La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas 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 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.

37th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade And Festival May Be A Wee Bit Brisk

On this St. Patrick’s Day morning many folks couldn’t tell if it was thunder or the annual leprechaun-Catskill gnomes bowling tournament rumbling them awake. Actually it was both.

Speaking of St. Paddy activities, don’t forget to pull out that green thingamabob that you wear once a year on this day. It will help prevent pinching.

BTW, if you thought you had missed the annual  St. Patrick’s Day Parade And Festival benefiting the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association Scholarship Fund, you didn’t. Organizers made the tough call and decided to hold the day-long activities (i.e. run, parade, concert and lots of beer tasting) on the following Saturday (March 19) instead of before.

Traffic plan for St. Patrick's Day Event*

Traffic plan for St. Patrick’s Day Event*

The good news is that the city fathers and parade leaders have got everything pretty much locked down including when things happen, what streets are blocked and “police assistance.”

Now, for the not-so-great news. No, it’s not horrible, terrible. But it is Mother Nature giving the event one of her chilly shoulders. Friday when preparations get underway and folks start claiming the best places to watch the parade, there’s an 80% chance of rain with temps ranging from 48-71 degrees. Luckily, there aren’t supposed to be any end-of-the-world tornadoes on the docket.

St. Patrick's Parade and Festival (File photo)

St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival (File photo)

St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival (File photo)

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival (File photo)

Then Saturday the sun is scheduled to make an appearance. Only the temperatures aren’t supposed to reflect the light of day. The weather-guessers are thinking in the chilly-willy, lower 60s. Translation: Skimpy outfits may not see the light of day without a major outbreak of goose pimples. It might be wise to pull out that raccoon coat that was dyed green. Or think about wearing those green thigh-high boots. Or, better yet start thinking which restaurant/bar will be nice and cozy with a pint of ale.

Also, if you have any shopping to do along Greenville, do it by Friday evening.

For more details about the plans and activities scheduled for Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, follow the jump:

* Graphic courtesy of the City of Dallas [Read more...]

Dallas Women’s Foundation’s Sold-Out Luncheon With Eva Longoria Proved Inspiring, Successful And Almost Too Popular

Once again North Texas was warned that a slug-athon of rain was on its way on Friday, October 30. Sounded a bit like the locusts and plague were the follow-up acts.

Both the Dallas Women’s Foundation and The Dallas Opera First Night heeded the warning. But perhaps they should have compared notes with the Cattle Baron’s Ball chairs, who are old hands at end-of-the-world weather conditions.

The DWF rearranged arrival for its 30th Annual Luncheon by moving the valet check-in to the more protected area. However, the expected 200 attendees for the 10:30 a.m. meet-and-greet with speaker Eva Longoria in the Grand Ballroom seemed to have double that number. Someone muttered that it appeared that some guests decided to bring their own guests to the by-invite-only reception. With the lineup spilling into the lobby, organizers cut off things off because after all there was a sold-out luncheon to get underway.

Luckily, the grip-and-grin organization was one of the best seen in these parts. Before guests got their time with Eva, their names were written down on a card and placed on a ring, so names and photos would fall in order. Then a staffer would take the guest’s purse to a table on the other side of the sponsor backdrop, while the photo was being taken. As the guest exited, the purse was on a table ready to be picked up and the guest was on their way to join the masses.

Itty-bitty Eva was a real trooper. All in white, she greeted the non-stop parade of guests with a picture-perfect smile. She barely had time to take a sip of coffee in between handshakes and smiles.

At 11:20 the last photo was taken and Eva was whisked away via the hotel’s back hallways.

DWF President/CEO Roslyn Dawson Thompson gave a great welcome address announcing that it was the largest luncheon crowd in the DWF’s history. Ever gracious, Ros paid tribute to her predecessors Becky Sykes and Pat Sabin. Too bad one table of gals decided to chatter through her talk. Some of the folks at nearby tables looked a bit peeved that the girl-talk was clashing with Ros’ talk about DWF’s having given back more than $30M to Dallas women and girls in the past 30 years. They would have learned about the DWF’s Bridge Project that is helping women with childcare, so that a good chunk of their salaries isn’t eaten away.

Keith Banks, Eva Longoria and Ros Dawson

Keith Banks, Eva Longoria and Ros Dawson

She finished up saying that the luncheon at that point was at the $1.1M mark and the hope was they would break the previous $1.2M record.

Just a couple of minutes before noon, luncheon was served including salad (chopped romaine, black bean and corn relish, tortilla strips, cotija cheese and tomatillo vinaigrette), entrée (achiote grilled chicken breast with peach chutney, cilantro rice, broccolini and carrots with jalapeno corn muffins and baguette) and dessert (special anniversary Stout Chocolate, Red Velvet and Maple-Caramel Cream cupcakes).

Just 20 minutes later a video was shown with the message “Stronger Women, Better World.”

Ron and Paula Parker, Michael and Jane Hurst and Stacey and John Relton

Ron and Paula Parker, Michael and Jane Hurst and Stacey and John Relton

As the lights came up, the eight co-chairs — Jane and Michael Hurst, Paula and Ron Parker and Stacey and John Relton appeared on stage wearing capes. Each took a part in telling the audience that for a $90-donation, guests could get a cape, too. As women gathered donations, the co-chair kept a stream of talk going to encourage the crowd. Michael warned: “The collectors are not leaving empty-handed.” Stacey suggested they can use the cape to shield the rain. Another added the cape would be a perfect Halloween outfit.

At 12:36 p.m. U.S. Trust, Bank of American Private Wealth Management President Keith Banks admitted that while the teleprompters were pretty cool, he was going to rely on his notes. He told how U.S. Trust has recognized the importance of women as decision makers in today’s financial world. To assist them the institution has held seminars for women in Haiti, Japan and other nations. Another program has set up online mentoring for women.

Keith then introduced Eva, admitting a guy thing: “I still don’t get the Carlos thing.” This comment was greeted with laughter. He concluded, “I’m feeling quite inadequate, so I’m going to get off the stage.”

At 12:45 p.m. the actress/activist/business woman walked on stage and said, “I’ve been and will always be a Dallas Cowboy fan.”

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria

She told how being one of four girls in her family, she was surrounded by amazing role models. “I saw it all around me.” Her oldest sister Liza’s developmentally disability led to her mother’s becoming a special education teacher.

Recently Eva introduced Liza to Eva’s new boyfriend. Liza’s response: “Another one?”

Eva recalled years ago when their mother bought Lisa a letter jacket that someone stole. Eva was furious. When her mother asked Liza if she knew who had stolen the jacket, Liza said, “No, but they must have been cold.” That reaction replaced Eva’s anger with admiration for Liza’s compassionate outlook.

Eva then admitted that many women don’t have the support that she experienced in her family. The result of this lack of support results in women still suffering from lower wages than their male counterparts. She admonished the men and women in the room that the success of the U.S. is tied to the success of women.

In achieving success in the film and TV industries, she came to the realization that she wanted to help others, but “I knew I could do anything, but I couldn’t do everything.” Her decision was to focus on Latinas.

In discussing the importance of mentoring, she admitted that it depended on the conditions. Recalling how she had wanted to be an engineer, she shadowed a male engineer. That convinced her that she didn’t want to be an engineer. With a smile, she added, “I should have shadowed a woman engineer.”

Her Eva Longoria Foundation has helped women entrepreneurs and schools in San Antonio and Corpus Christi, her hometown. She attributed her ability to achieve her goals to research providing the focus and to the selection of the right projects.

Giving a tip of the hat to the DWF, she said that’s why she likes DWF and its theme of “the ripple effect.” Then she apologized to the teleprompter crew for going off script.

At 1:03 p.m. she was off to a waiting black SUV in the Tower’s porte-cochere. Others, however, weren’t so lucky in getting their rides. Those who had decided to self-park, hit the road painlessly. For those who used the valet, it was another story. Hunkering in the Tower’s porte-cochere with the wind blowing, women who had been energized at the luncheon about leadership  found themselves having their names hollered by valets like naughty children. But with a full crowd of guests waiting, the wind howling and cars running, a raised voice was necessary. Perhaps the hotel that is so popular for fundraising should consider having a PA system installed to share the information that a car is ready to be picked up. If that’s too costly, how about a megaphone?

True, some of the gals slowed up the driveway doing girl talk. But many couldn’t see their cars arriving due to the crowd teetering on the curb.

According to sources, the hotel was prepared for 600 cars to be in need of valet for the 1,800 attendees. They even drafted some extra help from Gold Crown. Still, guests took on a bunker mentality, congratulating each other when they finally saw their car on the drive.

The Gummer Gang’s Zoo To Do Was A Roaring Success With Flappers, Food And Fun

October was at the halfway point on Saturday, October 17 and North Texas was rocking. Taylor Swift was concerting at AT&T Stadium. The Arthritis Foundation moved their 10th Annual Bonz Bash up a week at the Omni Dallas, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra was playing at NorthPark with Maestro Jaap van Zweden at the helm as part of the NorthPark50 celebration.

But, a lot of gangsters and their molls headed south of town.

Perhaps the spirit of Halloween was already in the air, but hundreds of the Zoo To Do guests costumed it up for the Dallas Zoo fundraiser. Co-Chair Cindy and Chuck Gummer had put folks on notice that the Gummer Gang (Alisha and Chris Gummer, Cameron and Jay Gummer and Michelle and Ryan Gummer) was meaning to raise some big bucks and they were going to do in style… Roaring 20’s style, that is.

Randall and Kara Goss, Chuck and Cindy Gummer and Peggy Marshall and Mike Andereck

Randall and Kara Goss, Chuck and Cindy Gummer and Peggy Marshall and Mike Andereck

Admittedly Cindy had been involved with the zoo, but it was Chuck who took his decades of CEO-ing to work to rev up the bucks and tap talent like Mike Andreck to handle the fundraising.

But, getting there proved to be a bit of a challenge for anyone taking Woodall Rodgers, with three lanes blocked due to an accident. But it was well worth the effort.

As Kara and Randall Goss arrived, a flamingo spread its wings and scampered around the zoo entrance. Someone was heard to say, “Now, there goes a flapper.”

Lynn Dealey and Daniel Holguin

Lynn Dealey and Daniel Holguin

Guests like Lynn Dealey and Daniel Holguin posed in front of a vintage car like gangsters and their molls. At another point along the way, a gangster was seen guarding a vintage bathtub where no doubt his gin had been brewed.

Cearan Henley, Barbara Daseke, Ben Fischer, Laree Hulshoff and Allan Knight

Cearan Henley, Barbara Daseke, Ben Fischer, Laree Hulshoff and Allan Knight

Ruben and Alina Esquivel

Ruben and Alina Esquivel

Pat and Charles McEvoy

Pat and Charles McEvoy

Getting in the swing of the 1920’s era, Barbara Daseke, Laree Hulshoff, Ben Fischer, Alina and Ruben Esquivel and Pat and Charles McEvoy heeded the Gummer “suggestion” and went vintage. Okay, so Pat admitted that she had just bought her flapper hat that day at Neiman’s.

Gabby Gutierrez and Gunnar Rawlings

Gabby Gutierrez and Gunnar Rawlings

It was like an anniversary for Gabby Gutierrez and Gunnar Rawlings. It was just two years ago that they met thanks to Mike Gruber and had their first date at Zoo To Do.

Brent Christopher showed up in his trademark bowtie, but kidless. The reason? They had homework.

Nico Sanchez

Nico Sanchez

Kendrick Smith

Kendrick Smith

Jonathan Espinoza and Tara Cheney

Jonathan Espinoza and Tara Cheney

Jim Severson

Jim Severson

The chefs were having as much fun as the guests. While those near the entrance of the Giants of the Savanna and the silent auction got hit by the first waves of guests, others further down the walk near the Base Camp and  Predator Talk were able to accommodate one and all with ease. Everything was served up: from the Dallas Zoo’s garbanzo bean mash with sous vide pork belly and sherry lacquer and apple slaw to Meso Maya’s chicken pozole verde.

Gorilla

Gorilla

As for the zoo residents, they had mixed feelings about the whole affair. The gorilla was harrumphing on top of a hill. Evidently the ape was not happy about not being part of the festivities in the Gorilla Research Center for the VIP party. After all, the hedgehog and penguin got to attend. While the hedgehog slept through part of the affair, the unhappy gorilla further showed his unhappiness by mooning some of the guests.

Elephant

Elephant

Over in the Giants of Savanna, the elephants were having a trunk show and didn’t even notice the two-legged peeps. A cheetah walked to a certain spot high atop his grounds and lounged watching the humans wandering and staring back.

Boa constrictor

Boa constrictor

The boa constrictor wrapped around Zoo Staffer Shannon C. without squeezing too tight. But holding 35 pounds of snake can be a bit of a handful, so Zoo Staffer Hayley P. was nearby to relieve her. On the other hand, Joan Walne was keeping her distance from the slithering reptile.

Alan and Joan Walne and Kelly and Paul Gittemeier

Alan and Joan Walne and Kelly and Paul Gittemeier

The giraffes had absolutely no problem at all with the celebration as guests gave them treat after treat. It was the perfect way to get an eyeful of their 18-inch black tongues. Why, they’re so used to being popular, they know how to strike a perfect pose when a camera is in sight.

Giraffe

Giraffe

Spock

Spock

Giving the giraffes a run for their money when it came to tongue dynamics, Spock the Argentine Tegu didn’t even need food to show off his forked, pink tongue.

And as for the Warthogs and Red River Hogs, they took the night off. They didn’t want to hog all the fun.

For more photos, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

A Gentle Reminder: Komen Dallas Race For The Cure

Get your shopping done early Friday at NorthPark. Why? The NP crew will be setting up for the 16,000 expected for Saturday’s Komen Dallas Race For The Cure.

There are gonna be street closures and all types of stuff leading up to Saturday morning when folks walk and run to raise funds for breast cancer research and developments.

So, what’s a little shopping inconvenience when it could mean that dollars resulting in cancer battling are raised?

Ah, shoot! Why not walk and shop? The weather is gonna be this side of perfect and you just might be saving a life…and it may be your own.

And why not make that appointment for your mammogram?

A Gentle Reminder: Texas-OU Weekend Driver’s Ed

As Stephen King’s JFK mini-series “11/22/63” filming in downtown Dallas winds down this afternoon, it couldn’t happen soon enough. Not only will it relieve the traffic congestion of the past few days, it will allow room for the invasion of Longhorn and Sooners to get underway for the Red River showdown.

Just to play it safe, be doubly cautious about partying. If you have a designated driver in your group, buy ‘em dinner and make it worth their while. If you can’t find a designated driver, then consider splurging and taking advantage of paid transportation.

Insider Tip: Cattle Baron’s Ball 2015

So you’ve got your outfit all ready for the Cattle Baron’s Ball. No need for rain gear. The weather is gonna be this side of spectacular thanks to CBB Co-Chairs Mary Martha Pickens and Tia Wynne taking Mother Nature to lunch and having a heart-to-heart with the old gal.

Cattle Baron's Ball 2015*

Cattle Baron’s
Ball 2015*

But it wouldn’t hurt to remember certain things before heading to Gilley’s Dallas. Here goes.

Temperature And Humidity Forecast:

  • 6 p.m. — 77⁰ and 32% humidity
  • 7 p.m. — 74⁰ and 37% humidity
  • 8 p.m. — 71⁰ and 41% humidity
  • 9 p.m. — 69⁰ and 45% humidity
  • 10 p.m. — 68⁰ and 51% humidity
  • 11 p.m. — 66⁰ and 54% humidity
  • Midnight — 65⁰ and 57% humidity
  • 1 a.m. — 64⁰ and 60% humidity

Get the feeling that you won’t be suffering a heatstroke. But you won’t be shivering either. It will be the perfect time to bring out that cute vest or denim jacket. Or sling your fav pashmina over your shoulder? It’s been in hiding for months.

Parking and Arriving:

  • Get there early, but don’t leave early. There’s so much going on.
  • No matter if you’re riding your favorite hoss, driving yourself or being chauffeured to and fro, your parking hangtag is an absolute must. If you didn’t receive a hangtag, contact Cattle Baron’s ASAP at 214.443.9222.
  • Driving yourself
    • If you’re wondering where you should park, check your parking hangtag.
    • Shuttles will be running every five minutes, so you won’t have to wait very long for a lift.
    • If you’re now rethinking the “drive-yourself” idea, consider using CBB supporters Wynne Transportation and Cowboy Cab. That way you’ll look like a big spender, save wear and tear on your car and can party hardy without worrying about the drive home. BTW, Cowboy Cab Depot is less than a block from Gilley’s Dallas.
  •  Limo-ing
    Cattle Baron's limo lineup (File photo)

    Cattle Baron’s limo lineup (File photo)

    • Git out of your vehicle lickety-split quick. This street is going to very, very busy.
    • Get your driver’s phone number to notify him/her when you want to leave. Do not keep them waiting at the curb.
  • Handicapped parking
    • Gary Ferraro (File photo)

      Gary Ferraro (File photo)

      Those with handicapped parking placard/plates should go directly to Gilley’s Dallas, where the Jack Boles valets sponsored by Brierley + Partners will direct you on where to park.

Don’t Leave Home Without Items:

  • Tickets — You’ve gotta have them throughout the night. When you arrive, there will be folks tearing a part of your ticket off. Don’t dump it! Because you’ll need it to get into the concert tent.
  • Do not forget your “Favor Bag” ticket. One per couple. Come 10 p.m. the bags sponsored once again by Inwood National Bank will be available for pickup at the main entrance.
  • Cellphones…as if you’d go anywhere without it!  You’ll have plenty of peeps and things to cellphoto.

Leave At Home:

  • Diets.
  • Attitudes.
  • Tuxedos and ball gowns.
  • Pets.
  • Umbrellas, goulashes, rain gear, snow tires, etc.

What To Do

Tim McGraw*

Tim McGraw*

  • Bid, bid, bid! Not only will you possibly take something home or win a trip, you’ll be providing funds to fight cancer.
  • Eat! There’s gonna be so much food and all types of beverages. Better wear expando-matic jeans. And don’t forget the Midnight Breakfast that will have biscuits with country gravy, spicy-sausage-and-egg tacos and warm-house-made cinnamon rolls.
  • Listen! In addition to hearing the bids coming in at the live auction, you’re gonna hear some incredible music and singing — Aaron Einhouse at the VIP Baron Party, The Ray Johnston Band on the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch/U.S. Trust Live Auction Stage, Studio 54 Band at the After Party and hunky Tim McGraw on the Andrews Distributing Main Stage.
* Graphics courtesy 
of Cattle Baron's 
Ball 2015

Insider Tips: How To Survive The First Daze Of School

Tomorrow for many is the first day of the school year. Here are some friendly suggestions to make it a little less stressful for you:

  • If you have kids, have them pick out their first-day clothes tonight. It will save panic and delays tomorrow morning.
  • Get an early start on the day. Traffic is going to be heavier than usual.
  • Don’t have Uber take your kids to school… at least, not on the first day.
  • Slow down in school zones.
  • Do not text anytime when driving a vehicle.
  • Do not talk on your cellphone in school zones.
  • If a school bus stops to let students enter or exit, stay put until the bus starts moving.
  • Put off visiting Office Depot. It’s gonna be Six Flags Over School Supplies for the next couple of days. You probably learned that lesson last week when Bed Bath & Beyond and Target were invaded by SMU students and their folks.
  • If you have munchkins, whatever the age, have dinner with them and talk about the day’s activities.
  • Find out the names of your kids’ teachers, write them a note and mail it to them at the school. No, don’t bribe them or brag about your Johnny or Joanie. Instead thank them for being a teacher.
  • If you’re a grandparent, call your grandkids and tell them how their parents were on their first day of school.
  • If you’re a kid, be patient. Adults are funny critters. If your mom starts tearing up when she sees you off to school, understand this is also her first day of your school year.

Ah, remember the good, old school days. Naw, we don’t either.