JUST IN: 2018 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Venise Stuart Reveals Categories for Annual Head-Turning Competition At The Dallas Arboretum

Venise Stuart (File photo)

2018 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Venise Stuart has put her thinking cap on and just revealed the categories for “A Garden By The Sea” on Thursday, April 12, at the Dallas Arboretum.

What’s the big deal? Well, until the categories are announced, hat designers and guests don’t have a clue how to create heady masterpieces in the hopes of winning one of the categories at the Women’s Council ofthe Dallas Arboretum’s 30th annual fundraiser.

So, start your creative juices flowing and pick which of the following categories will be your “headliner:”

Barbara Bigham (File photo)

  • All That Jazz (Best Group of four or more): Men may participate in this one very special category with or without women in the group.
  • To The Nines (People’s Choice): The best of the best as voted by the attendees.
  • Elegance of Earlier Days (Most Sophisticated): Grace, elegance and whimsy.
  • Gilded Age (True to Theme): Everything from the era of the Astors, Vanderbilts, and Gettys.
  • Grace And Folly (Most Creative): Shells and pearls, stepping out.
  • Peacocks On Parade (Best Botanical): Hats adorned with beautiful flowers. According to one source, this one should be flowers, not feathers. That’s probably because 2016’s “What Was She Thinking” winner Barbara Bigham cornered the market on plucked peacocks.

Venise is holding back on naming the judges right now, but stay tuned.

In the meantime, get those glue guns burning and get your seat for the Jan Strimple-produced fashion show featuring Tootsies fashions with Jocelyn White as emcee.

A Woman’s Garden (File photo)

Proceeds from the event “continues to develop and maintain A Woman’s Garden, the only public garden in the nation built by women and dedicated to the universal spirit of women.”

JUST IN: Nancy And Richard Rogers And Melody And Rick Rogers Join St. V-Day Luncheon At NorthPark As Second Presenting Sponsors

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show Co-Chairs Roz Colombo and Nancy Gopez and their Advisory Chair Heather Randall impressed a lot of folks with their plans and people for the Leukemia and Lymphoma of North Texas on Thursday, February 8.

Moving it to the CenterPark Garden at NorthPark was a biggy. Of course, it will be a tented affair, so the ladies’ hairdos don’t get mussed up. And knowing the NorthParkies, it will be quite a tent with “wish-we-were-there” onlookers.

As if that wasn’t enough, the trio had NorthPark Center as the presenting sponsor and NorthPark’s First Lady Nancy Nasher as the honorary chair.

Richard and Nancy C. Rogers (File photo)

Melody and Rick Rogers (File photo)

Now, they’ve continued the choo-choo train of news with the announcement that Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers and Melody and Rick Rogers will be the event’s second presenting sponsors.

The luncheon and fashion show featuring NorthPark merchants is less than a month away, so get that table locked down pronto. Insider tip: check with Stacey and she’ll get you a spot.

Tutu Chic Fashion Show And Luncheon Was Highlighted By Lifting Ballerinas And Bid Paddles For Texas Ballet Theater

Stanley Korshak’s Crawford Brock had better watch his back. Ah, but more about that later.

Tricia Besing

Betsy Crousen

Mary Potter

Kameron Westcott and Katy Bock

Barbara Daseke

With November temperatures proving warmer than usual, the Tutu Chi Fashion Show and Luncheon on Tuesday, November 28, at the Winspear was lacking furs and boots. Rather the gals like Lee Bailey, Doris Jacobs, Betsy Crousen, Katy Bock, Kameron Westcott, Simona Beal, Lisa Cooley, Tracy Lange with daughter Olivia Lange, Barbara Daseke, Mary Potter, Lynn McBee, Tricia Besing, Linda Ivy, Tucker Enthoven with her mom Julie Ford wore those in between season attire. And while the guests sipped white wine and champagne and towered in stilettos, the Texas Ballet Theater ballerinas were backstage in their ballet slippers.

But soon the chimes call the crowd to the Shannon and Ted Skokos Stage for the fashion show featuring ballerinas in Naeem Khan fashions in between performance by the TBT dancers. Alas, the designer couldn’t make it this year, but his clothes represented him to a T.

Before the program got underway, TBT Executive Director Vanessa Logan and Crawford welcomed the filled-to-the-brim crowd. It was at this point that Crawford may have tweaked some. He told how traditional models don’t eat and tend to look unhappy because they’re hungry. On the other hand, he suggested that this occasion was one of his favorites because the models looked so healthy and they do eat.

On the latter, Crawford was right on target. As the program got underway with TBT Artistic Director Ben Stevenson, Presenting Sponsor Nancy Carlson, Co-Chairs Marybeth Conlon and Heather LeClair, Robyn Conlon with daughter-in-law Megan Conlon front rowing it, the dancers’ leaps and lifts showed muscles that any athlete would admire.

Texas Ballet Theater dancers

Texas Ballet Theater dancers

Texas Ballet Theater dancer

Texas Ballet Theater dancer

Following the presentation, Vanessa and Crawford returned to the stage where the request for funds was made. Crawford admitted that he had a personal appreciation for the art — his mother had been a dancer.

Stepping forward to address the group were two of dancers surrounded by the rest of the troupe. Michelle Taylor told how the dancers went through their slippers, boots and toe shoes thanks to rehearsals and performances. And then there were costs of costumes, wigs and other needs for their “Swan Lake,” “Nutcracker” and other ballets.

With mics from the left: Michelle Taylor and Robin Bangert

Robin Bangert explained how in recent years, physical therapy availability had been a game changer for pulled muscles.

All of these cost money. So, while guests pulled out checkbooks to fill donation envelopes, Crawford auctioned off “A Year Of Experiences (attending Naeem’s presentation at the September New York Fashion Week, a lunch for the winner with friends at Stanley Korshak along with a $1,000 gift certificate, a $500 gift certificate to Bullion, four tickets to “Swan Lake” in June at the Winspear and a one-night stage at the Hotel Crescent Court). But before Crawford could even request an opening bid of $2,500, hand was up. Then the hands started raising throughout the audience resulting in a winning big of $12,000.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Tutu Chic Fashion Show And Luncheon

With mics from the left: Michelle Taylor and Robin Bangert

Perhaps New York-based designer Naeem Khan envisions graceful ballerinas when he creates his fashions. Perhaps not. Regardless, the Texas Ballet Theater dancers and Naeem’s clothes proved to be the perfect combination for the dancing and fashion presentation at the Tutu Chic Fashion Show and Luncheon on Tuesday, November 28, at the Winspear.

And to top off the day’s presentation on the Shannon and Ted Skokos stage, the live auction was a package of goodies that included everything from Naeem’s NYC Fashion Show Week to all types of activities and places in Dallas. Even Stanley Korshak headman Crawford Brock was amazed at how quickly the bidding started.

Texas Ballet Theater dancers

Texas Ballet Theater dancers

While the post is being prepared, check out the looks, the lifts and ladies at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetWishList: 2018 Crystal Charity Ball

According to 2018 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Claire Emanuelson,

Claire Emanuelson (File photo)

“There is a saying that ‘no one stands as tall as he who stoops to help a child.’ That summarizes my wish for the holiday season and the new year. The Crystal Charity Ball committee’s sole purpose is to serve the children of Dallas. 

“Since 1952, the Crystal Charity Ball has benefited 167 children’s charities in Dallas County with more than $145 million distributed. Beneficiaries have ranged from Children’s Medical Center to The Salvation Army. The common thread is that children are the future and they need everyone’s help. Every child deserves an education, healthcare, safety and positive reinforcement.

“In February, the Crystal Charity Ball Committee, after weeks of extensive research and vetting, will identify several children’s charities as the 2018 Beneficiaries. Charity Selection Committee members, along the accounting firm Deloitte, have carefully studied dozens of requests and proposals that will be presented to the entire Crystal Charity Ball membership. The campaign to fund these worthy recipients will begin in March.

“Please help us secure the future of the children of Dallas by visiting www.crystalcharityball.org.”

-By Claire Emanuelson, 2018 Crystal Charity Ball chair

MySweetWishList: Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show

According to Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show Chair Heather Randall,

Equest has enhanced the lives of children and adults using horses to bring hope and healing through equine assisted therapies for thirty six years. In early 2018, we will reveal details of the annual Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show and Luncheon which will raise much-needed funds for Equest’s unique therapy programs.

Heather Randall (File photo)

Louise Griffeth (File photo)

“Today, Equest is the leader in equine assisted therapy and serves hundreds of riders annually. These riders include those with cerebral palsy and autism as well as orthopedic ailments. Additionally, Equest serves our country’s brave veterans through our Horses for Heroes program.

“When Equest Women’s Auxiliary founder Louise Griffeth started the organization 30 years ago, Equest was known as Freedom Ride and many people were unfamiliar with the cause and how to become supporters. A lot has changed in the past three decades as Equest has received national recognition for its work and the Women’s Auxiliary is a thriving organization comprised of hundreds of dedicated women who work tirelessly to provide invaluable funding.

“My wish is that you visit Equest Women’s Auxiliary to learn how you can become of a part of this amazing organization. You don’t have to wait for the Fashion Show to become involve! We hope you will join us for this worthy and life changing cause.”

-By Heather Randall, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show chair

2018 Mad Hatter’s Tea’s “A Garden By The Sea” To Commemorate 30th Anniversary Of Women’s Council of The Dallas Arboretum Fundraiser

When Melissa Lewis agreed to be president of the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum, she called Venise Stuart. Melissa would only take the leadership position, if Venise agreed to chair the 2018 Mad Hatter’s Tea.

Melissa Lewis

Venise Stuart

After chairing the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Deb ball, the Aware Affair and Les Femmes Du Monde’s Women of the Year, Venise was the right one to tap for the 30th anniversary of the annual tea that benefits the Council’s A Woman’s Garden.

At Tootsies on Thursday, November 16, Melissa and Venise had about 70 guests in for champagne and to learn about the plans for the spring fashion show.

Before the announcements were made, Venise said that she wanted the annual fashion show and luncheon to be an elegant affair along the lines of the grand days when the ultra-rich sought the cool breezes of Newport in the summer.

When the event was first launched in 1987, it was simply a seated tea with Virginia Nick, Margaret McDermott, Mary Nell Rogers, Barbara Lake and Carol Ann Brown on the terrace of the Camp House with a regatta sailing on White Rock in the background. As one person described it, “Nobody had ever done anything like that. It was like we were in a movie. They had just restored the Camp Estate. It was a simple but elegant affair. It was like Downton Abby. Nobody asked you for anything. It was just a beautiful afternoon.”

Over the years, change was afoot. It was held in different locations, designers like the late Frank Olive attended, fashion shows were added and the hat judgings. In recent years, the tea has settled into a champagne reception in Ginsburg Plaza and the fashion show and live auction in Rosine Hall followed by a seated luncheon on the terrace overlooking the grounds.  

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Lynn Dealey and Linda Ivy

Dyann Skelton and Emilynn Wilson

Linda Burk

With the 70 guests including Emilynn Wilson, Linda and Steve Ivy, Dyann Skelton, Jocelyn White, Donna Darling, Claire Cunningham, Kay Weeks, Barbara Bingham and Tea founder Carol Ann Brown, the twosome announced that Linda Burk would be the honorary chair and that Tootsies under the leadership of Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb would be providing the fashions with Jan Strimple producing the show on Thursday, April 12.

A Garden by the Sea by Lynn Dealey

Then they unveiled the graphics designed by Lynn Dealey with the theme “A Garden By The Sea.”

Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary’s 2018 Fashion Show And Luncheon Plans Revealed By Chair Lisa Singleton At Eiseman Jewels

Nobody at Eiseman Jewels seemed to notice that ¾ moon hovering over NorthPark, Zeke Elliott’s legal woes or even the World Series on Wednesday, November 1. They were there to celebrate plans for the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary‘s 2018 Fashion Show and Luncheon.

Marvin and Lisa Singleton, Margot Perot and Betsy and Richard Eiseman

As Eiseman proprietor Richard Eiseman took a knee upon seeing the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary founder Margot Perot, he quickly offered the knee recognition to his wife Betsy Eiseman.

Candace Winslow and Nikki Webb

Joyce Fox

In another part of the showroom were Joanna Clarke, Nikki Webb and Candace Winslow. It would later be discovered to the wine-flute sipping crowd including SAWA President Betsy Willis, Ramona Jones, Barbara Sypult, Joyce Fox and Kim and Greg Hext, that Nikki and Candace would be joined by Kim Quinn and Merry Wyatt for underwriting efforts for the annual Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary’s 2018  Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Meyerson on Wednesday, May 9.

Barbara Sypult, Marvin Singleton, Margot Perot and Ramona Jones

As an incentive to rally the troops, Major Barbara Rich reported that last May’s fashion extravaganza had just barely missed its goal of $1M.  

Needless to say, SAWA Fashion Show Chair Lisa Singleton didn’t drop a note and warned the group that she and fashion show producer Jan Strimple would be checking closets for gently used clothes for the fundraiser.

Jan Strimple

Anne Davidson

Immediately Presenting Sponsor Anne Davidson announced that Lisa and Jan were editing her closet the upcoming weekend.

Grovel Alert: Tutu Chic Fashion Show And Luncheon

Texas Ballet Theater dancers (File photo)

Not all the nonprofits are going quiet between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Well, of course, there is Crystal Charity Ball on Saturday, December 2. But on Tuesday, November 28, the Tutu Chic Fashion Show And Luncheon at the Winspear will have the champagne bubbling and the dancers doing pas de deux, pirouette and grand jeté in the Naeem Khan designs from Stanley Korshak with the guests on stage for a up-close view. 

Co-Chair Marybeth Conlon and Heather LeClair along with Presenting Sponsor Nancy Carlson have been busy getting guests on board for the Texas Ballet Theater fundraiser.

If you’ve purchased your tickets, congratulations! If you haven’t, you’d better hurry-scurry.

According to Texas Ballet Theater Development Manager Theresa Ireland-Daubs, “We are so close to hitting our goal of 30 tables!”

So, put off the grocery shopping for Thursday’s feasting and make your reservation here.

JUST IN: 30th Anniversary Mad Hatter’s Tea Theme, Date And Plans Revealed

Last night 2018 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Venise Stuart announced plans for the annual fundraiser benefiting the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum‘s A Woman’s Garden at the Dallas Arboretum.

Melissa Lewis

Venise Stuart

On the ground level of Tootsies, Venise revealed that the 30th anniversary would be a salute to the grandeur and elegance of a bygone era.

A Garden By The Sea*

Women’s Council of the Arboretum President Melissa Lewis stressed it was not a Gatsby-period theme. Rather think of the Vanderbilts summered in Newport at The Breakers, Marble House and Rough Point, when the magnificent estates enjoyed the cool breezes.  

To visually explain the feel, Melissa and Venise unveiled the graphic designed by Lynn Dealey that benefited the “A Garden By The Sea” theme perfectly.

Serving at honorary chair will be Linda Burk, who has been a longtime supporter of the Arboretum.

The fashion show of Tootsies fashions and luncheon will take place on Thursday, April 12, at the Arboretum under the direction of Jan Strimple.

As for the chapeau judging details, stay tuned.

* Graphic credit: Lynn Dealey

JUST IN: 34th Annual St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Theme And Awardees Announced

2018 Saint Valentine Luncheon and Fashion Show Co-Chairs Roz Colombo and Nancy Gopez gathered their gal pals and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas supporters together last night at Amy Turner’s. The occasion was to announce more details about the 34th annual fundraiser.

Roz Colombo, Amy Turner and Nancy Gopez*

Heather Randall and Kristen Sanger*

As previously reported, the whole kit-and-kaboodle is moving to NorthPark Center’s Center Park Garden in a mammoth, see-thru tent on Thursday, February 8, with Jan Strimple coordinating the show. Serving as honorary chair will be NorthPark’s First Lady Nancy Nasher. Roz and Nancy managed to get 2017 Saint V-Day Chair Heather Randall to serve as their advisor.

The news of the night was the reveal of the theme “Sculpting A Cure!” and the 2018 award recipients. Receiving the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award will be Mona Carlton Stogner and Grey Stogner “for their dedication towards finding cures.”

As for the Tom Landry Character Award, seven-year-old Caitlin Johnson will be presented with the award named after the late Dallas Cowboys coach. The back story on Caitlin is pretty darn amazing. But stay tuned. It will be revealed in the days to come.

* Photo provided by Nancy Gopez

JUST IN: Equest Luncheon And Style Show Nets $253,000

It was just a month ago that the Equest Women’s Auxiliary held its annual Equest Style Show and Luncheon at Brook Hollow with designs from Highland Park Village. Since that time Auxiliary Chair Angie Kadesky and Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele have been burning up their calculators for the final number to put on the check.

Christine Volkmer, Angie Kadesky, Lili Kellogg, Beth Thoele and Robyn Conlon

Today they were joined by the event’s Honorary Chair Robyn Conlon in ponying up with a big, old check for $253,000 to Equest CEO Lili Kellogg and Development Director Christine Volkmer. And that ain’t hay!

Plans are already underway for the 2018 with Heather Randall chairing the luncheon on Tuesday, October 2, at Brook Hollow.

JUST IN: Pat McEvoy To Chair 2019 Crystal Charity Ball

Pat McEvoy (File photo)

With the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball less than a month away, plans are already underway for the 2019 Dallas children’s fundraiser. 2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson just revealed that Pat McEvoy has been selected to serve at 2018 CCB Chair-Elect and 2019 Chair.

Since being a member of CCB since 2004, she had chaired a variety of positions including the Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show. In addition to her involvement with CCB, Pat’s chaired the New Friends New Life Luncheon and the DMA’s Beaux Arts Ball, as well as serving on the Goodwill Industries of Dallas board, MD Anderson Advisory Committee, the Meadows School of the Arts Executive Board and the Dallas Woman’s Club Board of Governors. She’s also been involved with the Dallas Zoo, Center for BrainHealth, CMC Food Allergy Center, Ask Me About Art, Dallas Woman’s Club, Dallas Garden Club and other community organizations.

According to Claire, “Pat’s extensive experience in the Dallas community, her proven fundraising skills, intellect, generous and kind spirit and commitment to this organization will ensure the continued success of Crystal Charity Ball.”

 

Korshak And KidBiz Showcased “Fashion Notes” For The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League In The Venetian Room

The Fairmont has had all types of singers and musicians perform in its legendary Venetian Room. So it only made sene for the music-loving Dallas Symphony Orchestra League hold its Fashion Notes Luncheon on Monday, October 23. And instead of having professional models showcasing the Korshak and KidBiz fashions, Co-Chairs Susan Averitt Duvall, Barbara Averitt and Kendra Averitt tapped local favs to showcase the clothes including one tyke, who stole the show. Here’s a report from the field:

Susan Averitt Duvall, Barbara Averitt, Bret McKinney and Kendra Averitt*

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League (DSOL) presented Fashion Notes Luncheon and Style Show on Monday, October 23, in the Venetian Room of the Dallas Fairmont Hotel. The morning began with a reception and silent auction followed by a fashion show topped off with a delicious lunch generously underwritten by the hotel. The always lively Bret McKinney served as emcee.

Darlene Ellison*

Kevin Hall*

Donna Arp Weitzman*

Maureen Brodnax, Allison Brodnax and Tucker Brodnax*

There were no professional models on the runway. Instead, the stunning fall fashions from Stanley Korshak and KidBiz featured on the catwalk were modeled by strong, successful, and stylish contributors to our community. Dallas Symphony Association Director of Volunteers Services Allison Brodnax modeled with her one-year-old son Tucker and mother-in-law Maureen Brodnax. Tucker pushed a small stroller down the runway and melted the hearts of the audience. A first time model was Kevin Hall, COO of Grant Halliburton Foundation which helps raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental health awareness for young adults. Other models included Donna Arp Weitzman, author of ‘Cinderella has Cellulite,” columnist, and blogger; Darlene Ellison with Veritex Community Bank; Doris Jacobs and her daughter Teffy Jacobs and Carole Ann Brown.

Sarah Hardin served as honorary chair of the event and it was co-chaired by Barbara Averitt, Kendra Averitt and Susan Averitt Duvall. Mari Epperson is the DSOL President.  

The League strives to raise funds that support the love of music and the arts for thousands of youths and young adults in the Dallas Metroplex. Funds raised help to provide quality outreach educational programs, and musical competitions that light the way for talented local musicians.

Since 1946, the League has worked to support the Dallas Symphony Orchestra through service, education and fundraising efforts.  Since 1998, the League has contributed more than $12 million in support of the Dallas Symphony Association’s Community Outreach and Education programs, which help bring the wonder of music to thousands in the Dallas Metroplex.

* Photo credit:Barbara Gary

JUST IN: Candice Romo And Hollie Siglin To Co-Chair Children’s Cancer Fund’s “Celebrating 30 Sweet Years” Fashion Show

News just arrived about the Children’s Cancer Fund’s annual fundraiser gala. Hold on to your football helmets! In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the fashion show will have the theme “Celebrating 30 Sweet Years.”

Candice Romo*

Hollie Siglin*

And to make a really sweet deal, the co-chairs will be Candice Romo and her longtime buddy Hollie Siglin. In addition to both being moms, the gals are also partners in Hawk and Sloane.

To add some muscle to their team, they’ve drafted Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman as honorary co-chairs. Talk about star power!

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman (File photo)

The ladies have already locked down the Hyatt Regency Dallas for Friday, April 27.

This anniversary already has all the signs of being a sweetheart of a fundraiser. Sponsorships are available now!

* Photos provided by Children's Cancer Fund

JUST IN: Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Fashion Show Deets Revealed Among Eiseman Jewels

With the Astros facing the Dodgers in California for the World Series on Wednesday, November 1, the fashion-loving types and Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary supporters were surrounded by gems.  They were at Eiseman Jewels learning about plans for the 2018 Fashion Show and Luncheon.

Marvin and Lisa Singleton, Margot Perot and Betsy and Richard Eiseman

 

Event Chair Lisa Singleton announced the boldface team that would be holding forth at the Meyerson on Wednesday, May 9.

Jan Strimple

Candace Winslow and Nikki Webb

Flame-haired event producer Jan Strimple will be commandeering the presentation. As for underwriting, it will be Lisa’s gal pals Kim Quinn, Nikki Webb, Candace Winslow and Merry Wyatt. As previously revealed, the  presenting sponsor will be philanthropist Anne Davidson!

Anne Davidson

Adding the frosting to the event, Lisa revealed that Jan Pickens will receive the Margot Perot Service Award.

As for the honorary chair, Michal Powell will be double timing. Michal is also chairing the Salvation Army’s Doing the Most Good Luncheon on Friday, November 16.

More deets about the gathering to follow, but did want the immediate news to be provided for you.

2018 KidneyTexas Inc. President Mary Lee Cox Reveals Annalee Aston and Joanna Tollenaere To Co-Chair Runway Report

Mary Lee Cox (File photo)

Annalee Aston and Joanna Tollenaere*

With the 2017 Runway Report in the rear view mirror, 2018 KidneyTexas Inc. President Mary Lee Cox has revealed that Annalee Aston and Joanna Tollenaere will be co-chairing the 2018 Runway Report.

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

JUST IN: Art In Bloom 2018 Plans Revealed

Despite North Texas being in fundraising overdrive for 2017, plans are already being revealed for 2018. The annual Art In Bloom (AIB) is already set at the Dallas Museum of Art for Monday, March 26, thanks to AIB Chair Dyann Skelton.

Dyann Skelton (File photo)

Barbara and Steve Durham (File photo)

She’s already got Barbara and Steve Durham on board as the honorary co-chairs and the theme — Power Of Flowers.

Michael De Feo*

In addition to a reception, seated luncheon, fashion show and live auction, Dyann has arranged for NYC-based street artist Michael De Feo to be the featured speaker. Over the past 25 years, Michael’s work has been displayed in more than 60 cities around the world. His “most recent investigations are a re-working of fashion imagery from magazine ads to bus-stop shelter advertisements by painting cascades of multi-colored petals onto the printed images.”

According to Dyann, “We are thrilled to have Michael De Feo as our featured speaker for the 2018 Art in Bloom. Perhaps best known in the street art movement for his iconic flower images around the world under the moniker, the Flower Guy, we are thrilled that he is joining us here in Dallas and will entertain us with his floral interpretations, while sharing his path to success.  As an extra treat for attendees, he will create an original work to be auctioned off at the event.”

And the timing is just perfect for guests to check out Flowers — An Exhibition that will be making an encore with a “unique display of floral arrangements created by local designers and inspired by works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection” in the Museum’s Level 2 European galleries.

Funds from the Dallas Museum of Art League’s event will benefit the DMA’s education programs First Tuesdays and Teen Tours and the League’s Flora Endowment Fund.

It’s never too soon to sign up for sponsorships. So get the info about opportunities here.

* Photo provided by Dallas Museum of Art League

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show Ponied Up With Fashions, Awards And Laughs Thanks To Chair Beth Thoele

Beth Thoele and Angie Kadesky

There are those rare people in fundraising who literally break the ice much to the delight of others with their oops and refreshing spontaneity. On Tuesday, October 3, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele rose to the pinnacle of those ranks of endearment.

Initially, it was a challenge with the weather. One guests swore, “Houston shipped their humidity up here.”

Equest team

Still, the ladies marshaled on as they checked in at the club’s porte-cochere just past the Equest mini-ambassadors, Cisco and Dare, and the dapper riders on their steeds. While the equine set was quite content on the club’s lawn, the guests like Equest Board of Directors Chair Andy Steingasser, Sarah LosingerCara French, Melinda Rathke, Nuz Morshed, Allison Presser, Stacey Walker, Emilynn Wilson and Joanna Clarke discovered rows of beverages awaiting them. One gal announced, “There’s a mimosa with my name on it.”

Inside the club, the ballroom was filling to the max with the likes of Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky, Equest Executive Director Lili Kellogg, Sarah Losinger, Lisa Cooley, Linda SecrestJennifer Dix, Pam Perella, Leslie Diers, Christie Carter, Claire Emanuelson, Amy Hegi, Libby Hegi, Leigh Anne Haugh, Jennifer Swift and Vicki Howland.

Nuz Morshed, Melinda Rathke and Allison Presser

Leslie Diers, Pam Perella, Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson

But according to schedule, the infamous voice over the PA system stressed the need to get guests in chairs, which this crew did.

Considered the little sister of the Crystal Charity Ball (perhaps that’s because so many past chairs, presidents and attendees are CCB-ers), there was a certain panache in the air.

Robyn and Don Conlon

Unlike the week-ago KidneyTexas Runway Report with celeb emcee Ron Corning with a glittery crutch and KLUV’s Jody Dean raising funds with a live auction, this one is traditionally as proper at your grandmother’s thank-you notes. Instead of a live auction or the fearful shout-out for funds, there is just a certain simplicity that keeps things a-going.

Reins of Hope scarf

 After Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky introduced Tova Sido for the invocation, Beth arrived at the podium to present Honorary Chair Robyn Conlon with her husband Don Conlon at her side and daughters-in-law Marybeth Conlon and slowly-becoming-blonde Megan Conlon.

Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne

Beth then announced that a one-of-a-kind scarf had been created by Katherine Coker celebrating Equest and would be on sale at the lunch for $150. She then introduced Mother of Equest Women’ Auxiliary Founder Louise Griffeth, who reported that despite last year’s anonymous matching offer, they were gearing up to top that number for the Equest Hooves for Heroes and other programs supported by Equest. The 2017 Equest Awards for Community Service Co-Honorees/sisters Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne were presented Tiffany boxes by a couple of hunky dressage-attired fellas.

But this year there was an unplanned twist. It was Beth. Sure, she had a script, but it didn’t always go as planned. For instance, in announcing that she was handing over the “reins” to 2018 Luncheon chair Heather Randall, she said, “Good luck.” But there was a slight tone in Beth’s voice that resulted in the crowd busting out in laughter. Beth quickly recovered saying that she meant really, sincerely good luck. The laughter only continued.

Veronica Beard fashion

Hadleigh fashion

Lela Rose fashion

Escada fashion

Etro fashion

Market fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

Then it was on with the show with fashions from HP Village merchants Veronica Beard, Hadleigh’s, Lela Rose, Escada, Etro, Market and Carolina Herrera. Naturally, the willowy, poreless models were upstaged by the adorable munchkins in Hadleigh’s fashions.

The show was well edited with HP Village merchants videotaping their merchandise on the catwalk.

So as the guest adjourned to their tables, what was the talk of the day? St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon Co-Chair Nancy Gopez was receiving congrats on moving the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser to NorthPark Center… Table talk was about what TV shows were being watched — “Game of Thrones,” “Rain,”  etc. ….Tanya Foster was snapping shots of The Garden Gate centerpieces with a spanking new iPhone 8 Plus. Seems husband Pete Foster was using Tanya as sort of a guinea pig and was holding out for the iPhone 10… Lisa Ogle was writing a check for a scarf or one of the centerpieces…Mary Meier-Evans had to duck out early and get back to work at Sons of the Flag.

Despite all the festivities and laughter, no one knew that in the days preceding, red-haired Beth had been masterfully juggling another life issue… her mother-in-law had been in hospice and died the weekend before. But that is Beth. She champions on with compassion and without a glimmer of self-pity.   

For more photos of the fashions and faces, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show

Beth Thoele and Angie Kadesky

During the fundraising luncheon circuit, some guests get jaded by the very scripted and rehearsed speakers at the podium. On Tuesday, October 3, at Brook Hollow Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show Chair Beth Thoele received great vibrations as her refreshing and off-the-cuff remarks broke the guests into smiles, chuckles and one really big laugh.

Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne

Robyn and Don Conlon

Following Beth, the awards presentation of the Community Service Award to sisters Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne and recognizing Honorary Chair Robyn Conlon, the runway was filled with an array of Highland Park Village fashion curated by fashion producer Jan Strimple.  

Veronica Beard fashion

Hadleigh fashions

Lela Rose fashion

Escada fashion

Etro fashion

Market fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

While the post is being prepared, check out the peeps and fashion at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Tootsies’ Fashions Were Front-And-Center On Stage For KidneyTexas Inc.’s Behind-The Scenes “Transforming Lives”

The KidneyTexas Inc.’s Runway Report affair at Brook Hollow Golf Club on Tuesday, September 26, may have appeared to be a typical fashion show and luncheon ready for a crowd of 350. The runway was laid out in the ballroom and the luncheon tables in the Promenade. The reception was already underway even before the 10:30 start as guests with flutes of champagne strolled in spotting friends across the room. Emcee Ron Corning with left leg firmly held in place thanks to a brace following a nasty fall in Santa Fe posed for photos with guests like Donna Arp Weitzman.

Soon the room was filled with the likes of Event Co-Chair Susan Russell, Jocelyn White, Angela Nash, Ramona Jones, Di Johnston, Susan McSherry, Angela Randall, Cheryl Hall, Vicki Howland, Lynn Dealey, Jolie Humphrey, Patty Jo Turner, Lauryn Gayle White, Lisa Cooley, Patti Flowers, Delilah Boyd, Tracy Lange, Marj Waters, Mr. Mesero’s Mico Rodriguez and Tracy Williams, who was watching her 15-year-old daughter walk the runway.

Andrea Alcorn

Ron Corning

KidneyTexas Inc. President Andrea Alcorn had lost more weight that she remembered. It wasn’t because she’d signed up for Weight Watchers. It was the “Stealth Juggler’s” diet that many baby boomers are unknowingly part of. She was juggling her day-job as a PR person, her responsibilities as KidneyTexas Inc. president and taking care of her mother Mae Alcorn (the longest kidney transplant survivor) who had fallen and broken a couple of major bones.

Altuzarra fashion

A.L.C jacket

Cinq A Sept gown with LaMarque jacket

Enhanced Rob Bradford gown

Highlighting the Tootsies fashions on the runway was a model in a Rob Bradford figure-hugging gown wrapped in vines ladened with faux butterflies that reflected the day’s theme “Transforming Lives.” 

But it was the behind-the-scenes story that was the real reason for the gathering.

Then there was McKamy Tiner, who just the year before had co-chaired the luncheon. She was also the nation’s youngest kidney donor. Today she was all smiles. Not just because of her kidney sharing, but she was getting married the following Saturday to Joel Looney. Because one donates a kidney doesn’t mean they lost their sense of humor, too. She told how when Joel met with her father months before, the bridegroom-to-be was nervous. Her dad offered him a Scotch to sooth his nerves. As an added calm down, papa Tiner told Joel, “I was always worried that Tiner would marry an a-s-o-e. You are the nicest guy around, so I’m not worried.”

McKamy Tiner

Susan Russell and Christine Martin

John Castorr

Co-Chair Christine Martin was as bright and sparkling as Tinkerbell. But that wouldn’t have been so, if it hadn’t been for two kidney transplants.

Christine’s brother John Castorr told how one of the beneficiaries Camp Reynal was a true getaway for for children with diabetes. In addition to having outdoors activities and being like any other summer camp, Camp Reynal had dialysis machines and healthcare specialist on site. 

But with all these knock ‘em out of the park stories, there was someone missing. His name was Vinny Trezza and he was a hunk. Not only did he play golf and was a Boy Scout, he “had been living with hydronephrosis, a condition from birth that caused his kidneys to swell and not function property.”

While folks sat near Vinny’s mom, Melissa Trezza, they initially didn’t realize the struggle that she and her family had gone through. But thanks to Melissa being a perfect match and Dr. Dev Desai at Children’s, Melissa “donated her kidney to her son, allowing him to avoid dialysis.”  

So, how does a kidney transplant take place?  For Vinny and Melissa it was Dr. Desai working for hours cutting away tissue around Melissa’s kidney with the help of long surgical tools and a TV screen that enhanced the picture of the kidney. Once Melissa’s kidney was removed, time was of the essence. It had to be flushed out and prepared for transplant. The kidney’s turning gray was a good sign as it was placed in an ice chest and transferred to the operating room where Vinny was prepped. Once Vinny’s “bad” kidney was removed, the clock kept ticking. Within minutes, Melissa’s kidney was transplanted into her son.

But this recent transplant and May’s transplant that took place years ago only resulted from research and development funded by fundraising by events like Runway Report.

Sue Goodnight

Steve and Linda Ivy

Natalie Taylor

Dee Lincoln

Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb

Jody Dean

As auctioneer Jody Dean worked the room to bring bids just a wee bit higher, Melissa sat knowing that her Boy Scout son had been the recipient of the power of fundraising with the fashions from Tootsies, the efforts of heroes like Lifetime Achievement Awardee Sue Goodnight, Honorary Co-Chairs Linda and Steve Ivy, Sue Goodnight Services Award recipient Natalie Taylor and Over-The-Top Awardees Dee Lincoln and Tootsies’ Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb.

As for Vinny, he was in class just being a normal buy thanks to his mom, Dr. D and the folks who had provided funding to let him get on with life.

And while Vinny let it be known that he wouldn’t be on the scene, there were nearly 50, who no-showed without notifying organizers. The results? Prepared and paid-for meals had to be thrown out. Had the MIA notified the leadership, the Runway Report could have prevented the meals from being prepared and saved some bucks. 

For more photos from the runway and the audience, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: KidneyTexas Inc.’s Runway Report

While the Tootsies fashions took centerstage at the KidneyTexas Inc.Runway Report on Tuesday, September 26, at Brook Hollow, the scene stealers were stories of people like KidneyTexas Inc. President Andrea Alcorn‘s mother, McKamy Tiner, Luncheon Co-Chair Christine Martin and a young fella named Vinny Trezza and his mother Melissa Trezza, whose lives have changed thanks to research and treatments for the disease.

Andrea Alcorn

McKamy Tiner

However, it must be admitted that the closing fashion on the catwalk that reflected the event’s theme of “Transforming Lives” definitely got reactions from those in the audience.

Enhanced Rob Bradford gown

Susan Russell and Christine Martin

While the post is being finished, check out the fashions and faces at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Runway Report Patrons Were Feted Where Penguins Once Partied

While Runway Report Honorary Co-Chairs Linda and Steve Ivy were world traveling and Co-Host Don Daseke was elsewhere doing deals, Co-Host Barbara Daseke carried on for the KidneyTexas Inc.‘ Runway Report patrons in the Daseke home-in-the-woods. It all took place on Thursday, September 21, in celebration of the “Transforming Lives Fashion Show And Luncheon” on Thursday, September 21, at Brook Hollow Golf Club. In addition to checking out the teak-wood mansion, guests were able to start bidding on the live auction items and raffle goodies. Here’s a report from the field:

Barbara Daseke, Christine Martin and Susan Russell*

Barbara and Don Daseke opened their fabulous home for the Patron Party honoring KidneyTexas Inc.’s The Runway Report Transforming Lives Fashion Show and Luncheon on Thursday, September 21, a wonderful treat for all!

Someone said the last time they were there for an event, there was a cheetah in the backyard and penguins in a pool. All of that is true! It happened when the Dasekes hosted an event for the Zoo To Do benefiting the Dallas Zoo, caretakers from the zoo brought some of the zoo’s residents for a road trip to the Daseke’s to meet and mingle with the upscale crowd. As longtime supporters of the Dallas Zoo, Barb and Don are chairing that event this year on Saturday, November 4.

Dee Lincoln and Jan Strimple*

Dustin Holcomb and Nerissa von Helpenstill*

KidneyTexas Luncheon Co-Chair Susan Russell and her husband, Don, joined Luncheon Co-Chair Christine Martin in welcoming friends, supporters and patrons in for the celebration. Enjoying the sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and artful scenery were Over the Top award honorees Dee Lincoln of Dee Lincoln Prime, who sponsored the wines this evening, and Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb from Tootsies that is also the fashion show sponsor. And the word is out, the ever-fashionable Jan Strimple, fashion show producer, has a special surprise up her sleeve to be showcased at the fashion show on Tuesday.

The Sue Goodnight Service Award recipient Natalie Taylor was there, along with the award’s namesake, Sue Goodnight, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.  

Natalie Taylor and Di Johnston*

Renee and David Winter*

Former Luncheon Chair Renee Winter and dear friend Pam Brock brought in orchids which will be featured as the luncheon’s centerpieces. Dr. David Winter, Renee’s husband, caught up on news with friends Dr. Warren Katz and his wife. Special thanks to Gold Crown Valet for sponsoring valet services for this and all of KidneyTexas’ special meetings and events.

The 2017 KidneyTexas beneficiaries include:

  • Parkland Foundation: $30,500 for kidney dialysis unit;
  • Baylor Health Care System Foundation: $30,000 for a five-year study of kidney transplants;
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center: $29,925 for kidney related research;
  • Children’s Medical Center Foundation: $20,500 for hemodialysis and blood pressure machines;
  • Camp Reynal: $19,500; and
  • Texas Health Resources Foundation: $14,214for a hemodialysis machine
* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show Patron Party

Robyn Conlon and Beth Thoele

Heather Washburne, Vicki Howland and Elisa Summers

Not only did Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show Chair Beth Thoele arrange to have home run for the Tuesday, October 3, fundraiser at Brook Hollow. First, she got Robyn Conlon to serve as her honorary chair. Second, she managed to have Highland Park Village serve as the presenting sponsor. Third, she and her committee tapped HP Village’s first ladies Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne to receive the Equest Award for Community Service. Fourth, Beth along with Jan Strimple are having some of the pick-of-the-litter HP Village merchants like Carolina Herrera, Escada, Etro, Hadleigh’s, Lela Rose, Market and Veronica Beard showing their fashions on the runway.

Carolina Herrera fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

As a treat, the luncheon patrons got to see a preview of a handful of the Carolina Herrera collection with Herrera staffers from NYC to answer any and all questions at a party on Wednesday, September 20.

While the post is being finalized, check out the peeps and fashions at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.