Big Black Tie Ball Raises $500,000+ And Welcomes Big Brothers Big Sisters International To The Area

Report in from The Big Brothers Big Sister’s gala chaired by Janet Bracken with Honorary Chairs Myrna and Bob Schlegel and their family on October 28:

“The Big Black Tie Ball: An Evening of Masterpieces celebrated the many children evolving into great works of art through the power of positive mentoring. Hosted at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas on Friday, October 28, 450 guests attended the annual gala and more than $500,000 was raised! The proceeds will help provide mentors to the 5,000 children currently waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister.”

Charles Pierson

It was an especially big time since BB/BS International announced that it’s moved its world headquarters from Philadelphia to Irving. In addition, local BB/BS headman Charles Pierson has been named CEO of BB/BS International.

“Relocation to the Dallas/Fort Worth region of Texas makes good business sense. The large concentration of corporate headquarters, the ease of access to international destinations through DFW International Airport, the exceptional Big Brothers Big Sisters facilities and the proximity to the nation’s largest and most successfully run Big Brothers Big Sisters agency all proved relevant in our decision to move to North Texas,” stated BB/BS International Chair of the Board Beverly Benz Treuille. “Additionally, Charles Pierson has the demonstrated leadership, record of accomplishments and fine character to lead our international expansion. This move will benefit our global Affiliates for years to come.”

Charles will continue in his duties as the local BB/BS president/CEO, in addition to his new position.

“I am honored to be leading such a diverse and impactful organization across so many cultures,” said Pierson. “The power of the Big Brothers Big Sisters proven brand of one-to-one mentoring is something that rises above geographic and cultural boundaries. Through the friendship of safe and positive role models, children from all walks of life will experience the positive impact that mentoring can have in changing their futures.”

Photo provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters

Wedding Gifts, Butterflies, Half-Million-Dollar Pledges and Diahann Carroll Celebrated “Celebrating Women”

Santa came two months early for the Baylor Health Care System Foundation, but it was because of a lot of hard work on behalf “Celebrating Women.” Even before the guest checked in for

Sarah Losinger

the Friday luncheon at the Hilton Anatole, Co-chairs Fredye Factor and Sarah Losinger were thrilled. Thanks to their efforts, $3M had been raised for research, education and care for women battling breast cancer. Ah, but the sweet place for Fredye especially was the $600,000 that going to help women who could not afford treatments for breast cancer. But more about that later.

Another person looking like his wish-list was in high achievement mode was Foundation President Rowland “Robin” Robinson. At the meet-and-greet session in the Anatole’s Wedgwood Room, he was given a pledge of $500,000 for the program.

Ballroom full of butterflies

When the doors to the Chantilly Ballroom opened, guests discovered a room full of butterflies. No, not really breathing, itty-bitty insects, but humongous butterfly images floating across the walls and fluttering their wings on the mammoth screens behind the stage. Why, even the table centerpieces were highlighted with butterflies.

St. Philip's School and Community Center Choir

To get the room full of guests’ attention, the St. Philip’s School and Community Center Choir sang “Give Thanks”.  After they finished and started to exit, Co-chairs Fredye and Sarah took their places on stage to greet the audience.

It was at this time that Fredye revealed a couple of nuggets with the guests. First was the reason why breast cancer has been a major cause in her life. Her grandmother died at the age of 32 from the disease, preventing Fredye from ever knowing her.

Her next revelation involved E.T. Bradley. According to Fredye,

“When his (E.T.) fiancé Anna Taylor feared she had breast cancer, they traveled to Baylor so she could undergo testing. While E.T. was sitting in the waiting room of the Darla G. Cass Women’s Imaging Center, E.T. witnessed discussions between another patient and the Baylor staff. The patient clearly did not have the means to pay her bill. Fortunately Anna was given a clean bill of health.

“But E.T. could not stop thinking about this other patient. He was so thankful that Anna was cancer-free that he was inspired to share his gratitude with others who are battling breast cancer. He asked if Baylor had a way to help people who couldn’t afford their care. E.T. wanted to insure that when other families were sitting in the waiting room awaiting diagnosis for their loved ones, they were able to focus on their family, on treatment and on healing — not on the ability to afford adequate care. In the spirit of thankfulness, E.T. could think of no better wedding gift present for Anna than the gift that offers the hope to other women and families.

E.T. Bradley, Fredye Factor and Anna Taylor

“Anna, as your wedding gift, E.T. has made a $100,000 donation in your honor to the Celebrating Women Gift of Life Fund so that all women can have access to the care they need and deserve.”

Quite frankly, the lunch could have ended there and then without the food being served. Everyone was so touched. . . especially the surprised bride-to-be.

But there was still more. There was the recognition of Honorary Chairs The Joan and Andy Horner Family and the presentation of the 2011 Circle of Care Award to the Ernestine and Bradley Waynes‘ family.

Diahann Carroll

And, of course, there was featured speaker Diahann Carroll, who pulled out a pair of glasses saying, “I hope you don’t mind if I put these (glasses) on. I don’t need these. It’s a prop really. But I thought they might add a little charm. I saw them in the pharmacy . . .  for $700. Couldn’t resist them.

“First of all I need to tell you that this is going to be primarily about me. I know more about me than most people know about me. . . . The first thing you need to know about me is that I was raised not to make my private life public.”

She spoke of her early childhood life from Harlem and how on a train trip to her aunt in North Carolina, she had her first major encounter with segregation. When the pair got to Washington, they were told they had to move to another car “because these cars were now being taken over by the white passengers. I said to my mother, ‘What did I do? I wasn’t that noisy. What happened?’ She said, ‘Nothing. You did nothing. You’ll learn to understand what that’s all about.’ I did.”

Diahann Carroll

Upon arriving at her aunt’s, she went to sleep only to discover that her mother had left. “I was utterly bewildered and no one would answer my questions — Where is my mother? Why did she leave me her? When is she coming back? All I was told was she would be back soon. A year went by and finally she and my father came to collect me and no explanation was forthcoming. No one ever talked about it. You see, that is what we did in those days. We didn’t talk about things. Instead we kept up appearances.”

Diahann continued this keeping up appearances for four-and-a-half decades. . . until she was diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring of 1997. Her first reaction was to continue to stay silent and keep up appearances.

“But  I was soon to discover that with breast cancer, ‘appearances’ becomes a very, very  important word. . .  After all, in my profession that’s what it’s all about. . .  My job was to look perfect.”

Diahann Carroll

Up to that time, she was having a wonderful time as an actress on Broadway, television and in films performing with Jane Fonda, Faye Dunaway, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Joan Collins, Sidney Poitier and collecting tributes along the way. “I lived a very pampered and ridiculously healthy lifestyle.”

When the doctor told her that she did indeed have a cancerous lump, she was “not ready to make these words real for me” and postponed further discussion.

“My first concern was my mother. It was my responsibility because she was constantly being hospitalized and I had kept my promise to always be there for her.”

Upon learning of her daughter’s breast cancer, Diahann’s mother was equally fearful. “This was not the way she planned to live her life. Like all parents, she wanted to be the first one to go. . . . she was the kind of woman who had decided what she was going to wear when she passed away. She made me promise that she would go to her maker in a red cocktail suit from my Diahann Carroll collection.”

Three days later Diahann decided she “couldn’t keep this just to myself. . . I learned that there were 192,000 women who had also been diagnosed that year. Whether I liked it or not, I was part of a big group. I was not singled out as the star. We were all in this together on the same level.”

She decided to go public with her diagnosis. Connie Chung  and her crew filmed Diahann during her radiation treatment.

After her announcement about her breast cancer, a friend called to offer support and admit that she, too, had breast cancer but had decided not to reveal it.

Diahann Carroll

“Denial is such a personal thing. And it’s only in recent years that I’ve begun to connect with my own version of denial. I’ve come to realize denial in me takes the following form: ‘This isn’t real. This can’t be happening.’ I think I
learned this when I was five years old on that train with my mother.

“I’m here to say to you, I had to deal with that term ‘I have cancer.’ And for the first time in my life ‘This isn’t real. This can’t be happening’ doesn’t work anymore.”

In closing and reflecting on her continuing career, her children and grandchildren, she admitted that, “Unlike my mother, I have no compunction to make plans to decide what I shall be wearing when I meet my maker.”

Before Heading To Dallas International Art, Antique & Jewelry Show At Irving Convention Center . . .

While we’re still trying to catch up from last week’s activities, we thought you should know about the Dallas International Art, Antique & Jewelry Show taking place at the newly opened Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas thru Sunday

Irving Convention Center? You know that shiny, new building wedged between Hwy. 114 and Northwest Highway that you pass on your way to DFW International. Wednesday night the top-drawer types (Nancy Dedman, Faye Briggs, Billie Leigh Rippey, Joyce Fox, Lynn McBee, Kelly and Norm Green, etc.) attended a sneak preview of the treasures available for purchase from 100 of the “world’s top exhibitors of fine art, antiques and jewelry.” Chaired by Barbara Daseke, the party of champagne, music and shopping benefited TACA.

The people, the precious trinkets and the place were all grand, but. . . you just knew it was coming. . . be forewarned. The highway construction on Northwest Highway, lack of signage and less-illumination-than-a-wet-match can make the trek to and from a bit challenging, especially at night.

But shoot! Those vendors brought all those gorgeous collectibles from around the world, so what’s a little jaunt to a new place in North Texas.

Share-A-Date: Children’s Cancer Fund Fashion Show And Luncheon

Averi Moya and Steve Eager

Wednesday, May 2, 2012: The Children’s Cancer Fund will be celebrating its 24th fashion show and luncheon at the Hilton Anatole. Ah, but before you set your GPS for the 28,400-square-foot Chantilly Ballroom, think again. Because the event has grown beyond huge, organizers have moved it to the 45,000-square-foot Trinity Ballroom.

Luncheon co-chairs will be Lori Buschel and Keyea Webster. Honorary Co-chairs will veteran CCF champs Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. KDFW-Ch. 4’s Clarice Tinsley and Steve Eagar will once again be handling the emcee duties.

October 27 MySweetCharity Round Robin: Kids Just Want To Have Fun, Celebrating Women And Circle Of Angels

There were a heck of a lot of folks who wanted to watch the Rangers play the Cardinals Thursday night, but they made sacrifice plays for causes and/or spouses to attend  events despite the cold rain and the more-than-usual traffic congestion.

So, here is MySweetCharity Round Robin for last Thursday night, just in case you opted for staying home and watching baseball.

Kids Just Want To Have Fun

Janelle Friedman

Janelle and Larry Friedman orchestrated an announcement party for the “Kids Just Want to Have Fun” celebration. It took place at Dee Lincoln‘s very wine glassy venue, Tasting Room and Bubbly Bar, on the upper

Yvonne Crum

level. Boy, was it filled to the max. Yvonne Crum was extolling to the max the earlier day’s “Steel Magnolias” at the Aldredge. Despite knowing Joanne King Herring for ages, Yvonne was as giddy as a frosh cheerleader describing Joanne’s encounter with Sean Connery. BTW, did you know that Yvonne was one of the women who will receive the “Women That Soar” awards?

Larry Friedman

Ever the accommodating host Larry Friedman was the “perfect Jewish husband” planting perfect kisses on the ladies’ cheeks as wife Janelle in a white sundress and boots was hugged by almost everyone in the room. Who can blame them? They have slated Cindy Laupner to headline the December 7th event at Fairmont to benefit Children’s Medical Center. Plus Neiman’s is donating a fur coat to help raise funds.

Celebrating Women

Across town in Preston Hollow, Julie and Jim Turner hosted the Celebrating Women’s underwriting party.

Rowland Robinson

Rowland Robinson

While luncheon speaker Diahann Carroll was trapped in the traffic snarl of wet weather, the crowd survived. Baylor Foundation gorgeous headman Rowland “Robin” Robinson was the Nelson Cruz of the night. He handled all situations and questions without hesitation and is probably the best hugger in the county.

Fredye Factor

Speaking of exemplary duties, luncheon co-chairs cutie Fredye Factor and flaming-red-haired Sarah Losinger were handling the perfect hostess duties.

Sarah Losinger

Alas, Baylor sweetheart Lindalyn Adams was a trendsetter with a leading-edge cold. Being a Baylor babe, Lindalyn kept her distance from other swells like Sarah Martineau, Martha Tiller, Debbie Oates, Tincy Miller and Ramona Jones.

Lindalyn Adams

Poor Tanya Roberts, who had been at the Friedmans’ party in Uptown, managed to get to the Celebrating Women party thanks to taking the “back roads.” Smart gal because the Tollway and every other way was a parking lot.

Tanya Roberts

Barbara Stuart, who had recovered from chairing the Equest luncheon with her dotter Melissa Macatee, was looking forward to the luncheon with tablemate/Texas Monthly focus female Erin Mathews.

Al Childs

Sir Robin, Joel and Comerica’s Al Childs applauded the gathered group and emphasized that the real purpose of the luncheon, the hard work and all the people gathered was to save lives, and they were going to do it.

Diahann Carroll

Just as folks started heading to the valets, Diahann arrived. Don’t you just hate someone with fabulous skin? Then stand in line, because Ms. Carroll is a sparkling example of a poreless one. Get over it because she’s also a breast cancer survivor and plans to champion the cause Friday.

Caroline Rose’s Rose

If you recall Wednesday, The Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum presented Steve Coke with the Founders Award. Well, it seems the good works of the former Arboretum board chair continues. At last spring’s Arboretum dinner, Steve asked “a friend” what they could do to show their appreciation for Caroline Rose Hunt. The friend tossed out the idea of “creating the Caroline Rose Hunt rose — never dreaming they would do it!” But Steve took the suggestion seriously and asked the friend to get some paint chips in the family of colors that Caroline likes. Her sons Patrick Sands and Steve Sands selected a couple and sent them along to Steve. Over the months the experts at the Arboretum not only toiled to develop a rose that matched the chosen color, they had it officially registered with the American Rose Society.

Caroline had no idea of the floral honor until they surprised her at a dinner party for the Caroline Rose Hunt Society of the Arboretum in Preston Hollow home.

A rose is a rose is a Caroline Rose.

Crystal Charity Ball’s Circle of Angels

Pam Perella, Katherine Coker and Nancy Carter

Despite the Rangers facing the Cardinals, many spouses sacrificed their “I’d rather be in front of a TV” for an ultra-private, glorious seated dinner at the Mansion for the Crystal Charity Ball’s “Circle of Angels.” Translation: the super-duper sponsors of the annual Crystal Charity Ball.

However, word was passed that if the Rangers didn’t win, private jets would be headed to St. Louis Friday a.m.

Harold Simmons

Natural question: What makes these people so very special? They have kids and grandkids; they drive themselves to work; they get nervous when they meet the president of the USA. But they also are the driving force for large sums of money that aid children’s causes. That’s what makes them different, so they deserve a good meal as a token of thanks.

 

October 25 MySweetCharity Round Robin: Curtain Call, Zoo-To-Do And Crystal Charity Ball

The tsunami of events continues with three-a-days becoming the norm. Due to the MSC elves working in overdrive and the MSC community in need of info, we’re launching MSC Round Robin for those occasions when there are a slew of events taking place at one time.

First out of the gate is Tuesday, October 25, that had Dallas’ boldfacers gathering for everything from Curtain Call’s 2012 plans, Zoo-To-Do’s updates to Crystal Charity Ball’s sneak peak of luxury silent auction items.

Curtain Call Announcement Party

Costumed staffers

The announcement party for the Dallas Summer Musical’s 2012 Curtain Call had all the inklings that the Saturday, March 31, fundraiser would have an Asian headliner. After all, it was being held at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the theme was “Honor the Children in the Year of the Dragon” and members of the staff like Development Director Melinda Ogden were in beautiful costumes.

Sandy Watson

Ah, but no. It seems that Curtain Call Co-chair Sandy Watson had ventured into the DSM warehouse two years ago and discovered $800K worth of hand-beaded costumes that the DSM owned from its “Flower Drum Song” production. So, she thought it would provide a marvelous look to support the theme and the purpose of the gala — to bring the Best of Broadway to Dallas and provide for children’s education and outreach programs.

Before announcing the plans for the gala, Co-chair Steve Watson recalled his parents started going to the DSM back in 1951 and how the production of “Oklahoma!” with its tornado scene made such an impression on him as a youngster. Fast-forward to 1989 when he “seriously” started getting season tickets and now to 2011 when he and Sandy are heading up the major fundraiser.

But you’re still wondering who is going to razzle-dazzle at Curtain Call. None other than gorgeous and talented Vanessa Williams, who has performed on Broadway and in films and television series like “Desperate Housewives.”

Zoo-To-Do Underwriters’ Patrons Party

Gregg Hudson

The Dallas Zoo Executive Director Gregg Hudson had a long day Tuesday. Earlier in the day Koko, a 25-year old chimp, had escaped from her cage. Declaring a Code Red situation, the staff immediately got the errant zoo resident back home with the general public never in danger.

There was no truth to the rumor that she was headed to the Zoo-To-Do announcement party at Jennifer and John Eagles’ nest, where staff members serve as lifeguards making sure no one slips into the dining-room pool as they cross the marble walkway into the living room.

The great thing about the Edward Durrell Stone-designed home, besides the art and the graciousness of the Eagles, is the white spiral stairway in the living room. Yes, it does provide access to the upstairs, but it also serves as a great place to make announcements. There is one step in particular that seems to be a favorite, where speakers can be seen easily from all parts of the room.

In this case, Dallas Zoological Society Board Chair  Jennifer Burr Altabef announced that the Zoo-To-Do’s “ZTD Goes Hollywood” at the Wilds of Africa Plaza on Saturday, November 5, would be celebrating its 20th anniversary with Honorary Chef Jim “Sevy” Severson and 25 other top chefs providing the food, literally. Often in chef-cooking events, the organization has to arrange funding for the food products, but in this case the chefs and their restaurants provide for the whole kit-and-kaboodle.

Martha Fordyce

Jennifer also went on to say that in addition to Neiman’s hosting the cocktail reception at the Giants of Savanna exhibit the night of the event, Hermes’ Martha Fordyce had arranged for zoo-themed scarves and ties to be created especially for the event with 20% of sale proceeds going to the zoo.

Gregg replaced Jennifer on the staircase and thanked the core supporters saying their efforts have resulted in attendance records already being broken as of September 30 by 100,000.

Mike Gruber

Zoo-To-Do Co-chair Mike Gruber, with

Diane Gruber

wife/Co-chair Diane watching from the floor, took to the staircase and thanked the many who had supported them including Honorary Chair Ruth Mutch, who lives most of the year in Sheridan, Wyoming. He reminded the gathered group that zoo attendance had grown from 400,000 in 1993-1994, 500,000 in the mid-2000’s and now nearly 800,000 so far in 2011.

For the business-oriented in the audience, Mike added that underwriting for the event stood at $730,000 and suggested that the evening’s silent and live auctions should boost that number even higher.

Since this was an animal-oriented group, it was predictable that talk among the guests would touch on critters. Holly Reed was still reeling from her recent falconing weekend in New York, thanks to a New Zealand gal-pal’s purchasing the adventure at an charity auction. They were supposed to be at Bobby Kennedy Jr.‘s place, but he suggested they venture over to his friend Glenn Close‘s, since the Kennedy and Close kids were friends. Glenn couldn’t have been more accommodating and charming. When she heard that one of her guests was from New Zealand and the New Zealand team had just won the Rugby League World Cup, Glenn went upstairs and returned wearing a New Zealand rugby shirt.

But the highlight of the Close encounter for Holly was seeing the infamous knife from “Fatal Attraction” on display . . . and in a frame.

Crystal Charity Ball’s 2011 Luxury Silent Auction Preview

David Blank

In the gem neighborhood bordered by Highland Park Village on the south and NorthPark on the north, there is a new kid on Preston Road- the Diamond Doctor. Formerly located in the Galleria for 10 years, DD relocated to Preston Center last month when owner David Blank bought and renovated the 7,000-square-foot, two-story building after Washington Mutual went out of business.

With nary a timepiece in sight, the place dazzles with gems of all cuts, carats and clarity. Why, even earlier on Tuesday, Louise Eiseman of the NorthPark Eisemans was in to check out the baubles. And you know Louise knows her gems from amethyst to zirconia.

So it was only appropriate that the Crystal Charity Ball had a sneak preview of its luxury silent auction items amid the high-intensity lights and multimillion-dollar diamonds just waiting to be worn.

David, who was on crutches after roughhousing with his son, pointed to one necklace of gold and diamonds, close to 70 carats, that had been made by the DD staff. Had it been offered by a nationally-renowned jewelry retailer, he suggested that the price range would be floating around $2M. But at DD, it could be picked up for a cool $750K.

BTW, if you’re wondering why it’s called the Diamond Doctor, it’s not because diamonds, sapphires and emeralds have physicals or get vaccinated there. Nope. David’s dad was a physician back in South Africa and he just considered the name Diamond Doctor to be a tribute to his father.

Connie O'Neill, Peggy Meyer and Kim Miller

As for the CCB ladies, they were in countdown mode for the December 3 mega-gala. CCB Chair Connie O’Neill was still keeping deets about the ball under wraps, but did admit that the holidays were her favorite time of the year since “it’s all about family, celebration, gratitude and thankfulness.” Thus the theme “Tis the Season.”

But the gift giving has already started. As the couples boarded their vehicles to head home, they were presented with a sizable, gift-wrapped package compliments of David and the DD staff. One person asked if it was an appliance since it was heavier than a box of chocolates. Well, sorta. Looked like a Tassimo, but it was a Jewel Jet steam cleaner and in some households that’s as important as a microwave.

No Caffeine Needed For Council on Alcohol And Drug Abuse When Rudy Gatlin’s Around

Last Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. the room was jammed with upbeat people at Northwood Club. The occasion was The Power of Prevention Breakfast benefiting the Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse. These people were in not need of real coffee. They could fuel a NASA rocket to Saturn without looking back. Perhaps that’s why decaf was brimming over.

Brenda Teele

On hand to emcee the early morning get-together was Brenda Teele, who led the group in a cheer for the Rangers’ campaign for the World Series. She reeled out the fact that the council was founded in 1946 and that Thompson & Knight had underwritten the breakfast.

As a video played keynote speaker Rudy Gatlin nodded in approval. Some newcomers to the subject were surprised to hear the video report that over-the-counter drugs use was second to marijuana.

Despite the news coming off the podium and out of the video, a couple of tables in the back of the room continued their conversation earning “the eye” from neighboring tables. They got the message and hushed up.

Brenda then returned to the dais and recalled her brother’s living on the street because of drugs. In an update, she reported that he was now standing on his own and getting his own apartment.

Lauren Arthur

She then introduced Rudy saying he plays a “little bit of golf” to which Rudy hollered from his place at the table seated between Lauren and Pat Arthur, “About noon today.”

Rhonda Sargent Chambers, Rudy Gatlin, Carole and Scott Murray, Barbara Sargent

Now it was Rudy’s time up to bat and he proudly added, “We recently got the Pioneer Award.. . . If you live long enough, they give you the Pioneer Award.”

That comment set the mood for Rudy’s talk. It was a blend of self-deprecating humor and painful reality including —

  • Admitting that he didn’t know where his brothers, Larry and Steve, were, he said, “Don’t care until Friday in Florida,” when their next performance is.
  • After that they would be doing Christmas shows in Branson.
  • “Odessa — we got something underneath that lets us buy things, like Colorado.”
  • “Odessa is so flat you can watch your dog run off for three days.”
  • “I woke up this morning. I used to come to.”
  • “I didn’t realize I had a drinking problem until I was dancing and someone stepped on my hand. The woman said, ‘You’re drunk.’ I said, ‘I was over-served.'”
  • A manager in Las Vegas told the Gatlin brothers: “You Gatlin boys drank more alcohol in two weeks than Wayne Newton’s band did in the entire year.”
  • “I had a drug problem. I ran out. You have a problem and so does everyone around you.”
  • “Reality is for those who can’t handle drugs.”
  • “Thank God for Darrell Royal,” who took the boys to treatment. “Larry called Rudy almost immediately  after he got to recovery and said, “Rudy, you’re an alcoholic, too.”
  • After 28 days in rehab, “We got to come out for Family Day. I’d rather be dragged through cactus naked. What a visual!”
  • “The moment of truth came —- it’s okay to be a grateful recovering alcoholic and drug addict.”
  • Cocaine — “Imagine the best you’ve ever felt and multiply it by 100.”

He then sang, “Love of God. ”

It was hard to follow Rudy, but awards seem to do the job. The Council recognized the following:

  • Media Award for WFAA-CH. 8
  • Collaboration Award for Lt. Doug Mitchell of the Carrollton Police Dept.
  • Volunteer Award for Willie Pegues
  • Agent of Change Award for Paul Black of Texas Family & Protective Services

Irving School District Principal Curtis Mauricio then  addressed the audience, saying that when he took his position seven years ago, he didn’t realize he “was at war with drugs and alcohol.”

He went on to educate some of the audience with the lingo that drug war veterans were all too aware of, like:

  • “20-for-20” — 20 hits of heroin for $20.
  • “Hit-a-hit” — burglarizing a home for drug money

He said that his battle took a dramatic change when he partnered up with the Council. “They’re a one-stop-shop.”

To close the early-morning get-together, Honorary Chair Elizabeth Showers emphasized that grants for nonprofits are “getting harder and harder to obtain” and that’s why the need for private funding is essential to help teenagers battling addictions.

“Let’s work together to prevent one of the biggest problems faced today by our region, state and country,” the blonde said. “Together we can invest in area youth to prevent their use of alcohol, tobacco and others drugs, and their many life-altering consequences.”

Mavis Leno Shares Tips On Being An Activist At 26th Annual Dallas Women’s Foundation Luncheon

Dr. Catalina Garcia

Remember last Monday when Dallas looked more like London with the fog? The Dallas Women’s Foundation didn’t let a little thing like heavy mist slow them down for their 26th Annual Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole. But it came close. While many flew in that morning from the coasts, honoree Dodee Crockett was stuck in Austin encouraging the fog to lift and her plane to take off. Luckily, honoree Dr. Catalina E. Garcia was present to receive the “Philanthropist Award.”

Roslyn Dawson Thompson and Dodee Crockett

When Dodee didn’t show and didn’t show, the show had to go on without her. Luncheon Co-chairs Dawna Richter and Shawna Wilson, Foundation Board of Directors Chair Diana Dutton and DWF President/CEO Rosalyn Dawson Thompson regretfully reported the situation and invited all to start lunching. Just as the gals picked up their forks, word went through the Chantilly Ballroom that Dodee was hustling down the main aisle.

Whew!

Corporate types Chase’s Elaine Agather and AT&T’s Holly Reed thanked and congratulated DWF for their years of impacting women’s lives and pointed out that Dodee had arrived. Elaine dropped a tasty tidbit for the crowd — over 50% of the work force at Chase is comprised of women.

Mavis Leno and Maria Ebrahimji

Then it was on with the main act — a conversation between activist Mavis Leno and Maria Ebrahimji, director and executive editorial producer for network booking at CNN Worldwide.  

If Mavis’ last name sounds a bit familiar, it’s because her husband, Jay, has a night job of entertaining America on the Tonight Show. But she’s no botoxed doll in a low-cut outfit. She’s also not a celeb royal. Quite frankly, she blended into the crowd easily and within minutes she made everyone feel like they were at a huge coffee klatch. But she’s also a savvy lady.

First she “told” her husband they were going to give $100,000 to start a foundation to spread the word about the apartheid in Afghanistan. Alas, it wasn’t as easy as Mrs. Jay Leno thought it would be. Despite her husband’s publicists’ best efforts, the mainstream media was non-plussed about the subject. Then People picked up the story of women who were denied the basics of American women like education, human rights, communication, etc. Wham! Those “major news group” like the New York Times suddenly perked up and scampered to Mavis to learn about the subject. One of the first questions they asked was, “Why do you think this has gotten so little coverage in the main news?” Some of the reporters told her that their publishers told them the American people are:

  • Not interested in human rights issues.
  • Really not interested in human rights issues in Islamic countries.
  • Absolutely not interested in human rights issues involving women in Islamic countries.

When asked about the effect of 9/11 on her effort, she shuddered at the thought of the possibilities. “I was in tears because I was terrified that our government would simply assume that Afghanistan was responsible. . . that they would not realize that the Taliban took control of governing. Very many Afghan men were angry at what had happened to the women.” She was scared that the Afghan people who had been victimized by the Taliban would be blamed for the event.  According to Mavis, the Bush administration realized that there were innocent people in the country. “My nightmare didn’t happen.”

She pointed out that one source said that women are more at danger in Afghanistan than in any other country in the world. According to Mavis it is because more women die during pregnancy or in childbirth there than in any other country in the world.

Mavis said the major reasons for Middle East countries loosening their control on women are:

  1. They don’t want to look like “yokels” to the rest of the world with women living in such backward situations.
  2. Money. When a woman has rights and works, she brings more money into the household and becomes valuable to the community.

In summing up her experience in activism, Mavis said, “One of the biggest things I’ve learned in doing this is that we live in a democracy and democracy works. And It works because no matter how rich or how important or how connected a politician is, if you don’t vote for him, he’s not getting in again. . . or she, if the case may be. And if you have an issue that you’re angry about, this is the first task you should take: Start sending letters, emails, petitions to the part of the government that could address this problem. In our case it was the State Department. And you should start trying to harass your friends to do the same thing. After a while, the politician you’re trying to impact is going to say to himself or herself, ‘Whoa, I’d better look into this. I’d better do something about this because everybody is really mad.'”

Dallas, Get Shopping!

The Partners Card

Sure, the Rangers may have lost the World Series, but Dallas’s favorite sport is underway — the legendary Partners Card shopping spree.

If you haven’t gotten your card, get it now!

You can shop at Dallas best retailers, benefit The Family Place and get amazing discounts until November 6. So, get shopping.

Center for BrainHealth 2011 Legacy Award Is Lovingly Presented To Dee Wyly

Dee Wyly and her daughters (Emily Wyly, Jennifer Lincoln, Dee and Martha Miller)

Earlier this month a “celebration of life” was held for Charles Wyly Jr. by his family for his friends. Last Thursday Dee Wyly was given a group hug by hundreds at the BrainHealth 2011 Legacy Award Dinner at Brook Hollow for the countless causes that she has supported through the years. Planned long ago, it turned out to be bittersweet as the extremely well-known and intimate friends of the entire family helped the Wyly family slowly adjust to life without their patriarch.

Dinner table decorations

But don’t for a second think that the evening was teary-eyed. Heavens, no. That’s not Dee’s style. It was one of twinkles in the eye (an ice-carved alligator longer than a six-foot table), beauty (Junior’s floral arrangements were simply breathtaking in the ballroom), thoughtfulness (fabulous favors from Niven Morgan) and benefiting a great cause — the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas.  But what else could you expect with Debbie Francis as the board chair and Gloria Martindale chairing the event.

Kay Hammond

And this was a crowd that knows their events. Need names? OK, how about Lana and Barry Andrews, Lydia and Dan Novakov, Margot and Ross Perot, Barbara and John Stuart, Ramona Jones, Mickey and Bill Lively, Lee Bailey, Kay (sporting a surgical boot) and Jim Hammond, Dr. Bobby Lyle with Lottye Brodsky, Dianne

Lana Andrews

Cash, Patsy Donosky, Jill and Dr. Bob Smith, Marilyn Augar, Billie Leigh Rippey, Shelle Sills, Lynn and Allan McBee, Aileen Pratt, Betsy and Richard Eiseman, Fay Briggs with

Mickey and Bill Lively

Ralph Gorman and her daughter Pebble McKenzie, Toni Brinker, Carole and Scott Murray, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Anne and Larry Nixon, Carmaleta Whiteley and Kenneth Craighead and, of course, Dee’s Saturday lunch

Mayo Crum, Rob Aikey and Yvonne Crum

buddies (Yvonne and Mayo Crum, Carolyn Lupton, Jill and Tracy Rowlett, Terry Van Willson and Gregory Dunbar).

And Brook Hollow Executive Chef David Sokol‘s menu was equally stellar including a green salad with spicy cornmeal fried okra topped with Creole balsamic dressing, Cajun rubbed beef tenderloin served with dirty rice and apple wood bacon-wrapped asparagus, mini-biscuits and sourdough baguettes, praline soufflé and chicory and decaffeinated coffee.

Did you sense a Louisiana feel to the menu? Perhaps it was because the evening’s theme was “Best of the Bayou” with Louisiana-born Dee being the Belle of the Bayou.

University of Texas at Dallas President Dr. David Daniel welcomed the group and told them how Dee had made the Dee Wyly Distinguished Chair possible.

Dr. Sandra Chapman

Later Center for BrainHealth Founder/Chief Director/Dee Wyly Distinguished Chair Dr. Sandra Chapman listed the previous recipients of the Legacy Award —Dianne Cash, Debbie Francis, T. Boone Pickens and James Huffines.

But enough with the serious stuff. Sandi went on to say of Dee, “She’s as pretty in sweatpants as she is in a ball gown.”

Going on and lauding Dee for her courage, love, playfulness (being photographed on a motorcycle, dressed as a rock star, etc.), compassion, generosity, etc., Sandi got a chuckle from the 300 filling the ballroom when she reported that Dee says things like, “It’s a brain thing,” or, “It’s a no brainer.”

On a more serious note, Sandi told how the chair was to be the Dee and Charles Wyly Chair, but Charles said, “No, I want to honor Dee. When it comes to philanthropy, I take my cues from Dee.”

Then the dreaded moment came. Dee was to accept the award. It was dreaded because despite her being a driving force in so many aspects of charitable giving, she hates being on stage and in the limelight. But she handled it like a trouper, starting off by saying she was going to keep her remarks short and sweet like Cicero. And that she did.

With her children (Martha Miller, Jennifer Lincoln, Emily Wyly and Chip Wyly) and other family members seated just inches away, Dee admitted, “The last couple of months have been pretty hard, but thank you all for being there for me. I’m kind of out of words, and I’m not usually out of words.”

She added that Sandi Chapman and John Hart (the center’s medical science director) were the true BrainHealth awardees. Dee also thanked “my gang over here.”

Debbie Francis

In making the closing remarks, Debbie Francis told Dee, “I can’t tell you how your early support brought me to the Center. . . you and Charles gave us a great gift.”

Last Wednesday night it might have been a “brain thing,” but it was turned out to be a “love thing” for Dee Wyly.

Tomorrow’s “Steel Magnolia” Joanne King Herring Got “Heart-To-Heart” With The Thetas Today

Joanne King Herring

If you didn’t get a chance to hear Joanne King Herring today at the Heart-to-Heart luncheon benefiting CASA at Brook Hollow, you missed a Texas legend. Her life makes Forrest Gump look like a stay-at-home. Never taking herself too seriously, Joanne told of her many lives — Houston hostess, television host, driving force in Middle East politics and the main character of an award-winning movie.

Then while everyone else was eating lunch, she visited each table thanking them for having her.

Ah, but if you indeed did miss her today, you still have a chance Thursday when she is the featured speaker at the “Steel Magnolia” luncheon at Aldredge House.

Here are a couple of questions to ask her:

  • Who is more handsome Charlie Wilson or Tom Hanks?
  • Did Charlie Wilson ever get “serious” with her?
  • What did Sean Connery do to her during dinner?
  • What did she say to Prince Philip about her sleeping habits?

And if you can’t make it tomorrow, buy her just off the press book “Diplomacy and Diamonds.” It’s with a blonde hairs breadth of being on the best seller list.

BTW, the only thing guests didn’t believe about Joanne was her age — 82-years young.

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon Plans Announced Despite Co-Chair Checkout

Angela Nash

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon Co-chair Angela Nash was not feeling great Wednesday night, so she begged to leave the announcement party at Korshak before the evening’s news broke. That’s why there are co-chairs, don’t you know?

But before Co-chairs Bunny Cotten and Kristina Whitcomb handed out the good news, the group of loyal Valentine lovers had more to do than sip wine. Ellen Terry  checked in

Kristina Whitcomb

with Korshak makeup wunder- kind Audrey Elliott. Sorry, no photos of the artist at work.

Ellen also looked positively giddy about some upcoming news. Holly Davis was celebrating her 28th birthday for the second, third or fourth time.

Bunny Cotten

But the evening was going to be a short one with the World Series getting ready to start, so Bunny and Kristina revealed

• The luncheon will indeed be on Tuesday, February 14, at the Hilton Anatole.

• Former Dallas Maverick Ray Johnston, who is a leukemia survivor and has gone on to a second career as a musician, will receive The Heart of Gold Award at the luncheon.

• The Spirit of Tom Landry Award will go to two youngsters this year: Dalton Douglas, 12, and Kenedy Kundysek, 12, both students at Trinity Christian Academy.

You may be wondering why two kiddos were selected this year. Wait til you learn about their amazing accomplishments. What, you can’t wait til February? OK, here goes:

Dalton and Kristen Douglas

Dalton Douglas has shown courage in helping his younger brother (Austin) fight leukemia. He shows courage and dignity in being strong when Austin needs support. He is selfless in doing whatever is needed when his brother is in the hospital.

Integrity in Dalton is shown by his ever consistent ability to stay up to date on Austin’s meds, treatment, school needs, and safety needs. His values are strong in his school performance, gifted classes, sports, friendships, and family. Dalton wants to help other siblings feel more supported and special – as they are heroes too. So Dalton has started his own support group and fundraising group called: Dalton’s Sib Support ! He has designed wristbands to sell to raise money in order to do special things for the sib heroes of the cancer fight! He wants the sibs to have a website to talk with each other- someone in your area whom understands monthly get-togethers, fun events, etc…!! All are in the beginning stages- but he is determined to help.

Kenedy Kundysek has shown strength and compassion well beyond her age. She is committed to beating her cancer and also committed to helping others beat theirs. Kenedy is a fighter and through her charitable acts has willed others to fight also. The following are some of the generous acts of compassion Kenedy has accomplished/participated in:

• Cooked several times at the Ronald McDonald house through National Charity League (Kenedy loves to cook!)

• Unselfishly for her birthday she requested movies for Children’s hospital and collected over 200 movies for the oncology floor.

• She encourages several kids via caring bridge that have cancer.

• She has collected books for the oncology floor

• Has taken food to the oncology floor several times for the nurses.

• On Christmas afternoon, she asked to take gifts to the nurses of the 5th floor…

• Had a “liquid sunshine team” for the Red Balloon race and is currently working on a “Mission 2 Remission” team for the current Red Balloon Race.

• Currently has done 30 plus hours of community service through National Charity League since finishing chemotherapy in November 2010

Share-A-Date: KERA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

Big Bird and the late Ralph Rogers

Tuesday, November 29, 2011: Was it really 50 years ago that KERA went on air pioneering the type of programming that’s the mainstay of today’s Discovery Channel, History Channel and so many others?

It was indeed a time when black-and-white TV was being replaced by its colorful cousin with the help of such shows as  “Bonanza.” It was a time when Eddie Barker at KRLD-CH. 4 was at the main face in local television news. It was a time before Dallas would be in the world spotlight for the death of a president.

But the late Ralph Rogers, who was the PBS Board of Governors’ first chairman, and a young Bob Wilson, who became KERA’s first chief exec, felt television could be more than a source of entertainment. It could provide intelligent programming for all ages.

To celebrate its 50 years of bringing that vision into reality, Event Chair Melissa Fetter and Honorary Chair Ruth Altshuler have arranged for an evening of cocktails, a seated dinner and “an exciting multimedia presentation showcasing the station’s history with appearances by Jim Lehrer, Cokie Roberts and Scott Simon.” It will take place at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre with Bob Ray Sanders and Krys Boyd serving as co-hosts.

Only regret? Wish Ralph were still here to enjoy his 50-year-old baby.

Rhinestones Are Cattle Baron’s Best Friend

What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but that philosophy didn’t apply to the 38th Annual Cattle Baron’s Ball at Southfork. CBB Chair Jennifer Dix led dreamed up the theme, “Rhinestone Cowboy,” and let event designer Tom Addis create a glittering-but-never-gaudy Strip where 3,000 guests partied. With her corps of committee members working tirelessly, Jennifer was proud that $3 million was already in the bank for the American Cancer Society, making this the most successful CBB ever.

Jennifer Dix

Jennifer was so organized that she had her “ball gown” already picked out in August — a Pucci dress that had been custom-crystallized with matching crystallized boots. Not only was it a standout outfit, it held up through the night as Jennifer seemed to be everywhere, making sure that all was as perfect as the October evening and that more money was coming in for the night’s take.

Limo lineup

For 1,000 guests, the start time took place before sunset. Instead of holding the traditional VIP party at the Ewing mansion, they headed to the almost-airplane-hangar-sized Oil Baron’s Ballroom for the SoftLayer Technologies, Inc. VIP Baron Party. Out of this crowd a privileged two dozen were asked to arrive before the rest. The reason? A meet-and-greet with

Dierks Bentley, Clint Black and Darius Rucker

event entertainers Clint Black, Dierks Bentley and Darius Rucker. Everything was so prepared in advance, the photo session was over before you knew it. Even the boys’ managers got in the spirit of the shoot and asked to have their photo taken together. After all, it’s not every day that these three C/W musical teams get together.

Tyler Junior College Apache Belles

Back in the ballroom, the Tyler Junior College Apache Belles were greeting one and all with servers everywhere offering food and grownup libations. It was a wise move, because check-in for 1,000 in a limited amount of time can be challenging. One $25,000-sponsor practically had to show her canceled check to get clearance. Not to worry. She and her entourage were later seen with smiles on their faces and wristbands alongside their diamond bracelets.

Clint Black

And then there was the transition from daylight to darker-than-Clint-Black’s-Stetson. What may have been a visual challenge adjusting to the barely-lit hall was helped along by the twinkling from ladies’ sequined outfits, and the all-Texas smiles on the Belles as they helped folks see their way around. But that changed once Clint Black took to the stage. Despite the mammoth spotlight on Clint, the room seemed to get darker than ever. Time and time again the comment, “Oh, I didn’t see you,” was heard as people “felt” their way through the crowd. Didn’t matter, though. Who needs light if you’re listening to Clint croon? A couple of daring guests took to an open spot on the dance floor to prove that Clint’s music was just right for listening or dancing in the dark.

Dr. Gregg Dickerson

Word was passed through the crowd that despite being diagnosed with cancer the day before, Larry Hagman was in attendance and posing with folks for pictures. In the dim light, it did look like “J.R. Ewing,” only a little heavier and younger. On being queried, he turned out to be a faux J.R. In real life he is Dr. Gregg Dickerson of Denver, who’s been mistaken for Hagman since 1982, the year of the “Who Shot J.R.” storyline. He went “professional” five or six years ago, and even got a voice coach who taught him to talk like J.R.  Dr. Gregg had a passel of stories to go with his Ewing look.

  • He once had a surgical patient who, coming out of anesthesia, spotted Gregg and pulled the sheets up over her head, saying, “Don’t hurt me, J.R.!”
  • On Hagman: “He’s very loved. When I’m here at the ranch, the reaction is so overwhelming.”
  • Gregg’s wife gets pushed out of the way a lot, as people rush him. “One woman propositioned me, so my wife keeps a close eye on things.”

As Clint kept playing and guests kept arriving, Jennifer was preparing for the first auction test of the night — a Gibson guitar to be autographed by Clint in his trailer.

Steve and Ellen Sterin

Almost the moment that Clint ended his performance, the guitar was put up for bid. Just at the base of the stage, Jennifer closed her eyes, hoping the item would bring $5,000. As the numbers kept growing, Jennifer’s eyes opened wider and wider. Then, when auctioneer Louis Murad closed the bidding at $18,000, the CBB chair gave a “Yahoo!” that could have been heard all over Parker County. It was a sign. . . a definite sign … of good things to come.

The only ones happier than Jennifer and live auction Chair Kim Bannister were Ellen and Steve Sterin of Southlake, who won the prize and were immediately escorted back to Clint’s trailer.

American Airlines Silent Auction tent

Eventually, the 1,000 made their way to the main Strip. Some took the tram and others just took a leisurely stroll as the moon began to rise. The big white orb was probably hedging its bets after spotting the American Airlines Silent Auction tent. This year, instead of a plump white down pillow, Tom Addis had a see-through tent installed. It had faux Chihuly as the center chandelier hovering over DJ Andre on an elevated stage playing just the right music to bid by. It looked like a crystal palace.

Brooke and Blake Hortenstine

Wandering in the tent checking out the children’s area were CBB committee members/moms-to-be Leigh Bailey and Brooke Hortenstine. In another part of the tent, Leigh’s husband Vinny Carrizales was explaining the cast on his arm that was going to prevent him from taking part in the Iron Man Triathalon. BTW, Leigh and Vinnie already know the baby is going to be a girl and have named her “Sophia,” while Brooke and husband Blake have opted to wait for the baby’s delivery in May to learn whether it will be bows or bowties in the newborn’s wardrobe.

Among those in the tent not glittering but still show-stopping in more natural fabrics were Melissa Kath in Louboutin “Pucks” (made of pony hair), Jacqueline Cavender with a fur tossed over her shoulder and Doris Jacobs in a hot turquoise leather skirt with a cute slit.

Jack and Doris Jacobs

Speaking of turquoise, the theme may have been “rhinestone-oriented,” but many decided turquoise was the diamond of the night. And it wasn’t just the ladies in squash-blossom necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Men, like Jack Jacobs,  were wearing turquoise bolo ties, belt buckles and rings. JB Hayes decided to cash in on all gems wearing a turquoise necklace and a rhinestone tiara on her stetson.

Andrea Weber and Elizabeth Tripplehorn

While the silent auction was stroll-and-bid, the live auction way across the compound at the Bank of America Live Auction Stage was a sit-and-spend for the really big bank-rollers. It was definitely not for the faint of heart, as committee members rang cowbells like Salvation Army workers during Christmas. Everything from a one-of-a-kind music box valued at $55,000 to a $200,000 2012 Mercedes SRS (“You’ll take delivery in the spring of 2012, while others will have to wait two more years”) went up for grabs.

Jim Severson, Kent Rathbun, Amy Severson

When the annual dinner by “The Supremes” (chefs Richard Chamberlain, Dean Fearing, Kevin Garvin, David Holben, Kent Rathbun, Kevin Rathbun and Jim Severson) in Napa was in the spotlight, it was noted that Dean had finally returned to the fold. The last time he was part of the action was back in 1988. Kent told the crowd about the three-day, two-night trip to Napa and the participating wineries, “They treat us like rock stars, and they’ll treat you the same way, so you gotta bid high!” As the bidding was passing the $55,000 mark, Kent reminded the audience that this package alone had raised $1.6 million for CBB since its start, so “you need to raise this bid!” The dinner for six ended up going for $57,500.

Ashlee Kleinert

As the cheers from the AT&T Sports Lounge, where the Rangers were capturing the ACLS title, were heard over the cowbells, two World Series tickets between third base and home were placed on the block. It was a last-minute addition to the list, but the bidding heated up as the cheers continued across the Strip. On the front row, Ashlee Kleinert with her buddies Victoria Snee and Robin Skinner by her side gave the sign to the auctioneer that she was a force to be reckoned with. It worked, with her winning bid in the five-figure area. Afterwards, she admitted that being a season ticket-holder, she and husband Chris already had Series tickets. Solution: auction tickets might find a home via Ebay.

Line up for the Ferris wheel

While all this fundraising was ca-chinking, some guests were standing in lines for the Ferris wheel or the food stations. Luckily, the lines moved quickly. One couple got downright cute taking more than one, two, three rides on the wheel as the moon rose. Still another was raving about the service. Even guests in the “cheap seats” at the back of the Dr Pepper Main Stage were treated royally with servers popping by every few minutes to refresh drinks, bring seconds and thirds of peach cobbler with ice cream, and pamper them.

A new development at the Main Stage setting this year was the barrier that separated the VIP’s from the IP’s. Seems there had been problems in the past with the overly popular “mosh pit” blocking the view of folks seated close to the stage. To cut down on the moshers, only guests with the infamous wristbands made it past bouncers Mary Gill and Nancy Gopez. Nice try. Still, the mosh pit jammed with front-row guests appearing to enjoy the entertainment on stage and upfront.

Two officers and a lady

Well, except for one female guest who found walking the terrain a little oopsie as she approached two Collin County officers and fell into the arms of one of them. She then raised her left foot, perhaps to show the sheriff her pedicure or her bootie (i.e. shoe). Being a gentleman, he quickly helped her get her footing back on the ground and back on the path to other parts.

Joanne Herring Will Be Taking Lunches With Kappa Alpha Thetas And Women That Soar

Back in the 1980’s Houston was brimming with headline-making blondes — Lynn Sakowitz Wyatt, Carolyn Farb, Joan Schnitzer and Joanne Herring. They lived over-the-top lives raising mega-funds, while being above the fold of Women’s Wear. The only one of the four who would have her own talk show, be a major player in the outcome of a military conflict and be portrayed by Julia Roberts in “Charlie Wilson’s War” was Joanne.

Next week the 82-year-old will be vying with Clint Black* for the “Out-of-Town Celebrity in Residence” in Dallas for October when she makes two speaking engagements to promote her just-released book, Diplomacy and Diamonds: My Wars from the Ballroom to the Battlefield and to help local groups raise money.

  • Wednesday, October 26, at Brook Hollow Golf Club: The alumae of Kappa Alpha Thetas’ second “Heart to Heart Luncheon” benefiting CASA and the Theta scholarships will be chaired by Susan Russell and Susie Barnett. Please, oh, please do not think that the event is Theta sisterhood only. Heavens, no! Yes, Joanne is a Theta, but the luncheon is open to Kappa’s, Pi Phi’s, GDI’s and even men!
  • Friday, October 28, at the Aldredge House (5500 Swiss Avenue): The Fourth Annual Steel Magnolias will not only have Joanne on the bill as the keynote speaker, it will announce the 2011 “Women That Soar Award” nominees including Carol Channing* (“Life Time

    Yvonne Crum

    Achievement”), Yvonne Crum (“Community Civic Award”), Joanne Herring (“Humanitarian Award”) and Diane E. Watson (“International Leadership Award.”

Funds raised from the luncheon will benefit Joanne’s Marshall Plan Charities for Afghanistan Inc., and the Joppa Women’s Entrepreneur Project.

BTW, if you hope to see Carol Channing at the luncheon, rethink it. She won’t be able to attend.

Tickets are available by calling 214.363.9366.

 *  In October Clint will have appeared at The Real Estate Council’s Giving Gala, Cattle Baron’s Ball and the St. Paul Foundation’s Legends 2011 to name a few.

Lisa Blue Baron’s Thank You Benefits Pat And Emmitt Smith Foundation for Underserved Children

It was billed as Lisa Blue Baron‘s 60th* birthday party celebration Saturday night at her estate. Any invite from LBB is an occasion to drop everything and put the date on reserve. This one did not disappoint. But as Lisa took the stage, she said, “If you look to your left and to your right, you will see someone who touched my life during this difficult past five years. Thank for being there for me.” In other words, it was a “Thank You Party.” And instead of gifts for Lisa, she requested that the guests make donations to the Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities for Underserved Children.

It was also a whirlwind evening of changes for Lisa. To greet guests she wore an elegant off-the-shoulder dark blue floor-length gown in contrast with the immense mountain of sculptured deep red roses in the foyer. The guests then discovered three enormous tents on the grounds with numerous food and drink stations, white banquets, two dance floors and loads of judges, attorneys and family/friends (Linda Gale and former Governor Mark White,  Dr. Dale Robinowitz, Eric Moye, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Jocelyn White with Kim Seal, Shannon and Skip Hollandsworth, the Wynne bros (Shannon and Angus), Gina and Scott Ginsburg, Ann Lardner, Regina and Paul Coggins, Gloria Campos, Claudia and Zach Stevens, Gene Street and Lisa’s 90-year-old mom in from Atlanta and Lisa’s stepson from New York.

But getting back to Lisa’s changes. When she addressed the guests from the stage, she was wearing a red dress with sequins and sheer long red sleeves. After officially greeting and thanking everyone, she introduced members of her staff as if they were her family.

Within minutes the hostess had changed once again for her dance with Emmitt. Both were in glittering white outfits.

The final change of the evening had her wearing a short white dress with green filigree. As one guest put it, “All the better for dancing the night away.”

* According to a couple of sources, Lisa turns 60 on October 12, 2012.

Dallas Opera’s “First Night” Organizers To Launch 2001-2012 Season With Fashions, Flowers, Food And One Mad Scene

McIntyres' home

For announcements of any kind that are associated with music, Shirley and Bill McIntyre‘s home is splendid. Ah, heck, it’s great for any occasion. Beautifully designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape, it was the perfect place for the October 21st First Night Patron Party Thursday. To add to the perfection was the weather. Not too warm, not too cold, just . . . perfect. Drat! There goes that “P” word again, but it was.

McIntyres' backyard

With a backdrop of the McIntyres’ backyard with its bridge over the creek into lush trees and greenery, Dallas Opera General Director/CEO Keith Cerny and First Night Chair Kaki Hopkins presented the plans for the launch night for the 2011-2012 season.

Keith recognized Patti and Blaine Nelson of Deloitte fame (Deloitte is sponsoring First Night) and reported that “Lucia di Lammermoor” rehearsals were going well for the First Night. According to Keith, soprano Elena Mosuc had been rehearsing the “mad scene” the night before and doing very well.

Keith Cerny

As part of the DO’s shaking things up, Keith told guests the performance would be simulcast to the public for free. While a couple of the guests gave each other the “What’s that?” look, other recognized the simulcast would reach an audience that might love opera but not be able to afford a ticket.

Keith also added that weather.com was reporting that the weather was going to be fine and that there would be no World Series that night. Hmm, you’ve got to think that either the muses are smiling on the DO folks, or the DO team has got all their bases covered.

Then Kaki stepped up and after thanking her bud Joyce 

Kaki Hopkins, Khanh Nguyen, Liz Kimple

Mitchell for her guidance, she said, “We used to be so fashionable in Dallas.” Interesting comment, but she went on to say that Dallas’ standing in the fashion world had inspired her to create a red carpet complete with celebrities, paparazzi, designer fashions and magic. For this she and her committee had arranged

Abi Ferrin and Tanya Foster

to have designers create gowns for celebrity models. Oh, and it just so happened that a couple of those types were in attendance — Abi Ferrin with her model/mom Tanya Foster, Khanh Nguyen with her model Liz Kimple and D’Andra Simmons.

Kaki went on to reveal that the dinner following the performance would be held in a tent in the Annette Strauss Square with floral designers interpreting each of the season’s operas in five magnificent seating areas.

It should be a perfect night of opera, fashion, food, flowers and only one mad scene.

2011 Expanding Worlds Luncheon Will Have Charlotte Jones Anderson, Carl Sewell, Ted Skokos And Todd Wagner

2011 Expanding Worlds Luncheon

Charlotte Jones Anderson is going to have her hands full Friday. Forget football issues, the smart and adorable Executive VP Brand Management/President of Charities for the Dallas Cowboys is going to be joining Carl Sewell, Ted Skokos and Todd Wagner on stage at the 2011 Expanding Worlds Luncheon benefiting LaunchAbility.

Any one of them would be a fascinating interview, but all four!

With Honorary Chair Ebby Halliday and Leigh Anne Haugh co-chairing the event in the Stemmons Ballroom of the Hilton Anatole, it should be a fascinating discussion by the three gents and the gal.

If you’ll remember, in 2009 the late Paul Bass had a great time chatting it up with Elaine Agather, Linda Custard and Tincy Miller. The three ladies had as much fun as the audience with Paul. Last year it was Scott Murray having a conversation with T. Boone Pickens, Emmitt Smith and Roger Staubach. Of course, Roger felt the need to throw a football across the ballroom.

Just mentioned the past two years because you just never know what’s going to happen at these lunches.

Art work provided by LaunchAbility

Share-A-Date: Real Girls Real Women Awards Luncheon

Friday, November 18: The seventh annual Real Girls Real Women Luncheon will officially kick off the Girls Scouts’ 100th anniversary in a very big way. Luncheon Chair Gina Betts and Honorary Chairs Sara Sands and Laurie Sands Harrison have organized a really big occasion to start the anniversary rolling.

First of all, tennis great/fashion designer Venus Williams will be the keynote speaker.

Caroline Rose Hunt

In addition, the luncheon will honor some of Dallas’s great women and girls including

  • Caroline Rose Hunt — Lifetime Achievement
  • Lynn McBee — Real Woman
  • Regina Montoya — Real Woman
  • Andrea Noelle Emery — Real Girl
  • Marisa Salatino — Real Girl

Add up the ingredients: 100th anniversary kick off + Venus Williams + Really Great Local Women and Girls = Sell Out Event!

Share-A-Date: Dallas Public Library Dinner

Friday, November 4, 2011: It must be the hope for a chill in the air and the possibility of pinon wood burning that has folks thinking about settling back for the evening with a good book. For many the loss of Borders was unthinkable and rather devastating. But there are other bookstores and you can even seek refuge online.

That’s you. However, there are people who cannot afford a computer or even a book because of living on tight incomes. You scoff? It’s painfully true. Where do they turn? Where do researchers turn for hands-on documents? The Dallas Public Library system. Too often it’s taken for granted and, like many other city-operated departments, has take a major hit in the budget.

That’s why the Friends of the Dallas Public Library’s annual dinner at the Ritz-Carlton is more important than ever.

Oh, you’re thinking it’s going to be stuffy types that like nothing more than the Dewey Decimal system. Wrong! Oh, so wrong!

Now you want proof. All right. This year’s headliner is a local fellow who went to Hillcrest High School, scored 1600 on his SATs, moved on to Yale and then Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

You’re still thinking blue-haired type. The guest-of-honor will be Greg Pak, the son of Jane and Charlie Pak, who has become a film director and comic book writer of the “Incredible Hulk” stories. You can place money on the fact that his talk is not going to be about the finer points of English literature of the 17 century.

Oh, did we mention that he’ll be interviewed by Dallas Observer‘s Big Bob Wilonsky?

The Friends could also use the support. One of them reported, “This has been a dreadful year with the City.  Two years ago we had $4M for materials and this year we are at $2.2M .  In the meantime, nothing got cheaper!  The Friends’ sole existence is to support the Library so we need an extra boost.”

For more information, call Kate at 214.671.8317.

The 10th Anniversary Of “A Celebration Of Reading” Is Upon Us

Cooler weather is on our doorstep. Tomorrow at this time Dallas will be in the 60’s! Along with the lower temperatures comes one of the favorite traditions of the season — Barbara Bush‘s “A Celebration of Reading.”

Amanda and George P. Bush

The November 7th event at the Meyerson will be the tenth anniversary of the event that benefits area literacy efforts through The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. While it may have started in Houston, where Barbara and George H.W. Bush live, the Dallas/Fort Worth event has become the program’s “second home” with another Bush First Family in residence and cuties Amanda and George P. Bush personally taking charge locally.

It’s a wonderful evening in which the authors give insight behind their work and then the entire group of authors and guests adjourn for a light supper in the Meyerson lobby. No, a light supper doesn’t mean tofu and bean sprouts, but it’s not a lumberjack special. It’s just right, so you don’t go home feeling stuffed to the gills.

Another highpoint is the presentation by someone within the North Texas community who has benefited from a local literacy program. Each year it amazes the audience to learn how precious the ability to read is and how it is truly a life-changing experience.

Confirmed authors for this year’s evening of reading and eating are David Feherty (“Power of Positive Idiocy”), Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (“The Dressmaker of Khair Khana”), Ben Mezrich (“Sex on the Moon”),  Wes Moore (“The Other West Moore”) and Helen Simonson (“Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand”).

If you haven’t gotten your tickets, get going.

Shoppers Might Want To Avoid NorthPark Center Tomorrow Morning

Having just driven past the north parking lot of NorthPark Center, it’s obvious the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure operation is in full swing for tomorrow’s event.

So, be forewarned : Unless you’re a participant or a supporter, you might want to hold off the NP “experience” until noon-ish when everything isn’t quite so pinkish.

Latest From Cattle Baron’s “Rhinestone Cowboy” Setup

Mary Gill and Tom Addis

Just back from the staging of the Cattle Baron’s ” Rhinestone Cowboy” at Southfork. Everyone on the committee is working their manicured fingers to the bone getting everything ready. Between the golf carts with personalized license plates by Mary Gill and the 18-wheelers trucking in landscape and materials, Southfork is gonna be dazzling thanks to CBB Chair Jennifer Dix and designer Tom Addis.

Angella Estess

The gals were just breaking for lunch (courtesy of delicious Eddie Deen) when Angella Estess decided to take the Jeep go-cart for a ride around the American Airlines Silent Auction tent.

Just gotta share some of the tidbits picked up on the tour of the operation:

  • When word got out a few days ago that Clint Black would be performing at the VIP party, $50,000 worth of tickets sold like iPhone 4S today.
  • Speaking of Clint, nobody knows this until now, but they’re going to auction a Gibson guitar at the VIP Party. Nice, but here is the ringer. The winner of the guitar will head back to Clint’s trailer for him to personally autograph it.
  • The silent tent, that usually looks like a marshmallow, is see-through this year with huge A/C units to keep things cool. After all, it’s gonna be in the upper 80’s and barons and baronesses just don’t sweat. Swinging from the center of the tent is a “faux Chihuly.”
  • Please remember that tomorrow the police will be out in full force to make sure that everybody is law abiding both going to Southfork and back home. Keep in mind that as you get on Parker Rd. the speed limit is a pleasant 35 MPH. Just before you get to Spring Creek, it hikes up to 40 and just at the Parker County line it hits 45 MPH.
  • Yes, the Rangers will indeed be on the four mammoth screens at the AT&T Sports Lounge and Stoli Bar. It’s right next to the AA Silent Auction tent.
  • As mentioned earlier, it’s going to be a beautiful day with temperatures in the 80’s, so no need for the fur coats or rain slickers.
  • Don’t forget your ticket to claim your goody bag.

Obnoxious plug: If you want to read about more hints and tips, pick up a Park Cities People or Preston Hollow People. This week’s issue has a special section on Cattle Baron’s that you just might enjoy.

Just In: Larry “J.R.” Hagman Probable No Show For Cattle Baron’s Ball Due To Cancer Diagnosis

Larry Hagman (File photo)

TV Guide just reported that”Dallas” legend Larry “J.R.” Hagman has been diagnosed with cancer.

Ironically, Larry was to attend Saturday night’s Cattle Baron’s Ball, one of the country’s biggest fundraising events for the American Cancer Society. A well-placed-source tells MySweetCharity that due to the recent developments, Larry will not be at the CBB.

Now, let’s end this post with some good news:

  1. Larry’s doctors report that the cancer is “highly treatable” and he’s already starting treatments.
  2. Larry will indeed be part of the production starting next week on the new “Dallas” series.
  3. Other members of the “Dallas” cast will be at CBB.
  4. More reason to raise a heck of a lot of money Saturday night.