JUST IN: Barbara And Don Daseke To Co-Chair 2017 Zoo To Do’s “Animal Gathering” Under A Full Moon

Don and Barbara Daseke (File photo)

On Saturday, November 4, there will be a full moon in the sky. That should have an estimated 700 folks howling at the 2017 Zoo To Do.

News just arrived that the twosome who will be co-chairing the event will be those animal-loving critters Barbara and Don Daseke.

This year’s Dallas Zoo fundraiser should be quite a hip-hip hurray event with the added attraction of the soon-to-open Simmons Hippo Outpost, plus all the new babies that have been born this year. And that’s not to mention the more than 25 chefs cooking at various stations around the Giants of the Savanna, hand-feeding the giraffes, and Party Machine providing music late into the night. As for the attire, stow the ties and ball gowns. This one is strictly a walk-about in khaki slacks, cheetah prints, and safari hats.

Giraffe

According to Barbara, they’re already working on the live auction items that seem to get better and more intriguing each year. Just this past year, Barbara was the 2016 Zoo To Do Live Auction Chair and that one still has folks clucking about the amazing zoo-oriented experiences that went for sky-high bids. 

While individual tickets start at $750, the VIP Ticket Package of $3,000 is a top-dog offering with all types of goodies. To find out the details, call 469.554.7445.

Stay tuned for developments as they take place.

Grovel Alert: A Chance To Soar Luncheon

Just heard from Jonathan’s Place CEO Allicia Graham Frye that as of noon today, there were just 10 tickets left for Tuesday’s “A Chance To Soar Luncheon” at the Hilton Anatole.

Trevor and Jan Rees-Jones (File photo)

No wonder! Just some of the VIP types in attendance will be enough to have cell-photos being taken nonstop. Co-Chairs Julie Bagley and Rachel Stephens have arranged to have Tiffany Cuban, Jessica and Dirk Nowitzki, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Meredith Land and Dillard’s Corporate Beauty VP Gary Borofsky tableside.

Simone Biles*

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the darling of the 2016 Olympics Simone Biles will be the keynote speaker. Her life story reflects Jonathan’s Place’s mission to provide a safe, loving home and specialized services to children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected.” Let’s hope that she doesn’t get eliminated on Monday night’s “Dancing With The Stars.” That would mean her taking the red-eye to NYC for Tuesday morning’s “Good Morning America.” But the money’s on Simone remaining as part of the cast and overnight flying to North Texas. And who knows? Maybe her dancing partner Sasha Farber will be with her at the lunch.

Remember, just 10 seats are left, so get that reservation in now.

* Photo provided by Jonathan's Place

Start Working Out Because A Weekend Of Fundraising Gala Collisions Lies Ahead

Côtes du Coeur (File photo)

Well, yuck! North Texas is preparing to have one of those fundraising collision weekends. Drat!

On Saturday, April 22, two major, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious events are taking place. The wine-loving types will be at the Omni Dallas for the American Heart Association graze and gaze with a corral full of chefs and more wines than California could produce for Côtes du Coeur thanks to Co-Chairs Kelly and David Pfeil.

Art Ball 2016 (File photo)

Over at the Dallas Museum of Art, new kid-on-the-block (aka Eugene McDermott Director) Agustin Arteaga will be introduced to fundraising Dallas-style with the 2017 Art Ball. With Art Ball Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson at the helm and the taste of romantic France via “All That Glistens,” it’s pretty darn obvious that it’s gonna be a night of killer fashions, food and fantastical auction items. The tent is already being erected next to the DMA.

Trammell S. Crow

2016 Children’s Cancer Fund (File photo)

And Friday is just as bad. Here, the EarthxGlobal Gala folks moved their big soiree from Saturday to Friday night to avoid the Art Ball/Côtes du Coeur traffic jam. Only problem: there’s still another mega fundraiser — Children’s Cancer Fund — taking place at the Hilton Anatole that night with kids and celebrities on the runway.

Oh, dear! What is one to do? Do two-a-night and then hit the after-soiree stop — Whataburger?

If either any of ‘em sounds to your liking instead of the same-old Friday and Saturday night sock-sorting and grilling steaks, there are still tickets available. Here’s the one for Côtes du Coeur and here’s the one for Art Ball. Either way you can win!

Horse racing (File photo)

BTW, if you think Sunday is gonna be any better, think again. The Retina Foundation‘s Racing for Sight at Lone Star Park is on a collision course with the Nasher Sculpture Center‘s Great Create.

The Great Create (File photo)

It just ain’t fair!

Grovel Alert: 2017 Mad Hatter’s Tea’s “Under The Tuscan Sun”

Mad Hatters Tea (File photo)

It seems that Mad Hatters Tea Chair Linda Spina and Vice-Chair Sharla Bush weren’t able to hunt for Easter eggs over the weekend. They were too busy checking the headcount for the Thursday, April 27th fundraiser for the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum.

The results? They discovered that the “Tea is officially sold out.”

Does that mean it’s really, truly a done deal? True, the “buy tickets” links aren’t going to do much good, but there’s still hope. So, before putting away that Easter bonnet, send Sue Ringle an email and see if she can squeeze you in.

Jewelry Designer/Attorney Kori Green (Aka Mrs. Pat Green) To Be The 8th Judge For Mad Hatter’s Tea Hat Competition

Under The Tuscan Sun*

Mad Hatter’s Tea 2017 Chair Linda Spina is going “green” with the announcement of the eighth judge for the “Under The Tuscan Sun” theme chapeau competition at the Dallas Arboretum on Thursday, April 27.

Hold on to your hats! It’s Kori Green. In addition to being a jewelry designer, an attorney and pretty darn cute, she’s also the wife of Grammy-nominated country singer/songwriter Pat Green and mom to their two kiddos Kellis Green and Rainey Green.

She got in the jewelry designing business while studying law at the University of Texas Law School. It provided her with a creative outlet. In addition to her professional activities and community involvement, she and Pat established the Pat Green Foundation.

Kori won’t be the only “greenie” in the judging line up for the eight categories. She’ll be joining Klyde Warren Park President Tara Green plus celebrity judge Rachel Zoe, restaurateurs Lynae Fearing and Tracy Rathbun (a judge team), Kerrently website editor Courtney Kerr, Kidd’s Kids CEO/Chief Happiness Officer Caroline Kraddick, fragrance guru Niven Morgan and Dallas First Lady Micki Rawlings.

Tickets for the annual eye-popping fundraiser for the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum are available here.

* Graphic provided by 2017 Mad Hatter's Tea

2017 Legacy Of Love Benefit And Fashion Show To Feature Children’s Patients And Honor Five Outstanding Collin County Women

This year’s 5th Annual Legacy of Love Benefit and Fashion Show on the evening of Thursday, April 20, at Mercedes-Benz of Plano is going to be a tip of the hat for five outstanding women.

The Legacy Chapter of Children’s Women’s Auxiliary will recognize Sandy Brennan, Joyce Houlihan, Sue de Mille Minyard, Dr. Betty Muns and Sen. Florence Shapiro for devoting “their live to leaving a legacy for children in Collin County.”

Sandy Brennan

Joyce Houlihan*

Sue de Mille Minyard*

Betty Muns*

Florence Shapiro*

Children’s Medical Center of Plano Women’s Auxiliary President Beth Webb explained, “This year, we’re really focusing on the celebration aspect of Legacy of Love by honoring these five women of vision. Not only do we hope to raise funds for Children’s Medical Center Plano, but we also hope to inspire others within the community to get more involved in making a difference for the children.” 

Benefit Chair Joa Muns has arranged for Jan Strimple to produce the runway action with fashions from Tootsies, Circa2000 Menswear and Animal Crackers. Some of the models will include area celebrities and Children’s patients.

According to Joa, “I am honored to be serving as chair of this year’s, 5th annual Legacy of Love event. My time spent with the Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s Medical Center Plano is near and dear to my heart and always cherished. I am committed to making this year’s benefit just as successful as years past.” 

In addition to refreshments being provided by The Capital Grille, Seasons 52 and Sprinkles Cupcakes, raffle tickets will be available for one of the following dreamy items:

  • Weekend Stay for Two at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs (Value: $2,500) — This package includes golf and spa. Stay must be redeemed by October 30, 2017.
  • Look Cinemas Two 1-Year Passes (Value: $3,000) — Each pass allows for you and a guest.
  • Michele Diamond Watch (Value: $3,595) — DECO Diamond Watch with Stainless Band. Courtesy of FOSSIL, Inc.
  • Mackenzie-Childs Designs (Value: $1,500) — Tray, Decanter, Wine Glasses and Desk Lamp.
  • Jan Barboglio Collection and Wine Tasting (Value: $1,250) — Angel del Matachin (20” tall) and Amor Blessing beads. Napa wine tasting in home with cheese and chocolates.
  • Luxury Handbag Package ($1,795) — Stella McCartney Falabella Fold Over Tote and Prada Saffiano Wallet with chain detail.
  • John Hardy Jewelry (Value: $1,790) — Chain Hammered Cuff and Lava Ring with Pave Diamonds.
  • Shop and Play Package (Value: $1,400) — $1,000 Apple Gift Card and Dave and Buster’s Gift Basket.
  • The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Value: Priceless) — 2 tickets to The Ellen Show in L.A. and 2 Southwest Airline Tickets. 
  • Men’s Custom Suit and Cocktails Package (Value: $2,100) — David Andrew Clothiers L.L.C and Cocktail Party for 12 at The Capital Grille.
  • Tootsies VIP Shopping Experience (Value: $1,500) — A Spring Gift, with a $500 Gift Card for the winner and five $100 gift cards for guests.
  • Ultimate Sports Entertainment Package (Value: Priceless) — 2 Premium Dallas Mavericks tickets, Dirk Nowitzki Signed and Framed Jersey, 2 Club Level Dallas Cowboys tickets and Memorabilia.
  • Chloe Handbag (Value: $1,490) — Marcie Medium “Nude” Crossbody Bag Courtesy of Neiman Marcus Willow Bend.
  • Inspirato Vacation Destination (Value: $3,000-$6,000) — Select from the “Friends of Inspirato” luxury worldwide properties. Options vary from 2 night stays to 7 nights. Based upon availability. Vacation must be taken by April 20, 2018.

 Sponsors include:

  • Presenting Sponsor — The Betty and James Muns Foundation
  • Diamond Sponsors — Sandy and Dave Brennan and the Engibous Family Foundation
  • Executive Platinum Sponsors — Advocare, Jennifer and Dalton McGaha and Mercedes-Benz of Plano
  • Platinum Sponsors — Ambridge Hospitality, AMDOCS, Carrie and Jim Benson, Love Life Foundation, Midwestern Construction, Sue de Mille Minyard, PrimeLending and The Shops of Willow Bend
  • Gold Sponsors — Christina and Rudy Andrea, BioTE Medical, Hopson and Associates, Ashley and Ben Pogue, Pediatric Dentistry of North Texas, Susan and Dave Podeschi, Swingle Collins and Associates and Pam and Craig Wohlers
  • Silver Sponsors — Debbie and Don Braun, Children’s Health, Melanie and John Davis, Holidaze and Gifts, Holly Hassmann, The Jan Richey Team, Junior League of Collin County, Michelle and Jon Lauck, Linda and Robert Paulk, Bill Shaddock/Capital Title and Willow Bend Mortgage, Justine and Sean Sweeney, Tracy and Steve Tomson and Beth and Duncan Webb

Tickets at still available here!

* Photo credit: Goldenlight Creative

JUST IN: Dallas Cowboys’ Wunderkind Dak Prescott And Coach Of The Year Jason Garrett To Walk The Children’s Cancer Fund’s Runway

Children’s Cancer Fund‘s Executive Director Jennifer Arthur is whooping it up. She just revealed that Honorary Co-Chairs/former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach will be joined at the Friday, April 21st fundraiser — Broadway Nights and Runway Lights — by the new Cowboys starting quarterback/cutie pie Dak Prescott.

Dak Prescott*

Jason Garrett*

Also, escorting Children’s Medical Center pediatric oncology patients on the runway will be Cowboys coach/Coach of the Year Jason Garrett, plus a heck of a lot of other well-known and photographed folks.

Tickets are available for the dinner, applauding and dancing at the Hilton Anatole here!

* Photos provided by Children's Cancer Fund

Just Say Yes’ “Building Bridges” Will Celebrate With Romos, Brown And Chances For Gragg Gems, Royal Dining, Grelle Artwork And More

Tony and Candice Romo*

David Brown*

As if having former Dallas Police Chief David Brown as the keynote speaker and Honorary Co-Chairs Candice and Tony Romo weren’t enough for the 7th Annual Just Say Yes (Youth Equipped to Succeed) Celebration’s Building Bridges,” organizers have put together quite a line up for the Wednesday, April 19th raffle and live auction fundraiser at Belo Pavilion.

Sue Gragg necklace*

For the raffle, it will be “a custom-made diamond necklace by jewelry designer extraordinaire” Sue Gragg. The winner will be able to select their choice of an 18-karat white, yellow or rose-gold necklace. And to add that personalized touch, they’ll have “their name, or a word of their choice, encrusted with diamonds.” If your chance ticket is picked, you’ve got your Mother’s Day gift locked down! The value of the necklace is $1,400 with raffle tickets going for $25 each or 5 for $100. The raffle winner does not need to be present to win, and there is no limit to ticket purchase. Raffle tickets are available here.

There’s an added incentive to buy those raffle tickets online. There will be a drawing prior to the event to have a VIP meet-and-greet photo opp with keynote speaker Brown.  The Photo-Opp winner must be present to win. Each raffle ticket purchase serves as one entry into the contest.

In addition to a silent auction, there will be a live auction including:

Darren McGrady (File photo)

  • A Royal Dinner Party by Eating Royally Owner/Chef Darren McGrady (Value: $5,000) — Chef Darren will prepared a three-course dinner for ten at your home, just like he did for Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana. After dinner, he’ll regale guests with stories about the good old days at the palace.
  • A Week in Kauai, Hawaii (Value $3,000) — With plenty of time to plan, four guests will enjoy the luxury lifestyle at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club’s oceanfront digs from April 14 thru 21, 2018. Whether it’s just taking it easy lounging on the beach or checking out the sites where major Hollywood films have been made, Kauai has everything.
  • Western Artist/Member of Cowboy Artists of America Martin Grelle Artwork — Two pieces of art by the renowned Western art master will be up for bid.
    • The first piece is a 13” by 10” original drawing in custom frame of a Native American on horseback. (Value $3,800)
    • The second is a 33” by 38” giclée of “Prayers of the Pipe Carrier,” which Grelle created a few years ago.  It is an artist personal proof, No. 4 of 5. BTW, the original won the Buyers Choice Award at the 46th Annual Cowboy Artists of America exhibit in 2011. (Value: $1,750)
  • Two-Night Hunting Trip at Giesecke Ranch (Value: $2,500) — For the hunter, the Giesecke Ranch outside of Llano is the perfect place to hunt deer, turkey and wild boar. In addition to having the use of a crew cab pickup, the winner will have ranch owner Dick Giesecke himself assist in finding the spots to explore.

(This offer expires December 31, 2018, and does not include Thanksgiving, Christmas or opening weekend of hunting season.)

Building Bridges*

Regarding this year’s theme — “Building Bridges —  Just Say Yes Development Director Marissa Leach explained, “Just Say Yes is ‘Building Bridges’ this year because we recognize the need for connection. Our youth can set the stage for a stronger connection with each other, their families and ultimately our community. With your support, we can further the Just Say Yes cause by building connection in our youth, ultimately creating long-lasting connectedness within our community.”

While individual tickets are $250, $1,000 will get two tickets plus the photo opp with David B.

* Photo provided by Just Say Yes

Fashion Stars For A Cause Patron Party Had Gems, Bubbles And A “Rose” At The Doorway

As Fashion Stars For A Cause patrons arrived at Diamonds Direct on Monday, March 6, they immediately spotted FSFAC Honorary Chair Caroline Rose Hunt seated in a leather chair just to the right of the doorway.

Caroline Rose Hunt and David Blank

Thanks to newlyweds Kristy Morgan Sands and Patrick Sands (aka Caroline’s son), Caroline was john-on-the-spot when the event started. Kristy was decked out in all type of leather from the suede jacket to the smooth, black leather slacks.

Kristy Morgan Sands and Patrick Sands

With three photographers snapping away, the diamonds in the cases and being sampled by guests like Suicide and Crisis Center Executive Director Margie Wright, Carolyn Tillery, Jenyce Gush, Samantha Davies, Terry Bentley Hill, 2017 Fashion Stars Tavia Hunt and Debbie Stout Elchami, Tony Stevens, Dan Prichett and Priya Rathod caused a star burst effect thanks to Diamonds Direct hosts Amit Berger, David Blank and Yosi Mayer.

Debbie Stout Elchami

Jenyce Gush, Yosi Mayer and Margie Wright

Checking around the first floor, KDFW anchor/reporter/2017 Fashion Star Jenny Anchondo and husband Heath Oakes were checking the offerings under glass. It’s hard to believe that Jenny and Heath have just barely been married a year and they’re already getting ready to welcome a new Anchondo-Oakes.

Heath Oakes and Jenny Anchondo

David Tiller looked remarkable following spinal surgery. Wife Martha Tiller invited guests to nudge his waist, “It’s a girdle. We’ve been wearing them for years.” Actually, it was a brace to help David’s back rehab.

Martha and David Tiller

Speaking of being healthy, 2017 Fashion Star Shay Geyer was svelter than ever. She claimed that she really needed to lose the pounds and felt great.

Just back from the Bahamas, Diamonds Director Amit said that he was feeling right at home in Texas and was right at home in practicing, “Y’all.”

David Blank, Samantha Davies, Priya Rathod and Amit Berger

Speaking of being right at home in North Texas, Amit and David were preparing for Thursday night’s celebration of the newest Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Being the Dallas Cowboys right-official jeweler, Diamonds Direct celebrates the new cheerleaders with the presentation of their “class rings.”

Carolyn Tillery, Amit Berger and Tony Stevens

As FSFAC Founder Yvonne Crum in yellow greeted patrons, FSFAC Magazine publisher Carolyn Tillery was seen trying on all types of sparkly gems.

Fashion Stars for A Cause  on Friday, March 24, at the Dallas Country Club benefits Suicide and Crisis Center for North Texas.

St. V-Day Luncheon/Fashion Show Had Guests Lined Up For Leukemia And Lymphoma Society North Texas Chapter’s Annual Fundraiser

Despite the “100% guarantee” of the area getting drenched for St. Valentine’s Day, the showers held back for the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Meyerson on Tuesday, February 14, benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s North Texas Chapter.

Registration lines

While the weather held fast, the registration line wasn’t so swift. One guest critiqued the check-in: “The ladies are complaining.” It seems that instead of guests being able to check in with their group, each person had to find the right line to get their table and seat assignment. One guest, after 10 minutes of trying to locate the right line, grumbled, “I need a drink.” But, alas, the poor thang discovered, like so many others, that the champagne was long gone and the herd of guests was hustling into the McDermott Concert Hall.

While it would have seemed that the table guests would have all been seated together in the Hall, it turned out not to be so. One five-figure sponsor discovered her guests were seated all over the place. Frustrated, the leader of the pack finally found an empty group of seats and declared them theirs.

Gina Betts, Roz Colombo and Anne Besser

To fill the time both in line and in the hall, the favorite indoor game of “catch-up” was played. Cindy Turner smiled that she was going to be a grandmother come July… Paige McDaniel reported that tickets to the Chick Lit Luncheon with Bethenny Frankel were going fast… Sunie Solmon decided that after wearing red to Go Red for Women, she would opt for pink…Bina Patel brought her too-young-to-wear-stilettos daughter along… MIA were Lisa Cooley and Tanya Foster, who were in NYC for Fashion Week … Another MIA was Advisory Co-Chair Michael Flores. But what could you expect? It was St. V-Day and he had heads to fashion… Luckily, Advisory Co-Chair Gina Betts was front and center with pal Roz Colombo. Gina and her legal buds are in the process of opening Dorsey and Whitney’s new Dallas office on Wednesday, March 1.

Lisa Singleton, Heather Randall and Jana Paul

Other faces seen in the crowd included Angie Kadesky, Lisa Singleton and Jana Paul with Event Chair Heather Randall, all-in-red Nancy Gopez, Joanna Clarke and Paige McDaniels, Heather Furniss, Lunch Co-Founder Rusty DuvallSiiri Dougherty, Wanda Gierhart, Doris and Jack Jacobs, Vicki Howland and Elisa and Stephen Summers.

Angie Kadesky and Don and Robyn Conlon

Rusty Duvall

Siiri Dougherty and Wanda Gierhart

Jack and Doris Jacobs

Stephen and Elisa Summers

Inside the hall, the program was delayed a bit. Once the presentation started, a groups of chairs on the floor were empty, due to the back-up at the registration tables. As guests did arrive late, they found themselves walking the darkened aisle searching for their row ID.

Lillie Young and Clarice Tinsley

The program provided the presentation of the Memorial Hero Award presented by Robyn and Don Conlon honoring the late Charles Young, who died in September 2015 after battling multiple myeloma. As his wife of 45 years, Lillie Young, left the stage after accepting the award, she told emcee KDFW anchor Clarice Tinsley that the Youngs’ daughter, Erin Young Garrett, was due to deliver any minute. Married to Judd Garrett last March, the baby will be the first for the newlyweds.

The next presentation was the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award presented by Lillie Young and Family to Robyn and Don Conlon. The Conlons’ years of involvement in supporting The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society resulted from the death of Robyn’s dear friend Linda Somerville, who died from Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. It was a touching moment especially when insiders knew that the Conlons’ son, Keith Conlon, married Linda’s daughter Megan Somerville in 2015 and the twosome had a granddaughter this past December.

The final presentation was the showstopper, with last year’s Spirit of Tom Landry Awardee Luke Lange escorting this year’s recipient, Bennett William, to the stage following a video featuring Bennett’s family. Both boys looked so healthy, it was hard to imagine they had ever gone through the daunting journey of treatments and tests. However, the youngsters’ success stories were the result of years of funding research and family support.

Bennett Williams, Kirsa Williams and Luke Lange

Erin Ragsdale

A slight hiccup in the program followed Luncheon Chair Heather Randall’s and LLSNT Board Chair Erin Ragsdale’s personal reasons for supporting the fundraiser. Their stories were indeed sincere and touching on how the blood disease had hit them and their families. As they stepped aside and looked at the mega-screen on stage for the video, the lights dimmed and … nothing happened. After 10 seconds, giggles were heard in the back of the room. A few awkward seconds later, a video was shown. It would have been just as well if the ladies’ moving talks had stood alone.

Then Clarice returned to the podium to say that after the fashion show, guests could support the “Fund the Fight” by

  • buying a raffle ticket
  • making a donation
  • purchasing a centerpiece for $100 that would also get the buyer a better valet service.

Bruno fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

Escada fashion

Etro fashion

Market fashion

St. John fashion

The fashions provided by Highland Park Village merchants ran the course from lighter-than-air sundresses to Herrera wedding gowns. It was interesting to note that, while great-granny Gertie might have approved the return of the below-the-knew hems, they aren’t exactly flattering to the most shapely leg.

Market fashions

Following the show, guests lunched in between being hit by raffle solicitors. One table got solicited four times. Finally, a guest told the raffle salesperson, “Everyone at this table has already bought a ticket.” The fella apologized. Too bad organizers didn’t provide stickers to designate raffle purchasers from potential buyers.

For more photos from the luncheon and fashion show, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Dallas Museum Of Art Became A 21st Century “Shaken, Style, Stirred” Speakeasy For 1,200 Femme Fatale Flappers And Dapper Dandies

The Dallas Museum of Art‘s current exhibition “Shaken, Styled, Stirred: The Art Of The Cocktail” provided the inspiration for more than a thousand guests to turn back the clocks on Saturday, February 4, to the Prohibition era. That’s when the right password provided access to the hottest speakeasy in town with music, dancing and naughty adult libations. Luckily, Prohibition is long gone, but the Hamon Atrium was as hot as a jazz baby. Here’s a report from the field:

The Dallas Museum of Art was transformed into a Prohibition-style speakeasy on Saturday, February 4, in celebration of the exhibition “Shaken, Styled, Stirred: The Art of the Cocktail,” an exhibition of cocktail ware from the late 19th century through present day.

Speakeasy in the Hamon Atrium*

Over 1,200 guys and dolls like Gwen and Eddie Lee, Melanie Cooke, Allie and Michael Gillam, Stephanie Gregory, Danielle Wessman, Angela and Kevin Jackson, Maria and Richard Von Horvath, Monica Berry, Sarah Stockton, Holly Bosler, Molly Meyer, Gary Beach, Cassandra Davis, Caitlin and Akers Moore, Jessica and Harl Asaff, Alia Reiners, Linda Snorina, Jack Tosi and Maggie Luttrell arrived in their best roaring-20’s attire and entered through the Museum’s Hamon Atrium. The 18-piece band, the Singapore Slingers, provided the big-band sound as guests enjoyed gaming tables, “French 75” specialty cocktails with ROXOR gin, and a buffet featuring sliders, a fries station with choice of sweet potato fries, regular fries or tater tots served in cones with custom toppings, mini carrot cake and cheesecake bites, and strawberry mousse cups.

Akers and Caitlin Moore and Jessica and Harl Asaff*

Molly Meyer*

Alia Reniers and Linda Snorina*

Gwen and Eddie Lee and Melanie Cooke*

Attendees posed in the nearby photo booth or in in front of the mint-condition period cars from the Dallas Model A Ford Club, posting their mugs on social media with the dedicated #dmaspeakeasy. For those hitting the dance floor, The Rhythm Room instructors provided the steps to 20’s favorites, including the Fox Trot and Charleston.

For VIP’s, the Focus One Gallery provided the perfect Hideaway with DJ Souljah spinning jazz-age hits with a twist, a ROXOR Gin Garden, private gaming tables and dedicated dance instructors. The savory and sweet cocktail buffet featured house-cured Gravlax crostini, dill and mustard dressing, caprese stacks with balsamic and basil, beef and horseradish rolls, home smoked chicken and mango tortilla cups, chocolate mousse shooters, lemon curd tartlets and pineapple upside down cake bites.

Jane Aldridge*

Stephanie and Phillip Robinson*

Mid-way through the evening all the Gatsbys and molls gathered at the main stage for the announcement of the winners of the costume contest. Contest judge and celebrity blogger Jane Aldridge of the Sea of Shoes blog awarded “Best Flapper” to Stephanie Surratt, “Best Dapper Dan” to Bennett Allen and “Best Couple” to Stephanie and Phillip Robinson.

Stephanie Surratt*

Bennett and Katie Allen*

As the fun continued, attendees enjoyed the exhibition that inspired the celebration, “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.” Featuring nearly sixty works, predominantly from the DMA’s extensive design holdings, the exhibition explores the culture of cocktails and the wares in which they are prepared and served. As well it follows the development of the modern cocktail from the late 19th century to the present day, tracing the stylistic reflections of the rituals of the cocktail’s preparation, presentation, and consumption. “Shaken, Stirred, Styled” features a range of objects, many of which are on view for the first time, including 19th-century punch bowls, Prohibition-era cocktail shakers, and Art Deco and modern barware.

Before the night came to an end, partygoers gathered once more for the announcement of the winners of five fabulous raffle prizes:

  • The Joule Hotel and Midnight Rambler Package: a one night get away in deluxe accommodations at The Joule Hotel with complimentary overnight valet parking and a $100-gift card for food and beverage at the premier craft cocktail bar, the Midnight Rambler.
  • Fossil® Q Wander rose gold stainless+Q Marshal in brown leather
  • Victor Tangos and Bella and Chloe: a $150 shopping spree at Bella & Chloe/Brethren Boutique and a $100 gift certificate to Victor Tangos, home to Rising Star Chef of the Year, Chef Kirstyn Brewer!
  • Ultra-Luxe ROXOR Gin Experience: six tickets to a private curator tour through the Shaken, Stirred, Styled  Then, enjoy an exclusive ROXOR cocktail-making class, perched 19 floors above Klyde Warren Park and the DMA, in a private residence.
  • Arts & Letters Live VIP Package for February 25th event featuring with Jessi Klein, the Emmy and Peabody award-winning head writer and executive producer of Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed series “Inside Amy Schumer”
  • Arts & Letters Live VIP package #2 for May 3rd event, Happy Hour! A talk, cocktail sampling, and performance inspired by “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.”
* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith

SPCA Of Texas’ Paws Cause “Fetches” $115,000 To Benefit Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter And Wellness Clinic At Village Fair And The South Dallas Initiative

Perhaps more than ever, the need for spay and neuter has been moved to the top of the list of longtime solutions for the area glut of stray animals. With such city officials as Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, City Councilperson Monica Alonzo and Dallas City Attorney Faith Johnson in attendance to drive the point home, the SPCA Of Texas‘ Annual Paws Cause — “Pawsitively Dallas Strong” — at the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center on Sunday, January 29, took on an added importance in fundraising for the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair and the South Dallas Pet Initiative. The result was netting $115,000 for the program. Here is a report from the field:

Monica R. Alonzo*

Faith Johnson*

On Sunday, January 29, the SPCA of Texas’ Paws Cause, “Pawsitively Dallas Strong,” at the SPCA of Texas’ Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center saw more than 300 animal lovers come together to benefit the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair and the South Dallas Pet Initiative. The event attendees were welcomed with a purple search light, a purple carpet, dancing dog and cat mascots and actual dogs and cats galore.

2017 Paws Cause’s “Pawsitively Dallas Strong”*

Inside, guests enjoyed gourmet food from some of Dallas’ finest chefs, imbibed luscious libations–including the “Pawsitive Delight” signature drink, danced the night away to musical entertainment by Goga, took part in the Bone Appetite restaurant drawing and had their pictures snapped at the Flipbook photo booth. A raffle of high-end items tempted attendees with fine art, photography packages, pet care products, designer purses, fine jewelry and more. A highly successful live auction and Pony Up for Paws fundraiser completed the night.

Haute cuisine stations from several of the Metroplex’s best restaurants, including Salum, Parigi, Pink Magnolia, Cane Rosso, Whistle Britches and 3015 at Trinity Groves tempted guests with everything from  sumptuous savories to decadent desserts.

Paws Cause 2017 was a tail-wagging success thanks to 2017 Paws Cause Honorary Chair  Andrea Alcorn, and the Steering Committee, which included: Jane Arrington, Steve Atkinson, Rebecca Belew, Diane Brierley, Andie Comini, Phyllis Comu, Giana DePaul, Gwen Echols, Kristen Greenberg, Whitney Keltch, Christina Miller, Pam Ragon, Abraham Salum, Gloria Snead, Karen Urie and Cathy Zigrossi

At the pinnacle of the party, Mayor Mike Rawlings first addressed the crowd saying, “The spay and neuter initiative that the SPCA is taking on is the lynchpin of the plan…to solve the situation in South Dallas that is hurting neighborhoods. We’ve got tens of thousands of dogs that need to have this operation and I believe that when we do that we will not only make the lives of those dogs better, but the lives of the neighbors and the strength of Dallas will come with it.”

Andrea Alcorn and Karen Urie*

Then, SPCA of Texas Senior Vice President Debra Burns, Karen Urie, Andrea Alcorn, SPCA of Texas President/CEO James Bias and SPCA of Texas Board Chair Katy Murray took turns thanking the guests and encouraging them to give. Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson spoke in support of the partnership between the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office’s Animal Cruelty Unit and the SPCA of Texas.

The event netted $115,000 for the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair and the SPCA of Texas’ South Dallas Pet Initiative.

All proceeds from the Paws Cause event benefit the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair and fund spay and neuter efforts in the Dallas community. This includes the SPCA of Texas’ programs that aim to support the pets and people of South Dallas to help address the serious stray animal, pet homelessness and pet overpopulation issues, also supporting the preservation of the bond between pets and people and keeping pets and the community healthy and safe.

Angela Thompson, Mary Spencer and Ann Marcus*

James Bias and Jan Rees-Jones*

Attendees also included Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Bobbi Snyder, Stacey and Arnie Verbeek, Bob Minyard, Angela Thompson, Candace Rubin, Ann Marcus, Hal Brierley, Leldon Echols, Marsha Pendleton-Gray and Dr. Richard Gray, Mary and Skip Trimble, Stacey and Don Kivowitz, Mary Spencer, Betsy Orton and Sharon Fancher, Mike and Catherine Merritt and Claire and Kurt Schwarz.

Event sponsors included:

  • Diamond Sponsors: Andrea Alcorn, Friedman & Feiger LLP and Dr. Richard Gray and Marsha Pendleton Gray
  • Gold Sponsors: Diane and Hal Brierley, the Durham Family Foundation, Forty Five Ten, Gwen and Leldon Echols, In Memory of Guy T. Marcus, Trinity Industries Inc. and Patricia Villareal and Tom Leatherbury
  • Silver Sponsors: Ralph Lauren – Highland Park and Skip and Mary L. Trimble
  • Copper Sponsors: Sharon Devereux, Stacey and Don Kivowitz, Katy Murray, Ray and Patricia A. Smerge, Pam Ragon, Redfin Real Estate, Claire and Kurt Schwarz and Sandra Urie and Frank Herron
  • Bronze Sponsors: MaryLynn M. Black, Karen and Phil Drayer, Cassie Evans and Hattie Pearl Decker, Hillary Hurst and Mark Schwarz, Bobby Minyard, Carol Orr, Penny Rivenbark Patton, Lucilo A. Pena, Candace Rubin, Mary Spencer, Susie Swanson, Chad West and Mr. and Mrs. David Yost.
* Photo credit: Thomas Garza Photography

19th Annual Bishop’s Gala Had New Dallas Bishop Edward Burns In The Spotlight And Huey Lewis And The News On Stage Setting The Pace

Justin Bieber could have taken a lesson from Dallas’ new man-of-the-hour Catholic Bishop Edward Burns. As more than 1,000 guests gathered in front of the Omni’s Dallas Ballroom for the 19th Annual Bishop’s Ball on Saturday, January 28, the crowd seemed bigger than ever. Perhaps it was due to the get-the-action-going Huey Lewis and the News, but lights, cameras and handlers were buzzing as Dallas’ new bishop arrived for the Catholic Charities fundraiser.

Steve and Betty Suellentrop, Edward Burns and Kathleen and Dave Woodyard

Earlier in the evening, Burns had been part of a VIP reception upstairs with Co-Chairs Betty and Steve Suellentop, Kathleen and Catholic Charities CEO Dave Woodyard and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who was doing double duty at the Omni. After the private reception, Mike held a press conference in another part of the hotel to “make a statement and answer questions from the media” regarding the barring of certain immigrants at DFW Airport.

Admittedly the bishop looked a little amazed at all the hullabaloo, but with red cheeks and a true Irish grin, he smiled and accommodated all.

When asked what his former parishioners in Alaska thought about his move to Dallas, he flashed a killer smile and said, “Some people in Alaska think I’m being downsized!”

Bernie Gonzalez, Mary Drummond, Anna Salcedo and Reid Hatzmann

Rod Boudreaux, Charles Grahmann and Gwen Boudreaux

Barbara and Steve Landregan

As Burns was ushered through the crowd, including volunteers from Ursuline and Jesuit, past Dallas Bishop Charles Grahmann was greeted by friends like Gwen and Rod Boudreaux and Barbara and Steve Landregan. (Steve wrote Grahmann’s bio, “To Walk Humbly With Your God.”) The 85-year-old Grahmann felt right at home among the crowd and looked spry. He attributed it to his receiving dialysis three times a week. In fact, in seeking medical advice from Houston healthcare experts regarding a transplant, he was told the dialysis treatments were right on point and that he should continue with them and skip the transplant.

Since retiring in 2007, Grahmann has been living at a retirement center outside of San Antonio. It’s so pastoral that the deer come to the window and don’t mind being hand-fed.

But that quiet calm was anywhere but in the ballroom when Huey and his crew spread the “power of love.”

JUST IN: St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Raffle Items Revealed Including Trips, Jewelry And Goodies

The wait is over! The reveal just took place at Jimmy Choo about the raffle items for next Tuesday’s St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show  at the Meyerson Symphony Center. It was billed as the patron party for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas, but guests were there to learn about raffle and try on choice Choos.

Luncheon Chair Heather Randall revealed there are three categories of goodies to pick from. Here are the categories and what’s included:

Platinum Ticket Raffle — $300 per ticket

Pairing of earrings donated by Dallas Auction Gallery*

  • Hawaii getaway (Value: $4,999) — Trip to Hawaii for a one-week stay at luxurious oceanfront Kauai timeshare and roundtrip airfare for two people. Donated by Dr. And Mrs. Eric Hollabaugh on behalf of Douglas Cockrill Sr.
  • Ear candy (Value: $5,600) — A pair of 18K gold, diamond, amethyst, rose quartz, mother of pearl and topaz earrings mounted with round brilliant cut diamonds, 1.06 cts. Approximate, in 18K rose gold with clip and post backs. Donated by Dallas Auction Gallery.

Red Ticket Raffle — $200 per ticket**

  • Ski in Style (Value: $3,400) —Trip to Vail with airfare for two and stay at Hotel Sebastian for the weekend.
  • The Big Apple (Value: $3,600) — Trip to NYC for two with airfare plus $250 voucher for Omni Hotel and four tickets to the New York Nets basketball game.
  • From the HeART (Value: $2,400) —”From The Heart” original acrylic painting by Chris Martin

Pink Ticket Raffle — $100 per ticket**

  • Wine and Dine (Value: $1,600) — 18 bottles of wine from Coquerell Winery and gift certificate $250 Three Forks
  • Dinner In Style (Value: $2,250) — Del Frisco’s Dinner Party at Dallas location for 10, Leggiadro scarf and gift certificate
  • Dallas Staycation! (Value: $2,500) — One night stay at the Omni ($250), Uchi Gift Card ($250), four tickets in suite to Dallas Mavericks Tesla for the weekend
  • Smile, Sip and Shop (Value: $2,000) — Adean Kingston Cosmetic Dermatology $1,000, $500 gift certificate to St. John plus private champagne reception for you and up to 10 friends
  • Get Pampered (Value: $2,000) — Jennifer Stalkup Plano Dermatology Botox Gift Certificate for $1,000, Skinnovation Gift Cert for $500, Kendra Scott and Mariposa $250
  • His and Hers (Value: $1,600) — Lela Rose gift certificate $1,000 and two tickets to Dallas Stars game with parking pass
  • Design District (Value: $3,000) — Allan Knight designer lamps: Square Plaid Glass Etched Lamp, 13-15-10 White Shade, Caramel Mahogany Wood Base, 25″
  • Shop Till You Drop (Value: $1,500) — HP Village Personal Shopping Experience
  • Get Glammed Up (Value: $2,500) — Dior Party with nine friends with bubbles, bites and consultation. ($1,250) Dr. Bassichis Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery $1,500 gift certificate
  • Heart to Heart (Value: $1,200) — Bachendorf’s heart pendant diamond necklace and Kate Wiser box of chocolates
  • That’s My Style (Value: $1,450) — VBH/V. Bruce Hoeskma martini glass mini-clutch

Tickets will be available for purchase at the fashion show/luncheon. But if you’re ready to spend your coins now, you can buy your tickets here starting tomorrow.

* Photo provided by St. Valentine's Day Luncheon and Fashion Show 
** One entry into your choice of raffle package per purchase ticket

Crystal Charity Ball Had Fashions Springing Everywhere, A Winter Wonderland Blast On The Dance Floor And Falling Seasons

The much vaunted children’s nonprofit fundraiser, Crystal Charity Ball, was just an hour away on Saturday, December 3. But before the festivities got underway and while guests were on their way to the Hilton Anatole, there was a seated dinner taking place in a private dining room high atop the hotel in Sēr. The guests were the men and women who are off-duty members of Dallas law enforcement involved in the logistics of the annual ball. The supper was the brainchild of CCB office manager Cindy Ethel and the CCB committee “in appreciation for our friends in law enforcement.” Following the shootings of July 7 in downtown Dallas, an email was sent to the CCB membership with the idea of providing a nice meal for the two dozen members of the security team including Steve Walthall, Eric Jez, Dan Mosher and Reginald Luster and inviting support. The response was so overwhelming that it more than paid for the supper.

Dan Mosher and Reginald Luster

And what a feast it was. Upon taking their places around the table, they were presented with a menu of courses — Starter (jumbo lump crab cake or grilled shrimp cocktail), Second (petite greens or roasted pumpkin bisque), Entrée (filet of beef, Atlantic salmon, confit turkey breast or prime rib) and Dessert (Bumbleberry cobbler of chocolate). Afterward, one of the diners fessed up with a big smile, “I’m stuffed.” And, no, there was no alcohol served, just in case you were wondering.

Elizabeth Gambrell, Kristina Whitcomb, Christie Carter, Claire Emanuelson, Susan Farris and Ola Fojasek

Downstairs the finishing touches were underway. Outside the ballroom the reception area reflected 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Christie Carter’s theme — “To Everything There is a Season.” In the entry, four young women representing each of the seasons took their places as living statues on pedestals in alcoves located along the hall. Serving as a backdrop for the receiving line was a screen with a digital tree going through the seasonal changes.

Spring

Winter

Autumn

Summer

Against scenery of orange, gold and fall trees, the silent auction with its hundreds of goodies on tables with autumn-colored tablecloths was all ready for the bidding to begin. On the other side of the lobby was a summer garden with planters of sunflowers and lattice and another scenic backdrop of green and yellow-tinged trees and grounds for the casino and boutique. In the reception area in front of the ballroom were mountains of shrimp, mini-Reuben sandwiches and crostini with cheese and sun-dried tomato staged on tables with tablecloths of faux green leaves and oversized, stair-step centerpieces of flowers that reminded one of a French countryside picnic in spring.

Within the Chantilly Ballroom, winter was in its final stages of completion. The Dallas Chamber Symphony  and the James Davis Orchestra under the direction of Richard McKay were doing one last rehearsal of the 22-minute composition created for the evening. Behind the orchestra a mammoth screen displayed a video appearing to transport the orchestra through various snow scenes.

(Back story on Richard’s involvement with the event: CCB Chair Christie’s late mother had been a musician and over the years Richard had worked with her. In turn, Christie joined the board of the Dallas Chamber Symphony and was very supportive of the organization. So, the performance by the Symphony under the direction of Richard was a very personal one for Christie, Richard and the musicians.)

Perhaps it was traveling through the wintry wonderland or the Anatole’s A/C providing a true wintry feeling, but the Chantilly Ballroom was not suffering from a fever.

Matching the seasons perfectly were the fashions, jewels and extra touches like Lynn McBee in Dries Van Noten, Tucker Enthoven and past Ball Chair Robyn Conlon in Carolina Herrera, Gina Betts in Oscar, Piper Wyatt in Zac Posen, Claire Emanuelson in Jenny Packham, Ciara Cooley in Marchesa and Janet Brock in Brunello Cucinelli.

Robyn and Don Conlon

Crawford and Janet Brock

And the ladies kept local designers on pins and needles in the weeks and months preceding the fundraiser. Designer Patti Flowers created the gowns for Ball Chair Christie, Robin Carreker and Lisa Cooley  and “re-designed vintage gowns” for Mary Meier Evans and Pat Harloe. And, of course, Patti wore one of her own. Lisa Cooley’s turquoise gown had heads turning to catch the pink floral bustle. Since it was a seasonal theme, Lisa wanted just a touch of spring.

Lisa Cooley

Michal Powell

Fellow designer Michael Faircloth’s handiwork was worn by Lisa Troutt, Tiffany Divis and last year’s Ball Chair Michal Powell, who didn’t hesitate to say that she had gone the spring route with a white, off-the-shoulder lace blouse and vivid purple skirt that would have made Ray Rim Purple Petunias jealous. Coming handy for the pooch-loving Michal was her Leiber-designed Shih Tzu purse.

Pam Busbee

Alicia Wood

When it came to competition, Pam Busbee‘s black gown with red roses was a showstopper, but  Alicia Wood’s Narda’s train won hands down for length. She admitted after kicking it aside a couple of times that she would probably end up just picking it up and hauling it around.  

As for the accessories of the night, Jimmy Choos, Alexander McQueens, Manola Blahniks, Pradas, Stuart Weitzmans, Louboutins, Nichols Kirkwoods and Alaias were seen peaking from under hems. And hands down the handiest item of the night were the Judith Leiber purses. There were so many of the Leiber sparkling bags that the company should be one of the event’s underwriters!

Tucker and Rich Enthoven

Lisa and Kenny Troutt

Amit and Liat Berger and Stacy and David Blank

Adding to the evening look’s highlights were the array of jewelry from Susan Saffron (Tucker Enthoven), Sue Gragg (Gina Betts and Lisa Troutt), Diamonds Direct (Liat Berger, Stacy Blank, Tanya Foster and Alicia Wood), Eiseman (Claire Emanuelson), Bachendorf (Katy Bock), 64 Facets (Janet Brock) and Matthew Trent and Bulgari (Lynn McBee).

As for the gents, it was tuxedo alley — Nick Evan subbing in for Allan McBee in a Tom Ford tuxedo with Lynn McBee, Kenny Troutt in J. Hilburn, Dwight Emanuelson in Tux Cucinelli, Clay Cooley in Chris Despos, Chase Cooley in Q Clothiers and Ken Betts, Charles McEvoy and Loyd Powell in Zegna. However, a couple of the fellas — Chris O’Neill, Billy Esping, Bill Goodwin, Michael Sills, Paul Coggins, John Lemak, Pete Cline, Rich Sterling, Jerry Fronterhouse, Bob White, Robin Robinson and Ben Lange —  broke from the traditional black tie by adding a little color to their wardrobes thanks to natty ties.

Pete and Caren Kline and Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins

Robin and Debby Robinson

Chris and Connie O’Neill

Billy and Heather Esping

Mimi and Rich Sterling

Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse

Bill and Margo Goodwin

As folks posed for photos in front of the ever-changing tree, it proved comical as some appeared to be sprouting a tree out of the top of their well-coiffed heads.

John Clutts, Jill Rowlett, Richard Eiseman, Dee Wyly and Sami Asrlanlar

As guests arrived, there were the traditional photos opps with Christie and then there was the photo bombing by the likes of Richard Eiseman.

Caroline Rose Hunt and Del Frnka

Just seconds after Carolina Rose Hunt and escort Del Frnka arrived, the winter living statue took an unplanned break requiring assistance. Luckily, Dr. Dan Kadesky was nearby and came to assist the season, who was ushered away. A few minutes later Fall followed suit, leaving Spring and Summer standing in place.

From the left: (front row) Margo Goodwin, Barbara Stuart, Robyn Conlon, Christie Carter, Tom Addis, Connie O’Neill, Louise Griffeth, Lindalyn Adams and Nancy Chapman; (back row) Sara Martineau, Gloria Eulich Martindale, Aileen Pratt, Tincy Miller, Michael Powell, Connie O’Neill and Caren Kline

At one point in the evening, it was time for the group photos of the past CCB chairs with Christie. Gathering these ladies up made herding hummingbirds look easy. No sooner would one be found than another one would disappear surrounded by a group of friends. Finally, they thought all were present except for Jill Smith. No one had seen her and it was getting near time to open the doors to the ballroom. The photos had to be taken. After being positioned on the staircase and the photos done, the ladies insisted that the man who had handheld so many of them in years past, event producer Tom Addis, join them for one final snap. Then they were off in different directions. Alas, Jill arrived minutes later. Seems that she and husband Bob Smith had been the victims of a traffic jam.

Crystal Charity Ball dining table

Just before the doors opened to the wintry wonderland, the ballroom appeared to shimmer thanks to the white floral arrangements with touches of pink, the tables with gold tablecloths and white chairs and the walls covered in white draping cast in a flood of lavender lighting.  For Angel of Grace sponsor Annette Simmons and her tablemates (husband Jerry Fronterhouse, Anita and Truman Arnold, Kelli and Jerry Ford and Gail and Gerald Turner, the cloth napkins were monogrammed with Annette’s initials.

Monogrammed napkin

Jerry and Kelli Ford

Truman and Anita Arnold

Gail and Gerald Turner

When the doors opened, the orchestra started playing and the video scenery commenced to the wide-eyed guests’ delight. As one guest put it, “The ballroom was breathtaking. With that backdrop, it appeared as if the orchestra was traveling through a winter wonderland.”

Unlike years past when performers provided presentations, the orchestra and video eliminated the need to hold guests back from crossing the dance floor. It made moving throughout the room so much easier. However, some folks were so mesmerized by the 22-minute musical/digital performance that they just stood in place.

Randall and Kara Goss

Sherwood Wagner and Todd Clendening

David and Anne Sutherland

Aileen and Jack Pratt

Jason and Laura Downing and Brooke and Aaron Shelby

Eventually, guests like Debby and Robin Robinson, Kara and Randall Goss, Anne and David Sutherland, Phyllis Cole McKnight and Steve McKnight, Paige McDaniel with Joe B Clark, Laura and Jason Downing, Joanna Clarke, Sherwood Wagner with Todd Clendening, Mersina Stubbs with Mackay Boynton, Brooke and Aaron Shelby and Alison and Mike Malone  took their places for a menu that included First Course (Maine lobster salad, Belgian endive and frisee, watermelon radish, asparagus, confit tomato and shave fennel, pretzel crouton and Dijon herb vinaigrette), Second Course (Demi-glazed and roasted garlic crusted filet of beef, Gruyere-celery root pave, maple roasted parsnips, harvest squash and blistered red pepper, chard-filled golden tomato and green peppercorn glace) and Dessert (Peppermint white chocolate mousse, red velvet cake and linzer crisp).

Suzanne and Jim Johnston and Angela Nash

Norma Hunt

Dinner table chats included Travis Holman reported that after purchasing Lee Bailey‘s place on Turtle Creek, he was planning on expanding the three-car garage to six and other additions to the estate… Angela Nash introducing her new boss, Methodist Health System Foundation President Jim Johnston, and his wife Suzanne Johnston to friends… Norma Hunt being thanked for her donation of her Perfect Season wine for the CCB fundraiser.

Simply Irresistible

Kevin Dahlberg and Francie Moody-Dahlberg

Just as the Symphony completed its performance, the Simply Irresistible from Atlanta appeared on stage, changing the mood to Motown. The result? The dance floor that had glimmered like an ice rink was filled to capacity by the guests like Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg, Mary Clare Finney, David Nichols, Diane and Hal Brierley, Julie and Ed Hawes, Debbie Oates, Carolyn and David Miller, Anne Davidson and Mark Porter and Tracy and Ben Lange. At one point it was so crowded that one woman who lost her footing would have normally landed flat on the floor. But in this case, it was so tight that she recovered before hitting the ground.  

Mary Clare Finney and David Nichols

And that wintry chill that had initially filled the ballroom was history. Thanks to the dance floor action, the room was heating up for partying long into the night, with the goal of providing more than $5.6M+ for Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Hope Supply Co., Notre Dame School of Dallas, Parkland Foundation on behalf of Parkland Health and Hospital System, Teach for America, The Family Place and Crystal Charity Ball Educational Scholarship Project.

For more than 70 photos of the evening, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

 

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Crystal Charity Ball

Elizabeth Gambrell, Kristina Whitcomb, Christie Carter, Claire Emanuelson, Susan Farris and Ola Fojasek

Thanks to 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Christie Carter‘s ball theme of “To Everything There Is A Season,” the black-tie fundraiser for area children’s nonprofits was wide open for fashionable interpretation, as well as decor. And, boy, did the 100 CCB committee members, guests and event producer Tom Addis deliver!

Pam Busbee

Spring

Lisa Cooley

From the spring floral designs to the mammoth digital sleigh ride through snowy scenery complete with a 22-minute orchestral performance in the wintry wonderland of the Hilton Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom, the seasons were all there on Saturday, December 3.

Crystal Charity Ball dining table

While the post is being finalized, check out the two pages of more than 75 photos at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: 33rd St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Designers, Patron Party And Raffle Item Plans Revealed

2017 St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show*

With the Christmas holidays in the rear view mirror, retailers are filling shelves with all types of sweetheart deals getting folks in the mood for St. Valentine’s Day. And this year the stars are truly in alignment for the 33rd Annual St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show. Unlike many years past, this year’s “Affair of the Heart” will indeed take place on Tuesday, February 14!

Nancy and Richard Rogers (File photo)

Presented by Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers, the extravaganza will take place once again at the Meyerson with the fashion show under the direction of event producer Jan Strimple.

And, boy, has red-haired Jan been busy. She’s been scurrying around Highland Park Village cherry-picking the very best from Brunello Cucinelli, St. John, Market, Escada, Etro and Carolina Herrera.

Heather Randall (File photo)

While on the subject of Highland Park Village, in addition to being the fashion show and luncheon sponsor, HPV’s Jimmy Choo will be the site of the patron party on Tuesday, February 7, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. In addition to a percentage of Jimmy Choo sales benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser that night, the luncheon/fashion show raffle items will be revealed and chances will be available for purchase. Word has it that trips are gonna be included in the items with American Airlines serving as the “official travel sponsor.” Just imagine what a hit it would be to win a trip to give your special Valentine that evening over a cozy dinner!

Event Chair Heather Perttula Randall has arranged to use “two floors for the luncheon. Priority placement for the Main Floor for the luncheon will be based on giving level and time of receipt of your contract.”

The champagne reception will start bubbling at 10 a.m., so lock down your ticket. Then splurge and buy yourself a red, hot outfit to the St. V-Day lunch.

 

Dallas Museum Of Art Speakeasy’s Raffle Is Gonna Be The Bargain Of The Shakened, Stirred And Styled Season

Dallas Museum of Art’s Speakeasy celebrating is going to have such a bargain raffle on Saturday, February 4, at the DMA. If you can afford a cup of coffee at Ascension, you can afford a couple of chance tickets. But first, here is the lineup of the five raffle packages:

  • The Joule Hotel and Midnight Rambler Package:  Lavish in the thoughtful comfort and luxury of The Joule.  With dramatic art installations, unique retail boutiques, a world-class spa, clever design, award-winning food and drinks and some of the best service in town, The Joule is seen as the cultural epicenter of downtown. Enjoy a one night get away in deluxe accommodations with complimentary overnight valet parking and a $100 gift card for food and beverage at the premier craft cocktail bar, the Midnight Rambler. 
  • Fossil® Q Wander rose gold stainless and Q Marshal in brown leather: Q Wander and Q Marshal are Fossil’s newest digital display watches that connects seamlessly to your phone. The tech-savvy dial with touchscreen functionality tracks everything from daily steps to calories. Notifications alert you of incoming calls and texts. *Powered by Android Wear™ (but compatible with iOS and Android wear phones) this smartwatch tracks activity, connects to your favorite apps, receives display notifications, and has customizable faces and interchangeable strap options to fit your style. Noticeable design details include slim lugs on Q Wander and a rugged bezzle on Q Marshal for an updated design look on a smarter watch. 
  • Victor Tangos and Bella and Chloe:  Enjoy a $150-shopping spree at Bella and Chloe/Brethren Boutique. Touting men’s and women’s boho wears, this shop is known for precious metals and stones from all around the world. Bella and Chloe is an American made brand known for the effortlessly cool, unbound, and bohemian soul translating culture through style and youthful freedom. Then stroll across the street to Victor Tangos wear you have $100 on the house! Always in the top ten of places to grab a craft cocktail and savory meal, Victor Tangos is the home to Rising Star Chef of the Year, Chef Kirstyn Brewer!   
  • Martini glass, c. 2001 by Valeri Timofeev*

    Ultra-Luxe Roxor Gin Experience: Six tickets to a private curator tour through the “Shaken, Stirred, Styled” exhibition. Then, enjoy an exclusive Roxor cocktail-making class, perched 19 floors above Klyde Warren Park and the DMA, in a private residence. The owners of this Dallas-distilled gin will explain how gin is made and the unique botanicals used in Roxor. Each guest will enjoy crafting three cocktails, complemented by fashionable hors d’oeuvres. A Roxor memorable experience!

  • Arts & Letters Live VIP package #1Jessi Klein is the Emmy and Peabody award-winning head writer and executive producer of Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed series “Inside Amy Schumer.” Growing up gawkish and a late bloomer, Jessi Klein never identified with the conventional standards of modern femininity. Instead she viewed herself as a tomboy who found her voice through comedy. In her outrageously funny and unapologetically candid breakout book, “You’ll Grow Out of It,” Klein compiles a perceptive collection of confessional essays that offer readers a relatable glimpse into exactly what it means to be a woman in today’s world.  Package winners will receive reserved seating, tickets to the event, one copy of the book, and fast track passes for the book signing following the event.   Saturday, February 25, 7:30 p.m.              
  • Arts & Letters Live VIP package #2:  Arts & Letters Live presents “Happy Hour!” A talk, cocktail sampling, and performance inspired by “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.”  6:15-7:00 p.m. Pre-performance talk/Q&A and cocktails in the DMA’s Founders Room with David Wondrich, one of the world’s foremost authorities on cocktails and their history; author of the book Imbibe!, which won a James Beard Award.   7:30 p.m. Happy Hour! Performance: The DMA’s exhibition “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail” packs just the punch required for five acclaimed musicians to create an adventurous concoction of rhythm, music, and text, to be enjoyed responsibly for one night only. Songs will range from Mozart, Offenbach, and Verdi to Cole Porter and Joni Mitchell. This marks the ninth collaboration of Arts and Letters Live with artistic programmer Ryan Taylor, whose creative process combines art, music, and literary excerpts.  Package winners will receive two tickets to the pre-event talk/Q&A, cocktails, a copy of the book “Imbibe!,” reserved seating,  and two tickets for the performance.  Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sounds good. But let’s think about stupendous great. Chance tickets will be going for $1 each. Hello? One buck? Ten dimes? Yup! And to make it even better and easier for shy types, the raffle tickets are available online, so you don’t have to chat it up with anyone.

The winners will be announced at 11 p.m. the night of the fundraiser, but you don’t need to be present to win.

Martini glasses (File photo)

But then you’ll want to be on the scene. Besides blushing and hollering when your name is called, you’ll want to be part of the jazz babies, who are going to be adding to the “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.”

So, why not splurge and go high hog with VIP tickets for the party, buy a fistful of chance tickets and party the night away?

BTW, get there early because self-parking will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Newly Named Dallas Bishop Edward R. Burns To Attend 19th Annual Bishop’s Gala

The naming of present Juneau Bishop Edward J. Burns as Dallas’ new Catholic leader has loads of folks wanting to get a look at him. And while he doesn’t officially take over until his installation on Thursday, February 9, he’s managing to slip into town to get acquainted with his associates and parishioners.

Bishop Edward R. burns*

One of those visits will take place on Saturday, January 28, at the 19th Annual Bishop’s Gala on Saturday, January 28 at Omni Dallas Hotel.

And, boy, is Bishop Burns gonna be impressed with what Gala Co-Chairs Betty and Steve Suellentrop along with committee members Michele and John Stephens, Monica and Mark Wischmeyer, Kathleen Woodyard, Mel Bangs and others have put together.

The entertainment for the evening will be Huey Lewis and The News, who are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Grammy Award-winning “The Power of Love,” that is synonymous with Steven Spielberg’s “Back to the Future.”

Makes perfect sense, since this year’s theme just happens to be “The Power of Love.”

BTW, if you’ve ever attended an event with Huey and his band, you just know it’s gonna be a killer of an evening with even those who never-ever dance on the dance floor.   

The evening will include cocktails, dinners, live and silent auctions and a raffle including a trip to Paris, tickets to “Hamilton” on Broadway and a trip to Napa Valley.

Thanks to sponsorships and tickets, the evening’s proceeds will benefit Catholic Charities of Dallas’ four core mission areas: strengthening families, alleviating hunger, preventing homelessness and welcoming the strangers and calls the community to action for people of all denominations.
 
 * Photo courtesy of Catholic Diocese of Dallas

With Loads Of Turquoise And Stars Above, Spirit Of Taos Sparkled At The Lot Resulting In More Than $141K For The Wilkinson Center

The night couldn’t have been more perfect for a fundraiser at The Lot in East Dallas, just across the street from White Rock Lake. And as luck would have it, The Wilkinson Center‘s Spirit of Taos took full advantage of the perfect conditions on Friday, October 28. While others were in black tie and diamonds over at the Dallas Opera’s First Night, the Wilkinson crowd donned bolo ties and turquoise to net $141,061.80. (Who says every penny doesn’t count?) BTW, it was a darn purty group of folks. Here’s a report from the field:

The Lot*

The Lot*

Hosted by the Friends of Wilkinson Center, the Spirit of Taos took place on Friday, October 28, at The Lot in Lakewood with a sellout crowd of 300 millennials and baby-boomers, who dusted off their cowboy boots to show their support for Wilkinson Center.

From the left: Laura Ailshire, Kristen Johnson, Michael Graska, Meredith Dier s, Kendall Angela, Hunter Heres, Kelli Mansfield, OJ DeSouza, Jenn Dolim, Tia Williams, Kay Weir

From the left: Laura Ailshire, Kristen Johnson, Michael Graska, Meredith Diers, Kendall Angela, Kelli Mansfield, Hunter Heres, Kay Weir, OJ DeSouza, Tia Williams and Jenn Dolim and Tia Williams*

Jeremy Zidell and Mark and Sloane Simon*

Jeremy Zidell and Mark and Sloane Simon*

Will Walters and Joe Acosta*

Will Walters and Joe Acosta*

The event kicked off with a cocktail hour from 7-8pm that featured margaritas and hors d’oeuvres like quesadillas, mini pimento cheese sandwiches, tostadas and chicken flautas.  Guests like Daniella Giglio, Will Waters, Joe Acosta, Jeremy Zidell, Sloane and Mark Simon, Matt Muckleroy, Nick Higdem, Liz Stutts, Laura Ailshire, Kristen Johnson, Michael Graska, Meredith Diers, Kendall Angela, Hunter Heres, Kelli Mansfield, OJ DeSouza, Jenn Dolim,Tia Williams and Kay Weir were welcomed by Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder and Spirit of Taos Event Co-Chairs Stephanie Taylor, Sloan Looney Dix and Meridith Zidell

Sloan Looney Dix, Meridith Zidell and Stephanie Taylor*

Sloan Looney Dix, Meridith Zidell and Stephanie Taylor*

Steve and Cathy Saxon*

Steve and Cathy Saxon*

Matt Thornton*

Matt Thornton*

A seated dinner followed with southwest-flavored food from The Lot and dessert by Emporium Pies. Special remarks were made by our guest emcee Matt Thornton, who is the Cross Sports Talk Radio host, and Honorary Co-Chairs Cathy and Steve Saxon, long time Wilkinson Center supporters. Guests listened and danced throughout the evening to tunes from Frank in the Middle and Downtown Fever.

Anthony Contreras and Daniella Giglio*

Anthony Contreras and Daniella Giglio*

Babo Crain*

Babo Crain*

Raffle and Silent Auction Co-Chairs Anthony Contreras and Babo Crain did a fantastic job collecting one of the kind items and unique experiences. The silent auction featured items like sports memorabilia with an autographed shoe by the one and only Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki and a Florida Beach vacation getaway including airfare. The raffle included dining extravaganza package with gift certificates to dine at some of the best restaurants and a cooking collaboration at the Onion Creek Kitchens at Juniper Farms in Blanco. If you weren’t interested in what the silent auction or raffle had to offer, there was also a Kendra Scott station set up where mystery jewelry boxes were sold for $60/per box. Each box contained a piece of jewelry that ranged in value from $60-$250. Flashbox Photobooth Dallas was set up to commemorate the evening with photos.

Walk in Dirk's Shoe*

Walk in Dirk’s Shoe*

We are so grateful for everyone who came out, supported and had a great time!  We could not have done it without our loyal constituents and our corporate and individual sponsors which included: Avison Young, Robert Baird, Marsha and Craig Innes, Paper City, The Retail Connection, Sewell Lexus, The T Shop, Veritex Bank and David Weekly Homes.

The night resulted in a total net amount of $141,061.80 that allow us to continue to provide pathways out of poverty for our clients. Until next year….

* Photo credit: Eric Priddy

JUST IN: Marketing Executive Andrea Alcorn To Serve As Honorary Chair For Upcoming SPCA’s Paws Cause

If you haven’t already got your 2017 calendar, hustle and get it now! Believe it or not, dates are being lined up and even the usual January ho-hums are turning into “Oh, my’s”.

Why, Saturday, January 28, is looking like a collision course of fundraising with the 19th Annual Bishop’s Gala (with Huey Lewis and the News but without a Bishop), the ChildCare Group‘s Great Adventure Hunt at the Perot and The Birthday Party Project celebrating its own fifth birthday at The Bomb Factory.

Andrea Alcorn (File photo)

Andrea Alcorn (File photo)

Now word comes that Sunday, January 29, is not going to be a stay-at-home day. The annual SPCA of TexasPaws Cause is gonna be partying it up at the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Center from 6 to 9 p.m.

This year’s theme is “Pawsitively Dallas Strong” and the honorary chair will be blonde marketing exec Andrea Alcorn, who is also serving as president of KidneyTexas this year. That gal is gonna be busy!

Back to Paws Cause: This year’s event will be grazing feast with food from Salum, Parigi, Pink Magnolia and more!

Benefiting the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair, the event is being coordinated by the 2017 Steering Committee including Jane Arrington, Steve Atkinson, Blythe Beck, Rebecca Belew, Diane Brierley, Andie Comini, Phyllis Comu, Giana DePaul, Gwen Echols, Kristen Greenberg, Christina Miller, Janice Provost, Pam Ragon, Abraham Salum, Karen Urie and Cathy Zigrossi.

According to insiders, the Rees-Jones Animal Center residents are going to be all gussied up for the evening with hopes of impressing potential new BFFs.  

Tickets are available here.

2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Made Some Tweaks To The POA Resulting In An Over-The-Top Fundraiser With Dwight Yoakam And Toby Keith

The 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball redefined the words Texas Proud on Saturday, October 15, at Gilley’s. Despite the MIA of Rogers, Hunts, Simmons and all the legendary names of giving, other philanthropists rose to the occasion of fighting cancer with funding.

Andrea Weber, DwightYoakmam and Cara French

Andrea Weber, DwightYoakmam and Cara French

In spite of Co-Chair Andrea Weber having given birth just two weeks earlier and Co-Chair Cara French having been hit by the making-the-rounds stomach virus, their game plan and committee of 100 rose to the occasion and impressed even the hard-to-impress oldtimers.  

Perhaps it was due to some rearranging of thangs. First of all, the decision was made to have two headliners perform — Dwight Yoakam on the Live Auction Stage and Toby Keith on the Andrews Distributing Main Stage. In the past, the evening had centered around one big name performer like Tim McGraw or Kenny Chesney on the Main Stage. This move was smart…very smart.

Dwight Yoakam

Dwight Yoakam

Another change in POA was having the VIP party take place in South Side Ballroom with the swells having their own private 30-minute concert provided by Dwight. In the meantime, the general admission types grazed on never-ending vittles, checked out the silent auction and rode the Ferris wheel. One Dwight devotee general admission guest was asked if he was disappointed about missing out on the private performance. His response, after he finished chewing a mouthful of food, was, “Heck, no. We’re having too much fun eating!”

At 7 p.m., the doors to the ballroom were open for all to catch the rest of Dwight’s performance.

Okay, so that’s what was going on publicly. Behind the scenes, just before Dwight went on stage, the VVIPs found themselves queuing up among the catering staff for their photo opp with Dwight. Behind the curtain, all was set up for a quick grip-and-grin including a box for the photogs to use. Seems Dwight prefers that arrangement. One onlooker suggested that it might be due to Dwight’s extra weight. Nah!

As the VVIPs lined up, word was passed that Dwight was present. He accommodated one and all except for one photographer’s request: “Could you raise your hat?” Dwight smiled and said, “No. People don’t want to see my eyes.”

But everybody wanted to see Dwight on stage and he did not disappoint one iota. Playing all his hits—from “Little Ways” and “Fast as You” to “Ain’t That Lonely Yet”—Dwight also performed several songs in tribute to the late Merle Haggard. Thanks to his performance, the energy was in “skyrocket drive.” Even the stuffiest types found themselves being part of the mosh pit.

Hal Brierley, Kent Rathbun, Diane Brierley, Kevin Garvin, Dean Fearing, Nick Barclay and Jim Severson

Hal Brierley, Kent Rathbun, Diane Brierley, Kevin Garvin, Dean Fearing, Nick Barclay and Jim Severson

Amy Turner and Stephen Ratchford

Amy Turner and Stephen Ratchford

It was the perfect warm-up for the live auction that took place almost seconds after Dwight and his crew left the stage. And what a live auction it was.

Hal Brierley hinted that he and wife Diane Brierley just might take a pass on the Smokin’ Chefs’ Silver Anniversary Dinner this year. They had already bought five or six in the past. Diane smiled. Perhaps Hal was doing a fake pass. Indeed! With chefs Kent Rathbun, Dean Fearing, Nick Barclay, Jim Severson, Kevin Garvin, David Holben and Richard Chamberlain on stage, the Brierley got into a bidding war with blonde, turquoise-wearing Amy Turner. Kent and the boys were determined to kick the final tab past the six-figure mark. After a brief huddle, the boys agreed to sell two dinners for $75,000 each. Someone recalled that this solution had taken place in past years, with the two dinners hitting the $100,000 mark.

Lisa Cooley

Lisa Cooley

Last year’s dinner co-winner Lisa Cooley had already won her party night earlier in the auction, by picking up the Texas-Sized Party At Gilley’s for 200, complete with Rivers And Rust, for $55,000. When asked how she planned to use the party time, she held up her two hands flashing five fingers on each. Hello? Come again. She’s going to use it for her upcoming 55th birthday.

Gail and Cliff Fischer

Gail and Cliff Fischer

The Bring Out The Big Guns! Package got a standing ovation, thanks to the presentation by Stand 2 Armory team made up of former Navy Seals, Army Rangers, Green Berets and Dallas SWAT, who would provide a day of shooting all types of machine guns for seven people. Said one of the guys, hyping the package: “Nothing says America more than guns, explosions, and curing cancer!” It went for $82,000.

But the big OMG number of the night was dropped by Cliff Fischer. He hit the $100K mark with a Texas-sized smile for the Steak You Claim On A Night With The Boys…. the boys being Troy Aikman, Charles Haley, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Darren Woodson and the steaks being courtesy of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Seems that Cliff bought the package last year, held it at his mansion-sweet-mansion, flew in folks from around the country and had one heck of a great time. This time he’s planning on doing it even bigger and better.

The bidding was so impressive that credit card companies were reeling from the numbers coming out of Dallas.

Of course, there was a bargain or two. For instance, Swiss explorer Johan Ernst Nilson told the crowd that the last time his Bhutan Adventure was put up for auction, it went for $170,000. Guess Dallasites aren’t into trekking through “the happiest place on Earth.” It was picked up for a measly $38,000.  

Mary C. Corrigan

Mary C. Corrigan

Andrea Nayfa, Dawn Greiner, Nancy Gopez and Kris Johnson

Andrea Nayfa, Dawn Greiner, Nancy Gopez and Kris Johnson

Brook Hortenstine and Paige Westhoff

Brook Hortenstine and Paige Westhoff

Samantha Wortley and Bina Patel

Samantha Wortley and Bina Patel

And that was just a snapshot of the live auction that ran right on schedule thanks to the Baronesses ringing those cowbells and auctioneers Wendy Lambert and Amy Assiter running a tight ship. In fact it finished early, so the folks could get back for seconds of food or hit the casino games that made Choctaw looked like a bingo parlor.

Luke Lange

Luke Lange

Toby Keith and gals in blue

Toby Keith and gals in blue

That was just enough time to amble next door to the bigger-than-a-small-town tent for Toby Keith on the Andrews Distributing Main Stage. Behind the scenes, the VVIPs lined up for a grip-and-grin with Toby. Despite the line seeming never to end, Toby howdy-ed everyone and even signed cancer-survivor Luke Lange’s cowboy hat.

Just after the last couple posed with Toby and he was headed to the stage, someone noted a couple of Dallas police standing nearby. Shoot! What was one more photo? Toby liked the idea and so did his crew and so did the policewomen. Picture snapped and Toby was on his way.

Like Dwight, Toby didn’t disappoint. It was as if more than 3,000 had all overdosed on Red Bull.

Toby Keith

Toby Keith

Still another change in operation this year was the line of security types stoically seated in front of the stage facing the thousands. This arrangement helped prevent a mosh pit from taking place and blocking the view of the peeps sitting at tables upfront.

And speaking of “change,” the CBB abacuses are still counting up the amount that will be put on the check to support cancer research and development.

2017 CBB Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill have their work cut out for them, and they love the challenge. It’s gonna be hard to improve on this one.

For more photos from the night’s fun(d)raising, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon Celebrated Equest’s 35th Anniversary With Guests Ponying Up For A Match Offer

Amigo, Rico and Teddy found Brook Hollow Golf Club to their liking on Tuesday, October 4. After all, the weather was perfect, the grass was green and they were the center of attention as guests arrived for the 2016 Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon’s “Riding High.” For their being part of the greeting lineup, Equest‘s Amigo, Rico and Teddy had come all the way from Equest’s Wylie facility and they definitely didn’t use Uber. The three equines opted for trailer accommodations with their handlers (Alyssa Cigainero, Shelby Nicoletti, Lizzie Ball and Tia Turkeulainen) and riders (James Taylor in English attire and Ryan Wolf in chaps) in tow.

Teddy and Alyssa Cigainero

Teddy and Alyssa Cigainero

Rico and Tiia Turkulainen

Rico and Tiia Turkulainen

Ryan Wolf, Amigo and Shelby Nicoletti

Ryan Wolf, Amigo and Shelby Nicoletti

Program Director Joan Cutler, who started out as an Equest volunteer back in the ’90s, couldn’t have been happier with her crew of horses, volunteers and staffers on the country club’s grounds.

Inside the clubhouse, Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Di Johnston was also all smiles about the day. Thanks to fashion producer Jan Strimple and Highland Park Village’s Lela Rose, Alice and Olivia, St. John, Market, Etro, Akris, Carolina Herrera and William Noble Jewels, there would be more than 70 outfits on the runway.

But before the fashions would be presented to guests like last year’s Honorary Chair Carolyn Lupton, Jean Lattimore, Lisa Cooley, Elisa Summers, Heather Washburne, Nancy Carter, Jill Rowlett and Bela Piertrovic, the program got underway with Di revealing that one of the best days during her presidency was the one in which Kara Axley agreed to chair the luncheon.

Carolyn Lupton and Jean Lattimore

Carolyn Lupton and Jean Lattimore

Kara recognized the partnership that Equest has had over the years with Highland Park Village and its being this year’s presenting sponsor. She then introduced Park Cities Presbyterian Church Associate Pastor Dr. Pete Deison, who reminded guests that “the heart of Equest is compassion. It is a value that is slowly and sadly waning in our society because we have become a society that is more interested in what we see on our computers and on our phones that we do reaching out and touching other people. We are also interested in the things that go fast rather than the time it takes to saddle a horse and touch an individual that needs our help.”

Following the invocation, Kara introduced 2016 Honorary Co-Chair Bill Noble, who described the love that he and wife/2016 Honorary Co-Chair Lezlie Noble have for Equest as a star with the five points — the staff, the volunteers, the horses, the clientele (handicapped children and military veterans) and the donors. “Equest cannot do what they do without you guys.”

Equest CEO Lil Kellogg then described how children who spend most of their days in wheelchairs are taller than all others when they ride their therapy horses.

Following Lili, a video was shown with Equest Founder Susan Schwartz and others recalling Equest’s 35 years of providing equine power for those with physical and emotional challenges.

Louise Griffeth, Kara Axley, Lindalyn Adams and Di Johnston

Louise Griffeth, Kara Axley, Lindalyn Adams and Di Johnston

As the lights went up, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Founder Louise Griffeth was at the podium introducing the 2016 Equest Award for Community Service honoree Lindalyn Adams. Louise described Lyndalyn as a “Superwoman” who has been the driving force for countless nonprofits and community organization, as well as being a great grandmother of four.

Following Lindalyn’s being presented with an award from Tiffany, Louise said that she had more news. An anonymous donor had agreed to match any monies raised at the day’s luncheon in honor of the 35th anniversary of Equest.

Annie Griffeth

Annie Griffeth

She then added that the poster at the entrance of the clubhouse would report the tally of the day, and that the illustration had been created by her new daughter-in-law Annie Griffeth.

Kara provided one more bit of news. Fashion producer Jan Strimple and Akris would be hosting an event benefiting Equest in the Akris store on Thursday, October 6, featuring their new Aidentity handbag from 1 to 6 p.m.

She also announced that Beth Thoele would be chairing the 2017 luncheon.

With the removal of the podium, the fashions started parading down the runway.

The only oops of the day occurred when a couple of guests managed to sit down in front-row seats that had been assigned to others, driving the real seat-holders away to the north 40. Then the same twosome arrived at one of the big-buck tables, forcing one of the assigned guests to hit McDonalds for a bite—and the venue’s staff to squeeze in an extra chair and place-setting at the table for the other displaced guest. Confused by the situation, the table host thought the event organizers had reassigned her/his original guests with the permission and approval of the castaways. Oh, well, mix-ups do happen. But even a McDonald’s Southwest salad can’t hold a candle to Brook Hollow’s pecan crusted chicken.

Former First Twin/Author/”Today” Show Jenna Bush Hager Brought The Importance Of Family To Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon

Despite a presidential debate taking place the night before, former First Twin Jenna Bush Hager had nary a question about politics at the meet-and-greet for Family Gateway’s “Gateway to Opportunity” on Tuesday, September 27, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

One guest at the meet-and-greet in Fair Park II Suite brought a a copy of Jenna’s “Our Great Big Backyard” that she had co-authored with her mom/former First Lady Laura Bush. Another guest also brought her daughter….well, sorta. Seems her daughter wanted to attend but couldn’t. So mom had a head cutout on a stick made of her daughter and held it proudly when she  had their picture taken with Jenna.

As folks lined up to be photographer with the “Today” contributing correspondent, someone noticed that co-author Laura Bush had arrived. Still Jenna was the Bush of the hour.

One event planner admitted amazement how accommodating Jenna was posing for cellphone selfies and flashing a homecoming queen smile for each shot.

Paula Miltenberger, Jenna Bush Hager and Bay Miltenberger

Paula Miltenberger, Jenna Bush Hager and Bay Miltenberger

And since Family Gateway is dedicated to help families, it was a family driven event. Co-Chair Paula Miltenberger managed to get shots of her boys (Bo Miltenberger and Brady Miltenberger), her mom (Dianne Bosler) and hubby (Bay Miltenberger) with Jenna. Co-Chair Tracy Lange also had photos taken of husband (Ben Lange), daughter (Livia Lange) and son (Luke Lange) with Jenna.

Jenna Bush Hager, Livia Lange and Tracy Lange

Jenna Bush Hager, Livia Lange and Tracy Lange

Luke Lange and Jenna Bush Hager

Luke Lange and Jenna Bush Hager

Ben Lange and Jenna Bush Hager

Ben Lange and Jenna Bush Hager

It was touching to have sisters Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr at the luncheon. Their mother, the late Dallas Mayor Annette Strauss, founded Family Gateway to provide “supportive housing, access to early childhood development, after-school tutoring and mentoring” 30 years ago.

Ruth Altshuler, Laura Bush, Jenna Bush Hager, Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr

Ruth Altshuler, Laura Bush, Jenna Bush Hager, Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr

No sooner was there a last call for a photo with Jenna made, then she left to join the crowd in the Trinity Ballroom. As the guests began to leave the room, some mighty big and fine checks showed up from Matthews Southwest and Sammons Enterprises much to the delight of Family Gateway Executive Director Ellen Magnis.

Lisa Troutt and Michael Faircloth

Lisa Troutt and Michael Faircloth

Tracy and Kent Rathbun

Tracy and Kent Rathbun

Inside the Dallas Ballroom, the guests (Honorary Co-Chairs Tracy and Kent Rathbun, Underwriting Co-Chairs Ciara Cooley and Lisa Cooley, Bela Piertrovic, Bianco Filio, Anne Davidson, Ana Carty, Ruth Altshuler, Lisa Troutt, Michael Faircloth, D’Andra Simmons, Gene Jones, Angie Kadesky, Missy Falchi, Jeanne Cox, Christie Carter, Claire Emanuelson, Jack Matthews, Scott Galbraith and Gina Betts with her longtime associate Joan Rose, who is retiring) were taking their places.

Emcee/WFAA co-anchor Ron Corning welcomed the crowd and had Highland Park United Methodist Church Rev. Susan Robb provide the invocation.

Anne Johnson

Anne Johnson

Following lunch, Ron introduce Family Gateway Chairman of the Board Anne Johnson, who told of a client, who was juggling a job, running a household and raising children. When Anne asked her how she was handling it all, the woman responded, “I’m doing great. I have a plan. At Family Gateway they treat me like an adult with respect. My kids see that and I feel for the first time that like I can do this.”

Ellen told how during the first 25 years, Family Gateway served approximately 55 families annually. Last year, it provided safe housing and services to almost 500 families. Of the families help, most are single mom situations. One of the differences of Family Gateway is that they have all types of families. Some have grandparents, single fathers with children and married couples with children. It will also accept boys of a certain age that most shelters will not take in resulting in the youths to be sent to a men’s shelter.

Ellen admitted that one of the frustrations facing Family Gateway is affordable housing for clients. However, she was pleased…no, more than pleased to announce a partnership with Matthews Southwest to develop such housing providing 336 units near the International Inland Port of Dallas in Hutchins.

Shanjula Harris

Shanjula Harris

As proof of their efforts, Tracy and Paula introduced former client/mother of three Shanjula Harris, who told how she rose from the darkest depths of her life as a mother unable to provide for her children thanks to the volunteers and staff at Family Gateway. She admitted that the hardest part was being scared alone. Thanks to Family Gateway, she was freed of that fear and was no longer alone. Today she has a place for her family, a job that she looks forward to and wants to make a difference in the world. “I hope I am living proof that you have made a difference. For those of you who have been a member of Family Gateway family, thank you for believing in me.”

Following a call to offer financial assistance, MetroPCS Director Ethan Stubbs reported that in addition to be the 2016 presenting sponsor, it had signed up for 2017. In addition to financial support for Family Gateway, they were also rolling up their sleeves to provide hands-on involvement on events throughout the year. He then introduced Jenna and went off script saying that he had put her most recent book — “Our Great Big Backyard” — to the test with his six children ranging from 18 months to 13 years. “We read the book and they stayed engaged the entire time which is not an easy thing to do.”

From the left: (seated) Peter Slater, Ethan Stubbs, Barry Carlson, Steve Seay and Luis Reynoso; (standing) Suzy Kelley, Mike Loverde and Christy Harris

From the left: (seated) Peter Slater, Ethan Stubbs, Barry Carlson, Steve Seay and Luis Reynoso; (standing) Suzy Kelley, Mike Loverde and Christy Harris

Before starting Jenna admitted that she cries at the drop of a hat. Throughout her talk, she teared up whether it was talking about her children, recognizing Shanjula for her testimonial, acknowledging Annette for creating Family Gateway and thanking those who have followed her lead.

But her message was one of how important the family was and the lessons that are handed down from generation to generation. Just as her grandfather, former President George “Gampy” H.W. Bush had learned about giving back from his mother. “He wrote about it in a letter in 1997, “Early on my mom gave us profound advice. It sounds simple now, but when I became President I knew just how sound it was — “Be honest; tell the truth; be kind.”

This message of compassion and giving back had really hit home with her since the birth of her two daughters — Mila Hager and Poppy Hager. As she recalled how fortunate her own daughters were to have been born with a home, loving parents and grandparents, with warm water for baths and rooms full of books, her voice choked. Her hope was that she could “teach them the luck that they were born, so they can spread luck to other kids who live in the same circumstances.”

At this point, she decided some comic relief was needed and brought the group up to date on her family.

  • “My mom is now commanding the ex-commander-in-chief to pick up his dirty towels and underwear.”
  • “My grandparents — Gampy and Gammy — are doing very well. You may have heard that my grandfather was sick several years ago and was hospitalized. It was actually Christmas Eve and we were in Richmond, Virginia, where my husband’s family lived. If you think this has been interrupted by emotion, you should have seen that meal when my parents called” to get to Houston “to say good-bye.” In the ride to the hospital, they all agreed they were not going to cry. They were going to upbeat. But Jenna, who was six months pregnant, Gampy touched her stomach and whispered, “The circle of life. I can’t wait to meet this baby.” The entire room broke down crying. While the rest of the family was prepared for the worst, Bush matriarch Barbara Bush knew he would pull through. “She’s known as the enforcer in our family. And when she speaks, we listen. She told him about all the things he had to look forward to — two great grandchildren being born, my dad’s library opening here in Dallas — and he had no choice but to live.”
  • Her dad (former President George W. Bush) has been working on his golf game and his art. “I just can’t believe he’s an artist.” According to Jenna, there was a period when he “would only communicate through his art.” He would send a sketch of an airplane saying “Flying to Arizona.” With a twinkle in her eye, she said that “Barbara (Jenna’s twin sister) and I were actually secretly worried about him.” When they would ask what time he would be landing, he would respond with the drawing of a clock. Jenna described that time, “We were playing Pictionary every day.” His art has moved from portraits to pets to landscapes and “now world leaders. If you haven’t seen his Putin, you really should.”
  • Describing her mom, who was seated nearby, she asked if anyone else in the audience had had a librarian for a mother. When one person responded, Jenna said to the woman, “So you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes it seems like the fun would just never end.” In working with her mom on a new book about the national parks, Jenna described Laura as “a tedious editor. I don’t recommend you ever sending anything to her unless the grammar is absolutely perfect.”

Getting back to the day’s mission, she recalled how despite having earned her teaching certification, she still wasn’t prepared for 24-nine-year-olds or the poverty in inner city D.C. and west Baltimore… “No class could have taught me what to say to a child who had witnessed a stabbing on the way to school or comfort a young man who learned his father was going to jail. My kids were/are brilliant, but the odds are stacked against them like many of the kids from Family Gateway. They were hungry. Their parents were working multiple jobs to support them. And society in many ways dictates that they won’t be successful and they won’t graduate. I will say, though, that my sixth grade class from the school in Maryland not only all graduated from high school a couple of years ago, but they all 100% got into a college.”

Jenna Bush Hager and Ron Corning

Jenna Bush Hager and Ron Corning

In the fall of 2006 Jenna moved to Latin America and met Ana, a 17-year-old single mother with HIV AIDs. She, like Shanjula, talked about being alone and how supportive programs helped her. At the women’s conference, where Jenna met Ana, the young mother grabbed the microphone and said, “I want everyone to know that we are living with HIV. We are no longer dying from it. So, let’s make our lives matter. Let’s live to make a difference. Let’s make our lives count.” As a result, they met throughout Jenna’s nine months in Latin America resulting in the book, “Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope” and her job with NBC’s “Today” show.

Ron returned to chat with Jenna and opened with, “So who do you think won last night’s debate?” (Laughter) Jenna responded, “I don’t think my mic is working.”

Jenna Bush Hager with "the boys"

Jenna Bush Hager with “the boys”

  • Young volunteers — When asked what got her into this service mode, she responded that it was by her parents’ example. Jenna then pointed out impressed she was by the “little boys,” who had been helping at the luncheon.
  • Teachers — She stressed the importance of today’s teachers and how they do much, much more than fulfill the requirements. “Show the teachers in your community that their job isn’t necessarily ‘cute,’ but it’s hard and it’s really, really important.”
  • Her job on “Today” — She was originally to cover education seven years ago, but it’s evolved to all subject matters. “Tomorrow I’m interviewing Reese Witherspoon.”
  • Cellphones — “It’s not just our kids looking down. Parents need to put their phones down and listen to their kids.”

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.