Who Says Nothing Happens In June?

For those who have already flown the Dallas coop, here’s what you’ve left behind — rising temperatures, humbling humility and very little rain in sight.

Now here’s just a smattering of off-the-beaten-track events that you’ll be missing in the days to come:

  • Friday, June 6 (9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.), and Saturday, June 7 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Evidently, “Dallas residents may notice a few disasters occurring around the city this weekend. Dallas County has mobilized state organizations, law agencies and nonprofits to conduct disaster scenarios – such as hurricanes – and initiate relief support. The process is vital to prevent costly indecisions during a real crisis. The Texas State Guard is asking for volunteers from the DFW areas to participate in the mock scenarios as ‘victims’ or to join the unit as volunteer relief supporter.” It’s doubtful that North Texas will ever take a direct hit from a hurricane, but our first- and second-responders are usually the first ones to offer help to those in the bull’s eye zone. So, instead of lying around the pool, why not volunteer to be a “victim”? Contact Col. Robert T. Hastings Jr. at 817.528.2790.
  • Pets On The Hill*

    Pets On The Hill*

    Saturday, June 7 (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) — In the past, this weekend has usually been the time when animals benefit from “Top Hat & Tails.” But since the dance-athon was held in April, “Pets on the Hill” is filling in at Walnut Hill United Methodist Church. “There will be five pet adoption agencies there along with a pet artist, vet doing ‘Ask the Dr.’ and free nail clipping, AKC chipping for $30, pet blessing by the minister and Oscar the Hot Dog Man. Bed ‘n Biscuit, which is a pet sitter, will attend along with Bow Wow Wow pet dish designs. Bring your pet or adopt one.”

  • Monday, June 9 (4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.) — Before Dallas is invaded by the leading art directors, Dallas Museum of Art’s Maxwell Anderson, who seems to be in every publication except Field & Stream lately, will host a panel discussion, “Reimagining Cities: Art’s Impact On Our Economy & Beyond” at Communities Foundation of Texas. On the panel will be Dallas Theater Center’s Kevin Moriarty, Billingsley Development’s Lucilo Pena and “Arts & Education Advocate” Catherine Rose. Mayor Mike Rawlings, who is very partial to the arts thanks to his artist daughter Michelle, will provide the opening remarks. It’s a free event, but you gotta register.
  • Wine Education Dinner**

    Wine Education Dinner**

    Thursday, June 12 (6:30 p.m.) — Janet and Roland Love are hosting a “Wine Education Dinner”  with proceeds going to Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas. In addition to wine and cheese pairing demonstrations and tastings, Chef Justin Box will whip up a three-course winner with wine pairings, of course. Only problemo? It’s limited to 30 people and 20 folks have already signed up. Tickets will be $150 per couple; $75 for individuals. Contact Liz Grindele about locking down your place.

  • Saturday, June 14 (9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) — The Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture is holding a “One Day University.” The subject will be The Civil War. The instructor will be Rutgers University Professor Louis Masur, who “will being with the issues of the revolutionary era, share an overview of the Civil War, analyze how it changed over time and lead a class discussion on the problems of reconstruction.” Since there is limited seating and a registration fee, you need to sign up here. Dallas Institute members get a discount. Ah, the advantages of membership! BTW, if you thought it was being held at SMU or the University of Dallas, think again. You’ll want to set your GPS for Scottish Rite Library and Museum.
  • Sunday, June 15 (7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.) — Sure, it’s Father’s Day, but what about doing something instead of brunch and sticking dad with the tab? Why not take your pop or the main man in your life to Trinity River Revel, the official opening of the Trinity Skyline Trail, the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, the West Dallas Gateway Plaza and Sylvan Avenue Bridge? It’s totally free and you just might see Dallas First Father Mike Rawlings cycling along the new bike path. There will be music, a 5K run, vehicle show, food trucks and a campfire party. Check the schedule for all the activities!
  • Saturday, June 28 (7:30 a.m.) — “The Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club Advisory Council is hosting its premier fundraiser, Race for Their Future 5K & Fun Run at the beautiful Kidd Springs Park. In partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, this event provides an interactive opportunity for community advocates to come together in support of the social and educational development of our youth. All proceeds will go towards funding collegiate scholarship funds, after-school programs and healthy lifestyle education for Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club members.”

Of course, there are the usual venues like the Perot Museum and Arboretum which have ever-changing activities.

* Graphic provided by Pet On The Hill
** Graphic provided by Consumer Credit Counseling Service

’til Midnight At The Nasher Returns Every Third Friday Through October Just For The Fun Of It

‘til Midnight at the Nasher has become a summer mainstay for locals who know how to score a great evening in beautiful surroundings without straining the pocketbook on the third Friday of each month through October. It’s so family-friendly that it makes Six Flags look R-rated.

From 6 p.m. to midnight, guests can take in the Nasher Sculpture Center, which is a total treat in itself. But there’s also a social media scavenger hunt, a “live outdoor concert featuring the best in regional music talent and artistic film screenings in the Nasher garden.”

Concerts start at 7 and the movies kick in at 9 p.m.

Remember all of that is free. But if you want to drop a little change, you can pre-order picnic baskets (buttermilk fried chicken, spring salads, creamy new potatoes, garden relish trays and sweet and savory rolls) for two from the Nasher Café by Wolfgang Puck.

JUNE 20:

  • Concert: Larry G(ee) — With his blend of funky, silky soul and smart pop melodies, Dallas singer Larry G(ee)’s tunes are sure to be lodged in your brain by the end of the night.
  • Movie: The Way Way Back (Rated: PG-13)— A funny, poignant coming of age story about a young boy finding his place in the world. This film will have you laughing and feeling nostalgic all at the same time as you join 14-year-old Duncan in his adventures at his summer job at a water park.

JULY 18:

  • Concert: Foxtrot Uniform — With the number 3 ranked album of the year by Fort Worth Weekly, Foxtrot Uniform has a modern Texas blues take on traditional rock n’ roll.
  • Movie: Bringing Up Baby (Rated: G)— While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist, played by film legend Cary Grant, is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress, played by Katharine Hepburn, and her pet leopard “Baby.” This 1938 comedy classic will take you back and leave you smiling.

AUGUST 15:

  • Concert: Foxtrot Uniform — With the number 3 ranked album of the year by Fort Worth Weekly, Foxtrot Uniform has a modern Texas blues take on traditional rock n’ roll.
  • Movie: Where the Wild Things Are (Rated:PG) —- Where the Wild Things Are is Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Maurice Sendak‘s classic children’s story, where Max, a disobedient little boy sent to bed without his supper, creates his own world – a forest inhabited by ferocious wild creatures who crown Max as their ruler. Come enjoy this heartwarming film as you’re taken on an exciting and emotional adventure of imagination.

SEPTEMBER 19:

  • Concert: Goodnight Ned — Goodnight Ned combine a lot of soul with rugged folk, rock and even some blues to create a sound all their own. The Dallas five-piece group produces a high energy live show and stage presence that can’t be beat!
  • Movie: The Great Gatsby (Rated: PG-13) — Baz Luhrman’s visually impressive film adaptation of the classic book The Great Gatsby follows a Midwestern war veteran who finds himself drawn to the past and the lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor. You’ll enjoy this dramatically satisfying and even humorous film, as it’s a spectacle like no other.

OCTOBER 17:

  • Concert: ISHI — Dallas’ own folk-electronic ensemble has a way of getting bodies up and moving! The band’s combination of dance and folk makes for an interesting blend, and their high energy live set will have you dancing ‘til midnight.

Zoo To Do Kick-Off Had Impalas Highstepping, Elephants Moseying, Giraffes Gawking, Flamingos Tapping And Fitz Fluttering

Like snails slow-moing up a mountain, Zoo-To-Do guests drove I-35 during afternoon rush hour to reach the Dallas Zoo for the rescheduled Zoo To Do Kick-Off Party.

It was so well worth the effort.

With the weather absolutely perfect, the humans sipped wine and shared the relief the event had been rescheduled from May 8 when Dallas got pummeled by straight-line winds.

High-stepping impalas

High-stepping impalas

Once leaving their vehicles, guests were trammed to the Simmons Safari Base Camp overlooking the Giants of Savanna, where impala, elephants and giraffes interacted. On cue the impalas like Las Vegas showgirls tossed their legs effortlessly in the air and went leaping across the terrain. One little elephant tried its best to follow the flighty antelopes, but s/he came in a very distant last. Well, after all the poor thing probably weighed more than the whole herd of hooved critters.

Dallas Zoo elephant

Dallas Zoo elephant

No sooner had the impalas exited the area than a flock off giraffes could be seen coming into view, neck first, of course. They had just finished snacking at the Diane and Hal Brierley Giraffe Ridge, where visitor can get eye-to-eye looks and feed lettuce to the graceful herbivores.

Dallas Zoo giraffes

Dallas Zoo giraffes

Speaking of the Brierleys, Hal proudly told friends that in addition to the Dallas Zoo recently being named one of the nation’s best ten zoos in the country by USA Today, its Giants of Savanna was the only one in which many different species of animal are grouped together. Then he added that the San Diego Zoo was interested in copying Dallas after learning of our successful program.

Gregg Hudson

Gregg Hudson

Zoo CEO Gregg Hudson went on to say that the exhibition was “a game changer for us.” Visitor counts went from 500K to 1M.

Keith Schumann, Diane Brierley and Matthew Simon

Keith Schumann, Diane Brierley and Matthew Simon

A voice over the PA advised guests like Barbara Brice, Matthew Simon, Keith Schumann, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Gregory Dunbar, Jenne Hargrove, Martha Fordyce, Patty Jo and John Turner and Jill Rowlett to gather on the deck for the arrival of a Trumpeter Hornbill. From the same area that the giraffes had appeared, Fitz the trumpeter hornbill flew in and landed on zoo staffer Alyssa’s arm. Guests were then invited to toss food up in the air for Fitz to fetch. But unlike a pooch, Fitz wasn’t about to return the food. Hey, he doesn’t work cheap, don’t you know?

Alyssa and Fitz

Alyssa and Fitz

And speaking of non-cheeping beaks, a couple of flamingos appeared on the deck just as Fitz headed home. Like tap dancers, they pecked the floor for grain. The only things thinner than their necks were their skeletal legs.

Candice D., Jennifer Houser and Tiffany Divis

Candice D., Jennifer Houser and Tiffany Divis

Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Tiffany Divis and Jennifer Houser were thrilled at the prospect of handfeeding the flamingos, who eagerly took to the handout relationship.

Lynn and Allan McBee

Lynn and Allan McBee

In between making buds with feathered friends, Tiffany and Jennifer with husbands Paul Divis and Doug Houser revealed that the Highland Capital Management-sponsored fundraiser will have Lynn and Allan McBee as honorary co-chairs.

According to Jennifer, this year’s theme is going to be “’Hunger Games,’ because we eat, eat, eat!”

The flamingos really like that way of thinking!

For more photos of of the two- and four-legged critters, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Matthew Perry Sends His Regrets

Matthew Perry*

Matthew Perry*

If you had your hopes up about becoming “friends” with Matthew Perry, reconsider.

He ain’t coming to town for the CARE breakfast after all. Seems that his new series got the “go-ahead” and he “sends his deepest apologies.”

In his place, former NBA player Chris Herren will be the featured speaker for the November 3 fundraiser that starts at 8 a.m. at the Omni.

Everything else stays the same. Shirley Cohn is still the chair. Ellen and Clayton Kershaw are still the honorary co-chairs. Bank of Texas is still the presenting sponsor. And the proceeds go to CARE (Chemical Awareness, Resources & Education).

Back on Matthew. He’s been a busy boy. In addition to playing Oscar in the remake of “The Odd Couple” series, he just put his “Perry House” rehab center in Malibu overlooking the Pacific on the market. It can be yours for a very friendly $12.5M.

* Photo provided by CARE

Communities In Schools’ “Kids Come First Partners Round Up” Patrons Party On North Carolina Floors

Lisa Longino loves history, art and Italy. But doesn’t everyone? Still Lisa and husband George have applied their loves to their home. Downsizing from their previous digs, the Longinos built a Tuscany-style palazzo with a marvy open kitchen, courtyard with fountains and beamed ceiling and hardwood floors.

Orrin Harrison, Fleming Longino, Lisa and George Longino

Orrin Harrison, Fleming Longino, Lisa and George Longino

But not just any old beams and wood floors. It seems North Carolina-born Lisa’s family’s mill was being dismantled and she managed to get the hardwood from the property shipped and installed in their West Highland Park villa.

Karl Schmalz

Karl Schmalz

As for the beams, she also got two from the North Carolina property. As patrons for the Communities in Schools Kids Come First Partners Round Up learned, Lisa revealed she had no idea which of the ceiling beams were “the two.” She didn’t want to know for fear of showing favoritism.

Sandra Chavarria

Sandra Chavarria

Guests also learned about the May 17th fundraiser at Brook Hollow, where more than 225 were expected, according to Communities in Schools Board Chair Karl Schmalz and CIS President/CEO Sandra Chavarria. Returning for an 11th year as presenting sponsor will be Alon USA.

According to another Lisa (as in Laughlin), who is CIS director of philanthropy, Saturday’s goal of $200K would go to programs benefiting 67 school sites in 2013-2014.

Unfortunately, attorney Orrin Harrison was hobbling his way out to a speaking engagement before the reports were made. Hobbling? Seems he was recovering from foot surgery with a surgical boot on his right foot. Two blue pins designated which toes had been the focus of the surgeon’s knife.

But in some ways Orrin was not a guest. He’s also godfather of Longino daughter Fleming, who is now working at Deloitte as a Campus Recruiting Specialist.

Artists Celebrate With “Art4Paws” To Benefit Paws Cause

While TOPPs was holding forth at the Frontiers of Flight Museum for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dallas, the animal-loving crowd gathered for its own fundraiser on Thursday, May 15. Here’s a report from the field:

“Paws Cause, which supports the SPCA of TexasMary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair, held its first ‘Art4Paws’ on Thursday, May 15, 2014.  Art lovers came to 3015 Trinity Groves to bid on paintings in the personal collection of restaurateur Monica Greene. It was her wish to donate all of the proceeds from the sale to benefit Paws Cause. Paintings by artists such as Frank X. Tolbert Jr., Amanda West, Dan Rizzie and James Sasso, Marty Ruiz, and Vladimir Kush were among the works sold.

Holly Forsythe, James Bias and Monica Greene*

Holly Forsythe, James Bias and Monica Greene*

“Guests munched on the great food served by 3015 Trinity Groves owner/chef Sharon Van Meter as they perused the art. On hand were Paws Cause Honorary Chair Holly Forsythe, and the small committee that made the evening possible which included Monica Greene, Karen Urie and Karol Wilson. Seen in the crowd were Hillary Hurst and Mark Schwarz, Bobby Minyard, Cheryl Wyly, Dale Wooten, chef Joanne Bondy, Phyllis and CJ Comu, Whitney Keltch and Jon Acton.”

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

Jamie Singer And Tia Wynne To Co-Chair Ronald McDonald House Of Dallas’ 2014 Trains Of NorthPark

Tia Wynne is going to be a very busy lady. In addition to her recently being named the 2015 Cattle Baron’s Ball co-chair, she’s also going to co-chair the 2014 Trains at NorthPark with Jamie Singer.

Tia Wynne, Jamie Singer and Kira Plastinina*

Tia Wynne, Jamie Singer and Kira Plastinina*

The news was announced with champagne on Wednesday, May 14, at Kira Plastinina’s Lublu boutique at the Plaza at Preston Center.

Jill Cumnock and Diane Fullingim*

Jill Cumnock and Diane Fullingim*

Benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, the annual mini-train-travaganza will once again return to NorthPark.

Ronald McDonald House of Dallas CEO Jill Cumnock announced that Regen and Dr. Jeffrey Fearon will serve as honorary train co-chairs.

According to Jamie, Bank of Texas will return for its sixth year as the presenting sponsor.

Pat Brockette*

Pat Brockette*

Senior Vice President of Corporate Banking for Bank of Texas Pat Brockette said, “Bank of Texas believes in the important work that Ronald McDonald House of Dallas does in the community, and we are once again proud to be the presenting sponsor.”

Tia reported that the trains will be chug-chugging along from Saturday, November 22, 2014, through Sunday, January 4, 2015.*

* Photos provided by Ronald 
McDonald House of Dallas

World-Class Sprinter Michael Johnson Tells Of His Own Personal “After-School All-Star”

Newlyweds D’Andra Simmons Lock and Jeremy Lock opened their home for the After-School All-Stars North Texas annual benefit with guests spilling out the front door.

Jeremy Lock, D'Andra Simmons Lock and Michael Johnson

Jeremy Lock and D’Andra Simmons Lock and Michael Johnson

But what would one expect when Event Co-Chairs Kersten Rettig and Clark Knippers arranged to have native son/sports hero Michael Johnson as the keynote speaker. Despite having won four Olympic Gold medals and eight World Championship Gold medals, the 46-year-old retired sprinter and entrepreneur stood on the staircase landing and told of his early life in Oak Cliff. The youngest of five children, he admitted that unlike his classmates, his mother didn’t work and ended up inviting kids over to their home after school. He joked that there had been times when he wished that his mother had worked. But in his eyes, she was an “after-school all-star herself.”

As a result he places a high priority on kids having a place and a purpose after they have left their classrooms. That was why he got involved with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s After-School All-Stars program “because of the absolute need for disadvantaged young people to be matched with mentors.”

Joining Michael to emphasize the importance of the Dallas program were ASAS Board Chair Phil Terry and National Network of ASAS Executive VP Aaron Dworkin, who said, “We try to close the opportunity gap.”

Ciara Cooley and Clay Cooley

Ciara Cooley and Clay Cooley

In the crowd were Event Sponsor Clay Cooley with his daughter Ciara Cooley, Connor Cook, McKenna Cook, Lynn McBee, Betsy Orton and Debra Witter.

Michael’s talk and presence plus an anonymous matching donation allowed the event to raise enough money “to send more than 40 students to ASAS’s CampUS program in North Texas that helps rising 9th graders bridge the gap between middle and high school by giving students the opportunity to live, learn and walk on a college campus — fully immersing them in the college experience.”

Trinity Trust Toasts Film Team For Their Award-Winning “Bridging The Trinity For The Love Of The City”

Awards

Awards

By 5:30, the Trinity Trust friends and associates had assembled at Trinity Trust headquarters on Tuesday, May 13, to toast producer/director/writer Judy Kelly and photographer Ginny Martin for their award-winning film — “Bridging the Trinity for the Love of the City” — on the building of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

As former Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm and more than 30 other guests looked on, the praise grew almost as long as the number of awards on a nearby table.

Gail Thomas

Gail Thomas

Trinity Trust CEO Dr. Gail Thomas recalled how Judy had worked on the 27-minute film for 10 to 12 years. For her part, Ginny had to “go to school” to learn how to be on a scaffolding with 12 men for 12 hours in 110-degree heat.

As Gail said, “They have seen city of Dallas from 400 feet up. . . It touched me how you captured that everybody who worked on the bridge was so proud to be part of it.”

When asked her favorite part of the project, Ginny said, “Being out on the bridge was.”

Judy Kelly and Ginny Martin

Judy Kelly and Ginny Martin

With flutes of champagne in hand, Judy told how the twosome had previously done a documentary on the Meyerson, “back at the beginning of the arts center.”

Instead of showing the film, the Trinity Trust arranged for each of the guests to receive a DVD to take home and view.

When asked what their hope for the film was, they answered: To have a Spanish language version made.

SOLD OUT ALERT: 2014 Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show And Luncheon

If you were thinking that now that things were slowing down, you’d get around to sending in that check for the Crystal Charity Ball’s 10 Best Dressed Fashion Show and Luncheon, think again.

It’s too late.

Robyn Conlon and Pat McEvoy (File photo)

Robyn Conlon and Pat McEvoy (File photo)

CCB Chair Robyn Conlon and Luncheon Chair Pat McEvoy just reported that the Neiman Marcus-produced show featuring Nina Ricci designs on Thursday, September 11, is already sold out. As for the waiting list, it’s really a cross-your-manicured-fingers wish list.

For those early birdies, the show will once again be in the tented parking lot adjacent to the NM Downtown store, which explains why the seated is squeezy limited.

Patty Leyendecker, Heather Esping, Lynn McBee, Mary Clare Finney, DeeDee Lee, Lee Ann White, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Ashley Hunt, Christi Urschel, Margaret Hancock and Nancy Carlson

Patty Leyendecker, Heather Esping, Lynn McBee, Mary Clare Finney, DeeDee Lee, Lee Ann White, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Ashley Hunt, Christi Urschel, Margaret Hancock and Nancy Carlson

Luckily, the 2014 10 Best Dressed (Nancy Carlson, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Heather Esping, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Ashley Hunt, DeeDee Lee, Patty Leyendecker, Lynn McBee and Christi Urschel) and Hall of Famer Lee Ann White already had their places reserved.

2nd Annual Can Do! Luncheon Raised Funds And Awareness About The Wilkinson Center — “The Very Best Charity In Our Community”

Last year Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder faced a tornado warning the morning of the Center’s inaugural Can Do! Luncheon. She was fearful that the threatening weather would dissuade folks from attending the fundraiser at the Dallas Country Club. No such luck!

Can Do! Luncheon

Can Do! Luncheon

On Tuesday, May 13, she looked relieved that the torrential rains that hit the North Texas area had taken place 24 hours beforehand.

It was a tight timeline that Event Chair Christie Carter had planned. Starting at 11:30 a.m. with “greeting and blessing,” she promised to have the closing would take place at 12:50 p.m. Not 1 p.m., not 1:30 p.m., but 12:50 p.m. Did she pull it off? Stay tuned.

Rachel Michell

Rachel Michell

The DCC ballroom was filled to the max for the sold-out event. They couldn’t have even fit a card table in. Anne confessed that club staffers had recommended a couple of “dummy tables,” but the rec was blown away as seats filled with the likes of last year’s Can Do! Recipients Ellen and John McStay, Rachel Michell, Lisa Longino, Lydia Novakov, Caren Kline, Tiffany Divis, Paige McDaniel, Carol Seay, Leslie and Bryan Diers, Katherine Coker, Linda Secrest, Lynn McBee, Nancy Bierman, Can Do! Patron party hosts Milagros and Horacio Moros and Wilkinson Center Board of Directors Melanie Myers.

Melanie Myers

Melanie Myers

Diane McNulty was still receiving congrats about the recent Artistic Impressions of Management showcasing the relationship between art and business to benefit the Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas. The one-night gala transformed the school’s first floor into an art gallery. One of the highlights of the show was “The Glamour Age of Flights” focusing on “a look back at iconic Braniff International Airlines photographs and posters.”

The accessory du jour was the shawl. After all the temps were in the 60’s outside providing just enough chill that those spring silk and cotton outfits needed a little shoulder warmth.

Despite a couple of minor lighting challenges in the ballroom, the event went off without a hitch. It’s hard to imagine that it ran as tightly as a Swiss clock but this one did.

Anne gave a brief welcome recalling her recent hip surgery and the cards received from Wilkinson Center kiddos. One of the children sent a note — Hip, Hip Hurray. Another said she hoped Anne survived her surgery because she deserved to enjoy a happy life.

Anne Reeder

Anne Reeder

That last mention created a rallying point for Anne as she described people with whom the Wilkinson Center encounters who do not have happy lives — a hungry three-year, who started shivering and crying when he saw the shelves of food at the center; the woman who just needed a pair of shoes, an ID and a bus pass for her first day as a McDonald’s employee; the 12-year-employee who was let go because her employer discovered she was illiterate; or a little girl who is too tired in school, because her parents’ fighting every night keeps her awake.

As Anne summed it up, “These are the people that we meet every day at Wilkinson Center. And these are the stories we hear. Our job and our mission is to transform the lives of these families and to create pathways for them to self-sufficiency always with dignity and respect. Our job is to create a situation, so they can have happy lives themselves. But we need your help and by being here today, you are helping us.”

Anne and Terry Conner and Christie Carter

Anne and Terry Conner and Christie Carter

Moving along efficiently without losing the impact, the program then presented the first Can Do! Award to Anne and Terry Conner following a video.

Terry took the opportunity to emphasize that “breaking the cycle of poverty begins with education.” He pointed out that before DISD expanded its free-lunch program last year, it was based on household income and low-household income was required to qualify for subsidized lunches. “Last year about 89% of DISD kids qualified. . . . only about 8%, excluding magnet school graduates, of the kids graduate ready for college in DISD.” He encouraged the participation in the after-school and summer programs.

Anne, who has been associated with Wilkinson for 15 years, said that the “Wilkinson Center represents the very best of charity in our community. Helping those who need help the most day in, day out and fulfilling its mission with commitment and compassion.”

Next up was the Women of St. Michael’s Exchange that has contributed $7.8M to the community since its founding in 1958. As Robbie Briggs sat smiling proudly, the video told of how the Exchange in Highland Park Village had originally been operated by the Junior League of Dallas. About 55 years ago, the Women of St. Michael bought the shop from the JLD. There was a big discussion about the purchase and it was put up for a vote. The results were 50-for and 50-against. The president had to cast the deciding vote to take on the Exchange. That president was Robbie’s mom Rosemary Briggs.

Jan Baldwin

Jan Baldwin

Women of St. Michael President Jan Baldwin was joined on stage by Sylvia Hood and Kathy Kelley in accepting the award. Then St. Michael and All Angels Rev. Dr. Bob Dannals hopped up on stage and told how proud he was to be associated with such a fine group of women.

Rev. Dr. Robert Dannals

Rev. Dr. Robert Dannals

Alphonso Brooks

Alphonso Brooks

The final award was presented to Alphonso Brooks, who was in a tomato-red T-shirt and slacks. The military vet, who was in his first year of college, apologized for his appearance, but explained that he had pulled an all-nighter in preparation for his finals. No apologies needed. His story with the Wilkinson Center was a great closer. Thanks to the Center, he had not only been able to achieve his GED, he had was now attending Cedar Valley College full time. But his studies hadn’t kept him from repaying Wilkinson. He still “visits Wilkinson Center one to two times per month to thank staff for the services and assistance he has received.” According to Alphonso, “I couldn’t have done this without Wilkinson Center. The help they provided allowed me to attend college. They have done more for me than any other agency or organization.”

To end the event, St. Michael choir members Kristen and Alex Bumpas sang the benediction.

And the lunch ended at 12:48 p.m.

TACA Lexus Party On The Green Managed To Escape The Area’s Storms By Partying At The Rosewood Mansion’s Auto Courtyard

The Spring storms remained relentless. On Friday, May 9, Waxahachie and Navarro were being slammed by Ping-Pong size hail and Turtle Creek trees looked like pins hit by a major bowling ball. Still fundraising continued. While Pat and Emmitt Smith cornered the market on sports hunks and black-tie partying at the Omni for the Emmitt Smith Invitational Gala, Booker T. Washington’s Performing Arts Festival/Fundraiser was under way in the Arts District.

But even with the area being threatened by hail, tornadoes, plague and locusts, the TACA Lexus Party On The Green bravely took a chance to stay the course for its outdoor venue in the Rosewood Mansion’s auto courtyard.

The gamble paid off with temperatures comfortably suited for sundresses, an evening sky filled with tiny white lights in the trees overhead, and chefs cooking and chatting with guests.

2014 TACA Lexus Party On The Green

2014 TACA Lexus Party On The Green

As DSQ Electric and Shoot Low Sheriff played on staged, the chefs (Matt Balke, Melody Bishop, Nicholas Blouin, Juan Bochenski, Bruno Davaillon, Scott Dolbee, Richard Gras, Sylvain Hervochon, James Johnson, Dennis Kelley, Brian Luscher, Brooke Mallory, Matt McCallister, Carl Murray, Ken Nakano, Stephan Pyles, Alejandro Rojas, Abraham Salum, Eric Shelton, Sarah Snow and Brian Zenner) had guests returning for seconds and thirds. They also were competing for Brad Oldham-designed Golden Skillet. By the end of the evening, the “pan” went to Abraham for his “beer braised oxtail roulade with Swiss chard, Chihuahua cheese and piloncillo pasilla demiglace over a black bean tamal.”

Abraham Salum's Beer braised oxtail roulade with Swiss Chard, Chihuahua cheese and piloncillo pasilla demiglace over a black bean tamal

Abraham Salum’s beer braised oxtail roulade with Swiss Chard, Chihuahua cheese and piloncillo pasilla demiglace over a black bean tamal

But before the crowd swelled to capacity, the POG Co-Chairs Kristen and Ladd Sanger and Anne and Jeremy Besser hosted the VIP crowd like Caroline Rose Hunt, upstairs in the FDR Suite for a bit of the bubbly. Simona Beal and John Phifer Marrs were just back from Rosewood’s Las Ventanas. This was Simona’s fourth year as a chef sponsor. . Mary Gill was celebrating her birthday. . . Holly Reed and Brad Beaird were just back from San Marcos, where they attended her niece’s graduation.

Ladd and Kristen Sanger and Anne and Jeremy Besser

Ladd and Kristen Sanger and Anne and Jeremy Besser

Returning to Dallas for the TACA fundraiser was Diana and Francis Sommer family. They just happened upon the event last year and were so impressed, they signed up to sponsor Rosewood Jumby Bay Chef Sylvain Hervochon. Having relocated to London, the Sommers have two kids — Evan and Rebecca — attending SMU, plus daughter Dresden, who was with John Huston. For this reason Diana and Francis support the TACA event because “art education is extremely important for American kids.”

Dresden Sommer, Diana Sommer and Heather Trumbauer

Dresden Sommer, Diana Sommer and Heather Trumbauer

After posing for their traditional photo on the balcony with Holly, Brad and Mark Breidenbach, Bank of America’s Gillian Breidenbach and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management’s Troy Schiermeyer hustled down to the cork pull for a photo with Kinne and Cari Kell. There was a lot of cork pulling going on with 480 bottles going for $25.

Kinne and Cari Kell, Gillian Breidenbach and Troy Schiermeyer

Kinne and Cari Kell, Gillian Breidenbach and Troy Schiermeyer

Other action in the courtyard included Sally Blanton, who has been busy with book signings of her “100 Things To Do In Dallas/Fort Worth Before You Die”. . . Diane Brierley told Diane Cheatham about the hit her neighborhood took the day before. . . . Dallas Morning News Mark Edgar recalled covering the 1984 Republican convention in Dallas. . . D Academy/D Magazine Executive Editor Cristina Daglas chatting with D Academy panelists Lynn McBee and Brent Christopher. . . Fashion plates Neiman’s Jeff Byron and Kevin Hurst comparing spring cool with Traffic LA’s Matthew Simon and Keith Schumann. . .Emily Eisenhauer, who had lost seven pounds, was with Darryl Freling.

Jeff Byron, Matthew Simon, Keith Schumann and Kevin Hurst

Jeff Byron, Matthew Simon, Keith Schumann and Kevin Hurst

Word was circulating that the Mansion renovation of the ballroom would commence in July and be completed before the September 26th TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Gala.

For more pictures from the evening, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Award-Winning Viola Davis To Headline Attorneys Serving The Community Luncheon On June 20

Since being nominated for the Academy Award, Viola Davis has been a very busy woman. Recently her agenda has only ramped up. ABC just announced that she’ll star in a new series — How To Get Away With Murder — this fall.

Viola Davis*

Viola Davis*

But even before that announcement was made, the Tony-winner will be the keynote speaker for the 28th annual Attorneys Serving the Community luncheon on Friday, June 20, at the Anatole.

Benefiting the Foundation for the Education of Young Women, Davis is the ideal choice for the luncheon. She understands the hunger for education. Born on her grandmother’s farm in South Carolina, she grew up in Rhode Island, where her father worked at racetracks as a horse groomer. While in high school, she discovered the joy of acting. But to perfect her craft, she realized more education was needed following college. Through hard work and determination, she “earned a full scholarship to the Young People’s School of the Performing Arts,” which led to her attending Juilliard School.

The work paid off with her making her Broadway debut in 1996. Since then, the world of acting has been her ZIP Code. In addition to her success on the stage, she has earned major kudos on television (City of Angeles, Law & Order, etc.) and the big screen (Doubt, The Help, Beautiful Creatures, Eat, Pray, Love, etc.).

While most will immediately recall her performance in The Help, her role as the mother confronting Meryl Streep in Doubt was brief and a showstopper resulting in her first Academy Award nomination.

The fundraising lunch that is being chaired by Dena DeNooyer Stroh and Kelli Hinson should be fascinating thanks to this multi-talented actress, who like the ASC recognizes the importance of education and encourages young women to strive for it.

With tickets starting at $100, the money raised at the luncheon will “support an internship program at Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, the first FEYW network school in Dallas, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.”

* Photo provided by Attorneys Serving the Community

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: TACA Lexus Party On The Green

2014 Party On The Green

2014 TACA Lexus Party On The Green

Troy Schiermeyer, Gillian and Mark Breidenbach, Holly Reed and Brad Beaird

Troy Schiermeyer, Gillian and Mark Breidenbach, Holly Reed and Brad Beaird

The TACA folks once again met the summer head-on with their annual TACA Lexus Party On The Green in the Rosewood Mansion’s auto courtyard on Friday, May 9. The night was beyond perfection to match the fabulous food and foodies.

Katherine LaLonde

Katherine LaLonde

Hamilton Sneed and LeeAnne Locken

Hamilton Sneed and LeeAnne Locken

Kersten Rettig and Charlotte Legg

Kersten Rettig and Charlotte Legg

Ryan Harvey

Ryan Harvey

The write up on the performing arts fundraiser is underway. Until then, check out the two pages of pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.