7th Annual Mosaic Family Services Gala Patrons Shop, Sip And Celebrate At Abi Ferrin And Kendra Scott

With the kickoff of fall fundraising, the 7th Annual Mosaic Family Services Gala patrons partied at more than just one spot in West Village on Tuesday, September 20. Both Abi Ferrin and Kendra Scott provided a shop-and-sip-around at their digs. Here’s a report from the field:

Mosaic Family Services honored sponsors, committee members and supporters of the 7th Annual Gala at a cocktail reception on Tuesday, September 20, from 5 – 9 p.m. at Abi Ferrin and Kendra Scott in West Village.

Steve Kemble, Abi Ferrin and Chad Collom*

Steve Kemble, Abi Ferrin and Chad Collom*

More than 75 partygoers arrived at Abi Ferrin in West Village and sipped cool drinks while shopping Abi’s eponymous collection. DJ Lamont Carlis kept the vibe going, as guests enjoyed savory fare donated by Cru, including artisan cheese and charcuterie with house made fig jam and fresh Turkish honeycomb, mini meatballs with tomato sugo and shaved Manchego, smoked salmon rillettes and arancini with roasted pepper tomato sauce.

With the nearby Kendra Scott boutique sharing the hosting duties for the evening, patrons mingled in both stores, while they shopped knowing a percentage of proceeds would benefit Mosaic Family Services.

Ashley Anderson and Jo Mattison*

Ashley Anderson and Jo Mattison*

Shannon Mukundan and Nusia Sookarow*

Shannon Mukundan and Nusia Sookarow*

Tam Tran, Tina Witkoff, Marta Knutson and Leanne Moye*

Tam Tran, Tina Witkoff, Marta Knutson and Leanne Moye*

As the evening came to an end, posh patrons like Ashley Anderson, Jo Mattison, Mirjana Omeragic, McKenzie Hoopfer, Catherine Langlois, Tam Tran, Marta Knutson, Leanne Moye, Shannon Mukundan, Nusia Sookarow, Kristin Paul, Meagan McLauchlin and Tina Ingram were treated to homemade cake balls by Tina Witkoff and a gift bag of Mary Kay’s Satin Hands signature products.

Jennifer Staubach Gates and Lana Byrne*

Jennifer Staubach Gates and Lana Byrne*

The upcoming 7th Annual Mosaic Family Services Gala will be held on Thursday, October 20, 2016, from 7 – 11 p.m. at The Empire Room in the Dallas Design District. Chaired by Melissa Green and Elizabeth Weathersby with honorary chair Lana Byrne, the gala will include cocktails, dinner by Stock & Barrel, master of ceremonies Steve Kemble, silent auction curated by Auction Chair Nusia Sookarow, raffle, casino, and music by DJ Lamont Carlis. A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the 2016 Champion of Human Rights Award to Councilmember Jennifer Staubach Gates.

Tickets and sponsorships are still available; tickets are $150 each; sponsorships begin at $500. For sponsorship and ticket information, visit classy.org/mosaicgala or contact Le Ta, 214.821.5393 x263 or [email protected]

* Photo credit: Bob Manzano

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Shopped And Partied Among The Luscious Lips And Fashions Of Alice And Olivia

Alice and Olivia lips

Alice and Olivia lips

With season in high throttle, a cluster of guests were filling Alice and Olivia on Tuesday, September 13. The draw and beneficiary was the Equest Women’s Auxiliary, which is holding its annual Equest Fashion Show chaired by Kara Axley. While no equine ambassadors were present, the mannequins were dressed to the max and the displays were filled with luscious lips. Fashion-loving and newly-engaged Fleming Longino was an early arrival to check out the goodies.

Kara Axley and

Kara Axley and Fleming Longino

Di Johnston and Kathy Fielder

Di Johnston and Kathy Fielder

Equest Board Member Kathy Fielder dropped by to check out a try-on in the dressing room, handed over her charge card and was off. Not bad. A percentage of the evening’s sales went to Equest.

When asked how the Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show on Tuesday, October 4, at Brook Hollow was going, Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Di Johnston reported that it was moving along smoothly. Once again the Jan Strimple-produced fashion show will feature highlights from Akris, Alice+Olivia, Carolina Herrera, Etro, Lela Rose, Market and St. John.

Unlike the cross-town Texas Trailblazer Luncheon being held smack-dab on the same day at the same time, Di suggested that it was an apple and oranges situation. One is an elegant and intimate fashion show and the other is a 1,000 plus award presentation with speaker. The fact is both groups are benefiting area families and that’s what matters.

The Family Place Kicks Off 2016 Partners Card With North Soiree At IBB Design Fine Furnishings

If the kids are back in school, high school football games are holding Fridays hostage and the holidays are just weeks away, then it’s time for the warmup for The Family Place‘s Partners Card program. Getting the whole thing ramped up was the Partners Card North Seller Soiree on Saturday, September 10. Here’s a report from the field:

Ciara Cooley, Lisa Cooley and Tori Roark*

Ciara Cooley, Lisa Cooley and Tori Roark*

More than one hundred guests of The Family Place, Partners Card 2016 Co-Chairs Elizabeth Dacus, Jane Rozelle and Samantha Wortley, and Honorary Chair Lisa Cooley, gathered at the Partners Card North Seller Soirée hosted by Beth Rafferty and Shay Geyer, co-owners of IBB Design Fine Furnishings, Saturday, September 10.

In celebration of the annual Partners Card fundraiser, the family-friendly event featured Easy Slider and Trailercakes food trucks, tunes by DJ Jennifer Miller and a photo booth featuring super hero props to celebrate this year’s theme, Shop Like a Hero.  The afternoon honored sponsors and card sellers who continue to support Partners Card and bring hope to victims of domestic violence. Guests also enjoyed shopping at the beautiful IBB Design Fine Furnishings’ Frisco showroom, with 10% of sales donated to The Family Place.

Brian Geyer, Brooklyn Geyer, Jaylie Geyer and Shay Geyer*

Brian Geyer, Brooklyn Geyer, Jaylie Geyer and Shay Geyer*

The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin welcomed guests and reminded everyone to please mark their calendars for the annual shopping event, Partners Card presented by Bank of Texas, set for Thursday, October 28 through Sunday, November 6. Bank of Texas Senior Vice President and Manager of Commercial Banking Mandy Austin also addressed the group and thanked The Family Place for its eight-year partnership. Partners Card Co-Chairs Samantha Wortley and Jane Rozelle announced the new Partners Card app and upcoming events, and IBB Co-owner Shay Geyer revealed the winners of the IBB gift card.

The Family Place Chief Executive Officer Paige Flink concluded remarks by encouraging everyone to buy a card and stated that through the success of the program, The Family Place is able to provide for victims of domestic violence, which includes opening a new men’s shelter, counseling center and retail shop in Collin County beginning September 21, 2016.

Mandy Austin, Beth Martin and Rhonda Green*

Mandy Austin, Beth Martin and Rhonda Green*

“It’s incredible to see how Partners Card has grown over the past 23 years and how much support we have from communities across the Dallas Metroplex,” Paige said. “Because of the success of the Partners Card fundraiser and the support from our sponsors, retailers and sellers, we have 30 women, 67 children and five men currently in safe housing.”

Guests included: IBB Director of Marketing and Business Development Meredith Hite, The Family Place Development Manager Heather Street Baker, Katy Bock, Kameron Westcott, Rhonda Green, Patrick McLaughlin and Past Partners Card Chairs Brynn Bagot Allday, Lisa Bhattacharya, Jennifer Burns, Andrea Cheek, Sara Friedman, Nancy Gopez, JB Hayes, Kathryn Henry, Maggie Kipp, Kate Rose Marquez, Debbie Munir, Kristen Sanger and Dawn Spalding.

Cardholders are invited to shop, dine and save with a 20% discount at more than 750 participating retail locations and restaurants throughout the Dallas Metroplex.

* Photo credit: George Fiala

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #4: Shop And Dine

The curator for this year’s TACA Custom Auction Gala’s package is none other than Rachel Michell. So among her collection of luxurious, dreamy goodies would of course be something in the panache realm of retailing.

And leave it to Rachel to have more in this package that a panache shopping spree. The gal knows how to roll out the red carpet for the Rodeo Drive of Dallas. In addition to $3,000 purchase power with a personal shopper to show the ins and outs, there’s a multi-course tasting for eight complete with grown up libations. Suggestion: First do the shopping. Then show off your acquisitions at the Bistro 31 tasting. Your buds will be eaten up in envy that you topped the other bidders on Friday, September 23 at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

Shop And Dine* (Value: $5,500)

Shop And Dine At Highland Park Village**

Shop And Dine**

Spend the afternoon at one of North Texas’ premier shopping destinations. Visit any of the more than 40 luxury boutiques – including favorites like Alexander McQueen, Carolina Herrera, and Dior – with your own personal shopper. Then enjoy an elegant tasting menu at the French Riviera-inspired Bistro 31.

  • $3,000 in shopping spree
  • Up to three hours with a personal shopper
  • Four-course Chef’s Tasting Menu at Bistro 31, with cocktail and wine pairings, for eight
* Courtesy of Bistro 31 
** Photo provided by TACA

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Partners Card

According to Partners Card Co-Chairs Elizabeth Dacus, Jane Rozelle and Samantha Wortley and Honorary Chair Lisa Cooley,

Jane Rozelle, Lisa Cooley, Elizabeth Dacus and Samantha Wortley*

Jane Rozelle, Lisa Cooley, Elizabeth Dacus and Samantha Wortley*

“Shop Like a Hero by saving money and a life during Partners Card, presented by Bank of Texas. With the purchase of a $70 card, cardholders will receive a 20-percent discount at some of their favorite stores and restaurants while supporting The Family Place, Dallas’ longest-serving family violence agency. The annual 10-day shopping extravaganza is set for Thursday, October 28, through Sunday, November 6, and 100% of the proceeds from card sales directly benefit The Family Place and its programs.

“With more than 750 participating retailers and restaurants in Dallas, Arlington, Grapevine, McKinney, Plano, Southlake, Richardson, Frisco, Flower Mound, Addison, Garland, Rockwall and Lewisville, Partners Card is one of the most highly anticipated shopping events in the Dallas Metroplex.

“The money raised through the Partners Card program is crucial to providing support for the women, men and children who are victims of family violence. Partners Card has become the largest fundraiser for The Family Place, and in its history, has helped raise more than $16 million.

“Partners Cards go on sale in September. New this year, individuals can download the Partners Card app from the App Store or Google Play to purchase the card and view available stores to shop. You can also purchase a Partners Card from any participating retailer or restaurant, card-selling individual, through direct mail or by visiting www.partnerscard.org. For more information, contact the Partners Card Hotline at 214.443.7754 or email [email protected].

“Our goal this year is to sell 16,000 cards. We hope you will help us reach this goal and Shop Like a Hero during the 24th Annual Partners Card fundraiser!”

* Photo provided by The Family Place

Take Advantage of Tax-Free Weekend For Community Partners Of Dallas’ 23rd Annual Back-To-School Program

Where did June and July go? That’s the thought starting to bubble in the brains of area school kids with the realization that school is just around the corner. For the Dallas Independent School District students, the very first day of the nine month education march is Monday, August 22.

Community Partners of Dallas' Back-To-School 2016*

Community Partners of Dallas’ Back-To-School 2016*

Another group that is all too well aware of that date is the Community Partners of Dallas. Their 23rd annual Back-To-School got off to a great start. Thanks to the FFA, 1,400 backpacks with schools supplies were donated. But that surge was needed because CPD President/CEO Paige McDaniel and her team had created a record-breaking goal of more than 3,000. Why so high? Because there are that many Dallas County abused and neglected children in need of appropriate school supplies and uniforms.

Here’s an interesting fact provided by CPD:

“Sometimes the only difference between an A+ student and a failing student is having basic supplies to do homework and participate in class. Because 69% of the children served by Community Partners of Dallas live on a family income of less than $14,000 annually, after the most basic of needs of the family are met, school supplies may not fit into that budget.”

Pencils (File photo)

Pencils (File photo)

So, why bring this up when CPD’s Back-To-School runs through Friday, August 19? Because it’s “tax-free weekend!” That means that those items on the CPD wish list (markers, glue bottle, construction paper, manila paper, binders, backpacks, pink erasers, Kleenex, calculators, compasses, pencil pouches and other school-oriented items) can be snatched up without being taxed. Why not purchase a nifty backpack, fill it with supplies and drop it off at CPD at 1215 Skiles Street. It’s located in one of Dallas’ most treasured neighborhoods — the Wilson Historic District. Your reward will be a big old smile from the staff and a “thank you” to boot.

What’s that? You’re in Aspen and can’t get back in time for the taxless weekend? No problem. Make a donation. Thanks to CPD’s buying power, “every $1 donated is equal to $5 worth of school supplies and uniforms. With a gift of only $25, you can ensure a child starts the school year off with the right tools for success!”

Yes, you’re weary of hearing about the various back-to-school programs. After all, what’s the big deal about a pink eraser? But something as small an eraser is a big deal to a child, who’s known a life of neglect and abuse. Their way out of this situation is education, but they need the tools. You can provide it with a donation of items and/or funds.

* Graphic courtesy of Community Partners of Dallas

Zoo To Do Guests Had A Hoot Of A Time At Escada

There are party animals and then there are party animals. And when the Zoo To Do crowd makes up the guest list, there are bound and determined to be some of the Dallas Zoo’s ambassadors among the group.

Carol Glendenning, Diane Brierley, Cassie, Carol and John Levy

Carol Glendenning, Diane Brierley, Cassie, Carol and John Levy

Flighty fella

Flighty fella

On Tuesday, May 17, the two-legged types and critters gathered at Highland Park Village’s Escada salon. Since husbands/Zoo To Do’s Silver Safari Co-Chairs Don Brierley and Don Glendenning had other commitments, their better halves (aka Diane Brierley and Carol Glendenning) joined fellow Co-Chair John Levy and his wife Carol Levy and other guests like Lee Bailey and former Escada GM Melissa Rathke to check out the fashions and food benefiting the zoo.

While the humans arrived via the front door, the ambassadors snuck in through the back entrance. Don’t you just know those celeb types are always sneaking in side doors to avoid the paparazzi?

One of the literal highlights of the occasion was the owl, who upon spying the table of appetizers decided to take flight for the spread. Thanks to his handler Cassie’s leash, his airborne antics didn’t ruffle any food, fashions or feathers except his.

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Kicked Off Fundraising Luncheon Plans At Market

All the talk on Wednesday, May 4, was about cutie pie Reese Witherspoon’s opening up her latest retail venture — Draper James pop-up shop — at Market the day before. But, alas, the Academy Award-winning actress was nowhere in sight. No problem. The Equest Women’s Auxiliary crowd including Tiffany Divis, Louise Griffeth and Emilynn Wilson, didn’t seem to mind one iota with all the goodies on the shelves, the tables and in every nook and cranny.

For some, like Angela Nash, this was a first-time visit to Market; Angela hollered from her car, “Do you know where Market is?”

Someone pointed Angela to the former site of Patrizio (aka the longtime ago digs of S&S Tearoom). Still with us?

Market's candy

Market’s candy

Market's equine-style bracelet

Market’s equine-style bracelet

Once inside Market, it was a 21st century version of the Carriage Shop with colorful candies on the shelves, the bracelets and chokers that reminded some of equine bits and such.

Fleming Longino

Fleming Longino

Fleming Longino's Louboutin

Fleming Longino’s Louboutin

And speaking of fashion, Fleming Longino was just back from Europe and in a black jumpsuit that made her Louboutin stilettos “stand out.”

New Equest Executive Director Lili Kellogg introduced new Development Director Christine Volkmer, while Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Di Johnston revealed that Angie Kadesky would be replacing her in the year to come.  Another bit of news was that Beth Thoele will chair the 2017 Equest fundraising luncheon.

Angie Kadesky, Kara Axley and Bridget Miller

Angie Kadesky, Kara Axley and Bridget Miller

In the meantime, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show at Brook Hollow Chair Kara Axley revealed that the Equest fundraiser would take place on Tuesday, October 4.

JUST IN: D’Andra Simmons Lock To Chair 2017 Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon

D'Andra Simmons Lock (File photo)

D’Andra Simmons Lock (File photo)

Plans are already underway for the 2017 Salvation Army Fashion Show. Leading the charge will be beauty expert/fundraising phenom D’Andra Simmons Lock, who will chair the annual fundraiser for the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary.

In addition to having fashionable DNA thanks to mama Dee Simmons and a love for clothes, D’Andra is a pro when it comes to heading up events and raising funds for nonprofits. Not only did she chair the Junior League of Dallas’ ball among other fundraisers, she created Cancer Blows in 2015 with musicians from around the country coming together to fight cancer.

And when it comes to underwriting, D’Andra has numbers on speed-dial that would thrill any development director.

While D’Andra is keeping her plans under wraps, she had a twinkle in her blue eyes as she reported that it’s gonna be a memory maker and a financial success for the good of the Salvation Army.

Here’s a thought: Since the winter season is in the rear view mirror, it’s time to edit that closet of yours. There are cute things that you just know you’re not gonna wear again. So, why not just put them aside in a nice stack for the Salvation Army? And then you’ll have loads more room for those new clothes that you deserve and need.

JUST IN: Kohl Backs Children’s Medical Center Foundation’s 2016 “Play Well Stay Well Program” To The Tune of $330,817

Just ask any kiddo and they’ll probably know exactly how many hours and minutes until school’s out for the summer. That means there will be plenty of munchkins out and about. But not all of that free time is so great. Each year way too many youngsters end up overdoing and/or having accidents that result in everything from bandages to emergency room runs.

Christopher Durovich (File photo)

Christopher Durovich (File photo)

To cut down on those “oops”, Kohl has once again stepped with a donation to Children’s Medical Center Foundation for its “Play Well Stay Well Program.” This year’s contribution is a whopping $330,817 that brings its financial backing of the program since 2001 to a tidy $4.3M.

“The Play Well Stay Well Program” is designed to provide families with information on “how to lead a healthy, safe and active lifestyle.”

According to Children’s Health System of Texas President/CEO, Christopher Durovich, “We greatly appreciate Kohl’s for its continued generosity to Children’s. The company’s dedication and support of healthy recreation and wellness has been of great importance in advancing our mission of making life better for children.”

The funding is the result of the Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise program where Kohl sells $5 books and plush toys with 100% of the net profits benefit children’s health programs nationwide.

The Animal Loving Crowd Shopped Jimmy Choos Heels In Preparation For The Annual Fur Ball

Nancy Rogers had her work cut out for her on Wednesday, April 6. She had a full evening of fundraising rounds to make and the very first stop was Highland Park Village’s Jimmy Choo to check out the footwear goodies benefiting the SPCA of Texas. Here’s a report from the field:

Jimmy Choo shoes*

Jimmy Choo shoes*

The gorgeous and well-heeled mingled with the latest pumps, platforms and peep-toes at the Jimmy Choo boutique at Highland Park Village in Dallas on Wednesday, April 6. And it was all to benefit the SPCA of Texas in partnership with this year’s Fur Ball Gala.

Brightly clad guests sparkled with springtime freshness as they browsed Jimmy Choo’s gorgeous Spring Summer collection while they nibbled delicate canapés thanks to KMG Events. Buoyant beverages refreshed attendees as the sun gently dipped into the horizon over the rococo roofline of Highland Park Village.

Jimmy Choo donated a portion of the proceeds from purchases at the event to the SPCA of Texas. Special thanks to Jimmy Choo and boutique manager Catherine Kemp for hosting the party.

Fur Ball 2016, Shedding Light on Their Future, will be held on Saturday, September 24, at the Omni Dallas Hotel from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. LeeAnne Locken will be M.C. for the evening. For more information, visit www.furballdallas.com.

Kristen Greenberg and Sandra Fite*

Kristen Greenberg and Sandra Fite*

Fur Ball Chair Phyllis Comu, Co-Chair Kristen Greenberg and Auction Chair Sandra Fite, along with the Fur Ball committee, will make this a gala to remember. The honorary co-chairs for Fur Ball 2016 are Faye Briggs, D’Andra Simmons and Jeremy Lock, Anne and Steve Stodghill and Drs. Wendy and John Vandermeer. The Fur Ball 2016 committee includes Lisa Kirtley Ledbetter (Marketing & Communications), Mary Lozano Buster, Giana DePaul, Diane Faison-Roe, Lisa Fox, Cameron Gummer, Alissa Kaiser, Stacey Kivowitz, Paula Leone, Cindy Lindsley, Nicole Sisneros, Kelly Thompson, Terry Wright Stimpson, Denise Wallace and Anja Woodson.

Nancy Rogers, Phyllis Comu and Nancy Rogers*

Nancy Rogers, Phyllis Comu and Nancy Rogers*

All money raised through Fur Ball will support the SPCA of Texas, as the organization rescues, heals and finds homes for more than 50,000 animals each year.

Attendees included Diane Brierley, Anne and Steve Stodghill, Phyllis and C.J. Comu, Katy Murray, Holly Forsythe, Nancy Rogers, Rhonda Sargent Chambers, Tricia Sims, Carmen Surgent, Kerry Sullivan, Dan Pritchett, Bob Manzano and Karen Urie.

* Photo credit: QC Cong/XO Photography

2016 Art Ball Auction Item #6: The Best Of Italy

Seriously, is there any spot in the world that oozes fashion, food and fabulous art more than Italy? Didn’t think so. That’s why this 2016 Art Ball package is a foodie-fashionista-fan of the arts’ dream of seven days in heaven. Drop the diet to prepare on the pasta. Here is the ultimate way to experience Italy like others only wish. Pinches on the cheeks not included.

The Best Of Italy (Value: $25,050)

Ulysses wandered the Mediterranean searching for his home. The winner of this 2016 Art Ball package will find the food, fashion and the fabulous places that Ulysses only wishes he could have found.

The Best of Italy*

The Best of Italy*

  • Florence and Fiesole — For starters there’s the former monastery located in Fiesole just outside of Florence. With its fabulous grounds and terraces, it stands today as the marvelous boutique hotel Belmond “Villa San Michele.” So typical of the region, this retreat is surrounded with breathtaking art, natural beauty and cuisine and wines that are right at home in Ital. To help the winners of this package feel right at home, there is a six-hour tour of the area’s highlights like the Accademia Gallery, Uffizi Gallery and Il Duomo di Firenze.
  • Solomeo — After a couple of nights in Florence, it’s on to Solomeo where Stanley Korshak’s Crawford Brock and his cashmere loving designer Brunello Cucinelli, whose schedule allows will tell about the history of the village. If Brunello isn’t available, one of his trusted associates will take the helm. If the stars in alignment (May 24 and 25), Crawford will host a private dinner party with Brunello.
  • Rome — Despite being located in the hub of Rome’s active scene, the winner will enjoy the serenity and luxury of Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotel located within a 15-acre parkland. In addition to a full day tour of Tome including the Vatican’s Museum and the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
  • Naples Kiton Factory Tour — Just down the road there will be a private tour of Naples’ Kiton Factory, where tailors and craftsmen create world-class creations. On this occasion, the package winner will take home a custom-made sports coat and trousers plus a woman’s jacket. Just send that thank-you note to Crawford Brock.
  • Amalfi Coast — The final stop on the Italian adventure will be the Amalfi Coast’s Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa perched on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. Formerly a 17th century monastery, the hotel has been meticulously “restored into an exclusive 20-room boutique hotel.” Its fabulous spa is perfectly situated against a natural showcase of beauty and enhanced by 21st century advancements in luxurious pampering.

Compliments of Strong Travel Services, Cindy Nesti Black, Villa San Michele and the Belmond Group of London, Crawford Brock of Stanley Korshak, Walks Inside Rome, Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Kiton and Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa

* Photo courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art

Equest Mini-Ambassadors And Guests Headed To “The Walls” To Kick Off Plans For 35th Anniversary Gala Fundraiser

All those horseshoes at Equest are bringing luck to their fundraising efforts. On Wednesday, March 16, Equest Gala Co-Chairs Helena and Doug Wall really lucked out with the weather before the rains and chills arrived in the following days. The reason was their hosting the kick-off party for the 35th anniversary of the Equest fundraiser at their home. Here’s a report from the field:

Doug Wall and Lezlie and Bill Noble*

Doug Wall and Lezlie and Bill Noble*

“Two feet move our body. Four feet move our soul,” quoted William Noble. The quote summed the passion and support at the kick-off event for the Equest 35th Anniversary as it celebrates over 30 years of life-changing journeys that cherished Equest therapy horses have provided for children, adults and veterans to overcome unique challenges.

Lili Kellogg*

Lili Kellogg*

Hosted at the gorgeous home of Chairs Helena and Doug Wall, approximately 100 guests were greeted by three-feet-tall four-legged friends and mini ambassadors Cisco and Dare. Guests shopped for the upcoming gala at the Ocean Point Tack Shop pop-up featuring the equestrian chic collection of Kingsland Equestrian Apparel. Delectable bites from Farm to Market Catering, such as smoked chicken profiteroles, shrimp cocktail with blood orange cocktail sauce and horseradish panna cotta, and Beef Wellington were savored, and Milagro margarita toasts were shared.  As a departing gift, guests received mini blood orange pop-tarts from Pink Apron Pastry.

Paul Valdez, Michele Ritter and Andy Steingasser*

Paul Valdez, Michele Ritter and Andy Steingasser*

The energy and excitement for the gala were contagious among the ensemble including: Equest Interim CEO Lili Kellogg, Equest Chairman of the Board Andy Steingasser, Lezlie and Bill Noble, Kelly and Marty Turco, Allane O’Neil, Terri Sue and Jack Wensinger, Dina and Jason Arnott, Trish and Joe Judson, Carrie and Dodd Crutcher, Di Johnston, Frank Carter, Margaret and David Henry, Leslie and Hawkins Golden, Darla Ripley, Nancy Natinksy, Kelly Morrison, Lane Cates and Brad McClain, Meghan Nylin and Neiman folks like Jeff Byron, Kevin Hurst and Mimi Sterling among others.

Terri Sue Wensinger, Kristin Reed, Mary Hawkins, Helena Wall, Karen Smith and Lezlie Noble*

Terri Sue Wensinger, Kristin Reed, Mary Hawkins, Helena Wall, Karen Smith and Lezlie Noble*

Prepare to celebrate all things Equest at the 35th Anniversary Gala. The equestrian-chic fundraiser, hosted by Honorary Chairs Chris and Dale Hansen and Chairs Helena and Doug Wall, brings together gourmet southern cuisine, craft cocktails, live music by Cary Pierce­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­, prized live and silent auction items, and some fun horsing-around. Equest 35th Anniversary Gala will be held on Saturday, May 7, starting at 7:00 p.m. at Texas Horse Park (811 Pemberton Hill Road, Dallas, TX 75217). Sponsorships are available starting at $5,000. Tables (of 10) are available to purchase for $2,500 and individual tickets for $250 at www.equest.org/gala. For more information, visit www.equest.org or call 972.412.1099.

North Texas Food Bankers’ “Souper” Back-Up Plan Kept Empty Bowl Crowds Warm And Dry

The North Texas Food Bank team was prepared. After last year’s snow and ice, they had a back-up plan all warmed up for the Friday, March 11, fundraising “Empty Bowls” at the Meyerson. Okay, so the Highland Park and Richardson ISDs, Jesuit and Ursuline students were on spring break, but there were still a load of NTFB supporters and downtowners in need of soup as the temps dipped into the 60s with drips and drops from the clouds above.

Empty Bowls' bowls

Empty Bowls’ bowls

Just as the doors opened at 10:30 a.m. for the VIP types, the lineup was overflowing in the lower level with folks like photographer Lisa Stewart to check out the tables filled with hundreds of the handcrafted bowls for sale. The organizers were prepared for such a turnout and have chairs set up for double duty — to provide a path to the sell-athon and for sitting if the wait seemed a bit long. Even presenting sponsor Kroger’s Gary Huddleston had to check in!

Gary Huddleston

Gary Huddleston

Nico Sanchez

Nico Sanchez

Upstairs on the ground level the chefs like Tejano Brothers New Texas Cuisine’s Patrick Smith were serving all types of soups. Meso Maya‘s Nico Sanchez was double dutying. In addition to doling out Sopo de Pollo, he updated friends that the new location at Abrams and Mockingbird was scheduled to open late May. And, yes, it would have a patio for dining and sunning.

Across the way, a couple of cuties topped with crowns were helping Caitlyn Fantl sell NTFB T-shirts. Why the top gear? They were Miss Frisco Outstanding Teen Heather King and Miss Frisco Christina Clawson. When asked if they slept wearing their crowns, the response was laughter and the admission that it would be uncomfortable.

Griffin Schlitt and Liza Schlitt

Griffin Schlitt and Liza Schlitt

Taylor Ollivierre

Taylor Ollivierre

At the landing between the ground-level lobby and the upstairs balcony, mom Liza Schlitt and her three-year-old son Griffin Schlitt watched musicians like violinist Taylor Ollivierre provide the perfect background music for supping.

In the back of the lobby within the roped-off, super-duper VIP area, a table waited for NTFB’s Jan Pruitt’s arrival complete with a reserve sign and a glorious centerpiece.

Paula Lambert and Marisa Partin

Paula Lambert and Marisa Partin

On the other side of the Meyerson lobby that was jammed with designer soup bowls on display for the silent auction was a traditional favorite — Paula Lambert’s Mozzarella Company complete with Paula and Marisa Partin.

Evidently the word started making the rounds that smarty pants peeps were heading up the stairs, where Mi Cocina-ers were handing out gift bags and there were tables for sitting and supping. For those with a need for a sweet chaser, Panera had loads of cookies ripe for the taking.

Daniel Villatoro, Jolie Oree-Bailey and Stacey Setzer

Daniel Villatoro, Jolie Oree-Bailey and Stacey Setzer

Across the way was the dark horse soup of the day. Low Country Quisine ‘s Chef Jolié Oree-Bailey and her team (Daniel Villatoro and Stacey Setzer) were serving up shrimp-and-grits soup. It was impressing folks to a point that its vote jar of dollar votes had folks returning to add more greenbacks.

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.