Art In Bloom’s Seasons Of Love Was Busting With Beauty Thanks To René Van Rems Creating Floral Artworks And St. John Fashions

When Art in Bloom Luncheon Chair Sarah Jo Hardin decided on the event’s theme “Seasons of Love,” she must have had international floral mastermind René van Rems in mind. For his presentation at the Dallas Museum of Art on Monday, March 27, he did a fabulous job at interpreting eight pieces of art into floral arrangements. He even shared a hint on how to give any creation an extra boost. Think hydrangea. Here’s a report from the field:

Sarah Jo Hardin and Jill Goldberg*

Luncheon Chairman Sarah Jo Hardin, with Honorary Chairman Jill Goldberg and the Dallas Museum of Art League President Sheila Durante were joined by over 350 guests at “Art in Bloom: Seasons of Love” on Monday, March 27. Proceeds from the 18th annual fundraiser hosted by the Dallas Museum of Art League supports the DMA’s exhibition and education programs and the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund.

It began at 9:30 a.m. with a reception in the Hamon Atrium. Highland Park High School’s Highlander Strings quartet played as guests bid on items in the silent auction and purchased raffle tickets for the chance to win one of four prizes including: a $1,000 gift certificate from Eiseman Jewels NorthPark Center, a pair of Roberto Coin earrings, a luxury overnight stay for two at the Hotel Crescent Court, and a $500 gift certificate from Jacksons Home And Garden.  

Cynthia Mitchell, Becky Bright, Mary Lois Leonard and Beverly Freeman*

Attendees like Cynthia Miller, Becky Bright, Mary Lois Leonard, Beverly Freeman, Delilah Boyd, Megan Meyercord, Deborah Patterson, Marena Gault and Sherwood Wagner were then directed to the Horchow Auditorium for featured speaker René van Rems’ floral demonstration.

Megan Meyercord, Deborah Patterson, Ola Fojtasek and Heather Furniss*

Sheila opened the symposium by welcoming all and thanking the League’s loyal supporters and its corporate sponsors whose support of “Art in Bloom” helps underwrite the DMA’s education programs and the League’s Floral Fund. She introduced Jill thanking her for graciously lending her considerable expertise and leadership to the event. Sheila then invited Sarah Jo to the podium, and paid tribute to her creativity as well as her leadership talents.

Sarah Jo thanked all the attendees before introducing the Park Version choral group from Highland Park High School, who performed a capella “God Only Knows What I’d Do Without You” from the Beach Boys as a tribute to the many “Art in Bloom” volunteers, followed by “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical “Rent,” in honor of this year’s theme.

René van Rems*

A world-renowned ambassador of the floral industry, René took the stage to begin his demonstration of eight designs inspired by works in the Dallas Museum of Art’s permanent collection.  As he began work on the first design, inspired by Gustave Courbet’s painting “A Fox in the Snow,” van Rems warmed up the crowd immediately by sharing a tip: “For those new to floral design; when in doubt add a hydrangea,” he said, as he added white hydrangeas to the arrangement. He then went on to create seven diverse designs, from traditional to contemporary, as he thoroughly entertained the crowd with his wit and wisdom on all things floral.

Attendees returned to the Museum’s concourse to continue perusing the silent auction, which included the designs just created by René, while sipping specialty spring-inspired cocktails by Duckworth Vodka.  René also took time to sign copies of his book, “Rene’s Bouquets: A Guide to Euro-Style Hand-Tied Bouquets.”

Patrons progressed to the Atrium for a seated lunch with tables dressed in cornflower blue and watermelon, with floral centerpieces from Judy Blackman of Blumengarten. At each place setting was a white porcelain birdhouse vase with pink roses from Forestwood Fine Flowers and a $250 gift card from St. John.

Fashions by St. John*

Guests enjoyed a delicious lunch, with each course inspired by a season and featuring locally or Texas-sourced ingredients, including a summer-inspired first course of watermelon, prosciutto, and sliced brie salad with Texas balsamic and micro basil; followed by a fall entrée of jalapeno and corn stuffed semi-boneless Lockhart quail with wilted Uvalde curly spinach, glazed root vegetables and flower thyme jus. As winter’s assiette of chocolate desserts was served, Sarah Jo came to the podium to introduce St. John’s Highland Park Village Store Director Randi Schwartz, who quickly got the day’s style show going with models walking the runway dressed in selections from St. John’s gorgeous spring collection. 

Live Blooming Art Exhibition*

The floral extravaganza continued after the symposium with the first-ever “Live Blooming Art Exhibition” featuring a unique display of floral arrangements created by local floral designers and inspired by works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection. Participating designers were Judy Blackman of Blumengarten, Metka Terselich of Metka Floral Designs, Caroline Hansen of Forestwood Florals, Dan Pierce of Wild about Flowers, Doan Do of Cebolla Fine Flowers, Sarah Hobbs of Park Cities Petals, Juan Gomar of Apples to Zinnias, Lucy Diaz-Flores of Bella Flora and David Kimmel of David Kimmel Design. The exhibition remained on view to all DMA visitors the following two days in the Museum’s Level 2 European galleries. 

Sheila Durante, Marena Gault and Sherwood Wagner*

“Art in Bloom International” attendees included  The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art Agustin Arteaga, Margaret McDermott, Mary McDermott Cook, Peggy Sewell, Beverly Freeman, Holly Huffines, Susan Fisk, Nancy Cates, Barbara Bigham, Sherwood Wagner, Stacey McCord, Diane Byrd, Ola Fojtasek, Heather Furniss, Rusty Duvall, Beverly Nichols, Faye Briggs, Cyrena Nolan, Linda Burk, Angela Paulos, Emily Maduro and Julia Fuqua.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith

Last Call To See The 19th Annual Young Masters Exhibition At The Dallas Museum Of Art

Sometimes “putting off” isn’t such a bad thing. An example of that is visiting the 19th Annual Young Masters Exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art during its final days. This year’s exhibition ends this Sunday. Yup, that’s Easter Sunday. The good news is that a lot of folks and kids have Friday off, so they can check out the 65 original pieces of art that won the hearts of a panel of art and music professionals.

17 Young Masters graphic works*

Displayed along the Concourse, the exhibition includes 54 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional works of art created by AP Studio Art students, five essays analyzing works of art in the DMA’s permanent collections by AP Art History students, and six 4-minute original compositions by AP Music Theory students.

Tiffany Sims of Grapevine High School*

Ryan Irwin of Lovejoy High School**

These were the so-called pick of the litter of 896 works submitted by 10 Dallas-area high schools (Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Colleyville Heritage High School, Coppell High School, Creekview High School, Grapevine High School, Lovejoy High School, Plano East Senior High School, Plano Senior High School, Plano West Senior High School, and Richardson High School) participating in the O’Donnell Foundation’s AP Arts Incentive Program.

Adhithi Baskar of Coppell High School**

Daniel Che, Kevin Bai and Gahwon Lee of Plano West High School**

According to Program Founder Edith O’Donnell, “The Young Masters Exhibition recognizes outstanding intellectual and creative expression in students participating in our AP Arts Incentive Program.  In its nineteenth year, the students’ work featured in the exhibition continues to inspire. The talented students who participate in our program and complete rigorous AP arts and music coursework build essential skills to ensure their success in the 21st century global economy, including stimulating innovation, cultivating critical thinking and developing a greater understanding of diverse cultures. I continue to be very proud of their accomplishments.”

 

Lyle Kradolfer, Carol Kradolfer, Edith and Peter O’Donnell and Ruth Mutch**

But wait! Here’s an idea. The DMA will be open Sunday, which is also the ultimate, very last day of the display. So, after hunting down those Easter eggs, going to church services, munching at brunch or whatever, why not check out the “young masters’” artwork.

And while you’re there, see the “Mexico 1900-1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orzco and the Avant-Garde.” Thanks to The M.O.B Family Foundation, admission to the exhibition will be free. But it’s available on a first-come, first served basis. FYI: The DMA opens at 11 a.m.

* Photo credit provided by AP Strategies 
** Photo credit: Steve Foxall

High-Powered Crowd Celebrates New DMA Director Agustin Arteaga And Exclusive U.S. Exhibition of Mexican Modernists

The crowd gathered at the Dallas Museum of Art on Wednesday, March 8, was a distinguished one, befitting the auspicious occasion. Including such luminaries as 2017 Art Ball Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson, Kelli and Allen Questrom, Roger Horchow, Monica Alonzo, Chris Heinbaugh, Janie and Cappy McGarr, Jonathan Martin, Jeremy Strick, Max Wells and Terrell and Jim Falk, the group had assembled to celebrate the curatorial debut of the museum’s new Eugene McDermott Director, Dr. Agustin Arteaga.

Ann and Lee Hobson

Cappy and Janie McGarr

Allen Questrom

Laura Wilson

Agustin Arteaga

And, what a debut Arteaga was curating: the exclusive U.S. presentation of an art exhibition called Mexico 1900-1950, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orozco And the Avant-Garde, featuring 189 works by 66 artists. The exhibit, which debuted last October at the Grand Palais in Paris, will be on display at the DMA through Sunday, July 16. It’s supported by Patron Tequila and presented in partnership with Dallas’ Latino Center for Leadership Development, which was founded by Jorge Baldor.

Mexico 1900-1950 guests

The opening celebration was a first opportunity for many to see and greet Arteaga, who came to Dallas last year after serving as director of the Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico City, one of Mexico’s largest and most prominent cultural institutions. He was flanked on a raised stage at the DMA by fellow hosts Catherine Marcus Rose, president of the DMA’s board of trustees, and DMA Board Chair Melissa Foster Fetter, as well as by Consul General of Mexico in Dallas Francisco de la Torre Galindo, Director General of International Affairs Jimena Lara Estrada, Patrón’s Director of Brand Innovation Carlos Boughton and Baldor (who told the crowd, “It’s nice to see so many brown faces at the DMA”).

Jorge Baldor, Melissa Foster Fetter, Austin Arteaga, Catherine Marcus Rose, Jimena Lara Estrada, Francisco de la Torre Galindo and Carlos Boughton

The exhibition of modernist paintings, sculpture, photography, drawings, and film, the DMA’s new director explained, was put together in just three months to showcase an “artistic movement that took the world by surprise. … We made it on time,” he added, “and hopefully within the budget!” Arteaga also said the exhibition was only able to come to the U.S. with the Mexican government’s special permission, which had been secured by Maria Christina Garcia Cepeda, the Secretaria de Cultura de Mexico. The cultural secretary had planned to attend the March 8 Dallas event, the director added, but her trip had to be postponed after President Enrique Pena Nieto asked her to appear at a special women’s day event in Mexico City. So, Arteaga promised, “She’ll be here tomorrow.”

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Junior League Of Dallas’ “Encore”

Former Junior League of Dallas Ball chair gowns

The Junior League of Dallas’ “Encore” on Saturday, March 4, was actually a 55-year-old tradition “going into the sunset.” In the Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom reception lobby, there was a nostalgic collection of former ball chairs’ gowns while “oldtimers” recalled past glories to the delight of newbies.

Susan Roberds, Karen Shuford, Lydia Novakov, Tomas de la Mata, Debbie Snell and Louise Griffeth

Inside the ballroom was a stage all set for a group photo of the past chairs and just one final mini-follies.

Junior League of Dallas Ball chairs, past and present

As the post is being prepped, check out the gowns, gals and gents at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Dallas Historical Society “Celebrate(s) Texas” With George Tobolowsky’s Collection Of Historic Texas Maps As The Centerpiece

Most folks know George Tobolowsky for his sculptures. But it was his wife Julie Tobolowsky’s complaining about his watching “The Simpsons” about 20 years ago that added an entirely different interest in his life — historic maps.

So the story goes that Julie suggested that reading a book would be better than boob-tube watching. The first book that George picked up was “Maps of Texas and the Southwest, 1513-1900.” Not only was Julie right on, she set her husband into collecting every map that was in that book and a lot more.

Historic maps display

Since artist George recognized the detail and beauty in the maps, he had them framed and displayed on the walls of the Tobolowsky home. Some were even framed in wood made from trees that George had felled.

Knowing this, the Dallas Historical Society held a “Celebrate Texas” party on the evening of Wednesday, March 1, the day before Texas Independence Day.

Alan Olson, Molly Nolan and Julie and George Tobolowsky

While DHS Executive Director Amy Aldredge was unable to attend, DHS Deputy Director  Alan Olson and DHS Development Associate Molly Nolan represented the DHS staff.

Sold-Out Alert!: 2017 Art In Bloom

Whoops! Yesterday it was reported that no “Sold Outs” had been announced for the spring fundraising season following spring break. Today word arrived that that status had changed.

2017 Art In Bloom’s “Seasons Of Love”*

Not only is the 2017 Art In Bloom’s “Seasons Of Love” hosted by the Dallas Museum of Art League and chaired by Sarah Jo Hardin sold out, but organizers have added an opportunity for those who missed out on the Monday, March 27th event.

Sure, the Art In Bloom guests will get a sneak peak of the “Live Blooming Art Exhibit,” but DMA visitors will be able to check the floral designs “created by local floral designers and inspired by works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection” from Tuesday, March 28, thru Wednesday, March 29, on the DMA’s Level Two.

And how about some name dropping? Well, Art In Bloom can provide ‘em. The exhibition will include the talents of Judy Blackman of Blumengarten, Metka Terselich of Metka Floral Designs, Caroline Hansen of Forestwood Florals, Dan Pierce of Wild about Flowers, Doan Do of Cebolla Fine Flowers, Sarah Hobbs of Park Cities Petals, Juan Gomar of Apples to Zinnias, Lucy Diaz-Flores of Bella Flora and David Kimmel of David Kimmel Design.

So, don’t boo-hoo that you can’t attend the presentation by floral industry ambassador René van Rems and lunch on Monday at the DMA. You can still check out “Live Blooming Art Exhibit” Tuesday and Wednesday!

Art In Bloom proceeds will benefit the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund, as well as the DMA’s exhibition and education programs.

* Graphic courtesy of Dallas Museum of Art League

Northwood Woman’s Club’s “Dine By Design” Luncheon Whooped It Up With More Than 30 Tables All Duded Up Texas-Style

Gaylan Sapp and Shannon Burton

Unlike lady year’s Parisian ooh-la-la theme with a standard poodle greeting guests at the door, the North Woman’s Club’s Dine by Design was Texas-bound on Tuesday, February 28 at Bent Tree Country Club. Luncheon Co-Chairs Gaylan Sapp and Shannon Burton had decided to use “Waltz Across Texas” as the inspiration for more than 30 table designs. Well, why not? Texas Independence Day was just 48 hours away.

And to get things going, they had cowgirls Hailey Sandoz and Kristyn Harris strumming and singing in the entry.

Hailey Sandoz and Kristyn Harris

According to Gaylan, she came up with the Texas idea and her husband thought up the theme.

For the past year, Rebecca Dickinson and Sherry Draper had spearheaded the gathering of professional designers and creative types to fill the club. And the tables reflected just how different each creator’s interpretation was. Sure, there were Holiday Warehouse’s “Spring Waltz” and Donna Bailey‘s “Here Comes Easter To Texas” that cashed in on the upcoming spring and Easter.

Here Comes Easter To Texas

Spring Waltz

And Susan Loveless managed to blend her new line of Spa 1421 at her table with the approval of her mother Betty Stripling.

Poker and Gun Barrel City

Deep in the Heart

This Ain’t My First Rodeo

Trains Across Texas

Still others embraced the Lone Star feel with everything from Paula Austell‘s and Sarah Losinger‘s “Trains Across Texas,” Peggy Shuman‘s “Poker At Gun Barrel City,” Barbara Kutz‘s “This Ain’t My First Rodeo,” Barbara Barndt‘s, Michelle Hefner‘s and Molly Meyer‘s “Deep In The Heart,” Laura Williamson‘s and Lugay Wills‘ “All My Exes Live In Texas” to Carolyn Tayne‘s and Betty Verplan‘s “Daughters of the Republic of Texas…125 Years of Preserving Texas History.”

Mary Anne Preston’s copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence

And speaking of Texas history, new club member Mary Anne Preston, who was the great-great-granddaughter of Texas legend Jesse Grimes, shared family memorabilia including a copy of the original handwritten Texas Declaration of Independence.

After checking out all the tables and enjoying flutes of champagne, the guests headed to the ballroom for lunch and entertainment by Dan Tanner.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, let the photos of the tables tell how the Northwood Woman’s Club raises funds for Friends of Wednesday’s Child, Genesis Women’s Shelter And Support, North Dallas Shared Ministries, Our Friends Place, Promise House and Shared Housing Center Inc. Check the designs at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Artscape Reimagined 2017 Chair Kaki Hopkins Announces Craig Hall To Receive The First Great Contributor To Art Award And Much More Deets

Due to circumstances way beyond our control, the next couple of days are going to be filled with announcements galore thanks to those wonderful people who bring you fundraising in North Texas. The news will be revealed as soon as it breaks.

The very first on the lineup just took place, courtesy of Artscape Reimagined 2017 Chair Kaki Hopkins, who never tackles any project in a lightweight manner. She gathered a crowd of folks, including many of her 48-member committee, at Dallas Arboretum’s DeGolyer House this evening to reveal plans for the upcoming Artscape Reimagined 2017.

Kaki Hopkins (File photo)

Craig Hall (File photo)

The eyebrow-raising headline of the evening was the creation of the Great Contributor to Art Award in association with the garden’s fine art and craft show. And to kick the launch of the award off with a bang, she announced the very first recipient will be entrepreneur/best-selling author/philanthropist/vineyard owner Craig Hall.

According to Kaki, “Craig Hall embodies the spirit of this award. He is someone who collects art not for himself but for the benefit of the communities in which we live and work, and we are excited to honor him.”

Craig will be presented with the Gary Lee Price-designed award on Friday, May 12, at the Artscape Award and Auction Dinner in the Arboretum’s Rosine Hall.

With wife Kathryn Hall standing nearby, Craig said, “I am a strong believer in the importance of public art and the incredible effect it can have on its audience. Art has the ability to touch the soul and make people think, and it should be shared openly and democratically. The Dallas Arboretum, through its public art exhibits, sculptures throughout the garden and Artscape, is a great example of how our city is embracing public art, and I am glad to be a part of it.”

Patricia Meadows (File photo)

Regarding Artscape itself, it will feature more than 100 renowned artists from around the country thanks to the Artscape jury including Chair  Patricia Meadows, Katherine Wagner and Marty Ray with assistance by Gail Sachson. This year’s show will feature “a variety of mediums including paintings, sculpture, 2-D and 3-D mixed media, photography, fiber, ceramics and more.” But leave it to Kaki to have ramped it up to live up to its Artscape Reimagined theme, like:

  • An architect-designed landscape layout with decorative signage and boulevards that provide excellent audience flow and heightened visibility for the artists.
  • The historic DeGolyer House transformed into the DeGolyer Gallery, featuring local Dallas galleries presenting works by artists they represent
  • The University Zone, where approximately 10 universities will show and sell works by their professors and students.

And it will all take place with the Arboretum grounds in full bloom, thanks to dazzling azaleas. The schedule calls for the member preview on Friday, April 28, with the public viewings on the following Saturday (April 29) and Sunday (April 30).  

As an additional offering, Artscape guests will also be able to check out ZimSculpt, the exhibition of “modern Zimbabwean stone sculptures that will be incorporated into the garden” from Saturday, April 15 through Monday, July 31. This collection of more than 100 hand-carved pieces will be the first time that the sculptures will be on display in the southern U.S. During their stay, Zimbabwean artists Aron Kapembeza and Passmore Mupindiko will be on hand to demonstrate how the stone is carved into modern art.

BTW, tickets for the Artscape Award and Auction Dinner are $300 per guest and will be available for purchase on Monday, February 6.

Park Cities Historic And Preservation Society’s 2017 Home Tour, Luncheon And Car Show Plans Revealed At Holiday Party

Despite the holiday spirit filling Tish and Marvin Key’s marvelous Highland Park home, there was a wisp of sorrow in the air on Tuesday, December 13, for the annual Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society’s Christmas party. The very group that commemorates and encourages the history of the Park Cities was mourning the destruction earlier in the day of the Penson home. As bulldozers and other earth-moving machinery stood still under a full moon, the bricks and wood of the O’Neil Ford-designed home lay in ruins.

Liz and Lane Farley and Tish Key

Tish had once told her realtor Ralph Randall how she loved the house. So, when it went up for auction Ralph notified Tish of the opportunity to tour the legendary house overlooking the crossroads of St. Johns Drive and Armstrong Parkway.

Tish admitted she had wished she’d had the money to scoop it up. But it went to another with other plans that obviously did not include renovation.

At one point in the evening’s discussion, one guest grimly said, “I dread to think what is going to be built there.”

Marla Boone and Deborah Brown

John and Sandy Secor

As Marla Boone and Deborah Brown were bundled up greeting folks outside, Dallas Symphony Orchestra League President Sandy Secor was in the entry hall reporting that plans were all in place for the League’s 70th anniversary year including the Junior Symphony Ball in January, the 31stth Annual DSOL Debutante Presentation Ball in February, the Savor the Symphony in April and still more yet to be announced.

PCHS President  Kendall Jennings and husband Bruce Jennings were thrilled that Boston artist Stephen Wood was in town and able to attend the holiday party.

Bruce and Kendall Jennings and Stephen Wood

Regarding the upcoming plans for the year, Kendall reported that Liz Farley would be chairing the annual Distinguished Speaker Luncheon at the Dallas Country Club on Wednesday, March 29, with always entertaining James Farmer at the podium.

Home Tour Chair Tish has already finalized the residences that will be part of the lineup on Saturday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. She’s already lined up the following homes for the tour:

3825 Miramar 

4825 Miramar*

4218 Fairfax

4218 Fairfax*

,

4309 Westway

4309 Westway*

and

3600 Greenbrier

3600 Greenbrier*

Libby and David Hunt will have a full menu serving as honorary co-chairs for both the luncheon and tour.

As for the 2nd Annual Classic and Antique Car Show, Chair Dan McKeithen has arranged to have the event at Burleson Park on Saturday, April 8. Just in case there is rain, the event will take place on Saturday, April 15. Ryan has signed on as the presenting sponsor for all three fundraisers.

While the Car Show is free, tickets for the home tour and luncheon will be available in March.

Night At The Museum Gala Guests Had A Night To “Elevate” At The Perot Museum

Despite a tad bit of anxiety by some about the possibility of another election protest in downtown Dallas on Saturday, November 12, the Night at the Museum fundraiser for the Perot Museum didn’t dissuade guests from attending the “Elevate”-theme soiree. Here’s a report from the field:

Mariah Wilcox and Hunter and Wendy Covitz*

Glitzily dressed guests descended on the Perot Museum of Nature and Science for its annual Night at the Museum gala on Saturday, November 12. This year’s soiree, themed “Elevate,” took party-goers on an all-night flight through the world of aerospace to discover how nature has influenced modern-day aviation, the future of flight, artistic interpretations of elevation and more. From live bird shows, aerialists, virtual reality and drones to fancy floating foods, feather tattoos and hair extensions, Night at the Museum had guests playing and partying the night away.

Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg*

Carolyn Rathjen, Ross Perot and Nancy Perot*

Prior to the main party, top supporters began trickling in and were welcomed by “old-school stewardesses” to the VIP reception, presented by Highland Capital Management. Before long, the retro-style airport lounge, which was sponsored by American Airlines, was bustling with special guests including Margot and Ross Perot, Honorary Co-Chairs Carolyn Perot Rathjen and Karl Rathjen, Nancy Perot and Rod Jones, Suzanne and Patrick McGee, Katherine and Eric Reeves, Tori and Russ Mulford, Co-Chairs Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg and Co-Chair Thomas Surgent. (Co-Chair Carmen Surgent was ill and missed out on the fun!)

Adam Nelson, Emily Sharp, Thomas Surgent and Katie and Grant Irving*

Other dignitaries included Interim Perot Museum CEO Dan Kohl and Maria Garcia, Lyda Hill, Katherine and Michael Phillips, Rusty and John Jaggers, Perot Museum Board Chair Hernan Saenz and Sylvia Cespedes, Jody and Sheila Grant, Jim and Gail Spann, Forrest and Sally Hoglund, Kelly Compton, Nicole and Justin Small and others. With a backdrop of black-and-white vintage moments in aviation history and the crooning of Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me,” highlights included a Wolfgang Puck chocolate bar, a green-screen photo booth, and a “pearls and bubbles” caviar and champagne station.

Dan Kohl and Hernan Saenz*

Justin and Nicole Small*

As the evening got underway, guests enjoyed live bird shows with Window to the Wild, flight simulators, drone races, trebuchet demos, an oxygen blast bar, the Birds of Paradise exhibition, and interacting with the Museum’s virtual Beam robot, to name a few. Lots of smiles were made at the popular hot air balloon green screen, the hair-raising Van de Graff generator and the amethyst heart geode, which made its sparkly debut in the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall. 

Guests flocked to the dragon’s breath liquid nitrogen station, featuring dream-sicle meringue, lemon meringue and Cracker Jack pops on sticks, which were dipped in liquid nitrogen. Lots of cell phone videos were recording as guests tasted the instantly frozen treats and then blew out a liquid nitrogen puff.  Other food and drink favorites included levitating macaroons, a donut wall and the Fancy Francie cocktail.

The after-party, sponsored by Central Market, got underway as Manhattan rocked the house. Ladies traded in their heels for ballet flats, as pilot hats and aviator sunglasses were passed out. Late-night snacks included “walking tacos,” pimiento mac n’ cheese, Cuban sandwiches, churros, pizza and “spiked” grasshopper milk shakes.

Jerry and Emy Lou Baldridge and Sally and Forrest Hoglund*

A few of Dallas’ local luminaries were spotted including D’Andra Simmons, Jane McGarry, A.C. Gonzales, Emy Lou and Jerry Baldridge, Peggy and Richard Allison, Betsy and Richard Eiseman, Eugenia and Frank-Paul King, Mary Suhm, Mary Jalonick, Monica Egert-Smith, Barbara and Don Daseke, Betsey Urschel, Mollie Crow, Anne Davidson, Suzanne and Walt Humann and Brent Christopher.

* Photo credit: Jason Janik

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition

The Dallas Arboretum will be closed on Christmas Day. And while the official word is that this closure allows the staff to be with their families and friends, the unofficial word is that there is an exclusive party taking place in the DeGoyler House.

Reserved annually for this festive event, the stately mansion is where Santa parties with Mrs. Claus, the elves and the reindeer after delivering toys and before heading back to the North Pole.

The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition

In addition to the eggnog, decorated cookies and fruitcake (yes, Santa does like fruitcake, especially from Corsicana), the highlight of this year’s occasion is the hundreds of Santas provided by members of the Junior League of Dallas at The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition.

The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition

The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition

By Monday morning Santa and his crew will have headed home, but the collection of Kris Kringles will still be on display along with the 12 Days of Christmas throughout the grounds until Sunday, January 8.

For your consideration, check the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for a smattering of the Saint Nicks.

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

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

The Gingerbread Stroll*

The Gingerbread Stroll*

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

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

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

Evelyn J. Fallgren's sold gingerbread house*

Evelyn J. Fallgren’s sold gingerbread house*

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

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

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

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

* Graphic and photo courtesy of The Gingerbread Stroll

2016 Parade Of Playhouses Brings Out The Competitive Spirit To Raise Funds For Dallas CASA At NorthPark

Jeff Kindig

Jeff Kindig

Jeff Kindig of Harman is bound and determined to continue Harmon’s reign as the Parade of Playhouses top builder. It was just last year when Jeff blew the Dallas CASA parade competition at NorthPark off the grid with Buckaroo Mountain Adventure house. But Friday as the 14 adorable mini-mansions were preparing for the official kick-off, the bearded Jeff found himself facing the idea of staying put in his African Safari Adventure until the “parade’s” finish on Sunday, July 31.

The reason goes back to the night before, when the 14 Parade of Playhouses were delivered to NorthPark lining from Dillards to Macys to North Court. Since the houses were to be prepared for display Friday morning, the mini-houses were literally open houses Thursday night with munchkins checking out the rock walls, slides, ladders and multi-levels.

Retro Roots

Retro Roots

Steampunk

Steampunk

Friday morning was spent cleaning up footprints and replacing doorway netting and other temporary stop measures with Plexiglas. It was the installation of the Plexiglas that found Jeff on the wrong side of the tent. But after a little work, Jeff was outside and the goodies (bunk beds, desk, chair, trunk, Harman stereo audio system and an ATV-Style Jeep, 12-vol 4X4 Electric Car) were safely behind the Plexiglas for viewing.

Looking at the Plexiglas successfully in place, Dallas CASA Executive Director/President Kathleen LaValle with camera in hand admitted that the competition had been fierce. The Crest Casa Garage had an adorable mini-Cadillac parked inside. One builder, whose entry had a metal roof, reported that his people would be out each morning to polish the roof. The “Life on Mars” was the product of the College of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma.

Crest Casa Garage

Crest Casa Garage

Kid Cottage

Kid Cottage

Life on Mars

Life on Mars

XyLophoNEhouse

XyLophoNEhouse

In the meantime, NorthParkers were chuckling about inquiries about NorthPark’s new piece of art. It wasn’t. It was XyLophoNEhouse, a work in development. On Saturday the wooden tunnel would be highlighted by musical tubes all tuned to the note of C…like CASA.

Love and Peace

Love and Peace

Steampunk

Steampunk

2016 Parade of Playhouses

2016 Parade of Playhouses

The adorable homes with amazing detailing and imagination will be on display for voting and raffle until Sunday, July 31. The timing is simply perfect with the heat and humidity getting really old. Strolling through air-conditioned NorthPark to check out the parade is free for the viewing. And if one or two or all of them strike your fancy, buy a raffle ticket! You can either do it at one of the tables set up in NorthPark or do it online. The chances are going for $5 for one or five for $20. The winning tickets will be drawn on Sunday, July 31 at 4 p.m. at NorthPark.

You can also vote for your fav by texting dallascasa to 41444. Each vote costs $5. After all, paper ballots are so yesterday.

The Lookout*

The Lookout*

However, there was one MIA. Starting yesterday, #15 (aka The Lookout) was in place at Dallas CASA.

Why not drive over to Dallas CASA in the Wilson Historic District and check it out? While there check out volunteering for Dallas CASA.

In meantime, you can check out all the NorthPark 14 plus The Lookout at Dallas CASA at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

* Photo provided by Dallas CASA

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2016 Parade Of Playhouses

The 2016 Parade of Playhouses started its displayed march throughout NorthPark officially on Friday with 14 adorable mini-mansions available for viewing, voting and up for grabs. Since they’ll only be available for checking out until Sunday, July 31, time is ticking away for the annual Dallas CASA fundraiser.

Steampunk

Steampunk

Crest Casa Garage

Crest Casa Garage

Be prepared. This year’s crop is gangbusters with slides, rock walls, metal roofs, bunk beds, ladders and all types of extra-special perks. As Dallas CASA Executive Director Kathleen LaValle admitted — the competition was fierce this year.

Life on Mars

Life on Mars

XyLophoNEhouse

XyLophoNEhouse

While the post about the last-minute preparations is being finalized, all 14 playhouses are available for eyeballing at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Young Women’s Preparatory Network Art Show At Talley Dunn Gallery Showcased The Theme Of “Respect Starts Here”

Beyond all the construction beyond Javier’s and even past Allie Beth Allman’s headquarters, the valets were lined up in front of what looked like rental storage units on Wednesday, May 4.

But as Claire and Dwight Emanuelson emerged from the lead unit, it became obvious this wasn’t your mama’s rental. It was Talley Dunn Gallery and in addition to the professional exhibitions, it was showcasing hundreds of very unique artwork that was for the taking.

So, as the Emanuelsons headed to a friend’s party and a lacrosse game, the crowd inside was checking out the OMG handiwork of Young Women’s Preparatory Network students on display at Talley Dunn Gallery. It was all a part of the YWPN’s “Respect Starts Here — Listen, Learn and Act” program that was kicked off last fall to promote empathy and equity through education.

Joyce and Larry Lacerte, Quincy Lacerte and Margaret Keliher

Joyce and Larry Lacerte, Quincy Lacerte and Margaret Keliher

Pamela Johnson, Kelsie Johnson and Bernadette Nutall

Pamela Johnson, Kelsie Johnson and Bernadette Nutall

Maria Johnston and Sally Posey

Maria Johnston and Sally Posey

Jin-Ya Huang and Lang Vovk

Jin-Ya Huang and Lang Vovk

With Natasha Bowdoin‘s “Spelboken” serving as a backdrop, YWPN CEO Lynn McBee welcomed guests including Joyce and Larry Lacerte, Roxann Vyazmensky, Margaret Keliher, Maria Johnson, Sally Posey, Jin-Ya Huang with Lan Vovk, Pam Johnson and Kelsie Johnson, Beth Thoele and DISD Board Member Bernadette Nutall, who said, “Respect Starts Here is important because developing leadership skills in economically-disadvantaged students who are starting off against the odds can help them to become proactive in dealing with issues that might detail their education. This program also embodies our three pillars of leadership, college readiness and health/wellness. We can’t wait to have our student leaders and faculty train our other network schools!”

Lynn McBee

Lynn McBee

Patty Leyendecker

Patty Leyendecker

Lynn then turned the mic over to YWPN Development Director Patty Leyendecker, who said, “Young Women’s Preparatory Network hired social justice organizations such as Journeyman Ink, Border Crossers and 29 Pieces to develop our program with best practices and to ensure our programming is intentional and effective in this goal. We also hired Diana O’Connor, who is passionate about this issue ans whose day job is the Irma Rangel librarian, to develop and implement our curriculum. The artwork you see tonight is part of a collaboration with 29 Pieces.”

Respect Starts Here artwork

Respect Starts Here artwork

Respect Starts Here artwork

Respect Starts Here artwork

After pointing out staffers and donors, Patty returned the mic to Lynn, who encouraged guests to “take on pieces that spoke to them and consider making a donation to the program as YWPN rolls it out to two more network schools.”

JUST IN: Young Master’s People’s Choice Award Winners Revealed

Last night the results of the Dallas Museum of Art’s “People’s Choice Award” vote on the Young Masters were revealed. The exhibition closes Sunday and since it’s gonna be a rainy day, why not check out the winners on the DMA’s Concourse and decided if the vote was to your liking. Evidently the Plano West Senior High School students and staff will be celebrating for weeks to come. Here’s a report from the field:

Since the 18th annual Young Masters exhibition opened on Saturday, February 27, museum attendees have participated in the “People’s Choice Award” by voting for the work they liked most in each of the three categories: Studio Art, Art History and Music Theory.

The votes are in! The O’Donnell Foundation and the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) announced the following “People’s Choice Award” winners on Friday, April 15:

Rebecca Wong*

Rebecca Wong*

Jesse Tan*

Jesse Tan*

  • Studio Art:       Rebecca Wong’s “Youth” (Oil paint on wood board); Plano West Senior High School 12th grade; Teacher: Sarah Depetris.
  • Art History:       Jesse Tan’s “Memorializing Triumph and Victory. Plano West Senior High School 11th grade; Teacher: Douglas Darracott.
  • Music Theory:  Gahwon Lee’s “A Tale of a Legend” for violin, cello and piano. Plano West Senior High School 11th grade; Teacher: Akira Sato.

    Gahwon Lee*

    Gahwon Lee*

On view at the DMA’s Concourse Gallery through Sunday, April 17, the Young Masters exhibition features 60 selected original works created by Advanced Placement® Studio Art, Art History, and Music Theory students from ten Dallas-area high schools participating in the O’Donnell Foundation’s AP Arts Incentive Program. The exhibition includes forty-nine 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional works of art created by AP Studio Art students, five essays analyzing works of art in the DMA’s permanent collections by AP Art History students, and six 4-minute original compositions by AP Music Theory students.

Schools represented in the exhibition are Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (BTWHSPVA), Colleyville Heritage High School, Coppell High School, Creekview High School, Grapevine High School, Lovejoy High School, Plano East Senior High School, Plano Senior High School, Plano West Senior High School, and Richardson High School.

Admission to the Young Masters exhibition in the DMA’s Concourse is included with free general admission. For more information, visit www.apstrategiesarts.org or www.DMA.org.

* Photo credit: Steve Foxall

JUST IN: Park Cities Historical And Preservation Society Postpones 5th Annual Distinguished Speaker Luncheon To May 19

There’s been a slight change of plans in the Park Cities. It’s the Park Cities Historical and Preservation Society. Originally, the organization was scheduled to have its 5th Annual Park Cities Historical and Preservation Distinguished Speaker Luncheon on Wednesday, March 30, at the Dallas Country Club.

Word just arrived that the lunch being chaired by the Jacobs gals (mama Doris Jacobs and daughters Kim Jacobs Calloway and Teffy Jacobs) has been moved to Thursday, May 19. It will still be at the DCC.

And there is no change of date for the PCHPS’s Saturday, April 2nd Classic and Antique Car Show or the 14th Annual Historic Home Tour on Saturday, April 9.

Classic car*

Classic car*

BTW, the car show at Burleson Park is being chaired by Dan McKeithen. It will include a treasure trove of vehicles, among them vehicles from the Sam Pack Automotive Museum, including “Fords from the earliest models off the assembly line through the war years, into the best of the muscle cars years and including current day models.”

Another traffic stopper will be “vehicles from the deBoulle Motorsports Collections.”

Hollywood Environmental Types Are Headed To Dallas For “Celebrities For Change Gala” Celebrating Earth Day 2016

It was just announced over the weekend that Lynn McBee and Trammell S. Crow will be co-chairing a brand-new fundraising gala and film series presented by Environmental Media Association and Earth Day Texas 2016. Rightly called “Celebrities for Change Gala,” it’s described as “a star-studded evening with environmental heroes” like Environmental Media Association President Debbie Levin, Malin Akerman, Lance Bass, Ed Begley Jr., Kristin Davis, Frances Fisher, Josh Fox, Zoe Lister-Jones, Wendie Malick, David Margulies, Eric Christian Olsen, Sarah Wright Olsen, Carter Oosterhouse, Louie Psihoyos, John Quigley, Amy Smart and Amber Valletta.

Earth Day Texas 2016*

Earth Day Texas 2016*

Taking place at Fair Park on Friday, April 22, (aka Earth Day), the gala will be part of the three-day (Friday, April 22 thru Sunday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) program providing speakers like Philippe Cousteau Jr., think tanks, exhibitions and the EDTx Film Series about the environmental issues facing the world and posing solutions.

According to Debbie, “We’re so honored and excited to be partnering with Earth Day Texas and being offered the opportunity to meet this incredible new community. Bringing a little bit of Hollywood to your great State to share our mutual passion for sustainability and the respect of our natural resources is such a natural collaboration. We’re thrilled to be part of your prestigious event and look forward to a long and successful partnership building awareness and solutions for our environmental lifestyle.”

Admission to the three-day program is free, but the gala is going to require some ca-ching with individual tickets going for $500.

BTW, if you’ve got some time on your hands, why not volunteer to help make the three-day celebration of the earth over the top.

* Graphic courtesy of Earth Day Texas 2016

2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Deb Ball Underwriters Are Feted At Brook Hollow Golf Club

While the Cattle Baron’s ladies were checking out Herrera fashions, Phyllis Cole McKnight and Steve McKnight arrived for dinner with friends at Brook Hollow, only to be greeted by servers with trays of appetizers and grown-up libations.

Asking a friend what was going on, Phyllis learned that the underwriters of the 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debutante Presentation were being celebrated with a cocktail reception and seated dinner in the Oak Room.

As guests were greeted by DSOL Deb Presentation Chair Nancy Labadie in the main dining room, they discovered the James French portraits of the 2016 debs lining the Verandah.

James French debutante portraits

James French debutante portraits

Nancy Labadie

Nancy Labadie

Sharon and Roy Popham and Barbara Averitt

Sharon and Roy Popham and Barbara Averitt

It was in the Verandah that 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Co-Chairs Marena and Roger Gault said news about the big DSO Fall fundraiser was on hold until after the deb ball on Saturday, February 20, at the Meyerson.

In the Oak Room, Barbara Averitt and Sharon and Roy Popham were making a check of the dinner arrangements.

Kenny Novorr and Dixey Arterburn and Linda Burk and John Gilmore

Kenny Novorr and Dixey Arterburn and Linda Burk and John Gilmore

While double-deb mom Simona Beal had to be MIA due to son Robbie Beal’s basketball game in McKinney, deb parents Lisa and Clay Cooley made it after Lisa’s spending most of the day at the Crystal Charity Ball beneficiary selection meeting.

Other guests included Cynthia Beaird, Dixey Arterburn, Kenny Novorr and Linda Burk and John Gilmore.

Galleria Dallas’ “Decadence: Fashions Of The 1920’s” Opens Its Run Through February 28 To Fashion Followers’ Delight

It was during the 1920’s just before The Great Depression hit that fashion soared with flappers’ raising their hemlines, rouging their knees and framing their faces with spit curls. To the shock of their parents, these styles were very naughty. To showcase that revolutionary era of fashion, the Galleria Dallas has created “Decadence: Fashions from the 1920’s” that will be on exhibition through Sunday, February 28, on the ground level across from Tiffany & Co. To kick things off, a preview party was held on Friday, January 22, with lovers-of-the-cloth in attendance like Rhonda Sargent Chambers, Naila Malik, Kasey Bell, Natalie Westbrook, Venny Etienne, Ashtin Roberston, Charmaine Marshall, Jan Strimple, Ekaterina Kouznetsova, Michael Dylan, Nicholas Moore and Chuck Steelman. Here’s a report from the field:

Over 300 fans of vintage fashion came together at Galleria Dallas to celebrate the grand opening of Decadence: Fashions from the 1920’s. The exhibition, which was created by Galleria Dallas Director of Marketing Martha Hinojosa and curator Ken Weber of Vintage Martini, showcases over 100 pieces of vintage couture from the roaring 20’s.

Ken Weber, Ekaterina Kouznetsova, Michael Dylan and Nicholas Moore*

Ken Weber, Ekaterina Kouznetsova, Michael Dylan and Nicholas Moore*

Hinojosa was glad to be able to provide a donation to the Texas Fashion Collection at the University of North Texas as a part of the exhibition. Garments shown at Decadence come from the Susan Denn and Robert Schmidt collection, as well as the Texas Fashion Collection and several smaller private collections. Additionally, Hinojosa was thrilled to be able to make admission to the exhibition free for the public, as a gift back to North Texans with a love of fashion and history.

Naila Malik, Kasey Bell and Natalie Westbrook*

Naila Malik, Kasey Bell and Natalie Westbrook*

Guests at the gala preview were quite impressed at the depth and quality of the exhibition. Fashion luminary Jan Strimple described the exhibit as one of the most important fashion displays in Texas in years. Fashion stylist Dawn Mellon described the collection as being something guests would expect to find at the Louvre or at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Designer Ese Azenabor felt that the exhibition provides a real opportunity for herself and other designers to seek inspiration for future collections.

Venny Etienne, Ashtin Roberston, Charmaine Marshall and Chuck Steelman*

Venny Etienne, Ashtin Roberston, Charmaine Marshall and Chuck Steelman*

Guests enjoyed luxe hors d’oeuvres from The Grill on the Alley while sipping bubbly from period coupes. Couples enjoyed a dance to period music from Matt Tolentino and the Singapore Slingers. Many of the fashionable attendees came in 1920’s inspired costume, and others raced to get photos with models dressed in 1920’s fashions.

* Photos provided by Decadence: Fashions from the 1920's

MySweetWishList: Educational First Steps

According to Educational First Steps Executive Director John Breitfeller,

John Breitfeller*

John Breitfeller*

“My wish is that all children receive the early childhood experiences they need and deserve. They make it possible for children of all backgrounds to learn how to interact positively with the world and contribute to it using their full talents, in school and in life.

“For parents among the working poor, too few affordable, high-quality childcare options exist. Educational First Steps’ mission is to provide these life-altering experiences to at-risk children. Working hand–in-hand with daycare centers in the poorest neighborhoods in 17 North Texas school districts, we create nationally recognized early childhood programs, staffed by trained, professional teachers. By teaching positive social interaction and academic skill-building, we prepare these at-risk children from the day they are born to enter school and succeed.

Educational First Steps*

Educational First Steps*

“How can MySweetCharity readers help? From December 11 through January 3, join us at the Galleria Mall for Dallas CityScape, which features spectacular scenes of Dallas landmarks and other amazing scenes, from pirate ships to outer space, created with toy bricks. Tickets to Dallas CityScape are $3, and sponsorships of bricks are available for $500, all benefiting Educational First Steps.

“And, if you can’t join us at Dallas CityScape, consider making an investment in all our children during the years that matter most, by making an end-of-year donation online. It’s the smartest investment we can ever make.”

-By John Breitfeller, Educational First Steps executive director

* Graphic and photo provided by Educational First Steps

Have the Dallas Zoo Penguins Got A Deal For The Thrifty-Minded Critter Watchers

Evidently El Nino is playing rollercoaster with temperatures and rain. Pity the poor Dallas Zoo penguins. One day they’re happy as can be with the chill and wet stuff. The next day they’re slathering on sunscreen.

Jazz the African Penguin*

Jazz the African Penguin*

But don’t feel too sorry for them because the Dallas Zoo has kicked off its Penguin Days special in honor of the formal-feathered birds. Until 4 p.m. on Leap Day … yup, there will be a February 29 in 2016… admission is a mere $5 per person.

Now, that’s a big deal bargain. It’s way more than 50% off for kids and seniors (normally $12). As for adults, it’s only an itty-bitty one-third of the normal admission ($15).

Sure, the parking is still $8, but the penguins can only do so much. Who knows? This might be the perfect opportunity to try out the DART Red Line. It takes you straight to the Dallas Zoo Station.

* Photo courtesy of the Dallas Zoo

Despite Lying Down On The Job, Ellie May Was The Lady Of The Hour At The Perot Museum’s “A Night At The Museum”

While the Dallas skyline glowed in France colors just 24 hours after the massacre in Paris, the air of the Perot Museum’s courtyard on Saturday, November 14, was filled with propane as fire-juggling performers welcomed guests to the Night at the Museum fundraiser.

Fire juggler

Fire juggler

After all it was a night of Illumination with faux jellyfish suspended from the ceiling in the entry hallway and a universe of stars at the VIP reception in the lower level’s auditorium.

Carrie Becker and Merry Vose

Carrie Becker and Merry Vose

Deedie and Rusty Rose

Deedie and Rusty Rose

Event Co-Chairs Carrie and Steven Becker and Merry and Chad Vose had arranged for a glamorous planetarium with the walls and ceiling sparkling with dazzling stars and Wolfgang Puck food and drinks. Word had it that the goodies had also been served up at the Academy Awards.

The program was delayed because organizers were in a holding pattern for Honorary Co-Chairs Deedie and Rusty Rose. But the show had to go on. After all there are schedules.

John Jaggers

John Jaggers

Mike Rawlings and Colleen Walker

Mike Rawlings and Colleen Walker

Perot Museum Board of Directors Chair John Jaggers and Perot Museum Eugene McDermott CEO Colleen Walker welcomed the crowd and directed the VIP guests to the third floor for the “unveiling” of Ellie Mae.

Taking the express elevators to the third floor, the group was privy to the uncurtaining of the display of Ellie, a female Columbian mammoth.

Unlike the big boy mammoth standing on the fifth floor, Ellie was flat but floating across from the elevator.

Ellie May

Ellie May

While the Dallas Morning News had a story about Ellie Mae, guests learned the behind-the-scene story and the high profiles who were part of the chain that brought her to the big city.

So, what was the story? A friend of Mary McDermott Cook called her about something of interest in Ellis County. Mary in turn called Perot Museum Board Member Carolyn Perot Rathjen, who called Colleen.

Ron Tykoski and Tony Fiorillo

Ron Tykoski and Tony Fiorillo

Carolyn Perot Rathjen

Carolyn Perot Rathjen

At this point Colleen would have had Perot Curator of Earth Sciences Dr. Tony Fiorillo in Ellis Country, but he was in Alaska searching for new acquisitions. So, staff paleontologist Dr. Ron Tykoski was drafted to journey with Colleen on a Saturday to check out the “the supposed discovery.”

Well, sure enough it was the real thing. All thanks to the drought and the property owner’s patience, the Perot team dug, brushed and prepared the skeleton for delivered to Colorado for mounting.

When asked how they knew the mammoth was a female, Tony diplomatically explained that in measuring the pelvis, it was declared to be a lady mammoth.

And why the name? Colleen and Tony gave each other a smile. They were really ready for that one. The bones had been discovered in “Ellis” County in the month of “May.” Oh!

Colleen told the crowd of VIPs that the collection of bones was truly remarkable because it was as if the mammoth had just laid down and died without being ravaged by other animals or swept away by the elements. Why, event her tail curled under her.

And what was the cause of her death? Gee, that was something like a 35,000-year-old CIS. Ron hinted that specks of infection had been spotted in a couple of place in her bones.

Linda and Mitch Hart

Linda and Mitch Hart

David Nichols and Elizabeth Robertson

David Nichols and Elizabeth Robertson

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins and Rachel and Michael Osburn

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins and Rachel and Michael Osburn

As Ellie looked at rest in her new digs, the 1,200 guests partied throughout the entire Perot with activities, music, food and news exchanging. Linda Hart laughed at how Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg kept hugging husband Mitch Hart at the Dallas Opera’s First Night…Elizabeth Robertson told David Nichols that she would not be taking the Perot’s escalator. She was still shaking off the fact that she had returned from Paris and its terrorist attack… Lyda Hill with a glowing ring explained to Ross Perot the layout at one of the food stations…Newlyweds Tierney Kaufman Hutchins and Jared Hutchins just back from their honeymoon were with Rachel and Michael Osburn…Mayor Mike Rawlings in black tie was making the rounds without his First Lady Micki Rawlings, who had other family commitments…Co-Chair Merry Vose told Sharron Hunt that she had spotted her starry dress in Paris and told them it was hers no matter the size. That’s why there are tailors!

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Take Advantage Of The User-Friendly Weather At The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden While It Lasts

While the sun is shining and the temperatures are user-friendly, it’s a great time to visit the Dallas Arboretum with its Twelve Days of Christmas.

Another big draw is the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. Saturday, December 19, starting at 11 a.m., they’ll be using “science to answer” how he managed to visit every house in one night, how he squeezes down chimneys and other Kris Kringle questions.

Christmas holidays at the Dallas Arboretum*

Christmas holidays at the Dallas Arboretum*

In the main garden the jolly, old fellow in the red-and-white suit will be in the main garden with one of his for-real reindeer.

And that’s just a smidgen of the activities that will be underway. As if that wasn’t enough, every day there will be plenty of things going on for munchkins and their parent and grandparents to see and do. Don’t believe it? Just check this list out!

But be forewarned. Come Monday, January 4, and most of February , the Children’s Garden will go into hibernation for winterize refreshening in preparation for the opening of Dallas Blooms that opens on Thursday, February 26. .

* Photos courtesy of the Dallas Arboretum