Leukemia Texas’ Concert For A Cure At The Rustic Features Reckless Kelly—And Great Results For Fighting Leukemia

As more than 400 people streamed into The Rustic’s outdoor patio Thursday, September 28, for Leukemia Texas‘ fifth annual Concert for a Cure, the group’s CEO, Mandy O’Neill, sat in a “cabana” at the back of the property reviewing notes with the chairs before taking off to supervise the festivities.

Below her, guests like JB Hayes, Natalie Solis, Angela Nash with Billy Martin Jr., Roger Hendren, and Amanda and Lloyd Ward were catching up with friends and eagerly awaiting the appearance of the evening’s headliner, Reckless Kelly. Mandy, meantime, was expressing her hope that the evening’s take would at least match last year’s total of $125,000.

Jenny Anchondo, Marco Rivera, Stephanie Hollman and Mandy O’Neill*

The aim seemed do-able, if the crowd’s enthusiasm was any indication. Up on the raised stage, Sybil Summers and Nathan Fast from AMP 103.7-FM—followed by event Co-Chairs Jenny Anchondo and Stephanie Hollman—spent time revving up the partygoers. Jenny sits on the Leukemia Texas board, the audience was told, while Stephanie successfully underwent a bone-marrow donation in May in Oklahoma City.

Sybil Summers and Nathan Fast**

After introducing “Natalie,” a young woman who was having various medical problems, the chairs brought out  former NFL guard Marco Rivera, who played two years (in 2005 and ’06) with the Dallas Cowboys. Marco asked the crowd to bid on tickets to the ‘Boys’ upcoming game with the Green Bay Packers, saying, “I promise you, the Dallas Cowboys will not kneel!” After Marco started the bidding at $500, the ducats went for $1,100.

Natatlie’s mother Vivian, Natalie and Marco Rivera**

Then it was time for Reckless Kelly, the much-lauded, Austin-based Americana band. The group played generously for more than an hour, sprinkling their hits with a few cover songs by Merle Haggard (“Mama Tried”) and Bob Dylan (“Subterranean Homesick Blues”). As they did, a few “swing” dancers showed off their fancy steps down in front of the stage.

Reckless Kelly’s Willy Braun**

They weren’t the only ones strutting their stuff. When all was said and done, Mandy reported that “it looks like we will be exceeding our event goal.” After accounting for expenses—they were roughly 8 percent of the total take—Concert for a Cure was on track to net $110,000.       

* Photo provided by Mandy O'Neill 
** Photo credit: Brian Maschino

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Is Heading Up Central Expressway For Leukemia And Lymphoma Society’s Fundrasier

Roz Colombo (File photo)

Nancy Gopez (File photo)

While folks are having their couture Halloween outfits being finished, 2018 St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon Co-Chairs Roz Colombo and Nancy Gopez are thinking cupids and dreams of heart-shaped occasions.

Whoa! The gals really have their change-can-be-good thinking caps on. Bulgari gem Roz and Brinker International yummy Nancy have done a 180-degree turned for the 2018 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser.

Nancy Nasher (File photo)

The first change is that the red-and-pink clad guests will be seen at NorthPark. What! Yup, that’s right. Instead of the Meyerson, the fashion show and luncheon will take place in NorthPark’s center courtyard with fashions provided by NorthPark neighbors.

Gee! This is world changing. Questions still being asked:

  • Will it be a tented affair?
  • Which merchants will be providing the fabrics and gems?

Nancy said that “Oh, and yes, clear tent in the center courtyard! :)”

Cannot wait to see which of the high-tone retailers will be on the runway!

In the meantime, am still digging for the merchants, the honorees and the answers to world peace.

If anyone was wondering, “Who’s gonna be the honorary chair?” Immediate response from thrilled Nancy: “Nancy Nasher!”

There will be a kick-off event, but to get an invite, you gotta have connections. Connections? Like hit Nancy G. and/or Roz or come through with a sponsorship. Suggestion: Sponsorship makes you a very BFF with Nancy and Roz.

Stay tuned for developments, but put this baby on the calendar. It will be Thursday, February 8, with fashion wizard Jan Strimple working her magic with the NorthPark merchants.

The Rustic Is Gonna Be Rocking In September For Voices For A Cause And The 5th Annual Concert For A Cure, But Not At The Same Time

September may be known as the start of Friday night lights, the kickoff of the State Fair and the first hints of fall in the air. But this year it’s gonna be full of singing for nonprofits. Two concerts are being held to raise funds and they’re both gonna be at The Rustic, but not at the same time!

Voices For A Cause*

First will be Dallas CASA’s Voices for A Cause with Signed Out getting things started and followed by country artist Brandon Rhyder as the evening’s headliner starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 14. The benefit concert is being hosted by Dallas CASA Young Profession, whose “mission is to increase awareness for Dallas CASA while providing charitable and social opportunities for people ages 21 to 40.” Co-Chairs Kelcey Hamilton, Reasha Hedke and Dana Swann have arranged for the $25 ticket to include the concert, two drinks and appetizers.

2017 Concert For A Cure**

Two weeks later Leukemia Texas is holding its 5th Annual Concert for A Cure with Honorary Chair/former Dallas Cowboy Marco Rivera and Event Co-Chairs Jenny “New Mom” Anchondo and reality personality/marrow donor Stephanie Hollman. On the performing stage will be Grammy-Award winning Reckless Kelly. Individual tickets start at $75 and include a private VIP reception starting at 7 p.m., hors d’ oeuvres, two drink tickets, open seating and valet parking. But as you know, underwriting brings perks like additional seats with better views, recognition in signage and collateral materials and boasting rights.  

Can’t decide which one? No problemo. Attend both! The attire will be comfortable casual. The throngs of folks will be your type — generous and fun to be with. The causes are both life-changing.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Concert For A Cure

According to Leukemia Texas CEO Mandy O’Neill,

Mandy O’Neill, Dr. Maro O’Hanian and Erin Krah*

Over the past several years, Leukemia Texas has been able to fund every, eligible patient aid applicant. That was close to 500 applicants last year battling this devastating disease in Texas, a large number of these from the Dallas area. Their success is because of perseverance, limited expenses and generous donors who believe in their unique motto as ‘the only organization of its kind where funds raised in Texas, stay in Texas!’

Over the past five years, Leukemia Texas has increased their annual revenue more than 250%. As the demand for patient support increases, the need to generate revenue is strong. I’ve continued to keep the tradition of this 47-year-old organization, founded by the Minyard Family (Gretchen Minyard Williams and Liz Minyard Lokey continue to be active board members) by keeping expenses low and strengthening their signature events. The Beatleukemia Ball, Golf Classic and Concert for a Cure all generated record numbers this past year. They have also partnered with the MJ Event bringing in at least $250,000 new net dollars every year.

Concert For A Cure*

With their tremendous growth, and an estimated 3,000+ new leukemia diagnoses across the state, the addition of a third full time staff member is crucial. Leukemia Texas is currently searching for a seasoned Director of Program Development who is well versed in program management and major gift fundraising. Those interested in applying may reach out to Mandy at [email protected].

Their next event is the 5th annual Concert for a Cure to be held at the Rustic on Thursday September 28. Previous honorees include Kelcy Warren, Alicia Landry and Lynn McBee. Join Fox 4’s Jenny Anchondo, Real Housewife of Dallas Stephanie Hollman and former Dallas Cowboy and Hall of Famer Marco Rivera as they celebrate, eat delicious bites and raise critical funds to directly support leukemia patients in our own backyard.

* Graphic/photo provided by Leukemia Texas

JUST IN: Brunettes Roz Colombo And Nancy Gopez To Co-Chair 2018 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show And Luncheon

Roz Colombo (File photo)

Nancy Gopez (File photo)

Summer fundraising ain’t taking a break. Word just arrived that brunettes Roz Colombo and Nancy Gopez will be co-chairing the 2018 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon.

When ask about details for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraisers, Nancy and Roz just smiled and said, “Be patient.” Ah, gee.

Don’t worry. MSC will keep digging for developments.

In the meantime, news has been buzzing about a new breakthrough therapy for advanced leukemia that has been approved by the FDA. Don’t just keep your fingers crossed. Get out those checkbooks!

St. V-Day Luncheon/Fashion Show Had Guests Lined Up For Leukemia And Lymphoma Society North Texas Chapter’s Annual Fundraiser

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.

Registration lines

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.

Gina Betts, Roz Colombo and Anne Besser

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.

Lisa Singleton, Heather Randall and Jana Paul

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 DuvallSiiri Dougherty, Wanda Gierhart, Doris and Jack Jacobs, Vicki Howland and Elisa and Stephen Summers.

Angie Kadesky and Don and Robyn Conlon

Rusty Duvall

Siiri Dougherty and Wanda Gierhart

Jack and Doris Jacobs

Stephen and Elisa 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.

Lillie Young and Clarice Tinsley

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.

Bennett Williams, Kirsa Williams and Luke Lange

Erin Ragsdale

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.

Bruno fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

Escada fashion

Etro fashion

Market fashion

St. John fashion

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.

Market fashions

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.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show

On Tuesday, February 14, the Meyerson was filled with guests in reds and pink for the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show on Tuesday, February 14, for the Leukemia And Lymphoma Society of North Texas.

Lisa Singleton, Heather Randall and Jana Paul

Even on stage for the fashion presentation of Highland Park Village merchants, the color of red seemed to pop up.

St. John fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

Etro fashion

While the posts is being prepared, check out the photos on two pages of the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: 33rd St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Designers, Patron Party And Raffle Item Plans Revealed

2017 St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show*

With the Christmas holidays in the rear view mirror, retailers are filling shelves with all types of sweetheart deals getting folks in the mood for St. Valentine’s Day. And this year the stars are truly in alignment for the 33rd Annual St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show. Unlike many years past, this year’s “Affair of the Heart” will indeed take place on Tuesday, February 14!

Nancy and Richard Rogers (File photo)

Presented by Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers, the extravaganza will take place once again at the Meyerson with the fashion show under the direction of event producer Jan Strimple.

And, boy, has red-haired Jan been busy. She’s been scurrying around Highland Park Village cherry-picking the very best from Brunello Cucinelli, St. John, Market, Escada, Etro and Carolina Herrera.

Heather Randall (File photo)

While on the subject of Highland Park Village, in addition to being the fashion show and luncheon sponsor, HPV’s Jimmy Choo will be the site of the patron party on Tuesday, February 7, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. In addition to a percentage of Jimmy Choo sales benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser that night, the luncheon/fashion show raffle items will be revealed and chances will be available for purchase. Word has it that trips are gonna be included in the items with American Airlines serving as the “official travel sponsor.” Just imagine what a hit it would be to win a trip to give your special Valentine that evening over a cozy dinner!

Event Chair Heather Perttula Randall has arranged to use “two floors for the luncheon. Priority placement for the Main Floor for the luncheon will be based on giving level and time of receipt of your contract.”

The champagne reception will start bubbling at 10 a.m., so lock down your ticket. Then splurge and buy yourself a red, hot outfit to the St. V-Day lunch.

 

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon Chair Heather Randall Revealed Plans For February Event, As Leukemia Survivor Bennett Williams Made Funny Faces

Having recovered from Halloween and heading toward the fall/winter final fundraising period, the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon crowd gathered some 75 strong at Lisa and Clay Cooley’s sweet estate. Thanks to a delayed start by the rain gods, the golf-cart shuttle moved seamlessly across the bridge and to the main house.

Lisa Cooley and Jill Rowlett

Lisa Cooley and Jill Rowlett

Dee Wyly

Dee Wyly

There, such folks as Jill Rowlett, Dee Wyly, Kris Sanger, Elizabeth Gambrell, and Claire and Dwight Emanuelson settled in the living room to hear the plans, except for Angela Nash, who hunkered down in the balcony overlooking the first floor.

Clay Cooley and Dwight Emanuelson

Clay Cooley and Dwight Emanuelson

Heather Randall

Heather Randall

St. V-Day Luncheon Chair Heather Randall reported that the presentation of Highland Park Village fashions would take place on Valentine’s Day itself (aka Tuesday, February 14) at the Meyerson Symphony Center. This year’s theme would be Affair Of The Heart with Tracy and Ben Lange serving as honorary co-chairs, Gina Betts and Michael Flores as advisory co-chairs and Daffan Nettle and Yvette Ostolaza as underwriting co-chairs.

Kirsa Willliams, Bennett Williams, Keith Williams, Ava Williams and Ellie Williams

Kirsa Willliams, Bennett Williams, Keith Williams, Ava Williams and Ellie Williams

She then reeled off some of the sponsors (the fundraising goal is $1M) and introduced Spirit of Tom Landry Character Awardee Bennett Williams. While his mom, Kirsa Williams, thanked guests for making funds available for leukemia and lymphoma research and development, Bennett sat on a couch with his dad, Keith Williams, and his sisters, Ava Williams and Ellie Williams. Kirsa’s sincerity was so moving as she described her son’s being diagnosed at 13 months (imagine: 1,207 days of chemotherapy). Still, she was a bit upstaged by Bennett’s making funny faces. Hey! He’s just a kiddo surrounded by a room full of adults, and the hour was getting late. And, like his predecessors, who have also managed to conquer the blood disorder, he’s still a youngster at heart.

Big surprise for some was the presenting sponsor news — Nancy C. and Richard Rogers. The surprise was due to Nancy’s claiming that she was officially retiring. However, if you read between the lines, she probably meant that she was just backing off of chairing events, but would still support certain fundraising with her attendance and support.

Tickets are already available starting at $300 and, of course, sponsorships run the gamut.

St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show And Luncheon Chair Heather Perttula Randall Reveals Deets For Leukemia And Lymphoma Fundraiser

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza (File photo)

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza (File photo)

Gee, whiz. Could those with news slow down? Heck, no! Another missive arrived for sharing. 2017 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon Chair Heather Perttula Randall just sent word that those vets of leukemia, Tracy and Ben Lange, will be the honorary co-chairs for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser.

Luke Lange, Tracy and Ben Lange and Livia Lange (File photo)

Luke Lange, Tracy and Ben Lange and Livia Lange (File photo)

If you just hopped off the bus at the Greyhound station, then you just might not know how Tracy and Ben not only journeyed through their son’s Luke Lange’s battle with lymphoma, but they also made lemonade out of the leukemia lemon. Not only did adorable Luke create Luke’s Fast Break T-shirts, but just as importantly they kept their family together. Too often the family unit can become a casualty of battling leukemia, cancer and other deadly diseases.

Don and Robyn Conlon (File photo)

Don and Robyn Conlon (File photo)

But Heather had even more news about the 2017 awards. The Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award will be presented to Robyn and Don Conlon, who know the devastation of leukemia and lymphoma. Their new daughter-in-law’s mother, who happened to be a dear family friend, died of the disease.

Sponsored by Baker and Botts, The Spirit of Tom Landry Award will be presented to six-year-old Bennett Williams, who is an acute Lymphoma leukemia survivor.

The Memorial Hero Award, sponsored by Robyn and Don Conlon, will honor Lillie Young’s late Charles Young, “who fought a valiant battle again myeloma.”

BTW, this year’s luncheon will take place at the Meyerson on….believe it or not, on Tuesday, February 14. Yup, you read that right. It will actually be on St. Valentine’s Day. And the fashions will be provided by Highland Park Village merchants, so you just know it’s gonna be clothes tailor made for ladies who set trends.

Joining Heather in putting the festivities and fundraising together are Underwriting Co-Chairs Daffan Nettle and Yvette Ostolaza and Advisory Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Michael Flores.

Tickets and sponsorships are available via phone, mail, online or carrier pigeon. No, that last one isn’t true, but we just we’d see if you were really paying attention.

Camp John Marc Patrons Celebrated The Camp’s 25th Anniversary At Kathy And Harlan Crow’s Library

Seriously, are there two cuter fellas on morning TV than WFAA’s Ron Corning and KDFW’s Chip Waggoner? While Ron is the go-to-guy for brilliant spontaneous quips and breaking news, Chip is the calm voice that directs folks through the insanity of the day’s traffic.

But on Monday, May 2, Chip was in blue blazer at Kathy and Harlan Crow’s library for the Camp John Marc 25th anniversary patron party.

Tanya Miller, Chip Waggoner and Suzzi Perry

Tanya Miller, Chip Waggoner and Suzzi Perry

How about some insider info on KDFW’s morning team? Chip’s pooch passed away a couple of years ago, but he didn’t replace the canine with another dog. The Waggoner household has a couple of Ragdoll cats, one of which fetches.

Regarding the KDFW dog situation, anchor Tim Ryan has added a Golden Retriever to the clan. According to Chip, the four-month-old pup is already following his marching orders. Ah, come one. If you lived with Tim, wouldn’t you heel to his commands?

And when it comes to newcomers to the household, anchor Lauren Pryzbyl is adding to hers. In addition to training pup Mattie and raising toddler Landry, she and husband Shane Miller are expecting their second munchkin.

Chick and Jane Pierce, Ellen McStay and Craig and Marsha Innes

Chick and Jane Pierce, Ellen McStay and Craig and Marsha Innes

But on this evening, the 100-plus guests like Chris Durovich, Marie Dean, Tanya and Scott Miller, Peggy Meyer, Jane and Chick Pierce, Suzzi Perry, Ellen and John McStay and Brill Garrett were taking the walking bridge across Turtle Creek to the Crows’ estate. Those in stilettos discovered that the boards of the bridge had just enough space between them to trap a heel.

Chris Durovich

Chris Durovich

Vance Gilmore

Vance Gilmore

But once there, it was a perfect evening to learn about the plans for the 25th anniversary celebration at Camp John Marc. It was also a poignant occasion. After 25 years of heading up the camp, Vance Gilmore is retiring.

CJM Executive Board Member Craig Innes—he’s been involved with the camp for more than 25 years—admitted that when the camp for kids facing chronic medical and physical conditions got started, they weren’t quite sure what would happen. But that first year 500 youngsters attended the camp during eight weeks. Now, “on average over 3,000 children, teens and family members attend a CJM camp every year.” The camps are tailor-made for youngsters suffering from kidney disease, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, blood disorders, cancer, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, juvenile arthritis, severe asthma and burns.

The fundraising activities and donations help defray the $585 per camper cost by reducing it to $195.

Children’s Cancer Fund’s “An Evening In Oz” Broke All Previous Records With Cancer-Fighting Kids And Celebrity Escorts

Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley

Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley

Unlike years past, this year’s Children’s Cancer Fund annual fundraiser for Children’s Health took on a different spin on Friday, April 22. Instead of a luncheon, Event Co-Chairs Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley moved it to nighttime with “An Evening In Oz” as the theme. And the only thing missing was the horse of a different color! And the decision to move it worked, because the evening’s net … oops, can’t reveal it because the board is keeping that number under wraps. Still word has it that it was a record breaker.

But from the beginning of the night, it was obvious that more than Dorothy’s red slippers had been clicking for wishes to come true. As the girl from Kansas and her pals welcomed more than 900 guests at the Anatole, the munchkin artists and models were hunkered down in the Wedgwood Room with makeup being applied, hair curled and partying. In the meantime, the older high-paying kids were in the Peacock Room for the VIP meet-and-greet with Honorary Co-Chairs Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach.

Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Tin Man

Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Tin Man

Over to the side, Marianne Staubach reported that they had just returned from Disneyland with daughter Amy Mentgen and her kids. She admitted that after making the rounds of the park with the grand-kids, the adults were worn out.

Bela Pjetrovic and Chase Cooley

Bela Pjetrovic and Chase Cooley

In another part of the room Bela Pjetrovic and mustachioed Chase Cooley were being congratulated on their recent engagement. Has a date been set? Nothing definite yet, but April 2017 is looking good. And speaking of mustaches, Cooley dad Clay recalled that when he and wife Lisa met, he also had a mustache and long hair.

Another dad in the crowd was Ben Lange, sans son/T-shirt entrepreneur Luke Lange, who was at Benihana for a birthday. The mention of Benihana set off a memory for Clay, who remembered how in the early days, Chase’s birthdays were celebrated there.

All too soon the VIPs adjourned to join the hundreds of others checking out the silent auction in the Chantilly Ballroom reception area just as the ballroom doors were opened.

Missy Chami and Anne Davidson

Missy Chami and Anne Davidson

Inside the ballroom, it appeared as if the Emerald City of Oz had indeed taken up residence, with a stage for the Emerald City band at one end and the presentation stage with runway at the other. All around were tables with folks like presenting sponsor Anne Davidson, Cindy Turner, Suzy Gekiere, Patti Flowers, Tanya and Pete Foster, Mary Meier, Betty Turner and Mary Poss.

Serving as background for the stage were mega scenes straight from “The Wizard of Oz,” including the yellow brick road leading through the field of poppies to the city of Oz.

First on stage were Roger and Troy, joined by Lisa with Emme Nees and Giora with son Jack Barker. The exchange between Rog (this was his 28th CCF appearance) and Troy (it was his 20th) proved their ongoing commitment to battling children’s cancer as well as their mutual respect and friendship for each other.

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman

Following Lisa’s and Giora’s personal testimonials about each of their reasons for undertaking the fundraiser, Tom Gilchrist sang a capella the Lord’s Prayer. (Quipped Roger afterward: “I’d trade my Heisman for a voice like that.”)

Under the direction of special events producer Rhonda Sargent Chambers, not a moment was lost for the fashion show of Dillard’s kiddo clothes. As Rog, Troy et al left the stage, emcee Scott Murray arrived at the podium to introduce the Children’s Cancer Fund artists and their celebrity escorts including

  • 6-year-old Cooper Dorr with Roger
  • 10-year-old Hayden Ritchie with Troy
  • 12-year-old Mercedes Howdeshell with Tara Pavlock and Ashleigh Panelli
  • 9-year-old Myles Allison with Jason Garrett
  • 13-year-old Carsyn Sapp with Sunny Malouf
  • 7-year-old Corbin Glasscock with Terrance Williams
  • 5-year-old Kamryn Rakestraw with Jim Stroud
  • 11-year-old Maxwell Matlock with members of the Dallas SWAT
  • 5-year-old Reese Skelte with “Dorothy”
  • 11-year-old Keamus Bryant with Medieval Times Red Knight
  • 8-year-old Trip Rowley with Brandon Carr

Unfortunately, 5-year-old Flick Blevins was under the weather and couldn’t make the event. In his stead, Dallas Fire Department #19’s Jerry Hooker, Michael Wolfe, Derrick Brouhard and John Keeler walked the runway holding his photo.

At this point, Scott introduced KDFW’s Clarice Tinsley to introduce the other cancer-surviving children and their celebrity escorts, including:

  • 13-year-old Andrew Russell with Kaitlyn Wade
  • 16-year-old Sabeen Wazir with Jake Pavelka
  • 6-year-old Jackson Houser with Morris Claiborne
  • 6-year-old Rina Cantrell with Jane McGarry
  • 15-year-old Saket Ashar with Dr. Ted Laetsch
  • 9-year-old Laura Beth Rote with Brianna Kiesel
  • 10-year-old Brady Pampilonia with Kliff Kingsbury
  • 9-year-old Julissa Garcia with Jocelyn White
  • 11-year-old Juan Lopez with the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and Rowdy
  • 7-year-old Jordan McDowell with Miss Texas America
  • 16-year-old Averi Moya with Mitch Gaylord
  • 10-year-old Julia Brown with Amy Vanderoef
  • 12-year-old Christian Arroyo with Byron Jones
  • 9-year-old Lynette Quintana with the Pink Heals Firefighters
Andrew Russell and Kaitlyn Wade

Andrew Russell and Kaitlyn Wade

As 18-year-old Kaitlyn Wade escorted child artist Andrew Russell, Marianne recalled how, years ago, Rog had escorted the pretty blonde on the runway when she was presented. Yes, she had conquered leukemia, but her story of challenges hadn’t end there. After winning the battle, she was the victim of a drunk driver. As the result of the horrendous car accident, 9-year-old Kaitlyn “spent two months in a coma and six months at Cook Children’s before she could return home.”

But on this evening, the emphasis was on the current crop of cancer-conquering kids as they mugged, twirled and charmed their way on the catwalk. Blonde Brill Garrett cheered each one like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Okay, so maybe she had an extra whoop when husband Jason took his turn in the spotlight with Myles Allison.

All of this was building up to the live auction. Troy won the trip to the Masters and learned from Rog all the perks associated with the package. Jana and Mike Brosin won the artwork created by CCF Gala artists and Christopher Martin.

To the delight of many of the ladies in the audience, Jake “The Bachelor” Pavelka was doing double duty. In addition to walking the runway, he also was part of the “Dancing With The Stars” package. Shoot! They could have auctioned off pictures with Jake and won a passel of dough, as lady after lady wanted a quick cell-snap with the cutie. But it was Tracy and Ben Lange who won the package. So, watch for them during Season 23 that is scheduled to air this fall.

As soon as the live auction ended, the focus shifted to the other end of the ballroom, where Emerald City took over to get guests on their feet and dancing the night away.

For more pictures from “An Evening in Oz,” check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Chair Heather Perttula Randall Reveals Details About 2017 Fundraiser

Leave it to an attorney to be in the know. At February’s St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas, Sidley Austin attorney Yvette Ostolaza broke the news that Trinity Industries VP of Legal Affairs Heather Perttula Randall would chair the 2017 fundraiser. After all, it was Heather who had been the 2016 St. V-Day event’s underwriting chair and had even gotten Yvette to co-sponsor the meal.

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza (File photo)

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza (File photo)

But what the twosome weren’t revealing were the details for the 2017 luncheon and fashion show. Now, before everyone starts taking off for summer, Heather has just revealed that the event is returning to the Meyerson with “An Affair of the Heart” as the theme.

And the really big news is that it will take place on Tuesday, February 14! Yup, after a couple of years of wandering around the calendar, the sweetheart event will have flowers, fashions and friends toasting and raising monies to battle the blood cancers.

According to Heather, “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2017 St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon chair as it allows me the opportunity to help this amazing organization and continue its fight against blood cancers. I cannot wait to take the luncheon to a new level by setting a new fundraising record.”

And as for Yvette, she’ll be co-chairing underwriting with Daffan Nettle. The rest of Heather’s team will include 2016 St. Valentine’s Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Michael Flores as the advisory chairs; Maggie Cooke Kipp as the table sales chair; Bradley Hawkins as the artistic chair and Jennifer LeLash, Monti Konen and Jennifer Stalkup the raffle co-chairs.

St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show And Luncheon Kept The Champagne And Fashions Flowing To Battle Leukemia And Lymphoma

The weather on Tuesday, February 16, was major payback for the St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon’s years of Mother Nature’s dumping ice storms and freezing temperatures on the Leukemia and Lymphoma North Texas fundraiser.

Some still recall how the pashmina favors the year that Rainey Fogiel and Natalie Fogiel co-chaired the event became necessities instead of perks thanks to frigid conditions.

But still the weather on this day was ideal. Sure, it was a couple of days after St. V-day, but who was gonna have the event on Sunday? And then there was the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday, February 15. So, the Tuesday pick made perfect sense.

But not to worry. The flourish of reds and pinks was sparkling in the Meyerson lobby at the pre-show reception. Of course, it didn’t hurt to have flutes of champagne adding sparkle to the crowd.

Gina Betts

Gina Betts

Going against the typical Valentine colors was Co-Chair Gina Betts in a St. John turquoise dress and coat bottomed off with splashy Jimmy Choo stilettos and matching purse.

Despite the smile and the day’s glow, Gina had had a rough few days. Seems the attorney had had plans to celebrate her anniversary with husband Ken Betts in Los Cabos. But just hours before taking off, she was hospitalized, with her doc saying “No way” to the trip. The Betts family trips seem to be jinxed. They had scheduled Christmas in Paris, but the November 13th  terrorist attack squashed that and now this one.

Speaking of clothes, Lisa Cooley and Cara French had stories about the fine art of mother-daughter sharing. While Cooley daughter Ciara Cooley considers Lisa’s closet a type of fashion lending library, Cara admitted that she was wearing her mother Prissy Gravely’s coat.

Lisa Cooley and Cara French

Lisa Cooley and Cara French

Lee Bailey and Leigh Bailey Carrizales

Lee Bailey and Leigh Bailey Carrizales

Speaking of mother-daughters on the scene, Lee Bailey and daughter Leigh Bailey Carrizales reported that mama Lee’s Turtle Creek palazzo was on the market. Talk about fabulous on steroids with a wondrous spot on Turtle Creek. Wonder if Lee’s black swan, Ziggy, goes with the estate?

Luke Lange, Tracy and Ben Lange and Livia Lange

Luke Lange, Tracy and Ben Lange and Livia Lange

Another sale item but not tagged with four figures were Spirit of Tom Landry Awardee Luke Lange’s so very uber-friendly Luke’s Fast Breaks T-shirts. At the patron party the week before, Luke had sold $2,500 worth of the shirts. What’s so special about the T-shirts? Not only are they designed to accommodate leukemia/lymphoma patients going through treatments, but when purchased for $25 they are given to the patients free with the moola going in toto to the leukemia and lymphoma research.

But not all of the day’s awardees were on hand to celebrate the sunshine. The late Ed Robinson, who was the recipient of the 2016 Memorial Hero Award, was honored with the presence of his family and friends like Frank Risch. As Frank put it, Ed had been his associate at Exxon, but he had also been a great friend.

Frank Risch

Frank Risch

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza

Sidley Austin Attorney Yvette Ostolaza revealed that her buddy/Underwriting Chair Heather Randall had not only gotten her on board for the law firm to co-sponsor the meal with Trinity Industries, but Heather would be chairing the 2017 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon. Had they selected a date? Not yet, but stay tuned.

Kent and Tracy Rathbun and Ray Washburne

Kent and Tracy Rathbun and Ray Washburne

A much slimmer Kent Rathbun arrived and reported that after losing 100 pounds, he still wanted to shed 30 more. When asked how the dramatic weight loss hadn’t resulted in a sagging skin, Kent claimed that it had been a result of his working out over the year. As he put it, the healthy guy had always been there, just under extra layers.

Ray Washburne was on the phone but also on the scene for the HP Village fashion show. Unfortunately, he had to duck out before the show got underway.

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Arriving to the delight of photographers was Nancy Rogers with Event Co-Chair Michael Flores. Before heading to the lobby, Nancy was found chatting with Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein. Made sense. Nancy and her bud Gina Betts are chairing the Genesis Luncheon featuring Tyler Perry. Wasn’t it interesting that just a few days after the St. V-Day event, it was announced that Nancy and husband Richard Rogers were offering a million-dollar match for any donations/sponsorships given to the Genesis Luncheon?

But back to the St. V-day festivities. As a trio of Carolina Herrera-gowned models were on display in the reception area, the Meyerson chimes called all to the McDermott Hall for the Jan Strimple-produced program. It was running just a tad bit behind schedule due to a traffic kerfuffle resulting from a nearby funeral procession.

Models in Carolina Herrera bridal white

Models in Carolina Herrera bridal white

Eventually all were seated and the show was underway with KDFW’s Clarice Tinsley doing the emcee duties. After good words from Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Chief Relationship Officer Mark Roithmayr, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society North Texas Executive Director Dr. Patricia Thomson, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society North Texas Board Chair Erin Ragsdale, Gina and Michael, the awards were presented to:

Mark Roithmayr and Patricia Thomson

Mark Roithmayr and Patricia Thomson

  • Accepting the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award presented by Park Place Motor Cards for his father George Alden Ryan, St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon Honorary Co-Chair Brint Ryan admitted that his dad had indeed had his ups-and-down but he was rising to the challenge. Adding to George’s own battle with chronic myeloid leukemia was the loss this past winter of his good friend Brint’s father-in-law to cancer.

    Brint Ryan

    Brint Ryan

  • Surrounded by her family, Ruth Robinson graciously accepted the Memorial Hero Award presented by Robyn and Don Conlon for her late husband Edgar Robinson. The former community leader and ExxonMobil executive succumbed to leukemia and lymphoma on April 19, 2015.

    Ruth Robinson at podium with family

    Ruth Robinson at podium with family

  • And then there was Luke, who stole the show with his smile and his story of raising thousands of dollars to fight cancer. The youngster admitted that he was truly honored by being awarded the Spirit of Tom Landry Award presented by Baker Botts. He revealed that when Gina had called his folks about his being chosen for the award named after the late Dallas Cowboys coach, he heard that Gina was so pleased that she cried and according to his folks “that was evidently not typical of Gina.”

After a call-to-action for members of the audience to join “the team against leukemia/lymphoma” resulting in $195,000,” the fashion show of Highland Park Village fashions from Alice and Olivia, Carolina Herrera, Ermenegildo Zegna, Hadleigh’s, Hadleigh’s Kids, Market and St. John was underway.

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

As usual, the munchkins in the show held their own alongside the willowy professional models. These kids knew how to work the runway with hands on hips and flirty smiles.

But before the models did their finale, Luke’s dad Ben Lange hustled out the door to man the sale of Luke’s T-shirts in the lobby. After all, every cent counts when it comes to shutting down leukemia and lymphoma.

For lots more photos from the St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon fundraiser, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show And Luncheon

The skies were blue on Tuesday, February 16, and the ladies at the St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Meyerson were decked out in pinks, reds and whites. But surprise! Turquoise popped up as a popular shade as well.

Jan Langbein

Jan Langbein

Gina Betts

Gina Betts

And, of course, models in Herrera bridal white were showstoppers in the Meyerson lobby.

Models in Carolina Herrera bridal white

Models in Carolina Herrera bridal white

Market fashion

Market fashion

Hadleigh fashion

Hadleigh fashion

Alice and Olive fashsion

Alice and Olivia fashion

St. John fashion

St. John fashion

Herrera fashion

Herrera fashion

Zegna fashion

Zegna fashion

For more about the fashions both on the runway and in the audience for the Leukemia and Lymphoma North Texas fundraiser, check out the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Children’s Cancer Fund’s Lynn And Jim Stroud Exemplify The Ongoing Commitment In The War Against Pediatric Cancer

It was Friday, February 12, in the Founders Room at the Dallas Country Club, where the Children’s Cancer Fund Advisory Board was meeting to learn about plans for the upcoming “An Evening in Oz” on Friday, April 22, at the Hilton Anatole.

For early arrivals like Lynn and Jim Stroud, the Children’s Cancer Fund was more than meetings and fundraising. It was a passion resulting from the death of their daughter Jennifer Lynn Stroud’s death to cancer. The thought of her daughter still ignited tears in her mom even after all these years.

Brittany Bannon and Jim and Lynn Stroud

Brittany Bannon and Jim and Lynn Stroud

It was back in 1993, that Lynn and Jim and Jennifer’s big brother/7-year-old Will Stroud were slammed when 5-year-old Jennifer was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia on Christmas Eve.

Jim admitted looking back they were totally blindsided. While most kids dread their annual vaccinations, Jennifer underwent nasty but necessary treatments of chemo and radiation. Still it wasn’t enough. At that time there were only 40+ cases of that type of leukemia in the country.

Despite their ability to personally provide $1M in trying to save their daughter and the best healthcare provided by Children’s and M.D. Anderson, they lost Jennifer 26 months later.

But Lynn and Jim Stroud and even Will didn’t hesitate to continue the battle against children’s cancer. Unlike some families that falter and fall apart under such strain, the Strouds came together to carry on the battle against pediatric cancer. Lynn and Jim created the Jennifer Lynn Stroud Foundation to “promote research for a leukemia cure and offers educational, emotional and spiritual support to families impacted by pediatric cancer.”

Will Stroud

Will Stroud

They also joined the Children’s Cancer Fund. Will, who went into investments with his dad, earned his private pilot’s license and flies pediatric cancer patients between Dallas and Houston’s M.D. Anderson.

Jennifer may have been lost due to cancer, but the battle against cancer gained a trio of warriors in the Stroud clan.

It is that type of long-term commitment that makes the Strouds and the Children’ Cancer Fund forces to be reckoned in the world of pediatric cancer.

Want to meet Lynn, Jim and all-grown-up Will? Chances you’ll run into them at the Children’s Cancer Fund Gala.

Luke Lange Showcased His Mission And His Fast Breaks T-shirts At The St. Valentine’s Luncheon And Fashion Show Patron Party

The St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show patron party guests at the Tower Residences at the Stoneleigh on Tuesday, February 9, may have been prepared to hear about the fundraiser’s raffle and check out the model unit. But chances are, they weren’t prepared to meet Luke Lange.

They soon learned that he’s a pretty incredibly cute fella. Be very nice to this dude because he’ll probably be president of the U.S. or something better.

What makes him so special? After all, there are a lot of impressive pre-teens in North Texas. And there are a herd of parents and siblings surrounding these stand-out types.

Luke Lange and Ben Lange

Luke Lange and Ben Lange

But Luke at the age of nine was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Luckily, Luke, like other youngsters facing such a challenge, had a family — parents Tracy and Ben Lange and fashion diva kid sister Livia Lange — to help him through the diagnosis and the treatments.

Ben admitted that the diagnosis had created a life-changing experience for the young family. But they tackled it as a united front by seeking the best medical help and coming together as a family.

Livia Lange and Tracy Lange

Livia Lange and Tracy Lange

True, the diagnosis boded challenges. Tracy and Ben realized the ramifications. All things would have to take a rest while they took care of the family crisis. Luke would suffer the needles and the pain. His sister Livia Lange could become a “shadow sibling.” But as a team the Langes tackled it as a united front by seeking the best medical help and coming together as a family.

Evidently not only did the Lange clan’s efforts work, it benefited others facing leukemia and lymphoma. It seems that while Luke was going through his treatments, he really didn’t care for the hospital garb. His comfort level, like other patients, was a T-shirt. But then there were those needed tubes and ports for chemo and other treatments. So, industrious Luke worked with a tailor to create soft-cotton T-shirts with “fast-snap buttons on both the left and right side of the shirts. The fast-snap buttons run the entire inseam of the shirts from the bottom of the shirt to the end of the sleeve. This provides easy access for the medical staff to ports and other areas of the upper torso without having to remove or pull the shirt up.” It was such a hit that Luke started getting requests from other patients for one.

Next thing you know, a family friend by the name of Mark Cuban learned of the “snapped T-shirts” and joined on board, helping to have T-shirts with the Dallas Mavericks’ logo made.

Ken and Gina Betts

Ken and Gina Betts

DeeDee Lee and Janie Condon

DeeDee Lee and Janie Condon

As patron party guests like St. Valentine’s Day luncheon Co-Chair Gina Betts and her “betts half” Ken, Deedee Lee, Janie Condon and Claire Emanuelson arrived at the party, there was Luke with a table set up to sell his Luke Fast Breaks T-shirts.

Luke's Fast Breaks Tom Landry T-shirt*

Luke’s Fast Breaks Tom Landry T-shirt*

In honor of the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon, the Lange family had gotten Alicia Landry‘s approval to have special T-shirts made with the late Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry‘s likeness. For each one purchased for $25, the entire amount benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas. As for the shirt? It goes to a patient undergoing treatments.

In return, Luke was selected to receive the Tom Landry Spirit Award on Tuesday, February 16, at the luncheon.

Sure, the Dallas Cowboys’ legendary coach had succumbed to leukemia before Luke was born, but if one believes in reincarnation, perhaps Landry’s winning gene was part of Luke’s DNA.

BTW, Luke’s product, salesmanship and mission paid off at the patron party to the tune of $2,500. That means 100 patients will receive Luke’s snappy T-shirts.

* Photo courtesy of Luke's Fast Breaks T-shirts

JUST IN: Gina Betts And Michael Flores Reveal A Record-Breaking $725,000 Netted From St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show

Gina Betts

Gina Betts

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Michael Flores have been working their calculators non-stop since Tuesday’s Leukemia And Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser at the Meyerson.

Their hard work, dedication and great friends like Nancy Rogers have resulted in a record-breaking $725,000 being netted. Yup, that’s not the amount raised, it’s the amount of money that will support the research and treatment against leukemia and lymphoma.

Why, “the ask” that took place before the fashion show took place, had hands raised to a whopping $195,000.

What a simply lovely way to start the weekend! Gina and Michael, go have a manicure. Your fingers deserve a bit of pampering after summoning up that amount!

Share The Love

The clock is ticking, ticking closer to Valentine’s Day on Sunday. If the perfect gift has still not been found, consider an email V-day card that will not only impress but will benefit Children’s.

Or what about a life-saving gift like a possible bone marrow gift? An Allen High School student, Jack, could use it. It will take place at The Samantha Schmidt Hearts for Art Benefit and Silent Auction Saturday. If you can’t make it, then why not register on the bone marrow registry?

And there’s the chancy relationship situation. You’re not sure where you stand in the relationship. Perfecto solution – a St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show raffle ticket! If they win, you’ll get the quick message where you stand in the “friendship.”

But then if you ain’t partnering up with anyone at the moment, get that cute noggin going and share the love with your universe and splurge on yourself.

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Raffle Will Make Your Heart Go Pitty-Pat

The St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Michael Flores have not only revealed the raffle items for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraiser, they’ve made the tickets available online for purchase!

The drawing will take place at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraiser at the Meyerson on Tuesday, February 16. The marvy trips, shopping sprees and sweetheart of indulgences are broken down into the following three groups —

  • Platinum Level Raffle — 75 tickets available at $300 per ticket
    • ASPEN GETAWAY (Value: $9,900) — Enjoy gorgeous Aspen, Colorado with a seven-night stay in a two bedroom residence at the St. Regis Aspen (SET DATE: May 14-21, 2016) with airline miles courtesy of American Airlines. Suit up for the slopes with a custom pair of ski or snowboard boots from St. Bernard Sports.
Aspen Getaway*

Aspen Getaway*

  • Red Level Raffle — 200 tickets available at $200 per ticket
    • SANTA FE SUN (Value: $2,420) — Includes a two night stay for two at the Rosewood Inn of Anasazi in Santa Fe, New Mexico, airline miles courtesy of American Airlines, and dinner for two at the Rosewood Inn Anasazi Restaurant.
    • SHOP THE VILLAGE (Value: $2,550) — Includes a shopping experience curated for you by Liz Thrash, personal shopper for Highland Park Village. The shopping experience includes a $2,500 Highland Park Village credit and up to three hours with the personal shopper. Grab lunch afterwards with a $50 gift card to Mi Cocina.
    • BIENVENIDOS A MIAMI (Value: $2,600) — Includes a two night stay for two at the Loews Miami Beach and airline miles courtesy of American Airlines.
  • Pink Level Raffle — Unlimited number of tickets available at $100 per ticket
    • PAMPER YOURSELF (Value: $2,500) — Includes a two night weekend stay in luxury accommodations at The Fairmont Dallas, brunch for two at the Rosewood Mansion Restaurant on Turtle Creek, $1,200 Lela Rose gift card, a $150 Bandier gift card, a day of beauty certificate from Frederic Fekkai (blowout, makeup application and manicure), LAFCO gift set, and a bottle of 2010 Napa Syrah.
    • DALLAS STAYCATION (Value: $2,860) — Includes a one night stay for two in a deluxe king room with valet and breakfast at the Warwick Melrose Hotel Dallas, a $150 gift certificate to Bob’s Steak and Chop House, four tickets to Dallas Summer Musical’s The Little Mermaid, and a beautiful Manjani necklace and Tani Starr cuff from Ashley Pittman, and a red glitter fabric clutch bag with shoulder chain from Jimmy Choo.
    • WINE AND DINE (Value: $2,750) — Includes a wine dinner for ten at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House and a wine tasting for ten at Times Ten Cellar.
    • DALLAS DATE NIGHT (Value: $2,350) — Includes a two night stay for two in an original concept suite at Hotel ZaZa, $100 gift card to Savor Gastropub, $50 gift card to Uchi and a bottle of 2010 Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
    • FOR THE MEN (Value: $2,400) — Includes two tickets to the Dallas Stars game on March 19th vs the NY Islanders with a pre-game meet and greet with Stars Center, Vernon Fiddler. Package also includes a 24 hour drive of a Model S Tesla, Deep Ellum Brewery gift basket, $50 gift card to Five Creeks Tavern, and an Edo Popken of Switzerland blue and white limited edition button down shirt.
    • ACCESSORIZE ME (Value: $2,350) — Includes a gorgeous Anne Fontaine Tsarina tulle collar necklace, a printed scarf made from luxurious Italian fabric and a $20 gift card from Leggiadrio, a pair of pink suede high heels from Giuseppe Zanotti and a trendy handbag from Trina Turk.
    • YOU AND ME – THE VIPS (Value: $2,950) — Enjoy a private party with you and your best friends at Alice + Olivia. The winner will take home a complimentary outfit and each of their guests will receive 20% off their purchase. You’ll also receive a private champagne party at St. John with 10 friends. You will receive a $500 gift certificate for your next St. John outfit. Afterwards, head on over to Kiehl’s since 1851 for a Private Skincare Party. Once you pamper your skin, you’ll leave with a gift box filled with head to toe deluxe travel samples.

Here’s a thought. Buy a raffle ticket for that extra-special person in your life and give it to him/her for Valentine’s Day.

BTW, if you’ve been hitting the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon website checking for raffle and ticket information under the categories, stop it. They’re all posted under the “Donations” page. Here’s the one-stop-shopping link!

* Graphic provided by Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

MySweet2016Goals: Michael Flores

According to The Michael Flores Salon at Neiman Marcus owner/2016 Saint Valentine’s Day Luncheon & Fashion Show Co-Chair Michael Flores,

Michael Flores (File photo)

Michael Flores (File photo)

“My goal, especially for the early part of this year, is to have the 32nd annual Saint Valentine’s Day Luncheon to be the most successful fundraising event ever for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!

“My co-chairman, Gina Betts, and I want the luncheon to bring more awareness and more money for the cause than has ever been raised. We feel that we are on way to reaching that goal and we know it would not be possible without the dozens of volunteers, the dedicated staff and the incredibly generous donors.”

JUST IN: 2016 St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Plans Announced

Michael Flores and Gina Betts

Michael Flores and Gina Betts

The announcements for spring plans are just rolling in! St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Michael Flores just announced their game plan for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser.

The twosome are having the annual event return to the Meyerson with fashions provided by Highland Park Village merchants. It will take place on Tuesday, February 16 with Amanda and Brint Ryan serving as honorary co-chairs.

Luke Lange, Tracy Lange and Livia Lange

Luke Lange, Tracy Lange and Livia Lange

As for the awards, it’s a stellar lineup including

  • George Alden Ryan receiving the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award presented by Park Place Motorcars
  • Luke Lange being presented the Spirit of Tom Landry Award and
  • The Memorial Hero Award presented by Robyn and Don Conlon honoring the late Edgar A. Robinson.

Gina and Michael already have some impressive names locked down for sponsorships including:

  • Platinum Valentines — Nancy C. and Richard Rogers and Ryan LLC.
  • Pink Diamond Valentines — Akin Gump LLP, Highland Park Village, Sidley Austin LLP and Trinity Industries Inc.
  • Diamond Valentines — Ruth Robinson & Family and Stroz Friedberg
  • Emerald Valentines — Baker Botts LLP, BB&T Wealth, Robyn and Don Conlon, Dallas Auction Gallery, Karen King, Locke Lord LLP, Park Place Motorcars, Schiff Hardin LLP/Gina and Ken Betts
  • Sapphire Valentines — Baylor Scott and White Health, Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP, Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Fischer & Company, Haynes & Boone LLP and Highland Capital Management/Carmen and Thomas Surgent, Kane Russell Coleman & Logan PC, Laura Sahliveh, Methodist Health System Foundation and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.

Suggestion: This one is gonna be a hit with all these elements put together. Get your sponsorships and reservations locked down ASAP.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Saint Valentine’s Day Luncheon & Fashion Show

According to Saint Valentine’s Day Luncheon & Fashion Show® 2016 Committee Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Michael Flores,

Gina Betts (File photo)

Gina Betts (File photo)

Michael Flores (File photo)

Michael Flores (File photo)

“The Saint Valentine’s Day Luncheon & Fashion Show®, with fashions by Highland Park Village, has become one of the premier charity luncheons in Dallas with a rich history. This 2016 event is presented by Nancy C. and Richard Rogers and Ryan, LLC.   Honorary Chairs are Amanda and Brint Ryan. 2015 chair, Lisa Singleton will serve as Advisory Chair and Heather Randall of Trinity Industries as one of the Underwriting Chairs.

“Entering its 32nd year, the event is set for Tuesday, February 16th at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center with the theme “Fire and Ice.” More than $9 million has been raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) since Dallasites Janet Evans and Rusty Duvall joined forces to raise funds and awareness for blood cancer research and patient services after losing loved ones to blood cancers.

Fire and Ice*

Fire and Ice*

“Each year, The Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award, The Spirit of Tom Landry Character Award and Memorial Hero Award are presented at the luncheon. Noted fashion show director Jan Strimple will produce a breathtaking runway presentation with clothes from the internationally renowned clothiers in Highland Park Village. Clarice Tinsley, FOX 4 News anchor, will return as mistress of ceremonies. The entire production rivals major fashion events in New York or Paris.

“At the heart of this major undertaking is the goal to help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in its quest to change the landscape of blood cancer. With the funds raised, LLS can continue to support groundbreaking research, clinical trials and provide cancer patients and their families with support in North Texas and beyond.

“Please visit www.saintvalentinesdayluncheon.org for more information including sponsorship opportunities.”

* Graphic provided by Saint Valentine's Day Luncheon & Fashion Show

Round Robin February 17: Dallas Opera Founders Luncheon, St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show And Builder’s Circle Mortgage Burning

Even Mother Nature was shocked by the activities slated for Tuesday, February 17. Instead of snow flurries, she backed way off and allowed clear skies for most of the day with crispy temperatures. While the Chi O’s were handing out checks to the 2014 beneficiaries at their sorority house at SMU, others were lunching and burning pieces of paper.

Dallas Opera Founders Luncheon

Lawyers are not known for humor, but attorney Don Glendenning and his better half Carol proved they were ready for prime time. Introductions of award recipients can be ho-hum type affairs, but Carol and Don forewarned the Dallas Opera types at the Juanita and Henry S. Miller Jr. Founders Award Luncheon in the Dallas Country Club ballroom, that their intro for the 2015 Founders Awardees was going to be a tad bit R-rated.

Don and Carol Glendenning and Holly and Tom Mayer

Don and Carol Glendenning and Holly and Tom Mayer

With that ears perked up. Even the most proper, blue-haired types looked intrigued. How could an intro of Holly and Tom Mayer be naughty?

The Glendennings, who were the 2014 recipients, used a “50 Shades of Grey” theme for their intro. As the Glendennings provided one of the most memorable intros heard in these parts, some folks might have missed bits and pieces because of the guffawing. Even Holly had to use her napkin to handle her tears resulting from her laughter. One of the standing jokes that had elbows nudging table companions was something about Dallas Morning News critic Scott Cantrell. If you’re very good, maybe Don and Carol will share their script with you.

Susan Averitt Duvall and Leslie Champlin

Susan Averitt Duvall and Leslie Champlin

In addition to the Glendennings’ intro and the Mayers’ acceptance, Co-Chairs Leslie Champlin and Susan Averitt Duvall arranged for Miller daughter Patsy Donosky, who thanked the guests for their support of the opera and the award in her parents’ names. After luncheon and the presentation, baritone Jonathan Beyer performed.

Micki Rawlings. Ellen Winspear, Patricia Meadows and Laura Leppert

Micki Rawlings. Ellen Winspear, Patricia Meadows and Laura Leppert

But before the luncheon commenced, the DCC’s lobby was jammed with folks including Jolie Humphreys, Patricia Meadows, Carolyn Rose Hunt, Kersten Rettig, Micki Rawlings, Laura Leppert, Mary Brinegar, Sara Martineau, John Cody, Ellen and Don Winspear, Will Power and Tincy Miller and news. Kersten Rettig’s break has ended as she has undertaken a project for the Dallas Women’s Foundation…Patricia Meadows reported that husband Curtis Meadows had taken a tumble setting back his rehabilitation…Hayley Hamilton Cogill was just back from a Valentine jaunt to Portland with husband Gary Cogill and Ashlee and Chris Kleinert — “It’s so nice to show there are wines outside of Napa.”…Venise Stuart was still receiving accolades about her chairing the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s deb presentation.

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show

Sure, the Leukemia and Lymphoma’s annual St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show took place after St. V-Day at the Meyerson, but love is always in the air.

And with Lisa Singleton chairing the event, it was especially true. In addition to fashions from Highland Park Village, young Brooklynn Alexander was presented the Spirit of Tom Landry Character Award by Alicia Landry and Jennifer Houser received the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award from her son Ryan, who is a leukemia survivor having been cancer-free for the past 10 years.

Marybeth Conlon and Don and Robyn Conlon

Marybeth Conlon and Don and Robyn Conlon

Touchingly poignant was the creation and awarding of the Memorial Hero Award to the late Linda Somerville, who had died 16 years ago from leukemia. It was Linda’s death that inspired her best friend/former luncheon chair Robyn Conlon to pitch in with the luncheon during its early days. Adding a love touch was the recent announcement of Robyn’s son Keith Conlon’s engagement to Linda’s and husband Tom Somerville’s daughter Megan Somerville.

Keith Conlon, Megan Somerville, Shannon and Ahmad Ajami, Nicole and Tommy Somerville and Tom Somerville

Keith Conlon, Megan Somerville, Shannon and Ahmad Ajami, Nicole and Tommy Somerville and Tom Somerville

To accept the award were Tom and the Somerville children (Megan, Shannon Somerville Ajami and Tommy Somerville), following a touching video featuring Megan and Robyn.

Habitat For Humanity’s Builder’s Circle Mortgage Burning

Sarah and Alan Losinger may appear to be the souls of propriety. That’s until they trot out Aunt Marji. She’s really a stay-at-home type. They rarely if ever take her out of their Preston Hollow home. But when there’s a party, she’s the hit of it. Oh, you’re thinking she’s like your eccentric Aunt Maudie who only showed up at holiday gatherings? Close but no cigar.

Bill Hall, Aunt Marji and Doug and Jeanne Reinelt

Bill Hall, Aunt Marji and Doug and Jeanne Reinelt

The Losingers’ Marji came from Las Vegas and is always the center of attention without uttering a syllable. On this evening when Habitat for Humanity held its “Builder’s Circle Mortgage Burning,” Marji was perfection for the occasion with her polished nails, fur jacket, Habitat for Humanity helmet, tape measure, tool apron, hammer and protective eyewear.

As one guests said, “She looks like everybody’s idea grandma.”

But like everybody, Marji had a “oops” factor in her makeup.

Alan Losinger

Alan Losinger

Despite her patient listening to one and all and loving features, Marji was not a breathing type. She was the creation of artist Gary Mirabelle and Sarah and Alan had “adopted” her. Like any grandmotherly type, she even has an album of photos like her seated on Santa’s lap, feet soaking at Eddie Dean’s, riding with Alan on a bike, etc.

But as captivating as Marji was, she found herself soon all alone in the dining room when guests gathered in the living room for the presentation.

First Sara and Alan were presented with personalize hard hats for their contributions. Alan popped his on, but Sarah’s head of red curls seemed a bit cramped trying to fit into the helmet. Then the Jones family was recognized by Habitat for Humanity CEO Bill Hall for paying off their mortgage. Family matriarch Cathy Jones told the guests, “I would still be living in public housing if not for Habitat for Humanity.”

Finally, slips of paper with names of people who had paid off their mortgages were handed out to the Builder’s Circle guests, who headed out the back terraces to a fire pit for burning. Aunt Marji decided to sit that one out.

After the mortgages went up in smoke, folks like Mike Gruber, Jeanne and Doug Reinelt, Serena Connelly and Micki Rawlings returned to the house to chat. One story making the rounds was about last fall’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter’s Work Project. At the celebration dinner in AT&T Cowboys Stadium featuring Wynonna Judd on stage, the singer’s husband Cactus Moser gave a shout out to Rosalynn. Not only did he pronounce her name “Rose-a-lynn,” he was waving to the wrong gal. The former first lady wasn’t able to attend the celebration. The woman who was the recipient of his waves was Dallas First Lady Micki Rawlings. Realizing that Cactus wasn’t going to give up until some acknowledgment was made, she stood up and waved to the crowd.