JUST IN: Emmy Award Winner/Former WFAA “PM Magazine’s” Leeza Gibbons Returns To Dallas As Go Red For Women Keynote Speaker

And the news keeps rocking and rolling in today. Go Red For Women Luncheon Co-Chairs Lisa Cooley and Janelle Walker have just announced Emmy Award winner Leeza Gibbons will be returning to familiar surroundings for the American Heart Association – Dallas fundraiser.  

Leeza Gibbons*

It was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s that Leeza appeared with Bill Ratliff on WFAA’s “PM Magazine,” before heading on to other programs like “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra” and “Leeza.”

In addition to her television career, Leeza has made quite a reputation for herself regarding children’s causes and health issues. One of them being heart disease. She knows all too well that one can survive a heart attack. Her father Carlos “Pops” Gibbons was diagnosed with coronary heart disease. Not one to sit around and do nothing, Leeza insisted that her dad get a media alert system, Philips Lifeline. Three years later Carlos fell to the floor having a heart attack. Thanks to the device, an ambulance arrived in time.  

Leeza was so impressed with the lifesaving device, she became a spokesperson for it and an advocate for heart healthiness.

According to Leeza, “While heart disease doesn’t discriminate, we do know there is a need to make more women aware of their risk. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all the cancers combined. Go Red For Women is a movement I am happy to stand behind to help drive change through advocacy, research and education.”

On Friday, February 23, Leeza will be at the Omni to join 1,300 women and men to raise funds to battle heart disease.

Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling Liz Robinson at 214.441.4258.

* Photo provided by American Heart Association of Dallas

Kate And Eric Sudol Bring The Third Annual Collin County Heart Ball To The New Omni Frisco Hotel At The Star For Grazing, Auction And Dancing

Eric Sudol has no need for GPS to find his way to the Dallas Cowboys Star Complex in Frisco. As the Dallas Cowboys’ VP of Corporate Partnership Sales and Services, he‘s an old hand for the 91-acre campus that includes the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters, an indoor practice field, restaurants, offices and the brand new Omni Frisco Hotel.

Eric and Kate Sudol*

So, when Eric and his wife, Kate Sudol, took over the chair duties for the 2017 Collin County Heart Ball, they knew just the place to hold it. As a matter of fact, the Saturday, November 4, fundraiser for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association will be one of the very first galas at the hotel.

According to Kate, “The Collin County Heart Ball is unique in that you come to one gala and actually experience several of the finest restaurants in the Metroplex at one time. In addition to the spectacular food (Omni Frisco Hotel Executive Chef) creates, Tre Wilcox Cooking Concepts and Jasper’s Gourmet Backyard Cuisine are among the eateries that will have tasting stations.”

Beside grazing around, guests will also be able to bid on such things as trips to Telluride and Bimini and dance the night away.

But Eric stressed that the real draw of the night is the cause, saying, “It’s a premier event that is always a lot of fun, but there’s a bigger reason to get involved. The Association is set on improving the cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent. They want to do all this by 2020. We’re honored to be part of what is sure to be a historic milestone.”

Ticket start at $250 and can be snatched up here!

* Photo provided by Dallas American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

The Wilkinson Center Is Dealing With The Loss Of Volunteer Vickie Thompson And The Need For The Can Do! Lunch To Change

Vickie Thompson (File photo)

The Wilkinson Center’s Anne Reeder admitted that the past week has been tough. Longtime Wilkinson volunteer and “Lakewood Mom” Vickie Thompson suddenly died of a heart attack following the Lakewood 4th of July parade. It was just a year or so ago that Vickie had been named Wilkinson’s volunteer of the year. Whether it was pitching in to help the community or rallying others to the need of an individual, she exemplified the very word “volunteer.”

For those who knew Vickie, it’s hard to imagine the Lakewood neighborhood and the Center being without the blonde powerhouse leading the charge.

Anne had hardly adjusted to that news when she learned that the Sixth Annual Can Do! Luncheon was going to have to change. No, not the event itself, but rather the traditional date and possibly the location. Since its inception, the fundraising luncheon spotlighting entrepreneurship had been held at the Dallas County Club on the second Tuesday of May.

But it seems the Club had recently notified event planners and members that a new policy limited events with more than 100 guests to Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays only.

Anne Reeder (File photo)

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

What’s a girl to do?

Luckily, Anne had already arranged for fundraising force-of-nature Emilynn Wilson to chair the 2018 luncheon. It was Emilynn who hauled in a whopping $283,435 for the Callier Cares Luncheon this past April at the DCC.

Comparing notes the ladies bit the bullet and booked Monday, May 7, at the DCC.

So, white out May 8 and ink in the new date for the 2018 Can Do! Luncheon. This one is going to be tough without Vickie, but one can’t help but suspect that her spirit will fill the room.

JUST IN: Lisa Cooley And Janelle Walker To Co-Chair 2018 Go Red For Women Luncheon

Janelle Walker and Lisa Cooley*

More news just arrived about 2018 fundraising. The Dallas Go Red For Women Luncheon not only has two blondes co-chairing the event, they’ve already locked down some nice funding. The ladies are Lisa Cooley and Janelle Walker.

To kick things off, Janelle has already gotten a $125,000 commitment from her bosses at BB&T and from Texas Health.

While they’re keeping their lips sealed about who will be the featured speaker, they did reveal that the fundraising for the American Heart Association of Dallas will take place on Friday, February 23, at the Omni.

* Photo credit: Goldenlight Creative

2017 Côtes Du Coeur Gala Popped The Cork To Net A Hearty $4M For The American Heart Association Dallas-Fort Worth

While the art lovers were over at the Dallas Museum of Art for the 2017 Art Ball’s “All That Glitters” on Saturday, April 22, the wine lovers were bubbling with bid cards, grazing the the chef stations and raising wine glasses at the 2017  Côtes du Coeur to provide funding for the American Heart Association Dallas-Fort Worth at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Here is a report from the field:

2017 Cotes du Coeur*

The American Heart Association’s 2017 Côtes du Coeur Gala, held at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Saturday, April 22, hosted close to 1,200 business and wine industry leaders, community philanthropists, wine collectors and physicians. Led by renowned Chef Richard Chamberlain, a team of 18 acclaimed chefs visited with guests and served up selections from a boldly unique tasting menu accompanied by wine pairings created from the cellars of 30 elite wineries.

Richard Chamberlain and Steve Grimshaw*

The event featured 620 silent auction wine lots and 12 live auction items which offered opportunities to stay at exclusive luxury homes, tour vineyards, experience private chef tasting menus and much more.

Doug Hawthorne and Kelly and David Pfeil*

Barbara Smith*

Chaired by Kelly and David Pfeil with Barbara Smith as the Executive Leadership Team Chair, this year’s event grossed $4.6 million and netted $4 million to fund life -saving research and educational programs, making it a record breaking sum for the Dallas event and across the country for the American Heart Association.

The highest Live Auction package was an exclusive trip to Paris to privately tour the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles, which sold twice for $110,000.

Denise Hunter and Erin Hunter*

Heart disease survivor Erin Hunter shared her story on-stage with her mom, Denise. The survivor testimonial, Open Your Heart, was lead with a gift of $150,000, and matched in the room by an inspired couple, who prefer to remain anonymous.

“I don’t remember a time where I didn’t have to think about my heart. Between my surgeries and check-ups, I lived as normal a life as I possibly could,” said Erin, who is now a nurse at the Heart Center at Children’s Health where she underwent numerous heart surgeries as a child. “Many people have said that things happen for a reason, and I believe that is true. Because of my experiences, I am able to give back to parents and patients going through similar tough times that my family went through.”

“It is because of fundraising events like Côtes du Coeur, and the support of the generous individuals and businesses that attended Saturday night, that the funding for cardiovascular research and health education programs remains strong and continues to save lives,” American Heart Association Executive Director Melissa Cameron said.

Merry Edwards*

Mike and Diane Gruber and Kim and Greg Hext*

Some of the attendees in the room were Tete du Cuvee honoree Merry Edwards of Merry Edwards Winery, Barbara and Mike Smith, Kim and Greg Hext, Melissa and Steve Grimshaw, Anne Davidson, Diane and Mike Gruber, Diane and Hal Brierley, Laura and Eric Hutto, Tim Wallace, Carol and Matt Holmes, Katherine Wynne, Doug Hawthorne, Amy and Michael Meadows, Ron Haddock, Mary Parker, Pam and Mark Okada, Keli and Mike Jenkins, Jana and Mike Brosin, Eric and Amy Schoch and chefs John Tesar, Jim “Sevy” Severson, Dean Fearing, Kevin Garvin, Matt McCallister, Alex Astranti and Chad Houser.

Mary Parker and Tim Wallace*

Anne Davidson and Mark Porter*

The 2018 Dallas Côtes du Coeur will be held on Saturday, April 21, at the Omni Dallas. Terri and Tim Gallagher will serve as the chairs

For a full list of chefs, wineries, sponsors and committee members, visit dallaswineauction.com.

* Photo provided by American Heart Association Dallas-Fort Worth

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

Côtes du Coeur (File photo)

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

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

Art Ball 2016 (File photo)

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

Trammell S. Crow

2016 Children’s Cancer Fund (File photo)

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

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

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

Horse racing (File photo)

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

The Great Create (File photo)

It just ain’t fair!

Côtes Du Coeur Catalog Preview Party Reveals “Wonderful Things” For The American Heart Association Dallas/Fort Worth Fundraiser

Thursday night was just popping with news like a North Texas thunderstorm. After announcing plans for the 2017 Celebrating Women Luncheon at Peggy and Leonard Riggs’ home across from the Dallas Country Club, Tucker Enthoven scurried over to her Preston Hollow estate to host the Côtes du Coeur Catalog Preview Party.

And, boy, have Côtes du Coeur Co-Chairs Kelly and Dave Pfeil put together a collection of auction items, chefs and wines for the Saturday, April 22, dinner/auction at the Omni Dallas! It’s enough to make one’s heart go pitty pat.

And speaking of the heart, the American Heart Association Dallas/Fort Worth fundraiser is a personal undertaking for Kelly and Dave. As Kelly said, “We have lost three immediate family members to heart issues. Dave’s brother had a valve replacement and his father, after two heart attacks, has six stents.”

According to Dave, “Kelly’s career as a PhD scientist in research and development of food and beverage was devoted to heart-healthy products, by eliminating and reducing trans and saturated fats and reducing sugar and sodium, with Coca-Cola and Frito Lay. Our common desire to save and improve lives keeps us involved with the work of the AHA.”

To bring in the funding for heart disease research and treatments, Auction Co-Chairs Georgia Davis and Kim Bannister have put together the following:

  • The City of Lights – a Private Parisian Tour: The winning bidder will gather a group of up to 20 people, or a more intimate group if you prefer, to have the Louvre and Palace of Versailles all to yourself!
    • The LouvreThe Louvre averages just under 30,000 visitors per day. Often crowds are 15 deep in front of the Mona Lisa. BUT, your group will wander the Louvre filled with works by the world’s greatest artists without any distractions. Crowds will not obscure your appreciation for Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Michelangelo’s Dying Slave, the Winged Victory of Samothrace or the Venus de Milo. Delight in 3 hours (6:30 to 9:30 p.m.) of uninterrupted bliss in the largest museum in the world.
    • The Palace of Versailles – The next afternoon (or previous afternoon), experience the approximately 2,000 acres of Palace of Versailles’ incredibly beautiful gardens.  From 2:30-5:00 p.m., marvel at the symmetry of the gardens, enjoy the fountains, tour the stables and contemplate what it took to create such a marvelous estate.
  • Behind the Scenes with Filmmaker Ken Burns: Shadow Emmy Award-winning Ken Burns and the writers, producers, and other film makers that work with Ken producing amazing films of America’s history at his studio in Walpole, New Hampshire. View clips of upcoming films such as “The Vietnam War” and “Country Music.”
  • Montana Mountain Retreat: Embrace nature’s beauty as your group of eight fish, hike and explore the mountains of Montana. Relax in a beautiful 4-bedroom, 2-cabin home by the natural treasure of Flathead lake. Explore the Glazier National Park or sail to Big Fork, Crazy Horse Island for excursions during your 6-night/7-day retreat.  
  • Experience Russian River Valley’s Merry Edwards: Experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the world-renowned Russian River Valley during a three (3) night stay at Merry Edwards’ extraordinary new guest house in Forestville. Your group of eight will be treated to a VIP winery tour and tasting at Merry Edwards winery.  Enjoy a relaxed dinner with Merry and Ken paired with library wines selected from their cellar. A true wine lover’s dream and a once-in-a-lifetime getaway featuring one of the greatest wine producers in California!

Richard Chamberlain (File photo)

Jim Severson (File photo)

Dean Fearing (File photo)

Kevin Garvin (File photo)

Matt McCallister (File photo)

Chad Houser (File photo)

As for the graze-around dinner, Chef Chair Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House and Chamberlain’s Fish Market has arranged for the following chefs to be stationed around the ballroom: Chef Aaron Staudenmaier of Shinsei, Lovers Seafood and Market; Jim Severson of Sevy’s Grill; Dean Fearing of Fearing’s Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton; Kevin Garvin and Anita Hirsch of Neiman Marcus; David Holben of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House; John Tesar of Knife; Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly; Carl Murray of NOBU; Garth Blackburn of Sub-Zero/Wolf Showroom; Gerard Thompson of Rough Creek Lodge and Resort; Donald Chalko of Omni Dallas Hotel; Matt McCallister of Filament and FT33; Stephen Rogers of Gemma; Alex Astranti of Uchi; Angela Hernandez of Top Knot; Jody Denton and Stephen Kalil of Frito-Lay Kitchen and Chad Houser of Café Momentum.

The wines for the evening will be led by this year’s Tete du Cuvee winner — Merry Edwards of Merry Edwards Winery and including B Cellars, Barnett Vineyards, Beaulieu Vineyards, Beringer Vineyards, Château Minuty, Checkerboard Vineyards, Clos du Val, Domaine Paul Blanck, Egelhoff Wines, Ehlers Estate, Etude House, Hall and Walt Wines, Herb Lamb Vineyards, J. Bookwalter Winery, Justin Vineyards and Winery, Loring Wine Company, Macauley Vineyards, Modus Operandi Cellars, Montagu Wines/ Silver Ghost, Mullan Road Cellars, Ramey Wine Cellars, Red Mare Wines, Schweiger Vineyards, Sequoia Grove, Stewart Cellars, Torii Mor, Trujillo Wines, Turnbull Wine Cellars and W and J Graham.

Tickets for the wining and dining are available here!

Go Red For Women Luncheon Speaker Alison Levine Inspired Guests To Conquer All Challenges Including Heart Disease By Being Relentless

As loads of folks especially ladies attended the health screenings, cooking demonstration and CPR demonstration starting at 10 a.m. at Omni Dallas for Go Red for Women on Friday, February 4, the car cha-cha at the front door grew to bumper-to-bumper around 11:30 for those attending just the luncheon.

Amy Simmons Crafton, Melissa Cameron and Anne Stodghill

In the meantime, the invitation-only VIP reception scheduled for 10:30 was aglow in red thanks to guests in their American Heart Association best like Amy Simmons Crafton and Anne Stodghill, who was in a full-length red coat complete with glitter.

Miller Gill, Rebecca Gill, Mary Parker, Suzanne Humphreys and Joe Parker

Nancy Gopez and Alison Levine

Alas, speaker-of-honor Alison Levine was late in arriving, but once there she was non-stop howdy-doing. Waiting their turn with Alison, Sandi Haddock Community Impact Awardee Mary Parker and her family (son Miller Gill, daughter Rebecca Gill, mother Suzanne Humphreys and husband Joe Parker) posed for a quick cellphoto taken by Open Your Heart Chair and Survivor Nancy Gopez.

By noon the reception area in front of the Dallas Ballroom looked like a poppy field thanks to guests like Sandi Haddock, Kay Hammond, Kit Sawers, Roz Colombo, Gina Betts, Debbie Oates, Christie Carter, Mary Martha Pickens, Lisa Cooley, Ciara Cooley, Tracy Lange, Becky Bowen, Vicki Howland, Ramona Jones and fellas like Ron Haddock and Stan Levenson.

Kit Sawers, Gina Betts and Roz Colombo

Mary Martha Pickens, Ciara Cooley and Lisa Cooley

Thank heaven the chimes rang, the ballroom doors opened and the crowd filled the place.

Stan Levenson

Pat Malambri

Luncheon Chair Michelle Vopni introduced Amy Simmons Crafton for the invocation and Macy’s Dallas Fort Worth District VP Pat Malambri, who told of the longtime association of the retailer with the battle against heart disease in women. He also added that he hoped that many of the guests’ red outfits had come from Macy’s.

Following a brief rest for lunch, American Heart Association Dallas/Fort Worth Executive Director Melissa Cameron presented the Sandi Haddock Community Impact Award to Mary Parker, who graciously accepted the award and scored points with Pat saying, “My dress came from Macy’s.”

Then Melissa presented Open Your Heart Chair/Survivor Nancy Gopez, who asked her pal Mary to return to the podium to share the occasion. It was Mary’s advocacy about heart disease that alerted Nancy to the sign of her heart attack last year.

Mary told the audience that Amy and her AmazingGrace.Life had provided a $25,000 match for any $1,000 contributors.

Beck Weathers

As the ladies left the stage, local mountain climber Dr. Beck Weathers, who barely survived the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster, introduced Alison, who gave a polished talk. Somehow, she intertwined her twice quest to conquer Mt. Everest with every day challenges by taking one step at a time and the importance of being relentless. The first attempt in 2002 had been daunting with weeks of climbing back and forth between camps on the mountain to acclimate her body for the climb to the 29,002-foot peak. Toward the final phase, one has to take five to ten breaths for each step. To make it through this part of the climb, she focused on a nearby rock. Once there, she would focus on another rock. The message was to take one step at a time in order to achieve the final goal.

In the end, she and her team had come within 200 feet of the summit only to have to turn back because they were running low on oxygen and supplies.

Alison Levine

As a result of the miss, she learned that failure wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, she and her team survived. If they had made it to summit, they might not have survived the journey down. Still, she had no plans of attempting another run for the summit.

It was her good friend/collegiate All-American soccer player Meg Berté Owen who urged her to try again. It was Meg’s resilience that turned Alison’s decision. It seems that despite her lungs being damaged due to having Hodgkin’s disease, Meg had become an avid cyclist and raised funds to fight cancer. Her death in 2009 as a result of the flu provided the impetus for Alison to take on Everest again. This time she engraved Meg’s name on her ice-ax and took on the challenge one more time. This time as she neared the summit, a storm approached. But Alison just knew she could make it to the top and return safely. Yes, she made it to the top of the world long enough to hold up a T-shirt reading “Team Meg.”

It was a talk that lasted just long enough and yet was both inspirational and refreshing.

Then it was a scamper to the cars, but it ran right on time with a finish time of 1:10.

MySweetCharity Photo Alert: 2017 Go Red For Women Luncheon

Nancy Gopez and Alison Levine

For tackling the climb to conquering heart disease, the 2017 Go Red For Women gals donned the color of the month — red — and filled the Omni Dallas Hotel on Friday, February 3, to hear best-selling author/sportswoman/explorer Alison Levine tell of her challenges in reaching the summit of Mt. Everest.

As big a draw as Alison was, there was a large number on hand to support Sandi Haddock Impact Awardee Mary Parker and Open Your Heart Chair Nancy Gopez.

Miller Gill, Rebecca Gill, Mary Parker, Suzanne Humphreys and Joe Parker

While the post is being prepped, the ladies in red and friends supporting the American Heart Association Dallas Division can be found at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

American Heart Association Dallas/Fort Worth Area’s Go Red For Women Patron Party Had A Bigger-Than-Planned Turnout

Tim Wallace and Mary Parker

The valets had been warned to expect 50 to 70 for the Go Red for Women patron party at Lisa and Clay Cooley’s estate on Thursday, February 2. Instead it was more like 150. Itty-bitty Nancy Gopez showed up a half hour into the event, but if it hadn’t been for her buddy Mary Parker, she wouldn’t have been there or anywhere at all.

It was blonde beauty/heart survivor Mary’s advocating to friend and stranger alike about the warning signs of heart disease that had sent Nancy to the ER, when she was visiting her folks last fall. That resulted in not only Nancy’s recovery from a true life-threatening condition, but it also landed her on the American Heart Association Dallas/Fort Worth Area’s Go Red For Women’s slate as Open Your Heart chair with her buddy Mary, and receiving the Sandi Haddock Impact Award at the Go Red for Women Luncheon at the Omni Dallas on Friday, February 3.

Kay Hammond

Jeff Canose

Ron and Sandi Haddock

Despite the chill of the night, the patrons found the Cooley mansion just to their liking with Sandi and Ron Haddock greeting folks like Texas Health Resources COO Dr. Jeff CanoseKay Hammond, Trinity Industries CEO Tim Wallace, Anne Davidson and Mark Porter at the entry hall. Ron looked pretty darn spiffy in his black leather jacket that they picked up in Florence.

Across the room, Crystal Charity Ball members Cara French and Lisa Cooley were recovering from a marathon day of CCB beneficiary selection. The day had started around 8 a.m. and had just finished up at 5:20 p.m.

Cara French and Lisa Cooley

Michelle Vopni and Melissa Cameron

But it was an early night for the Go Red crowd. Plans called for an early morning start thanks to American Heart Association Dallas/Fort Worth Area Executive Director Melissa Cameron‘s and Go Red for Women Luncheon Chair/Ernst and Young Dallas Managing Partner Michelle Vopni‘s plans for a full day of heart-healthy activities.

Radiothon Revealed A Story How Lacey Parker’s Half Heart Was Made Whole At Children’s Medical Center 12 Years Ago This Month

Jody Dean, Lacey Parker, Renee Parker and Jenny Q

Lacey Parker and her mom Renee Parker came from DeSoto to chat with KLUV’s Jody Dean and Jenny Q this afternoon at Children’s Medical Center for the fundraiser Radiothon, joining folks like Tom Thumb’s Connie Yates, Children’s Medical Center Foundation’s former President Dr. Kern Wildenthal and ADT’s Jessica Short and Dolly Lynch.

Lori Wagoner, Kern Wildenthal and Heidi Cannella

Jessica Short and Dolly Lynch

Connie Yates

That doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Only it wasn’t DeSoto, Texas. The pair came 200 miles from Stonewall, Louisiana, where Lacey attends North DeSoto Middle School.

But the trek wasn’t new for the two. They’ve made the trip twice a year for the past 12 years.

It was in 2004 that Renee discovered that she was six months pregnant and ended up giving birth to Lacey two months later. The moment she saw her daughter, she knew Lacey had Down’s Syndrome. No problem for the Parker family.

But there was a problem. The infant was blue. The doctors at the first hospital more or less told the parents to love Lacey as much as they could, because she probably wouldn’t last three weeks.

Upon hearing the news, Renee was so upset, she went to the bathroom and cried. So much so that the janitor had to remove the door to get Renee out.

Luckily, the Parkers sought a second opinion at Dallas’ Children’s Medical Center and learned that the bottom of Lacey’s heart was missing. So, at the age of six months, she had open heart surgery at the hands of Dr. Stephen Leonard.

But before the delicate, six- to eight-hour-long surgery took place in December 2004, Dr. Leonard and the Parkers made an agreement: if it appeared that they were losing Lacey, he would call them to the “back door” to say “good-bye.”  

After four hours, they got the call. Arriving at the doors and prepared for the worst, they saw Dr. Leonard with Lacey in his arms. For the first time ever, their little girl had a healthy pink color. She went home four days later.

Lacey Parker and Renee Parker

Since that time, Lacey has been picked for her middle school cheerleading team and was named Miss Amazing for Louisiana and then Miss National Princess for Miss Amazing.

Her reaction at becoming a cheerleader was taped and went viral and was viewed by millions. The result? Lacey was featured on “Good Morning America,” CNN and the “Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

That story had those in Children’s Medical Center’s Butterfly Atrium spellbound. But then Jody, Jenny Q and Lacey broke the moment with the question of, “What’s your favorite professional football team?” Louisiana Lacey replied, “The Saints.” Jenny Q pushed the envelope and asked what Lacey’s second favorite team was … “Perhaps a Texas team?” Lacey didn’t hesitate: “No.”

La Grande team

Those are the kind of stories that are being broadcast Friday over KLUV 98.7 and La Grande.

The hope is that donations will be made for little ones like Lacey to have a chance to cheer.

JUST IN: Mary Parker To Receive The Sandi Haddock Impact Award At 2017 Dallas Go Red For Women Luncheon

Here’s a great way to start the weekend! Great news! The American Heart Association has just revealed that Mary Parker will be the 2017 recipient of the Sandi Haddock Impact Award at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Friday, February 3, for the Dallas Go Red For Women Luncheon.

Mary Parker (File photo)

Mary Parker (File photo)

Nancy Gopez

Nancy Gopez

After having a heart attack years ago, Mary has become a powerful advocate in helping people become aware of the signs of a heart attack and making them take action. A recent example of her efforts paying off was Mary’s best bud Nancy Gopez, who immediately headed to the hospital and sought treatment when she recognized the symptoms. It not only saved Nancy’s life, it put her on a new road to better overall health.

BTW, Nancy is also going to be part of the festivities. She’ll be serving as the Open Your Heart chair and will be providing “her personal testimonial.”

Tickets just went on sale this month, so why not give yourself a healthy holiday gift?

Trojans Discovered True Tex-Mex Happiness At Mia’s With Mama In The House Benefiting The American Heart Association

Trojans at Mia's

Trojans at Mia’s

Little did most locals realize that North Texas was being invaded Labor Day weekend. Sure, they’re used to the usual take-over by Longhorns and Sooners in October and Cotton Bowl fans over New Year’s that result in overcrowded restaurants. But on Friday, September 2, the natives found out all too late that University of Southern California and University of Alabama boosters had overwhelmed their favorite venues for the Saturday game at AT&T Stadium.

Mariachi Espuelas de Plata

Mariachi Espuelas de Plata

Why, Al Biernat’s was going to handle over 600 on that night and, much to the chagrin of some regulars, there just wasn’t room.  A few blocks away, the legendary Tex-Mex Mia’s Friday night crowd also found themselves being turned away at the parking lot for a closed party. Shocker! But USC lovers Vicki and Bob Chapman had booked the place for a gathering of Trojans, who were met at the patio by Elaine Agather’s favorite mariachi band.

Curtis Good, Natalie Shaw, Jennifer Good, Elyse and Zach Smith, Lauren Chapman and Daniel Pike

Curtis Good, Natalie Shaw, Jennifer Good, Elyse and Zach Smith, Lauren Chapman and Daniel Pike

Just inside the door, Garden Gate’s Junior Villanueva had created a ginormous arrangement of Trojan red-and-yellow roses with a USC helmet placed strategically in the center.

Lauren Chapman, Bob Chapman, Ana Enriquez, Mia Enriquez and Vicki Chapman

Lauren Chapman, Bob Chapman, Ana Enriquez, Mia Enriquez and Vicki Chapman

And, a very special treat for the locals and out-of-towners like Lauren Chapman, Daniel Pike, Jennifer and Curtis Good, Natalie Shaw and Elyse and Zach Smith was the presence of Dallas’ First Mama of Tex-Mex, Ana ”Mama” Enriquez, all decked out in black gown and jeweled necklace. Everyone wanted to have their photos taken with Mama and her daughter Mia Enriquez.

Trisha Orta, Karen Sanchez, Ramon Ochoa, Abel Uresti, Luis Mora, Gabriel Ochoa, Ana Enriquez, Herminia Garcia, Diana Villarreal, Mia Enriquez, Tony Luna

Trisha Orta, Karen Sanchez, Ramon Ochoa, Abel Uresti, Luis Mora, Gabriel Ochoa, Ana Enriquez, Herminia Garcia, Diana Villarreal, Mia Enriquez, Tony Luna

Little did Mama know that the party was also providing a donation to the American Heart Association in her honor.

JUST IN: Yes, Everyone’s Best Friend Nancy Gopez Had A Heart Attack And She’d Love To Hear From You After Her Nap

So what do you do when your best friend has a heart attack? That question has been making the rounds on Facebook since Friday evening when Nancy Gopez, who was visiting her folks in Virginia, sensed symptoms that had her checking in at the local ER. The symptoms-awareness was courtesy of Mary Humphreys Gill Parker, who had been a firsthand vet of the disease, and shared it with friends and strangers. Luckily, Nancy had listened, heeded the words and acted appropriately.

Nancy Gopez

Nancy Gopez (File photo)

According to Mary, who has been in communication with Nancy, the result was surgery implanting three stints and lots of sleep.

So, who is this Nancy Gopez? If you ask a lot of folks in the volunteer area of North Texas (Cattle Baron’s Ball, Suits for Shelter, Dallas Historical Society and Turtle Creek Recovery Center to name a smidgen), the answer is a chorus of “She’s my best friend.”

Actually, that may well be true, because she’s earned her stripes from being a tireless volunteer who brings along a lot of energy and attitude with little need for acknowledgement. In fact, Nancy is the one with the camera, who is taking the best shots at most events.

Despite her itty-bitty stature, she defines North Texas charitable support and has been known to show up as the sun is rising to stuff bags for the cancer-surviving kids attending the Junior Cattle Baron’s Ball at American Airlines Center.

There has been a flurry of messages on Facebook and other communications about Nancy and her situation. One missive claimed she was going to be back at work Wednesday!

Checking in with Mary, here is the straight poop. Nancy is really focused on mending with loads of sleep at her folks’ home after being released from the hospital. In other words, chill on the texting and the phone calls for the time being. This situation is a hard one for her BFFs to handle. All they know is a non-stop Nancy.

The plan right now calls for Nancy to return to North Texas next week… a time to be determined by her recovery. In the meantime, get-well cards can be sent to her folks’ address (13821 Brandy Oaks Place, Chesterfield, VA 23832). So, get those cards stamped and in the mail. How great it would be for Nancy to wake up from a snooze to notes from you.

And if you don’t know Nancy, you’ve missed out on a bright star. Luckily, because of Mary’s warnings and Nancy’s heedings, you still have a chance to get to know a nonprofit Energizer Bunny Rabbit with a “refurbished” heart of gold.

Obelisk Awards Luncheon Honored The Partnership Of Business And The Arts With A Heartfelt Theme

The sun was shining on Friday, November 13, and the temps were just a kiss of perfection. It was just one of those rare, perfect days in North Texas. Sure, it was Friday the 13th, but that’s what scary movies were about and old wives tales.

In fact just the opposite, awards were rightfully being hand out around noon and heroes were being honored. Ret. Gen. Tommy Franks was regaling luncheoners at the Stars and Stripes Film Festival fundraiser at the Dallas Country Club.

Downtown at the Fairmont, oldtimers of the Business Council for the ArtsObelisk Award luncheon were in for a surprise. “A symbol of excellence awarded to businesses and business leaders for their support of the arts and culture in North Texas” had gotten a facelift, thanks to local glass artist Jim Bowman.

Running pretty much on schedule, Dr. Eric Olson, despite his heavy credential that include countless papers, expertise on heart disease and being a member of the UT Southwestern’s “Transactivators,” did a gangbuster job telling the sold-out audience how the heart’s importance ranged from the biological to the metaphysical. His talk was eloquent, but never went over the heads of guests.

To top off his talk, he donned his guitar and his harmonica and sang Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold.” The review was a standing ovation.

Following his address, North Texas Public Broadcasting President/CEO Mary Anne Alhadeff announced the recipients of the Obelisk awards. Drum roll! Here they are:

  • Arts Partnership Award — Spec’s Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods nominated by University of North Texas, College of Music; Neiman Marcus Willow Bend nominated by North Texas Performing Arts and Plano Children’s Theatre and The Dallas Weekly nominated by Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • New Initiatives Award — Virgin America nominated by Dallas Film Society; NorthPark nominated by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Beyond The Horizon nominated by Undermain Theater
  • Arts Education Award — Atmos Energy Corporation nominated by WaterTower Theatre and Stephen A. Waldman of Waldman Bros nominated by Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance
  • Outstanding Alumnus Award — Edwin Cabaniss of The Kessler Theater nominated by Steven Roth
  • Outstanding Nonprofit Organization Award — Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts nominated by Neiman Marcus

The brief acceptance speeches ranged from Nancy Nasher’s poignant acceptance on behalf of NorthPark to Kessler Theater’s Cabaniss, who recalled Business Council founder/the late Ray Nasher’s response to two questions posed during a hard-hat tour of the Nasher Sculpture Center:

  • Where did he get a passion for the arts? — “It was my mom and dad. They didn’t have a lot of means. We were living in the boroughs of New York. But they made a commitment to me and my siblings that at least once a month they would take us in to the city to explore some of these wonderful creations and some of this great art that was taking place in New York City. A lot of those times they had to go when the museum was free or when the symphony was playing at a discounted time period.”
  • Why Dallas? — “Although I grew up in New York, Dallas is home.”


2015 Côtes Du Coeur Raises Glasses And Spirits With Chefs, Vino And A Red Escalade

Alas, the Anatole parking situation was being hit a second day in a row. This time the weather was fine, but the traffic jam around 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, at the Tower entrance of the Anatole wasn’t so fine and dandy.

As The Family Compass guests and hosts for The Legends Dinner pulled into the main entrance porte-cochère, the Dallas Côtes du Coeur Gala guests saw signs directing them to the Tower. But upon approaching the Tower, the sign indicated it was SER valet only.

Silent auction

Silent auction

As confused as guests were, Anatole valets stood in the driveway looking not quite sure what was going on. When the chief valet was asked what was going on, he said he didn’t know. Luckily, when Anatole management was notified of the black hole out front, the initial response was that it was another valet company’s problem. When confronted a second time, they realized that the hotel’s service was indeed supposed to be working the event. Immediately signs were placed and cars were handled just as quickly.

Red Escalade

Red Escalade

But once inside, none of the 1,400 black-tie wine lovers supporting the American Heart Association seemed to mind. They were way more focused on the countless tables of wines being offered up in the silent auction and the raffle tickets up for grabs to win the red Escalade.

The Gossip Bar was hidden behind massive curtains for the VIP party, including Kara and Randall Goss, Kathy Holt, Jim Severson, Victor Hugo, Gala Chair Kristen Johnston Sanger and her husband Ladd Sanger, and Nancy Gopez, who had co-chaired the raffle along with Kristi Bare. Kristi wasn’t able to attend since she was working The Family Compass dinner in the Stemmons Ballroom…Bank of America’s Richard Holt said the bank likes to be involved with this event because the American Heart Association/Dallas Division executive committee members have many corporate representatives, like Tim Wallace of Trinity Industries, Ron Haddock of Ashmore Energy and Randy Cain of EY…AT&T’s Holly Reed was wearing a wristband in memory of her AT&T colleague Cathy Coughlin, who had recently died…Gillian Breidenbach was leaving the next morning for a week with the girls in Mexico.

Kristen Johnston Sanger, Kathy Holt and Kate Rose Marquez

Kristen Johnston Sanger, Kathy Holt and Kate Rose Marquez

At one point Côtes du Coeur Chair Kate Rose Marquez announced that a bottle of champagne was to be sabered. One new-to-the-wine-world type sheepishly asked, “What’s a sabre slice?” Quickly, a vino aficionado patiently explained that instead of a hand twisting the cork out of the bottle, a sabre would be used. The sheepish one nodded and then asked his date, “Does that mean somebody’s going to stick a knife in the cork?”

Saddiq Mir

Saddiq Mir

He eventually found out how it’s done when Anatole Food and Beverage Director Saddiq Mir slid a long chef’s knife along the neck of a bottle of champagne not once, not twice, but three times when the cork finally popped off. Saddiq looked pretty disgusted with having to try more than once. So he grabbed another bottle to try again. This time he removed the foil and the cage and voila! Success the very first time as the cork went flying and champagne spewed forth to cheers.

Just as the champagne was being poured, a couple of lovely young ladies — Caitlyn Hefley and Gabriele Petrylaite — arrived wearing fur wraps. While furs are not surprising with this crowd, this time of year that type of outerwear is usually hunkering down in chilly fur storage. But the twosome were as bubbly as the champagne and part of Cary Maguire’s guest list. While Cary found a comfortable chair away from the other VIP’s, the gals made the rounds taking in the sights.

Around 7:30 a parade of young women holding huge lit balls started the procession into the ballroom. There guests discovered the stations hosted by celebrity chefs (Chief Chef Richard Chamberlain, Garth Blackburn, Eric Brandt, George Brown, Bruno Davaillon, Dean Fearing, Kevin Garvin with Anita Hirsch, Scott Gottlich, David Holben, Dan Landsberg, David McMillan, Carl Murray, Kent Rathbun, Severson, Hugh Stewart, John Tesar and Gerard Thompson ) serving up incredible samplings paired with wines.

Richard Chamberlain

Richard Chamberlain

Jim Severson

Jim Severson

Kevin Garvin

Kevin Garvin

Eric Brandt, Meredith Whittier, Victor Hugo and Jeff Fox

Eric Brandt, Meredith Whittier, Victor Hugo and Jeff Fox

Tables were set up throughout the room, but guests found themselves too busy grazing to spend much time at their places.

However, at the center of the room a violinist started playing on a round stage with a circular gauzy curtain that extended almost to the ceiling. But the fiddler was only drawing attention to what would happen next. Soon the curtain revealed a silk aerialist. As eyes rose to watch the graceful movements, mouths dropped imagining how such movements were possible.

But this entertainment was only building up to the live auction that included the Victoria Secret package going for a cool $50,000. By the time the auction was over, the Young at Heart After Party got underway.

The evening’s results? A $3.4M check for the American Heart Association. That’s a lot of cork popping.

For more photos of 2015 Côtes du Coeur, check the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2015 Côtes Du Coeur Gala

Kristen Johnston Sanger, Kathy Holt and Kate Rose Marquez

Kristen Johnston Sanger, Kathy Holt and Kate Rose Marquez

The spirits were high for the 2015 Côtes du Coeur Gala on Saturday, April 25, at the Hilton Anatole. No wonder! It was a mega-fundraiser for the American Heart Association. Needless to say, there were a lot of ladies in wine-colored gowns, hundreds of bottles of wine in the silent auction, loads of chefs cooking up a storm and a splashy red Escalade that was being raffled off.

Silent auction

Silent auction

Saddiq Mir

Saddiq Mir

The write up is on its way, but in the meantime there are some photos over on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Côtes Du Coeur Grand Tasting Resulted In Wedding Proposal, Great Taste And Huffy Valets

Kristen Johnston Sanger and Ladd Sanger

Kristen Johnston Sanger and Ladd Sanger

While Bruce Jenner was explaining his life-changing decision on Friday, April 26, and thunderstorms were messing up North Texas, finally confirming weather guessers’ predictions, about 400 wine lovers gathered in the Anatole’s Stemmons Ballroom for the American Heart Association’s Côtes du Coeur Grand Tasting, on the eve of the Côtes du Coeur Gala. This was the hottest of the numerous pre-gala events, since the featured wineries poured a select reserve of their wine for top-level patrons and sponsors.

As Côtes du Coeur Gala Chair Kristen Johnston Sanger and her husband Ladd Sanger and guests walked the hallway leading to the ballroom, they were handed fishbowl-sized wine glasses with a “Dell” tag. The glasses would be put to work sampling the top-line wines along with delicious samplings provided by the area’s yummiest chefs.

Curtis Schuler

Curtis Schuler

But first they had to get past Marybeth Conlon, who was at the front door selling raffle tickets for the red hot Escalade.

At one point there was a sudden explosion of thunder, but no one seemed to notice. There were just too many wines, tasties and guests.

Côtes du Coeur Chair Kate Rose Marquez took the mic and tried to quiet the guests for announcements. But who could come between the guests and their chattering? Finally, after a few shushes, a large part of the crowd quieted down and Curtis Schuler of Dell thanked the group and presented Underwriting Chair Rick Allen with a Tiffany blue box.

Andrew Ellis and Catherine Mitchell

Andrew Ellis and Catherine Mitchell

Unfortunately, the shushing was forgotten as wine advisor Steve Ellis reeled off a list of participating wineries.

Just as Steve finished the winery lineup, he introduced his son Andrew Ellis, who fell to the on-knee stance and presented a diamond ring to Catherine Mitchell. She accepted his proposal with tears and smiles.

It was another reason for a clinking of the wine glasses and preparing for the next night of wining and dining.

Only downer of the night was the Anatole’s valet team. One after another, the guests were hit with a $20 parking fee. One chap griped to the valet wrangler that he thought it was complimentary. No, siree. It was $20 flat to get the car fetched. Perhaps the guest had misread the invitation. But the complaints continued, until one man marched back to the ballroom and inquired with an event organizer about the $20 “complimentary valet.” She immediately compared notes with the valet team. The fee was lifted and the problem was resolved.

Round Robin April 15: Côtes Du Coeur Reception, Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Derby Day And Moonlight Ball Patron Parties

Accountants were hunkered down trying to meet the midnight tax deadline. But the evening of Wednesday, April 15, was one of those rare nights when the weather was ideal and partying indoors and out was incredible. Some of the events taking place included:

Côtes Du Coeur Reception

Kim Bannister, Mary Gill, Mary Martha Pickens and Wendy Messmann

Kim Bannister, Mary Gill, Mary Martha Pickens and Wendy Messmann

Heart disease survivor and fundraiser Mary Gill was being celebrated at Jimmy Choo in connection with the April 25th Côtes du Coeur benefiting the American Heart Association.

Jimmy Choo's Cinderella slipper

Jimmy Choo’s Cinderella slipper

It was a bittersweet occasion. Being toasted and surrounded by about 60 friends like Simona Beal, Elizabeth Washburn, Côtes du Coeur Gala Chair Kristen Johnston, Côtes du Coeur Chair Kate Rose Marquez, Kim Bannister, Mary Martha Pickens, Wendy Messmann, Kris Johnson, Cara French and Nancy Gopez cheered her a bit despite the recent loss of her brother Richie Humphreys, who succumbed to his years of battling cancer.

Helping add a touch of sparkle to the occasion was the presentation of Jimmy Choo’s made-to-order Cinderella shoe. Gals like Brittanie Buchanan Oleniczak tried it on. Even if the crystal-embellished shoe fit the lady’s foot, the glass slipper—a tie-in with the new “Cinderella” live-action movie, which was playing at the nearby Village Theatre—might have required a Prince Charming to help handle the near-$5,000 price tag.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Derby Day Patron Party

Aakash Patel

Aakash Patel

Susan Walker and Courtney Nall

Susan Walker and Courtney Nall

In Marion and Jim Moore‘s glorious house, Aakash Patel was playing his violin in the entry hall. About 35 guests were gathering for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Wells Fargo Derby Day patron party, which helps support programs including the DSO Young Strings, of which Aakash is a graduate. Co-Chairs Courtney Nall and Susan Walker had arranged for the event at the Moores’ just days before the Wells Fargo-sponsored derby at Lone Star Park.

H.M. and Marilyn Hailey

H.M. and Marilyn Hailey

In the den, Marilyn and H.M. Hailey were settled down in a comfy couch. The former Neiman Marcus house model recalled her days of working the couture salon and Zodiac Room with models Virginia Muncy and Desi. It was during this period that Marilyn met legendary hat designer Frank Olive. She was so caught up with the milliner that she started collecting his hats. Today she has 40 Frank Olive creations.

Who knows? Maybe Marilyn wore one of her prized chapeaus at the Sunday, April 19, Derby Day.

Under The Moonlight Ball Patron Party

Bob Penn was at the door of his 87-year-old mansion for the rescheduled Ronald McDonald House of DallasUnder the Moonlight Ball patron party.

Mother Nature hadn’t been a very nice party guest for the previous Moonlight events. First the patron party had to be rescheduled due to snow, and then she dumped rain on the main event itself. Still, Moonlighters took it in stride. Despite the rain, they partied indoors at Trinity Groves and thank heaven they picked a perfect night for the patron party.

With the grounds looking just a kiss away from spectacular, the Penns threw open the terrace doors and the 45 guests took full advantage of the Penns’ hospitality and glorious home that sits on more than an acre in Highland Park.

Catherine Penn and Cate Ford

Katherine Penn and Cate Ford

Moonlight Co-Chair Cate Ford pointed out the faces carved into the staircase leading to the living quarters. There was a rumor that it was of Bob and his brothers as children. Then Cate checked out the charming panels featuring the Penn daughters in the living room.

Carved faces in stairway

Carved faces in stairway

Panel of Penn daughters

Panel of Penn daughters

Katherine Penn admitted that 30 years ago, when they moved into the house which was built in 1928, she thought it was way too big, but they eventually filled it up with kids and furnishings. Luckily, Katherine and Bob kept the Santa Barbara style home built by Bob’s folks intact with some slight adjustments. Katherine said that such things as air conditioning and electrical adjustments were a bit challenging. But they met the challenge.

One of the original homes built in the immediate neighborhood, the estate’s magnificent trees suffered no damage in last year’s straight-line winds. The secret? Katherine is vigilant about keeping the trees trimmed.

If ever the Penns invite you over, accept. This house is beautiful, inviting and historic.

2015 Côtes Du Coeur Patrons Sip The Product Of The Grape At “The Beck House”

Naomi Aberly and Larry Lebowitz opened their fabulous estate (aka The Beck House) on Thursday, April 2, for the 2015 Côtes du Coeur patron party, and what a turnout it was. With Baylor Scott & White doctors, retailing arbiters like Shelle Sills and Jeff Byron and movers-and-shakers like Nikki and Crayton Webb, it was a real mix of smart and fashionable types before fundraising efforts went quiet for the holiday weekend.

Jeff Byron and Shelle and Michael Sills

Jeff Byron and Shelle and Michael Sills

For some who had been to the mansion back in the day when Patty and Henry Beck were the homeowners, they were surprised to see how the main house had been updated and expanded. The water features were fabulous/

Matt McAllister

Matt McAllister

Typical of most parties, the kitchen turned into the gathering spot with Matt McAllister and Omar Flores cooking up a storm. While the chefs were preparing food, the talk included Mary Kay’s Crayton Webb back in town and Nikki swearing she was going to stay true to saying, “No” for volunteering…except for Cattle Baron’s…Shelle and Michael Sills were headed to a birthday party…Jana and Mike Brosin reported that they’ll be heading up Dallas CASA’s Champion of Children Award Dinner on Wednesday, October 14, at the Fairmont.

Kate Rose Marquez and Gillian Breidenbach

Kate Rose Marquez and Gillian Breidenbach

Mike and Jana Brosin

Mike and Jana Brosin

But before everyone toddled off, Côtes du Coeur Chair Kate Rose Marquez took her place on the winding stairway and addressed the group (Nancy Gopez, Jennifer Sampson and Côtes du Coeur Gala Chair Kristen Sanger), introducing sponsor Merrill Lynch’s Gillian Breidenbach. Then Kate Rose told of the developments that took place resulting in her personal battle against heart disease. Despite having a healthy heart, her episode with strep throat ended up with entering the world of heart disease and the threat that she would never have children. Thanks to research and technologies, she was able to have three healthy kids, but she and her medical team still carefully monitor her heart.

She then introduced Baylor Scott & White cardiologists, who told of the amazing promises that were in the future for those battling heart disease.

Round Robin March 26: Women’s Auxiliary Of The Salvation Army Texas Tea And Côtes Du Coeur Catalog Announcement

Wicked weather hit Oklahoma and the North Texas area dodged the torrential bullet on Thursday, March 26. Since the temps dipped, woolly wear didn’t reappear. But don’t worry. The nonprofits were still hot-to-trot.

Women’s Auxiliary Of The Salvation Army Texas Tea

Dixey Arterburn and Ramona Jones

Dixey Arterburn and Ramona Jones

The question for the Women’s Auxiliary of the Salvation Army on a normal day might have been, “How are the clothes coming?” or “How are ticket sales going for the Salvation Army fundraiser at Brook Hollow?”

Instead it was, “Did you find a parking space?” Seems the Crescent Court launched its face lift on the very same day as the SAWA’s Texas Tea at Stanley Korshak.

Libby Hunt

Libby Hunt

Evidently, everyone didn’t get the memo that the usual valet at Korshak’s front door would be replaced by the one at Capital Grille. But even then Salvation Army Fashion Show and Luncheon Co-Chair Dixey Arterburn arrived early and couldn’t find a parker at the Grille. Upon inquiring in a ladylike fashion with the Capital Grille staff, she was told to just leave her keys and it would be taken care of.

Guess it was just one of the adjustment to new arrangement days, but Women’s Auxiliary President Betsy Chambers, Ramona Jones, Honorary Co-Chairs Libby Hunt, Lissie McCullough and Sharon McCullough were right on time.

Lissie McCullough, Crawford Brock and Sharon McCullough

Lissie McCullough, Crawford Brock and Sharon McCullough

Regardless, Dixey and her Co-Chair Ginger Sager have arranged to have loads of the gently experienced designer clothes hanging around for sale on Monday, May 4, at Brook Hollow. Suggestion: start doing your arm exercises because you’re gonna be carrying out armfuls of fashions.

But on this day it was Korshak’s brand-spanking new clothes and “Texas Tea.”

Côtes du Coeur Catalogue Announcement

David Blank and Kate Rose Marquez

David Blank and Kate Rose Marquez

Later that evening, Diamond Doctor was being hit from all sides by the Côtes du Coeur gang. For a while DD David Blank stood outside greeting guests like Cindy Stager, Gillian Breidenbach, Corry Schiermeyer, Kevin Curley, Kim Bannister, Dick Meyer, Mary Martha and John Pickens, Nick Tarantello and Micheala Davis.

Cindy Stager, Gillian Breidenbach and Corry Schiermeyer

Cindy Stager, Gillian Breidenbach and Corry Schiermeyer

Kim Bannister

Kim Bannister

Mary Martha and John Pickens

Mary Martha and John Pickens

One reason for his doing the meet-and-greet outside was that the store was pretty well filled with peeps with glasses of wine in hand.

Whether it was the Côtes du Coeur wine lovers checking out the Red Escalade in front of DD, hunkering down over the cases of gems on the ground floor or venturing upstairs to see the OMG items, it was an amazing gathering. In addition to the gazillions of dollars of jewels, another reason for the turnout was the presentation of the Côtes du Coeur catalog for the April 25 fundraiser at the Hilton Anatole. Just in the nick of time, Côtes du Coeur Chair Kate Rose Marquez rang the bell calling all to the stairs for the catalog presentation. As the information about the wines was being read, it was obvious that some folks were already planning their bids.

Chef Richard Chamberlain Reveals Côtes du Coeur Lineup At Sub-Zero And Wolf Showroom

Everyone thought North Texas had ducked the winter bullet. Oh. The Northeaster had taken the brunt of the cold stuff. But then word started filtering through that something was on the horizon. Yipes! Just as folks clamored at Central Market like Armageddon was approaching, the memories of past icy problems arose.

Still, despite the ice warnings and the Oscars’ red carpet fashion “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” approaching, wine lovers and heart disease haters gathered for the Côtes du Coeur Chef Reveal at Sub-Zero and Wolf Showroom.

Sub-Zero and Wolf Showroom

Sub-Zero and Wolf Showroom

Well, if ever there was a kitchen appliance Fort Knox, this was the place. Walls of Sub-Zeros, glorious stoves/rangers and ovens filled the two levels that once were the homestead of Peaches and a long ago Safeway.

Personalized wine bottle

Personalized wine bottle

In one of the suites was wine calligrapher Ken Brown, who was dazzling all with his handiwork. With a fireplace glowing, he recalled one project. It was for CapRock Winery and he had to inscribe more than 700 bottles. According to sources, he did each magnificently.

Cotes du Coeur's chef reveal wines being served up

Cotes du Coeur’s chef reveal wines being served up

While some gathered to watch Ken do his handiwork, all picked up a glass of wine that seemed to be never ending. But then what else would you expect for an event that celebrates wine and raises money for the American Heart Association? And to go with the wines, Richard arranged for delicious foods including Cowboy Spiced Texas Wagyu Beef.

Cowboy Spiced Texas Wagyu Beef

Cowboy Spiced Texas Wagyu Beef



On this evening Chief Chef Richard Chamberlain rolled out the chefs who would be cooking up a storm for the American Heart Association fundraiser on Saturday, April 25 at the Hilton Anatole. One of those was hardly noticed, since he was in his civvies — Rosewood Mansion at Turtle Creek’s Bruno Davaillon, who admitted that the past weekend had been non-stop. It’s been five years since the French chef moved to Dallas and he has developed a Texas grin and just a smidge of an accent. Not really, but one can imagine.

Richard Chamberlain, Scott Miller, Mike Brosin and Kevin Summers

Richard Chamberlain, Scott Miller, Mike Brosin and Kevin Summers

As for the rest of the chef stable, Richard reviewed each and what they have planned for their menus benefiting the American Heart Association fundraiser. Here’s a rundown of who will be cooking what at the Anatole on April 25:

Richard Chamberlain and Kate Rose Marquez

Richard Chamberlain and Kate Rose Marquez

  • Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House and Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill — Pecan wood smoke beef tenderloin, foie gras mousse, bacon-fig jam and caramelized shallot potatoes paired with 2010 Martinelli Giusppe and Luisa Zinfandel and 2011 Herb Lamb Vineyards cabernet Sauvignon
  • Garth Blackburn of Sub-Zero Wolf Showroom — All-Texas tostada tasting with Sterling Lambobucco, minted Santos pecan pesto, uncured lamb bacon, Praseks venison sausage crumble, kitchen pride cremini bacon, South Texas wild board shoulder, Mill King white cheddar and 1015 fondue paired with 2012 Gemstone Estate Red and 2012 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Eric Brandt of VH Casual Dining and Bar — Lamb and porcini ravioli with pomegranate and sweet onion compote paired with 2011 Red Mare Cabernet Sauvignon and 2012 Vino Chequen RESERVE Syrah Curico-Chile
  • Bruno Davaillon

    Bruno Davaillon

    Bruno Davaillon of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek — Smoked foie gras and short-rib torchon, picked ramps and a fresco jam paired with 2010 Domaine Paul Blanck Grand Cru Schlossberg Riesling

  • Dean Fearing of Fearing’s Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton — Bison dish paired with 2012 Trujillo Cabernet Sauvignon and 2012 Bookwalter Protagonist
  • Kevin Garvin and Anita Hirsch of Neiman Marcus Restaurants — Sautéed sweet Nantucket Bay scallops, gnocchi, brown butter, shaved Brussels sprouts, pecorino Romano and candied pecans paired with 2012 Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay and 2012 Donelan Sonoma County Nancie Chardonnay
  • Scott Gottlich of The Second Floor — Mushroom risotto with lemon and thyme dry cured filetto and Pepato cheese paired with 2012 Modus Operandi “Vicarious” California Red Blend
  • David Holben of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House — Tamari caramelized pork loin and tangerine Asian salad with miso-red curry dressing paired Schweiger Vineyards and 2010 Ehlers Estate One Twenty Over Eighty Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly — Citrus striped bass ceviche with English pea hummus, pea tendrils, popcorn shoot and radish salad finished with sesame rice stick gravel paired with 2013 Gamble Sauvignon Blanc and 2012 Hanzell Vineyards Cardonnay
  • David McMillan of Meddlesome Moth —Cured, braised lamb breasts, filled with lacinato kale, garlic and torn bread on white beans and buttered leeks paired with 2011 St. Helena Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and PEJU Province Winery
  • Carl Murray of NOBU — Tuna Tataki, red peppe miso glaze with pickled lotus root and shishito peppers paired with 103 Talbot Sleepy Hollow Pinot Noir and 2011 Torii Mor ‘DeauxVerres’ Reserve Pinot Noir
  • Kent Rathbun of Abacus, Jasper’s, Rathbun’s Kitchen at 6130 — Pepper crusted duck breast, toasted Israeli couscous and dried peach demi paired with Merry Edwards Winery and 2013 Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • Jim Severson of Sevy’s Grill — Strube Ranch Kobe short rib, creamed poblano corn, cabernet ancho sauce and caramelized spring onions paired with 2012 Hall Napa Valley Merlot and 2012 Sequoia Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • John Tesar of Knife and Oak — Korean BBQ’d flat iron steak kimchi Korean vegetable pancake and kimchi butter paired with Egelhoff Wines and 2013 Bevan Cellars Sauvignon Blanc
  • Gerard Thompson of Rough Creek Lodge —Smoked pheasant, sea island red peas, Carolina gold rice, sweet corn, morel mushrooms, strawberry rhubarb mint relish paired with 2012 Hill Family Barrel Blend and Siduri Wines

BTW, that red Escalade that is being raffled off looked downright purty parked out front.

Go Red For Women Celebrated With Heart-Rendering Stories And A Father-Daughter Jones Chat

Go Red for Women Co-Chairs Jane and Andy Geisse met on a blind date in high school. It had been set up by mutual friends, who were dating. Andy called Jane up and asked her out. She said, “Great. Only there’s one thing…” She was on crutches due to falling off a car. The setup worked and they dated for seven years.

 Jane and Andy Geisse

Jane and Andy Geisse

Then Jane was hired by Proctor & Gamble. Her boss asked if she knew a chap by the name of “Andy Geisse.” Wary she said, “Well, yes,” not knowing if he knew of their relationship. The boss said for her to thank Andy because he had turned down the job that she got.

They decided enough was enough and got married. That was 35 years ago.

On Friday, February 6, Jane watched Andy on stage rehearsing on stage in the Omni’s Dallas Ballroom and laughed when he started clowning around.

 Nina Vaca, Freddy Vaca, Robin Woith and Holly Reed

Nina Vaca, Freddy Vaca, Robin Woith and Holly Reed

Outside in the lobby, it was a sea of red with gals like last year’s Go Red for Women Co-Chair Capera Ryan and her mom, Lee Bailey, Jocelyn White, Rachel Michell, Linda Ivy, Holly Reed, Nina Vaca, Robin Woith, Holly Reed, and Brill Garrett perusing the silent auction items benefiting the American Heart Association and some taking advantage of the wellness booths.

Gene Jones and Brill Garrett

Gene Jones and Brill Garrett

At 11, one of the featured on-stage guests, Charlotte Jones Anderson, arrived. She was going to have a full day. Later that evening she was throwing a little gathering for more than 20,000 for United Way of Greater Dallas.

She was moved to the VIP reception in a small suite at the far end of the lobby. At 11:20, word was passed that the other on-stage guest “Jerry (Jones)” was 15 minutes away.

Kaley O'Kelley

Kaley O’Kelley

Just 20 minutes later the doors officially opened to the ballroom. KTVT-CBS 11’s new anchor Kaylee Kelley arrived and reviewed the agenda. Jerry arrived. Rev. Sheron Patterson wearing a fox stole that had belonged to her mother posed for photos with Jerry.

Things were really starting to happen with last year’s Co-Chair/Circle of Red Chair Barbara Smith inviting guests to join the Circle of Red. Then it was the Geisses’ turn at the podium. Andy breezed through it without a hitch. At one point, Jane hesitated. It seems she was “way ahead of the teleprompter.” Jane explained the stop-action was due to the teleprompter. Such spontaneity was greeted by laughter. She picked up the pace again, only to have the teleprompter trip her up again. As they left the stage, Andy gave her a tip: “Never rely on the teleprompter.”

Doug and Martha Hawthorne

Doug and Martha Hawthorne

______ then presented the Sandi Haddock Award to Martha Hawthorne, who was escorted to the stage by her husband Doug. Next up was a video that ended with darkness and just the sound of a heart beating. On stage was Tabitha Millsop, who was born with Atrial Septal Defect and Pulmonary Stenosis. She told of the years of having undergone numerous treatments and surgeries, and that she was winning the war against heart disease thanks to funded research. With that a shout-out was made for donations. As she left the stage, Kaylee quietly told Tabitha of her admiration for telling her story.

Tabitha Millsop

Tabitha Millsop

After contributions were collected, AT&T CEO/Chairman of the Board Randall Stephenson appeared on the two mega-screens to introduce Charlotte and Jerry and moderator Brad “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys” Sham.

With Gene Jones in the audience, the trio settled back in chairs on stage with Charlotte in between the gents. Brad started off by saying it was interesting that Jerry was there because in the early days of the Dallas Cowboys ownership, there were those who didn’t think he had a heart at all.

Highlights from the conversation with Charlotte and Jerry included:

  • Jerry announced that Dez did catch the ball.
  • Brad asked whether Jerry had adopted Gov. Chris Christie yet. Jerry’s response, “Well, we’re sending him checks.”
  • Jerry: “Everybody in this room knows I’ve had my share of negative issues…That keeps you talking. That keeps you interested.”
  • When asked what it was like working with her father, Charlotte said, “You can’t get a word in edgewise?”
  • Brad pointed out that when TV cameras show the Jones clan in their box, Charlotte is nowhere to be seen. She explained that she is “Working. I have a headset on.”
  • According to Jerry, “The NFL is a respite for the real heroes in this country. And the real heroes are the ones who make the jobs. The real heroes are the ones who man the hospitals. The real heroes are the teachers. The real heroes are the folks who protect us. The NFL and television is [sic] a respite away from that… It’s turned out to be more than any of us could have ever thought.”

    Brad Sham, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Jerry Jones

    Brad Sham, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Jerry Jones

  • Jerry recalled a time when Michael Irvin was being booked into jail wearing a fur coat. To turn the negative image around, Charlotte arranged for Jerry to meet with NBC-TV Chairman Dick Ebersol. NBC was going to telecast the upcoming Thanksgiving Day game. The morning the three were to meet with Ebersol, Jerry discovered Charlotte in her hotel room; “basically she’s sitting in there. She just has on a little, old workout deal on and she’s got her legs crossed in the middle of the floor.  And, boy, she’s putting together a presentation for Dick Ebersol, the head of all NBC. I looked at that and said, ‘Well, Charlotte, this is good, but here’s what we’re gonna do today. I want you to sit back. You take a cue from me. But I’m gonna do the talking because this thing really has possible serious ramifications.’ Course, she was dutiful and said, ‘Fine.’ We get in the meeting And all of a sudden Dick starts looking at Charlotte. Obviously, he’s not looking at me anymore. And he starts listening to Charlotte and I’m pulled in a little bit, but that’s not there anymore. And all of a sudden, [it] comes out from something I couldn’t have expected. It was the most articulate description of how would you take Thanksgiving Day game that has eyeballs of 100 million people at times between the show program and the game? How would you take that and could we use the halftime that the NFL has and basically tell a story of a lot of people in need?  He looked over at us and said we’ve never had anyone asked us for it. It’s a slow time for us because we only have at [that time] the two games on Thanksgiving. He said, ‘I’ll do it, but I want to tell you something:  if it’s not great stuff, if it’s not Super Bowl quality, we’re going to cut away. I don’t care what you’ve done, we’re gonna show something else.” The end result not only worked, it was blockbuster. And it was when Jerry realized that Charlotte was a powerhouse.
  • Jerry told that after he fired “iconic Tom Landry” and “I got my tail kicked,” a well-meaning person told him that when he showed up around town to have Gene or Charlotte standing by him to soften the blow.
  • Jerry admitted that he had fired Brad at one point and was told by folks that he “didn’t have the authority to do that.”
  • Brad Sham, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Jerry Jones

    Brad Sham, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Jerry Jones

    Brad told Jerry and the audience that Charlotte should be made the Commissioner of the NFL.

Laura W. Bush Institute Symposium Addresses The Differences Between Guys And Gals When It Comes To Heart Disease

A capacity crowd filled the Ritz-Carlton ballroom for the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health symposium on heart disease in women on the morning of Thursday, February 5. Despite the fact the event sounded like a “ladies only” (i.e., Annette Simmons, Pat Smith, Caren Prothro, Lisa Troutt, Gene Jones, Jan Rees-Jones and Amara Durham) gathering, it had men like Texas Tech President Tedd Mitchell, Dr. Hugh McClung, Michael Fowler and event sponsor Alan White in attendance to learn about this disease that kills one out of three women.

Gene Jones and Lee Ann White

Gene Jones and Lee Ann White

Annette Simmons

Annette Simmons

Pat Smith

Pat Smith

Lee Ann White and Lisa Troutt

Lee Ann White and Lisa Troutt

Just the night before, the key folks gathered for dinner at Kelli and Gerald Ford‘s estate. Earlier in the day Gerald had managed to get approval from University Park fathers for a greenhouse on the Fords’ estate for Kelli.

But on this day, the topic was also a personal issue for Institute Chair Lee Ann White, whose father died at the age of 42 during open heart surgery. In addition, many of the other men in her family have died from heart disease. Had the medical world had today’s knowledge and resources, chances are these men and many others would have lived long and productive lives.

The former first lady in a bright red suit stressed the importance of women taking care of themselves and the best way to do that is by prevention. She admitted that until she had gotten involved with the Heart Truth campaign, she had “assumed that heart disease was a man’s problem.”

Laura also pointed out that while “men and women are created equal, when it comes to health research shows that gender differences can greatly affect medical diagnosis and treatment for men and women suffering diseases like heart disease.”

For instance, research has indicated the symptoms of a heart attack tend to differ in men and women. “Women may complain of jaw or shoulder pain or extreme fatigue.”

Wayne Isom and Amara Durham

Wayne Isom and Amara Durham

Alan introduced guest speaker thoracic surgeon Dr. Wayne Isom. Raised on a cotton farm in West Texas, he started off with stories about his childhood including his frugal uncle Virgil, who had a heart disease. The family called Wayne and said they were coming up to New York for Virgil to have a checkup. Wayne offered them to stay with his family. When Virgil learned that a hotel room might cost $300 a night, he didn’t hesitate — “I think we’ll stay with you.” When it came to dinner, the Isoms suggested an Italian restaurant, to which Virgil’s wife said, “We’ll try anything once.”

He then got on to the reason the group was there. Wayne recalled when he was in medical school at UT Southwestern, there were 78 men and 4 women. Two of the women ended up marrying doctors and the other two became doctors. At Cornell today, 55% of the students are women.

Wayne then introduced the rest of the panel describing Dr. Holly Andersen as the “epitome of a cardiologist.” She returned the compliment describing her internship with Wayne. She then dropped such facts as:

  • Since 1984 more women die from heart disease than men.
  • The greatest death discrepancy is in younger men and women (24-45). “We don’t know why.”
  • 40% of women who have heart attacks have no chest pains.
  • A woman is less likely to be diagnosed correctly.
  • Despite more women are dying from heart disease, only 24% of those taking part in clinical trials are women.
  • While serving as an advisor to various American presidents, the late Dr. Bernadine Healy started focusing a disease that many regarded as a man’s disease.
  • 12 times as many women die from heart disease opposed to breast cancer.
  • Only 64% of women who think they’re having a heart attack call 911. 36% don’t.
  • Women’s hearts are smaller and beat faster making it harder to diagnose.
  • Women are more sensitive to drugs.
  • 76% of women who talk about heart disease because they’re embarrassed. It’s most likely to the younger women who are most embarrassed by this disease because it appears they’re not taking better care of themselves.
  • 46% of women never bring it up with their doctors
  • 49% of women think their doctors will bring it up
  • 39% of primary care doctors don’t regard heart disease to be a top health concern for their female patients
  • This (heart) disease is largely preventable.
  • There is no safe level of smoking. Second- and third-hand smoking puts you at risk.
  • The fat around the waist is a factor in disease control. The less fat, the healthier a person is. (Liposuction doesn’t count.)
  • Make healthy choices in your diet.
  • In Spain 7,500 people who were on the Mediterranean Diet had a 30% reduction of death, stroke and heart attacks after only five years.
  • We have more sugar in our foods than any other country in the world.
  • Vigorous exercise, even walking for just 20 minutes a day and getting your heart rate up can reduce the chance of premature death by 50%.
  • Know your blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Release stress. It’s not all bad, but too much can trigger sudden death.
  • Depressed people are more likely to be sick.
  • There are people in your lives who are detrimental to your well-being. Spend less time with them.
  • Laughter is the best medicine.

Next up was Laura W. Bush Institute Founder Dr. Marjorie Jenkins, who was the youngest of 8 children. Her father died leaving behind a 34-year-old wife to raise the children. Her grandfather, who was a miner, had black lung disease and went to the hospital daily. Marjorie thought he was a doctor. When he asked her what she wanted to be, she said a doctor. He suggested that perhaps she wanted to be a nurse. She thought, “No, I want to boss people around.” A high school guidance counselor told her that she was too poor to go to medical school, so she became a chemical engineer and worked at Kodak. It was there that she realized that everyone who goes to medical school is poor.

She then talked about the biggest myth in medicine — research discovery applies equally to men and women.

She recalled how she was involved in a project about “sex in space.” After the laughter died down, she admitted that it was not so much about having sex in space, as much how space travel affects men and women differently. For instance, men are more susceptible to eye damage in space.

In the Q&A, the following information was revealed:

  • Since women’s arteries are smaller than men’s, surgery is more challenging.
  • Do not take an aspirin for heart disease, just because your husband does.
  • Type A women are not high risk for heart disease. However, women who have no control over their lives are.

Thanks to the Laura W. Bush Institute, the issue of gender difference in health care is growing within medical circles and with patients.