JUST IN: 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Plans Announced

Evidently good news doesn’t take the day off even for Presidents’ Day. With the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Debutante Presentation Ball this Saturday, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Co-Chairs Marena and Roger Gault are breaking news about the DSO’s fall fundraiser plans.

Marena Gault and Sherwood Wagner (File photo)

Marena Gault and Sherwood Wagner (File photo)

They’ve even tapped their best buddy Sherwood Wagner to serve as their honorary chair for the Friday, September 16th black tie gala at the Meyerson.

According to Sherwood, “Marena and Roger are so passionate about the symphony and its place in the community. I am excited to become involved with this year’s Gala to help further the exceptional work of the Dallas Symphony.”

Margaret Hancock (File photo)

Margaret Hancock (File photo)

Kristi Sherrill-Hoyl (File photo)

Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

Adding to the leadership will be Margaret and Barry Hancock and Kristi and Ron Hoyl, who will be the underwriting co-chairs.

And who will be joining DSO Maestro Jaap van Zweden and the orchestra on stage? International piano super-duper star Lang Lang!

If you’re interested in tickets to all the gala perks and/or sponsorship, contact Tab Boyles at 214.871.4045 and he’ll make you very happy. But if you just want to attend the concert and after-party, hold your horses. Those tickets can be gotten by calling 214.TIX.4DSO, but not before Monday, February 22.

Then start thinking what you’ll be wearing. After all, this gala is the official start for the fall black-tie season.

JUST IN: Joyce And Linus Wright To Serve As Honorary Co-Chairs For LaunchAbility’s “A Special Evening With Martin Short”

LaunchAbility Co-Chairs Hilda and Mike Galvan just revealed the honorary co-chairs for the Tuesday, April 5thA Special Evening With Martin Short.” Drum roll, please. The twosome will be Joyce and Linus Wright, who have time and time again been at the forefront of education and helping young people with learning challenges.

Linus Wright (File photo)

Linus Wright (File photo)

If you’re brand new to the hood, then a little info might help. Linus was the Dallas Independent School District superintendent who “helped integrate special education into the district after the landmark law IDEA mandated that all children deserved a free and appropriate education.” In addition to working with the business community to “place special education graduates in jobs,” he “was also instrumental in helping Dallas navigate racial integration.”

Joyce also has led the way for youngsters with learning disabilities. She “was a counselor in Highland Park when learning disabilities were just beginning to be understood.”

Together Joyce and Linus along with David Munson and Sandra Estess co-founded Educational First Steps.

And that’s just the tip of the Wright iceberg of accomplishments.

According to Hilda, “Mike and I are so excited to have the Wrights work with us as honorary chairs for this event, and we are looking forward to making it a very special anniversary celebration. We are looking forward to celebrating the extraordinary work of LaunchAbility and 15 years of this event.”

And add Martin Short on stage at the Meyerson? This one is gonna be a very “special evening.”

The Stewpot And Encore Park Celebrate Anniversaries Despite Stormy Weather

Think back to Saturday, October 24. The skies cleared from Friday night’s deluge just long enough for the Komen Race For A Cure at NorthPark. But that drying situation didn’t last for the anniversary celebrations for The Stewpot and Encore Park. Luckily, organizers rearranged things, so the show still went on. Here’s a report from the field:

Despite the dreary and rainy weather, hundreds of people gathered to celebrate two momentous milestones: The Stewpot’s 40th and Encore Park’s first anniversaries. Attendees showed up in rain jackets, rain boots and umbrellas to honor the amazing work that these two sister nonprofits have accomplished.

The Stewpot’s 40th and Encore Park’s first anniversaries*

The Stewpot’s 40th and Encore Park’s first anniversaries*

The events took place in downtown’s Harwood Historic District, home of The Stewpot and Encore Park that includes 508 Park where Robert Johnson recorded in 1937. It kicked off with the Eastfield College Brass Band at 10 a.m. The day’s events included a tour of the Encore Park Sculpture Wall designed by Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin and a tour of the Community Garden led by Stewpot client and community gardener Michael Bell.

Works by various Stewpot Open Art Program artists*

Works by various Stewpot Open Art Program artists*

The celebratory day included the 27th Annual Stewpot Talent Contest, which showcased the visual art, instrumental, vocal, and poetic talents of Stewpot clients. The Dallas Street Choir opened the talent contest and filled The Stewpot with impassioned voices singing tunes like The Beatles’ “Let It Be” and “This Little Light of Mine.”

Bruce Buchanan*

Bruce Buchanan*

508 Park’s recreated sconces were lit for the first time Saturday at 5 p.m. The lights and lettering had been missing for years. The first lighting, on the one-year anniversary of Encore Park, was scored by Dallas Winds tuba quartet.

Following the lighting, donors, Stewpot clients and guest were treated to Stewpot’s signature Chili dinner.

At 7:30, attendees moved to AllGood Café in Deep Ellum to watch headliner Lucky Pierres’ salute to Don Law, 508 Park’s legendary musical producer. The band played western swing, honky-tonk, and hard country songs in honor of the 508 Park’s anniversary. Friends Alan Wooley, from the Dallas bands Killbilly and the Cartwrights, and Erik Swanson and Dustin Ballard, from Shoot Low Sheriff, also performed some of Law’s legendary productions.

As the rain poured down, the events rolled on, showing the resiliency of both organizations and underscoring that they are here for the people of Dallas no matter what the weather brings.

* Photos provided by The Stewpot Alliance and Encore Park

Round Robin 10/21: Scripps Society, Junior League Of Dallas Reception, KIPP DFW And LaunchAbility Kick-Offs

The weather play nicely for fundraising on Wednesday, October 21, and the nonprofits were taking full advantage of it all over town.

Scripps Society

Mary McDermott Cook’s Dump Top has become the hot showplace for nonprofits to wine, fundraise and gaze at the Dallas skyline complete with the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge and the soon-to-be-completed Margaret McDermott Bridge.

Why just days before, around 1,100 people toured the multi-level, Bill Booziotis-designed home as part of the Oak Cliff Home Tour.

Scripps Society table

Scripps Society table

Scripps Society table

Scripps Society table

But it had never been the scene of a seated supper for more than a handful of Mary’s pals. That was until the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute’s Scripps Society. This elite group, including Spring Wen, Woo-ping Ge, Bob Chereck, Alan and Randy Engstrom, Christina and Chris Durovich and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, that believes and supports the Children’s programs to the tune of $1M or more were the first to have place cards at dining table in the outdoor terraces, in the living room and the in the dining room, as well as the enclosed terraces.

Bob Chereck, Christina and Chris Durovich and Mary McDermott Cook

Bob Chereck, Christina and Chris Durovich and Mary McDermott Cook

Randy and Alan Engstrom

Randy and Alan Engstrom

Spring Wen and Woo-ping Ge

Spring Wen and Woo-ping Ge

IMG_1045 Jennifer and Andy Scripps

The treetops views alone were spectacular, as was the Cassandra meal that included a first course (baby greens salad, butternut squash ribbons, pomegranate arils, shaved manchego cheese, pumpkin seeds and sage vinaigrette), a second course (pan-roasted loup de mer, petit zucchini, fava bean-artichoke salsa, shaved carrots and com foam) and dessert (raspberry lemon mousse tower, tuile cookie raspberry compote and exotic fruit coulis).

But such privileges come with restrictions. As guests arrived, the ladies were asked to check in their purses. Parting with her handbag, one guests inquired, “What if I need my lipstick?” The Children’s staff was Johnny-on-the-spot assuring her not to worry. They would have her purse delivered pronto.

Junior League Past Leadership Reception

Over at Debbie and Nickey Oates’ handsome home, meantime, about 65 guests gathered for the Junior League of Dallas’ Past Presidents and Past Ball Chairs Reception. Attendees including Christie Carter, Pam Perella, Lydia Novakov, Isabell Novakov, and Paige Nash enjoyed the Wolfgang Puck canapés and caught up before the traditional presidents’ and chairs’ photos were taken. At one point they all gathered in the living room to hear the latest Junior League news, including a report about the upcoming annual Ball.

“Tonight is all about celebrating you,” said Meredith Mosley, the league’s current president. She talked about one of her favorite expressions—“I learned it in the league!”—and told how important it was for all members to attend league events, such as the upcoming Milestones Luncheon on November 12. Soon Mosley gave way to Ashley Allen, who’s chairing the league’s James Bond-themed, 54th annual “To Dallas With Love” Ball at the Hilton Anatole on February 20.

“It reminds me, looking around here tonight, that we have big shoes to fill,” Ashley began. So far, she said, the league has raised more than $700,000 for the annual ball, but “there’s a lot of work left to do” to reach the fundraising goal. “As I told the development committee,” Ashley quipped, “it’s like losing that last five pounds!” She then introduced Debbie Oates, who’s serving as the event’s honorary chair. “Dallas is a lot more competitive now,” Debbie advised the guests. “We need to be on top of our games. Not only do we support the [beneficiary agencies financially,] but we send them our volunteers. No one else does that!”

KIPPster Kick Off

The night was beyond perfection. So, the guests for the “Are You Smarter Than A KIPPster?” kick-off party handed over their cars at Lexington and Lakes. Then they strolled across the bridge over the Turtle Creek Dam past the Teddy Bear statues to the Pumphouse to hear plans for the Thursday, April 28, fundraiserfor KIPP DFW at the Frontiers of Flight Museum.

And, of course, The Starlight Singers (aka KIPP Destiny Elementary’s show choir) will return!

According to KIPPster Co-Chairs Barbie Cobb and Sarah Weinberg, the adult know-it-alls will include Texas State Representative Rafael Anchia, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas President/CEO Jennifer Sampson, Editor-in-Chief of Modern Luxury Dallas Kristie Ramirez. Byron Sanders will serve as emcee. And they reported that it will be a tad bit more interactive with the guest participation.

Barbie Cobb and Sarah Weinburg

Barbie Cobb and Sarah Weinburg

Dawne Tribolet

Dawne Tribolet

Lael Brodsky

Lael Brodsky

Jennifer and Tom Karol

Jennifer and Tom Karol

 

The host committee so far includes Lydia and Bill AddyJennifer and Peter AltabefLindsay and George BillingsleyLael and Peter Brodsky, Barbie and Steve CobbMacey and Steve DavisKoshi and Arun DhingraBerkeley and Jason DownieKristine and Mike DozierBetsy and Richard EisemanNatalie and Rick FielderRebecca and Barron FletcherCassidy and Ben HummelLibby and David HuntAmy and Andrew JentJennifer and Tom KarolJen and Kevin LavelleFay and Brian Lidji, Michelle and Bill LockhartJanie and Cappy McGarrPhyllis and Steve McKnightNicole MusselmanSharon Lyle and Mark MutschinkSusan and Steve O’BrienKaren and Richard PollockKate PorterStephanie and John RobertsCatherine and Will RoseAbigail and Andrew SinwellDawne and Pat TriboletCarol and Ben VigAngela and Brian WalshNicole and John Weeldreyer, Sarah and Russell Weinberg and Michelle and Peery Wood.

This event is one of the really, absolutely, truly fun events. It’s also the fundraiser that makes most adults realize they’re not quite as smart as they thought they were.

LaunchAbility Reveal

Over at the Brad Oldham studios off Ross Avenue, about 65 guests gathered to hear LaunchAbility announce the performer at its annual Special Evening With bash April 5 at the Meyerson Symphony Center. The answer, it was soon disclosed: Martin Short, the Canadian comedian who’s starred in movies (“Three Amigos”) and on TV’s “Saturday Night Live.”

Launchability CEO Kathryn Parsons said that the event would be chaired by Hilda and Mike Galvin—they were hand-picked by last year’s chairs Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins, Kathryn revealed—and that guests would “fill the house,” which seats 1,800. Tickets will go on sale in January.

The selection of Short was sort of a natural, Kathryn added, since comic Dana Carvey was such a smash hit at the LaunchAbility fundraiser last year.

The reveal party also gave attendees an excuse to quaff Dynasty Spirits’ Nue Vodka and visit the studio and retail shop of Oldham, who creates the LaunchAbility awards. Brad and his wife Christy Coltrin have been in the 10,000-square-foot space for about a year.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Baronesses Cowboy(ed) Up To Take Cancer Down With A Ripped Tim McGraw Up On Stage

The weather was the definition of perfection for Cattle Baron’s Ball — Cowboy Up, Take Cancer Down — on Saturday, October 3. Sure, there were those who made frowny faces that the American Cancer Society fundraiser hadn’t been held in the wide-open spaces of a local ranch or Southfork. But then again there were the wise ones, who painfully recalled the CBB’s of 2009, 2012 and 2013, when it looked so slice-of-nice great just days and even hours before only to face Texas-sized mud baths with boots heading to Deno’s for rehabbing. No, better to err on the safe side of cantankerous Ma Nature.

Then there was the live auction. In years past, it had been a vault of special items that seemed to grow in a never-ending number. This year it was decided to do only 19 packages. Gee, why? The live auction had been a major money-generator and they were cutting it down to less than two dozen. Yipes!

But once the caravan of Ubers, limousines, and Texas three-row gas guzzlers pulled up for the VIP reception, it became apparent that woes and throes had been replaced with fun and fundraising. Baroness Katy Bock was bound and determined to capture the scene on her cellphone. Seems in the past she had no proof of what her memory recalled. On a wall along the official entrance were mini-platforms with boots and plaques representing all the past CBBs.

Aaron Einhouse

Aaron Einhouse

Starting at 6 p.m. Aaron Einhouse and his band were on stage in Gilley’s South Side Music Hall for the Group 1200 Media VIP Patron Party. The crowd dined on Mesero Restaurant goodies and Sprinkle mini-cupcakes and downed them with grown-up and G-rated beverages courtesy of Andrews Distributing, Bacardi USA/Grey Goose Vodka, Jackson Family Wines and Coca-Cola.

John and Mary Martha Pickens, Steve Moore and Tia and Shel Wynne

John and Mary Martha Pickens, Steve Moore and Tia and Shel Wynne

At first, CBB Co-Chairs Mary Martha Pickens and Tia Wynne were on hand to welcome all, but then they seemed to get swallowed up in the crowd. One of the folks in the crowd was Steve Moore, the former CEO of the Country Music Association.

Outside four of the Baronesses made sure that only VIP’s got in. If ever the TSA needs advice on security, they should ask the CBB-ers. There were tickets, wristbands, lanyards and all types of paraphernalia to get guests in to the right spots throughout the night and to get the much-coveted favor bag. As a crowd checked in, one fella was seen walking straight in. This would not do. Seven-month-pregnant Baroness Bina Patel took off like racehorse out of the gate. She returned reporting that the chap was a Gilley’s staffer.

Ellen Winspear and Tiffany Divis

Ellen Winspear and Tiffany Divis

Kimberly Casey and Lynn McBee

Kimberly Casey and Lynn McBee

Jerry Jones Jr and Lori Jones and Jennifer and Richard Dix

Jerry Jones Jr and Lori Jones and Jennifer and Richard Dix

Others who made it through the check-in included Nikki Webb, who was solo on arrival. Husband Crayton Webb had to drop the kids off at their grandparents and would be joining her later…It was girls’ night out for Tiffany Divis and Ellen Winspear. Ellen said that husband Don Winspear was home trying to recover from the Longhorns’ walloping by Ellen’s TCU Frogs (50-7) earlier in the day…Leather was the favored texture of the night according Kathleen Hutchinson, Dawn Greiner, Lisa Ogle, Kris Johnson, Lora Farris, Elizabeth Fischer, Sherwood Wagner, Sunie Solomon, Jennifer Dix and Lori Jones… Boot-scooting babes were KXAS Anchor/CBB emcee Deborah Ferguson, Lynn McBee with her sister Kimberly Casey, and Natalie McGuire… Using silver for their accessory du jour were Luane McWhorter, Lisa Cooley and D’Andra Simmons…On the other hand, turquoise was represented Gail Fischer with her brother John Corder, Vicki Chapman, Barbara Daseke, Elizabeth Tripplehorn Laurenzi, 2016 CBB Co-Chairs Cara French and Andrea Weber and Callan Harrison…The breezy look was accommodated by Jonika Nix and Marybeth Conlon in their cut-out outfits.

Aaron and Luane McWhorter and Lisa and Clay Cooley

Aaron and Luane McWhorter and Lisa and Clay Cooley

Jonika Nix

Jonika Nix

Marybeth Conlon

Marybeth Conlon

An hour later the rest of the 3,000 cowpokes and cowpretties arrived via the main entrance on Lamar via shuttle buses and drop-and-drive wheels. And, no, they didn’t just stand around looking adorable. There was plenty to do including the Deloitte Silent Auction Lounge and the American Airlines Silent Auction venue, as well as the Southwest Bank Big Board. Raffle tickets were being sold everywhere. For vittles, G Texas Catering had buffets and food stations everywhere. And, of course, there was the MetroPCS Ferris wheel with a perfect view of downtown Dallas.

As for music, Ray Johnston and his band were performing on the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch/U.S. Trust Live Auction Stage. As guests started gathering in the South Side Ballroom for the live auction, Ray shifted to cover songs. Despite the setup of tables and hightops, some guests decided to snag chairs and to push tables together to accommodate their passel of pals.

Doak Lambert

Doak Lambert

Just a bit past 8 p.m. auctioneers Wendy and Doak Lambert kicked off the live auction with baronesses ringing cowbells and whooping it up, as the Lambert crew bird-dogged bidders. One of the killer items was an age-old fav — the Chefs’ dinner with musician Sam Moore providing the tunes. With chefs (Richard Chamberlain, Dean Fearing, Kevin Garvin, David Holben, Kent Rathbun and Jim “Sevy” Severson) on stage along with Sam, a bidding battle got underway between Hal Brierley and Clay Cooley. Just when it was looking like a nose-to-nose showdown, Kent suggesting raising the price to $70K and the dinner for 30 could be had by both Hal and Clay. The marketing mastermind and the car czar smiled and took Kent up on the offer.

Doak Lambert, Kent Rathbun, Wendy Lambert, David Holben, Kevin Garvin, Jim Severson and Sam Moore

Doak Lambert, Kent Rathbun, Wendy Lambert, David Holben, Kevin Garvin, Jim Severson and Sam Moore

But as the last few items went up for bid, some heavy hitters (the Brierleys, Natalie and Mike McGuire, and other $50,000+ type sponsors) exited Gilley’s proper. What gave them away were simple green paper wristbands. They headed for an ultra-exclusive meet-and-greet with the evening’s headliner Tim McGraw. Still, others wearing the super-special wristbands like the Cooleys opted to stay seated, so they could continue bidding and building the ACS coffers to amazing heights that amazed even CBB vets despite the limited number of items. Even Nancy Rogers had a hand in the fundraising, despite not being present. She and husband Richard Rogers were in Paris, but Nancy had her right-hand gal Kris Johnson picking up the Dallas Mavericks Rally on the Road package.

Despite the reduction in live auction items, the numbers were rocking in and organizers were raising eyebrows. Hey, maybe this shorter list wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

Backstage, all went according to plan. McGraw’s peeps checked out the lighting for the photo opp, carpeting was laid in front of the wood backdrop and the warning was given — one photo per group. The photo session would last 10 minutes and there were about 50 guests to photographer. Green-wristband guests were advised — no purses, no cellphones, no shillyshallying.

Before the guests were ushered in one group at a time, a fellow walked by the photo staging area. Wearing torn jeans, an open shirt and cowboy hat, he smiled and said “Hi” to the people setting up the carpeted flooring and lighting. One person nudged another, “Was that Tim McGraw?” Yup. Not only was he just laid back, he was 40 pounds lighter and as toned as a stallion thanks to CrosFit workouts and the Paleo diet.

Natalie McGuire, Tim McGraw and Mike McGuire

Natalie McGuire, Tim McGraw and Mike McGuire

Tim McGraw and Kris Johnson

Tim McGraw and Kris Johnson

Diane Brierley, Tim McGraw and Hal Brierley

Diane Brierley, Tim McGraw and Hal Brierley

Tim McGraw and Sam Moore

Tim McGraw and Sam Moore

 

 

 

Despite a couple of folks (let’s not be tacky and mention names) talking it up with Tim more than their allotted 20-second allowance, it came off. But word had it that the group had oozed their way into the grip-and-grin despite no green wristband. Even more interesting was that those oozers wanted their $15,000 back because their table wasn’t close enough to the stage.

Regardless, Tim was all smiles and so were the handlers. One photographer asked a McGraw associate, “Are you okay with our work?” He answered, “Yes, indeed, and thank you for asking.”

After the last photo was taken and the people were escorted out, McGraw headed to a table aside the McGraw bus to sign posters and collectibles. Then he nonchalantly moseyed over to the crew at the base of the stage to check things out. Everything was just fine and dandy. This definitely was not his nor his crew’s first rodeo.

When the herds of folks gathered in the tent across the lane from Gilley’s proper, there were three sections. The highrollers were at tables closest to the Andrews Distributing Main Stage. A third of the way back were tables for the next tier of spenders and the final group was placed toward the back of the tent. KXAS Deborah Ferguson did the welcome and introduced Mary Martha and Tia, who thanked one and all.

Over on one side of the stage just beyond sight of the audience, there were four precious chairs. Two had been won by the Brierleys and the other two by Cary Maguire for $37K per pair. Talk about uber front row seats!

Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw

Still better yet was Tracy and Ben Lange’s placement. Sure, they and their kids had front row table seats for the concert. Okay, so Ben had to ask event staffers to hold back the mosh pit participants, so they didn’t block the view of the seated guests. But Mama Lange and her daughter weren’t gonna use their seats that long. Dad had won the live auction item of being serenaded on stage by Tim. Somehow, the Langes managed to have both Tracy and their daughter join McGraw on stage. Tim not only didn’t mind, he really got into it with the Lange gals dancing up a storm with him. Wouldn’t have surprised anyone if McGraw took them on the road.

Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw

While the majority of the crowd went wild with the concert, others bailed because there were just too many folks. Even some in the high-roller tier headed out early because the sound was just too dang loud.

Behind the scenes, the CBB-ers were arranging post-concert meals for the McGraw crew and Tim himself. The crew just wanted pizza. As for CrosFit Tim, he wanted steamed vegetables and grilled chicken. No problem. Just past midnight restaurateurs Al Biernat and Brad Fuller delivered the goods plus a bottle of wine and a coconut cream pie at a private jet waiting for McGraw. Nice thought, but Tim gave up drinking eight years ago and coconut cream pie isn’t part of his Paleo diet.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2015 Cattle Baron’s Ball

John and Mary Martha Pickens, Steve Moore and Tia and Shel Wynne

John and Mary Martha Pickens, Steve Moore and Tia and Shel Wynne

For the second year in a row, the Cattle Baron’s Ball team raised funds for the American Cancer Society inside Gilley’s and a nearby mammoth tent. It was also the second year that nary a drop of rain fell in North Texas. Didn’t matter. CCB Co-Chairs Mary Martha Pickens and Tia Wynne and the cowgals threw a party — Cowboy Up, Take Cancer Down — where leather, boots and turquoise abounded along with bids being raised and lean Tim McGraw holding forth on Saturday, October 3.

Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw

Elizabeth Fischer and Adriane Crosland

Elizabeth Fischer and Adriane Crosland

While the post is being prepped, take a look at the CBB goings-on at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

A Parade Of Fabulous Fashions Rolled Out For The AT&T Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala At The Meyerson

If music is the feast for the soul, fashion is its counterpart for the eye. So, before violinist Pinchas Zukerman provided a sensory bouquet with Dallas Symphony Orchestra Maestro Jaap van Zweden at the Meyerson for the AT&T Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala, the fashions of the 2015-2016 fundraising season on Saturday, September 26, were a fabulous showcase of the most elegant black-tie ensembles.

A tip of the hat had to go to the gents who had donned a penguin suit for a second night in a row. They had pulled out their designer tuxedos the previous night for the TACA Custom Auction Gala at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. But with a fresh shirt and perhaps a change of tow tie, they were all set. As for the gals, they had to pull off a whole new look and, boy, did they.

 Jonathan Martin, Key and Katherine Coker, Glenn Hegar and Jennifer and Coley Clark

Jonathan Martin, Key and Katherine Coker, Glenn Hegar and Jennifer and Coley Clark

While early arrivals for the sold-out affair entered through the Flora entrance, Co-Chairs Jennifer and Coley Clark and Katherine and Key Coker were downstairs posing for countless photos with DSO President/CEO Jonathan Martin and Dara and Texas State Comptroller Glenn Hegar. Philanthropist Margaret McDermott took a pass on the official photo session and headed for the elevator to go upstairs.

Gotta admit that while Coley and Key looked pretty snazzy in their Hadleigh’s and Armani white tie and tails, respectively, their wives blew it out of the park. While the two ladies had never worked together before, the bond was forged even down to their gowns for the night. While their styles were totally different, they easily topped the evening’s fashion ladder. With Michael Faircloth’s talents, Jennifer had designed a lace blouse, silver pencil-legged pants underneath a partial silk overskirt that matched Todd Fiscus’ sunburst décor upstairs. On the other hand, Katherine channeled Barbie extreme in ever-so-fitted Sherri Hill black mermaid silhouette with a flurry of below-the-knee tulle crinoline upstaged all.

What made the foursome even more spectacular in the photos were their posture. Silly as it may seem, hunched shoulders would have destroyed the perfection of the clothes. But the Clarks and Cokers stood perfectly with posture that would have made their mums and any army sergeant proud.

But back upstairs. The Meyerson never looked prettier. Of course, it helped that the sunshine added a special polish to Todd Fiscus’ Midas touch.

Meyerson lobby

Meyerson lobby

And the guests matched the fabulous look of the setting. As frivolous as it may seem, the DSO Gala is to North Texas couture lovers as the Oscars’ red carpet is to Hollywood fashionistas. It is a time when photographers wait just inside the entry shooting famous faces and fabulous fashions.

Marsha Cameron and Michael Halloran

Marsha Cameron and Michael Halloran

Lynn and Allan McBee

Lynn and Allan McBee

Steven Scales, Sherwood Wagner and Marena and Roger Gault

Steven Scales, Sherwood Wagner and Marena and Roger Gault

So, how about a rundown of the fashions of the night? Ruling the night were designers like Armani (Michael Halloran, Jody Grant and Jana and Mike Brosin), Arnold Brant (Guillermo Perales), BCBG (Rachel Michell with Allison Mitchell purse), Bob Mackie (Sherwood Wagner), Brioni (David Haemisegger), Bruno Cucinelli (Mary Potter), Carmen Marc Valvo (Maureen Gault and Linda Ivy), Celine (Doris Jacobs), Chris Despos (Doug Houser), Christian Dior (Steven Scales and Myrna Schlegel), Dolce and Gabbana (Roger Gault), Escada (Nancy Nasher with clutch from Mulberry), Givenchy (Ceron), Harry Rosen (Bob Schlegel), Hadleigh’s (Steve Ivy), Isabel Graham (AC Hoffman), Kay Unger (Kathy Holt), Lanvin (Pat McEvoy), Maria Lucia Hohan (Chrissy Sayare), Michael Faircloth (Lisa Cooley), Monique Lhuillier (Marsha Cameron), Oscar de la Renta (Sheila Grant), Oxxford (Keith Nix), Q Custom (John Michell), Ralph Lauren (Patsy Donosky with Jimmy Galanos stole, Jan Miller and Bob Potter with Stefano Ricci tie), Roland Mouret (Betsy Crousen), Sand (Ferrell Drum), Talbot Runhof (Lynn McBee and Jennifer Houser), Tom Ford (Todd Fiscus), Valentino (Allan McBee) and Zegna (Clay Cooley, Jack Jacobs, Charles McEvoy and Ben Fischer).

Betsy Whitson Crousen and Guinn Crousen

Betsy Whitson Crousen and Guinn Crousen

Sheila and Jody Grant

Sheila and Jody Grant

Harold Pruner and Patsy Donosky

Harold Pruner and Patsy Donosky

Ceron and Todd Fiscus

Ceron and Todd Fiscus

Mitch and Chrissy Sayare and Myrna and Bob Schlegel

Mitch and Chrissy Sayare and Myrna and Bob Schlegel

What a fabulous kick-off for the fall fundraising season.

For loads more photos from the AT&T Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery!

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: AT&T Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala

Jonathan Martin, Key and Katherine Coker, Glenn Hegar and Jennifer and Coley Clark

Jonathan Martin, Key and Katherine Coker, Glenn Hegar and Jennifer and Coley Clark

Music lovers gussied up big time for the AT&T Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala on Saturday, September 26. While violinist Pinchas Zukerman made beautiful music with the DSO and Maestro Jaap van Zweden inside the McDermott Concert Hall, more than 800 ladies and gents splendiferously wined and dined beforehand with Todd Fiscus’ splashes of gold dazzling in the lobby.

Stay tuned for the write up. In the meantime, check out the fashions and faces at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

A Tale Of Two Girls

Allow me to tell you a story. Back in the 1960’s Susan Finney was a girl ahead of her time. Just barely a teenager, she was smart, outgoing, athletic and even ran for student council president in the eighth grade. This was 1964 before women’s lib and nobody had thought of a girl running for such a lofty office in junior high. Despite losing to a fella, she handled it with a winning attitude of smiling, a twinkle in the eye and laughing that it had been quite an experience. Bitterness and negativism were not part of Susan’s makeup.

It was about that time that she was playing softball and experienced a pain in her leg. Her folks took her to the doctor. That visit led to other visits with other doctors. It seems the pain was due to something called osteosarcoma in her right ilium. But as stated before, Susan was ahead of her time. She and her family tackled the cancer with the same attitude that she had shown in the classroom, the playing field and during the school election.

But over the weeks and months the battle started to show as her round face narrowed, her skin turned a sallow color, her right leg was amputated and crutches became her mainstay. Still the laugh, the smile and the twinkle were always present even when she could no longer go to school and classmates would visit her.

On March 30, 1965, the laugh, the smile and the twinkle were no more as she died at home.

It was that same year when Susan started her battle with cancer that another family gave birth to a little girl on April 22, 1964. Her name was Mary Martha Johnston and, like Susan, she had a zest for life. Just 12 years later, in 1976, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. And like Susan, Mary Martha and her family undertook the battle with cancer. And like Susan, Mary Martha lost her leg.

But this time there was a difference. Thanks to research and testing, new drugs and treatments had been developed saving Mary Martha’s life. She went on to the University of Texas, got hitched to Dr. John Pickens, became a banking executive and continued to inspire others with her spirit. Mary Martha will proudly show off her three prosthetic legs.

However, those developments didn’t come cheap. They were made possible thanks to friends, families and strangers throughout the world raising money to provide resources. One of those fundraising efforts took place in 1974, just a couple of years before Mary Martha was diagnosed. It was a little gathering of folks on the Star Brand Ranch outside of Dallas that June co-chaired by a couple of young gals — Patti Williams Hunt and Jacque Wynne. They called it the Cattle Baron’s Ball. A local band played and one of the guests even hopped up on stage and started singing. His name was Charley Pride. They were amazed at the results, having raised a whopping $56,000. So the gals and their pals decided to hold it again the next year.

Cattle Baron's Ball 2015*

Cattle Baron’s
Ball 2015*

Tonight, Mary Martha (Johnston) Pickens and Tia Wynne are co-chairing the 41st Cattle Baron’s Ball to fill war chests to support the ongoing battle against cancer. To date, Cattle Baron’s has provided almost $60M for cancer research, so the laughs, the twinkles and the smiles will never dim.

* Graphic courtesy of 2015 Cattle Baron's Ball

Insider Tip: Cattle Baron’s Ball 2015

So you’ve got your outfit all ready for the Cattle Baron’s Ball. No need for rain gear. The weather is gonna be this side of spectacular thanks to CBB Co-Chairs Mary Martha Pickens and Tia Wynne taking Mother Nature to lunch and having a heart-to-heart with the old gal.

Cattle Baron's Ball 2015*

Cattle Baron’s
Ball 2015*

But it wouldn’t hurt to remember certain things before heading to Gilley’s Dallas. Here goes.

Temperature And Humidity Forecast:

  • 6 p.m. — 77⁰ and 32% humidity
  • 7 p.m. — 74⁰ and 37% humidity
  • 8 p.m. — 71⁰ and 41% humidity
  • 9 p.m. — 69⁰ and 45% humidity
  • 10 p.m. — 68⁰ and 51% humidity
  • 11 p.m. — 66⁰ and 54% humidity
  • Midnight — 65⁰ and 57% humidity
  • 1 a.m. — 64⁰ and 60% humidity

Get the feeling that you won’t be suffering a heatstroke. But you won’t be shivering either. It will be the perfect time to bring out that cute vest or denim jacket. Or sling your fav pashmina over your shoulder? It’s been in hiding for months.

Parking and Arriving:

  • Get there early, but don’t leave early. There’s so much going on.
  • No matter if you’re riding your favorite hoss, driving yourself or being chauffeured to and fro, your parking hangtag is an absolute must. If you didn’t receive a hangtag, contact Cattle Baron’s ASAP at 214.443.9222.
  • Driving yourself
    • If you’re wondering where you should park, check your parking hangtag.
    • Shuttles will be running every five minutes, so you won’t have to wait very long for a lift.
    • If you’re now rethinking the “drive-yourself” idea, consider using CBB supporters Wynne Transportation and Cowboy Cab. That way you’ll look like a big spender, save wear and tear on your car and can party hardy without worrying about the drive home. BTW, Cowboy Cab Depot is less than a block from Gilley’s Dallas.
  •  Limo-ing
    Cattle Baron's limo lineup (File photo)

    Cattle Baron’s limo lineup (File photo)

    • Git out of your vehicle lickety-split quick. This street is going to very, very busy.
    • Get your driver’s phone number to notify him/her when you want to leave. Do not keep them waiting at the curb.
  • Handicapped parking
    • Gary Ferraro (File photo)

      Gary Ferraro (File photo)

      Those with handicapped parking placard/plates should go directly to Gilley’s Dallas, where the Jack Boles valets sponsored by Brierley + Partners will direct you on where to park.

Don’t Leave Home Without Items:

  • Tickets — You’ve gotta have them throughout the night. When you arrive, there will be folks tearing a part of your ticket off. Don’t dump it! Because you’ll need it to get into the concert tent.
  • Do not forget your “Favor Bag” ticket. One per couple. Come 10 p.m. the bags sponsored once again by Inwood National Bank will be available for pickup at the main entrance.
  • Cellphones…as if you’d go anywhere without it!  You’ll have plenty of peeps and things to cellphoto.

Leave At Home:

  • Diets.
  • Attitudes.
  • Tuxedos and ball gowns.
  • Pets.
  • Umbrellas, goulashes, rain gear, snow tires, etc.

What To Do

Tim McGraw*

Tim McGraw*

  • Bid, bid, bid! Not only will you possibly take something home or win a trip, you’ll be providing funds to fight cancer.
  • Eat! There’s gonna be so much food and all types of beverages. Better wear expando-matic jeans. And don’t forget the Midnight Breakfast that will have biscuits with country gravy, spicy-sausage-and-egg tacos and warm-house-made cinnamon rolls.
  • Listen! In addition to hearing the bids coming in at the live auction, you’re gonna hear some incredible music and singing — Aaron Einhouse at the VIP Baron Party, The Ray Johnston Band on the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch/U.S. Trust Live Auction Stage, Studio 54 Band at the After Party and hunky Tim McGraw on the Andrews Distributing Main Stage.
* Graphics courtesy 
of Cattle Baron's 
Ball 2015

Rumor Squashing: Tim McGraw’s Appearance At Cattle Baron’s Ball

Tim McGraw*

Tim McGraw*

One of the most fun games in town is Rumor Squashing. It’s sorta like Whack-A-Mole. Only instead of a mallet smacking pop-up moles, a little legwork and contacting the people-in-the-know for the facts are the way to squash the goofy gabbing.

So, rumor of the day is about Tim McGraw’s appearing Saturday at the Cattle Baron’s Ball. Seems Tim had to cancel a couple of concerts due to allergies.

Now, the Internet trolls have been hard at work suggesting that he was still ailing, in bed feeling poorly and won’t be on stage.

Whoa! Sorry rumormongers, but you’re painfully wrong. According to CCB Co-Chairs Mary Martha Pickens and Tia Wynne, Tim is definitely gonna be on the Andrews Distributing Main Stage in the Texas-size tent adjacent to Gilley’s.

If you want to see how healthy he is, check this New York Times article that was published today. Talk about a man who is CrossFit!

Speaking of Tim, one live auction package is for two folks to have backstage seats to enjoy Tim’s performance on stage. They’ll even have cocktail service at their beck ‘n call.

* Photo provided by Cattle Baron's Ball

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Dallas Chamber Music Society

Yoori Marti*

Yoori Marti*

“I was just appointed as the new executive director of the Dallas Chamber Music Society in June of 2014. There was so much work waiting for me, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get all of it done! With the help of the amazing board members, eager interns and excellent volunteers, I was able to get caught up with the day-to-day activities pretty quickly, then immediately proceeded to plan for my first big task: to prepare for the North Texas Giving Day 2014.

“I was familiar with what it was, but I had never been in charge of the North Texas Giving Day for an organization before. I used the marketing tool kit that was provided by CFT for our social media as well as for my email campaign. I was on pins and needles on the Giving Day… but by the end of the day we had generated over $7,500 with more than 20 people participating for our organization. Our result had surpassed our previous Giving Day records, and we were thrilled with our success.

Dallas Chamber Music Society*

Dallas Chamber Music Society*

“The Dallas Chamber Music Society serves over 2,000 people a year in North Texas with our wonderful musical and outreach programs. The money we raised last year from the Giving Day helped us promote our concerts and has even allowed us to expand our programming this season. In the new season, we are presenting five concerts as opposed to our usual, four concerts!

“We look forward to an even larger participation on September 17 and hope to raise more funds this year. Everybody at the Dallas Chamber Music Society sincerely thanks CFT for leading the Giving Day, for allowing us to participate, and for giving us all the great tools we need to succeed, including the informative orientations and webinars. Thank you for your energy and leadership in philanthropy!

-By Yoori Marti, Dallas Chamber Music Society executive director

* Photo credit: Brittany Oswald

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala

According to 2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala Co-Chairs Katherine Coker,

Key and Katherine Coker (File photo)

Key and Katherine Coker (File photo)

Jennifer and Coley Clark (File photo)

Jennifer and Coley Clark (File photo)

“My husband Key and I are thrilled to be co-chairing the 2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala with our friends, Jennifer and Coley Clark, on Saturday, September 26, 2015.

“Our commitment to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is personal as well as civic. Key and I had our first date at a Dallas Symphony concert in the Meyerson, and we have been attending concerts ever since. Under Music Director Jaap van Zweden the orchestra has never sounded better, and the excitement and inspiration achieved during concerts are moments we treasure. It is important for everyone in Texas to realize the musical gem we have in North Texas with the Dallas Symphony.

“We want to share our enthusiasm and invite everyone to experience the Dallas Symphony at the Meyerson. No matter your musical expertise or taste, the Dallas Symphony offers concerts that will appeal to all audiences. We welcome you to join us at the AT&T Gala and help us celebrate our world-renowned Dallas Symphony Orchestra!

“The 2015 DSO AT&T Gala is the Dallas Symphony’s largest annual fundraiser, benefiting the DSO’s music and education programs, which touch the lives of more than 230,000 North Texas residents annually, including 30,000 children. Art, culture and education are important to us, and we fully support the Dallas Symphony in its mission to share music and music education throughout North Texas. Imagine if this resource for uplift and entertainment were not available to all. The DSO AT&T Gala provides funds that allow many children their first chance to hear our wonderful orchestra, either at a youth concert, a community parks concert, or a performance in a school. Over the years, our children Key Jr. and Olivia have loved attending the Musical Petting Zoo, where they have had the opportunity to try playing the instruments before a concert.

“The Gala will feature a champagne and cocktail reception, three-course dinner, concert featuring legendary violinist Pinchas Zukerman performing with Music Director Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Gala After-Party featuring savories, desserts and dancing.

“We’re extremely grateful for our sponsors AT&T, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, NorthPark Center and Modern Luxury for helping us make this event possible. Full-evening Gala tickets including reception, dinner, concert and after-party start at $1,250. For more information about full-evening Gala tickets, table purchases and sponsorships, contact Tab Boyles at 214.871.4045. Tickets for the concert and Gala After-Party start at $99 and may be purchased at www.MyDSO.com or by calling 214.TIX.4DSO.

“We promise the evening will be spectacular!”

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Dallas Bach Society

Dallas Bach Society*

Dallas Bach Society*

The Dallas Bach Society is gearing up for our next season, Pleasures of the Baroque. With a new work to finalize, the Society is busy preparing to host our orchestra and a special troupe of Baroque dancers to perform Le Mozart Noir. We are partnering with New York Baroque Dance Company and Contemporary Ballet of Dallas at the historical Booker T Washington High School.

Joseph-Boulogne*

Joseph-Boulogne*

“This new work was made possible by support from TACA’s Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund and is based on the works and life of Joseph de Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Boulogne started life as the child of a plantation owner and black slave, but he was able to study music and become one of the most sought-after performers and conductors of 18th century Paris.

“This opportunity to bring the music of Boulogne to Dallas audiences, however, requires support and backing from donors. The arts is a way to bridge the cultural divide, and this project seeks to do just that. We are counting on continuing the phenomenal success of last year during this year’s North Texas Giving Day. On September 17, let’s buy in to the vibrant cultural heritage of Dallasites by giving to the organizations that challenge, entertain, and enlighten us!

“Bookmark the Dallas Bach Society’s donation page and donate starting at 6 a.m. on Giving Day!”

-By Hillary Coyle, Dallas Bach Society Executive Director

* Graphics provided by Dallas Bach Society

Transverse Myelitis Survivor Don Winspear Rallies Friends Like Hal Ketchum And Tiger Darrow To “Conquer TM” With Music And Humor

Transverse Myelitis is one of those treacherous little diseases. But little doesn’t mean its effect is wee. Not at all. In fact, if a victim is lucky, it’s “just” debilitating. If not so lucky in seeing immediate top-caliber medical attention, it is deadly. But why call it little? Because it’s one of those diseases that one only learns about if a friend or family member is struck down by it. In fact in the U.S. there are only 1,400 cases, according to UT Southwestern’s Dr. Benjamin Greenberg.

And, like so many of those “little” diseases, awareness and fundraising can be scarce compared to the mega diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and heart and kidney diseases.

Hal Brierley, Don Winspear, Patricia Meadows and Diane Brierley

Hal Brierley, Don Winspear, Patricia Meadows and Diane Brierley

But TM picked on the wrong folks when it walloped Don Winspear in 2012 and, months later, Curtis Meadows.

After Don emerged from the initial effects and went through rehab, he was landlocked to a wheelchair and instilled with determination to get even. So last summer he put together Conquer TM: An Evening With Friends and Music at The Kessler with musician buds Buddy Greene, Jeff Taylor, Brice Beaird and Rudy Gatlin, who entertained the likes of Rosie and Mike Moncrief, Donna and TM Survivor Tom Rafferty, Keith Cerny, Holly Mayer and a room full of others. There were those who claimed that nobody pulls off a fundraiser in July, but by golly Don did. It was such a success that he announced an encore on Wednesday, July 8, back at The Kessler.

This time he arranged for Tiger Darrow and her South African boyfriend/guitarist Andrew Orkin to kick off the evening and for balladeer/TM survivor Hal Ketchum as the main act.

Benjamin Greenberg and Curtis Meadows

Benjamin Greenberg and Curtis Meadows

As the Mercedeses sizzled in parking spots around The Kessler, more than 300 folks were chilling inside with the VIP’s like Diane and Hal Brierley, John Cody, Cindy and Chuck Gummer, Cynthia and Brice Beaird, Matthew Minick, Nicole Pacich, Diane and Mike Gruber, Marilyn Augur, Sharon McCullough and Debbie Hayhurst partying inside the auditorium.

Patricia Porter, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal and Margaret McDermott

Patricia Porter, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal and Margaret McDermott

Ellen Winspear was just back from a trip to Ireland with Tiffany Divis, where they dressed up in Irish period costumers one night for dinner, with Ellen being called “Duchess Winspear” and red-haired Tiffany taking on the title of “Lady Redstone.”… Curtis Meadows in a high-tech wheelchair had indeed lost some weight from his battle with TM, but he looked great and as he talked with Benjamin, the Patricias (Meadows and Porter) were like sorority sisters catching up…Kara and Randall Goss were bubbling about the upcoming John Wayne Film Festival. They’ve just about finalized plans for the VIP dinner and what movie will be shown at Klyde Warren Park on Saturday night. Friday night’s movie will definitely be “In Harm’s Way.” Randall pointed out that the Duke’s granddaughter/singer Jennifer Wayne is scheduled to appear at the festival….First lady of Dallas philanthropy Margaret McDermott had no problems getting to her front-row table thanks to Kern Wildenthal’s chauffeuring her wheelchair through the crowd.

After Don welcomed the group and Mike Gruber told how the two year’s effort provided $250,000 in funding for TM research, a video was shown about the UT Southwestern TM program. Then Don called up Curtis’ son, Michael Meadows, to the stage to conduct the live auction of a small piece of art by Hal. If Michael seemed a little sheepish about his responsibilities, it was because he had only been notified by Don earlier in the day about his duties via email.

Randall Goss, Laura Leppert, Tiffany and Paul Divis

Randall Goss, Laura Leppert, Tiffany and Paul Divis

But he not only rose to the occasion, he got the bidding up, too. For a time it appeared that there was going to be a battle between two sides of the room, but petite Dallas former first lady Laura Leppert took the art home for $2,600.

Without any dilly-dallying around Tiger arrived on stage in a black-and-white sleeveless dress with tattoos displayed and Andrew accompanying. The twosome joked that they do “happy breakup songs.”

Andrew Orkin and Tiger Darrow

Andrew Orkin and Tiger Darrow

Following Tiger and Andrew, Hal took the stage around 9:20 with his guitarist and “best friend for 15 years,” Kenny Grimes.

Kenny Grimes and Hal Ketchum*

Kenny Grimes and Hal Ketchum*

While he played a number of favorites (“I Saw The Light,” “Past The Point of Rescue” “I Know Where Love Lives”, “I Miss My Mary Tonight,” “Hearts Are Gonna Roll” and others), Hal’s storytelling was also a memory maker. For instance,

Hal Ketchum*

Hal Ketchum*

Hal Ketchum*

Hal Ketchum*

  • He told how he was talking to his friend Willie Nelson, who told Hal that he had had a lot of sympathy for Lance Armstrong. Why? Because he was on dope and won the Tour de France seven times! Said Willie: “When I was on dope, I couldn’t even find my bike!”
  • When Hal came down with TM in 1998, he told Grammy Award winning country music singer/songwriter Guy Clark about the horrors of the disease and how he’d had difficulty just moving. Guy listened patiently. Then finally he said in a very casual tone, “Yeah, I got that.” As Hal said, that was Guy’s way of telling him to “cowboy up” about TM.
  • Hal was recently moving the “BMI awards” in his house and realized his songs have had 6 million airplays over the years. Still, he has little dough to show for it. “Being a serial marry-er cuts into the profits,” he joked. “Next time, I’m just gonna marry a woman I hate and buy her a house.”
* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman
More photos are available for viewing at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

With Willy-Nilly Bill Gone With The Wind, Dallas Arts District’s 2015 Summer Block Party Is In Full Throttle For Tonight

It appears that the Dallas Arts District has more pull than most folks realize. With days and days of off-again, on-again rain thanks to Bill, tonight appears to be pretty clear just in time for the 2015 Summer Block Party.

Dallas Arts District Summer Block Party*

Dallas Arts District Summer Block Party*

It’s a true neighborhood gathering, with the Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center and Klyde Warren Park opening their doors for family-friendly entertainment from 6 p.m. to midnight, and most of it is free. Of course, you want to know what attractions will be on hand in addition to performers from Dallas Solstice and United Dance Academy and a pop-up station for Cantoinette Studios to provide wearing art for the night. Here’s a smattering:

  • Crow Collection of Asian Art — In addition to At Home and At Court: Chinese and Japanese Paintings, the Crow Collection After Dark will have a documentary screening, community prayer flags and free meditation in preparation for the Dalai Lama’s visit next month.
  • Dallas Museum of ArtLate Nights at the DMA kicks off with a double feature night at the DMA with Tim Burton’s Batman showing at the Ross Avenue Plaza at 9 p.m. and The Avengers at 9:30 in the Horchow Auditorium. For those more active types, the DMA will have yoga, self-guided tours, a ceremonial bar provided by Deep Ellum Brewery, “an after-hours musical showcase featuring Cassie Holt and the Lost Souls” and so much more. In the Fleischner Courtyard, there will be an Arts District Courtyard Sale with “selected discounted merchandise from the CMA, the Nasher, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Crow Collection.”
  • til Midnight  at the Nasher**

    til Midnight at the Nasher**

    Nasher Sculpture Center — The annual ‘til Midnight launches its summer program with live performances in the Nasher Garden with The Walden Twins at 6 p.m. and SXSW 2014 Rock Band of the Year Quiet Company on stage at 7 p.m. To top off the evening there will be a showing of “A Fish Called Wanda” at 9 p.m.

  • Klyde Warren Park — Need you even wonder? It will be a parade of food trucks and the usual activities that never dull the senses.

BTW, at 7 p.m. Twitter will be the place to be #ArtHunt “to win prize bags from the participating organizations.”

Thank-you notes for all these festivities and the good weather should be sent to the Texas Commission on the Arts and The Dallas Foundation.

FYI: If you’re downtown, remember that starting at 3 p.m. North Harwood Street will be closed from Ross Avenue to Woodall Rodgers and Flora Street will be closed from Harwood to Pearl streets. And if you’re not going to Uber, here is parking info.

* Graphic courtesy of the Dallas Arts District 
** Graphic courtesy of Nasher Sculpture Center

Two- And Four-Legged Party Animals Kicked Off Texas Horse Park At The Equest Premier Celebration

Connie Carreker*

Connie Carreker*

The invites that landed on doorsteps in the middle of March were an eye-popping sign of things to come for Equest’s “Premier Celebration” at the Texas Horse Park. Except for the grand opening in March, this was going to be the first time that many folks would see the City’s, and Equest’s, much talked about new digs in South Dallas, and Chairs Connie and Denny Carreker wanted to grab people’s attention. Mission accomplished. The Celebration, sponsored by Highland Park Village and presented by Jet Linx, was sold out with 500 booted and bedazzled guests shuttled to the Texas Horse Park to experience a night of equine elegance.

Denny Carreker*

Denny Carreker*

There is nothing ostentatious about the Texas Horse Park. In fact, it is unexpectedly picturesque. The stone buildings nestle into the hillside amongst the trees and the meadows, another example of Dallas’ natural charm just 10 minutes from Downtown. With this as a venue, it would be easy to play to the Texas cliché but the Carrekers, with the help of Stacy and Kelby Blakeley of Katy Sky Group, added their own flourish to nature’s backdrop and what resulted was sophisticated, tasteful fun. Think rocking chairs, gleaming horse stalls, bourbon and biscuits, baskets of chicken, loaded mashed potatoes, and a covered arena that set the stage for Mayor Mike Rawlings, Jody Dean, a tribute to Honorary Chairs Lisa and Kenny Troutt, twirling moves on the dance floor by Bill Noble, and a live auction that netted Equest’s most successful auction to date. Guests Kara and Jeff Axley, Jeff Byron, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Katherine and Key Coker, Barbara and Don Daseke, Betsy and Guinn Crousen, Melissa and Steve Cooksey, Barbara and Steve Durham, Phyllis Glazer, Louise and Guy Griffeth, Paulette Hopkins and Todd Pickel, Linda and Steve Ivy, Laura and David Johnson, Lezlie Noble, Gail and Bob Thomas, Susan Schwartz, Natalie Snyder and Andrew Bode, Jan Strimple, Jocelyn White and Kim Seal, and hundreds others cheerfully clapped the bidders on. Pat and Meg Gould, Rachel and John Michell, and Liz and Ryan Thrash were amongst the revelers representing Title Sponsor Highland Park Village – it turned out that Heather and Ray Washburne weren’t able to attend, as their date was in D.C. with President Obama at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

Mike Rawlings**

Mike Rawlings**

Kenny and Lisa Troutt**

Kenny and Lisa Troutt**

Lezlie Noble and Margo Keyes**

Lezlie Noble and Margo Keyes**

Steve and Barbara Durham**

Steve and Barbara Durham**

Key and Katherine Coker

Key and Katherine Coker**

Phyllis Glazer

Phyllis Glazer**

But as with all Equest events, it was the riders and the horses who were the stars of the show and captured the heart of the evening: Billy and Amy Bentler greeted the arrivals, Jarren McTee with his big smile sat up tall on the back of Babe, Zoe Grall crossed her arms on Crunchie with a mischievous twinkle in her eye, Sarah Khan and Saunder navigated the trail pattern, husband and wife Veterans Jeremy and Randi Jackson stood proudly side by side on Amigo and Patron, and Sabrina Williams turned and walked majestically on Hayley for the Mayor. Board Treasurer Bill Seeger and his wife Pam, parents of an Equest rider, summed it up perfectly: “At Equest, our son is a hero.” This was a celebration of heroes.

* Photo credit: Jason Janik
** Photo credit:Emily Hargrove

JUST IN: 2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Leadership And Plans Revealed

Plans are already being announced for the fall season. Yahoo! Here is the one that traditionally kicks off the black-tie lineup — the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala. Word just arrived that the date will be Saturday, September 26. Yes, it will be at the Meyerson.

Coley and Jennifer Clark

Coley and Jennifer Clark (File photo)

Key and Katherine Coker (File photo)

Key and Katherine Coker (File photo)

But here is the surprise: it’s not going to be chaired by a couple. Nope. It’s going to two couples! 2012 Gala Co-Chairs Jennifer and Coley Clark are returning to the helm to join Gala Co-Chairs Katherine and Key Coker. These four people exemplify formal galas to the letter. They’re gorgeous, have incredible taste and excel in being gracious. They’re also fun to be with.

As for the onstage talent, it will be Maestro Jaap van Zweden and violin virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman. What a combination they’ll make.

Tickets for the full complement of the evening’s activities (cocktail reception, dinner, concert and after party) start at $1250 per person. If your budget is really tight, then a ticket for just the concert and after party is $99.

There She Blows! Full House Listens To Famous Trumpeters, Raises Money For Multiple Myeloma

Upstairs at the VIP party in the Meyerson Symphony Center, Joel Allison was saying that although he’d had a busy day, he wouldn’t have missed this concert event called Cancer Blows for anything.

“Busy” might have been an understatement. The CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health had risen that day at 3:30 a.m., worked out, then headed for the airport to catch a flight to Austin, where he was to meet with the Texas governor and lieutenant governor about health-care legislation. Allison’s flight was canceled, though, so he wound up driving to the state capital, just barely making his meetings, then just barely making it back to Dallas in time for Cancer Blows.

Billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime musical event” bringing together the world’s most famous trumpet players, the Cancer Blows fundraiser attracted 2,000 guests on March 4 to honor Dallas Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet player Ryan Anthony. Anthony was diagnosed more than two years ago with multiple myeloma, a plasma-cell cancer that’s considered incurable and terminal, but has undergone successful treatment including chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant at Baylor’s Sammons Cancer Center. Proceeds from the concert were to be directed through The Ryan Anthony Foundation to benefit the Baylor Health Care System Foundation and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

Following the VIP gathering—where besides Allison you could spot the likes of Robin Robinson with his daughter Kate Swail, Sheila and Jody Grant, Jinna and Jerry Lancourt, Blaine Nelson, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Kara and Randall Goss and Dee Simmons with Cary McGuire—guests filed into the symphony hall for the much-anticipated concert. After a welcome by emcee Jody Dean—“The only famous horn not here tonight is Gabriel, and we really don’t want him showing up,” Dean quipped—the full house was treated to a varied evening of classical, jazz and pop music.

The first half, which featured members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, included performances by Lee Loughnane, a founding member of the rock group Chicago, and Anthony himself, who teamed with such trumpet all-stars as Jens Lindemann, Joe Burgstaller, and Ronald Romm. The second half, with the University of North Texas One O’clock Lab Band, starred the likes of musical legends Arturo Sandoval and Doc Severinson, the bandleader for “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” for 30 years.

Honorary chairs for the fundraiser were Diane and Hal Brierley. D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock served as event chairs. Mickey and Bill Lively were special event advisers.

SOLD OUT: Cancer Blows

While the Trinity Trust River Rats and Pack Rats may have decided to postpone their sneak peek of Texas Horse Park, the Cancer Blows organizers are charging ahead with horns aplenty at the Meyerson on Wednesday night.

Cancer Blows*

Cancer Blows*

Just got word from Niki Anthony, who’s been working harder that a meteorologist, that

“We are officially sold out which is wonderful news!

“We do plan to hold the concert no matter the weather. All of the musicians have made it in to town and are ready to go no matter what.”

Sure, the weather may not be picture perfect, but if these world-renowned trumpet players can fly in from around all part to support Dallas Symphony Orchestra principle trumpet/Niki’s husband Ryan Anthony’s effort to vanquish multiple myeloma, locals can go a block or mile to blast cancer.

Co-chairs D’Andra Simmons Lock and her husband Jeremy Lock are being joined by Honorary Co-Chairs Diane and Hal Brierley to raise funds for Baylor Health Care System Foundation and Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

Since it’s indoors at the Meyerson, so let’s see if the musicians don’t blow the tiles off the ceiling.

* Graphic provided by Cancer Blows

United Way Of Metropolitan Dallas’ “Unite Forever Gala” Had A Big Blowout With Big Names And Big-Time Entertainment

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas CEO Jennifer Sampson’s past year and more have been spent putting together the 90th anniversary celebration of the organization. With the energy of a cheerleader, the positive attitude of a Zig Ziglar grad and the determination of a woman on a mission, the tall blonde negotiated with top-notch corporate CEO’s to come on board.

Her efforts would culminate at AT&T Cowboys Stadium with an event worthy of the 90 years of services provided to North Texas by the organization. Over the months leading up to the extravaganza, announcements were made raising the anticipation. Troy Aikman and Charlotte Jones Anderson were going to co-chair the event. Former First Couple Laura and George W. Bush would be honorary co-chairs. NBC-TV judges/entertainers Blake Shelton and Usher would be the headliners on stage.

Why, just the parties leading up to the biggie became the talk around town. There was the Evening Under the Stars private dinner at Charlotte’s place with Christopher Cross performing. The host committee kick-off at Ann and Lee Hobson’s estate had Dallas Cowboys and CEO’s schmoozing like they were old pals. Top CEO’s were pumped about which parts of the project that they were sponsoring as Sister Hazel entertained the crowd that spilled outside.

As the weeks neared, the question was raised about ticket prices. The answer was sorta wiggly. Tickets were not available via the usual route. Instead, donations would open “the way to the 90th anniversary way.” Evidently, a lot of donors.

Jennifer Sampson, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Brian Gallagher

Jennifer Sampson, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Brian Gallagher

The big night came and so did the thousands. At an  underground VIP entrance, the majority of the 1,400 arrived to valet parking and were ushered into the Bank of America reception. It was a great old time with Troy, Charlotte and Jennifer being photographed in various combinations with the likes of United Way Worldwide President/CEO Brian Gallagher and others. Charlotte had changed from her bright red dress that she wore in the Go Red for Women presentation to a great looking black dress.

Richard and Kathy Holt and Barbara and Ralph Babb

Richard and Kathy Holt and Barbara and Ralph Babb

Over on the dance floor bankers like Bank of America’s Richard Holt and Comerica’s Ralph Babb were putting aside financial differences and partying with their pretty ladies… Gillian Breidenbach revealed that her date for the DIFFA Gala was going to be “married fella” Todd Fiscus.

Scott and Carole Murray and Darren Woodson

Scott and Carole Murray and Darren Woodson

Darren Woodsen was keeping company with Carole and Scott MurrayCaren and Pete Kline had provided a lift for pal Pam Perella, while Perella husband Vin was on his way from the airport after a trip to Florida. Oh, he texted that he was on the premises. Ain’t it great how you can keep track of spouses?… Preston Pearson was looking pretty hunky in his black cowboy hat and chains while talking with Brad “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys” Sham.

Su-Su and Jerry Meyer and Nancy Dedman

Su-Su and Jerry Meyer and Nancy Dedman

As former Dallas Cowboy Charles Haley was hustled through the growing crowd, Nancy Dedman was getting smooched on the cheek from friends as she arrived with pals Su-Su and Jerry Meyer. When a bystander commented that Nancy looked great, Jerry immediately retorted, “She never ages.”… As the moments of the reception waned, some heavy hitters appeared like Marianne and Roger Staubach.

No sooner had they appeared on the scene, than the call was made for the hifalutin types to head to the freight-like elevators to take them to the bowels of the stadium for a walk to the EY (Ernst & Young) red carpet tunnel.

There was the true dividing of the peeps. On the left only the glory boys of Dallas Cowboy legends walked with a smattering of mega-high profilers like Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. On the right, the rest of the expensive donors were to walk against the  sponsor backdrop.

Tracy Ripsin

Tracy Ripsin

Oops, it seems that too many were strolling on the right as a part of the board tittered and tottered and caved in. The parade included all types including Linda and Bill Custard, Brent Christopher, Annika and Dennis CailCindy and Chuck Gummer, Troy’s gal pal Tracy Ripsin, Gina and Ken Betts with Tanya and Pete Foster, Cameron and Clay Smith, Debbie and Nickey Oates, Sheila and Jody Grant, Kelly Compton with Karen and Alan Katz, Kara and Ross Goss, Lynn and Allan McBee (he had just recently appeared in a non-singing role in the Dallas Opera’s “Everest”), Carolyn and David Miller, Olivia and Jeff Kearney and Lottye Brodsky with Bobby Lyle.

Kent Perkins and Ruth Buzzi

Kent Perkins and Ruth Buzzi

At another point, Ruth Buzzi was pointed out to the young photo wrangler. The wrangler shrugged as if she hadn’t a clue who “Laugh-In’s Gladys” was. Ah, shoot! The poor millennial wrangler probably didn’t know who Gilda Radner was. Oops, generational goof!

On the other side of the rope, the former Cowboys were being interviewed. Roger admitted, “I’m a Blake Shelton fan. I don’t dislike Usher, but I’m a big country-western guy.” Troy complimented the United Way operation saying, “I think what they’re doing with the community is awesome. Jennifer Sampson has done a great job, measuring the results. Hope this [concert] will help attract young people.”

Alas, this was a sign of the dividing of the generations. The baby boomers and Depression-era Darlings had loyally supported United Way over the decades, but the Gen X-ers and Millennials were rather new to the cause.

Sure, there was one elderly doyenne who sniffed that she felt a bit shunned after all of her years of emotional and financial support. But come on. The goal was to entice the next generation. Sacrifices have to be made.

Mike and Micki Rawlings

Mike and Micki Rawlings

Gaby Gutierrez and Gunnar Rawlings

Gaby Gutierrez and Gunnar Rawlings

But back to the wrangler’s woes. She was waiting for Mayor Mike Rawlings. He was late in the lineup. Handlers were anxious trying to find him. Finally, he appeared with wife Micki, son Gunnar and his date Gaby Gutierrez. They whisked Mighty Mike off to an interview that appeared on the Jerry screen overhead.

"Unite Forever Gala" inA&T Cowboys Stadium

“Unite Forever Gala” in A&T Cowboys Stadium

While the VIP’s gathered on the multi-terraced dining room, the stands filled. Oh, boy, did they fill. As cotton candy vendors walked up and down the aisles, the 20,000 or so watched the big buck buckeroos wine and dine with nary a care in the world. As one area fundraiser said, “This looks like a target-rich environment,” as s/he hustled off to press some flesh.

Royce West and Dan Branch

Royce West and Dan Branch

Okay, so maybe it was a little tight getting through the back-to-back chairs, but who knew. You just might back up to Pat and Emmitt Smith or TV types like Ron Corning? Former State Rep. Dan Branch looked very relaxed catching up with state Sen. Royce West.

The terraces including the lounge area built by the Fiscus team were strategically situated on the other side of the pit fronting the stage, where the Young Leaders Society was partying. Thanks to its placement, there was no chance of the pit crowd blocking the view of the big spenders when the show got underway around 7:55 with all the hoop-la of a Cirque de Soleil on uppers. Drums, trumpets, tubas, trombones and French horns announced the beginning of the festivities. On the side of the stage, fire cannons blasted. A video rolled on the drive-in-movie-sized screens on either side of the stage and on the video screens overhead featuring United Way loyalists like Lyda Hill, Ruth Altshuler and Caroline Rose Hunt. In the flesh, Charlotte and Troy arrived on stage saying the evening was being presented by AT&T and recognized area officials.

In an exchange of levity, a video appeared showing a faux “Voice” audition by Troy. As Usher and Sheldon were seen grimacing in their judge seats, Troy crooned on bravely. Finally, Jerry Jones popped up on the screen telling his former quarterback not to quit his day job.

On the screen appeared AT&T’s Randall Stephenson, who apologized that he couldn’t be present and announced the key CEO’s who had been involved in the production. One guest asked his tablemate, “Do you think he really exists? Or, is he just a CEO ‘S1m0ne‘?” The dinner companion answered, “Ask Holly Reed.”

No sooner had the CEO’s been seen on stage looking like regular-type guys waving to the crowds, than former Dallas Cowboy Darren Woodson was seen standing in the bleachers with mic in hand to introduce the part of the program about the 9 [Cowboys] for 90. Breaking from script, he ad-libbed to the lady seated next to him, “Tonya, did you grab my butt?” and laughed.

Troy Aikman, Tony Dorsett, Ed Jones, Preston Pearson, Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach, Darren Woodson and Daryl Johnston

Troy Aikman, Tony Dorsett, Ed Jones, Preston Pearson, Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach, Darren Woodson and Daryl Johnston

Next the former Dallas Cowboys (Troy, Roger Staubach, Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett, Preston Pearson, Daryl Johnston, Darren Woodson and Ed “Too Tall Jones), who had been involved with the year-long “9 for 90” project, entered the stage through a gauntlet of Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. If an applause meter had been in operation, Emmitt would have scored the most points.

The only oops of the night came when it was announced that Roger and Dallas Cowboys First Lady Gene Jones would be on stage. Roger, who had just been on stage with the Dallas Cowboys legends, returned to the stage and looked a bit like he was looking for a receiver. He went left and right and no Gene. Then magically, she appeared from the sidelines with a smile to a relieved Staubach.

Just as all seemed right with the world, Gene started talking but ears strained to hear the shy one of the Jones family. It seems that she was holding her mic at waist level. Roger pulled a quarterback sneak and wrapped his arm around her shoulders bringing her close enough for his lavalier mic to cover for her. Then he smoothly took her hand mic and worked it between the two of them. The guy still has the moves to save the day!

Still, Gene revealed that the Dodger wasn’t her fav quarterback: “People ask me why Troy is my favorite? Because he’s won three Super Bowls. We love those Super Bowls. We want more!” “Now!” yelled someone in audience.

Eyes returned to the screens, where Bush clan matriarch Barbara Bush appeared wishing Ruth Altshuler a happy birthday: “Ruth, you make it clear to all of us that 90 is the new 40.”

Next up were the Bushettes — Laura Bush and her daughter Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager. The twins teased their mom about her musical preferences, but Laura held her own. On a serious note, Laura revealed that Lyda Hill had issued a challenge match of matching donations that night up to $1M. She added that guests could text to win the chance to sit in a suite with Roger during the 2015 Cowboys season.

Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton

With no further ado, Blake appeared on stage singing “It’s All About Tonight” and “I like Doin’ What She Likes.” The country western crooner sang a couple of songs and then focused on a couple in the pit. Talk about “The Match Game.” He did everything but offer to buy them a hotel room for the night. The crowd loved it.

Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton

At one point, he decided that it was only right to do a George Strait number and “All of My Exes Live In Texas” resulted. Folks started dancing and that could have been enough, but then Usher and his troupe took over.

Usher

Usher

Talk about East meets West, Usher went to the other extreme. The fire canon went wild. He and his team filled the stage with singing, dancing and wonderment. With sweat pouring out like the White Rock spillway, Usher was a combination of Michael Jackson and the Energizer Bunny Rabbit. Royce commented, “That’s a lot of energy, right there!”

Usher

Usher

In between songs, Usher told the audience, “Our efforts are definitely achievable when we come together. Usher and Blake Shelton on the same stage? Could only happen in Cowboys Stadium!”

He complimented Blake’s music for having emotion in it. Shelton joined Usher on stage for a duet. It was amazing to old timer and youngster how the hip hopper and the country-western singer sounded right at home together. Blake showed that his only hip dance move was an itty-bitty moonwalk and complained that Usher had brought “all these freaking dancers.” But that complaint lasted only a couple of seconds as Blake was surrounded by Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Usher left Blake and the girls to do their thang.

After singing, “Hillbilly Bone,” Blake said, “I love performing country and western music in Texas. I feel stupid cuz I felt like I left somebody out.” Recalling his earlier days, he donned a cowboy hat with long hair extensions and sang, “Some Beach, Some Where.”

Afterward he told the thousands, “I think we screwed up tonight. We should have televised this concert tonight!”

Blake asked the crowd to hoist their cellphones in the air and the stadium lit up like a birthday cake, but there were far more than 90 candles on this cake. One could have said the place “was lit.” With Usher once again joining him, together they sang Blake’s slow ballad song, “Home.”

To the surprise of many including some in-the-know-types, the two singers were then joined on stage by the event’s key players to sing, “With a Little Help From My Friends.”

By this time, the generations had largely headed in their own directions. The elders and boomers headed back home, while the VIP Gen X-ers and Millennials continued the celebration at an after-party with DJ Lucy Wrubel handling the good vibes.

It will be interesting to see what Jennifer has planned for the 100th anniversary. It’s only 10 years away.

For more photos of the peeps who were part of this mega-extravaganza, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

 

Usher/Blake Shelton Concert Vouchers Are Available For United Way Of Metropolitan Dallas 90th Anniversary Celebration

People have been hearing the hype for months about the Friday, February 6th Blake Shelton/Usher concert celebrating the 90th anniversary of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. What they haven’t heard was the price of tickets.

There’s a reason for that. There is no price. Whoa! Before you go a’thinking that it’s a freebie, forget that one. According to organizers, here’s how to get in:

“If you make a donation to the United Way on www.unitedwaydallas.org, you can receive vouchers for the concert.”

See there are perks to donating.

And let’s give credit where credit is due. The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas 90th Anniversary Celebration is being presented by AT&T. The Unite Forever Gala is being presented by Kimberly-Clark Corporation. The concert is being presented by PepsiCo. The concert’s “pit” is being presented by JCPenney.

This shindig is having more “presents” than a birthday party.

Americana Fav John Hiatt Drew A Boots And Bling Crowd At Courtyard Theater For Caron Texas Fundraiser

Rhonda Sargent Chambers was leading the fashion crowd (Ekaterina Kouznetsoval, Danielle Ellis, Milind Kothare, Mindy Boykin and Keyla Garrido) in raising funds and awareness at Little Black Dress at Ilume on Thursday, January 15, benefiting Legal Hospice of Texas.

Others headed way north to the Courtyard Theater in Plano for the John Hiatt concert benefiting Caron Texas.

Joe Lauginiger, Amara Durham and Michael Fowler

Joe Lauginiger, Amara Durham and Michael Fowler

As John grabbed a bite to eat in his dressing room, the VIP types like Mike Puls, Dr. Stephen Garrison, Kathy and Mike Early, Barb Reynolds, Brent Bevelhymer, Yvette Reher and Joe Lauginiger Amara Durham, and Michael Fowler just back from the holidays in Colorado partied up front and checked out the silent auction items. Here’s a report from the field:

Mike Puls and Brent Bevelhymer

Mike Puls and Brent Bevelhymer

Barb Reynolds and Yvette Rehr

Barb Reynolds and Yvette Rehr

Stephen Garrison, Shelley Early and Mike and Kathy Early

Stephen Garrison, Shelley Early and Mike and Kathy Early

“Boots and Hats and Guitars – Oh My! It was an exciting evening of fun and music last week as fans of Grammy nominee and Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award winner John Hiatt gathered at the Courtyard Theater in Plano for a special concert benefiting patient care at Caron Texas. Caron Texas is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment center for young adult men ages 18 to 25 and adults located just north of Dallas.

“Many friends of Caron braved Dallas rush-hour gridlock including Board Member Robin Bagwell, Board Member J.J. Gomez and his lovely wife Ashley, and Nate Hutcheson.  Advisory Board member Andrew Clyde traveled in all the way from Tyler for the concert. Now that’s commitment!

Kathy Bourk walked away with a song in her heart and a select group of silent auction items, including a one-of-a-kind acoustic guitar signed by John Hiatt and a private house party by Fort Worth singer/songwriter (and opening act) Brad Hines.  And what’s an event without emcee “Big Gus” from KHYI, media sponsor of the event.

“Thanks to the City of Plano and the staff at Plano Stages for their work. We are grateful to board members Jim Hutcheson and Fred Ball, and advisory board member Liz Pasquinelli for their support.  Special thanks to PlainsCapital Bank for their generous underwriting of the concert and their continued commitment to saving lives.”

Chicago Is Blowing Into Town For The 2015 Bishop’s Gala Benefiting Catholic Charities Of Dallas

It appears that 2015 is becoming the year of the horn. No, it doesn’t have to do with the Chinese calendar. Rather, it’s a couple of events that will be taking place with all types of trumpets on stage. There’s Cancer Blows! on Wednesday, March 4, at the Meyerson with musicians from all over the musical world.

But before that fundraiser takes place, the 17th Annual Bishop’s Gala will have its own brassy types at the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, January 31. But these chaps have been performing together for years and years. Co-Chairs Kathy and Bob McDermott have arranged to have “Chicago”! Their 1970 concert at Tanglewood set a new standard for rock n’ roll with horns. Today their hair is a bit shorter, but their music is ageless.

Chicago Band*

Chicago Band*

After last year’s appearance by Harry Connick Jr., it appears that jazz has replaced the past laughs provided by such comedians are Steve Martin (2013), Martin Short (2012) and Bill Cosby (2011).

In addition to the stage action and the raffle for trips to Brazil, London and Tokyo, live-performance artist Lance Brown will create a life-size painting that will be auctioned off during the event.

With tickets starting at $325, the evening’s proceed will go to Catholic Charities of Dallas‘ newest program, the Santa Clara Community Center. The “facility provides early childhood education, after-school programs, continuing education and ESL for adults, as well as recreation for children and seniors” as a community solution to the poverty situation in West Oak Cliff/Dallas.

* Photo provided by the 2015 Bishop's Gala