Despite the “100% guarantee” of the area getting drenched for St. Valentine’s Day, the showers held back for the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Meyerson on Tuesday, February 14, benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s North Texas Chapter.
While the weather held fast, the registration line wasn’t so swift. One guest critiqued the check-in: “The ladies are complaining.” It seems that instead of guests being able to check in with their group, each person had to find the right line to get their table and seat assignment. One guest, after 10 minutes of trying to locate the right line, grumbled, “I need a drink.” But, alas, the poor thang discovered, like so many others, that the champagne was long gone and the herd of guests was hustling into the McDermott Concert Hall.
While it would have seemed that the table guests would have all been seated together in the Hall, it turned out not to be so. One five-figure sponsor discovered her guests were seated all over the place. Frustrated, the leader of the pack finally found an empty group of seats and declared them theirs.
To fill the time both in line and in the hall, the favorite indoor game of “catch-up” was played. Cindy Turner smiled that she was going to be a grandmother come July… Paige McDaniel reported that tickets to the Chick Lit Luncheon with Bethenny Frankel were going fast… Sunie Solmon decided that after wearing red to Go Red for Women, she would opt for pink…Bina Patel brought her too-young-to-wear-stilettos daughter along… MIA were Lisa Cooley and Tanya Foster, who were in NYC for Fashion Week … Another MIA was Advisory Co-Chair Michael Flores. But what could you expect? It was St. V-Day and he had heads to fashion… Luckily, Advisory Co-Chair Gina Betts was front and center with pal Roz Colombo. Gina and her legal buds are in the process of opening Dorsey and Whitney’s new Dallas office on Wednesday, March 1.
Other faces seen in the crowd included Angie Kadesky, Lisa Singleton and Jana Paul with Event Chair Heather Randall, all-in-red Nancy Gopez, Joanna Clarke and Paige McDaniels, Heather Furniss, Lunch Co-Founder Rusty Duvall, Siiri Dougherty, Wanda Gierhart, Doris and Jack Jacobs, Vicki Howland and Elisa and Stephen Summers.
Inside the hall, the program was delayed a bit. Once the presentation started, a groups of chairs on the floor were empty, due to the back-up at the registration tables. As guests did arrive late, they found themselves walking the darkened aisle searching for their row ID.
The program provided the presentation of the Memorial Hero Award presented by Robyn and Don Conlon honoring the late Charles Young, who died in September 2015 after battling multiple myeloma. As his wife of 45 years, Lillie Young, left the stage after accepting the award, she told emcee KDFW anchor Clarice Tinsley that the Youngs’ daughter, Erin Young Garrett, was due to deliver any minute. Married to Judd Garrett last March, the baby will be the first for the newlyweds.
The next presentation was the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award presented by Lillie Young and Family to Robyn and Don Conlon. The Conlons’ years of involvement in supporting The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society resulted from the death of Robyn’s dear friend Linda Somerville, who died from Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. It was a touching moment especially when insiders knew that the Conlons’ son, Keith Conlon, married Linda’s daughter Megan Somerville in 2015 and the twosome had a granddaughter this past December.
The final presentation was the showstopper, with last year’s Spirit of Tom Landry Awardee Luke Lange escorting this year’s recipient, Bennett William, to the stage following a video featuring Bennett’s family. Both boys looked so healthy, it was hard to imagine they had ever gone through the daunting journey of treatments and tests. However, the youngsters’ success stories were the result of years of funding research and family support.
A slight hiccup in the program followed Luncheon Chair Heather Randall’s and LLSNT Board Chair Erin Ragsdale’s personal reasons for supporting the fundraiser. Their stories were indeed sincere and touching on how the blood disease had hit them and their families. As they stepped aside and looked at the mega-screen on stage for the video, the lights dimmed and … nothing happened. After 10 seconds, giggles were heard in the back of the room. A few awkward seconds later, a video was shown. It would have been just as well if the ladies’ moving talks had stood alone.
Then Clarice returned to the podium to say that after the fashion show, guests could support the “Fund the Fight” by
- buying a raffle ticket
- making a donation
- purchasing a centerpiece for $100 that would also get the buyer a better valet service.
The fashions provided by Highland Park Village merchants ran the course from lighter-than-air sundresses to Herrera wedding gowns. It was interesting to note that, while great-granny Gertie might have approved the return of the below-the-knew hems, they aren’t exactly flattering to the most shapely leg.
Following the show, guests lunched in between being hit by raffle solicitors. One table got solicited four times. Finally, a guest told the raffle salesperson, “Everyone at this table has already bought a ticket.” The fella apologized. Too bad organizers didn’t provide stickers to designate raffle purchasers from potential buyers.
For more photos from the luncheon and fashion show, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.