No Tie Dinner And Dessert Party Patrons Walked A Cheetah-Printed Carpet To Tricia Sims’ Mansion And A Bounty Of Wolfgang Puck Edibles

The No Tie Dinner And Dessert Party Patron Party on Saturday, March 18, proved to be a mini-version of the 12th annual AIDS Services of Dallas fundraiser on Saturday, April 8, at Frontiers of Flight Museum. There was plenty of food, libations and eye-catching guests. Even the carpeted walk up to hostess Tricia Sims‘ mansion was not your every-day welcome mat. Here’s a report from the field:

David Nelson, Nicole Barrett, Tricia Sims and Amber Griffin*

This year, rather than a traditional red carpet, Chair David Nelson requested cheetah print. Such was the introduction and welcome to the patron event for the 2017 No Tie Dinner and Dessert Party, themed “An Artful Life,” at the opulent home of Honorary Co-Chair Tricia Sims. The No Tie Dinner and Dessert Party, presented by Purple Foundation, is the largest fundraiser for AIDS Services of Dallas, a non-profit that is celebrating 30 years of helping to improve lives of economically disadvantaged individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS.   

Dennis Kershner and John Moreno-Kershner*

Brilliantly witty and entertaining, No Tie Chair David Nelson, who has served in the chair position for the last seven years, greeted guests and showered appreciation to No Tie’s numerous supporters. Although Honorary Co-Chair Dr. Alan Berg was not in attendance, he was the man of the hour by sponsoring Wolfgang Puck Catering for the evening. Hedda Layne took center stage on the grand balcony outside, delivering an explosive performance as guest mingled by the pool and Greek goddess statues. The signature cocktail, The Warhol, made with Reyka Icelandic Vodka, club soda, and angostura bitters, proved to be the refreshing drink of choice for the warm evening. Ben E. Keith provided wine and beer to complete the festive occasion.  

Don Maison and Ellen Sweets*

The patron party was attended by approximately 150 guests including ASD President and CEO Don Maison, former ASD Chairman of the Board Dennis Kershner, former Honorary Co-Chairs LeeAnne Locken and Patricia Deason, Entertainment Co-Chairs Deanna and Rob Cahill, as well as Chad Collom, Nicole Barrett, Ekaterina Kouznetsova, Donna Richardson, Ellen Sweets, Phyllis and CJ Comu, Sheri and Patrick Moneymaker, among others.

* Photo credit: Kim Grubbs

Laura W. Bush Institute Provided A Look At The Amazing Universe Of Stem Cells Thanks To Doris Taylor And Jay Schneider

Laura Bush and Lee Ann White

Lee Ann White had had a busy 24 hours. On Tuesday, February 14, (aka Valentine’s Day), she had orchestrated a sweetie of a celebration at the Ritz-Carlton with the Hamilton Park Choir and 50 besties. Alas, Annette Simmons and husband Jerry Fronterhouse and birthday girl Gene Jones had to send regrets. Couldn’t blame them. Annette and Jerry were out of town celebrating their first anniversary and Gene was over the pond to check out her new floating getaway.

But in attendance were Lana and Barry Andrews, Toni and T. Boone Pickens and the usual multi-gillionaires plus Laura and George Bush.

Jan Rees-Jones and Lisa Troutt

Debbie Francis

Jeanne Cox

But early the next morning on Wednesday, February 15, Lee Ann, Lana, Jan Rees-Jones, Jeanne Cox and Debbie Francis were looking fresh-faced for the Laura W. Bush Institute gathering at the Dallas Country Club.  

Su-Su Meyer, Gayle Stoffel, Lana Andrew and Meredith Land

Kara Goss and Rhonda Marcus

Kimber Hartmann and Angie Kadesky

Monet and George Ball and Tiffany Divis

After the breakfast coffee that included a crash of china coffee cups from the buffet to the tile floor, the group (Tiffany Divis with daughter Monet Ball and husband Dr. George Ball, Libby Allred, Pam Busbee, Ola Fojtasek, Michael Fowler, Kimber Hartmann, Debbie Francis, Lisa Ogle, Joanne Stroud, Kara Goss, Su-Su Meyer, Al Hill Jr., Angie Kadesky, Rhonda Marcus, Diane Howard, Jane Pierce and Lisa Troutt) gathered in the ballroom for “Stem Cells: Building Blocks For Human Organs And Tools For Therapeutic Discovery” by Dr. Jay Schneider and Doris Taylor, Ph.D., introduced by emcee KXAS’s Meredith Land.

Diane Howard and Marjorie Jenkins

Al Hill Jr.

Connie Tyne, Jay Schneider and Doris Taylor

Over to the side of the ballroom stood Laura Bush with Lee Ann, the speakers and Institute hierarchy. While this presentation was Lee Ann’s swan song as president of the Laura W. Bush Institute, Institute Executive Director Connie Tyne and Institute Chief Science Officer Marjorie Jenkins kept things popping.

After Lee Ann introduced Laura, the former first lady updated the group on the Bush family — former first Lady Barbara and President George H.W. Bush both got well in time to flip the coin for the Super Bowl, and Laura’s husband former President George W. Bush has been working on portraits and a book on wounded warriors (“Buy his book because he’s living on a government pension.” Actually, proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior project).

She then discussed the various programs and developments that the Institute will be hosting in the coming months.

It was now time for the two experts to discuss the day’s topic. First up was Doris Taylor on how the body heals itself with its own stem cells. Admitting that she saw the world through stem-cell glass, she saw aging and most chronic diseases as a failure of stem cells.

Her first two points of the day were:

  • Heart disease kills more women than men. Most clinical trials on restorative therapy for heart disease are done on men. Despite more equivalent trials being undertaken involving men and women, the chances are that a woman will still receive treatments designed for a man.
  • Sex is not the same as gender. While the rule of thumb is that at the first sign of a heart attack, it is essential to get to a hospital within four hours. Men usually get there within the four-hour window. Why? Because their wives drive them there. Women, on the other hand. don’t get there within that time period but not because of biologic or sex differences. Rather because of gender-based differences. A woman will delay getting help for various reasons like “The house is dirty,” “The kids are coming home from school,” I don’t want an ambulance guy to come in here when the house is dirty,” etc.  Due to the excuses, a woman doesn’t make it to the hospital in time. It is societal gender difference, not biological. 

Doris then addressed the future of stem cells in aging. Using a simple example, she told how when a young child falls and scrapes their knee, it’s not like they are going to be scarred for life. However, an adult may not be so lucky. That is because of the stem cells that take care of the normal wear and tear of the body aren’t as available as a person ages. 

She explained how inflammation is nature’s signaling that there has been an injury, and stem cells are needed to repair. If you get the right cells there, you can eliminate the inflammation.

Doris then said that she really wanted the audience to take away two points from her talk:

  1. Inflammation for a short time is a good thing, because it tells the body that stem cells are need and those stem cells get mobilized
  2. But chronic inflammation when you don’t get stem cells is a bad thing.

The problem with aging is that we lose stem cells and their capacity to handle the inflammation over time. Through cell therapy, those aging-out stem cells can be replaced.

Regarding heart disease, it occurs in men earlier in life, but then levels off. In women it starts slower and then speeds up. But by the 70s men and women are equal in the heart disease.

During that same time period, it was interesting to note the loss of stem cells take place at the same rate.

Stem cells can self-replicate and they can come from a lot of things. The common sources of stem cells are bone marrow, blood, fat, muscle and amniotic fluid. Thanks to research, almost any cell can be turned into a stem cell.

In a research project that Doris conducted in mice regarding plaque in the heart, she discovered that female stem cells worked in both males and females. But the male stem cells only worked in male mice and they worsened the conditions of the female mice.

Ways to solve the problem of :

  • Prevention
  • Repairing the right cells
  • Finding cogent stem cell
  • Getting the right stem cells from somebody else
  • Storing your cells
  • Picking the right patients
  • Mobilizing your stem cells by reducing stress, exercising, acupuncture, meditation, etc.

Stem cells are already in use in the treatment of arthritis, sports injuries, surgeries, cosmetic applications, etc. It was on that last point that Doris warmed about the problem of medical tourism in getting overseas applications of stem cells:

  • your own doctor will not know what he/she is dealing with
  • they probably haven’t been through the clinical trials

For these reasons, she encouraged the advancement of testing and gaining access to such treatments in this country.

A couple of final points:

  1. Integrated Healthcare Association has recognized that the sexes are different and those difference need to be addressed
  2. American Heart Association published a paper last year about the difference of heart attacks in men and women

Doris then talked about building hearts in the lab. By washing the cells out of a heart and replacing those cells, the heart was able to work, plus the women’s skeletal hearts were stronger than the men’s. Similar tests are being done in other organs.

But with all the advancements, the overall results will only be successful if the differences in the genders are included.

Her final comment was to push for answers and to discuss the topic with doctors and friends.

Next up Dr. Jay Schneider, who opened with the fact that before the day’s meeting with the former first lady, his previous Texas VIP meeting had been Willie Nelson … “This is much better than that.”

 He then turned to his talk, emphasizing that in addition to gender differences, each person is totally unique in their genocode “God gave our souls, but the code determines what our cells are.”

Thanks to the modern technology — CRISPR — the genetic code can be adjusted. Jay was positively high of the development of CRISPR predicting a Noble Prize in the future for those involved in its discovery.

Back story: CRISPR was discovered thank to scientists trying to find out why yogurt went bad. It was due to bacteria.

CRISPR will go through genome — all 46 chromosomes and billions of bases — and locate the basic mistake in the makeup and “actually fix them.”

He then gave two examples of the importance. First was a young man in Dallas named “Ben,” who is suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The disease effects boys, but it is transmitted from the mothers, who do not have symptoms. Using CRISPR, Ben has a single mistake in his gene that causes Duchenne. With the new technology, they can go in using molecular technology, change the sequence, and cure the muscular disease.  Until clinical trials are done, the treatment cannot be done. However, thanks to cells that were made from his blood, muscles can be built.

Jay emphasized that this was being done with Ben’s own blood and not embryonic fluid. He credited the development of creating stems from means other than embryonic fluid to former President George W. Bush, who restricted funding of embryonic stem cell research in 2012, thereby forcing scientist to undertake other alternatives.

His second example was his year-old great niece Allison, who suffers from Acting Mental Myelopathy. Like Ben, she had one mistake in her gene make-up. Only one other child was born with this condition. Thanks to CRISPR, technology is being created that will go into her muscle and release her from her paralysis.

But there is an urgency to solving these genetic situations. As one gets older, it is harder to correct the error.

Jay then smoothly made a suggestion to the former first lady, who was seated nearby. In visiting the Bush Center, Jay was surprised to see barely a mention of the former president’s involvement in changing the world of genetics. His suggestion was to take a tube of blood from the former first lady and use it to demonstrate how stem cells can be created, thereby not requiring embryonic fluid.

Marjorie then held a brief Q&A for Doris and Jay with the audience that addressed the following points:

  • The life span of cells varies.
  • A stem cell circulates for various periods of time. They then go to the injured site or back to the bone marrow.
  • Donating a body to Jay’s clinic for research is invaluable.
  • Ben’s case is already advanced and it will be a challenge to get to each cell in his muscles. However, most Duchenne patients and their mothers tend to die from heart disease. Luckily, the heart is more accessible for using CRISPR.
  • Allison is still much younger and her mass is still developing and more manageable.
  • AIDs is a disease that is having positive results due to CRISPR.
  • One of the great issues facing the use of genetic management: the ethical questions being raised.

Resource Center Kicked Off World AIDS Day On The Night Before At Le Méridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh With The Red Ribbon Bash

Leave it to Resource Center to always be a step ahead of the rest. While World AIDS Day is annually celebrated on December 1, the Center opted to start the festivities plus fundraising at the Red Ribbon Bash on Wednesday, November 30, at the Le Méridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh. In addition to the partying, the event also served as a reminder that AIDS continues to devastate the people of the world. Here is a report from the field:

In commemoration of World AIDS Day, Resource Center held a Red Ribbon event at Le Méridien, The Stoneleigh on Thursday, November 30, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Observed on the first of December each year, World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to honor those who have died from the disease. Red Ribbon provided the community an opportunity to kick off the holidays while coming together for a cause in a beautiful and historic setting. For more than 30 years, the Center has served the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as well as all people affected by HIV/AIDS and all proceeds from the event support the Center’s services and programs.

Along with staff and volunteers, Resource Center’s Chief Executive Officer Cece Cox welcomed over 75 sponsors, guests and board members to the festively decorated penthouse of Le Meridien, Stoneleigh Hotel which overlooks the Dallas skyline. After a fun photo opportunity in the foyer, attendees adorned in red ribbons and holiday apparel enjoyed music while mixing and mingling in the lavish living room and library originally designed by Dorothy Draper. Built in 1923, The Stoneleigh has a rich history of haunted tales and secret passageways and was a perfect venue for the Red Ribbon event.

Chris Parker*

Tasty signature cocktails such as a Basil Gimlet and Ruby Slipper were provided by Stoli and contained flavored vodka such as blueberry, raspberry, citrus and vanilla. Scrumptious hors d’oeuvres created by Stoneleigh’s in-house chefs were offered such as Wild Mushroom and Beef Wellington, Cheese Corn Cakes with Avocado, and Chili Rubbed Shrimp on a White Cheddar and Jalapeno Grit Cake. The formal dining room was dedicated to delicious sweets from The Original Cupcakery and were paired with a hot cocoa and coffee bar complete with toasted coconut, mini marshmallows, candied orange peels, peppermint, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and whipped cream.

Red Ribbon Bash Christmas tree ornaments*

Party-goers also had the opportunity to purchase beautiful glittered Christmas ornaments to decorate their own Christmas tree and each ornament was available at a different sponsor level. The purchase of a $30 ornament represented a gift of a daily hot meal for a client living with HIV for one month from the Center’s food pantry. The purchase of a $60 ornament represented the gift of vital, fresh groceries for a person living with HIV for an entire month from the Center’s food pantry. The purchase of a $90 ornament represented the gift of an educational guest speaker and lunch for one HIV support group meeting.

Holiday gift-giving ideas were met with a silent auction that included fabulous home and gift ideas including 30,000 American Airlines miles, a two-night stay for two at The USA Grant, a luxury hotel in San Diego, California, a one-night stay in a King Suite at The Highland-Dallas with complimentary valet and complimentary room service for two, a one-night stay at The Warwick Melrose Dallas, tennis lessons for 1-2 people by Harlan Tennis, and a signed Dragon Lady, 3 1/2 inch crystal Aurora Borealis rhinestone with gold finish brooch covered in Swarovski stones.

Mary and Mike Waller*

Connie White and Kate Newman*

Al James, Don Gaiser and Wayne Medina*

Roneka Patterson and Nathalie Dadje*

In attendance at the Red Ribbon event were longtime Resource Center supporters and advocates James Lester, Jay Maggio, Chuck MarLett, Kate Newman, Jay Oppenheimer, Chris Parker, Michael Matthews and Michael Pugh, Mary and Matt Waller, Connie White and Kay Wilkinson. Several supporters who made the Red Ribbon a successful event included

  • Platinum Sponsors — Ethan Killgore, McDonald’s and Texas Instruments
  • Gold Sponsors — Dana Barber, Charles D. MarLett and Jay Oppenheimer
  • Silver Sponsors — Avita Pharmacy, Cece Cox, James Lester, Michael Matthews and Michael Pugh, Steven Pounders, MD and Jimmy O’Reilly and Mary and Matt Waller
  • In-Kind Sponsors — Bartech Services, Kurt S. Adler, Le Meridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh, Lion Ribbon, MarceloMedia, Mickey Briggs, The Original Cupcakery, Stoli and Sam S. Tucker

$10,000 was raised at the Red Ribbon event with all proceeds from the ornaments and silent auction benefiting the services and programs of Resource Center. World AIDS Day and the Center’s Red Ribbon event reminds us that HIV has not gone away; there is still a vital need to expand awareness, combat prejudice, and improve education. For more information about Resource Center, please visit myresourcecenter.org.

* Photos provided by Resource Center

MySweetWishList: AIDS Services Of Dallas

According to AIDS Services of Dallas CEO Don Maison,

AIDS Services of Dallas*

“As the saying goes, “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” Now imagine not having a home for the holidays – or any time of the year. No place for shelter, for warmth, for safety, for a hot meal. Our holiday wish is to provide a home for the 122 economically disadvantaged individuals living with HIV/AIDS who have been on our waiting list year after year.

AIDS Services of Dallas (ASD) provides quality, affordable, service-enriched housing, food, transportation and support services for 225 men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. The largest organization in Texas providing these kind of services and shelter, we currently have four facilities and are ready to grow in 2017. We are now raising much-needed funds to build a new housing structure to provide additional homes for residents.

“2017 will be ASD’s 30th Anniversary. Help us make it an iconic year with your donation by clicking here, or visit www.aidsdallas.org to learn more about our organization.

“Wishing you the happiest holiday season.”

-By Don Maison, AIDS Services of Dallas president and CEO

* Graphic courtesy of AIDS Services of Dallas

DIFFA Dallas’ 8th Annual Burgers And Burgundy Is Moving To Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge On Texas-OU Friday Night

While most folks believe that Texas-OU weekend closes down everything not Longhorn- or Sooner-related, DIFFA Dallas is planning on testing this theory. Instead of like years past, when the organization held its Burgers and Burgundy outdoor fundraiser at a private estate on a Saturday or Sunday, they set their GPS and daytimer for a different location and day.

Burgers smoking on the grills (File photo)

Burgers smoking on the grills (File photo)

This year’s event will take place on the Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, October 7. Yup, you guessed it. That’s the Friday when local restaurants, bars and hotels will be brimming with Red River revelers.

Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge (File photo)

Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge (File photo)

In addition to having Chef John Tesar once again hosting the B and B, Event chair Aileen Roach and Honorary Chair Simona Beal have given a theme to the event — DIFFAcella. It will “feature three live art installations by Jason Reynaga, Anthony Gonzales and Matthew Brinston, as well as three caricature artists and a henna artist.”

John Tesar (File photo)

John Tesar (File photo)

According to John, “It’s always a great time when I get to bring together my good chef friends, but this event is made even better by the fact that it’s for a great cause. It’s been an honor to work with DIFFA/Dallas for eight years to put on this event and watch it grow year after year, with last year being our most successful. We have even higher goals set for this year!”

There will be plenty of entertainment, Pawkitecture live auction and, of course, food and libations.

And the big news of the night will be the reveal of the 2016-2017 Style Council Ambassadors, who will serve as DIFFA/Dallas representatives “charged with the task of helping DIFFA/Dallas raise awareness about the organization’s cause, as well as continue efforts in the education and prevention of HIVAIDS throughout North Texas.”

Tickets for the 8th Annual Burgers and Burgundy are $150.

The Resource Center’s 8th Annual 5 Factor Honorees Revealed

Steve Kemble (File photo)

Steve Kemble (File photo)

The Resource Center has released the names of the five honorees, who will be celebrated at the 8th Annual 5 Factor on Friday, September 23, at 7 for Parties.

Drum roll, please. The five, “who have been valuable partners of the Center and community,” are:

  • Community — Christine Bengston of Caven Enterprises
  • Culinary — Culinaire food and beverage concepts
  • Government — Adam Medrano, Dallas City Council District 2
  • Media — Steve Kemble, radio personality and lifestyle expert
  • Philanthropy — Patti Le Plae Safe, entertainer

Tickets are $65 and can be purchased here.

Resource Center Grand Opening Attracted VIPs and Hundreds To Dallas’ Newest LGBT Community Center

While others primped and prepped with stylists for a nighttime affair du jour, about 500 stalwarts gathered just west of Inwood Road on Cedar Springs around noon on Saturday, May 21. The draw was the official opening of the newly built, 20,000-square-foot Resource Center complete with the Turtle Creek Chorale, music, dancing and, of course, a ribbon cutting.

Turtle Creek Chorale

Turtle Creek Chorale

Resource Center

Resource Center

Thank heaven for I.M. Pei-trained architect James Langford’s design, as the V-shaped second floor overhang provided shade and comfort those waiting in line for tours of the new facility. The premature summer heat and humidity made the surroundings seem like Houston.

Pooch

Pooch

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Chad Collom, Steve Kemble and Don Gaiser

Chad Collom, Steve Kemble and Don Gaiser

While the adorable Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and pooches may have been the head turners, the real in-the-know types spotted Center CEO CeCe Cox, Veletta Lill, Ros Dawson Thompson and Rex Thompson, Sarah Losinger, Clay Jenkins, David Brown, Laura Martin, Katherine Wynne, Steve Kemble, Chad Collom, Don Gaiser, Pam Gerber, Suzanne Slonim, Elba Garcia and Joe Pacetti.

Ros Dawson Thompson and Rex Thompson

Ros Dawson Thompson and Rex Thompson

Laura Martin and Suzanne Slonim

Laura Martin and Suzanne Slonim

Sarah Losinger, Janier Bush, Veletta Lill and Katherine Wynne

Sarah Losinger, Janier Bush, Veletta Lill and Katherine Wynne

While many may dismiss HIV/AIDs as a painful memory of the past, the Resource Center is a place with its services, gathering places and opportunities for those affected by HIV/AIDs. With more than 60,000 people using the Center and its more than 1,200 volunteers and 50 paid staffers, Dallas’ Resource Center is “one of the largest centers of its kind in the United States.”

2016 No Tie Dinner And Dessert Boasted 007 Babes, Beverages And Bond-iful Partying For AIDS Services Of Dallas

When James Bond would loosen his tie, you just knew he was taking enjoyment to a new high. So, how fitting it was that the 2016 No Tie Dinner And Dessert Party would have a Bond theme at Frontiers of Flight Museum on Saturday, April 9, complete with grown-up beverages, Bond babes and partying. Here’s a report from the field:

Michelle Bradwell, David Nelson, Angel Irvine, Bret Gallagher Jr.*

Michelle Bradwell, David Nelson, Angel Irvine, Bret Gallagher Jr.*

Only David Nelson and his creative team can make a casual-chic affaire go glam without a tie. Welcome to No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party! The eleventh annual fundraiser for AIDS Services of Dallas, presented by Purple Foundation, went Bond-chic at The Frontiers of Flight Museum on Saturday, April 9, with the theme “You Only Live Twice” to celebrate the non-profit’s long history of providing a second chance at life for its residents.

No Tie Chair David Nelson and Honorary Co-Chairs Marie Reyes (as seen on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Dallas) and husband Angel Reyes greeted the 1,500 guests who indulged in lavish cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies, chocolates and pies from some of the city’s finest eateries, such as Apples and Onions, Dallas Affaires Cake Co., Daisy Cakes, Uncle Willie’s Pies, and Frosted Art Bakery & Studio, among many others. The signature Reyka Double Bond cocktail made with Reyka vodka, cranberry juice and a splash of ginger ale proved popular at the bars generously sponsored by Ben E. Keith (Bud Light)  and William Grant & Sons (Reyka, Sailor Jerry, Tullamore D.E.W., and others).

Marie and Angel Reyes*

Marie and Angel Reyes*

Ron and Deanna Cahill*

Ron and Deanna Cahill*

Upon arrival, one might have caught a glimpse of the stunning Deanna Cahill poised on top of a cupcake platform dressed in her Bond-girl finest of all black leather. She and husband Rob Cahill and Alika Ray produced a surprise dance performance by the Dallas Cowboy R&B dance team set to Madonna’s “Die Another Day.” Another surprise was the announcement of Carol Hatton as the recipient of the “Sheila Dolezal Humanitarian Award for her volunteerism and community support and the newly-retired Dennis Kershner as the recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his long-term support as ASD Chairman of the Board for seven years and No Tie Chair for ten years.

Thanks to DJ Mark Ridlen, the dance floor bounced with energy to set the stage for the live auction which showcased everything from an $8,500 Louis Vuitton Chaise Lounge Chair donated by Scott + Cooner to a vacation package in a fully-restored 800-year-old, three-story chateau in the French countryside. Other vacation packages included trips to Belize, Steamboat Ski Resort in Colorado and Hotel del Coronado Resort in San Diego. Guests could also bid on silent auction items and original artworks, curated by Christina D. Yielding, who also featured “live art” throughout the evening.

Christina D Yielding*

Christina D Yielding*

Christian Iles, Tricia Sims and Van Haden*

Christian Iles, Tricia Sims and Van Haden*

Other attendees included: ASD President/CEO Don Maison, ASD Chairman of the Board Don Neubauer, Purple Foundation’s Blake Baker, Chris Huffstutler, Sara Fangmeyer and Dylan Orrell, Sterling Deason O’Donnell, Patricia Deason, Tricia Sims, Merlene Phillips and Tony Fielding among others.

* Photo credit: Gregory Martin

No Tie Dinner And Dessert Patron Party Set The Stage For The Aids Services Of Dallas Fundraiser At Frontiers Of Flight Museum

The No Tie Dinner And Dessert Party crowd just doesn’t do anything without beautiful people, great food, music and grown-up libations. To prepare for the AIDS Services of Dallas fundraiser at Frontiers of Flight Museum on Saturday, April 9, they gathered at Marie and Angel Reyes home on Saturday, March 12, with all types of plans being revealed. Here’s a report from the field:

The night was filled with music . . . a cabaret of song, piano, chatter, and praise. Toasts were made. Delectable food was devoured. The musical night was an appreciation to those who support the upcoming No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party, presented by the Purple Foundation. The gala is the largest fundraiser for AIDS Services of Dallas which has improved the lives of economically disadvantaged individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS for over 25 years.

David Nelson, Angel and Marie Reyes and Don Neubauer*

David Nelson, Angel and Marie Reyes and Don Neubauer*

Honorary Chairs Angel and Marie Reyes (who will soon be appearing on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Dallas” on April 11) opened up their beautiful new Preston Hollow home to host the special event. No Tie Chair David Nelson, well-known in Dallas as a Renaissance man for his style, artistry, interior design, and witty jokes, and pianist/musician Leslie Frye took center stage in a deluxe entertainment room complete with lounge chairs, state-of-the-art audio and sound, and stage, in a duet of song and piano.

Nelson said, “I haven’t performed for 10 years but can’t think of a better reason to start than to thank our event’s wonderful dinner hosts and sponsors.”

John Moreno Kershner, Kristi Holman and Dennis Kershner*

John Moreno Kershner, Kristi Holman and Dennis Kershner*

Guests mingled, savoring the scrumptious meal of gourmet meats, sushi, and cheeses prepared by Texas de Brazil. The signature Reyka Double Bond cocktail, made with Reyka Vodka, cranberry juice and ginger ale, proved popular. Ben E. Keith provided wine and beer to complete the festive occasion.

Event Director Kristi Holman shared exciting fundraising news. “This year, those who purchase a Month of Housing before the live auction gets to enter a drawing for a chance to win their choice of a live auction package (excluding the vacation in Maison Rouge, an  800-year-old, five-bedroom vacation home in the French countryside amid vineyards, ancient bastides and medieval villages). A Month of Housing per resident is $1,218, which provides shelter and care to help individuals regain and maintain their health and lead an independent life.”

Dylan Orrell, Sara Fangmeyer and Chris Huffstutler*

Dylan Orrell, Sara Fangmeyer and Chris Huffstutler*

A few of the live auction packages include a getaway for two to Los Angeles and visit to the Magic Castle, an exotic couple’s vacation in Belize, and a book autographed by Lady Gaga (contributed by former No Tie Honorary Chair and RHOD diva LeeAnne Locken) plus a suite at American Airlines Center.

Sheri and Patrick Moneymaker and Tricia Sims*

Sheri and Patrick Moneymaker and Tricia Sims*

The patron party, attended by approximately 150 guests, included Purple Foundation’s Dylan Orrell, Sara Fangmeyer, and Chris Huffstutler; AIDS Services of Dallas Chairman of the Board Don Neubauer; Dennis Kershner, who retired as ASD Chairman of the Board and No Tie Chair this year; former Honorary Chairs Patricia Deason and Jody O’Donnell; 192nd Civil District Court Judge Craig Smith; Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez; Rob and Deanna Cahill (who appeared as Jacqueline Kennedy on Hulu’s 11/22/63 mini-series); Tricia Sims, and Sheri and Patrick Moneymaker.

The 2016 No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party will be held on Saturday, April 9, starting at 7:00 p.m., at the Frontiers of Flight Museum (6911 Lemmon Avenue, Dallas, TX, 75209). VIP tickets are $150 (includes deluxe VIP lounge with bar and exclusive auction and raffle items), and general admission tickets are $75. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.notiedinner.org.

* Photo credit: Kim Grubbs

The Resource Center’s Food Pantry’s Move Has Been Moved Up And Could Use Some Help

The Resource Center has been in the midst of an $8.7M capital campaign that would not only provide a new 20,000-square-foot community center, but also renovate its building at Reagan and Brown, where it can consolidate HIV services, nutrition services and the food pantry. The great news is that the effort has paid off in raising $7.6M, or 88% of its total goal.

Unfortunately, there’s been a development forcing a change of plans. It seems that the Center has had to “accelerate renovation improvements of the food pantry,” due to the loss of its lease on the current space at 5450 Denton Drive, where more than 800 per week are serve.

The Resource Center's new food pantry under construction*

The Resource Center’s new food pantry under construction*

For 31 years, the Center’s food pantry has provided fresh produce, canned goods, frozen foods and perishables thanks to “purchases from the North Texas Food Bank, as well as through generous donations from supermarkets, restaurants, caterers, community groups and individuals.”

According to Resource Center CEO Cece Cox, “This timeline was not ideal, but we are committed to clients. We will not miss one day of services at the pantry. Staff is working to accommodate clients to ensure that their needs are being met during this transition phase.”

In order to achieve this transition in mid-February, the Resource Center “is calling for community support to construct a new food pantry.” To do this it “will take $600,000 to renovate the Reagan and Brown building including the construction and relocation of the food pantry.”

If all follows to plan, the Reagan and Brown renovations should be completed this summer.

* Photo courtesy of the Resource Center

MySweet2016Goals: Justin W. Bundick

According to DIFFA/Dallas Chairman of the Board Justin W. Bundick,

Justin W. Bundick*

Justin W. Bundick*

“The goal of DIFFA/Dallas in 2016 is to continue to increase the amount of funding DIFFA/Dallas grants to the eighteen HIV/AIDS direct-care service providers we support in North Texas so that they can continue their work with the over 20,000 individuals infected with or impacted by HIV/AIDS.

DIFFA Dallas*

DIFFA Dallas*

“Since DIFFA/Dallas was founded in 1984, we have granted more than $7 million to over twenty-five North Texas AIDS Service Organizations and emergency. As in every year past, these funds will be used for education, transportation, housing, mental health and meal programs; especially for women, children, and those in low income situations.

“For more information about DIFFA/Dallas or to purchase tickets for House of DIFFA: Circo Rouge, please visitwww.diffadallas.org or email [email protected].”

Jerry Jeff Walker And Jillie Kerwin Helped Lonestar Charity Two-Step Raise Funds For Bryan’s House

Sarah Siegel, Ben Siegel, Emma Siegel and Lynn Siegel*

Sarah Siegel, Ben Siegel, Emma Siegel and Lynn Siegel*

While some folks were trying to recover from an overdose of turkey, cranberries and stuff(ing), the second Lonestar Charity Two-Step was high-stepping the following Saturday. Here’s a report from the field:

Lonestar Charity Co-Founder Ben Siegel with Event Co-Chairs Reagan Beck and Margaret Hardage welcomed over 260 party goers to Gilley’s Dallas for the second annual Lonestar Charity Two-Step on Saturday, November 28. Event proceeds benefit Bryan’s House, a non-profit organization serving children with medical or developmental needs and their families by providing specialized child care, respite care and social services.

Reagan Beck and Margaret Hardage*

Reagan Beck and Margaret Hardage*

Upon arrival, DJ’s Jennifer Miller and Paul Parades provided a cool vibe as partygoers mingled while enjoying cocktails and an hors d’oeuvres buffet. As guests played the casino tables, Highland Park grad Jillie Kerwin and her band took the stage for a lively performance, including some of her own original songs.

Following her set, co-founder Siegel welcomed attendees and thanked them for their support of Lonestar Charity Two-Step, the second annual event that encourages philanthropy in college students. Lisa Genecov, president, Board of Directors for Bryan’s House followed to share the mission and services provided by the non-profit agency, as well as thanked Lonestar Charity for selecting their organization as the beneficiary for the evening.

Co-chairs Beck and Hardage then added their thanks to the event committee, advisors and sponsors, before turning things over to auctioneer Louis Murad. Murad got things started with a fun game of “Heads or Tails” with the winner receiving a new Apple TV and a $200 Mr. Mesero gift card. The live auction followed with competitive bidding on items including two courtside seats adjacent to the Dallas Mavericks bench with a parking pass donated by the Charlie McKinney family; a delicate gardenias sterling silver and 18-karat yellow gold necklace courtesy of deBoulle; an Argentina dove hunt, which had two winning bidders; and a signed Jerry Jeff Walker guitar.

Jerry Jeff Walker*

Jerry Jeff Walker*

Iconic Texas country singer and songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker immediately followed with attendees dancing to his classic hits. DJs Miller and Paredes then returned to keep the party going until midnight.

As the evening came to a close each patron received a commemorative T-shirt as a thank you for their support.

* Photo credit: Wiley Williams

MySweetWishList: Resource Center

According to Resource Center Marketing and Communication Coordinator Jennifer Williams,

“Resource Center provides needed nutritional support to people living with HIV/AIDS with food distributed through our Food Pantry and weekday hot meals program.  Weight loss and malnutrition continue to be common problems with HIV and can contribute to HIV disease progression. A healthy diet improves quality of life, and good nutrition helps the body process the many medications taken by people with HIV. Good nutrition helps keep the immune system strong, enabling a person living with HIV to better fight the disease.

Resource Center*

Resource Center*

“Our wish is that food continues to be medicine for our clients. Resource Center is requesting support of our HIV nutrition programs. During the holiday season we see a huge influx of clients that stock up on several weeks’ worth of groceries when normally they are allowed to shop once per week. After the holiday rush, inventory can become low and we will need to restock to continue to meet the high demand of activity.

“We have a need for the following items:

  1. “Canned vegetables such as green peas, all styles of tomatoes, sliced, diced and or whole potatoes, asparagus and red beans.
  2. “Canned meat such as chili, Spam, chicken, Spaghetti-o’s with meatballs, ravioli with meat and sardines.
  3. “Canned fruit such as, fruit cocktail, peaches, pears and or pineapples
  4. “Meal replacement drinks and shakes like Ensure

    Resource Center*

    Resource Center*

“In addition to perishable food items, a monetary gift makes an impact!

  • “$30 provides a daily hot meal for a person living with HIV for one month at Resource Center’s Hot Meals program.
  • “$60 provides vital groceries for a person living with HIV for an entire month from the Food Pantry at Resource Center.
  • “$90 provides an educational speaker and lunch for one HIV support group meeting.

“Donations can be made at www.myresourcecenter.org/give. For more information about Resource Center, visit www.myresourcecenter.org.”

-By Jennifer Williams, Resource Center marketing and communications coordinator

* Photos provided by Resource Center

MySweetWishList: Night Of Housing

According to AIDS Services of Dallas 2016 No Tie Dinner & Dessert party chair David Nelson and AIDS Services of Dallas Chairman of the Board Don Neubauer,

David Nelson and Don Neubauer*

David Nelson and Don Neubauer*

“Do you think HIV/AIDs is no longer a crisis?

“Tell that to all the people in Dallas who have lost their jobs, their healthcare, their homes, and almost everything but their dignity. The crisis isn’t over until there is a cure. That’s why there is AIDS Services of Dallas. ASD is a long-standing non-profit which provides housing, 24-hour home health care, medical and social management, transportation and volunteer support to low-income and formerly homeless men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS. It provides a home when there is no place else to turn.

“Now in its 11th year, No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party has grown tremendously to make it the largest fundraiser for ASD. As our event has grown, so have our fundraising goals and ambitions.

No Tie Dinner & Dessert*

No Tie Dinner & Dessert*

“It is our holiday wish to make No Tie’s ‘Night of Housing’ campaign goal a reality. The campaign is to provide 365 days of housing for ASD residents by the end of the year. One day of care costs $40.62 per individual, or a total of $14,826.30. Please help our wish come true by donating here or for additional sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, contact Kristi Holman at [email protected].

“We hope to see you at the 2016 No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party on Saturday, April 9, 2016. Visit www.notiedinner.org or www.AIDSDallas.org to learn more.

“Happy Holidays!”

-By David Nelson, 2016 No Tie Dinner & Dessert party chair, and Don Neubauer, AIDS Services of Dallas chairman of the board

* Photo provided by AIDS Service of Dallas

MySweetWishList: Homeward Bound

According to Homeward Bound Executive Director Douglas Denton,

Doug Denton*

Doug Denton*

“We tackle the roots of so many social problems at Homeward Bound that it’s hard to know where to start. We are a mental health, drug and alcohol treatment center that primarily serves people in poverty. Our wish would be to multiply our impact on the community. We could do that with your help.

“For example, homelessness. Some 45 percent of the people we treat are homeless. They often arrive at our door with no shoes and just the clothing on their backs. We also address the problems of broken families and mental illness, which are often linked to substance use. In each case, the men and women we treat are highly motivated to stop using alcohol and drugs. We believe that they deserve the same chance to change their lives that others have. We believe that their courage to change themselves will change the community we all live in, as well.

“We can put a monetary value on what we provide. One day of care for a person in psychiatric crisis is $300. One day of medically supervised detoxification is $180. One day of intensive residential treatment for a pregnant woman is $170. One day of residential substance abuse treatment is $90; for those who are HIV-positive, the cost is $116.

Homeward Bound*

Homeward Bound*

“These rates are a fraction of the daily charges for treatment in hospitals or private treatment centers. A national study found that treatment for drug use disorder at a community-based hospital averages $900 daily. For alcohol use disorder, $1,100 each day.

“A donation to Homeward Bound goes a long way to improve North Texas communities. We hope you’ll consider helping us realize our wish this Christmas season. We see it as a gift for you, too.”

– Douglas Denton, Homeward Bound executive director

* Graphic and photo provided by Homeward Bound

Round Robin September 17 Evening: KidneyTexas Runway Report And Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show Patron Parties

As the money kept pushing the North Texas Giving Day leaderboard to new, staggering heights on Thursday, September 17, the area nonprofits saw no reason to stop their extracurricular activities. The No Tie Dinner and Dessert crowd kicked off their plans at Scott + Cooner for their 10th anniversary benefiting the ASD Services on April 9th at Frontier of Flight Museum. This year’s theme will have guests going James Bond…The high rollers of the art-loving world got a sneak peek at the Giuseppe Penone exhibition “Giuseppe Penone: Being The River, Repeating The Forest” at the Nasher Sculpture Center…Shakespeare Dallas celebrated North Texas Giving Day by partying at Samuell Grand Park with all types of goings-on like animal adoptions and fencing demonstration. Touche!…And speaking of East Dallas, Foodiepalooza at 7 for Parties was benefiting the East Dallas Boys And Girls Club.

Whew! But there was still more. Here are a couple for your review:

KidneyTexas  Runway Report Patron Party

Banker Norman Bagwell met car dealer Clay Cooley at Kathy and Larry Helm’s Highland Park home for the KidneyTexas Runway Report patron party. After the first howdy do’s Clay learned why Runway Report Honorary Co-Chair Norm was involved with KidneyTexas. Norm had survived kidney disease thanks to the funding of research and developments.

While some might have listened politely, Clay launched into a full conversation about such advancements with Norm, who had received a kidney. Norm then praised the amazing transplant programs taking place at Baylor and U.T. Southwestern. He explained that he had indeed been lucky not only to have time to make decisions on how to proceed, but both his wife Robin Bagwell and his sister had been viable donors.

Here were two men who had only just met and yet they both understood and were amazed at the life-changing developments taking place in North Texas.

Therese Rourk, Donna Arp Weitzman, Clay Cooley, Mary Lee Cox and Lisa Cooley

Therese Rourk, Donna Arp Weitzman, Clay Cooley, Mary Lee Cox and Lisa Cooley

But soon they found themselves in the study surrounded by KidneyTexas President Therese Rourk, Runway Report Co-Chairs Mary Lee Cox and Donna Arp Weitzman.

In the hallway was retail real estate whiz Herb Weitzman, who is helping wife Donna write her next book, “How Dallas Became a Retailing Mecca.” According to Donna, it’s not so much about Herb as it is the various Dallas retail real estate projects that he’s been involved in.

Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show Patron Party

Barry and Lana Andrews, Annette Simmons and Gerald Fronterhouse

Barry and Lana Andrews, Annette Simmons and Gerald Fronterhouse

Just blocks away at Lana and Barry Andrews’ home, they had expected around 225 guests. Instead the number was hitting the 300 mark that included Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing talking with Cliff Fischer, April Box, Angela Nash, Annette Simmons with Gerald Fronterhouse, Michal and Loyd Powell, Vicki and Bob Chapman with Preston Evans, Piper Wyatt, Claire Emanuelson, Muffin Lemak, Anita and Truman Arnold, Jennifer and Richard Dix, Alicia and Scott Wood, Gene and Jerry Jones, Debbie and Nickey Oates, Jill and Bob Smith, Tiffany and Paul Divis, Amy Green, KJ and Ladd Sanger, Patsy Donosky with Harold Pruner, Tucean and David Webb and of course, the 10 Besties (Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Heather Esping, Margaret Hancock, Pat Harloe, Julie Hawes, Patty Leyendecker, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt and Christi Urschel). The draw was the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show patron party underwritten by J.P. Morgan with Elaine Agather greeting one and all at the front door.

Tucean and David Webb, Patsy Donosky and Harold Pruner

Tucean and David Webb, Patsy Donosky and Harold Pruner

Elaine Agather

Elaine Agather

Hal and Christi Urschel

Hal and Christi Urschel

Peter Copping

Peter Copping

Adding to the panache of the evening was Oscar de la Renta designer Peter Copping in attendance; Peter’s arrival in Dallas had been slightly delayed to an American Airlines computer glitch. Another person suffering from AA’s gremlins was Key Coker. His plane from South Carolina was also held up.

Jim and DeeDee Lee

Jim and DeeDee Lee

Pete and Caren Kline

Pete and Caren Kline

Well, OMG, the gals were dressed to the uber nines with Lela Rose taking the lead worn by Pat Harloe and DeeDee Lee. Caren Kline drew second and three looks in Halston. She said that since the party was for a fashion show, “I had to step it up a little.”

As hot as the fashions were, the temps in the house thanks to the body count caused smart fellas like Allan McBee and Peter Foster to stake out spots over floor air vents. One of the coolest rooms was the dining room, where the air was breezing and the Cassandra-laden table was a never-ending feast for the eye and tastebuds.

Kevin Hurst and Jeff Byron

Kevin Hurst and Jeff Byron

In a corner CCB Honorary Chair Ruth Altshuler and Nancy Dedman discussed Na’s day-before as a new board member of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation…NM Exec Kevin Hurst was talking about his chairing The Obelisk Awards that will be presented on Friday, November 13, at The Fairmont…Phillip Huffines shared photos from his attending the CNN Republican debate the night before in the Reagan Library. His twin brother State Sen. Don Huffines was on camera for much of the night, since he was seated behind CNN moderator Jake Tapper.

But it was an early evening because the next morning’s 10 Best Dressed was on the schedule at Neiman Marcus Downtown.

For more photos of the party, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

How About Some Cheap Thrills That Even Your Maiden Aunt Maudie Would Approve

If your pocketbook is starting to look anorexic, here some bargain bonanzas that might pique your interest in the days ahead:

  • No Tie Dinner and Dessert Party (File photo)

    No Tie Dinner and Dessert Party (File photo)

    The 2016 No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party Kick-Off Party will be open to the public to reveal the deets for the annual AIDS Services of Dallas fundraiser. It will take place at Scott + Cooner on Thursday, September 17, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

    "The Birth Of A City" (File photo)

    “The Birth Of A City” (File photo)

  • Encore Park is the “outreach project of The Stewpot and the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. It is partnering up with Texas Theatre to launch a free three-part film screening series of a warm-up cartoon and classic films at 508 Amphitheater. The first presentation will be the 1938 cartoon “Cinderella Meets Fella” and the 1938 feature “The Adventures of Robin Hood” on Sunday, September 6. The second screenings will take place on Sunday, September 20 with “Wise Quacking Duck” and “Casablanca.” The final screenings will be “Bunny Hugged” and “Dallas” on Sunday, October 4. While the events are free, you still need to register. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the presentations kick off at 7 p.m. While you’re there, check out the amazing sculpture wall created by Brad Oldham.
  • Overview of Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden (File photo)

    Overview of Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden (File photo)

    The Dallas Arboretum’s $1 general admission fee continues through Monday, August 31. For $2 more you can get in to stroll the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Gardens. There are even special deals on food purchases. Remember to purchase your tickets at the gate to take advantage of the August Dollar Days special that is courtesy of Time Warner. Hustle! Time’s a wasting. But if your August datebook is filled to the max, then you can visit the entire Arboretum over the Labor Day weekend (Friday, September 4 through Monday, September 7) including the Children’s garden for $5. And to get a discount on parking, go online. Bargain times!

  • Dallas Zoo elephant (File photo)

    Dallas Zoo elephant (File photo)

    Before the dinosaurs scamper out of the Dallas Zoo, you still have time to check out the Giants of Jurassic Park with the other residents for half the general admission. Adults get in for $7.50 and kiddos for $6. But as the dinos will become history on Monday, August 31, so the half-price deal will end, too. BTW, take DART. It’s cheap and there’s no battling traffic to get to the zoo. Just hop on board the Red Line tram and it will take you to the Dallas Zoo Station.

JUST IN: NorthPark Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary Today With The Announcement Of NorthPark50: Fifty Years Of Giving

Just before noon today, NorthPark Center‘s Nancy Nasher addressed more than 225 people representing 50 nonprofits, friends and media from a stage set up in NorthPark’s NorthCourt. She told how at that moment 50 years ago, she and her sisters were part of the festivities when her parents, the late Patsy and Ray Nasher, officially opened NorthPark.

Nancy recalled how she wore a dress that her mother had designed for her.

David Haemisegger

David Haemisegger

With husband/business partner David Haemisegger sitting on the front row smiling, Nancy announced that in celebration of NP’s 50th anniversary, they had created NorthPark50: Fifty Years of Giving.

Fifty Years of Giving*

Fifty Years of Giving*

The 50-day program will allow “specific gifts to be announced in the days and weeks ahead in order to shine light on their individual missions and inspire others to embrace a spirit of philanthropy. The announcement of the gifts will be made through social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NorthPark50.”

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher with the 50 nonprofits

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher with the 50 nonprofits

The lucky 50 nonprofits are AT&T Performing Arts Center, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Irving, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Bookmarks – A Dallas Public Library, Business Council for the Arts, Cancer Blows, CARE (Chemical Awareness Resources and Education), Catch Up & Read, Children’s Cranifocial Association, Children’s Health, Community Homes for Adults Inc. (CHAI), Creative Arts Center of Dallas, Crow Collection of Asian Art, The Crystal Charity Ball, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Dallas Ballet Company, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas CASA, Dallas Center for Architecture, Dallas Children’s Theater, Dallas Museum of Art, The Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Theater enter, Dallas Women’s Foundation, Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas, The Family Place, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Heroes on the Water, Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas, Junior League of Dallas, KERA, Nasher Sculpture Center, North Texas Food Bank, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (Sam’s Day), Parkinson Voice Project, Preservation Dallas, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, Salesmanship Club of Dallas, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, Share Housing Center Inc, SPCA of Texas, Susan G. Komen Dallas County, TACA, TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Two x Two for AIDs and Art, University of North Texas – Texas Fashion Collection, Uplift Education and Vogel Alcove.

Once again, the NorthPark family has found a new way to give back to the community’s nonprofits. Happy anniversary, NorthPark.

PS — You might to also send a happy birthday wish to Nancy Thursday.

* Graphic provided by NorthPark

Third Annual Red On The Runway Will Make A Splash With Men’s Summer Fashions At Sisu

Fashion shows are not limited to non-fat-bearing females in couture designs. Need proof? How about a runway around a pool featuring “the hottest looks in men’s summer fashions”? That’s exactly what Dallas Red Foundation and Clay Cooley Auto Group will present at the 3rd Annual Red On The Runway on Saturday, July 25, from 9:30 p.m. until midnight.

Benefiting the Legacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage, the fashions (i.e. swimwear, pool wear, underwear, casual clothing and even a collection of semi-formal wear) will be provided by Lux, Edo Popken, ES Collection, Fallen Pearls and Thriii.

And what pool would be the perfect setting for such an event? Why Sisu in Uptown, of course! It’s just across from Capital Grille and is a fav of the well-tanned crowd.

According to Dallas Red Foundation Board President Justin Williams, “We are turning it up this year with our Red On The Runway event by partnering with well-known fashion brands you like to wear and a venue in the heart of Uptown. It’s time to up the ante for fashion events in Dallas and what better way to do that by raising money for Legacy and the work they do in our community.”

It’s that time of year when folks are yearning for something different, and this is just made for it. Have dinner at an Uptown restaurant and then stroll over to Sisu for the partying with music by DJ Jose G and complimentary cocktails provided by Equality Vodka. But don’t forget to make your reservations now.

House Of DIFFA No. 25 Celebrated With A Parade Of Fashions, Drag Queens, Faux Celebrity Entertainers And A For-Real Home Run

Over the years DIFFA Dallas has had a reputation for hit-‘em-out-of-the-park galas. Some made Las Vegas productions look positively amateurish; some bordered on being a tad bit raunchy with Dita Von Teese-types playfully lounging in gigantic martini glasses; and a couple were a bit on the bizarre side. But every one of them was the product of a volunteer team working with professionals to raise funds for HIV/AIDS service organizations in North Texas.

Last year’s dinner wasn’t so much a home run as it was a base hit. But that was to be expected in some ways. After all, it was a move to a new venue — Omni Dallas Hotel— and it was a different production team that took chances with a double runway. On the good side, the guests had a great time donning masks. On the not-so-good side, the fashion show was split in a two-parter with the live auction in between. Unfortunately, some guests thought the party was over when the auction started and left without seeing fashion show Part II.

Chuck Steelman

Chuck Steelman

Clint Bradley and Anne and Steve Stodghill

Clint Bradley and Anne and Steve Stodghill

To bring back the luster to the fundraiser for its 25th anniversary gala, DIFFA Dallas Chair Clint Bradley and his committee decided to try to combine old with new. They recruited Neiman’s PR man Chuck Steelman to head up the gala, brought back Brian Brothers and Planet productions along with past event chair Rhonda Sargent Chambers to produce the big show and stayed put at the Omni Dallas.

For the namedropping factor, they scored Anne and Steve Stodghill as honorary co-chairs, as well as the DIFFA Dallas legends (Simona Beal, Gillian Breidenbach, Don Gaiser, Rebecca Hallam, David Kiger, Matrice Kirk and Joe Pacetti), Style Council Ambassadors (Jenna Alexander, Jennifer Patterson Clark, Norm Johnson, Debra Nelson, Scott Kehn, Ralph Randall, Shayne Robinson, Jody Stein and Patrick Ware) and DIFFA Dallas Awards (Community Hero Scott Pharr, Legacy of Love Karen and Bill Seanor, Health Award Dr. Mark Tribble of Upton Physicians, E­­xcellence in Design Bruce Wood and Legend in the Fight Against AIDs Greg Haynes Johnson).

Greg Haynes Johnson, Summer Nilsson, Scott Pharr and Omar Esparza

Greg Haynes Johnson, Summer Nilsson, Scott Pharr and Omar Esparza

Even the weather worked out. As other events had fallen victim to late winter storms, Saturday, March 7, was right up there—perfect—for House of DIFFA No. 25.

Roel Cruz, Ron Corning, Shane Allen and Mitchell West

Roel Cruz, Ron Corning, Shane Allen and Mitchell West

Alexa Conomos and Bradley Anderson

Alexa Conomos and Bradley Anderson

 Jhonathan Arreola, Pedro Alcantara, Stephen MacMillan Moser and Christian Iles

Jhonathan Arreola, Pedro Alcantara, Stephen MacMillan Moser and Christian Iles

For the cocktail reception, the Trinity Ballroom Lobby was bustling as a couple of thousand people posed for photos against the Celebrity Cruise staging and the DIFFA Dallas backdrop on one side of the room and checked out the silent auction across the way. John Clutts scurried through the crowd worried that he might miss his cue in the rehearsal in the ballroom…Veronika Nicholson revealed that her sister Franziska Nicholson had once again designed her outfit…First-timers WFAA’s Alexa Conomos and restaurateur Bradley Anderson were impressed with the looks of the evening…Matthew Simon was in town from Atlanta and told friends like Jeff Mitchell that his husband Keith Schumann was doing nicely after a major heart attack…Austin blogger/personality Stephen MacMillan Moser posed for a photo with Jhonathan Arreola, Pedro Alcantara and Christian Iles and admitted afterwards that after surviving a death-defying disease, he was embracing and celebrating life and supporting efforts for lifesaving programs like DIFFAA…Anne and Steve Stodghill checked out the auction items and were disappointed that most appeared to be designed for a size 1…Speaking of designer looks, Carlos Nicholls wore one of his own creations a jacket reading “Dream Love” on the back…Looking at the sea of tuxedoes, Paige McDaniel giggled, “The great thing about this is, the line at the ladies’ room isn’t that long!”

Dream Love

Dream Love

Eventually the doors to the ballroom opened and it was a total revamp from the previous year. Instead of the u-configuration staging, it was a single runway that stopped two-thirds of the way. On both ends of the ballroom were stages. One was connected to the catwalk and served as the main stage for the presentations of VIP’s and entry for the models. On the opposite wall was a satellite stage for “pop-up dancers.”

Don Gaiser

Don Gaiser

Gillian Breidenbach

Gillian Breidenbach

Debra Nelson

Debra Nelson

After the crowd finally took their place, the program commenced starting with a performance by the Turtle Creek Chorale, followed by the introduction of the VIP’s. Scene-stealing Don Gaiser spread his arms to show off the shimmering, silver lining of his full-length black cape. Debra Nelson smiled and silently prayed she wouldn’t trip. Gillian Breidenbach aimed fingers to her buds (Carol Reed, Chris Heinbaugh, Nancy Lieberman, Todd Fiscus, a blonde Ceron and Troy Schiermeyer) at the stage-side table. Rebecca Hallam had an escort because of a faulty ankle.

Monica Pedersen

Monica Pedersen

Next up auctioneer Louis Murad escorted HGTV’s Monica Pedersen on stage. The tall, blonde beauty, who appeared to have a life of perfection, told of her sister who had died of full-blown AIDs. Monica’s recollection triggered the memories of many in the audience of their losses of friends and family over the years.

Following Monica’s talk, Louis held the live auction and dinner was served.

Performer

Performer

Performer

Performer

Performer

Performer

Performer

Performer

Performer

Performer

Unlike other events, this one was running not only on time, it was running early. Just before 9 p.m. the runway show kicked off with a look-a-like Madonna performing on stage with backup dancers. From that point on, it was non-stop faux entertainers like Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, who had made their names during the past 25 years, performing in between a parade of fashions from Traffic LA, Vintage Martini Mario Gallegos, Immanuel Tobias and Hannah Pederson. The showstoppers once again were the drag queens, who looked too good to be real. One guest nudged her date asking, “You’re sure they’re guys?”

Drag queens

Drag queens

As the show continued for more than an hour, everything from auction items, a few edgy outfits to glamorous gowns with towering hairstyles wrapped around large ovals of lights popped up to the delight of the crowd. A couple of gals were very delighted at the whole affair. At the side of the runway, they had a great time low-fiving models as they passed by. Farther back in the ballroom LeeAnne Locken with arms thrown in the air danced on a chair.

Painted people

Painted people

Bevy of beauties

Bevy of beauties

DIFFA No. 25

DIFFA No. 25

A group of painted people stood on stage like statues. In a zombie-like trance, groups of them slowly walked the catwalk and returned to the main stage. As they returned to their statuesque positions, a bevy of beauties in white flowing white ballgowns wearing mammoth white feathered headdresses slowly walked to the end of the runway, turned and returned halfway. Stopping, the lead diva raised her right arm and pointed to the painted people who were now facing the back wall. On each of their backs was a letter. Together it spelled out “DIFFA No. 25”.

Show members exiting stage

Show members exiting stage

Show members exiting stage

Show members exiting stage

Show members exiting stage

Show members exiting stage

Show members exiting stage

Show members exiting stage

With that the bevy turned and walked down the stage followed by the entire entourage of hundreds of models, entertainers and the backstage crew.

As the guests emptied the ballroom for the after-party in the Trinity Ballroom, one guests snipped of the show, “It could have been cut by 40%.”

Ron Kirk called it a day, as he and wife Matrice toddled on home. The former mayor chuckled, “It turned me into my parents: That’s too loud! It was fun, though.”

But attorney Keith Aurzaba summed up the 25th anniversary succinctly: “Across the decades, DIFFA No. 25 captures the significance of giving in Dallas.”

And for its 25th anniversary, it was a home run.

For more photos on this extravaganza, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Holly And Doug Deason Open Their Home For No Tie Dinner & Dessert Host And Sponsor Party

While many had taken off for spring break on Friday, March 6, others headed to the No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party at Holly and Doug Deason‘s home. Here’s a report from the field:

Holly and Doug Deason*

Holly and Doug Deason*

Doug Deason remembered when AIDS first touched his life. It was in the 80’s and he learned that a childhood friend, a robust guy who played football, had contracted and died from it. Since then, Doug and the rest of the world became educated about the ferocious disease that has no discrimination, no age restrictions, and no cure.

Ever since, Doug has felt a personal connection to the cause, so it’s no surprise that he and wife Holly Deason opened up their lavish home in Preston Hollow for the Sponsor and Host Event for AIDS Services of Dallas’ largest fundraiser, No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party. In addition, Doug’s sister, Sterling O’Donnell serves as No Tie’s Honorary Chair alongside husband Jody.

Don Neubauer and David Nelson*

Don Neubauer and David Nelson*

Approximately 150 guests were welcomed by Co-Chairs David Nelson and Dennis Kershner and treated to a magnificent culinary spread from Doug Boster Catering and cocktails from William Grant & Sons featuring the 2015 No Tie signature cocktail, The Bollywood, made with Reyka Vodka, Fever-Tree Ginger Beer, and fresh lime juice. By the end of the night, several happy guests were dancing to the tunes of Mark Ridlen (a.k.a. DJ Mr. Rid).

Ron Corning and LeeAnne Locken*

Ron Corning and LeeAnne Locken*

Additional attendees included ASD President and CEO Don Maison, 2014 No Tie Honorary Chair LeeAnne Locken, WFAA DayBreak’s Ron Corning, philanthropists Tricia Simms and Sheri Sisler Moneymaker, and husband and wife creative team and models, Rob and Deanna Cahill. No Tie’s Media Ambassador Amy Vanderoef sent her love and good wishes from Mexico while she was vacationing.

Celebrating a landmark year, the 10th Annual No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party, presented by Purple Foundation, is going global to capture the magic, vibrant energy, and exotic flavors of The East in its Bollywood-style theme “Under the Yum Yum Tree.” The largest fundraiser for AIDS Services of Dallas, an expected 1,500 guests will gather at the Frontiers of Flight Museum on Saturday, March 28, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. for the “after party” including complimentary cocktails, entertainment, dancing, colossal auction, and of course, tons of desserts! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.notiedinner.org

* Photo credit: Kim Grubbs

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: House Of DIFFA No. 25

Carol Quist

Carol Quist

Brittanie Buchanan Oleniczak

Brittanie Buchanan Oleniczak

Rhonda Sargent Chambers

Rhonda Sargent Chambers

Last year’s DIFFA Dallas was successful when it came to fundraising, but it didn’t exactly raise the roof. This year’s event planners opted to keep the best and make some changes. And what were the results?

DIFFA model

DIFFA model

DIFFA models

DIFFA models

Before the post goes up, check out the photos at MySweetCharity Photo GalleryIMG_3326

DIFFA models

DIFFA models

DIFFA Dallas Previews Collection Of The Designer Outfits Up For Bid

Thomas Hoeber and Charles Smith II

Thomas Hoeber and Charles Smith II

The DIFFA Dallas special folks, like media types Ron Corning and DIFFA loyalists Simona Beal, Brittanie Buchanan Oleniczak, Carol Yeates Quist, Barbara Buzzell, Thomas Hoeber and Charles Smith II, gathered at Expressions Home Gallery in the Design District on Thursday, February 12.

While the crowd was downright cool, stylish and chic, it was the clothes on the hangars and displayed throughout that had eyes moving.

Courtesy of "El Centro Student"

Courtesy of “El Centro Student”

Courtesy of "Forty Five Ten"

Courtesy of “Forty Five Ten”

Courtesy of "Tom Newbury, Designer and Genie Stallings

Courtesy of “Tom Newbury, Designer and Genie Stallings

Courtesy of "Michael Faircloth"

Courtesy of “Michael Faircloth”

And why not? These goodies will be going up for bid at DIFFA’s annual fundraiser at the Omni Dallas on Saturday March 7.

BTW, learned that this year’s extravaganza raising funds for “preventative education programs, treatment and direct care services for people living with/impacted by HIV/AIDS” is being masterminded by Chair Neiman’s Chuck Steelman. As for orchestrating the fashion show, it will be longtime DIFFA vet Brian Brothers along with  Rhonda Sargent Chambers. And there’s a 2015 Volvo S60 that’s being raffled off. The 1,000 chances are going for $100 per.

On hand for the big event will be such legends as Simona, Gillian Breidenbach, Don Gaiser, Rebecca Hallman, David Kiger and Matrice Kirk, plus Anne and Steve Stodghill serving as honorary co-chairs.

MySweetWishList: DIFFA/Dallas

According to DIFFA/Dallas Chairman of the Board Clint Bradley,

Clint Bradley*

Clint Bradley*

“This holiday season, the wish of DIFFA/Dallas is to find a cure for HIV/AIDS, but as a close second, we wish for the community to assist us with raising record funds this upcoming season by purchasing tickets to our annual gala, House of DIFFA: 25 Years, on March 7, 2015. Celebrating 25 years in the fight against HIV/AIDS, these funds provide overwhelming support for the men/women and children in North Texas living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

DIFFA/Dallas*

DIFFA/Dallas*

“The Dallas Chapter of the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS was formed in 1984 to support the fight against HIV/AIDS like no other organization can: by drawing on the contributions of world-renowned creative and corporate leaders representing all branches of the design related industries. DIFFA/Dallas focuses on raising and granting funds to organizations that fight HIV/AIDS by providing preventive education programs targeted to at-risk populations, treatment and direct care services for people living with or impacted by the disease, and that support public policy initiatives which add resources to private sector funds. DIFFA/Dallas plays a major part in this HIV/AIDS funding initiative, and is the Foundation’s largest and most successful chapter in the country.  DIFFA/Dallas has provided funds to over twenty-five frontline AIDS Service Organizations in North Texas, which service over 23,000 men, women, and children in the area who are living with or are affected by AIDS.

“For more information about DIFFA/Dallas or to purchase tickets for House of DIFFA: 25 Years, please visit www.diffadallas.org or email [email protected].”

– Clint Bradley, DIFFA/Dallas Chairman of the Board

* Photo and graphic provided by DIFFA/Dallas