Les Femmes Du Monde’s Woman Of The Year Must Have Been Memorable

Was unable to attend the Les Femmes du Monde‘s 2011 Woman of the Year‘s seated dinner honoring Tincy Miller at Brook Hollow Golf Club. But evidently it was quite an event, with guests speed-texting updates throughout the dinner about the presentation of a surfboard instead of a plaque to Tincy, one guest taking a nasty fall, and the near-omission of Caroline Rose Hunt in the readout of past honorees.

Highlight of the evening was Tincy’s speech. It garnered an A+, but you’d expect that from her.

Cattle Baron’s Will Have The Texas Rangers Televised Saturday At The AT&T Sports Bar Lounge With A Stoli Bar

Saturday night in October has always been is chock full of college football. For the past couple of years, the Dallas sports menu has had the addition of the Texas Rangers race for the World Series.

With this sports schedule in mind, and knowing full well that many of the 3,000 Cattle Baron’s guests love sports almost as much as their boots, the CBB committee has arranged to have the AT&T Sports Bar Lounge with mega screens and lounge chairs all around. Smack dab in the middle of the lounge will be the Stoli Bar.

So just in case, the Rangers do have to duke it out Saturday, CBB guests will be able to hunker down with Eddie Deen cuisine, big screen and a Stoli.

The Sun Wasn’t The Only One Rising Early For The Topping Off Of The George W. Bush Presidential Center

Monday of last week the promised last “public” tour of the George W. Bush Presidential Center took place before its grand opening in 2013. The media was notified to get credentials in and if they were approved, it would be a 7:30 a.m. show-up time. The press doesn’t do well at that time of the day. But, wait–the promise of food made it more palatable. And as proof WFAA, KDFW, Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and other members of the media that no one has ever heard of showed up for their press passes and hard hats.

Orders were to place your “bags and cameras” over on the sidewalk for the sniffer dogs from Lackland Air Force Base to inspect them. To be honest, the dogs were the most hardworking and honest critters at the event. They wagged their tails and inspected every nook and cranny of the collection. Once they made their pass, sighs of reliefs made the rounds.

At 8:22 a.m. the WFAA truck was allowed on Dublin Avenue. Media eyebrows were raised, as the other trucks had been forced to park along SMU Boulevard. OK, so it was just a few feet closer than the other media trucks, but still they made it past the barrier and their sister media relation The Dallas Morning News had broken the full-blown story at daybreak.

Heeled shoes

The media was advised to wear long pants, shirts with sleeves longer than four inches, hard-toe shoes and solid soles. One television media type showed up in slings, raising eyebrows by organizers. But she represented a major outlet, so they let her pass but warned it’s going to be painful. Little did the media gal know that they were understating how rocky the road was going to be.

Mark Langdale

Word was passed through the media mob that they’d run out of hard hats, but more were being found. Interesting hard hat status note: It was easy to spot the key players by the designation on their hard hats. George W. Bush Foundation President Mark Langdale, wore the designer version, with the American flag hovering over the George W. Bush Presidential Center. On the other hand, the vast majority wore the white helmets emblazoned with “Manhattan,” for the construction company handling the project. It was sorta like the difference between having your own, shiny custom-made bowling ball as opposed to the black, scuffed-rent-a-ball.

Gerald Turner

Note to SMU staff: Don’t you think that SMU President Gerald Turner rates a designer hard hat?

Media sets up

After sampling the continental breakfast under a tent and exchanging stories about inept news directors and behind-the-times assignments desks, the attending media started settling down with appropriate grumbles. . . “Why do they have us get here hours before anything happens?” (Editor’s note: The official hard hat tour wasn’t to start until 9 a.m.)

Robert A.M. Stern

But up sauntered GWB Presidential Center architect Robert A.M. Stern. He admitted, “I’m an early-morning person, so you’ve caught me at my best. At 1 o’clock in the afternoon, don’t even talk to me.” On the sidelines was his partner, Graham Wyatt, who was juggling Energizer Bunny Rabbit Stern as well as his Blackberry.

Stern in a custom-made suit and natty tie and pocket hankie gave the media a true workout. As the hardhat workers stood on the sidelines with arms crossed, the media marched over the raw terrain. Boots definitely were trumping stilettos. Stern was non-stop–up steps, across caverns of concrete, pointing out where moments of the Bush history would be, the full-scale version of the Bush’s Oval Office with Texas Rose Garden, steel beams from the World Trade Center, and on and on.

Photographers

Just in passing, Stern added such trivia as:

  • This is most urban presidential library in the country. (Next most urban: the JFK library in Boston). Here there will be brick, local stone, manufactured within a 500-mile radius of here. Libraries like this are incredible energy hogs, Stern said, but even with that, it’s aiming for LEED platinum status. Full-scale version of Oval Office, perfectly exact, plus Texas Rose Garden.
  • 350-seat auditorium
  • 70 million pieces of paper
  • This is the first presidential library to enter the electronic age in a significant way with over 200M e-mails.
  • Texas pecan floors.
  • Freedom Hall—light to come through roof. Aka “Lantern of Freedom”: a positive, optimistic signal.
    • Steel from one of the trade-center towers, from where the plane actually crashed into the building.
    • There’s an outside courtyard, café, outside the Institute area, to make this a friendly and eventful a place as possible  to visit.
    • Someone points out that you can see the skyline view of Dallas.
    • The top floor: President and Mrs. Bush to have offices. Exhibition space: Mrs. Bush hopes exhibits from the Smithsonian, etc., will come here.
    • There will be a balcony for smokers. Someone mutters that it will be called “Laura’s Loft” implying that the former First Lady is still smoking.

 

Media tour

Steam was starting to rise from pens taking all the notes as the preeminent architect kept things moving with info. Oldtimer media types were sorta blasé as they checked their Blackberrys for potentially bigger news.

SMU President Gerald Turner added that the park designed by Michael Van Valkenburg Associates Inc. will be the “Central Park of this part of the city.” He said Dallas is a big convention city, and tourists will come here.

Reporters asked George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum Director Alan Lowe what is his favorite part of the complex. Stern answered: “He has a window in his office!”

Stern continued: “This is certainly one of the most important commissions I’ve ever undertaken. It’s not only about the Bushes but about the American presidency and American democracy, and I can’t imagine anything more important than that.”

Laura Bush

As the entourage of media led by Stern descended to an outpost of red brick walls and windows, they were put in a sit-stay position to observe a prototype of the building facade. Magically, former first lady Laura Bush appeared looking as fresh as Laurie in Oklahoma. Unlike the media women, who had been wearing hard hats and were discovering squashed coiffures, Laura’s hair was perfect. Almost like an elementary schoolmarm, she cheerfully and patiently reviewed the plans and her involvement–“This has really been the first chance (yesterday) for George and me to see the scope of it.” She mentioned the Permian Basin stone from Garden City, Texas, close to Midland. George was surprised about that. She said the Center represents the first decade of the new century, and fits in with older SMU buildings, recalling the dome over Dallas Hall, the oldest building on campus. Photographers were on the ground, the sides and practically standing on each other for shots of the lady. In the background the Secret Service blended in except for the earpieces and the scrubbed look.

Just as quickly as she appeared, Laura disappeared to prepare for the center’s topping-out ceremony. The media handed in their helmets and headed to the staging area on Dublin facing the gigantic facility and the rising sun.

Shaded by fans

As the 600 VIP guests arrived and took their seats, the morning chill had worn off with the help of the sun, and it was starting to get warmish. Luckily, event planners recognized such a situation might occur and had the day’s program printed on hand fans. While a few of the guests did in fact use the fans to keep cool, the majority found the fans to be extremely helpful in cutting the right-in-your-eyes sunlight.

Nancy Dedman, Gail Turner, Caren Prothro

Sunglasses were an absolute must as the sun only seemed to increase as the guests took their places.

In the crowd of dignitaries and construction workers were Bush Foundation chair Don Evans wearing his Mustang tie. . . Nancy Dedman on the front row with Gail Turner, Caren Prothro and Jeanne Phillips. . . Harriet Miers sitting a couple of rows back and to the side. . . Allie Beth and Pierce Allman greeting folks like it was an open house. . . Linda Custard arriving just in time to take her seat when a voice told the gathering that the ceremony was preparing to start.

Would the former First Couple be arriving stage left or stage right? Heads turned in both directions to see. Neither. From the side of the construction off in the distance a parade of black SUV’s stirred up the dust as they rolled toward the stage. The vehicles stopped, doors opened and out came the couple with a posse of Secret Service types.

George W. Bush and Adriana Martinez

President Langdale started the program welcoming all. He was followed by SMU Trustee/student rep Adriana Martinez, who gave the invocation.

Then it was SMU President Gerald Turner’s turn and there was no doubt he was a very happy man. “This is a great weekend in Mustang-land. . . Everybody likes a winner! (referring to SMU’s win over TCU Saturday) Anything Bush draws a crowd at SMU. They start tweeting and whatever else it is that students do.”

Next up was Laura, who once again shared information about the plans for the mammoth operation, adding that “trees from our tree farm at the ranch are being brought here.”

George and Laura Bush

The final speaker was the former president, who seemed to be having a heck of a good time spotting friends in the crowd. At the podium, he was like a kid reporting on his summer vacation:

  • George W. Bush

    Asked Laura to lead design committee; was “a wise decision.”

  • Yesterday was first time he’d actually been in the building. Awe-inspiring, exceeds expectations.
  • Told about walking into SMU classroom; guy with backward hat says, “You look like George Bush.”
  • He liked that Manhattan also built the Ballpark at Arlington: “and it’s still standing!”
  • Said politics are interesting but “it’s been a fascinating 14.5 years, and I’m out.”
  • Will give private opinions to people, but …
  • His belief that “freedom is the only way to peace.”
  • This center will be “a place of action … a results-oriented institute … where we’re gonna pour our heart and soul.”

Topping Out

Before adjourning for a picnic lunch on the Mustang Mall, the topping out took place with the upper-most steel beam being raised high above the structure and lowered into place. As the crowd watched, the three construction workers, who had been patiently sitting high atop the facility throughout the ceremony, wedged the flagged beam into place just a little ways from the evergreen tree that had been hoisted up earlier in the day.

And that was the last that the media and public will officially see of the Bush Institute until its grand opening in spring 2013. In the meantime, there will be many more Bush sightings on SMU campus and around town.

BTW, if the Bushes, architect Stern or anyone wants to check on the progress of the center, here and here are shots of the construction live.

Sold-Out Alert: Nasher Salon Featuring Kristin Chenoweth

If you were hoping to see uber-petite Kristin Chenoweth at the Tuesday, November 15th Nasher Salon, you’re oh-so out of luck. It sold out in a day.

Why, oh, why, does this news surprise anyone?

We’ve Got Trouble

A problem has found its way to MySweetCharity. It seems that there are some social groups that have been hitting restaurants and clubs for extreme discounts, free food, valet parking and other perks under the guise of promoting fundraising for nonprofits.

While charity groups are truly in need of funds, so the hospitality industry is also facing challenging times. Chefs, servers, vendors and owners time and time again go out of their way to support the various nonprofits that make our community outstanding. Their generosity should not be taken for granted.

Let’s not name names, but nonprofits need to be aware of such social clubs that are taking advantage of restaurants, clubs and retailers by using a charity’s name and reputation for a cheap party.

 

NorthTexas Giving Day Results Are Mindblowing

Remember back on September 15 when North Texas Giving Day took place and generous donors blew the heck out of the DonorBridge website and clogged up the telephone lines? Remember when you were frustrated and thought about giving up, but stuck to it and made your contribution anyhow?

Well, it paid off. It paid off big time — 13,500 donations including the $1 million matching funds and prize money totaling $10.7 million was raised in which 600 North Texas nonprofits will share. Do you realize what a major difference you made for these organizations?

“This year’s results are an astounding new milestone,” said Brent Christopher, president and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas, a DonorBridge founder. “To have donated this year more than twice the total donated last year is a testament to North Texans’ generous support for the vital work our nonprofits do. We are absolutely blown away by the people who donated.”

By the way, if you’re wondering who won the prizes, here you go —

  • Wesley Prep, which raised the largest cumulative donation amount of nearly $378,652 (excluding the matching funds and prize money)
  • Buckner International, which attracted the most unique individual donations (224) for a nonprofit with an operating budget over $1 million;
  • Parkinson Voice Project, which recruited the most unique individual donations (134) for a nonprofit with an operating budget under $1 million;
  • Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County, which received the 1,929th donation, a prize honoring the year The Dallas Foundation was founded; and
  • Interfaith Housing Coalition, which received the 2,011th donation, a gift coincidentally made by an agency employee.

Now, aren’t you proud of yourself? Stop what you’re doing, go to the mirror and say, “Well done!” And while you’re at it, think very, very good thoughts about the organizations that spearheaded this incredibly successful program — Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation and the Center for Nonprofit Management.

The Wyly Family Elects To Have Private “Celebration Of Life” For The Late Charles Wyly Jr.

Charles and Dee Wyly

Several people have inquired if there would be a memorial service for the late Charles Wyly Jr., who died as the result of a traffic accident in Aspen last month.  During his life, Charles supported countless worthy causes through his personal involvement and his incredible generosity. In the coming months, many nonprofits and charitable organizations are undertaking their own tributes to honor and show their appreciation and respect for his acts of kindness.

For this reason, the Wyly family has elected to have a private “Celebration of Life” for close Dallas family and friends at the Wyly home on Saturday, October 1.

May the family’s adjustment to life without Charles be eased by the respect and understanding of the many whose lives have been touched by him.

Well, Now You’ve Gone And Done It

It seems so many folks participated in DonorBridge’s North Texas Giving Day, the website went into slo-mo.  Ah, but thanks to the old-fashioned system of using human beings on telephones, you can still make a donation until midnight. Yes, we know it was originally 7 p.m. (CST), but the DonorBridge folks are the last ones to end a party when it’s rolling at high speed. The magical phone number is 214.346.5500.

BTW, you ought to know that by 3 p.m., there have been 5,400 donations made totaling more than $4 million in just eight hours.

Oh, and if you want up-to-the-minute updates, check the action out on twitter (www.twitter.com/donorbridge).

 

Soak This One In

The drought of 2011 is resulting in lawns of straw and growing water bills. All of that is pretty obvious. But what may not be registering yet is the incredible damage the lack of water is doing to trees. The folks at the Texas Trees Foundation have been in high alert about the situation.

According to Texas Trees Foundation Urban Forester Matt Grubisich, “Under normal summer conditions, trees and turf should be watered three days a week. Because we’ve had so many days of extreme heat and drought, it’s crucial to water trees at least that often, including deeper watering.”

No, that doesn’t mean getting your shovel out, digging a trench around your trees and creating a moat. It means “it is best to water manually with a hose or a soaker hose; water slowly for about an hour in the root zone under the tree canopy. Once the area is soaked, relocate and repeat watering process until all the root zones have been well watered. Be sure to break up the watering times, if necessary, to prevent surface runoff. If the soil is dry, then it is time to water.”

Oops, it’s time to move the soaker hoses.

Just In: Bernadette Is Out And Kristin Is In At The Nasher

Let’s get the not-so-good news over with. Broadway babe Bernadette Peters had to cancel her chat at the NasherSalon Series due to her starring role in the revival of “Follies” on the Big White Way.

Now that you’re recovering from that disappointment, gear up. Itty-bitty-cutie-pie Kristin Chenoweth has been scheduled for a November 15th salon at the Nasher Sculpture Center. The Oklahoma native is simply amazing. Whether it is television (“Pushing Daisies,” “American Idol,” “The West Wing”) or the stage (“You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “Wicked,” “Promises, Promises”), she’s absolutely steals every scene in which she appears.

And, she also proves you can’t judge a talent by its size. Kristin is about as big as Tinkerbell (4’11”) and has a voice that has a range that knows no limits.

Since the seating at the salon will be limited to 200, you’ll want to sign up for Nasher membership. Why? Because members get first dibs on tickets, of course. Don’t bother calling about the tickets yet. They won’t even be available until Tuesday, October 4.

Oh, and did we mention that Kristin is starring in a new television show for ABC? Something called “Good Christian Belles.”

Speaking of GCB, word is coming down the pipeline that executive producer Darren Star is no longer on set of the series. Seems that the fictional female characters of the dramedy weren’t the only ones having friendship problems.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Individual Tickets Are On Sale And Goals Are Being Topped For The October 15 Extra-Extravaganza

Cattle Baron’s Chair Jennifer Dix and her posse have been working through the summer’s heat to bust all records for their Rhinestone Cowboy extravaganza on Saturday, October 15, at Southfork. You already knew about the ultra-fab pre-party for big boot scooting sponsors with Clint Black as the entertainer and the fact that Darius Rucker and Dierks Bentley will be handling the music at the gala. Now for the new news from Jennifer:

  • The individual tickets to the gala itself are now on sale. No one is supposed to officially know until the very end of August. But Jennifer said we could let our “friends know now so they can get their tickets ASAP. We WILL sell out!” Better do it now before it’s grovel time.
  • Other big buck news involves the Big Board and the Live Auction. The Big Board’s goal was to have a $1-million-valued offering. The gals have already rustled up $940,000 worth of goodies and are within a lipliner’s distance from achieving their numbers.
  • On the other hand, the Live Auction’s total value is over the $1 million mark. Boy, are the CBB gals and their cowbells going to be jangling this year during the bidding.
  • And speaking of donations, here’s a little behind-the-scenes info. Thanks to the in-kind donors, more and more money is raised for the American Cancer Society. If it weren’t for these donations, $550,000 would have to be spent by CBB for services and materials. For instance, Tracy Locke has provided CBB with amazing, award-winning creative elements for the past few years including the program book, which is as thick as a telephone directory. This year’s book is 40 pages bigger than last year’s because of all those auction donations.  Jennifer is giving a tip of the hat to CBB committee member JB Hayes, who coordinated all aspects of the book.

But the real clincher of the whole night will be event planning guru Tom Addis‘s interpretation of Rhinestone Cowboy. We’ve seen Tom’s story board and have been sworn to secrecy. Let’s just say that thanks to Mr. Addis, this event is going to be oh-so-over-the-top that it will make Viva Las Vegas seem like a knitting bee.

Could-We-Use-The-Help-And-How: Human Rights Initiative

Human Rights Initiative

Human Rights Initiative depends on volunteers to assist our clients and our organization in a variety of ways. HRI provides free legal representation to victims of human rights abuses seeking asylum in the United States, victims of human trafficking, victims of spousal or child abuse at the hands of a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, immigrant children who flee from violence and travel to the U.S. alone, or immigrant children that have been abused, abandoned or neglected by their parents in the U.S.  

“Volunteers have assisted HRI with many different projects, including:

  • Event planning, including assisting with our upcoming Annual 5k Run for Human Rights
  • Donation drives for our clients (blankets, toiletries, toys, diapers, etc)
  • Administrative work such as data entry, sorting and scanning files
  • Volunteer interpreter/translator program to help translate documents for our clients’ cases and occasional in-person interpretation
  • Planning social events for our clients, including monthly dinners and educational classes
  • Spring, Summer, and Fall internships for students interested in assisting our Asylum and Women and Children’s Programs
  • Public service and community service hour opportunities for law and undergraduate students
  • Volunteer attorneys to work on legal cases
  • Volunteer physicians to conduct forensic exams for clients

“We recently updated our volunteer application, so if you would like to volunteer for HRI, please fill out this application and indicate which opportunities you are interested in. If you have any other questions or concerns, or would like to learn more about a specific opportunity, please contact Zainab Abdulqader, Volunteer Coordinator, at [email protected] or 214-855-0520.”

Zainab Abdulqader, Volunteer Coordinator

Cooking Provides Greater Insight Thanks To Nick And Sam’s Samir Durandhar

Samir Durandhar

KRLD’s Restaurant Week started August 15 and had chefs throughout the city in a tailspin preparing for the flood of folks to eat and benefit the North Texas Food Bank and the Lena Pope Home. However, one chef showed up at work at 6 a.m. last Tuesday because he had an added special event on his agenda. He was Nick and Sam’s Samir “Chef” Dhurandhar. In addition to preparing beef tenderloin with wild mushroom and blue corn crusted salmon with roasted corn relish with all the extras for the evening diners, he was expecting some very special guests for lunch  — 17 youngsters who were going to learn how to cook.

Unlike the typical kids’ cooking class, this one was going to be totally unique. The students were legally blind and part of the  Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services’s Division of Blind Services program . Chef hosts classes for visually challenged youngsters twice a year. Why? His reason is two-fold. One, Samir appreciates the well-being of his family and realizes that others aren’t as fortunate. Second, he acknowledges, “It’s the experience for the kids. After a few minutes of working together, it becomes apparent that the experience is also one for the staff as they watch their junior chefs learn their way through the rigors of preparing a meal.”

Cupcakes

There were definite challenges and perks for these cooking newbies. For instance, working with a knife took on a whole new danger and the finished cupcakes tended to be more modern art than traditional fru-fru. While the kids may not have been able to appreciate the walls of art and fine furnishings, they could tell through their other finely tuned senses that their surroundings were truly special. Perhaps it was the scents of perfume worn by guests the night before, or the feel of the marble prep counter.

Luke Newcombe, Corbin Carson and Aaron Trevino

But once the kids started working with Chef and his staff in the open kitchen, it became apparent to those with perfect 20/20 vision that the kids were introducing them to a whole new element of cooking: the aromas of fresh foods being cut by Luke Newcombe, Corbin Carson, Aaron Trevino, Libby Daughtery and Felicia Hackett; the feel of the frosting  as it was squeezed out of the pastry tube on to the cupcakes by Stephen Daughtery, Anthony Trevino, Javier Martinez and Jessica Aguirre; the heat

rising from the stove as the meat was cooking; learning how to transport glasses of water to the tables without spilling a drop; the eye moisture resulting from the onions as the knife

Libby Daughtery and Felicia Hackett

blades cut into them; the feel of the linens and silverware as Libby Daughtery placed them on the white table clothes; and the sound of marvelous piano music flowing nonstop.

No, the music was not provided by a tape nor a highly paid professional pianist. The grand piano fronting the kitchen was being played by Joseph King, who was not only one of the students but also self-taught. Samir was so impressed that he arranged for Joseph to return on another occasion to play for Nick and Sam’s evening guests.

French fries

After the bowls of food were ready to be served on the perfectly set tables, the novice chefs took their place to a feast. And, like most kids, they laughed and shared tales of their lessons learned that day.

Anna Martinez

Summing up the whole occasion, little Anna Martinez told DAR staffers, “I want to come back here next year.”

With The 2011 Junior League Gala A Recordbreaker, D’Andra Simmons And Colin Duchin Are Making Engaging Plans

Just as the Monarch butterflies return to Mexico for the winter, the mega-fundraisers of Dallas are preparing to wing back to Dallas from all parts to raise more money for the nonprofits. But don’t think they’ve been lolling around working on their tans and recovering from various types of “refreshening.”

There you go again. You want an example. All right, since you demand.

Colin Duchin and D'Andra Simmons

Made-by-Mattel-adorable D’Andra Simmons and Colin Duchin have taken each other officially off the most wanted list of beautiful eligibles. D’Andra had hinted that once she had marshalled a successful Junior League of Dallas campaign and closed the books, she and Colin would focus on their future. Well, Ms. Simmons’ JLD gala broke past records and the accountants were smiling when the final total was written in ink.

But D’Andra’s cross-country travels put a detour in plans. Well, a girl’s got to take care of business and Ultimate Living had her making personal appearances all over.

Finally, this weekend the twosome managed to escape the Texas heat and the demands of work. They headed up to Colin’s sister Courtnay Duchin‘s place in Bozeman, Montana. Friday a slew of Duchins were on hand including Courtnay, her husband Jason Bill, their two kids (Eli and Teddy) and Courtnay’s brother Jason when Colin popped the question just like a vintage Cary Grant scene.  According to D’Andra, “It was very sweet. He said, ‘Now that you have met my family and they all love you and I love you, and since you do not have any brothers and sisters, I propose that we be married and you become part of our family.'”

Now, most gals have female intuition when something big is going to happen. But Colin is a romantic at heart and loves to do things with panache. D’Andra was “so shocked that it was in front of his brothers and sisters that I was totally taken aback!! It was hard to process it all and then he was on his knee and I was saying to myself, ‘What just happened?'”

Despite a temporary state of shock, our gal D’Andra didn’t lose her bearings. “My face was bright red! Of course, I said, ‘Yes!’ before I even looked at the ring!!”

The Simmons-Duchin engagement ring

Speaking of gems, Colin came through in true Duchin style. The engagement ring is an 8- to 10-carat oval Tanzanite surrounded by diamonds. Don’t you just know it dazzles with D’Andra’s deep blue eyes. Dang, but Colin has great taste and knows how to win a girl’s ring finger.

Saturday the now-engaged twosome spent the night at Becky Fonda‘s ranch. It was rather bittersweet. Yes, they continued the engagement celebration, but it was probably the last time the group would gather there. Seems Becky was forced to sell the ranch as part of her divorce agreement with her ex-, Peter Fonda. Also on hand were fabulous photo Bruce Weber and his equally fabulous wife Nan Bush, who picked up the tab for dinner at The Bistro in Livingston.

Dee Simmons and Peter Duchin

And how are the folks of the two beautiful people reacting? D’Andra claims, “My parents (Dee and Glenn Simmons) are in shock!! Everyone is happy!! Peter (Duchin) was yelling, ‘Colin just got engaged’ to his group of friends on the phone in Sun Valley. Family is so happy!!!”

Planning next year’s wedding in NYC should be a snap after chairing the JLD gala. Want to bet the theme will be, “And they lived happily ever after”?

Driver’s Ed: School Zone Mentality Is Back In Session

Remember that a lot of schools are back in session today. Translation: Return to school zone mentality — no cell phones and no speeding. Speaker phones and hands-free are okay, but they can still be distracting.

Also, be smart and get a ten-minute-early-start. Not only will the slow-down at school zones add a couple of minutes to your commute, there will be more traffic out there.

 

Hall Of State Is Closed For A Great Reason, So Don’t Go There

Cancel any plans you had about wandering through the Hall of State at Fair Park. It’s closed. No, Dallas Historical Society Executive Director Jack Bunning didn’t forget to pay the electric bill and no ghosts have been sneaking around bothering people. It’s closed until late September due to the installation of “Texas! The Exhibition.”

Insiders report that this incredible exhibition of 175 years of Texas history is well worth the wait. Of course, it will be front and center for the State Fair and in residence at the HoS until December 4.

Crystal Charity Ball Applications Are GoingTo Be Online For The First Time

Hot news from Crystal Charity Ball! For the first time ever, the 59-year-old mega-fund raiser will be making applications available online for the 2012 grants. No, don’t go to the website. It’s way too early. Thanks to 2012 CCB chair Aileen Pratt and Charity Selection Chair Vinnie Reuben, the following timeline has been provided for children’s charities to begin the process of applying for CCB’s funds.

  • Thursday, September 1 — Applications will be available online at crystalcharityball.org or by calling the CCB office (214.526.5868, Ext. 18).
  • Wednesday, September 14 at 9:00 a.m. — Orientation meeting for prospective applicants will be held at Communities Foundation of Texas (5500 Caruth Haven Lane). No, you absolutely don’t have to attend, but you’re encouraged to. Heck, why not? Afterwards, you could always cross the road for a bite to eat at In-N-Out Burger.
  • Monday, October 31 at 4:00 p.m. — Absolute, no-second-chances deadline for applications. They can be hand delivered or snail mailed, but the applications cannot be emailed. Sorry.
  • Thursday, February 2 — 2012 beneficiaries will be selected.

But before you start getting all in a tizzy about applying, make sure that you fulfill CCB’s requirements. The applying agency must:

  • serve children in Dallas County
  • have had a 501 (c) 3 designation for at least three years
  • have had an office in Dallas County for three years
  • have provided services in Dallas County for at least three years

“We are so grateful to our longtime partners, Communities Foundation of Texas and The Meadows Foundation, for their continued assistance in the detailed charity selection process,” said Aileen.  “Their collective resources and unsurpassed knowledge of non-profit organizations have been vital to our success.”

BTW, if you wonder what happens between the October 31 deadline and the February 2 announcement besides the December 3 ball, the CCB members scrutinize the applicants more diligently than the highest-ranking IRS agents and CSI lead team combined.

3,000 Professionals In Town Next Week For 23rd Annual Crimes Against Children Conference

Elizabeth Smart

Next week a very important event will take place and you’re probably not invited. But you’ll be grateful that it’s taking place. It’s the 23rd Annual Crimes Against Children Conference at the Sheraton Dallas. Thanks to the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, this remarkable gathering of 3,000 professionals from around the country provides these specialists with instruction, information and strategies they need to protect child victims and prosecute their offenders.

Among the 3,000 will be 30 who are attending the four-day seminar thanks to Tagged.com’s providing $15,000 in scholarships.

To get things started, Elizabeth Smart will be the keynote speaker at the Monday breakfast. As you know, Elizabeth is a remarkable person who survived kidnapping and abuse. She was booked for the DCAC event long before being named a contributor for ABC News.

Like MSC said before — the conference is not open to the public, but it’s nice to know that DCAC is out there once again helping those who protect children.

Photo provided by Dallas Children's Advocacy Center

Fight The Blistering Heatwave of 2011 Before It Kills Again

This week’s heatwave started with a bang — 107 degrees! You’ll be able to tell your grandkids that you survived the summer of killer temperatures, literally. In order to beat the heat especially this week, consider —

  • Conserve electricity by turning your thermostats up a smidgen. No, not 10 degrees, but just one or two. It will help the folks who provide electricity avoiding giving us a rolling blackout especially between 4 and 5 p.m. Also, if you’re going to be away from your office or home, turn off the lights and other electrical machinery, except for the A/C.
  • Check on elderly family and friends. They’re funny critters and don’t like to admit that the heat is getting to them. Perhaps they’re concerned about their electrical bill or just plain stubborn. Why not invite them over for some ice tea during the afternoon, or take them to a movie? Also, don’t forget the people watching at the area malls. It’s great, it’s cool and it’s free!
  • Drink water. Drink water. Drink water. Not only will you hydrate yourself, you’ll have a dewy complexion.
  • Leave the pets at home indoors. If you leave ’em at home, you won’t have to worry about leaving them in the microwave. . . uh, car. Walking your dog is also a no-no. Even if it’s a slo-mo walk, their paws suffer from the heat. How would you like to walk on the sidewalk in your bare feet? Also, they don’t handle the cooling process the same way that humans do, so go for that walk/run solo for a while. If you absolutely have to leave your pet outdoors, provide plenty of shade and water. 
  • Put a sunscreen on under your makeup. Oops, that suggestion was for the ladies. You chaps should wear sunscreen regardless.
  • If you start showing signs of heat sickness like profuse sweating, dizziness, nausea, headache and/or muscle cramps, don’t be brave. Bravery rarely scores points in the MySweetCharity community. Get some water or sports drinks in you. If, on the other hand, you stop sweating, become disoriented or have a seizure, you’re dealing with a heat stroke. Call 911, get to a cooler place, remove your clothing, apply cold compresses and get close to an electric fan.

Sorry for the melodrama, but this situation has already killed nine people in the area and that’s nine too many.

Allie-Coosh Kicks Off Two-Week Sale Benefiting The Bridge Breast Network

Karen Luter, Paulette Martsolf, Terry Wilson-Gray

The very best four-letter word is “Sale!” Allie-Coosh‘s Paulette Martsolf is an old hand when it comes to a sale and knowing how to kick it off. Last Thursday she held a “Summer Reception” benefiting The Breast Bridge Network complete with fashion showing, refreshments and new handcrafted jewelry.

As if that wasn’t enough, she also let guests have a sneak peak at what’s on the horizon of fall fashions.

If you’ve ever attended the Attitudes & Attire fashion show, you know Paulette’s taste in clothes has its own fan club.

Better hustle on over to Allie-Coosh. You’ve only got a week left to enjoy that four-letter word.

Photo provided by Allie-Coosh

Shh, Can You Keep A Secret? Kevin Bacon?

Kevin Bacon

Monday, August 1, tickets officially go on sale for the public to attend actor/musician Kevin Bacon‘s evening talk at the September 8th Nasher Salon Series. In addition to appearing in 71 films (“Animal House,” “Diner,” “Footloose,” “Tremors,” “A Few Good Men,” “Murder in the First,” “Frost/Nixon,” etc.) and playing with his brother Michael in The Bacon Brothers, Kevin and his wife Kyra “The Closer” Sedgwick were some of the folks who were victimized by Bernard Madoff‘s Ponzi scheme.

Did you know that in 2007 Kevin, who had gained fame for being the subject of the board game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Game,” started the nonprofit SixDegrees.org? According to Kevin,

“you can support your favorite charities by donating or creating fundraising badges — as well as check out the favorite causes of other people, including celebrities.  You can also pay it forward with Good Cards® – gift cards for charity that can be redeemed as a donation to more than 1 million charities.”

BTW, it’s times like this when being a Nasher patron member really pays off. Not only do you get a discount, you get a head start on picking up one of the 200 tickets. Patrons can purchase their tickets starting Friday.

P.S. — If you want to start the day off on a high note, hit the link for “Footloose” and turn up the sound. Even in this heat, you’ll feel cool. Betcha you can’t help but want to dance.

Photo provided by the Nasher Sculpture Center.

New Friends New Life’s “Cut For A Cause” Snipped With Extensions

Anyone who had been planning on having their haircut today (Sunday) as part of the Cut for a Cause fundraiser, stop! Make other plans. Go do something else.

Seems that Salon D, the Irving Bible Church and New Friends New Life decided to cancel the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. snipping. No, let’s say they replaced today’s hair axing with offering haircuts to benefit New Friends New Life for the remaining days of July.

 

Dallas Film Society Launches Membership Drive With Stars In Its Future

Robert Duvall and Lynn and Allan McBee

The Dallas Film Society made a pretty darn big impact in the past nine months. In November they had Robert Duvall over at the Hall of State for a chat. Stellar evening! At the end of the evening, the “Lonesome Dove” star was just “Bobby” to everyone.

Larry Hagman and Peter Fonda

Then the DFS had established stars (Ann-Margret, Dennis Quaid, Peter Fonda, Larry Hagman and Jerry Jeff Walker) and future cinema headliners in for the Dallas International Film Festival. Talk about film-watching fun and living on popcorn!

After all this hard work by Tanya Foster, Michael Cain, James Faust and the other DFS staff and volunteers, the challenge was to rise to the next level. Yipes!

Not to worry. The DFS crew proved it was ramping up with news just days after the DIFF. First, on April 29 they announced that they had managed to get Lynn “Energizer Bunny” McBee to take over the chairman role from Michael.

Then on June 28 they came out with a list of remarkable folks as new members for its board.

Now, the membership opportunities for the 2011-2012 year have just been announced. They range from $25 for students to $25,000 for “visionaries.” You really need to eyeball the various perks associated with each level. And keep in mind that members get the inside track on events and news. . . and this group makes news that is really news. Just a few of the member benefits include:

  • VIP seating at Premiere Screenings
  • Screening vouchers to the 2012 DIFF
  • Members-only ticket offers and discounts
  • Recognition on the DFS website and selected printed materials
  • Exclusive event invitations year-round and during the DIFF

It’s so simple to join. Just go online or if you don’t want to fiddle faddle with the online form, contact Renee Contreras at 214.720.0555, Ext. 32.

See you at the movies.

Hector’s On Henderson Is Over And Out

Hector Garcia and Craig Holcomb

One of the restaurants evidently not participating in KRLD Restaurant Week will be Hector’s on Henderson.

Our bud Nancy “Lady SideDish” Nichols is reporting that Hector Garcia has closed the restaurant.