If “Dallas” Scored Bucks For Cattle Baron’s, What Else Might Happen

Patrick Duffy (File photo)

While J.R. and Bobby are duking it out over Miss Ellie’s hand-me-downs, the Cattle Baron’s crew is benefiting from the antics of the Ewing family. Their website surged to new heights the night of the TNT debut of “Dallas.”

As if that wasn’t enough, the next morning a viewer visited the CBB website, contacted its offices and bought themselves a $7,500 Baron sponsorship.

Cattle Baron's Ball 2011 (File photo)

Warning to the newest Baron Sponsor: Don’t believe the TV show. The real Cattle Baron’s Ball is a whole lot more fun and. Oh, and western wear is the attire du jour.

Hmm, just wondering if the TV series might help other area nonprofits. What if

  • the Dallas Symphony worked out a deal where J.R. flirted with Anna-Sophia van Zweden
  • Community Partners of Dallas tapped Sue Ellen to be honorary chair for the Chick Lit Luncheon
  • Sheila and Jody Grant arranged for Christopher Ewing to organize the planting of the trees at the Klyde Warren Park
  • Maggie Kipp and Shay Geyer had Elena as a celebrity waiter and spilled a tray full of food on John Ross at the Celebrity Waiters Luncheon
  • Hope Cottage held a “Pops Who Adopt” picnic with Bobby Ewing underwriting the whole event.

Enough! Got to get back to real work.

Art Of The Film Has A House(r) In The House

Elvis Mitchell (File photo)

For the past two years, the Dallas Film Society has held The Art of Film, a marvelous one-night-only event, in November at the Hall of State. There is no movie shown. Rather it’s a conversation with a film legend. First year it was Robert “Bobby” Duvall. Last year it was John Lithgow. On stage with film buff Elvis Mitchell, it was like eavesdropping on a private conversation. Unlike other similar “talks,” the crowd is limited. Not as small as the Nasher, but way smaller than the Tate.

Afterwards everyone including Elvis and the celeb goes upstairs for a seated dinner. What’s especially interesting is the number of well-knowns and lovers of film who attend.

Jennifer Houser (File photo)

Word just arrived that the 2012 Art of Film is already taking

shape. It will be Friday, November 16, with Jennifer Houser co-chairing the event.

And who will be the headliner? As soon as the contracts are a done deal, you’ll find out here.

If You Want A Good Laugh, You Can Get Playful With Shakespeare Starting Saturday

Last night summer officially began and the weather guessers are promising that all this wet stuff will be history by Saturday. Perfect timing for Shakespeare Dallas’s premiering “Coriolanus,” the second play in the Shakespeare in the Park summer series.

While the play may not be as familiar as “Romeo and Juliet,” it’s a typical Shakespeare comedy with mistaken identities, love triangles, sword fights and plays on words.

To take advantage of the cool of the evening, it starts at 8:15 p.m. at Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre. If you can’t make it Saturday, the play will be repeated on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through July 20.

Don’t Divide Your Loyalties When It Comes To Dr. Gail Thomas

Dr. Gail Thomas‘ friends have a problem. Seems last Wednesday’s presentation of “Bridging the Trinity for the Love of the City” of WFAA-CH. 8 got shanghaied by the hail and brimstone that hit Dallas. Despite all the work that was put into the creation of the bridge and the video by Gail and hundreds of others, they were the first to agree that when the sky’s falling in, the priority is on weather reporting.

So, the good folks at WFAA decided to re-air the 30-minute show on the making of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge tonight at 6:30 p.m.

Well, that’s good news and not so good for Dr. Gail Thomas’s friends. Tonight Yvonne Crum and Jill Rowlett are hosting a kick-off party for the October 9th Les Femmes du Monde dinner that will be chaired by Markita Thompson. One of the highlights of tonight’s gathering that starts at 6 p.m. is the announcement of the 2012 Woman of the Year.

Yup, you guessed it. That woman is none other than Dr. Gail. Alas, what to do? Attend the party or stay at home and watch the bridge. 

Ah, come on. You just know that’s why the gods of technology invented DVR’s.

After you get home and settle back in your jammies, you can watch the bridge show and then “Dallas.”

Despite A Jammed Crowd, Equest Fashion Show/Luncheon Plans Are Announced At Trina Turk

Elisa Summers

It was oh-so crowded at Trina Turk back on June 7 in HP Village. Even the valet parkers were amazed at the turnout, but it was for the announcement party for the Equest fashion show luncheon. Sure, they said that 60 or 70 were expected, but it seemed like a heck of a lot more as

Sydney and Kristi Hoyl

guests including the likes of Elisa Summers, Katy Bock, Kristi Hoyl and daughter Sydney were bunching up while other guests were checking into dressing rooms to try on new finds.

Trina Turk

But let’s get on to the news and not the scene. Yes, the fundraiser for the equine therapy group is going to be tapping fashion maven Jan Strimple‘s talents (“As everybody knows, a show is not perfect unless it’s produced by Jan Strimple”), as well as holding the event at Brook Hollow Golf Club with fashions provided by Highland Park Village. 

Prissy Gravely

In making the announcements, Luncheon C0-chair Prissy Gravely and dotter Cara (Gravely) French reminded the group with Equest Auxiliary founder Louise Griffeth seated on one of the couches that Louise had “the vision. We needed a passionate woman making a difference.”

Cara Gravely French

Helen McGraw

This year’s honorary chairs include Helen McGraw and her daughter/ daughters-in-law (Lee McGraw Dansby Monica McGraw and Tara McGraw).

Tara McGraw and Monica McGraw

Helen may have all the Dallas trappings, but she’s still a good old Celina gal: “When I talk about horses and dogs, I can totally lose it! I’ll start boo-hooing.”

While Helen never owned a horse, her daughter Lee used to muck (don’t ask what that is) the stalls at Equest and “we are here to make people warm and feel great with horses.”

With Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Kim Miller standing nearby, Prissy then revealed  that Karen Shutee will receive the Equest Award for Community Service.

Karen Shutee

In the meantime, the gals were chatting about Jan’s heading to Kent, Ohio, to attend her first-ever high school reunion. . . Pam Busbee, recently recognized at the Jonathan’s Place luncheon, admitted, “I’ve had my 25 minutes of fame. It’s time for it to stop!” . . . Debbie Oates was glowing over the rave reviews regarding the recent mega-wedding of her daughter. She was especially pleased that as the bride (aka her daughter) was limousining away from Brook Hollow, she stopped the driver, jumped out of the car and rushed over to thank Charles Redin,

Patsy Donosky

head of Brook Hollow’s extra special events. Debbie realized that she had succeeded in daughter raising. . . Patsy Donosky revealed that the Dallas Country Club was the place to be for afternoon tete a tete for the ladies, who shuffle cards and play Mexican Train. What? You don’t play Mexican Train? Get with the action. It requires no batteries, just friends.

Date And Chairs Lock Down For TACA’s 2013 Party On The Green At The Rosewood Mansion On Turtle Creek

The Worker Bees are buzzing with activity. The TACA bees just revealed that plans are already locked down for the 2013 Party On The Green. Yes, of course, it will be outdoors at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, but don’t tell Ma Nature.

Heading up the annual fundraiser for the performing arts organization will be Jill Tananbaum and Cindy Stager.

So lock down the date Friday, May 3. They have a real task to raise more funds and funs after last May’s event.

Think Good Thoughts

Queenie’s returned to MSC headquarters this evening in a grumpy mood. What else is new? But this time she had good cause. It seems one of the good folk in the MSC community was so under the weather that they decided to spend time checking out the ER facilities at a local hospital. As if that wasn’t enough, they challenged the skills of the surgeons.

While the MSC philanthropic resident is mending nicely, Queenie is still in a foul mood. Seems the family has asked for privacy. . . meaning no visitors, flowers or even bare-chested, dancing fellows. Drat! Queenie had arranged a conga line of fellows to dance into the hospital room singing, “We are Family.” Instead the patient’s family has requested good thoughts for the one on the mend and any in need of good vibrations.

Queenie is sworn to pinkie secrecy, so don’t bother asking who the person is. Just think good thoughts for all those in need.

MySweetCharity Follow-up: Slipper Club of Dallas

Olivia Liland and Matt Nunley (File photo)

More good news! The calculators around town must have been burning up lately.

The Slipper Club of Dallas’s 16th Annual Casino and Silent Auction Gala raised $40,000 for Heroes for Children. Part of the $$ “will go to a retreat for all of the families, and will also help pay for medical supplies for children while not in the hospital.”

Don’t you just love starting the week off with all this good news?

MySweetCharity Follow-up: Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America

Evan Grant and Nolan Ryan (File photo)

Since it’s Monday and five days til the weekend, let’s start off with some good news. Remember the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America dinner? Sure you do. You know it was the one with a tieless Dallas Morning Newsie Evan Grant interviewing  a tied Texas Ranger owner Nolan Ryan. Yup, that one. Well, the report just arrived on the final take for the night — $185,000!

Any more good news to report?

Wes Moore And “The Other Wes Moore” Were The Topics At Jonathan Place’s “A Chance To Soar”

The Other Wes Moore

Author/decorated combat veteran/former White House fellow/Rhodes Scholar Wes Moore is no different than the rest of us. Really! He had moments in his life when the turn in the road could have led to a downward spiral of disaster or a stairway to incredible wonders. But unlike the rest of us, and more like a “Twilight Zone” segment, he was confronted full face with his counterpart — “The Other Wes Moore,” who is serving a life sentence for felony murder.

The Wes Moore who was the keynote speaker June 5 at Jonathan’s Place‘s “A Chance To Soar” at Brook Hollow, not only acknowledged the people in his life who guided him on his road to the Rhodes scholarship, New York Times bestseller list and mega success, he stressed the importance of Jonathan’s Place in young lives.

Wes Moore

But before he took the stage with his 20-minute talk, he was “the man” at the pre-lunch reception. Veteran luncheon guests were a bit in awe of the ease with which he talked with total strangers. Watching his body language and the intensity of his eyes,  you could see he was fully engaged in the topic and with the person. In fact he never seemed to blink. His hands moved constantly, like an orchestra conductor.

Let’s face it. There are people who have a certain aura about them like the rest of us have skin.

Tiffany Divis, Pam Busbee and Robyn Conlon

It was only fitting to have such a dynamic and caring headliner. After all, the luncheon Chairs Tiffany Rubi and Stacey Walker had arranged to have the luncheon honor Jonathan’s Place’s Board Chair Pam Busbee. Everyone from nonprofit workers (Jonathan’s Place’s Allicia Frye, Contact’s Benaye Rogers, Baylor Foundation’s  Lindalyn Adams), Jonathan’s Place friends (Marianne Staubach and her girls and grand girls, Ellen Winspear, Tiffany Divis, Carolyn Lupton, Jill Rowlett, Connie Miles)  to Crystal Charity Ball fundraiser buddies (Pam Perella, Lynn McBee, Robyn Conlon) were front and center — all the elements that provide support for future Wes Moores to become the success-story versions.

Carolyn Lupton, Jill Rowlett and Connie Miles

But before Wes took the mic, the story of Jonathan’s Place was told: how Lisa Mathews took that first step in its creation when she took in a young boy in need named Jonathan. To the crowd’s delight that “young boy” was not only all grown up and now known as Tyler, he was introduced at the luncheon along with “brother” Major Joseph Matthews, who will be heading to Afghanistan soon.

Wes Moore and Lisa Matthews

When Wes took command of the stage with wireless mic sans podium, he utilized the entire stage. Just before he started, you could hear chairs scooting around to get a good view of this charismatic man.

He thanked all the guests for their attendance and Maj. Joey for serving our country. Then he spoke of his year-old daughter and what he wanted from her. The answer was “to be empathetic” like the members of the audience. With the power of empathy, “the greatest human capital” is possible.

One member of the audience leaned over to another and whispered, “He’s good. . . very, very good.”

He then discussed how the title of his book, “The Other Wes Moore,” came about, and how the most important word in the title was “other.”

“How we think about the ‘others’ is what matters. That’s why Jonathan’s Place matters because it’s about who you fight for — the others.”

Wes Moore

He then discussed the loss of his father, living with grandparents, his lackluster attendance in school, being forced to attend military school and how concerned adults made the teenager realize the importance of needing each other.

After this epiphany and extreme change of attitude, he quickly became a rising star. So much so, that his hometown paper “The Baltimore Sun” ran an article about his achievements including obtaining a Rhodes scholarship. At the same time they reported a jewelry store robbery and murder of an off-duty policeman. After a 12-day manhunt the robbers, including “the other Wes Moore,” were captured.

Yes, both Wes Moores had had painfully similar backgrounds, but the Rhodes Scholar wondered what had been his point of change. He wrote Wes in prison and got a reply in a month. Instead of an illiterate letter, it was articulate that only posed more questions for the Wes on the rise.

  • Why was the felonious Wes’s fate sealed on that day of the robbery?
  • How do we keep these avoidable situations from happening?
  • What was the one difference?

The answer to that last question was, “There was no one thing. Raising kids is tough.”

Over the years, the two Weses have continued a conversation, resulting in the Rhodes Scholar’s understanding that “We’re all products of expectations,” as prisoner Wes explained.

In closing, the man on stage recalled a colonel in his military school that all the students admired. When he left the school after being diagnosed with cancer, he told the cadets, “When it’s time to leave, make sure that it matters that you were ever here.”

With that the audience let this Wes Moore know that his presence had mattered for Jonathan’s Place.

Dang The Birds And Bees

While this past mild winter meant lower heating bills and fewer snow days, it’s now resulting in problems for animal lovers. First of all, the lack of freezing temperatures allowed bugs to keep their numbers healthy. Vets are bracing for an onslaught of fleas, heartworms and parvo showing up in their practices.

Forever friend in need

Another problem is the flood of puppies and kittens being born earlier than usual. If you recall from Biology 101 or that talk you had with your parent(s), then you know about the birds and bees going especially crazy in the spring.

Unfortunately, dogs and cats either didn’t receive that information or just frankly don’t care. Hey, they also don’t drive cars or fill out income-tax forms. They’re animals, not people.

The result is that cart loads of pooches and felines are either being handed over to rescue groups and shelters or being let loose on the streets.

If you can’t adopt or foster an animal, donate money to a rescue organization. They’re so overwhelmed they’re having to turn away great animals, euthanize them faster than ever or blow their budgets by boarding them until their forever homes are found.

Another thought: don’t just spay and neuter, spread the word.

Mother Nature Rains On WFAA-CH. 8′s Showing of Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Program — Ctd.

UPDATE: Just got word that WFAA’s rebroadcast will take place on Wednesday, June 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Last night while hail pummeled the Dallas region, the people who were key to construction of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge were at the Dallas Center for Architecture watching “Bridging The Trinity For The Love Of The City” that was supposed to be appearing on WFAA-CH. 8 at the same time. Pretty soon the guests were getting texts from friends about the televised version being interrupted by weather updates. They didn’t realize it because they were watching it courtesy of a DVD from the producer.

While the interruptions were certainly necessary, they resulted in a drastically sliced and diced version of the program. Think showing “Gone With The Wind” with the Civil War being cut out. Okay, so perhaps the 30-minute show on MHHB isn’t “GWTW,” but you get the idea.

Today the WFAA programming folks are putting their heads together to come up with a date when “Bridging The Trinity For The Love Of The City” can be re-aired. . . hopefully, without interference from Mother Nature.

As soon as the new date is selected, MySweetCharity will let you know.

Share-A-Date: 2012 Meal For The Mind

Wednesday, September 19: If nothing else, you’ve got to love the title of Kim Stagliano‘s book, “All I Can Handle, I’m No Mother Teresa.” Her book deals with raising three. . . not one. . . but three daughters with autism. Just imagine what the words of wisdom that she’ll pass along at the Meal for the Minds” luncheon at the Belo Mansion!

In addition to Kim, there will be the yummy edible auction featuring Dallas’ top bakeries and an art sale by Art Focus XC, “an elite group of Dallas artists.”

Benefiting Metrocare, sponsors include

  • Gold sponsors: BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, Morgan & Weisbrod and Pierce and Julie Noble
  • Silver sponsors: Kamm & Associates and Vincent Lopez Serafino Jenevein P.C. and
  • Underwriters: FX Direct, Millet the Printer and Society Bakery

Oops Alert: Mother Nature Rains On WFAA-CH. 8’s Showing of Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Program

Know exactly what you’re thinking. Planned to watch the program on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge at 6:30 p.m. on WFAA-CH. 8 and all you saw was a brief slice of bridge experts in-between warnings about the hail storm in the area and the possible funnel cloud forming near Baylor Medical Center. Oh, and don’t forget all those shots of the photos of hail sent in by viewers.

Yes, once again Mother Nature forced WFAA-CH. 8 weather fella Pete Delkus to interrupt programming, but let’s face it — she’s a tough old broad who loves to surprise folks with her input. Who would have ever imagined a storm with hail, funnels, rain and locusts in June. . . oh, no locusts?

If and when the show is going to have a second showing, we’ll let you know.

In the meantime, let’s all remember that come August, this surprise rainstorm will be considered a blessing. Right.

2012 Blondes vs. Brunettes Are Back At Work In Brutal Summer Heat To Score $275,000 Against Alzheimer’s

Mike Spencer

It was a nice way to literally “warm up” for what was ahead. The first workout of the Blondes vs. Brunettes (BvB) took place on Sunday, June 3, at Glencoe Park with both teams in attendance along with their coaches and Mike Spencer, who heads up the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Alzheimer Association that benefits from the August 11th all-gals-touch-football game.

Mike admitted that when he started in his position a year ago, he just thought of the event as a simple powder puff football game. No big deal. Then he attended the game at Ownby Stadium and changed his attitude dramatically.  At one point he was worried that they were going to have to pull the players apart. Instead of makeup, these gals wore war paint.

Since Dallas BvB started five years ago, hundreds of thousands of dollars have gone directly to the efforts to combat Alzheimer’s. Aiming to break the million-dollar total mark this year, they’ve set a goal $275,000.

Mike told the assembled 20-ish and 30-ish players and coaches, “Because of you guys, we’re sending two Alzheimer’s researchers (from Dallas) to Vancouver, B.C., in July. We couldn’t do it without you.”  

For some like Blonde co-chairs five-year vet Brooke Fawcett and four-year coach Axel Garrido, it was old home week, knowing full well that the weekly practices leading up to the big game at the Cotton Bowl were going to be hotter than the fryers at the State Fair.

Teams in the bleachers

For first-timers, it was sorta a wide-eyed look of, “What have I gotten myself into?” Well, maybe it was wide-eyed. It was sorta hard to see any eyes hidden under sunglasses. But shoot, the sun hadn’t set and the Glencoe bleachers were facing west.

Erin Finegold

After four previous games, BvB President/Co-chair/founder/mother hen Erin Finegold, the team captains and coaches had answers to all questions. They’d seen everything over the years including the night the lights went out at Highland Stadium prematurely just before the fourth quarter was a done deal.

Katie Hicks

They, like the players and coaches, also had reasons for giving up at least one night a week throughout the summer to raise funding for research and education about Alzheimer’s. While all are years and decades away from possibly suffering from the debilitating disease, many have seen the suffering and experienced the loss resulting from a disease that is growing in numbers as the baby boomers become AARP members. For instance, BvB Co-chair Katie Hicks is in her third year of playing in the name of her grandfather, who died on May 10, 2010, and Blonde player Rachael Piper lost her Uncle Buzz recently. As Rachael put it, “I’ve devoted my time to this cause because frankly, my dear, I give a damn.”

But on this Sunday the two teams were there to experience that first workout — the only one in which both teams would be together. They broke up blending hair colors into six groups around the Glencoe Park field.

Successful pass for Savannah Cooper

One of the first things that became obvious was the coaches were not cutting the lovely ladies any slack because “they’re girls.” One gal, whose future is not in professional football, lamely tossed the ball to a teammate. The attending coach’s comment: “You’ll be on defense.”


If you’re interested in observing the workouts at Glencoe Park, the Blondes will be there on Wednesdays and the Brunettes on Sundays. Or better yet, join current sponsors Bud Light, Camp Gladiator, Ebby Halliday Companies, Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket, The Biz and WFAA-CH. 8 as a sponsor. Still, if your credit line can’t quite muster up a sponsorship, plan on saving up $25 to attend the August 11 game. It will definitely be hot stuff.

BTW, the BvB website is a favorite around MSC. Not only does it have all the usual bells and whistles like why the organization exists, the schedule, etc., it also has a brief bio on each player and coach plus a scale showing their progress in their individual fund raising goals. It also shows the overall progress as they work to meet their target of $275,000. As of today, they’ve raised $44,340.

Oh, and did we mention that this Saturday Team Blonde is having a pool party at IMT Seville, 2626 Reagan? For $10 you get to hang out with the players and enjoy beer and pizza from noon to 5 p.m.

Share-A-Date: 2012 Methodist Health System Foundation Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award

Fred Hegi (File photo)

Tuesday, October 30: The deets have just been announced about this fundraiser for Methodist Health System Foundation. Event chair Fred Hegi revealed that the 2012 Methodist Health System Foundation Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award will be presented to Mike Boone at a dinner at the Hilton Anatole.

While many know Mike as the co-founder of Haynes and Boone, there are still many more who recognize him from his leadership and countless contributions in improving the education system. For his years of work, he has been recognized time and time again with countless accolades

The award is presented to individuals who have “demonstrated commitment and excellence in community leadership [emulating] the achievements of  former Dallas mayor Robert S. Folsom.”

Mike will be joining the ranks of Trevor Rees-Jones (2011), Pat and Emmitt Smith (2010), the late Norman Brinker (2009), former first lady Laura Bush (2008), Troy Aikman (2007), Nancy Ann Hunt (2006) and the award’s namesake Robert S. Folsom (2005).

Having raised more that $7 million since 2005, this year’s proceeds will go to the new Neuro Critical Care Unit at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

For those who join the 2012 Folsom Leadership Circle ($10K), they’ll be treated to a patron party at Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones‘ home.

Hey, Mike, when it comes to picking out dessert for the dinner, check with Trevor. He picked a winner last year.

Gentle Reminder: Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Tale Debuts Wednesday Night Before J.R.’s Much-Vaunted Return

First lighting test of Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (File photo)

You’ve seen it and probably driven over or by it, but did you know all the elements it took to create the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge? Wednesday night the years of planning, fundraising and building of the Santiago Calatrava-designed bridge will be shown on WFAA-CH. 8 at 6:30 p.m.

Sorry, but there is not hot sex or high-scaled drama. It is a 30-minute program, “Bridging the Trinity for the Love of the City,” that showcases what an undertaking the bridge over the Trinity River was.

Then you can take a break and rest your eyes for the debut of Dallas at 8 p.m. Hmm, it will be interesting to see if MHHB will be included in the opening scene.

What? You’ve already got can’t-get-out-of-’em plans! Not to worry. Set the DVR.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debs for 2012-2013 Season Announced At Neiman Marcus Downtown Reception

Neiman Marcus Downtown window

Shelle Sills had a busy first weekend of June. In addition to running Neiman’s flagship store in downtown Dallas, she hosted the announcement party for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debs Friday, June 1, an afternoon reception and gown presentation the next day for the debs, attended the Oates’ “absolute perfection” of a wedding at Brook Hollow and had to do it solo because husband Dr. Michael was in New York tending to his dad.

But when you’ve been involved, like NM has for 20 years, with the ultra-fundraiser for the DSO. . . well, you’ve just got to pull out that space maker on your daytimer for the debs.

Marielle LeMasters and Roger and Marena Gault

But before the announcement of the DSOL deb class of 2012-2013 took place, the debs, parents, honor guard officers and DSOL hierarchy were cocktailing and getting to know each other. Outgoing DSOL President Marena Gault was back again but in a different role. She and husband Roger have signed up to be on the other side of the presentation. Daughter Marielle LeMasters will be one of the debs.

Molly Mohr and Leslie Mohr

Still another deb veteran parent Leslie Mohr, whose daughter Brooke bowed in 2005, will be mother-henning daughter Molly this year.

Ann-Shannon Hassell

Sharon Ballew

Underwriting Chair Sharon Ballew, fresh off presiding over the Dallas Arboretum’s Women’s Council, admitted 2013 was going to be interesting. “There are so many wonderful parents and operations that are supporters, year after year. . . Despite what the economy is doing, they always come through for the Ball.”

Promptly at 8, the guests took their seats along the aisle leading from the mezzanine to the Chanel boutique.

With deb doyenne Barbara Averitt watching from the sidelines, master of ceremonies Chris Trowbridge, with former deb/wife Rachel smiling on the front row, followed protocol perfectly introducing the key players including DSOL President Sharon Barbee, who announced that Myrna and Bob Schlegel would serve as honorary chairs for the 2013 ball.

Sharon Barbee

Then deb ball founder Tincy Miller explained the history of the mega-fundraiser that will take place on Saturday, February 2, at the Meyerson. Here is a brief summary of how it all came about:

In 1985, Tincy visited Atlanta’s Piedmont Driving Club and was impressed by the beautiful deb tradition there with pink and white peonies picked from the gardens. “I saw happiness; I saw strong” family tradition,” she said. Then she wondered, “Is Dallas ready for a formal presentation?” After many discussions and research, the efforts started in November 1986 were underway with Tincy chairing the first ball with the support of her mother-in-law the late Juanita Miller, “the most inspiring woman I’ve ever known.” After a power lunch with the late Ann Draper at The Mansion, it was full steam ahead. For that first presentation ball in 1987 they had 37 debs and 50 young men at the Fairmont Hotel with 1,000 guests, and netted a whopping $260K.

Tincy Miller

Tincy credited Sharon and Mike McCullough for the naming of the debs’ escorts, “The Honor Guard.” According to Mike, “they guard and protect our young ladies.”

In conclusion, Tincy explained in addition to raising money for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, “We are introducing our young people to the arts. . . It is the Camelot experience. It is the happiest time of your life.”

Rachel Huber

Chris then announced the names of the debs — both present and MIA for the evening — including Claire Burdette, Happy Carlock, Lauren Carrozza, Lizzie Colton, Ashley Corrigan, Cassie Corrigan, Madeline Crank, Emily Early, Katie Ferguson, Alex Frankel, Kathryn Furlow, Kendall Furst, Hannah Gill, Jessie Haggar, Eleanor Hamm, Caroline Hardin, Madison Hassell, Maggie Hood, Rachel Huber, Deidre Huffines, Jessica Jones, Manning Jordan, Jordan Kerr, Caroline Leffert, Marielle LeMasters, Megan Lethbridge, Elizabeth Metzger, Isabel Miller, Molly Mohr, Caroline Moore, Aubrey Moralf, Margaret Phillips, Rachel Pickett, Solange Pittet, Margaret Rote, Brenna Routh, Kelsey Routh, Lauren Savage, Clara Seddelmeyer, Katherine Smith, Margaret Sone, Haley Vander Linden, An-Rhiel Wang, Laura Weil, Amy Weissler and Mackenzie Williams.

With cameras rolling and parents glowing, one by one each deb appeared on the landing, was joined by an honor guard escort and walked down the staircase for that picture-perfect moment on the next to the bottom step. Only “oops” came when one or two or three of the debs took one step too many and had to step back up. Actually, the misstep simply provided some levity for the girls, escorts and parents during the read-out of the 46 names. After all, absolute perfection can be boring at times.

Just waiting around

Caron Cares Conference To Feature Lee Ann White And Michael Fowler Discussing The Journey To Recovery

So often keynote speakers are celebrities with rehearsed speeches who have stopped by Dallas for a worthy and deserving cause. Thank heaven, we seem to get only the best of the speakers including the likes of J.D. Martinez, Wes Moore, Mary Maxwell, Brad Lamm, Nicholas Sparks and John Laroquette to mention just a few.

Jan Osborn and Robin Bagwell

But leave it to buddies Robin Bagwell and Jan Osborn to tap local resources who have literally walked the torturous path that a family must endure in the recovery process from addiction for their “Caron Cares: A Day of Discovery and Recovery.” The September 28th event co-chairs reached out to Lee Ann White and her son Michael Fowler for the Caron Cares conference at the Omni Dallas.

Why Lee Ann and Michael? Oh, you must have focused too long on the headlines of Lee Ann’s involvement with everything from non-stop philanthropy to 10 Best Dressed or Michael’s work hand-holding those in need.

Michael Fowler and Lee Ann White

But their personal story of living through the ups, downs and grand emergence is stunningly amazing. Yes, Arkansas-born Lee Ann with her diamond blue eyes, never-ending energy and sharp-as-a-laser-beam-brain can handle the subjects of politics, business and sociology like the best of Sunday morning talk show hosts.

And, despite having successful parents, Michael has beautifully balanced his own identity with the rest of his family to become a marvelous man, who has mastered the art of comforting others.

But their journey to 2012 is a tapestry to be studied and learned from. That’s why Robin and Jan were determined to have them as the breakfast speakers with Nancy and Jack Zogg serving as honorary chairs.

Jack and Nancy Zogg

According to the gals, “Michael will explain how growing up in a loving family with means and opportunities did not shield him from the disease of addiction. He will share how his family’s love and support provided him an opportunity to live in recovery while helping others with his story of strength, hope and courage.”

On the other hand, Lee Ann will tell of “her journey of support and tough love through Michael’s recovery.”

Following Lee Ann and Michael, the conference participants will be able to attend one of two lectures and then lunch, at which keynote speakers mother/daughter co-authors Constance Curry and Kristina “Kristi” Wandzilak will share their parent/child journey through addiction and “most importantly recovery.”

Kristina Wandzilak and Connie Curry

This whole subject is difficult to face to say the very least. Until you’ve experienced or witnessed firsthand the agony, struggle and dynamics of a family going through this process, you cannot imagine how important these personal revelations are.

And for those who have been lucky enough to have been spared such ordeals, these shared tales may just help provide insight on how addictions can seep into even the most ideal family.

It may only be June, but you just might want to get your reservation in now or check out sponsorship availability.

Photos provided by Caron Cares

The Queen Bees May Have Left Town, But The Busy Bees Are Hard At Work

There is a theory that once the summer heat hits Dallas, the Queen Bees buzz off to cooler temps only to return during the last days of August when things start ramping up.

In the meantime area Worker Bees stay here and are hard at work plotting and preparing arrangements for the upcoming fall, winter and spring seasons of mega fundraising.

It ain’t a theory. It’s fact of life in Dallas.

Saint Valentine's Day Luncheon and Fashion Show Save-the-Date

Busy Bee Maggie Kipp just returned from the mountains and beaches of Southern France to join her St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show Co-chairs Angela Choquette and Paige Slates to handhold all parts of the annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society event.

These three have taken on the challenge of upping the ante for the Stanley Korshak fashion show/luncheon big time to the Meyerson Symphony Center on Tuesday, February 12. Since these Worker Bees are also smart Do Bees, they’re already at the post office dropping off 3,000 “Save The Date” cards.

As if that weren’t enough, the trio has also arranged for Big Bees Myrna and Bob Schlegel to serve as honorary bees. . . uh, chairs.

Myrna and Bob Schlegel (File photo)

Myrna and Bob had better be resting up. It was just announced Friday that they’re also on board as honorary co-chairs for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Deb Ball on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at the Meyerson.

Gee, maybe the Schlegels should just move into the Meyerson, since it appears they’ll be calling that home base for the first part of February.

BTW, don’t bother heading to the St. Valentine’s Day website to buy tickets and checkout sponsorships. The site is being updated to accommodate all the developments.

However, if you’re dying to know more on how to get involved, email always-accommodating Michelle Northcutt at [email protected] or give her a call at 972.996.5912. She can make it happen ASAP.

And make sure you mark February 12 on your calendar for lunch with the Schlegels.

Why The YW Is Happy About Placing Second

For 2012-2013 the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD) is providing $26M in grants to 144 North Texas nonprofits. And if you ask those 144, the timing and funding couldn’t be more appreciated. Among them is the YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas (YW), which received the second highest amount — $933,000 — second only to Goodwill.

Jennifer Ware

YW CEO Jennifer Ware admitted, “Achieving this level of partnership with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is like having the ‘Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval’ for nonprofits.”

If you confuse the YW with the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas (The Y), join the group. Unlike the Y with its broad scope of  community sports and health-oriented activities, the YW has narrowed its focus almost solely on social programs and services.

For instance, a large amount of the UWMD funding allocated to the YW will go to its Financial Empowerment program, “a comprehensive financial education program that helps clients learn to build assets and reduce debt. Through YW Financial Empowerment, YW offers one-on-one financial coaching for low-income clients, benefits screening through the YW Self-Sufficiency Calculator, and the only public matched savings program in North Texas.”

Other YW programs that will benefit from the UW funds are

  • YW Nurse-Family Partnership, a national parenting and maternal health program for first-time low-income mothers that generates a $5.70 return for every $1 invested in the program. 
  • YW Women’s Health, a program that provides free mammograms, diagnostics and patient navigation for nearly 2,000 uninsured area women each year.

According to Jennifer,  “When it comes to measuring outcomes, YW isn’t just counting the number of clients served. We are measuring the impact of YW programs in guiding clients toward long-term behavioral changes.” 

Photo provided by YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas

Crystal Charity Ball’s Midpoint Luncheon Provides A “Who Are The Cute Kids Of Yesteryear Game”

Before totaling escaping the summer heat of Dallas, the Crystal Charity Ball gals held their “Midpoint Lunch” for the third year at Salum. Normal lunchtime patrons didn’t have far to go after reading the “Closed for a Special Event.” Salum owner/chief chef Abraham Salum escorted them next door to his Komali with that killer Abraham smiles and charm.

When asked why he closed Salum for the CCB luncheon, he didn’t hesitate saying that the ladies were the best at fundraising and showing appreciation. Seems that he has been overwhelmed by the thank-you notes that he receives from the ladies who raise millions. On the other hand, he added that another group (which he refused to name. Dang it!) that he hosted long ago didn’t say a word until they wanted him to host another one. Those thank-you notes do pay off.

Ah, but back to the lunch. It was more like a pep rally with food. Members were announced and presented with “acknowledgments” for meeting their “midpoint” goals. It’s just six months until the December 1 gala at the Hilton Anatole.

Bob Hemmi and Joe Laird (FIle photo)

But one subject that was especially interesting was the legendary “Children’s Book.” Before proceeding, let’s do a little reflecting. It started back in 1957 when CCB Chair Lupe Murchison started the “Appointment Book” as a source of revenue for the ball. In 1965 CCB Chair Maidie Goddard officially named it “The Datebook” and tapped society photog Robert A. “Bob” Hemmi as the first official photographer. Take a deep breath and fast-forward to 1996 when CCB Chair Randi Halsell added an engagement calendar to accompany “The Datebook” as still another source of income. Finally in 2007, CCB Chair Lydia Novakov officially changed the name to “The Children’s Book” to “reflect the book’s purpose as a permanent memento of the celebration” with a separate calendar to accompany the book.

In addition to the book’s name and content changing over the years, so did the photographers and the children. In fact one of today’s official “Children’s Book” photographers, Holt Haynsworth, was included in the book many times as a youngster when his dad, the late John Haynsworth, was an official photographer for the book.

Now, let’s get to the fun of this post. Here are some photos of little girls who appeared in the book years ago and grew up to be members of the CCB. You’ll see them all grown up in the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Oh, if you’re planning on having your child/grandchild in the 2012 “Children’s Book,” schedule the photo ASAP. The Children’s Book Chair Suzy Gekiere has got deadlines to met and pages to fill.

BTW, about the photos. Yes, of course, you have an adorable pix of your youngster on a pony that you took on your cellphone, but let’s be brutal. . . ain’t the same as a bona fide photo and you wouldn’t want to be that one photo in the book that looks like a jigsaw puzzle. The 2012 official CCB photographers, who give generously of their time and talent for “The Children’s Book,” are John Derryberry, James French, Holt Haynsworth and Gail Nogle.

Now guess who the munchkins below are.













North Texas Chapter of Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Of America

It doesn’t hurt to raise funds for a debilitating disease with a baseball theme when the local team is in first place and coming off two World Series appearances. Add in a Hall of Fame owner being interviewed by a typically relaxed (and tieless) Evan Grant and the entire evening was a success.

Evan Grant and Nolan Ryan

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s (CCFA) North Texas Chapter hosted a fundraising dinner May 24 at the Fairmont featuring special guest Nolan Ryan (along with wife, Ruth).  The evening was led by event co-chairs Staci and Jeff Mankoff and Sheryl and Michael Weisberg, M.D.

Sheryl and Dr. Michael Weisberg and Jeff and Staci Mankoff

“Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), affects over 1.4 million American adults and children,” said Charlie Weiss, Gulf Coast Regional Director for CCFA.

Everyone waited around after Nolan for Evan and the Cowboys’ Mickey Spagnola to draw the winners of the evening’s raffle. A weekend in San Francisco, a $2,500 shopping spree at Neiman Marcus and a dinner with Evan and D Magazine‘s dining diva Nancy Nichols among the raffle prizes were overshadowed by a Rangers’ jersey signed by Nolan and a suite for the upcoming Tampa Bay game at The Ballpark.

Sponsors included:

  • Grand Slam sponsors — Staci and Jeff Mankoff, Elaine and Trevor Pearlman, and Sheryl and Michael Weisberg, MD.
  • Home Run sponsor — Sabina and Andy Stern/Sunwest Communications.
  • Triple sponsors — Margaret and Glenn Solomon, Patsy Wolfson Fagadau, Museum Tower/Criswell Randovan, LLC, and Texas Digestive Disease Consultants.
  • Double sponsors — Ameripath, Inc., Dr. Kenneth Brown, L&B Realty Advisors, LLP, Johnson Fain Architects, MedCAD, Inc., and Numed, Inc.
  • Single sponsors — Tracy and Kevin Brand, Rachel and Matthew Berke, Medical Center of Plano, Neiman Marcus, Strasburger & Price, LLP, Texas Colon Rectal Specialists, Clouse Dunn Inc., Locke Lord Bissell and Barry Buford Home Builders.
 Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

2012 Fresh Faces Of Fashion Reveals More Than Planned At Park Place

Jill Rowlett and Yvonne Crum

Fresh Faces of Fashion’s ringleaders Yvonne Crum and Jill Rowlett had planned on 600 attending this year’s Fresh Faces Reveal. No, it’s not like the Fresh Faces of Fashion that took place back in March at Stanley Korshak and the Crescent. This is the one in which there is a fashion show including the 2012 FFF (Bailey Coon, Caroline Cooper, Samantha Davies, Grace Davis, Amy Wells Havins, Allison Wiley Lent, Katy Messersmith, Carla Miller, Kaylyn Montgomery, Lauren Parsons, Lynsey Wiley Provost and Krystal Schlegel) and the drawing of the raffle ticket for the Mercedes Benz. But remember — both benefited the Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas.

Instead of 600, it seemed like way more than that came and kept coming and coming. No way to tell since there was no check-in, but they did show up. Thank heaven, there were all types of fun to keep the Faces, families and friends busy.

Nanci Masso

For instance, mom Nanci Masso and dotter/owner of Facelogic Spa Faryn Clark were set up in the back of Park Place showcasing their Magic Cookie, a gluten-free/meal replacement product. While the cookies were being swiped up, the cutout of “Dancing With The Stars” William Levy was getting many flashes. It seems that Nanci and Faryn traveled to Hollywood and William tried a cookie.

Nearby, lip readings were being done by Mickey Williams. Robert Weatherley had to be coerced into trying his lip sticking.

Speaking of faces, face femme fatale Renee Rouleau was giddy about her stepson, Alex Oger, who had just been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal about his technology chores for Lexus.

In the meantime, Park Place marketing gal Carolyn Alvey admitted that the cars that were covered with drop cloths were  the ultra-cool 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550. Let’s talk drop-dead-dramatic convertibles!

Miriam Fender

As the crowd grew especially at the bars and even cuisine cutie Wendy Krispin stood guard over a “wine oops,” preventing folks from slipping on the spill, the FFF joined family and friends before making their catwalk. Precocious Miriam Fender, age 4, strutted her stuff on the runway. Give her a dozen or so years and she’ll have fine-tuned her stance with the help of mother Andrea.

Courtney Marsh, Cathy Vieth and Joani White

On the other hand, runway/ camera-candy draws Courtney Marsh, Cathy Vieth and Joani White were proving your heels can never be too high, your hair too blonde or your bust too robust.

Mary Guevara and Gregg Asher

Not so fresh-faced was Greg Asher. Still, the dear boy with his non-Nair look stopped traffic with his attire and pouty look.

As the crowd started getting into over-capacity even with the additional rooms, the show started. Alas, the success of the overcrowding proved a challenge for the speaker system. In the room where the staging was “step up” and Park Place presented a check for $10,000 to the Suicide and Crisis Center, it was a situation where hearing aides would have felt a challenge. On the other hand, the room across the way had speakers that hadn’t taken their vitamins, so the crowd kept chatting and charming.

Kaylan Montgomery, Krystal Schlegel, Amy Wells Havins, Allison Wiley Lent, Caroline Cooper and Lynsey Wiley Provost

Samantha Davies

With a brief break the show on the runway began with the FFF of 2012 walking their way. Gotta admit that Amy Havins looked right at home on the catwalk, while adorable Samantha Davies‘s shyness kept her head down much to the “Oh, darn” of those who wanted to see her cute KXAS face.

It seemed like the FFF had hardly unveiled the cars in the two rooms (remember these weren’t the cars that were being raffled off), than the show of Stanley Korshak fashion were shown with Joy Cioci clothes.

Joy Cioci fashion

Finally, the drawing was held and there was silence as everyone looked around the rooms for a hand to go up or a shriek to be heard, when Vy Tran‘s name was announced. She was nowhere to be seen. Alas, it was once again a situation where online raffle purchases don’t mean you have to be at the event to pick up the prize and be the envy of all.