TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #4

Sometime the very best things are in our very own backyard. Since your schedule is pretty overloaded and there is no time to coordinate travel, you’re interested in something nearby that is going to happen immediately. Well, has TACA got an item for you, especially if you’re hungry and know 29 others that share your need for immediate, one-of-a-kind gratification.

Item #4 – Cuisine That Counts (Value: Priceless)

Some Dallasites would rather “cross the Rubicon” than the Trinity. Oh, that was so yesterday! Perhaps it’s the construction of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge or the projected plans for the Trinity that have change old ways. Or perhaps it’s because some of Dallas most creative types have hunkered down in the neighborhood.

Regardless, it’s also gained quite a reputation for unique and fun dining experiences that can’t be found north of the river. For instance 48 Nights that dazzled both chefs and gourmets with excitement.

Now father of 48 Nights and Sylvan Thirty Brent Jackson, who is known for doing nothing like ordinary people, will host a very special dinner for 30 in the former home of 48 Nights in North Oak Cliff. “A local renowned local chef” will create a multi-course supper for you on Monday, October 18.

So just imagine all the hoop-la you heard about 48 Nights and how people fought to attend one of the evenings. Now you can have it all to yourselves and your very special friends.

Oh, and don’t worry. No conflict with the Cowboys schedule. They’re playing the day before.

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #3

Whether you’re an old hand at fashion shows or know someone who pours through W, you just know the ultimate is Fashion Week in New York. Everyone from fashion editors to buyers vye for a place at “certain designers’ shows.” What’s more you want to make sure that you have the “right person” to escort you. TACA has come up with an auction item that solves all your worries and even more. Think Tribeca loft, tailor-made dress and turning your friend green with envy.

Item #3: Lela Rose “Runway and Dinner Party” – February 13th During New York Fashion Week (Value: Priceless)

Photo from Neiman Marcus and Lela Rose

Lela Rose is the hometown gal who has made it big in the Big Apple as well as the fashion world. Just getting a seat at her show during Fashion Week is a feat. So imagine being able to have a party of six at the Fall 2011 show! Oh, but it gets better. . . so much better.

NM’s Ken “Mr. Fashion Plate” Downing will join your party for the show at Lincoln Center. Afterwards, you, your friends and Ken will mosey on back stage to chat with Lela and “share with her YOUR pick from the runway.” Lela will put into motion the plans to have your selection made specifically for you.

More? Yes!

The next morning, you’ll meet Lela at her studio to take measurements and to discuss details of your outfit int he making.

Later than day, you and your friends will lunch at on the seventh floor of Bergdorf Goodman’s at BG, the Kelly Wearstler-designed restaurant.

And by now, you, Lela and Ken are such buds, you and your party will have cocktails and dinner at Lela’s (and husband Brandon Jones) recently-renovated Tribeca loft. You just know that with parents like Deedie and Rusty Rose that the art is going to be amazing.

Oh, and please don’t be surprised when a “Fashion Notable” arrives to join you for Lela’s handmade margaritas.

What a simply way to get your fall wardrobe headed in the right direction!

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #2

You’re not supposed to play favorites. Oh, sure you can when it comes to this item going on the auction bloc this Friday at the TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Gala at the Mansion.

After all these years, many of us have just taken for granted that every place has a hometown favorite like the Mansion on Turtle Creek. Refresher course is needed. Each of the Rosewood hotels and resorts throughout the world is as unique and superior as its founder Caroline Hunt. That’s why this package is so out of this world, or rather, around this world!

Read and dream about:

Item #2 – Around the World with Rosewood – Oh the places you could go, or send someone special you know. (Valued: $14,000)

Sorry, but you don’t get to pick a three-day stay at

Nope, if yours is the winning bid, you get them all plus airfare for two thanks to American Airlines!  Just imagine what you can do during your stays at these incredible spots. No, don’t! Because you can actually do it all with the right bid.

After you win, all you have to do is pick the dates, make sure your passport is current and pack your bags.

Vino, Vino, Vino

Wine, anyone?

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #1 With More To Come

Just a week away and the TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction items have been finalized. The operative word is “custom.” These are fabulous offerings that prove how creative the gala Chairmen Nancy and Clint Carlson and the TACA elves are and why their auctions are more fun than having Cary Grant bid. Speaking of Cary, the people watching should be stellar next Friday at the Mansion for the black tie dinner and auction.

So, because we want you to be on top of things, MySweetCharity is going list one item each day leading up to the day of the auction when we’ll post the final two items.

Here’s the first one up for your consideration:

Item #1 — Napa is calling: From the Halls of Dallas, Texas to the Hall Winery of Napa Valley (Value: $18,060)

Kathryn and Craig Hall (pictured left with Kathryn) will host four people in two suites at the Halls’ La Residence during the four-night stay. Talk about a piece of heaven! They’ve also arranged for tours and tastings at Hall Rutherford winery and Hall St. Helena winery. In addition, the winning bidders will also have two one-hour tennis lessons with Acceleration Tennis founder Doug King over at Meadowood. Suggestion: After the lessons with Doug, have a drink on the restaurant’s terrace overlooking the croquet lawn. Between La Residence and Meadowood, you may not want to use the return part of your American Airlines roundtrip tickets. But you’ll definitely want to return to Dallas because the Halls are sending you home with three beautifully etched and painted, large format bottles of

  • 2006 HALL Napa Valley Cabernet Savignon,
  • 2006 HALL “Kathryn Hall” Cabernet Savignon and
  • 2006 HALL Exzellenz Cabernet Sauvignon.

Why just those three bottles alone are valued at $2,300!

BTW, only a few seats for the Friday night event are left at the $1,500 level.

Cattle Baron’s “The Great State Fair” Is Just Around The Corner

Cattle Baron’s Ball is nearing the sell-out stage. With 3,000 at Southfork, this year’s “The Great State Fair” is promising to be the “best state fair in our state.” Instead of Ann-Margret, Pat Boone and Bobby Darin, it’ll be Jack Ingram and Alan Jackson handling the live entertainment.

Top item for raffling this year is going to be a 2011 Porsche Boxer.

And it’s not too late to get a ticket. There are just a scant few left, so hustle and get your ticket to the fairest fair of them all.

Share-The-Date: St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 @ the Hilton Anatole: The “Save the Date” cards are in the mail for the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This year should be a killer with Holly Pellham Davis as a Co-Chair and clothes by Stanley Korshak.

Let’s just hope that it’s another mega-success for LLS without the follow-up snowstorm.

AT&T DSO Gala Dazzled With Fashions, Music And A Knitter

(Editor’s note: Please check our Photo Gallery for additional pictures from the Gala.)

For the first time in his illustrious career, Dallas Symphony Orchestra music director Jaap van Zweden conducted a knitter in addition to his stable of world-class musicians Saturday night at the AT&T Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala. Ah, but more about that later.

Quite frankly, the evening could have stopped with the reception in the lobby of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. Still the grand dame of the Arts District, the Meyerson oozed elegance and was the perfect showplace for Dallas’ most dressed-to-the-nines crowd. It was almost as if they had been hibernating all summer and were just dying to have a reason to go black tie.

How about a quick rundown of the formal attire? Christi Urschel in a short hottest pink Oscar de la Renta and Myrna Schlegel in a favorite black Vera Wang made entrances with husbands Hal Urschel and Bob Schlegel (pictured left with, from the left, Myrna, Christi and Hal) . . . Crystal Charity’s Best Dressed honoree Pat McEvoy was in a black Zac Posen with delicious cut-out back with husband Charlie, who couldn’t remember who designed his tuxedo. “She knows,” he said pointing to Pat. To which Ms. Pat laughed, “I’m his personal shopper.” . . 2009 Gala Co-chair Barbara Durham in a sweeping gown of colors arrived with husband/co-chair Steve and Julie Rado in a body-clinging rich blue gown with her husband Steve. . .Almost as tall as the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Shelli Curtis was stopping traffic in her form-fitting, black-and-white Carmen Marc Valvo. . . Jim Augur came solo in a marvelous vest and string tie made from “the sleeves of a kimono.” His MIA date was home in bed under the weather. . . Speaking of the Far East, Nicole LeBlanc (with husband/KERA’s Bill Jeff Zeeble) designed her hat, while her dress was made of Thai silk. . . Whipping off her sunglasses just as she entered the Meyerson, Roberta Corbett‘s white and “billowy” dress came from Neiman’s, but she couldn’t recall the designer. Shoot!. . .Mary Beth Marshall with husband Jay decided to take the short, black dress route in her Badgley Mishka.  . . While soon-to-be-DSO President Paul Stewart (he officially takes over September 16) chatted with Mont Blanc regional manager Lisa Molina, soon-to-be-DSO First Lady Melissa Stewart was having a grand time with Cece Smith (pictured right with Melissa). Melissa couldn’t recall the designer of her gown, but she got it at Tootsies. Evidently she surprised some folks who had expected her to wear something a little more conservative, but she liked the dress. “I’ve always been a little funky,” she said.  (Editor’s note: We called Tootsies to find out the designer, but hadn’t heard from them when we posted. Still it was a great dress both on the Meyerson staircase and on stage!). . . Modern Luxury‘s Stacy Girard looked like a million dollars in her true-blue, cleavage showing Nicole Miller. . . Best buy of the night belonged to Stacie Adams, whose red gown cost a whopping $50. No, we didn’t leave a couple of zeroes off that number. It was $50 at Neiman’s. Next time Stacie goes clothes hunting, we’ve got to go with her. . . But the lady who stole the evening and most of the second and third glances was van Zweden sculptor-daughter Anna-Sophia van Zweden (pictured). Sorry, we didn’t get the name of the designer, but it was more than the gown that cinched it for Anna-Sophia. Her hair, her makeup, her jewelry translated into “WOW!”

To match the parade of patrons, Decor Chairs Barbara Daseke (who will be chairing next year’s gala) and Todd Fiscus turned the entire lobby into a magnificent garden complete with the shrubbery people on stilts who surprised some guests.

At 7 a “sumptuous seated dinner” was served to the black-tied 600, but the partying didn’t stop. Late-to-arrive Shirley and Robert “Bob” Miller were no sooner seated than Bob’s fellow Morning News scribe Gromer Jeffers (pictured standing, with, from the left, Bob and Shirley Miller) checked in on them. He’d been making the rounds earlier with all the politico types like City Councilperson Angela Hunt. . . SMU Board of Trustees President Caren Prothro joined Nancy and Jeremy Halbreich.

Oh, you’re more interested in what was served? Thought so. For all those foodie lovers, here’s what chef Tim Semenuk cooked up:

  • A salad of slow roasted sliced duck breast in a medley of wild arugula and mesculin greens with grilled white asparagus, hearts of palm, roasted slivered almonds and champagne grapes served with a raspberry chipotle vinaigrette. It was paired with a chardonnay from Franciscan Estate.
  • The entree was a herb encrusted beef filet with sautéed mushrooms, chive mousseline, golden potato daughinoise tart, glazed carrots, roasted bell peppers and haricot vert.  A nice cabernet sauvigon from Sterling Vineyards topped it off.
  • Dessert was a charming little plate of sweet treats including pineapple rosemary tart and chocolate raspberry mousse cup.

At 8:30 it was time for all the lovelies to toddle into the hall. As Melissa and Paul Stewart entered the stage to welcome the guests, one part of the audience stood up and cheered. Why one would have thought they were cheering their favorite high school football team! Perhaps they were giving Paul a boost of encouragement in his new position as head of the DSO. BTW, outgoing DSO President Doug Adams (today is his last day) was not present for the evening’s festivities. He’s been coordinating his move back to Colorado. Honorary Gala Chairs Lenise and Randall Stephenson were then introduced and in turn recognized 50 student guests in the Orchestra Terrace who were enthralled with the whole scene.

Then the musicians came on stage and took their seats. Next came Jaap who without hesitation led the orchestra in The Star-Spangled Banner to a standing house. Applause. Everyone took their seat.

While others will review the performances, you might like to hear about our little knitter. Unlike the evil Madame Defarge, she was the very sweet Daphne Itashiki (pictured), who  toiled tirelessly seated quietly keeping her needles moving to the tempo of Jaap’s faster-than-a-speeding bullet Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.  Dressed all in black including her lace gloves, she wore a white-and-silver bow in her black hair. She was far from bored with the evening. She is an old hand at orchestral life. Her mom Heidi is a DSO violinist. And what was Daphne knitting? A baby gift for her piano teacher.

Another person of musical note in the audience was KLUV’s Jody Dean, who had just returned from a vacation with soon-to-be-ex-wife Emily and their adorable daughter Maddie. Now, that’s a civilized split!

Jody reported that he’s kept in contact with his mentor Ron Chapman, who had offered the following Top Ten Ways to Save the Symphony:

  • 10: “Flip Flop” Nights
  • 9:  Special “Coughing” Section
  • 8:  Open Bar in the Boxes
  • 7:   Lucky Seat Holder gets to Play Cymbals
  • 6:  “Chair Massage” Matinees
  • 5:   Turkey Leg Tuesdays
  • 4:  “Hoop It Up” in Back Balconies
  • 3:   “Clothing Optional” Weekends
  • 2:    Intermission  Movies
  • …and the Number One thing that’ll bring the Public Back to the Symphony……..The Upper Terrace Mechanical Bull.

Following intermission, most guests returned to their seats. Some, like Texas Monthly‘s Skip Hollandsworth with his two best girls (wife Shannon and dotter Tyler, who has all the signs of being Skip’s equal in wit and charm) opted to get an early start at the post-concert party being hosted by Anna-Sophia.

Alas, if only they had returned to the hall, they would have learned about a generous gift. . . maybe. Before beginning the second part of the evening’s concert, Jaap took the opportunity to make an announcement. While normally his English is easy to understand, for some reason it was a bit lost on many in the concert hall. The name Margaret McDermott (pictured) was understood and even emphasized as he pointed to her box. Margaret blushed and looked a bit embarrassed by the recognition. Those who did understand Jaap’s words reported that he paid tribute to Margaret for gifting a prized 1782 Gagliano cello to the DSO.  Following the concert, cellist Chris Adkins took the Gagliano to Margaret’s box to let her have a closer look. He ended up playing an impromptu solo for the generous benefactor. As one person said, “It was very touching. . . totally unplanned!”

While Margaret was enjoying her own private performance, the rest of the guests adjourned to the music of DJ Lucy Wrubel, and GOGA. When last seen, Jaap was headed to find Anna-Sophia like any good father would.

Opportunity Time for Supernumeraries!

The Dallas Opera has put out a call for recruitments, otherwise known as “Supers.” According to our good opera buddy Suzanne Calvin,

“These individuals do not have to speak or sing, but have a great attitude and a love or desire to be on the stage. They play servants, priests, guards, soldiers, maids, villagers, etc. to help fill the stage for productions. Rehearsals and performances take place in the evening, with occasional daytime rehearsals on the weekends and Sunday matinees.

There is minimal pay, and each super is entitled to 2 free tickets to the final dress rehearsal.”

All you have to do is show up Tuesday, September 21, for an open casting call. You don’t have to be able to sing. Just stand in the background as let’s say, “Filler.”

They looking for men, women and children of all ages for the upcoming productions of Don Giovanni, Anna Bolena, Romeo & Juliet, Rigoletto and Boris Gudnov.

For more information on time and location of the casting call, call Tai Renfrow (214.443.1037) or [email protected]


Final Super Bowl Concert At Cowboys Stadium Hits A Couple Of Sour Notes Friday Night

It was one of those Friday nights when you were tired from all the post-Labor Day uber activities (i.e. Kidney Texas, Crystal Charity fashion show patron party and lunch, Each Moment Matters, Promising Youth Alliance, etc.). So, it was time to kick back and enjoy the final concert of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV concert series with Tim McGraw, Van Cliburn, Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett and 36,000 fans at Arlington’s Cowboys Stadium. Simple. We were old pros at the concert series, having attended the Faith Hill concert at Bass Hall and the Sting concert at the Winspear. Why we were even veterans at driving the back roads to the stadium and knew the blues, silvers and other colorful parking lots. We knew the drill and felt at ease.

That was our first mistake.

[Read more…]

Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show Keeps Its Fashionable Crown In Place

Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show organizers are smart. Very smart. While other fashion shows may have more guests and over-the-top extras, the CCB ladies have been wise enough to keep their’s elegantly simple and limited to about 500 guests. Perhaps that’s why, regardless of the financial times, it’s a sellout way before plans are finalized. This may also explain why the group’s take has risen from its initial $10,000 in 1974 to more than $500,000 at last Friday’s event.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have such elements as the queen of retailing institutions (Neiman Marcus), internationally renowned designers, and presentation of the Ten Best Dressed (pictured, the class of 2010).

That last one has become a double-edged sword over the years. To be one of the ten is highly coveted. Every woman who has been named to the list has style and exquisite taste. However, each year there are rumblings about who didn’t make the list. The selection is made by a CCB committee, each member of which knows that they can’t make everyone happy. But to quote a well-known socialite, “In order to be successful, one must be controversial.” That’s what makes Crystal Charity’s fashion show maintain its position:  it takes a stand in the ever-controversial world of fashion.

But don’t worry. There were no picketers or protesters at Friday’s lunch. Not even PETA. Instead it was a celebration of fashion and a brief respite from the chores of the day.

The day started early. With the honorees arriving hours before the show for hair and makeup, NM staffers were ready to rock and roll. As NM couture department manager David Koca put it, “Let the games begin.”

While Akris designer Albert Kriemler (picture right with Jan Strimple) was on the second floor being interviewed by the media before the ladies arrived, the NM staff was scurrying around putting the finishing touches on the set. Not only would they have the first floor filled with 500 well-heeled guests, NM was streaming the fashion extravaganza online and on mega-screens throughout. NM President/CEO Karen Katz told folks that she had tried to get Jerry Jones to lend the Jumbo Tron, but it was already scheduled for the Tim McGraw concert that night at Cowboys Stadium.

While the aisle in front of the elevators looked like a fashionable black hole of Calcutta packed with ladies (pictured)  who could have easily made the 10 BD list themselves, a private gathering was taking place around the corner in the shoe salon for sponsors. As CCB greeters Libby Allred and Gigi Potter welcomed VIP guests via the Main Street entrance, some of the invited couldn’t resist kicking off their own shoes to try on some of those on display.

Lunch Chair Alison Farrow, her arm in an Albert-autographed black sling, was surrounded by her family. While husband Bob took it all in stride, the kids (Elizabeth, Robert and Joseph) in their school uniforms bravely put up with all the adults.

Then Albert arrived and was immediately surrounded by the women who couture. The Swiss designer charmed everyone from NM associate to longtime client. Who would have guessed he was just minutes away from back staging his fall and resort lines?

2002 Hall of Famer Nancy Dedman arrived to be greeted by the newest member of the Hall of Fame, Marilyn Augur (pictured right  with Nancy Dedman).  When asked about the construction of her new home, Nancy admitted that she wouldn’t be moving into it anytime soon, but “that’s all anyone asks me about.”

As the start time for the show nearly, NM ramrod Sandy Marple and her crew started herding guests to their seats.  Veterans of past CCB fashion shows like Alan White and Don Conlon (wives Lee Ann White and Robyn Conlon were on their second year of being BD-ed) knew exactly where their places were and how to handle the predominantly female event. Why Don even brought his camera to record the show! Alan, on the other hand, looked a little preoccupied since he, Lee Ann and her son Michael needed to catch a flight immediately after the show.

CCB Chair Cynthia Mitchell‘s husband Tom admitted that this was his first rodeo, but he pulled his role off flawlessly. He agreed that many people don’t realize the responsibilities that a fundraising chairman faces in running the “business” of charity. It’s like coordinating a major corporation for two years, where failure is not allowed. Tom’s a very smart fella. Instead of waiting til after the CCB’s December gala, he presented Cynthia with a gold necklace recently. Guess he was providing a little pat on the back to help her through the final months of her tenure. Like we said, Tom’s a smart fella.

Just as the show was about to begin, poor Denise Wofford was still searching for her seat. Rules of CCB  stress that no one is to be seated after the show starts.

Karen Katz welcomed the group and took care of some housekeeping, like saluting her former boss Burt “Mr. Luxury” Tansky (pictured), who is moving back to NYC with wife Rita, and welcoming reps from Harper’s Bazaar, that is now the CCB national magazine of record. Seems that with the departure of editor Pamela Fiori from Town & Country, the longtime relationship with T&C had to be adjusted.

Then Cynthia took over the podium to announce some VERY good news — Annette and Harold Simmons were gifting $1 million to CCB to help them meet their 2010 goal of $4,112,273. Thank heaven, HoF-er Annette’s good friend and sister HoF-er Gene Jones (pictured right with Annette Simmons) was seated next to her to support her as the announcement resulted in a standing O. Quite frankly, Annette looked a little overwhelmed by all the hoopla. After being presented with a magnificent bouquet of flowers and a banner extolling the moment, Annette looked relieved that attention was being returned to the fashion of the day.

Sidenote: Charlotte Jones Anderson (pictured) was seated across the aisle from Gene and Annette and looked darn fabulous in beige boots past the knee that missed the hem of her skirt by half a foot. The rest of the outfit defies description.

Then the show started with the presentation of the BD ladies (Nancy Carter, Claire Emanuelson, Pat McEvoy, Kim Miller, Robyn Conlon, Aileen Pratt, Nancy Rogers, Amy Turner, Lee Ann White and Ellen Winspear) and HoF-er Marilyn Augur. You would have thought it was a high-fashion pep rally with the multi-leveled seating and the cheers going up as each lady was presented in Akris ensembles. The only thing missing was pom poms.

On the sidelines, two generations of Turners including Amy’s mom Julie and dad Jim along with Amy’s son Turner Carreker (pictured with Amy) were cheering BD Amy Turner as she was presented.

As soon as the honorees took their place on the 50-yard line of the layout, the show got underway with painfully:  thin models registering expressions of zombie-ism. But that’s what they’re supposed to do, don’t you know? Models are simply breathing mannequins whose sole purpose is to showcase the clothing, not their personalities. And these gals did a great job. The clothes looked elegant, tailored and perfect for any well-heeled closet.

The good news for the hosiery industry is that stockings and leggings are back (pictured) with a vengeance.

Editorial comment: Yes, the excruciatingly high heels make legs look longer and more attractive (pictured), but those stilts also force even the most accomplished walker to look like they’ve had one too many Cosmopolitans.  Even if you are convinced that these nose-bleed-creating shoes are comfortable to wear, they’re painful to watch in action.

Ah, but what price beauty and fashion?

Pat and Emmitt Smith To Be Honored With Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award And A Very Special Friends’ Party


Photo provided by Methodist Health System

As if Pat and Emmitt Smith (pictured) haven’t had enough in their lives in recent months. His being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Pat getting ready any moment to deliver the newest Smith baby. His being honored at Friday night’s Super Bowl concert at Cowboys Stadium. Whew! Aren’t we worn out just thinking of all that?


Well, prepare yourself. It’s just been announced that the twosome will receive the 2010 Methodist Health System Folsom Leadership Award at a dinner on Thursday, November 11 (Veterans Day), at the Hilton Anatole.

The Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award is presented by Methodist Health System Foundation to recognize individuals whose demonstrated commitment and excellence in community leadership emulates the achievements of former Mayor Robert Folsom. Recipients of the award are selected for their accomplishments in making a lasting, positive change in the Dallas community and inspiring others to follow in their paths.

Past recipients have included Mayor Folsom, Nancy Ann Hunt, Troy Aikman, Laura Bush and the late Norman Brinker.

Speaking of past recipients Troy and Laura, they’re v-e-r-y involved with the Smiths’ honor. Troy and his former teammate Daryl Johnston are co-chairing the event. Not shabby!

But Laura has pushed this one over the top by opening her home for a “special friends” reception on Wednesday, November 3, for major supporters.Okay, let’s get those special friends sending in their support. Just to visit the Bushes’ home is a moment, don’t you know!

In the past, each of these events has raised more than $1 million. Why do we suspect this one is going to top that number?


Jan Strimple Reveals The Making of KidneyTexas Paper Dresses Honoring Event Sponsors

MySweetCharity has received notes about the “sponsors’ paper dresses” that were displayed at the KidneyTexas Fashion Show/Luncheon last Wednesday. So we went to the source of how the project came about. And that source is none other than Lady Jan Strimple (pictured), who reports:

When we reigned in the dollars and removed video, it was my challenge to come up with a fresh way to thank our top sponsors.  I asked my Chairs for their decor budget for the reception area, turned to a friend of mine to secure the Rootstein mannequins, and found 13 designers that were up to the challenge of working with paper.  Ten of them are students from UNT and El Centro, the other three industry professionals who were willing to support Kidney.

I told Carmaleta (Whiteley) I needed paper goods from each sponsor and some generic paper, so she got on the phone and worked her magic!  Millet paper trucks pulled up to my garage and dropped off ends of reams and over runs from jobs … my interns drove to American Airlines and CBS to pick up programming  and travel  posters, ticket jackets … at Baylor I asked for X-rays and  surgical gloves. Apparently x-rays have patients names on them and it would be against regulations to put them into my hands, so Suzette (Derrick) gave me her personal x-rays.

The designers came to my house – and shopped supplies and paper goods from my garage.  We talked concepts – gave them the mannequin measurements – they sent sketches – and then arrived on Tuesday with the results you saw at the luncheon. We had two last minute sponsors come in, and were able to find two more designers at UNT, so one of my assistants (also a UNT student) drove paper to UNT campus and between classes she did two parking lot paper and design meetings. Great stories from this project!

The designers loved the creative challenge and all ran with it. They were all backstage all eating pizza (my friends at Boston Pizza Restaurant fed all of my crew and the paper dress designers) and swapping stories about meeting their sponsors and being a part of this luncheon. Several told me they had never seen anything like this before and how proud they were to be a part of something so meaningful. Gracious and talented …. a great group.

Photo provided by Jonathan Aparicio

Nice things have happened for these talented young adults. Mary Kay now has their dress, as do CBS-11/TXA 21 (dress pictured with designer Jonathan Aparicio), Park Cities News, Stanley Korshak and Kid Biz. The art procurer for Baylor’s new facilities received a tweet of the dress from a Baylor associate at the luncheon and he tracked me down to see if they could acquire it. Told him we built them to thank our sponsors and all I asked what that the designer’s name be credited with signage in his installation.  Suzette’s x-rays are going to on public view!  Now that’s a dedicated Prez! Her bones are now part of the actual boning (ha ..ha ) for the corset of the dress. Love a designer with a good sense of humor. Love a President with a good set of ribs!

Also luv it when the world spins like it did yesterday.

Everyone’s hard work paid off and beaucoups of generous people left some money at Kidney’s doorstep.  It was all good.

Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show/Luncheon Patrons Party Was A Full House With Beautiful People

Usually the night before a major event, organizers are up all night tying ribbons on favors and double checking seating charts. Not was the case of the ladies of the Crystal Charity Ball’s Fashion Show/Luncheon. Thursday night the ladies of CCB and J.P. Morgan held a cocktail buffet at Janet and Bob Medlin‘s place honoring Akris designer Albert Kriemler and Friday’s fashion show/luncheon patrons.

With Morgan’s top-banker Elaine Agather (pictured) at the door doing the greeting, the house was already packed just a half hour into the party. While some guests glistened due to the high humidity factor, the Ten Best Dressed and Hall of Famer Marilyn Augur never showed one sign a perspiration.

Making her way through the crowd in the back of the house, Barbara Daseke remarked, “It’s too bad no one could come.”

Despite having broken her right shoulder, Luncheon Chair Alison Farrow‘s black sling became a piece of artwork  when she had Albert sign the sling (pictured) with a silver pen for all to see.

Speaking of artwork, Albert loves contemporary art. When word got around about the Swiss designer’s interest, he was given a VIP tour of some of Dallas’ top contemporary art collections with a stop at  Cindy and Howard Rachofsky‘s “little house” and dinner at Kenny Goss‘s.

Another designer at the party with a love of art was master follicle designer Ceron (pictured),  who was like a kid on Christmas Eve. While the 10BD and HoF-er would be wearing Akris outfits at Friday’s show, their hair would be the handiwork of Ceron.

But what about the humidity? Wouldn’t it create havoc for hairstyles? He simply pointed to the new do that lawyer lady/mom/fundraiser Gina Betts was showcasing. Didn’t droop and it certainly wasn’t plastered with hair spray.

Another Ceron redo was Dr. Michael Sills, whose ponytail was MIA. According to Michael’s wife Shelle (aka First Lady of Neiman’s Downtown), Ceron managed to convince Michael to shed the tail. “I think he looks great and younger,” the ever-stylish Ms. Sills smiled.

Talk of the evening took a turn from summer vacations to rumors that big news was going to be made at Friday’s luncheon and that PaperCity society guru/cutie Brooke Hortenstine had turned in her resignation Thursday to focus on her family and to develop a line of stationery.

And while on the subject of fashion and gorgeous people, D’Andra Simmons and BFF Colin Duchin (pictured with D’Andra) are the couple of the month. Whether looking drop-dead gorgeous together or deeply involved in conversations with various people on their own, they are just plain beautiful, charming and watchable.

Honoree T. Boone Makes A Request At the “Each Moment Matters” Luncheon

It was a sell-out crowd of 850 at the Hilton Anatole Thursday for the Each Moment Matters luncheon honoring T. Boone Pickens (pictured center with, from the left, Godwin Dixon and Mayor Tom Leppert) for his philanthropic work. Thanks to the announcement of his $18.4+ million gift for a new $48.5 million hospice facility just the day before, the accolades were flowing.

Following lunch and a video presentation, Presbyterian Communities and Services President/CEO Godwin Dixon tried to add his praise to the great feelings as Boone stood on the stage with hands in his pockets.

Perhaps he was reaching in his pocket to find some more money to give away. But Boone told the crowd in accepting the award that his philanthropy was going to have to slow down a bit since money was a bit tight nowadays. But he added that things would get better and he would be back in the giving business.

Since Boone was a man who wastes little time, he asked the crowd for a favor. Told them it wouldn’t cost anything.   He asked them to support his energy-independence efforts by visiting and, hopefully, signing up on his web site.

Following Boone, the closer for the lunch was historian/author/ teacher Rosemary Rumbley, who managed to entertain while pointing out the importance that hospice care provides to the patient as well as the family. Leave it to Rosemary to take a sensitive subject and magically weave it with both humor, love and compassion.

As part of the Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center will be located at 12379 Merit Dr.

Entrepreneurs For North Texas Commemorate 9/11 Helping Others

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City. Entrepreneurs for North Texas will use the occasion for 400 volunteers to help the following organizations:

  • Girls Inc.,
  • Park South Family YMCA
  • Juliette Fowler Homes Inc and
  • Dallas Fire-Rescue Station #44

Here is a brief rundown of the day’s activities:

The day begins at 7:45 a.m. at the Park South Family YMCA, located at 2500 Romine Avenue in Dallas. Don Bailey, a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch (formerly with Smith Barney) who was in Tower Seven when the horrific events occurred, will provide opening remarks. From there, the EFNT-member volunteers will be deployed to the various agencies for a wide range of tasks. At the YMCA, volunteers will paint, landscape and provide minor repairs. At Girls Inc. the team will dive into 18 projects including building new storage areas, organizing cabinets, and painting murals. The 50+ volunteers heading to the Dallas Fire-Rescue station will spend the day landscaping, painting and refinishing the wooden benches and lockers. And at Juliette Fowler Homes, Inc., volunteers will paint and landscape while also spending quality time with the senior residents by hosting a talent show.

This year’s Freedom Day is supported by Optimal Solutions, Hunt Investment Group, Tower Club of Dallas, The Boone Pickens Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas, The Kleinert Family, Silicon Valley Bank, Global 360, Hall Financial Group, McGladery, Aperio Insights and PrimeSource FSE. Additional in-kind contributions are provided by Jersey Mike’s Subs, Dr Pepper, Corner Bakery Café, CORE 24, Jef Tingley Communications, D CEO Magazine, Pacuigo Gelato, Snap The Picture, TMS Ruge Photography, Rubial’s Plants of Texas, Hall Phoenix Energy LLC, Beard Integrated Systems and Jen Maki.

While the day is one for reflection of a pass tragedy, it is also an excellent opportunity to help others. Take some time to help an elderly neighbor, pick up some litter around your neighborhood or investigate volunteer opportunities. When you volunteer, you end up being the beneficiary.

How About A Tease?

Whispers among the crowd at last night’s Crystal Charity Ball’s Ten Best Dressed patrons party lead one to predict that some big news is going to be officially announced at today’s fashion show/luncheon.

Another item that will be nailed down is the rumored resignation of a well-known scribe. True or not, we’ll let you know what we find out.

Promising Youth Alliance Patrons Party Goes On Despite Area Tornadoes

With tornadoes getting touchy-feely in Dallas Wednesday afternoon, most hosts and hostesses would have thrown in the towel for a kick-off party. But not Connie and Denny Carreker (pictured with sis-in-law Robin). They weren’t going to let a little old funnel hold them back from honoring the patrons and sponsors of the upcoming Promising Youth Alliance launch on Thursday, September 30.

And the guests like Bill Noble, Carolyn Anderson, Linda and Steve Ivy weren’t going to miss an opportunity to enjoy the fabulous Carreker mansion along Turtle Creek. Speaking of the Ivys, they’re just back from their summer home in Colorado Springs. Here you thought they had been off to Pebble Beach for the Concours D’Elegance where Heritage was a sponsor! No, Linda (pictured) who looked typically flawless was using the time to take a deep breath before they head to NYC to open Heritage Auction Galleries office there. Watch out Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

Also on hand was Modern Luxury Dallas‘ “new kid on the block” publisher Christian Poppert (pictured). Having just moved to Dallas from Chicago, he’s making the rounds of Big D society including the KidneyTexas luncheon earlier in the day.

Ah, but back to the purpose of the party. PYA President John Rodgers thanked the blue ribbon crowd of nonprofit reps, sponsors and community leaders who had put together such a program that with a little effort could easily go national in providing after-school programming for kiddos.

Among those launch sponsors receiving thanks were commercehouse, Ernst & Young, First Private Bank, Heritage Auction Galleries, Jet Linx, Modern Luxury Dallas, McKinsey & Company and William Noble Rare Jewels.

It’s obvious from last night’s showing of guests, PYA’s friends are not the fair-weather types.

KidneyTexas Kicks Off The Fundraising Season With Fab Fashions, Paper Dressing And Pooches

Having a fashion show/luncheon just two days before the mother of all fashion extravaganzas (Crystal Charity’s Ten Best Dressed) is a bit daunting. Add in the downpour of the decade just hours before the event and you know organizers are on edge.

But KidneyTexas President Suzette Derrick (pictured) had an all-star team in place for Wednesday’s fundraiser for Camp Reynal and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.

For starters, she had the event co-chaired by the triumvirate of Patty Jo Turner, Carmaleta Whiteley and Reneé Winter. There was no way that one penny was going to be squandered with these three in charge. You want an example? Okay, instead of the usual big screens to promote the sponsors, the idea came up to create magnificent fashions of paper for each of the sponsors. But who would design the fashions? Area design students! Where would the paper come from? Every printer in town had been hit for leftovers and had come through, Carmaleta smiled with her delicious cat-like eyes. As she put it, “There isn’t a scrap of paper left in this city.”

Paper never looked so good (pictured).

While the mannequins stood frozen in beauty, the 750 guests acted like sorority sisters returning from summer vacation with squeals of delight at seeing each other and telling about their vacations. Barbara Daseke, who will be heading up next year’s Dallas Symphony Orchestra gala, had just returned from hiking and biking in Quebec. . . Fort Worthy Olivia Kearney, just back from hiking in Aspen, admitted that she had suddenly realized that she needed to update her wardrobe for the week’s fashion lunches and bought a fabulous new gray outfit complete with lacy matching stockings. Bon vivant/eloquent literary Rawlins Gilliland (pictured with Olivia), upon looking at Olivia’s silk blouse highlighted with small mirror jeweling, cut to the chase and asked how one would go about having such a blouse cleaned. Olivia with her bigger-than-Texas smile admitted that she hadn’t thought of that problem. To which Rawlins in his charming southern accent suggested, “DD French.” Jennie Reeves returned to Dallas from summer in Santa Fe via Austin, where she and husband Stuart checked out their newest project, Tiny Texas Houses. According to Jennie, it’s the wave of the future — downsizing. Speaking of houses, Jennie reported that she had been invited to return to Dallas earlier in the summer for a dinner at her neighbor’s house for a VIP, but she opted out. It was going to be a simple dinner. You know, the usual that you have when President Obama drops into town. Jennie giggled that had she been thinking ahead, she would have sold seats on her front lawn to observe all the activity at Dorothy and Russell Budd‘s house just across the street. . . . Brittany Winter, daughter of co-chair Reneé and Dr. David (BTW, he looked quite at home on the runway at the fashion show.) was the center of attention during the silent auction as she squired around Tessa, a 10-week-old Mi-Ki. What’s a Mi-Ki? A very adorable combination Maltese and Japanese Chin that was up for bid during the live auction. Renee reported that Mi-Ki’s don’t bark. . . much because of the Japanese Chin factor. Actually, the Mi-Ki is so small that its bark probably amounts to nothing more than an itty-bitty woof. Spoiler alert: Tessa ended up going for $2,200. And surprise! They pulled out one of her litter mates for another round of bidding, resulting in $2,500 more. Wonder if their new owners Carla McKinley and Melanie Rogers will have family reunions for the pooches.

In addition to the holiday updates, the main topics of the day were [Read more…]

JUST IN: Jeffrey Kahane Is Sick, So Why Do We Care?

Classical musical pianist Jeffrey Kahane‘s being ill wouldn’t normally make big news in Dallas. However, since he was to be the headliner for Saturday night’s  AT&T Gala, his being under the weather sorta puts a crimp in plans. Word among the musical types reports that Jeffrey has had issues with hypertension resulting in his premature resignation as musical director for the Colorado Symphony. While his last Denver performance was June 7, Jeffrey just might run into his old boss (aka former Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s soon-to-be former President) Doug Adams, who is moving back to Denver.

But not to worry. Jaap (van Zweden) will still be at the helm for Saturday night’s gala. So just reschedule your musical gray matter for Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony instead of the previously scheduled Piano Concert No. 4. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 and Eroica will remain on the program.


T. Boone Pickens Knows How To Get Things Going When It Comes To “Each Moment Matters”

That T. Boone Pickens really knows how to add sizzle to a celebration. On the eve of the Each Moment Matters luncheon Thursday at the Anatole honoring the 82-year old Pickens, he announced his gift of $18.4 million for a new $48.5 million hospice. The 116,000-square foot facility will be located in North Dallas and will be able to provide care for 36 patients.

Photo provided by Each Moment Matters

But back to the luncheon benefiting Faith Presbyterian Hospice, Grace Presbyterian Village and Presbyterian Village North. Event Chair Elizabeth Gambrell (pictured) and Kay Lynn Brumbaugh are just a couple of seats away from the “We’re sold out” stage with more than 850 guests with reservation. Helping them accomplish this feat are: [Read more…]

DonorBridge Match

From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, you have a grand opportunity to help your fav nonprofit make $$. When you make a donation to a nonprofit via DonorBridge, that figure will be matched.

It’s that simple thanks to Communities Foundation of Texas. Why we even looked up one of the more obscure charities and it was right there.

What you doubt us? Go ahead and just try. BTW, there is a minimum amount of $25, but we just know you were going to donate that much anyhow.

PS – Whoever is handling DonorBridge’s website, check your spelling of CFT. We think it’s just Foundation, not Foundations. Regardless, you’re still wonderful with or without the “s”.

Sorry — Sondheim Talk at Nasher Scuplture Center Is A Sell Out

If you were hoping to see and listen to legendary Stephen Sondheim at the Nasher Salon on Thursday, November 23, too late. All of his appearances are sold out.

To help you through your loss in not being able to attend the talks by the 80-year old composer/lyricist, you may enjoy “Send In the Clowns” thanks to Dame Judi and Barbra. Very different interpretations.

Share-The-Date: Fort Worth Opera Ball

Saturday, October 16: The Fort Worth Opera Ball is celebrating the Fort Worth Opera‘s 50th anniversary as well as General Director Darren Wood’s 10th anniversary. To commemorate the anniversaries, Ball Chair Kelly Sorokolit and Co-Chair Sandy Cook are arranging for a casino, entertainment by Eclipse and music by Trey and the Tritones at the Hilton Hotel Downtown in FW.