Cattle Baron’s Ball Newbies Debuted With Cowgirl Chapeaus And Smiles

Remember those days when pledge ship was a recipe of “What have I gotten myself into” with “Gee, I made it!” Those memories may have kicked into play for the newest Cattle Baron’s Ball members on Tuesday, November 7, at the ZaZa Art House and Social Gallery.

While oldtimers like past CBB Chairs Sunie Solomon and Andrea Weber and loyal committee types like Dawn Greiner, Callan Harrison and Katie Layton were right at home, the new girls on the fundraising organization looked a bit wary. There were rows of chairs with cowboy hats set up by CBB New Member Liaison Marjon Henderson. What was expected of them?

Frosh member Kristen Gibbins didn’t hold back. “She got me into this,” said Kristen as she pointed to longtime pal Andrea Nayfa.

Jonika Nix and Katy Bock

Kristen Gibbins and Andrea Nayfa

But once 2018 Co-Chairs Katy Bock and Jonika Nix called the newbies together, the 15 newest members (Jennifer Burns, Alexine Cryer, Catherine Flagg, Kristen Gibbins, Suzi LeBeau, Kelley Ledford, Rachel Osburn, Melissa Pastora, Lauren Phillips, Jill Ritchey, Brittany Smalley, Tara Versfelt, Mackenzie Wallace and Claudia Williams) sans Lisa Hewitt discovered they weren’t going to play “Truth or Dare.” Instead it was a couple of photos — one without the hats and one with — and a brief orientation by 2018 leaders.

From the left: (standing) Jill Ritchey, Alexine Cryer, Melissa Pastora, Claudia Williams, Brittany Smalley, Mackenzie Wallace, Kelley Ledford, Kristen Gibbins, Suzi LeBeau and Lauren Phillips; (seated) Rachel Osburn, Tara Versfelt, Jonika Nix, Katy Bock, Catherine Flagg and Jennifer Burns

From the left: (standing) Jill Ritchey, Alexine Cryer, Melissa Pastora, Claudia Williams, Brittany Smalley, Mackenzie Wallace, Kelley Ledford, Kristen Gibbins, Suzi LeBeau and Lauren Phillips; (seated) Rachel Osburn, Tara Versfelt, Jonika Nix, Katy Bock, Catherine Flagg and Jennifer Burns

Then it was back to socializing and the march to raise funds for cancer research and treatments.

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

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

Pat McEvoy (File photo)

Michal Powell (File photo)

Shelle Sills (File photo)

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

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

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

JUST IN: 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon And Anne Stodghill Present A Whopping $4M For Cancer Research And Treatments

Less than a month ago, weather threatened to put a real damper on the year-long work of the Cattle Baron’s Ball committee led by Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill. But the CBBers stood their ground at Gilley’s on Saturday, October 21, and Mother Nature held back until the last guests partied on home. The fundraising was deemed a major party success.

Anne Stodghill and Sunie Solomon

Today at the CBB fall luncheon at Truluck’s, Anne and Sunie revealed the results of their team’s efforts. It was a whopping, holy mackerel $4M to support cancer research and treatments.

That’s not the gross, not the amount raised! It is the bottom-line net.

Now, 2018 CCB Co-Chairs Katy Bock and Jonika Nix pick up and carry on the fundraising for the 45-year-old organization. First on their must-do-list is the announcement of the 2018 theme. That is scheduled to happen after the holidays. Stay tuned.

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

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

Christine McKenny (File photo)

Lynn McBee (File photo)

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

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

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

The Gingerbread Stroll*

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

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

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

* Graphic provided by Gingerbread Stroll

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

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

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

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

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

Vicky Lattner, Nancy Carter, Emilynn Wilson and Di Johnston

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

Barbara Stuart, Carol Seay and Jimmie Westcott

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

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

Linda Custard and Jamie Lee Curtis

Lindalyn Adams and Jamie Lee Curtis

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

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

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

Peggy Riggs, Jamie Lee Curtis and Leonard Riggs

Aileen Pratt and Jamie Lee Curtis

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

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

Dennis Bassler and Connie Yates

Nancy Dedman and Jill Smith

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

Jamie Lee Curtis, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell

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

London Hibbs and dancers

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

Carolyn Brown and her team of health care providers

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

Ola Fojtasek and Tucker Enthoven

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

Jim Hinton

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

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

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

Jamie Lee Curtis and Robin Robinson

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

Hands raise for the challenge

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

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

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

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

Jamie Lee Curtis

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jamie Lee Curtis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for more pictures from the luncheon.

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

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2017 Celebrating Women Luncheon

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

Jamie Lee Curtis, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell

Lindalyn Adams and Jamie Lee Curtis

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

Jamie Lee Curtis and Robin Robinson

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

Aileen Pratt and Jamie Lee Curtis

Peggy Riggs, Jamie Lee Curtis and Leonard Riggs

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

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

Thanks To Beautiful Weather, Celebrating Women Patrons Partied Outdoors As Well As Indoors At Cameron And Clay Smith’s Home

Tuesday, October 24, should have been designated “patron night.” With the Dallas Historical Society’s “Award of Excellence Luncheon” patrons at Mary McDermott Cook’s hilltop nest in west Dallas and The Senior Source’s “Spirit of Generations” at Kathy and Larry Helms’ Park Cities home, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s “Celebrating Women” held forth north of town at Cameron and Clay Smith’s digs.

Barbara Stuart, Cynthia Mitchell and Di Johnston

Thanks to the weather being a step above perfect, the Smith’s backyard terrace accommodated the overflow crowd that had Mercedes, Lexuses and other wonderful wheels parked along all the roads leading to house.

Vinnie Reuben

Gathered on round settee in the living room were back-from-the-northeast Cynthia Mitchell with pals Di Johnston and Barbara Stuart across the way from John Stuart and Vinnie Reuben, who is making her victory lap before moving to California at the end of the year.

Tincy Miller, Mary Ann Cree and Jo Anne McCullough

Tincy Miller, Jo Anne McCullough, Mary Ann Cree, Nancy Carter, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Emilynn and Claude Wilson, Ann Dyer, Margaret and Lester Keliher with daughter Margaret Keliher Hughes, David Camp and Julia Welborn were in the dining room tasting and talking. Pam Perella was giving rave reviews of the Tom Thumb in Turtle Creek Village to Tom Thumb First Lady Connie Yates.

Lester Keliher, Margaret Keliher Hughes and Margaret Keliher

And speaking of first lady types, Lindalyn Adams slowly made her way through the crowd. The problems wasn’t her walk. It was that folks kept stopping to talk with her.

Tucker Enthoven and Jim and Kristen Hinton

Pat McEvoy, Ola Fojtasek, Susan Farris, Robin Robinson and Susan McSherry

On the terrace were Julie Ford, Pat McEvoy, Susan McSherry, Richard Shaw, Susan Farris, Julie Ramirez and Kristen Hinton and husband/Baylor Scott and White CEO Jim Hinton were congratulating Celebrating Women Chair Tucker Enthoven for her early sell-out of the fundraiser, while Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson was doing the same for Celebrating Women Underwriting Chair Ola Fojtasek.

JUST IN: New Cattle Baron’s Ball Members Revealed

Even before the Ferris wheel at the 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball had made its final pass on Saturday, October 21, the 2018 CBB team under the leadership of Katy Bock and Jonika Nix was in action. One of the first items on the agenda was the announcement of the CBB’s newest members. Since committee membership is limited to 100, the number of newbies is limited to the vacancies created by oldtimers retiring.

From the left: (standing) Jill Ritchey, Alexine Cryer, Melissa Pastora, Claudia Williams, Brittany Smalley, Mackenzie Wallace, Kelley Ledford, Kristen Gibbins, Suzi LeBeau and Lauren Phillips; (seated) Rachel Osburn, Tara Versfelt, Jonika Nix, Katy Bock, Catherine Flagg and Jennifer Burns

This year’s new crop of cancer-fighters was just revealed including Jennifer Burns, Alexine Cryer, Catherine Flagg, Kristen Gibbins, Lisa Hewitt, Suzi LeBeau, Kelley Ledford, Rachel Osburn, Melissa Pastora, Lauren Phillips, Jill Ritchey, Brittany Smalley, Tara Versfelt, Mackenzie Wallace and Claudia Williams.

Despite Ma Nature’s Threatening With Weather Woes, Cattle Baron’s Ball “Shot For The Stars” With Paddles Waving And Guests Partying

Las Vegas oddsmakers thought they had all their bets covered on Saturday, October 21. The Astros were facing off against the Yankees in the 2017 American League playoffs, and the 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball was facing incredible odds to raise bunches of money for cancer research.

While the Astros won the pennant in Houston and prepared to meet  the L.A .Dodgers in the World Series, the CBB-ers were also rising to the occasion at Gilley’s Dallas. With all types of ugly weather once again threatening to create a Debbie Downer predicament, CBB Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill prepared for battle, making Eisenhower’s D-Day playbook look loosey-goosey.

Steve and Anne Stodghill and Sunie and Steve Solomon

The layout had been redesigned from past CBB gatherings at Gilley’s to address any possible stormy outburst. And as the days got closer and a norther started ambling its way southward, tents sprung up like bluebonnets in spring. Even the brief crosswalk between Gilley’s proper and the football stadium-size tent for the Brooks and Dunn concert was encased. Only the Ferris wheel lay bare.

Ferris wheel

But then, the Baronesses were old hands at dealing with Ma Nature, and Sunie, Anne and their committee members were prepared to take the old wet gal on. One longtime CBB vet was amazed at how seamless the evening went. The POA was created to be flexible, just in case an “Oops!” situation arose. And it did—but more about that later.

While the very fashionable types sported everything from suede skirts to custom boots, the accessory du jour was made of paper. No matter the amount of turquoise worn, it was the color of a guest’s wristband that established their pecking order. Talk about a caste system! It not only determined when and where a guest could venture, but it also reflected your exact ranking of table assignments at the Brooks and Dunn concert—if you scored the limited meet-and-greet with the duo.

Alison and Mike Malone and Hallie Lawrence

John Buchanan and Ken Paxton

Dwight and Claire Emanuelson

Andrea Weber, Mary Parker and Olivia Kearney

Rhonda and Fraser Marcus

Barbara and Don Daseke

Stubbs and Holly Davis and Kent Rathbun

Phil White and Danice Couch

Alex Laurenzi

Tom and Amy Hughes and Pam and Vin Perella

As guests like Ken Paxton (who was attending his first Cattle Baron’s in six or seven years), Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Pam and Vince Perella, Rhonda and Fraser Marcus, Angela Nash with Billy Martin Jr., Lisa and Marvin Singleton, Olivia and Jeff Kearney, Barbara and Don Daseke, Bethany and Stephen Holloway and past CCB chairs (Olivia Kearney, Jennifer Dix, Cindy Stager, Mary Martha Pickens, Mary Parker, Amy Turner, Katherine Wynne, Tia Wynne, Kristen Sanger and Brooke Shelby) partied in the main ballroom, some super VIPers waited for their meet-and-greet time with Winston and Strawn Live Auction entertainer Pat Green.

Among them: Co-chair Husbands Steve Solomon and Steve Stodghill, longtime friends who passed the time bantering about their outfits (Stodghill bought his tricked-out C&W jacket at Manuel’s in Nashville, it seems, while Solomon joked that he got his duds at Neiman’s). Stodg also revealed that his Winston and Strawn law-firm pals had bought five tables for the big party.  

Terra Najork

Steve Lamb, Pat Green and Deborah Ferguson

Katie Layton, Megan O’Leary, Paige Westhoff, Andrea Nayfa, Pat Green, Diana Hamilton, Terra Najork, Katy Bock, Nancy Gopez

That’s when the “oops” happened. As it turned out, the Pat Green meet-and-greeters waited … and waited … and waited. Seems that Pat had gotten a late start and then had been stuck in traffic. Not to worry, though. Food and beverages were brought in, creating a mini-party, as calls were made checking on Pat’s progress. Once he finally appeared, though, things went perfectly, with Green apologizing to each of the guests as their photos were taken. “It was the craziest thing in the world, trying to get here,” he explained to anyone who would listen. Who couldn’t forgive the baby-faced blonde? In the meantime, Pat’s wife, jewelry designer Kori Green, made her way to Jacqueline Cavender’s table for the performance leading up to the live auction, which would have a different feel tonight.  

Jacqueline Cavender and Kori Green

Pat Green and Steve Stodghill

As the two Co-Chair Hubby Steves introduced Pat to the audience, Pat came up behind Stodgie and wrapped his arms around the attorney. At points throughout his performance, Pat managed to not only play his guitar and sing, but to pose for selfies with loving admirers on the floor. He also chided the crowd at one point: “It’s Saturday night, and you don’t have to apologize until tomorrow. You all sure are quiet Christians! I guess for the Brooks and Dunn show, you’re gonna be hammered!” Pat even spied his Cavendar pals and thanked them for supplying his evening’s entire wardrobe—right down to his undies.

Kevin Kuykendall

Annika Cail

Elizabeth Tripplehorn-Laurenzi

No sooner had Pat left the stage than it was time for the live auction to get underway. Some longtime observers were concerned. After all, stalwart paddle-hoisters like Nancy Rogers, Diane and Hal Brierley and Lisa and Clay Cooley were MIA, due to out-of-town ventures and other commitments. Not to worry. Such names as Wagner, Kuykendall, Fischer, Turner and Maguire not only filled the void, they raised eyebrows. One CBB vet stood in amazement as uber-bidding took place.

An auction package of a trip to Umbria and Florence to create custom porcelain place settings for 16, plus dinner afterwards at Truluck’s Dallas for 20, was won by Sabrina and Kevin Kuykendall for $100,000.

Kevin and Sabrina Kuykendall

Gail and Cliff Fischer

When the poker game with former Dallas Cowboys went up for bid, Cliff Fischer put on his best poker face, waved off auctioneers and watched the bidding proceed. He had snapped it up last year for $100,000 and was playing hard-to-get. Just as the bids slowed to a standstill, Cliff raised his paddle to snap it up for $75,000.

Cary Maguire wheeled up to the Deason table on the front row with his posse just long enough to have the last paddle standing for the Las Vegas package that included a concert with Reba McIntire and Brooks and Dunn for $50,000. No sooner had he signed on the dotted line than the Maguire entourage was gone.

Steve Stodghill and Todd Wagner

Amy Turner

Todd Wagner took home the Indie package for $41,000 and Amy Turner picked up the Chefs’ dinner for a nice round figure.  

A last-minute add was artwork by Ronnie Dunn, who appeared on stage to discuss his artistic venture. Art-loving Steve Stodghill couldn’t resist and snapped up Ronnie’s piece for $14,000.

Like clockwork, the live auction ended and the thousands headed to the big tent. For a handful of super-duper VIPs, it was backstage then for the meet-and-greet with Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn. As per the routine of most grip-and-grins, guests are photographed sans purses and other distractions.

Ronnie Dunn, Anne Stodghill, Sunie Solomon, Kix Brooks and Steve Solomon

But on this occasion, there were the exceptions. Barry Andrews proudly hoisted a Miller Lite. Who could blame the Miller distributor, who had once again sponsored the Miller Distributing Main Stage presented by Miller Lite?

Mike McGuire, Ronnie Dunn, Sophie McGuire, Natalie McGuire, Barry and Lana Andrews and Kix Brooks

Ronnie Dunn, Kinky Friedman, Nicole Barrett and Kix Brooks

And then there was this one fella who couldn’t be separated from his stogie. His name was Richard Friedman, but he’s more commonly known as Kinky Friedman. Perhaps he hadn’t been told that the fundraiser was benefiting the American Cancer Society?

Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn

No sooner had the photo session ended than it was time for Sunie and Anne to greet the more than 3,000 guests from the stage, announce the winners of the raffle, and get the concert underway with salutes to the military. And, what a concert it was! As two-steppers flocked to the front of the stage, Brooks and Dunn pumped out hit after hit: “Brand New Man,” “Red Dirt Road,” “Lost and Found,” “Play Something Country,” “Neon Moon,” “Cowgirls Don’t Cry,” “Husbands and Wives,” “My Next Broken Heart.” Suffice to say, the big crowd got their money’s worth—and more. 

In the distance, meantime, Mother Nature was holding off. She was either was on her best behavior, or flat scared that Steve Stodghill would sue her for tortious interference. Regardless, as if perfectly planned, the heavens opened up and the rain started pouring down just as the final shuttles were hauling guests back to their cars at 2 a.m.

Yup, this year the CBBers had a game plan ready to take on all challenges. And the plan worked out just beautifully.

For a look at the festivities, check out the 90 pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball

Mother Nature threatened to put a real crimp in the 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball at Gilley’s on Saturday, October 21. She had done it before and she was predicted to do an encore with rain, lightning and all types of frightening stuff.

Steve and Anne Stodghill and Sunie and Steve Solomon

Co-Chairs Anne Stodghill and Sunie Solomon and their crackerjack team of baronesses were ready for whatever the old gal threw at them. Everything but the Ferris wheel was covered.

Kevin Kuykendall

And talk about the live auction. There were a lot of arms reaching for the ceiling as the bids impressed even longtime vets.

And wouldn’t you know. They even managed to talk Ma Nature into holding off her pity party puddles until the after-party was over.

Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn

While the post is being finalized, there are dozens and dozens and dozens of pictures over at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Candice Romo And Hollie Siglin To Co-Chair Children’s Cancer Fund’s “Celebrating 30 Sweet Years” Fashion Show

News just arrived about the Children’s Cancer Fund’s annual fundraiser gala. Hold on to your football helmets! In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the fashion show will have the theme “Celebrating 30 Sweet Years.”

Candice Romo*

Hollie Siglin*

And to make a really sweet deal, the co-chairs will be Candice Romo and her longtime buddy Hollie Siglin. In addition to both being moms, the gals are also partners in Hawk and Sloane.

To add some muscle to their team, they’ve drafted Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman as honorary co-chairs. Talk about star power!

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman (File photo)

The ladies have already locked down the Hyatt Regency Dallas for Friday, April 27.

This anniversary already has all the signs of being a sweetheart of a fundraiser. Sponsorships are available now!

* Photos provided by Children's Cancer Fund

Go Ahead, Stay Toasty And Donate Without Guilt Saturday Morning

Mother Nature had been threatening for days to be part of the triple-doozy walks/runs benefiting breast cancer and diabetes throughout the area Saturday morning. Honestly, there are just times when you don’t want the old gal to be there. But sure enough, she announced that she was indeed showing up with her cold-shoulder temps. Yipes! Just as a preamble, she sent sleet to the northern parts of the territory on Friday afternoon. What a party pooper!

So, Saturday morning when you’re snuggled under that down-filled duvet and thinking about whether or not to have a triple-dollop of whipped cream on your hot chocolate, consider thousands of folks who are facing a very brisk morning to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure Dallas County, National Cancer Society’s Making Strides of North Texas and Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s 2017 Healthy Harvest Fun Walk/5K Run and Expo.

If you just don’t have the strength to put on those adorable pink Valentino “Rock Stud sneakers” and scamper about the area, consider making a donation. It would warm the hearts of those facing the season’s first frosty chill.

Hint: If you were thinking about shopping at NorthPark, stall that dream off until afternoon when all the walker and runners are home soaking their tootsies.

Insider Tips For Saturday’s 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball’s “Shooting For The Stars”

If there are some gals MIA today, they’re over at Gilley’s Dallas. No, they’re not line-dancing and bar leaning. They’re in T-shirts, old jeans and sneakers ripping open boxes, schlepping carts around, setting up tables and getting ready for Saturday night’s 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball. After all, that’s what CBB committee members do the day before the American Cancer Society mega-fundraiser.

Cindy Stager and Amy Turner

While some might think such a gaggle of females would be high drama and round-the-clock temper tantrums, they missed the mark big-time with this bunch. One gal said that everything is so organized that they just might finish earlier than planned. Why, they even had time to have lunch with some of the past CBB chairs like Mary Humphreys Parker, Cindy Stager, Amy Turner, Tia Wynne, Andrea Weber, Olivia Kearney, Kristi Hoyl and Kristin “KJ” Sanger.

Kristi Bare, Sunie Solomon, Anne Stodghill, Wendy Messmann and Karen James

When 2017 CBB Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill were asked their secret, they attributed it to their troops like Andrea Nayfa, Nancy Gopez, Kristi Bare, Katy Bock, Wendy Messmann, Karen James, Meaghan O’Leary and others who have been working with color-coded seating charts, spreadsheets and professionalism.

Nancy Gopez. Meghan O’Leary, Andrea Nayfa and Katy Bock

They’ve even arranged for a back-up plan to accommodate Mother Nature’s mood in case she boo-hoos on the festivities. Pat Green will be on the Winston and Strawn LLP Live Auction stage in Gilley’s proper, and Brooks and Dunn will be  on the Andrews Distribution Main Stage in the humongous tent with concrete floor. Even the never-ending grazing will be indoors!

But just in case you want to be in the ultimate know, here are some insider tips to avoid those “Gee, I wished I’d known” or “Wow! I forgot all about that!” moment.

Must Have

  • More important than your cellphone will be your tickets, wristbands and hang-tags, if you’re driving. No guest will be allowed on the premises without them.
  • Also, please don’t forget your favor bag ticket. It’s not required for entrance, but you’ll hate yourself when you aren’t able to get the Hirzel Capital Favor Bag with all the swag as you leave.

Parking is a bit different this year, so be prepared. According to traffic czarina Nancy Gopez, here is the breakdown:

  • Blue hangtags — Arrive and depart in the Gilley’s driveway for valet parking.
  • Gold hangtags — Arrive at the valet parking at Kay Bailey Hutchinson Lot D. Lot opens at 5:30 p.m. Shuttle buses will take guests to the Event Center at Gilley’s Dallas. The last shuttle bus will depart Event Center at 2 a.m.
  • White Hangtag — Self-park at Eddie Deen’s starting at 6:30 p.m. Shuttle buses will take guests to the Event Center at Gilley’s Dallas. The last shuttle bus will depart Event Center at 2 a.m.
  • Limousines — Arrive and pick up at Event Center.
  • Uber, Lyft, Wynne Transportation and other private driving services — Drop off at Gilley’s driveway and pick up at Event Center

Hint: Sunie strongly recommended Ubering.

Auctions

Rhinestone longhorn head

  • The CBB Silent Auction and Big Board are available online. So, if you didn’t get your ticket in time or are at home with the sniffles, you can still bid and, hopefully, win a goody like the rhinestone longhorn head. Here’s the link to the online viewing and bidding.
  • Live Auction items will only be available at the Ball. However, if you’re out of town and really want one of the items, check with the CBB office now to make arrangements for proxy bidding.

FYI

  • No one under the age of 21 will be allowed to enter Gilley’s Dallas for the event.
  • No filming is allowed at the event.
  • Give the stilettos the night off and pull on those boots.

Check back with MySweetCharity during the day Saturday for any updates or news.

Three-Way Collision Of Walking/Running Fundraisers Slated For October 28 With Two Benefiting Breast Cancer Research

There’s gonna be a heck of lot of walking in North Texas on Saturday, October 28. That morning there will three separate walks/run raising funds for nonprofits.

At 8 a.m. Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s 2017 Healthy Harvest Fun Walk/5K Run and Expo will be taking place at the Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center to raise money to “support programs and initiatives for those who suffer from diabetes and other chronic diseases.”

The other two events seem to be a bit of fundraising head-on collision. They’re both taking place to raise funds to battle breast cancer. At NorthPark the annual Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure Dallas County will start at 8 a.m., while across town the National Cancer Society’s Making Strides of North Texas will walk take place at Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge with a start time of 8:15 a.m.

Let’s hope the weather holds out all these walking, running and fundraising.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Patrons Were Sipping, Supping And “Shooting For The Stars” At Gail And Cliff Fischer’s Estate

Gail and Cliff Fischer

Gail and Cliff Fisher opened their estate for the Cattle Baron’s Ball patron party on Wednesday, October 4. With a moon overhead that looked like it had been provided by a movie studio, the grounds were filled with bare-shouldered gals and gents in jacket sans ties. This was a CBB business casual type event.

While some lounged in the covered terrace that was an outdoor dining room complete with bar and kitchen and chatted and cocktailed around the pool, others remained inside in the cool of the Fisher air conditioning.

Sure, the temperatures weren’t in the 90s, but the humidity was in overdrive. One guest was heard to say, “Someone shipped in Houston humidity.”

Lisa Ogle

Boyd and Wendy Messmann

Those braving the outdoor humidity included Lisa Ogle with glasses on and selling raffle tickets. Across the way, husband Bill Ogle told Wendy and Boyd Messmann that he had told Lisa to sell, sell, sell those raffle tickets. Otherwise, Bill was going to buy what she didn’t sell. This announcement launched a conversation about seasonal sales. One time a year it’s Cattle Baron’s raffle tickets; another it is Girl Scout Cookies. The very mention of cookies opened the debate of which cookies were the favorites. Top contender among the three were Tagalongs and Samoas.

Andrea Weber, Lee McDonald, Emily Billingsley and Nancy Gopez

Isabell Novakov

Paul Goelzer and Sunie Solomon

Indoors Nikki and Crayton Webb were telling friends that they were still adjusting to their new roles as part of Sunwest Communications… Lawrence Bock, fresh from New York, told how his operations had had a glitch with no internet or emails for two days. Did he find it freeing? Heck, no!… Others looking cool and chic were 2017 CBB Chair Sunie Solomon, 2018 CBB Chair Katy Bock, a passel of past CBB Chairs (2016 CBB Chair Andrea Weber, 2014 Co-Chair Cindy Stager, 2012 Co-Chair KJ Sanger, 2009 Chair Katherine Wynne, 1974 Chair/Co-Founder Jacque Wynne), Nancy Gopez, Dawn Greiner, Isabell Novakov, Lee McDonald, Emily Billingsley, event underwriter Sewell’s Daniella Giglio comparing notes with Neiman’s Marjon Henderson, Elizabeth and Eric Gambrell (according to Elizabeth, as soon as she finishes the Crystal Charity Ball Children’s Book, her sights are set on co-chairing 2018 La Fiesta de Las Seis Banderas with Anne Besser) and late arrival Kent Rathbun, who admitted that after this past year he’s truly appreciative of “just being here.”

Cindy Stager and Dawn Greiner

Marjon Henderson and Daniella Giglio

Kent Rathbun

Eric and Elizabeth Gambrell

2018 Crystal Charity Ball Claire and Dwight Emanuelson (his iPhone had run out of steam to show the trout that didn’t get away) were laughing about his 30th anniversary gift — a Christofle framed photo from a vacation scene. Claire suggested that perhaps the photo selection should be reconsidered. Just minutes earlier, Dwight had pulled a Goldilocks with one of the Fischer’s little benches. While Piper Wyatt and Claire were seated on the couch in front of the fireplace, Dwight took his place on a little bench that broke, landing Dwight on the floor. After uber apologies from Dwight to Gail, the bench went into rehab.

Anne Stodghill and Juli Harrison

Just when the crowd could grow no more, all were called outdoors for welcomes and announcement about the Saturday, October 21st fundraiser at Gilley’s for the American Cancer Society. As 2017 CBB Co-Chairs Anne Stodghill headed outdoors in the steamy surroundings, someone asked her if the talk was going to be lengthy. The red-haired Stodghill in a gold dress and matching shoes didn’t hesitate. “I’m wearing a leather dress. It’s going to be very short.”

BTW, Anne’s day had started off with a bit of a surprise. Seems one of the Stodghill cats had gifted her by dropping a dead frog on her iPad.

More photos can be found on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Patron Party

Gail and Cliff Fischer

Lisa Ogle

With the moon overhead and the weather simply perfecto at Gail and Cliff Fischer’s estate, it was the ideal occasion for the 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball patron party on Wednesday, October 4. Thanks to a touch of humidity in the air, ties were mostly left at home and bare-shouldered sundresses and dangling earrings were the look du jour. A favorite pastime was the buying of  raffle tickets for the upcoming Saturday, October 21, fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Cindy Stager and Dawn Greiner

Boyd and Wendy Messmann

Andrea Weber, Lee McDonald, Emily Billingsley and Nancy Gopez

The only “oops” of the night was one guest taking a seat on a little bench. While that moment and others are being written up, check out the pixs at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Susan G. Komen’s 35th Anniversary Luncheon Celebrated The Lives Saved Thanks To A Deathbed Promise

In 1977 33-year-old Suzy Goodman Komen learned she had breast cancer. At that time those two words were verboten in polite company. Too often patients diagnosed with the disease shared the news, their fears and their struggle with the immediate family and perhaps extremely close friends. It was almost treated like a scandal. Susie undertook the treatments with her kid sister Nancy Goodman Leitstein (Brinker) at her side. But due to lack of funding, research and treatments, Susie died at the age of 36 in 1980.

As she lay dying, 34-year-old Nancy, who was divorced and the mother of a son, made a promise that changed her life and those of millions of others. She told Suzy that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer. War was declared.

From that promise sprang the annual Race for the Cure and a Komen luncheon that for years required boxes of tissues as breast cancer patients shared their journeys. Eventually, the effort to grow funds and awareness spread throughout the world. What didn’t survive was the luncheon. For whatever reason, it ended.  

Mary Lessmann, Gigi Hill Lancaster and Meredith Land

However, on Wednesday, September 27, the Komen Foundation of Dallas celebrated its 35th anniversary with a luncheon fundraiser at Belo Mansion. Chairing Susan G. Komen’s 35th Anniversary Luncheon was Gigi Hill Lancaster, who had lost her mother, the vibrant Gigi Griffiths Hill, to breast cancer at the age of 39 in 1984 when Lancaster was just 14.

Elizabeth Robertson, Jim and Alinda Wikert and Sharon McCutchin

Jill Smith, Lindalyn Adams and Randi Halsell

At 11:30 the VIP reception was already in full gear with Honorary Co-Chairs Linda Custard and Ruth Altshuler (Co-Chair Gene Jones had to be out of town), luncheon emcee Meredith Land, Diane Brierley, Nancy Halbreich, Janie McGarr and keynote speaker/breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic. In the ballroom were Komen past luncheon chair Randi Halsell, Lindalyn Adams and original chair Sharon McCutchins, Jill Smith, Elizabeth Robertson, Alinda and Jim Wikert and Brill Garrett. Komen Dallas Board President Connie O’Neill with two of her three daughters (Amanda Cacheris and Isabel O’Neill) was thrilled that so many young women were attending.

Connie O’Neill, Giuliana Rancic, Amanda Cacheris and Isabel O’Neill

Promptly at noon the luncheon crowd including Sara Martineau, Carol Huckin, Katy Bock, Cara French, Daffan Nettle and Vicki Howland took their places and from the podium Gigi thanked the honorary chairs, Alinda Wikert and her underwriting chair Rebecca Fletcher for having brought in $555,000. Gigi told how she was wearing waterproof mascara. Her mother had wished that she had worn waterproof mascara when she addressed the Komen luncheon just weeks before her death.

Gigi turned the podium over to St. Michael’s and All Angel’s/breast cancer survivor Rev. Mary Lessmann for the invocation.

Carlos Arteaga

Following a video, Connie was at the podium reporting that one billion dollars had been provided by Komen for research and two billion dollars dedicated for treatment for women in 30 countries. Their goal was to reduce breast cancer 50% by 2060.

She then introduced newly arrived in Dallas Dr. Carlos Arteaga, who had only recently relocated from Vanderbilt University Medical Center to head up the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern.

It was then time for Giuliana to tell her story in 25 minutes, but she immediately admitted that it was going to be tough to do it. Born in Italy at the age of six, she only spoke Italian. So, how did she learn English? She would watch TV, especially the evening news. Her initial plans to be a TV journalist changed to concentrating on fashion and entertainment, which led to her moving to LA.

Giuliana Rancic

There she ended up with her dream job of being a reporter for E News. While there she heard the assignments editor mentioning the name “Bill Rancic,” who had just won the first “The Apprentice.” She asked for the interview and got it only to google Bill Rancic romance, where it said that he was dating someone. When she got to the interview, she impressed Bill by looking “bored and distant.” Needless to say, she had lost interest in him but carried on with the interview. Her final question was, “Are you going to settle down?” He responded, “Actually we broke up three weeks ago.”

According to Bill, an “immaculate transformation took place.” Eight months later they were engaged with a wedding taking place six months after that.”

The couple was approached about their doing a reality show. They agreed only if it could be positive. During this time they tried to conceive, and eventually sought help from fertility experts. But they miscarried and tried again with no luck. Giuliana was sad, angry and depressed — “Why did this happen?”

They sought help from another fertility specialist. In filling out the questionnaire, the last quest on the check list was “Have you had a mammogram?” Giuliana hadn’t and wanted to skip it. After all, she’d had no family history; she was in her 30s; she was in great health. But the nurse insisted, so she agreed.

Then she got a call to come to the clinic. As she waited to learn the results, she got an eerie feeling and ran to the elevator. The nurse came after her and brought her back. The doctor said that she did have breast cancer. Her reaction? “Your life just changes. I felt like I was falling.”

She shared her story on the show to help other young women to get a mammogram. Initially she thought the lumpectomy would be the answer. It didn’t work. She and Bill talked about it. Her concern was that a mastectomy would make her unattractive. Bill’s response: “I don’t care what you look like. I just want you around for the next 50 years.”

Those words made her mind up to go through with the mastectomy. In the meantime, the couple decided to check into having a gestational carrier. She admitted that after the months of disappointment and cancer, she needed some good news. That came two weeks after her surgery in December when they found out that the carrier was pregnant. On August 29, Edward Duke Rancic was born.

Within one year, Giuliana had had the worst day of her life and the most amazing.  She also realized that had she gotten pregnant, she probably wouldn’t be here.

Since then she has made fertility and breast cancer her rallying points.

Then Giuliana recalled a year ago meeting Klarissa, who in her 20s was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Giuliana had just gotten an update that Klarissa was fighting for her life. Giuliana started to read a post from Klarissa’s Instagram the day before, but couldn’t go on. She asked Gigi to come to the podium and read: “…. I can’t help but wonder what memories I will leave behind.”

Giuliana summed up her talk saying, “You don’t have to travel 2,000 miles to climb a mountain to find your purpose. Your purpose is right here in this room.”

Just past 1 p.m., the luncheon was over. The next day Julia Louis-Dreyfuss announced, “One in eight women get breast cancer; today I’m the one.” But thanks to a sister’s promise made in 1980, Giuliana, Julia and millions of others will have their lives saved.  

Double Sold-Out Alert!: Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Celebrating Women Luncheon And Annual Grand Rounds Golf Tournament

Kicking off October is a trifecta of good news items about healthcare and fund raising. First, deaths resulting from breast cancer have dropped by almost 40% in the U.S.

Second, Celebrating Women’s Chair Tucker Enthoven and her Underwriting Chair Ola Fojtasek just sent word that the Thursday, October 26, fundraiser for Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s new research and treatment options for women fighting breast cancer is sold out.

Leonard and Peggy Riggs

Thanks to the popularity of the annual luncheon, Tucker’s committee of 160, Honorary Co-Chairs Peggy and Dr. Leonard Riggs Jr., and having Jamie Lee Curtis as keynote speaker, 1,300 have signed up to lunch and listen at the Hilton Anatole. Thanks to this type of funding, the drop in death rates will continue. The more funding, the faster that drop will take place.

BTW, the Baylor Foundation team also reports that their 16th Annual Grand Rounds Golf Tournament that’s being held at the Dallas Country Club on Monday, October 23 is also sold out!

If you were one of the early birds and got your spot reserved, congrats. If not, you can always resort to begging with check in hand. And if that doesn’t work, why not sign up for the 2017 Health Harvest Fun Walk/5K Run and Expo on Saturday, October 28?

Despite “Hand In Hand” Telethon, Cattle Baron’s Ball Research Symposium Reinforced The Importance Of Cancer Research And Treatment Funding

Who would have thought that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma would have impacted North Texas fundraising efforts? On Tuesday, September 12, it happened.

When the Cattle Baron’s Ball gals had arranged to have their annual Research Symposium at Studio Movie Grill at Royal Lane, the schedule seemed free and clear for that Tuesday. They had arranged for Mary Kay Inc. and the Deason Foundation to be the presenting sponsor, as well as Studio Movie Grill to host it.

But with hurricanes whopping up the Texas and Florida coasts, the renowned talents of the U.S. came together to hold a televised cross-country telethon — Hand in Hand — with Julia Roberts, Barbra Streisand, Daniel Craig, Billy Crystal, Jay Leno, Leonardo DiCaprio, Oprah, Justin Bieber, George Clooney, Cher, Jamie Foxx, Reese Witherspoon and others (wo)manning the telephone banks and encouraging donations, while George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Robert Earl Keen, Chris Stapleton, Blake Sheldon, Usher, Stevie Wonder performed on stage in San Antonio, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York City. Talk about the Super Bowl of celebs!

Sunie Solomon, Nicholas Conrad and Deidre Bacala

Raquibul Hannan and Sterling Deason

And then there was the issue of the CBB committee members being moms with car pool and after-school activities. Perhaps all those issues resulted in a less than expected 60 guests for the presentation by Dr. Raquibul Hannan and Nicholas Conrad.

Still the message was clear and inspirational — thanks to funding of research and treatments, fewer lives were being lost to cancer.

Anne Stodghill

Kim Quinn and Kris Johnson

On hand for the cocktail reception and presentation were CBB Co-Chairs Anne Stodghill and Sunie Solomon, Symposium Co-Chairs Kris Johnson and Kim Quinn (Co-Chair Isabell Novakov was away on business), Sterling Deason, Deidre Bacala, Annika Cail, 2016 CBB Co-Chair Andrea Weber recalling that it was this time last year that she gave birth to JT Weber and Nancy Gopez, who was still thrilled over winning the Bachendorf’s bracelet at the CBB Live Auction party in August.   

Bachendorf’s Showcased Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction Goodies Plus A Virtual Experience That Had Guests Wide Eyed

Lawrence and Katy Bock and Sunie and Steve Solomon

Lawrence Bock knows how to trump the usual ho-hum photo booth. For the Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction Preview Party at his Preston Center East Bachendorf’s on Wednesday, August 30, he did just that.

Tag Heuer Virtual experience

Lucky were the early-bird arrivals like 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chair Sunnie Solomon and husband Steve Solomon, Carol Seay and Kristi Bare, who got a chance to try out the TAG Heuer’s Virtual Experience. One vet of the virtual experience admitted that it could be a bit dizzying, but others simply reviewed it as, “Awesome.”

The CBB stop was just one of the Tag Heur experience in the area. Lawrence explained that it was scheduled to display its mind-boggling happening at the Park Place Luxury and Supercar Showcase on Saturday, September 9, at Los Colinas.

Lawrence also reported that now that the refurbishing of his Preston Center store had settled in, his next project was to do the same for the Galleria Bachendorf’s

Anne Steve Stodghill

2017 Cattle Baron’s Co-Chair Anne Stodghill and husband Steve Stodghill arrived midway during the party. It seems that they had been delayed by their latest art installation.

Another eyecatcher for the crowd that included Nikki Webb, Leslie Toomay, Lisa Ogle, Holly Deason, Hadley Galt, Heather LeClair, Marybeth and Kevin Conlon, Lora Farris, Julie Clancy, Dawn Greiner, Merry Munson Wyatt and past CBB chairs Andrea Weber and KJ Sanger, was the display on the jewelry cases of the live auction item signage that included Out of This World Party at Gilley’s, Closet of Your Dreams, 2018 Tag Heuer Indy 500 VIP Experience, Uncork and Unwind in Sonoma and Napa Valley, a bike ride with Lance Armstrong in Aspen, a poker game with Dallas Cowboy greats (Troy Aikman, Tony Casillas, Charles Haley, Daryl Johnston, Drew Pearson and Darren Woodson) and more! They’ll all be on the Winston & Strawn LLP Live Auction Stage stage for the live auction on Saturday, October 21, at Gilley’s.

Cattle Baronesses arming up for a photo

Meagan Fisher Flanagan and Steve Solomon

Meagan Fisher Flanagan’s shoes

As CBB pals struck poses with arms clasping each other, Meagan Fisher Flanagan entered the scene with eyeballs checking out her footwear. One person swore she was wearing socks with heels. Another scoffed at the idea and said it was edgy, cool stilettos that later proved to be the right choice as Nancy Gopez giggled at the gawkers.

Speaking of fashion, as summer was closing down, this occasion allowed for one of the last gasps for blue-and-white striped sundresses and bare shoulders.

For more photos from the partying, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction Preview Party

Tag Heuer Virtual Experience

Bachendorf’s Lawrence Bock just doesn’t serve up some cocktails when he hosts a party. No, siree. For the 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction Preview Party on Wednesday, August 30, he wanted to provide an experience. This one had even the most timid types (as if there is one in CBB land) settling back in a comfy chair for the Tag Heuer Virtual Experience in one part of his salon. In another was a jewelry counter topped with Craft’s Angel Envy at 72 for tasteful sampling.

Cattle Baronesses arming up for a photo

And, of course, there were gorgeous Baronesses and displays of the live auction items that will be on the Winston and Strawn LLP Live Auction Stage at Gilley’s on Saturday, October 21.

For photos of the evening’s experience, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Jordan Spieth Gifts Children’s Pauline Allen Gill Center For Cancer And Blood Disorders Due To Friends Battling Cancer

After being war-torn by all the weather woes from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, local golf wunderkind Jordan Spieth has provided some very uplifting news… and it’s not a hole-in-one. It’s so much better.

His Jordan Spieth Family Foundation has just presented its largest single gift to Children’s Medical Center Foundation to benefit two specific programs at Children’s Health Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders:

  • Child Life Program that “will support services like music, art and pet therapy that are not covered by insurance but are essential for helping children cope with the social and emotional challenges of illness.”
  • Experimental Therapeutics Program in childhood cancer that “will help up to 10 children and their families each year travel to Dallas to take part in clinical trials not offered elsewhere.”

Originally, his foundation’s focus was based on three pillars — special-needs youth, junior golf and military families. But he recently added a fourth area of support — children battling cancer.

Eric Leyendecker, Jordan Spieth, Chris Durovich and Patty Leyendecker*

The reason for the addition was “watching a lifelong friend [Jordan’s childhood friend and former Children’s Health patient Eric Leydendecker] take on a recurring battle with cancer.”

According to Jordan, “Investing this gift in my hometown pediatric hospital, one of the best in the country, is a really special moment for me. There are thousands of children treated for cancer every year at Children’s Health. I have personally lost a friend to it. Recently watching my best friend as he went through treatments inspired us to make this an official pillar of the Foundation. We are eager to help wherever we can.”

Brent Christopher (File photo)

The area of pediatric cancer research has resulted in a survival rate of 58% in the mid-1970s, rising to more than 80% today, thanks to funded research and treatments.

Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher reported, “It is impossible to measure the impact that Jordan Spieth’s generosity will have on children now and into the future. We are so grateful for his commitment to help children battling cancer, as well as his trust in Children’s Health. Jordan’s support will help us deliver the very best care and continue our relentless pursuit of better treatments – and, hopefully, cures – so that one day no child will be faced with cancer.”

* Photo provided by Children's Medical Center Foundation

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 11th Annual Hold’Em For Heroes

According to 11th Annual Hold’Em for Heroes Co-Chairs Mandy-Lu Ristow and Jo Trizila,

Fall is right around the corner, which means it’s time to put on your poker face and save your seat at the table for the 

11th Hold’Em for Heroes Poker Tournament*

and live auction. Guests are invited to experience three hours of competitive poker playing, while enjoying hors d’oeuvres, an open bar and dinner. Tables are run by professional dealers and re-buys are available throughout the evening. Each player will be given their first set of chips and back by popular demand, there will be a sit and go table for those who want to try again after playing out. The top ten winners will choose between a variety of fabulous prizes from trips to gift baskets to sporting event packages. This year’s event will be held at Brook Hollow Golf Club on Thursday, November 2.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Heroes for Children – a unique nonprofit that provides financial and social assistance to Texas families with children battling cancer.

No one plans for their child to have cancer. A cancer diagnosis is expensive in every way and impacts the entire family. Heroes for Children works to alleviate financial pressure by covering immediate financial needs including paying rent and mortgages, transportation costs to and from treatment, costs of hospital visits and, in some cases, even funeral expenses.

The Hold’Em for Heroes event has gotten bigger and better each year. We rely on generous donors, community partnerships and participants at annual fundraising events including Hold’Em for Heroes to support Texas families with children battling cancer.

Texans have always been known for their generosity, and for this along with the 4,500 families we have served, we are forever grateful. We could not do what we do without the time, talent and treasures of the generous people of Texas – whose hearts are as big as our great state.

To purchase a ticket, sponsor the event or for more information about Hold’Em for Heroes please visit, www.heroesforchildren.org/dallasholdem.

*Graphic courtesy of Heroes for Children

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2017 Celebrating Women Luncheon

According to Celebrating Women Luncheon Chair Tucker Enthoven and Underwriting Chair Ola Fojtasek,

Ola Fojtasek and Tucker Enthoven (File photo)

Celebrating Women is the premier breast cancer luncheon in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Every year, it brings together more than 1,200 supporters to increase awareness and generate funding for breast cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. Together, we can find a cure for this disease that affects so many women and families in our community.

Over the past 17 years, Celebrating Women donors have raised more than $28 million for the fight against breast cancer. These donations provide the women and men who pass through our doors access to advanced diagnostic equipment, innovative clinical research, and most importantly, safe, quality, compassionate care.

In the past 17 years, gifts to Celebrating Women have had an impact in four areas:

CAPITAL AND TECHNOLOGY

  • Funded a new, technologically advanced, mobile mammography van with the ability to screen more than 5,500 women each year at their place of business, in small communities and school districts throughout the Metroplex.
  • Advanced digital technology for breast cancer screening, diagnosis and interventional procedures including digital mammography, Positron Emission Mammography and MRI breast biopsy.

MEDICAL EDUCATION

  • Funded a Celebrating Women Oncology Nurse Educator to develop ongoing education, training and certification for oncology nurses to meet the changing and specialized needs of cancer patients.
  • Created a Celebrating Women Education Fund. We are making investments today to secure the future health of our daughters and granddaughters by training medical leaders with the ability to treat, and maybe even cure, breast cancer.

PATIENT-CENTERED PROGRAMS

  • Expanded the genetics counseling program in order to empower patients with the information they need to better evaluate their treatment options, earlier than ever before. These advances will allow physicians and scientists to develop more targeted treatments and save more lives.
  • Funded a patient navigation program to assist breast cancer patients with their emotional and educational needs as well as with coordinating their care throughout their journey. Since 2008, this program has provided services to more than 4,000 breast cancer patients.
  • Increased access to breast cancer services through the Gift of Life Fund, raising nearly $1.5 million for services to women throughout the region who could not afford to pay.

RESEARCH

  • Funded innovative work to find a cure. Baylor is currently involved in several research studies to determine better ways to diagnose and treat breast cancer, including a gene sequencing trial that could result in more personalized therapies and treatment options for patients.
  • Created a Celebrating Women Chair in Breast Cancer Research. The chair holder developed a pilot study to test the efficacy of a vaccine on triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease.

Make plans to join us on Thursday, October 26, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel with featured speaker Jamie Lee Curtis.  Visit the Celebrating Women website for tickets and sponsorship information.