With Stars And Stetsons Overhead, The Spirit Of Taos Was Picture Perfect At The Lot With Downtown Fever And A Miniature Burro

Once again an almost perfect moon shone over The Lot for The Wilkinson Center’s Spirit of Taos on Friday, November 3.

There was no need to explain the attire for the evening. It was strictly jeans, squash blossom necklaces and bracelets decked out in turquoise, crushable Stetsons, perfect smiles and not a suit in sight.

Thanks to a perfect night and Co-Chairs AC Contreras, Lauren Cavenaghi, Caitlin Morris Hyatt and Meridith Myers Zidell, the crowd filled the beer garden as everything from mariachis to Emerald City’s Downtown Fever played. Inside was the silent auction. But, of course, the hit of the night was split between the photo booth and the miniature burro.

Ross and Sally Taylor, Anthony Contreras, Daniella Giglio, Larry Giglio and Krystin and Nick Gerlach

Looking over the crowd of 300+ including Daniella Giglio, Larry Giglio, Leslie and Bryan Diers, Krystin and Nick Gerlach, Sally and Ross Taylor, Sarah Matlock, Sloan Milton, Lauren Schneider, Lindsay Morris, Carolyn Daniel, Ashlea Bennett, Natalie Patten, Amy Ridings, Justin James, John James, Laura Munoz, Karrie Cato, Pam Karlos, Roxann Staff, Sydney Menefee, Crystal and Jarrett Woods, Natalie Nihil Roberto, Tara Versfelt, Ann Damele, Caly Allen-Martin, Katy Lopez, Gable Roby, Kate and Will Walters and Lara and Jesse Smith, Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder admitted that the night’s fundraiser was a real draw for the upcoming generation.

Anne Reeder and Sarah Matlock

Marsha and Craig Innes

While 60-somethings Marsha and Craig Innes initially felt like they were chaperoning, that was not the case as they soon started hanging out with the under-35 types. Marsha told how she had recently joined her Tri Delt sisters in Fort Worth for their 50-year pins. She admitted that it may have sounded “cheesy,” but it was a moment that she treasured.

Pretty soon all ages settled down at the picnic tables with cactus centerpieces for dining and talking.

Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Soared With Awards And Former Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison At Women Of Distinction Luncheon

Just days before the Boy Scouts opened their campfires to include girls. That shot over the Girl Scouts’ heads may have shuddered the higher ups, but the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas hardly took notice. They were marching ahead with their Women of Distinction Luncheon and future plans for their organization.

Led by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Barkowski, they were marching ahead with their Women of Distinction Luncheon on Friday, November 3, at the Omni Dallas and the vision of their organization.

Marianne Staubach, Linda Perryman Evans and Sarah Losinger

By 11:30, the Trinity Ballroom was already filled with Jan Hegi, Margo Goodwin, Connie O’Neill, Tom Campbell, Linda Perryman Evans, David Martineau, Marianne Staubach, Sarah Losinger, Becky Bowen, Tracy Lange and the Cooley ladies (Lisa, Ciara and Bela). Just minutes later a big voice signaled it was time to fill seats that had boxes of Girl Scout cookies as gifts from Marianne and Roger Staubach. Being dutiful types, they followed orders, so Event Co-Chairs Laura Downing and Susan Glassmoyer could take their places at the podium to welcome the guests with a dozen of uniformed girls representing all segments of the program standing behind them.

Susan Glassmoyer and Laura Downing with the Scouts

They were followed by emcee Clarice Tinsley, who asked all in the room who had any connections with the organization to raise their hands. Up went 85% of the room.

Jennifer Bartkowski, Shelly Goel, Kit Addelman and Clarice Tinsley

Jennifer Bartkowski, Emma Rose Shore, Kit Addelman and Clarice Tinsley

Jennifer Bartkoski, Todd Williams, Kit Addelman and Clarise Tinsley

She was joined at the podium by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Ambassador Brynna Boyd to co-anchor, but first they had to have a selfie. Clarice thanked various sponsors like AT&T, Lyda Hill and Nancy Ann Hunt. She was then joined on stage by Jennifer and Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Board Chair Kit Addleman, who helped her present the following awards:

  • Young Women of Distinction Award — Shelly Goel and Emma Rose Shore
  • Man Enough to Be A Girl Scout Award — Todd Williams
  • Women of Distinction Award — Sara Martineau and Nina Vaca

Jennifer Bartkowski, Sara Martineau, Kit Addelman and Clarice Tinsley

Jennifer Bartkowski, Nina Vaca, Kit Addelman and Clarice Tinsley

Following a video focusing on the Girl Scouts program like the STEM Center of Excellence, Jennifer told the group that girls are the largest untapped resource in the country. She explained the formula for female leadership involved four factors:

  • Girl Potential
  • Girl Scouts leadership
  • STEM programming
  • Caring adults

Describing the Girls Scouts program in Dallas as ground zero thanks to the STEM Center, the plan calls for 2.5M girls to be a part of the STEM program by 2025. Thanks to the support of the community, 4,000 girls will be able to utilize STEM.

When the question of how to make sure every girl can have access to the Girl Scouts opportunities, Jennifer looked out at the crowd and said that if each guest gave $100, it would result in $500,000 to support the Girl Scouts mission.

Just before breaking for lunch, Clarice reported that the day’s goal would be revealed on the thermometer appearing on the room’s four screens.

During lunch, Scouts with sacks collected donation envelopes.

At 12:27, Angela Ross  introduced a video on STEM. When the lights came up Brynna was back at the podium to introduce keynote speaker Dr. Mae Jemison, “the first woman of color to go into space.”

Brynna Boyd

Angela Ross

Immediately Mae group hugged the guests by reporting that she had recently been made an honorary Girl Scouts for Life. She then told the generations of gals that in future dealings “make sure you have a position at the table.”

Mae Jemison

Recalling her youth in the 1960s, it was a time when everyone was being able to participate thanks to civil rights, women’s rights, etc. People wanted to put Mae in a box. Would she be a creative type or a scientist?

Back in those days no one considered that a person…let along a woman could be both. In her love of both the creative and scientific worlds, she took an Alvin Alley poster on her flight into space.

In hindsight, she learned — “I think, I wonder, I understand.”

Currently working on the 100 Year Starship, Mae admitted that in today’s world, “We are living with things that were developed in the 50s and 60s like lasers, genetic research, etc.”

She left the room of women and men with a sobering note. According to a report in the New York Times, in a Google search, parents Google two times as much “Is my son a genius?” and “Is my son slow?” On the other hand, parents searched the following questions about their daughters: “Is my daughter fat?” and “Is my daughter ugly?” 

Mae’s response was that parents “have to support their girls.”

Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary’s 2018 Fashion Show And Luncheon Plans Revealed By Chair Lisa Singleton At Eiseman Jewels

Nobody at Eiseman Jewels seemed to notice that ¾ moon hovering over NorthPark, Zeke Elliott’s legal woes or even the World Series on Wednesday, November 1. They were there to celebrate plans for the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary‘s 2018 Fashion Show and Luncheon.

Marvin and Lisa Singleton, Margot Perot and Betsy and Richard Eiseman

As Eiseman proprietor Richard Eiseman took a knee upon seeing the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary founder Margot Perot, he quickly offered the knee recognition to his wife Betsy Eiseman.

Candace Winslow and Nikki Webb

Joyce Fox

In another part of the showroom were Joanna Clarke, Nikki Webb and Candace Winslow. It would later be discovered to the wine-flute sipping crowd including SAWA President Betsy Willis, Ramona Jones, Barbara Sypult, Joyce Fox and Kim and Greg Hext, that Nikki and Candace would be joined by Kim Quinn and Merry Wyatt for underwriting efforts for the annual Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary’s 2018  Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Meyerson on Wednesday, May 9.

Barbara Sypult, Marvin Singleton, Margot Perot and Ramona Jones

As an incentive to rally the troops, Major Barbara Rich reported that last May’s fashion extravaganza had just barely missed its goal of $1M.  

Needless to say, SAWA Fashion Show Chair Lisa Singleton didn’t drop a note and warned the group that she and fashion show producer Jan Strimple would be checking closets for gently used clothes for the fundraiser.

Jan Strimple

Anne Davidson

Immediately Presenting Sponsor Anne Davidson announced that Lisa and Jan were editing her closet the upcoming weekend.

The Senior Source Honored 2017 Spirit Of Generations Awardees Diane And John Scovell With Some Tricks And Treats

Hyatt Regency Dallas guests probably thought that Halloween was getting an early start on Tuesday, October 31. Passing them by were a blonde in black attire topped off with a black cowboy hat and red cape, a person in oversized cowboy costume, cheerleaders and munchkins in red T-shirts reading 2027 Panthers.

Actually, all these characters were on site as part of The Senior Source’s Spirit of Generations Luncheon honoring longtime Texas Tech loyalists Diane and John Scovell, as well as present the 2017 Molly H. Bogen Service Award to Lori Daniels.

Fred and Jan Hegi

Bob White

Carolyn Miller

As the Landmark Circle filled to capacity for the VIP reception with Gail and Gerald Turner, 2016 Spirit Awardees Jan and Fred Hegi, 2011 Spirit Awardee Carolyn Miller, 2010 Spirit Awardees Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Sarah and Alan Losinger, Caren Kline, Kristen and Jim Hinton, Tucker Enthoven with her mom Julie Ford, John and Betty Crawford, Debbie Oates, Brent Christopher, Robin Robinson and Margo Goodwin, The Senior Source President/CEO Cortney Nicolato and Bank of Texas Dallas Market Executive Bob White welcomed the crowd.

Diane Scovell

One or two of the group admitted that they had headed to the Anatole, where the event had been held in the past. But since John had built the Hyatt along with the world-renowned tower, it was only right to honor him in his hotel.

One guest was huffing as she arrived after parking her car in the satellite parking lot. She admitted that the lunch was just the second time that she had been to the Hyatt and climbing the hill in high heels for John was a labor of love. The next time she was gonna valet.

Alan White and John Scovell

Mary Montgomery and Kristi Hoyl

At 11:30 the Landmark Ballroom was filling with longtime friends of the Scovells like Texas Tech buddy Alan White was tableside with Pat SchenkelKristi Hoyl and Mary Montgomery spied each other across the way. They were both in similar dresses… Alan Walne was still sporting a sling due to surgery…Former Senior Source President/CEO Molly Bogen arrived to hugs from Lindalyn Adams …’nother former Senior Sourcer Betty Houser reported that after a year off for “temporary retirement,” she was considering a return to the nonprofit sector… and Pat McCallum, Barbara Stuart, County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia, District Attorney Faith Johnson and Brad Cheves.

Pete Schenkel, Brad Cheves and Alan Walne

Betty Houser and Stephanie Russell

Just past noon Senior Source Board Chair John Taylor III got things started by introducing Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church Senior Pastor Rev. Matthew Ruffiner, who gave the invocation, and Luncheon Chair Carol Lupton Huckin and Diamond Underwriter Baylor Scott And White Health CEO Jim Hinton addressed the crowd as lunch was served.

In presenting the Bogen Service Award with Molly to Lori, Cortney told how Lori had served in various capacities to help the elderly. Lori even created an underwear donation drive called “The Reverse Panty Raid” and a gift drive for the holidays. That first year, “ten seniors were adopted.” Last year 200 personalized gifts were delivered to clients.

Lori Daniels, Cortney Nicolato and Molly Bogen

Lori recalled how she had joined The Senior Source after seeing a notice in The Dallas Morning News for a volunteer opportunity. That was 20 years ago. Since that time, she has involved friends, family and especially her husband, Jim Daniels.

A video was shown detailing the countless programs that The Senior Source provides. Just last year they accommodated 33,000 “older adults.”

As the lights came up, a couple of white rocking chairs were now on the left side of the stage in front of a row of faux hedges with twinkling lights. In the back of the ballroom, cheerleaders and other characters waited.

Red Raider and Masked Rider

Following the video, Cortney asked that guests visit a senior and text donations. She then explained that while the fundraiser often took place around Thanksgiving, this year “We’re just trying to mess with you today and do it on Halloween.”

As Cortney left the stage and Diane and John took their places in the rocking chairs. A voice over the PA revealed how it was a Scovell tradition at Halloween that trick or treaters must do a trick before getting a treat. In keeping with that idea, it was announced that Stage Fright Events had been hired to screen the masses who seek their 15 minutes of fame “on the Scovells’ front porch.

John and Diane Scovell

The skit provided laughs as one of the screeners proved not to be the sharpest tack in the box saying that

  • John had met Diane when she was a traveling rodeo clown. No, Diane had been a rodeo queen in Brady. And they met in college — Texas Tech, of course.
  • John’s dad, Field Scovell, had been “Mr. Spandex Bowl.” No, Field had been Mr. Cotton Bowl.
  • John had built the Eiffel Tower. No, he had built Reunion Tower.
  • In college, Diane and John were named Mr. and Miss Texas A and …. No, they were named Mr. and Miss Texas Tech.

Preston Hollow Elementary School third graders

The first to tryout were future Hillcrest Panthers/third graders from Preston Hollow Elementary, who sang “Skin and Bones.” [Editor’s note: It was pretty darn adorable.]

Next up was the Reunion Tower Ball that texted via the big screen that it and the Scovells go back 39 years. For its trick, the revolving ball displayed a lit pumpkin.

Reunion Tower

Texas Tech cheerleaders

The final tryout on stage was the Texas Tech crew including the cheerleaders shouting “Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar. All for seniors  stand up and holler.” With that the Tech fight song played, Masked Rider and Raider Red arrived on stage and the guests stood.

With the Diane and John still rocking, Underwriting Chair John Crawford replaced the Stage Fright team and told how the Scovells had made a dynamic impact on Dallas education, business, health and environment by looking “to the future with a reverence for the past.” In the Scovell world, “Success is a team sport.”

John Crawford, Carol Huckin, John and Diane Scovell and John Taylor

John Taylor and Carol joined John Crawford in presenting the award to the Scovells.

After receiving the award, John Scovell retired to his chair and Diane admitted, “I want to shut the doors and get around to everybody…We’re appreciative and so very uncomfortable. It’s kinda not our style.” She asked everyone who had been involved with any of the Scovell projects for the betterment of Dallas. It seemed like all but a handful stood. At one point she told how their sons had been such troopers even when John coached them in soccer but knew nothing about the sport.

It was now time for John to address the group by defending his soccer skills. “My father told me early on. He said, ‘Son, if you can’t use your hands, it must be a communist sport.’ That was my introduction to soccer.” He then had Diane join him at the podium. Once again he recalled something his father had told him, “He had spent a lot of time at events like this and he said, ‘Son, if you’re to speak and have a nice audience, here’s what you tell them. You stand up to be seen. You speak up to be heard. You sit down to be appreciated.”

And from the audience’s response, the Scovells were truly appreciated.

For more photos of the day’s activities, head on over to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Grovel Alert: Breakfast With Santa

Breakfast with Santa*

Thanks to Toyota, the Dallas Holiday Parade will commence on at 10 a.m. Saturday, December 2, in downtown Dallas. And what better way to kick off the celebration than to have breakfast with the man of the season — Santa Claus.

The Women’s Auxiliary of Children’s Medical Center Dallas have connections with North Pole types and have arranged for the ho-hoing whiskered fellow at the Adolphus at 8:30 a.m. for the 29th Annual Breakfast with Santa.

In addition to delicious breakfast just before the parade starts in front of the Adolphus, there will be face painting, balloon artists, clowns, magicians, character appearances and so much more. Sorry, but Rudolph won’t make it. Seems he has an early morning workout to prepare for his Christmas Eve romp.

So, before basting that turkey, gobble up some of the last remaining tickets for your kids and grandkids. Tickets are available here!

* Photo provided by Women's Auxiliary of Children's Medical Center Dallas

JUST IN: Emmy Award Winner/Former WFAA “PM Magazine’s” Leeza Gibbons Returns To Dallas As Go Red For Women Keynote Speaker

And the news keeps rocking and rolling in today. Go Red For Women Luncheon Co-Chairs Lisa Cooley and Janelle Walker have just announced Emmy Award winner Leeza Gibbons will be returning to familiar surroundings for the American Heart Association – Dallas fundraiser.  

Leeza Gibbons*

It was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s that Leeza appeared with Bill Ratliff on WFAA’s “PM Magazine,” before heading on to other programs like “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra” and “Leeza.”

In addition to her television career, Leeza has made quite a reputation for herself regarding children’s causes and health issues. One of them being heart disease. She knows all too well that one can survive a heart attack. Her father Carlos “Pops” Gibbons was diagnosed with coronary heart disease. Not one to sit around and do nothing, Leeza insisted that her dad get a media alert system, Philips Lifeline. Three years later Carlos fell to the floor having a heart attack. Thanks to the device, an ambulance arrived in time.  

Leeza was so impressed with the lifesaving device, she became a spokesperson for it and an advocate for heart healthiness.

According to Leeza, “While heart disease doesn’t discriminate, we do know there is a need to make more women aware of their risk. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all the cancers combined. Go Red For Women is a movement I am happy to stand behind to help drive change through advocacy, research and education.”

On Friday, February 23, Leeza will be at the Omni to join 1,300 women and men to raise funds to battle heart disease.

Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling Liz Robinson at 214.441.4258.

* Photo provided by American Heart Association of Dallas

Grovel Alert: Tutu Chic Fashion Show And Luncheon

Texas Ballet Theater dancers (File photo)

Not all the nonprofits are going quiet between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Well, of course, there is Crystal Charity Ball on Saturday, December 2. But on Tuesday, November 28, the Tutu Chic Fashion Show And Luncheon at the Winspear will have the champagne bubbling and the dancers doing pas de deux, pirouette and grand jeté in the Naeem Khan designs from Stanley Korshak with the guests on stage for a up-close view. 

Co-Chair Marybeth Conlon and Heather LeClair along with Presenting Sponsor Nancy Carlson have been busy getting guests on board for the Texas Ballet Theater fundraiser.

If you’ve purchased your tickets, congratulations! If you haven’t, you’d better hurry-scurry.

According to Texas Ballet Theater Development Manager Theresa Ireland-Daubs, “We are so close to hitting our goal of 30 tables!”

So, put off the grocery shopping for Thursday’s feasting and make your reservation here.

JUST IN: Pat McEvoy And Michal Powell To Co-Chair 2018 Celebrating Women Luncheon With Shelle Sills As Underwriting Chair

Last week it was announced that Pat McEvoy would chair the 2019 Crystal Charity Ball. While some might want to rest up before taking on the responsibility to raise millions of dollars for Dallas children’s nonprofits, Pat is not your typical gal.

Pat McEvoy (File photo)

Michal Powell (File photo)

Shelle Sills (File photo)

It was just announced that Pat and Michal Powell will co-chair Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s 2018 Celebrating Women Luncheon. Joining the team will be Shelle Sills, who will be in charge of underwriting duties.

Just last Thursday Michal chaired the Doing The Most Good Luncheon for The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command at the Anatole with Shelle as her arrangements chair.

As for plans about the breast cancer research and treatment fundraiser, the details are being finalized. Stay tuned.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: The Spirit Of Generations Award Luncheon

Preston Hollow Elementary School third graders

Red Raider and Masked Rider

Texas Tech cheerleader

Some guests at the Hyatt Regency probably thought that Halloween was being celebrated early on Tuesday, October 31, with Hillcrest 2027 graduates, Texas Tech Masked Rider and Red Raider walking through the lobby area. Actually the future Panther grads and Tech mascots were on hand for The Senior Source’s annual Spirit of Generations Luncheon honoring Diane and John Scovell.

John Crawford, Carol Huckin, John and Diane Scovell and John Taylor

While the post is being finalized, check out the notables in attendance at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: 30th Anniversary Mad Hatter’s Tea Theme, Date And Plans Revealed

Last night 2018 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Venise Stuart announced plans for the annual fundraiser benefiting the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum‘s A Woman’s Garden at the Dallas Arboretum.

Melissa Lewis

Venise Stuart

On the ground level of Tootsies, Venise revealed that the 30th anniversary would be a salute to the grandeur and elegance of a bygone era.

A Garden By The Sea*

Women’s Council of the Arboretum President Melissa Lewis stressed it was not a Gatsby-period theme. Rather think of the Vanderbilts summered in Newport at The Breakers, Marble House and Rough Point, when the magnificent estates enjoyed the cool breezes.  

To visually explain the feel, Melissa and Venise unveiled the graphic designed by Lynn Dealey that benefited the “A Garden By The Sea” theme perfectly.

Serving at honorary chair will be Linda Burk, who has been a longtime supporter of the Arboretum.

The fashion show of Tootsies fashions and luncheon will take place on Thursday, April 12, at the Arboretum under the direction of Jan Strimple.

As for the chapeau judging details, stay tuned.

* Graphic credit: Lynn Dealey

18th Annual Mission Ole Guests Got All Painted Up To Raise Funds For Trinity River Mission At Chicken Scratch And The Foundry

That first wave of winter chill really hit North Texas on Saturday, October 28. But thousands still rallied for area walks/runs in the morning. By evening the brisk temperatures had nonprofits pulling portable heaters out of storage and guests releasing their furs, cashmeres and leathers from closets.

The Trinity River Mission’s 18th Annual Mission Ole held forth in jeans, boots, cowboy hats and day of the dead painted faces at Chicken Scratch.

Margaret Spelling

Ann Kellogg Schooler and Matt Schooler

Lisa Cooley, Cindy Turner, Gail Fischer and John Corder

Earlier in the day, Mission Ole C0Chairs Ann Kellogg Schooler and Margaret Spelling and Advisor Extraordinaire Cindy Turner had a tent installed over the outdoor picnic tables and stage just in case the rain continued. There was no need. The rain had stopped and the reception took place in the open area around the fire pit and near the portable heaters. For those in need of greater heat, there was the shed with the silent auction items and the never-ending buffet.

Ciara Cooley and Katekyn Fletcher

Clay Cooley and Aaron McWhorter

Hillary Turner and Chris Calandro

Tanya McDonald and Paige McDaniel

As guests like Honorary Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley, Ciara Cooley with Chi O sister Katekyn Fletcher, Tanya McDonald, Paige McDaniel, Carole and Scott Murray, Hilary Turner, Chris Calandro and Luanne McWhorter arrived, mariachis and painted faced models proved the perfect selfie backdrops.

Mission Ole models

Yatzil Rubin and Thomas Surgent

Web Pierce

Lesley Lanahan

Lauren Thedfor

Face artist at work

While some guests like Yatzil Rubin, Thomas Surgent, Lauren Thedford and Webb Pierce arrived with faces ready made, others like Lesley and Michael Lanahan and Matt Schooler got in line to have customized painted faces.

Charles Haley

Honorary Chair Gail Fischer arrived late in the night. Husband Cliff Fischer was in India on business. As for Gail, she had a couple of reason for the delayed arrival. First the electricity in the family digs had gone out. Just as Gail had set up lit candles to see her way around, the electricity came back on. Then she took a wrong turn on her way to Chicken Scratch resulting in her heading to Fort Worth.

An hour into the event Gail arrived and immediately set about locating longtime Fischer bud Charles Haley. Someone told her that he had arrived early and left. But, no. Gail spotted the tall former Dallas Cowboy surrounded by fans and friends at the far end of the shed. She also laughed that another guests was also sporting the same black shirt with day-of-the-dead accents that her brother John Corder was wearing.

Other points of interests included Sunie Solomon reporting that monies were still being counted for the week-before Cattle Baron’s Ball; Greg Nieberding and Eddie Ortega telling how the night before they had hosted the past chairs and president of the Junior League of Dallas; rancher Aaron McWhorter preparing to head to Las Vegas with some of his bulls for the bull riding competition.

Steve and Sunie Solmon

Greg Nieberding and Eddie Ortega

For more looks are the faces in the crowd, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Body Oak Cliff Founder Joel Pulis And Sheriff Lupe Valdez To Receive The Well Community’s First Founder’s Award At Recovery Live Benefit Concert

The Well Community is adding a new element to its annual Recovery Live Benefit Concert on Thursday, November 30, at The Kessler. In the past, the fundraiser to help adults dealing with severe mental illnesses has just a great time with great music.

Lupe Valdez (File photo)

But after four years, they decided to put some bells and whistles to the festivities. In addition to having WFAA’s Brett Shipp as emcee and Floramay Holliday and Over the River and The Rosemont Kings performing, they’ve added a silent auction and the Founder’s Award.

This first-time award will be presented to Body Oak Cliff Founder Joel Pulis and Sheriff Lupe Valdez.

According to The Well Community Executive Director Alice Zaccarello, “This award has been created to acknowledge those whose action have opened up new avenues of recovery and hope to individuals suffering from mental illnesses.”

Event sponsors include Good Space, Ged Dipprey Realtor, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, Bret and Karen Schuch, Steven and Dawn Camp, Roland Warnock, Hanes and Boone LLP, K and L Gates LLP, Beth and Wes Keyes, Jim Lake Advisors LLC, Republic Title Turtle Creek, Amy Carenza and Nathan Offerdahl, Potpourri of Silk, Soap Hope, Shirlee and Charles Bealke, Suzanne and Wayne Braddick, Diana and David Ezzell, Scott Griggs, Colleen and Ken Kelley, Cornerstone Home Lending, Masterman, La Calle Doce and El Ranchito, Methodist Medical System, Norma’s Café, RPGA Design Group, Ryan Frahm – Origins Bank Home, Lending, Square Foot and Vickie Turner.

Tickets start at $50. And if you’re already got plans that night, consider taking a tour of The Well Community and discover the various programs that are offered to help deal with an very real challenge within lives.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 18th Annual Mission Ole

Lesley Lanahan, Matt Schooler and Ann Kellogg Schooler and Michael Lanahan

Despite the ghoulish faces and the chill in the air, the Trinity River Mission’s 18th Annual Mission Ole at Chicken Scratch and The Foundry was festive, fun and fundraising on Saturday, October 28. With the fire pit blazing and portable heater blowing, the cold factor was nihil. But at times it was hard to know just who was behind the painted faces. Why the face painters were busier than NorthPark Neiman’s cosmetic counter on a Saturday afternoon!

Web Pierce

Yatzil Rubin and Thomas Surgent

While the post is being finished, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Gingerbread Stroll Returns To HP Village For Viewing And Bidding Thru December 1 For Clayton Dabney Foundation For Kids With Cancer

Yum! The holidays are just brimming with sugary delights and Highland Park Village will be a sweet-tooth stroller’s delight thanks to real estate sweetie Christine McKenny and Event Advisor Lynn McBee, the 5th Annual Gingerbread Stroll will be delighting all from Friday, November 17, through Friday, December 1.

Christine McKenny (File photo)

Lynn McBee (File photo)

This year’s gingerbread house displays will benefit Clayton Dabney Foundation for Kids with Cancer with 100% proceeds going to the nonprofits.

According to Christine, “The Gingerbread Stroll has become a wonderful tradition during the most wonderful time of the year. People of all ages gather with their family and friends to attend, and it’s always exciting to see how the chefs express themselves creatively. Everyone loves a gingerbread house!”

This year’s culinary architects will include Bird Bakery, Architecture Demarest, Chocolate Secrets, Hilton Anatole, Hotel Crescent Court, Hyatt Regency at Reunion, Omni Dallas Hotel, Charlie’s Pastry Chef Winter Lockwood-Frank and Pastry Works’ Pastry Chef Arielle Sutcliffe.

The Gingerbread Stroll*

Hosting the confectionary cuties will be Beretta Gallery, Bird Bakery, Bistro 31, Draper James, Kiehl s Since 1851, Leggiadro, Market Highland Park, Robert Talbott, Roberta Roller Rabbit, Royal Blue Grocery, The Tot and Trina Turk.

Well known for delicious abodes, Allie Beth Allman and Associates will be the presenting sponsor.

It’s free for the walking and viewing. But to help raise the funds, all can bid on the gingerbread homes via the silent auction. And there will be giveaway prizes, including a holiday carriage ride for six by Threejays Carriages.   

* Graphic provided by Gingerbread Stroll

JUST IN: 34th Annual St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Theme And Awardees Announced

2018 Saint Valentine Luncheon and Fashion Show Co-Chairs Roz Colombo and Nancy Gopez gathered their gal pals and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas supporters together last night at Amy Turner’s. The occasion was to announce more details about the 34th annual fundraiser.

Roz Colombo, Amy Turner and Nancy Gopez*

Heather Randall and Kristen Sanger*

As previously reported, the whole kit-and-kaboodle is moving to NorthPark Center’s Center Park Garden in a mammoth, see-thru tent on Thursday, February 8, with Jan Strimple coordinating the show. Serving as honorary chair will be NorthPark’s First Lady Nancy Nasher. Roz and Nancy managed to get 2017 Saint V-Day Chair Heather Randall to serve as their advisor.

The news of the night was the reveal of the theme “Sculpting A Cure!” and the 2018 award recipients. Receiving the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award will be Mona Carlton Stogner and Grey Stogner “for their dedication towards finding cures.”

As for the Tom Landry Character Award, seven-year-old Caitlin Johnson will be presented with the award named after the late Dallas Cowboys coach. The back story on Caitlin is pretty darn amazing. But stay tuned. It will be revealed in the days to come.

* Photo provided by Nancy Gopez

Flora Award Black-Tie Guests Celebrated The “Terrific Trio” At Texas Discovery Gardens With A Seated Dinner, Music And Clear Skies

The sky couldn’t have better on Thursday, October 26, for the black-tie guests to enjoy the Texas Discovery Gardens grounds before going indoors for the dinner celebrating the “terrific trio’s (Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith and Marilyn Waisanen) receiving the Flora Award . Here’s a report from the field:

Texas Discovery Gardens presented its prestigious annual Flora Award on Thursday, October 26, to Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith and Marilyn Waisanen, otherwise known as the ‘terrific trio’.

Marilyn Waisanen, Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith, Kathryn Febbroriello, Amelia Valz and Angela Shank*

Graced by $200,000 worth of deBoulle jewels, who designed the actual Flora Award, Kathryn Febbroriello, Angela Shank and Amelia Valz co-chaired the elegant evening for their second consecutive year. The enchanting garden grounds served as the opening act for the black-tie occasion; accented with glimmering lights and surrounded with whimsical music by the Steve Bayless Orchestra.

Steve Bayless Orchestra*

A seated dinner by Food Company was served in the Grand Hall. Tables laden with elegant linens housed Garden Gage arranged terrariums with live Monarch butterflies, all placed upon repurposed native Texas Tree ‘cookies’ from the ranch of TDG Executive Director Dick Davis.

Dick and Libba Davis*

Tom and Suzy Rhodes*

David and Waverly Smith*

Kristy and Patrick Sands and Erin Shields*

More than 240 guests celebrated the 2017 honorees and helped raise more than $190,000. The crowd consisting of Barbara Hunt Crow, Caroline Rose Hunt, Kristy and Patrick Sands, Ann and Bob Dyer, Myriam and Randall Graham, Lyda Hill, Erin Shields, Suzy and Tom Rhodes and David and Waverly Smith. 2017 Honorary Co-Chairs Bob and Myrna Schlegel, who were presented the Flora Award in 2016, and the ‘terrific trio’ are members of the prestigious honorees including Peggy and Carl Sewell, Laura and President George W. Bush and the late Ebby Halliday Acers, who are all recognized for their commitment to community service.

Lyda Hill, Caroline Rose Hunt, Barbara Hunt Crow and Bobbie Sue Williams*

The generosity of those who support the Flora Award fundraiser support the first public garden in the state of Texas to be certified 100% organic by the Texas Organic Research Center.  Children and adults discover and learn to sustain the natural world at the Fair Park grounds which will debut a new hummingbird garden and children’s playscape in the near future. To learn more, visit or support Texas Discovery Gardens and Butterfly House see www.TexasDiscoveryGardens.org or call 214.428.7476.

* Photo credit: James Edward

Ability Connection Texas’ 10th Annual Vine And Dine At Neiman Marcus Downtown To Honor Meredith And Jack Woodworth

Meredith and Jack Woodworth (File photo)

Neiman Marcus Downtown’s Zodiac Room doesn’t usually offer dinners, but the Ability Connection Texas’ annual Vine and Dine is the exception to the rule. On Thursday, the 10th annual fundraiser will honor Meredith and Jack Woodworth, who have been so supportive of the organization that serves children and adults with all types of physical, cognitive and acquired and developmental disabilities.

According to Ability Connection President/CEO Troy Greisen, “This segment of our population has been neglected, forgotten, and turned away, even abused and with great discrimination and prejudice, throughout world history. Still today, they are often unnoticed, uncared for, and many of them remain our society’s most vulnerable and with the greatest needs.”

In addition to a marvelous dinner prepared by the Neiman’s culinary team with Coquerel wines, there will be both silent and live auctions for everything from “decadent vacation getaways to fine handbags, shoes and jewelry sponsored by Neiman Marcus.”

Tickets are available here.

Animal-Loving Karen And Jeff Banister Step Up To The Plate As Honorary Co-Chairs For Operation Kindness’ 25th Annual Canines, Cats And Cabernet

Alexandra Banister, Jacob Banister and Jeff and Karen Banister*

Texas Rangers General Manager Jeff Banister is a familiar name in the sports pages and on the evening news. But what some might not know is that he and his wife Karen Banister have two kids, Alexandra and Jacob, two Labradors (Bella and Scout) and two Maltese (Gracie and Cooper).  

Since the baseball season ended last month, the folks at Operation Kindness took advantage of the pooch-loving Banisters’ down time and arranged to have them serve as the honorary co-chairs for its 25th Annual Canines, Cats and Cabernet at the Omni Dallas on Saturday.

Nelda Cain Pickens (File photo)

According to Operation Kindness CEO Jim Hanophy, “Canines, Cats and Cabernet gets bigger and better every year, and we are honored to celebrate our 25th anniversary of this event with Jeff and Karen Banister. We know that with their support we will be able to knock this year’s event out of the park.”

But the Banisters aren’t the only ones cheerleading for the organization. Operation Kindness supporter Nelda Cain got involved with the no-kill shelter through her friend/OK Board Chair Kathy Kinser. As Nelda explained, “I have loved getting to know the powers that be at Operation Kindness and feel my efforts are entirely worth it. It is the oldest no-kill shelter in Dallas and serves the entire county including Fort Worth. It is also amazing what a following the organization has attracted, as the work is needed and successful.”

One of the highlights will be the furry guests of honor that have loved staying at Operation Kindness, but would love to find permanent homes.

Hoss*

Abby*

Cupcake*

Marlon*

In addition to a dinner and a live and a silent auction, there will be a raffle for a seven-night stay at an RCI Resort in the city of the winner’s choice plus a $500 Visa gift card for airfare. Chances are just $50, but are in limited supply.  

Tickets are the gala are available here.

* Photo courtesy of Operation Kindness

VNA’s 5th Annual Power Of Pie Order Deadline Extended To Saturday

VNA pecan pie*

VNA pumpkin pie*

Once again VNA is coming to the rescue. With Thanksgiving dinner menus in countdown mode, they’re helping to solve the problem of dessert with their 5th Annual Power of Pie.

For a mere $25, hosts/hostesses can order a pecan or pumpkin pie cooked up by top-notch operations and chefs like Empire Baking Company, Oddfellows, The Ritz-Carlton, The Adolphus Hotel, Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar, Knife, Dessert Dreams, Ida Claire, Bisous Bisous Patisserie, La Duni, Norma’s Café, Fairmont Hotel, The Ranch Las Colinas, Pink Apron Pastry, Haute Sweets, Mansion on Turtle Creek, El Centro College, Brownwen Weber Frosted Art Bakery and Studio, Collin College Institute of Hospitality, Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas Park Central, Wolfgang Puck, Crossroads Diner, Society Bakery and Central Market.

There’s also the lighter-than-air Zero Calorie Pie. According to Empire Baking Company’s Meaders Ozarow, a couple of folks, who bought “Zero Calorie Pies” last year, showed up expecting to get one. Wrong. The Zero Calorie Pie is simply a way to make a $25 donation.

Meaders Ozarow (File photo)

Katherine Krause (File photo)

Proceeds from the pie-athong will benefit VNA’s Meals on Wheels and Hospice Care programs

Pie pickups will take place on Tuesday, November 21, and Wednesday, November 22.

Due to the fact that the VNA team is bound and determined to accommodate all and beat last year’s total, VNA President/CEO Katherine Krause reported that they’re extending the order deadline to Saturday. So, order online now! And why not get one of each?

1,300 People Had A “Hinge” Experience By “Connecting” With New BFF Jamie Lee Curtis At The Celebrating Women Luncheon

Editor’s warning: This post is a very long one, but it’s worth the read. So, settle back to find out why the 2017 Celebrating Women Luncheon was one of the most memorable get togethers of the year.

It depended on your age when it came to Jamie Lee Curtis. Those with decades on their meters remembered her as the darling daughter of Hollywood’s golden age couple of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. Then there was the generation that immediately thought of her being terrorized in “Halloween” and “Terror Train.”  Others recalled her as the “bod” in “Trading Places” and “Perfect.” And, yes, there’s a current generation who have read her 14 books to their children.

The question at the Baylor Health Care System Foundation‘s Celebrating Women Luncheon was, “Who really is Jamie Lee Curtis?” That’s because Jamie (“Just call me Jamie, not Jamie Lee”) was going to be the featured speaker at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, October 26.

Before heading down to the VIP meet-and-greet in the Anatole’s Wedgwood Room that Thursday morning, Jamie showed the first signs of how the day would go. She told an event staffer that she was wearing no makeup and had done her own hair. But if they wanted someone to do her makeup, it was up to them. No need; Jamie was just fine in her own skin. Earlier someone had asked if she wanted to review the questions that would be posed to her in the chat with Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson. Nope. She would just take them as they came.

Vicky Lattner, Nancy Carter, Emilynn Wilson and Di Johnston

Before she entered the room, the crowd including Kristen Hinton, Norm Bagwell, Barbara Stuart, Carol Seay, Jimmie Westcott, Lisa Cooley, Tanya Foster, Aileen Pratt, Kate Swail, Pam Perella, Leslie Diers, Debbie Robinson, Polly Tadlock, Fredye Factor, Sarah Losinger, Debbie Oates, Christie Carter, Julie Ford, Rich Enthoven, Trisha Wilson, Tiffany Divis, Jennie and Stuart Reeves, Caren Kline and Dallas Morning Newsies Deborah Fleck, Selwyn Crawford and Mike Wilson was happily chatting and drinking coffee. Only a handful of people were getting in line for the grip-and-grin. That would quickly change.

Barbara Stuart, Carol Seay and Jimmie Westcott

Like a quarterback preparing for the big game, Jamie checked out the setup and approached the event photographer and suggested a place where she would stand with guests. As another photographer took a photo from the side, Jamie called the second photographer over and gave instructions to shoot directly in front of her. It wasn’t an order. She was advising the team on a game plan that would seamlessly score success. 

Even the guests became part of the team effort. Jamie would talk with each one and make sure that all were picture-perfect. When Gretchen Minyard arrived for her photo, Jamie adjusted the flower on Gretchen’s jacket. One young woman quickly put the finishing touches on her own makeup as she went through the line. She was thrilled for the photo opp. From the big smile in being photographed with Jamie, no one could tell that she had just had her first round of chemo the day before. Linda Custard, who had successfully gone through a year of treatments, had a special glow about her as she and Jamie embraced.

Linda Custard and Jamie Lee Curtis

Lindalyn Adams and Jamie Lee Curtis

After having her photo taken with Lindalyn Adams, Jamie called time-out and went to the side of the staging area to talk with Lindalyn, who had initiated Celebrating Women 18 years ago.

Now, the guests were starting to take notice and lined up for their picture with Jamie. A handful of guests stood back, saying they weren’t all that interested in a photo with Jamie. That would change. Soon enough the line was winding past the stanchions, and in the line now were those who’d said earlier they weren’t all that interested in a photo with Jamie.

Observers started taking note of how in each shot, Jamie would hit her mark with her legs crossed at the ankle, confidently hold her head high, smile with lips together and have an expression on her face as if she was truly proud to be in the picture. Her arms would adjust a bit with each photo, but they never struck the “sorority girl” pose.

Peggy Riggs, Jamie Lee Curtis and Leonard Riggs

Aileen Pratt and Jamie Lee Curtis

Selwyn Crawford, Deborah Fleck, Jamie Lee Curtis and Mike Wilson

When the final photo was taken, one of the photographers approached her and thanked her for her earlier direction, adding that each photo had turned out great. Jamie smiled with a twinkle in her eye and said, “I knew where the lights were.”

Dennis Bassler and Connie Yates

Nancy Dedman and Jill Smith

As the doors opened to the Chantilly Ballroom, the 1,300 guests like Tom Thumb President Dennis Bassler with Tom Thumb First Lady Connie Yates, Sara Martineau, Vicki Chapman, Joan Eleazer with daughter Layne Pitzer, Debbie Raynor, Nancy Dedman, Jill Smith, Gene Jones, Anita Arnold, Al Hill Jr., Linda Perryman Evans, Jan Langbein, Leslie Gosnell and sisters Nancy Marcus and Nelda Cain were taking their places. Before things got underway, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell stood behind Jamie, who had taken her place at the table next to Honorary Co-Chair Leonard Riggs. The Powells had their cellphones ready to snap a photo with her. When Jamie realized the situation, she stood up and took hold of the phone for a selfie with the girls.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell

Soon, the program was underway with London Hibbs entering the center aisle singing “Heroes” and joined by dancers en route to the stage.

London Hibbs and dancers

They were followed by Event Chair Tucker Enthoven, who welcomed the guests and told how the monies raised at the luncheon stayed in North Texas. To emphasize the point, she told of 43-year-old attorney/wife/mother Carolyn Brown, who just the year before had been diagnosed with stage III tripe-negative breast cancer.

Carolyn Brown and her team of health care providers

Following a video about Carolyn’s journey, an army of 20 men and women lined up along the back of the stage. Through the group entered Carolyn, who explained that these people had been the ones who had taken her through nine months of surgeries, chemo and radiation, resulting in her being cancer-free. 

Ola Fojtasek and Tucker Enthoven

Following lunch, Tucker returned to the podium with her Underwriting Chair Ola Fojtasek, who acknowledged Lindalyn, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation staff, the committee, presenting sponsor Tom Thumb and the mega donors. Ola then got the activity meter raised, explaining that at each table there was one program that was marked for the holder to receive an $80 gift certificate for Kendra Scott. 

Jim Hinton

Tucker thanked Honorary Co-Chairs Peggy and Leonard Riggs, announced a matching challenge of $25,000 and introduced Baylor Scott And White Health CEO Jim Hinton. Jim told how his life had been influenced by the women in his life, including his daughter, 12-year-old Nora Hinton, who the morning after the recent presidential election announced that she could still be the first female president. He emphasized the importance of the Celebrating Women Luncheon by announcing that, over the past 18 years, it had raised more than $30M, and more than 100,000 women had been screened last year at the Darlene Cass Imaging Center.

Following Jim, Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson introduced Jamie for a chat on stage. It would be a chat to be remembered.

Before getting started, though, Jamie addressed one part of the audience. “I was raised well. Not really, but I was raised semi-well. I actually made them move the chair so my back wasn’t to you. But I apologize that my back is to you, and I will try to pin it like a Rain Bird.”

Jamie Lee Curtis and Robin Robinson

Who is her hero? Robin asked. “I am almost 60, and I have spent a lot of time in ballrooms sitting around tables of 10 with well-heeled, well-dressed people like yourselves advocating for causes in ways to come together to raise money for important causes,” Jamie replied. “And I have seen myriad ways that these are done. I have never in my life seen a more moving example of what this is, the reason we are here, than that team of people coming up on the stage. I’ve done a lot of these and I think that’s why that challenge grant … and I hope we make it … I’d like to see a show of hands of 25 people in this room who will give a thousand dollars with me.* I want it right now. 25 people to give $25,000. [Hands went up throughout the room.] I want to know that $50,000 extra was raised in one minute for the work of those people who stood here for her and work for people you will never know. There is no more important thing for us to do today than to support them. I’m just privileged to be here.” 

Hands raise for the challenge

Did you have a cancer scare? Robin then asked Jamie. “I did, and in coming here I recalled it,” she answered. “My memory of it was the wait in that room for the diagnosis. Either an all-clear, which was my case, or the diagnosis of breast cancer and then the eventual treatment plan and care team stepping in. And what I remember about it, and the reason why I try to stay active, is that moment of feeling alone, even though my sweet husband Christopher [Guest] was sitting with me. It is a profound moment of truth. I was prepared for it. And as I got the ‘All clear’ from it, I was grateful to my doctor who found it. It was not noticed on the mammogram. It was not noticed radiologically. It was done from palpitation, by actually laying on his hands. I’m incredibly luck, but I’ll never forget that moment.”

In receiving the tough news from your doctor, Robin asked next, do you want her to ask how your life is going, or do you want straight talk? “Me? I’m coming up, if I’m lucky enough, on February 3rd of next year, I’ll be coming up on 19 years sober from drugs and alcohol,” Jamie answered. “In my opinion [addiction] is hereditary—my dad, my mom, my brother. And [for me] it was an opiate addiction. It was a small plastic surgery moment that led to an opiate addiction. It is no accident today that we have an epidemic in this country. I’m in recovery, and I want it as straight as you can give it to me. I’m as straight a person as it is. I want no subterfuge. I want it unvarnished. I want you to tell me the truth. I try to live an incredibly truthful life.”

How do you select the causes that you support? Robin asked. “I think like all the rest of us, I get touched by something,” Jamie replied. “As it is with breast cancer, it is a concentric circle in our lives. There is no place that I would go in the world and not come in contact immediately with someone either recovering from breast cancer, undergoing treatment or they have a sister or mother with breast cancer. I was in Los Angeles at a surprise wedding. I was seated at a long table, as we all were.

“I was chatting with three people across the table, and the woman seated directly across from me was from Italy. Lovely. I found her charming. And then another woman introduced herself and said that she and her husband were from Dallas. I said, ‘Oh, I’m going to Dallas in four days.’ She asked why and I said, ‘I’m going to speak at the breast cancer luncheon connected to Baylor.’ And she said, ‘Oh, those are my people! You’ll meet my oncologist.” She’s a 15-year survivor. And then the woman directly across from me, the one from Italy, said to the woman, ‘I just had a double mastectomy.’ Here we were a triangle. Three women connecting about breast cancer at a surprise wedding. To me the reason we’re here is to connect. We are not here to do anything but connect.”

Jamie Lee Curtis

Then Robin asked, “What got you into acting?” “It was an accident,” Jamie said. “There is a book that I love, ‘Special Topics in Calamity Physics,’ by Marisha Pessl. In it there is this great quote. She says you know, most people think life is all about like where you go to school, what degree you get, what college you get into, who you marry, what your first job is, what your starting salary is, blah, blah. She said, and I roughly quote, ‘It’s not. Life hinges on a couple of seconds you never see coming, and what you decide in those seconds determines everything from then on. And you’re not going to know what to do until you’re there.’ That’s my life.

“I was a D+ student, who got into the only college where my mother was the most famous alumnus. I majored in track. I was a non-student. I could barely spell ‘student.’ I came home for Christmas and ran into a guy who was a tennis teacher at my friend’s court and he said, ‘Hey, Jamie, I’m now managing actors, and they’re looking for someone to play Nancy Drew. Why don’t you go up for it?’ I was like ‘Okay.’ I didn’t get it, but then I ended up literally signing a seven-year contract with Universal Pictures (because they used to have contracts then). My point is that I went over to my friend’s house and a tennis teacher said, ‘Hey they’re looking for actors,’ and the next I knew I quit school and I connected in the exact same way the rest of my life.

“I never thought I would write a book in my life. As I mentioned, my SAT scores—I proudly say this for all you underachievers out there, you could be up here with your—excuse my French, your shitty SAT scores! My four-year-old daughter walked into my room one day and said, ‘When I was little, I used a diaper. But now I use the potty.’ And she walked out of the room. I just thought that was hilarious. I wrote down on a piece of paper, ‘When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth.’ I wrote the list of things that she couldn’t do and could do and at the end I wrote three things,

  • When I was little, I didn’t know what family was.
  • When I was little, I didn’t know what dreams were.
  • When I was little, I didn’t know who I was, but now I do.

 

“When I was finished writing that, I was sobbing and I realized I could write a book. Though I never dreamed I’d write a book, I sold it that day to a publisher in New York, and it was the first of 14 books I’ve written for children. I say it because the last thing in the world I thought I would do is write a book, and yet a book popped out.

“I’m going to tell you one more thing about life hinging on seconds you never see coming. It was 1984. I was single, sitting my apartment with my friend Debra Hill, who is no longer here, and I was getting ready to do the movie ‘Perfect.’ I opened Rolling Stone magazine. There was a picture of three guys with their arms around each other like guys do with shirt sleeves. There was a guy on the right who had a face like this [she made a funny face]. And I said to Debra, ‘I’m going to marry that guy.’ She said he was Chris Guest. I called his agent the next day, who told me he knew I was calling about Chris Guest. Debra had already called. He never called me.”

Jamie went on to tell how she continued with her life, and was even dating a fellow. After taking him to the airport one day, she drove to West Hollywood for dinner with Melanie Griffin and her husband Steven Bauer. A couple of tables away, Christopher was sitting there. Recalled Jamie: “He looked at me and went like this” [she shrugged her shoulders and made a face]. She responded in a similar fashion. As he got up to leave, he repeated the expression, to which she once again responded in the same way. The next day he called her, and they were married four months later.

Did you have mentors who helped you focus on what is important? Robin asked. “No. I’m not going to lie to you,” Jamie replied. “My mother was a surviving woman. She had a rough life. But she was a very grounded human being, and I credit her with a lot of the way I walk through the world. To be perfectly honest, mostly men hired me. It was because the business that I was in was predominantly male. Over the years I’ve partnered with women. My editor is a woman.”

Then came the moment that would become “the talk” for days to come.

Robin asked how she used her platform to address the issue of people using power over others. Looking at the floor clock, which showed that the time for their conversation was running out, Jamie said, “And that’s the real time we have left?”

Replied Robin: “I’ll tell you when we’re finished.”

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie said nothing. To the delight of the 1,000+ women in the room, she just held her index finger up and looked out at the audience as if to say, “Did he really just say that?”

And she let that expression and silence sit there for what probably seemed like an eternity for Robin. The oxygen in the room had been replaced with laughter.

With perfect timing, she said, “We need to talk. You’ll tell me when I’m done? I was merely trying to play by the time rule. I saw that the clock was running out. I was just asking … you’re blushing.”

The laughter only grew, and it was suspected that Robin was wishing that he could have taken back his “hinge” moment.

But like a great conductor, Jamie brought the room back to the serious subject that Robin had introduced. “What is happening today has been happening since the beginning of time,” she said. “And it always takes show business to be a catalyst for change. In recovery, I always knew that someone super-famous was going to have to die from an opiate overdose, before we changed the way we thought about opiates. Prince, a brilliant artist, was a fentanyl addict and he died from that. And now we change the rules. Now the president is convening a whole epidemic group to combat this.

“Sexual harassment and abuse have been in play since men in power have been in place. Through every generation, every business, every field, every color—there is no boundary. It’s just the nature of the beast, and it is a beast. And we are taking a look at it through the lens … pardon the pun … of Hollywood.  And it is going to create transformative change. It is going to take a little time. It is going to be a very challenging time for all us to look deep in ourselves and really figure out how we feel about it.”

She predicted that, as a result, more women would be put in positions of leadership.

Robin then said, “With your permission, I have one more.” Laughter.

Jamie answered, “That was flirting.” More laughter. “Yes, dear.”

His final question was, “What was the best moment of your life?”

She replied that it was being an adoptive mother of two children, Annie and Thomas. The moment was when, at 12:58 in the morning, Annie’s birth mother had called to say that she had given birth. Said Jamie: That was the “most transformative moment in my life. It began what has continued to be the greatest thing I will ever do in my life besides being sober. It is to share a life. It is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. It has made me look in the mirror more often about myself. It has brought us a lot of grief in our family, and a lot of healing. A child wants connection. They don’t want stuff. They want people to lean in and look at them and hear them and cherish them. The modern world makes that very difficult. We all have to work very hard to counteract that. ” 

Thanks to Jamie, 1,300 people experienced hinge moments allowing them to connect with a very special cause and person.

So, who was Jamie Lee Curtis? On Thursday, October 26, she was the BFF for more than 1,300 people—and she’s welcome back anytime she wants.

Check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for more pictures from the luncheon.

* Follow up on the match challenge: Jamie’s invitation for people to join her in meeting the match not only met the goal, it surpassed it resulting in $60,000 from the challenge. And, no, the Celebrating Women organizers had no idea she was going to ask people to join her in donating $1,000.

JUST IN: Equest Luncheon And Style Show Nets $253,000

It was just a month ago that the Equest Women’s Auxiliary held its annual Equest Style Show and Luncheon at Brook Hollow with designs from Highland Park Village. Since that time Auxiliary Chair Angie Kadesky and Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele have been burning up their calculators for the final number to put on the check.

Christine Volkmer, Angie Kadesky, Lili Kellogg, Beth Thoele and Robyn Conlon

Today they were joined by the event’s Honorary Chair Robyn Conlon in ponying up with a big, old check for $253,000 to Equest CEO Lili Kellogg and Development Director Christine Volkmer. And that ain’t hay!

Plans are already underway for the 2018 with Heather Randall chairing the luncheon on Tuesday, October 2, at Brook Hollow.

JUST IN: Pat McEvoy To Chair 2019 Crystal Charity Ball

Pat McEvoy (File photo)

With the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball less than a month away, plans are already underway for the 2019 Dallas children’s fundraiser. 2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson just revealed that Pat McEvoy has been selected to serve at 2018 CCB Chair-Elect and 2019 Chair.

Since being a member of CCB since 2004, she had chaired a variety of positions including the Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show. In addition to her involvement with CCB, Pat’s chaired the New Friends New Life Luncheon and the DMA’s Beaux Arts Ball, as well as serving on the Goodwill Industries of Dallas board, MD Anderson Advisory Committee, the Meadows School of the Arts Executive Board and the Dallas Woman’s Club Board of Governors. She’s also been involved with the Dallas Zoo, Center for BrainHealth, CMC Food Allergy Center, Ask Me About Art, Dallas Woman’s Club, Dallas Garden Club and other community organizations.

According to Claire, “Pat’s extensive experience in the Dallas community, her proven fundraising skills, intellect, generous and kind spirit and commitment to this organization will ensure the continued success of Crystal Charity Ball.”

 

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2017 Celebrating Women Luncheon

Guests at Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Celebrating Women Luncheon on Thursday, October 26, at the Hilton Anatole had more to celebrate than raising mega funds for breast cancer. They discovered a new BFF — guest speaker Jamie Lee Curtis.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell

Lindalyn Adams and Jamie Lee Curtis

While some admitted that they had had no preconceived ideas about the day’s program chaired by Tucker Enthoven, they left the event delighted with Jamie’s honesty, openness, humor and range of subject matter. In fact, one luncheon-attending vet claimed that not since last year’s Hoda Kotb and Tim Gunn appearance had they been so impressed with a presentation.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Robin Robinson

The post is being prepared, so check out the pictures on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Aileen Pratt and Jamie Lee Curtis

Peggy Riggs, Jamie Lee Curtis and Leonard Riggs

Tucker Enthoven, Jamie Lee Curtis, Robin Robinson and Ola Fojtasek

PS — For those who are aficionados of the art of posing for photographers, check out Jamie at the grip-and-grin session. Observers noted how she always stood erect with her head up, looked at the camera straight on, never struck the “sorority-girl pose” and crossed her legs at the ankle in every shot. If you get a chance, just try to strike the “Jamie pose.” It’s a balancing act, but it works.

Lauren Embrey Honored At Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center For Education And Tolerance’s 2017 Hope For Humanity Dinner

A crowd of 970 gathered at the Fairmont Hotel on Tuesday, October 24, for the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center For Education and Tolerance‘s 2017 Hope For Humanity dinner. The guests, including Lynn and Allan McBee, Bobby Lyle, Thear Suzuki, Frank Risch, and Carol and Don Glendenning, were there to celebrate the evening’s honoree, philanthropist Lauren Embrey. But they were also there to raise some money, revel in the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum (it broke ground in October), and enjoy a wonderful kosher meal.

The dinner—Lolla Rosa and Frisee Salad, Seared Scottish Salmon, and Lemon-scented Kosher Cheesecake—had everyone in a convivial mood, especially after the gracious welcome by event Co-chairs Sarah Losinger and Trea C. Yip. Sarah and Trea pointed out that the new museum— which will take the facility’s square footage from 6,000 square feet to nearly nine times that, and more than double the number of annual visitors, to 200,000—will help the nonprofit impact attitudes in a positive way and change behaviors through education. The new museum is scheduled to open in 2019.

Florence Shapiro, the group’s board chair, gave a brief talk, suggesting that “there must never be a time that we fail to fight injustice”—to thunderous applause. Flo gave way to Mary Pat Higgins, the nonprofit’s president and CEO, who preceded a nicely produced video tribute to Lauren. In it, Larry James noted how Embrey has “grappled with her privilege,” and Dr. Rick Halperin said, “If there was something called human cloning, she should be cloned.”

Then it was time to present the 2017 Hope for Humanity Award to Lauren, a nationally known philanthropist and advocate for gender and racial equality. The President and Philanthropic Visionary of the Embrey Family Foundation, Embrey put belief into action in 2006 when she and her sister, Gayle, founded the Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University. It offers the only bachelor’s degree in human rights education in the South. The evening’s honoree also supports organizations with people-centered missions, as well as a variety of artistic projects tackling social injustices that often go unnoticed or undiscussed. Summed up Lauren: “Each one of us can be part of the solution.”