MySweetCharity Opportunity: Mission Ole

According to 18th Annual Mission Ole Co-Chairs Ann Kellogg Schooler and Margaret Spellings,

Ann Schooler (File photo)

Margaret Spellings (File photo)

Trinity River Mission (TRM) provides educational and social opportunities that inspire K-12 students and their families to dream, believe, and achieve.   It our hope that you will join us in raising much needed funds by attending the annual Mission Ole event on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at Chicken Scratch and The Foundry. The evening will be a fun-filled Dia de los Muertos in West Dallas.  Festivities include cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions and dancing.   We are pleased to have generous donors Lisa and Clay Cooley serving as honorary co-chairs of the event.

Mission Ole 2016 (file photo)

Trinity River Mission is a volunteer-based community learning center serving the intergenerational education needs of children, youth, and families in West Dallas. TRM began in the early 1960s by a devoted group of volunteers to help in the relocation of Native Americans from Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Various church and civic groups later joined in to provide, food, clothing, transportation, and educational assistance.

Trinity River Mission*

Since 1988, TRM’s focus has been to promote literacy, augment academic skills, and develop educational success among children, youth, and families, with the understanding that language proficiency and educational achievement opens doors to satisfying jobs and productive futures. TRM services the needs of all children without regard to race or ethnicity. At present, however, TRM’s program participants are overwhelmingly Hispanic because of the agency’s location in West Dallas.

Please visit to join in the festivities for a great cause.

La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Gala Co-Chair Anne Besser Offers Some Helpful Hints For This Weekend’s Fundraising Festivities

Anne Besser (File photo)

Just as Heloise provides household hints, so La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Gala Co-Chair Anne Besser has a suggestion or two for this weekend’s La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas comings and goings.

Since the Friday night event is taking place in a very cool residential area and Saturday’s gala is at The Fairmont, Anne is recommending the following:

  • Uber/Lyft
  • Have a friend drop you and your buds off
  • Use the buddy system and carpool
  • Despite a slight chance of Friday night having a touch of drizzle, don’t worry. The home is big enough to handle the guests inside.
  • Saturday night, park at the Baptist Church multi-level parking lot
  • Saturday night, get yourself a room at The Fairmont and slumber-party it. Think room service for Sunday morning breakfast. No, make that late morning brunch.

This annual summer fundraiser is showy, fun and family-oriented.

MySweetCharity Elves Turn To Reliable Sources For Mad Hatter’s “Under The Tuscan Sun” Weather Predictions

Sharla Bush

The MySweetCharity weather elves have been monitoring the wet conditions, since they were knocked out of their bunk beds this morning. The question was: “What about Thursday’s Mad Hatter’s Tea‘s ‘Under The Tuscan Sun’ at the Dallas Arboretum?”

After reviewing the various scientific resources, they turned to their reliable Ouija boards. Their decision: The rains should be history with the sun shining by the time the cars filled with hatted folks arrive.

That’s the good news for the sold-out Dallas Arboretum fundraiser.

The not-most-marvelous-news is that the temperatures will be in the upper 60s and a tad bit chilly for sundresses… unless they’re under cashmere coats.

It’s a little ironic, actually. Thursday’s forecast for Tuscany, Italy, predicts a 70% change of rain with temperatures in the low 60s. Mamma mia!

Jewelry Designer/Attorney Kori Green (Aka Mrs. Pat Green) To Be The 8th Judge For Mad Hatter’s Tea Hat Competition

Under The Tuscan Sun*

Mad Hatter’s Tea 2017 Chair Linda Spina is going “green” with the announcement of the eighth judge for the “Under The Tuscan Sun” theme chapeau competition at the Dallas Arboretum on Thursday, April 27.

Hold on to your hats! It’s Kori Green. In addition to being a jewelry designer, an attorney and pretty darn cute, she’s also the wife of Grammy-nominated country singer/songwriter Pat Green and mom to their two kiddos Kellis Green and Rainey Green.

She got in the jewelry designing business while studying law at the University of Texas Law School. It provided her with a creative outlet. In addition to her professional activities and community involvement, she and Pat established the Pat Green Foundation.

Kori won’t be the only “greenie” in the judging line up for the eight categories. She’ll be joining Klyde Warren Park President Tara Green plus celebrity judge Rachel Zoe, restaurateurs Lynae Fearing and Tracy Rathbun (a judge team), Kerrently website editor Courtney Kerr, Kidd’s Kids CEO/Chief Happiness Officer Caroline Kraddick, fragrance guru Niven Morgan and Dallas First Lady Micki Rawlings.

Tickets for the annual eye-popping fundraiser for the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum are available here.

* Graphic provided by 2017 Mad Hatter's Tea

North Texas Smarty Pants — TAG And Lee Park Jr. Conservancy — Make Kentucky Derby A Two-Day Fest Of Fundraising

Tired of hearing about event collisions? You know. That’s when two or three very interesting fundraisers are scheduled at the same time like this past Wednesday, when the luncheon slam-bang — Linz Award, Planned Parenthood and the Virginia Chandler Dyke — had guests making Solomon-like decisions. Not everyone can be a Janie McGarr, who attended the Linz VIP reception in the Omni’s Trinity Ballroom and then scooted on over to the Omni’s Dallas Ballroom for Planned Parenthood.

But how about some good news about two groups that had competed for the same type of guests and managed to make it all work this year?

Horse racing (File photo)

Back story: In past years, the Kentucky Derby has had the BrainHealth’s Think Ahead Group (TAG) and Lee Park Junior Conservancy holding their fundraisers at the same time to see the Run for the Roses. Ah, but this year those brainiacs came up with an idea — a two-fer by holding their event the night before to get the momentum underway plus celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Gee, no wonder they’re so dang smart!

So, here’s how North Texas is gonna celebrate the Kentucky equine race:

  • Harold Scherrell, Alison Percy, Scott Caldwell and Dan Hunt (File photo)

    Friday, May 5 (8 p.m.-midnight) — TAG holds Cinco de Derby at Marie Gabrielle with margaritas and mint juleps complementing Mexican food. If you haven’t been to Marie Gabrielle, don’t tell a soul. It’s Dallas proper’s sweetheart of an oasis within the concrete forest. Proceeds benefit the Discovery Group, a program at the Center for BrainHealth that “works to improve quality of life after an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis.” As for tickets, non-TAG member tickets are going for $87 and members save $20 for their $67 tickets.

To keep things rocking and rolling, wake up late morning and put on your prettiest frock and nattiest duds and prepare for fashionable strutting and horse racing watching. (Editor’s note: put tea bags on top of those partied-out eyes for 10 minutes before applying the makeup.)

  • Tyler Stevens, Gay Donnell and Camille Cain Barnes*

    Saturday, May 6 (4 – 7:30 p.m.) — For the big spenders, the 9th Annual Day at the Races Co-Chairs Camille Cain Barnes and Tyler Stevens announced at the kick-off party at Vineyard Vines that there will be a VIP private champagne reception at Arlington Hall and Lee Park starting at 4 p.m. But, please let the jeans, cowboy boots and leather fringe take the day off. This one demands true southern comfort sundresses and seersuckers topped off with smashing hats. Well, after all, there is a competition for the Best Dressed and Best Hat. If it’s a pretty day, there will be lawn games. But if it’s one of those drizzle days, don’t despair. (Alliteration is everything, don’t you know!). Inside Arlington Hall there will be a silent auction, a wagering table, live music and watching the Derby on major screens. Remember? You’re there for the Kentucky Derby. Tickets are available now with Lee Park Junior Conservancy members getting a thrifty $125 per person and non-members paying $150. For that VIP special, it’ll be $500 for two and it include “an invitation to attend the Patron Party in April.” Love perks!

If you haven’t been to either or both of these events, stand in the stand-out corner. There isn’t a zit in the crowd and even AARP types suddenly become young fillies and stallions.

* Photo provided by Lee Park Junior Conservancy

A Gentle Reminder: Greenville Avenue’s St. Patrick’s Day Run/Walk, Parade And Festival To Take Place This Saturday

2017 Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival map**

While St. Patrick’s Day is still a week away, the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade And Festival will take place this Saturday along Greenville Avenue benefiting the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association.

2017 St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville 5K*

But before the parade kicks off at 11 a.m., the 22nd Annual St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville will start at 8 a.m. Organizers are predicting 5,000 participants will run/walk the 5K down “the St. Patrick’s Day parade route, tree-lined Southwestern Blvd., Skillman and University Blvd.,” benefiting the North Texas Food Bank.

Hopefully, all the runners/walkers will be across the finish line before the parade’s floats hit the avenue.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival (File photo)

Now, some suggestions:

  • Barriers and other preparations for the run and parade will start showing up Friday afternoon. So, it might be wise to run those errands today and early tomorrow. Be forewarned: Some stores like Office Depot along Greenville might be closed Saturday during the parade.
  • Weather guessers are claiming that Saturday morning may be damp-ish, so if you’re gonna be among the 100,000+ spectators, you might want to bring along a slicker or umbrella.
  • Take DART to the Greenville station because parking is going to be painfully limited.
  • If you decide to linger into the afternoon and night enjoying the adult libations, reconsider driving yourself home. No matter how responsible you may think you are, you’ll be much more so by having Uber or another professional service drive you home.
*Graphic courtesy of Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival 
** Graphic courtesy of St. Paddy's Day Dash Down Greenville 5k

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

The Slipper Club Presents A Record-Breaking Check Of $116,621 To Rays Of Light Thanks To Its Beyond The Mask Gala

If the sound of something breaking was heard last night, it was the Slipper Club’s presenting a record-breaking check of $116,621 to the organization’s 2016-2017 beneficiary, Rays of Light.

Caroline Baliker, John Bonadelle, Billy Nayden, Chelsea Parish, Stephanie Tatum and Billy Machina*

The funds were the result of fundraising efforts throughout the year, especially the 21st Annual Gala and Silent Auction — “Beyond the Mask.” Held on Saturday, February 4, the black-tie gala at the Omni Dallas had more than 800 guests in attendance, including leadership of the various men’s social club (Idlewild, Calyx and Terpsichorean), past and present Idlewild debs and others like Caleb Powell, Stephanie Smartt, Jillian Mock, Abbey Mock, Maddie Beckham, Kelly Gillespie, Fallon Bock, Porter Fuqua, Walter Spradley, Travis Andres, Anna Alaback, Chloe Reed, Leslie Ingram, Lauren Metzel, Camille Sokolosky, Blaire Metcalfe, Heather Trumpfeller, Alex Bjornnes, Caroline Baliker, John Bonadelle, Billy Nayden, Chelsea Parish, Stephanie Tatum, Billy Machina, Elizabeth Metzger, Hartley Hobson, Carley Nelson, Mary Valuck, Caroline Hanson, Heather Trumpfeller, Trevor Cadigan, Houstoun Waring, Charlotte Barnett, Jake Winstel, Sam Fritsch, Alex Spinazzola, Patrick Harris, Courtney Quinn, Madeline Buckthal, Meredith Allen, Kamel Brakta, Mandy Morgan, Minette Morgan, Ali Morgan, Evan Weir, Julie Butkus, Lauren Sears, Lily Kramlich-Taylor, Peter Whaley, Lily Kramlich-Taylor, Meredith Allen and Slipper Club President Morgan Madison.

Caroline Estes and Morgan Madison Wade*

Meredith Allen and Meg Sokolosky*

According to Gala Chair Meg Sokolosky, “This year was really unbelievable, not only in terms of breaking the record for money raised for a beneficiary, but also getting to volunteer our Friday nights with the children of Rays of Light and seeing directly how we will impact these children and the organization.”

Dedicated to providing free, quality respite care for families with children with special needs, Rays of Light hosts Night Lights that “gives the parents the opportunity to have four free hours and the children get four hours of socialization and interaction.”

Congratulations to the ladies of Slipper Club and their masked friends for breaking a record.

* Photos provided by Slipper Club of Dallas

Dallas Museum Of Art Speakeasy’s Raffle Is Gonna Be The Bargain Of The Shakened, Stirred And Styled Season

Dallas Museum of Art’s Speakeasy celebrating is going to have such a bargain raffle on Saturday, February 4, at the DMA. If you can afford a cup of coffee at Ascension, you can afford a couple of chance tickets. But first, here is the lineup of the five raffle packages:

  • The Joule Hotel and Midnight Rambler Package:  Lavish in the thoughtful comfort and luxury of The Joule.  With dramatic art installations, unique retail boutiques, a world-class spa, clever design, award-winning food and drinks and some of the best service in town, The Joule is seen as the cultural epicenter of downtown. Enjoy a one night get away in deluxe accommodations 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 and Q Marshal in brown leather: Q Wander and Q Marshal are Fossil’s newest digital display watches that connects seamlessly to your phone. The tech-savvy dial with touchscreen functionality tracks everything from daily steps to calories. Notifications alert you of incoming calls and texts. *Powered by Android Wear™ (but compatible with iOS and Android wear phones) this smartwatch tracks activity, connects to your favorite apps, receives display notifications, and has customizable faces and interchangeable strap options to fit your style. Noticeable design details include slim lugs on Q Wander and a rugged bezzle on Q Marshal for an updated design look on a smarter watch. 
  • Victor Tangos and Bella and Chloe:  Enjoy a $150-shopping spree at Bella and Chloe/Brethren Boutique. Touting men’s and women’s boho wears, this shop is known for precious metals and stones from all around the world. Bella and Chloe is an American made brand known for the effortlessly cool, unbound, and bohemian soul translating culture through style and youthful freedom. Then stroll across the street to Victor Tangos wear you have $100 on the house! Always in the top ten of places to grab a craft cocktail and savory meal, Victor Tangos is the home to Rising Star Chef of the Year, Chef Kirstyn Brewer!   
  • Martini glass, c. 2001 by Valeri Timofeev*

    Ultra-Luxe Roxor Gin Experience: Six tickets to a private curator tour through the “Shaken, Stirred, Styled” exhibition. Then, enjoy an exclusive Roxor cocktail-making class, perched 19 floors above Klyde Warren Park and the DMA, in a private residence. The owners of this Dallas-distilled gin will explain how gin is made and the unique botanicals used in Roxor. Each guest will enjoy crafting three cocktails, complemented by fashionable hors d’oeuvres. A Roxor memorable experience!

  • Arts & Letters Live VIP package #1Jessi Klein is the Emmy and Peabody award-winning head writer and executive producer of Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed series “Inside Amy Schumer.” Growing up gawkish and a late bloomer, Jessi Klein never identified with the conventional standards of modern femininity. Instead she viewed herself as a tomboy who found her voice through comedy. In her outrageously funny and unapologetically candid breakout book, “You’ll Grow Out of It,” Klein compiles a perceptive collection of confessional essays that offer readers a relatable glimpse into exactly what it means to be a woman in today’s world.  Package winners will receive reserved seating, tickets to the event, one copy of the book, and fast track passes for the book signing following the event.   Saturday, February 25, 7:30 p.m.              
  • Arts & Letters Live VIP package #2:  Arts & Letters Live presents “Happy Hour!” A talk, cocktail sampling, and performance inspired by “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.”  6:15-7:00 p.m. Pre-performance talk/Q&A and cocktails in the DMA’s Founders Room with David Wondrich, one of the world’s foremost authorities on cocktails and their history; author of the book Imbibe!, which won a James Beard Award.   7:30 p.m. Happy Hour! Performance: The DMA’s exhibition “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail” packs just the punch required for five acclaimed musicians to create an adventurous concoction of rhythm, music, and text, to be enjoyed responsibly for one night only. Songs will range from Mozart, Offenbach, and Verdi to Cole Porter and Joni Mitchell. This marks the ninth collaboration of Arts and Letters Live with artistic programmer Ryan Taylor, whose creative process combines art, music, and literary excerpts.  Package winners will receive two tickets to the pre-event talk/Q&A, cocktails, a copy of the book “Imbibe!,” reserved seating,  and two tickets for the performance.  Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sounds good. But let’s think about stupendous great. Chance tickets will be going for $1 each. Hello? One buck? Ten dimes? Yup! And to make it even better and easier for shy types, the raffle tickets are available online, so you don’t have to chat it up with anyone.

The winners will be announced at 11 p.m. the night of the fundraiser, but you don’t need to be present to win.

Martini glasses (File photo)

But then you’ll want to be on the scene. Besides blushing and hollering when your name is called, you’ll want to be part of the jazz babies, who are going to be adding to the “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.”

So, why not splurge and go high hog with VIP tickets for the party, buy a fistful of chance tickets and party the night away?

BTW, get there early because self-parking will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Bundle Up For Saturday’s 29th Annual Children’s Health Holiday Parade Through Downtown Dallas

 UPDATE: The parade has indeed been canceled, but the sold-out breakfast with Santa is still on!

Just imagine. Toddlers, who attended the first-ever Children’s Health Holiday Parade in 1987, are all grown up and have toddlers of their own. For some it’s become a family tradition despite the changes of routes and the weather conditions.

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Speaking of which, this Saturday’s weather forecast is gonna be so very typical of North Texas winter. The day’s high is gonna maybe hit 50 degrees and there’s a very good chance of rain. But, shoot! That’s why retailers invented gloves, sock caps, bumbershoots, slickers and galoshes.

So, dig out all those warm clothes and head downtown early because the area’s biggest, most colorful walking extravaganza starts at 10 a.m. come rain or shine. If you want a reserved bleacher seat, you can get it here!

2016 Children’s Health Holiday Parade route*

2016 Children’s Health Holiday Parade route*

Afterwards, head to your favorite spot for a late morning brunch with hot chocolate, hot toddy, Belgian waffles and all that comfort food you deserve.

The parade has only been canceled once in history back in 2013 when an ice storm hit the area. But rest easy. This ain’t gonna be a repeat of that one. It’s just gonna be damp and chilly.

* Photo and graphic courtesy of Children's Health

Jazz Babies Will Rouge Their Knees When Dallas Museum Of Art Becomes A Speakeasy To Celebrate The Art Of The Cocktail

Gee, whiz! That first weekend in February is already starting to look busier than a bootlegger during Prohibition. Just announced was Mary Parker’s receiving the Sandi Haddock Impact Award at the Dallas Go Red for Women Luncheon on Friday, February 3, and then there’s the Super Bowl down in Houston on Sunday, February 5.

Martini glass, c. 2001 by Valeri Timofeev*

Martini glass, c. 2001 by Valeri Timofeev*

Wedged between Friday and Sunday, the Dallas Museum of Art will become a “Speakeasy” on Saturday, February 4, to celebrate the “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail” exhibition presently underway at the DMA.

Sure, the showing of cocktail ware from the late 19th century kicked off Saturday, November 12, but if you wait until February 4, you’ll be able to wear that snazzy, jazzy roaring 20’s attire for Sea of Shoes blogger Jane Aldridge to judge for prizes.

As for the fun, the Hamon Atrium will be the spot for craft cocktails with “delicious nibbles,” music by the Singapore Slingers, dance tutorials by The Rhythm Room professionals, gaming tables and a photo booth.

For the highrollers, the Focus One Gallery will be transformed into the VIP Hideaway with an open bar, premier seating, a complimentary ROXOR Gin Garden, more yummies, private gaming tables, “jazz-age hits with a twist, dedicated dance instructors and more.”

Entry tix for cool cats and kittens to the Speakeasy plus two drink tickets are going for $50 for DMA members and $65 for non-members. Big daddies and fabulous flappers will be able to get into the VIP Hideaway and the Speakeasy for $90 for DMA members and $100 for the non-members.

BTW, to make parking for the night simple, it will be self-parking on a first-come, first-self-parked basis.

So, practice the spit curls and pull out your spats because the 20’s are going to be the bee’s knees.

* Photo provide by Dallas Museum of Art

Thanks To Spirit Halloween, Children’s Ghouls And Goblins Had Their Pick For Halloween Garb

Racks of costumes

Racks of costumes

Despite trailing mobile IVs or being chauffeured in red wagons, the Children’s patients were just typical kids warming up for Halloween in the Children’s Medical Center Dallas’ Butterfly Atrium on Thursday, October 13.

There were racks of brand new costumes just ripe for the pickings. The children were able to shop for the ultimate perfecto costume just in time for trick and treating. They also had a chance to pick up backpacks, play games, have their faces painted and, of course, test out treats.





While some like Andrew hit the tables to apply crayons to paper, others like Payslea got a new look thanks to the face painters.

Even the Children’s therapy dogs got into the spirit of the day giving licks instead of tricks to fellows like Jesus.



It was all made possible by Spirit Halloween’s fundraising arm Spirit of Children. In addition to providing and hosting the party for the kids, the company has provided a total of $670,816 for Children’s Medical Center Foundation. The Spirit of Children was established in 2006 to help “make hospitals less scary for kids and their families by providing fun during Halloween and funding all year long.” Joining the Spirit Halloween volunteers and staffers were members of Child Life, too.

Spirit of Children representatives

Spirit of Children representatives

To be very honest, it was hard to tell who was having more fun — the youngsters or oldsters.

BTW, the voting on the Children’s Medical Center Dallas’ cutest Howl-oween pooch is still going on. Just check out the Children’s ad on the right side of this page before it’s too late.

Suggestions For A Safe Howl-oween

With Halloween approaching, parents know the drill about checking candy and keeping a watchful eye on little costumed folks not making the rounds alone.

Trick-or-treaters (File photo)

Trick-or-treaters (File photo)

But precautions also extend to pet owners. For instance, candy and pooches don’t mix well. Chocolate may be dandy for humans, but it can be lethal for dogs.

Pooch (File photo)

Pooch (File photo)

The SPCA of Texas has provided the following reminders on how to take care of critters on the night of goblins and ghouls.

  • Keep pets away from live flame decorations like candles and jack-o-lanterns, and restrict your pet’s access to hanging decorations such as streamers. Pets are curious and can become tangled or even choke if they chew on the decorations.
  • Pets may be terrified by tiny gremlins carrying big, orange, pumpkins full of sugar… wouldn’t you? If you have a protective dog that might feel threatened by strangers, keep him/her away from the door when trick-or-treaters arrive. Keep pets in a familiar place with lots of toys and soothing music to distract them from the doorbell.
  • Don’t let the family dog accompany the kids on their trick-or-treat outing. Although bringing your pooch may seem like a fun family outing, your pet would likely feel much safer and more comfortable in his or her own home away from all the Halloween festivities.
  • Make sure your pet’s Halloween costume includes a collar and identification tags, so you can be contacted if he or she does slip away during all the Halloween commotion. In addition to identification tags, ensure your pet is microchipped and the information is current, too.
  • And of course, if the thought of more homeless, unwanted dogs and cats scares you like it does the SPCA of Texas, you can help us spay and neuter more pets by donating today.
Black cat (File photo)

Black cat (File photo)

While in the past some shelter have not adopted out black cats around Halloween, SPCA’s Maura Davies reports, “We are not suspending the adoption of black cats until after Halloween or at any time during the year. We do not have any reason to believe that black cats adopted from us are at risk of being cruelly treated if adopted around Halloween or any time. Tragically, animals of all species, breeds and coat colors can become victims of animal cruelty or abuse any day of the year. Our Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit is here for those animals.

“We stand behind our wonderful staff who facilitate each adoption and our regular adoption counseling processes that ensure that all of our pets are adopted into loving homes. Further, we contact all of our adopters to follow up and offer any needed support after the adoption takes place.”

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Dallas Children’s Theater’s “The Who? Party”

According to Dallas Children’s Theater’s The Who? Party Co-Chair Karen Travis,

Karen Travis*

Karen Travis*

“Autumn is, hopefully, just around the corner and I’m brimming over with excitement not only for cool, crisp temperatures, but also for an annual event that has a special place in my heart, one that really makes a difference for children, Dallas Children’s Theater’s annual Family Party. As president-elect of this incredible organization, I’m honored to be chairing the party with Stephanie Nelson, fellow board member. It is a fitting closure for me as I embark upon a new chapter of service – board president beginning in January 2017.

“DCT’s ’16 – ’17 season starts with a splash, ‘Seussical, The Musical,’ the timeless favorite which has been absent from Dallas theaters with a cast of equity actors for quite a while. On Saturday, September 17, ‘The Who? Party’ guests, following a matinee of the show, will thrill to a fun-ladened afternoon featuring an on stage, interactive song and dance session led by a professional actor; a Seussical chairs contest with prizes for the most agile, and backstage access to learn about the secret sauce that goes into creating the colorful set designs and costumes. These activities will be followed by a scrumptious, Seussical-themed banquet, topped off with a farewell dance party in our spacious lobby.

“Funds raised via the event will ensure the legacy of an essential DCT program, The Student Matinee Performance Series. Because of this important initiative, over 40,000 children annually, primarily from Title 1 schools (free and reduced lunch eligible), are provided the opportunity to attend performances at a very reduced cost — children that otherwise would not be able to come to the theater to see the magic of the live performance.

“In my mind, there is nothing quite as fulfilling as seeing wide-eyed youngsters, ecstatic with anticipation, skip through hallways festooned with scores of brightly colored Truffula trees, hundreds of Hortonian clovers, and bouquets of Mayzie approved feathers. After seeing literature come to life on our stage, students always depart with a rewarding glow.  I’m honored that Dallas Children’s Theater has embraced my penchant for decorations of this sort, and they even let me put my darling husband, Ken Travis, to work for the cause as well. 🙂

Ken and Karen Travis*

Ken and Karen Travis*

“Everyone at Dallas Children’s Theater truly believes in the words of the sweet sage, Horton… ‘a person’s a person, no matter how small.’ These words perfectly reflect our mission — all children truly do deserve to experience the magic of live theater!

“While after three years, I’m proud to say the party is always sold out, right now, sponsorships and tickets are still available for this wonderful and worthwhile event. So, anyone interested should not wait another minute to sign up.  To learn more, go to our Who? Party web page or call DCT at 214-978-0110. Your presence and your contributions help us keep feeding the minds and souls of young people with boundless creativity.”

* Photos provided by Karen Travis

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2016 Mission Olé

According to Mission Olé Event Co-Chairs Lesley Chambless, Ann Kellogg Schooler and Margaret Spellings,

Ann Schooler (File photo)

Ann Kellogg Schooler (File photo)

Margaret Spellings (File photo)

Margaret Spellings (File photo)

Lesley Chambless (File photo)

Lesley Chambless (File photo)

Trinity River Mission invites you to support our children at its 17th Annual Mission Olé fundraiser to be held on Thursday, October 27, 2016. This year’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)-inspired celebration will be held at Chicken Scratch and The Foundry, just west of the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge in the trendy Trinity Groves area. The party will feature food from both Chicken Scratch and Smoke with signature margaritas and cocktails. Look forward to a magical evening hosted under a magnificent tent with sparkling lights, outdoor fire pits, mariachis, ballet folklórico dancers and much more.

Mission Ole*

Mission Ole*

“All we need is you to be a part of this unique fundraiser that benefits the children of Trinity River Mission (TRM). TRM is a highly respected and recognized volunteer-based community learning center in West Dallas serving over 550 disadvantaged children and teens, and their families. Importantly, all the children are served a nutritious afterschool meal, as it is very hard to learn when one is hungry. TRM’s programs help students learn to read, improve math skills, complete their homework, and gain life skills. As TRM’s children grow, they receive mentoring and financial support for college and their eventual productive careers.

“TRM addresses head-on a critical need in its West Dallas neighborhood. Did you know that in West Dallas only 35% of high school freshman graduate in four years, only 1.6% of high school seniors are deemed college-ready, and only 2.2% graduate from college? By coming to TRM, children learn how to succeed in school and beyond. TRM has a proven track record with incredible results.

“TRM has a waiting list of over 500 children! Clearly, there is a critical need for the services that TRM offers. Additional funds will help TRM expand its programs, continue to enhance quality, and reach even more children. Currently, it costs $1,800 to support one student’s total academic and personal enrichment through TRM programs for a year.

“Mission Olé is TRM’s largest fundraiser. By donating to Mission Olé, you become our partner in helping children in West Dallas become successful, contributing members of our community.  Visit”

* Graphic provided by 2016 Mission Olé

Children’s Medical Center’s Butterfly Atrium Was Transformed Into A Pooch Party Room Thanks To PetSmart Paws For Hope

Children’s Medical Center’s Butterfly Atrium should have been renamed Pooch Palace on Thursday, July 14, thanks to the Second Annual Dog Days of Summer Party. With pooches from the PetSmart CharitiesPaws For Hope pet therapy program, kiddo patients, their folks and all types of canines from Pugs to Goldendoodles partied big time. Rising to the occasion, the pooches were dressed to the nines in all types of accessories from sunglasses and T-shirts to tutus and leis. They were joined by faux dogs and the Children’s facility dogs like Beauty and Blair, who works in Children’s oncology department alongside their mom/primary handler Caitlin Arndt.

It was a dual celebration. First, it provided the opportunity for the patients to play games, visit with all types of dogs and just party. Second, it also was to commemorate the Children’s Medical Center and PetSmart relationship in which PetSmart has helped to provide additional animal-human therapy teams for the facility.

Posing for photos

Posing for photos

Photo opps

Posing for photos

And while some of the four-legged crowd seemed a little surprised at the turnout, they wagged as if it was a normal day at Children’s Medical Center. Across the room near the popcorn cart, nearly two-year-old William Knupple looked right at home among the four-legged types. Maybe it was because he lives with a three-year-old miniature Australian Shepherd, Marly.

William Knupple

William Knupple



Bark for Blue

Bark for Blue

Over in one part of the room English Cream Golden Retriever Tucker was patiently having Ellen Aster dip his white, furry paw in blue paint and then apply his paw print on a “Bark For Blue” banner supporting the Dallas Police. As soon as the print was done, Blair’s paw was washed and dried.

While patients were posing for photos with pooches, Children’s Director of Solid Organ Transplant Services Bill Pelley looked as happy as one of the kids as he reported that, during the past year, Children’s performed about 50 liver, kidney and heart transplants. Since performing its first pediatric kidney transplant in 1979, Children’s transplant program has provided more than 350 kidney transplants, 480 liver transplants and 150 heart transplants.

Bill Pelley

Bill Pelley

Dr. Nerse

Dr. Nerse

Adoptable pup

Adoptable pup

Jose with stuffed friend

Jose with stuffed friend

But on this day it was games, clowns like Dr. Nerse, tons of treats including a never-ending chocolate fountain (aka Mud Bath) and even adopting new best friends of the stuffed variety. Even Jose in his stroller found a perfect stroller mate.

Trinity River Mission’s 17th Annual Mission Ole’s Letters Are Signed, Sealed And By Now Delivered

Mission Ole letter signing with Cindy Turner, Anne Schooler, Leslie Chambless and Margaret Spelling

Mission Ole letter signing with Cindy Turner, Ann Schooler, Lesley Chambless and Margaret Spellings

As Lesley Chambless’ dining room table was covered with sheets of letterheads, envelopes and pens on the morning of Tuesday, June 14, a group of gals settled down to personalize letters announcing plans for the Trinity River Mission fundraiser 17th Annual Mission Olé on Thursday, October 27.

Ann Schooler

Ann Schooler

Lesley Chambless

Lesley Chambless

As pens hit paper, a question was raised, “So, why did you all get involved with Trinity River Mission?” All fingers point to interior designer Ann Schooler in a killer white blouse that Ann fessed up came from Tootsie’s.

Without losing a beat, Anne continued applying her “Johan Hancock” to the letters and told how seeing the kids’ education program had been the driving force.

Cindy Turner laughed that it was a partnership of Ann and her husband Matt: “Ann makes the call to come to dinner and Matt makes the close.”

Cindy Turner

Cindy Turner

Margaret Spelling

Margaret Spellings

After last year’s “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead)” theme success, the decision was made by Co-Chairs Lesley, Ann and Margaret Spellings to keep it going and bring on board Gail Fischer as the honorary chair.

But the group decided to move the evening of auction items, loads of food, unique face painting and Trinity River Mission students dancing in period costumes with Day of the Dead painted faces. Speaking of made-up-faces, Anne pulled out her tablet revealing that invitations were being created that could double as masks just in case guests didn’t have time to have one designed or to buy one.

This year it will be held at Chicken Scratch. The reason? In addition to its being a great venue, the co-chairs felt its West Dallas location brought greater support and awareness of the TRM neighborhood. A volunteer-based community learning center, TRM is “dedicated to supporting the development of education success in the children, youth and families of West Dallas.”

If you haven’t gotten your letter in the snail mailbox, gee. Call 214.744.6774 and they’ll make it happen pronto!

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Mad Hatter’s Fashion Show And Luncheon

Marena Gault, Marielle Gault, Steve Kemble and Sherwood Wagner

Marena Gault, Marielle Gault, Steve Kemble and Sherwood Wagner

Oh, those Mad Hatters really used their thinking caps in coming up with chapeaus to celebrate this year’s theme, “Steel Magnolias,” at the Dallas Arboretums on Thursday, April 21. Ranging from southern elegance to beauty parlor giggles, the heady creations topped off the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum’s annual fundraiser.

Robin Carreker

Robin Carreker

Carmen Surgent

Carmen Surgent

And if a picture’s worth a thousand words, hold on to your hats because more than 38,000 words worth of photos can be found over on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

In the meantime, the post is being prepped. Stay tuned!

Dallas International Film Festival And Mad Hatter’s Tea Are Going To Have A Star

According to the weather guessers, all of this wet and chilly stuff is supposed to be in the rearview mirror come Thursday. And Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Jocelyn White is betting that they’re right on target for the annual Dallas Arboretum’s Women’s Council fundraiser.

Mad Hatter's Tea (File photo)

Mad Hatter’s Tea (File photo)

Of course with Joce at the helm, there will be some well-known faces underneath those brims. In addition to emcee Kellie Rasberry and live auctioneer Jody Dean, plans call for actresses Linda Gray and Janine Turner to be on hand.

Yipes! What does one talk with Janine about? She’s probably a little weary of recalling the good old days of “Northern Exposure.” So, why not be cool and current by asking her about “Occupy, Texas” that premiered Friday at the Angelika as part of the Dallas International Film Festival, that’s running through Sunday, April 24.

"Occupy, Texas" at the Dallas International Film Festival*

“Occupy, Texas” at the Dallas International Film Festival*

Here’s some scoopy, so you’ll sound so in. It was co-produced by a bunch of locals including Steve Stodghill and siblings Libby Hunt and Wayne McCullough. Booker T. Washington grad Gene Gallerano wrote the screenplay and stars in the 93-minute film about Beau Baker who has been living in a tent in Zuccotti Park as part of the “Occupy, Wall Street” protect. He gets word that his “upper-class” parents in Texas have died and he must return to take care of his teenage sisters and the estate.

BTW, one of the teenagers is played by Lorelei Linklater, the daughter of director Richard Linklater.

Some of the locals seen in scenes include co-producers Libby and Steve, Cannon Wise, Gail Cronauer, Nikki Moore, Terri Cooklin and Tim Lovick. BTW, this is the fourth time at bat as a producer for blonde Libby.

Just think how smart you’re gonna look with that cute chapeau and that head filled with that in-the-know-info.

* Graphic courtesy of the Dallas International Film Festival

Mad Hatter’s Tea’s Chair Jocelyn White’s Arranged For A Passel Of Celebs To Be On Hand For “Steel Magnolias”

Jody Dean and Jocelyn White (File photo)

Jody Dean and Jocelyn White (File photo)

When Jocelyn White becomes the trail boss of a fundraiser, she brings her posse of celeb pals in on the fun and the raising of money. So, it’s only natural that her chairing the Mad Hatter’s Tea’ “Steel Magnolias” on Thursday, April 21, at the Arboretum would be her cup of tea, literally.

Where to start? Well, it’s already been revealed that fashions will be from Tootsies and blonde Connie Carreker will be the honorary chair, but the newest well-knowns to join up are Celebrity Co-Chairs Linda Gray and Janine Turner. BTW, Linda will be doing double duty while in Big D. In addition to her helping Joce at the Arboretum, she’ll be the headliner the next day at “Authors at The Adolphus” luncheon in the hotel’s French Room chatting with Joce about her memoir, “The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction.”

Linda Gray (File photo)

Linda Gray (File photo)

But back to the Mad Hatter’s. Serving as emcee Jocelyn has tapped KISS FM 106.1 Kellie  Rasberry with KLUV 98.7’s Jody Dean handling the auctioneering.

But there’s still more. The announcement of the hat judges has just been announced. Now, before the names are listed, remember that bribes are tacky. Well, they are if you’re caught. Here is the rundown of the judges:

  • Karen Carroll, contributor, Flower Magazine;
  • Kathy Fielder, lifestyle designer, creator and manufacturer;
  • Janelle Friedman, author of “You Are Invited: How to Plan Everything from Intimate Gatherings to Texas-Sized Parties” and executive with Friedman & Feiger, Attorneys At Law;

    Diane and Daryl Johnston (File photo)

    Diane and Daryl Johnston (File photo)

  • Diane and Daryl Johnston, professional model and former National Football League fullback with the Dallas Cowboys/current NFL analyst, respectively;
  • Matthew Campbell Laurenza, jewelry designer. His jewelry will be in the Fashion Show and the Live Auction;
  • Robert Leleux, editorial director, Domino Magazine;
  • Jane McGarry, host, “Good Morning Texas” on WFAA Channel 8;
  • Gary Riggs, interior designer and owner, Gary Riggs Home.

As for the categories that are in keeping with the “Steel Magnolias” theme, here’s the list:

  • Most True-To-Theme:  Magnolias in ev’ry incarnation. Faux or real.
  • The Southern Belle:  Shelby’s girly-girl look. Can you say pink?
  • Simply Elegant:  Beautifully chic!  If Audrey Hepburn had been Southern …
  • Mother Nature Winks:  Makin’ Mama Nature proud with the best use of her bounty.
  • The Social Sorority:  Best Sisterhood (Brotherhood?) award.  We come in groups.
  • Miss Merry Christmas:  Crowns, Tiaras, Headdresses. Oh, my Stars!
  • What Was She Thinking?: The Ouiser Boudreaux Award. It’s what YOU think!
  • Best of Show/People’s Choice: Self-explanatory. The Steel Magnolia.   Best of the Best!

Don’t you just know somebody’s gonna should up with a red-velvet armadillo!

A Woman's Garden (File photo)

A Woman’s Garden (File photo)

Tickets and sponsorships are available here with proceeds going to the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and A Woman’s Garden.

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.

The Birthday Party Project Celebrated Its Fourth Birthday With “Saturday Night Live” Theme Inspiration

The Birthday Party Project Founder Paige Chenault and her team have been so busy celebrating the birthdays of children without homes that they have become true-blue experts on the art of partying. So, it was only natural that they would blow the roof off of Sixty Five Hundred Cedars Springs. They were so successful that they’re now half-way to their fundraising goal for 2106. Here’s a report from the field about their “Saturday Night Live” blowout:

The Birthday Party Project, a Dallas-based, non-profit organization that brings joy to homeless children through the magic of birthdays, marked its fourth birthday on Saturday, January 23. The non-profit hosted a “Saturday Night Live”-themed celebration at sixty five hundred in Dallas. Guests and birthday enthusiasts dressed the part of their favorite SNL character, from classic metal-loving Wayne and Garth to Spartan cheerleaders.

The Birthday Party Birthday Party*

The Birthday Party Birthday Party*

The event started with a cocktail hour, where guests enjoyed drinks and food prepared by notable Dallas restaurants and chefs including: Chef Michael Scott of Rosewood Beef, Chef Justo Blanco of Bosla Mercadom, Chef Lex Webb of Bite, Chef Jeff Moschetti of Jasper’s, Chef Denise Shavandy of Café Modern, Chef Christof Syre of The Four Seasons, Midori Sushi, Outlaw Taproom, Cane Rosso, and Law Restaurants. Patron Spirits Company provided Ultimat Vodka, Pyrat Rum and Patron Tequila.

Special piñatas with two round-trip Southwest airlines tickets were auctioned off throughout the night. Silent auction items included a trip to New York City with a stay at the Plaza Hotel, a jazz brunch and tickets to a Broadway show and a suite at a Texas Rangers game. Live auction items included tickets to the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” and a one-week stay in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Paige Chenault, Lizzie Chenault and Colin Chenault*

Paige Chenault, Lizzie Chenault and Colin Chenault*

Julian Leaver*

Julian Leaver*

Birthday Party Enthusiasts performed their own rendition of a “Saturday Night Live” skit complete with big laughs from all of the guests. After, Founder and CEO Paige Chenault, who has been recognized by Glamour, “The Steve Harvey Show,” “The Today Show” and “The Chew,” graciously thanked everyone who has generously helped actualize her celebrates birthdays. Chenault stated, “We’re thankful to you, our Birthday Enthusiasts, for understanding the power of birthdays.  Because of your incredible support, we’re bringing JOY to children that need it most.” Chenault was moved to tears at the end of her speech by the generosity of the guests in attendance, adding “Because of you, thousands of children across North Texas and beyond will feel valued and loved in a time of confusion and crisis.”

Co-Chairs, Julian Leaver and Jennifer Burns spoke about the Birthday Party Project’s impact on agencies across North Texas: giving more than 20,000 volunteer hours to their partnered agencies.

Jamie and Brian O'Boyle*

Jamie and Brian O’Boyle*

Brad Koons and JB Hayes*

Brad Koons and JB Hayes*

The event honored The Birthday Party Project’s partnership with Gradus, whose mission is to invest, impact and empower their non-profit partners. The evening was presented by Kinsler’s Kids, professional baseball player Ian Kinsler and his wife Tess Kinsler’s foundation and Credit Suisse. Surprise Chairs Katy Taylor and Sam Jacobson, Board Chairs Jim and Kelli Griffin and Auction Chairs Jamie and Brian O’Boyle celebrated with Dallas socials including Debbie Frazier, Lynn and Allan McBee, Deborah Bigham, Molly and Will Folse, Heidi and Phillip Fristoe, Carson and Megan Hall, JB Hayes, Nick Kennedy, former Dallas Stars player Marty Turco and his wife Kelly Turco, Emily Clarke and Detroit Tigers player Bryan Holaday and his wife Ashley Holaday.

* Photos provided by The Birthday Party Project

An Evening Of Hope Gala’s A Night In Morocco Rocked The Night With Camel, Dancers And Costumed Lovelies

On Saturday, November 7, Collin County’s Hope’s Door had everything from local beauties to a cover-girl camel for An Evening of Hope at the Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park Hotel. Here’s a report from the field:

You can always tell you’re in for a treat at a gala when you are met at valet by a camel for a photo op and champagne is served the minute you walk in the door. No, guests didn’t ride Irenie the camel, but posing with her was enough fun. One photo caught her smiling for the camera.

Michelle Rivera and Amanda Ward*

Michelle Rivera and Amanda Ward*

Gala chairs Amanda Ward and Michelle Rivera were dressed to the nines in gold and burgundy with lace and sequins as they celebrated “A Night in Morocco” for An Evening of Hope gala benefiting Hope’s Door, an organization in Collin County specializing in comprehensive intervention and prevention services for all members of a family affected by domestic violence – from victim to abuser.

As Korbel’s Brut Rosé flowed along with cocktails provided by Grey Goose, guests joined in more photo ops by the fabulous taller-than-life peacock covered in fresh flowers by Flora & Eventi Design, bid in the silent auction, wine pull and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres as they paid as much attention to the dynamic fashions.

Flora and Event peacock*

Flora and Eventi peacock*

Patrons such as D’Andra Simmons Lock and Phyllis Comu– who had just co-chaired the Paws Cause event a couple months ago – joined Gina Ginsburg and After-Party Chair Linda Snorina with Cathy Vieth, Sheri Deterling and Carmen Surgent in the silent auction bidding.

Inside the VIP party, the room was filled with a tent swathed in luscious white and gold draping, tables full of culinary delights, champagne and custom cocktails Casablanca with Grey Goose and Cucumber Delights, a Bombay specialty.

Hope’s Door Chief Development Officer Suzanne Bock Grishman and her husband, Michael Grishman chatted with Fox4 News anchor Heather Hays, who was also emcee, Lloyd Ward and former board members Melissa Randle and Stephanie Funk.

Jeremy Lock and D'Andra Simmons Lock*

Jeremy Lock and D’Andra Simmons Lock*

Melissa and Tommy Randle*

Melissa and Tommy Randle*

Brilliantly lit and tented in rich jewel-toned sheathing and tablecloths, the ballroom was charged with an energy from the live performance of the Arya Dance Company dancing traditional Indian dances to drumbeats and native music. Enjoying the scene were Max Trowbridge, Pamela Martin Duarte, Prashe Shah – whose designs were worn by many ladies there – and Aneeta Goomar.

Chris and Mioshi Johnson*

Chris and Mioshi Johnson*

After introductions by Heather, Amanda and Michelle thanked Honorary Chairs Mioshi and Chris Johnson and After Party chairs Linda Snorina and Sara Dawn Wilkins and recognized Mercury One as Auction Sponsor, along with Sapphire Sponsors Republic National Distributing Company, Hollman, Rent-A-Center and Emerald Sponsors Denbury, Emerson Process Management, LegacyTexas, The Medical Center of Plano and Pier 1 Imports and more.

Linda Snorina*

Linda Snorina*

Jim Malatich and Heather Hays*

Jim Malatich and Heather Hays*

A very moving black-and-white film was shown, focusing on children’s relationships with parents who are involved in domestic violence and how they learn by example. Jim Malatich, CEO of Hope’s Door, emphasized the importance of education and solutions provided by the organization.

Suzanne talked about the Heroes of Hope Award, which honors an individual, company or organization for outstanding work on behalf of Hope’s Door, Inc., and its clients. This year’s recipients were Tania and Glenn Beck and their foundation, Mercury One, Inc. for their commitment to being a voice for families affected by domestic violence. Accepting the award were Glenn Beck and Beth Knott, Interim Executive Director of Mercury One, Inc.

Glenn was visibly moved by the presentation and shared his personal story of domestic violence while growing up and how he has managed those feelings. He stressed that he and Tania are dedicated to raising awareness about this issue that often goes unaddressed and how grateful they are for Hope’s Door and everything they accomplish.

Mathew Grynwald, chairman of the board, introduced honorary chairs Mioshi and Chris Johnson. Both have had personal experience with domestic violence and are advocates and speakers against domestic violence in churches, community groups and shelters. A Super Bowl XLVII champ when he was with the Baltimore Ravens and now a businessman and mentor, Chris shared the details of his sister’s tragic death due to domestic violence and how it has affected his life. The room was completely quiet as he ended saying, “People need to understand how serious domestic violence is, how it can turn the whole family upside down in seconds.” Many were moved to tears as everyone stood up and gave a stirring standing ovation.

An exciting live auction proved lucrative for the organization as items were sold and Hayley Hamilton Cogill and her husband, Gary Cogill rallied the crowd to bid on their private dinner package. Afterwards, everyone took to the dance floor to the tunes of Memphis Soul.

Gary Cogill, Hayley Hamilton Cogill, Sheri Deterling and Geoff Hawkes*

Gary Cogill, Hayley Hamilton Cogill, Sheri Deterling and Geoff Hawkes*

The After Party experience and lounge brought the crowd outside with a live DJ, drinks and desserts. Even a hookah or two were spotted beneath the tents.

Hope’s Door is an organization in Collin County specializing in comprehensive intervention and prevention services for all members of a family affected by domestic violence – from victim to abuser. Hope’s Door was established in 1986 as a crisis hotline. Clients were housed in local hotels until the opening of a 21-bed emergency shelter in 1989. Since then, services have expanded to include transitional housing, counseling for adults and children, legal advocacy and services for abusers.

Annually, Hope’s Door responds to over 2,800 crisis hotline calls, shelters more than 400 women and children, houses over 50 families in transitional housing and provides counseling and legal advocacy to more than 1,300 survivors.

For more information about Hope’s Door, visit the website at or call 972.422.2911 for general information or the 24-Hour Crisis Hotline at 972.422.7233.

* Photo credit: Matthew Shelley

5th Annual Patriot Party Swing Dances For Housing Crisis Center’s Vets

With Veterans Day just a few days away, the Housing Crisis Center turned the clock back on Friday, November 6, for the Fifth Annual Patriot Party. Nearly 200 gals and guys turned the legendary Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek into “A Night At The Officers Club” to raise funds “to provide safe, stable housing for the 81 veterans” in the HCC program.

Beth Mathis and Shelly Mathis

Beth Mathis and Shelly Mathis

Sherri Ansley

Sherri Ansley

While some like mother-daughter Beth Mathis and Shelly Mathis took full advantage of the theme donning vintage World War II garb, others like HCC Executive Director Sherri Ansley and Honorary Co-Chair Lisa Cooley were in 21st century duds, a pink dress and Louboutin stilettos in Lisa’s case. She told how she had joined a passel of other ladies at NorthPark just a couple of days before to meet Christian Louboutin himself.

Clay and Lisa Cooley, Larry Hackett and Johnny Moward

Clay and Lisa Cooley, Larry Hackett and Johnny Moward

Speaking of Louboutin, Cooley financial fellow Larry Hackett was spotted in his newest acquisition —Louboutin-signed loafers. One shoe read, “I see you” and the other, “Larry Love you long time.”

Signed Louboutin

Signed Louboutin

Jordyn and Scott Summerall

Jordyn and Scott Summerall

While guests like Jordyn and Scott Summerall, Tracy Lange, Nancy Gopez and Sunie and Steve Solmon enjoyed a risotto bard, mini-lobster rolls and smoked salmon in the Promenade, Ricki Derek and his band played in the ballroom.

Jerry and Kathy Warwick, Laura Brewer and David Moore

Jerry and Kathy Warwick, Laura Brewer and David Moore

On the dance floor Kathy and Jerry Warwick, Laura Brewer and David Moore stole the show with the best moves this side of a USO Canteen Party. They didn’t fool anybody. They were professional swing-dancers, who knew each other from the Sons of Hermann Hall.