As 2017 Gala Nears, Crystal Charity Ball Committee Honors Its Top Producers With Charms And Fashions At Forty Five Ten

As the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball committee faced their final days before the black-tie gala at the Anatole on Saturday, December 2, it was time for CCB Chair Pam Perella and her lieutenants (Leslie Diers, Elizabeth Gambrell, Anne Besser, Cheryl Joyner and trapped in traffic Kristina Whitcomb) to literally “wrap up” the year-long effort for Dallas County children’s charities.

Elizabeth Gambrell, Leslie Diers, Pam Perella, Anne Besser and Cheryl Joyner

Thanks to the Tim Headington posse, the reveal of the CCB top producers were feted at Forty Five Ten’s top floor restaurant on Monday, November 13. While some succumbed to downtown’s “don’t turn” traffic traps and construction turmoil, the vast majority arrived right on time.  

Adam Lippes, Lauren Ostek and Travis Christian

Promptly at noon, the ear-shattering crowd of ladies took their places to eyeball Forty Five Ten designer Adam Lippes.

Scott Polk

Just before the presentation of the awards was made, jeweler Scott Polk revealed the charm that would be presented to the awardees.

In keeping with CCB Chair Pam Perella’s theme, “Evening in the Alps,” the charm was a St. Bernard.

And the recipients were:

  • Underwriting — Tucker Enthoven, Fredye Factor, Sarah Losinger, Meredith Bebee, Libby Allred, Suzy Gekiere, Lisa Cooley, Patty Leyendecker, Amy Hegi, Lynn McBee and Claire Emanuelson
  • Foundations — Alicia Wood, Amy Prestidge, Susan Farris, Paige Slates, Linda Secrest, Vinnie Reuben, Kimber Hartmann, Leigh Anne Haugh, Jennifer Dix and Susan McSherry
  • Silent Auction/Special Gifts — Tiffany Divis, Margaret Hancock, Shelle Sills, Katherine Coker, Ola Fojtasek, Janie Condon, Tucker Enthoven, Elsa Norwood, Kim Miller and Susan Farris
  • Children’s Book — Lynn McBee, Margaret Hancock, Suzy Gekiere, Elsa Norwood, Linda Secrest, Libby Hegi, Kristina Whitcomb, Stacey Walker, Melissa Macatee and Libby Allred

For additional photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Association Of Fundraising Philanthropy Greater Dallas Luncheon

Meagan Burton, Ken and Julie Hersh, Karen Simmons, Pagett Gosslee, Micha, Lynn McBee, Kevin Hurst, Sandra and Henry Estess and Mary Freeman

Once again the Association of Fundraising Philanthropy Greater Dallas Luncheon’s was totally upstaged by the cutest recipient. But this year there was a wrench thrown into the plans. It had to do with the announcement of the Veterans Day Parade schedule.

Doug Murray, Kit Sawers and Carole and Scott Murray

The results were traditional Emcee Scott Murray arriving via a police escort.

Micah Pinson

While the post is trying to reorganize, check out the cute red-haired Micah Pinson and other recipients of the National Philanthropy Day of Greater Dallas Awardees at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

A Gentle Reminder: 2017 BMW Dallas Marathon Weekend Will Have Runners On Area Roads Both Saturday And Sunday

BMW Dallas Marathon*

Back in 1971 the very first Dallas White Rock Marathon was held on March 6. Over the years the name and date changed. In 2012 “White Rock” disappeared from the name and it became Dallas Marathon. Over the years some things stayed the same like Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children being the beneficiary and thousands of participants including world-class runners.

2017 Coors Light 5K and 10K*

This weekend the annual runathon has been expanded. For starters, it’s going to be a two-day run including

If you’re not planning on being part of those running or volunteering, you might want to check the road closures that will be in place. They range from Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge through downtown Dallas on Saturday to Sunday mega-run starting at City Hall and heading around White Rock via Turtle Creek and back to City Hall.

* Graphics courtesy of BMW Dallas Marathon

National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon Guests May Want To Rethink Their Route Friday

Those planning to attend the National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency on Friday might want consider taking a different route to the event or getting an earlier start. Why? Because despite Veteran’s Day officially being on Saturday, the Greater Dallas Veterans Day Parade honoring vets starts at 11 with streets in the area being blocked off just as guests arrive for the luncheon.

2017 Dallas Veterans Day Parade Route*

On the other hand, if you don’t have plans, why not check out the parade honoring the men and women, who have served this country?

*Graphic courtesy of Greater Dallas Veterans Day Parade

Tips For Tuesday’s Trick Or Treating

Despite the predicted chill and wet weather for Halloween, costumed munchkins will still be hitting neighborhoods for yummy handouts. Thanks to Remington College Dallas Campus’s Criminal Justice Department instructor Dickey Harrison, here are some tricks to make their search for yummies a treat.

Trick or Treater

Trick or Treater

  • Have children carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see while they’re out at night, and to help increase their visibility to drivers. For younger children who may not want to carry a glow stick or flashlight along with their candy bucket, consider a non-toxic glow necklace or bracelet instead.
  • Make sure children’s costumes fit them properly. Baggy, loose or improperly fastened clothing could cause them to trip. It’s a great idea to do a “test run” with new costumes, to make sure children are totally comfortable wearing their costume for an extended period of time before the big day.
     

Trick or Treaters

  • Use makeup instead of a mask. Masks can hinder a child’s vision, which is dangerous while they’re out trick or treating. If you must use a mask, make sure it fits properly, that they can see well through the eyeholes in every direction, and that they can breathe properly while wearing it.
  • Teach children to walk safely. That means stopping and looking both ways before crossing an intersection, staying on the sidewalk whenever possible, putting away electronic devices while walking, keeping an eye out for cars and never darting into the street. 

Trick or Treater

Trick or Treater

 

  • Remember to drive particularly safely on Halloween as well, or whenever there is a Halloween event nearby. Halloween is exciting, and some small children may forget road safety rules on their quest for candy. Take extra time to look for kids, especially in residential neighborhoods. Be especially careful when backing out, turning, entering or exiting a space.
  • Costumes, wigs, props and other materials should also be fire-resistant. On that note, traditional jack-o-lantern candles can be dangerous, especially for children. LED lights are a great safe alternative to use in your pumpkins.
     

Trick or Treaters

 

  • Go over general trick or treating guidelines with your children. I.E., knock on familiar doors, and if a house is dark or isn’t decorated, don’t knock. Never go inside of a house while trick or treating. Keep to the sidewalk and don’t cut through anyone’s yard. Remember, stranger danger applies every day of the year. 
  • Make sure children are properly supervised. Children under twelve should always have an adult chaperon, and older children should use a buddy system and be given clear directions on where they are allowed to go, what time they are to return, and how to contact you if there is an emergency.

Trick or Treater

Trick or Treater

 

  • Check your children’s candy! While recent evidence from Snopes and other urban legend experts suggest tales of tainted Halloween candy have been widely exaggerated, you should still check all candy to make sure it’s fully wrapped, clean and safe. Dispose of any candy that has an open or torn wrapper, no matter how small the opening is. Check candy for discoloration, make sure it isn’t expired, and throw away all homemade candy unless you personally know and trust the individual who made it. Bring along a bag of your own candy to give to children during your walk so they aren’t tempted to eat the candy they collect before you get a chance to inspect it.

Trick or Treater

  • Some houses may give out something other than candy, such as coins or small toys. Make sure these objects are age-appropriate, and clean them before giving them to your children. Remember, for small children, toys and many candies can be a choking hazard.

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

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

Cindy Stager and Amy Turner

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

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

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

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

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

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

Must Have

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

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

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

Hint: Sunie strongly recommended Ubering.

Auctions

Rhinestone longhorn head

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

FYI

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

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

The Wilkinson Center’s Spirit of Taos Kick-Off Party Guests Shared Chuckles And Tales Of Parking Challenges At Gypsy Wagon

Henderson Avenue is such a hot spot. Whether it’s dining or shopping, it has been the place to be and be seen. And on a Thursday night, that situation ramps up the population mega times. That’s why traffic jams can turn the avenue into a parking lot at times. A parking spot is as rare as a wrinkle on a fresh face lift. Valets tend to serve as parking life guards.

Caitlin Morris Hyatt and Anne Reeder

But on Thursday, September 28, there were no parking lifeguards in sight for the Spirit of Taos kick-off party for The Wilkinson Center at Gypsy Wagon despite the invitation promising “complimentary valet parking.” But what the heck! Like war vets, guests had chuckles and tales to tell about their ability to relieve themselves of their vehicles.

Millie Winston and Anne Conner

The Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder was surprised. She had gotten there early and parked across the street. But that parking lot with its automatic check-in was a wee bit persnickety. Karrie Cato tried to feed it a $20 bill and it wouldn’t take it. Another guest upon receiving her receipt was informed by the readout that she had checked in a 5:51 p.m. Looking at her ticker, she saw the time was actually 6:24 p.m.

Anne Conner giggled that she had indeed valeted. But it was at The Porch and she led them to believe that she was indeed dining there.

But who cared? The weather was just a step above perfection and a little stroll never hurt anyone. Once guests got inside and saw the booty for purchase that would be perfect for the Spirit of Taos fundraiser at The Lot on Friday, November 3, their parking cares were history.

Meridith Myers Zidell, Elizabeth Wivagg and Kathy Koons

Co-Chairs AC Contreras, Caitlin Morris Hyatt and Meridith Myers Zidell have arranged for Leah and Rick Margerison to serve as honorary co-chairs for The Wilkinson Center’s annual fundraiser featuring music by Blake Martin and Downtown Fever, Matt Thornton handling the emcee duties and loads of silent auction items.

And, yes, there will be valet parking at The Lot, as well as a lot of cute clothes from Gypsy Wagon.

La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Gala Co-Chair Anne Besser Offers Some Helpful Hints For This Weekend’s Fundraising Festivities

Anne Besser (File photo)

Just as Heloise provides household hints, so La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Gala Co-Chair Anne Besser has a suggestion or two for this weekend’s La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas comings and goings.

Since the Friday night event is taking place in a very cool residential area and Saturday’s gala is at The Fairmont, Anne is recommending the following:

  • Uber/Lyft
  • Have a friend drop you and your buds off
  • Use the buddy system and carpool
  • Despite a slight chance of Friday night having a touch of drizzle, don’t worry. The home is big enough to handle the guests inside.
  • Saturday night, park at the Baptist Church multi-level parking lot
  • Saturday night, get yourself a room at The Fairmont and slumber-party it. Think room service for Sunday morning breakfast. No, make that late morning brunch.

This annual summer fundraiser is showy, fun and family-oriented.

Attention, Campers: Ark-Building Activities Are Underway In North Texas

Why did Thursday seem like a dress rehearsal for this afternoon’s tsunami? According to WFAA weather guy Pete Delkus, North Texas is out of the drought condition that was in place on May 31. He also said that his normal 20-minute drive to work took about an hour and half.

Another hit-and-run victim of the thunder, lightning and waves of wet stuff was Fair Park Sparks! The official word was, “Flooding and power outages have now prompted cancellation of Fair Park Sparks. We’re sorry!”

Fair Park Sparks!*

Not to worry. When the rains are dismissed by the solar heat, there will be plenty of activities over at Fair Park.

In the meantime, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League didn’t let the damp stuff prevent the reveal of the 2018 debs from taking place over at Stanley Korshak.

An unofficial statement from Mother Nature was just received: “You complained about a drought. I gave you rain. Now, you’re griping about the rain. Gee, are you people ever happy?”

This weekend the accessories du jour will be Better Brellas and water wings.

* Graphic courtesy of Friends of Fair Park

May Left North Texas High And Dry, But June Is Busting Out All Over With Showers

The weather guessers have been on their high horses about May being the driest May in the past 90 years. It appears that on this first day of June, Mother Nature is making up for lost time.

Rain drenches North Texas

The good news:

  • North Texas needs the rain.
  • School is out, so drivers won’t have to worry about avoiding munchkins in school zones.
  • No need to have the sprinkler system on.
  • Water bills may be a penny or two less.
  • It’s the perfect excuse to stay indoors and clean out drawers and closets to donate to all types of shelters.

The bad news:

  • Those adorable sandals that have hardly been out of the box are gonna get soggy.
  • Drivers have forgotten how slippery roads can be, so watch out. If you’re gonna slip and slide, do it at Hurricane Harbor, not on the North Texas streets.

Let’s be careful out there.

 

2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Reveal Party Turned Out To Be A Gangbuster For Theme And Entertainment Announcements

On the afternoon of Wednesday, February 1, 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Chair Anne Stodghill sent out an email blast to the 100 committee members. It dealt with the attendance for the evening’s attendance for the 2017 CBB Reveal at the Stodghill home. The message was simple — Take Uber. The event that was originally guest-imated for 150 had exploded to 400.

Evidently, the sisterhood got the message. Still, the Jack Boles troops had luxury vehicles parked a block away within 20 minutes of the party’s opening.

Steve Stodghill and Callan Harrison

Upon arrival it was pretty darn obvious that the legend of the Stodg-villa had gotten around. Those-in-the-know directed newbies when asked, “Where’s the Bat Cave?” Steve Stodghill provided firsthand tours through the library to the cave where the masked man held up.

In the crowd were Katy Bock, Nikki and Crayton Webb, Cindy Stager, Joanna Clarke, Callan Harrison, Vodi Cook, Michael Royal, Olivia and Jeff Kearney, Phil Romano, Deborah Westergaard, Holly and Stubbs Davis, Amy Green, Lisa Haddow Shirley, Paige Westhoff, Larry Hackett, Bela Pjetrovic with fiancée Chase Cooley and future-mom-in-law Lisa Cooley. Made sense, since the Cooleys were underwriting the reveal event.

Jeff and Olivia Kearney

Nikki and Crayton Webb

Chase Cooley, Bela Pjetrovic, Anne Stodghill, Sunie Solomon and Lisa Cooley

Junior League of Dallas Ball Chair Isabell Novakov in suede and leather blouse reported that she had her sites sets on breaking a record for the JLD fundraiser… Brooke Hortenstine reported that her mother Peggy Davis was on the mend and headed home… Steve Solomon quickly cleaned up his red wine that had spilled in the entry hall… Nancy Gopez was receiving congrats on not just surviving last year’s heart attack, but for taking up the banner in the war against heart disease.

2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Reveal guests

Just past 7:30, Sunie and Anne took their places on the Stodghill winding staircase with the entry hall jammed with guests. With mic in hand, Anne told of the personal commitment to turn all cancer patients into cancer survivors.

Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill

As the two revealed the theme — Shooting for the Stars — and the mainstage performers — Brooks & Dunn — for the 44th American Cancer Society fundraiser on Saturday, October 21, at Gilley’s Dallas, the co-chairs found themselves being upstaged. It seems that tousled-haired Stodghill offspring Dash Stodghill in cowboy attire decided the time was right to arrange his stuffed animals on the stairway. At one point, Mama Stodghill smiled saying, “Someone has just lost his computer.” But the threat didn’t deter Dash and his critters. Parents in the crowd laughed. They obviously could relate to a progeny having a mind of his/her own.

And, one gal in the crowd was especially ecstatic to hear about Brooks & Dunn. Seems that Olivia had chaired the ball back in 2006 (with Jana Wood), and the superstar duo was also the entertainment that year at Southfork Ranch. Olivia recalled having seen the boys months before the ball at a concert in Fort Worth. She even caught their drumsticks when they threw them into the crowd and “rubbed them together for luck” week after week, vowing to sign the duo up for “her” Cattle Baron’s Ball. Olivia knew the deal was sealed when Kix (Brooks) confessed, “I love Cattle Baron’s. My mother died of cancer when I was 8.” 

Information about tickets and sponsorship packages is available now!

For additional pictures, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

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

2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill had a bit of challenge on their hands for the “Reveal Party” on Thursday, February 2. It seemed everyone not only RSVP-ed, they wanted to bring all types of friends along to learn who would be on stage and what the theme would be.

Chase Cooley, Bela Pjetrovic, Anne Stodghill, Sunie Solomon and Lisa Cooley

Despite the shindig being held at the Stodghill villa and the night being picture perfect, it was still gonna be a bit of jam for all the expected cars. How did Sunie and Anne handle the situation?

2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Reveal Party

Be patient. The answer will be in the write-up that is being prepared. In the meantime, check out the photos at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Put On The Sunscreen And Take Advantage Of Dallas Zoo’s Penguin Days Special Deal

Dallas Zoo Penguin Days hosts (File photo)

The roller coaster of temperatures has resulted in cottons and shorts doing overtime. Just imagine — the end of December in the 60s and 70s!

But what luck! With the kids out of school, the malls jammed, the thank you notes written (well, almost) and running out of things to do, the Dallas Zoo’s Penguin Days special is just made for these balmy times.

Instead of the usual two-figure entry fee ($15 for adults and $12 for youngsters), it’s a mere $7 for both adults and kiddos over the age of two.

And why not avoid all traffic by taking DART’s Red Line to the Dallas Zoo Station. 

2017 Cancer Blows Kick-Off Party Has SRO Turnout Despite Traffic Jam And Competing Events

The world of nonprofits hit head on with the political universe on Tuesday, November 1, on Lakeside. While usually only geese and ducks honk on the elegant drive, on this night it was luxury vehicles with drivers getting steamed. One gent stood on the running board of his stationery SUV shaking his fist at the god of traffic jams.

The jam resulted from two big gatherings — the kick-off party for Cancer Blows at Ashley Tatum’s and Newt Walker’s residence overlooking Turtle Creek, and a get-together a block away for U.S. Representative Pete Sessions.

Linda and Steve Ivy

Linda and Steve Ivy

Adding to the mix was the fact that the Cancer Blows event had initially been planned for under 75 guests, but as the minutes ticked away, that headcount evolved to a number just a smidge less than 200, including Robin Robinson, Linda and Steve Ivy, Martha and David Tiller, Jeff Byron, Kevin Hurst and newlyweds Emily Eisenhauer Freling and Darryl Freling, who had just returned from their wedding in California’s Napa Valley.

Darryl Freling and Emily Eisenhauer Freling

Darryl Freling and Emily Eisenhauer Freling

Inside the Tatum-Walker abode, the trophies of Newt’s past hunting ventures had been replaced by artistic Ashley’s fav artists like David Bates.

Because it was such a busy night in town with Colin Powell at the Meyerson, Adele at American Airlines Center, etc., not everyone could stay for the presentation in the living room featuring a slimmed-down Cancer Blows Co-Chair D’Andra Simmons Lock and husband/Co-Chair Jeremy Lock and The Ryan Anthony Foundation President Ryan Anthony, who just happened to have his trumpet in hand. Fellow Co-Chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill were in Nashville attending the 50th Annual Country Music Association Awards. D’Andra, Jeremy, and Ryan were engulfed by well-wishers and supporters throughout the evening. 

With the crowd spilling into the side hallways, plans were revealed that the Baylor Health Care System Foundation and Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation fundraiser event will return to the Meyerson for its headliner concert on Wednesday, May 10, featuring the world’s leading trumpeters. Serving as honorary co-chairs will be Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger.

Leading up to the Meyerson performance, there will be two days in which a variety of activities are planned. Declared D’Andra: “We’re doing everything we can to make this the most incredible sell-out ‘Blows’ ever.”

In addition to the packed crowd, there were videographers recording the event. When event planner Hamilton Sneed was asked whether the crew was on hand for a local reality show, he looked shocked and responded that they were part of his team filming for future promotional purposes. Whew!

Change Of Plans: The Lowest Greenville Derby Slated For October 29 Is A Victim Of Roadkill

If you were planning on being a part of the first-ever Lowest Greenville Derby on Saturday, October 29, rethink that idea. The Genesis Women’s Shelter fundraising event has been postponed.

According to the website, the change of plans is “due to concerns about construction completion.” By construction, it means the torn-up road and sidewalks that have made lowest Greenville Avenue look like a war zone for ages.

To play it safe, Emily Walsh reports that plans call for the event to be rescheduled for sometime in 2017.

Halloweeners (File photo)

Halloweeners (File photo)

But get over the disappointment. This development means you’ll have more time to pull your Halloween outfit together.

A Gentle Reminder: 2016 Komen Dallas Race For The Cure Starts Setting Up For Saturday’s Fundraiser At NorthPark

Komen Dallas Race for the Cure route map*

Komen Dallas Race for the Cure route map*

If you haven’t made it over to NorthPark for your turquoise jewelry, suede outfit and killer boots for Saturday’s Cattle Baron’s Ball at Gilley’s, you might want to hustle big time. Preparations are starting to get underway at NorthPark for the Komen Dallas Race for the Cure that is taking place all around the NorthPark area Saturday morning.

Translation: If your Saturday morning is getting a cinnamon bagel and a cup of java at Panera’s or popping into Barnes and Noble to browse the shelves, you may want to sleep in. Or better yet, you just might want to be part of the thousands raising funds to battle breast cancer. The goal is to provide $1.3M and as of 9:30 a.m., they’re nearly halfway there.

BTW, if you just want to stay at home Saturday morning, why not check out the Cattle Baron’s  auction online? There are literally hundreds of trips, fashions, services and all types of goodies and you won’t even have to get out of your pj’s to bid.

* Graphic courtesy of Komen Dallas Race for the Cure

Downtown Dallas Is Gonna Be A Major Traffic Jam… Uh, Party Room On October 21 And 22

If you thought Dallas would be ground zero for revelries on the night of Friday, October 7, with Longhorns and Sooners partying and DIFFA’s Burgers and Burgundy taking place on the Ron Kirk Bridge, think again.

It’s just gonna be a warmup for Friday, October 21, and Saturday, October 22. On those two days, downtown Dallas has all the looks of being a slam-bang theater of activity.

So, what’s the big hoo-ha?

  • Klyde Warren Park (File photo)

    Klyde Warren Park (File photo)

    To start things off, the Klyde Warren Park’s biggy fundraiser Park and Palate will be having food, fun and music from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

  • Across the road at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, freebie Prelude: A Preview of Aurora 2017s will feature “10 massive art installations of light, video and sound from around the world” on the AT&T Performing Arts Center campus from 8 til midnight. Plus there will be music in the Annette Strauss Square with the doors opening at 6:30. Suggestion: However, if you’ve got some ca-ching and want a sneak preview, come to the AT&T PAC fundraiser —Prelude Lights — the night before. It will include “an extraordinary evening of interactive art in varied mediums of light and sound, culinary delights, live entertainment by Neon Indian and much more.” The original $250+ ticket levels has had a $75 level offered. What a deal! Plus you won’t have to face the logjam of traffic on Friday and Saturday.
  • Over at the Omni Dallas Hotel the St. Jude’s crowd will be holding the 2016 St. Jude Evening Under The Star starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Needless to say, traffic jamming will test the temperaments of both event participants and innocent commuters. So, if your GPS is set for downtown Dallas on either of these days, pack an extra helping of patience.

Let’s just hope that the weather is pristine. You really don’t want rain on such an occasion, don’t you know?

A Gentle Reminder: Monday Officially Kicks Off Back-To-School And Rainy Day Reminders

Oh, goodness gracious! Traffic delays are on the menu for Monday. The reason: school officially is back in session and drop-off and pick-up lines plus absolutely no cellphone activity allowed are taking place.

Mother Nature's tears (File photo)

Mother Nature’s tears (File photo)

BTW, weather guessers are saying that an added challenge might be the first day of school being a wet one. So, rain slickers may be the fashion du jour. But, just in case, why not put a garbage bag with holes for the head and arms in your munchkin’s backpack. It will take a minimum of room and just might make for a less soggy student pickup in the days ahead.

Also, if you see a school bus stopped, you’ve gotta stop until it gets going. This allows kids to safely dart across streets to get to and from their mode of transportation. Not only is it the smart thing to do, it’s the legal thing.

After the kiddos are back at their desks getting educated, grownups should head back to their fundraising activities. With oil prices being as slippery as banana peels and economic jitters filling minds, non-profit organizations are more in need of help than ever before.

Tips For Attending Friday’s Media Panel

MySweetCharity

MySweetCharity

This wet stuff that has been falling from the skies is called rain. It’s resulted in cooler temperatures, frizzy hair, lower water bills and a wonderful fragrance in the air. Luckily, North Texas has been spared the overwhelming wash that has engulfed Louisiana and Houston.

Now if you signed up for Friday’s Media Panel, here’s a suggestion or two.

  • Get an early start. You know how wet weather tends to ramp up traffic hassles. So, if you want to get to PlainsCapital Bank’s headquarters by 8:45, take into account that Friday is predicted to be rainy. Translation: a ten-minute drive just might take 20 minutes.
  • Due to the gangbuster turnout, parking will be tight. So, if you and an office mate are attending the panel, consider carpooling to save a space.
  • Don’t worry about lugging along your bumbershoot. The garage is seamlessly connected to the building, so you won’t get dripped upon.
  • Please let MySweetCindy know if you are unable to attend, so someone on the wait list can take your place.
  • Don’t forget to bring your questions. Whether you’re the shy type and want to write it down on a piece of paper, or just want to have Ron Corning do his Phil Donahue with you, this opportunity allows for those questions you’ve always had.

See you Friday.

Fajitas Under The Stars Had La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Guests Partying At Denise and Larry Wolford’s Backyard Oasis

Those who thought that North Texas had been evacuated due to the arrival of summer temperatures flirting with the three-digit plateau were dead wrong. And if they wanted proof, they just needed to try to maneuver their car along Lakeside around dusk on Friday, June 17.

It was as tight a fit as bark on a tree. As one luxury SUV tried to negotiate the drive with cars parked curbside on both sides, the “Ouch” sound of its side mirror on the passenger side sounded the fact of being knocked for a loop. It was just too close for comfort.

Mariachi musicians

Mariachi musicians

But it was well worth the jam. The draw was the La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas’ “Fajitas Under the Stars” at Denise and Larry Wolford’s fabulous homestead with palm trees and water features along with mariachi musicians greeting guests at the front entrance.

Connie and Chris O'Neill

Connie and Chris O’Neill

Kevin and Rebecca Gregory

Kevin and Rebecca Gregory

Lisa and Stewart Rogers, Debra and Lewis Ropp, Jeremy and Anne Besser and Cory and Lori Martin

Lisa and Stewart Rogers, Debra and Lewis Ropp, Jeremy and Anne Besser and Cory and Lori Martin

While most of the 300 guests including Anne and Jeremy Besser, Mary and John Perreault and past La Fiesta Gala chairs (Connie O’Neill with husband Chris O’Neill, Lori Martin with husband Cory Martin) and 2016 La Fiesta Gala Co-Chair Rebecca Gregory with husband Kevin Gregory arrived in frilly sundresses and cotton shirts, Jack Gosnell showed up as if he were going to seal a deal. Jack explained that he had just come directly from work.

Jack and Leslie Gosnell and Mary and John Perreault

Jack and Leslie Gosnell and Mary and John Perreault

It was a sorta get-to-know-you-better occasion, since the La Fiesta duchesses and their escorts had only just learned the night before of their matching.

Wolford oasis

Wolford oasis

Eloise Meachum and Missy Rothwell

Eloise Meachum and Missy Rothwell

As the younger set took over the Wolfords’ air-conditioned home, their parents seemed right at home around the incredible pool. Breaking from the rest of the crowd, Duchess Avery Campbell and James Robertson found the walking bridge over the creek to the covered terrace overlooking the oasis. Across the pool was the three-car, drive-thru garage that had been turned into a Mexican buffet. The adjacent auto courtyard was filled with tables and chairs and a DJ playing the tunes under twinkling lights and fans everywhere.

In the days leading up to the event, La Fiesta Co-Chairs Eloise Meachum and Missy Rothwell had been worried about the sporadic storms that had become common. This night was the main reason. But luckily, Ma Nature played nice with a clear sky overhead complete with stars.

JUST IN: Developments In The Aftermath Of Dallas Shootings

Due to last night shootings and the follow-up investigations, the following will take place today:

  • Dallas City Municipal Court, George L. Allen Sr. Civil Courts, Dallas County Administration and Dallas County Records buildings and the Old Red Museum will be closed today and will reopen Monday.
  • The area bordered by Ross Avenue, Houston Street, Jackson and Griffin will be blocked off.

    Downtown Dallas traffic plan for Friday, July 8, 2016*

    Downtown Dallas traffic plan for Friday, July 8, 2016*

  • Among the businesses closed today are Neiman Marcus Downtown and the Neiman’s corporate offices. If you have plans for a meeting or attending a retail establishment in the Central Business District, call ahead and make sure that it’s open.
  • The West End Station and the CBD West Transfer Center will be closed until further notice.
  • For downtown workers, it is suggested to either work from home or get an early start due to parking will be congested due to the cordoned off area.
  • If you have time, consider donating blood for those trying to recover from their injuries.
  • At noon today, there will be an interfaith gathering at Thanks-Giving Square “to heal wounds.”

For further updates throughout the day, check Dallas City News.

* Graphic courtesy of Dallas City News.

The Party Animals Overcame Traffic Woes For Zoo To Do’s 25th Anniversary “Silver Safari” Kick-Off Party

Evidently no one told the internet map services that there had been some reconfiguring of I-35 leading from Dallas to the Dallas Zoo. During evening rush hour on Tuesday, May 10, it seems the old familiar lanes just weren’t headed in the right direction anymore. Some drivers looked like homeless puppies as they begged for others to allow them to swap lanes at the juncture of I-35 and I-30.

Linus the possum

Linus the possum

Owl ambassadpr

Owl ambassadpr

Despite the inconvenience, zoo-loving devotees found their way to the Zoo To Do kick-off party at the Zoo’s the Simmons Family Base Camp overlooking the Giants of the Savanna. As the two-legged humans sipped and sampled and got chummy with the resident owl and possum (okay, so when Tom Leppert got a wee bit too close to Linus the possum, the former Dallas mayor was advised that Linus might find Tom’s nose tasty), the elephants had their own happy hour themselves and could have cared less about guests’ trekking. Of course, it didn’t hurt that thanks to the fundraisers’ gathering, the pachyderms’ happy hour had been extended. Instead of two-for-one drinks, it was extra trunk time at the gurgling water features, green grass and hanging out at hay towers. While it was the same-old, same-old for vets of the herd, it was OMG for newbie African arrivals that had just left the drought conditions of their native Africa.

Elephants hanging out at the hay tower

Elephants hanging out at the hay tower

When asked how to tell the new kids on the block from the old-timers, a Zoo staffer said the African newbies were the thinner ones.

Dallas Zoo VP of Guest Experiences Sean Greene, when asked about the complaints regarding the “bring over” of the elephants from Africa to the states, admitted that he appreciated the concerns, but that comparing the Giants of Savanna’s protected environment to the natural predators, poaches and lack of food in Africa, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of comfort as he watched the elephants chowing down in their new digs. Sean’s hope was that the Dallas Zoo would be a prototype of how to provide better conditions for animals that only knew suffering in their native Swaziland.

Sean Greene

Sean Greene

John Levy

John Levy

Tom Leppert and Diane and Hal Brierley

Tom Leppert and Diane and Hal Brierley

But the evening’s attention soon shifted from the heavyweight types to the heavy hitters like Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy, who will be heading up the 25th Anniversary of Zoo To Do with “Silver Safari” on Saturday, October 1, at the Zoo (naturally) with Party Machine providing the music. Future plans like the names of the participating chefs and live auction packages will be revealed in the weeks ahead.

Amy and Michael Meadows

Amy and Michael Meadows

The host committee is made up of  Christy Berry, Committee Co-Chairs Christy Berry and Ruth O’Donnell Mutch, as well as Stacey and Dan Branch, Janet and Crawford Brock, Connie and Denny Carreker, Ana and Don Carty, Taylor Conway, Barbara and Don Daseke, Holly Bock, Monica and Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, Barbara and Steve Durham, Kara and Randall Goss, Kathryn and Craig Hall, Jan and Fred Hegi, Jennifer and Doug Houser, Margo and Jim Keyes, Matrice Ellis-Kirk and Ron Kirk, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Sarah and Alan Losinger, Amy and Michael Meadows, Deborah and David Michel, Caren Prothro, Nancy and Doug Rabe, Sylvia and Hernan Saenz, Patty and Dennis Stone and Lori and Chuck Whitten.

Everything is moving right head with tickets started at $750 and sponsors already lining up including

  • Anniversary Level ($100,000) — The Eugene McDermott Foundation
  • Platinum Level ($50,000) — Diane and Hal Brierley, Carol and Don Glendenning / Locke Lord LLP, Carol and John Levy, Ruth O’Donnell Mutch and Gayla and Jim Von Her
  • Silver Level ($25,000) — Serena & Tom Connelly, Jennifer and John Eagle, Melissa and Trevor Fetter / Tenet Healthcare Corporation and Kara and Randall Goss
  • White Gold Level ($15,000) — Barbara and Don Daseke, Cindy and Chuck Gummer, The Craig and Kathryn Hall Foundation, Al G. Hill Jr., Lyda Hill, Jennifer and Doug Houser, Overhead Door Corporation, Edgar A. Robinson Family, Lori and Chuck Whitten, Ellen and Don Winspear and Wendy and Gary Wojtaszek/CyrusOne
  • Sterling Level ($7,500) — Bank of America (Photo Opportunity Sponsor), Gilian and Steve Baron, Susie and Joel Carp, Hegi Family Foundation, Dana and David Kleiman, Vicki and Brian Miller, Elaine and Trevor Pearlman, Stephen Penrose, Caren Prothro, PwC, Dr. R. Lynn and Cynthia A. Rea and Friends, Texas Capital Bank, Turner Construction Company, Walne Family/Herb’s Paint and Body Shops, David R. Weinreb, Westwood Trust and Jane Williams.

Luckily, there are still some great sponsorship opportunities still available. But better hustle.

Hilton Anatole’s Towne Park Service Once Again Left A Yucky After-Taste For Fundraising Luncheoners Thursday

Tim Gunn’s talk for Community Partners of Dallas’ Chick Lit Luncheon on Friday, April 1, at the Hilton Anatole was a home run. Only strikeout was the valet parking. One guest waited an hour before the Anatole’s in-house valet staff admitted, “Sorry, but somebody moved it.” Luckily, the vehicle was found. But as the driver left he saw about 50 guests still waiting for their wheels.

Hey, what’s the problem? It was a big luncheon crowd of over 1,200 and “oop’s” do happen. But then it happened again yesterday at the Anatole. And this time it was on a much grander scale, resulting in an automotive tsunami and two major fundraisers having to delay their POA and having guests arrive late for the program.

It might have been excusable if the two events had been handled by two competing valet services, but the Anatole’s in-house parking service Towne Park was in charge. One would think that the in-house staff would be prepared with a game plan for such an undertaking and loads of parkers.

And what was the challenge? The New Friends New Life’s “Wings” luncheon with Amal Clooney as the featured speaker was scheduled for the Chantilly Ballroom, with a projected attendance of more than 1,500. The VNA’s “Legends and Leaders” luncheon with journalist Jim Lehrer in the Imperial Ballroom was scheduled to have more than 650.

Insider info: As anyone in the hospitality industry knows, evening events usually have two people per car, while lunches tend to have more single-driver cars.

Thus, these two groups converged upon the Anatole complex at the same time for the events starting at 11:30. Instead of having off-duty police directing traffic at the intersection of Wycliff and Stemmons frontage road, one lone uniformed man was at the hotel’s Wycliff entrance. Another policeman turned away cars approaching from Market Center Boulevard and large planters blocked other entrances. The result was hundreds and hundreds of cars trying to wedge into less than three entrances, and traffic backing up on both roads. Unfortunately, frustrated drivers trying to cross Wycliff ended up blocking the cross section with 18-wheelers and cement trucks playing “musical lanes” with Mercedeses and Priuses. At times it looked like a vehicular version of the La Brea Tar Pits of vehicles.

One guest who had left their office in the Turtle Creek area at 11 didn’t make it to the Wings luncheon until past noon due to the traffic jam.

A VNA organizer delayed the luncheon program  after hearing tales from arriving guests of 30-minute waits in traffic. That person said it wouldn’t be as bad afterwards, because the VNA had arranged to stagger their event to end after the Wings luncheon, thereby relieving the congestion.

Alas, the best laid plans of mice, men and event planners don’t always happen. One VNA guest who was one of the first to hand in their valet ticket waited 40 minutes for the car to be pulled up. Another woman in a wheelchair moved faster than the cars in the porte-cochere. While guests holding purchased centerpieces patiently searched the horizon for their cars, some Towne Park management types with bellies hanging over their belts were seen laughing at the situation. Or, perhaps they were just sharing a joke?

The luxury hotel’s in-house valet service continues to be its Achilles heel. It tends to be a recurring issue for money-conscious nonprofits. Why? It’s the money, honey. If the fundraiser uses an outside parking service, the hotel charges the organization a fee (usually $3) “per plate” for the use of its parking lot. That’s in addition to paying the outside valet service. In other words, if you’re expecting 500 cars, that’s $1,500 on top of the independent valet charges.

In capturing sponsors, many nonprofits offer valet parking sponsorships. And naturally, the cheaper the sponsorship, the more likely it’s going to be scooped up. But what sponsor wants to be known for providing frowny faces and tapping toes waiting for a car that’s “just over there”?

Suggestion to sponsors: If you’re approached about sponsoring valet parking at the Anatole, ask which service will be used. If it’s one of the independents like Jack Boles or Gold Crown, go for it. If it’s Towne Park, your name just might be taken in vain by potential customers.

Fashion Stars For A Cause Sparkled Among The Diamonds At The Suicide And Crisis Center Of North Texas Fundraiser Patron Party

While the rains of Wednesday, March 9, slowed to a trickle, so did the traffic. Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas Executive Director Margie Wright found herself stuck in traffic. She was making her way to Diamond Doctor for the Fashion Stars for a Cause reception.

Amanda Ward, David Blank and Gina Marx

Amanda Ward, David Blank and Gina Marx

Luckily the blonde made it without a drip. It had been a busy year for Margie. Despite the death of her husband Frank, Margie had thrown herself into work. No retiring for her. She proudly reported surrounded by counters of diamonds that she had added all types of bankers and executive types to her SCCNT board.

Across the way past the case gleaming with diamond goodies, the red carpet step-and-repeat was taking place with all types like 2016 Fashion Stars Amanda Ward and Gina Marx and even Diamond Doctor David Blank, who was on his way to the Mavericks game.

Jacque Wynne

Jacque Wynne

Amanda sound like a true-blue sorority sister said that at least two of the FSFC would be MIA due to spring break. (Highland Park and Richard ISDs, Jesuit and Ursuline were all on spring break)

Amanda was husbandless initially. It seems spouse Lloyd Ward had been in Arkansas and before heading to the Diamond Doctor event, he wanted to check in with their kids.

Others in the crowd for the event were Regina Bruce, Jacque Wynne, Martha and David Tiller and Bryant Tillery sans wife Carolyn Tillery, who was home in bed. When asked what ailed Mrs. Tillery, Bryant said, “It’s either what’s been going around or she’s on deadline.” What deadline? Carolyn is in the final stages of producing the Fashion stars for a Cause magazine that would debut at the SCCNT fundraiser on Friday, March 25, at the Dallas Country Club.