The 5th Annual Reading Partners Celebrity Spelling Bee Had City Performance Hall Buzzing With Boldfacers Competing

For some, auto-spell check has relieved some of the angst of getting words spelled correctly. But a group of area hotshots, they found themselves relying on their own gray matter to compete in the Reading Partners Spelling Bee on Wednesday, March 1, at City Performance Hall benefiting Reading Partners North Texas. Here’s a report from the field: 

What do Don Quixote, Pharrell Williams and Hermione Granger all have in common? Their names were each spelled (not necessarily correctly) by local celebrities at the 5th Annual Reading Partners Celebrity Spelling Bee on Wednesday, March 1, at City Performance Hall. Following a cocktail reception, Co-Chairs Jenny and Loren Koziol kicked off the evening with powerful statistics about the current state of child literacy in North Texas before introducing emcees Katy Blakey and Kristi Nelson of NBC 5. Byron Sanders, Vice President of U.S. Trust, assumed his position as Official Spelling Bee Judge on stage shortly after. Then, one by one, the five teams entered the stage with hopes of being crowned spelling champions by the end of the competition. Each sponsored by a company or individual, the teams were divided as follows:

  • Team Neiman Marcus — Brandon Carr of the Dallas Cowboys; Tyrone Crawford of the Dallas Cowboys; and Jennifer Lassiter, Vice President of Internal Corporate Communications at Neiman Marcus
  • Team EY — Ryan Burke, partner at Ernst And Young; Lesley McCaslin, Fox Sports reporter; and Dr. Kent Scribner, Superintendent of Fort Worth ISD
  • Team U.S. Trust — Tiffany Bias of the Dallas Wings; DJ Poizon Ivy, DJ for Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Wings; and Janet Ryan, Managing Director and Private Client Advisor at U.S. Trust
  • Team Mike And Mary Terry — Bill DeOre, former editorial cartoonist at The Dallas Morning News; Michelle Staubach Grimes, children’s author; and Mary Terry, co-founder of The Mike And Mary Terry Family Foundation
  • Team Vinson And Elkins — John Coleman, Executive Chef and Owner of Savor and Relish; Jim Meyer, partner at Vinson And Elkins; and Cary Pierce of Jackopierce.

From the left: (back row) John Coleman, Jim Meyer, Kent Scribner, Ryan Burke, Kristi Nelson, Mary Terry, Bill DeOre, Brandon Carr and his children; (middle row) Byron Sanders, Cary Pierce, Lesley McCaslin, Jennifer Lassiter, Tiffany Bias, Janet Ryan, DJ Poizon Ivy and her daughter; (front row) Katy Blakey, Jenny Koziol, Michelle Staubach Grimes, Tyrone Crawford, Byron Jones*

Just before the competition kicked off, Dallas Cowboy Byron Jones joined Team Neiman Marcus from the crowd as a surprise last-minute addition. The spelling bee then began with one practice round, but not before each team purchased passes for $1,000 each to be used in case they got stumped. Words were pulled from one of multiple categories, such as pop culture, literature or geography. After six or seven rounds—and all passes used on difficult words—a winning team rose to the top. When Team U.S. Trust misspelled the word ‘bourgeoisie,’ Team EY became the 2017 Reading Partners Celebrity Spelling Bee Champions. After posing for a photo with their trophies, the winning team joined their defeated opponents to mingle with guests across the street at Jorge’s during the after party.

Team EY may have taken home trophies, but Reading Partners was the real winner of the evening. The Celebrity Spelling Bee raised $155,000, which supports Reading Partners’ proven child literacy intervention program. In addition to each team sponsor, the event was made possible by Holly Energy Partners, AZZ Inc., Topgolf, Make It Count Family Foundation, Bandera Ventures, Downtown Dallas Inc., ExxonMobil, Frost Bank, Industrial Valuation Services, The Hoglund Foundation, Oncor, Price Waterhouse Cooper and TIER REIT.

* Photo provided by Reading Partners North Texas

Sold-Out Alert!: 2017 Recess

Another state of “Sold Out” has been revealed. Friday night’s Recess at the Dallas Arboretum is a done deal. 

As for those predictions of stormy weather, they won’t be a problem because the NorthPark-sponsored Sandbox, games, spiked juice box and music provided by Prophets and Outlaws will all be safe and sound inside Rosine Hall.

Recess*

And no need to wear stuffy, grown-up attire. It will be strictly “schoolyard chic” (aka casual chic).

Benefiting and celebrating the 10th anniversary of Dallas AfterSchool, Event Co-Chairs Regina Merson and Robyn Siegel and Honorary Co-Chairs Tanya McDonald and Janet Mockovciak have arranged for the following sponsors:

  • Capture the Flag ($25,000) – The Baldridge Foundation
  • Simon Says ($10,000) – Lydia and William Addy, Baird, Strategic Wealth Partners/Colleen and Peter Bowler and Janet and John Mockovciak
  • Red Rover ($5,000) – Anne and Terry Conner, Christina K. Hanger and Tanya and Ken McDonald
  • Duck Duck Goose ($2,500) – Philip Theodore Bee Charitable Trust, Kristi and Brian Erickson, Cherri and Jack Musser, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Ernst and Young and Tenet Healthcare
  • Four Square ($1,000) – Christy Bednar, Sheela and Marc Birnbaum, Kathi and Chris Child, Serena Simmons Connelly, Maria and Douglas Cramer, The Donachie Foundation, Laurie and Craig Dunn, Angela and Mark Frederiksen, Abby and Michael Gregory, Sarah Losinger, Christina and Tim Norris, Tricia and Eric Stammberger, Social Venture Partners Dallas, Stacy and Mack Hicks and The Fijolek Family
  • Special Thanks and In-Kind Donors – Aimbridge Hospitality, BANCO, Cindy Ferris, Dallas Arboretum, Kent Rathbun Catering, LeForce Entertainment, Live Nation, McShan Florist, Microsoft, NorthPark Center, Paper City, Pop Parties, Topgolf, Yellow Rose Distilling and Housed Real Estate
* Graphic courtesy of Dallas AfterSchool

Dallas Museum Of Art Became A 21st Century “Shaken, Style, Stirred” Speakeasy For 1,200 Femme Fatale Flappers And Dapper Dandies

The Dallas Museum of Art‘s current exhibition “Shaken, Styled, Stirred: The Art Of The Cocktail” provided the inspiration for more than a thousand guests to turn back the clocks on Saturday, February 4, to the Prohibition era. That’s when the right password provided access to the hottest speakeasy in town with music, dancing and naughty adult libations. Luckily, Prohibition is long gone, but the Hamon Atrium was as hot as a jazz baby. Here’s a report from the field:

The Dallas Museum of Art was transformed into a Prohibition-style speakeasy on Saturday, February 4, in celebration of the exhibition “Shaken, Styled, Stirred: The Art of the Cocktail,” an exhibition of cocktail ware from the late 19th century through present day.

Speakeasy in the Hamon Atrium*

Over 1,200 guys and dolls like Gwen and Eddie Lee, Melanie Cooke, Allie and Michael Gillam, Stephanie Gregory, Danielle Wessman, Angela and Kevin Jackson, Maria and Richard Von Horvath, Monica Berry, Sarah Stockton, Holly Bosler, Molly Meyer, Gary Beach, Cassandra Davis, Caitlin and Akers Moore, Jessica and Harl Asaff, Alia Reiners, Linda Snorina, Jack Tosi and Maggie Luttrell arrived in their best roaring-20’s attire and entered through the Museum’s Hamon Atrium. The 18-piece band, the Singapore Slingers, provided the big-band sound as guests enjoyed gaming tables, “French 75” specialty cocktails with ROXOR gin, and a buffet featuring sliders, a fries station with choice of sweet potato fries, regular fries or tater tots served in cones with custom toppings, mini carrot cake and cheesecake bites, and strawberry mousse cups.

Akers and Caitlin Moore and Jessica and Harl Asaff*

Molly Meyer*

Alia Reniers and Linda Snorina*

Gwen and Eddie Lee and Melanie Cooke*

Attendees posed in the nearby photo booth or in in front of the mint-condition period cars from the Dallas Model A Ford Club, posting their mugs on social media with the dedicated #dmaspeakeasy. For those hitting the dance floor, The Rhythm Room instructors provided the steps to 20’s favorites, including the Fox Trot and Charleston.

For VIP’s, the Focus One Gallery provided the perfect Hideaway with DJ Souljah spinning jazz-age hits with a twist, a ROXOR Gin Garden, private gaming tables and dedicated dance instructors. The savory and sweet cocktail buffet featured house-cured Gravlax crostini, dill and mustard dressing, caprese stacks with balsamic and basil, beef and horseradish rolls, home smoked chicken and mango tortilla cups, chocolate mousse shooters, lemon curd tartlets and pineapple upside down cake bites.

Jane Aldridge*

Stephanie and Phillip Robinson*

Mid-way through the evening all the Gatsbys and molls gathered at the main stage for the announcement of the winners of the costume contest. Contest judge and celebrity blogger Jane Aldridge of the Sea of Shoes blog awarded “Best Flapper” to Stephanie Surratt, “Best Dapper Dan” to Bennett Allen and “Best Couple” to Stephanie and Phillip Robinson.

Stephanie Surratt*

Bennett and Katie Allen*

As the fun continued, attendees enjoyed the exhibition that inspired the celebration, “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.” Featuring nearly sixty works, predominantly from the DMA’s extensive design holdings, the exhibition explores the culture of cocktails and the wares in which they are prepared and served. As well it follows the development of the modern cocktail from the late 19th century to the present day, tracing the stylistic reflections of the rituals of the cocktail’s preparation, presentation, and consumption. “Shaken, Stirred, Styled” features a range of objects, many of which are on view for the first time, including 19th-century punch bowls, Prohibition-era cocktail shakers, and Art Deco and modern barware.

Before the night came to an end, partygoers gathered once more for the announcement of the winners of five fabulous raffle prizes:

  • The Joule Hotel and Midnight Rambler Package: a one night get away in deluxe accommodations at The Joule Hotel with complimentary overnight valet parking and a $100-gift card for food and beverage at the premier craft cocktail bar, the Midnight Rambler.
  • Fossil® Q Wander rose gold stainless+Q Marshal in brown leather
  • Victor Tangos and Bella and Chloe: a $150 shopping spree at Bella & Chloe/Brethren Boutique and a $100 gift certificate to Victor Tangos, home to Rising Star Chef of the Year, Chef Kirstyn Brewer!
  • Ultra-Luxe ROXOR Gin Experience: six tickets to a private curator tour through the Shaken, Stirred, Styled  Then, enjoy an exclusive ROXOR cocktail-making class, perched 19 floors above Klyde Warren Park and the DMA, in a private residence.
  • Arts & Letters Live VIP Package for February 25th event featuring with Jessi Klein, the Emmy and Peabody award-winning head writer and executive producer of Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed series “Inside Amy Schumer”
  • Arts & Letters Live VIP package #2 for May 3rd event, Happy Hour! A talk, cocktail sampling, and performance inspired by “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.”
* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith

2017 Great Adventure Hunt Provided Brainbusting Puzzles Throughout The Perot From Mother Goose To Fencing For ChildCareGroup

While the black-tie-optional Catholic Charities group was filling the Omni’s Dallas Ballroom on Saturday, January 28, nearly 320 more casual types were on the other side of downtown Dallas at the Perot Museum.

Tori Mannes and Bart Showalter

Joe Mannes and Michael Newman

The occasion was the Great Adventure Hunt benefiting ChidCareGroup and chaired by Erin Nealy Cox and Trey Cox and Nicole and Justin Small and presented by
Data Alliance
. According to CCG President/CEO Tori Mannes, last year’s GAH wizard-behind-the-scenes/journalist Tom Shroder had begged off  this year, due to his writing two books. To seek a replacement puzzle strategist, Tori killed two birds with one stone. She asked past champ team members John Harris, Joe Mannes, Tom Nynas, Kemp Sawers and Elizabeth and Bart Showalter to create the puzzles for the night. Not only did she come up with some real insiders creating the evening’s challenges, she also allowed for a new team to score the top prize.

Wendy Moore Oglesby,, Peggy Allison, Edward Oglesby Gladys Kolenovsky and Lyda Hill

Rena Pederson

One of those vying for the trophy was the infamous Lyda Hill team (Peggy Allison, Gladys Kolenovsky, Wendy Moore Oglesby, Edward Oglesby and Rena Pederson), whose captain, Lyda, has played in every GAH except the very first one. In preparation for the evening, Lyda reported her team had met twice to strategize and to allow each of their strengths to shine. Lyda recalled that her team had won the competition “several times in a row, but not recently. We have to let others win!” she joked.

When asked about her upcoming Linz Award, Lyda admitted that she was truly taken by surprise. She was told about the honor over the phone while she was driving, and was caught totally speechless.

Doug Murray

On another subject, Lyda was asked why time and time again people think her middle name is “Hunt.” While her brother (Al Galatyn Hill Jr.) and sister (Alinda Hunt Hill Wikert) both have middle names, Lyda doesn’t. But she recalled that years ago, everyone was into monogramming. Since a great monogram had three letters, young Lyda gave herself a temporary “H” to fill the bill.

While the cocktail reception carried on in the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall on the third level, production coordinator Doug Murray was preparing the acoustics for the dinner on the first level. Some guests didn’t recognize Doug. The reason? He’s lost 50 pounds—going from a 17 1/2 shirt-neck size to a 15 1/2—by exercising and eliminating soft drinks and breads from his diet. However, he admitted that on Sundays he may cheat and have a pizza. His goal is to lose 15 more pounds.

Fencing*

As for the competition, the puzzlemasters proved their worth.The very first challenge took place at the dinner tables with a round of Bingo, Then they were off and running with “puzzles featuring unique items such as edible clues, Mother Goose, a fencing match, ‘The Hokey Pokey’ and Twister. Some team solved the puzzles with ease, and other chose to receive extra hints.”

Tori Mannes, John Matthews, Kat Kunze, Suzanne Smith, Ben Mackey, Melanie Ferguson and Evgeniy Gentchev*

After the final team “crossed the finish line” and made it back to their tables for dessert and the results, it was team Matthews Southwest (John Matthews, Kat Kunze, Suzanne Smith, Ben Mackey, Melanie Ferguson and Evgeniy Gentchev) that not only took home the prize but also proved to have the distance in their effort. Boss John Matthews had flown in from Canada just to participate in the Hunt.

Other winners included the following:

From the left: (back row) Kathy Touchstone, Jenny Murphey and Jason Arneson; (front row) Kathryn Treece, Alyson Trout and Andrea English*

  • Second place — Kick-Off Party Sponsor Pegasus Bank and Bright and Bright LLP (Kathy Touchstone, Jenny Murphey, Jason Arneson, Kathryn Treece, Alyson Trout and Andrea English.
  • Third place — Meredith and Scott Wallace team
  • Rookie team — Meredith and Scott Wallace team
  • Best Team Name — Valet sponsor Roach Howard Smith and Barton for “Can’7 5OLV3 TH15”
* Photo provided by ChildCareGroup

 

Mary Kay Inc.’s Inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit Had Business Vets Providing Insight And Opportunities For Business Women

When Mary Kay’s Inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit convened at the Fairmont on Friday, January 27, for an all-day crash course on business development and growth, they literally got more than an “earful” about innovative opportunities and success stories. In fact the day’s Pink Tank proved that point to the letter, thanks to Elyse Dickerson of Eosera, whose pitch had everyone listening. Here’s a report from the field:

Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit*

Two hundred women entrepreneurs attended the Inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit, presented by Mary Kay Inc. in partnership with the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (The DEC), on Friday, January 27, at the Fairmont Hotel.

As perhaps the #1 creator of women entrepreneurs in the world, Mary Kay designed the summit to convene experts and thought leaders to help encourage and inspire participants’ own business journey, and to provide them with the tools to take their company and themselves as a leader to the next level and stage of development and growth.

The day began with keynote speaker Gloria Mayfield Banks, Mary Kay Independent Elite National Sales Director in the United States, followed by three breakout sessions with the common thread of “Why Women Make Great Entreprenuers.” 

Breakout session*

Breakout speakers included Caytie Langford of Caytie Langford and Associates, Valerie Freeman of Imprimis Group, Mary Kay Independent Senior National Sales Director Cindy Williams, Mary Kay Independent Executive National Sales Director Stacy James, Yasmeen Tadia of Make Your Life Sweeter, private consultant Liz Marshall, Sheryl Chamberlain of Cap Gemini, Jill Scigliano of Dallas Entrepreneur Center and Mary Kay Independent National Sales Director Emeritus Karen Piro and Kristina Libby, S.W.C./SoCu.

Ingrid Vandervelt, Crayton Webb and Gloria Mayfield Banks*

The group then reconvened for a seated lunch and a keynote address by Ingrid Vandervelt, Founder and Chairman of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020, before enjoying afternoon breakout sessions designed around the theme “How to Become a Great Entrepreneur.” Afternoon breakout session speakers were entrepreneur/Junior League of Dallas representative Heather Bonfield, Mary Kay Inc. Chief Marketing Officer Sheryl Adkins-Green, Heather Capps of HCK2, Holly Mason of Mason Baronet, Jessica Nunez of True Point, Julia Taylor Cheek of Everly, Louise Kee of Golden Seeds, Cynthia Nevels of Integrality, Cristin Thomas of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and Management Consulting’s Melissa Youngblood, LCC.

One of the highlights of the day followed, the Pink Tank business pitch session, with an all-star panel of judges: Sheryl Adkins-Green, The DEC Founder/CEO Trey Bowles, fashion designer/CEO Abi Ferrin, Mark Cuban Companies Director of Business Development Abe Minkara and City of Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne.  Five women business owners vied for the chance to win $5,000 in startup money from the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, with Elyse Dickerson of Eosera taking home the prize.

Trey Bowles, Sheryl Adkins-Green, Elyse Dickerson, Beth Van Duyne, Abi Ferrin and Abe Minkara*

The day concluded with a “Champs and Candy” celebratory reception with champagne, cotton candy-infused sparkling water, and sweet and savory popcorn by Make Your Life Sweeter.

* Photo provided by Mary Kay Inc.

JUST IN: With An Italian Flavor, 2017 Mad Hatter’s Chair Linda Spina Reveals Eight Categories For Under The Tuscan Sun’s Judging

Under The Tuscan Sun*

And the news that Mad Hatters and their chapeau designers have been waiting for has just been revealed. 2017 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Linda Spina revealed that in keeping with the “Under the Tuscan Sun” theme, the following categories will be judged at the Dallas Arboretum on Thursday, April 27, for the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum fundraiser:

  1. Molto Italiano (“Very Italian”) — Most True-to-Theme. Everything Tuscan, from the rolling hills of Tuscany to the art treasurers of Florence to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and everything in between. 
  2. Rachel’s Pick — Special guest Rachel Zoe’s favorite hat. The best of the best, from her point of view.
  3. Bella Donna (“Beautiful Woman”) — Most Elegant. 
  4. A Taste of Italy — The food and drink of Italy.  Wine, cheese, pasta, pizza and more!
  5. Bellissima Botanical — Best Botanical. What would Mad Hatter’s at the Arboretum be without hats adorned with beautiful flowers?
  6. Fellini’s Follies — Famed late Italian film director Federico Fellini always worked in a group. Best Group of Hats.
  7. Mamma Mia! — Most Outlandish. Go wild!
  8. Ciao Bella! (“Hello Beautiful”) — People’s Choice. The best of the best, as voted on by the attendees.

Now, get those glue guns warmed up and have a glass of France MayesToccare le Stelle, while you’re at it.

The Gingerbread Stroll Nears The End Of The Road, But There’s Still Time To Bid And Vote On A Confectionary Cottage

Thursday may be the first day of December, but, alas, it’s the last day of the 5th Annual Gingerbread Stroll in Highland Park Village. If you haven’t made it yet, stop pussyfooting around and check out the marvelously decorated cookie cottages at Betta Gallery, Bistro 31, Kiehl’s, Leggiadro, Market Highland Park, Robert Talbott, Roberta Roller Rabbit, Royal Blue Grocery, Stella McCartney, Trina Turk and Village Barber Shop.

The Gingerbread Stroll*

The Gingerbread Stroll*

The cuisine builders include A Sweet Life, Architecture Demarest, artist Evelyn J. Fallgren, Charlies, Chef Winter Lockwood-Frank, Chocolate Secrets, Hilton Anatole, Hotel Crescent Court, Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion, Omni Dallas Hotel and Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

And since it is the last day of the stroll, put your bid in for one of the houses… except for one. 

Just heard from Gingerbread founding sweetie Christine McKenny that Evelyn’s  confectionary delight at Leggiadro is off the market. Seems someone snatched it up for the buy-it-now bid of $1,000. Perhaps the Dave Perry Miller folks should post a “Sold” sign out front!

Evelyn J. Fallgren's sold gingerbread house*

Evelyn J. Fallgren’s sold gingerbread house*

But Evelyn has another masterpiece over at Robert Talbott that is still up for bid. It’s quite a looker, too!

And Christine also revealed there has been a late arrival from Chef Julie Price to the gingerbread development. It’s at Nasiba Adilova’s and Miroslava Duma‘s The Tot pop-up shop. Since it is the holiday season, Christine has decided to let this adorable home stay on the auction bloc after Thursday night. But don’t wait too long to check it out and put a bid in.

Remember, all bids and votes for your favs (except the one at The Tot) end Thursday night when the stores go dark.

Since its inception in 2011, the Stroll has provided more than $40,000 for area children in need through organizations like this year’s recipient Community Partners of Dallas.

* Graphic and photo courtesy of The Gingerbread Stroll

Tuesday Is The Decision Day

According to your mama bear, there are certain subjects that proper folk just don’t discuss — sex, religion and politics. Bravo, mama bear!

But Tuesday, November 8th, is gonna be a put-up or hush-up occasion for the election of local, state and national leadership. Despite the anger that has been espoused in days past, there will be no OK Corral shoot outs. Instead it will be an exercise in democracy. Following the nationwide vote, a president will be elected, taxes will be due and the sun will continue to rise in the east.

Old Glories

Old Glories

Let’s face it. That’s what makes this dysfunctional family great. We may all have different backgrounds, ideologies, theories and opinions, but the beauty of this melting pot is that we still have the basic belief that good will reign… eventually.

So, please vote. The folks at MySweetCharity don’t care whom you vote for as long as you vote. There are people in third-world nations that can’t even imagine having the right to input their opinion.

And just remember — if you don’t vote, you’re handing over your rights to someone else. Perhaps it will be that jerk in junior high whom you thought was a real, round-the-clock loser.

BTW, just in case you’re wondering about Queenie, she proudly declared she voted for Roosevelt.

Bless her heart.

For the location of your voting site, check here.

C.C. Young Golf Tournament At Bent Tree Country Club Scored Funding For The Benevolence Fund

While Dallas was getting back to normal after the Red River Rivalry, golfers were hitting the Bent Tree Country Club links on Monday, October 10, to raise funds for the C. C. Young Benevolence Fund. Here’s a report from the field:

On Monday, October 10, C. C. Young hosted its 5th Annual Classic Golf Tournament presented by Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt. Proceeds from the tournament benefited the senior care community’s Benevolence Fund, which serves as a financial safety net and ensures residents always have a place to call home, regardless of their financial position.

Golfers, sponsors and C.C. Young supporters gathered at 10 a.m. for check-in at Bent Tree Country Club and mingled while picking up boxed lunches before the shotgun start, which began promptly at 11 a.m. The Texas-themed day on the course included a photo opportunity at the 14th hole, as well as shots at a hole-in-one on the 5th, 8th, 14th and 17th holes. Prizes included: Golf vacation at French Lick Resort, a set of TaylorMade Rocket Bladez HL Irons 4-AW, a set of Adams Speedline Woods and Irons with bag, and $25,000.

George Linial and Russell Crews*

George Linial and Russell Crews*

Following the day on the course, golfers were welcomed to the awards reception by western-clad cheerleaders and proceeded to bid on silent auction items and enjoy a delicious barbecue buffet.  Participants also tried their hand at a round of blackjack and were entered into a drawing for an Apple Watch and a cash prize.

 

C. C. Young President and CEO Russell Crews congratulated golfers like Rich Scanlon, George Linial, Gerry Hicks, Keith Wilson, Alex McMaken and David Dillard and talked about C.C. Young’s mission to provide a premier senior living community where each individual can grow in body, mind and spirit, no matter their life’s circumstance or limitations.

Gerry Hicks, Keith Wilson, Alex McMaken and David Dillard*

Gerry Hicks, Keith Wilson, Alex McMaken and David Dillard*

“This tournament is one of our biggest fundraisers throughout the year,” Crews said. “We have made the Top 25 list in Dallas Business Journal’s ‘Top Charity Tournaments’ the past two years thanks to our wonderful sponsors and donors who continue to support us, and because of events like this, we can continue to provide excellent care to seniors in our community.”

Awards were then presented to the winning teams. Ronnie Klein, Chad Dunaway, Mike Oswald and Garrett Perkins of Project Control were announced as the first place winners. Mikel Fears, Matthew Jung, Chase Tucker and Aaron Ellis of Time Warner Cable Business Class came in second place, and third place winners were Rusty Collins, David Hullet, Randy Hunnicut and Alan Magill.

Sponsors of the event included Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, D2 Architecture, Morrison Senior Living, Hill & Wilkinson General Contractors, Time Warner Cable Business Class, CliftonLarsonAllen, Infinity Pharmacy Solutions LLC, Steve Folsom and Park Cities News and The Waters Family.

* Photo credit: Jennifer Griffin

North Texas Giving Day Booster: McKinney Young Artist Competition

“Approaching its 20th anniversary, the annual McKinney Young Artist Competition is a nurturing weekend experience for pianists age 14-18 that involves recitals, competition performances, master classes, and over $5,000 in scholarships. The standard competition format has been transformed into a win-win situation in which all ten finalists receive scholarship awards and are treated with hometown hospitality.

“Ten finalists are pre-selected every year to compete during the weekend event which begins with a recital from a world-renowned judge. Following their own competition performance, all ten finalists participate in master classes with the judge, and at the end of the weekend play again in a final recital. At the Awards ceremony, four Grand Prize winners receive scholarships of $1,000 each, the other six receive $300, and one pianist is chosen for the Karen Austin Memorial Master Class award. By the time of our 20th anniversary, 200 young pianists will have been positively affected by this competition.

‘Says one former competitor: ‘I have been to many competitions that have promised a rewarding experience, but none have demonstrated the professionalism of this competition.  Everyone was really treated like a winner, because we all had the opportunity to work with great inspirational artists. I really liked how everyone was given a lot of personal attention, whether they were one of the four Grand Prize winners or not. I felt like they were speaking to me as if I was an artist who was just as accomplished as they were.’

“The McKinney Musical Arts Society is dedicated to excellence in performance that fosters musical enjoyment, education and awareness. Our primary purpose is to support the McKinney Young Artist Competition for pianists while bringing quality musical performances to McKinney. We are committed to diverse and creative musical productions, supporting the performing arts, and encouraging young artists.

“Founded in 1998, this is our first year with North Texas Giving Day. Help us continue to help encourage the young pianists who will be our future artists!”

-By Dr. Mary Humm, McKinney Young Artist Competition Founder and Artistic Director

_________

In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support McKinney Young Artist Competition by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

LAST CALL: Dallas CASA’s 2016 Parade Of Playhouses Raffle And Voting Ends Sunday

2016 Parade of Playhouses (File photo)

2016 Parade of Playhouses (File photo)

Those adorable little residences that have been lining NorthPark Center’s hallways have evidently been a big, old hit. In just two weeks folks have purchased more than 10,000 raffle tickets in hope of winning one of the Parade of Playhouses for their own. Thanks to Dallas CASA volunteers including Kappa Alpha Theta types, more than 2,000 hours have been invested in the raffle sales that will benefit Dallas CASA.

Insiders report that sales are ahead of last year and 2015 was a record maker.

And as for the voting, there’s been a bit of debating on which one will win. So far, pollsters claim that the Kid Cottage by LRO Residential, African Safari Adventure by Harman and Crest CASA Garage by Crest Cadillac/Crest Infiniti were in the lead.

Kid Cottage

Kid Cottage (File photo)

African Safari Adventure (File photo)

African Safari Adventure (File photo)

Crest Casa Garage (File photo)

Crest Casa Garage (File photo)

But that could easily change, since voting doesn’t end until Sunday, when the raffle winners will be revealed in NorthPark’s North Court at 4 p.m. BTW, if you’re thinking about doing an online-ticket purchase, get it in before noon on Sunday.

As for the popularity contest, the voting results will be announced via social media and the Dallas CASA website.

Chance tickets are going for $5 each and a bargain-saving $20 for five. Voting is accomplished by texting dallascasa to 41444 with each vote costing $5 and are “not included” in the raffle drawing.

yCPD Field Day Had Hershey Kiss Relaying And Booties And Bobble Heads Shaking For Community Partners Of Dallas

Forget camps Longhorn and Waldemar. The summer camp action was at The Rustic on Saturday, May 21, and the campers were of voting age. Leave it to Community Partners of Dallas to take its annual kids-friendly “Change For Good” and create an adult version — yCPD Field Day. Only there were no bounce houses or bungee jumping.

Paige McDaniels and Joanna Clarke

Paige McDaniels and Joanna Clarke

Taking place in the heat and humidity of Saturday, May 21, mist fans were in high roll and icy beverages were just a hand off away. Funny as it may seem, the coolest millennials were gangbusting the are-you-serious activities which were dreamt up by CPD Funmeister Joanna Clarke and Event Chair Sarah Carbonnet. Adding to the off-the-wall antics was KDFW (FOX) meteorologist Jennifer Myers at the mic. (Folks didn’t realize that red-haired Jenny was at the mic-helm. She had doffed her straight auburn wig to let loose her glorious “Annie” red curls and donning Jackie-O shades.)

Jennifer Myers

Jennifer Myers

Another head-turner was the A-Team that may not have won the games, but they sure knew how to pose!

Angela Edgell, Karie Kieffer, Diana Leach, Crystal Lightbody, Bobby Martin and Paige Martin

The A-Team team members Angela Edgell, Karie Kieffer, Diana Leach, Crystal Lightbody, Bobby Martin and Paige Martin

Here’s an eyewitness report from the shenanigans:

As they checked in, the 102 participants shopped the Mystery Bag station, which featured a variety of “mystery” prizes valued at $50 or more. For $25 each, purchasers were surprised with items including Texas Rangers and Dallas Mavericks tickets; a four course meal for 6 people in your home by The Cuisine Counselor; gift cards to Dallas favorites spots, such as Neiman Marcus, Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano, The PilatesBarre, Trinity Groves and St. Bernard Sports; Fossil Smart Bracelets; and bottles of liquor and wine.

Sarah and Cameron Carbonnet

Sarah and Cameron Carbonnet

Emcee Jennifer welcomed participants before introducing Field Day chair Sarah Charbonnet followed by CPD President/CEO Paige McDaniel, who thanked all for their support of the 2nd annual event, which is hosted by the organization’s young professional’s group, yCPD. She then shared a recent example of the incredible work CPD does in partnership with Child Protective Services, made possible by the support from the community, including those in attendance.

After Jennifer reviewed the format of the day, the competition began with 17 teams of six competing for the title of “yCPD Field Day Champion.” DJ Andrew Figueroa of Everlasting Sounds provided the vibe as competitors took the field.

Booty Shaking

Booty Shaking

After the initial Qualifying Round, where all teams competed at 10 different games, including, Egg Race, Suck it Up, Wheel Barrow Relay, Booty Shaker, Gatorade Flip Cup, Bobble Head, Hershey Kiss Relay, Face the Cookie, Noodle Toss and Social Media station, scores were tallied to whittle down the field to the top 10 teams. The top 10 teams then competed in a Potato Sack Race to identify the top 5 teams, but the initial race was too close to call between 7 of the 10 teams and so a “sudden death” potato race was conducted in order to confirm the top 5.

Bobble Heading

Bobble Heading

Hershey Kiss Relay

Hershey Kiss Relay

The top 5 teams lined up for a classic field day game – the Three-Legged Race. Teams “Beer Pressure” and “McGuire, Craddock & Strother” took the top two spots for a place in the final.

Beer Pressure Team from the left (front row) Tara Callahan, Brianna Riddell and Katie McDaniel; (back row) Nic Waldron, Kevin Allen and Ron Johnson*

Beer Pressure team members from the left (front row) Tara Callahan, Brianna Riddell and Katie McDaniel; (back row) Nic Waldron, Kevin Allen and Ron Johnson*

Where last year’s final round, Tug of War, showed who had the most brawn, this year’s round, the Obstacle Course, required a different set of skills. The round started with a Brain Teaser, where teams had to solve a word puzzle before moving to the next station. Station 2 called for each team member to leap frog over the other to the 3rd station – Tunnel Crawl. After each member of the team crawled through the tunnel to the other side, the team moved to the final station, which brought back one of last year’s favorite qualifying round activities – Sponge Relay. Both teams rushed to fill up sponges full of soapy water and wring them out in an adjacent bucket, but “McGuire, Craddock & Strother” quickly took the lead and finished well ahead of “Beer Pressure.”

McGuire, Craddock and Strother team from the left (front row) Claire Carroll and Jack Gannon; (back row) Grant Blair, Jon Mitchell, Michael Trecha, Erin Dowell, Clair Gannon and Walt Prudhomme*

McGuire, Craddock and Strother team members from the left (front row) Claire Carroll and Jack Gannon; (back row) Grant Blair, Jon Mitchell, Michael Trecha, Erin Dowell, Clair Gannon and Walt Prudhomme*

The 2016 winning team (and last year’s champions as well) was McGuire, Craddock & Strother (Claire Carroll, Jack Gannon, Grant Blair, Jon Mitchell, Michael Trecha, Erin Dowell, Clair Gannon and Walt Prudhomme).

Championship prizes for each team member: $50 gift card to The Container Store, a massage at COREhealth Wellness Center, a 2-week pass and swag bag from Orange theory Fitness, 2 class passes from Flywheel Indoor Cycling and trophy.

With the final round complete, all participants stayed for the after party featuring the Rustic’s cocktails and savory fare including double queso, brisket quesadillas, boar meatballs, onion-y rings and French fries.

2nd Annual Field Day sponsors were:

  • Blue Ribbon Winner ($2,500) – Brunswick Group and Apex Clearing;
  • Red Ribbon Runner UP ($1,000) – Orange Theory Fitness, Riveron Consulting and Shackelford;
  • White Ribbon ($500) – Embassy Suites Dallas Park Central, The Hartnett Law Firm, Sarah and Cameron Charbonnet, McGuire Craddock & Strother, Greg Beane Family Law, Premier Transportation and Paige McDaniel and
  • DJ Sponsor – COREhealth Wellness Center.

Despite the heat and humidity, this event was one that proved fundraising is cool.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith

Dallas Summer Musical High School Musical Theatre’s John Fredrickson And Kaiden Maines Scored Scholarships At National Competition

Just back from New York City are two very happy teenagers — Guyer High School’s John Fredrickson and Waxahachie High School’s Kaiden Maines. They represented the 5th Annual Dallas Summer Musical High School Musical Theatre Awards (DSM HSMTA) at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (aka the Jimmy™ Awards named after 94-year-old James M. Nederlander) on Monday, June 27.

This year’s national program included 62 students representing 31 regional programs. During the ten days leading up to the awards presentation, “The students auditioned before a panel of judges earlier in the week, singing two prepared songs and participating in a dance call. Based on the audition results, the students were split into two groups: The Medley Group and The Production Group, leading up to when all students performed together throughout the week and received the same amount of coaching. All nominees were eligible for the scholarships and awards.”

And with 5th Annual DSM HSMTA Chair John Clutts, inaugural Leah and Jerome Fullinwider Award recipient Tina Walsh, DSM HSMTA Manager Tracy Jordan, DSM Board VP Community Relations Nancy Natinsky and DSM VP Education Downie Mathis in the wings supporting them, John and Kaiden impressed the judging panel.

John F. was a finalist and received a $2,500 scholarship from the Barry and Fran Weissler Foundation, while Kaiden received a $2,500 Special Recognition Scholarship presented by Tams-Witmark Music Library Inc.

It was a first for the local program with a representative placing as a “Best Actor” finalist and both students receiving scholarships.

According to John, “The experience at the Jimmy Awards was unbelievable. It was such an honor and a privilege to represent the DSM High School Musical Theatre Awards and finish as one of the top four finalists in the nation. The whole experience was surreal as well as life changing. I cannot be more thankful to DSM for their sponsorship and all of those who supported me through this entire process. The past ten days have been the best time of my life and I will miss it all because it was truly wonderful. Hooha!”

Kaiden’s review was in sync with John’s, saying, “I had such an amazing time at the Jimmy Awards. I met so many talented people and was honored to be one of the six selected for a special recognition scholarship. I had so much fun making my Broadway debut on the Minskoff stage, and I can’t thank DSM enough for making this wonderful journey happen for me. I will miss it, but I’m looking forward to whatever is next!”

Hundreds Of Adults Learned The Answer To “Are You Smarter Than A KIPPster?”

Quiz Bowl Champion trophy

Quiz Bowl Champion trophy

While the DIFFA crowd was at The Joule sneak-peeking the DIFFA auction goodies on Thursday, April 28, other folks, both vets and newbies, were gathering at Frontiers of Flight Museum for the annual “Are You Smarter Than A KIPPster?” benefiting KIPP DFW.

For oldtimers, they knew the word “humility” was the walkaway for the adults facing the KIPP students in the “Battle of the Brains.”

On the other hand, for new-adults-on-the-block, it was a wake-up call to 21st century education.

Merry Vose

Merry Vose

Morgan Meyer

Morgan Meyer

Despite the two, three and four calls for guests to head to their dinner tables, the crowd of over 500 was tardy in heeding the requests. Bobby Lyle told Richard Eiseman that he and Lottye Brodsky were getting hitched this summer. Bobby chuckled when he told Richard that, in breaking the news to their families that he and Lottye were taking the step, he’d explained it was because they wanted to have more kids….Celebrity adult panelists Merry Vose, Jennifer Sampson and Morgan Meyer worked the upstairs reception as if they were seeking votes.

Sarah Weinberg, Barbie Cobb and Michael Horne*

Sarah Weinberg, Barbie Cobb and Michael Horne*

Jozlyn Hall

Jozlyn Hall

Co-Chairs Barbie Cobb and Sarah Weinberg introduced Jozlyn Hall, who in addition to being a founding student of KIPP Truth Academy is now a founding teacher at KIPPP Destiny Middle School. Jozlyn told how KIPP had made such a life-changing difference in her life.

KIPP Destiny Elementary Show Choir

KIPP Destiny Elementary Show Choir

Then there was a special performance by the KIPP Destiny Elementary Show Choir. These munchkins are so ready for prime time. Thanks to big screens on either side of the stage, even the folks in the back of the room got to see these little ones knock it out of the park. Once again they could have closed the program with that and everyone would have been delighted.

Then came dinner (miniature wedge salad, white cedar apple bacon stuffed chicken cordon Bleu and a dessert of dark chocolate truffle, mini-coffee bean éclair and lemon cheesecake with fresh berries).

After a special presentation by KIPP DFW Executive Director Designate Michael Horne, host Byron Sanders introduced the two panels for the Battle of the Brains.

Byron and Celeste Sanders

Byron and Celeste Sanders

David Brown

David Brown

Brooke Hortenstine, Karla McKinley and Nicole Musselman

Brooke Hortenstine, Karla McKinley and Nicole Musselman

As the KIPP kids (Quentin Casselberry, Alvaro Gonzales, Aijalon Hayes, Brianna McCain, Journi McClought, Oscar Morales, Ariana Mosley, Gerardo Rodriguez, Jozsue Salcedo, Stephany Sanchez, Taylor Williams and Sampson Williford) faced off against the “kids at heart” celebrity contestants (Rep. Rafael Anchia, Chief David Brown, Pierce Bush, Tom Karol, Morgan, Kristie Ramirez, Jennifer, Alex Sharma, Merry and LaShonne Watts), the competition was fierce and funny. But as Brooke Hortenstine so aptly summed it up, “once again, those brilliant KIPPster kids schooled the adults!”

* Photo credit: Kim Leeson

Lexus Party On The Green Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Something Old, Something New, Something Edible, Something Drinkable

Tierney Kaufman Hutchins was just 21 years old when Lynn and Allan McBee co-chaired the very first Party on the Green for TACA. Now, 10 years later she’s chairing the 10th anniversary of the fundraiser at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. And guess who she’s tapped for honorary co-chairs. Yup, Lynn and Allan.

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins (File photo)

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

In addition to chairing the event and holding down her job at Trinity Trust, Tierney this past year has gotten married to Jared Hutchins and just recently moved into a new house.

Brian Luscher (File photo)

Brian Luscher (File photo)

Matt McCallister (File photo)

Matt McCallister (File photo)

Danyele McPherson (File photo)

Danyele McPherson (File photo)

Ah, but the blonde is a multi-tasker. She’s arranged for the following chefs to be cooking up a storm all over the grounds and rooms of the Mansion: Nick Amoriell of Kitchen LTO, Fidel Baeza of Rosewood Mayakoba, Edgar Beas of Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, Blythe Beck of Pink Magnolia, Nicolas Blouin of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Matt Dallman and Scott Gottlich of 18th and Vine, Graham Dodds of Wayward Sons, Enrico Figliuolo of Rosewood Castiglion de Bosco, Mervin Friday of Rosewood Crescent, Lisa Garza-Selcer of Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar, Jared Harms of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Mathew Ingersoll of The Capital Grill, Brian Luscher of The Grape and Luscher’s Red Hots, Matt McCallister of FT33 and Filament, Danyele McPherson of Remedy and HG Supply Co., Victor Palma of Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, Stephen Rogers of Gemma, Peter Rudolph of Rosewood Sand Hill, Abraham Salum of Salum, Michael Scott of Rosewood Ranches Wagyu Beef, Braden and Yasmin Wages of Malai Kitchen and Devadip Zahar of Rosewood Las Ventanas.

Lisa Garza-Selcer (File photo)

Lisa Garza-Selcer (File photo)

Abraham Salum (File photo)

Abraham Salum (File photo)

Scott Gottlich (File photo)

Scott Gottlich (File photo)

Of course, there will be right-official judging for the winner of the Golden Skillet Award by foodie know-it-all types — The Dallas Morning NewsLeslie Brenner, D Magazine’s Catherine Downes and Modern Luxury’s Kristie Ramirez. But there’s an addition this year! Guests will be able to add their two-cents by voting the winner of the first ever Party on the Green People’s Choice Award.

Party On The Green (File photo)

Party On The Green (File photo)

Still another addition this year is the voting for the silent auction packages that will feature “20 exclusive travel- and food-related silent auction packages, each personally curated by participating celebrity chefs.” Tierney has arranged to have the bidding to be via “mobile bidding this year to make it easy to spend money.”

Of course, there will be the wine cork pull that’s being co-sponsored by Glazer’s and Merrill Lynch and the 2016 Lexus RX-350 donated by the Dallas-Fort Worth Lexus Dealers. Other sponsors include:

  • Presenting sponsor — Lexus
  • Patron sponsor — The Rosewood Corporation
  • Wristband sponsor — Frost Bank
  • Official airline — American Airlines
  • Fireworks sponsor — Highland Park Village
  • Auction sponsor — AT&T
  • Pashmina sponsor — Sandra and Sam Moon
  • Chef sponsors ($5,000) —Diane and Hal Brierley, Carlson Capital LP, Barbara and Don Daseke, Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians, Gwen and Leldon Echols, Kara and Randall Goss, Dawn and Tobin Grove, Jennifer and Chris LeLash, the Marie Keese-LeLash Foundation, Deborah and Jim Nugent, Paradox Compensation Advisors, Leah and Jim Pasant, Family Sommer, Strait Capital and Flexjet and Michele and Stephen Vobach.

If you’ve already locked down your tickets and a handful of raffle tickets, then go get that adorable outfit that you’ve been dying to buy. Now, you’ve got the perfect excuse to have it!

Junior League Of Dallas And Mary Kay Inc. Salute High School Seniors In Women Scholarship Program

The Junior League of Dallas is well known for being a incubator of leadership with such programs as the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute. But on Thursday, March 31, its partnership with Mary Kay Inc. resulted in recognizing tomorrow’s leaders at the third annual Women LEAD Scholarship Program. Here is a report from the field:

Four deserving Dallas Independent School District high school seniors are one step closer to pursuing their dreams of higher education as the Junior League of Dallas (JLD) and Mary Kay Inc. announced the recipients of the third annual Women LEAD (Learn • Excel • Achieve • Dream) Scholarship Program. On Thursday, March 31, 2016 at the Junior League of Dallas’ headquarters, two of Dallas’ most respected women’s organizations partnered to award $25,000 in scholarships to four female students to create opportunities for future women leaders.

“Education is a main area of support in the League and Women LEAD directly reflects our mission to develop the potential of women,” said JLD President Meredith Mosley. “We are honored that in collaboration with Mary Kay, we are able to award these young women with scholarships and hope the funds help the recipients further their education and move one step closer to pursuing their dreams.”

Established in 2013, the scholarship program was inspired by the late Mary Kay Ash, founder of the iconic global beauty company more than 50 years ago that has led the way for millions of women worldwide to pursue their dreams. The 10 finalists from Emmett J. Conrad High School, South Oak Cliff High School, and Thomas Jefferson High School prepared a speech based on the essay topic, “how do you make a difference in your community and what drives you to give back,” which directly aligns with JLD’s mission. A panel of judges selected four winners based on their scholarship application, community involvement, academic record and speech presentation. The 2016 judges included Meredith Mosley, Dr. Cynthia Wilson, DISD Chief of Staff Dr. Cynthia Wilson, Dallas Deputy Chief of Police Catrina Shead and Mary Kay Inc. Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Vice President Crayton Webb.

Crayton Webb, Donner Allen, Renee Moreno, Anjana Ghaley, Cynthia Izaguirre, Yoga Karki, Gianni Alexander and Meredith Mosley*

Crayton Webb, Bonner Allen, Renee Moreno, Anjana Ghaley, Cynthia Izaguirre, Yoga Karki, Gianni Alexander and Meredith Mosley*

First place winner Gianni Alexander, a senior at South Oak Cliff High School, will receive a one-time $10,000 scholarship. Homeless as a child, Alexander stressed that “education is freedom” and that through her acts of community service, she hopes to inspire Dallas youth. With this scholarship, she is one step closer to becoming an art director and plans to pursue a degree in advertising.

Second place winner Renee Moreno, third place winner Yoga Karki and fourth place winner Anjana Ghaley will each receive a one-time $5,000 scholarship. Moreno, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School, stated the importance of “doing everything with love” and plans to pursue a career that allows her to give back to her community. Karki, a senior at Conrad High School, plans to attend medical school in hopes of becoming a doctor. After growing up in Nepal, Ghaley, also a Conrad High School senior, plans to pursue a career in nursing and has dreams of educating rural communities in disease prevention.

“Mary Kay’s mission of enriching women’s lives vividly comes to life through the Women LEAD Scholarship Program by promoting the next generation of women leaders,” said Crayton. “In a longstanding partnership with the Junior League of Dallas, an outstanding organization with a legacy of empowering women throughout the city, we are thrilled to celebrate these young women as they develop into the future leaders of our community.”

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee

Art In Bloom Had Tables Topped To The Hilt And To Impress Dr. Todd Langstaffe-Gowan

Breaking from the past of having fashions at the Art in Bloom luncheon, this year’s Chair Barbara Daseke decided it might be more fun to have guests compete with table decorations following the presentation by British landscape historian Dr. Todd Longstaffe-Gowan on Monday, March 21, at the Dallas Museum of Art. Wise move because the guests really got into it. Here’s a report from the field:

Barbara Daseke and Linda Ivy*

Barbara Daseke and Linda Ivy*

Luncheon chairman Barbara Daseke, with honorary chairman Linda Ivy and honoree Olivier Meslay, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs, Senior Curator of European and American Art and the Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art at the DMA, were joined by over 260 guests at the seventeenth annual Art in Bloom, on Monday, March 21, 2016. Hosted by the Dallas Museum of Art League, proceeds from the event will benefit the DMA’s exhibition and education programs and the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund.

The festivities began with a reception in the Hamon Atrium with an opportunity to bid on amazing items in the silent auction, such as a complimentary DMA League upgraded Art Patron membership; a private tour for six with the new Lillian and James H. Clark Associate Curator of European Art, Nicole R. Myers, with lunch at Lark on the Park; a special three-course dinner for two with the host of Emmy Award-winning Bravo series “Top Chef,” Padma Lakshmi, in the DMA Founders Room, inspired by her favorite recipes; includes a hardcover copy of Laksmi’s book, “Love, Loss and What We Ate” and a DMA Fast Track pass; VIP access to upcoming 2016 DMA Opening Exhibition Celebrations for “Irving Penn” in April, “Concentration 60 and 61” in September, “Devine Felines” in October and more.

At the appointed time, attendees were directed to the Horchow Auditorium for remarks from this year’s featured speaker, landscape architect and landscape historian Dr.

Todd Longstaffe-Gowan*

Todd Longstaffe-Gowan*

, Gardens Advisor to Historic Royal Palaces in the United Kingdom. Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan entertained the crowd as he shared images and experiences from some of his recent projects, including The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace Gardens and The Crown Estate, as well as the redesign of Kensington Palace Gardens, the eleven-acre pleasure ground around the palace, to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen.

Afterward, patrons returned to the Museum’s Atrium for a seated lunch featuring tables dressed with beautiful linens and tabletops courtesy of POSH Couture Rentals, this year’s luxury rental sponsor, with floral centerpieces from David Kimmel Design.

Faye C. Brigg's table*

Faye C. Brigg’s table*

Barbara Daseke's table*

Barbara Daseke’s table*

Art in Bloom tabletop*

Art in Bloom tabletop*

Mami Driscoll*

Mami Driscoll at Jewel Williams’ table*

Six tables featured original tablescapes as part of the inaugural table design competition, using the theme “International” as their inspiration. Table design competitors included Barbara Bigham, Faye Briggs, Barbara Daseke, Dr Delphinium, POSH Couture Rentals and Jewel Williams.  Judged by Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan, Jewel Williams’ tablescape, designed by floral designer Mami Driscoll with collaboration from Stephen Frels with Stella Fine Flowers, was selected as the winning design with a prize of a three-day spree for two in London, complete with exceptional accommodations, a lunch at Clarke’s Restaurant and a private tour with Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan of Kensington Palace and other historic Palace Gardens.

Guests enjoyed a delicious lunch of butter lettuce salad with sherry vinaigrette and thyme blossoms for their first course, followed by an entrée of crispy Cornish hen with truffle spring pea puree, pea tendrils and garnished with nasturtiums.  As dessert of white and dark chocolate mousse tart with hazelnut brittle was served, the live auction, with Heritage Auctions auctioneer Kristen Schultz, began featuring items such as a Judith Leiber jeweled egg-shaped minaudières, a VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the DMA’s Painting Conservation Studio with chief conservator Mark Leonard, dinner at Lark on the Park, reserved seating for two at the DMA Arts & Letters Live presentation of “Dutch Masters & Deceit” and more; and an extravagant night on the town for two including a one-night stay at The Ritz-Carlton, dinner at Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille and a box at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra with transportation proved by United Limo.

Diann Contestabile and Margot Perot*

Diann Contestabile and Margot Perot*

Jennifer Houser and Suzanne Palmlund*

Jennifer Houser and Suzanne Palmlund*

As lunch came to an end, guests lined up to meet Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan as he signed his recent book, “The London Square.”

Art in Bloom International attendees included Honorary Chair Linda Ivy, Dallas Museum of Art League President Jewel Williams, Underwriting Chair Barbara Durham, Auction Chair Cecelia Otiniano-Moore, Barbara Bigham, Margaret McDermott, Margot Perot, Charlene Marsh, Holly Huffines, Robin Carreker, Sheila Durante, Jennifer Houser, Connie Carreker, Mary McDermott Cook, Beverly Freeman, Susan Fisk, Jill Goldberg, Faye Briggs, Libby Swindle, Betsy Waggoner and Ann Dyer.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron

North Texas Food Bankers’ “Souper” Back-Up Plan Kept Empty Bowl Crowds Warm And Dry

The North Texas Food Bank team was prepared. After last year’s snow and ice, they had a back-up plan all warmed up for the Friday, March 11, fundraising “Empty Bowls” at the Meyerson. Okay, so the Highland Park and Richardson ISDs, Jesuit and Ursuline students were on spring break, but there were still a load of NTFB supporters and downtowners in need of soup as the temps dipped into the 60s with drips and drops from the clouds above.

Empty Bowls' bowls

Empty Bowls’ bowls

Just as the doors opened at 10:30 a.m. for the VIP types, the lineup was overflowing in the lower level with folks like photographer Lisa Stewart to check out the tables filled with hundreds of the handcrafted bowls for sale. The organizers were prepared for such a turnout and have chairs set up for double duty — to provide a path to the sell-athon and for sitting if the wait seemed a bit long. Even presenting sponsor Kroger’s Gary Huddleston had to check in!

Gary Huddleston

Gary Huddleston

Nico Sanchez

Nico Sanchez

Upstairs on the ground level the chefs like Tejano Brothers New Texas Cuisine’s Patrick Smith were serving all types of soups. Meso Maya‘s Nico Sanchez was double dutying. In addition to doling out Sopo de Pollo, he updated friends that the new location at Abrams and Mockingbird was scheduled to open late May. And, yes, it would have a patio for dining and sunning.

Across the way, a couple of cuties topped with crowns were helping Caitlyn Fantl sell NTFB T-shirts. Why the top gear? They were Miss Frisco Outstanding Teen Heather King and Miss Frisco Christina Clawson. When asked if they slept wearing their crowns, the response was laughter and the admission that it would be uncomfortable.

Griffin Schlitt and Liza Schlitt

Griffin Schlitt and Liza Schlitt

Taylor Ollivierre

Taylor Ollivierre

At the landing between the ground-level lobby and the upstairs balcony, mom Liza Schlitt and her three-year-old son Griffin Schlitt watched musicians like violinist Taylor Ollivierre provide the perfect background music for supping.

In the back of the lobby within the roped-off, super-duper VIP area, a table waited for NTFB’s Jan Pruitt’s arrival complete with a reserve sign and a glorious centerpiece.

Paula Lambert and Marisa Partin

Paula Lambert and Marisa Partin

On the other side of the Meyerson lobby that was jammed with designer soup bowls on display for the silent auction was a traditional favorite — Paula Lambert’s Mozzarella Company complete with Paula and Marisa Partin.

Evidently the word started making the rounds that smarty pants peeps were heading up the stairs, where Mi Cocina-ers were handing out gift bags and there were tables for sitting and supping. For those with a need for a sweet chaser, Panera had loads of cookies ripe for the taking.

Daniel Villatoro, Jolie Oree-Bailey and Stacey Setzer

Daniel Villatoro, Jolie Oree-Bailey and Stacey Setzer

Across the way was the dark horse soup of the day. Low Country Quisine ‘s Chef Jolié Oree-Bailey and her team (Daniel Villatoro and Stacey Setzer) were serving up shrimp-and-grits soup. It was impressing folks to a point that its vote jar of dollar votes had folks returning to add more greenbacks.

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Despite Predicted Early Easter Showers, Lee Park Pet Parade Is Scheduled To March On At 2 p.m.

Dallas’ leading fashion event will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday. And there’ll be some real dogs in the lineup. Yup, it’s the Petropolitan Pooch Parade at Lee Park.

Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy President/CEO Gay Donnell is keeping her eyes on the weather for this 50th anniversary of Easter in Lee Park. According to the latest reports, if “graceful” showers sans hail and the end-of-the-world shenanigans are gonna happen before noon, they’ll take place in the morning which means that the afternoon of activities (Easter Egg Hunt, music and people/pooch watching) will be timed just right from 1 to 4 p.m.

The only caveat is that the temps may be a tad-bit cool, so if that adorable bare-shouldered sundress is demanding an outing better haul out that pale blue or pink pashmina as well.

As for the four-legged critters, all breeds, sexes and ages are welcome to paw their stuff in spring finery, as long as they have a “friendly” attitude. Remember, there is a $10 entry fee and the models should have their humans on a leash…a non-retractable one.

The parade starts at 2 p.m., but you’ll want to get there early to get registered and check out the competition.

Dallas Film Society Announces Plans For 10th Annual Dallas International Film Festival With Epic Release

The Dallas Film Society has been very busy finalizing plans for the April 14-24 Dallas International Film Festival. And, boy, did they come up with news! It took a 27-page press release to list all the plans including the full schedule of 113 films to be shown at the 10th Annual DIFF.

First off, there are the awards that will be presented at the Dallas Film Society Honors on Friday, April 22, at Highland Dallas. The Dallas Star will be presented to Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Ed Lachman, who just this year got a tip of the hat for “Carol”. His visual art has included “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Tokyo-Ga,” “The Limey,” “The Virgin Suicides,” “Erin Brockovich,” and “Far From Heaven.” Such directors as Robert Altman, Steven Soderbergh, Sofia Coppola and Paul Schrader have tapped Ed for collaboration. On the next day, Ed’s “Far From Heaven” will be screened at 12:30 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema DFW with a conversation with Ed afterwards.

Adding to the recognitions will be the inaugural presentation of the L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Filmmaker Award to 86-year-old director/editor/producer Monte Hellman, who has lived up to the spirit of the award. While not being nominated by the Academy, he has been well known for “cutting-edge filmmaking across multiple genres, working with budgets, from high-to-low and with casts featuring starts to complete unknowns.” Of course, you want proof, so think “The Shooting“ (1966), “Two-Lane Blacktop” (1971) and “Road To Nowhere” (2010). He got his start working with another film maverick — Roger Corman in 1959. Even modern-day mavericks like Quentin Tarantino has sought his expertise. Monte served as executive producer for Quentin’s “Reservoir Dogs.”

This year’s festival is gonna be a popcorn feast with world premieres, loads of new talents being spotlighted and even a concert at Dallas City Performance Hall on Saturday, April 16, “celebrating the career of award-winning composer John Williams.”

Festival passes for Dallas Film Society members are now available here.  General public tickets will be available Thursday. Ah, once again membership pays off!

And if you want to check out all the deets in the epic release, follow the jump: [Read more…]

Community Partners Of Dallas’ “Change Is Good” Was Great With Coins, Food, Games And Braids

Evidently the Community Partners of Dallas folks have been very good. Sunday, September 20, while the Dallas Cowboys were losing Tony Romo, the clouds were like umbrellas over Brook Hollow for the CPD’s Change Is Good. Thanks to crossed fingers and good thoughts, Change Is Good Co-Chairs Heather and Kevin Bonfield with their kids Sydney and Lola and Christa and Ketric Sanford with their kids Jackson, Cason and Landry had lucked out with wonderful weather for the event.

And to add to the indoor/outdoor activities, there was the most pleasant breeze keeping things just right. While some dads like Crayton Webb opted for walking shorts and a Brooks Brother polo shirt, others went the blue jean route. Speaking of Crayton, he was supposed to have been in Russia for Mary Kay. But the trip was cancelled, so he could help wife Nikki Webb with the boys. He promises to be in town for CNM Connect’s A Night of Light on Thursday, November 12, at Sixty Five Hundred, which he and Nikki are co-chairing.

Lara Tafel, Joanna Clark and Roger Briggs

Lara Tafel, Joanna Clark and Roger Briggs

Mom Lara Tafel, her daughter Mimi Tafel and her brother Roger Briggs were early arrivals. CPD is one of Lara’s favorites. Want proof? The Tafels have been the presenting sponsors for the Chick Lit Luncheon since 2009. Lara explained that she especially admired “Change Is Good” because it was an opportunity for wee ones to take those first steps in supporting nonprofits.

Bounce house

Bounce house

(If this is your first time at Change is Good, youngsters collect change and haul it to the Brook Hollow event to support kids rescued from neglectful and potentially dangerous situations. As the coins are gathered, the kids and parents celebrate with games, loads of food, music provided by DJ Bill Cody and outdoor activities.)

Cathy Barber

Cathy Barber

At one table overlooking the bounce house, the bungee jumping and the Brook Hollow golf course, Honorary Chair Cathy “Boo” Barber was chatting with CPD Executive Director Paige McDaniel. Cathy is renowned for her efforts and friends who create Easter baskets each year for the CPD kids.

Sophia Carrizales unbraided

Sophia Carrizales unbraided

Sophia Carrizales braided

Sophia Carrizales braided

Just a couple of tables away were three generations — grandma Lee Bailey, mama Leigh Bailey and kids Sophia Carrizales and Trey Carrizales. While Lee babysat Trey, Leigh and Sophia disappeared into the clubhouse. Eventually, mom and daughter reappeared. Sophia’s head of curls had been perfectly braided thanks to La Bichette. They were doing land office business. Leigh made sure that she got their card.

2015 BvB Dallas Powder-Puff Football Game Had Brus Out For Revenge Against Pretty In Pink Blondes For A Record-Breaker Check

A lot of folks thought the brutal August heat and overpowering sunshine would be a real problem for the annual BvB Dallas Powder Puff Football Game on Saturday, August 8, at the Cotton Bowl. But whether it was a stroke of good luck or someone checking the setting sun, Old Sol hid behind the stands at the Cotton Bowl, causing a shade to cover the stadium’s stands and field.

On the other hand, the Fair Park parking lots were spilling over, especially with Rascal Flatts performing in nearby Gexa Energy Pavilion. But that didn’t really matter. Nothing was going to stop the BvB Dallas fans, players, coaches, sponsors and media.

But before the sun set, the pre-game preparations were buzzing. BvB Dallas Founder Erin Finegold with clipboard in one hand and walkie-talkie in the other was seamlessly juggling all questions, issues and people. She even managed to do it all with a non-stop smile, never giving a hint that she wasn’t all that happy. For the first time in the BvB Dallas history, they weren’t going to make their goal. Instead of writing a check for $600,000, she was disappointed that it would be for $475,000. Still, that was a record-breaker of an amount for the teams raising funds for Alzheimer’s research and treatment.

Erin and the other BvB vets had had such high hopes this year. They were returning to the Cotton Bowl. They were stepping back to let an executive director raise efforts to the next level. They had an outstanding group of sponsors, both old and new. Yup, they had come a long way since that first game back in 2008. Since then they had raised more than $1.8M.

Jennifer Bergman and Erin Cesla

Jennifer Bergman and Erin Cesla

Still, the game must go on. It was easy to tell the two teams — Blondes in pink and Brunettes in blue. The BvB Dallas leadership like BvB Dallas President Jennifer Bergman was in black. Sunscreen replaced perfume. Instead of makeup, faces were painted with Blondes or Brus.

Cash Sirois and Mike Sirois

Cash Sirois and Mike Sirois

The media was on hand to sweat through the event, too. Univision’s Pedro Silva did pre-game interviews. The Ticket was well represented Brothers Mike Sirois and Cash Sirois warmed up to do the play-by-play. They made it clear that they had their favs — Mike in his pink cowboy hat and Cash in his blue one. Ty Walker was the special guest and announcer and announced that “Cash will pound one Bud Light for every touchdown Team Brunette scores!”

DJ EJ

DJ EJ

For pre-game entertainment and between quarters, there was Dallas Cowboys DJ EJ and the Dallas Mavericks ManiAACs, who have more costume changes than an Academy Award emcee.

Mary Frances Burleson and Cody Baker

Mary Frances Burleson and Cody Baker

Longtime sponsor Ebby could be seen throughout the stands and on the field. No, not Ebby herself. Instead hand fans with “Ebby” stamped on them fluttered throughout the bleachers. Along the sidelines Ebby’s President Mary Frances Burleson and Marketing Guru Cody Baker arrived in a golf cart. Right at home, Mary Frances in white Puma sneakers, white blouse and slacks and black “shirt” was being diplomatically correct in taking sides. She swapped stories and laughs with others before the game commenced. On the field, the two teams worked out.

Greer Fulton, Jay Finegold and Erin Finegold

Greer Fulton, Jay Finegold and Erin Finegold

Other BvB vets on the sidelines included Erin’s dad Jay Finegold. Father of three girls, he was proud of what his daughter had created in the memory of her grandmother. But then he felt that way about the other original organizers of the fundraisers like 31-year-old Greer Fulton, who was just 23 at the first BvB when she was quarterback along with Erin that first year. And then there was Erin’s sister, Toby Finegold, who at the ripe old age of 14 ran the scoreboard way back then.

Brus' coaches in blue-and-white argyle sock

Brus’ coaches in blue-and-white argyle sock

A difference this year was that the two teams would not be on the same side of the field. The first half the Blondes would be across the field, while the Brus would be on the side where the fans were gathered. At halftime they would switch. Seems that the coaches wanted it that way. However, the Brus coaches in blue-and-white argyle socks were just too cute to complain. Luckily, there were big Coppus fans blasting cool air.

Cotton Bowl scoreboard

Cotton Bowl scoreboard

Not so cute was one of the scoreboards. Evidently, it was having a glitchy day. The right upper part of the screen just took a long coffee break, creating a black hole.

Brus arriving on

Brus arriving on

But once the announcement of teams arriving on the field came, nobody really cared. The Brus were first. They could be heard hollering their arrival as they walked down the tunnel arm-in-arm. There was no doubt that losing was not a part of their game plan as they smashed through their banner.

As they lined up along the goal line, someone suggested that they move to the far left. The Blondes were about to make their entrance.

Blondes arriving on field

Blondes arriving on field

Lindsey Kluempers and Becca Elinor

Lindsey Kluempers and Becca Elinor

With the confidence of having won all of the previous games except one, the Blondes in pink broke their banner with smiles. Co-Captain Becca Elinor held high a flag with a picture of the ultimate blonde babe — Dolly Parton — and Co-Captain Lindsey Kluempers carrying a Go-Pro on a selfie stick to be used for future promotion.

Like any other football game, the teams went through last minute warmups as the crowds in the stands filled. Someone noticed that one of the Brus was “firing bullet passes for the Brus.”

Over the PA system they announced the outstanding fundraisers on each team like MVP Billie Jo Davis, who raised $21,100. Unfortunately, that tricky scoreboard only partially showed their photos.

Then the drama built as over the PA was heard, “Last year the Brus knocked on the door, kicked on the door, this year they will knock down the door!” and “The Blonde beast has once again been awakened. The dynasty. Victors in six of the last seven games!”

Then it was time for the game to commence with the coin toss. Oops, instead of years past when Mary Frances did the toss, she was escorted to the center of the field only arriving just as the coin landed with the Brus happy as can be.

But before the fun began, a moment of silence was held for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and the singing of the national anthem.

The game was then on. Here’s a bit of play-by-play recap:

Sabrina Testut, Kimberly Burton and Lauren Davis

Sabrina Testut, Kimberly Burton and Lauren Davis

Blondes’ first possession is unsuccessful. Brus take over. #4 quarterback is Michelle Rowden. Hits a bullet pass to receiver #81 Vanita Krouch for a first down. But there’s a busted play on fourth down and Blondes take back over. Blonde QB #6 Becca Ellinor completes pass. But they give it up on fourth down, back to Brus. Michelle hits Vanita again for a long gainer. Then they’re just short of goal line. Completed pass to #14 Kristen Kramer for a TD. With extra point good, it’s now 7-0.

Leslie Chandler and Rita Metzinger

Leslie Chandler and Rita Metzinger

Blondes have ball. Drive down field. #39 Katie Tull is QB now. They score TD on completed pass to #57 Natalie Crittenden. Extra point no good, score now 7-6, and first quarter ends.

Mav ManiAACs Osito, Wild Dog, Munchie, Mardi Mar and Black Rhino

Mav ManiAACs Osito, Wild Dog, Munchie, Mardi Mar and Black Rhino

Between quarters, the Dallas Mavericks ManiAACs perform to the delight of the fans in the stands. Somebody noted that the quarters were lasting 20 minutes instead of the traditional 15 minutes.

The second period begins with Brus making a few long catches, including one to #91 Mikki Bailey and they score. Extra point is no good, so it’s 13-6 with 15:57 left in second quarter.

Over the PA is heard, “I speak for Team Blonde when I say, ‘Whatever.’”

Blondes with ball now. But, they soon turn it over to Brus. Says announcer: “It feels like a whole new year, Ty. Very Brunette-ish.”

A long pass is completed to #33 Jody Schueler and the announcer says, “Who are these girls? Do they even live in Texas? Brought in some ringers this year!” Then, #76 Jade Randle is all alone in the end zone and catches a pass. On extra point try, #42 for Blondes Lindsay Kluempers intercepts and runs the ball back 100 yards to give the Blondes 2 points. So, score is now 19-8. Blondes take over with 6:55 to play in quarter.

Can’t do anything. Brus take over. Vanita makes a nice run, then next play QB hands it off to V and she throws long pass to #33 Jody Schueler for a TD. Now 25-8. Blondes take over. #0 Kelsey Wasmer is QB. Makes nice long run. Completes some passes. Runs again. A fellow in stands yells: “Can you do anything but run?!” Brus take back over with seconds left. Half ends, score is 25-8.

At halftime the check presentation of $475K is made to Baylor AT&T Memory Center and The Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas Dallas.

2015 BvB Dallas check presentation

2015 BvB Dallas check presentation

Second half starts. Vanita runs long. Completes a couple of passes, near goal line again. Completes a pass to #76 Jade Randle for TD—score now 31-8. Lots of stroking of chins among the blonde coaches.

Will Braaf

Will Braaf

Football fan Will Braaf in pink headband and tank top with a couple of Buds in hand is not happy. Chris Neidhardt and others are with Will to support Blonde #9 Kristen Schoellhorn. Will yells, “No. 9, it’s all you out there!” and then: “Stop losing!”

Blondes deep in Bru territory now, but can’t do it. Brus take back over. Long pass completed to #91 Mikki Bailey and she does a long run. Quarter ends.

With another outfit change, Mavs Maniacs perform again to the delight of the fans.

The fourth quarter starts. TD pass is made to Jade and it’s now 38-8. Will yells out: “I encourage you now to disappoint me again!” Announcer says: “Come on Team Blonde. We’re only down 30.” Will: “You guys give me your best effort. It’s really working for you. Everyone gets a trophy.”

With mic in hand, Mike Sirois calls Will out to tone it down, but evidently Will doesn’t hear him and keeps up his remarks.

Whitney Bardales, Darby Chalko, Vanita Krouch, Sarah Hall and Elora Torres

Whitney Bardales, Darby Chalko, Vanita Krouch, Sarah Hall and Elora Torres

Vanita is QB now. Brus have it. Then Blondes. Back to Brus. Vanita completes pass to #4 Michelle Rowden, who started at QB for TD. Now 45-8 with 5:30 to go in game.

Blondes take over. Incomplete pass and someone in stands yells, “Hey, catch the f–kin’ ball!” Brus get it back with 2:18 to go. They threaten a TD but Blondes repel them, take over the football with :26 to go. They complete a pass and game is over. Final score: 45-8. Someone says it’s the most points ever scored in this game.

Brus claiming the win and the trophy

Brus claiming the win and the trophy

Following a presentation of the trophy to the Brus and the Blondes graciously accepting defeat, the fans, players, coaches and friends emptied the stadium for a party with Empire 6 on stage. Someone mentioned how the last time the Brus won was also the last time that Vanita had played. She evidently brought them luck.

For more photos and there are a lot of ’em, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: 2016 Dallas International Film Festival Plans Announced Plus Creation Of L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Filmmaker Award

Anyone who knew L.M. “Kit” Carson knew a true Texas personality. No, he didn’t chew tobacco. He wasn’t a high-rolling millionaire. He didn’t ride the rodeo circuit or even own a professional sports team.

But the North Texas native embodied a maverick spirit within the film industry that grew over the decades. When others were into big studio productions, Kit was his own man writing, directing, producing and acting. He worked with everyone from Sam Shepard, Dallas’ Wilson brothers (Andrew, Luke and Owen), Wes Anderson, and River Phoenix to Richard Gere. His films ranged from “David Holzman’s Diary”, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III”, “Breathless” to “Paris, Texas.” Why, he was even once married to the late actress Karen Black and is the father of actor Hunter Carson.

Back in March 2011, Kit was at the Dallas International Film Festival screening his 3 to 5 minute “African Diary,” that had been filmed on a Nokia N93 and N95 cellphone cameras.

His death last October did not end his influence within the film industry, especially for young up-and-comers. This past spring, DIFF honored him by featuring his 1983 film “Breathless” and posthumously awarding him with the Dallas Star Award.

In announcing plans for the 10th annual Dallas International Film Festival (coming in April 2016), the Dallas Film Society has revealed the addition of the “Mavericks category to its programming strand, presented by the L.M. Kit Carson Storyfinders Foundation.” The new program will feature four groundbreaking and cutting edge films that spotlight unique cinematic voices breaking the rules of filmmaking to advance the art form. One Maverick filmmaker will be presented with the inaugural L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Filmmaker Award at Dallas Film Society Honors.

According to Hunter, “I truly believe that the art of creating ‘maverick’ films is rarified air. Films that introspectively look at the world in challenging ways deserve to be celebrated.”

The DIFF is accepting submissions for all categories including the Mavericks category:

  • Grand Jury Prizes will be presented for Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Short Film, Animated Short Film, Student Short Film and Texas Film Competition presented by Panavision.
  • Audience Awards will be given for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Short Film.
  • Additional programming categories include World Cinema Latino Cinema Showcase, Deep Ellum Sounds (music documentaries), Family Films, and Midnight Specials.

Submission deadlines are as following:

  • Early deadline — Friday, October 16, 2015,
  • Regular deadline — Friday, December 4, 2015 and
  • Late deadline — Friday, December 11, 2015.

The 2016 DIFF will take place Thursday, April 14 to Sunday, April 24, 2016.

According to DIFF Senior Programmer Sarah Harris, “We can’t wait to get started on selecting films to showcase at the 2016 DIFF and looking forward to highlighting another group of incredible and diverse talent from around the world. We are so excited to celebrate a decade of sharing our love of film with the community and continuing to introduce Dallas to some of the finest work filmmaking has to offer.”

Submissions are open on WithoutABox and Film Freeway. For more information and to submit films, visit http://www.dallasfilm.org/submit-your-film-for-diff-2016/. Questions can be emailed to [email protected].

yCPD Played The Field With Sacks, Tug Of War And A Sparkler At The Rustic For Community Partners Of Dallas

With fundraising activities finally winding down for the 2015 spring season, Saturday, May 16th was the last really big push for having a reason for give. The BvB Dallas was holding Bridal Blitz to auction off couture bridal gowns over at 650. Project Transformation was “Off to the Farm” raising funds in the afternoon south of town.

And then there was Community Partners of Dallas’ young professionals group (yCPD) competing in all sorts of field day antics. One thing that hadn’t been planned was adorable emcee KDFW-FOX anchor/reporter Jenny Anchondo’s surprise. Just the night before, equally adorable Heath Oakes had popped the question and backed it up with a dazzling ring. Needless to say, Jenny like the ring was sparkling. Maybe Jenny should have checked out the BvB Dallas Bridal Blitz? As for the rest of the games and fundraising, here’s a field report:

The young professionals group of Community Partners of Dallas (yCPD) hosted their first annual fundraiser with an old fashioned “Field Day” at The Rustic.

From the left: (standing) Jack Gannon, Ben Johnson, Ashley Kisko J.W. Mulkin, Deuce Robertson, Joanna Robertson; (kneeling) Lilly Neubauer and Jenny Anchondo*

From the left: (standing) Jack Gannon, Ben Johnson, Ashley Kisko J.W. Mulkin, Deuce Robertson, Joanna Robertson; (kneeling) Lilly Neubauer and Jenny Anchondo*

Chaired by Lilly Neubauer, the event kicked off with DJ Colly T spinning tunes as twenty-four teams arrived “game ready” in matching team uniforms, costumes and workout gear. Prior to the event, captains submitted their team names with Tolleson Wealth Management winning “Most Clever Team Name” with name “Bad Assets.” But there were many contenders with names like “You’re Welcome for All the Awesome Roads and Bridges” with team members from the engineering firm, IEA; “Hostile Hoteliers” from Embassy Suites Dallas Park Center; “Boyz to Win,” the all-male team from ABC, BBD; “The Field Avengers,” led by yCPD board president Felipe Garza whose teammates all sported super hero costumes, and “Paralyzing Team Name Indecision” for yCPD board member Neill Fuqay’s team who just couldn’t decide.

Matt Leu, Scott Bronk, Colin Philips, Brian Hollabaugh, Elliott Wagner and Daniel Gatlin*

Matt Leu, Scott Bronk, Colin Philips, Brian Hollabaugh, Elliott Wagner and Daniel Gatlin*

Fox4-TV’s weekend anchor Jenny Anchondo got the day started with announcements and then an explanation of the day’s activities. The teams huddled together to start “talking strategy” for the qualifying events which were: egg race, sponge relay, booty shaker, limbo, noodle toss, beach ball hot potato, wheel barrow race, corn hole and a social media station, where all team members had to send out a selfie or team photo with the signature hashtag of the day – #ycpdfieldday.   With only the top 10 teams making it to the next round, the competition was tight in games like booty shaker (ping pong balls in a Kleenex box tied around someone’s waist and then “shaken” out by shaking your behind, and in most cases, whole body), egg race, sponge relay, and wheel barrow race, while other events proved more challenging. The wind was not anyone’s friend as teams tried throwing a swimming “noodle” into a trash can from 8 feet away which proved to be the most difficult activity of the day.

Potato sack race*

Potato sack race*

After working up a sweat, the second round teams competing in the potato sack race were announced. Team captains gathered their troops quickly to practice getting in and out of the potato sack before the whistle was blown to begin. The top five teams were swiftly decided as they hopped their way across the finish line in record time. Those not moving on – took time to grab a popsicle from Steel City Pops or a cold beverage from the bar – as they perused the booths of event sponsors Orangetheory Fitness, Flywheel Sports and City Surf Fitness.

From the left: (top) Chaeeley Barber and Missy Quintana; (second row) Chelsea Morehart and Kelly Hershman; (bottom row) Jolie Laurence, Cristin Caulfield and Mandy Mack*

From the left: (top) Chaeley Barber and Missy Quintana; (second row) Chelsea Morehart and Kelly Hershman; (bottom row) Jolie Laurence, Cristin Caulfield and Mandy Mack*

With only the three-legged race standing in their way of the championship round, top five finalists tied themselves together with bandannas for some quick practice runs. After the dust had settled, McGuire, Craddock & Strother, P.C.  (members Deuce Robertson, Joanna Robertson, Jack Gannon, J.W. Mulkin, Ben Johnson and Ashley Kisko) and Team Dent (members Kristen Holash, Sarah Andersen, Laila Sarvarian, Travis Dent, Brynn Dent and Austin Wilcox) were the last teams standing and on to the final round.

Tug of war*

Tug of war*

The crowd gathered around the field for the much-anticipated tug-of-war, but the McGuire, Craddock & Strother, P.C team was not to be denied and pulled the rope across the finish line in record time for the win. In addition to bragging rights as the inaugural Field Day Champions, members of the winning team each received a gold trophy, $50 gift card to The Container Store, COREhealth Wellness Massage, 5-pack Flywheel Indoor Cycling or Flybarre Classes at Flywheel Sports, unlimited month of classes at City Surf Fitness; and a two-week pass and swag bag courtesy of Orangetheory Fitness.

The event concluded with an After Party complete with cocktails and bites.  All participants received an event T-shirt and a goody bag, as well as a hero medal with a note attached that read: “No matter where you ranked today you are a #1 hero in the eyes of an abused and neglected child. Thanks for making a huge impact on a life!”

After all it is always all about the kids when CPD’s involved!

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee