Sugar And Tex Redefined Indoor Plumbing And Charmed Equest Triple Crown Gala Patrons At Antèks

How many parties do you attend when a bucket is needed for the guests of honor seeking . . . relief? That was the situation on March 7 when Sugar, Equest’s brown-and-white miniature mare, raised her tail just a couple of minutes before some of Dallas’s socialites sauntered through Antèks to meet her and her buddy, Tex. Luckily, the timing couldn’t have been better. Just as the tail rose, a blue bucket was right in place and immediately removed. No need for room deodorizer or cleanup. And the ladies had no idea of what they had just missed.

The occasion bringing Sugar, Tex and the Equest Triple Crown Gala patrons together was to check out the items filling Antèks’ walls, floors and showroom and to get revved up for the April 20 “Santa Fe Soiree” at Park Lane Equestrian Center.

Jason Lenox and  Linda Kordek-Milton

Tex, Jason Lenox, Sugar and Linda Kordek-Milton

While Antèk proprietor Jason Lenox, clad in a natty leather vest that he’s had for ages, admitted that there are higher-profile groups, he said smaller ones like Equest sometimes need that little extra oomph when it comes to support.

While the really truly Texana décor kept everyone eyeballing the merch, Sugar and Tex proved to be the ones that everyone wanted in their photos. No, the mini-horses are not therapy horses. Rather they pull the cart and just act so darn cute and accommodating that they’re considered Equest ambassadors.

And, not to put Shetland ponies down, but miniature horses tend to be more user-friendly.

Domaine Wine

Domaine Wine

So, who was there, and what were the top topics? A number of the gals came early because they were headed to Arlington Hall to hear Charlotte Jones Anderson talk at Janelle Friedman’s Essential Energy’s Ladies Only. Shoot! If any power powder puffs were MIA in Dallas, it’s ‘cuz they were listening to Lady Charlotte. . . Gala Chair Jocelyn White promised that she would be on hand this year for the gala. Last year’s excuse that she was on her honeymoon was good for one-time-only. . . Carol Seay, giving rave reviews for the Cantina Laredo buffet. . .  The Domaine Wine Company set up in another room, with guests returning for seconds and thirds. . . Carmaleta Whiteley, reporting that a new managing director has arrived at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. It’s a gal! Her name is Andrea Gates and her previous assignment was managing director of Rosewood’s Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe. Andrea is no newcomer to Dallas nor the Mansion. Before serving as hotel manager at The Carlyle in NYC and Santa Fe, she spent 14 years at the Mansion starting in 1992. . .

Tex and Ann Barbier-Mueller

Tex and Ann Barbier-Mueller

Sisters/Gala Honorary Co-chairs Ann Barbier-Mueller and Faye Sheehan, who had her left hand wrapped up like a mummy. . .  Emily Hargrove on a rare night out since giving birth to baby Aubrey on February 5. Dang! Em’s already getting her figure back. . . . Linda Kordek was thinking pancakes for the Mrs. Butterworth fundraiser March 23rd  at the Rockwall’s Applebee’s. Let’s think melted butter on a stack of cakes with a swimming pool of syrup on top. Or, let’s be honest. Why not just order a bucket full of syrup with flapjacks on the side. Yum!

Mrs. Butterworth, you are missed, but Sugar and Tex are trotting along for you.


Heroes And Handbags Bags Live Auction Prizes At Cameron And Clay Smith’s Preston Hollow Mansion

Parenthood is tough. The pain of taking a child to get their shots. Watching a munchkin try their hardest and not quite surpassing hopes. The waiting in the back of the carpool line. Parent-teacher meetings that are more excruciating than a root canal.

But it also has those moments that beat taking home the Nobel Peace Prize. That first party outfit. That first date. That loss of a first tooth and relying on the tooth fairy to make things right. Both good and bad are moments that make up the tapestry that most parents experience and treasure in the years to come.

Larissa Linton

Larissa Linton

Unfortunately, there are parents whose memories take a different direction. Instead of taking their child to the pediatrician’s offices, they go to the oncologist. Instead of parent-teacher meetings, they seek out medical experts like a lost soul in the desert. Instead of a party outfit, they cheer the wisps of hair that appear after way-too-many chemo treatments. They are the parents who have gone through cancer with their children. Those are mothers like Larissa Linton and Jenny Scott.

Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith

On March 6 the Heroes and Handbags patrons gathered at Cameron and Clay Smith’s Preston Hollow home for a live auction. No, it wasn’t one of those stomping-romping auctions. It started with thanks to Medical City Children’s Hospital, Gold Crown Valet, Pioneer Wines, Bowl and Barrel, Enchanted Rock Vodka, Cakes by Kim, Dana Driensky and Dean McCurry and the Smiths, of course.

Then everyone including Katherine and Key Coker, Lynn McBee and Kate Rose Marquez fresh from the Mad Hatter’s patron party hunkered down in the living room.

Kim Bannister

Kim Bannister

After welcomes and pep-up talks by Kim Bannister, who told how tables sales were “going like crazy,” Heroes for Children founders Larissa and Jenny described their mission. They were so upbeat and positive. It’s hard to imagine how their days of watching their children dying from cancer could result in such a giving program. But those tragedies brought the girls together in their mission to help others.

You’ve just got to know these two ladies have weathered very tough times together. Their camaraderie was obvious when Jenny laughed that Larissa’s body language was indicating that her talk needed to come to an end. That’s what gal pals are all about, don’t you know.

Jenny Scott

Jenny Scott

First they played heads and tails. Please don’t ask for an explanation of this game. The visuals alone provided proof why it’s always a game winner.

Then it was on to the live auction action, with the bowling with food going for $1,750 and the sports package of Mavs and Rangers hitting $2,750.

BTW, this year’s Handbags and Heroes is taking place at the Omni Dallas Hotel, complete with such stellar sponsors as the Dedman Foundation, Medical City Children’s Hospital, Sewell Automotive Group, United Healthcare and Dee Simmons. If you love purses and/or munchkins, this event is a must-attend. Last year’s crop of purses was simply remarkable. Shoot! Wish we had had a really smartphone to bid on some of them. Get your rezzies in now and warm up your keypads to bid.

Mad Hatter’s Tea Patrons Talk Toppers And Top Secrets

As the countdown was well underway for the April 11th’s “Adventure in Time” topper at the Dallas Arboretum, the Mad Hatter’s patrons gathered at Dr. Rosemary and Medford McCoy’s stately home on March 6. While Honorary Chair Patty Dedman Nail was on her way to the party, Co-chairs Maggie Kipp and Shay Geyer were thrilled to reveal that Patty had become a $50,000 sponsor. Now, usually that would have automatically shot Patty to presenting sponsor level, but Patty insisted that it was strictly for support, and she didn’t need the klieg lights and titles. Being honorary chair was good enough for her.

Maggie Kipp, Lynn McBee and Kate Rose Marquez

Maggie Kipp, Lynn McBee and Kate Rose Marquez

Regarding the heady competition that is synonymous with the event, the addition of the “group award” was cheered. Kate Rose Marquez recalled how she and her posse won the Mad Hatter’s group award more than 10 years ago. The night before the event, the gals were gluing little horses, Texas flags and roses on their black cowboy hats.

Aron and Rainey Fogiel, Natalie Fogiel and Neal Moon

Aron and Rainey Fogiel, Natalie Fogiel and Neal Moon

Not so hat-focused was Rainey Fogiel. She has wedding bells chiming in her head. No, not for her. Rather dotter Natalie is marrying Neal Moon this summer. Don’t worry about holding the date unless you’re going to be in Monaco. That’s where the wedding is taking place. After all Rainey’s family is there, so it makes sense. As for Natalie’s wedding dress, that’s a done deal. Evidently, mom and daughter took Crawford Brock’s invitation to drop by Stanley Korshak after the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon & Fashion Show. The dress was found!

Brett Ringle and Dan McCoy

Brett Ringle and Medford McCoy

But the Mad Hatter’s patron pasty wasn’t just gals chatting about fashion. In the living room, Brett Ringle and Medford were talking about Brett’s problem growing up. When he was just a lad living in Los Alamos, N.M., he was asked in class by his teacher what his dad did for a living. Brett said he didn’t know. The children’s answer didn’t pass muster, so his dad was called in to discuss the situation with the principal. Was the father in need of a job? Was the boy truly ignorant of his father’s livelihood?

No, his father didn’t need a job and there was a reason Brett didn’t have a clue as to what it was. His father, who was involved at the Los Alamos National Laboratory there, explained that it was classified information. Not only did his son not know what he did, the principal wasn’t going to find out either.

Interestingly, Brett recalled one of the toughest jobs his father had was to hire the janitorial crews. The sticky requirement was they be totally illiterate in all languages. The reason? That way there was no possibility of classified information thrown in the trash being discovered and leaked.

And, here you thought Mad Hatter types only talked about headwear.

Even MIA Moonlight Ball Patrons Were At Beth And Fin Ewing’s Home In Spirit

The patrons of the 9th annual Moonlight Ball, like Honorary Co-chairs Lauri and Mike Hainsfurther, Sandra and Henry Estess, Stephen Rury, Vera Bang and Cecilie and Ronnie Holman, gathered at Beth and Fin Ewing’s home on February 27.

Beth Ewing, Lauri and Mike Hainsfurther, Melissa Utley and Jill Cumnock

Beth Ewing, Lauri and Mike Hainsfurther, Melissa Utley and Jill Cumnock

Well, most of them did. Unfortunately, Moonlight Co-chair Melissa Utley had to solo the party because husband Steve was “stranded” in NYC.

Another one who had a good excuse for not being present was Mersina Stubbs, who was honorary co-chair at last year’s Moonlight Ball at the Dallas Country Club. She was in Austin. But her presence was still very apparent when Melissa admitted that thanks to Mersina’s past involvement, Mersina “had this entire event in her head, so whatever she tells me to do, I do it. This event is going to be fabulous.”

Michele Dunn and Emilynn Wilson

Michele Dunn and Emilynn Wilson

So typical of Melissa. She, like her mom Emilynn Wilson, who chaired this past year’s Kidney Texas Luncheon, knows the ropes of fundraising like Martha Stewart knows how to set a table.

Just in case you need to put it on your calendar, this year’s Ronald McDonald House of Dallas fundraiser will take place Saturday, April 6, at Brook Hollow Golf Club. It’s an elegant black-tie affair that’s not too big, not too small, but just right.

Photo credit: Jeremy Brown

LaunchAbility Patrons Learn The Humor In Personal Boundaries Homework And Plans For 50th Anniversary

Looking and listening to the speaker

Looking and listening to the speaker

Once again the staircase in the entry hall of Anne and Steve Stodghill’s mansion became a speakers corner for a nonprofit pep rally. Last Wednesday the LaunchAbility patrons were mingling and gathering at the base of the stairway to hear about plans for “A Special Evening 2013.” Event Co-chairs Cecily and Scott Gooch reported that LaunchAbility’s 50th anniversary celebration would feature Vince Gill on the evening of April 2 at the Meyerson. Since it’s going to be the organization’s golden anniversary, Cecily wore a gold tunic top. How appropriate.

Hannah Wilkerson

Hannah Wilkerson

They also heard from Hannah Wilkerson, who is a LaunchAbility client working part time at Blue Cross Blue Shield. In her talk, Hannah told of a lesson about personal boundaries that she learned at LaunchAbility. She decided to practice at home on her mom, who was sitting on the couch. Hannah got very close to her mom. “My mom said, ‘Do you have a problem?'” Hannah responded, “Am I making you uncomfortable?” Her mom said, “Yes.” Hannah’s response? — “Check. Homework done!”

LaunchAbility CEO Cathy Packard was next up on the staircase and opened with, “No way I can top Hannah!” However, she did a fine job in trying by reporting that they’re expecting 2,000 guests at the 50th anniversary celebration.

Dr. Richard Adams

Dr. Richard Adams

Another person receiving recognition on the stairway was Dr. Richard Adams. The medical director of pediatric Developmental Disabilities at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children was awarded the Milton P. Levy Jr. Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Stodghill saddle

Stodghill saddle

BTW, next time you luck into visiting  the Stodghills’ home, check out the saddle in the library. It belonged to Steve’s paternal grandfather, who, along with his wife, would ride in parades atop white stallions. Steve got this one and his sister got the grandmother’s saddle.


Savor The Symphony’s Designer Violins Make Their Final Appearance Before March 23 Black Tie Gala Auction

The Savor the Symphony designer violins have been making more appearances that Bradley Cooper at awards ceremonies. Last Tuesday the “fiddles” were in high cotton at Jan Miller’s and Jeff Rich’s mini-palace for their final showing before the Savor the Symphony black-tie gala auction on March 23 at the Adolphus.

Checking out the designer violins

Checking out the designer violins

Displayed on the dining room table amid candles, the little artworks looked right at home in the colorful surroundings. Champagne-sipping guests eyeballed, and smartphones snapped photos of, the little stringed instruments.

Violins on display on dining room table

Violins on display on dining room table

For artist Heidi Lockhart Somes, it was a return to the scene of her big coup. Last year her violin of a street scene was “pre-bought” at the Miller-Rich’s patron party for $20,000 as a birthday gift.

JD Miller

JD Miller

Artist JD Miller, who had hosted a previous violin showing at his Samuel Lynne Galleries, was talking business developments. Seems he’s named former Dallasite Karen and Michael Bivins the director and CEO, respectively, of SLG. Having sold everything from Andy Warhols to 16th century masters, the pair fell in love with JD’s art. Another incentive to their leaving their West Coast operation, according to Michael: “We think it’s (the art business) sorta played out on the coasts. There’s lots of money here. We think this is the place to be.” Since their joining SLG four months ago, sales have tripled. Nice!

Some guests gathered around the home’s bar with its mammoth blue glass chandelier. Then the sounds that get everyone’s attention were heard. First the pop of a champagne cork exploding from a bottle. Then the infamous sound of the cork hitting the chandelier. Eyes darted around looking for shattered blue glass, but none was found. Even palace pooch Schumacher tried to wedge his way into the bar to see if cleanup was necessary. Nope.

Barbara Sypult and Jan Miller

Barbara Sypult and Jan Miller

A few minutes later, with wireless mic in hand, host Jeff welcomed the guests like Sharon Barbee, Barb and Steve Durham, JB Hayes, Alex Aland, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Barbara Sypult, Paige Westhoff and Troy Schiermeyer in the living room.

Paige Westhoff and Troy Schiermeyer

Paige Westhoff and Troy Schiermeyer

Jeff then introduced Honorary Chairs Rebecca and Ron Gafford, Élan Circle President Kaycee Holmes and Dallas Symphony Orchestra President/CEO Jonathan Martin, who said, “As you bid these violins up, think of all the programs they’ll support.” That comment resulted in the following:

Ron: “We don’t want you to bid it up too high, because we have to exceed it next year.”

Amanda: “Bid as high as you want!”

Jan: “I’m a little more aggressive. We want you to bid tonight. Do not leave here until you make a bid on one of these violins. Get your wallets out and go in there and bid. I’m serious. And thank you for coming!”

Blaine Nelson: “I tried to buy one of those violins last year and I got outbid!”

Ron: “I bid $1 less than Blaine!”

Jonathan Martin holding violin with artists

Jonathan Martin holding violin with artists

As the violin artists gathered for a group photo, guests returned to the dining room to check the violins out one more time and follow Jan’s order. For their reward, they discovered a mini-bottle of Chandon to open once they got home.

Paws Cause Paused To Celebrate SPCA Fundraising Patrons At Komali

Jocelyn White and Don and Stacey Kivowitz

Jocelyn White and Don and Stacey Kivowitz

Stacey and Don Kivowitz, honorary Co-chairs of the March 3 “Paws Cause Goes Hollywoof” benefit at Sambuca in Uptown, are united in their love of animals.

That was clear last Tuesday night at Komali restaurant, where about 50 people gathered for the “Hollywoof” patron party.

Standing on a raised platform at the end of the bar, Don told the crowd how the couple has adopted five pets, partly because of Stacey’s extra-sympathetic attitude:

“Stacey sees an animal on the street, and says, ‘What’s wrong with that animal?!’ ” Don teased with a laugh.

His wife didn’t seem to mind. Taking the mic from Don, Stacey proceeded to laud Abraham Salum, Komali’s chef and owner; the SPCA’s spay/neuter programs; and James Bias, president of the SPCA of Texas, who was also in the house.

Bias “is ushering in a kinder, gentler era of animal welfare,” Stacey smiled, “right here in our own backyard!”

Loud applause broke out but, by this time, you got the feeling the party-goers would have agreed with about anything.

Jody Dean and  Fiona Pestell

Jody Dean and Fiona Pestell

Among them were Tanya Roberts; SPCA of Texas board chair Jocelyn White and her husband Kim Seal; Diane and Hal Brierley, en route to a performance of Anything Goes at the Winspear Opera House; and Fiona Pestell with radio star Jody Dean.

Jody reported having talked recently with deejay legend and stroke victim Ron Chapman, who told him, “I always wanted to sound like Dick Clark, and now I do.”

Jane Arrington, Andie Comini, and Cassie Evans are Co-chairs of next month’s “Hollywoof” event, whose special guests will be Dancing With The Stars All-Star winner Melissa Rycroft and her husband, Tye Strickland.

The evening fundraiser will benefit spay/neuter and other programs at the SPCA of Texas Village Fair Clinic. Monies raised will help provide more than 12,000 free and low-cost surgeries and 15,000 health and wellness treatments there this year.


February 7 Round Robin: A.W.A.R.E, New Friends New Life, Family Gateway, WaterTower Theatre And Junior League Of Dallas

Once again Thursday turned out to be the workout night for the fundraising powerhouses throughout the North Texas area. Some folks found themselves hustling from one event to another and apologizing for not making it to a third one.

A.W.A.R.E. Kick-off Party

Jack Broyles and Jim Hammond

Jack Broyles and Jim Hammond

There’s a real momentum driving this year’s A.W.A.R.E. luncheon. Unfortunately, the inspiration is being derived from the loss of loved ones. This point was very apparent at the A.W.A.R.E. kick-off party at Pat Villareal‘s home in Preston Hollow for about 80 guests including Ramona Jones, Kim Gatlin, Jack Broyles and Carmaleta Whiteley. Yes, everyone was still reeling from the death of planned-for-keynote-speaker and much-loved Larry “JR” Hagman, who died in November. Luckily, A.W.A.R.E. President Kay Hammond and Luncheon Chair Laurie Kidder were able to arrange for Larry’s screen-wife Linda Gray to take over the role at the luncheon. Couldn’t have been a better choice. Not only

Laurie Kidder and Kay Hammond

Laurie Kidder and Kay Hammond

was Linda very aware of Larry’s involvement with Alzheimer’s (his wife Maj suffers from the disease), but Linda’s mother also is an Alzheimer’s victim. Laurie’s goal is to have 1,000 guests at the Hilton Anatole on Friday, April 5, to raise funds. What some guests at the kick-off party did not realize was that Pat lost her mother to Alzheimer’s just two weeks ago.

New Friends, New Life

Pat Schenkel and Katie Pedigo

Pat Schenkel and Katie Pedigo

Over in the Park Cities, Lana and Barry Andrews opened up their new home for the kick-off party for the New Friends New Life‘s 10th Annual WINGS luncheon. Raising funds to assist women trapped in the sex trade, the luncheon is turning out to be a mother-daughter undertaking. First, there’s the speaker for the Friday, April 12 luncheon at the Hyatt Regency. It’s Barbara Pierce Bush. Introducing her will be her mom/former First Lady Laura Bush. According to Katie Pedigo, grandest mother/former First Lady Barbara Bush is taping a message for the luncheon. She wanted to attend, but is keeping close to home after husband George’s recent prolonged hospital stay.

Lana Andrews and Natalie McGuire

Lana Andrews and Natalie McGuire

Another mom-dotter in the mix is Lana’s daughter Natalie McGuire, who is honorary chairing the luncheon with her mom and helped Lana host the KO party. At one point when a photographer was trying to arrange a photo, Lana was in the backyard with Honorary Chair Allie Beth Allman taking photos of some artwork. Natalie’s call to arms got the petite Lana to conclude the photo session and tip-toe over. Why tip-toe? Well, the deck surrounding the pool is a piece of artwork in itself with a pebble-style stone pattern. While gorgeous, it’s heck on high heels requiring toe-walking. No wonder Lana had such great legs!

Nancy Ann Hunt

Nancy Ann Hunt

As 130 guests like Luncheon Chair Gina and Ken Betts, Toni Brinker, Nancy Gopez, Carol Seay, Lee Ann White and Nancy Ann Hunt and daughter Ashlee Kleinert filled the Andrews mansion, Katie reported that 35 tables had already been sold, making them more than one-third of the way to their goal of 100 tables/1,000 guests. Texas Health Resources will be the presenting sponsor for the luncheon that has come a long way in a short bit of time.

Family Gateway Dinner

Nancy Halbreich

Nancy Halbreich

It was hard to imagine cramming any more people into the Mansion’s Pavilion and Promenade for Family Gateway‘s 25th Anniversary Celebration honoring Ted Strauss, and he loved it. Far from being a roast or a teary testimonial, it turned out to be a typical Strauss affair — great food, top-tier types and memorable moments with a twinkle in the eye. The secret ingredient was the behind-the-scenes planning by Annette’s and Ted’s daughters Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr.

Janie McGarr

Janie McGarr

(If you just arrived at D/FW International, you need to know that Family Gateway was the brainchild of Ted’s late wife Annette, the former mayor of Dallas. While he wouldn’t take credit, he was the patient husband.)

Linda Custard

Linda Custard

Following the cocktail party upstairs, guests like Margot and Ross Perot, Brian Heflin, Cheryl and John Hall, Linda and Bill Custard, Caren Prothro, Gene Jones, Martha Ann Schneider, Lee Cullum, Roger Horchow, Hill and Renee Feinberg and Nancy Dedman found their way to their tables complete with place cards. It was a little tough getting this crowd seated. They were having way too much fun catching up and patting the honoree on the back as he tried to make his way to numero uno table with wife Sue.

Sue Strauss

Sue Strauss

Finally, all were seated and Family Gateway’s Robert Alberts welcomed the group, reporting there are 5,000 homeless children in Dallas. He then announced an ambitious goal for the program that provides shelter for homeless families — the opening of a Montessori school for homeless children and renovating the Strauss Center, among others. Eyebrows that had raised with the announcement of the 5,000 homeless children rose to hairlines with Robert’s biggest goal — the ending of child homelessness by 2017. It also provided food for conversation during dinner.

Stan Levenson, Rabbi David Stern and Jeremy Halbreich

Stan Levenson, Rabbi David Stern and Jeremy Halbreich

Following Rabbi David Stern‘s typically memorable invocation, it was dinner Mansion style (tortilla soup with chicken, avocado, cheddar cheese and tortilla strips; roasted filet mignon with Yukon gold puree , broccolini, trumpet mushrooms and cabernet jus; and chocolate imperial dark chocolate cake with vanilla crème brûlée and hazelnut crisp and vanilla ice cream). Diets were being blown.

Ralph Gorman and Faye Briggs

Ralph Gorman and Faye Briggs

Faye Briggs arrived with her entourage a couple of minutes late. Seems that daughter Pebble McKenzie was in charge of driving and missed a turn. . .  While Barbara Levenson was tableside with Patsy Donosky, husband Stan told friends that he’s starting his 46th year in the pr business. . . Ruth Altshuler, who was seated with husband Ken on the Promenade with Margaret McDermott, was asked about the recent Dallas Morning News article on her. Ruth’s response? “Tomorrow they’ll be using the paper to wrap fish.”

Ruth Altshuler

Ruth Altshuler

Following dinner, it was time for speeches. But again in typical Strauss style, they were brief and kept everyone’s attention. Actually there were just two speakers, and they went head-to-head in the upstaging department.

Mayor Mike Rawlings

Mayor Mike Rawlings

First at the podium was Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. Graciously, he started off by saying, “If you didn’t buy a table, write this man a check,” pointing to Robert. Then he went on to say, “I have a lot of heroes that make this state great, people who have made the city of Dallas great, made everybody around them great. . . ” Oh, dear. Was it going to be one of those predictable tribute-style speeches? Nope. Mayor Mike then added, “. . . and Bob Strauss is one of them.” A nano moment of air being sucked in could be heard around the room. Had the mayor accidentally referred to Ted’s brother, Bob? Nope. A big old Mike grin appeared on his face as he looked at Ted, who was laughing. Then the room burst into laughter and applause.

Ross Perot Sr.

Ross Perot Sr.

He continued,

  • “We’re here to honor Bob’s younger and richer brother, Ted.”
  • Recently he saw Ted, who said, “Mike, you’re doing a wonderful job, but you’re no Annette Strauss.”
  • Ted’s grandkids nicknamed him “Poopie,” because one night came home and said, “I’m pooped.”

In closing Mayor Mike read a letter from the governor’s office praising Ted.

Ted Strauss

Ted Strauss

It was now time for Ted to acknowledge the accolades of the night. Graciously he acknowledged some of the ladies in the room, like Caroline Rose Hunt for establishing the Mansion. He then told of a letter written long ago by a woman, whose family Annette had personally taken to Family Gateway five years before. She had written the letter to Annette thanking her and telling her how she had gotten a job, that her two daughters were in school and that life was good.

At one point Ted admitted that he was having problems reading his notes because of the spotlight and the lack of light at the podium. Within seconds, Mayor Mike from his seat told Ted that he’d had a similar problem. Still finding the lighting difficult, Ted asked Mike, “Are you sure you don’t have a flashlight?” At that the towering mayor brought a cellphone up to the podium, which offered a small amount of illumination.

But Ted was not going to be upstaged yet. As the mayor/former Pizza Hut president returned to his chair, Ted said, “And your pizzas were lousy, too!” Highlights of Ted’s talk included:

  • “You will not see a gathering that will turn you on anymore than this one. I am so thrilled to be a part of it. After 88 years I’m thrilled to be a part of anything.”
  • He acknowledged the development of the Parkland/University of Texas at Southwestern complex and Kern Wildenthal. But Ted couldn’t let that go without a wink. “My last operation over there, it wasn’t a success, but they gave me a great deal on a cane.”
  • In praising Ruth Altshuler for her role in the assassination anniversary, Ted turned to the mayor and said, “I know that will be nice. Who you gonna shoot this time?”
  • In accepting a plaque from Robert, Ted said, “We don’t need another plaque. We need a quarterback!”
Micki Rawlings

Micki Rawlings

Robert then announced the naming of the organization’s complex, the “Theodore H. Strauss Gateway Apartments.” Once again the mischievous Ted wasn’t about to miss an opportunity for levity. He said, “I’ve never enjoyed myself like I have the last 12 years,” due to “a wonderful lady named Sue.” Then he looked at his wife, who was seated next to Micki Rawlings, and said, “Maybe you and I will go over to the Gateway Apartments!” It was indeed a night to be remembered. Perhaps not the one that Robert had planned, but it was one that was typical of Ted Strauss — deliciously mischievous with old friends for a great cause.

 WaterTower Gala Patron Party

Not all the fun(d)raising was taking place in Dallas proper. Heck, no! Those folks in Addison know how to use a Thursday night for honoring patrons. This report was filed from Barbara and Don Daseke‘s home

Barbara Bigham, Joyce Sanders, April Bosworth, Debbie Staggs, Elizabeth Fratantuono, Mark Brooks, Corky Pledger, Maureen Anderson, Katie Myatt, Terry Martin and Barbara Daseke.*

Barbara Bigham, Joyce Sanders, April Bosworth, Debbie Staggs, Elizabeth Fratantuono, Mark Brooks, Corky Pledger, Maureen Anderson, Katie Myatt, Terry Martin and Barbara Daseke.*

“More than 80 people attended WaterTower Theatre’s Spotlight Gala 2013 Patron Party catered by Doug Boster Catering with florals by Todd Events and music by jazz/blues combo, the Tu-Tones. The cocktail party paid tribute to the more than 40 underwriters who are supporting this year’s fundraising Gala. VIPs in attendance included political types like Addison Mayor Todd Meier, council members Bruce Arfsten, Blake Clemens, Janelle Moore, Margie Gunther and Chris D’Francisco.  Other guests included Barbara and Bob Bigham, Producing Artistic Director Terry Martin, Karol Omlor, Chris Miller, Joyce Sanders and Bob Lebovitz, Live and Silent Auction Chair April Bosworth and Cuisine Chair Corky Pledger. “Barbara, who is chairing the Saturday, February 16th Gala at the Addison Conference Center, thanked all of the underwriters who will raise more than $125,000 in support of WaterTower Theatre’s artistic and education programs this year. April gave a preview presentation of some of the live auction items including a wine trip to Napa/Sonoma Valley, a private tour of the White House and Capital buildings and a New York theatre trip among many more exclusive items.”

Junior League of Dallas

As further proof of the expanding party room of Dallas, the Junior League of Dallas was feted at Gary Riggs Home Interiors for the unveiling of the GrandLuxe Magazine. And what exactly was the connection? Perhaps the upcoming JLD ball? According to this field report,

Kelley Robinson and Jackie Converse**

Kelley Robinson and Jackie Converse**

“Gary Riggs Home Interiors, Alpha Road Location, provided a lovely backdrop to unveil the February issue of GrandLuxe Magazine with JLD President Aimee Griffiths and Ball Chair Bunny Cotten on the cover (along with an interesting and informative article about Junior League of Dallas inside the magazine). Before the big unveiling, Tim Miller, president of GrandLuxe, welcomed guests and made introductions. Afterwards, husband and wife team, violinist Gary Levinson and pianist Daredian Baya Kakouberi, both with the Blue Candlelight Music Series, presented two moving pieces from “Schindler’s List” and “Scent of a Woman.” Villa O Restaurant catered the event and served delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails to the guests during the evening.”

* Photo by Buddy Frazer
** Photo provided by the Junior League of Dallas

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon & Fashion Show Patrons Get Their Strutting Orders From Korshak Commander Crawford Brock

Troops . . . uh, patrons listening to Crawford Brock

Troops . . . uh, patrons listening to Crawford Brock

The St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon & Fashion Show patrons headed to the top floor of Stanley Korshak Thursday to hear the final plans for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society fundraiser. Throughout the group of fashionable women, stories were shared about friends, family and associates who were victims of this blood disease.

More reason to grow the current guest count from 850 to 1,000.

Crawford Brock

Crawford Brock

Korshak Commander-in-Chief Crawford Brock admitted that in years past he had let others take the lead. Last year he decided to take more ownership of the annual fashion show/luncheon. That was sorta understating his role. Like Eisenhower was to D-Day, Crawford spearheaded the changes, and what changes they were. He moved it to the Meyerson, arranged to have Myrna and Bob Schlegel as honorary chairs and got Monique Lhuillier fashions on the runway. Luncheon/fashion show Co-chairs Angela Choquette, Maggie Cooke Kipp and Paige Slates wisely joined Crawford in revisions to the February 12th event.

Maggie Cooke Kipp

Maggie Cooke Kipp

Luckily, some things remained the same. . . like having  Fashion General Jan Strimple in charge of the production. She might as well be moving into the Meyerson after orchestrating the roll out of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League deb presentation on Saturday, February 2.

Lisa Ogle, Bret McKinney and Angela Choquette

Lisa Ogle, Bret McKinney and Angela Choquette

As for the fashions, word is making the rounds that the Lhuillier fashions are so figure-clinging that fittings were held early to make sure models could squeeze into them just right. But it’s also heard that the clothes are so fabulous that it’s worth the extra effort.

Muffin Lemak, Janie Condon and Claire Emanuelson

Muffin Lemak, Janie Condon and Claire Emanuelson

That’s important. These lunching ladies love fashion and proved it at the patron party. Muffin Lemak, Janie Condon and Claire Emanuelson went for skin-tight leather leggings. As one of the trio said, “When in doubt, wear leather pants.”

DeeDee Lee

DeeDee Lee

When asked why she hadn’t donned the leather look, nearby DeeDee Lee in black-and-white to the floor skirt laughed, “I didn’t get the memo.”

Suggestion: Get a ticket for this one. It has all the signs of being the fashion show of the season with its new location and the Lhuillier creations. And remember it starts at 9:45 a.m., so skip the OJ and have some champagne (aka breakfast of fashion champions during Valentine’s week).

Now, if Mother Nature will just play along. But chances are that Crawford has her going along with his plans, too.

January 24 Round Robin: Breath Of Life, Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debs And Voice Of Hope

Never let it be said, “January is dull.” Thursday night Dallas was proving that it’s not only popping but it hints of what’s to come this spring.

Breath of Life

First stop of the night was the Breath of Life at the Ritz-Carlton. The honoree may have been Amy Simmons, but the fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis was crafted for all ages.

Maci Drewry and Mason Cook

Maci Drewry and Mason Cook

Adorable guest speakers, 12-year Mason Cook of “Mockingbird Lane,” and 10-year-old Maci Drewry wandered by the auction like veteran socialites. It seems that Mason got involved in “bringing attention and awareness” to CF after meeting Tyler-native Maci at a CF fundraiser in L.A. last year. When the young TV star was asked his relationship with Maci, he answered like a seasoned red-carpet pro: “We are just friends.”

Maci is an amazing lass. Seems that it was Maci who, two years ago, inspired Amy to get involved with CF.

Dallas Zoo Ambassador, alligator and Amy Simmons

Dallas Zoo Ambassador, alligator and Amy Simmons

Like many, Amy, Mason and Maci found their way to the far back of the reception where the Dallas Zoo

Gina Betts

Gina Betts

ambassadors had set up shop. What did the critters have to do with a CF benefit dinner? Event Chair Gina Betts knew how fond Amy is of wildlife and the Dallas Zoo and thought it would be fun.

Sid the two-and-half-year-old African penguin may have come a bit overdressed. It was business attire, not tuxedo. The reason for the zoo kids was due to Amy’s love of wildlife and the zoo. Gina arranged to have Dallas Zoo Vice President of Guest Experiences Sean Greene bring  Sid and her two buddies —a two-month-old Servil named Abeni, and a crocodile. Her/his handler admitted that no one was quite sure what sex the croc was.

As for Gina, there’s hardly anything left to her. While most resolve to go on diets following the holidays, Gina evidently had gotten a head start. How much has she lost? She didn’t know. Doesn’t believe in scales. She just knows that she feels better.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debutante Underwriters

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debutante portraits by James French

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debutante portraits by James French

With James French portraits lining Brook Hollow Golf Club’s patio, the February 2nd Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debutante presentation underwriters leisurely chatted and checked out

Sarah and Mark Hardin and Sharon Barbee

Sarah and Mark Hardin and Sharon Barbee

the nearly 50 portraits. In countdown mode for the big, upcoming weekend of partying, the photographs of the debs in their gowns were the main source of conversation for the nearly 90 guests including Marena and Roger Gault, Sarah and Mark Hardin, DSOL President Sharon Barbee and Gala Chair Kay Weeks.

Following the reception, the guests adjourned to the Oak Room and a fabulous dinner of  BHGC’s signature salad (Mesclun greens, caramelized pecans, stilton cheese, dried cherries, Granny Smith apples, grape tomatoes with balsamic dressing), beef tenderloin slices with a red wine sauce, crispy seared sea bass with a beurre blanc sauce, potato gratin and asparagus bundles ties with a chive.

To top off the evening’s fare was the yummy favorite of the Brook Hollowites — chocolate soufflé.

Voice of Hope Sponsors Reception

Kathryn Warren and Lisa Troutt

Kathryn Warren and Lisa Troutt

Kenny Troutt was running late. Instead of helping wife Lisa host the sponsors of the Voice of Hope reception at their estate, he arrived just as everyone was heading for the door. But he had a good excuse — he had been in Kentucky and had flown home ASAP.

Not to worry. Wife Lisa has held so many events at their home that she’s on automatic pilot without a sign of even slight stress.

Had he been able to make it, Kenny would have heard about the 30th Anniversary Celebration on January 31 at Belo Mansion that is being chaired by Patti Flowers and Kathryn Warren. (Patti was MIA Thursday night, according to husband Tom Swiley, due to the ever-popular flu.).

The gals have arranged for a reception, dinner and a panel discussion featuring the 2013 “Voices” — former Park Cities Baptist Church pastor Dr. Jim Denison as the 2013 Voice of Faith; baseball’s Clayton Kershaw as the 2013 Voice of Service; and Amelia Earhart Learning Center Principal Andrea Nelson as the 2013 Voice of Education.  Moderating the conversation will be Ray Nixon.

Ray Nixon, Mike Doramus, Andrea Nelson and Jim Denison

Ray Nixon, Mike Doramus, Andrea Nelson and Jim Denison

Voice of Hope Chairman of the Board Mike Doramus explained how the group has after-school programs for impoverished kids and has partnered up with the North Texas Food Bank. Presently VoH helps 300 kids, but plans call for it to serve 1,000 in five years. He added that, thanks to a grant from the Crystal Charity Ball, VoH will be able to help two additional schools.

Robert Rowling

Robert Rowling

Honorary Co-chair Robert Rowling, who has been involved with VoH for 15 years, had a more long-range view on VoH. Not only does he appreciate what VoH does for kids who need help now, but he added that the country’s future depends on these children succeeding. By becoming productive, he said, they’ll become taxpayers and contribute to society. Robert admitted that it’s tough, though, because 85% of black youth have no father in their lives. That’s where heroes like VoH President/CEO Ed Franklin come in. They give their lives every day to help. . . “Those are the heroes, not those of us who write checks,” Robert said. “It’s easy to write a check.”

Among the Kennedy Clan In Town Today Were Christopher Lawford For Caron And Katherine Schwarzenegger For Life’s Lessons

To old timers and newcomers, it’s gratifying to see a number of the Kennedy clan in Dallas nowadays. Rory Kennedy and her brother Robert Kennedy Jr. were here with Charlie Rose about 10 days ago. Anthony Shriver has been a frequent visitor thanks to this involvement with Jan Miller‘s and Jeff Rich‘s Best Buddies.

Now, tonight, while the rest of the country is celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the second  inauguration of President Barack Obama, at least two members of the Kennedy family are promoting causes in Dallas.

First on the scene was Christopher Lawford, who resembles his famous pop, the late Peter Lawford, beautifully. He was in town to promote his book. There’s a book signing at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at the Barnes & Noble across from NorthPark. Proceeds of the book go to the Caron operation, but let’s move on to what the ladies on the circuit were chatting about. Yes, Christopher‘s godfather was Frank Sinatra.  learned to twist from Marilyn Monroe. And, yes, his dad Peter was an original member of the Rat Pack. That was the 20th century’s version of George Clooney‘s “Ocean’s Eleven” crowd. According to Robin Bagwell, who attended a dinner with Christopher Sunday night, when Christopher turned 21, his dad introduced him to the Playboy Club and cocaine. No wonder Christopher has first-hand knowledge of the need for recovery.

During his stay in Dallas, he met with higher-up types and schoolchildren, as well as TV types.

Forty FIve Ten

Forty Five Ten

On the other hand, Christopher’s cousin’s (Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger) daughter Katherine Schwarzenegger was in town for the Elisa Project‘s Life’s Lesson Luncheon Tuesday at the Omni

Dallas Hotel. Organizers arranged for a very private patron party Monday night at Forty Five Ten.

Elizabeth Showers

Elizabeth Showers

First on the scene was Elizabeth Showers, who is the honoree of the luncheon. The blonde jeweler designer admitted that she was a bit baffled by her being selected. Time and time again, Elizabeth said how she really didn’t do anything extraordinary. She simply talked about the mission and possibilities provided by the Elisa Project. It just came naturally to her.

Elisa Project board member Jan Osborn assured Elizabeth that the entire selection committee was “thrilled” about her being selected.

Speaking of Jan, she had quite an “ouchy” during the holidays. Seems Jan broke rule #3 in the kitchen. She picked up the handle of a pan without a potholder. Next thing you know, Jan had passed out with a burned hand. With a nice, new manicure, she confessed that her greatest question facing her was, “Could I pick up a tennis racquet?”

Anne Besser, Rhonda Sargent Chambers, Jan Osborn

Anne Besser, Rhonda Sargent Chambers, Jan Osborn

Looking across the room, Jan spotted Elisa Project President Anne Besser in a black leather princess cocktail dress that fit to a T. Anne’s reason for this outfit? She wanted to be hip on this occasion.

Tanya Foster, who handles the pr for the Elisa Project, was wearing her big hair look. Seems she’s taking off immediately after the luncheon for the Sundance Film Festival. For those occasions when she needs a hair-do to last more than one event, she goes “big hair.”

While on the hairy situation, First Lady Michelle Obama‘s new bangs were a topic topper. Rhonda Sargent Chambers, Jan and others were swearing on the benefits of the banged-up look. As one person put it, “Bangs are cheaper than botox but don’t last as long.”

Right on time, Katherine appeared looking dang great. It seems that she had the opportunity to attend the Washington inaugural festivities but opted to fulfill her commitment to the Elisa Project. That’s how strongly she feels about the organization

Word was being passed around the crowd that another Kennedy type was in town. A Schlossberg, but who’s counting?

UPDATE: Both Katherine and Christopher will be on “Good Morning Texas” Tuesday.

Thursday Round Robin: Cattle Baron’s Reveal And Junior League Of Dallas Sponsors Party

In the olden days of yore, there was this claim that the Cattle Baron’s gals were the ones that the boys wanted to go out with, and the Junior League ladies were the ones that the boys’ mothers wanted to bring home. Thursday night proved how silly that old theory was — the boys and their mothers love all these ladies.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Reveal Party

At the Cattle Baron’s Ball  “Reveal” party, where the main stage entertainment was to be announced, the mix was pretty in western cocktail attire and country club finery. Exactly what are those two? Well, western is any fashion that’s cool and yet hot, accessorized in some form or fashion with something that would look right at home at the Fat Stock Show. Examples? Shorty silk shirts with cowboy boots; black leather pants topped with plate-size belt buckles; and down-to-the shoulder hair joined by chandelier-like earrings, like Reveal Party Co-chair Kristi Bare and Susan Amassyali sported courtesy of Richard Eiseman.

Urek Reznik, Susan Amassyali, Kristi and Jody Bare

Urek Reznik, Susan Amassyali, Kristi and Jody Bare

As for the country clubby look, there was a reason. Course, the invitation had suggested western, but some of the gals like Isabell Novakov were two-timing events    Thursday night. They had to split their time with the Junior League sponsors partiers in Highland Park. But more about that later.

Mary Gill, Deborah Ferguson and Brooke Shelby

Mary Gill, Deborah Ferguson and Brooke Shelby

Due to KXAS’s Deborah Ferguson‘s early-morning call to duties, the decision was made to announce the entertainment just 45 minutes into the party. Organizers didn’t think that would be a problem. After all, the party started at 7 and they predicted that most of the 160 guests would be on hand for the announcement.

Mike McGuire, Brooke Shelby, Mary Gill and Deborah Ferguson

Mike McGuire, Brooke Shelby, Mary Gill and Deborah Ferguson

With three big old screens in the background, Deborah called the group to attention. There were a couple of side-eyed glances exchanged when Deborah asked how many were at the 2012 ball and how it was so memorable. Was she going to talk about the downpour? Heck no. She recalled how great Blake Shelton was and Larry Hagman‘s memorable presence. Nicely done, Deborah.

Next up was Andrews Distributing’s Mike McGuire, who was the gracious host adding the company’s support for Cattle Baron’s. Deborah then introduced 2013 CBB Co-chairs Mary Gill and “Shelby Brooke.” Oops! As Mary and her partner giggled their way up to the stage, Deborah realized her name swap and quickly recovered with “I meant Brooke Shelby.” Hey, Deobrah, no need for apologies. We’ve all done that and Shelby. . . uh, Brooke …  is right at home with that name call.

Besides, the evening was not about what the co-chairs’s names were. It was the entertainment, and the twosome knew it. So they made their words brief and handed the mic back to Deborah, who let Mike announce the headlining entertainers: Rascal Flatts.

 Mike McGuire, Deborah Ferguson and Mary Gill

Mike McGuire, Deborah Ferguson and Mary Gill

Whoopee! With the trio’s music playing in the background, the news was greeted with cheers, smiles and hugs as cameras flashed at the good news.

Then they went back to partying and growing in numbers as new guests kept coming and coming and coming. Vicki Chapman was talking with Eddie Deen, who reported that he was busy, as his staff served up delicious vittles. The poor servers hardly made it through the doors before guests emptied the serving platters. One guest licked his fingers to get the last taste of a bacon wrap. As he smacked in delight, he told friends, “Simply bacon-licious.” . . . Mark Briedenbach had the night off from his fire-fighting duties.

Alex Laurenzi and Elizabeth Tripplehorn Laurenzi and Aaron Shelby

Alex Laurenzi and Elizabeth Tripplehorn Laurenzi and Aaron Shelby

Seems that thanks to space heaters, errant cigarettes and other problems, fires have been sprouting all over with only the major ones making the news. Wife Gillian with turquoise earrings had attended the Dallas Regional Commerce luncheon earlier in the day with the likes of Carol Reed and Holly Reed (no, they’re not related). . . Lisa and Bill Ogle arrived post-announcement. . . Brunette Natalie McGuire looked sleek in all black, while blonde Elizabeth Tripplehorn Laurenzi went the all-white route. . . Simona Beal didn’t want to suffer a possible evening’s chill. Her solution? An exquisite chinchilla stole. . . Cate Ford reported how instead of heading to the Big Apple for the holidays, as planned, the family headed in the other direction to California. Why? Seems her munchkins were sick and she needed “to dry them out.”

While the CBB-ers were celebrating their good fortune in landing Rascal Flatts, the folks in Sioux City, Iowa; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Wichita, Kansas, weren’t so happy. Seems that lead singer Gary LeVox‘s bout with the flu had forced the trio to cancel their upcoming weekend concerts.

Let’s keep the boys healthy come Saturday, October 5, when the 40th Cattle Baron’s Ball will raise money for the battle against cancer.

Bit of trivia to impress your friends: Rascal Flatts is on the celebrity board of the American Cancer Society.

Junior League of Dallas Sponsors Cocktail Soiree

While the gals in western duds were hoisting longnecks in the party room at Andrews Distributing, the Junior Leaguers were in their most elegant cocktail attire at Amy and Malone Mitchell‘s mansion. Oh, sure, you know that “bungalow.” It’s the wowsie Tudor-style palace that has been the main topic of residential chattering for a couple of years. Shoot! The lot alone had a history before the Mitchells ever broke ground.

Quick history lesson: Decades ago the lot between Turtle Creek and St. Johns Drive had had a home, where a couple lived. Seems a fire broke out, the residents died and the house burned to the ground. Eventually Norma and Lamar Hunt bought the property with plans to build a home there. Alas, no building took place. Many, even locals, thought the area was a park. Well, that idea was quickly dashed when a “For Sale” sign went up. That’s when the Mitchells bought it and started developing it and creating a lot of talk. There were the stained-glass windows, the underground “whatever.”

After years of building, the Mitchells moved in last August. While they’ve hosted five private parties, this evening’s was the first for a nonprofit. How did the Junior League of Dallas luck out being the first out of the gate? Answer: Mitchell daughter Allie Jacobs, who also happens to be a Junior Leaguer.

But it was only right. After all, the February 23rd “Joie de Vivre” at the Hilton Anatole has all the elements of being spectacular, so it was only natural to celebrate their sponsors in a 20,000-plus-square foot mansion. As JLD President Aimee Griffins and Ball Chair Bunny Cotten took turns with mic in hand thanking and describing the upcoming fundraiser, they kept their words short because they knew that everyone wanted to wander the mega-residence. But they let it be known that they were nearing their goal of ball attendees. However, both gals were quick to add that they were more than glad to go over that number.

Folks, this house has so many nooks and crannies that someone needs to come up with an app for guests to use to find their way around the place. There’s the gargantuan great hall with its surrounding balcony, the dining room next to the formal living room with grand piano, the open country kitchen with family room, the butler’s pantry, the pool overlooking Turtle Creek, etc. Ah, but none of this is really out of the ordinary for the typical Dallas estate.

Virtual golf simulator and billiard table

Virtual golf simulator and billiard table

And yet, there is the basement. Oh, perhaps in this case, it should be called the lower level escape. Male guests who had donned coat and tie probably had envied their CBB counterparts who were whooping and hollering over at Andrews. But once they discovered the subterranean playground with brick walls and floors, they were just loving it with the bowling alley, the billiard table, the virtual golf simulator, the arcade game, etc.

Bowling alley

Bowling alley

While the men stripped off their jackets to try their hands at the games, the gals toured the full-service spa with massage table, sauna, lockers and a jacuzzi hot tub big enough for the JLD ball.

In case of tornado or nuclear attack, this is the place to be.

Nikki Webb, Cachet Weinberg, Bunny Cotten, Lisa Bhatttacharya and Aimee Griffiths

Nikki Webb, Cachet Weinberg, Bunny Cotten, Lisa Bhatttacharya and Aimee Griffiths

Alas, it’s doubtful that JLD Ball Honorary Chair Caren Prothro ever made it that far. She never got past the great room because she was constantly surrounded by guests like Robin Robinson,

Lara Tafel

Lara Tafel

Lara and Bob Tafel, Nikki and Crayton Webb, Cachet Weinberg, Angela and Doug Nash, Lisa Bhattacharya, Caroline Kohl, Ronnie Berg, Lydia Novakov, Kristina Whitcomb, Christie Carter and Chazz Fritz.

Angela Nash

Angela Nash

Aimee admitted that her black dress was going to get a workout this week. In addition to the JLD sponsors party, she was going to wear it Friday night when The Catholic Foundation honored her dad Bob Baillargeon with The Catholic Foundation Award.

Speaking of dresses, Bunny has already got that item checked off her must-do-list for the ball thanks to Dallas designer Nicolas Villalba. Knowing Bunny and Nicolas, this creation will be a must-see-to-believe that night.

Bunny Cotten, Tripp Jacobs and Allie Jacobs

Bunny Cotten, Tripp Jacobs and Allie Jacobs

Alas, the only thing missing in the evening were the homeowners. Amy was upstairs babysitting grandson Tripp Jacobs. However, the young gent did make an appearance in the arms of his mother Allie. When Bunny was asked to be photographed with Allie and Tripp, Bunny didn’t hesitate, tossing aside the old W.C. Fields line about never working with animals or children.

Like was said earlier, that old theory about Cattle Baronesses and Junior Leaguers is just another urban myth. Both groups are the kind of gals that beaus and moms would love to have in their lives. If you have any doubts, just ask any nonprofit.

November 7 Round Robin: Communities Foundation of Texas, Texas Women for Arts, Ronald McDonald Trains & Art Of Film

From learning about the opportunities in the non-profit sector to just having a jolly good time, the charitable types were buzzing around town.

Communities Foundation Of Texas

Rev. Katherine Lyle, Brent Christopher and State Sen. Florence Shapiro

Leave it to Communities Foundation of Texas to make education fun. Brent Christopher and his staff had a winning combination of cocktails and a controversial chef cooking up food for thought. The “chef” in this case was author Dan Pallotta, who wrote “Uncharitable” and “Charity Case.”

Dan Pallotta

Don’t go ho-humming. Such folks as Kenneth Craighead, Patrick Esquerre, State Sen. Florence Shapiro and Susan Ragland were johnny-on-the-spot for this one.

And rightly so. According to Danny, we’re taught all the wrong things about charity and giving. The stress is placed on keep fundraising costs low, but that sometimes means the group can’t grow, because it doesn’t spend on advertising, for example, or pay its executives enough. Doing more with less can be like drawing blood from a stone. Plus, to keep the costs low, groups can do all sorts of accounting tricks. He is most interested in how you solve problems; what does it take to actually solve these problems? He tries to point out what it would take. Dan thinks it’s not necessarily smart for charities to “act more like a business.”

Ouch! That’s not the norm in the world of charitable giving and fundraising. But it is food for thought.

Art of Film Patron Party

Tara Lewis

Katy and Lawrence Bock may have been hosting a preview of the new Bond movie, “Skyfall,” over at Highland Park Village, but Dallas Film Society devotees were at Tara Lewis‘s and John Sword‘s home for The Art of the Film patron party. Tara had to singlehandedly host the party because John was out of town.

Despite Honorary Chair Ruth O’Donnell Mutch being unable to attend, Event Co-chairs Jennifer Houser and Mersina Stubbs were front and center when DFS Artistic Director James Faust took his place on the stairway.

Jennifer Houser and Mersina Stubbs

Jennifer Houser and Mersina Stubbs

James Faust

James warned all not to be surprised at the evening including a chat between actor/former Batman Val Kilmer and film expert Elvis Mitchell. Encouraging sponsorships, James added, “Depending on how much money you give, I will personally drag Val Kilmer to your table.”

After the announcements were made, James updated his plans on his pending marriage. It’ll be September 2013. Why wait so long? She wants an outdoor wedding and he’s got a film festival to take care of. That was the best time that fit both of their needs.

Dallas Film Society Chairman of the Board Lynn McBee, clad in a nifty black Bill Blass sweater coat over black leggings with a YSL belt and shoes, reported that husband Allan was over at the “Skyfall” showing. . .  Author Harry Hunsicker said his latest thriller, “The Contractor,” would be out next fall. It had been on the market for a couple of years.

Texas Women for Arts

Dianne DeVeny and Sandra Gilliland

Still another opportunity to learn with a touch of class and fashion was happening over at the Dallas Country Club. Showcasing Highland Park Village’s newest kid on the couture block was Akris.

GM Dianne DeVeny had a whole bunch of models in Akris fashions strutting the ultra-private runway for Texas Women for the Arts.

Mary Chambers Jones, Lori Jones and Patsy Donosky

TWA’s Patsy Donosky explained that TWA is an organization that works with the Texas Cultural Trust and the Texas Commission for the Arts. In fact, organization chairman Sandra Gillilandhad flown in just for the evening.

DeeDee Lee, Sheryl Barnett, Janie Condon and Muffin Lemak

Among the 70 fashionable and well-heeled set were Muffin Lemak, DeeDee Lee, Claire Emanuelson, Janie Condon, Sheryl Barnett, Capera Ryan, Lucretia Wagoner and Lori Jones with youngest recruit Mary Chambers Jones.

The biggest problem facing organizers was getting the gals from the cocktail reception into the ballroom for the fashion parade.

Luckily, all complied. But what else would one do when Patsy says, “March”?

The Trains at NorthPark Patron Party

Jeremy and Cate Ford

Patrons of The Trains at NorthPark benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas were treated to red roses and candles in quite a setting — Cate and Jeremy Ford‘s Park Cities mansion. It seemed extra special since it was the 25th anniversary of the little choo-choos that have delighted thousands and thousands each holiday season.

Randy and Alan Engstrom and Alan Raynor

To truly commemorate the occasion, Alan Engstrom and husband Randy and Debbie Raynor with husband Alan, who co-chaired the first Trains, were drafted into being honorary chairs this year.

Norm Bagwell

And speaking of longterm relationships, Norm Bagwell recalled how his involvement could be traced to the 1990’s when he was at Bank One. When he moved over to the Bank of Texas, he took the sponsorship with him.

This year’s new addition to the Trains, which get rolling Saturday, is the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge to the Dallas skyline.

November 1 Round Robin: Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters, Graeme Jenkins Farewell, Flora Awards And Art + Advocacy

Halloween costumes and decoration were old hat last Thursday, and the fundraisers were back in full gear from the Park Cities to Fair Park and from the F.I.G. to the Winspear.

Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters Party

Old timers were eager to see the used-to-be Jimmy and Carl Westcott‘s mansion of red-brick tradition that had been transformed to a cool estate of the very cool. Since Tracy and Richard Cheatham purchased the 12,957-square-foot home-sweet-home, it had gone through a very dramatic transition from classic to ultra contemporary. Let’s think moving from Burberry to Giorgio Armani.

Lucky were the Crystal Charity Ball underwriters. For they got the opportunity to see the mansion at its grandest, with beautiful weather and diamonds galore. No, the diamonds weren’t part of the digs.

Jim and Julie Turner, Aileen Pratt and Stacy and David Blank

As if the diamonds on the guests weren’t dazzling enough, David “The Diamond Doctor” Blank and his wife Stacy arranged to have a dozen freeze-framed, tall-drinks-of-water models decked out in their rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. And these weren’t just big diamonds. These were beautifully designed pieces of gem artwork.

Diamond Dollies

The first hint of the glitter was on the wrist of CCB Chair Aileen Pratt. Yes, the ring was hers thanks to husband Jack, but the scrumptious, 13-karat diamond bracelet was courtesy of Diamond Doctor David for the evening. Alas, Aileen had to return it at the end of the evening because it will be one of the items up for grabs at the CCB auction..

Dallas Opera

Don Winspear, Stacie Whitley and Graeme Jenkins*

There were some real surprises at the Winspear Opera House as 175 people showed up for the Dallas Opera’s “Toast to Graeme Jenkins.” Organized by the opera’s Women’s Board, the reception event marked Jenkins’ 20 years as a conductor and music director of The Dallas Opera—and his decision to retire as director when his contract expires at the end of the 2012-13 season. Jenkins cited an expanding schedule with European opera companies for his decision to step down.

Just before event chair Stacie Whitley welcomed the crowd at the Winspear, a flash mob “spontaneously” broke out in the room. Thirty-five or 40 members of the Dallas Opera Chorus put down their drinks and hors d’oeuvres and broke suddenly into a rendition of the va pensioro chorus from Giuseppe Verdi’s “Nabucco” opera. Later, DO Concertmeister Jing Wang played the “Meditation” from Jules Massenet’s “Thais” opera, accompanied by Michael Heaston on piano.

Leading the guests in a literal “toast” to Jenkins, Don Winspear, chairman of the DO board of directors, praised the London-born maestro’s brilliance and versatility. And Keith Cerny, the DO’s general director and CEO, said he’s been especially proud of Jenkins’ work on the operas “Boris Gudunov” and “Tristan und Isolde.”

During the reception, Cerny said discussions are continuing to bring Jenkins back to Dallas on occasion as a guest conductor. Winspear, meantime, said that a search for Jenkins’ successor is “ongoing,” and that he is “very excited and encouraged by the candidates interested in the position.” He added that he hopes a replacement can be named by early next year.

Flora Awards (Check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for more photos)

Waverly Smith and Marilyn Waisanen

The Texas Discovery Gardens had never looked more elegant.Thanks to Flora Award Co-chairs Waverly Smith and Marilyn Waisanen, it had to be. After all, Barbara Hunt Crow was the recipient of the annual award that recognizes “outstanding Americans, who have demonstrated their commitment to community involvement, education and advancement of the environment and quality of life.”

The cocktail reception looked like central casting had assembled the overflow crowd of black-tie types including  Libby Allred in tomato

Mary Anne Cree

red low-cut gown with exquisite ruby and diamond necklace, Ebby Halliday Acers holding her “elephant” handbag, Penny Rivenbark with her Judith Leiber butterfly purse and turquoise floral gown, Sue and Phil John, Sue Smith sans husband Bob (he was in Las Vegas), Cindy and Andy Clendenen with daughter Caroline Fung, Fred and Jan Hegi, Mary Ann wearing a butterfly pin (you do know that the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House and Insectarium is named after her late mother, don’t you?) and Richard Cree, Wendy and Michael Jenkins and Betty and John Crawford and loads of Hunt relatives (Herbert and Nancy Hunt, Caroline Rose Hunt, Lyda Hill and Libby Hunt).

Dinner time

Or perhaps it was the exquisite Grand Hall all decked out with glorious table settings from Posh Couture and the Steve Bayless Orchestra playing just the right tunes. And, of course, a simple daisy in a glass vase wouldn’t do on this night. Nope. Floral designer extraordinaire Junior Villanueva literally “rose” to the occasion providing the best for scents and sights.

As for the feast, Jim Lee Events served up

  • First Course — Mediterranean salad “Martini” accented with a grilled shrimp “Martini Pik”
  • The amuse — Rose petal and passion-fruit sorbet “spoon”
  • Second course — Pecan wood smoked beef tenderloin served with 3-peppercorn demi-glace, timbale of champagne risotto with Parmesan crust and brandied lobster cream, French green bean “bundle” with caramelized lemon glaze and artisan breads with custom butter
  • The dessert —Amaretto Godiva molten lava cake with cointreau-infused berries

Art + Advocacy

Lynn Davis, Laura Green and Jordan Roth*

Lynn M. Davis, president and CEO of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, said he was very pleased.

Before the 6th Annual Art + Advocacy Auction Party had even begun, the fundraiser had raked in $400,000 for the advocacy center, without selling a single piece of art.

That figure was already $25,000 more than was netted in total for the group at last year’s affair.

And, the 620 guests who turned out for the 2012 event at the Fashion Industry Gallery were determined to raise even more for the center, which serves about 2,000 local child-abuse victims and their families each year.

Chuck and Lindsay Jacaman*

The guests proceeded to do so by bidding in live and silent auctions on works of art by new and established artists, as well as art created by child-abuse victims in DCAC’s art therapy program.

Among the offered works—all of them donated–were oils, pencil drawings, photographs and mixed-media creations from galleries including Barry Whistler, Holly Johnson and Craighead Green.

Helping set the party mood at the F.I.G.—honorary co-chair John Sughrue donated the trendy space—were DJ Lucy Wrubel; Andrews Distributing; and caterer Wendy Krispin.

Patricia Meadows*

Event chairs Lindsay and Chuck Jacaman served as event chairs, while Patricia B. Meadows was the honorary art chair.

The day of the auction party, Davis disclosed, an anonymous donor came forward with $25,000.

During the evening’s Call for Cash this donor matched an additional $25,000—and then offered an additional $50,000 if the noisy crowd would pipe down so the auction could proceed.

Thanks to his and others’ generosity, the final net for the children’s advocacy center was more than $500,000. Now that was a pretty picture.

* Photo credit: Glenn Hunter

October 25 Round Robin: VNA Lunch, Signature Chefs Auction, Senior Source Underwriters And Rock The Red Door

Thursday, October 26, was the loneliest night of the year at MySweetCharity International headquarters. No one was there. All elves, including interns and retirees, were dispensed to every ZIP code around to cover the countless events for nonprofits on this night. We are pleased to report that all elves eventually made it back, but they’re demanding that Red Bull on the go be provided in the future and Botox treatments be made available.

VNA’s Real Cooking with Kevin Gillespie

Kevin Gillespie

While some guests toured the Meal on Wheels Kitchen at the Visiting Nurse Association Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Center before noon, others stood in line. No, not for food. Rather, it was to have their copy, or rather copies, of “Fire in My Belly” by the chef/author Kevin Gillespie. Followers of Bravo’s “Top Chef” were prepared for the tattoo-decorated arms of the chef/author. Others couldn’t help their eyes making a first stop at the wild boar and copperhead snake tats. But as soon as they got past the decorative arms, they eye-locked with the young Southern chef who was the show’s fan fav.

But he wasn’t at the VNA Center to just sign autographs. Kevin was the centerpiece of a luncheon benefiting the VNA’s Meals on Wheels. Why, he was even going to demonstrate one of his recipes complete with overhead mirror, so all could see the step-by-step procedures.

Fanchon and Howard Hallam

After Luncheon Chair Sara Fraser Crismon welcomed one and all including her sis Beth Enloe, brother-in-law Ted Enloe, niece Rebecca Fletcher, Honorary Chair Caren Prothro, Lyda Hill, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Patsy Donosky, Billie Leigh Rippey, Lottye Brodsky and Suzanne McGee, it was time for the cooking lesson for the 160 guests.

And what did he cook up? Buttermilk biscuits. Oh. . . really? What’s so tricky about making biscuits? Obviously, some folks had never tried their hand only to fail, or had never had a truly memorable biscuit. Within a half hour, Kevin with his boyish charm wove tales of his life in with tricks of the trade in biscuit making, resulting in a dying desire for one of the buttery confections. For instance?

Making biscuits:

  • Use disposable gloves when working with the ingredients.
  • Always use the coldest butter and buttermilk possible.
  • Don’t chop up your butter. Grate the butter with a cheese grater. That’s why it helps to have cold bars of butter.
  • Use real, unsalted butter.
  • Beat your dough flat with your hands. In addition to prepping the dough, it helps you work out the frustrations of the day.
  • When punching the biscuit out, most people put the cutter into the dough and twist. Do NOT twist. Rather, dunk your biscuit cutter in flour and push it straight down into the dough. That’s it. You cut all of your biscuits, then pull the loose dough away leaving the cut-out biscuits. “By twisting it, what you do is you’re actually forcing the outside to close up. If you push straight down, you leave holes behind and those holes allow the air to escape and allow it to rise. If you twist the cutter, it’s like sealing it up. It’s like making a pretzel.” A manicured eyebrow salute was seen throughout the crowd.

Learning how to make biscuits

Shoot, after watching and listening to Kevin, all anyone wanted was a light, buttery biscuit. And what was the first thing to emerge from the kitchen? Platters stacked with biscuits followed by a full luncheon.

Ah, those VNA folks know how to tantalize and fulfill. They should. They provide over one million meals every year to seniors in Dallas.

15th Anniversary Signature Chefs Auction

Kent Rathbun chef hugs

The day truly proved that Dallasites love to eat. However, hardly a chef was to be found that evening. It seemed like they were all down at the Omni Dallas thanks to Lead Chef Kent Rathbun. He had rounded up chefs Scott Gottlich (Bijoux), Eric Brandt (Bistro 31), Jeff Harris (Bolsa), Richard Chamberlain (Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House and Chamberlain’s Fishmarket Grill), Mike Sindoni (Charlie Palmer at the Joule), David Holben (Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House), Abraham Salum (Salum and Komali), Kevin Garvin and Anita Hirsch (Neiman Marcus restaurants), Samir Dhurandhar (Nick and Sam’s Steakhouse), Dwight Harvey (Off the Bone Barbeque), Cameron Handler (Pyramid Restaurant & Bar), Bruno Davaillion (Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek), Joel Harloff (The Second Floor Bistro & Bar), Anthony Van Camp (SET Steak + Spirits), Jim Severson with wife Amy at his side (Sevy’s Grill), Shuji Sugawara (Shinsei Restaurant), Stephan Pyles (Stephan Pyles Concepts), Gilbert Garza (Suze Restaurant), Jason Weaver (Texas Spice), Marcelo Vazquez (T/X Restaurant) and Tre Wilcox (Village Marquee Grill and Bar). Some of these chefs have supported Kent from the beginning and deserved a group hug.

March of Dimes lounge

This was the first time that the huge fundraising eat-athon for the March of Dimes had taken place at the Omni and it really was rather spectacular for the 850 guests including Barbara Daseke soloing it, Mark Edgar talking politics, Kathleen and Robert Gibson checking out the various stations and Nancy Gopez sans camera. From an elegant lounge with oh-so comfy couches to dramatic lighting, the mega-room seemed like a dazzling spectacle of sights, sounds and “smells.”

Kent Rathbun and Max Rathbun

While Stephan Pyles himself had to bow out due to “something about opening a new restaurant,” Kent was pleased that his brother Kevin had joined him in preparing venison meatball carbonara. Of course, Kent’s son Max was on the scene better looking than ever.

But it wasn’t all chefs cooking and guests eating. The exercise of the night was auctioneering with Louis Murad and his posse ramrodding the unique live auction. Oh, and what packages they were and what they went for. Why, Kent’s “Taste of the Derby,” which included five days and four night at the Hyatt Place Louisville East Hotel for the Kentucky Derby, transportation via private aircraft catered by Kent, a reserved box at the Derby plus great food, went for a record-breaking amount of $62,500 — “the highest winning live auction bid” in the event’s history.

Then there was the Fund the Mission in which guests raised bid cards at various levels of financial support ranging from $100 to $10,000. This one brought in $129,000.

Before the night was over and the aroma had cleared from the ballroom, Event Chairs Diane Brierley, Shannon Brame, Anita Braun and Dean McSherry had raised $610,000.

One can only imagine what Kent, 2012 Event Chairs Tracy and Jay Bell and Drs. Lisa and David Genecov are planning for “sweet 16,” when the Signature Chefs will return to the Omni on Saturday , October 24, to cook, auction and raise more money for the March of Dimes 75th anniversary celebration.

The Senior Source’s Spirit of Generations Underwriters’ Party

Nancy Carter, T. Boone Pickens and Anne Motsenbocker

T. Boone Pickens is busier nowadays than a presidential candidate. But unlike the types looking for votes of approval, Boone is being swamped with honors. But this one is really special. On Monday, November 19, he’ll be honored at The  Senior Source‘s Spirit of Generations Awards Luncheon.

Jorge Calderón and Emilynn Wilson

To get things rolling the luncheon’s underwriter party sponsored by Capital One Bank was held at Debbie Oates‘s marvelous Preston Hollow home. Oh, so perfect for any occasion except when all the guests want to stay in the entry. That was the problem. But who was complaining when Luncheon Chair Extraordinaire Nancy Carter all in red is at the front door making “gracious” seem easy or mixing it up with Christie Carter fresh from producing the Crystal Charity Ball’s Circle of Angels dinner, Lee Ann and Alan White on their way to a dinner engagement and luncheon underwriting chair Emilynn and Claude Wilson promising the final results from the Kidney Texas luncheon.

Attitudes & Attire Announcement

Lyn Berman, Michael Faircloth and Dr. Sandra Chapman*

Dr. Sandra Chapman was indeed a busy girl this week. In addition to running the Center for BrainHealth, Tuesday she oversaw the Legacy Dinner honoring Daryl Johnston and Lee Roy Jordan. But this evening the tables were turned on her at Maggiano’s at NorthPark Center by Attitudes and Attire Executive Director/Founder Lyn Berman. It was announced that “Sandi” would receive the Kim Dawson Award at the annual luncheon and fashion show at the Dallas TradeMart on Friday, March 1.

It was also revealed that Dallas designer Michael Faircloth would be the event’s honorary chair. Funds raised from the luncheon/show help the personal growth of women seeking self-sufficiency through traditional job training, positive self-image, appropriate workplace behavior and appearance.

Cancer Support Community Young Leadership Board’s Rock the Red Door

The last little elf turned in this report:

Halloween came early at House of Blues Thursday night. Over 350 party goers dressed as all things 80’s–from aerobics maniacs to glam rockers–attended the Cancer Support Community Young Leadership Board’s annual fundraiser, Rock the Red Door.

Chace Crawford and Meredith and Rand Wrighton*

Emcee Chace Crawford, Gossip Girl star — also Tony Romo‘s brother-in-law — spent the greater part of the evening graciously taking photos with guests. Stoli provided the evening’s signature drink named The Chaser after guess who… The always fun Spazmatics had the crowd of Don Johnsons and Madonnas, along with lots of leg-warmers and hair bows, dancing the night away!

Event chairmen, Meredith and Rand Wrighton, promised a “totally gnarly 8o’s Halloween bash complete with wicked tunes, righteous food and drinks and some sweet auction items” such as 2 tickets to The Late Show with David Letterman, 2 tickets to NYC Fashion Week  and Tony Romo signed memorabilia.”

They delivered! The party scheduled to end at eleven — after all, it was a week night — rocked on considerably later.

Sponsors for 2012 Rock the Red Door benefiting Cancer Support Community included Steve Brown, Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation, Grant Thornton, Meredith and Rand Wrighton, SLALOM Consulting, Park Place Volvo and Starwood Motors.

* Photo provided by Attitudes and Attire
** Photo provided by Cancer Support Community

Wednesday Round Robin: Flora Patron Party, A.W.A.R.E. Shoe Sale And St. Philip’s Roasting Of Mayor Mike Rawlings

Last Wednesday was filled with activities benefiting everything from the Texas Discovery Gardens, A.W.A.R.E. to St. Philip’s School throughout Dallas.


Libby and Al Allred, Barbara Hunt Crow, Herbert and Nancy Hunt

Sisters are definitely great. Especially when they’re Libby Hunt Allred and Barbara Hunt Crow. Because Barbara is being honored at the Flora Awards dinner on Thursday, November 1, at Texas Discovery Gardens, Libby and husband Al hosted a patron party Wednesday evening at their picture-perfect home.

Billie Leigh Rippey, John Marston, Elsie Dunklin and Sue John

The red-brick house with a marvelous collection of Boehm porcelains was perfect for the Discovery Garden supporters including Carol Seay, who is co-chairing “Illuminating New Perspectives” at the Dallas Country Club Tuesday, Sue John and Susan Lebowitz comparing notes on the recent 45th reunion of the Highland Park High School class of ’67, Elsie Dunklin in an appropriate floral shawl, Billie Leigh Rippey just back from Shreveport, where she was feted by old friends and plenty of Hunts (Libby’s and Barbara’s parents, Nancy and Herbert Hunt, big brother Doug Hunt, cousin Lyda Hill and aunt Caroline Rose Hunt).


While Bill Seanor had a great time at the family estate watching the family’s two afghans racing across the lawn, wife Karen was having a jolly good time inside with shoe lovers and A.W.A.R.E. supporters. The occasion was a trunk show of Emy Mack Shoes. The handmade Italian shoes were as varied as the group trying them on. Everything from booties with stud tips to python-print flats with buckles in all sizes filled the dining room and entry hall.

A.W.A.R.E. President Kay Hammond was beaming with the turnout, knowing that a portion of the sales would benefit A.W.A.R.E., thanks to hosts Emily Jamison and Carmaleta Whiteley.

Among the crowd shoe-perusing were designer Lynn Dealey, who is working on the April 5th A.W.A.R.E. luncheon logo featuring keynote speaker Larry Hagman, Sally Blanton preparing for another trip, and James Shackelford talking about Friday’s Burgers and Burgundy event for DIFFA at Anne and Steve Stodghill‘s new mansion.


Meanwhile, over at the Omni Dallas Hotel, more than 410 guests got a kick out of roasting Mayor Mike Rawlings at the 25th Annual Fall Event benefiting St. Philip’s School and Community Center.

Elaine Agather*

With Elaine Agather serving as emcee, Candace and Jim Krause serving as chairs, and country star Charley Pride and his wife, Rozene, as the evening’s honorary chairs, the roast titled “Schooling the Mayor” featured a parade of local luminaries who were eager to tweak Mike for a great cause.

There was City Council member Dwaine Caraway, for example, recalling that when Rawlings emerged on the Dallas mayoral scene, “He just popped up like a Pop Tart.” Then, Caraway said, “First thing he did, he blocked me out of the mayor pro tem. OK. I’m down with that.” But now they get along, the councilman said, noting that he and the mayor are both ex-football players: “I still do some blockin’ for him.”

Tom Karol of CIC Partners, where Rawlings was managing partner before becoming mayor, read a long funny poem about Mike that ended with: “There’s not every city that has their own ‘Mr. Big.’ ” (That was a reference to Rawlings’ physical resemblance to the TV character from “Sex and the City.”)

Mayor Mike Rawlings and Tom Dunning*

Businessman/former mayoral candidate Tom Dunning recalled vacationing one time with Rawlings and others in Greece, where Mike, “eager to show off his athletic ability,” agreed to try water-skiing, much to his eventual embarrassment: “The boat took off and yanked him right up—and yanked his pants right down! … Then, he just sunk!”

After the laughter died down, a hilarious video was shown featuring former Dallas Cowboys QB Roger Staubach. Among other bits, the video showed side-by-side comparisons of both Roger and Mike sporting moustaches, back in the day. Staubach claimed that his was the more “macho” of the two, by far.

Stephen Jones, Dwaine Caraway and Mayor Mike Rawlings*

Dallas Cowboys executive Stephen Jones came to the podium following the video, calling Rawlings, “nothing short of a jock-sniffer. But, we’ll forgive him for that.”

When the mayor took the stage at last, he had his revenge. He called Dunning “the most charismatically challenged individual I’ve ever known. It’s really sad.” Of Jones, he added: “To be a good sport, you have to learn how to lose. And this is the maestro … Come on, win a game!”

Dr. Terry Flowers*

Turning to St. Philip’s Headmaster Dr. Terry J. Flowers, Rawlings said, “I’m so honored to have been a scapegoat to help raise money for you.”

And, raise money did they did. In addition to all the event-sponsorship funds, Agather drew on-the-spot pledges of around $120,000 during the Sponsor-A-Child presentation.

* Photos and post by Glenn Hunter


Roberts S. Folsom Leadership Award Patron Party For Mike Boone Reaches New Heights At The Ritz-Carlton

Trevor and Jan Rees-Jones

Jan Rees-Jones teases that she and husband Trevor are like Lisa and Oliver on TV’s “Green Acres.” She’s a city gal and he loves the country life. That explains the twosome having a penthouse at the Ritz-Carlton and a land-line home in other parts of Dallas. But it was the Ritz residence with its two terraces overlooking downtown Dallas and toward Fort Worth, a mind-boggling collection of western art and furnishings that would send any interior decorator swooning, that was the place to be Tuesday night.

Rees-Jones western art

The only thing missing were jokes about lawyers. You know, how many does it take to . . .. That’s because Dallas’ finest legal eagles were filling the Rees-Jones nest in the sky for the Methodist Health System Foundation‘s Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award patron party. The reason for all the barristers and other influential types like Toni Brinker, Gerald Ford, Jim Francis, Sarah and

Mike Boone

Ross Perot Jr. is one of Dallas’ great attorneys — Mike Boone — will be presented the award on Tuesday, October 30, at the Hilton Anatole.

However, despite the splendor of the surroundings and the heady crowd, there was a certain tension in the room about staying close to the timeline. At 8 p.m., the second presidential debate was to take place. Jan laughed at the thought of guests feeling a need to scurry home to watch the debate. “We’ve got lots of TV’s here,” she said, indicating they could just settle back and watch it at the Rees-Jones place.

April Box Chamberlain

Methodist Health System Foundation President/CEO April Box Chamberlain looked like a homecoming queen when it was revealed that a record-breaking amount ($1.45M) had been raised for Mike’s designated group — Methodist’s neurology operations.

Host Trevor admitted that his relationship with Mike was not due only to their recent professional dealings [“I was very fortunately put in touch with Mike Boone. He doesn’t need a new client, but he has helped me in a way that’s beyond belief. … He must be the first cousin to the Energizer Bunny. … I don’t think he (even) has an assistant”], or their both being honored with the Folsom Award. Rather, Mike was the referee when Trevor played on a fifth-grade YMCA football team. Trevor smiled and said of Mike, “So, he must be really old.”

Fred Hegi

Another one who didn’t pull any punches in talking to the group about the honoree was dinner co-chair Fred Hegi, whose relationship with Mike started at SMU. “Mike and I go back a long time. Met 50 years ago at SMU. I was a green naïve freshman, and Boone was a hazing senior.”

Then, getting serious, Fred said what most already knew — Mike is the go-to guy for many non-profits with legal issues.

Marla Boone

With his wife Marla looking on, Mike then recognized Robert S. Folsom’s son, Steve, and kidded him that his dad had had the “longest eligibility” ever for NCAA football — seven or eight years.

Mike then told the group that Methodist System is so important to this area, especially for the Southern Sector. In touring the new trauma facility and talking to Dr. James Moody, he made the decision to direct the money raised from the evening to the neurological programs.

In keeping with the timeline, the talks were over promptly at 7:30, and the guests hit the elevator to make it home in time for the debate.

Rob Lowe’s Message At Celebrating Women Luncheon Proved Even More Powerful Than His Good Looks And Charm

One of the team putting on this year’s Celebrating Women smiled Thursday. Not only were they having the largest attendance ever (1,400+), they were predicted to break records in the money-raising arena for the 12-year-old fundraiser against breast cancer. She wondered aloud — “Is it because we’re having a male speaker? Or, is it because the speaker is Rob Lowe?” Really? The Lowe-mentum officially got underway Wednesday.


The usually sedate street in front of Claire and Dwight Emanuelson‘s mansion was cordoned off into a one-way street. Just 15 minutes into the cocktail reception for the Celebrating Women patrons, it seemed like all 175 guests were Johnny-on-the-spot. Valets had lined the street and the adjoining ones with all types of luxury vehicles. It was obvious that no one was going to be late for this one, except perhaps the guest of honor. While a handful of guests (mostly men) stood in the marvelous backyard, the majority (mostly female) stayed inside to greet the star/author/breast cancer activist.

While waiting for him, stories and sightings were revealed regarding Rob and his jewelry-designing wife, Sheryl. Earlier in the day she’d lunched with the Lowes’ Santa Barbara neighbors Annette Simmons and Bea Wallace at the downtown Neiman’s Zodiac Room, following a personal appearance downstairs with her collection. The Sheryl Lowe Designs was slated to be at the downtown store until 2013, but since they were in town. . . why not? One of the categories is called “Maria,” after Sheryl’s good buddy Maria Shriver.

And guess who dropped by to join the gals for lunch. Yup! Mr. Blue Eyes.

A touch of trivia: While Rob is quite adorable — blue eyes fringed with legions of brown eyelashes — he’s also totally gray follicle-wise. Has been since he was 24.  Ah, shoot, who cares? Cary Grant, Anderson Cooper, George Clooney and so many painfully gorgeous men have gotten better and better looking as they grayed.

Emilynn and Claude Wilson, Melissa Macatee and Barbara Stuart

Barbara Stuart and dotter Melissa Macatee, who chaired the luncheon when the late Rue McClanahan spoke, were chatting with Emilynn and Claude Wilson. Seems Melissa’s 17-year-old son loves “Parks & Recreation” in which Rob has appeared. . . Mary Anne Cree, who was one of the recipients of this year’s Circle of Care Award, sat near Dan Busbee, and said she just hoped she wasn’t in the way as the crowds grew and grew in the living room, where the microphone was stationed. It was obvious from the placement of the mic that this was the most likely place to guarantee a look at Rob.

Jan Miller and Sheryl Lowe

Finally at 6:44, the guest of honor arrived in the doorway with his wife Sheryl and friend Jan Miller. At least it looked like he walked in. From the sudden explosion of people filling the entry hall, it was hard to see exactly what was going on. But then the smile and blue eyes appeared surrounded by a gaggle of very happy ladies.

Rob Lowe and Claire Emanuelson

As he slowly . . . very slowly made his way down a couple of steps to the living room, he was introduced to Baylor Health Care System President/CEO Joel Allison and Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Rowland “Robin” Robinson. Being the smart gentlemen they are, they immediately made sure that Rob met the right women — luncheon Co-chairs Pam Busbee and Pam Perella and Lindalyn Adams.

Pam Busbee, Rowland Robinson, Mary Anne Cree, Joel Allison and Pam Perella

As Joel pointed out, Lindalyn was the “visionary and soul and integrity of this luncheon. . . I said to her, ‘Let’s own October’ — and we have.”

But before the very short program had a chance to use the mic, Rob was led to the backyard by host Dwight through a gauntlet of guests, who just wanted a quick smartphone photo with him. Dwight wanted to show the Emanuelsons’ outdoor entertainment area to Rob. Looking around the pool, outdoor kitchen and game room, Rob was pretty well impressed with the surroundings.

Talking with some of the guys, Rob asked about the Cowboys chances. The feedback was unanimously not favorable.

Hillis Emanuelson, Rob Lowe and Michael Crow

Then out of nowhere came the Emanuelson son, Hillis. and his bud Michael Crow, with hockey sticks for a photo with Rob, who played a hockey player in “Youngblood.” On the way back to the main house, Rob told Dwight about his own sons. It seems that one of them was applying to Washington and Lee. Dwight looked startled. Did Rob know that Dwight not only graduated from W&L (he didn’t mention that he was a magna cum laude grad with a double major in economics and French), but he is also on the W&L board of trustees.

Then it was back to the house and the short program in which Joel told the group, “You know, (this luncheon) is getting like Six Flags. It just gets better and better each year.”

Then Robin admitted to the room overflowing with guests that he and Joel were pretty aware that the man of the hour was indeed Rob. All eyes didn’t turn to Rob. They were already focused on him. Then Robin added that Rob was here with his lovely wife, who had disappeared in the mob. Looking into the mass, Rob immediately found her and pointed her out.

Annette Simmons

Since the next day was full of activities, the Baylor folks kept the remarks short  and the program ended. Arriving just as the program ended were Annette and Harold Simmons, who took the Lowes to dinner at Cafe Pacific. The rest of the herd descended upon the NM buffet in the dining room.


Never has a VIP reception had so many guests show up so early. The infatuation with Rob Lowe was now in its second day and it was showing no signs of dimming. Even the most sophisticated socialite made no excuses for wanting to meet him. His book signing at Jan Miller’s and Jeff Rich’s had confirmed Rob’s youthful good looks and genial personality were cosmic.

Quequeing up for a photo opportunity

At one end of the Wedgwood Room was a small stage for Joel, Robin and representatives from Plains Capital and Tom Thumb to speak. At the opposite end of the room was a backdrop for photos to be taken with Rob. It was four across and longer than the lineup for Santa at NorthPark.

Just as the speakers started to talk, Rob entered via the service entrance in the back of the room. Without a word said, eyes went from the stage to the back of the room, where he tried to blend in. No way. They ushered him to the foot of the stage.

As soon as the speaker finished, the photo session started. One veteran mumbled, “There’s no way they’re going to finish taking pictures of all these people. Maybe they should just do a group photo.” Ain’t no lens big enough.

But the Baylor team knows how to run a tidy ship, and the photo session ended with a couple of minutes to spare.

Quickly the group joined the rest of the 1,400 in the Chantilly Ballroom as the doors opened at 12:32 p.m. Eithin 11 minutes, the guests were in their chairs and the Pams were at the podium. Pam Busbee had been worried about the two teleprompters. Last year they had stopped, causing a bit of frustration for the speakers. This time Pam had a backup plan in hand. . .  literally.  She had vowed to write notes down on her hand. Smart gal.

Caren Prothro

After introducing Honorary Chair Caren Prothro, the Pams had Pat Smith, who lost her mother when Pat was 22, give the invocation. Of course, the beautiful wife of Emmitt Smith was not going to let this gathering of 1,400 potential voters go without a pitch for her husband in the “Dancing With The Stars” competition. Then she proceeded with the invocation.

Rowland “Robin” Robinson and Pat Smith

The Pams weren’t about to let guests just start chowing down on parsnip-apple soup en croute, panko crusted breast of chicken served with assorted fall greens, candied pecan goat cheese wafer and spicy cheese straw with sherry Dijon vinaigrette and a chocolate hazelnut cake with praline chocolate crunch. Nope, they asked guests to look at their programs, or rather the back of the program. The ones with a butterfly appliqué were the lucky ones who would receive a “Go Girl” ring designed by Dian Malouf.

While everyone ate and chatted, Rob opted just to chat. Smart fella. When your face is going to be on three mega screens, you don’t want to worry about the possibility of a stray piece of lettuce or something lodging among your ivories.

After lunch Joel announced that Baylor had been selected as not only the location of the newest Hope Lodge but also as the regional headquarters for the American Cancer Society. This remarkable announcement was greeted with applause. Baylor has indeed been busy this past month with the official naming of the Baylor T. Boone Pickens Cancer Center across from the Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center.

Mary Anne Cree, David Bratton and Heather Kreager

Speaking of the Sammons, Robin presented the Circle of Care Awards to Mary Anne and the Men and Women of Sammons Enterprises, Inc., represented by David Bratton and Heather Kreager.  For newbies, breast cancer survivor Mary Anne is the daughter of the late Charles Sammons, who was a truly remarkable man. Ironically, Mary Anne learned that she had cancer in the diagnosis suite that she and her husband dedicated in the name of his late wife, who died of breast cancer.

Then Robin shifted gears with a video on 25-year-old Crystal Griffith, who is going through treatments for breast cancer. Following a video on a very articulate Crystal, Robin seemed to tear up as she updated the audience that she had spoken with her the day before and she was facing still more treatments. Mary Ann claimed that her father would have teased her that just because you provided the funding for such an effort, you didn’t have to try it out.

Rob Lowe

Once again, Robin changed gears again and introduced Rob. During his 18-minute talk, he told how he had lost his great-grandmother, his grandmother and even his mother to breast cancer. His grandmother Peg Hepler, had been “a big influence in my life” He told how they would read Peter Rabbit and she would serve him a drop of Sanka in his milk, so it looked like they were having coffee together. “That dates me. I’m 100 years old. (Laughter) . . . Today I’m still a fan of Peter Rabbit but a bigger fan of caffeine. Grandma, Starbucks thanks you.” And yet when she was diagnosed with cancer in the 70’s, the whole family was scared because in those days it was “considered a death sentence.” Her example of how she handled the grueling treatments (a radical double mastectomy and countless rounds of chemo), inspired him to take on the battle of creating awareness of the disease.  “She and her doctors were early warriors in the cause that brings us together today,” he said.

In honor of Peggy, Rob became the first male spokesperson for the National Breast Cancer Awareness Day in 2001. In one single day $7.5M was raised for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Rob Lowe

But he was frustrated in trying to get the word out about the importance of getting mammograms. He thought the message was “a no brainer.” He wondered if the message was really needed anymore. After all it was so obvious.

And, yet despite his efforts, he was shocked to learn “in 2006 my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. She’d never had a mammogram.. . . How did this happen? It was devastating.”

[Editor’s note: Barbara was actually diagnosed in early 2003.]

When she died just eight months later just after Thanksgiving in 2003, it broke the hearts of her entire family. So much so that Rob’s eight-year-old son, John Owen, cried so much he threw a rib out.

Rob summed it up by saying, “Today we know that a cancer diagnosis is not the end. It is the beginning of a journey that has the potential to be transformative, enlightened and heroic.”

By transformative, he said that so often when he meets cancer survivors, they admit that they are different people and that they see life from a different perspective.

Despite his initial anger at his mother’s not being diagnosed earlier, he learned that the quality of time was more important that the quantity of time.

He finished by embracing the guests saying, “All of us here today are family. We are joined by a common experience, our shared humanity and the daily we face in the war on cancer. . . . We celebrate our loved ones who have given us so much and sometimes leave us with so much. We celebrate the doctors, the nurses, the health care providers of all stripes, as well as the unsung heroes that keep our big hospitals running, for those who clean and cook. We honor those who tirelessly work and look for funds like all of you here today to keep the lights on and to keep the labs running. . . . There’s so much to be done for so many. And for some time is truly of the essence. But we are a nation that has always been capable of leading the way of great accomplishments. The tools for tremendous achievement are in our DNA. The powerful strands of intertwined sacrifice, commitment, hope and love all shared friend to friend are handed down family to family. . . Together we can make miracles.”

Rob Lowe

No, his talk was not long, but it was personal, thoughtful, articulate and to the point — much to the relief of veteran luncheoners, who too often feel like they’re being lectured.

Everyone left at once

By 1:21 the valets were being hit by hundreds and hundreds of guests trying to depart. The problem with such a luncheon is that patrons usually come solo, unlike evening events where each car has two people.  If only it had been announced that anyone who stayed might have a chance to talk with Rob, it would have slowed things down immensely. . . but then Rob would have never been able to return to Cafe Pacific for lunch.

From Zoo-To-Do Patron Party To ‘Splaining To The Boys In Blue, Wolfie Was The Party Animal Of The Week


Please pardon Wolfie. The 11-year-old Maine Coon has been a bit of a party animal of late. While Rob Lowe was just a couple of blocks away for the Celebrating Women patron party, Wolfie was Hef-style cool and laid back Wednesday for the Zoo-to-Do patron party at his relatively new digs that he shares with Brett and Lester Levy.

Art in dining room

Still boasting that “new-house” fragrance, the 11,00-square-foot mansion is filled with amazing art. In fact at one point, one guest mistook Wolfie as an objet d’art as he lounged on the coffee table. Not to worry. He put up with more strokes than a kayaker’s paddle. Nothing bothered him. Not even when John Kiser stuck his name tag on Wolfie’s head. Luckily, that situation didn’t last long enough to bother the cat that Lester had gotten as a kitten from the SPCA for Brett when they were dating upon the death of her previous cat.

But Wolfie wasn’t the only animal of note on this night. In fact, the whole purpose was a zoo full of critters and how the Dallas Zoological Society is growing funds to support them. According to Dallas Zoological Society Development VP Nancy Sausted, the fiscal year just completed was a record breaker with $1M coming to the zoo and the aquarium.

Lester and Brett Levy and Shelly and Tom Codd

Benefiting the DZS, Zoo-to-Do Event Co-chairs Shelly and Tom Codd are expecting nearly 650 guests at the November 3rd fundraiser, where guests will be able to “graze” around in the Giants of the Savanna exhibit courtesy of 25 area chefs. For those who like to bid, there are the silent auction and the live one with trips, an evening in the Giants of the Savanna. . . in the Fig Tree and a safari of Dallas’ best restaurants.

Hal Brierley

Among the 90 patrons was Hal Brierley, who was headed to attend the vice-presidential debate the next night. . . Another guest was Dr. Lynn Kramer, who heads up the veterinary and animal welfare operation at the zoo. He may one of a few in Dallas who has a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. He was quick to point out that he doesn’t show or hunt his pooch. He just lets it lie around and enjoy being a pampered pet.

Dr. Lynn Kramer, Richard Geiger and Michael Meadows

But hey! This was an animal-loving group who associate the world “wild” with the zoo residents, not with partying.


However, according to the chap who purchased the Levy’s former residence, the next night was a different story. Wolfie had his paws full when Brett and Lester hosted the launch party for Kimberly Whitman‘s and Hilary Kennedy‘s new talk show. Seems Dean Fearing, Johnny Reno and their Lost Coyote band’s playing by the pool was one thing, but when Johnny Law took over the entertaining, it was so loud . . . how loud was it?

Yup, Wolfie had some explaining to do to the boys in blue.

Baylor’s Celebrating Women Luncheon 2012’s Patron Party Had The Pams Smiling With The Low(e)ly One

Rob Lowe, Pam Perella and Pam Busbee

At the Celebrating Women Luncheon 2012 patron party tonight at Claire and Dwight Emanuelson‘s estate, Luncheon Co-chairs the Pams (Pam Busbee and Pam Perella) enjoyed one of the perks of all their efforts — being joined by luncheon speaker Rob Lowe.

Never have so many women showed up for a patron party.

And, yes, he is as nice as he is handsome. And his beautiful, blonde wife Sheryl is simply wonderful. More deets to follow eventually.

See you at lunch with the girls and Rob to raise funds to fight breast cancer.

Round Robin: Les Femmes Du Monde, TACA Silver Cup Announcement And TREC’s “Giving Gala”

Once again Thursday proved to be a test of making the rounds at Dallas area fundraisers. Here’s the rundown of what happened where with whom.


Nancy Cain Marcus

The cars were backed up in the driveway at Nancy Marcus’s fabulous estate Thursday for the Les Femmes du Monde patron party.  When you’ve got a draw like Les Femmes’ 2012 Woman of the Year/Trinity Trust President/Executive Director Dr. Gail Thomas, you’re going to have an amazing turnout.  Of course, just having the Thomas clan is sizeable. This time it was Gail in a marvelous taupe and brown Ralph Lauren cocktail jacket with  husband Bob Thomas, daughter Electra Harelson, son Stewart Thomas and daughter-in-law Michelle Thomas. Dotter Tori Mannes was on her way.

Michelle and Stewart Thomas, Gail and Bob Thomas and Electra Harelson

Bob was sporting a black splint under his jacket after a fall on Monday. Initially they thought he’d broken his arm, but after a second look it appeared that it was a nasty sprain. So, don’t be surprised if he opts for not shaking hands at the Tuesday night Les Femmes du Monde dinner at Belo Mansion.

While some thought Gail would take the year off after the opening of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, they totally misjudged Gail. She’s been concentrating on getting work started on the conversion of the Continental Bridge into a pedestrian bridge. Construction gets underway in December.

Martha and Bob Gillikin

Speaking of her Trinity Trust mission, folks like Martha and Bob Gillikin and River Rat Ramrod Tierney Kaufman were on hand to honor Gail.

Talk of the night varied from the presidential debate the night before and the cold front preparing to invade Dallas this weekend.


Nancy Carlson, Roger Nanney and Peggy Sewell

The art lovers, both visual and performing types, gathered at Jennifer and John Eagle‘s home to learn who the 2013 TACA Silver Cup recipients would be. As reported earlier, they will be Peggy Sewell and Roger Nanney.

As guests drove the circular driveway, they couldn’t help but notice the :Ode to Matisse” sculpture by Tom Friedman in the elevated round grassy terrace. Jennifer revealed that, yes, it was made of steel but wrapped in roasting pans.

Maxwell Anderson and Jeremy Halbreich

With a “lifeguard”” posted on the dining room island warning guests not to fall in the pool/moat, everyone stayed dry. A couple recalled post occasions when an “oops” took place. Jeremy Halbreich told of a very very “proper” local attorney who was one of the Eagle pool victims.

Lee Papert, Jennifer and Doug Houser

Dallas Film Society’s Lee Papert was poolside with Jennifer and Doug Houser, who will be chairing the November 16th “Art of Film.” And who will be this year’s headliner guest? Even the threat of a splash in the pool couldn’t pry the news out of Lee, but he did reveal that Elvis Mitchell would be returning as the interviewer.

In the back of the Eagle home, John told Maxwell Anderson of the two eye portraits by John Holt Smith of his daughters Amanda, 15, and Alexandra, 28. When a nearby portable keyboard was draped with a sheet, John kidded that it was another piece of the family collection.

Actually, it was part of the surprise entertainment. TACA Executive Director Becky Young had arranged for members of the Turtle Creek Chorale to stand around and down the home’s spiral staircase and serenade the group.

Since TACA Chairman of the Board was unable to attend the event, Chair-elect Nancy Carlson took over the microphone to announce the recipients. She admitted that she had to refer to notes, since the accomplishments of both were so lengthy.

The lunch is at the Hilton Anatole on February 22, and chaired by perfectionists Jan Showers and Sharon Young.


Live auction for playhouses

Unlike Cattle Barons, The Real Estate Council‘s “Giving Gala” held its own in dealing with the weather. There was no rain nor mud, but there was wind and a lot of it.  How strong was the wind in the Hilton Anatole Sculpture Park? The huge screens on either side of the stage rippled throughout the speeches and the live auction of “pint-size playhouses” that sold for scads of money. At one point the lips of one poor woman in the video looked as if she was going to kiss the entire front row of tables in one massive sweep.

Pint-size Playhouse

The mini-mansions were built by members of TREC for the sole purpose of raising funds for the TREC Foundation. As each went up for bidding, so did the bidding with the Mousetrap going for $4,000, Jenga for $4,500, Jumanji for $7,000 and Candyland for $12,000.

Mark Gibson

Even headliner Chris Cagle came on stage early and got into the auction action: “If this goes for $5,000, I’ll take a picture in my underwear and my boots. … I’ll do the double-check dance.”

It went for $5,500 to TREC Chairman Mark Gibson, who was front and center but took a pass on the underwear, boots and double-check dance.

Chris Cagle

Then Chris and his crew took hold of the stage and the party continued into the night raising loads of money for The Real Estate Council Foundation’s good works in four key grant areas–housing, education, job creation and the environment.

Friends And More Friends Are Plotting, Preparing And Partying For The Wilkinson Center’s 30th Anniversary Gala

The Wilkinson Center has been on a roll. No, take that back. It’s been in avalanche mode. The reason is that it’s celebrating its 30th anniversary of working with the poor of Dallas. It’s hard to imagine that it was back 30 years ago that Munger Place United Methodist Church’s Rev. Clayton Lewis started a neighborhood food pantry to help the poor in the area. Little did he, or really anyone else, suspect those early efforts would result in serving over 15,000 yearly nowadays.

With all that work, it’s about time to have a major party and raise money.

Because the center’s efforts impact people of all ages, it literally has friends of all ages, who have been busy plotting, planning and partying in preparation for the 30th Anniversary Black and White Gala on Saturday, November 3, at Dallas Contemporary.

First, there are the Friends of Wilkinson Center. In addition to providing hands, feet and hearts for the center, they’ve held Tinsel & Dreams since 2005. Featuring table-top Christmas trees created by designers, celebrities and businesses, the event has provided $785,000 for Wilkinson, along with countless hours of volunteering.

Millie Winston

In fact, they’ve gotten so good at putting on fundraisers, Friends’ President Emily Dunn and the Leadership Council decided to put on the gala with Millie Winston serving as chair.  

Hunter Sullivan and Ellen and Don Williams

If the gala is going to be anything like the September 27 patron party at Ellen and Don Williams ultra-cool contemporary home in Bluffview, it’s going to make memories and money. For instance, Hunter Sullivan provided the entertainment. Whoa! He’s pretty darn big-time, and this party was an intimate one for 80. Seems that Jan Worrall had won Hunter (well, you know, his talents) at another charity auction and donated it to the Friends for the party. Talk about chic recycling! As for the food, it was delish. But, of course! The Food Company created “designer” mini-cheeseburgers, Asian crab cakes, chicken skewers with tarrago pesto and leek tartlets with over-dried tomato.

Ann Reeder, Emily Dunn, Jan Worrall and Carlin Morris

And while these “friends” would be considered youngsters by most, there’s another even younger group that is supporting Wilkinson. It’s the Wilkinson Center Young Friends. Created to specifically target that adorably, oh-so cute younger crowd, they are lightning fast at getting new members and raising $$ ASAP. For instance, Co-presidents Danielle Hardie and Laura Reeder kicked things off with a membership and raffle at The Dram, where they signed up 100 new members and raised nearly $3,000 in less than a couple of hours.

OJ DeSouza, Laura Reeder, Kristen Johnson and Haley Nielsen

More recently they held “Fire and Ice” at Saint Ann’s Restaurant on September 28 with DJ Jennifer Miller in charge of the entertainment. Co-hosts Alexis Barbier-Mueller, Laura Reeder, Vodi Cook and Kristen Johnson made just two request — plan on having fun and wear red, white and black.

Sara McMaster, Kristin Kensell, Alexis Barbier-Mueller, Whitney Eckert, Sarah Thomas and Blake Thomas

Both of these groups are coming together for the gala. While the Friends may be doing the heavy lifting coordinating the gala, the Young Friends’ Co-prez Danielle is chairing the gala’s “Late-Night Party.” Love those after-parties. The older folks have to rush home to relieve babysitters, while the younger guests party beyond closing time.

Photos provided by The Wilkinson Center

Shunning The Cowboys And Democrat Convention, The Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show & Luncheon Patrons Partied

Houston Hall

The Democrats were convening in Charlotte. The Cowboys were scoring in the Big Apple. And the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show & Luncheon patrons were partying at Michelle and Houston Hall‘s fabulous 11,102-square-foot palazzo Wednesday night thanks to underwriting by J.P. Morgan. The Hall’s mansion with its curved archways and endless rooms is built around a courtyard and fronting a marvelous backyard.

With a bar set up in the center courtyard and high-top tables in the backyard, the fear of West Nile-bearing mosquitoes kept the crowd largely inside with trays of drinks and food being passed.

Thank heaven the Hall’s multi-leveled mansion was ready for the hundreds to stay inside sipping champagne and readying for Thursday’s fashion show at downtown Neiman’s. At times it was so crowded with beautiful people that a cluster of them stood over an air vent to keep their cool.

But once word passed through the crowd of the delicious ice drinks being served up in the courtyard, caution was briefly thrown to the wind and guests braved the elements.

And what was the fashionable color of the night? Black, of course. That is, except for 10 Best Dressed Hall of Famer Lana Andrews, who looked like the poster girl for Fort Knox in a platinum-and-gold Prada cocktail press.

Barbara Daseke

Barbara Daseke‘s Lanvin proved a last-minute challenge. Seems a slip of a thread had caused the black wool cocktail dress to overlap with fabric. Interior designer Barbara dug up a fabulous broach from her collection and pinned the extra fabric at the waist.

Jack and Doris Jacobs

Doris Jacobs was in another stunning Lanvin black cocktail dress, but this one had one very bare shoulder.

With still another fashion emergency, Emilynn Wilson had just picked up her outfit for the Thursday show from the store and discovered the tailor has not quite got it right. Needless to say, the dress will be heading back to the shop and Emilynn will be wearing a backup outfit. BTW, she reports her Kidney Texas luncheon is within a hair’s breadth of being sold out.

Kim Miller and Tincy Miller

Upon seeing fellow 10 Best Dressed classmate Kim Miller in a marvy black Lanvin cocktail dress, first-time 10 Best dresser Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt told her, “I almost got that one. It’s so wonderful.”

That was earlier in the evening. Later Ashley emerged with husband Ward from the courtyard feeling like a mosquito buffet. Her concern was the itching and red marks on her legs and how they would look on Thursday’s runway. Ward’s concern was whether she had been bitten by one of the West Nile variety skeeters.

Other snapshots around the room included:

  • Allan and Lynn McBee

    10 Best Dressed freshman Lynn McBee admitted little concern, smiled and said, “The escorts won’t let us fall.” Immediately after the show, Lynn reported that she was catching a plane to attend the 37th Toronto International Film Festival. As Dallas Film Society board chair, she was checking out films for possible inclusion at the Dallas International Film Festival. Lynn was especially interesting in two films: “Looper” (an action thriller starring Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt) and “Argo” (which looks at the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis and stars Ben Affleck).

  • Despite the Cowboys playing and CCB Chair/wife Aileen giving him the night off, Jack Pratt was on hand.
  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala co-chair Jennifer Clark was excited and pleased about Saturday night’s gala. They’re expecting about 700. For the first time ever, she said, they’ll have to open up the “second [or upper] tier” of seating in the performance hall for the Yo-Yo Ma concert. Jennifer had been on Scott Murray’s radio show explaining  the evening and how men could wear black tie or tails, etc. Someone asked jokingly if all attendees would be issued berets in keeping with the Parisian theme. Uh, no!
  • Billie Leigh Rippey

    Billie Leigh Rippey in Lanvin, of course, and her daughter Paige Locke were talking about Billie Leigh’s left ear problem. Ever since January, she hasn’t been able to hear out of it. She discovered the problem when Caroline Rose Hunt called her one day in January and Billie Leigh couldn’t hear what Caroline was saying. She since has gone to UT Southwestern and other medical facilities, and it was determined that it is simply a “nerve” problem. Joked Billie Leigh: “Well, I’ve always had nerve.” One Houston doctor wanted her to do some sort of stem cell treatment—where they take “fat from your tummy” and use it on the problem area—but Dr. Phil Williams said, “She doesn’t have any fat!” Billie Leigh doesn’t want to do that anyway. For now she’s just living with it.

  • Vicki Chapman found a bottle of mosquito spray and carried it around to help others.
  • Annette and Harold Simmons were among the early arrivals. Annette spotted the open door in the big room and asked, “Why is this door open?” One guest said it’s because a waiter just came through the door with a tray of drinks. Annette promptly closed the door, to keep out the mosquitoes. The Simmons departed early so Harold could get home to watch the Cowboys game.
  • Janie Condon reported that her mother Patsy Donosky was home nursing a broken nose.
  • Ten BD-er Ellen and Don Winspear were introducing future daughter-in-law Erika Dubreuil, who will be marrying the Winspears’ son, Frank, an Army sergeant with the Special Forces. The wedding will be in May in Fayetteville, N.C., where Frank is stationed at Fort Bragg. The rehearsal dinner will be at the Pinehurst (golf) Resort. Erica is used to the military way of life, since her dad is a retired Army sergeant major.
  • Erin Mathews was wearing Fendi pants, a Gucci blouse and Tom Ford “spiked heels.” She joked about having to step very deliberately as she walked across the path leading to the Halls’ house. After making the rounds at the party, she and Russ Davis headed to Salum for a late dinner.
  • Michael Fowler and Amara Durham

    Amara Durham arrived looking for fella co-worker Michael Fowler, who reported that mom Lee Ann White hadn’t been able to attend the Cowboys/Giants fame due to dental surgery. Amara, like Emilynn, had to wear a second choice outfit when the one she had bought just didn’t look quite right.

But the evening didn’t go on too long for this group. The ladies had to hustle home to rest up for the next day of fashion.

One poor soul had to wait at the curb just a couple minutes longer than planned. Seems the valets brought the wrong Bentley. You just know they all look alike.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show & Luncheon Patron Party

Just back from the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show & Luncheon Patron Party at Michelle and Houston Hall‘s drop-dead gorgeous mansion. More deets will follow, but just thought you would like to see some of the crowd. Photos are on the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.