With A Decades Old Santa Greeting At The Window, Crystal Charity Ball Chair Pam Perella Celebrated Her Committee At A Holiday Tea

While 2018 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Claire Emanuelson was settling into her office, 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella was putting on the finishing touches of the year with a reception for her committee on Friday, December 15, at her Beverly Drive home.

Originally scheduled for Thursday, December 14, the occasion was postponed to Friday due to the funeral service for Ruth Sharp Altshuler just blocks away at Highland Park United Methodist Church.

Claire Emanuelson and Pam Perella

Pat McEvoy and Shelle Sills

While the talk at the team was highlighted by the impressive event honoring Ruth, Shelle Sills summed it up by saying that the service had been an inspiration to do more for the community.

Charley

Meslissa Macatee, Bevin Shaw and Cindy Ethel

Beth Thoele, Patti Flowers and Leslie Diers

Elizabeth Gambrell, Sara Lee Gardner and Susan McSherry

Still there were other topics filling the Perella home site. Nine-year-old Yorkie Charley was the perfect host wagging his tail as he wandered throughout the guests, who reciprocated with pats and strokes. In the library a life-size Santa stood in the window. With a flip of the switch, he waved to drivers buy. Not back for a gent, who had been part of 2017 CCB First Husband Vin Perella’s childhood…Melissa Macatee reported that the first printing of her book, “Steeples of Texas,” was such a success, a second printing was on the horizon. In the meantime, she has two weddings in her future — daughter McBride Macatee will be waltzing down the aisle to wed Madison Oden in April and son George P. Macatee V will marry Kailee Wilson in June… Robyn Conlon was receiving congrats on her birthday… Pam Busbee arrived late into the festivities due to a retirement party for a 17-year staffer at her mid-rise… Caren Kline was all smiles with her mom, Bettye Whiteman, who had arrived from New York for the holidays… 2019 CCB Chair Pat McEvoy looked great despite having surgery the day before. She maintains that husband Charles McEvoy doesn’t realize what he’s gotten into as 2019 CCB First Husband…  And then there was Vinnie Reuben, who after years of scrambling to match guests with tables and juggling all types of names behind the scenes was bidding a fond farewell at an active CCB member. She and husband/Neiman Marcus NorthPark Czar Malcolm Reuben were moving to California on Christmas day. Still, Vinnie the loyal CCB-er said the Reubens would still pop up for CCB in the years to come. Despite Vinnie’s protest for a going-away luncheon, her pal former CCB Chair Cynthia Mitchell had a book commemorating the Reuben’s years of friendship.

Pam Busbee and Christie Carter

Bettye Whiteman and Caren Kline

Kim Miller and Robyn Conlon

Vinnie Reuben and Cynthia Mitchell

As the ladies left to prepare for the holiday, Pam admitted that she hadn’t even begun to start planning for the holidays. A former CCB chair upon hearing Pam’s lament smiled and said, “Don’t worry. You have a great excuse.”

The next item on their agenda will be the selection of the 2018 beneficiaries. Stay tuned. That announcement will soon be announced.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Dallas Museum Of Art Decorative Arts Symposium

According to Dallas Museum of Art Decorative Arts Symposium Event Chair Beverly Nichols

The Dallas Museum of Art will host the second annual Decorative Arts Symposium benefiting the Museum’s Decorative Arts Acquisition Endowment Fund on Thursday, September 21, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Agustin Arteaga (File photo)

P. Allen Smith*

This year’s Symposium will include coffee and breakfast bites, followed by welcoming remarks in the Horchow Auditorium, by Agustín Arteaga, Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. Featured Symposium speakers will include award-winning garden designer, acclaimed author, television host and conservationist P. Allen SmithJohn Hays, deputy chairman of Christie’s; and Ann Pailthorp, who leads the North American Colour Consultancy Program for British craftsmen in paint and paper, Farrow and Ball. A book signing with all speakers will immediately follow.

Ann Pailthorp*

John Hays*

I am so excited to be able to bring in speakers from all over the country to the Dallas Museum of Art, which has one of the foremost decorative arts collections in the country. The Symposium will provide a rare opportunity for the Dallas community to meet these experts in their fields of decorative arts, in an intimate setting, as they discuss the decorative arts and how they impact our lives every day.

I hope everyone will make plans to join us! Tickets are $75 each and can be purchased online at dma.ticketleap.com/decorative-arts-symposium/.

* Photos provided by Dallas Museum of Art

2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debs And Moms Do Holiday Teatime At Troutt Estate

As the fundraising activities were going into hibernation, the private get-togethers were in high gear. However, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League managed to squeeze in one last event. It was actually perfect timing for most. With girls back from college for the holidays, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League took full advantage of the 2016 DSOL Presentation Ball debs being available for the annual tea.

Lisa Troutt

Lisa Troutt

Christie Reniger and Nancy Labadie

Christie Reniger and Nancy Labadie

DSOL Ball Chair Nancy Labadie and her committee managed to have the holiday afternoon event at Lisa and Kenny Troutt’s estate whose halls were decked with a towering Christmas tree, lit candles and a dining room table filled with all types of goodies.

As delicious as the food looked, some of the debs were passing on taking advantage of the spread. After all, they were watching their waistlines since their ball gowns were in the final stages of being sewn up. One of the debs admitted that she hadn’t really been working on her bow, but figured that she still had plenty of time to get the process down by the DSOL Presentation Ball at the Meyerson on Saturday, February 20.

Ciara Cooley, Payton Scott, Carolina Henry and Alexandra Henry

Ciara Cooley, Payton Scott, Carolina Henry and Alexandra Henry

As Lisa and Nancy greeted guests, moms (Lisa Cooley, Claire Henry, Christie Reniger) and daughters (Ciara Cooley, Carolina Henry, Alexandra Henry) made themselves right at home.

Lizzy Gates and Robin Bagwell

Lizzy Gates and Robin Bagwell

On the other hand, Robin Bagwell reported that son, Nolan Bagwell, had to “bow out” of being a member of the ball’s honor guard. His reserve duty commitments scheduled on that weekend had forced his being MIA. Luckily, Robin felt right at home at the tea, since her goddaughter Lizzy Gates is one of the 2016 debs who will be bowing on stage at the Meyerson.

Speaking of MIA, Simona Beal and her daughters weren’t at the tea. Seems her twins Lauren Beal and Tasha Beal were still away at Vanderbilt University and the University of North Carolina, respectively. Luckily, the Beal girls would make it home in time for Christmas and then it was off with their brother Robbie Beal and sister Gracie Beal to ski the slopes with their dad and to Mexico with their mom.

Best-Selling Author Tommy Spaulding To Headline Executives In Action’s Book And Breakfast In April

Ashlee and Chris Kleinert (File photo)

Ashlee and Chris Kleinert (File photo)

Executives In Action’s Ashlee and Chris Kleinert may have seemed to have taken a break after their Great Texas Food Truck Rally back in September, but no! They’ve been busily putting together plans for their 4th annual Book And Breakfast event.

It will return to the Dallas Country Club on Friday, April 15. This year’s speaker will be Tommy Spaulding, whose “It’s Not Just Who You Know (Transform Your Life and Your Organization by Turning Colleagues and Contacts into Lasting, Genuine Relationships)” became a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today national bestseller. His new book, “The Heart-Led Leader,” was just published last month and is already a New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon Business national best seller.

While he has held various leadership positions in the corporate and nonprofit worlds, Spaulding has become regarded as “a world-renowned speaker on leadership.”

Sure, this event is one of those early rise-and-shine situations, but it’s also known for being better than the best cup of coffee and an excellent way to start the day.

BTW, the lessons learned at the Book and Breakfast gatherings can benefit both those in the business world as well as those in the nonprofit sector.

Tis Time For A Holiday Tea In The Legendary DeGolyer House

If you’re looking for a place to tea time, you just might want to consider the three-course holiday tea at the Dallas Arboretum’s 75-year-old DeGolyer House that’s all gussied up for the holidays with more than 500 crèches.

Seated tea at the DeGolyer House*

Seated tea at the DeGolyer House*

It’s underway until January 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The price varies from $47 per person to $57 for the champagne tea version.

The price also includes general garden admission and parking. Now, talk about a holiday bargain!

So, round up your pals and make your reservations for tea time.

If you can’t squeeze it in before Christmas, why not make it a holiday gift that can take place before the year ends?

* Photo courtesy of the Dallas Arboretum

A Sunday Tea At The Mansion Raised Awareness And Funding For Housing Crisis Center With Macaroons And Etiquette Tips

Is there anything more adorable than a little girl in a pink frock with a sash tied in a bow at the back? A flock of them were at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle on Sunday, April 26, for the Housing Crisis Center‘s 2015 Afternoon Tea.

Katina Anderson, Olivia Kearney, Julie Hawes, Amy Turner and Jonika Nix

Katina Anderson, Olivia Kearney, Julie Hawes, Amy Turner and Jonika Nix

They were joining their OMG young moms like Amanda Schufeldt, as were Olivia Kearney, Amy Turner, Paige Lane and Julie Hawes thanks to Housing Crisis Board Chair Amy Green. Maleiah Rogers arrived with daughter Everlee Rogers just as the group was entering the ballroom. Seems they had just come from the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Great Create.

Everlee Rogers and Maleiah Rogers

Everlee Rogers and Maleiah Rogers

Why, there were even some gents who initially looked a bit bewildered at an afternoon tea and its niceties. Come on. Fess up. Most guys consider an afternoon tea to be a very prim and proper dry affair with Lipton tea bags being drained. Most of them would probably prefer polishing the silverware. At least they wouldn’t have to wear a tie.

Ah, but they soon learned that they were so wrong about ladies-who-tea. Sure, there was hot tea, delicate macaroons and bite-able goodies, but there were plenty of flutes of champagne bubbling at the tables, too.

The too-adorable youngsters plucked the harp at the reception and even briefly settled down at tables in the ballrooms. But all too soon their chatter and need for afternoon naps forced moms and nannies to escort the future debutantes to the Promenade to chill.

Amy Green

Amy Green

Sherri Ansley

Sherri Ansley

Tina Parker

Tina Parker

Terri Martinez

Terri Martinez

What they missed was a playful welcome by Amy G., an introduction of new Executive Director Sherri Ansley by actress Tina Parker wearing a fascinator and a talk on tea etiquette by Terri Martinez.

Even the guests who looked like they were serving hard time brightened up upon learning tea trivia like why pinkies are held up when drinking and why no-elbows-on the-table got started.

One especially off-script moment came after Sherri reported the statistics and tales of those facing housing crises. As Terri prepared to talk etiquette, she said she had found the information about the housing crisis touching, since she had been one of those in need of help years ago.

Evidently Terri, like so many others, survived and thrived after living through a personal housing crisis.

Round Robin March 26: Women’s Auxiliary Of The Salvation Army Texas Tea And Côtes Du Coeur Catalog Announcement

Wicked weather hit Oklahoma and the North Texas area dodged the torrential bullet on Thursday, March 26. Since the temps dipped, woolly wear didn’t reappear. But don’t worry. The nonprofits were still hot-to-trot.

Women’s Auxiliary Of The Salvation Army Texas Tea

Dixey Arterburn and Ramona Jones

Dixey Arterburn and Ramona Jones

The question for the Women’s Auxiliary of the Salvation Army on a normal day might have been, “How are the clothes coming?” or “How are ticket sales going for the Salvation Army fundraiser at Brook Hollow?”

Instead it was, “Did you find a parking space?” Seems the Crescent Court launched its face lift on the very same day as the SAWA’s Texas Tea at Stanley Korshak.

Libby Hunt

Libby Hunt

Evidently, everyone didn’t get the memo that the usual valet at Korshak’s front door would be replaced by the one at Capital Grille. But even then Salvation Army Fashion Show and Luncheon Co-Chair Dixey Arterburn arrived early and couldn’t find a parker at the Grille. Upon inquiring in a ladylike fashion with the Capital Grille staff, she was told to just leave her keys and it would be taken care of.

Guess it was just one of the adjustment to new arrangement days, but Women’s Auxiliary President Betsy Chambers, Ramona Jones, Honorary Co-Chairs Libby Hunt, Lissie McCullough and Sharon McCullough were right on time.

Lissie McCullough, Crawford Brock and Sharon McCullough

Lissie McCullough, Crawford Brock and Sharon McCullough

Regardless, Dixey and her Co-Chair Ginger Sager have arranged to have loads of the gently experienced designer clothes hanging around for sale on Monday, May 4, at Brook Hollow. Suggestion: start doing your arm exercises because you’re gonna be carrying out armfuls of fashions.

But on this day it was Korshak’s brand-spanking new clothes and “Texas Tea.”

Côtes du Coeur Catalogue Announcement

David Blank and Kate Rose Marquez

David Blank and Kate Rose Marquez

Later that evening, Diamond Doctor was being hit from all sides by the Côtes du Coeur gang. For a while DD David Blank stood outside greeting guests like Cindy Stager, Gillian Breidenbach, Corry Schiermeyer, Kevin Curley, Kim Bannister, Dick Meyer, Mary Martha and John Pickens, Nick Tarantello and Micheala Davis.

Cindy Stager, Gillian Breidenbach and Corry Schiermeyer

Cindy Stager, Gillian Breidenbach and Corry Schiermeyer

Kim Bannister

Kim Bannister

Mary Martha and John Pickens

Mary Martha and John Pickens

One reason for his doing the meet-and-greet outside was that the store was pretty well filled with peeps with glasses of wine in hand.

Whether it was the Côtes du Coeur wine lovers checking out the Red Escalade in front of DD, hunkering down over the cases of gems on the ground floor or venturing upstairs to see the OMG items, it was an amazing gathering. In addition to the gazillions of dollars of jewels, another reason for the turnout was the presentation of the Côtes du Coeur catalog for the April 25 fundraiser at the Hilton Anatole. Just in the nick of time, Côtes du Coeur Chair Kate Rose Marquez rang the bell calling all to the stairs for the catalog presentation. As the information about the wines was being read, it was obvious that some folks were already planning their bids.

Art Ball Past Chairs Were Celebrated At Nancy Carlson’s With Sweet Masterpieces As Part Of 50th Anniversary

In the world of visual art, Wednesday, March 18, was a gathering of angels. At the invite of 2015 Art Ball 50: Self-Portrait Chair Nancy Carlson and the host committee, the previous chairs were invited to be honored for the past years of the multi-million dollar fundraiser.

Julie Hawes and Jennifer Karol

Julie Hawes and Jennifer Karol

Elaine Agather and Catherine Rose

Elaine Agather and Catherine Rose

Maxwell Anderson

Maxwell Anderson

Ann Barbier-Mueller and Cristina Lynch

Ann Barbier-Mueller and Cristina Lynch

The day’s rain had pulled back, so the ladies and Dallas Museum of Art Eugene McDermott Director Maxwell Anderson headed to the Carlson estate.

Cake masterpieces

Cake masterpieces

Most never made it past the entry hall, but those who like Cristina Lynch and Ann Barbier-Mueller did discovered a banquet of all types of goodies including edible lipsticks.

Sweets including edible lipsticks

Sweets including edible lipsticks

One of the first to fall victim was Max, whose lipstick kept falling off his plate.

Greer Garson and Jodie Biddle

Greer Garson and Jodie Biddle

Why the shout-out for the past chairs? Because this year’s Art Ball is the 50th anniversary. And to salute the past, Nancy had large blow-ups of past special Art Ball moments that included Greer Garson and Jodie Biddle.

Schatzie Lee

Schatzie Lee

Past chairs like Schatzie Lee were being videotaped in a side room about their Art Ball memories.

BTW, the Art Ball wasn’t always the Art Ball. Back in the yesteryear it was a mega-costume ball called the Beaux Arts Ball. But those were days when the DMA was at Fair Park. Only proving that memories are the foundation for today’s successes.

This year’s gala is right on target for Saturday, April 11, at the DMA.

For more photos, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: Art Ball Host Committee Tea

Leave it to Art Ball 50 Chair Nancy Carlson and her host committee to take full advantage of the 50th celebration of the Art Ball. On Wednesday, March 18, they invited all the former past Art Ball chairs to Nancy’s “cottage” for a little gathering that included Park Cities tea (aka champagne) and the most magnificent looking cakes and sweet treats. In addition to the goodies, Nancy and DMA Eugene McDermott Director Maxwell Anderson saluted the past chairs for their efforts in raising more than $22M.

Cake masterpieces

Cake masterpieces

While the post is being prepped, check out a few of the photos from the “tea” at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. It’s delicious and not fattening.

Sweets including edible lipsticks

Sweets including edible lipsticks

Can you just imagine what the April 11 fundraiser at the Dallas Museum of Art is going to be like? Yummy, rich and memorable.

A Writer’s Garden Valentine Tea Chair Dorothea Meltzer Celebrated Her Birthday With Author Michael Devine And Honorary Chair Marilyn Hailey

Dorothea Meltzer*

Dorothea Meltzer*

The ladies gathered on Tuesday, February 10, at the Dallas Arboretum for “A Writer’s Garden Valentine Tea” presented by the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum. Birthday girl/Event Chair Dorothea Meltzer arranged for former Neiman’s model Marilyn Hailey to serve as honorary chair. To celebrate her runway days, a video was shown with “an array of shots during her modeling career which started in the early 1960’s.”

In addition to selling out of his book “An Invitation to the Garden: Seasonal Entertaining Outdoors,” author Michael Devine told the ladies-who-tea about “tempura fried herbs. Parsley, thyme, basil – all dipped in batter and fried to perfection.”

Dorothea is an old hand at chairing the annual fundraiser for the Woman’s Garden at the Arboretum. She did it last year and has agreed to do it next year.

* Photo credit: Deborah Brown

Amy Mitchell’s Mansion On The Creek Provided The Christmas Wow! Factor For The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Deb Tea

Satellites circling the earth probably were amazed at the lit-up North Texas area. Among the homes showcasing the Santa angle in December was Amy and Malone Mitchells’ mansion along Turtle Creek.

On Thursday, December 18, a bigger-than-life-size nutcracker at the front door greeted the ladies of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League for their annual holiday tea honoring the 2015 Symphony Debs. With debs home for the holidays, they were partying non-stop for the next few days including Saturday’s Diamonds & Debs hosted by the Lawrence Bock family and Sunday’s Holiday Party at Myrna and Bob Schlegels’ estate.

Christmas decorations in the Mitchell home

Christmas decorations in the Mitchell home

Christmas decorations in the Mitchell home

Christmas decorations in the Mitchell home

Christmas decorations in the Mitchell home

Christmas decorations in the Mitchell home

But on this afternoon with temperatures in the 40’s outside, the breathtaking interior of the home past the heavy front door immediately warmed things up for guests like Susan Stanzel, Cynthia Beaird, Jolie Humphrey and daughter Camille, who were headed to Santa Fe following Christmas.

Cynthia Beaird and Venise Stuart

Cynthia Beaird and Venise Stuart

DSOL Debutante Ball Chair Venise Stuart was amazed at how seamlessly the year had taken place. She had asked Amy about hostessing the tea back in June and today was the result.

Carolers

Carolers

While Dickens-esque carolers wandering throughout, marvelously decorated towering Christmas trees were spotted in the Great Hall, the living room, the keeping room and practically in every nook and cranny. Hmm. Pity poor Santa in trying to figure out where to put the gifts.

Amy Mitchell

Amy Mitchell

Speaking of the keeping room, Amy was seated in a chair chatting with the some of the gals. In playing “checking in,” one gal said she was at SMU. Amy asked if she was in a sorority. The lass replied, “Chi O.” Immediately, Amy responded, “Me, too!” What a hoot! (Sorry about that.)

But it also appeared that the Mitchell clan was part of the Yule brotherhood with ceramic Saint Nicholases, magnificent tapestry, manger scenes and even a cute grinch throughout. And, of course, a life-size Santa presided from the Great Hall’s balcony. In other words, Christmas is a very big deal in the Mitchell household. It’s too bad it all has to end. But not to worry. In just 11 months all the Christmas magic will return to the Mitchell household.

Les Femmes Du Monde Holiday Party Was A Real Traffic Stopper

When mom is holding an afternoon party, it can really cramp a son’s POA. Such was the case for Spencer Hardin on Tuesday, December 16, when his mom Sarah Hardin hosted the Les Femmes du Monde Christmas party. As a more-than-expected flock of females filled the Hardins’ Park Cities home, Spencer got in his two-seater and headed out the driveway only to come to an abrupt stop. Blocking the way was a spotless Mercedes.

Dixie Marshall, Rhoades and Sarah Hardin

Dixie Marshall, Rhoades and Sarah Hardin

There was good reason. Dixie Marshall and Connie Rhoades, who had arrived in the Mercedes, were assisting another guest with a walker to the house. Being a gentleman, Spencer patiently waited without revving his engine once.

Sarah admitted that they really should have had valet parking. But it was a beautiful day and who would have thought the turnout would be so surprising that the cars lined the block.

As Dixie and Sarah helped the guest into the house, Connie headed back to the street to move the blocking car. Spencer was seen immediately driving away.

Alyce Heinrich

Alyce Heinrich

Just as well. Inside the guests spilled out of the family room and into the adjoining living room, as 2014 Les Femmes du Monde President Alyce Heinrich announced the following:

The membership drive was on.

  • Alyce would continue as president through 2015.
  • Phyllis Comu would serve as 2015 president-elect.
  • Regina Bruce, who chaired the sold-out 2015 Women of Distinction luncheon at Harlan Crow’s library, would be 2016 president-elect.
  • Carmaleta Whiteley and her husband Otis Felton would chair the 2015 Woman of the Year evening fundraiser for Children’s Health and World Affairs Council Dallas/Fort Worth.

As soon as Alyce was finished, many of the guests headed to the dining room, where a feast was waiting.

Former Neiman Marcus Model Marilyn Hailey Named Honorary Chair For “A Writer’s Garden Valentine Tea”

Back in the days when Neiman Marcus’ Zodiac Room had jackets available if gentlemen guests had forgotten theirs, there was a small group of legendary models who strolled among the tables to tell diners about their ensemble. One of those super stars was Marilyn Hailey.

Like the others, she was a fav of international designers. One of her favorite designers was the late hat designer Frank Olive. So much so, that she collected a delicious group of his chapeaus that was displayed at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s new member part in 2013.

Marilyn is lending her name as honorary chair of the “A Writer’s Garden Valentine Tea” at the Dallas Arboretum on Tuesday, February 10.

Marilyn Hailey and Marena Gault*

Marilyn Hailey and Marena Gault*

In addition to landing Marilyn, Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum President Marena Gault, Event Chair Margaret La Rocca and “A Writer’s Garden” Chair Dorothea Meltzer have arranged to have Michael Devine as guest speaker.

Like Frank’s love of fabrics and designs, Michael “has an internationally recognized line of hand-printed fabrics. His textiles and garden have appeared in numerous print and online magazines, including House Beautiful, Ell Décor, Traditional Home, World of Interiors and the Peak of Chic.”

It might be very smart to upgrade your involvement to the patron status because it will include an invite to a patron party the night before to meet Michael.

Proceeds from the event will benefit A Woman’s Garden at the Arboretum.

* Photo credit: Deborah Brown

Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Tablescapes Set New Highs With Table Fashions And Alex Hitz’s Boldface Namedropping

There wasn’t much time to recover from the Saturday, October 18 Cattle Baron’s Ball. But no excuses would do Sunday or Monday, since the annual Kappa Kappa Gamma Tablescapes two-day fundraiser was underway at the Dallas Country Club. Showcasing the extremely talented professionals and should-bes, the event takes place just before the holidays really go into overdrive. The settings inspired hosts and hostesses for

Sunday, October 19 — Candlelight

The evening was the stuff that mega-advertising firms hope for when trying to promote a new convertible. The humidity was low. The breeze was just enough to make long hair flow perfectly. The temperature was ideal for bare shouldering it.

Holt Haynsworth and Lyn Barlow

Holt Haynsworth and Lyn Barlow

Within the Dallas Country Club, there was not a pore or line in sight thanks to the hundreds of glowing candles. And these candles were perfectly poised on dozens and dozens of beautifully decorated and dolled up tables. The King’s Winter Feast boasted shields, swords and antiquities in north grill. Holt Haynsworth’s table was a scene from Colorado with Aspens, a glass top covering decorative moss and photos from past shoots in the main grill. (Holt told his mom Lyn Barlow that he was unleashing his inner feminine self to create the table.) Junior Villanueva’s table in the gallery had stumped some, but clever guests like Jill Rowlett immediately figured it out. It was an upside down tree with roots reaching to the ceiling and tulips and tree limbs pointing downward with the leafy branches covering the table.

Junior Villanueva's presentation

Junior Villanueva’s presentation

And while guests queued up for the buffet and silent auction in the main northern side of the ballroom, the vast majority checked out the tables throughout the clubhouse. For within 24 hours, they would be a Kappa Kappa Gamma Tablescape memory and its proceeds would be going to Catch UP and Read, Child Care Group, Contact, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, Dwell With Dignity, Mosaic Dallas, New Friends New Life, Promise House, VNA/Meals on Wheels and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation.

No sooner had the last guests driven away from Candlelight, then the tables were redressed in preparation for the sold-out Monday luncheon in which guests attended a lecture by bon vivant Alex Hitz and then dined at the tables. And, yes, a lot of candles had to be snuffed out.

Monday, October 20 – Luncheon

Caroline Williams, Charlya Ward and Christine Flanagan

Caroline Williams, Charlya Ward and Christine Flanagan

Christine Flanagan, Martha Ward and Caroline Williams

Christine Flanagan, Martha Ward and Caroline Williams

Tablescapes Co-Chairs/Sisters Christine Ward Flanagan and Caroline Ward Williams had everything in perfect order. For the pair it was a three-generation occasion with mother Charlya Ward and grandmother Martha Ward on hand.

Monday morning guests returned to the club that is usually closed this one day of the week. They started arriving at 10 a.m. to view the tables with their finery and meet some of the designers.

Louise Griffeth and Junior Villanueva

Louise Griffeth and Junior Villanueva

At 11:30, they gathered in the ballroom to recognize Debbie Oates as the Platinum Key Honoree and Charlotte Anderson for being the recipient of the Fraternity Alumnae Achievement Award. However, Tablescapes Co-Founder Louise Griffeth had something up the sleeve of her brand new very Kappa Kappa Gamma dress (It was covered in key prints). She had managed to get floral genius Junior Villanueva to sit in the audience. The man who along with his Garden Gate crew create magnificent masterpieces in vases or ballrooms shies away from the applause and limelight. Instead, he prefers to let his handiwork be out front.

As Louise addressed the filled-to-capacity ballroom, she nervously admitted that she was treading on thin ice in calling attention to Junior. But once she did it, one and all rose to their feet to show their appreciation for his talent and his being a part of Tablescapes for 20 years.

Then it was time for natty Alex to regale the crowd with stories of being raised by jet setting parents in the south and France. Like a Page Six column, his talk was peppered with anecdotes and names like

Alex Hitz

Alex Hitz

Eating baked potatoes with so much caviar that “this half Presbyterian damn near blushed” in a duplex built for a silent movie star with a fountain for champagne in the bathtub (“Now, look at you. I say that in Dallas and nobody bats an eye.”);

  • “Lobster Mimi at Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera’s lush 91st Street house. The recipe she got from Mimi, her formidable mother-in-law. Here’s a pieces of news, ladies, even Carolina has a formidable mother-in-law.
  • “A surreal sour cream soufflé at Bill Blass’ country house in Connecticut on the bleakest, ugliest of February afternoons;
  • “A summer blackberry tart in “gorgeous Carolyne Roehm’s not to-be-believed, be believed garden in Connecticut full of super ripe, not to believed blackberries straight from that garden.
  • A coconut pudding with caramel sauce “one Christmas Eve at Susan Godwin’s palatial Fifth Avenue spread… If the coconut pudding didn’t get you, the apartment would.”
  • “Hands down, the very, very best chicken pot pie ever, which had sultanas in it. You and I might call them raisins at Louisiana belle Marguerite Littman’s house in Chester Square in London. She told stories about her very best friend Tennessee Williams. It seems they were sitting at the pool one day when a very, very, very skinny girl walked by. Marjorie looked at her and said “Anorexia nervosa.” To which, Tennessee responded, “Why, Marguerite, you just know everybody!”
  • Short ribs with Betsy Bloomingdale.
  • For the last seven or eight years of her life, Elizabeth Taylor had Alex spend Thanksgiving with her and “her family.” He told his audience that after being part of the holiday feast with Taylor, he advised that “I do hate myself for what I’m about to say…please, always remember if you hire a caterer to do a Thanksgiving dinner, please make sure that they do not specialize in tahini, couscous and lamb kebobs.”

With strict orders to respect the schedule, he concluded the talk telling them “to give people what they really want” and five tips to a perfect party — Five Ways To Entertain Well (as if any of these gals needed advice):

  1. “Never skimp on anything. “Don’t you go skimping. If you serve a frozen pizza, fried chicken or caviar, make sure it’s the best of what it is and there’s plenty of it.
  2. “When entertaining, make a schedule and stick to it. Serve dinner on time. And don’t wait on anybody. If people are late, it’s their problem not yours. Do not punish the people who come on time and reward the people who come late. (Applause)
  3. “Make an effort to get every detail right, but do it before the guests arrive. Do not be fussing around the kitchen making everybody nervous. Parties are first and foremost about people and then food and then everything else. And never stop smiling. Trust me, trust me. Nobody wants to see your freaking out in a cold sweat and popping Xanax.
  4. “The higher the monkey climbs the pole, the more he shows his _____. In other words, don’t be pretentious. Keep it simple. We know you’re rich and of excellent quality. Simpler is always better.
  5. “If all else fails, and make sure you don’t miss this one, just call up the Dallas Country Club.”
Jean Liu Designs and Pomp Party

Jean Liu Designs and Pomp Party

Then the crowd en masse left the ballroom for their tables for a luncheon of red pepper soup, chicken chasseur served with broccoli polonaise and fall rise blend and a chocolate mousse with whipped cream and pecan shortbread cookies.

All 54 tables were filled to the hilt except one. It was the Jean Liu Designs and Pomp Party in the main foyer. There was good reason for its being guest-less. It was made for guests, whose birthdays were still in the one-digit range.