Tucker Enthoven’s Dinner Table Was Serving Up Invitations For Celebrating Women Fundraiser With Jamie Lee Curtis

Tucker Enthoven

Celebrating Women Luncheon Chair Tucker Enthoven was getting ready to head to Spain for a bicycling trip on Tuesday, June 20. But before she left for the other side of the pond, she rallied the troops at her Preston Hollow “cottage” to address invitations for the Baylor Health Care System Foundation fundraiser on Thursday, October 26, at the Hilton Anatole to fight breast cancer.

The Enthoven dinner table

Around the table with pens in hand were outgoing Tucker’s mom Julie Ford, Baylor Foundation Board Chair Margo Goodwin, Pat McEvoy, Angie Kadesky, Suzy Gekiere, Marie Dean, Ann Dyer, Underwriting Chair Ola Fojasek‘s mother Jacqueline Fojtasek (Ola was out of town and Jacqueline was subbing in) and Barbara Stuart. On the floor was 15-year-old Australian Shepherd Stealer. He may have looked a bit long-in-the-tooth, but thanks to his titanium back leg, he was amazingly spry and greeting the ladies.

Margo Goodwin

Pat McEvoy

When asked how the fundraising efforts going, Tucker didn’t hesitate. It was right on target.

Perhaps it was the fact that the keynote speaker was Jamie Lee Curtis. With all the recent headlines about Carrie Fisher’s sad demise, fellow Hollywood urchin Jamie had taken a totally different road successfully battling drugs and alcohol, as well as the threat of breast cancer at the age of 40.

True Carrie had scored hits with “Star Wars” and writing, but Jamie had cut her own praise with “Trading Places,” “Halloween,” “Perfect,” “A Fish Called Wanda,” “True Lies” and “Freaky Friday,” plus her 12 children’s books, including New York Times best seller “Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day.”

In the past 17 years,  the Celebrating Women Luncheon has raised more than $28M “to help Baylor Scott And White fight breast cancer in North Texas.”

Blue butterfly stamps

The invitations were scheduled to drop in the snail mail the week of August 14. They’ll be easy to spot thanks to the blue butterfly stamps. If you haven’t gotten yours, don’t pout or stew. Just check in here and let them know you want your seat pronto. And if you’re interested in a sponsorship, you’d better hustle. The sponsorships for the invitations, centerpieces, programs and video have already been sold.

Mission Ole Letter Signing Wasn’t At Your Same Old Dinner Table

Ann Schooler

When volunteers are called together to sign letters with information about upcoming fundraisers, they usually find themselves gathered around a dining room in a home located along a tree-lined street. But when residential tastemaker extraordinaire Ann Kellogg Schooler is involved, one can expect a pretty darn remarkable table and setting. And, boy, did she prove just that point for the 18th Mission Ole letter signing.

It seems that she decided to do some “redecorating” at her 35,000-square-foot warehouse in the Design District. That’s where she had stashed incredible pieces of furnishings and art from her trips to Europe and around the world for her clients. But, it was more than just prettying up the place. She had transformed the storehouse into Wolf Hall Antique Collective, a 10,000-square-foot showroom of drool-able treasures available for the world to eyeball and purchase. For an added touch, she had London antiques dealer Timothy Langston and Austin-based botanist Lauren Lachance set up shop.

As Ann told PaperCity‘s Rebecca Sherman, “I love things that come with ghosts of the past.”

Cindy Turner

Margaret Spellings

So, it was only natural that Ann had her Mission Ole Co-Chair Margaret Spellings along with former Chair/Advisor Cindy Turner, Auction Chair Heather Randall and Trinity River Mission’s Michelle Mora-Lopez  over to Wolf Hall to put pens to paper for the Saturday, October 28th fundraiser for Trinity River Mission.

Heather Randall and Michelle Mora-Lopez

Mission Ole 2016 (file photo)

Due to the overwhelming success of last year’s event, they’re crossing the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge to West Dallas’ Chicken Scratch and The Foundry with its outdoor fire pits and signature margaritas and cocktails. Plans call for sparkling lights, a live band, mariachis, ballet folklorico dancer and faces that have to be seen to be believed!

This is strictly an event requiring absolutely no ties and stilettos. Just make sure that you get your place reserved and your GPS set, because it’s a fun night that definitely proves West Dallas is alive and well and Trinity River Mission is one to support even if your letter hasn’t arrived yet. Tickets are available now!

Funds raised from the event will support Trinity River Mission’s programs “to promote literacy, encourage academic success and develop effective life skills among disadvantaged youth in West Dallas, in the belief that education connects us to life’s possibilities.”

With Pens In Hand, Celebrating Women Luncheon Committee Members Continued The Battle Against Breast Cancer

Around Michal and Lloyd Powell’s dining room table a group of women gathered early on Wednesday, April 5. It wasn’t a gloves-and-hats tea party, nor a brunch. It was a roll-up-the-sleeves session to tackle stacks of letters being sent to friends about the Baylor Health Care System Foundation‘s Celebrating Women Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, October 26.

The news about keynote speaker Jamie Lee Curtis had been officially announced at Luncheon Honorary Co-Chairs Peggy and Leonard Riggs’ home the month before.

Margo Goodwin

Pam McCallum

Ola Fojtasek

But today was the putting of pen to paper. Of the group including Luncheon Chair Tucker Enthoven, Underwriting Chair Ola Fojtasek, Lindalyn Adams, Debbie Oates, Margo Goodwin, Pam McCallum, Barbara Stewart and Tucker’s mom Julie Ford around the table, a headcount was asked about how many had actually had breast cancer. Only one or two raised their hands. When asked how many had had a friend or relative hit by breast cancer, the hands dropped their pens and rose around the table.

But thanks to the research and developments in treating breast cancer at Baylor Scott & White as a result of the $28M raised from the 17 years of the luncheon, these ladies were bound and determined to raise much more money for the fear of breast cancer hitting their families or anyone for that matter.

The rest of the day and the following one, more women would arrive at the Powells’ dining table to send the word that cancer can be beaten.

The letters dropped late last week, so if your letter has gone the route of Mars, contact the Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Christina Goodman at 214.820.4408

Three Days Of Letter Signing Got Underway For Callier Cares Luncheon At Beth Layton’s Dining Room Table

Beth Layton

All was not clear Tuesday, January 10, at Beth Layton’s home. While  Callier Care Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson arrived early to arrange stacks of letterhead and envelopes on the dining room table for a three-day-athon of letter signing, hostess Beth was already head down, hand-signing the letters.

Looking up briefly, Beth complained the windows looking out on the street weren’t pristine. Instead of grabbing a bottle of Windex, Beth just got back to signing.

Missing in action was Callier Center for Communication Disorders’ Dr. Tom Campbell, who is usually one of the first ones at the signing. Instead he was under the weather and not in the sharing mood.

Jill Edgington and Emilynn Wilson

For the next three days, peeps like Marybeth Conlon, Stacy Crouch, Marie DeCamp Dean, Jill Edgington, Louise Griffeth, Stephanie Haley, Angie Kadesky, Jean Lattimore, Vicky Lattner, Pat McEvoy, Richard Neely, Barbara Stuart, Betty Suellentrop, Beth Thoele and Kristina Whitcomb would converge on Beth’s home to personally address letters to friends and supporters about the Callier Cares luncheon honoring Dr. Kern Wildenthal with the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award.

The event will take place at the Dallas Country Club on Thursday, April 20, and the luncheon speaker will be announced in the days ahead. If you haven’t received your letter, go ahead and get your seat reserved.

D’Andra Simmons-Lock And Jeremy Lock Put Their Own Spin On Letter Signing For CancerBlows Host Committee

Letter signings may seem ho-hum after your second or third one. They usually take place during the day with loads of munchies and ice tea and stacks of letters to personalize. The drill is sign your name to the letter with a note and pass it along to the next person at the table. But leave it to 2017 CancerBlows Co-Chair D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock to put their own spin on the John Hanocking of the fundraising host committee invite letters.

Ryan Anthony

Ryan Anthony

On Monday, July 18, they held the signing in the evening with glasses of wine and the event’s man-of-inspiration Ryan Anthony at the kitchen/dining room table. Instead of a chore, it was a party. As guests arrived, Jeremy reported that he had just returned from Alaska with killer photos of people and scenes. Pointing out his Burning Man collection framed on the wall, he revealed that his next project involves National Geographic.

But as soon as Ryan in his CancerBlows sports shirt arrived with boxes of letters, the crew took their places at the glass-top table.

D'Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock

D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock

Despite a political convention on the TV screen overhead, no one seemed to notice Anderson Cooper reporting on CNN. They were all focused on the letters. D’Andra took a moment to recall her past signings that had resulted in hand surgery. Then Jeremy cleared his voice signaling to get back to work.

According to the letters, D’Andra, Jeremy and their Co-Chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill have arranged for Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger to serve as honorary co-chairs. And like the 2015 event benefiting Baylor Health Care System Foundation and Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, CancerBlows will be return to the Meyerson on Wednesday, May 10, with an ensemble of world-famous musicians including Doc Severinsen, Arturo Sandoval, Canadian Brass, members of Ryan’s home team at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and many more.

CancerBlows*

CancerBlows*

Among the perks that members of the host committee will receive will be invitations to special events and recognition in promotional materials, at the event, on the post-event CD/DVD and on the website.

If you haven’t gotten your letter, contact Ryan’s hardworking wife Niki Anthony and she’ll make sure you’re at the top of the list. And, yes, there are all types of sponsorship opportunities available.

*  Graphic provided by CancerBlows           

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

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

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

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

Ann Schooler

Ann Schooler

Lesley Chambless

Lesley Chambless

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

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

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

Cindy Turner

Cindy Turner

Margaret Spelling

Margaret Spellings

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

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

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

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

Celebrating Women Letter Signing Provided The Opportunity To Get Letters Out And Meet The Newest Member Of Michal Powell’s Home

The dining room table has become something like crazy Aunt Hattie, who is only seen on holidays. That is unless there’s a non-profit letter signing. Then the table is hit with all hands on deck plus loads of conversations and stacks of letters inviting folks to participate in the upcoming event.

But for the Celebrating Women Luncheon, the letter signing at Michal Powell’s on Thursday, April 7, was a tad bit different. Sure, the dining room table was ground zero with Lindalyn Adams, Ann Dyer, Margo Goodwin, Angie Kadesky, Vinnie Reuben, Barbara Stuart, Kristina Whitcomb and Pam McCallum putting their John Hancocks on letters, but there was activity in other parts of the house, too.

Vinnie Reuben

Vinnie Reuben

Lindalyn Adams and Ann Dyer

Lindalyn Adams and Ann Dyer

Just past the kitchen with the delicious chicken salad was the enclosed veranda, where Michal and Celebrating Women Chair Aileen Pratt learned about the good old days at the State Fair.

Aileen Pratt

Aileen Pratt

Gloria Eulich Martindale

Gloria Eulich Martindale

Thanks to Underwriting Chair Gloria Eulich Martindale, Aileen and Michal found out that way back itty bitty painted turtles and chameleons on threads were the take-away from the Fair. That practice ended years ago due to the fact that the paint eventually destroyed the turtles’ shells and the chameleons didn’t fare much better.

And speaking of turtles, Michal revealed that in addition to grand-puppy-sitting Ollie, she had added Houdini, the turtle to the family. It seems that she had literally come across Houdini as he was walking on the Park Cities road. Screeching to a stop, she popped out of her car, halting traffic and took the shelled reptile home.

Michal Powell and Ollie

Michal Powell and Ollie

While the testudine is happily residing in a private garden in the Powells’ backyard, s/he tends to try an explore climbing over the fencing and landing on his/her side. In turn Ollie has been fascinated by Houdini. But whenever Ollie tries to get Houdini to play, the turtle withdraws into his/her shelled home.

But the day was not about Houdini or Ollie or the State Fair. It was about breast cancer conqueror Rita Wilson’s being the featured speaker at the Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s luncheon on Thursday, October 20, at the Hilton Anatole.

As letters were being signed, Susan McSherry reported that Rita would be appearing the next night at The Kessler and she was going to check her out. In addition to having produced “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” being married to Tom Hanks and being an actress herself, Rita is a singer and has just released an album with one of the tracks, “Crying, Crying” inspired from her recent breast cancer battle.

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Letters Launch Membership Sign-Ups

Normally Brenda Cockerell’s dining room table is just perfect for holiday feasting with loads of food on the table and family and friends settling back for a good time. But just last week, the table was covered with stacks of letters and pens. As for the group, it was elbow-to-elbow with Equest Women’s Auxiliary gals putting their John Joan Hancocks on the missives that just hit the mailboxes this week.

Michaela Dyer, Beth Layton, Anne Dyer, Linda Secrest, Pam MCallum, Marisa Huckin and Vicky Lattner

Michaela Dyer, Beth Layton, Anne Dyer, Linda Secrest, Pam MCallum, Marisa Huckin and Vicky Lattner

And, no, it’s not about the Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show. Fashion Show Chair Kara Axley is holding off making any announcements until all the deets are finalized. Well, not all the specifics. It will be at Brook Hollow. And the date will be Tuesday, October 4.

Kara Axley, Di Johnston and Brenda Cockerell

Kara Axley, Di Johnston and Brenda Cockerell

The letters were to invite folks to join the Women’s Auxiliary. In addition to supporting “one of the oldest and largest therapeutic riding programs in the United States,” members get invitation to the annually sold-out fashion show. Sorry, but before you ask — Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Di Johnston reports the membership doesn’t entitle you to ride one of the four-legged Equest residents.

And talk about a bargain! Memberships start at $45. Shoot it costs more to get a membership at Costco.

If your letter hasn’t hit your mailbox, don’t wait. This ain’t “by-invitation-only.”

Callier Cares Letters Are Signed, Sealed And Being Delivered

The chilly temps and clouds almost seemed like a relief on Wednesday, January 6, compared to the December 26th tornado teardown.

Still, a warm household with wood floors, brick walls and fireplaces glowing through was the perfect place to be. And that spot was Callier Cares Chair Angie Kadesky’s home-sweet-home complete with “Kevin’s Pub” in the back of the house. Seems that when the Kadeskys were expanding their home, husband Kevin Kadesky talked with the builder and the two arranged to have the former kitchen transformed into a mini-pub.

Thomas Campbell and Angie Kadesky

Thomas Campbell and Angie Kadesky

While Angie and Callier Center for Communication Disorder Assistant Director of Development Jennifer Fowler were discussing deets of the upcoming lunch’s patron party, Callier Center Executive Director Dr. Thomas Campbell, Tricia George, Barbara Stuart, Page Henrion and Richard Neely were exercising their John Hancocks on letters to potential guests and sponsors.

Tricia George and Barbara Stuart

Tricia George and Barbara Stuart

Richard Neely

Richard Neely

Page Henrion

Page Henrion

When someone noted Barbara’s new car parked out front, she admitted that she had lost her “vehicular love” last July, thanks to a run-in on Beverly. Now, she was driving an Infiniti and still waiting for metal license plates.

As the humans around the dining room table did their handiwork, the Kadesky critters (Fred the Ragdoll and Chester the Cavalier) didn’t seem the least bit flustered. After all, with six munchkins in the Kadesky household, what’s a handful of adults.

Fred

Fred

Chester

Chester

The letters dropped in the mail this past Monday. Give the postal service a couple of days to get them to your mail box. If they don’t show up, let the Callier team know. After all, you don’t want to miss the patron party or the lunch on Tuesday, April 19, honoring Stuart Bumpas with the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award.

Obelisk Awards Luncheon Honored The Partnership Of Business And The Arts With A Heartfelt Theme

The sun was shining on Friday, November 13, and the temps were just a kiss of perfection. It was just one of those rare, perfect days in North Texas. Sure, it was Friday the 13th, but that’s what scary movies were about and old wives tales.

In fact just the opposite, awards were rightfully being hand out around noon and heroes were being honored. Ret. Gen. Tommy Franks was regaling luncheoners at the Stars and Stripes Film Festival fundraiser at the Dallas Country Club.

Downtown at the Fairmont, oldtimers of the Business Council for the ArtsObelisk Award luncheon were in for a surprise. “A symbol of excellence awarded to businesses and business leaders for their support of the arts and culture in North Texas” had gotten a facelift, thanks to local glass artist Jim Bowman.

Running pretty much on schedule, Dr. Eric Olson, despite his heavy credential that include countless papers, expertise on heart disease and being a member of the UT Southwestern’s “Transactivators,” did a gangbuster job telling the sold-out audience how the heart’s importance ranged from the biological to the metaphysical. His talk was eloquent, but never went over the heads of guests.

To top off his talk, he donned his guitar and his harmonica and sang Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold.” The review was a standing ovation.

Following his address, North Texas Public Broadcasting President/CEO Mary Anne Alhadeff announced the recipients of the Obelisk awards. Drum roll! Here they are:

  • Arts Partnership Award — Spec’s Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods nominated by University of North Texas, College of Music; Neiman Marcus Willow Bend nominated by North Texas Performing Arts and Plano Children’s Theatre and The Dallas Weekly nominated by Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • New Initiatives Award — Virgin America nominated by Dallas Film Society; NorthPark nominated by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Beyond The Horizon nominated by Undermain Theater
  • Arts Education Award — Atmos Energy Corporation nominated by WaterTower Theatre and Stephen A. Waldman of Waldman Bros nominated by Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance
  • Outstanding Alumnus Award — Edwin Cabaniss of The Kessler Theater nominated by Steven Roth
  • Outstanding Nonprofit Organization Award — Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts nominated by Neiman Marcus

The brief acceptance speeches ranged from Nancy Nasher’s poignant acceptance on behalf of NorthPark to Kessler Theater’s Cabaniss, who recalled Business Council founder/the late Ray Nasher’s response to two questions posed during a hard-hat tour of the Nasher Sculpture Center:

  • Where did he get a passion for the arts? — “It was my mom and dad. They didn’t have a lot of means. We were living in the boroughs of New York. But they made a commitment to me and my siblings that at least once a month they would take us in to the city to explore some of these wonderful creations and some of this great art that was taking place in New York City. A lot of those times they had to go when the museum was free or when the symphony was playing at a discounted time period.”
  • Why Dallas? — “Although I grew up in New York, Dallas is home.”

 

Tricia And Kenn George Assemble Friends To Sign Letters Promoting Fund A Cure Luncheon

Usually the fundraising season kicks off right after Labor Day. But with so much on the upcoming fall calendar, it got a head start on Thursday, August 27. Even the morning had its share of gearing up for what was to come.

Over at Tricia and Kenn George’s marvelous University Park home (aka Nancy and Herbert Hunt’s former homestead), the dining room was filled with folks like Susan Roberds, Michaela Dyer and Susi Brundage coming and going and it wasn’t for brunch.

Letters and pens were getting together for the Cure for the Fund lunch on Thursday, November 5, at Brook Hollow Golf Club, benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Greater Dallas Chapter. Everything was so organized with crystal bowls filled with pens in all colors and mounds of letters broken down in order for signatures and personal notes.

Tricia and Kenn George

Tricia and Kenn George

When Kenn spoke out that he had been told to sign 400 letters personally, the committee members gently advised him of the protocol of letter signing — a personal note and/or signature makes a major difference proving the commitment of the person.

One had to forgive Kenn. He was still recovering from a motorcycle accident that resulted in a cast on his leg.

Susi Brundage and Cindy Turner

Susi Brundage and Cindy Turner

Speaking of physical adjustments, Cindy Turner was extolling the “reductions” in her life due to her becoming a Pilates practitioner. Forget the reduction of inches; Cindy’s spirit was in high gear and feeling so much healthier. When last seen, she was recruiting Tricia to join her in her new health program.

Back in the dining room, Barbara Stuart told how her summer had been spent updating the family home by replacing windows and an air conditioning unit that cost more than her first house.

Barbara Stuart, Susan Roberds, Michaela Dyer

Barbara Stuart, Susan Roberds and Michaela Dyer

In the living room on the piano was a collection of the George kids including son Clement George, who on recently being discharged from the Navy was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 27. This development was a wakeup call for the George parents to chair the luncheon.

Marianne and Roger Staubach have signed on board to be honorary co-chairs with Roger introducing the keynote speaker: former Alabama National Championship Coach Gene Stallings. Gene’s involvement in Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is due to his granddaughter, Anna Kate Gunn, being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 11 months.

The letters were signed, sealed and on their way to households. If you haven’t gotten yours, don’t sit around waiting for it. Tickets are available now by emailing Deborah Newsome or ringing her up for 214.217.5782.

“Dancing With The Stars’ ” Cheryl Burke Shared Three Life Lessons At Jonathan’s Place’s A Chance To Soar Lunch

Jonathan’s Place CEO Allicia Frye had been at “Good Morning Texas” with A Chance to Soar’s keynote speaker/”Dancing With The Stars” vet Cheryl Burke earlier Tuesday, April 28. Alllicia admitted that she had been scared to death, but it went off without a hitch. Now at 10:30 a.m., Allicia was at the VIP champagne reception at Brook Hollow and glowing over the fact that more than 400 were expected. That was an increase from last year’s 380 for the Jonathan’s Place fundraiser.

Stacey Walker, Cheryl Burke and Allicia Frye

Stacey Walker, Cheryl Burke and Allicia Frye

By 10:45 there was no sign of Cheryl, but the VIP-ers didn’t seem to mind. In the ballroom there was a blue cast along with kites suspended from the ceiling.

Outside it was drizzling and the temperature was downright chilly considering that it was the end of April. Still the ladies wore their most colorful silk and cotton dressed above the knee with stilettos. A couple of gals posed for a cellphone shot.

Promptly at 11 Cheryl arrived, was directed to the far end of the room and handed a drink. She hardly had time to take a sip before people were wanting to have a photo taken with her. Despite wearing Louboutins that seemed to have 3-inch heels, she appeared tiny. Some guests were keeping their distance as she was introduced to all the Jonathan’s Place staffers. The smile never dimmed. Cellphones were pulled out.

April Willingham

April Willingham

After 10 minutes she was herded to the opposite side of the room where the crowd was thick. No sooner did she arrive than she disappeared in the mass, making photo opps difficult at best.

In the meantime Luncheon Co-Chairs April Willingham and Jennifer Steubing were making sure all was going smoothly at the check-in tables and the ballroom.

By 11:45 a second round of chimes calling guests to the ballroom for lunch were heard. While the gals appeared to know the protocol, the men in the crowd moved slowly to take their places. One VIP guest was seen leaving the reception with a flute filled with champagne in one hand and a bottle in the other. Barbara Brice was on her first outing since her right foot landed in a cast.

With every seat occupied, guests like Jonathan’s Place Board Chair Stacey Walker, Susan Campbell, Pamela Graham, Lynn Dealey, Tiffany Divis, Jill Rowlett and Karla McKenzie started lunching at noon and Hockadaisies sold raffle tickets.

Pam Busbee, Lynn Dealey, Tiffany Divis and Jill Rowlett

Pam Busbee, Lynn Dealey, Tiffany Divis and Jill Rowlett

The program kicked off at 12:15 with the presentation of awards:

  • Award of Compassion to Eliot D. Raffkind
  • Award of Service to AMLI Residential
  • Award of Excellence to Capital for Kids

At 12:31 Cheryl was introduced and kicked off her talk by recalling the time that a person told her, “You look so much prettier in person.”

Then she briefly recalled how she got started with “Dancing With The Stars,” the sudden fame and her ongoing friendship with former dance partner Emmitt Smith and his family.

After the niceties were done, the award-winning dancer and survivor of child abuse explained how just as dancing requires a plan, so does life. She had used three lessons in both dance and life:

Lesson #1 — Be willing to take chances. In 2005 her life changed due to “DWTS.” She really didn’t think the show would take. At that time she was a struggling dancer living in Harlem with her dance partner, who became abusive. It was the move to Los Angeles for the show that changed the situation. Her first “DWTS” partner Drew Lachey helped her handle the glitz and attention. He made her dance to a song that she didn’t know, but they ended up winning the competition.

Lesson #2 — Really find your passion. Having studied ballet at four, it was her mother and stepfather who introduced her to ballroom at 11. She ended up loving the rhinestones and false eyelashes. Dancing provided to therapeutic for the little girl, whose parents had separated when she was just two. It gave her a purpose. Over the years, her DWTS partners have included actors Drew Carey and Ian Ziering, politician Tom DeLay, singer Wayne Newton, reality TV stars Rob Kardashian and Jack Osbourne and, of course Emmitt, who presented her with a life-changing question: “What’s next for you, Cheryl?”

Lesson #3 — Overcome adversity. At the age of six, she told how she had been abused by her male nanny. She didn’t know what he was doing. Eventually she told her parents and testified in court at the age of 8 against the man. Throughout her life, she has confronted adversity with resounding results. For instance “DWTS” created problems that she eventually addressed realizing that she needed to meet her own needs instead of trying to please everyone else. In her personal life she finally got together with her father despite being estranged for years. She reported that she now talks with him daily.

In concluding her remarks at 12:45, she summed it up by saying, “You can either get better or bitter.”

If you missed this year’s luncheon, mark Tuesday, April 26 on your calendar now. That’s when you’ll get “a chance to soar.”

Celebrating Women Luncheon Letter Signing Filled Robyn’s Nest

While the honeybees were checking out the wisteria and flowers blooming all over town, gals were heading to Robyn Conlon’s home sweet home the morning of Tuesday, April 7. No, it wasn’t for Crystal Charity Ball. It was for 2015 Celebrating Women Luncheon.

As Robyn was eating a Jenny Craig omelet (claims she gained a pound during her CCB tenure) with her trusty McDonald’s Diet Coke, hands were personalizing letters for the fundraiser to battle breast cancer at Baylor Health Care System.

This year’s luncheon on Thursday, October 15, at the Anatole will featured breast cancer survivor/former “Good Morning America” co-host Joan Lunden.

But on this day Chair Nancy Carter was the main draw. She’s earned so many points by helping others that, of course, folks were going to pitch in.

Barbara Stuart, Melissa Macatee and Pat McEvoy

Barbara Stuart, Melissa Macatee and Pat McEvoy

Letter signing is a bit like a quilting bee. It brings people together for a purpose. In this case, it separates a typical form letter from one that is personalized with a note from a friend. And for this luncheon, it means each signer must go through hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of letters.

Vinnie Reuben

Vinnie Reuben

Debbie Oates

Debbie Oates

Lindalyn Adams

Lindalyn Adams

In the dining room, Lindalyn Adams, Pat McEvoy, Barbara Stuart, Melissa Macatee, Kristina Whitcomb, Vinnie Reuben, Debbie Oates and Tiffany Divis chatted and signed letters. In the breakfast nook, it was Di Johnston and Pam Busbee.

Just as the clock ticked toward noon, Underwriting Co-Chair Beth Layton brought in lunch. No, it was not a catered affair a la Al’s or Cafe Pacific. Think egg salad, pimento cheese, chicken salad and ham-and-cheese sandwiches with chips.

Lunch

Lunch

Check your mailboxes in the days ahead. If the letter isn’t there pretty soon, then let the Baylor team know. They’ll get it to you ASAP.

Letter Signing Kicks Off Plans For April 30th Callier Cares Luncheon

For eons there have been reasons to get together to work on a project with friends, have some delicious food and to chat it up. In the mid-19th century, the quilting bee provided an opportunity to create a blanket of several pieces of cloth.

Today, the modern “bee” is the letter signing come together at which men and women hunker down at a table with pens in hand and a stack of letters to personalize. Oh, they do more than sign their John Hancocks. Each signer checks to see if they know the recipient and add a note.

Callier Cares letter signing

Callier Cares letter signing

On Thursday, January 8, one of these letter signing sessions was in high gear for the Thursday, April 30th Callier Cares Luncheon at Brook Hollow Golf Club at Luncheon Chair Tiffany Divis’ home. As promised, there was plenty of food, from snacks on the dining room table to a spread in the kitchen and dining room.

Food for signing

Food for signing

From noon until late afternoon, signers came to tackle the stack of letters.

In the kitchen that was filled with loads of food, Tiffany attempted to demonstrate her Flavia coffee machine with overflowing success. Her black-and-white cat that she found under a bush in Mexico as a kitten sunbathed in the study.

Louise Griffeth arrived with a big smile on her face. Her son had returned for the holiday from serving overseas. At the head of the table was Callier Center for Communication Disorder’s Dr. Thomas Campbell, who held his own with the table of gals like Callier Center Foundation Past President Pam Busbee, Leslie Diers, Rhoni Golden, Tricia George, Sara Martineau, Sissy Cullum, Sara Lee Gardner, Kara Goss, Rhonda Marcus, Elsa Norwood, Richard Neely, Carol Seay and Anne McPherson.

Pam Busbee

Pam Busbee

Rhoni Golden

Rhoni Golden

But the real talk of the day was about the Callier Care lunch honoring Mike McCullough this year with the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award. For years Mike has served as “‘Of Counsel’ to the Foundation for the Callier Center board.”

The event will also present Purdue’s Dr. Laurence Leonard with the Callier Prize, that “recognizes individuals whose leadership and research contributions have promoted scientific advances and significant developments in the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders.”

In addition to Tiffany, Marilyn Augur will serve as honorary chair for the Callier Center benefit for the Callier Care Fund.

This luncheon is always an “ear-opener”. Even those who have been attuned to communication disorders for years leave amazed at the developments and stories resulting from the center.

As soon as the speaker is revealed, the news will be posted here! In the meantime, ticket and sponsorship opportunities are available here!

Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Celebrating Women Luncheon Letter Signing Provides An Opportunity To Play Catch Up

You might want to be double-checking your snail-mailbox in the days ahead. More than 1700 2014 Celebrating Women Luncheon invitations are hitting the postal service after an all-day letter signing effort at Underwriting Chair Maggie Kipp’s home.

Maggie Kipp

Maggie Kipp

The gals were everywhere — the living room, the den and even the kitchen — with pens in hand. Gotta admit the invitations are pretty fabulous, but then what would you expect with Lisa Longino and Daffan Nettle chairing the October 24th luncheon at the Hilton Anatole? Why, Lisa even returned from holidaying on the East Coast to pitch in.

Lisa Longino

Lisa Longino

But these signing situations aren’t all work. Shoot! These folks are multi-taskers at heart. Lisa was in the kitchen doling out Frito’s, while Maggie was signing letters on the counter. The two were laughing about the photo session that took place for the Celebrating Women campaign. Lisa just asked one thing of the photographer: “Don’t make me look like I’m their (Daffan and Maggie) mother.”

Diane Allison

Diane Allison

BTW, in years past orange lifesavers were worn by the leadership in the promotional photos, including massive billboards. This year there’s been a change. You’ll just have to wait until it’s unveiled.

But back to the letter signing. At the breakfast table were Baylor’s two first ladies — ever-elegant Diane Allison (wife of Baylor Health Care System/Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Joel Allison) and Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s grand dame Lindalyn Adams. In addition to celebrating her 84th birthday on July 4, Lindalyn was updating friends on her son’s progress from a debilitating infection that has him going through heavy-duty therapy. . . Around the table Di Johnston was just back from six weeks homebound after neck surgery. Since she was required not to look down, she spent her time Netflixing with Breaking Bad and Orange Is The New Black. And here you thought everyone just limited their TV watching to Downton Abbey.

Di Johnston

Di Johnston

Barbara Stuart

Barbara Stuart

In the living room, Barbara Stuart in a monogrammed blue-and-white checked man’s shirt looked right at home signing her letters. When Margo Godwin asked if the shirt came with the splashy monogram, Barbara said no, it was a two-parter. She got the oversized man’s shirt because it was comfortable and airy in the summer heat. As for the monogram, she just took it to Snider Plaza. Ah, that simple extra step upgraded a simple shirt to conversation-making status.

Why not pull out a couple of fav items and have them upgraded with a monogram. But as you leave the house on the way to the tailor, check your mailbox for your Celebrating Women invite. And if it does get lost in the mail, go ahead and get your reservation in now. Good Morning America’s Amy Robach is looking forward to seeing you there.

Mary Clare Finney Hosted 2014 ReuNight Letter Signing For The Family Place’s October Fundraising Supper

Letter-signing gatherings can verge on being ho-hum occasions. Guests are handed pens and a stack of hundreds and hundreds of letters to personalize about a worthy cause or event. But the one that took place on Thursday, June 17th, was well worth getting a major hand cramp for a couple of reasons.

Mary Clare Finney dining room*

Mary Clare Finney dining room*

First of all, it took place at Mary Clare Finney’s to-die-for estate. While it was a wee bit too warm to be outdoors, the Finney dining room was divine. Why, shoot, it’s perfect for a state dinner!

Second, the letters to be signed were announcing plans for the October 22nd ReuNight benefitting The Family Place. And speaking of places, it will return to the Place at Perry’s. Also returning will be Merrill Lynch Private Bank Investment Group as the presenting sponsor!

Matthew Simon*

Matthew Simon*

Snapshot recall of last year: Guests at last year’s fundraiser experienced fabulous cuisine, loads of wine, singing by Mary Clare and Matthew Simon and a collection to party-hearty types like Nancy Rogers, Mayor Mike Rawlings, Jody Dean, Suzanne McGee, Troy Schiermeyer, Keenan Delaney, Eric Reeves, Janet and Phil Cobb, Kim Daulton Wynne and Shannon Wynne, Linda Gray, Kris Johnson, Piper and Mike Wyatt, Robert Weatherly, Sue and Jim Gragg, Heather and Bill Esping, Muffin Lemak, Kathy Crow and Jennifer and Cody Clark.

Shelby Wagner*

Shelby Wagner*

In fact some of them like DeeDee and Jim Lee, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Shelby Wagner, Niven Morgan and Gillian Breidenbach joined 2014 ReuNight Co-Chairs Mary Clare and Kayla and Brian Roughton at the letter signing.

Kayla and Brian Roughton and Mary Clare Finney*

Kayla and Brian Roughton and Mary Clare Finney*

But be prepared. This fun-raising fundraiser is not going to have thousands in attendance. No, siree. It’s going to be limited to just 150.

If the letter hasn’t arrived in your mailbox, give it a day or two. But don’t wait. Go ahead and get your reservations in.

* Photo credit: Scott Mitchell

The Family Place Letter Signing Indicates Something Is Up For Trailblazer Awards Luncheon

Just back from a letter signing at Margaret Hancock’s dining room table. With Jack the itty-bitty Yorkie circling the table and baby Hewitt Seay doing the guy-thing of hanging out in his baby-mobile, the gals at the table were furiously providing their John Hancocks and notes to a passel of letters that will drop very soon.

Hewitt Seay

Hewitt Seay

And what is the news that will be revealed? So far after bribing and begging, the only info provided is that the letter deals with The Family Place’s Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, September 17. We managed to get out that it will take place at the Anatole. Then it was an “oops” moment, when a letter passed by and it was noted that the event co-chairs are Stephanie and Travis Hollman and Hewitt’s mom Stephanie Seay and grandestma Carol Seay.

Stephanie Seay, Jessica Tundre, Stephanie Hollman and Carol Seay

Stephanie Seay, Jessica Tundre, Stephanie Hollman and Carol Seay

Have offered a new squeeze toy to Hewitt to find out more deets. Hewitt claimed he had all the toys a guy needed. Nope. He’s holding out for toy plus a Kalfin black diamond pacifier. Stay tuned. His people are talking to our people.

Equest Triple Crown Gala Underwriting Letters Won’t Be Hitting Mailboxes Today

If you haven’t already received your underwriting letter for the Equest Triple Crown Gala, you’re not going to get it today. So, there’s no need to sit by your mailbox waiting for your mailperson to bring it. In fact, you won’t be getting any mail today. It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so no postal service.

The Kipps' dining room table

The Kipps’ dining room table

However, there are more than 2,000 letters making their way through the U.S. Postal System to folks for the Equest Women’s Auxiliary fundraiser on Saturday, May 3, for Equest. And each one of those missives has been handsigned by committee members like Jennifer LeLash, Emily Hargrove and Michelle Meadows, who took shifts at Gala Co-Chair Maggie Kipp’s dining room table putting their John Hancocks on the letters.

Caroline Kipp

Caroline Kipp

The mega-signathon took place just a couple of days after Maggie turned the big 4-0, so the house was still filled with flowers and well-wishing notes. Gone were the Elvis impersonator and mammoth arrangement of balloons. Even Maggie’s daughter, Caroline, wasn’t allowed in the dining room while the “big girls” toiled at signing the thousands of letters.

But the real topic du jour was the gala and the new developments. Maggie and her Co-Chair Shay Geyer chaired the Mad Hatter’s Tea last year, so they put their noggins together and decided to once again use a “topper” theme for the Equest gala. “Brimming” with enthusiasm, they picked the Kentucky Derby date and a theme of “Hats & Horses: A Texas Derby Day Soiree!” Guests will be able to watch the run for the roses surrounded by Equest horses.

Phyllis Glazer (File photo)

Phyllis Glazer (File photo)

Then the twosome also decided to move the event from the Park Lane Equestrian Center, where it’s been the past couple of years, to the Texas Horse Park that is being developed. No, the new equine center won’t be ready for operation, but guests will be able to take hard hat tours of the facility. The partying, complete with guests, food, games and horses, will take place in another area away from the construction.

And, yes, they’re arranging for a backup plan, just in case Mother Nature plays rudely.

Speaking of ladies with impact, the event’s honorary co-chairs will be Val Imm Bashour and Phyllis Glazer.

If you haven’t received your letter with all the deets and signatures within the next few days, let the Equest folks know and they’ll get one sent to you ASAP.