner, for her fostering 36 children and being called by Kim’s son JR as “really really grandma.

To see photos of the 2012 Distinguished Women, check out the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Rob Lowe’s Message At Celebrating Women Luncheon Proved Even More Powerful Than His Good Looks And Charm

One of the team putting on this year’s Celebrating Women smiled Thursday. Not only were they having the largest attendance ever (1,400+), they were predicted to break records in the money-raising arena for the 12-year-old fundraiser against breast cancer. She wondered aloud — “Is it because we’re having a male speaker? Or, is it because the speaker is Rob Lowe?” Really? The Lowe-mentum officially got underway Wednesday.

WEDNESDAY

The usually sedate street in front of Claire and Dwight Emanuelson‘s mansion was cordoned off into a one-way street. Just 15 minutes into the cocktail reception for the Celebrating Women patrons, it seemed like all 175 guests were Johnny-on-the-spot. Valets had lined the street and the adjoining ones with all types of luxury vehicles. It was obvious that no one was going to be late for this one, except perhaps the guest of honor. While a handful of guests (mostly men) stood in the marvelous backyard, the majority (mostly female) stayed inside to greet the star/author/breast cancer activist.

While waiting for him, stories and sightings were revealed regarding Rob and his jewelry-designing wife, Sheryl. Earlier in the day she’d lunched with the Lowes’ Santa Barbara neighbors Annette Simmons and Bea Wallace at the downtown Neiman’s Zodiac Room, following a personal appearance downstairs with her collection. The Sheryl Lowe Designs was slated to be at the downtown store until 2013, but since they were in town. . . why not? One of the categories is called “Maria,” after Sheryl’s good buddy Maria Shriver.

And guess who dropped by to join the gals for lunch. Yup! Mr. Blue Eyes.

A touch of trivia: While Rob is quite adorable — blue eyes fringed with legions of brown eyelashes — he’s also totally gray follicle-wise. Has been since he was 24.  Ah, shoot, who cares? Cary Grant, Anderson Cooper, George Clooney and so many painfully gorgeous men have gotten better and better looking as they grayed.

Emilynn and Claude Wilson, Melissa Macatee and Barbara Stuart

Barbara Stuart and dotter Melissa Macatee, who chaired the luncheon when the late Rue McClanahan spoke, were chatting with Emilynn and Claude Wilson. Seems Melissa’s 17-year-old son loves “Parks & Recreation” in which Rob has appeared. . . Mary Anne Cree, who was one of the recipients of this year’s Circle of Care Award, sat near Dan Busbee, and said she just hoped she wasn’t in the way as the crowds grew and grew in the living room, where the microphone was stationed. It was obvious from the placement of the mic that this was the most likely place to guarantee a look at Rob.

Jan Miller and Sheryl Lowe

Finally at 6:44, the guest of honor arrived in the doorway with his wife Sheryl and friend Jan Miller. At least it looked like he walked in. From the sudden explosion of people filling the entry hall, it was hard to see exactly what was going on. But then the smile and blue eyes appeared surrounded by a gaggle of very happy ladies.

Rob Lowe and Claire Emanuelson

As he slowly . . . very slowly made his way down a couple of steps to the living room, he was introduced to Baylor Health Care System President/CEO Joel Allison and Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Rowland “Robin” Robinson. Being the smart gentlemen they are, they immediately made sure that Rob met the right women — luncheon Co-chairs Pam Busbee and Pam Perella and Lindalyn Adams.

Pam Busbee, Rowland Robinson, Mary Anne Cree, Joel Allison and Pam Perella

As Joel pointed out, Lindalyn was the “visionary and soul and integrity of this luncheon. . . I said to her, ‘Let’s own October’ — and we have.”

But before the very short program had a chance to use the mic, Rob was led to the backyard by host Dwight through a gauntlet of guests, who just wanted a quick smartphone photo with him. Dwight wanted to show the Emanuelsons’ outdoor entertainment area to Rob. Looking around the pool, outdoor kitchen and game room, Rob was pretty well impressed with the surroundings.

Talking with some of the guys, Rob asked about the Cowboys chances. The feedback was unanimously not favorable.

Hillis Emanuelson, Rob Lowe and Michael Crow

Then out of nowhere came the Emanuelson son, Hillis. and his bud Michael Crow, with hockey sticks for a photo with Rob, who played a hockey player in “Youngblood.” On the way back to the main house, Rob told Dwight about his own sons. It seems that one of them was applying to Washington and Lee. Dwight looked startled. Did Rob know that Dwight not only graduated from W&L (he didn’t mention that he was a magna cum laude grad with a double major in economics and French), but he is also on the W&L board of trustees.

Then it was back to the house and the short program in which Joel told the group, “You know, (this luncheon) is getting like Six Flags. It just gets better and better each year.”

Then Robin admitted to the room overflowing with guests that he and Joel were pretty aware that the man of the hour was indeed Rob. All eyes didn’t turn to Rob. They were already focused on him. Then Robin added that Rob was here with his lovely wife, who had disappeared in the mob. Looking into the mass, Rob immediately found her and pointed her out.

Annette Simmons

Since the next day was full of activities, the Baylor folks kept the remarks short  and the program ended. Arriving just as the program ended were Annette and Harold Simmons, who took the Lowes to dinner at Cafe Pacific. The rest of the herd descended upon the NM buffet in the dining room.

THURSDAY

Never has a VIP reception had so many guests show up so early. The infatuation with Rob Lowe was now in its second day and it was showing no signs of dimming. Even the most sophisticated socialite made no excuses for wanting to meet him. His book signing at Jan Miller’s and Jeff Rich’s had confirmed Rob’s youthful good looks and genial personality were cosmic.

Quequeing up for a photo opportunity

At one end of the Wedgwood Room was a small stage for Joel, Robin and representatives from Plains Capital and Tom Thumb to speak. At the opposite end of the room was a backdrop for photos to be taken with Rob. It was four across and longer than the lineup for Santa at NorthPark.

Just as the speakers started to talk, Rob entered via the service entrance in the back of the room. Without a word said, eyes went from the stage to the back of the room, where he tried to blend in. No way. They ushered him to the foot of the stage.

As soon as the speaker finished, the photo session started. One veteran mumbled, “There’s no way they’re going to finish taking pictures of all these people. Maybe they should just do a group photo.” Ain’t no lens big enough.

But the Baylor team knows how to run a tidy ship, and the photo session ended with a couple of minutes to spare.

Quickly the group joined the rest of the 1,400 in the Chantilly Ballroom as the doors opened at 12:32 p.m. Eithin 11 minutes, the guests were in their chairs and the Pams were at the podium. Pam Busbee had been worried about the two teleprompters. Last year they had stopped, causing a bit of frustration for the speakers. This time Pam had a backup plan in hand. . .  literally.  She had vowed to write notes down on her hand. Smart gal.

Caren Prothro

After introducing Honorary Chair Caren Prothro, the Pams had Pat Smith, who lost her mother when Pat was 22, give the invocation. Of course, the beautiful wife of Emmitt Smith was not going to let this gathering of 1,400 potential voters go without a pitch for her husband in the “Dancing With The Stars” competition. Then she proceeded with the invocation.

Rowland “Robin” Robinson and Pat Smith

The Pams weren’t about to let guests just start chowing down on parsnip-apple soup en croute, panko crusted breast of chicken served with assorted fall greens, candied pecan goat cheese wafer and spicy cheese straw with sherry Dijon vinaigrette and a chocolate hazelnut cake with praline chocolate crunch. Nope, they asked guests to look at their programs, or rather the back of the program. The ones with a butterfly appliqué were the lucky ones who would receive a “Go Girl” ring designed by Dian Malouf.

While everyone ate and chatted, Rob opted just to chat. Smart fella. When your face is going to be on three mega screens, you don’t want to worry about the possibility of a stray piece of lettuce or something lodging among your ivories.

After lunch Joel announced that Baylor had been selected as not only the location of the newest Hope Lodge but also as the regional headquarters for the American Cancer Society. This remarkable announcement was greeted with applause. Baylor has indeed been busy this past month with the official naming of the Baylor T. Boone Pickens Cancer Center across from the Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center.

Mary Anne Cree, David Bratton and Heather Kreager

Speaking of the Sammons, Robin presented the Circle of Care Awards to Mary Anne and the Men and Women of Sammons Enterprises, Inc., represented by David Bratton and Heather Kreager.  For newbies, breast cancer survivor Mary Anne is the daughter of the late Charles Sammons, who was a truly remarkable man. Ironically, Mary Anne learned that she had cancer in the diagnosis suite that she and her husband dedicated in the name of his late wife, who died of breast cancer.

Then Robin shifted gears with a video on 25-year-old Crystal Griffith, who is going through treatments for breast cancer. Following a video on a very articulate Crystal, Robin seemed to tear up as she updated the audience that she had spoken with her the day before and she was facing still more treatments. Mary Ann claimed that her father would have teased her that just because you provided the funding for such an effort, you didn’t have to try it out.

Rob Lowe

Once again, Robin changed gears again and introduced Rob. During his 18-minute talk, he told how he had lost his great-grandmother, his grandmother and even his mother to breast cancer. His grandmother Peg Hepler, had been “a big influence in my life” He told how they would read Peter Rabbit and she would serve him a drop of Sanka in his milk, so it looked like they were having coffee together. “That dates me. I’m 100 years old. (Laughter) . . . Today I’m still a fan of Peter Rabbit but a bigger fan of caffeine. Grandma, Starbucks thanks you.” And yet when she was diagnosed with cancer in the 70’s, the whole family was scared because in those days it was “considered a death sentence.” Her example of how she handled the grueling treatments (a radical double mastectomy and countless rounds of chemo), inspired him to take on the battle of creating awareness of the disease.  “She and her doctors were early warriors in the cause that brings us together today,” he said.

In honor of Peggy, Rob became the first male spokesperson for the National Breast Cancer Awareness Day in 2001. In one single day $7.5M was raised for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Rob Lowe

But he was frustrated in trying to get the word out about the importance of getting mammograms. He thought the message was “a no brainer.” He wondered if the message was really needed anymore. After all it was so obvious.

And, yet despite his efforts, he was shocked to learn “in 2006 my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. She’d never had a mammogram.. . . How did this happen? It was devastating.”

[Editor’s note: Barbara was actually diagnosed in early 2003.]

When she died just eight months later just after Thanksgiving in 2003, it broke the hearts of her entire family. So much so that Rob’s eight-year-old son, John Owen, cried so much he threw a rib out.

Rob summed it up by saying, “Today we know that a cancer diagnosis is not the end. It is the beginning of a journey that has the potential to be transformative, enlightened and heroic.”

By transformative, he said that so often when he meets cancer survivors, they admit that they are different people and that they see life from a different perspective.

Despite his initial anger at his mother’s not being diagnosed earlier, he learned that the quality of time was more important that the quantity of time.

He finished by embracing the guests saying, “All of us here today are family. We are joined by a common experience, our shared humanity and the daily we face in the war on cancer. . . . We celebrate our loved ones who have given us so much and sometimes leave us with so much. We celebrate the doctors, the nurses, the health care providers of all stripes, as well as the unsung heroes that keep our big hospitals running, for those who clean and cook. We honor those who tirelessly work and look for funds like all of you here today to keep the lights on and to keep the labs running. . . . There’s so much to be done for so many. And for some time is truly of the essence. But we are a nation that has always been capable of leading the way of great accomplishments. The tools for tremendous achievement are in our DNA. The powerful strands of intertwined sacrifice, commitment, hope and love all shared friend to friend are handed down family to family. . . Together we can make miracles.”

Rob Lowe

No, his talk was not long, but it was personal, thoughtful, articulate and to the point — much to the relief of veteran luncheoners, who too often feel like they’re being lectured.

Everyone left at once

By 1:21 the valets were being hit by hundreds and hundreds of guests trying to depart. The problem with such a luncheon is that patrons usually come solo, unlike evening events where each car has two people.  If only it had been announced that anyone who stayed might have a chance to talk with Rob, it would have slowed things down immensely. . . but then Rob would have never been able to return to Cafe Pacific for lunch.

Dallas Children’s Theater’s 20th Anniversary Cabaret Gala 2012 Got Bergl-ed By Songbird Emily

Pity the poor folks who wrote off 20th Anniversary Cabaret Gala Saturday night at the Fairmont’s Venetian Room because they thought it was going to be a wrinkled songstress crooning tunes from a bygone era. Lucky were those who were charmed, tantalized and blown away by cabaret singer/comedian/vixen Emily Bergl benefiting the Dallas Children’s Theater.

Emily Bergl

Word had been filtering down via word of mouth and internet that Emily was part of a newer wave of cabaret performers. Imagine Tinker Bell figure, Bette Midler sass, Lady Gaga brass and Marilyn Monroe flirt. Now, you’re thinking Emily.

The New Yorker who was familiar to many in the audience from her days on “Desperate Housewives” sang, mugged collapsing on stage, ventured out into the audience and unlayered her wardrobe throughout her performance. Yee-haw!

NOTE: For a review of the show, check out The Flash List.

Robert Wilonsky, Margaret Keliher, Mary Wilonsky and Lester Keliher

The evening started off with a cocktail reception in the lobby outside the Venetian Room. It was an interesting blend of Cabaret Gala vets (Barbara Brice, Kent Perkins, Carolyn Lupton and Mayo Crum) and youngsters (Margaret and Lester Keliher, Mary and Robert Wilonsky, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Julianna and Chris LeBlanc, Ailsa Hurley, Julie Lloyd and Heather Hayes and Jeff Roberts ).

Yvonne Crum, Jeff Roberts and Heather Hays

Once the doors opened to the Venetian Room, guests were more than pleased to see a receiving line. Oh, one of those? What’s so great about that? Well, it was short, just two people, but what a pair: local resident/”Laugh-In” vet Ruth Buzzi and Dallas Children’s Theater/Gala Producer Artie Olaisen.  These two alone were worth the price of the ticket. No wonder the receiving line didn’t move like a horse race at Lone Star Park! When someone asked, “How many people ask you where your purse is?,” referring to her “Laugh-In” role,  itty-bitty comedienne Ruth responded, “If I had $1 for everyone. . . not $5. . . ”

Once inside, guests took their places at tables decked out with plates of bite-sized appetizers and desserts and flutes of champagne. In the center of each table was a bucket with reinforcements for the flutes.

At a front-row table was Kate Kuether, who just moved to Dallas from New York, where her accomplishments included appearing as Meg in “Phantom of the Opera.” She and husband John, who was also a “Phantom” vet, are now associated with Park Cities Dance.

Before Emily with her pianist G. Scott Lacey and Daniel Fabricant on bass/ukulele were introduced, Gala Chair Yvonne Crum (this is her fifth time chairing the event) and Marisa Huckin welcomed the group and thanked special friends (i.e. underwriters, sponsors, donors). Marisa told the audience “I’m only here because glasses would have spoiled Yvonne’s outfit!”

Artie Olaisen, Yvonne Crum, Marisa Huckin and Ruth Buzzi

Then it was time for the raffle drawing. For that Artie held the glass bowl with tickets and Ruth did the drawing. When the name was drawn for the trip to Santa Fe, there was a brief eyebrow raising among Artie, Marisa and Yvonne. Then they announced, “Ruth Buzzi!” Without missing a beat, Ruthie mugged, “I’m going to Santa Fe!”

Artie then took over the mic, introducing Emily. When he recalled having met her last year in New York, it was pretty darn obvious that he was smitten as he described her as “a bubbly, exquisite person. . . fresh, fun, sexy … [with] a smart way with a song.”

Emily Bergl

All of those points came out the moment the blonde arrived on stage in a soft lavender floor-length evening gown. As she sang “I’ll Take Manhattan,” “Mad About The Boy” and others, one song had Emily on the floor, saying, “That’s the first time I’ve ever been on the floor in Dallas, and it may not be the last.”

After another song, a member of the audience was heard to say instead of “Brava,” “Yee-Haw!” Immediately, Emily with an eyebrow raised responded, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard ‘yee-haw’ at one of my cabaret shows before.”

Introducing another song, she described it as being from the 1920’s and 30’s, “when ladies wore gloves, men wore hats, and people had the attention span to listen to entire f*****g songs.” Warned you that she had some Midler in her.

Emily Bergl unzipping

As Emily continued her repertoire including “It Had To Be You,” “Ten Cents a Dance,” “Crying,” “Material Girl” and others that included eliciting audience participation, layers of her dress seemed to disappear until she was down to a flesh-colored body suit. One of the layers was caught by Yvonne, who put it on for a brief stint on stage with Emily.

Hollywood Floral arrangement

At the very end of the performance, Emily thanked Hollywood Floral for the big floral arrangement saying “EB” in the entry to the Venetian Room.

Brought back for an encore, she finished her stage performance with Mama Cass’s “Dream A Little Dream Of Me.”

Cabaret may seem like something from the past, but it’s the perfect venue for an entertainer like Emily, who thrives in an intimate setting to the delight of the audience.

Friends And More Friends Are Plotting, Preparing And Partying For The Wilkinson Center’s 30th Anniversary Gala

The Wilkinson Center has been on a roll. No, take that back. It’s been in avalanche mode. The reason is that it’s celebrating its 30th anniversary of working with the poor of Dallas. It’s hard to imagine that it was back 30 years ago that Munger Place United Methodist Church’s Rev. Clayton Lewis started a neighborhood food pantry to help the poor in the area. Little did he, or really anyone else, suspect those early efforts would result in serving over 15,000 yearly nowadays.

With all that work, it’s about time to have a major party and raise money.

Because the center’s efforts impact people of all ages, it literally has friends of all ages, who have been busy plotting, planning and partying in preparation for the 30th Anniversary Black and White Gala on Saturday, November 3, at Dallas Contemporary.

First, there are the Friends of Wilkinson Center. In addition to providing hands, feet and hearts for the center, they’ve held Tinsel & Dreams since 2005. Featuring table-top Christmas trees created by designers, celebrities and businesses, the event has provided $785,000 for Wilkinson, along with countless hours of volunteering.

Millie Winston

In fact, they’ve gotten so good at putting on fundraisers, Friends’ President Emily Dunn and the Leadership Council decided to put on the gala with Millie Winston serving as chair.  

Hunter Sullivan and Ellen and Don Williams

If the gala is going to be anything like the September 27 patron party at Ellen and Don Williams ultra-cool contemporary home in Bluffview, it’s going to make memories and money. For instance, Hunter Sullivan provided the entertainment. Whoa! He’s pretty darn big-time, and this party was an intimate one for 80. Seems that Jan Worrall had won Hunter (well, you know, his talents) at another charity auction and donated it to the Friends for the party. Talk about chic recycling! As for the food, it was delish. But, of course! The Food Company created “designer” mini-cheeseburgers, Asian crab cakes, chicken skewers with tarrago pesto and leek tartlets with over-dried tomato.

Ann Reeder, Emily Dunn, Jan Worrall and Carlin Morris

And while these “friends” would be considered youngsters by most, there’s another even younger group that is supporting Wilkinson. It’s the Wilkinson Center Young Friends. Created to specifically target that adorably, oh-so cute younger crowd, they are lightning fast at getting new members and raising $$ ASAP. For instance, Co-presidents Danielle Hardie and Laura Reeder kicked things off with a membership and raffle at The Dram, where they signed up 100 new members and raised nearly $3,000 in less than a couple of hours.

OJ DeSouza, Laura Reeder, Kristen Johnson and Haley Nielsen

More recently they held “Fire and Ice” at Saint Ann’s Restaurant on September 28 with DJ Jennifer Miller in charge of the entertainment. Co-hosts Alexis Barbier-Mueller, Laura Reeder, Vodi Cook and Kristen Johnson made just two request — plan on having fun and wear red, white and black.

Sara McMaster, Kristin Kensell, Alexis Barbier-Mueller, Whitney Eckert, Sarah Thomas and Blake Thomas

Both of these groups are coming together for the gala. While the Friends may be doing the heavy lifting coordinating the gala, the Young Friends’ Co-prez Danielle is chairing the gala’s “Late-Night Party.” Love those after-parties. The older folks have to rush home to relieve babysitters, while the younger guests party beyond closing time.

Photos provided by The Wilkinson Center

Puppy Mills Release Dogs To Roads As Animal Rescue Corps And Others Advance In Closing Breeding Camps

There was a sad irony last week. First there was the discovery of about 50 Maltese pooches wandering the road in Flower Mound. A day or so later 40 King Charles Spaniels were in a similar state of “what the heck are we doing here” near Sanger. Official suspect that due to the recent law making breeders register their operation, some of the “puppy mill” types were cleaning house by just dumping the caged animals that in some cases had never even felt grass.

And what was the irony?

Lynn McBee and Bobby Lyle

Just the weekend before, the Animal Rescue Corps held a conference to educate volunteers, government and law enforcement officials and to certify individuals basic animal rescue. A private party for local animal lovers was held the Friday before at Judi and Glenn Stewart‘s Bluffview estate and hosted by Kristina Bowman, Natalie Chu, Jenifer Strauss Dannhauser, Holly Forsythe, Nancy Halbreich, Jack Knox, Lynn McBee, Dave Perry-Miller and Jocelyn White.

Monica Ailey, Scotlund Haisley, Kristina Bowman and Charles and Molly Kitch

One of their major targets, according to Animal Rescue Corp President/Founder Scotlund Haisley and his staff, is the existence of puppy mills. Surprising some in the crowd was the fact that Tennessee and Missouri had the largest number of puppy mills supplying many retail pet shops.

Unfortunately, the bill and the efforts of many rescue groups in shutting down the puppy mills has initially resulted in dumping animals and overloading rescue groups. But if it ends senseless breeding of animals, this current tsunami will wind down.

BTW, the dumped dogs will be up for adoption this week.

WARNING: These are not adorable puppies. Yes, there are a few young ones, but the vast majority are adults that have been neglected and used. They will need understanding as they make their transition from jail life to real life.

Share-A-Date: Savor The Symphony

Savor the Symphony violins (File photo)

Saturday, March 23, 2013: Can’t believe all the 2013 events are starting to roll in. But one of the favorites is the Elan Circle’s Savor the Symphony. Maybe it’s because it’s at the Adolphus. Maybe it’s because it’s a black-tie dinner and cocktail reception. Maybe it’s because it benefits the education and outreach programs of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Maybe it’s because the silent auction items are elegant, clever and unique.

For instance, the “Art of Music” painted violins were such a hit this past year, a new crop will be up for bids for the 2013 gala.

JUST IN: Northwood University’s 2012 Distinguished Women Award Honorees Include Three Dallasites

What some folks may consider bragging, others claim it’s just being downright honest. So, Thursday night a bunch of Dallasites were honestly pleased as a Cowboys’ Super Bowl win (remember those days?) that three Dallas women were announced to be Northwood University‘s 2012 Distinguished Women honorees.

Charlene Lake*

Lynn McBee*

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman*

Yup, out of the 10 only Dallas had more than one who made the list and what a threesome it is — AT&T’s Charlene Lake, mega-fundraiser Lynn McBee and entrepreneur Kimberly Schlegel Whitman.

The rest of the class is made up of Gail Ayers of Lawrence, Kansas; Gray Hawn of Austin; Donalyn Kling of Laguna, California; Cynthia Pasky of Detroit, Michigan and Jocelyn Straus of San Antonio.

Donna Weitzman

The announcement was made poolside at Donna (2003 Distinguished Woman recipient) and Herb Weitzman‘s estate with past honorees like Barbara Daseke and Yvonne Crum delighted about the “new gals on the Distinguished Women block.”

The ladies will be feted with a weekend of celebration including a gala dinner at the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, October 20.

““Every year the class of Distinguished Women is impressive on many levels, and this year is no exception,”” stated Dr. Kevin Fegan, Northwood Texas President. ““We are proud that our students have these outstanding women as role models who inspire through their life experiences, their initiative, and their dedication to give back to the community.””

The only hiccup was Lynn. She was a wee-bit rattled and rightly so. Seems that just a couple of hours before she had gone for her afternoon run. As part of her routine, she had parked her car at her usual spot. When she returned, she discovered the back window smashed out and her purse and iPhone had were MIA. Now, the car was headed to the shop, credit cards have been canceled and the iPhone is dead. Boy, was that little gal mad! But the good news is that Lynn now has an excuse to get the new iPhone 5. Doesn’t matter. She’s still angry.

* Photos provided by Northwood University

Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award 2013 Honorees Patricia And Curtis Meadows’ Proudest Project

Curtis and Patricia Meadows

Tuesday night the 11th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award honorees were revealed at Myrna and Bob Schlegel‘s “palace.” None other than Patricia and Curtis Meadows will be the recipients of the award that benefits the Virginia Chandler Dykes Endowed Scholarship Fund at Texas Woman’s University.

While petite-in-pink Patricia admitted to the filled-to-capacity great room (Mary McDermott, Sharon and Mike McCullough, Trevor Rees-Jones, Sara Martineau, Tincy Miller, Caroline Rose Hunt, Kern Wildenthal et al.) that she and Curtis each had their own different interests and projects over the year, she said that they were proudest of the one they had worked on together. Immediately she pointed to their son Michael, who was seated on a nearby couch. Nice one, Patricia.

Tickets are available for the February 21 luncheon at Belo Mansion. Be prepared. With Patricia in the room, it will be a fun event.