JUST IN: 2017 Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Barbara And Don Daseke Reveal Fundraiser’s Plans

While the two-legged critters wore shades as the sun set slowly over the Dallas Zoo’s Highland Hippo Hut, the two showstoppers chilled in the Simmons Hippo Outpost lagoon last night. The twosome were Adhama and Boipelo that almost stole the show from the reveal of plans for the 2017 Zoo To Do.

Dallas Zoo’s “hip” kids

But more about that at a later date.

In the meantime, here are the deets: Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Barbara and Don Daseke have arranged to have Diane and Hal Brierley in charge of the live auction; Barb and Steve Durham as host committee co-chairs; Cindy Gummer handling decorations; Kate and Lane Britain as underwriting co-chairs; Anatole Brett Krafft as wrangler and ZaZa Chef Dan Landsberg as head chef.

The date is set for Saturday, November 4. It’s going to be a great one with the Dasekes, the committee heads, the chefs cooking all over the place and the multitude of newborns that are cropping up all over the zoo.

2017 Fur Ball Team Reports At Kick-Off Party That The SPCA Of Texas Fundraiser Will Be “Reigning Cats And Dogs” Come September

The two-legged critters got together at Highland Park Village’s Alice And Olivia to dine, shop and learn about plans for the black-tie 2017 Fur Ball. Needless to say, guests were purring with approval when details of the SPCA of Texas fundraiser were revealed. Here’s a report from the field:

Fur Ball Kick-Off party*

Friends of Fur Ball gathered on a lovely spring evening at Alice and Olivia at Highland Park Village on Tuesday, May 2, for the Fur Ball 2017 kick-off party! Guests were all decked out in spring finery, and joined 2017 Fur Ball Chair Cindy Lindsley; Auction Chair Sandra Fite; Co-Chairs Laura Floyd, Allie Jarvie and Jennifer Lindsley; and Auction Co-Chair Cameron Gummer to enjoy shopping, champagne and sweet and savory bites.

Cameron Gummer, Cindy Lindsley and Sandra Fite*

Champagne and wine, thanks to Barefoot Wine and Bubbly, were passed while guests enjoyed light bites provided by Whole Foods and Bird Bakery’s signature cupcakes. The evening’s superb staffing was provided thanks to KMG Events. People’s pooches also felt the love thanks to gourmet dog treats from Dane and Dale Pet Provisions.

Sincere thanks Alice and Olivia for welcoming the happy crowd and for donating 15% of proceeds from the evening’s sales to the SPCA of Texas! Very special thanks to Alice and Olivia for hosting the beautiful bash, especially CEO Stacey Bendet and store manager Carson Haynes.

The event was held in support of the SPCA of Texas’ Fur Ball 2017, “Reigning Cats and Dogs,” DFW’s salute to the bond between people and their pets. The elegant black-tie gala will delight the senses with Emcee Ron Corning, dancing, headline entertainment by Limelight and live and silent auctions. SPCA of Texas’ Fur Ball 2017 will be held on Saturday, September 30, from 6:30 p.m. to midnight at the Omni Dallas.

All money raised through Fur Ball 2017 will go towards the SPCA of Texas’ important mission to rescue, heal, and find loving homes for vulnerable animals.

Sharon Fancher, Katy Murray, Lynn McBee, Gus Hinojosa and Betsy*

Karen Urie and Kristen Greenberg*

Debra Burns and Russell Dealey*

Guests included Lynn McBee, Russell Dealey, Betsy Orton, Sharon Fancher, Paula Calise, Giana DePaul, Kay Whelan, Anja Woodson, Andrea Reich, Chad England, Ashley Berges, Mark Soto, Ashley Berges, Diane Taheri, Tatiana MurphyElizabeth and Harold McCoy, Carly O’Keefe, Carla Webb, Cameron and Jay Gummer, Kristen Greenberg, Dean McSherry, SPCA of Texas Chair Katie Murray, Gus Hinojosa, Steve Atkinson, Teresa Henderson, Karen Urie and Susie Swanson.

* Photo credit: Thomas Garza Photography

Skinnygirl Sangria And Margaritas Plus Peanut Butter Balls Were On The Menu For Community Partners Of Dallas’ Chick Lit Toast

Skinny Girl beverages and Chick Lit glassware

Like a glamorama pep rally, the Community Partners of Dallas Chick Lit Luncheon crowd held forth at Chick Lit Honorary Chair Gail Fischer’s Preston Hollow estate for the Skinnygirl Toast on Tuesday, March 21.While Skinnygirl Founder/Chick Lit Headliner Bethenny Frankel was ways away from the ZIP code making headlines, she was well represented thanks to pitchers filled with Skinnygirl drinks — Grapefruit and regular margarita, White Cranberry Cosmo, White Sangria and Chardonnay — at the bar and making the rounds.

As one gal said, “The sangria is healthy. Just look at all the fruit.”

Cassandra’s peanut butter balls

Across the way on a buffet table loaded with edibles was the star of the yummies — Cassandra Tomassetti’s peanut balls smothered in dark chocolate. A couple of those would fatten up even skinny Bethenny. One gal looked as if she was going put one or two in her purse for a late-night snack.

Jana Nobles, Mary Moore and Paige McDaniel

For the toasting occasion, CPD masterminds Paige McDaniel and Joanna Clarke had the drinks served up in stemless glasses boasting the Chick Lit Luncheon logo. Little did the guests know that they would have similar glasses and mints to take home. 

Laura Pickens, Mary Martha Pickens and Gail Fischer

As the 100 guests Like Luncheon Co-Chair Mary Martha Pickens with her niece Laura Pickens, Cindy Turner, Suzy Gekiere, Susan Farris, Jan Nobles and Mary Moore filled the home, Gail fiddled with her remove control navigating the Smart TV’s music categories. She wanted to play the right music, but husband Cliff Fischer, who is usually the one in charge of remoting, was out of town on business. With a try at jazz, Carol Seay played advisor, suggesting to move on to something a little more upbeat.

Cindy Turner, Suzy Gekiere and Susan Farris

Tickets for the Friday, April 21, CPD fundraiser presented by Lara and Dr. Robert Tafel at the Hilton Anatole are available here. Proceeds from the event will help CPD serve “more than 20,000 of Dallas County’s abused and neglected children this year.”

Leslie Ann Crozier Kicks Off “Countdown To The Cure . . . Committed Exclusively To Alzheimer’s Research” With A SRO Crowd

The valets had been warned to expect about 30 cars on Thursday January 26, at The Plaza on Turtle Creek. That number had been hit before The Conservancy doors opened at 6 p.m. What drew the crowd of 75 including Barbara and Stan Levenson, Kay Hammond, Gary Garcia and Lee Bailey was the shout out by Leslie Ann Crozier.

Lee Bailey, Gary Garcia, Leslie Ann Crozier and Roger Rosenberg

The Hot On! Homes Co-CEO was spearheading “Countdown To The Cure . . . Committed Exclusively To Alzheimer’s Research” to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research at UT Southwestern. She had created the fundraiser because of her mother’s developing Alzheimer’s three years ago.

To bring the reality of the disease to the forefront, Leslie Ann had Alzheimer’s Disease Center Director at UT Southwestern Dr. Roger Rosenberg on hand to get guests involved on the host committee of the “1st Annual ‘It’s Their Time’ Celebration Gala” on Tuesday, May 23, at the Mansion on Turtle Creek.

Plans For 4th Annual Great Create Revealed At Forty Five Ten

So who said January was ho-hum? They were obviously so very out of the loop! Thursday, January 12, was a gas spender just trying to make the rounds. Like the Little Black Dress Party Preview at Goodson Audi benefiting Legal Hospice, Dallas was bustling to get back in the groove for fundraising.

Over at Forty Five Ten, the Nasher Sculpture Center’s 4th Annual Great Create was being kicked off. Nasher Director Jeremy Strick fessed up that despite all the fundraisers in Dallas, the Great Create was the most fun.

Not only does it provide a venue for kids to discover wonderment and art thanks to professional artists, it also allows parents to kick back and enjoy a Sunday afternoon in the Nasher’s gardens.

Only problem? Some of the parents wish that there was a similar type of event for parents to bring out their artistic inner selves.

This year’s even will take place on Sunday, April 23, with Lauren and Jason Bender and their children and Janelle and Alden Pinnell and their children co-chairing the fun.

Serving on the host committee are Katie and David AisnerLindsay and Jehan AkhtarLilly Albritton and Chuck BriantLindsey and Dave BeranKristy and Taylor BowenMia and Tyler BrousKatherine and Ken BullockCourtney and Dan CaseAshley and Robert CatheySylvia Cespedes and Hernan Saenz, Emily and Walter ClarkeLindsey and Patrick Collins, Jessica and Doug Epperson, Sara Fay and Merrick EganShannon and Jeff EstesJenney and David GillikinKerri and David GoldfarbJill and Wade HendersonJanie and Dave HodgesMonica and Paul HolmesBrooke HortenstineLindsay and Chuck Jacaman,Cris Jordan and Scott PotterKarey and Josh KitfieldSunny and Craig KnockeErica and Trey Kuppin, Hallie and Max LamontNicolette and Miles Lamont, Katie and Pierre Lavie, Laura and Frederick Lear, Sheryl and Eric Maas, Catherine and Doug MacMahon, Tracy and Josh Madans, Louise and Charles Marsh, Erin and Mike McKool, Paula and Todd Minnis, Meredith and Xan MooreLucy and Thomas MortonLucy and Will MurchisonJessica and Dirk NowitzkiAnnie and Tim O’GradyKristin and Aaron Ortega, Katie and Kyle OudtNatalie and Dirik OudtJessica and Tyson PinnellAlison and Cullen PowellKristie RamirezKristin and Ricky Rees, Katherine and Eric ReevesBrooke and Rod RobersonStephanie and John RobertsLisa and John Runyon, Cheryl and Andrew SchoellkopfAmanda and Charlie ShufeldtRobyn and Michael SiegelCourtney and Jeff SinelliNicole and Justin Small, Helene and Sandy SpurginMelina and Randy StarrDenise and Chris StewartRachel and Chris TrowbridgeGwendolyn and Richard Turcotte,Bianca and Bo WatsonClaudia and Brian WingMegan and Brady WoodLucy and Steve WrubelErika and Matt Yeaman, Lyssa and D’Arcy YoungRenee and Bob Yttredahl and Marjon Zabihi and Gibbs Henderson.

Starting at $500 for four, tickets are available now plus sponsorships.

Ally’s Wish’s Boots And Blessings Kicked Off With Krispin Munchies, Champagne And A 10% Give Back At Draper James

With the holiday season just days away, Thursday, November 15th was the perfect time to learn about plans for Ally’s Wish’s Boot And Blessings Gala at Draper James especially with the store’s providing a 10% give back. Here’s a report from the field:

Southern charm and southern hospitality couldn’t have made for a more perfect night at the new Draper James boutique in Highland Park Village on Thursday, November 15.  The 3-year-old nonprofit organization Ally’s Wish hosted a kick-off celebration for the annual Boots And Blessings Gala. The organization that grants wishes for terminally ill young mothers (many of whom are fighting terminal cancer diagnosis), celebrated with southern inspired bites by Wendy Krispin Caterer and Korbel California Champagne Non-Vintage Brut Rosé.

Draper James*

As guests filled the narrow boutique, scents of the Draper James holiday spice candle filled the room and the shopping commenced. A give back on the night of 10% of sales was all that guests needed to hear in order to do some early holiday gift shopping for friends and family.

Kersten Rettig, Jill Salinaro, Shirley Cohn and Mary Hubbard*

In attendance were former Highland Park Village Marketing Director, Kersten Rettig (she’s also the Gala Underwriting Chair), Erin Key, Andrea Reich, Jill Salinaro, Barbara Dianis, Jessica Velasco, Mary Hubbard and Laura Armstrong Downing, who will serve as this year’s Advisory Chair.

Kim Gilchrist, Kellie Rasberry and Missy Phipps*

Host/Emcee Kellie Rasberry gathered the crowd around the large in-store island and began sharing her connection to the organization and how it was so reminiscent of Kidd’s Kids, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary this month. As Rasberry noted, “It is the moms that the wishes are granted for, but the children who have the lasting memories”.

As Kim Gilchrist, one half of the event chair duo, made sponsor announcements and recognized the other members of the event leadership team she shared her excitement for the 2017 event. With over 19 moms on the waiting list for wishes to be granted, and more requests coming in monthly, the annual gala provides the necessary funds to create the memories that the moms’ desire.

Following Kim’s comments, Ally’s Wish Co-Founder/President Missy Phipps shared the history of the organization. With many new faces in the crowd, it was an opportunity to share the story of the late Allyson Hendrickson and how four friends created an organization that has impacted over 40 moms since its inception in March of 2014. 

Missy Phipps, Holly Reed, Kelly Walgamott and Melissa Cary*

As the evening was winding down and guests were making their final purchases, the Draper James team made the night a bit sweeter with branded cupcakes from Sprinkles!

With a successful kickoff event in the books, the focus now turns to the upcoming event. The 3rd Annual Boots And Blessings Gala will be held on Saturday, April 29, at Gilley’s Dallas. For more information, tickets or sponsorships please visit www.allyswish.org.

Photo Credit: Bob Manzano

2017 Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Kick-Off Party Celebrated Dr. Stephen Mansfield’s Selection

Francie Moody-Dahlberg

Francie Moody-Dahlberg

Even from the curb, it was pretty obvious that 2016 Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Awardee Francie Moody-Dahlberg and her husband Kevin Dahlberg know how to showcase fall. Pumpkins galore were perfectly place around the front of their Park Cities home. Even a tree had pumpkins coiling around the trunk and up into the limbs.  It was the perfect welcome for guests of the Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award kick-off party on Wednesday, November 9.

Michael Meadows, Sharon McCullough and Brent Christopher

Michael Meadows, Sharon McCullough and Brent Christopher

Once past the entry hall the crowd, including Sharon and Mike McCullough, Michael Meadows, Chris Durovich, Jamie Williams and 2012 Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Awardees Myrna and Bob Schlegel, gathered in the kitchen and family room. No change that. They filled to overcapacity the kitchen and family room.

The 2017 Virginia Chandler Dyke Leadership Awardee Dr. Stephen Mansfield was surrounded by well-wishers like Brent Christopher and evening host Bank of Texas’ Bob White, while Stephen’s wife Marilyn was across the room also surrounded.

Stephen Mansfield and Bob White

Stephen Mansfield and Bob White

Virginia Chandler Dykes

Virginia Chandler Dykes

Making her way through into the crowd was award namesake Virginia Chandler Dykes.

Missing from the evening was Texas Women’s University Chancellor/President Carine Feyten, whose husband, Chad Wick, was on the mend after undergoing surgery earlier in the day.  

Plans were revealed that Stephen will be honored officially at the 15th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon on Wednesday, March 8, at Belo Mansion benefiting the Virginia Chandler Dykes Endowed Scholarship Fund at TWU. Since its inception, the luncheon has provided more than $550,000 in scholarships.

2017 Symphony Of Chefs Kick-Off Party Revealed A New Logo And Some Additions To the KidLinks Fundraiser

D’Andra Simmons Lock and Jeremy Lock were very busy the first week in November in the Turtle Creek hood. First there was the Cancer Blows Kick-Off Party on Tuesday, November 1, at Ashley Tatum‘s and Newt Walker‘s mansion on the east side of Turtle Creek. That’s when  the CB Co-Chair Locks announced official plans for the May 8-10th event.

Then just a couple of days later the twosome were on the other side of “the Creek” at Vinette and Mike Montgomery‘s home-sweet-home for the kick-off party for KidLinks’ Symphony of Chefs, which they’ll be honorary co-chairing. Here’s a report from the field:

D'Andra Simmons Lock and Diana Crawford*

D’Andra Simmons Lock and Diana Crawford*

Fresh off the heels of the CancerBlows Kick-Off, Symphony of Chefs Honorary Co-Chairs D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock joined friends and supporters on Thursday, November 3, at Vinette and Mike Montgomery’s Highland Park home for the 7th Annual Symphony of Chefs Kick-Off Party. Benefiting the music therapy non-profit KidLinks, the fundraising event will take place on Monday, February 27, at the newly named Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station, Symphony of Chefs.

Debbie Murphy, Bonnie and Nathan Shea*

Debbie Murphy, Bonnie and Nathan Shea*

As guests including Dee Simmons, Ashley Berges, Regina Bruce, Sandy Sule, Aneeta Goomar, Doris Jacobs, Debbie Murphy, Nathan Shea and Kimberly Alexander mingled in the backyard of the Montgomery’s home overlooking the Dallas Country Club and the sun began to set, emcee Jane McGarry took the mic to introduce two of the Event Chair duos, Bonnie Shea and Marc Lyons

Sandy Sule and Aneeta Goomar*

Sandy Sule and Aneeta Goomar*

Marc Lyons*

Marc Lyons*

Bonnie and Mark shared the duties of providing remarks thanking a host of sponsors and partners for their support of the kick-off including SweetBeat Vodka and 4R Ranches’ Willem Johnson, who selected the Empson USA Inc. wines served on the night. They also spoke of their connection to KidLinks and the power and impact that music therapy has among children and families in hospitals. For them it was a personal connection and the reaction of seeing a child’s life changed through the power of music. And what better way to bring the love of music together with a great meal raising money for KidLinks.

After sharing their stories it was on to the unveiling of the new logo design, which shone brightly on the cobblestone among the onlookers. Chief Executive Officer Diana Crawford reiterated words of appreciation to attendees and shared statistics on the importance of music therapy entertainment announcing that KidLinks was not impacting the DFW market but because of their online network of low-cost, free content available through HugWorks, they would be able to reach and impact children worldwide.

Symphony Of Chefs logo*

Symphony Of Chefs logo*

As the speeches came to a close and with references to the definition of a symphony, Jane introduced several changes to the 7th annual event. These changes included adding a mixology themed cocktail reception featuring rising star chefs, a four-course wine-paired dining experience where chefs would cook at the table for 10 guests followed by a decadent dessert reception paired with port and after-dinner cocktails. She went on to announce a partial list of committed chefs including Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” alumni Tiffany Derry, Asador Restaurants’ Brad Phillips, Madrina’s David Fingerman and Proof+Pantry’s Nick Hurry with many more to be announced in the coming weeks. Finally she announced just one of the pastry chefs who would create the dessert course — former Rosewood Mansion pastry chef Gianni Santin.

As the night came to a close, 5 of the 20 available tables had been sold, leaving just 15 left. Guests were encouraged to confirm their sponsorships, tables and tickets (at $1,000 per seat) soon because the event would be a sell-out.

For more information about KidLinks and the Symphony of Chefs evening of culinary composition visit www.thekidlinks.org.

* Photo credit: Thomas Garza

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon Chair Heather Randall Revealed Plans For February Event, As Leukemia Survivor Bennett Williams Made Funny Faces

Having recovered from Halloween and heading toward the fall/winter final fundraising period, the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon crowd gathered some 75 strong at Lisa and Clay Cooley’s sweet estate. Thanks to a delayed start by the rain gods, the golf-cart shuttle moved seamlessly across the bridge and to the main house.

Lisa Cooley and Jill Rowlett

Lisa Cooley and Jill Rowlett

Dee Wyly

Dee Wyly

There, such folks as Jill Rowlett, Dee Wyly, Kris Sanger, Elizabeth Gambrell, and Claire and Dwight Emanuelson settled in the living room to hear the plans, except for Angela Nash, who hunkered down in the balcony overlooking the first floor.

Clay Cooley and Dwight Emanuelson

Clay Cooley and Dwight Emanuelson

Heather Randall

Heather Randall

St. V-Day Luncheon Chair Heather Randall reported that the presentation of Highland Park Village fashions would take place on Valentine’s Day itself (aka Tuesday, February 14) at the Meyerson Symphony Center. This year’s theme would be Affair Of The Heart with Tracy and Ben Lange serving as honorary co-chairs, Gina Betts and Michael Flores as advisory co-chairs and Daffan Nettle and Yvette Ostolaza as underwriting co-chairs.

Kirsa Willliams, Bennett Williams, Keith Williams, Ava Williams and Ellie Williams

Kirsa Willliams, Bennett Williams, Keith Williams, Ava Williams and Ellie Williams

She then reeled off some of the sponsors (the fundraising goal is $1M) and introduced Spirit of Tom Landry Character Awardee Bennett Williams. While his mom, Kirsa Williams, thanked guests for making funds available for leukemia and lymphoma research and development, Bennett sat on a couch with his dad, Keith Williams, and his sisters, Ava Williams and Ellie Williams. Kirsa’s sincerity was so moving as she described her son’s being diagnosed at 13 months (imagine: 1,207 days of chemotherapy). Still, she was a bit upstaged by Bennett’s making funny faces. Hey! He’s just a kiddo surrounded by a room full of adults, and the hour was getting late. And, like his predecessors, who have also managed to conquer the blood disorder, he’s still a youngster at heart.

Big surprise for some was the presenting sponsor news — Nancy C. and Richard Rogers. The surprise was due to Nancy’s claiming that she was officially retiring. However, if you read between the lines, she probably meant that she was just backing off of chairing events, but would still support certain fundraising with her attendance and support.

Tickets are already available starting at $300 and, of course, sponsorships run the gamut.

2017 Cancer Blows Kick-Off Party Has SRO Turnout Despite Traffic Jam And Competing Events

The world of nonprofits hit head on with the political universe on Tuesday, November 1, on Lakeside. While usually only geese and ducks honk on the elegant drive, on this night it was luxury vehicles with drivers getting steamed. One gent stood on the running board of his stationery SUV shaking his fist at the god of traffic jams.

The jam resulted from two big gatherings — the kick-off party for Cancer Blows at Ashley Tatum’s and Newt Walker’s residence overlooking Turtle Creek, and a get-together a block away for U.S. Representative Pete Sessions.

Linda and Steve Ivy

Linda and Steve Ivy

Adding to the mix was the fact that the Cancer Blows event had initially been planned for under 75 guests, but as the minutes ticked away, that headcount evolved to a number just a smidge less than 200, including Robin Robinson, Linda and Steve Ivy, Martha and David Tiller, Jeff Byron, Kevin Hurst and newlyweds Emily Eisenhauer Freling and Darryl Freling, who had just returned from their wedding in California’s Napa Valley.

Darryl Freling and Emily Eisenhauer Freling

Darryl Freling and Emily Eisenhauer Freling

Inside the Tatum-Walker abode, the trophies of Newt’s past hunting ventures had been replaced by artistic Ashley’s fav artists like David Bates.

Because it was such a busy night in town with Colin Powell at the Meyerson, Adele at American Airlines Center, etc., not everyone could stay for the presentation in the living room featuring a slimmed-down Cancer Blows Co-Chair D’Andra Simmons Lock and husband/Co-Chair Jeremy Lock and The Ryan Anthony Foundation President Ryan Anthony, who just happened to have his trumpet in hand. Fellow Co-Chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill were in Nashville attending the 50th Annual Country Music Association Awards. D’Andra, Jeremy, and Ryan were engulfed by well-wishers and supporters throughout the evening. 

With the crowd spilling into the side hallways, plans were revealed that the Baylor Health Care System Foundation and Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation fundraiser event will return to the Meyerson for its headliner concert on Wednesday, May 10, featuring the world’s leading trumpeters. Serving as honorary co-chairs will be Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger.

Leading up to the Meyerson performance, there will be two days in which a variety of activities are planned. Declared D’Andra: “We’re doing everything we can to make this the most incredible sell-out ‘Blows’ ever.”

In addition to the packed crowd, there were videographers recording the event. When event planner Hamilton Sneed was asked whether the crew was on hand for a local reality show, he looked shocked and responded that they were part of his team filming for future promotional purposes. Whew!

7th Annual Great Adventure Kick-Off Party Put “Train Your Brain” Sessions With The Puzzle Pros Up For Auction

January may seem a long time off, but it isn’t for the dedicated players of the 7th Annual Great Adventure Hunt. The Kick-Off Party at Nicole and Justin Small‘s home revealed some new twists and turns for the ChildCareGroup fundraiser, including the addition of the introduction of the Puzzle Pros. Check out this report from the field about the Pros and more:

Garrett Shipman, Danielle Ricketts, Nannette and Rodney Swift

Garrett Shipman, Danielle Ricketts, Nannette and Rodney Swift*

The first social event held at Nicole and Justin Small’s newly-renovated home was the Kick-Off Party on the evening of Tuesday,October 25, for the 7th Annual Great Adventure Hunt, benefiting ChildCareGroup. The expansive patio of the Small’s elegant mid-century modern North Dallas home and the beautiful fall weather created the perfect backdrop for nearly 100 guests including ChildCareGroup CEO/President Tori Mannes, Jennifer Sampson, Garrett Shipman, Danielle Ricketts, Nannette and Rodney Swift, Rena Pederson, Gladys Kolenovsky, Jenny Murphey, Amber Neroes and Kathy Touchstone to mingle and practice puzzles for the most unique fundraiser in Dallas.

 

Jenny Murphey, Amber Neroes and Kathy Touchstone

Jenny Murphey, Amber Neroes and Kathy Touchstone*

Nicole Small and Erin Nealy Cox*

Nicole Small and Erin Nealy Cox*

The 2017 Great Adventure Hunt, presented by Alliance Data and co-chaired by the Smalls, along with Erin Nealy Cox and Trey Cox, will take place at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science on the evening of Saturday, January 28.  Returning to the Perot Museum will be déjà vu for Nicole, who was the Museum’s CEO for 12 years, leading the successful completion of the world-class downtown museum.

Pegasus Bank and Bright & Bright LLP sponsored the Kick-Off Party where the co-chairs made the exciting announcement of the event’s Puzzle Pros sponsored by Lyda Hill. The masterminds behind the Hunt’s fun and challenging puzzles are John Harris, Joe Mannes, Tom Nynas, Kemp Sawers and Bart Showalter. Longtime Hunters will recognize the puzzle gurus, who collectively have either won or placed in the event at least 10 times.

Kemp Sawers, Joe Mannes, John Harris and Bart Showalter*

Kemp Sawers, Joe Mannes, John Harris and Bart Showalter*

Nicole ended the evening by auctioning off three “Train Your Brain” sessions with the Puzzle Pros. Winners will enjoy exclusive, insider tips on solving puzzles for the Hunt over cocktails with the Pros.

The Hunt takes over the Perot Museum for the evening and turns the museum’s five-floors into fun and unexpected puzzle sites. During the Hunt, teams of six players compete against other teams to decipher wacky clues and solve puzzles. From inflatable gorillas and disappearing ink to edible clues, you never know what you will find! Judges tally the scores, and teams who solve the most puzzles correctly in the shortest amount of time receive special prizes and bragging rights.

The event annually raises $300,000 to support ChildCareGroup’s early childhood education programs. For 115 years, ChildCareGroup has been offering high impact, holistic services for vulnerable parents and children. By helping children start kindergarten ready to excel and giving parents the chance to pursue better educations and careers, ChildCareGroup empowers two generations to lift themselves out of poverty.

Since children learn through play, the Great Adventure Hunt allows to the community to give through play. The Hunt is a unique opportunity to have loads of fun while having a significant impact in the community.

Another sell out is anticipated and teams are going fast! Click here for more information or to reserve a team, or contact Kendal Kramer at 215.905.2404 or [email protected].

* Photos provided by ChildCareGroup

Pamela Love’s “Muses And Manifestations” Plus Nick Fouquet Hats Filled Forty Five Ten For Art For Advocacy Kick-Off Party

The invite for the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s Art For Advocacy kick-off party read that it was taking place at Brian Bolke’s Forty Five Ten on Thursday, September 22. The question was: Was it the original Forty Five Ten digs on McKinney Avenue, or the gee-whiz new multi-level jewel box across from The Joule?

Lucy Wrubel

Lucy Wrubel

Gonzalo Bueno and Michael McCray

Gonzalo Bueno and Michael McCray

Faisal Halum and Jason Hardwood

Faisal Halum and Jason Hardwood

Lindsay Jacaman

Lindsay Jacaman

Since the new one doesn’t officially open until November, it was indeed at the original specialty store where Art For Advocacy Honorary Chair Nancy Carlson, Shelle Sills, Judson Hardwood, Tara Lewis, Lindsay Jacaman, Gonzalo Bueno and Michael McCray had gathered. On this night it had DJ Lucy Wrubel at the music helm and Nick Fouquet chapeau designs. When asked why she hadn’t been spinning for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala the weekend before, Lucy admitted that it was a case of conflict of interest with her class reunion.

Brian Bolke and Pamela Love

Brian Bolke and Pamela Love

Muses And Manifestations

Muses And Manifestations

As fortune tellers like Laura West predicted future developments for guests, “love” was in the air thanks to petite jewelry designer/author Pamela Love, who was looking way too adorable and accepting congrats on her collection and her new book — “Muses and Manifestations.”

Across the room, the place looked like Javier’s cigar room without the smoke. Very cool chaps were donning Nick Fouquet’s Huckleberry Hats, and why not? Nick had his collection on display, being sold, and making the average cool folks look even cooler.

To make the evening even more special, 10% of the proceeds from sales of Pamela Love, Nick Fouquet and Huckleberry Ltd., benefited DCAC.

It will be a big year for Art For Advocacy. Not only is DCAC celebrating its 25-year anniversary, the Saturday, November 5th fundraiser at GDT Warehouse will be #10 for Art For Advocacy.

Wilkinson Center’s Spirit Of Taos Returns To Melissa Benge Collection For A Kick-Off Party With Boots And News Galore

Melissa Benge Collection boots

Melissa Benge Collection boots

The Friends of Wilkinson Center’s Spirit of Taos was such a successful kickoff last year at Melissa Benge Collection, they did a repeat on Wednesday, September 21. It’s no wonder. With boots, turquoise, suede coats, belts, saddles, leather goods and silver buckles, the shop seemed to have brought the best parts of Taos to the Knox-Henderson neighborhood.

Melissa Benge Collection leather, silver and turquoise accessories

Melissa Benge Collection leather, silver and turquoise accessories

This year the Benge crew upped the ante by giving guests 10% off of all merchandise, donating 10% of all the evening’s proceeds to Wilkinson Center and providing guests like Anne Conner, Liz Stutts, OJ DeSouza, Michael Cooley, Emily Dunn, Sandra Pomeroy, Joe Acosta and Gary Stevener with “a decorative coffee mug from Melissa Benge Collection and a jar of La Casita Award Winning salsa as a takeaway gift.”

Anne Reeder, Missy Huber and Millie Winston

Anne Reeder, Missy Huber and Millie Winston

Evidently nobody cared when the official start time was. Everybody was there except Wilkinson Center PR gal Vodi Cook. Alas, the dedicated blonde Vodi’s recent demolition derby of a car crunch had resulted in her left arm going under the knife to repair damaged ligaments from just above the elbow to her wrist. Gee! The good news is that Vodi is right-handed.

And despite holding up bravely at the Kidney Texas lunch the day before, Vodi was not up to snuff for the Spirit KO. Luckily, Wilkinson Center’s Executive Director Anne Reeder was on hand to answer any questions.

One question hitting Anne that had absolutely nothing to do with Wilkinson was the bulldozers demolishing the former Steakley dealership at the corner of Abrams and Northwest Highway. She recalled the 1960s when most of Dallas thought anything north of the Park Cities was Oklahoma. It was at that time some very brave entrepreneurs saw the city’s future lying along Northwest Highway. While the late Ray Nasher was building NorthPark Center, Anne’s dad, the late John Steakley, built a well-known and successful Chevrolet dealership on the property where a pony ride operation had been. And while the family sold the property years ago, most locals still refer to it as the Steakley property.

Meridith Zidell, Stephanie Taylor and Sloan Looney Dix

Meridith Zidell, Stephanie Taylor and Sloan Looney Dix

But Anne quickly recovered from the good old days memories and told how Stephanie Taylor, Sloan Looney Dix and Meridith Zidell would chair Spirit on Friday, October 28. And, yes, it will return to The Lot just across the street from White Rock. Joining the hoop-la will be Honorary Co-Chair Steve & Cathy Saxon. And, of course, the raffle will have everything including jewelry, dining opportunities, trips and art.

A couple of the very tip-top items are

  • Taos Bling (Value: One of a kind!) — For anyone who loves Taos, they’ve just got to have turquoise  and silver in their jewel box along with their diamonds. But then one can simply never have enough of the good stuff. So “Dallas jeweler Beyond Baroque will deck you out with diamonds and turquoise: turquoise and diamond earrings, turquoise discs interspersed between silver chain necklace with vintage bone pendant accented with pave diamond heading, and collection of stackable turquoise and diamond bracelets. According to Vodi, “We thought Taos Bling would be a great item to feature since all the ladies who attend the event wear their turquoise and pave diamonds.”
  • Cookin’ With Sibby (Value: $1,200) — Unlike the usual dining-out package, how about something totally new and not in your zip code? Longtime Wilkinson Center supporter/creative maven Sibby Barrett will whip up a dinner for four guests at Onion Creek Kitchens at the Hill Country’s Juniper Hills Farm in Blanco. And since it’ll be a full night of dining and wining, the guests won’t have to scurry back to Big Old D. Sibby has arranged for a one-night stay in “two charming cottages.”
Steve and Cathy Saxon

Steve and Cathy Saxon

The Spirit of Taos is one of those events where boots, turquoise and jeans are so at home that you wish it went on for a couple of days.

Tickets/sponsorships range from $150 for outdoor tickets to $8,000 that includes premium covered seating for a table for eight.

Robbie Briggs Hosted Cristo Rey Dallas College Preparatory School’s Grove To Grove Kick-Off Party

Cristo Rey Dallas College Preparatory School students may not be known for their football team. That’s because they don’t have one. But they’re definitely making an impact on the Dallas business community. As part of their curriculum, they have the Corporate Work Study Program in which they “work in professional settings five days per month.” Not only are they exposed to a business environment, they also earn the majority of their tuition.

To celebrate and fundraise for the Pleasant Grove school, Grove to Grove at Trinity Grove was kicked off on Wednesday, September 14, before the rains starting falling. Here’s a report from the field:

On Wednesday, September 14, Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep donors and friends gathered at The Marquee for a cocktail party hosted by Robbie Briggs and Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. The school’s supporters came together to kick off the upcoming Grove to Grove event on Friday, September 23, at 3015 at Trinity Grove and to view colorful Cristo Rey Dallas flags, which were on display throughout the shopping center.

Guests had the opportunity to meet current students who shared their experience attending a college prep high school where students work one day a week at businesses such as Hunt Oil, The Dallas Morning News and CBRE, earning tuition and valuable work experience.

Mike Rawlings, Kelby Woodard, Maria Cintron and Gunnar Rawlings*

Mike Rawlings, Kelby Woodard, Maria Cintron and Gunnar Rawlings*

Attendees included Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Grove to Grove Co-Chairs Karen and Mark Carney and Patty and Mark Langdale, Honorary Co-Chairs Carolyn and Jere Thompson, Cheryl Joyner, Board Member Bill Miller, Amy and Pat Thompson, Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows,

Cristo Rey Dallas Corporate Work Study Executive Director Gunnar Rawlings and Cristo Rey Dallas Director of Development Susan Jenevein.

Cristo Rey Dallas President Kelby Woodard addressed the crowd of roughly 50 guests and thanked them for their support, which has greatly benefited the school’s 246 freshman and sophomore students. Woodard also provided a heartfelt message of thanks to Sister Dawn Achs of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, who was in the audience, and shared details on the school’s anticipated Grove to Grove event.

“Grove to Grove is about celebrating Cristo Rey Dallas and our incredible students,” Woodard said. “But it’s also about sharing our school’s work with the rest of Dallas. Our mission is to provide economically challenged students the best possible education and prepare them to be successful in college and equip them for a lifetime of leadership. Through the funds raised at Grove to Grove, we can continue to provide our students with an excellent college preparatory education for years to come.”

* Photo provided by Cristo Rey Dallas College Preparatory School

The Family Place Kicks Off 2016 Partners Card With North Soiree At IBB Design Fine Furnishings

If the kids are back in school, high school football games are holding Fridays hostage and the holidays are just weeks away, then it’s time for the warmup for The Family Place‘s Partners Card program. Getting the whole thing ramped up was the Partners Card North Seller Soiree on Saturday, September 10. Here’s a report from the field:

Ciara Cooley, Lisa Cooley and Tori Roark*

Ciara Cooley, Lisa Cooley and Tori Roark*

More than one hundred guests of The Family Place, Partners Card 2016 Co-Chairs Elizabeth Dacus, Jane Rozelle and Samantha Wortley, and Honorary Chair Lisa Cooley, gathered at the Partners Card North Seller Soirée hosted by Beth Rafferty and Shay Geyer, co-owners of IBB Design Fine Furnishings, Saturday, September 10.

In celebration of the annual Partners Card fundraiser, the family-friendly event featured Easy Slider and Trailercakes food trucks, tunes by DJ Jennifer Miller and a photo booth featuring super hero props to celebrate this year’s theme, Shop Like a Hero.  The afternoon honored sponsors and card sellers who continue to support Partners Card and bring hope to victims of domestic violence. Guests also enjoyed shopping at the beautiful IBB Design Fine Furnishings’ Frisco showroom, with 10% of sales donated to The Family Place.

Brian Geyer, Brooklyn Geyer, Jaylie Geyer and Shay Geyer*

Brian Geyer, Brooklyn Geyer, Jaylie Geyer and Shay Geyer*

The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin welcomed guests and reminded everyone to please mark their calendars for the annual shopping event, Partners Card presented by Bank of Texas, set for Thursday, October 28 through Sunday, November 6. Bank of Texas Senior Vice President and Manager of Commercial Banking Mandy Austin also addressed the group and thanked The Family Place for its eight-year partnership. Partners Card Co-Chairs Samantha Wortley and Jane Rozelle announced the new Partners Card app and upcoming events, and IBB Co-owner Shay Geyer revealed the winners of the IBB gift card.

The Family Place Chief Executive Officer Paige Flink concluded remarks by encouraging everyone to buy a card and stated that through the success of the program, The Family Place is able to provide for victims of domestic violence, which includes opening a new men’s shelter, counseling center and retail shop in Collin County beginning September 21, 2016.

Mandy Austin, Beth Martin and Rhonda Green*

Mandy Austin, Beth Martin and Rhonda Green*

“It’s incredible to see how Partners Card has grown over the past 23 years and how much support we have from communities across the Dallas Metroplex,” Paige said. “Because of the success of the Partners Card fundraiser and the support from our sponsors, retailers and sellers, we have 30 women, 67 children and five men currently in safe housing.”

Guests included: IBB Director of Marketing and Business Development Meredith Hite, The Family Place Development Manager Heather Street Baker, Katy Bock, Kameron Westcott, Rhonda Green, Patrick McLaughlin and Past Partners Card Chairs Brynn Bagot Allday, Lisa Bhattacharya, Jennifer Burns, Andrea Cheek, Sara Friedman, Nancy Gopez, JB Hayes, Kathryn Henry, Maggie Kipp, Kate Rose Marquez, Debbie Munir, Kristen Sanger and Dawn Spalding.

Cardholders are invited to shop, dine and save with a 20% discount at more than 750 participating retail locations and restaurants throughout the Dallas Metroplex.

* Photo credit: George Fiala

Dallas Museum Of Art’s Junior Associates Kicked Off Membership Drive At Eagle Family Plaza

Dallas Museum of Art’s Junior Associates’ Co-Chair Rachel and Michael Osburn have made themselves right at home in the DMA’s brand spanking new Eagle Family Plaza. To rev up memberships, they held a kick-off party on Saturday, August 27, in the Plaza complete with all types of news, fun, giveaways and, of course, a non-stop photo booth. Here’s a report from the field:

On Saturday, August 27, the DMA Junior Associates kicked off the 2016-2017 year with a tailgate-themed celebration at the DMA, taking full advantage of the Museum’s new Eagle Family Plaza. Party-goers snacked on sliders, mini tacos, and French fries in newspaper cones while sipping on watermelon and strawberry sangria.

Eagle Family Plaza*

Eagle Family Plaza*

On the Plaza, guests like Allison and Matthew Eagan, Jenifer Klos, Mary and Yair Frenkel, Sally Pretorious Hodge and Adam Hodge, Tyler Levy, Amanda Hyde, Bhavesh Pranav, Andrea Cheek, Rachel Nash, Kate Landrum and Laura Oslick challenged each other to games of bean bag toss and giant Jenga while enjoying one of the last days of summer.

Allison and Matthew Eagan*

Allison and Matthew Eagan*

Michael and Rachel Osburn*

Michael and Rachel Osburn*

Chairs Rachel and Michael Osburn unveiled an exciting calendar of events for the year—prompting nearly two dozen new Junior Associates to join during the festivities. Giveaways from Diane von Furstenberg and Denim and Soul added to the enthusiasm of new members and a photo booth by Flashbox Photobooth ensured everyone would remember the fun-filled evening.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron

10th Annual Change Is Good Kick-Off Party Turned Work Into A Birthday Celebration with Green Cupcakes, Crayons And Checks

One local nonprofit group that subscribes to the Tom Sawyer philosophy of making work seem like fun is Community Partners of Dallas. To launch its 10th anniversary of Change is Good along with prepping supplies for young clients, they held a kick-off party on the afternoon of Saturday, August 20, at CPD headquarters complete with green birthday cupcakes, loads of crayons and checks. Here’s a report from the field:

Ray Ballotta, Caroline Ballotta, Lindsay Ballotta and Williams Ballotta*

Ray Ballotta, Caroline Ballotta, Lindsay Ballotta and Williams Ballotta*

Community Partners of Dallas kicked off the 10th Annual Change is Good on Saturday, August 20, with a celebration and day of volunteering for event sponsors and members of the event’s host committee.

Chair family Lindsay and Ray Ballotta with kids Caroline and William, welcomed nearly 100 attendees for a day of fun. As families arrived, they were encouraged to create their own design for the annual t-shirt, which will be unveiled at the upcoming Sunday, September 25th event.  With “10th birthday” as the theme, participants of all ages showed their artistic talents with their original designs.

Barry and Sandy Moore, Ryan Moore and Kennedy Moore*

Barry and Sandy Moore, Ryan Moore and Kennedy Moore*

Grayson Porwell, Valerie Prowell and Noelle Prowell*

Grayson Porwell, Valerie Prowell and Noelle Prowell*

Gracie Kong, Sarah Kong and Owen Kong*

Gracie Kong, Sarah Kong and Owen Kong*

Paige McDaniel, Henry Horvat and George Horvat*

Paige McDaniel, Henry Horvat and George Horvat*

Midway through the event, President and CEO Paige McDaniel welcomed everyone and thanked event sponsors, then gave special recognition to the Change is Good chair family, the Ballottas, as well as honorary chairs Beth and Larence Park. She also thanked all the kids for working so hard over the summer as they collected change to help change the lives for other kids – whether they emptied their own piggy banks or raised money online or through other activities. As a surprise, George Horvat (age 10) and his brother Henry Horvat (age 8) made a special presentation to Paige…a check for $300, which they raised from hosting a summer day camp, which benefited CPD.  Paige wrapped up by leading the kids in singing “Happy Birthday” to Change is Good, as well as Calum Taylor who was celebrating his 14th birthday on Saturday!

Birthday cupcakes*

Birthday cupcakes*

Attendees were then separated by age to help CPD put together hygiene kits and back to school supplies for the abused and neglected children they serve.

The 10th annual Change is Good will be held on Sunday, September 25, from 3 – 6 p.m. at Brook Hollow Golf Club. The fun-filled day will feature activities for all ages, including bungee jumping, obstacle courses, a prince/princess station, a paper airplane zone, a GameTruck, the Rad Hatter, balloon artists, face painting, bounce houses, a DJ dance party and an array of fun birthday activities to celebrate Change is Good turning 10. Participating children and teens will turn in the change they collected over the summer in exchange for chances to win exciting prizes. This year’s prize for most change raised is a 3D printer!

Sponsorships begin at $550 and are on sale now; tickets are $75 per adult and $35 per child.  For more information visit communitypartnersdallas.org.

* Photo provided by Community Partners of Dallas

2016 TACA Custom Auction Gala Co-Chairs Dianne And Mark LaRoe Host Kick-Off Party With Cool Jazz, Patron Tequila And Big Swan

Dianne and Mark Laroe

Dianne and Mark Laroe

It was a first for TACA. The performing arts organization held a kick-off party for its annual TACA Custom Auction Gala on Thursday, June 2. The location for the KO, attended by about 60 guests, was 2016 Custom Auction Gala Co-Chairs Dianne and Mark Laroe’s ultra-cool Bluffview home.

With the Eric Willis Trio performing equally cool music, Dianne recalled that when she and Mark hardly had two coins to rub together, they started collecting art. There was only one caveat. If one of the twosome wasn’t thrilled about a piece, it was a deal killer.

Eric Willis

Eric Willis

One piece that was a standout was the huge white inflatable swan floating in the pool. No, it wasn’t one of the Laroes’ pieces of art. It was a gift from the Laroes’ daughter-in-law. Dianne loved it so much, she asked for a black swan for her birthday.

Another eye catcher grabbing attention was the display of Patron in the dining room. Patron State Manager Justin Erickson explained that tequila was expanding its use by being included in Starlight Sangria and Silver Sling. In other words, tequila is no longer just for margaritas and shot glasses. And Patron is going to make its presence known at TACA’s black tie event at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek on Friday, September 23. Makes sense since Patron Spirits Company and Mark’s Deutsche Bank Wealth Management will be the presenting sponsors.

Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing (File photo)

Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing (File photo)

Other news revealed that Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing will be the honorary co-chairs and Rachel Michell will be auction chair.

Hal and Diane Brierley (File photo)

Hal and Diane Brierley (File photo)

Lee Cobb and Lucilo Pena (File photo)

Lee Cobb and Lucilo Pena (File photo)

The host committee will be made up Purvi and Bill Albers, Heather and Scott Alexander, Laura and Michael Bashour, Diane and Hal Brierley, Faye C. Briggs, Marsha Cameron and Michael Halloran, Nancy and Clint Carlson, Connie and Denny Carreker, Lee Cobb and Lucilo Peña, Garry Cox and Don McDermett, Barbara and Don Daseke, Barbara and Steven Durham, Gwen and Leldon Echols, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Nicholas Even, Cindy and Charles Feld, Carmaleta and Otis Felton, Tracy Fitz, Andrea Gates, Carol and Don Glendenning, Dawn and Tobin Grove, Gayle and Jim Halperin, Robert Hernandez, Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer, Linda and Steve Ivy, Joe and Louise LaManna, Tara Lewis and John Swords, Holly and Tom Mayer, Lynn and Allan McBee, Rachel and John Michell, Geraldine “Tincy,” Miller, Deborah and Jim Nugent, Leah and Jim Pasant, Carrie and Anthony Scotti, Peggy and Carl Sewell Jr., Marlene and John Sughrue, Courtney and Ed Tauriac, Zannie and Glenn Voss, Karen and Jim Wiley, Donna Wilhelm and Katherine Wynne.

Tara Lewis (File photo)

Tara Lewis (File photo)

Nick Even (File photo)

Nick Even (File photo)

Katherine Wynn (File photo)

Katherine Wynne (File photo)

 

Former First Twin Jenna Bush Hager To Be Keynote Speaker For Family Gateway’s Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon

North Texas was starting to take on the profile of Seattle South thanks to the deluge of May rain. It would have been a perfect format for bumbershoot jokes, except the loss of life and property weren’t the least bit humorous.

But thanks to a break in the rain on Wednesday, June 1, the skies cleared for the Family Gateway Kick-Off Party at Lisa and Clay Cooley’s home.

Christie Carter, Angie Kadesky, Lisa Cooley and Anne Davidson

Christie Carter, Angie Kadesky, Lisa Cooley and Anne Davidson

Chef Kent Rathbun told Christie Carter that the rain had indeed filled his towering cisterns. He added that the gallons could easily be drained in a week to water his acreage. What Kent wasn’t talking about was the behind-the-scenes issues that were developing in his relationship with his majority partner Bill Hyde. But who wanted to chat up business entanglements; Kent and wife Tracy Rathbun were focused on their duties as honorary co-chairs for the Family Gateway’s Gateway to Opportunity Luncheon on Tuesday, September 27, at the Omni Dallas Hotel with former first twin Jenna Bush Hager as the guest speaker.

Speaking of acreage, another fellow looking at the Cooley grounds wondered aloud if Clay ever tossed a line for fishing from the bridge over the property’s creek. The answer? According to Clay, he doesn’t fish the property. He feeds the finny residents. Only problem? The koi on the upper pond keep tumbling down to the lower pond. Plans are underway to resolve the southward swim.

Marissa Castro Mikoy, Ben and Tracy Lange

Marissa Castro Mikoy, Ben and Tracy Lange

Others in the crowd were Ben Lange, who will chair the After-School All-Stars, AFAS Executive Director Marissa Castro Mikoy, Britton Lynn, Angie Kadesky and Anne Davidson.

Paula Miltenberger

Paula Miltenberger

Ciara Cooley and Clay Cooley

Ciara Cooley and Clay Cooley

The guests moved into the den to learn more about Family Gateway and plans for the upcoming Gateway To Opportunities that will be co-chaired by Tracy Lange and Paula Miltenberger. Underwriting will be handled by Lisa and daughter Ciara Cooley, who is the youngest member of Family Gateway’s board.

Sponsorships start at $7,500 and tickets can be snapped up for $

VNA To Launch “Society 34” At Top Knot For Young Professionals

Summer may be officially firing up, but fundraising news hasn’t chilled one bit. Instead of events taking place hourly, news is pouring in nonstop.

The VNA is the latest to report an undertaking. It’s the launch of a “young professionals group to carry on Dallas’ strong tradition of community service caring for seniors.”

The new group will be officially called Society ’34. Interesting name, but what does it mean? Well, membership will be open to anyone between the ages of 24 and 44 and 34 is smack, dab in the middle of that range. Now you know!

The organization will provide an opportunity for members “to learn, serve and enjoy leadership and networking opportunities” that include volunteering and social activities. There will also be  benefits like

  • Invitations to educational and networking events
  • Participation in volunteer activities
  • Discounts to special VNA events

To build its membership, a kick-off event will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28, at Top Knot, where “charter memberships will be offered at a discounted rate of only $34.”

According to VNA President/CEO Katherine Krause, the plan calls for “Society ’34 to engage today’s young professionals who will be the leaders and caregivers of tomorrow.”

Cattle Baronesses Gather At Bistro 31 To Kick Off Fundraising For Naming Of Hope Lodge Suite

As storms were cooking up down in Stephenville on Tuesday, May 10, the Cattle Baronesses were gathering at Bistro 31 to kick off their newest project — to raise $100,000 for Cattle Baron’s Ball’s naming of a Hope Lodge Suite.

Cara French and Andrea Weber

Cara French and Andrea Weber

Co-Chairs Cara French and Andrea Weber reported that if 200 present and/or past committee members would contribute at least $500, they’d meet their goal.

FYI: Hope Lodge is the American Cancer Society facility being built at the Baylor University Medical Center campus that will provide residence for those seeking treatment for cancer in the North Texas area and their families. It is a godsend for people who should not have to worry about where they can stay while trying to save their lives.

Amy Turner and Katherine Wynne

Amy Turner and Katherine Wynne

But all the talk on this evening was not limited to the need for Hope Lodge. Andrea surprised some of the guests with news that she was not just pregnant. Nope. She’s due to deliver a son just days before the Saturday, October 15, fundraiser at Gilley’s.

In the meantime, Cara was recalling the night before when she and more than a dozen gals attended the Beyonce concert at AT&T Stadium. Review: It was spectacular. One wished Queen B had done some of her old tunes.

2005 CBB Chair Amy Turner in shorts with Chanel purse chatted with 2009 CBB Chair Katherine Wynne, who was on her way to the Zoo To Do kick-off party at the Dallas Zoo.

The Party Animals Overcame Traffic Woes For Zoo To Do’s 25th Anniversary “Silver Safari” Kick-Off Party

Evidently no one told the internet map services that there had been some reconfiguring of I-35 leading from Dallas to the Dallas Zoo. During evening rush hour on Tuesday, May 10, it seems the old familiar lanes just weren’t headed in the right direction anymore. Some drivers looked like homeless puppies as they begged for others to allow them to swap lanes at the juncture of I-35 and I-30.

Linus the possum

Linus the possum

Owl ambassadpr

Owl ambassadpr

Despite the inconvenience, zoo-loving devotees found their way to the Zoo To Do kick-off party at the Zoo’s the Simmons Family Base Camp overlooking the Giants of the Savanna. As the two-legged humans sipped and sampled and got chummy with the resident owl and possum (okay, so when Tom Leppert got a wee bit too close to Linus the possum, the former Dallas mayor was advised that Linus might find Tom’s nose tasty), the elephants had their own happy hour themselves and could have cared less about guests’ trekking. Of course, it didn’t hurt that thanks to the fundraisers’ gathering, the pachyderms’ happy hour had been extended. Instead of two-for-one drinks, it was extra trunk time at the gurgling water features, green grass and hanging out at hay towers. While it was the same-old, same-old for vets of the herd, it was OMG for newbie African arrivals that had just left the drought conditions of their native Africa.

Elephants hanging out at the hay tower

Elephants hanging out at the hay tower

When asked how to tell the new kids on the block from the old-timers, a Zoo staffer said the African newbies were the thinner ones.

Dallas Zoo VP of Guest Experiences Sean Greene, when asked about the complaints regarding the “bring over” of the elephants from Africa to the states, admitted that he appreciated the concerns, but that comparing the Giants of Savanna’s protected environment to the natural predators, poaches and lack of food in Africa, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of comfort as he watched the elephants chowing down in their new digs. Sean’s hope was that the Dallas Zoo would be a prototype of how to provide better conditions for animals that only knew suffering in their native Swaziland.

Sean Greene

Sean Greene

John Levy

John Levy

Tom Leppert and Diane and Hal Brierley

Tom Leppert and Diane and Hal Brierley

But the evening’s attention soon shifted from the heavyweight types to the heavy hitters like Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy, who will be heading up the 25th Anniversary of Zoo To Do with “Silver Safari” on Saturday, October 1, at the Zoo (naturally) with Party Machine providing the music. Future plans like the names of the participating chefs and live auction packages will be revealed in the weeks ahead.

Amy and Michael Meadows

Amy and Michael Meadows

The host committee is made up of  Christy Berry, Committee Co-Chairs Christy Berry and Ruth O’Donnell Mutch, as well as Stacey and Dan Branch, Janet and Crawford Brock, Connie and Denny Carreker, Ana and Don Carty, Taylor Conway, Barbara and Don Daseke, Holly Bock, Monica and Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, Barbara and Steve Durham, Kara and Randall Goss, Kathryn and Craig Hall, Jan and Fred Hegi, Jennifer and Doug Houser, Margo and Jim Keyes, Matrice Ellis-Kirk and Ron Kirk, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Sarah and Alan Losinger, Amy and Michael Meadows, Deborah and David Michel, Caren Prothro, Nancy and Doug Rabe, Sylvia and Hernan Saenz, Patty and Dennis Stone and Lori and Chuck Whitten.

Everything is moving right head with tickets started at $750 and sponsors already lining up including

  • Anniversary Level ($100,000) — The Eugene McDermott Foundation
  • Platinum Level ($50,000) — Diane and Hal Brierley, Carol and Don Glendenning / Locke Lord LLP, Carol and John Levy, Ruth O’Donnell Mutch and Gayla and Jim Von Her
  • Silver Level ($25,000) — Serena & Tom Connelly, Jennifer and John Eagle, Melissa and Trevor Fetter / Tenet Healthcare Corporation and Kara and Randall Goss
  • White Gold Level ($15,000) — Barbara and Don Daseke, Cindy and Chuck Gummer, The Craig and Kathryn Hall Foundation, Al G. Hill Jr., Lyda Hill, Jennifer and Doug Houser, Overhead Door Corporation, Edgar A. Robinson Family, Lori and Chuck Whitten, Ellen and Don Winspear and Wendy and Gary Wojtaszek/CyrusOne
  • Sterling Level ($7,500) — Bank of America (Photo Opportunity Sponsor), Gilian and Steve Baron, Susie and Joel Carp, Hegi Family Foundation, Dana and David Kleiman, Vicki and Brian Miller, Elaine and Trevor Pearlman, Stephen Penrose, Caren Prothro, PwC, Dr. R. Lynn and Cynthia A. Rea and Friends, Texas Capital Bank, Turner Construction Company, Walne Family/Herb’s Paint and Body Shops, David R. Weinreb, Westwood Trust and Jane Williams.

Luckily, there are still some great sponsorship opportunities still available. But better hustle.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Zoo To Do Kick-Off Party

Giants of Savanna

Giants of Savanna

Not even convoluted traffic hassles kept the animal-loving types from attending the 2016 Zoo To Do kick-off party at the Simmons Family Base Camp overlooking the Giants of Savanna at the Dallas Zoo on Tuesday, May 10.

Tom Leppert and Diane and Hal Brierley

Tom Leppert and Diane and Hal Brierley

Sean Greene

Sean Greene

In addition to having a look at the newest members of the elephant community, guests learned about plans for the 25th anniversary of the zoo fundraiser — Silver Safari — from ZTD Co-Chair Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy.

Dallas Zoo ambassador

Dallas Zoo ambassador

Dallas Zoo ambassador

Dallas Zoo ambassador

While the post is being finalized, all types of critters can be found over at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Kicked Off Fundraising Luncheon Plans At Market

All the talk on Wednesday, May 4, was about cutie pie Reese Witherspoon’s opening up her latest retail venture — Draper James pop-up shop — at Market the day before. But, alas, the Academy Award-winning actress was nowhere in sight. No problem. The Equest Women’s Auxiliary crowd including Tiffany Divis, Louise Griffeth and Emilynn Wilson, didn’t seem to mind one iota with all the goodies on the shelves, the tables and in every nook and cranny.

For some, like Angela Nash, this was a first-time visit to Market; Angela hollered from her car, “Do you know where Market is?”

Someone pointed Angela to the former site of Patrizio (aka the longtime ago digs of S&S Tearoom). Still with us?

Market's candy

Market’s candy

Market's equine-style bracelet

Market’s equine-style bracelet

Once inside Market, it was a 21st century version of the Carriage Shop with colorful candies on the shelves, the bracelets and chokers that reminded some of equine bits and such.

Fleming Longino

Fleming Longino

Fleming Longino's Louboutin

Fleming Longino’s Louboutin

And speaking of fashion, Fleming Longino was just back from Europe and in a black jumpsuit that made her Louboutin stilettos “stand out.”

New Equest Executive Director Lili Kellogg introduced new Development Director Christine Volkmer, while Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Di Johnston revealed that Angie Kadesky would be replacing her in the year to come.  Another bit of news was that Beth Thoele will chair the 2017 Equest fundraising luncheon.

Angie Kadesky, Kara Axley and Bridget Miller

Angie Kadesky, Kara Axley and Bridget Miller

In the meantime, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show at Brook Hollow Chair Kara Axley revealed that the Equest fundraiser would take place on Tuesday, October 4.