Let Your Best Friend Get Wet This Weekend

Just checked the weather this weekend and it’s going to be in the 90’s. . . again. But that’s good news! It’ll be perfect weather for you to take your best friend to a pool party.

Instead of just sitting around the yard (pictured), why not let your pooch join the other canines at the 2nd annual Wags & Waves at Hawaiian Falls Waterpark – Firewheel in Garland. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., it’ll be open partying in the pools for pets and people.

For those who don’t want to get wet, [Read more…]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show Keeps Its Fashionable Crown In Place

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ah, but what price beauty and fashion?

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


Photo provided by Methodist Health System

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How About A Tease?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paper never looked so good (pictured).

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Photo provided by Each Moment Matters

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

DonorBridge Match

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

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

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

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

Share-The-Date: Fort Worth Opera Ball

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

Share-The-Date: Cabaret Gala 2010

Saturday, October 2 at 8:30 p.m. — Benefiting the Dallas Children’s Theater, Cabaret Gala 2010 in The Venetian Room of the Fairmont has an all-star lineup from the honorary chair to the featured entertainer. On stage will be Jason Graae with Alex Rybeck. If Jason’s name doesn’t immediately wake up a couple of brain cells, not to worry. It just shows that you’re not all that familiar with the glitzy world of music on both coasts. He’s done everything from one-man shows, Broadway to “Friends.”

And the frosting on the cake is that Gala Co-Chairs Marisa Huckin and Claire Pruitt have arranged to have Ruth “Laugh-in” Buzzi (pictured right with committee member Yvonne Crum) serve as honorary chair.

You’d better get your tickets now because they won’t be available at the door. Sorry. Best bet is to call 214.978.0110.

JP Hayes Is Simply Smashing About Simply Summer Simply Shoes

All right! MySweetCharity management once again has been topped by another member of the MSC community. JB Hayes, who happens to be everywhere all the time, filed this coverage of Simply Summer Simply Shoes. So many names with verbs! So many fabulous shoes on display for the purchase.

It was a hot Saturday night (literally) at the Design District’s 7 Senses as the best dressed feet in town strutted, sashayed and danced the night away at the Simply Summer Simply Shoes soiree.  Nearly 300 guests mixed and mingled while munching on Wendy Krispin’s fried green tomatoes and sweet and spicy bacon.

With a room full of Judith Ripka baubles to tempt every jewelry lover, one lucky lady Nicole Cook was elated that her husband Chad Cook bought her the winning raffle ticket.  Chad was definitely relieved to see the first $1,500 of Nicole’s purchase covered by the raffle prize.  Chrysta Castaneda wife of the Turtle Creek Recovery Center’s Executive Director John Castaneda won the trip to Little Dix Bay.  Simply Summer Event Co-Chair, Kristen Lippe sold many a raffle ticket with her personal recommendation for the trip claiming it to be one ofher favorite beach getaways.  Kristen bought a similar trip through a winning raffle ticket at the 2009 Cattle Baron’s Ball.

Photo by JB Hayes

Raffle Co-Chair Lori Morgan coincidentally drew her own winning raffle ticket for the Tootsies gift certificate.  No one asked for a re-draw as they knew she  more than deserved the prize.  Event Co-Chairs Jennifer Lott Smit and Kim Lewis-Gleason (pictured left with, from the left, Kristen Lippe and Jennifer Lott-Smit) were seen posing for the photo booth’s party pics when they weren’t talking up the auction and thanking guests and sponsors for their support.

Photo by JB Hayes

The auction included a local flair with items from several entrepreneurial ladies.  Local jewelry designer Amanda Sterett donated several exquisite pieces from her collection.  Amanda sported her own designs at the event as did new-to-the-scene, custom shoe designer, Cristina Marisa.  Cristina’s bird embellished hot pink heels (pictured) turned many a head as several mentioned they needed to get their hands on a pair for the next shoe soiree.  Another designer causing an auction-winning buzz was Wendi McGowan, founder of bolarti – hand-painted bespoke handbags.  These multi-colored works of art will accessorize anyone’s LBD (Little Black Dress).

Photo by JB Hayes

DJ OB-Jen and Juice (AKA Jennifer Miller and Paul Paredes) kept the energy as hot as the heat with their dance floor crowding tunes.  The dance floor was packed by the time the auction ended and stayed that way until Simply Summer Simply Shoes concluded with the “Last Dance” nearly 30 minutes after its official end.  While the Turtle Creek Recovery Center benefited from the night’s proceeds, many women (and men) took home great shoes (pictured), handbags, jewelry, trips and gift certificates making one ponder, ‘Who got the better end of the deal?’ while nibbling on her Nothing Bundt Cakes valet bag treat during the ride home.

TREC Young Guns Land On A Winning Streak

MySweetCharity’s strategizing Thursday night forced the management team to stay hunkered down and miss the fourth annual Young Guns’ Casino Night. However, because it is of vital importance that you stay on top of the action, the following report was filed by the gracious and multi-tasking Juliette Coulter:

TREC Young Guns Hosted Fourth Annual Casino Night

About 350 of The Real Estate Council’s Young Guns and their guests knew that their lucky number was 17—as in the place for the annual Casino Night, 17Seventeen McKinney on the 17th floor in downtown Dallas.

Photo credit: Steve Foxall

TREC Young Guns Casino Chairman Kyle Wisdom (pictured with Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders Laura Beke, left, and Andrea James) welcomed guests with Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. Complete Music DJ spun lively tunes in the space, while guests enjoyed casino gaming to raise funds for TREC.  BBQ bacon-wrapped shrimp, chicken sandwiches, quesadillas and artichoke nachos were plentiful, thanks to Hully & Mo, where the after-party continued.

While Wisdom looked dressed by Ralph Lauren in a light blue dinner jacket with paisley pocket square, most young men preferred their dark suits.  The young women wore fashionable, short cocktail dresses and stilettos.

Photo credit: Steve Foxall

In addition to Wisdom, other TREC Young Guns included Aaron Bidne (pictured far left with Holland Morris and Will Themer) with hobnobbing with friends as his company Granite Properties developed this space. Twins De’On and De’Juan Collins networked as they are building their business, Collins Investments. Missy Hodges of Henry S. Miller Brokerage talked shop with Leah Ekmark of C. Pharr and Company as both are in marketing and PR.  Young Guns President Gary Sanchez of Beck welcomed guests downstairs in the lobby, and worked the room upstairs like a pro. Will Themer of Munsch Hardst Kopf and Harr posed for photos and sampled libations from the bar.

TREC Young Guns is comprised of young commercial real estate professionals motivated by a common purpose to promote TREC involvement and to encourage participation in social, political and civic issues that affect the city of Dallas and North Texas.

TREC Young Guns kicked off the first Casino Night in 2007 as a way to help raise money for the TREC Foundation while promoting TREC’s good works in the community. TREC Young Guns has raised a substantial amount of donations from this annual event to help fuel community involvement.

This year’s sponsors included: returning High Roller Sponsor, ZOM; Venue Sponsor, Granite Properties; and Entertainment Sponsor, Architectural Lighting Associates (ALA). Other sponsors include: Magellan Commercial Realty, Jones & Carter, NE Construction, Sunridge Management, Cross Architects, Love Funding, Stewart Title, Beck, Thackeray Partners and Henry S. Miller Brokerage.

Dallas Raconteur Rawlins Gilliland Has KidneyTexas Patrons Party Oh-So Covered

While MySweetCharity minions are hard at work plotting the upcoming tsunami of a season, literary artiste and bon vivant Rawlins Gilliland not only charmed the crowd at Thursday’s KidneyTexas patrons party, he filed this report:

A Kidney Transplanted Event Transports KidneyTexas Patrons to Park Cities Heaven

(Rawlins Gilliland in for Jeanne Prejean, who was having her nails done in Bali.)

I’m always a happy camper when there’s glamorous women, good causes & great wine.  And the KidneyTexas patron party was all that and more.  Although I make a terrible imitation of Jeanne Prejean, who was out of town and asked me to cover this glam squad event on August 26th, I indeed subbed for Glenn Hunter’s better half at the home of Mr. & Mrs. David Lane.  By the way, the home is a killer and for sale via Allie Beth Allman.

The first hint that this was going to be a great night is when you are greeted by the effervescent luncheon co-chair Carmaleta Whiteley, whose Prada necklace sported jewels the size of throw pillows.  The second sign was luncheon co-chair Renee Winter playing Vanna White with two stars of the upcoming KidneyTexas luncheon & fashion show at the Hilton Anatole — Chantilly Ballroom on Wednesday, September 8th. Yes, there will be fashions by Stanley Korshak and production by the inimitable Jan Strimple.  But the stars born 10 weeks ago that Renee was sporting were a pair of girls looking to be auctioned off as the trophy lives they are destined to lead; a pair of Mi-Ki ‘designer dogs’…Maltese, Papillon, and Japanese Chin…named Scarlett & Tess.  These dogs are like the proverbial blind date that turns out to be rich and a swell dancer; they don’t shed, they’re hypo-allergenic and peak at 3-5 lbs.  Rumor has it they will also guarantee fame and fortune where everyone becomes a natural blond but this was likely the wine talking.

Talking about the wine!  The ever-sparkling variety that she is, KidneyTexas President Suzette Derrick explained that the wines served at the party were courtesy of Ward Lay from his winery in Argentina.  Superb wine, perfectly chilled Andeluna Chardonnay 2006 Reserve Tupungato.  By the way,  a trip to the ranch for 4 on American Airlines biz class for hunting & dream fishing will also be part of the luncheon’s live auction.

As if that’s not enough getaway temptation, consider a $25,000 package to Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas.

Of course, if they really wanted to raise money they would auction Suzette Derrick’s Swarovski encrusted Louboutins.  They had more mouths watering than the wonderful Parigi eggplant parm canapés.

However, moving on, the talented and charming Lynn Dealey not only designed this 10-year anniversary logo, she brought the original painting of the gloved arm with 8 bangles to be auctioned off as well.

This stellar crowd portended the upcoming luncheon’s mission to increase funding and awareness of kidney diseases and cures and state of the art transplant capabilities.  My increased awareness was heightened when I spoke with the lovely Faye C. Briggs whose personal warmth in her Brioni linen silk pant suit was a standout in a sea of great gab and garments.

Special notes of thanks came from co-chair Patty Jo Turner to Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers – MARY KAY for their whopping $50,000 gift along with American Airlines, Modern Luxury Dallas and Stanley Korshak at $25,000 each.

What’s not to love?   Show your love by contacting Sherri Starr for ticket info at Tel. 214.891.0896 and fax 214.368.3635 or e mail [email protected] or visit the website http://www.kidneytexas.org.

Editor’s note: That darn Rawlins shamed MySweetCharity management with his prose and his eye for beauty. Nice job, RG!

Share-The-Date: Another Shot “Fore” Children

Friday, Oct. 8: The second annual Another Shot “Fore Children” will take place at Coyote Ridge Golf Club in Carrollton benefiting Hope Cottage. The driving (sorry, no pun intended) forces are Hope babies Dr. Scott and Todd deVilleneuve.

Presenting sponsor Surgical Associates of North Texas is joined by GEICO, Lynn and Bob Thompson and Kyle Stevens/Western Security Surplus Insurance Brokers.

Sponsorships start at $30 and individual players cost $125. It’s easy to register.

Share-The-Date: Plaza Style 2010

Thursday, Sept. 23 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.: Plaza Style was jammed last year with adorable slaves to fashion and it will no doubt be a repeat jam this year. With admission just $10 in advance and $15 at the door, the party and fashion show with Preston Center merchandise take place in the parking lot at The Plaza at Preston Center. Thank heaven, organizers have the whole thing under a major tent! The show will be orchestrated by the ever fashionable Rhonda Sargent Chambers and will be hosted by KTVT-CH. 11’s Selena Hernandez.

Who does it benefit? Why The Fashionistas, of course.

Sponsors include Moet & Chandon, RSC Show Productions, Phonophreaks, Belvedere Vodka and KTVT-CH. 11.

Share-The-Date: The Real Estate Council’s Giving Gala

Photo provided by TREC

Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 6:30 p.m. — The Real Estate Council’s annual Giving Gala will take place at the Hilton Anatole with none other than Robert Earl Keen (pictured) handling the entertainment. The western-styled event featuring “cowboy grub, mingling and bidding on three playhouses that TREC members designed and built” is presented by Deloitte.

Other sponsors include: Limelight Sponsor: Schwob Building Company; Spotlight Sponsors: CMC Commercial Realty Group, Comerica, Corgan, Ernst & Young; Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, LP, Jackson-Shaw, Thackeray Partners.

Trey Morsbach of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, LP, and TREC Giving Gala Chairman, said, “The Giving Gala will focus on The Real Estate Council Foundation’s initiatives in four key grant areas—education, housing, jobs and the environment.  It’s a fun evening both to celebrate what we have accomplished and to raise funds to support our ongoing community initiatives.”

Start Your Engines: Partners Card 2010 Dates Announced

We’re hardly through Restaurant Week, and The Family Place has announced the dates for the Partners Card 2010 presented by Bank of Texas! Start saving your pennies and keeping your credit cards in hibernation until . . . Friday. Oct. 29. That’s when it all starts. But, alas, it ends on Sunday, Nov. 7. Ah, 10 days of 20% off. Every tried and true shopper’s fantasy.

But during that precious time, you’ll not only get 20% off on purchases at 750 very special merchants and companies, you’ll also be supporting The Family Place’s great works thanks to Event Chairs Maggie Cooke Kipp, Molly Nolan and Gina Roidopoulos.

You can either purchase your Partners Card at Tom Thumbs or community volunteers for a mere $60, or you can always go online.

Share-The-Date: Junior League of Dallas’ “Casino in Casablanca”

Friday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. — The Junior League of Dallas‘ 14th annual Auction & Casino Party is scheduled for The Hall of State at Fair Park. This year’s theme is “Casino in Casablanca.” Shades of Humphrey, Ingrid and Claude!

In recent years, the event has averaged between 800 and 900 guests, but this year bets are being placed that records may be broken because D’Andra Simmons (pictured) is ball chair. It’s one of the JLD’s largest fundraising events. Better get your tickets now because that last four years have been sold out!

Providence Christian School Opened Grandly

Photo provided by Providence Christian School

Yesterday was the first day back to school for legions of students. For one group school started last Wednesday and it was a very big day. At Providence Christian School, it was the opening of the school’s 40,000-square foot addition which increased the campus by 60%. The new facility provides for

  • 11 new classrooms for grades 5-8,
  • a science lab
  • two Latin rooms
  • a middle school art room
  • a regulation-sized gym (pictured) complete with locker rooms and coaches offices and
  • a nature studies lab.

To add frosting to this development is another 7,185-square feet will be added in December for a new library and “enrichment wing” for pre-school and kindergarten classes.

What makes this “grand opening” special is that the capital campaign for this growth began back in February 2009 when the financial world was hitting the skids.  But Providence Capital Campaign Chairs Leslie and Nick Merrick along with their campaign steering committee (Jean-Marie and Robert Alpert, Stacy and Tyler Burke, Shelby and Rich Flaten, Shannon and Jeff Graham, Cammie and Brian Heflin, Tavia and Clark Hunt, Elizabeth and Syd Hurley, Julie and John Miller, Laura and Tommy McBride, Cindy and John Sloan, Mauri and Chip Tardy, Susan and Greg Turner, Kelsie and Price Wagner, Heather and Ray Washburne and Kristi and Blake Woodall) didn’t let a little thing like financial meltdown stand in the way of their kids’ education. It also didn’t hurt to have someone like Rob Richardson chairing the real estate committee and handling all those pesky city approvals and construction issues.

So far, the “Fulfilling Our Vision, Building Our Future” capital campaign has raised $11.4 million of its $12 million goal. Along with 85% of the school’s families pitching it, the following foundations have helped make this dream come true: Constantin Foundation; Hawn Foundation, Inc.; Hillcrest Foundation, founded by Mrs. W.W. Caruth, Sr.; Hoblitzelle Foundation; Mary Potishman Lard Trust; The Ginger Murchison Foundation; The Rosewood Foundation; Stemmons Foundation; The Jack & Sally Turpin Foundation, Inc., and our dear old friend “Anonymous.”


You Can Bet On Young Guns Having Fun This Thursday

The summer of 2010 doldrums is officially coming to an end this Thursday evening when things start revving up for the fall season. Leading the parade of activities will be The Real Estate Council Young Guns Casino Night at 1717 McKinney Ave. on the 17th floor from 7 to 11.

Photo provided by TREC

“This is the perfect time to meet other young professionals and learn more about how to become a part of this rapidly growing group of commercial real estate executives,” says TREC Young Guns casino chair Kyle Wisdom (pictured).

The after party will be at Hully & Mo’s Restaurant Tap Room.

Last year’s gathering had 400 guests at the “casino-style gambling tables, dancing, networking” and taking a chance on the raffle items.  Speaking of which, this year’s prizes include an iPad among others things.

Sponsors include: returning High Roller Sponsor ZOM; Venue Sponsor Granite Properties; and Entertainment Sponsor Architectural Lighting Associates (ALA). Other sponsors include: Magellan Commercial Realty, Jones & Carter, NE Construction, Sunridge Management, Cross Architects, Love Funding, Stewart Title, Beck, Thackeray Partners and Henry S. Miller Brokerage.

Word around the casinos is that tickets may still be available.

TACA’s Custom Auction Gala Tickets Are Fleeting With Good Reason

Flip flops and sundresses are understandable with the August heat. Ah, but September is quickly approaching and that means marvelous occasions for beautiful people in fabulous clothes that would set Cary Grant and Grace Kelly reeling. In fact those two would have fit in perfectly with the crowd slated for the 45th TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Gala at the Rosewood Mansion on Saturday, September 24.

That is, if they could get tickets. Seems that gala Co-Chairs Nancy and Clint Carlson‘s takeover of the Mansion for the event has been so successful, they only have room left for 15 couples.

According to TACA President/Executive Director Becky Young, “Seats still available are in just two price ranges: $500 (Mansion Bar and Sheppard King) and $1,500 (Main Dining Room and Library). We’re very close to being sold out!”

So, if you’re a Cary or Grace type, don’t delay — get your tickets locked down now.

Share-The-Date: Yellow & Black Tie Gala

Photo provided by Yellow & Black Tie Gala

Saturday, November 6, 2010: 2010 Yellow & Black Tie Gala presented by Fujitsu at the Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel. This year’s theme is “Harvest of Hope” with Gala Honorary Chairs Richardson Mayor Gary and Pat Slagel. Last year’s Gala Chair Lee Nagel (pictured right with Gary and Pat) is a strong woman and returning to head up this year’s event, that benefits Methodist Richardson Medical Center Foundation.

Raffle highlight is a Super Bowl package including two tickets to the 2011 Super Bowl, a suite at the Renaissance in Richardson, and luxury transportation to and from the game. Raffle tickets are going for $100 a pop and only 1,000 will be sold.