TACA Custom Auction Gala Item #5 — Private Photoshoot In NYC With Internationally Celebrated Portrait Photographer Ruven Afanador

While others may share their selfies on Facebook, the winner of this TACA Custom Auction Gala package will be the social media envy. And this one that will up for bidding on Friday, September 8, will not only make the winner a timeless beaut but will be fun recalling the experience.

Private Photoshoot in NYC With Internationally Celebrated Portrait Photographer Ruven Afanador* (Value: Priceless)

Think of this auction item as the extreme opposite of a passport photo. The winner and a guest will be flown up to the Big Apple via American Airlines for an experience that the likes of Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Barak Obama, Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, Warren Beatty, Richard Branson, Jessica Lange, Bill Murray, Barbra Streisand and Julianne Moore have had — a portrait by world-renowned photographer Ruven Afanador. And the winner of this package can be among the stars of the universe in his collection!

Ruven Afanador photo**

Ruven Afanador photo**

Like other great photographic artists like Francesco Scavullo, Annie Leibovitz and Richard Avedon, Ruven’s unique style has set him at the top of the profession.

But before the first snap of the camera, the winner will be dolled up thanks to professional stylists to suit the lights and staging. Suggestion: Have the guest take a cellphone snap the winner with Ruven and the team to send back home.

Afterwards, there so much to see and do in NYC, but make time for dinner at Adella before heading for a two-night stay at Hotel Pierre. On the way home flight, decide the best place for the portrait to be displayed.

* Courtesy of Ruven Afanador, American Airlines, The Pierre Hotel and Adella 
**Photos provided TACA

TACA Custom Auction Gala Item #4 — My Name Is Bond. James Bond: A Shaken Not Stirred Sojourn

A favorite debate is which James Bond was best? Sean? Roger? Pierce? Daniel? This TACA Custom Auction Gala item will settle the argument. The best Bond will be the winner of this trip that even M would approve.

My Name Is Bond. James Bond: A Shaken Not Stirred Sojourn (Value: Priceless)

Swiss Alps*

There was ways to travel through Europe and there’s the Bond way. The winning bidder of this item won’t have to anything death defying like leap from a plane or survive a toppling building. They just have to be the last paddle standing. Their reward will nine days of checking out the locales of three Bond films (“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” “Moonraker” and “Casino Royale”) in the Alps, Venice and Monte Carlo where 007 wined, dined and tackled the bad guys and bedded the gals.

Monte Carlo*

And, of course, the excursion will include roundtrip airfare, four-star accommodations in three Bond hotels, zipping to Venice on “a supertrain” and then hopping on board a plane to the French Riviera.

* Photos provided by TACA

TACA Custom Auction Gala Item #3 — Spice Up Your Life: Indian Intrigue And Indulgence

Ask any world traveler of a memorable highlight in their passport and India will probably be at the top of the list. Perhaps it’s because of its history, architecture and culture. This TACA Custom Auction Gala package offers a chance to experience a country that makes others pale in comparison.

Spice Up Your Life: Indian Intrigue And Indulgence (Value: $15,000)

For centuries India has fascinated writers, poets, artists and historians. It dazzles with stunning beauty. For the winner of this package, s/he and a guest will have roundtrip tickets to India and nine days and seven days to explore this second-most populated country in the world.

Taj Mahal*

During their stay, they’ll have to decide which of the countless legendary landmarks to see — the magnificent Taj Mahal in all its glory, Amer Fort with its beautiful Palace of Mirrors and Mahatma Gandhi’s home, where he spun yarn and led a nonviolent movement for India’s independence.

In addition to luxurious accommodations, they’ll have a dozen meals in such cities as New Delhi, Old Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.

* Photo provided by TACA

TACA Custom Auction Item #1 — Around The World With Rosewood

Back in 1966 when the late Jane Murchison (Haber), Evelyn Lambert, Virginia Nick and Betty Black Guiberson were trying to raise money for the Dallas Theater Center, they planted the seeds for TACA. To accomplish the fundraising, they held an auction — “it consisted, essentially, of four booths selling exotic food, one at each corner of the brand-new NorthPark center, and a write-in auction in front of Jas. K. Wilson.” By 1968 they had decided to try an auction on television, so they approached Channel 39. It turned out to be a combination of a mega-telethon and “Saturday Night Live” with local unknowns and well-knowns serving as hosts.

Legend has it that originally TACA stood for “TheAter Custom Auction” or “The Auction for Cultural Arts,” but the final representation is “The Arts Community Alliance.”

Over the years, TACA changed directions and expanding its beneficiaries and activities to include the Silver Cup Luncheon, Party on the Green and the TACA Custom Auction that eventually replaced the TV auction. It made sense. Afterall, the garnering of countless items, volunteers and sponsors for the TV auction required a heck of a lot of effort compared to the Custom Auction. This year the collection of TACA Custom Auction Gala items at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek will be limited to just six. Here is the first of the six that will be up for bid on Friday, September 8:

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #1 – Around The World With Rosewood*

Phileas Fogg and Passepartout would have had absolutely killed for this worldly excursion. Instead of schlepping around the world in 80 days, the winner of this live auction package will experience international luxury ala Rosewood style with a guest. Within 15 days, the twosome will fly American Airlines to the following five Rosewood properties for three-night stays:

Rosewood Phuket**

Rosewood Puebla**

Rosewood Washington**

Rosewood Little Dix Bay**

Rosewood London**

The only downside is that it’s going to spoil the twosome for future trips.

* Courtesy of Rosewood Hotels and American Airlines 
** Photo provided by TACA

2017 Art Ball’s “All That Glistens” Eight Live Auction Items Revealed

Peggy Sewell, Agustin Arteaga and Ann Hobson

Rajan Patel and Jennifer Karol

The Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball is one of the knock-it-out-the-park fundraising galas of the year. Not only is it set at the DMA, but the guests just have a certain panache in the glamorama category. One of the highlights of the black-tie evening is the live auction of amazingly curated items.

Last night, Art Ball’s “All That Glistens” Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson along with their Auction Co-Chairs Rajan Patel and Merry Vose held a reveal party at Grange Hall for folks like DMA Board of Trustees Chair Melissa Foster Fetter, new grandmamma Peggy Sewell, always young-and-beautiful Jennifer Karol, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky and DMA Director Agustin Arteaga. Each of the elegant eight auction items was beautifully displayed on tables in the restaurant. But what else would you expect from this group?

Here is the lineup of the goodies that Christie’s Auction House President Brook Hazelton will be auctioning off on Saturday, April 22:

  • ¡ HOLA, AGUSTIN!”* — He’s hardly unpacked his bags and DMA Eugene McDermott Director Agustin Arteaga is already slated to be on the road again. He’ll guide the lucky winner on a tour of the world-renowned Guggenheim Bilbao in San Sebastian, Spain. After seeing the sights of this incredible museum, it will be lunch at a three-star restaurant to break bread, sip wine and discuss art with Agustin. During their three-day stay in San Sebastian, the winner will “bunk down” in the luxurious Hotel Maria Cristina. As for where to eat, toss the Frommer’s Travel Guide. World traveling foodie Cindy Rachofsky will take care of restaurant selections and rezzies.

Compliments of Hotel Maria Cristina, Guggenheim Bilbao, Cindy Rachofsky and Strong Travel Services

¡ Hola, Agustín!*

Foodie Fantasy*

  • “FOODIE FANTASY” † — Two new restaurants are slated to join the Highland Park Village cuisine collection this year. For a sneak peak, Chef Nick Badovinus and Chef Julian Barsotti have cooked up this package for the winner and 12 pals. The tasteful chefs will “execute superbly individual supper experiences six courses including excellent wine and champagne.” Start dieting now!

 Compliments of Julian Barsotti, Nick Badovinus, and Highland Park Village

  • WHEN IN ROME…FENDI ROME EXPERIENCE”* † — Rome is known for the Coliseum, the Vatican and cuisine. But to fashion trendsetters, it’s fashion and leading the pack is Fendi. The winner of this package plus a BFF will spend two nights at the newly renovated Fendi Palazzo Private Suite. And lunchtime will be ala Fendi with a special luncheon at the Fendi Palazzo Prive Apartment. And what would be a Fendi outing be without a “private presentation of Fendi’s Haute Fourrure, as well as customized experiences for guests based on personal interests — perhaps cocktails and/or dinner at a private home or a private tour of the Sistine Chapel?” In addition to a special Fendi gift for each guest, the winner will receive the Fendi Peekaboo Bag by artist Francisco Moreno that will be revealed at the Art Ball.

Compliments of Fendi

When in Rome…Fendi Rome Experience**

Headstart The Holidays With Grange Hall**

  • HEADSTART THE HOLIDAYS WITH GRANGE HALL” — It’s never too early to start planning for the holidays, but who wants the same-old, ho-hum, ho-ho decorations dragged down from the attic? This package will make this year’s giving season a true memory maker thanks to the Grange Hall pros dazzling your digs. That in itself is a $7,500 value. Then to show off your new look, Dallas’ fav Chef Sharon Hage will plan and execute a dinner for 10. (Restriction: Wine and spirits are not included.)

 Compliments of Sharon Hage and Grange Hall

  • THE SUITE LIFE AT LE MEURICE”* — A fashion lover simply cannot arrive in Paris without the appropriate wardrobe. Merry Vose is going to take care of that situation for the winner of this package. Thanks to a $5,000 gift certificate at Canady, she’ll put together such fashions that even the French will be impressed. And rightly so, since this package includes a four-night stay at Le Meurice plus special dinner for two in the hotel’s Alain Ducasse three-Michelin Star restaurant. During the stay, Merry will be the winner’s tour guide for behind-the-scenes of Paris Fashion Week including premium seating at Dior and Celine, plus a private tour of the Hermes family museum inside the flagship store. And what is fashion without jewelry? How about visiting the Parisian private studio-workshop of the queen of contemporary costume fashion jewelry, Marie-Noëlle. If a little breather is needed, an exclusive tour of the gardens of Versailles, including a private tour of the Orangerie of Louis XIV is on the docket.  (Restriction: Dinner does not include wine.)

Compliments of Le Meurice, Céline, Dior, Merry Vose, Canary, Hermès and Strong Travel Services

The Suite Life At Le Meurice**

Life As Royals: Private, Princely, Porcelain**

  • LIFE AS ROYALS: PRIVATE, PRINCELY, PORCELAIN”* — Leave it to the Grange Hall team to take the art of design and dining to a whole new level. They’ve arranged for a two-night stay for two people at the Kempinksi Four Season in Munich and not just for sightseeing. The winner will be treated along with an exclusive VIP tour for up to eight guests of the fame Nymphenburg’s workshops where the world-famous porcelain is made. Afterward His Royal Highness Prince Luitpold of Bavaria and his wife, Katrin Beatrix, will host a dinner in the blue room of the manufactory overlooking the Nymphenburg palace. And, no, the royals will not be cooking the meal. They’ll have their private chef prepare the feast that will include wine from the prince’s wine cellar. All of this is in preparation for the Grange professionals’ providing the winner with a $10,000 credit and their advice on designing his/her own custom pattern china.

Compliments of Grange Hall and Porcelain Manufactory Nymphenburg

  • SANTA’S VILLAGE IN HIGHLAND PARK” — How about being a top-tier Santa Claus this year and getting a load of thank you notes? That’s exactly what’s going to happen for the winner of this package. Instead of a workshop with elves at the North Pole, s/he will have the shops and restaurants at Highland Park Village. For supreme convenience, a personal valet will meet and assist the winner upon arrival and departure between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. And to ease the post-holiday bills letdown, the winner will have $5,000 gift certificates for HPV, Hadleigh’s and Madison, as well as $3,000 for Market and $2,000 to spend on holiday cards customized by Ellis Hill. You’ll look to all your friends like a big spender with spending a penny… unless you want to. To look spectacular during the shopping spree and party season, Frédéric Fekkai will provide weekly manicures and blowouts from November 20 through New Year’s Eve. And don’t worry about ruining that manicure with giftwrapping and bow tying. A personal shopper will arrange for the gift to be wrapped and delivered to the winner’s home.

Compliments of Highland Park Village, Market, Hadleigh’s, Ellis Hill, Madison, and Frédéric Fekkai

Santa’s Village In HIghland Park**

Mon Chateau Privé**

  • MON CHATEAU PRIVE”* † — This package is tailor-made for the most worldly travelers. Imagine having a chateau situated on 154 acres in the South of France with its seven bedrooms plus a butler! How simply marvelous for the lucky 14, who will be able to explore the surrounding nature preserve, visit the neighboring Aries, Avignon, St. Remy and Aix, relax by the pool and/or play tennis after breakfast on the terrace. For the winner of this package, there is also two-night stay for two at the Esprit Saint Germain Hotel in Paris on the way to or from the chateau.

Compliments of Ann and Lee Hobson, Esprit Saint Germain Hotel and Strong Travel Services

* Airfare not included. 
** Graphics provided by 2017 Art Ball
† Mutually agreed upon date(s).

A Passing: Fred Wiedemann

Dallas is filled with outstanding people. Some are above-the-fold making news frequently. Others are like delicious secrets, whose amazing life stories only come to light after their deaths. Fred Wiedemann was such a man. For those who had the opportunity to know him before his death on Friday, January 20, his 93 years of life were the stuff many just dream of.

Fred Wiedemann (File photo)

Born in New York City in 1923, he was raised on the West Coast in Hollywood. Just six months after Pearl Harbor he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, where he became a Japanese interpreter and excelled academically and in sports. Just months before his graduation in 1945, he met a fourth-generation Texan who would be the love of his life — Florence “Flo” Leachman. Following an assignment in Japan in 1947 he resigned his commission, moved to Dallas, married Flo at Highland Park United Methodist Church and undertook a 50-year career in the life insurance business.

In addition to helping establish the highly successful The Wiedemann and Johnson Companies, he was involved with the up-and-coming arts (the boards of Theater Three and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and chairman of the Dallas Civic Opera Guild) and education (chairman of the St. Marks School executive committee, trustee and chairman of the Southwest Outward Bound School and on the boards of the Colorado Outward Bound School and National Outward Bound) programs.

Fred’s passports were filled with stamps from Canada, Patagonia, Tasmania, Nepal, Chile, New Guinea, Costa Rica and Japan, to name just a few. His wanderlust knew no bounds and he was eager to share the experiences. And, those trips weren’t just bus tours of the local landmarks. No, with family and friends Fred would trek, kayak, camp and take adventures.

According to his family, “the greatest, most wonderful adventure was when Fred planned a 15-month sabbatical in Europe, living in Zurich, Switzerland, to celebrate his and Flo’s 20th wedding anniversary. Their three sons [Frederic, Harden and Jon] went to schools there, and Flo began her Jungian studies at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich. Together there, Fred and Flo continued pursuit of their life-long love of opera, especially Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Fred spent his time in Switzerland on the couch being analyzed, skiing, learning flamenco guitar, and writing, with the latter two endeavors being singularly unsuccessful (according to Fred). Nonetheless the Jungian analytical process provided him with a seismic shift of consciousness and a grounding that he valued very much for the rest of his life.”

And the Wiedemann boys followed their father’s love for living a far-from-the-mundane routine. For instance, after graduating from St. Marks, Jon went to Harvard, became a Calvin Klein model, married actress Isabella Rossellini, producing daughter/model/actress Elletra Wiedemann, and went on to become an executive with Microsoft.

For those lucky enough to have attended a get-together at the Wiedemanns’ Preston Hollow ranch-style home filled with Japanese art, one just never knew what to expect. It might include a visiting best-selling author, a world-renowned educator or an artist, whose fame was just in the incubation stage. Why, D Magazine considered Flo and Fred to be one of Dallas’ “Heavenly Hosts and Best Guests.”

In reviewing his nine decades, Fred “acknowledged that he had made his share of mistakes and had tried to learn from them, but that his life had vastly exceeded any expectations he might have had. He felt it had been one ‘helluva’ ride, and he was so very grateful to have been aboard.”

Fred’s life will be celebrated at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 28, at Serenity House at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church. Just imagine what wonderful stories will be shared.

Keep An Eye On Santa

Around here Santa is considered the top-shelf elf of the season. Starting Saturday evening, the jolly old fellow and his team of reindeer will be making the rounds.

Santa Claus (File photo)

Just for fun, here is a link to him on his journey to deliver.

BTW, there are a heck of a lot of local organizations like Community Partners of Dallas, S.M Wright Foundation, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, Toys for Tots, Santa’s Helpers and North Texas Food Bank that helped Kris Kringle fill his bag with toys, bikes, clothes, food and all types of goodies.

Thank-you notes are not necessary, but milk and cookies would be appreciated by the North Pole resident.

The Dallas Foundation Bus Tour Provided Donors With A Firsthand Look At Bonton Farms And Encore Park

One of the advantages of being part of an organization like The Dallas Foundation is the ability to come together for site visits of one of the nonprofits that aren’t on the radar. On Wednesday, October 5, the Foundation donors had the opportunity to check out Bonton Farms and Encore Park. While both are rich in history, they have also had their share of rough times. Thanks to philanthropic efforts by The Dallas Foundation and others, those situations are changing for the better. Here is a report from the field:

From the left: Judy Townley, Anne Holmes, Laura J. Brown, Lesley Martinelli, Steve Holmes, Sarah Burns, Sara Ahr, Helen Holman, Jenny Mullen, Steven Engwall, Claudia DeMoss, Lydia Addy, Carol Noble and Lori Giesler*

From the left: Judy Townley, Anne Holmes, Laura J. Brown, Lesley Martinelli, Steve Holmes,
Sarah Burns, Sara Ahr, Helen Holman, Jenny Mullen, Steven Engwall, Claudia DeMoss, Lydia
Addy, Carol Noble and Lori Giesler*

Intrepid Dallas Foundation donors spent an unseasonably warm October day exploring two unique urban experiments: Bonton Farms  in South Dallas and downtown’s Encore Park . Led by Director of Donor Services Lesley Martinelli and Chief Philanthropy Officer Helen Holman, the donors boarded a shuttle bus to the Bonton neighborhood.

Daron Babcock*

Daron Babcock*

The shuttle stopped at Bonton Farms, a two-acre spread snuggled up against the levee at the end of Bexar Street. The farm’s executive director Daron Babcock came on board to give a brief guided tour of the area.

Babcock explained that the historic African-American neighborhood was built in a floodplain, had two large public housing projects and devastated by floods and crime in the 1980s and 90s.

Today, the neighborhood is improving. The housing projects were torn down and replaced with new subsidized apartments. Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity built 133 houses on vacant lots. And Bonton Farm is growing fresh food which providing employment and business opportunities. The farm won The Dallas Foundation’s $50,000 Pegasus Prize for creative solutions to community challenges last year.

Bonton Farms' goat*

Bonton Farms’ goat*

Donors walked past rows of peppers, collard greens, lettuce and cabbage. The oversize garden grows 20,000 – 30,000 pounds of produce annually, Babcock said. The visitors were impressed. Their expressions turned to amusement as they stepped inside the goat pen. The farm’s small flock of brown and white Nubian goats gently swarmed the visitors and were rewarded with head-rubbing and back-petting. The donors stopped by the chicken coop, smiled at the Berkshire sow and finished their tour at a shed where visitors can purchase farm-produced honey and eggs.

The next stop was Encore Park in downtown Dallas. An outreach project of First Presbyterian Church and The Stewpot, Encore Park is in the process of reclaiming a historic building to highlight the city’s role in blues and western music, and create a new, safe space for homeless and housed Dallasites to get to know one another.

Jenny Mullen and Christy Coltrin*

Jenny Mullen and Christy Coltrin*

After enjoying boxed lunches at the church, donors headed across Young Street to The Stewpot and its Open Art studio. Colorful paintings and drawings created by the studio’s homeless artists covered every wall. Visitors learned about the program’s art classes and shows, then went back out into the heat to see Encore Park, its mural and 508 Park.

The group entered the long-abandoned Art Deco building at 508 Park, which was built in 1929 as a film warehouse and became a field recording studio in the 1930s. Blues legend Robert Johnson recorded there, as did Bob Wills and even Eric Clapton. The visitors marveled at the (nonfunctioning) elevator with its manually operated glass doors and the marble floor in the foyer.

Donors atop 508 Park Building*

Donors atop 508 Park Building*

The group climbed the staircase to the second floor, with its large banks of windows, which will eventually be the Open Art studio’s new home. Then it was on to the third floor, which will become a recording studio for the community. Last, the visitors headed up to the roof, which provided a great view of Encore Park’s community garden and outdoor amphitheater.

The Dallas Foundation is so pleased to be able to provide educational opportunities such as the Donor Bus Tour, which allows our donors to experience firsthand the inspiration and creative work of organizations like Bonton Farms and Encore Park.

* Photo credit: Jason Janik

“The Tonight Show’s” Jimmy Fallon Is Being “Cued” Up For The Boys And Girls Club’s Billiard Ball Live Auction

"The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon*

“The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon*

Just last night “The Tonight Show’s” Jimmy Fallon seemed to take special delight in featuring the Dallas Cowboys in his NFL Superlatives segment. Even the most diehard Boys’ fans couldn’t help but giggle. Don’t you just wonder if someone in The Star locker room is gonna present Offensive Lineman Joe Looney with a gerbil?

But as funny as the clips are, there’s nothing quite like being in the audience when Fallon does his shtick live and Billiard Ball Co-Chairs Laura and Dennis Moon and Honorary Co-Chairs Helen and Clint Murchison know that.

Dennis and Laura Moon

Dennis and Laura Moon

Just last night they revealed that they had arranged to have two tickets to “The Tonight Show” added to the Saturday, November 12th Boys and Girls Club of Dallas fundraiser auction.

In addition to taking in the show at 30 Rockefeller Centre, the winners of the package will also have a three-night stay accommodations and roundtrip air transportation.

But even if Fallon has never replaced Carson in your life, there will be so many more items on the auction roster to pick from including exotics trips (Jamaica, Waikiki, Argentina, Sonoma, Los Cabos), entertainment and sports packages and even a customized billiard table from Universal Billiards Inc. And, of course, the evening at the Hilton Anatole will include cocktails, dinner, dancing and games of billiards. So, get your place reserved and practice up on your game or just watch “The Hustler,” “The Color of Money” or a match between Minnesota Fats and Willie Mosconi.

* Graphic provided by the Boys and Girls Club of Dallas

Zoo To Do Patrons Celebrated The Zoo Brothers High Atop Dump Top

The Zoo Brothers are not a new all-boy rap group. Nor are they Pokémon critters. They made their official debut at at the Zoo To Do patron party on Thursday, September 22 at Mary McDermott Cook’s Dump Top home. With the Margaret Hunt Hill and Margaret McDermott bridges in the background, the Brothers (Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy) reported on their co-chairing efforts for the Dallas Zoo fundraiser on Saturday, October 1.

Don Winspear

Don Winspear

Being  gents, they  first tipped their chapeaus to the previous chairs of the Dallas Zoo fundraiser. Then they fessed up that despite their manning up for the event, there were ladies behind the scenes attributing to their already earning more than $1.1M. Gals like the wives (Diane Brierley, Carol Glendenning and Carol Levy), Honorary Chair Mary McD (Don claimed that he considers the zoo to be Mary’s Zoo), Decoration Chair Ellen Winspear and Committee Co-Chairs Ruth O’Donnell Mutch and Christy Berry.

Don Glendenning, John Levy and Hal Brierley

Don Glendenning, John Levy and Hal Brierley

But when the rubber hit the road, Hal admitted that, in the past, the boys had always taken the role of showing up, sipping drinks and behaving. They now had greater respect for what their better halves and female pals had pulled off for so many fundraising events. Cracked Hal: “It’s a lot easier to be a spouse.”

Mary McDermott Cook

Mary McDermott Cook

The top lady of admiration was Mary, who in addition to hosting the patron party (“the hostest with the mostest”) was serving as the Silver Safari honorary chair and heading up the Eugene McDermott Foundation that is the presenting sponsor.

Barbara Daseke

Barbara Daseke

Joan Walne

Joan Walne

Other gals being recognized by the Zoo Brothers were Dallas Zoo Board of Directors Chair Joan Walne and Live Auction Chair Barbara Daseke, who has produced one of the most incredible collection of live auction items. Like what? How about a behind-the-scenes, meet-and-adore for six people to see the Dallas Zoo’s Swaziland elephants, including the new baby elephant and mama? Then the six will board a private jet to Kansas for a catered lunch and another behind-the-scenes tour of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo to check out their Swaziland elephants. Once again the six will board the jet and fly to Wichita, to see the last group of Swaziland transplants and enjoy cocktails at the Sedgwick County Zoo. Then they’ll head on home to Dallas. And they won’t have to pack a single trunk.

Winspear

Winspear

Another junket is on board American Airlines (first-class, of course) to Washington, D.C. “for an up-close viewing of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park’s newest panda, Bei Bei. You will be hosted by Executive Director Dennis Kelly and enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the Zoo. Later in the day, visit a second Smithsonian museum for another VIP behind-the-scenes tour.”

And that’s just a couple of the packages!

As soon as the presentation on the third level was done, guests were directed to the ground level to check out Winspear the cheetah. Gee, that guy doesn’t need an agent. He’s a vet at posing for photos without a bribe.

Tiffany Divis, Ellen Winspear, Diane Gruber and Kathy Holt

Tiffany Divis, Ellen Winspear, Diane Gruber and Kathy Holt

Carol Levy and Alan Walne

Carol Levy and Alan Walne

In the crowd were Kathy and Richard Holt, Tiffany and Paul Divis, Ellen and Don Winspear, Diane and Mike Gruber, Jan and Fred Hegi, Matrice Ellis-Kirk and Ron Kirk, Kim and Greg Hext, Cindy and Chuck Gummer, Lois Finkelman, Dan Branch with daughter Sarah, Gregg Hudson, Sean Green and Holly Bock Deason.

The Dallas Zoo’s Laurie Holloway was like a proud parent showing video of 7-year-old Amahle taking a dip in the Giants of the Savanna pond. It seems that some folks are mistakenly thinking Amahle is the Swaziland baby who was born at the Dallas Zoo just after his mom arrived.

Regarding the new five-month-old calf and his mom, they’re doing wonderfully. Word has it that if baby boy is separated from mom, he is known to raise his trunk and let the world know that he’s a mama’s boy.

As for his public debut, it’s due to take place soon. BTW, he’s weighing in at around 300 pounds.

And speaking of being well fed, Zoo To Do Chief Chef Chris McDord of Abacus has arrange for the following chefs to prepare feasts throughout the Zoo including Chef Brad Phillips of Asador, Chef Matt Balke of Bolsa, Chef Omar Flores of Casa Rubia, Chef Lan Nickews of Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House, Dallas Affaires Cake Company,  Chef Brandon McCann of Dallas Zoo Catering, Chef Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly at Hotel Zaza, Chef Meaders Ozarow of Empire Baking Company, Chef Jacob Williamson of Five- Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, Chef Chrysta Ordonez of Hypnotic Doughnuts, Chef Nico Sanchez of Meso Maya, Chef Paula Lambert of Mozzarella Company, Chef Anita Hirsch of Neiman Marcus, Kathy Rogers of Nothing Bundt Cakes, Chef Janice Provost of Parigi, Chef Blythe Beck of Pink Magnolia, Chef Michael Scott of Rosewood Ranches, Chef Abraham Salum of Salum, Chef John Coleman of Savor Gastropub, Chef Kevin Spencer of SER Steak + Spirits, Chef Jim “Sevy” Severson of Sevy’s Grill, Chef Carlos Capistran of Shinsei Restaurant, Chef Lisa Garza of Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar, Chef Gilbert Garza of Suze, Chef Michael Morabito of Tillman’s Roadhouse, Chef Jesus Olivares of Via Real and Kelly Buckley of 7-Eleven Inc.

Here is a list of the folks and companies on board for the festivities:

Anniversary Presenting Underwriter ($100,000) — The Eugene McDermott Foundation

Platinum Underwriters ($50,000) — American Airlines (Official Airline of Zoo To Do), Diane and Hal Brierley, Carol and Don Glendenning /Locke Lord LLP, Carol and John Levy, Ruth O’Donnell Mutch and Gayla and Jim Von Ehr.

Silver Underwriters ($25,000)Serena and Tom Connelly, Durham Family Foundation, Jennifer and John Eagle, Melissa and Trevor Fetter/Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Kara and Randall Goss, The M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Foundation and Overhead Door Corporation.

White Gold Underwriters ($15,000) — 7-Eleven, Inc. (Party Favor Sponsor), Jennifer and Peter Altabef, Bank of America (Photo Booth Sponsor), Kate and Lane Britain, Barbara and Don Daseke, Diane and Mike Gruber/Gruber Elrod Johansen Hail Shank LLP, Cindy and Chuck Gummer, The Craig and Kathryn Hall Foundation, Highland Capital Management LP , Al G. Hill Jr., Lyda Hill, Oncor , Edgar A. Robinson Family, Lori and Chuck Whitten, Ellen and Don Winspear and Wendy and Gary Wojtaszek/CyrusOne.

Sterling Underwriters ($7,5000)Lee Bailey, Connie and Denny Carreker, Debbie and Gerald Barnes/Gilian and Steve Baron/Susie and Joel Carp/Mary and Neil Dorflinger/Lisa and Neil Goldberg, ESCADA, The Hegi Family, Highland Park Village (Valet Sponsor), Jennifer and Doug Houser, Jackson Walker LLP, Dana and David Kleiman/Beth and Larry Konig/Elaine and Trevor Pearlman/Jackie Sherman/David Weinreb, Friends of Carol and John Levy, Vicki and Brian Miller, Dawn E. Moore/ Allegiance Title Company, Stephen Penrose, Caren Prothro, PwC, Nancy and Doug Rabe, Dr. R. Lynn and Cynthia A. Rea and Friends, The Rosewood Corporation, Service Systems Associates, Lisa K. Simmons, Texas Capital Bank, Texas Instruments, Tolleson Wealth Management, Turner Construction Company, UT Southwestern Medical Center/ Southwestern Medical Foundation, Walne Family/Herb’s Paint and Body Shops, Westwood Trust and Jane Williams and Ron Williams.

VIP Underwriters ($3,000) Michael D. Anderek, RosenBerry Real Estate Group, Carol Braden and Vera Locurto, The Burnett Family, Ana and Don Carty, CLR Design Inc., Julia and Louis Dorfman, Cheryl and James Drayer, Karen and Phil Drayer, Betsy and Richard Eiseman/Eiseman Jewels NorthPark, Alina and Ruben E. Esquivel, Leland Burk and Thomas Feulmer, Lois and Ross Finkelman, Denise and Steven Glazer, Steve Hargrove/ Hargrove Electric Co., Kim and Greg Hext, Holmes Murphy and Associates, Tavia and Clark Hunt, Margo and Jim Keyes, Matrice Ellis- Kirk and The Honorable Ron Kirk, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Deborah and David Michel, Winstead PC, Janiece and Jimmy Niemann, Nancy Perot and Rod Jones, PlainsCapital Bank , Jeff and Darrel Rice and Mary and Mike Terry.

Media SponsorsPaperCity, Park Cities News/ The Waters Family, MySweetCharity.com and Downtown Business News.

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #8: Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa

South Africa is known for its magnificent natural beauty and the most amazing animals roaming the earth. But there is so much more. For instance, from true African villages to breathtaking estates, it is a world that constantly amazes. Many are surprised to learn that just 30 minutes outside of Cape Town, there is the Cape Winelands region with its scenic vineyards that produce everything from “Rhone-style red wines to aromatic Sauvignon blancs.”

For the lucky winner of this TACA Custom Auction Gala package, a trip for two translates into a fabulous 10-night stay in “lodge-style accommodation” and tours that suggest bringing along your camera and your taste buds.

And if you haven’t gotten your tickets locked down for the TACA Custom Auction Gala, better scurry hurry. The places at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek’s dinner tables and paddles at Friday’s auction are getting scarce.

Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa* (Value: $32,350)

Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa**

Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa**

Experience the journey of a lifetime in South Africa. See some of the region’s most majestic creatures – including elephants, lions, and rhinos – up close from your deluxe Land Cruiser. Visit an authentic Swazi village, tour beautiful Cape Town, and explore the grand estates and lush vineyards of the Cape Winelands.

  • Guided photo safari tours for two at locations throughout South Africa, including the Kruger National Park, KwaZulu Natal, and the St. Lucia Estuary
  • Guided day-trip for two to the Kingdom of Swaziland
  • Wine tastings at vineyards in the Cape Winelands, South Africa
  • Ten-nights of deluxe, lodge-style accommodations and seventeen meals for two
  • Round-trip, business-class air transportation for two provided by American Airlines
* Courtesy of the American Fundraising Foundation and American Airlines 
** Photo provided by TACA

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #3: Live At The 2017 Emmy Awards

Television has come a long way since the black-and-white days of the stand-alone boxes without remote controls. Nowadays there is 24-hour news, breathtaking dramas and documentaries that bring the world to the drive-in-movie size flat screens throughout homes and even on smartphones.

No, it’s not your grandpappy’s TV world any longer and the industry’s awards have annually recognized the quality of such progress at the Emmy Awards.

Need proof? Then just watch Sunday’s 68th Emmy Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Then envision yourself as part of the audience for the 2017 presentation. But why not make that vision reality for you and your best boob-tube buddy by being the winner of this TACA Custom Auction Gala package on Friday, September 23?

Live At The 2017 Emmy Awards* (Value: $17,550)

Live At The 2017 Emmy Awards**

Live At The 2017 Emmy Awards**

Experience the glamour of Hollywood at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2017, where you and your guest will see your favorite celebrities from the silver screen. Enjoy a relaxing four-day, three-night stay in Los Angeles, including round-trip, business-class air transportation for two.

  • Tickets for two to the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2017 at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles
  • Three-night deluxe accommodations for two
  • Round-trip, business-class air transportation for two provided by American Airlines
* Courtesy of the American Fundraising Foundation and American Airlines 
** Photo provided by TACA

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #1 – Artistic Retreat In Marfa

On the heels of this week’s OMG activites benefiting Les Femmes Du Monde, Equest, Fur Ball, Cattle Baron’s, Partner’s Card, Harvest, KidneyTexas, Crystal Charity Ball, Dallas Symphony, The Elissa Project and so many others that are filling the MySweetCharity Calendar, believe it or not there are still more way-over-the-top events the following week. Needless to say, false eyelashes are going to be in need of major league refreshing with all the razzle dazzle!

But one of those during the week of September 19th is Friday’s black tie TACA Custom Auction Gala at the Mansion. With Deutsche Bank Wealth Management and The Patrón Spirits Company as presenting sponsors, Dianne and Mark LaRoe and Honorary Co-Chairs/adorable buds Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing have had Highland Park Village’s Rachel Michell put together a collection of live auction items.

It will be the last one for TACA President/Executive Director Becky Young, who will be retiring on December 31. Not to worry. Longtime art-loving executive Wolford McCue will be taking over.

But let’s start the countdown of mega-packages with a visit to that Texas landmark of taste — Marfa. Okay, so you’ve got to dig down in the honesty pocket and admit that you haven’t been there in ages … oops, you haven’t been there at all?… but this package will have you wanting to see the changes and what makes this the artist lovers’ terra-sweet-terra!

Artistic Retreat In Marfa (Value: $21,000)*

Artristic Retreat in Marfa*

Artristic Retreat in Marfa**

Spend an unforgettable weekend at the world-renowned Chinati Foundation museum in Marfa, Texas. Enjoy behind-the-scenes access and celebrate at the Chinati Foundation’s annual Weekend Benefit Dinner. While in Marfa, experience the 360-degree views of grass dunes and weathered mountain ranges while staying at the one-of-a-kind Ranch 2810.

  • Six tickets to the 2017 Chinati Weekend Benefit Dinner on Friday, October 13, 2017
  • Dinner for six with Director of the Chinati Foundation Jenny Moore
  • Private guided tour for six of the Chinati Foundation collection
  • Four-day, three-night private accommodations for six at Ranch 2810
* Courtesy of the Chinati Foundation, Jenny Moore and Ranch 2810 
** Photo provided by TACA

Cattle Baronesses Hold Raffle Reveal At Park Place Porsche With 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Reveal And Mo-On-The-Go

While private jets were scurrying off to Aspen, the Hamptons and Santa Barbara, the last vestiges of cool were checking in at Park Place Porsche. True, it was billed as the Cattle Baron’s Ball reveal raffle that included

Inspirato in Los Cabos*

Inspirato in Los Cabos*

  • Rolex Sea-Dweller (value: $10,400) donated by Eiseman Jewels and Rolex
  • $10,000 debit card (value: $10,000) donated by PlainsCapital Bank
  • Highland Park Shopping Spree (Value: $10,000) donated by Highland Park Village
  • Seven-night stay at the private residences at Esperanza Resort in Los Cabos (value: $6,000) donated by Inspirato
  • Susie Straubmueller taupe python tote and a hot pink python clutch (value: $5,000) donated by Susie Straubmueller

But in reality it was an overload of Porsche lovers who were waiting to see the black drop cloth pulled back and the reveal of the “all-new 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster (value: $65,000) that will be the sweetheart prize at the 2016 CBB on Saturday, October 15.

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster*

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster*

And for those who wanted to take the chance, Cattle Baronesses offered raffle tickets for those hoping to win the Boxster for a sweet deal ($100 a pop or six tickets for $500) or the other raffle packages for a mere $25 per chance or five for $100.

Richard Eiseman

Richard Eiseman

But, alas, CBB Co-Chair Cara French missed out. She was in London. And her Co-Chair Andrea Weber was perfectly tanned after a few days in the sun.

Richard Eiseman was sporting the season’s trendy footwear after going through chubby toe surgery on both feet. After 21 days, he had tried on real-live shoes and headed back to his flatwear sandals. Hopefully, his recovery at the family summer place in Maine will have him back in loafers or oxfords in time for the American Cancer Society fundraiser at Gilley’s.

Anne Stodghill with gal pal Kristina Wrenn checked out PlainsCapital’s burly mascot Mo, the buffalo, who was corralled just outside the Porsche showroom. Anne and Kristina were just back from touring Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. But Anne had little down time. The next morning she was off to Europe with family and prepping for co-chairing the 2017 CBB with Sunie Solomon.

PlainsCapital's Mo the Buffalo

PlainsCapital’s Mo the Buffalo

Kristina Wrenn and Anne Stodghill

Kristina Wrenn and Anne Stodghill

Nancy Gopez and Kevin and Marybeth Conlon

Nancy Gopez and Kevin and Marybeth Conlon

Others in the crowd included Isabell Novakov, Nancy Gopez, Marybeth and Kevin Conlon, Anne Davidson, John Relton and Dan Pritchett.

Raffle tickets are available here and tickets for the partying at Gilley’s are here!

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.

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

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

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

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

The Best of Italy*

The Best of Italy*

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

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

* Photo courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art

2016 Art Ball Auction Item #5: African Safari

2016 Art Ball Live Auction Chair Trisha Wilson practically considers South Africa a suburb of Dallas. Having discovered the wonders and beauty of the land and its people ages ago, the international designer invested her time, talents and ca-ching there by creating Izingwe Lodge. So, naturally Trisha wanted to include her home-away-from-home for the Dallas Museum of Art fundraiser.

Trisha Wilson*

Trisha Wilson*

2016 Art Ball Auction Item #5: African Safari (Value: Priceless)

Located within the 82,000-acrea Welgevonden Private Game Reserve, the incredible Izingwe Lodge has been created with luxury in mind and exploration all around. Three hours north of Johannesburg, the Reserve is where elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes, rhinos, zebras and Cape buffalo are free to live.

Izingwe Lodge*

Izingwe Lodge*

For the winner of this package, the open-air Lodge’s two king villas and one double/double villa will be theirs for six days and five nights plus the Boma, “where guests will dine al fresco before a welcoming fire” in the evening. And while the lodge is surrounded by nature’s beauty, the facilities epitomize the ultimate in pampering blended with African art and artifacts. From exquisite linens on the beds to thatched roofs, Trisha knows how to spoil guests beyond expectations.

Izingwe Lodge*

Izingwe Lodge*

Izingwe Lodge*

Izingwe Lodge*

As for the wildlife, she has provided ample opportunities to observe them in their natural habitat.

Izingwe Lodge*

Izingwe Lodge*

Izingwe Lodge*

Izingwe Lodge*

In addition to the “Hide, a prime location for viewing animals gathered at the nearby watering hole,” the guests will daily have a morning and late-afternoon game drive around the Reserve with an experience game ranger to point out the various species of animals. Don’t forget to bring your camera because your friends aren’t going to believe the sights you’ve seen.

In between tours of the grounds, the guests can either settle back on a private sala (outdoor lounge area), workout in the gym and lounge by the pool.

Izingwe Lodge*

Izingwe Lodge*

Compliments of Trisha Wilson

Restrictions: No children under 15. Transportation to Izingwe not included. Dates may be arranged through the donor. Strong Travel Services will provide complimentary trip planning.

* Photos provided by Trisha Wilson and the Dallas Museum of Art

Ronald McDonald’s “Under The Moonlight” Had A Tail Wagging And A Tale To Hear With A Surprise Ending

At this year’s Ronald McDonald of Dallas‘ Under The Moonlight gala on Saturday, April 2, at sixty five hundred had a backstory that raised funds and spirits. Here is a report from the field:

Pat Hyland, Blake Hyland and Cindy Hyland*

Pat Hyland, Blake Hyland and Cindy Hyland*

Two years ago, the Hyland family from Waco, Texas, had plans to go to Hawaii. It was a place they had always dreamed about going, but in one night this trip and their lives were put on hold.  At his weekly gymnastics practice, fourteen year-old Blake Hyland, suffered a traumatic head injury that had him fighting for his life. The doctors didn’t know if he would survive, let alone walk again. He was moved to Cooks Children’s Hospital to undergo surgery, and after two months, he and his family moved into the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. They needed a place to stay whilst he underwent extensive rehabilitation in Dallas. For over a year, Blake and his mother Cindy [Hyland] stayed at the Ronald McDonald House Dallas with visits from his father Pat [Hyland] every weekend.  The impossible turned possible and with support from family, friends, staff, volunteers and an entire community, Blake turned his fight into inspiration.

Drew and Natalie Dossett and Nancy and Mike Kerr*

Drew and Natalie Dossett and Nancy and Mike Kerr*

It was this story that was shared at the Ronald McDonald House Dallas annual gala, Under the Moonlight, on Saturday, April 2. Held at sixty five hundred, chairs Lindy Berkley and Hadley Galt and Honorary Chairs Natalie and Drew Dossett and Nancy and Mike Kerr drew a young, vibrant crowd to shine a light on the trials and triumphs of the “house that love built.”

Hadley Galt and Lindy Berkeley*

Hadley Galt and Lindy Berkley*

Blake Hyland and Shiloh*

Blake Hyland and Shiloh*

Board Chair Doug Smellage, Pat and Cindy Hyland and long-time volunteer Mark Adelstein all spoke passionately about the impact of the Ronald McDonald House Dallas on families from across the world. But, it was 16-year old Blake Hyland who stole the show. Decked out in a sharp suit and bow tie, he had a peaceful moment with Chief Cheer Officer, Shiloh, he had the crowd laughing with his mic checks, and he strutted his moves on the dance floor to DJ Chicken George.

Mack and Stacy Hicks and Melissa and Travis Hodges*

Mack and Stacy Hicks and Melissa and Travis Hodges*

As he kicked off the live auction, all the guests, including Mack and Stacey Hicks, Melissa and Travis Hodges, Bert and Hayley Crouch, James Carroll, Holland Burian, Cate Biggs, Kathleen and Keith Cargill, Cate and Jeremy Ford, Lauren and Stephen Swann, Katie and Nathan Walters, Amy and Chase Laws, Dr. Nathan and Katie Walters, Cecilie and Ronnie Holman, Melinda and David Emmons, Dr. John and Radha Michels, Bunny and Harold Ginsburg and Anne and Kathy Musgrave gave him a standing ovation.

Noelle Petty, Christina Gray, Courtney Barrow and Kelly Slaw*

Noelle Petty, Christina Gray, Courtney Barrow and Kelly Slaw*

Not only did the evening raise crucial funds for deserving families to have comfort, shelter and support in their time of need, it also created one more gift. As the dancing was in full swing, CEO Jill Cumnock pulled the Hylands to one side, and gave them some surprise news. The donor who had purchased the trip to Hawaii in the evening’s live auction had gifted it back to the Hylands.

The family will get their trip to Hawaii after all.

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee

2016 Art Ball Auction Item #2: Napa Valley Wine Country Getaway

Leave it to the Dallas Museum of Art‘s art-lovers to know just the right spot to enjoy art paired with fabulous wines and incredible scenery. And that’s exactly what this 2016 Art Ball live auction package offers complete with Dallas’ own Tracy and Kent Rathbun escorting around the wineries and tables of Napa Valley.

Napa Valley Wine Country Getaway (Value: Priceless)

Kent and Tracy Rathbun (File photo)

Kent and Tracy Rathbun (File photo)

Napa Valley is a delicious nirvana for foodies and wine connoisseurs. Perhaps that why Dallas’ fav restaurant couple Tracy and Kent Rathbun envision one day setting up a bed and breakfast there specializing in fine wine-and-dine experiences. How smart this package is to have the Rathbuns serve as “taste tour guides” for six guests to experience Napa Valley.

Hotel Senza*

Hotel Senza*

After arriving via private jet, the group will check in at for a four-day, three-night stay at Hotel Senza. But there will be little time to hold up in the hotel.

Hall St. Helena*

Hall St. Helena*

First there will be Dallas power couple Kathryn and Craig Hall’s Hall St. Helena in St. Helena, where wine tastings and modern art are divine among the Napa hills and Hall’s lush gardens. Check out the artwork by John Baldessari, Jaume Plensa and Jim Campbell. Next stop will be Walt Wines in Sonoma that was the brainchild of Kathryn, whose parents — the late Dolores and Bob Walt — were dedicated winegrowers. The focus here is the production of the area’s premier Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. To prove that point there will be a Root 101 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir tasting showcasing “distinct vineyard voices that demonstrate defined character and personality, from land to table.” This education will include five single vineyard wines coursed from appellations in the Walt collection. To fulfill the experience, The Girl & the Fig will provide a “selection of seasonal, pinot-centric small bites” for each pairing.

Hall Rutherford*

Hall Rutherford*

But the piece de resistance will take place back at Hall St. Helena’s Hall Rutherford for “a platinum tasting experience” with the wines paired with “small bites” from Napa chefs.

Compliments of Kathryn and Craig Hall, Tracy and Kent Rathbun and Julie and Ed Hawes

* Photo provided by 
Dallas Museum of Art

2016 Art Ball Auction Item #1: A Good Life At Sea

Trisha Wilson (File photo)

Trisha Wilson (File photo)

Brook Hazelton*

Brook Hazelton*

One of the favorite live auctions belongs to the Dallas Museum of Art‘s Art Ball. It’s made up of a limited number of delicious trips and one-of-a-kinders. This year’s collection of six packages has been curated by international design darling Trisha Wilson, who knows how to please the demanding beyond their expectations. Here’s the first of the dreamy items that will be on the bloc on Saturday, April 23, with President of Christie’s in America Brook Hazelton serving as auctioneer:

The Good Life At Sea (Value: $30,000)

Unlike landlocked Dallas, Palm Beach boasts a corral of eyebrow-raising yachts for the beautiful people. These mansions of the sea have all the perks of their earthbound counterparts but can also venture through the beautiful waters off the Florida Coast with destinations like Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale. How simply perfect that the winner of the package will enjoy the pleasures of M/Y CRU, a 96’ Westship Private Yacht complete with its own captain, mate and crew for seven days and six nights. But what good is such an outing without friends and/or family. So this package can accommodate six people with its three staterooms each featuring in-suite heads, TV and individual A/C.

M/Y Cru*

M/Y Cru*

Of course, M/Y CRU provides a plethora of activities from the fully equipped flybridge and sundeck to the main salon that can easily convert into a surround sound theater for watching the latest screener or sporting event.

And while in Palm Beach, the guests will be able to pop around the area in a M/Y CRU’s 32’ Intrepid tender.

Compliments of Robin and Jim Carreker

Restrictions: Maximum of six people. No smoking or pets on board. Only white-soled shoes on board. Trip must be booked by August 1, 2016, with dates agreed upon with owner. Available cruise dates between November 2016–February 2017, excluding holidays and any prior cruising commitments. Base charter rate does not include consumables such as food, fuel, transportation, transient docking charges, or crew tip. Meals on board include breakfast daily, and on days the boat is not moving lunch or dinner can be arranged with two dinners maximum for the week. Consumable costs can vary from $500 to $2,000 per day depending on food and wine choices, number of meals on board, and amount of cruising. Acceptance of a standard charter use agreement will be required for insurance purposes.
* Photos provided by Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum Of Art’s 2016 Art Ball: Art+Architecture Deets, Sponsors And Patrons Revealed

David and Ann Sutherland (File photo)

David and Ann Sutherland (File photo)

With the Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball 2016: Art+Architecture just a month away, Co-Chairs Ann and David Sutherland have just announced some of the deets and 2016 sponsors locked down. Yes, the black-tie gala will be held on Saturday, April 23, at the DMA with the seated supper in a huge tent on the DMA Plaza.

And, yes, there will be a silent auction with Gonzalo Bueno chairing the lineup that will include “a Red Tokyo chaise longue designed by Charlotte Perriand in 1940 and a Scarpa Table from Dennis and Leen.”

Gonzalo Bueno (FIle photo)

Gonzalo Bueno (FIle photo)

Brook Hazelton (File photo)

Brook Hazelton (File photo)

And, yes, there will a live auction with Christie’s Americas President Brook Hazelton in charge. As for the goodies, leave it to blue-eyed Trisha Wilson, who has already gathered up “an African safari, Napa Valley wine country getaway and a Rebecca Warren sculpture.”

Trisha Wilson (File photo)

Trisha Wilson (File photo)

Todd Fiscus (File photo)

Todd Fiscus (File photo)

But according to insider sources, event guru Todd Fiscus has been hard at work coming up with “some new surprises.” And, no, there are no plans to have the crane topple on the grounds again this year.

Plus, the DMA’s Junior Associates are launching the new Eagle Family Plaza with Folly at the Art Ball, as the after-party. But you already knew that.

According to Ann, “David and I are tremendously excited about Art Ball 2016. The Dallas Museum of Art is an incredibly important asset to our city, and we look forward to supporting the Museum through this fantastic event.”

As for the peeps, foundations and companies supporting with ca-ching and in-kind support, here is the roll out:

Art Ball 2016 sponsors include:

Richard and Nancy C. Rogers (File photo)

Richard and Nancy C. Rogers (File photo)

  • Entertainment Sponsor ($150,000): Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers
  • Silent Auction Sponsor ($50,000): Jennifer and John Eagle and John Eagle Dealerships
  • Patron Party Sponsor ($50,000): Forty Five Ten and The Joule Hotel
  • After Party Sponsor ($30,000): Stanley Korshak
  • Security Sponsor ($25,000): Sidley Austin LLP
  • Luxury Auction Sponsor ($25,000): Christie’s
  • Invitation Sponsor ($25,000): Dallas Art Fair
  • Travel Sponsor ($25,000): Durham Family Foundation
  • Catalogue/Program Sponsor ($25,000): Goldman, Sachs & Co.
  • Financial Services Sponsor ($25,000): J.P. Morgan
  • Red Carpet Sponsor ($25,000): Neiman Marcus
  • Communication Sponsor ($15,000): AT&T
  • Menu Sponsor ($15,000): Bank of America
  • Moving and Delivery Sponsor ($15,000): Delivery Limited, Inc.
  • Luxury Retail Sponsor ($15,000): NorthPark Center
  • Automotive Raffle Sponsor: Park Place Jaguar
  • In-Kind Sponsors include: Belvedere Vodka, Glazer’s Distributors, Hennessy Cognac, Modern Luxury Dallas, My Sweet Charity, Perennials, Pogo’s Wine & Spirits, Ruinart, Southwest Limousines and Todd Events

Art Ball 2016 Patrons include:

  • Andrea Palladio ($75,000): Olya Sinitsyna and Andy Beal
  • Mies Van Der Rohe ($55,000): Allen and Kelli Questrom and Ann and David Sutherland
  • Le Corbusier ($45,000): Charlie and Moll Anderson Family Foundation, Georgina Hartland/Thomas and Nasiba Hartland Mackie, The Eugene McDermott Foundation, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky and Marguerite Hoffman, Catherine and Will Rose and Deedie Rose
  • Louis Kahn ($30,000): Nancy and Clint Carlson, The Dedman Foundation, Laura and Walter Elcock, Ann and Lee Hobson and Peggy and Carl Sewell/The Sewell Automotive Companies
  • Antonio Gaudi ($20,000): Arthur J. Gallagher & Co./Cigna/One America, Gonzalo Bueno/Michael McCray/Robert Hallam Jr./Mitchell and Christina Sayare/Allan Knight and Cearan Henley, Lisa and Clay Cooley, Holly Hunt, Interceramic Inc., Mary Kay Inc., MDW Studio/Staffelbach, Lyn and John Muse c/o The Muse Educational Foundation and Connie and Marc Sigel/Elements
  • Frank Lloyd Wright ($15,000): Claire Dewar, Melissa and Trevor Fetter, Scott Ginsburg, Julie and Ed Hawes, Cynthia and Forrest Miller and Gayle and Paul Stoffel
  • Marcel Breuer ($10,000): Ola and Randall Fojtasek, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Jennifer and Tom Karol, Lock Lord LLP, Wendy and Bill Payne, Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation, Jan and Jim Showers, Tolleson Wealth Management, Merry and Chad Vose and Sharon and Michael Young

Tickets for both the swell-egant gala and the “Folly” are available. If you’ve already got your spots reserved, spend some of your allowance on some new spiffy duds to be artfully gorgeous..

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour Checked Out Beneficiaries’ Future Sites And Plans To Help Dallas Children

Weather guessers insisted that Thursday, February 18, was going to be a lovely, sunny day with temps in the 70’s. Evidently Mother Nature didn’t get the memo. The morning was cloudy, windy and in the 60s. It would have been no big deal for the Crystal Charity Ball committee members on the bus tour of the 2016 beneficiaries. After all, they would be in a bus and visiting the sites of Captain Hope’s Kids/Hope Supply Co., Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scout of Northeast Texas, Notre Dame School of Dallas, Parkland Foundation, Teach for America and The Family Place. Still, wise were the ones who opted for the Dallas tradition of layer dressing. One gal in an adorable wrap skirt and blouse bravely took a stand as she prepared to board the bus at 8:15 a.m. in Turtle Creek Village’s parking. “It’s gonna be in the upper 70s,” she said shivering. As others wrapped in jackets, boots and scarves heard her comment, they had to think, “It’s North Texas in February.”

Alex Hales

Alex Hales

But once in the bus, the focus turned from the weather to the purpose of the day, with 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter and Underwriting Chair Claire Emanuelson seated behind the driver and Charity Selection Chair Helen Holman introducing each beneficiary. First of the day was in the parking lot with Teach for America Dallas Executive Director Alexandra “Alex” Hales handing out materials including a map showing where Teach for America schools were. Taking the mic to explain the program’s purpose, Alex explained that Teach for America is providing “game-changing teachers” for students in 28 high-need, low-income elementary schools. The goal is to end educational inequity so that a ZIP code does not predict a child’s future.

Thanks to the CCB’s $500,000, 80 teachers will be able to help 4,400 youngsters in South Dallas annually.

Mary-Elizabeth Carrell

Mary-Elizabeth Carrell

As soon as Alex exited the bus, Tour Coordinator Mary-Elizabeth Carrell gave some suggestions for the day (like “silence cellphones”) and the bus headed to the first stop of the day — the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’s 98-acre Camp Whispering Cedars, where “approximately 3,000 girls in grades K through 12 will be served annually.” Multi-generational GSNETX CEO Jennifer Bartkowski played tour guide as the bus managed to make the tight turns through the property. Let’s face it: the pre-World War II camp’s roads built in the 1920s were not made for today’s mega-buses.

Jennifer told how first donor Jan Rees-Jones realized that a first impression was paramount for young people who were entering a new world of education and experience. So, Jan arranged for the Rees-Jones Foundation to donate $1M to create the Rees-Jones Foundation Welcome Center.

But Jennifer stressed that, alongside the traditional scout activities like hiking, sitting around the campfire, sports and leadership activities, there will be the addition of the camp’s crown jewel — the “STEM Center of Excellence, a $13M living laboratory where girls in kindergarten through 12th grade can explore science, technology, engineering and math programs, activities and careers in a unique, girl-centered outdoor leadership environment.”

Jennifer Bartkowski and Audrey Kwik

Jennifer Bartkowski and Audrey Kwik

Inside the Welcome Center, GSNETX STEM Center of Excellence Director Audrey Kwik showed an illustration of what the new facility would look like and directed everyone’s attention to a scale model of the entire camp.

As a 2016 CCB beneficiary, GSNETX will receive $976,000 that will be “used for the construction of the 4,936-square-foot Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Center of Excellence Girl Exploration Center.”

To see them on their way, the Girl Scouts staff was on the spot handing out boxes of Thin Mints.

En route to the second site visit, new CCB members (Lisa Cooley, Michaela Dyer, Libby Hegi, Stacey McCord, Alison Malone and Layne Pitzer) were introduced by Heather Esping and Kim Miller via a guessing game. The newbies were described by answers they had provided during their orientation. Old-timers had to guess which freshmen had provided which answers.

Kay Berry

Kay Barry

Next on the itinerary was Notre Dame of Dallas. For some it was a surprise. They remembered the old building where children and young adults with “mild to moderate intellectual disabilities” attended classes. Lo and behold, Development Director Kay Barry and Notre Dame Principal Theresa Francis took the crowd through the new two-story facility. They saw how, from a young age, the students learn all aspects of living. Kay told how her daughter Amanda, who was a Notre Dame student, had learned to wash her clothes at the school. Kay admitted that her other kids were lacking in that knowledge. Then she told how when her older kids return home for a visit, Amanda folds their clothes for them.

Notre Dame of Dallas students

Notre Dame of Dallas students

At Notre Dame, students have a gym to play basketball as well as a cafeteria to provide skills for jobs after Notre Dame. For the CCB-ers, it was a great visit due to the presence of the children, who are part of the program.

The CCB’s $676,020 will provide “over three years to purchase two passenger buses to safely transport students from satellite locations to and from school.”

Future home of The Family Place Center

Future home of The Family Place Center

Debbi Alves

Debbi Alves

When the bus stopped at a vacant lot surrounded by a tall chain-link fencing topped off with razor wire adjacent to a vacant building just a block or two away from Parkland Hospital, there was no need to leave the bus … at least yet. This location was the future home of the new Family Place Center. Since The Family Place staff was attending an all-day meeting, The Family Place Board Member Debbi Alves hopped on board the bus to explain how the CCB’s $750,000 would be “used to build and furnish the 3,000-square-foot Children’s Counseling Center space, including three counseling rooms, two play therapy rooms, a family waiting area and a children’s computer lab.”

Following Debbi’s explanation, the CCB-ers disembarked the bus for the annual group photo in front of the bus.

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

Running ahead of schedule, they got back on board and headed for a nearby parking lot on the Parkland Health and Hospital System campus, where two mammoth buses were parked. One was a mobile clinic that CCB had funded 10 years ago. The second was a new model. Despite the older bus having been maintained meticulously, it was overdue for retirement.

Parkland mobile clinics

Parkland mobile clinics

As Parkland Foundation’s David Krause, Latisha Blair and Dr. Susan Spalding explained the importance of these mobile clinics, the committee sanitized their hands according to protocol, toured the full-service facilities, and then sanitized their hands again upon departing.

Now, don’t go thinking this hand cleansing was unusual. In this day and age of healthcare, hand sanitizers are as routine as a politician’s handshake.

David Krause and Christie Carter

David Krause and Christie Carter

Stacey McCord and Tiffany Divis

Stacey McCord and Tiffany Divis

But back to the tour. The committee members were told that the CCB’s $789,002 would “be used to replace and upgrade the Pediatric Mobile Medical Van serving homeless children at 13 homeless shelters and three juvenile detention centers.” In addition to the van, “funds will be used over threes year to replicate the Healthy and Ready to Learn program which offers comprehensive pediatric screenings for vision and hearing loss, dental pain, hunger, behavioral problems, asthma, sleep disorders and social stress.” The hope is that “approximately 2,000 children ages infant to 18 will be served annually.”

Shepard Faircloth

Shepard Faircloth

Barbara Johnson

Barbara Johnson

Captain Hope's Kids warehouse

Captain Hope’s Kids warehouse

Next stop was nearby Hope Supply Co. Formerly known as Captain Hope’s Kids, it was going through a name change, but its mission hadn’t changed one iota. Recognized as the largest diaper dispersing agency for nonprofits, this to-the-ceiling warehouse boasted Huggies, Cutie Pants and Pampers, as well as birthday gifts and toys. Donning green vests, the CCB-ers were led for a tour by President Barbara Johnson, Warehouse Manager Sam Mattox and Operations Manager Shepard Faircloth of the mammoth warehouse that reminded one of Citizen Kane’s storehouse with the supplies reaching to the ceiling.

But Barbara confessed that Hope was still in need of volunteers to provide elbow grease. Looking at the thousands of cases of diapers, it was overwhelming—as was the realization that such a simple necessity could be out of reach if it weren’t for “hope.”

The CCB’s $600,000 will be “used over three years to provide additional staff, inventory, a delivery van and driver,” as well as enhanced communications between the nonprofit and their partner agencies.

As the ladies departed, each was given a going-away gift. No, not a box of diapers. Rather, a Hope T-shirt.

While the final stop of the day was near the Parkland camp, it was as different as its predecessors. Like fireworks, Community Partners of Dallas President/CEO Paige McDaniel, Development and Communications VP Joanna Clarke and their team exploded with delight at the arrival of the CCB bus at CPD’s future home. Having been located at the Meadows Foundation’s Wilson District for years, it was now time for CPD to leave the nest and settle in its own home. The two-story, 47,000-square-foot office building had housed engineers, but its future would be providing resources for Child Protective Services caseworkers in need of items for the approximate 20,000 children annually removed from their homes.

Paige McDaniel

Paige McDaniel

Typical of CPD, their goal was to provide warehousing for supplies from which CPS workers could tap. But they had a grander plan in mind. According to Joanna, their new facility would also have office space for other organizations with similar goals to call home.

Community Partners of Dallas floorplan

Community Partners of Dallas floorplan

The CCB’s $1,359,236 will be directed to three key areas that occupy 12,636-square feet in the building:

  • the Rainbow Room, where CPS caseworkers can shop free-of-charge for clothing, shoes, hygiene products, diapers, formula, car seats and other items needed for children whose lives are in immediate crisis
  • the Rainbow Room Warehouse, where the inventory is stored and
  • the Reception Atrium, where children will feel welcomed during their transition.

Boarding the bus for the last time, the CCB team had their marching orders and the inspiration to raise a total of $5,650,258 to help change the lives of Dallas children for a better future.

For additional photos, please check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

Dallas-area restaurants were lacking more than 50 of their favorite customers on Thursday, February 18. No, the flu had not swept through. Rather, it was the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball bus tour which took a crammed bus full of the committee members for a tour of the 2016 beneficiaries like Captain Hope’s Kids/Hope Supply Co., Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Notre Dame School of Dallas, Parkland Foundation, Teach for America and The Family Place.

Captain Hope's Kids/Hope Supply Co.

Captain Hope’s Kids/Hope Supply Co.

Camp Whispering Cedars

Camp Whispering Cedars

From diapers to STEM, it was nonstop education from 8:15 a.m. to nearly 3 p.m. with no breaks. Even lunch was in transit. While the post is being prepped, check out some of the photos from the tour on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Three One-Of-A-Kind Experiences Will Go On The Aging Mind Foundation Auction Bloc Saturday

Choices, choices, choices! Bid on one or all three. That’s the dilemma facing 2016 Aging Mind Foundation Gala guests this Saturday at The Joule. As if it weren’t enough that the event benefiting the Center for BrainHealth and honoring Shirley and Bob Miller wasn’t enough, Gala Chair Barbara Daseke has put together three OMG live auction packages to get hands waving.

Here’s a rundown of the three:

Sky-high Dining In The Sky Room

Have you eaten in the best restaurants in the world and now are looking for a new, one-of-a-kind cuisine experience? This package will delights your sensory system by tantalizing your tastebuds, amazing your eyes and provide the wittiest of conversations just for your ears.

High atop Museum Tower, Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer with the help of architect Bill Booziotis and interior designer Barbara Daseke have created the Sky Room with floor-to-ceilings windows and balcony overlooking Dallas. Dedicated to personal entertaining by Hulshoff and Fischer, it will be made available to the winner of this package and seven of his/her friends.

The menu will be a five-course dinner curated by The Joule’s chef with “special vintage wines” provided by Pogo’s sommelier.

As for food for thought, WFAA’s Ron Corning will be the ringmaster of chat. And, oh, the tales he has to tell!

Gotta To Go To Togo Island*

Togo Island isn’t really an island. It’s actually a peninsula in the bend of the Mississippi River neatly tucked between Mississippi and Louisiana just down the road from Vicksburg

Because of its location and the abundance of vegetation on its 7,207.7 contiguous acres, it is ideal for wildlife to flourish. In addition to the turkey, waterfowl, small game and fish, Togo Island’s White-tailed Deer have become legendary with even the most demanding world-renowned hunters like Will Primos.

Limited to by-invitation-only membership, Lane Mitchell has made available a hunting package for two people to have a three-night stay in the lodge with meals included plus two days of guided duck and deer hunting. While the dates for this outing are to be mutually agreed upon, Lane suggested that the premium hunting time is January 1-15, 2017.

Run For The Roses Weekend*

While the actual Kentucky Derby run only last two minutes, true-blue Churchill Downs partying and celebration is a four-day affair. This Kentucky Derby package is far more than just attending the track the day of the race. It’s strictly VVIP, so if you win this package, you’d better buy some pretty new things to impress the Louisville locals.

If you can make time in your schedule to arrive early on Thursday, May 5, you’ll be able to take a tour of the Slugger Museum or the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience. Take the night off and rest. You’ll need it for what’s up ahead.

Friday, May 6, you’ll have to make another Solomon’s choice between

  • A private tour of “the most famous and successful thoroughbred horses and farms in the world.” Perhaps one of the equine runners will give you a tip on which Derby entrant to bet on. And while the ponies are munching on oats, you’ll dine at Chef Ouita Michel’s Holly Hill Inn.
  • Attend Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Oaks, where you’ll have an afternoon of horse racing including the run of the two-year-old fillies.

Just think of the stories you’ll be able to share that evening at the barbecue hosted by Carolyn and Yum! CEO Greg Creed and other yummy folks.

When the big day comes on Saturday, May 7, you’ll start off with a brunch in the gardens of Whitehall, Louisville’s historic southern mansion. But don’t dawdle too long because even with your police escort you’ll need to get to Churchill Downs for the people watching and the horses breaking from the gate for the 142nd Kentucky Derby.

After collecting your winnings, head back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep because the next day it’s time to head home.

This incredible package including hotel, ground transfers to/from the airport, activities and Churchill Downs, food and beverage at all group events including Churchill Downs are provided by Yum! You’ll have to take care of the wagering and personal hotel incidentals.

But perhaps live auctions aren’t your favorite indoor sport. Thank heaven, Barbara has arranged to have a Sue Gragg ring as the galamorama raffle item with chances going for $25 per or five for $100.

* Travel to and from locations is not included in the package.