Dallas Stage Lovers Partied At Dallas Theater Center’s Centerstage With Its Bright Lights, Lots Of Sounds And Yummiest Food

Those Dallas theater-loving types gathered in the lobby of the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre lobby for the Dallas Theater Center’s Centerstage on Saturday, May 31. But during the cocktail reception, it might have been a Discovery Channel special on gamma rays.

With a westward facing wall of glass windows and doors, the summer setting sun created a glare that would have blinded Jack Nicholson’s stronger cheaters. As one tall female chatted with her shorter socialite friend, she realized her pal was becoming squinty-eyed. Like two accomplished dancers, they repositioned themselves so the back of the taller blocked Old Man Sol from her friend’s view.

Another younger guest complained about the noise level. Raising an eyebrow that would have straightened Bernadette Peter’s hair, he suggested, “Carpets would reduce the noise level.” Those within earshot asked him to repeat his recommendation. They couldn’t hear him.

But shoot! It was just the cocktail reception and only lasted an hour, so no one suffered sunburn or hearing loss.

Becky Bright and Linda Custard

Becky Bright and Linda Custard

Upstairs in the Potter Rose Performance Hall, it was a different story. The lighting was so friendly that nary a wrinkle could be seen. As for the noise, the wide-open space provided perfect acoustics for dinner-table chatting for Gala Chair Ann Hobson, Honorary Co-Chairs Kate and Dana Juett, Linda Custard, Caren Prothro, Brock Compton, Becky Bright and Claire Dewar. But then all was not perfecto when it came to the floor. It was those naughty in-between flooring pad inserts that trapped an occasional stiletto like the La Brea Tar Pits.

But Kent Perkins had no problems with the flooring as he rolled around to conversations in his wheelchair. Seems his horse got the better of him and threw him. Kent, who doesn’t recognize pain, walked around for 10 days before realizing that he had broken his leg. Despite the break, Kent still spoke highly of the pony.

So what were the theater buffs doing? Diane Brierley and Barbara Daseke were talking about their trip to Africa. Husbands Hal Brierley and Don Daseke were already for their trek — new cameras!

Ruth Buzzi, John Clutts and Jean Lattimore

Ruth Buzzi, John Clutts and Jean Lattimore

Speaking of cameras, Tracy Rowlett was trying out a brand new Samsung camera that he had bought for his wife Jill. His targets were Ruth Buzzi, Jean Lattimore, Carolyn Lupton, John Clutts and Dr. Sami Arslanlar, Megan and Andy Meyercord, Dr. Carri Carter and Ben Fischer.

Sami Arslanlar and Dee Wyly

Sami Arslanlar and Dee Wyly

It was a poignant evening of anniversaries. On one hand, it would have been Dee and the late Charles Wyly’s 59th anniversary, but it was also Jody and Billy Payton’s 17th.

Kent Perkins and Tracy Rowlett at "centerstage"

Kent Perkins and Tracy Rowlett at “centerstage”

In the middle of the hall was a small circular stage cloaked in panels of flowing fabric. It was just there during the live auction and dinner, but would come into play later.

On the walls were mammoth screens that featured photos of guests taken earlier in the evening, as well as the live auction and evening’s entertainment.

The live auction was simple and sweet. Just two items that fit the evening perfectly. The first was strictly G-rated — a walk-on role in the DTC’s annual A Christmas Carol. Rebecca Fletcher snapped that one up. The next was more PG-rated — a cameo in The Rocky Horror Show. The package included “10 tickets for your friends and family to see your performance (squirt guns, newspapers and toast included!)” It went for $6K to someone who phoned in their winning bid. You’ll just have to see the performance to figure out the winner.

In the meantime, catering queen Cassandra strolled among the tables to see if everything was copacetic. No need. The first course was so delicious that no following courses were needed. It was a sous vide “hen” egg ravioli with house made ricotta cheese, truffle cream and roasted cauliflower.

When it came to dessert, it was an every other situation. Some received a caramelized hazelnut and chocolate torte with vanilla bean champagne zabaglione sauce; others got a lemon pistachio tart and Clementine reduction. According to a quickie poll, the tart won out over the torte by just a couple of licks of approval.

Laree Hulshoff, Barbara Daseke and Carri Carter

Laree Hulshoff, Barbara Daseke and Carri Carter

During dinner Laree Hulshoff’s dinner companion noted her Margot McKinney drop earrings. How unique! One had a large citrine and the other nothing. Laree looked startled as she grabbed both lobes. For the next few minutes, a successful search was underway to find the MIA citrine.

At one point between the live auction and the dessert, the panels surrounding the center stage had disappeared. Rightly so. Rent and Disney’s Aida star Adam Pascal arrived on the mini-stage with a guitar in hand. For Broadway aficionados, Adam is to the Great White Way that Kenny Loggins is to rock n’ roll — handsome, talented and down-to-earth.

Adam Pascal

Adam Pascal

But like Kenny’s mid-life change to more of a ballad-style, so Adam’s presentation was more balladeer oriented with songs like “Joanna” and “Hotel California.” He was in fine voice, but some in the audience were a little disheartened hoping the program would be strictly Broadway. When he did do “Memory” from Cats, he lamented it as being from the “worst musical I’ve ever seen.”

Community In Schools Partners Turn Brook Hollow Into Country Western Party Palace With Dolls, Dudes & Line Dancing

With school winding down mid-May, fundraising was making a last push effort to support kiddo programs. On Saturday, May 17, the 18th Annual Wish Night Gala was in overdrive at the Hilton Anatole for Make-A-Wish North Texas. In addition to having silent and live auctions, a three-course dinner, music by Time Machine and a special performance from past wish recipients, the black-tie gala also had JoAnne and Tony Roosevelt Jr., as the honorary co-chairs. Perhaps that explains why more than $11M and “1,490 wishes for children with life-threatening and medical conditions throughout the North Texas community” have resulted.

Fleming Longino and Lisa Longino

Fleming Longino and Lisa Longino

Across town it was another youth-oriented fundraiser but not in the same vein as the Wish Night Gala. Unlike last year’s Communities in Schools Dallas Region fundraiser at Eddie Deen’s, Party Chair Lisa Longino had decided to have the “Kids Come First Partners’ Roundup Party” at Brook Hollow. Where just weeks before the ever-so-exclusive and proper Sweetheart Ball had taken place, the club was now turned into a country western party palace for urban cowboys.

Nickey and Debbie Oates

Nickey and Debbie Oates

The invite recommended attire being fancy shirt and jeans for cowboys and “Lone Star chic” for cowgirls. While some of the gents pulled out their fav denims and gussied-up cowboy shirts, others decided the starched, ultra-bright white shirt to be festive enough. Leave it to some like Nickey Oates and John Clutts to wear a white tuxedo shirt.

Carolyn Lupton and Jean Lattimore

Carolyn Lupton and Jean Lattimore

As for the gals, it was everything from jeans to broomstick skirts. As long as it had a touch of turquoise or a pair of boots, it was fashionably on the mark. Some of the ladies knew they’d had winning looks from last year and did encore fashion performances. CISDR Director of Philanthropy Lisa Loy Laughlin admitted that she decided her Cache top worked so well last year, she’d let it have a repeat performance. But Lisa wasn’t the only one. Jean Lattimore had such success with her beige vest, she just highlighted it with a multi-color stone necklace. Carolyn Lupton’s shimmering white blouse was topped off with a sleeveless pastel blue, pink and ivory sweater jacket.

After guests arrived and checked in at the Oak Room, they discovered the terrace was a combination silent auction, casino and photo booth filled to the busting point.

Communities in School Dallas Region kids prior to going on stage

Communities in Schools Dallas Region kids prior to going on stage

When the doors to the ballroom opened at 7:40 p.m., guests headed to their tables with mini-cactus centerpieces. But behind the scenes another party was underway. It was in the card room, where CISDR “clients” were waiting for their time on stage. Decked out in blue jeans, red neckerchiefs and CISDR dark navy shirts, the youngsters were having a great time. When asked who was the funniest one in the crowd, without hesitation all fingers pointed to one.

Emily and Reid Wakefield

Emily and Reid Wakefield

But soon it was time to get down to business. The youngsters were introduced to the stage in the ballroom and sang with Lisa L.L. conducting. After the applause died down, Lisa L. and Honorary Party Co-Chairs Emily and Reid Wakefield were presented with flowers in over-sized flowerpots.

CIS President/CEO Sandy Chavarria told the group, “I wore this hat tonight for just one reason. To take it off to all of you in this room — our partners — and all those partners who couldn’t make it tonight!”

Ronald McDonald House Of Dallas Unveils Its Own Butterfly Garden Honoring Jean And Dale Fuller With Love From The Fuller Kids

Back in the late 1950’s, Jean and Dale Fuller were students at the University of Iowa. She earned her BSN in 1958 and he completed his residency in radiology in 1968. They moved to Dallas, where he set up practice and together they raised a family.

In his work and through associations, Dale recognized the plight of families who traveled great distances so that their children could be treated for “serious illness or injury at a Dallas area hospital.”

Of course, Dale did nothing solo. If he was involved, so was Jean. Together they not only made the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas a lifelong project, they inspired others to pitch in. With their wisdom and gentle smiles of compassion, they made a difference for so many — the families receiving assistance and those who provided the support. On the front row of watching the Fullers’ involvement were the Fuller kiddos — Sue, Cathy and David.

Sue Hutchinson, Cathy Walker, Jean and Dale Fuller and David Fuller

Sue Hutchinson, Cathy Walker, Jean and Dale Fuller and David Fuller

Now grown and with kids of their own, the Fuller trio wanted to do something special for their parents. Brainstorming with RMHD CEO Jill Cumnock and Chief Development Officer Diane Fullingim, they came up with a gift that would reflect Jean and Dale. It was to be something positive, full of life and with just a touch of magic that would charm a child — a butterfly garden in the RMHD courtyard.

Jill Cumnock and Georgia Rayna

Jill Cumnock and Georgia Rayna

Sounds easy. Just get a bunch of butterflies and let them loose. Wrong! Jill, with the help of the RMHD staff and Master Gardener Georgia Rayna, created a garden that looked like a butterfly smorgasbord with plants like Black-eyed Susans, Frog Fruits, Butterfly Blue Pincushions and Hummingbird Bushes.

The Jean and Dale Fuller family

The Jean and Dale Fuller family

On Friday, May 16, as part of the RMHD’s “Share the Love” barbecue celebration, the official unveiling of the Jean and Dale Fuller Butterfly Garden took place under beautiful skies. Surrounded by their children, grandchildren and the RMHD family, Dale showed his knowledge about the Lepidoptera, telling the group that how amazing the Monarch Butterflies are. Yes, each year the black-and-orange butterflies migrated from North America to Mexico and back. But what surprised even Dale was that this journey took three generations to accomplish and it confounded Dale how the second and third generations knew just the route to use.

Butterfly Garden plaque

Butterfly Garden plaque

As the plaque was unveiled and Jean and Dale surveyed the garden, Jill said that there were plans to add a hummingbird feeder in the days ahead.

As for the butterflies, they’re on their way. What’s that old saying? “If you build it, he will come.

Who Says Nothing Happens In June?

For those who have already flown the Dallas coop, here’s what you’ve left behind — rising temperatures, humbling humility and very little rain in sight.

Now here’s just a smattering of off-the-beaten-track events that you’ll be missing in the days to come:

  • Friday, June 6 (9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.), and Saturday, June 7 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Evidently, “Dallas residents may notice a few disasters occurring around the city this weekend. Dallas County has mobilized state organizations, law agencies and nonprofits to conduct disaster scenarios – such as hurricanes – and initiate relief support. The process is vital to prevent costly indecisions during a real crisis. The Texas State Guard is asking for volunteers from the DFW areas to participate in the mock scenarios as ‘victims’ or to join the unit as volunteer relief supporter.” It’s doubtful that North Texas will ever take a direct hit from a hurricane, but our first- and second-responders are usually the first ones to offer help to those in the bull’s eye zone. So, instead of lying around the pool, why not volunteer to be a “victim”? Contact Col. Robert T. Hastings Jr. at 817.528.2790.
  • Pets On The Hill*

    Pets On The Hill*

    Saturday, June 7 (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) — In the past, this weekend has usually been the time when animals benefit from “Top Hat & Tails.” But since the dance-athon was held in April, “Pets on the Hill” is filling in at Walnut Hill United Methodist Church. “There will be five pet adoption agencies there along with a pet artist, vet doing ‘Ask the Dr.’ and free nail clipping, AKC chipping for $30, pet blessing by the minister and Oscar the Hot Dog Man. Bed ‘n Biscuit, which is a pet sitter, will attend along with Bow Wow Wow pet dish designs. Bring your pet or adopt one.”

  • Monday, June 9 (4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.) — Before Dallas is invaded by the leading art directors, Dallas Museum of Art’s Maxwell Anderson, who seems to be in every publication except Field & Stream lately, will host a panel discussion, “Reimagining Cities: Art’s Impact On Our Economy & Beyond” at Communities Foundation of Texas. On the panel will be Dallas Theater Center’s Kevin Moriarty, Billingsley Development’s Lucilo Pena and “Arts & Education Advocate” Catherine Rose. Mayor Mike Rawlings, who is very partial to the arts thanks to his artist daughter Michelle, will provide the opening remarks. It’s a free event, but you gotta register.
  • Wine Education Dinner**

    Wine Education Dinner**

    Thursday, June 12 (6:30 p.m.) — Janet and Roland Love are hosting a “Wine Education Dinner”  with proceeds going to Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas. In addition to wine and cheese pairing demonstrations and tastings, Chef Justin Box will whip up a three-course winner with wine pairings, of course. Only problemo? It’s limited to 30 people and 20 folks have already signed up. Tickets will be $150 per couple; $75 for individuals. Contact Liz Grindele about locking down your place.

  • Saturday, June 14 (9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) — The Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture is holding a “One Day University.” The subject will be The Civil War. The instructor will be Rutgers University Professor Louis Masur, who “will being with the issues of the revolutionary era, share an overview of the Civil War, analyze how it changed over time and lead a class discussion on the problems of reconstruction.” Since there is limited seating and a registration fee, you need to sign up here. Dallas Institute members get a discount. Ah, the advantages of membership! BTW, if you thought it was being held at SMU or the University of Dallas, think again. You’ll want to set your GPS for Scottish Rite Library and Museum.
  • Sunday, June 15 (7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.) — Sure, it’s Father’s Day, but what about doing something instead of brunch and sticking dad with the tab? Why not take your pop or the main man in your life to Trinity River Revel, the official opening of the Trinity Skyline Trail, the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, the West Dallas Gateway Plaza and Sylvan Avenue Bridge? It’s totally free and you just might see Dallas First Father Mike Rawlings cycling along the new bike path. There will be music, a 5K run, vehicle show, food trucks and a campfire party. Check the schedule for all the activities!
  • Saturday, June 28 (7:30 a.m.) — “The Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club Advisory Council is hosting its premier fundraiser, Race for Their Future 5K & Fun Run at the beautiful Kidd Springs Park. In partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, this event provides an interactive opportunity for community advocates to come together in support of the social and educational development of our youth. All proceeds will go towards funding collegiate scholarship funds, after-school programs and healthy lifestyle education for Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club members.”

Of course, there are the usual venues like the Perot Museum and Arboretum which have ever-changing activities.

* Graphic provided by Pet On The Hill
** Graphic provided by Consumer Credit Counseling Service

’til Midnight At The Nasher Returns Every Third Friday Through October Just For The Fun Of It

‘til Midnight at the Nasher has become a summer mainstay for locals who know how to score a great evening in beautiful surroundings without straining the pocketbook on the third Friday of each month through October. It’s so family-friendly that it makes Six Flags look R-rated.

From 6 p.m. to midnight, guests can take in the Nasher Sculpture Center, which is a total treat in itself. But there’s also a social media scavenger hunt, a “live outdoor concert featuring the best in regional music talent and artistic film screenings in the Nasher garden.”

Concerts start at 7 and the movies kick in at 9 p.m.

Remember all of that is free. But if you want to drop a little change, you can pre-order picnic baskets (buttermilk fried chicken, spring salads, creamy new potatoes, garden relish trays and sweet and savory rolls) for two from the Nasher Café by Wolfgang Puck.

JUNE 20:

  • Concert: Larry G(ee) — With his blend of funky, silky soul and smart pop melodies, Dallas singer Larry G(ee)’s tunes are sure to be lodged in your brain by the end of the night.
  • Movie: The Way Way Back (Rated: PG-13)— A funny, poignant coming of age story about a young boy finding his place in the world. This film will have you laughing and feeling nostalgic all at the same time as you join 14-year-old Duncan in his adventures at his summer job at a water park.

JULY 18:

  • Concert: Foxtrot Uniform — With the number 3 ranked album of the year by Fort Worth Weekly, Foxtrot Uniform has a modern Texas blues take on traditional rock n’ roll.
  • Movie: Bringing Up Baby (Rated: G)— While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist, played by film legend Cary Grant, is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress, played by Katharine Hepburn, and her pet leopard “Baby.” This 1938 comedy classic will take you back and leave you smiling.

AUGUST 15:

  • Concert: Foxtrot Uniform — With the number 3 ranked album of the year by Fort Worth Weekly, Foxtrot Uniform has a modern Texas blues take on traditional rock n’ roll.
  • Movie: Where the Wild Things Are (Rated:PG) —- Where the Wild Things Are is Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Maurice Sendak‘s classic children’s story, where Max, a disobedient little boy sent to bed without his supper, creates his own world – a forest inhabited by ferocious wild creatures who crown Max as their ruler. Come enjoy this heartwarming film as you’re taken on an exciting and emotional adventure of imagination.

SEPTEMBER 19:

  • Concert: Goodnight Ned — Goodnight Ned combine a lot of soul with rugged folk, rock and even some blues to create a sound all their own. The Dallas five-piece group produces a high energy live show and stage presence that can’t be beat!
  • Movie: The Great Gatsby (Rated: PG-13) — Baz Luhrman’s visually impressive film adaptation of the classic book The Great Gatsby follows a Midwestern war veteran who finds himself drawn to the past and the lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor. You’ll enjoy this dramatically satisfying and even humorous film, as it’s a spectacle like no other.

OCTOBER 17:

  • Concert: ISHI — Dallas’ own folk-electronic ensemble has a way of getting bodies up and moving! The band’s combination of dance and folk makes for an interesting blend, and their high energy live set will have you dancing ‘til midnight.

TACA Lexus Party On The Green Managed To Escape The Area’s Storms By Partying At The Rosewood Mansion’s Auto Courtyard

The Spring storms remained relentless. On Friday, May 9, Waxahachie and Navarro were being slammed by Ping-Pong size hail and Turtle Creek trees looked like pins hit by a major bowling ball. Still fundraising continued. While Pat and Emmitt Smith cornered the market on sports hunks and black-tie partying at the Omni for the Emmitt Smith Invitational Gala, Booker T. Washington’s Performing Arts Festival/Fundraiser was under way in the Arts District.

But even with the area being threatened by hail, tornadoes, plague and locusts, the TACA Lexus Party On The Green bravely took a chance to stay the course for its outdoor venue in the Rosewood Mansion’s auto courtyard.

The gamble paid off with temperatures comfortably suited for sundresses, an evening sky filled with tiny white lights in the trees overhead, and chefs cooking and chatting with guests.

2014 TACA Lexus Party On The Green

2014 TACA Lexus Party On The Green

As DSQ Electric and Shoot Low Sheriff played on staged, the chefs (Matt Balke, Melody Bishop, Nicholas Blouin, Juan Bochenski, Bruno Davaillon, Scott Dolbee, Richard Gras, Sylvain Hervochon, James Johnson, Dennis Kelley, Brian Luscher, Brooke Mallory, Matt McCallister, Carl Murray, Ken Nakano, Stephan Pyles, Alejandro Rojas, Abraham Salum, Eric Shelton, Sarah Snow and Brian Zenner) had guests returning for seconds and thirds. They also were competing for Brad Oldham-designed Golden Skillet. By the end of the evening, the “pan” went to Abraham for his “beer braised oxtail roulade with Swiss chard, Chihuahua cheese and piloncillo pasilla demiglace over a black bean tamal.”

Abraham Salum's Beer braised oxtail roulade with Swiss Chard, Chihuahua cheese and piloncillo pasilla demiglace over a black bean tamal

Abraham Salum’s beer braised oxtail roulade with Swiss Chard, Chihuahua cheese and piloncillo pasilla demiglace over a black bean tamal

But before the crowd swelled to capacity, the POG Co-Chairs Kristen and Ladd Sanger and Anne and Jeremy Besser hosted the VIP crowd like Caroline Rose Hunt, upstairs in the FDR Suite for a bit of the bubbly. Simona Beal and John Phifer Marrs were just back from Rosewood’s Las Ventanas. This was Simona’s fourth year as a chef sponsor. . Mary Gill was celebrating her birthday. . . Holly Reed and Brad Beaird were just back from San Marcos, where they attended her niece’s graduation.

Ladd and Kristen Sanger and Anne and Jeremy Besser

Ladd and Kristen Sanger and Anne and Jeremy Besser

Returning to Dallas for the TACA fundraiser was Diana and Francis Sommer family. They just happened upon the event last year and were so impressed, they signed up to sponsor Rosewood Jumby Bay Chef Sylvain Hervochon. Having relocated to London, the Sommers have two kids — Evan and Rebecca — attending SMU, plus daughter Dresden, who was with John Huston. For this reason Diana and Francis support the TACA event because “art education is extremely important for American kids.”

Dresden Sommer, Diana Sommer and Heather Trumbauer

Dresden Sommer, Diana Sommer and Heather Trumbauer

After posing for their traditional photo on the balcony with Holly, Brad and Mark Breidenbach, Bank of America’s Gillian Breidenbach and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management’s Troy Schiermeyer hustled down to the cork pull for a photo with Kinne and Cari Kell. There was a lot of cork pulling going on with 480 bottles going for $25.

Kinne and Cari Kell, Gillian Breidenbach and Troy Schiermeyer

Kinne and Cari Kell, Gillian Breidenbach and Troy Schiermeyer

Other action in the courtyard included Sally Blanton, who has been busy with book signings of her “100 Things To Do In Dallas/Fort Worth Before You Die”. . . Diane Brierley told Diane Cheatham about the hit her neighborhood took the day before. . . . Dallas Morning News Mark Edgar recalled covering the 1984 Republican convention in Dallas. . . D Academy/D Magazine Executive Editor Cristina Daglas chatting with D Academy panelists Lynn McBee and Brent Christopher. . . Fashion plates Neiman’s Jeff Byron and Kevin Hurst comparing spring cool with Traffic LA’s Matthew Simon and Keith Schumann. . .Emily Eisenhauer, who had lost seven pounds, was with Darryl Freling.

Jeff Byron, Matthew Simon, Keith Schumann and Kevin Hurst

Jeff Byron, Matthew Simon, Keith Schumann and Kevin Hurst

Word was circulating that the Mansion renovation of the ballroom would commence in July and be completed before the September 26th TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Gala.

For more pictures from the evening, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: TACA Lexus Party On The Green

2014 Party On The Green

2014 TACA Lexus Party On The Green

Troy Schiermeyer, Gillian and Mark Breidenbach, Holly Reed and Brad Beaird

Troy Schiermeyer, Gillian and Mark Breidenbach, Holly Reed and Brad Beaird

The TACA folks once again met the summer head-on with their annual TACA Lexus Party On The Green in the Rosewood Mansion’s auto courtyard on Friday, May 9. The night was beyond perfection to match the fabulous food and foodies.

Katherine LaLonde

Katherine LaLonde

Hamilton Sneed and LeeAnne Locken

Hamilton Sneed and LeeAnne Locken

Kersten Rettig and Charlotte Legg

Kersten Rettig and Charlotte Legg

Ryan Harvey

Ryan Harvey

The write up on the performing arts fundraiser is underway. Until then, check out the two pages of pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational Gala Honors Magic Johnson With Roger Staubach Award And Parties With Darius Rucker

While Central Expressway was backed up to Richardson on Friday, May 9, the cools and ultra-cools were gathering at the Omni for the super-duper gala prepping for the Emmitt Smith Invitational the next morning. Included in the mix were Roger Staubach after whom the Roger Staubach Award was named, and Magic Johnson, who had been dragged into the Donald Sterling mess. Here’s a report from the field:

“Almost 1,000 guests packed the Omni Dallas Hotel for the Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational, presented by SoftLayer, on Friday, May 9. They were there to pay tribute to Earvin “Magic” Johnson– an iconic NBA superstar who has inspired millions on and off the court with his philanthropy who also happens to be a powerhouse entrepreneur – and his wife Cookie as they received the first-ever Roger Staubach Award.

Magic Johnson, Lance and Cheryl Crosby and Emmitt Smith*

Magic Johnson, Lance and Cheryl Crosby and Emmitt Smith*

“And before the weekend was over, $1 million had been raised for the Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, which creates and funds unique educational experiences and enrichment opportunities for underserved children.

“The Staubach Award has been established “to recognize individuals who have brought together the world of sports/entertainment and business to make an extraordinary impact on the lives of children and youth.” Named for the legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback and real estate icon, the award is given to recipients who exemplify excellence personally, professionally and philanthropically. It is the only award to be named in Staubach’s honor other than one established at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy.

Emmitt Smith, Pat Smith, Roger and Marianne Staubach, Cookie and Magic Johnson*

Emmitt Smith, Pat Smith, Roger and Marianne Staubach, Cookie and Magic Johnson*

Guests entered the Friday Night Party, sponsored by Albertsons,on the traditional “Dallas Cowboy” blue carpet, sponsored by Cigna. When Emmitt and Pat Smith, Roger and Marianne Staubach and guests-of-honor Cookie and Magic Johnson arrived at the same time, it was a mad crush as the three couples posed for pictures, and a throng of photographers fired away.

Alfonso Ribeiro*

Alfonso Ribeiro*

“Pat and Emmitt’s longtime friend, Alfonso Ribeiro (best known as Carlton on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air) emceed the event, launching the program with the famous Carlton dance to Tom Jones hit It’s Not Unusual.

“Former Dallas Mavs great Mark Aguirre gave a heartfelt introduction to the buddy he met thirty-something years ago, presenting Magic and Cookie with a sterling trophy created by Tiffany & Co.

Cookie and Magic Johnson*

Cookie and Magic Johnson*

“Magic said that, as he got toward the end of his NBA career, he was looking for a role model outside of sports to follow, ‘someone with a blueprint for giving back and touching the world … but also to show me that athletes could be business leaders.’

“Magic started reading up on Hall-of-Famer Roger Staubach, a person he idolized because of his success and grace moving from the football field to the boardroom ‘without missing a beat.’

“’I decided that’s who I want to be like – Roger Staubach. I’ve been chasing this man for years like a big defensive lineman,’ said Magic.

“Magic added that he was thrilled to get the award from his close friends Emmitt and Pat noting, ‘I’m going to get my hero’s award; this is crazy.’

Magic and Cookie Johnson and Team 22*

Magic and Cookie Johnson and Team 22*

“Magic also praised Pat and Emmitt for their generosity, love and good work benefiting the Team 22 students, who are being mentored and provided with incredible opportunities, and the thousands of North Texas youth.

“When Roger Staubach took to the podium, he started by jokingly stating that he was ‘glad to be alive because most of these kind of awards come after you’re dead.’ He also expressed his enormous respect for and deep friendship with the Johnson and Smith families.

“He added that he and Magic have played hoops together in the Staubach’s backyard, although Roger was quick to point out that it was just HORSE!

“’I can’t think of a better way to kick off our fifth year than with a new award named after our good friend and hero, Roger Staubach,’ said Pat Smith. ‘And it’s such a thrill to give the first award to Cookie and Magic, an incredible power couple who have set the bar very high and been a true inspiration to Emmitt and me.’

Darius Rucker*

Darius Rucker*

“After the program, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Darius Rucker sang over an hour and finished by donating a guitar that he and Emmitt signed. It was auctioned off for $25,000.”

“Alfonso later joined Emerald City to perform Billie Jean, channeling his good friend Michael Jackson with his high notes and dance routine.

Marion and Bennett Glazer*

Marion and Bennett Glazer*

Christie and Robert Ferguson and Marion and Bennett Glazer were the weekend’s honorary chairs. Event chairs were Lisa and Steve Lieberman. Other major sponsors that presented events leading up to the tournament include Ascientia Dallas, Faye C. Briggs, Waste Management, Healthcare Highways, Brown Forman – Tequila Herradura, Big D Party Rentals, GoVision, Dee Lincoln’s Dining Room & Bubble Bar, Starpower, Metro Linen and Murray Media.

Steve and Lisa Lieberman*

Steve and Lisa Lieberman*

Table sponsors for the evening include Andrews Distributing, Fluor Corporation, Jan and Jeff Rich, WorldLink, The Saint Hotel New Orleans, Southlake Medical Supplies, Inc., Marianne and Roger Staubach and Weber & Company.

“There were celebs aplenty from NBA, WNBA, NFL and Major League Baseball and a local star of TV’s The Bachelor (Jake Pavelka) – Marcus Allen, Tim Brown, Joe Carter, Richard Dent, Eric Dickerson, Michael Finley, Charles Haley, Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson, Jay Humphrey, Rickey Jackson, Daryl Johnston, David Justice, Nancy Lieberman, Kenny Lofton, Roland Martin, Coach Will Muschamp, David Nelson, Nate Newton, Drew Pearson, Preston Pearson, Alfonso Ribeiro, Donna Richardson, Trent Richardson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Winfred Tubbs, Nick Van Exel, Clay Walker, Spud Webb and Darren Woodson.

“During the Saturday golf tourney held at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney and sponsored by American Airlines, the $1 million mark was hit, thanks to fundraising held on the course and a special donation from Healthcare Highways owner Michael Wilson. The Ryan Foundation presented breakfast and lunch; DAPPER Magazine presented the “Dapper Den” gifting suite; Informatica presented the driving range; and Park Place Lexus presented the VIP Pavilion. Food for the award ceremony was donated by Cattleack BBQ. Scott Murray was the master of ceremonies.

Kenny Lofton*

Kenny Lofton*

“The team led by Kenny Lofton, MLB All-Star and Golden Glove winner, won the tournament. They were sponsored by the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Charities.

“Other major Saturday Supporters were Bethany Healthcare, ESmith Realty Partners, Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation, Cookie and Gary McCollum, PlainsCapital Bank, Reliant Home Health, Service King Collision Repair Centers, Shell, Todd Wagner Foundation, Tolleson Wealth Management, Fossil Group, Pegasus Ablon, Jones Lang LaSalle, Beth and Jim Gold and The Plank Companies.

“A portion of the proceeds from the weekend will be distributed to beneficiaries in North Texas chosen through a grant process this summer. Applications and criteria can be found at www.patandemmittsmithcharities.org. Other proceeds will be used to fund the Smith’s own Team 22 to attend Camp Champions, travel to Washington DC and participate in other unique experience throughout the year.”

* Photos provided by 2014 Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational

Despite Felled Trees And Power Outages, Former Crystal Charity Ball Chairs’ Dinner Is Held Without A Hitch

Following the Genesis Luncheon back on Thursday, May 8, Mother Nature managed to blow through Dallas like a Harry Josh dryer. At times downtown Dallas high rises swayed, mighty trees fell and the Turtle Creek along Lakeside looked like a bunch of loggers had hit and run.

Downed trees along Turtle Creek

Downed trees along Turtle Creek

Still Crystal Charity Ball Chair Robyn Conlon maintained her plan of action to hold the dinner underwritten by U.S. Trust Bank of American Private Wealth Management at Cameron and Clay Smith’s Preston Hollow home.

Cameron Smith and Robyn Conlon

Cameron Smith and Robyn Conlon

Just down the road a homeowner on Hathaway pulled out his chainsaw to address the carcass of a tree that blocked the street.

By party time, all was well. By the time, guests arrived, Ma Nature had taken to her lounging couch due to exhaustion. It was a far cry from last year’s dinner, when the guests left the dinner as the weather sirens were screeching.

In the meantime, Robyn had everything from the blue table settings to gifts wrapped in blue and white polka dotted ribbons perfectly arranged. Even her dress and earrings were true blue.

Table setting

Table setting

Following tradition, the former chairs — Barbara Varel (1970), Sally Berry (1990), Sara Martineau (1993), Barbara Stuart ( 1994), Randi Halsell (1996), Linda Beach (1998), Becky Bright (1999), Karen Shuford (2000), Nancy Chapman (2001), Lydia Novakov (2002), Louise Griffeth (2003), Margo Goodwin (2004), Vicki Chapman (2007), Debbie Oates (2009), Aileen Pratt (2012) and Caren Kline (2013) —gathered for their group photo. Photographer Holt Haynsworth decided that outdoors in front of the Smith home was the perfect spot. Just as the moment of snapping the shot arrived, the last of the chairs — Tincy Miller (1997) — arrived. Talk about perfect timing! Little did the former chairs realize that their favor of the evening was a frame just made to hold the group photo.

Aileen Pratt, Debbie Oates, Linda Beach, Karen Shuford, Louise Griffeth, Sara Martineau, Lydia Novakov, Margo Goodwin, Vicki Chapman, Robyn Conlon, Barbara Varel, Randi Halsell, Nancy Chapman, Becky Bright, Tincy Miller, Sally Berry, Caren Kline and Barbara Stuart

Aileen Pratt, Debbie Oates, Linda Beach, Karen Shuford, Louise Griffeth, Sara Martineau, Lydia Novakov, Margo Goodwin, Vicki Chapman, Robyn Conlon, Barbara Varel, Randi Halsell, Nancy Chapman, Becky Bright, Tincy Miller, Sally Berry, Caren Kline and Barbara Stuart

Then guests gathered in the Smiths’ living room for the official welcome. But as usual, the clinking of a glass couldn’t be heard over the guests chatting. So, Robyn called on unofficial CCB Deputy Sergeant at Arms Melissa Macatee to get their attention. Once again the diminutive brunette puckered up and whistled impressing the CCB veterans including Melissa’s mom, Barbara Stuart.

Rick and Deb Pomeroy

Rick and Deb Pomeroy

Robyn welcomed them and Rick Pomeroy thanked them for allowing U.S. Trust Bank of American Private Wealth Management to be part of the effort to help the children of Dallas.

Then the guests headed to their assigned seats for a dinner of field greens with Granny Smith apples, golden raisins and manchango cheese with balsamic dressing; grilled beef tenderloin, au gratin potatoes and seared Brussels sprouts and raspberry crème crepe for dessert.

Of course, the topic du jour was the weather. In addition to downed trees, power outages played havoc with getting ready for the evening. There’s nothing more fun that dressing in the dark or trying to dry shoulder-length hair without electricity.

By the time dinner was a done deal, the tree that had blocked Hathaway was ripe for a new assignment — firewood.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Former Crystal Charity Ball Chair Dinner

May 8 storm damage

May 8 storm damage

Remember back on May 8 when Dallas trees fell victim to a major storm? Well, the clouds cleared off just in time for the annual dinner honoring the Crystal Charity Ball former chairs. These women and other CCB chairs, who were unable to attend the dinner, have raised more than $117 M for over 140 area children’s charities since 1952.

While the post is being prepared, you might want to check some photos over on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Former Crystal Charity Ball Chair Dinner table setting

Former Crystal Charity Ball Chair Dinner table setting

Round Robin May 7: Can Do! Patron Reception, Genesis Luncheon Patron Dinner And Cattle Baron’s Trailblazer Party

Just before thunder, lighting and buckets of rain hit Dallas on Wednesday, May 7, the non-profit swell-egants were in high spirits.

Can Do! Luncheon Patron Party

The Wilkinson Center’s Anne Reeder was thrilled. Her Can Do! Luncheon had its inaugural year in 2013 and had been such a hit that the upcoming May 13th event was within two tables of being sold out. Last year’s luncheon really tested guests with tornado warnings in the area, but still they came, they saw and they had such a great time, they signed up for this year’s event.

Anne and Terry Conners

Anne and Terry Conner

The secret to this year’s near sell-out success? Perhaps it was due to the fact the “unsung heroes” like Anne and Terry Conner and the Women of St. Michael were this year’s honorees. Like last year’s awardees — Ellen and John McStay and Highland Park United Methodist Church — this year’s group are well-known for amazing deeds but especially known for flying under the radar. And doesn’t everyone love to celebrate hardworkers, who rarely get appreciated?

Bryan Diers, Susan Hardie and Missy Huber

Bryan Diers, Susan Hardie and Missy Huber

And since it was such a beautiful evening, Milagros and Horacio Moros opened the backyard terrace and yard of their Preston Hollow home for Leslie and Bryan Diers, Susan Hardie, Missy Huber, Luncheon Chair Christie Carter and Tiffany and Paul Divis to party with Hunter Sullivan crooning away with his musicians.

Genesis Luncheon Patron Party

Jan Hegi, Pat Conroy and Ellen McStay

Jan Hegi, Pat Conroy and Ellen McStay

Just blocks away on the other side of the Tollway, Nancy and Randy Best hosted a seated dinner for 73 patrons of the 21st Annual Genesis Luncheon. (BTW, Nancy is president of the Genesis Women’s Shelter Board of Trustees.)

Parties at the Best estate are the best, don’t you know! The cocktail reception took place in the entry hall spilling into the living and dining rooms. At one point, a blonde gent appeared at the front door. He was none-other than the guest of honor/luncheon speaker Pat Conroy. Looking more like your best buddy from high school, he quickly was surrounded by new BFF’s and eased into conversation.

Leslie McCabe, Jan Langbein and Barbara Walker

Leslie McCabe, Jan Langbein and Barbara Walker

Jennifer Staubach Gates and John Gates

Jennifer Staubach Gates and John Gates

But soon it was time for supper. But before settling back in the fabulous dining room with its stage and grand piano, a little exercise was in order. So, guests like Ruth and Ken Altshuler, Marianne and Roger Staubach, Jennifer Staubach Gates and John Gates, Jan and Fred Hegi, Ellen and John McStay, Jan Langbein, Susan Wells Jenevein, Barbara Walker, Leslie McCabe, Sidney Powell, Victor Sperandeo and Di Johnston took the stairs leading to the “best” collection of antiquities. And we’re not talking Marie Antoinette chairs. Each time one gets to visit the upstairs museum, it’s like discovering new OMG treasures that date back to prehistoric man.

Ruth and Ken Altshuler, Sidney Powell and Victor Sperandeo

Ruth and Ken Altshuler, Sidney Powell and Victor Sperandeo

Cattle Baron’s Ball Trailblazer Party

Max Stallings band

Max Stallings band

Before the sun even tried to set, The Rustic was maxed out with all types of Cattle Baron’s Ball sponsors for the Trailblazer to hearty party.

Isabell Novakov

Isabell Novakov

Sponsored by PlainsCapital, the venue could handle the overflow crowd of 400 thanks to the outdoor picnic tables and party grounds with a wall of lanterns and a stage for Max Stallings and his band.

CBB-er Lisa Ogle admitted their timing was perfect realizing that the next 24 hours of storming weather would have created an entirely different scenario.

Gibbs Henderson and Marjon Zabihi Henderson

Gibbs Henderson and Marjon Zabihi Henderson

As Max sang on stage and soft drinks cozied up to Miller Lites in a canoe filled to the brim with ice, the crowd included Isabell Novakov, Janie and David Condon, Nancy Gopez, Anne and Steve Stodghill, Katherine LaLonde, D’Andra Simmons and Jeremy Lock, Marjon Zabihi Henderson and Gibbs Henderson, Elizabeth and Alex Laurenzi, Joanna Clarke, Lauren Chapman, Kristi Hoyl and Dee Simmons looking forward to picking up her new puppy, Maddie, on Saturday.

Dallas Museum Of Art’s Art Ball Can-Canned Hemingway’s Paris With Glorious Gems, Gee-Whiz Glamour And A Generous Gal And Guy

There was a magic to Midnight in Paris. It took today’s ultra-cool back to 1920’s Paris when F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alice B. Toklas, Hemingway and Gertrude Stein schmoozed with Josephine Baker, Cole Porter, Picasso and Jean Cocteau.

Ken and Gina Betts

Ken and Gina Betts

With that in mind, Dallas Museum of Art’s 2014 Art Ball Chair Gina Betts had ventured to Paris last year to scope out the extreme locales of those golden days. Her journey was a result of a lunch date with DMA Board Chair John Eagle. The ultimate salesman, Eagle took her to lunch at Charlie Palmer, and it wasn’t to sell her a Honda. Cornering Gina in a booth, he notified the attorney that he wasn’t going to let her leave until she agreed to chair the 2014 DMA fundraiser. Eagle knew that Gina was a powerhouse fundraiser. Why, she had set a record when she chaired the 2007 Cattle Baron’s Ball. Since then she had had the Midas Touch for every fundraiser that she had chaired. Gina finally relented, but with one caveat: It had to be her way or the highway. Eagle agreed.

Part of her way included event producer Tom Addis and putting out bids for new vendors. Instead of a tent brought in from another state, she located a North Texas provider, saving bucks. Gina, who was juggling the transition of changing law firms, arranged to have Honorary Co-Chairs Nancy C. and Richard Rogers underwrite the entertainment — Grammy Award winning John Legend and Parisian DJ Stephane Pompougnac.

Another change was the auction house running the silent and live auctions. Again, she went with a hometown team: Heritage Auctions.

Instead of the red carpet entry of the past that slowed arrivals down, it would be a simple check-in after handing the car to valets at the Ross Avenue curb.

Suffering a bit from the $5,000-a-seat sticker shock herself, Gina managed to talk John into loosening up some cheap seats at $2,500.

As the big day approached, however, questions about the silent and live auction started popping up. Why weren’t catalogues being distributed to guests in advance, so they could plan bidding budgets? Yes, the auction was now online during the weeks prior to the gala, but the information was scant.

The night of the gala, there were even guests who had no idea of the offerings. HA auctioneer Mike Sadler advised guests at one point in the live auction that if they didn’t know about Meadowood, they could check the website on their smartphones.

But back to the evening’s developments.

Katherine Coker and Katy Bock

Katherine Coker and Katy Bock

As guests arrived to music a la Edith Piaf and a welcome from a Moulin Rouge Harold Zidler look-alike ringmaster on a pedestal and doormen in top hat and tails, it was obvious that the fashion was a step beyond perfection. Unlike years of yore when the Art Ball’s predecessor, the Beaux Arts Ball, was renowned for lavish costumes, the 2014 version was purely couture on parade including Gina Ginsburg in Herve Leger Runway, Ellen Winspear in Escada, Kris Johnson in Jenny Packham, Terra Perez and Jennifer Eagle in Ralph Lauren, Jacqueline Anderson in Zac Posen, Katy Bock in Herve Leger, Katherine Coker in Marchesa, Debbie Oates in Escada, Deedie Rose in Lela Rose (of course!), Terri Provencal in Binzario, Sunie Solomon in Luca Luca, Shelle Sills in Ann Demeulemeester, Amanda Johnson in Badgley Mischka, Nancy Carlson in Valentino, Holly Davis in Armani and Erin Mathews in Tom Ford.

Holly Deason found a fabulous golden Kaufman Franco. Problem was that due to her recent workouts and resulting weight loss, the Dallas gown was too big. No problem. Her Neiman’s advisor, Angela Malone, found a smaller size in Las Vegas and had it flown in.

One sweet young thing whispered that her budget had resulted in her being a modern-day version of Cinderella. That’s because her gown that retailed for more than $600 was only good for a one-night stand at $150. It had to be shipped back to RentTheRunway.com the next day.

A couple of the ladies managed to adapt 21st century versions for the 1920’s Paris posh theme. Gina wore a limited edition midnight blue beaded Roberto Cavalli gown with a “borrowed” diamond and sapphire necklace. She’s put that on her wish list for the holidays or any other gift-giving occasion.

Nancy C. Rogers

Nancy C. Rogers

Nancy Rogers needed no spotlight, thanks to a collection of diamonds and emeralds (barrette in her upswept blonde hair, drop earrings, broach attached to a necklace, mammoth ring and bracelet) and all-diamond choker bracelet and a simple strand of diamonds that extended just perfectly down the back of her dazzling Roberto Cavalli Runway gown.

But the beautiful peeps weren’t girls only. The gents did their best to match the elegance of the occasion and to accommodate their ladies. Following the traditional guaranteed winning tuxedo route were Stubbs Davis in a Kiton and Michael Sills in Brooks Brothers. Michael Domke just blew off the whole dress-up issue by describing his tuxedo as “Mine’s by Legos.”

Alas, one poor chap proved to be supportive but clueless about his wife’s gown. He insisted that she was wearing a Valentino. Wife registered a look of puzzlement but couldn’t recall who the designer was. The following week, he admitted that he had been off by a designer or two. The designer was actually Melinda Eng.

After checking in, the 700 guests strolled up the Concourse to the stairway leading down to the Sculpture Garden that was enclosed in a clear tent.

 A living Picasso

A living Picasso

Ross Perot

Ross Perot

As another group of formally attired doormen opened the doors to the stairs to the steps, the boldface types ambled down the way lined with lounging models in hand-painted, Picasso-styled bodysuits and headdresses. They appeared so real that some art-loving guests didn’t guess they were actually living, breathing models.

The sea of elegant types filled the tent to the max. How filled was it? So filled that many claimed they didn’t know there was a silent auction in the place. But they had no trouble finding the Golden Girls, whose full metal skirts held rows of champagne filled flutes.

Cocktails in the tented Sculpture Garden

Cocktails in the tented Sculpture Garden

Then, without warning, a bevy of can-can dancers kicked the next part of the evening into place leading the guests up the stairs to a mirrored walkway to a mammoth tented ballroom that was encased in silvery blue pleated gauzy draping with two large flatscreens on the far sides of the area.

Some noted that the space was smaller than the 2013 arena. Correcto!

Unlike last year, when the tent extended to include the towering orange Mark di Suvero sculpture, the decision was made to not extend the ballroom tent to include the sculpture. Instead the huge orange metal artwork was hunkering down in an adjacent tent, where Cassandra’s catering army was prepping.

Gina attributed the look to Tom Addis, saying he “made all my visions come to life. I cried when I saw it. He is amazing.”

Maxwell Anderson

Maxwell Anderson

Unfortunately, getting the hundreds to settle down in their seats was challenging, so dinner was stalled. Finally, DMA’s Max Anderson took to the stage to welcome all and recognized chair Gina and mega donors. As he prepared to toast honorees John and Jennifer Eagle, the ever-smooth and elegant Max realized that he was without a toasting glass.

Luckily, Nancy Rogers was seated front row center and came to his rescue offering her glass to complete the tribute.

Before dinner got underway, Heritage Auctions’ Mike Sadler took his place on stage to auction off the eight remarkable items.

Nancy C. and Richard Rogers, Doug and Molly Barnes

Nancy C. and Richard Rogers, Doug and Molly Barnes

Once again the Rogers team came to the rescue, with Lady Nancy providing the top bids for the Sue Gragg rings and the Joule hotel weekend. The Rogers’ dinner companions Michael Flores won the shopping spree in NYC, and Doug Barnes bought a black Birkin purse, as wife Molly happily looked on.

For bargain hunters, it was a gold mine. . . if they were listening. A number of the table chatted throughout the auction, missing out on the treasures.

As the final paddle was raised, it was time for dinner and table-hopping. While visiting tables is a tried-and-true indoor sport, it can result in traffic jams for servers and the delaying of the rest of the program.

Finally, after the last table was served the entrée of tournedos of beef, foie gras and Roquefort pâté aux pomme de terre, fricassee of wild mushrooms, spring garlic, grand claret cotes de Bordeaux réduction, John Legend took his place at the baby grand on the stage surrounded by a guitarist and less than a handful of violinsts. Those in-the-know like Barbara Daseke were thrilled to have the world-famous musician on the premises playing. But a surprising number of guests were wondering, “Who’s the guy at the piano? He’s good. Is he local?”

John Legend

John Legend

Legend crooned his way into the hearts and ears of the vast majority. However, one local doyenne admitted later that she had fallen asleep somewhere between “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” and “All of Me.”

Ken Betts

Ken Betts

Sharon Young

Sharon Young

But as Legend finished his final song with no encore, the clock was approaching midnight, the bewitching hour both for parents with waiting babysitters and older folks wanting to head for home. Like salmons heading upstream, guests made their way to the doors heading for the valet or the after-hours party in the Sculpture Garden. The “upstream” challenge resulted from the parade of servers with foamy chocolate mousse cake with caramel sabayon sauce desserts heading for the abandoned tables. As a result, over half of the yummy desserts ended up uneaten. Those who stayed to sample the chocolate goodie had no regrets as they gobbled up every bite. One socialite, upon seeing the untouched desserts, gathered some up to “take home for my kids.”

Stephane Pompougnac

Stephane Pompougnac

Anna-Sophia van Zweden

Anna-Sophia van Zweden

While in his Legend made time for photos with VIP’s including Entertainment Chair Tanya Foster in his tour bus and then headed to his suite at Fairmont to join his wife Chrissy Teigen, Art Ball guests who still wanted to party made a beeline to the Sculpture Garden. There the after-party chaired by Kameron and Court Westcott and Chart Westcott was underway with  Parisian DJ Stephane Pompougnac looking right at home setting the pace for the festivities. In keeping with the evening’s theme, Anna-Sophia van Zweden appeared on the stairs wearing a delicious off-the-shoulder white Vionnet.

For those who had to bypass the after-party and head home, they found La Madeleine desserts and coffees set up along the museum’s circular driveway. As French music played, some of the ladies found their stiletto heels didn’t cotton to the cobblestone driveway. One observer noted that four of the ladies had already “gone down.”

More than 60 photos of the evening and fashions are posted on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for your consideration.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2014 Art Ball

The Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball has been known for decades as one of the most magnificent showcase for gowns, jewelry and flawless faces. On Saturday, May 3, the Art Ball’s 1920’s Paris theme was a perfect opportunity to incorporate old-fashioned glamour with OMG modern day razzle-dazzle.

Brad Kelly and Jacqueline Anderson

Brad Kelly and Jacqueline Anderson

As the lengthy write up on the DMA fundraiser is being finished, the multitude of photos of the beautiful peeps is posted on the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. Be prepared. There are more than 60 photos in the collection.

John Legend

John Legend

Triple Crown Gala’s “Hats And Horses” Sunkissed Guests And Raised Funds For Equest With New Date And Venue

The Kentucky Derby is really starting to impact the Dallas non-profit landscape. On Saturday, May 3, Dallasites converged at various spots to wear hats, sip adult beverages and watch a race that lasts less than two minutes at Churchill Downs. There was the Center for BrainHealth’s TAG crowd who partied it up at the Dallas Arboretum and the Junior Conservancy’s Day at the Races at Lee Park tri-chaired by Lisa Bhattacharya, Annika Cail and Marvin Bradshaw.

But all the Derby Day watching wasn’t restricted to the Dallas city limits. Heck, no! The Equest crowd ponied up their fundraising up north.

Maggie Kipp and Shay Geyer

Maggie Kipp and Shay Geyer

For months, Equest Triple Crown Gala Co-Chairs Maggie Kipp and Shay Geyer had planned to have a sneak preview of Texas Horse Park for their Equest fundraiser. Since they knew it wouldn’t be totally finished, they recommended guests wear boots.

Another change was the date. Instead of avoiding the Saturday of the Kentucky Derby, they embraced it and set the time to coincide with the “Run for the Roses.” Just to top that, they created the theme “Hats And Horses”.

Jody Dean and Jocelyn White

Jody Dean and Jocelyn White

But as the May 3rd date got closer than a photo-finish, the gals plus their advisors Jocelyn White and Dawn Spalding and production coordinator Michelle Meadows realized that it might be too early for even a preliminary debut. With the clock ticking, the decision was made to move north to Souhfork. Michelle, who had been part of previous Cattle Baron’s at Southfork, knew every inch of the property and was ready for whatever came rain or shine.

As it turned out the wet stuff was nowhere in the county. But that  shine was mighty shiny as 400 arrived. Even before facing the rays of the Texas sun, guests had to figure out how to enter the Southfork property. Seems one side of Hogge Road running alongside Southfork was plowed up for construction with a sizable ridge of dirt lying between the ranch’s multiple gates and the road. As guests slowed their vehicles deciding which of the gates was the right one, a little horse sense was applied — Gate 1! After entering the property, guests discovered a welcome committee of horses, riders and check-in table in front of a mammoth white tent.

Jeremy Lock and D'Andra Simmons-Lock

Jeremy Lock and D’Andra Simmons-Lock

It soon became apparent that the tent was a Texas-sized parasol shielding all from the brighter-than-bright sunlight. Within its confines guests checked out long lines of silent auction items like a fabulous photo by award-winning photographer Jeremy Lock. . . Karen Lukin was taking questions about her loss of 40 pounds. She startled some by saying she still wanted to lose 15 more. How did she do it? The old-fashion way — exercising and watching her diet. . Despite the pasture under foot, Co-Chair Maggie somehow managed to navigate the area in her stiletto cowboy boots.

John and Jo Gudjohnsen

John and Jo Gudjohnsen

And speaking of footwear, Kersten Rettig was proudly showing off her brand new boots from Fort Worth’s M.L. Leddy’s. On the other hand, so to speak, she wasn’t all pleased with a bandaged-up-finger that had been the victim of a “dinjury”. What’s a dinjury? According to Kersten, it’s “an injury that occurs during the course of making dinner.” Evidently this has become a oft-happening occurrence. The night of the slicing of her finger, “Another lady was coming in the Highland Park ER with a ‘dinjury’ as I was leaving. She was in pain but complimented me on my effort to make a zucchini artichoke tart.” But on this day, Kersten was part of the team of judges (Jeff Byron, Louise Griffeth, Lezlie Noble and Blake Stephenson) for the hat contest.

Blake Stephenson and Kersten Rettig

Blake Stephenson and Kersten Rettig

Outside the tent, Jessica Shaw and Nicole Mangum were lining up for mini-smooching with one of the Equest ponies. . . Award-winning videographer John Gudjohnsen was preparing to record Bert Headden’s receiving the Susan Schwartz Founder’s Award. . . Brits Emily Hargrove in a fascinator and Jo Gudjohnsen in a brimmed pink chapeau compared notes about their home island on the other side of the pond.

Across the way, a large stage with screens and the Phil Pritchett band playing was fronted by rows of tables for dining and watching the Kentucky Derby.

Val Imm Bashour

Val Imm Bashour

At 4 p.m., DJ Jody Dean and Jocelyn took their places on a portable stage in the nearby pasture and coaxed guests from the tent to view the day’s program. Jocelyn laughed, “Watch what you ask for” referring to the sunshine. Those with wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses like Katherine Coker, D’Andra Simmons, Honorary Co-Chair Val Imm Bashour and Christie Carter looked relieved that they had decided to forgo the fascinators or bareheaded look. Others who opted to go hatless like Kevin Hurst and Key Coker ended up a bit red faced, literally. Evelyn Byron was the envy of many. In addition to having a ready-made chair thanks to her wheelchair complete with son Jeff doing the chauffeur duties, the 86-year-old had an umbrella. She was also being mistaken by some for being a former first lady.

Evelyn Byron and Jeff Byron

Evelyn Byron and Jeff Byron

Luckily for the horses, riders and other human critters, the demonstrations and presentation didn’t last long enough to work up too much of a sweat.

Then guests either headed back to the tent or their tables to watch California Chrome run for the roses.  Don’t tell but, some snuck out early. Seems they had to “refresh” before heading to The Art Ball at the Dallas Museum of Art.