JUST IN: 30th Anniversary Mad Hatter’s Tea Theme, Date And Plans Revealed

Last night 2018 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Venise Stuart announced plans for the annual fundraiser benefiting the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum‘s A Woman’s Garden at the Dallas Arboretum.

Melissa Lewis

Venise Stuart

On the ground level of Tootsies, Venise revealed that the 30th anniversary would be a salute to the grandeur and elegance of a bygone era.

A Garden By The Sea*

Women’s Council of the Arboretum President Melissa Lewis stressed it was not a Gatsby-period theme. Rather think of the Vanderbilts summered in Newport at The Breakers, Marble House and Rough Point, when the magnificent estates enjoyed the cool breezes.  

To visually explain the feel, Melissa and Venise unveiled the graphic designed by Lynn Dealey that benefited the “A Garden By The Sea” theme perfectly.

Serving at honorary chair will be Linda Burk, who has been a longtime supporter of the Arboretum.

The fashion show of Tootsies fashions and luncheon will take place on Thursday, April 12, at the Arboretum under the direction of Jan Strimple.

As for the chapeau judging details, stay tuned.

* Graphic credit: Lynn Dealey

Dallas Zoo Flamingos Did Head Turns For Zoo To Do Patrons As The Owl Stared On And The Possum Got Paws On With His Meal

Despite North Texas waking up to the first chill of the season on Wednesday, October 25, and the traffic watchers preparing for an afternoon challenge due to a Presidential visit, fundraising didn’t slow down one iota.

Over at SMU’s Collins Center, Hal Brierley assembled Bob Crandall, Doug Parker and other major types for a reception and panel discussion called “Customer Engagement: From Conception to Industry Leadership.”

Diane Brierley was scrambling. In addition to watching husband Hal’s program, her must-do-list had her at Amy and Mitchell Malone’s home for the Dallas Zoo‘s Zoo-To-Do patron party.

Known for her agility and event juggling, Diane had a driver transport her to SMU for Hal’s program and then at an agreed-to-time the driver picked her up and drove her to the Malone’s home. As for getting home, Diane just crossed the street to the Brierley homestead.

Diane Brierley

Don and Barbara Daseke

As for the evening, the Malones’ backyard was ideal overlooking Turtle Creek and with guests like Diane and Zoo-To-Do Co-Chair Barbara Daseke providing handouts to the Dallas Zoo showgirls (aka the flamingos).

Possum

Owl

Over on a table, the possum managed to enjoy a meal with paws in the bowl. As the little critter munched away, guests learned that possums are not long timers. They tend to live only eight years and are not very picky about their diets. Think carrion. But on this night it was a healthy diet of nuts and fruit.

The newbie on the scene was Dulce. The young owl that was wide-eyed spied Zoo-To-Do Co-Chair Don Daseke, Dallas Zoo Executive Director/CEO Gregg Hudson, Joan and Alan Walne, Beth Mayfield and Alina and Ruben Esquivel.

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show Ponied Up With Fashions, Awards And Laughs Thanks To Chair Beth Thoele

Beth Thoele and Angie Kadesky

There are those rare people in fundraising who literally break the ice much to the delight of others with their oops and refreshing spontaneity. On Tuesday, October 3, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele rose to the pinnacle of those ranks of endearment.

Initially, it was a challenge with the weather. One guests swore, “Houston shipped their humidity up here.”

Equest team

Still, the ladies marshaled on as they checked in at the club’s porte-cochere just past the Equest mini-ambassadors, Cisco and Dare, and the dapper riders on their steeds. While the equine set was quite content on the club’s lawn, the guests like Equest Board of Directors Chair Andy Steingasser, Sarah LosingerCara French, Melinda Rathke, Nuz Morshed, Allison Presser, Stacey Walker, Emilynn Wilson and Joanna Clarke discovered rows of beverages awaiting them. One gal announced, “There’s a mimosa with my name on it.”

Inside the club, the ballroom was filling to the max with the likes of Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky, Equest Executive Director Lili Kellogg, Sarah Losinger, Lisa Cooley, Linda SecrestJennifer Dix, Pam Perella, Leslie Diers, Christie Carter, Claire Emanuelson, Amy Hegi, Libby Hegi, Leigh Anne Haugh, Jennifer Swift and Vicki Howland.

Nuz Morshed, Melinda Rathke and Allison Presser

Leslie Diers, Pam Perella, Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson

But according to schedule, the infamous voice over the PA system stressed the need to get guests in chairs, which this crew did.

Considered the little sister of the Crystal Charity Ball (perhaps that’s because so many past chairs, presidents and attendees are CCB-ers), there was a certain panache in the air.

Robyn and Don Conlon

Unlike the week-ago KidneyTexas Runway Report with celeb emcee Ron Corning with a glittery crutch and KLUV’s Jody Dean raising funds with a live auction, this one is traditionally as proper at your grandmother’s thank-you notes. Instead of a live auction or the fearful shout-out for funds, there is just a certain simplicity that keeps things a-going.

Reins of Hope scarf

 After Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky introduced Tova Sido for the invocation, Beth arrived at the podium to present Honorary Chair Robyn Conlon with her husband Don Conlon at her side and daughters-in-law Marybeth Conlon and slowly-becoming-blonde Megan Conlon.

Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne

Beth then announced that a one-of-a-kind scarf had been created by Katherine Coker celebrating Equest and would be on sale at the lunch for $150. She then introduced Mother of Equest Women’ Auxiliary Founder Louise Griffeth, who reported that despite last year’s anonymous matching offer, they were gearing up to top that number for the Equest Hooves for Heroes and other programs supported by Equest. The 2017 Equest Awards for Community Service Co-Honorees/sisters Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne were presented Tiffany boxes by a couple of hunky dressage-attired fellas.

But this year there was an unplanned twist. It was Beth. Sure, she had a script, but it didn’t always go as planned. For instance, in announcing that she was handing over the “reins” to 2018 Luncheon chair Heather Randall, she said, “Good luck.” But there was a slight tone in Beth’s voice that resulted in the crowd busting out in laughter. Beth quickly recovered saying that she meant really, sincerely good luck. The laughter only continued.

Veronica Beard fashion

Hadleigh fashion

Lela Rose fashion

Escada fashion

Etro fashion

Market fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

Then it was on with the show with fashions from HP Village merchants Veronica Beard, Hadleigh’s, Lela Rose, Escada, Etro, Market and Carolina Herrera. Naturally, the willowy, poreless models were upstaged by the adorable munchkins in Hadleigh’s fashions.

The show was well edited with HP Village merchants videotaping their merchandise on the catwalk.

So as the guest adjourned to their tables, what was the talk of the day? St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon Co-Chair Nancy Gopez was receiving congrats on moving the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser to NorthPark Center… Table talk was about what TV shows were being watched — “Game of Thrones,” “Rain,”  etc. ….Tanya Foster was snapping shots of The Garden Gate centerpieces with a spanking new iPhone 8 Plus. Seems husband Pete Foster was using Tanya as sort of a guinea pig and was holding out for the iPhone 10… Lisa Ogle was writing a check for a scarf or one of the centerpieces…Mary Meier-Evans had to duck out early and get back to work at Sons of the Flag.

Despite all the festivities and laughter, no one knew that in the days preceding, red-haired Beth had been masterfully juggling another life issue… her mother-in-law had been in hospice and died the weekend before. But that is Beth. She champions on with compassion and without a glimmer of self-pity.   

For more photos of the fashions and faces, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Thanks to Ted Dealey’s Grandson Rusty Dealey’s Surprise Announcement At The Fur Ball, The Family Support Of The SPCA Of Texas Continued

With loads of animals hitting the SPCA of Texas facilities thanks to hurricanes and abusive situations, a black-tie crowd of more than 800 guests rallied in the Omni Dallas’ Dallas Ballroom on Saturday, September 30.

But before that happened, the crowd at the “Reigning Cats and Dogs” was shoulder-to-shoulder with tiaras topping coiffured heads in the lobby. As Barbara and Jim Moroney headed to the registration table, other members of The Dallas Morning News family like longtime DMN photographer David Woo were already partying. Only seemed appropriate, as the DMN was to receive 2017 Spencer Humanitarian Award.

Russell “Rusty” Dealey and Debra Burns*

But there was still more news to come during the meal. SPCA Development Director Debra Burns recalled how before moving to the state-of-the-art Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center on I-30, the SPCA had occupied much smaller facilities just off of then-Irving Blvd., now known as Riverfront Blvd. It was named the G.B. “Ted” Dealey Animal Care Center. Debra told how on her first day with the SPCA, she had discovered a photo of Joe Dealey and George Jalonick at the opening of the facilities back in the 1970s. That set her sights on continuing the family’s involvement in the 21st century SPCA. Sure, the late Betty Moroney Norsworthy’s estate had contributed a $1M gift to kick off the fundraising in 2003 for the future Rees-Jones facility. But that was more than a decade ago, and the SPCA’s programs and services had grown dramatically. She got together with Ted’s grandson Russell “Rusty” Dealey and the two of them pulled off a major surprise that was only revealed at the gala — Rusty’s gifting $1M for the 41,000 square-foot rescue center that opened in 2015. According to Debra, not even the family nor Rusty’s accountant knew about his generous gift.

Amy Bailey and little fella

Lynn McBee, Joe B Clark and Paige McDaniel

But before the announcement of the gift was made at the dinner, the cocktail reception continued with Amy Bailey cuddling up with a “boy toy” looking for a permanent hug… Lynn McBee may have been solo because husband Allan McBee was out of town, but she soon ran into Paige McDaniel and Joe B ClarkKaty and Lawrence Bock reported that they were still getting rave reviews from the Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction preview at their home base in Preston Center. Katy, who will be co-chairing the 2018 CBB, said things were moving along, but she sorta hated the thought of just one more year with the organization. Seems CBB bylaws require old CBB chairs to retire from hands-on involvement. Lawrence comforted Katy by saying there would probably be other organizations in her future…. Checking out the acres of silent auction items were Mary Frances Burleson and Lori Ferguson ….Alas, longtime animal-loving Diane Brierley was a no-show. But, she had a valid excuse. Earlier in the day she had hurt her paw foot and was homebound. 

Lawrence and Katy Bock

Mary Frances Burleson, James Bias and Lori Ferguson

Once the ballroom doors opened, the fundraising ramped up. Here’s a report from the field:

Each beautifully appointed table was graced with gorgeous floral centerpieces complete with golden crowns thanks to Dr Delphinium. The delightful dinner included a salad of butter lettuce and seasonal greens salad with spiced pecans, goat cheese, and pancetta served with a Sherry Vinaigrette along with entrees, either Beef ‘Wellington’ petite filet and slow roasted salmon with mushroom duxelle, puff pastry, Pomme Dauphinois, green bean bundle, baby carrot, roasted radish and acorn squash bordelaise or Herb Creamed Spinach Stuffed portabella mushroom with steamed rice, green bean bundle, roasted vegetables baby carrot, acorn squash and radish in red pepper sauce. The delicious dessert was a Black Forest cheese cake with chocolate and vanilla sauce with a gold-flecked cherry garnish.

Subbing in for WFAA’s Ron Corning, who had to bail out due to a previous commitment was “Good Morning Texas’” Alanna Sarabia wearing her glittering Fiesta Queen crown. As past reigning Miss San Antonio and Fiesta Queen, her platform was the importance of responsible pet ownership as well as spaying and neutering pets to curb overpopulation for the health and safety of the community. Ms. Sarabia spoke about the importance of pets in all our lives, remembering that pets were furry siblings as she grew up and an important part of her life ever since. She thanked guests for their support and partnership to help the SPCA of Texas rescue, heal, and find homes for abandoned and abused animals.

SPCA of Texas President and CEO James Bias, welcomed guests, staff and volunteers, thanked sponsors and shared with guests the important work the SPCA of Texas is able to perform thanks to the community’s support, such as saving animals on a cruelty case like the 100 dogs seized from a puppy mill the previous Monday, providing spay or neuter services to tens of thousands of pets in Southern Dallas and all of North Texas, and, most recently, saying yes to caring for over 600 animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. James also thanked the SPCA of Texas’ board of directors for their guidance and spoke about how the SPCA of Texas’ staff, volunteers and partners are intently focused at all times on saving lives, making a difference and never resting until the organization makes our community a better place for people and their pets. 

Jocelyn White and Katy Murray

James and SPCA of Texas Board Chair and Chief Financial Officer for A. H. Belo Corporation Katy Murray presented the 2017 Spencer Humanitarian Award to The Dallas Morning News for their comprehensive, ongoing coverage of the loose dog problem and subsequent suffering of animals and people in Southern Dallas. Publisher of The Dallas Morning News Publisher/A.H. Belo CEO Jim Moroney accepted the award, and was joined by several members of the editorial staff. The Spencer Humanitarian Award, named for warm-hearted entrepreneur and long-tenured, past SPCA of Texas Board member Mary Spencer, recognizes an individual, company or group whose extraordinary efforts have made a positive difference for animals. The Dallas Morning News has and continues to shine a light on the heartbreaking issue of suffering on the part of people and pets taking place in the most underserved area in Dallas. Their coverage in no small part contributed to the subsequent funding of the largest-scale spay/neuter, vaccination and microchipping effort in the nation to date by many of the most prominent charities in North Texas. Their voice, calling attention to animal issues, is loud, clear and unwavering, and the pets and people of North Texas are fortunate indeed for this.

SPCA Senior VP for Development Debra Burns wrapped up by thanking guests, and announcing a surprise $1 million gift from Russell E. Dealey. The SPCA of Texas is grateful for Mr. Dealey’s tremendous gift, and has re-named its Animal Rescue Center in Dallas the “Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center.”

Guests then bid often and bid high on the evening’s nine fabulously over-the-top live auction items and “Pony Up for Paws” raise the paddle feature. High-rolling patrons won delicious dining experiences, glamorous getaways to Telluride and New York City, a decadent “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” spa and shopping package and more. The top three live auction items of the evening were all once-in-a-lifetime experiences. One of these was a two day, two night package for four to the world-renowned animal sanctuary, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, complete with personalized tours and more. Others were a getaway to Mountain Lodge in Telluride, Colorado and a fabulous Thanksgiving Day in New York, New York.  

Fur Ball 2016 then brought the high-voltage fun with headline entertainment by Dallas’ ultimate party band, Limelight. Guests rushed the dance floor and partied until after Midnight. 

Fur Ball 2016 was a tail-wagging success thanks to Event Chair Cindy Lindsley; Event Co-Chairs Laura Floyd, Allie Jarvie and Jennifer Lindsley; Auction Chair Sandra Fite and Auction Co-Chair Cameron Gummer.

The SPCA of Texas sincerely thanks special partners, including 

  • Diamond sponsor: Russell E. Dealey;
  • Sapphire sponsors: Barefoot Wine and Bubbly, Lydia and Bill Addy, Colin and Sandra Fite, Marsha Pendleton-Gray and Richard Gray, H/3 Foundation, Northern Trust, Trevor and Jan Rees-Jones and Sewell Automotive;
  • Ruby sponsors: Dr Delphinium and Rebecca Farris;
  • Emerald sponsors: Carla J. Brandt, Linda and Ozzie Chapa, Jill Bee and Loren Glasser, Guaranty Bank and Trust, Holly and Philip Huffines, Nancy and Ty Merelli, Milagro Tequila, Thompson and Knight Foundation, Come from Away – A New Musical and Webb Family Foundation;
  • Corporate Royal Gem sponsors: AG&E Structural Engenuity, Alliance Insurance, Cityvet, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Hollywood Feed, Merck Animal Health, Heineken, OrangeTheory Fitness, Origin Bank, PBK, RKD Group, Swiss Avenue Women’s Guild, Tejas Ranch & Game Fence, VCA Animal Hospitals, Vinson and Elkins LLP and Whole Foods Market;
  • Media Sponsors: Modern Luxury Magazine and Slingshot.

Guests included the Rees-Jones clan (Jan and Trevor, Jenny and Trevor, Margaret and David), Sally Anne Hudnall, Stacey and Don KivowitzGwen and Leldon Echols, Gigi Potter Salley, Phillip and Holly Huffines, Beth and Steve Jarvie, Lynn and Peter Dauterman, Meredith Perot, Peter Addie, Kirsten Burns, Jill Bee and Dr. Loren Glasser, Linda and Ozzie Chapa, Betsy Orton and Sharon FancherJudy Davis, Gus HinojosaTeresa and Chic Henderson, Steve Atkinson and Ted Kincaid, Kelly Thompson, Dr. Rocky McKelvey, Carolyn and David KubesPam Ragon, Danny Tobey and Bill Driscoll.

* Photo credit: Brett Redman

Dallas Symphony Gala’s Grand Finale For Maestro Jaap Van Zweden Bloomed With Color Thanks To Boldfacers’ Gowns And Bowties

Holy moly, the 2017 fall//winter season got off to a topsy-turvy start within the first two weeks of September. The TACA Custom Auction Gala got off to a rocky start on Friday, September 8. But a week later things picked up with the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show that turned out to be more than a homecoming back to the flagship store with a parade of fashions by designer Zac Posen. It was a true celebration of fashion and faces.

Just a day after the CCB fashion extravaganza, the 2017 Dallas Symphony Gala was to kick off Maestro Jaap van Zweden‘s farewell year, with more-than-god-given-talented YoYo Ma at his cello on stage at the Meyerson. In years past this first blowout gala of the season has had everything from politico bigwigs, belly dancers and British royalty to gargantuan floral displays that served as backdrops for the black-tie set.

Dennis and Laura Moon and Wendy and Boyd Messmann

But perhaps the organizers were keeping costs close to the vest by replacing the breathtaking decorations at the entrance of the past with a huge white board with “DSO Gala 2017” behind plastic flowers dangling on see-through cords from the ceiling. Instead of looking like a shower of flowers, it reminded one of a vinyl shower curtain with flowers. Photographers scrambled to rearrange guests so the beautiful people didn’t appear to have the lilies and leaves sprouting from their coiffed heads. 

Clay Cooley, Margaret McDermott and Lisa Cooley

But, heck, most guests didn’t even notice the welcome display as they headed straight to the reception in the lobby. Interim DSO President/CEO Michelle Miller Burns stationed Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley to greet guests just to the left of the check-in lines. Downstairs in the lower lobby, meantime, the Capital One VIP reception was underway. When DSO Communications Manager Chelsey Norris was asked how they could have a VIP event without Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay, she  suggested that the Cooleys would join the VIPs afterwards. But that opportunity didn’t happen. As soon as the chimes rang to call the black-tie guests to their places, all were table-bound, where the table settings reflected the grand finale season for van Zweden, with cool emerald greens from the table linens to the Elephant ears and malachite.

Kara and Randall Goss

MiChel and Dan Hagood

Betsey Urschel and Ross and Margot Perot

Jody and Sheila Grant

Nancy Nasher’s Pradas

But who needed all the flourish of flowers and out-of-town celebs when the real scene stealers were the local boldfacers and fashions galore? In addition to Lisa and Clay (she was in a raspberry Michael Faircloth, he in Chris Despos, complete with a white feathered bow tie) and Honorary Chair Margaret McDermott, there were Rhonda and Fraser Marcus (Rhonda said her burgundy gown was by “a British designer” and her earrings were by Boucheron); Kay and Brent Franks (she in Catherine Deane, he in a Belvest tux); Anne Davidson in Monique Lhuillier gold; Sheila and Jody Grant (she was in silver-and-white Alexander McQueen, with a Chinese pearl necklace, while Jody said of his tux, “I’m a Tom Ford guy”); Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger (Nancy’s green bejeweled kicks were by Prada); Barbara and Bob Sypult (she was in a Connie Roberson gown); Donna and Herb Weitzman (she was wearing a Christian Lacroix gown with Prada shoes and a Kara Ross handbag); Sara Lee and Stan Gardner (Stan’s tie matched her gold dress); Kara and Randall Goss (her off-the-shoulder gown was by Maticevski, and her gold earrings were from Alighieri, while Randall was in a Zegna tux); MiChel and Dan Hagood (she couldn’t remember her designer, but thanks to Kara Goss’ sneaking a peak, the name on the label was Talbot Runhof); Jolie and Bart Humphrey (her low-cut gown was by Herve Leger, and he was in an Armani tuxedo); Sherwood Wagner (in a Carolina Herrera gown “with a Sherwood twist”); Betsy Crousen (she was in Fendi, with a Judith Lieber bag); and Laura and Dennis Moon (she in Carolina Herrera with Jimmy Choo shoes and bag, he in a tuxedo from Culwell and Sons).

Melissa Lewis

Tiffany Divis

Betsy Crousen

Bart and Jolie Humphrey and Nancy and Mike Bierman

But it wasn’t just the ladies who provided the splashes of brilliance. No, siree. Some of the gents (Clay, Paul Divis, Blaine Nelson and Dan Patterson) showed their true colors thanks to their bow ties. Why, Ford Lacy‘s tiny-cherries-festooned cummerbund and tie were made from an Hermes scarf!

Clay Cooley

Paul Divis

Dan Patterson

Blaine Nelson

Cece Smith and Ford Lacy

Niki and Ryan Anthony

Principle trumpet Ryan Anthony arrived on the scene with his wife Niki Anthony. Was Ryan taking a pass on the night’s concert? Nope, he was going to grab a bite to eat and then head to the stage for the performance.

Other guests included Wendy and Boyd Messmann, Tiffany and Paul Divis, Margot and Ross Perot, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Patti and Blaine Nelson, Melissa and Paul Stewart, Myriam and Randall Graham, Diane and Hal Brierley, Nancy and Mike Bierman and Micki and Mike Rawlings (said one guest of the mayor: “He’s probably looking around to see if there are any statues in here he can remove”).

For more photos of fashions, faces and flowers, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert!: 2017 TACA Custom Auction Gala

Dean Fearing and Wanda Gierhart and Liz and Richard Naftalis

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, TACA’s Custom Auction Gala expanded its digs at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek on Friday, September 8, with a see-thru tent for the cocktail reception and live auction. Plus, the organizers commissioned a dance especially for the occasion.

Bill and Linda Custard

To match the celebration, the black-tie set arrived in their finery for a night to glisten and gleam. And that they did all in the name of supporting the arts of Dallas!

Dance commissioned by TACA

While the post is being finalized, check out the crowd and the scene at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Americans For The Arts Study Provides Numbers And Facts About North Texas Arts Community’s Economic Impact Using The B-Word

There are those who scoff at the economic muscle of the nonprofit sector. Perhaps it is because they think back to their days when they equated nonprofits with saving pennies for Savings Bonds. However, the nonprofit organizations have become powerhouses of businesses that translate into more than supporting and growing communities. They also provide big bucks across the board.

On Wednesday, June 28, at the Dallas City Performance Hall, the Business Council for the Arts, the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs and the Dallas Arts District provided numbers and facts that the arts of North Texas alone “generated $1,473,366,015 in annual economic activity.” Check that number again. In addition to the dollars, it also supported 52,848 full-time equivalent jobs and generated $167.2M in local and state government revenues.

The trio didn’t just pull those numbers of their proverbial hats. An “exhaustive national economic impact study, Arts and Economic Prosperity 5,” was conducted by the Americans for the Arts with the Business Council for the Arts gathering the research in this region. The study is conducted to “examine cities, counties and states nationwide every five years. This year, for a regional perspective, six North Texas cities and cultural districts participated with Business Council for the Arts, demonstrating the reach and impact of arts and culture in neighborhoods and communities across the region.”

Katherine Wagner (File photo)

According to Business Council for the Arts CEO Katherine Wagner, “This study shows, in power numbers, just what a critical role arts and culture also play in keeping our national, state and local economies vibrant and growing. Reflecting our population and business growth, our region is now the third largest arts economy in the nation.”

Highlights from the study included the following:

North Texas Highlights

  • The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA came in third, measured against other multi-county regions in the country.
  • The economic impact of arts and culture organizations in North Texas more than tripled between the previously published study in 2012 and the current study – from $428,512,328 to $1,473,366,015.
  • In the region, the nonprofit arts and culture sector equated to 52,848 FTE jobs supported, translating into $1.3 billion in annual salaries.
  • North Texas cultural audience attendance numbers totaled 13,970,000 in 2015, contributing $473,856,433 to the economy.

City of Dallas Highlights

The study found that the City of Dallas, which also participated in the 2010 study, is seeing robust returns from its annual and long-term investment in the arts, including triple-digit growth in economic impact, jobs and audiences, as well as generating even more revenue for state and local government. In FY 2015:

  • Total economic activity tied to Dallas arts and culture was $891 million, up from the $321 million in the 2010 study – a 2.8-fold increase.
  • Dallas arts organizations and audiences supported 33,554 jobs, a nearly 3-fold increase over data collected in 2010.
  • Dallas arts and culture generated revenue of $97 million to local and state governments.

Dallas Arts District Highlights

  • The economic activity of the Dallas Arts District alone has tripled in five years, going from $128.6 million to $395.8 million.
  • The revenue generated for local government from Dallas Arts District arts organizations and audiences was $19 million in 2015.
  • 14,932 jobs are supported by Dallas Arts District arts organizations and audiences.

According to Americans for the Arts President/CEO Robert L. Lynch, “This study demonstrates that the arts are an economic and employment powerhouse both locally and across the nation. A vibrant arts and culture industry helps local businesses thrive and helps local communities become stronger and healthier places to live. Leaders who care about community and economic vitality can feel good about choosing to invest in the arts. Nationally as well as locally, the arts mean business.”

While these numbers and results are staggering, they are also just a snapshot of one sector within the incredible North Texas nonprofit world.

 

TACA Custom Auction Gala Item #2 — Dance And Dinner With France’s Compagnie Hervé Koubi

Despite Henry Wadsworth Longfellow‘s proclamation that music is the universal language, it isn’t the only one. No, siree. Dancing is, too. Through its physicality and motion, it reflects everything from unique cultures to the interpretation of emotions. This second TACA Custom Auction Gala package offers a dazzling opportunity to more than just be an observer.

Dance And Dinner With France’s Compagnie Hervé Koubi*

World-renowned for its prowess and beauty, the male dance company of France’s Compagnie Hervé Koubi is quite simply breathtaking to behold thanks to French/Algerian choreographer Hervé Koubi. In 2016 the troupe’s artistry received glorious reviews as well as standing ovations.

Compagnie Hervé Koubi**

The winning bidder of this package will more than attend the TITAS presentation of the troupe in January. They along with seven of his/her guests will arrive at the Winspear before all the hoi polloi. The reason? So, they can have “backstage access for the pre-performance warm-up.”  Afterward the lucky eight will head to the Brierley Suite for a seated dinner prepared by Wolfgang Puck’s folks.

Compagnie Hervé Koubi**

As other members of the audience arrive for the evening performance, the winner and guests will take their places in a private box to watch the performance that will be mesmerizing. And to top off the evening, they’ll join the dancers on stage for a post-performance champagne toast. A simple bravo just isn’t enough, don’t you know.

* Courtesy of TITAS, AT&T Performing Arts Center and Wolfgang Puck Catering 
** Photo provided by TACA

MySweetCharity Opportunity: After-School All-Stars

According to After-School All-Stars North Texas Emeritus Member Gina Betts,

Gina Betts (File photo)

As our name recognition grows in North Texas, we are eager to demonstrate the need for the programming that After-School All-Stars provides. Our students do not have to pay to be members of ASAS nor are they charged annually dues to fees to receive programming and services. Our programs only take place at Title I schools where more than 50 percent of students qualify for federal Free and Reduced Lunch program, a proxy for poverty.

ASAS is the largest national organization, with a strong local presence, that specifically focuses on serving middle school age students. Studies show that 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. is the prime time when unsupervised students are most likely to become involved with gangs, crime, drugs and unsafe sex. ASAS does not incur costs for daily transportation to and from our facilities or put students in a position where they have to travel to programs alone.

Every day, our program initiatives work to address the most prevalent and pressing issues facing our youth. ASAS inspires students to be healthy, graduate high school and go on to college, find a career they love and give back to their community. Please visit asasnorthtexas.org to find how you can become a part of the ASAS solution.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2017 Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Fashion Show

According to 2017 Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Fashion Show Chairman Beth Thoele,

Beth Thoele (File photo)

Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship was founded in 1981 and was the first riding center in Texas for children and adults with all types of physical, cognitive, emotional and learning disabilities. One of the organization’s most important sources for funding is the annual Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Fashion presented by Highland Park Village.

We have selected “Reins of Hope” as this year’s theme for the luncheon that will be at Brook Hollow Golf Club on Tuesday, October 3. The event will include presentation of the Equest Award for Community Service to Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne whose family has been longtime supporters of the organization. In addition, Equest stalwart and philanthropist Robyn Conlon is serving as honorary chairman and will be recognized for her contributions to the community.

Elisa Summers (File photo)

Heather Washburne (File photo)

Robyn Conlon (File photo)

Jan Strimple (File photo)

The day’s activities will include a runway fashion show produced by the renowned Jan Strimple, featuring clothes from Highland Park Village retailers, seated luncheon and raffle.  We will reveal the participating fashion partners in early September.

Help us empower, enrich and educate through horses by visiting www.equest.org.

Preservation Dallas Gives Out Its Preservation Achievement Awards At The Statler

Robert Decherd was wiping the perspiration off his forehead with a hankie, and who could blame him? It was, after all, very warm and crowded inside The Statler, where more than 300 people had gathered for the 18th Annual Preservation Achievement Awards. The Tuesday, May 30th event capped off Preservation Dallas‘ month-long celebration of National Preservation Month, which aims to promote cities’ histories as a key part of their prospects for future growth.

Veronica Gonzalez, Amanda and Jim Lake Jr., Barbara Lake and Craig Melde*

During a reception before the awards dinner, guests including Joan and Alan Walne, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Award Honorary Chair Ken Downing, Veletta Forsythe Lill, Deborah Brown, John Crawford, Joel Williams, Amanda and Jim Lake Jr., Barbara Lake, John Allender, Katy Slade, Robyn Jacobson, Craige Melde, Nick Emery, Carolyn Perna, Veronica Gonzalez, Veletta Forsythe Lill, Brad Nischke, Buddy Apple, Shane Deville, Rachel Roberts, Tancy Rampy, Danelle Baldwin Smith, Stephen Smith and Ivy Sweeney chatted in a big open area of The Statler, the historic, not-yet-open Dallas hotel that’s being renovated into apartments, hotel rooms, and retail space by the Centurion American Group. (Brown, by the way, said she was wearing a dress with a vintage Statler-Hilton label. She’d bought the “Town & Travelwear” frock a few years ago at The Chic Cherie vintage fashion shop.)

Ken Downing*

The star attraction at the reception, though, was a live “celebrity llama” from the ShangriLlama Adventure Farm in Parker. The presence of the 4-year-old selfie magnet named Bahama Llama was a nod to the Statler’s early years, when a llama called Llinda Llee Llama was a fixture there. After the reception the guests were ushered into a long, narrow—and, again, very warm—room for the dinner and program. There, the tables had been arranged with little space between them, flies buzzed about the food that was served up family-style and, for anyone unfortunate to be seated in the “back,” it was hard to see or hear the program’s speakers.

Shane Deville, Rachel Roberts, Mehrdad Moayedi and Mike Rawlings*

Rawlings kicked things off, saying that it’s “remarkable that Dallas is getting the national attention it is getting across the country” for the revitalization of its downtown. Downing, who was honorary chair of the awards committee, admitted that he’d been “brought kicking and screaming to Dallas from Los Angeles 20 years ago.” Of The Statler, he recalled, people said, “‘What an eyesore! What a behemoth!’ Well, if this is what a behemoth looks like, bring me more behemoths, because they need to be saved!”

Downing gave way to Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, who delivered the evening’s keynote. Meeks talked about the value of older buildings and older neighborhoods in reviving cities, pointing to the thriving LoDo district in Denver (in her native Colorado) as a good example. She also noted that Dallas currently leads all of Texas in taking advantage of historic tax credits for building redevelopment.

Stephanie Meeks*

Then it was time for the awards, which honored 16 of the most significant preservation contributors and projects of the previous year. The winning projects were: Cupaioli House, Gables Residential State-Thomas Brownstones, Geotronics Building, Hamilton Park Pavilion, Highland Park Town Hall, Jefferson Tower, Lee Park WPA Roque Courts, Mayflower Building, Sidell House, Typo Campus-600 North Tyler Street, and Wheatland United Methodist Church.

John Allender, Katy Slade, Robyn Jacobson, Craige Melde, Nick Emery and Carolyn Perna*

Receiving special recognition awards were: Downtown Dallas Inc., AIA Dallas, Dallas County Medical Society Alliance, Conley Group, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. When at last the final trophy had been handed out—and the last thank-you had been thanked—one woman seated in the back of the airless room laughed, “I’m afraid when I stand up, my dress will be stuck to me!”  

* Photo credit: Kim Leeson

JUST IN: Dean Foods Foundation Is Serving Up Some Delicious Treats For North Texas Food Bank And The Wilkinson Center Wednesday

With the annual DFW Restaurant Week benefiting the North Texas Food Bank and the Lena Pope Home just a few weeks away, the NTFB is getting an early treat.  Dean Foods Foundation is presenting a check for $125,000 Wednesday morning to NTFB.

North Texas Food Bank*

The hand-off will take place at The Wilkinson Center, which is part of the Christmas in July celebration. In addition to the check, Oak Farms will “be donating 325 half-gallons of their DairyPure® brand milk and will be distributing it to the clients served at The Wilkinson Center during a morning volunteer shift.”

Don’t you just know that NTFB newbie CEO Trisha Cunningham, whose first day was Monday, is gonna think this happens every day. One only wishes!

* Graphic courtesy of  North Texas Food Bank

JUST IN: Multi-Award Winner Jennifer Hudson To Headline CitySquare’s 2017 A Night To Remember On September 9 At The Winspear

Leave it to the CitySquare fundraisers. They always manage to come up with a performer who guarantees a sell-out. Last year’s Jerry Seinfeld was nearly a done deal before the ink on the contract was dry. Others who have been filled the Winspear Opera House for CitySquare have been Gladys Knight, Vince Gill, LeAnn Rimes, Clint Black, Steve Martin, Kirk Franklin, Jay Leno, Lyle Lovett, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and Hall and Oates.

Jennifer Hudson (File photo)

And the stellar talent roll-call keeps coming in, with the reveal that the headliner for A Night To Remember 2017 will be all-around winner (Academy Award, Grammy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award) Jennifer Hudson.

Her voice is incredible and her presence on stage is memorable.

Co-chairing the event for the Saturday, September 9th fundraiser will be Wendy and Boyd Messmann,Tiffany Touchstone-Hawkins and Brandon Hawkins and Sherel Riley.

Tickets and sponsorships are available now. Proceeds from the event will support CitySquare’s “17 social service programs that address hunger, health, housing and hope with more than 50,000 human touches annually.”

So, while you’re chilling on your vacation, make plans now for a cool evening with Jennifer. Keep your fingers crossed that she might sing “Hallelujah.”

The Stewpot Alliance Crowd Gathers At Margie And Ray Francis’ Home For Soup’s On! Check Presentation And To Hear About 2018 Lunch Move

Margie and Ray Francis*

On Thursday, April 27, Soup’s On! Luncheon Honorary Co-Chairs Margie and Ray Francis opened their home for guests like Hank and Barbara Schlachter, Stewpot Alliance board members Zac Evans and Kristine Schwope, Susan and Rob Dillard, Eric and Carla Moore and Carol Adams to hear about the past Stewpot Alliance fundraiser and the upcoming one.

Hank and Barbara Schlachter, Zac Evans and Susan and Rob Dillard*

It was such a perfect evening that folks enjoyed the terrace overlooking Turtle Creek.

Carla and Eric Moore and Carol Adams*

First on the agenda was the presentation of the check by Alliance President Julie Marshall and 2017 Luncheon Chair Heather Sauber to Stewpot Alliance Executive Director Rev. Dr. Bruce Buchanan in the amount of $230,000!

It was then time to reveal plans for next year’s luncheon. The 2018 co-chairs will be Mary and Mike Terry Family Foundation Executive Director Allison Salas and US Trust Philanthropic Relationship Manager Kelly Donohue.  

Kelly Donohue and Allison Salas*

The ladies announced that the fundraiser is shifting direction in locations for the Soup’s On! tenth anniversary. It will be held at The Statler on Monday, January 29.

Both gals have another special event in their future. They’re planning September weddings. Allison is marrying Christopher Fasy and Kelly is getting hitched to Grant Garlock.

In the meantime, why not check out Brad Oldham‘s and Christy Coltrin‘s Sculpture Wall at The Stewpot’s Encore Park. It’s free for the viewing.

* Photo credit: John 
Strange

JUST IN: Businessman/Philanthropist David B. Miller To Receive 2017 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award

David Miller (File photo)

While it’s hard to miss the towering David Miller in a crowd, he tends to shy away from being in the spotlight despite his leadership in business and philanthropic endeavors. But he’s going to have to adjust to being the man of the hour on Wednesday, October 25, when he is presented the 2017 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award at the Hilton Anatole.

Benefiting the Methodist Health System Foundation, the annual dinner is one of the gems of the fall season with surprises for both the recipient and the guests.

According to Methodist Health System Foundation President Jim Johnston, “David Miller clearly exemplifies Bob Folsom’s legacy as a revered community leader, serving Dallas with integrity, humility and respect. Like Mr. Folsom, David’s dedication and involvement with SMU, his dynamic leadership as a successful entrepreneur/business leader, as well as his care, concern and generosity toward others who are less fortunate, have made a lasting impact on Dallas and beyond. This year is particularly poignant because of the passing of Mr. Folsom in January. We hope to make this a special celebration as we pay tribute to Mr. Folsom as well.”

David and the late mayor had a lot in common. They both were athletes at SMU. Bob played on the football team and David was a basketball player. At different periods they served on the Edwin L. Cox School of Business. While Bob became a “legendary investor and developer… who built a fortune as a master of real estate,” David set his sights on the oil and gas industry, co-founding EnCap Investments L.P. and MAZE Exploration Inc. Despite their professional accomplishments, both men placed a priority on their families and community.

It was an interesting touch of irony that despite being 23 years apart in age, Bob was born on February 15 and David on February 17.

In typical David fashion, he responded upon learning of being the award recipient: “I am humbled and honored to receive this significant award as Bob Folsom was a role model for many of us, and he was a true servant leader.”

Co-chairing the dinner will be Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, Lottye and Bobby B. Lyle, Jeanne L. Phillips and Gail and Gerald Turner.

For a full-blown release on the announcement including David’s countless accomplishments, both professional and philanthropic, follow the jump. [Read more…]

JUST IN: Sanjiv Yajnik Named Chair-Elect And Nancy Nasher Vice Chair-Elect Of Dallas Symphony Association Board Of Governors

Looking to the future, the Dallas Symphony Association Board of Governors leadership has been announced. While it won’t be official until the Association’s meeting this fall, Sanjiv Yajnik will serve as chairman of the board and will work with Dallas Symphony Orchestra President/CEO Jonathan Martin, his executive team and Music Director Jaap van Zweden, who is in his final year with the DSO.

Sanjiv is president of financial services at Capital One, as well the co-founder/chairman of the Collin County Business Alliance and Treasure of NAF.

Sanjiv Yajnik*

Nancy Nasher (File photo)

Also announced was that the vice chairman-elect is Nancy A. Nasher. Perfect timing, with the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family Sluna International Music & Arts Festival kicking off Monday.

According to Jonathan, “This new leadership is an important step in defining the future of the Dallas Symphony. The DSO is in a key period of transition as we look for the next artistic leader to succeed Music Director Jaap van Zweden. With Sanjiv and Nancy’s direction, our strong executive team and staff, and the extraordinary talent of our musicians, the organization is poised to embark on the next successful chapter of the Dallas Symphony.”

For a full report on the announcement, follow the jump:

* Photo provided by the Dallas Symphony Association
 

Dallas Symphony Association Board of Governors
Announces New Board Leadership

Sanjiv Yajnik, Chair Elect

Nancy A. Nasher, Vice Chairman

 
Dallas, TX (May 12, 2017) – The Dallas Symphony Association (DSA) announces Sanjiv Yajnik as Chair Elect and Nancy A. Nasher as Vice Chairman.

Upon his election as Chairman at the DSA annual meeting in Fall 2017, Mr. Yajnik will lead the Board of Governors in overseeing the direction and governance for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, working with the orchestra’s President & CEO Jonathan Martin, his executive team and Music Director Jaap van Zweden.     

Mr. Yajnik has been an active and engaged member of the DSA Executive Board since 2015. Mr. Yajnik is the President of Financial Services at Capital One, one of the nation’s largest banks. Additionally, in 2015, he was appointed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott as Chairman of the Texas Economic Development Corporation. He also is the co-founder and Chairman of the Collin County Business Alliance and Treasurer of NAF, a national education-focused nonprofit organization headquartered in New York.    

“We are pleased and excited that Sanjiv has agreed to take on this responsibility,” said Joseph F. Hubach, current DSA Chairman. “I have great confidence in his leadership, and I look forward to working with him as we make this transition and continue to build a strong orchestra for our city.” Mr. Yajnik will succeed Mr. Hubach who has led the DSA Board of Governors as Chairman since 2013.   

Nancy A. Nasher has been a DSA Board member since 1998 and a member of the DSA Executive Board since 2003.  A dynamic leader of the Dallas cultural community, Ms. Nasher is co-owner of NorthPark Center and serves as President and CEO of NorthPark Development Company and Vice President of NorthPark Management Company. She is very active with numerous cultural and educational organizations both locally and nationally and was a recipient of the 2017 TACA Silver Cup Award. Ms. Nasher was instrumental in the creation of the Dallas Symphony’s Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival.   

“This new leadership is an important step in defining the future of the Dallas Symphony,” said Jonathan Martin, President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony Association. “The DSO is in a key period of transition as we look for the next artistic leader to succeed Music Director Jaap van Zweden. With Sanjiv and Nancy’s direction, our strong executive team and staff, and the extraordinary talent of our musicians, the organization is poised to embark on the next successful chapter of the Dallas Symphony.” 

 

 
Sanjiv Yajnik

As President of Capital One Financial Services, Sanjiv Yajnik leads a diverse set of the company’s business lines. Sanjiv is responsible for Auto Finance, one of the largest auto lenders in the nation, as well as Capital One’s Mortgage and Home Equity businesses.   

Mr. Yajnik is also the president of Capital One National Association (‘CONA’), one of Capital One’s two national bank subsidiaries.   

In addition, Mr. Yajnik oversees Capital One’s community relations throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana as President of the company’s South Central Region.   

In November 2015, Mr. Yajnik was appointed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to be Chairman of the Texas Economic Development Corporation. The organization focuses on establishing a network of business leaders who enable economic development, marketing Texas as the business destination of the future, and expanding the state’s presence with national and international trade visits.   

Mr. Yajnik also serves as Chairman of the Collin County Business Alliance (CCBA), an organization he helped create. The CCBA is a group of business leaders who have come together to address issues facing Collin County, Texas, and ensure vibrant businesses contribute to vibrant communities.   

In addition to his local community outreach and involvement, Sanjiv is on the board and serves as Treasurer for NAF, an organization dedicated to preparing young people for college and career success.   

He is also the co-Chair for the Indian American Professionals Network for the State of Texas.   

Mr. Yajnik joined Capital One in 1998 and previously served as the President of Capital One Auto Finance, succeeding his role as the Executive Vice President and Principal Managing Director of Capital One Europe, a role in which he was responsible for the strategic direction, marketing, operations, and financial performance of the company’s European segment.   

Prior to his role with Capital One Europe, he led Capital One’s Small Business Services line of business and Capital One Canada. His teams grew those businesses significantly during his leadership tenure to position Capital One as one of the largest small business lenders in the U.S., and as a leading credit card business in Canada. Prior to this, he served as Director of Credit Risk Management for Capital One.

Mr. Yajnik has had invaluable retail experience working for PepsiCo, one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, and for Circuit City, a Fortune 500 company and one of the nation’s leading providers of consumer electronics. He has also had broad international experience as Chief Engineer in Mobil Oil Corporation’s shipping business.   

Mr. Yajnik completed the Executive Management Program from Stanford University in 2003. He received his MBA with honors from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 1992. Sanjiv is a medalist Chartered Engineer (I), and graduated with distinction from the Marine Engineering Research Institute, India.   

Mr. Yajnik and his wife, Mohua, live in Dallas. They have two children, Tanya and Shiv. 

 

Nancy A. Nasher
Nancy A. Nasher is President and CEO of NorthPark Development Company, Vice President of NorthPark Management Company, and co-owner with her husband, David J. Haemisegger, of NorthPark Center, one of the preeminent shopping centers in the country. 

A graduate of The Hockaday School, Princeton University and Duke University School of Law, Ms. Nasher is an experienced real estate attorney and businesswoman. She began her legal career in 1979 as an associate with Johnson Bromberg Leeds & Riggs and in 1985 became General Counsel and Director of Leasing, Marketing and Retail Operations of the Raymond D. Nasher Company. In 1995, Ms. Nasher and her husband acquired NorthPark Center and in 2006 completed a three-year, 1.4 million-square-foot, $250 million expansion of the shopping center. They were subsequently honored for their vision with numerous accolades including the Dallas Business Journal Business Person of the Year 2006 Runner-Up, Dallas Business Journal Best Retail/Hospitality Deal 2005, and a 2005 nomination for the American Subcontractors Association North Texas Vision Award.   

Today NorthPark Center is one of the top four shopping centers in the United States and is consistently recognized as the top tourist destination in North Texas, as well as the second most visited tourist destination in Texas. In 2015, NorthPark Center celebrated its 50th anniversary with Fifty Years of Giving, an unprecedented initiative that gave back to 50 non-profit organizations over the course of 50 days in the areas of health, education, social work community service and arts, including the Dallas Symphony Association.   

Ms. Nasher is an active supporter of the arts and education in Dallas and at her alma maters. She serves on the Nasher Sculpture Center Board of Trustees and the Nasher Foundation Board of Directors, as well as holding numerous board leadership positions with the Business Council for the Arts, The Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony Orchestra Association, National Center for Arts Research and Princeton University Museum of Art, among others. Ms. Nasher is co-founder of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and serves as Chair of the Board of Advisors. She served on the Board of Trustees of Duke University from 1999 until 2011. In 2016, Ms. Nasher and her husband established the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family Center for the Arts at the Hockaday School in Dallas.   

A dedicated philanthropist, Ms. Nasher has hosted the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Dallas Race for the Cure at NorthPark Center since 1995. In 2002, the Komen Foundation presented Ms. Nasher with its individual Community Service Award, and in 2014 was awarded the Philanthropist of the Year Award by Susan G. Komen Dallas County. Ms. Nasher was awarded the 2010 Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award by Dallas CASA, and accepted the award again in 2016 on behalf of NorthPark Center. In 2015, she was honored by Socrates Sculpture Park in New York for her passion and commitment to the advancement of sculptural practice, and by The Family Place for the 2015 Texas Trailblazer Award. Together, Ms. Nasher and Mr. Haemisegger were recognized as the 2016 Texas Honorary Members of the American Institute of Architects.  In 2017, The Arts Community Alliance (TACA) presented Ms. Nasher with the Silver Cup Award, honoring her dedication to supporting the arts. On May 20, 2017, Ms. Nasher will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Southern Methodist University, where she also contributes as a member of the Tate Lecture Series Board of Directors.    

Ms. Nasher and Mr. Haemisegger live in Dallas with their three children – Sarah, David and Isabelle.

Even A Fed Ex Delivery Truck Couldn’t Slow Down The Crystal Charity Ball’s Ten Best Dressed Luncheon Reveal At Neiman Marcus Downtown

The reveal of the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed and Hall of Famer on Wednesday, April 12, at Neiman Marcus Downtown was more of an early Mother’s Day celebration. Patsy Donosky couldn’t resist taking photos of her daughter Janie Condon on her being a 10 BD-er for the third time. SMU coed Ciara Cooley snuck in to surprise her mom — first-time BD-er Lisa Cooley — and sat between 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter and 2012 Hall of Famer Gene Jones.

Charlotte Jones Anderson and Gene Jones

Lisa Cooley and Ciara Cooley

Patsy Donosky and Janie Condon

Gene looked proud as a mama swan when her daughter Charlotte Jones Anderson was announced as the 2017 HoF Honoree.

Unlike years past, the reveal of 10 BD (Anita Arnold, Janie Condon, Katherine Coker, Tucker Enthoven, Pat Harloe, Julie Hawes, Piper Wyatt, and first timers Delilah Boyd, Lisa Cooley and Amy Hegi) went right on schedule thanks to Charlotte’s having a speaking engagement at the Anatole at noon.

Amy Hegi, Piper Wyatt, Julie Hawes, Pat Harloe, Janie Condon, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Tucker Enthoven, Katherine Coker, Delilah Holmes, Anita Arnold and Lisa Cooley

Christi Urschel, Jeff Byron and Pam Perella

Amelia Gibson

On hand for the announcement were CCB Chair Pam Perella, Luncheon Chair Christi Urschel, Neiman Marcus Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron,  Zac Posen Director of Global Sales Amelia Gibson, Neiman Marcus Communications/PR VP Mimi Sterling, NM Special Events VP Sandy Marple and loads of Crystals.

There was a slight hiccup that could have messed up the tight timeline. It seems just as guests were to arrive at the Commerce Street valet, a filled-to-the-brim Fed Ex truck pulled up and parked. When the valet notified the driver that they needed the space, the driver responded, “I’ve got deliveries to make.”  Peace was made and the valets handled the parking dilemma, so the guests made it upstairs in time for adult orange juice, deviled eggs and mini-waffles topped with fried chicken.   

As the 10 BD crowd took to their cars via text delivery, it proved to be a little bit of a wait, with one poor soul waiting 40 minutes for their car. But not to worry. The powers-that-be will no doubt re-arrange the Fed Ex delivery time for the Ten Best Dressed Luncheon on Friday, September 15, featuring Zac Posen’s collection inside the NM flagship.

For additional photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: 2017 Tablescapes Co-Chairs Beth Dike And Mary Hubbard Announce Plans For Kappa Kappa Gamma Fundraiser

2017 Kappa Kappa Gamma Tablescapes Co-Chairs Mary Hubbard and Beth Dike just made it official. The annual fundraiser will return to the Dallas Country Club with Tablescapes by Candlelight on Monday, October 16, and Tablescapes Luncheon on Tuesday, October 17, with Central Market as the presenting sponsor. This year’s theme will be “Forever Blue and Beautiful.”

Mary Hubbard, Lori Martin and Beth Dike

This year’s keynote speaker will be Brownwood, Texas, native Mark D. Sikes, known locally for his Draper James fame. On the more worldly front, his friends/fans/followers include actress Reese Witherspoon and director Nancy “Something’s Gotta Give” Meyer. In fact Nancy wrote the intro for his most recent book “Beautiful, All American Decorating and Timeless Style.” And, of course, wouldn’t you know he’s known for his love of blue.

As for the table designers, Mary and Beth suggested that they were in the final stages of signing up talent. Interested? Go ahead! You just know your grandmother’s Lenox Blue Tree china would be picture perfect decked out on that heirloom tablecloth alongside your best friend’s Baccarat stemware. Or, if you’re a professional, why not spiff up your brand by showcasing it in front of a pretty nifty crowd?

It’s time to put those creative juices to work and to raise funds for this year’s beneficiaries including Akola Project, Camp Summit, Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, Genesis Women’s Shelter And Support. Seniors’ Pet Assistance Network, Town North YMCA, Visiting Nurse Association (Meals on Wheels) and Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation.

Art In Bloom’s Seasons Of Love Was Busting With Beauty Thanks To René Van Rems Creating Floral Artworks And St. John Fashions

When Art in Bloom Luncheon Chair Sarah Jo Hardin decided on the event’s theme “Seasons of Love,” she must have had international floral mastermind René van Rems in mind. For his presentation at the Dallas Museum of Art on Monday, March 27, he did a fabulous job at interpreting eight pieces of art into floral arrangements. He even shared a hint on how to give any creation an extra boost. Think hydrangea. Here’s a report from the field:

Sarah Jo Hardin and Jill Goldberg*

Luncheon Chairman Sarah Jo Hardin, with Honorary Chairman Jill Goldberg and the Dallas Museum of Art League President Sheila Durante were joined by over 350 guests at “Art in Bloom: Seasons of Love” on Monday, March 27. Proceeds from the 18th annual fundraiser hosted by the Dallas Museum of Art League supports the DMA’s exhibition and education programs and the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund.

It began at 9:30 a.m. with a reception in the Hamon Atrium. Highland Park High School’s Highlander Strings quartet played as guests bid on items in the silent auction and purchased raffle tickets for the chance to win one of four prizes including: a $1,000 gift certificate from Eiseman Jewels NorthPark Center, a pair of Roberto Coin earrings, a luxury overnight stay for two at the Hotel Crescent Court, and a $500 gift certificate from Jacksons Home And Garden.  

Cynthia Mitchell, Becky Bright, Mary Lois Leonard and Beverly Freeman*

Attendees like Cynthia Miller, Becky Bright, Mary Lois Leonard, Beverly Freeman, Delilah Boyd, Megan Meyercord, Deborah Patterson, Marena Gault and Sherwood Wagner were then directed to the Horchow Auditorium for featured speaker René van Rems’ floral demonstration.

Megan Meyercord, Deborah Patterson, Ola Fojtasek and Heather Furniss*

Sheila opened the symposium by welcoming all and thanking the League’s loyal supporters and its corporate sponsors whose support of “Art in Bloom” helps underwrite the DMA’s education programs and the League’s Floral Fund. She introduced Jill thanking her for graciously lending her considerable expertise and leadership to the event. Sheila then invited Sarah Jo to the podium, and paid tribute to her creativity as well as her leadership talents.

Sarah Jo thanked all the attendees before introducing the Park Version choral group from Highland Park High School, who performed a capella “God Only Knows What I’d Do Without You” from the Beach Boys as a tribute to the many “Art in Bloom” volunteers, followed by “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical “Rent,” in honor of this year’s theme.

René van Rems*

A world-renowned ambassador of the floral industry, René took the stage to begin his demonstration of eight designs inspired by works in the Dallas Museum of Art’s permanent collection.  As he began work on the first design, inspired by Gustave Courbet’s painting “A Fox in the Snow,” van Rems warmed up the crowd immediately by sharing a tip: “For those new to floral design; when in doubt add a hydrangea,” he said, as he added white hydrangeas to the arrangement. He then went on to create seven diverse designs, from traditional to contemporary, as he thoroughly entertained the crowd with his wit and wisdom on all things floral.

Attendees returned to the Museum’s concourse to continue perusing the silent auction, which included the designs just created by René, while sipping specialty spring-inspired cocktails by Duckworth Vodka.  René also took time to sign copies of his book, “Rene’s Bouquets: A Guide to Euro-Style Hand-Tied Bouquets.”

Patrons progressed to the Atrium for a seated lunch with tables dressed in cornflower blue and watermelon, with floral centerpieces from Judy Blackman of Blumengarten. At each place setting was a white porcelain birdhouse vase with pink roses from Forestwood Fine Flowers and a $250 gift card from St. John.

Fashions by St. John*

Guests enjoyed a delicious lunch, with each course inspired by a season and featuring locally or Texas-sourced ingredients, including a summer-inspired first course of watermelon, prosciutto, and sliced brie salad with Texas balsamic and micro basil; followed by a fall entrée of jalapeno and corn stuffed semi-boneless Lockhart quail with wilted Uvalde curly spinach, glazed root vegetables and flower thyme jus. As winter’s assiette of chocolate desserts was served, Sarah Jo came to the podium to introduce St. John’s Highland Park Village Store Director Randi Schwartz, who quickly got the day’s style show going with models walking the runway dressed in selections from St. John’s gorgeous spring collection. 

Live Blooming Art Exhibition*

The floral extravaganza continued after the symposium with the first-ever “Live Blooming Art Exhibition” featuring a unique display of floral arrangements created by local floral designers and inspired by works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection. Participating designers were Judy Blackman of Blumengarten, Metka Terselich of Metka Floral Designs, Caroline Hansen of Forestwood Florals, Dan Pierce of Wild about Flowers, Doan Do of Cebolla Fine Flowers, Sarah Hobbs of Park Cities Petals, Juan Gomar of Apples to Zinnias, Lucy Diaz-Flores of Bella Flora and David Kimmel of David Kimmel Design. The exhibition remained on view to all DMA visitors the following two days in the Museum’s Level 2 European galleries. 

Sheila Durante, Marena Gault and Sherwood Wagner*

“Art in Bloom International” attendees included  The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art Agustin Arteaga, Margaret McDermott, Mary McDermott Cook, Peggy Sewell, Beverly Freeman, Holly Huffines, Susan Fisk, Nancy Cates, Barbara Bigham, Sherwood Wagner, Stacey McCord, Diane Byrd, Ola Fojtasek, Heather Furniss, Rusty Duvall, Beverly Nichols, Faye Briggs, Cyrena Nolan, Linda Burk, Angela Paulos, Emily Maduro and Julia Fuqua.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith

Grovel Alert: Callier Cares Luncheon

With the Callier Cares Luncheon still 10 days away, Event Chair Emilynn Wilson and Honorary Chair Lisa Troutt report that the tickets are nearly gone with the wind. They’ve nearly filled the entire Dallas Country Club’s ballroom thanks to having the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award being presented to Dr. Kern Wildenthal and the Callier Prize in Communication Disorders awarded to Dr. Sharon Kujawa.

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

Lisa Troutt (File photo)

While Kern is well known for his leadership in healthcare administration, clinical medicine, education, biomedical research and philanthropy, Sharon may not be a familiar name. That’s because she’s not a local. She’s the director of audiology research and a senior scientist at the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. Her focus is “to clarify mechanisms and manifestations of common forms of acquired sensorineural hearing loss in humans; particularly, those due to aging and exposure to noise and ototoxic drugs.”

In addition to receiving the Prize at the Thursday, April 20th luncheon, she’ll be the keynote speaker at the Callier Prize Conference at Callier Dallas the following day.

Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit the Callier Care Fund that was created by Ruth and Ken Altshuler to “help children and adults who would otherwise be unable to afford treatment to overcome speech, language and hearing disorders.”

Suggestion: Don’t put off buying that ticket much longer, because it just not be there.

High-Powered Crowd Celebrates New DMA Director Agustin Arteaga And Exclusive U.S. Exhibition of Mexican Modernists

The crowd gathered at the Dallas Museum of Art on Wednesday, March 8, was a distinguished one, befitting the auspicious occasion. Including such luminaries as 2017 Art Ball Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson, Kelli and Allen Questrom, Roger Horchow, Monica Alonzo, Chris Heinbaugh, Janie and Cappy McGarr, Jonathan Martin, Jeremy Strick, Max Wells and Terrell and Jim Falk, the group had assembled to celebrate the curatorial debut of the museum’s new Eugene McDermott Director, Dr. Agustin Arteaga.

Ann and Lee Hobson

Cappy and Janie McGarr

Allen Questrom

Laura Wilson

Agustin Arteaga

And, what a debut Arteaga was curating: the exclusive U.S. presentation of an art exhibition called Mexico 1900-1950, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orozco And the Avant-Garde, featuring 189 works by 66 artists. The exhibit, which debuted last October at the Grand Palais in Paris, will be on display at the DMA through Sunday, July 16. It’s supported by Patron Tequila and presented in partnership with Dallas’ Latino Center for Leadership Development, which was founded by Jorge Baldor.

Mexico 1900-1950 guests

The opening celebration was a first opportunity for many to see and greet Arteaga, who came to Dallas last year after serving as director of the Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico City, one of Mexico’s largest and most prominent cultural institutions. He was flanked on a raised stage at the DMA by fellow hosts Catherine Marcus Rose, president of the DMA’s board of trustees, and DMA Board Chair Melissa Foster Fetter, as well as by Consul General of Mexico in Dallas Francisco de la Torre Galindo, Director General of International Affairs Jimena Lara Estrada, Patrón’s Director of Brand Innovation Carlos Boughton and Baldor (who told the crowd, “It’s nice to see so many brown faces at the DMA”).

Jorge Baldor, Melissa Foster Fetter, Austin Arteaga, Catherine Marcus Rose, Jimena Lara Estrada, Francisco de la Torre Galindo and Carlos Boughton

The exhibition of modernist paintings, sculpture, photography, drawings, and film, the DMA’s new director explained, was put together in just three months to showcase an “artistic movement that took the world by surprise. … We made it on time,” he added, “and hopefully within the budget!” Arteaga also said the exhibition was only able to come to the U.S. with the Mexican government’s special permission, which had been secured by Maria Christina Garcia Cepeda, the Secretaria de Cultura de Mexico. The cultural secretary had planned to attend the March 8 Dallas event, the director added, but her trip had to be postponed after President Enrique Pena Nieto asked her to appear at a special women’s day event in Mexico City. So, Arteaga promised, “She’ll be here tomorrow.”

Dallas CASA’s Young Professionals Dashed The “Nothing-Happens-In-January” Myth With Their CASAblanca At Level Two

Evidently no one at Dallas CASA‘s Young Professionals got the memo that January is an eventless month. Being true professionals, they put on their party finery on Saturday, January 28, and turned Level Two into a one-night casino for their CASAblanca that would have had Humphrey Bogart envious. Here’s a report from the field:

Dressed in their finest, Dallas CASA’s Young Professionals took their energy and passion for helping abused and neglected children and turned it into a second successful CASAblanca casino party.

Held at Dallas CASA’s building last year, party organizers moved the event to Level Two this year and almost doubled the attendance. All proceeds from the event benefit Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).

CASAblanca*

With The Special Edition Band playing everything from Earth, Wind and Fire to Michael Jackson to Bruno Mars, the dance floor stayed just as busy as the 22 blackjack tables, three roulette wheels and two craps tables. Waiters passed some appetizers, but the barbecue pulled pork sandwiches, meatballs and empanadas on the buffet line were quite popular, too. The ten-piece band kept the party going late with singers engaging with the crowd from the dance floor. After 10 p.m., party organizers handed out lighted Styrofoam sticks and the dance floor filled with light.

Jonathan and Christine Bassham**

Christina and Michael Swartz**

Dallas CASA’s Young Professionals is an outreach, awareness and fundraising arm of Dallas CAA. The group is open to anyone ages 21 to 40 who wants to make a difference in the lives of abused children. Many of Dallas CASA’s Young Professionals most active members were in attendance including Young Professionals President Jonathan and Christine Bassham, Andrew Johnson, Bianca Sterling, Jarrid Frednick, Jessica Gonzales, Caitlan and Stephen Jones, Ellie and Zach Tally, Christina and Michael Swartz, Matthew Michalak, Eniola Akinrinade, Kelsey Hamilton, Coleman Lewis, Aaron Haralson, Emily Schwab, Mitchell Brown, Lindsey Marsh, Mindy and Woody McMinn, Suzanne and John Gibson, Michael Canada, Michelle Rice, Brad Strum, Maritza and Oscar Garcia, Hailey and Brian Bain, Joe Moidel and Vanessa Brown.

Joe Moidel, Vanessa Brown, Emaa Carter and Mark Hiduke*

Kelcey Hamilton, Reasha Hedke and Dana Swann co-chaired the party, with Mark Hiduke and Emma Carter serving as the presenting sponsor. Dallas CASA board members John Gibson and Woody McMinn joined the crowd, as well as Dallas CASA executive director and CEO Kathleen LaValle and her husband Michael LaValle and daughter Stephanie LaValle.

Woody and Mindy McMinn, Suzanne and John Gibson and Kathleen and Michael LaValle**

 

The evening ended with raffle prizes, including two Apple watches, staycation packages for The Fairmont Dallas (host of Cherish the Children Luncheon on Wednesday, April 5, also benefiting Dallas CASA) and Soul Cycle class packages.

For more information about becoming one of these “young professionals, check here!

* Photo credit: Tim Heitman 
** Photo credit: Nate Bednarz

Center for BrainHealth’s Legacy Award Dinner Honored Rep. Dan Branch With Brainiacs, Politicians And Four Generations Of Branches

Traditionally, area country clubs are closed on Mondays. But for those rare, special occasions, they open, and such an event was the Center for BrainHealth‘s Legacy Award Dinner on Monday, November 14, Dallas Country Club. It was a gathering of the area’s top-tier bold-facing brainiacs to honor Rep. Dan Branch. Here is a report from the field:

Four generations of Texas’ illustrious Branch family, including gracious matriarch Sylvia Branch and her precious two-month old great granddaughter, Waverly Branch, along with more than 250 guests convened at the Dallas Country Club on Monday, November 14.

Sylvia Branch and Waverly Branch*

Kevin McBride, Margaret McDermott and Patricia McBride*

Under the auspices of witnessing Rep. Dan Branch receive the Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas’ highest honor, the Legacy Award, the virtual family reunion attracted a philanthropic and political who’s who including Margaret McDermott, Toni Pickens, Rep. Morgan Meyer and Keana, former Lieutenant Governor of Texas David Dewhurst, former Rep. Bill Ceverha and his wife Mary, UT System top brass Melissa Jackson and UT Dallas executive vice president and provost Dr. Hobson Wildenthal. Other guests included Emy Lou and Jerry Baldridge, Marla and Mike Boone, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Kathy and Harlan Crow, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Heather and Ray Washburne, Gail and Gerald TurnerSally Hoglund with daughter Kelly Compton, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Janie and Cappy McGarr, Shelle and Michael Sills and Lee Ann and Alan White.

Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones*

Debbie Francis and Toni Pickens*

Gerald and Gail Turner*

Heather and Ray Washburne*

The vibrant Shelly Slater of WFAA Channel 8 emceed the annual event that honors an individual whose vision and dedication enables the Center for BrainHealth and its Brain Performance Institute to empower people of all ages to unlock their brain potential.

As a state representative from Dallas and chairman of the Texas House Committee on Higher Education, Rep. Branch authored House Bill 51, the “Tier One universities” law. This landmark legislation encouraged private giving to public emerging research universities, including UT Dallas, by matching private gifts with state funds. Since 2009, gifts, appropriations and National Research University Fund distributions represent a total investment in Texas emerging research universities of $770 million.

It is worth noting that a love for brains runs in the Branch family. Dan Branch’s late father, renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Charles L. Branch, was a pioneer in the field of neuroscience and donated a cache of artifacts to the Center chronicling the history of neurosurgery. BrainHealth honors Dr. Branch each year, presenting the Charles L. Branch BrainHealth Award for “unparalleled breakthroughs in brain research” to a deserving brain research scientist or physician.

After honorary co-chair James Huffines recognized distinguished audience members, Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus, who was detained by official business in Austin, kicked off the evening with a warm video welcome. He conveyed congratulations to his friend that he has known since they were kids. “And if you wonder how long that has been,” said Hon. Straus. “I will simply point out that Dan is now a grandfather.”

During an energetic tribute video, long-time friend of Dan Branch, Harlan Crow, expressed how easy it is to like Dan and incredibly difficult to dislike him.

The University of Texas System Deputy Chancellor Dr. David Daniel, who was President of The University of Texas at Dallas when the Tier One legislation took effect, said, “The Tier One legislation may well be the most important, transformative and wildly successful legislation in Texas relative to public higher education in our lifetime.”

Dan Branch and Sandi Chapman*

Center for BrainHealth Founder/Chief Director and Dee Wyly Distinguished University Chair at The University of Texas at Dallas Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman presented Rep. Branch with the crystal Legacy plaque. “Dan Branch’s efforts have helped elevate the cause of brain health to the forefront of discussions not only in Texas but nationwide,” she said. “Because of his legislative work, we have been able to attract top talent from around the world to grow our research team and continue to make meaningful scientific discoveries that improve lives today.”

 

In regards to the outpouring of high praise during the evening, Rep. Branch playfully bantered, “Typically when people say nice things about me, I like to say that I wish that my mother could hear that. Well, tonight she did!”

Dan and Stacey Branch and Hobson Wildenthal*

Dan Branch’s magnanimous acceptance speech epitomized his priorities, expressing his passion for understanding and delivering on his constituents’ needs and above all honoring his family. He identified each family member individually, lingering especially on his dedicated wife, Stacey, of 32 years whom he gave much credit for being his inspiration and the foundation of their family.

James and Patty Huffines and Eric and Robin Bennett*

Sue Blackwell and Carolyn Rathjen*

Patty and James Huffines were the honorary chairs of the event and Robin and Eric Bennett were the dinner chairs. The host committee included: Lana and Barry Andrews, Sue and Pryor Blackwell, Marla and Mike Boone, Debbie and Jim Francis, Lynn and Allan McBee, Carolyn and Karl Rathjen, Jane and Bud Smith and Gayle and Paul Stoffel.

Past BrainHealth Legacy Award recipients include Dianne Cash, Debbie Francis, T. Boone Pickens, James Huffines, Dee Wyly, Daryl Johnston and Lee Roy Jordan, Jane and Bud Smith and Clint Bruce.

Major donors at the Center for BrainHealth Legacy Award Dinner included:

Gold ($25,000):

  • Al G. Hill, Jr.
  • Carolyn and David Miller and The David B. Miller Family Foundation
  • Toni and T. Boone Pickens

Silver ($15,000):

  • Emy Lou and Jerry Baldridge/Nancy Dedman /Jane and Bud Smith
  • Sylvia L. Branch Family
  • Lisa and Clay Cooley

Bronze ($10,000):

  • Suzanne and Moshe Azoulay
  • Colleen Barrett
  • Sue and Pryor Blackwell/Carolyn and Karl Rathjen, MD
  • Marla and Mike Boone
  • Teresa and David Disiere
  • Cindy and Pat Fox
  • Debbie and Jim Francis
  • Highland Capital Management
  • PlainsCapital Bank
  • Gail and Bill Plummer
  • Sapphire Foundation
  • Lisa and Kenny Troutt
  • Winstead PC
  • Julie and John Young

ABOUT THE CENTER FOR BRAINHEALTH®

The Center for BrainHealth®, part of The University of Texas at Dallas, is a research institute committed to enhancing, protecting and restoring brain health across the lifespan. Scientific exploration at the Center for BrainHealth is leading edge, improving lives today and translating groundbreaking discoveries into practical clinical application. By delivering science-based innovations that enhance how people think, work, and live, the Center and its Brain Performance Institute™ are empowering people of all ages to unlock their brain potential. Major research areas include the use of functional and structural neuroimaging techniques to better understand the neurobiology supporting cognition and emotion in health and disease. 

* Photo credit: Melissa Macatee

MySweetWishList: Symphony Of Toys

According to Dallas Symphony Orchestra VP of Development Michelle Miller Burns,

Michelle Miller Burns (File photo)

“Our wish this holiday season is that no child go without a gift under their Christmas tree. How can you help? Bring a new, unwrapped toy* when you come to the Meyerson Symphony Center for a DSO Christmas concert.

“This season, the DSO is continuing Symphony of Toys, the annual holiday concert tradition begun by Dallas Symphony Orchestra violinist Arkady Fomin and New Conservatory of Dallas.

“Arkady was a violinist in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1975 until 2014, and in 1978 founded and directed what would become New Conservatory of Dallas. He also taught at University of Texas at Dallas, and performed in the Clavier Trio. Born in Riga, Latvia,  Fomin was awarded Latvia’s Cross of Recognition in 2012 on behalf of his contributions to music and music education in Latvia and the United States. Fomin died on May 5, 2014, after a long battle with cancer. New Conservatory of Dallas ceased operations on September 31, 2014, after approximately 21 years.

“Symphony of Toys benefits WFAA’s Santa’s Helpers, which is celebrating its 46th year of collecting holiday toys for children throughout the DFW area. The 2015 Santa’s Helpers Toy Drive provided holiday toys to more than 50,000 needy children throughout the four-county Dallas/Fort Worth area.

“If you can’t make it to any of our wonderful concerts this holiday season, please consider contributing to our Annual Fund. All new and increased gifts made before the end of the year will be matched by a challenge gift from the Elsa von Seggern Foundation. Please click here for more information and to donate.”

-By Michelle Miller Burns, Dallas Symphony Orchestra VP of development

* Editor’s note: Toys may be dropped off at the Meyerson through Sunday, December 18.