Children’s Medical Center Foundation Is Prepared For Weather Questions About Saturday Morning’s Red Balloon Run And Ride

Wouldn’t you just know that the weather-guessers have been as fickle as Scarlett O’Hara filling out her dance card. Some are saying that tomorrow morning is going to be wet, windy and wild. Others are swearing that it will hit tonight and Saturday morning will be as dry and crisp as a nice bottle of Pinot Blanc.

Red Balloon Run And Ride*

Luckily, the Children’s Medical Center Foundation’s Red Balloon Run And Ride organizers are on top of developments. Yes, they’re in negotiations with Mother Nature, but they’re also prepared to communicate any changes.

According to the Foundation’s Heidi Cannella, “We will provide updates (any delays, cancellations, etc.) from now through tomorrow. Our primary concern is safety.” Those updates will be available at www.childrens.com/runandride.

Red Balloon’s corporate sponsor WFAA will also be providing information about the weather conditions and how they’ll be affecting the annual fundraiser.

* Graphic courtesy of Children's Medical Center Foundation

Threatening Skies Cleared Just In Time For 1,300 To Eat, Drink And Celebrate The Inaugural Dallas Arboretum Food And Wine Festival

When Chef Sharon Van Meter took a flight from New Orleans to Dallas on the morning of Thursday, March 16, she was hoping Big D would be warmer than the Big Easy had been. But she arrived to 60-degree weather, overcast skies and the threat of drizzle.

Sharon Van Meter

Normally, that would not be a problem for a chef, but Sharon was chairing the inaugural Dallas Arboretum Food And Wine Festival that evening outdoors at the Dallas Arboretum with an expected 1,300 guests.

As the day continued, organizers called area meteorologists hoping to hear that clear skies were on the evening docket. In the meantime, Sharon received at least 200 calls seeking tickets for the sold-out fundraiser.

Even at 5 p.m., things weren’t looking so rosy, with the clouds staying put. Then, magically, right on cue at 6 p.m. as the VIP patrons approached the Main Parking Gate, the skies cleared, with the sun slowly slipping into the west over White Rock Lake and temperatures in the low 70s.

The festival was a way to start building the anticipation of the under-construction, two-acre “A Tasteful Place” slated to open this fall. The Place will be a cornucopia of fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers, plus a 3,600-square-foot Garden Pavilion for dining and teaching. But for now, the guests were on the scene to dine and wine throughout the Arboretum. 

Chad Houser and LaDarian Neal

The VIP types were directed to the DeGolyer House for a private reception, where they had expected to see the Chef With No Name. But, no. No Name was a no show. Still, there were other chefs like Chad Houser and Craft Spirits specialist/mixologist Matt Orth making magic.

Cliff and Gail Fischer and Denny and Connie Carreker

Christine Stein and Haley Muse

Alexis Abril and Danielle Abril

Patricia Dunne, Traudi Bandura, Jeanette Johnson and Melora Leiser

The VIPs enjoyed the terrace better than even the DeGolyer family had with incredible dining, view of the grounds and White Rock and seeing such folks as Gail and Cliff Fischer, Connie and Denny Carreker,  Patricia Dunne, Traudi Bandura, Jeanette Johnson, Melora Leiser, Christine Stein, Haley Muse and Danielle Abril with her brother Alexis Abril.

Dallas Arboretum Food And Wine Festival

Terry and Anne Conner

Kay Weeks

In the meantime, the early-arrival general admission guests lined up for the official opening at 6:30. What they discovered were four areas throughout the grounds, each one representing a different region (Pan Asian, Southern American, American Bistro and Mediterranean) featuring loads of area chefs (Chef Aaron Staudenmaier of Shinsei/Lovers Seafood and Market, Chef Abraham Salum of Salum Restaurant, Chef Alex Astranti of Uchi, Chef Anastacia Quinones of Oddfellows, Chef Andrea Shackelford of Harvest Seasonal Kitchen, Chef April Barney of Miller and Associates, Chef Brad Phillips of Asador Restaurant at the Renaissance Dallas, Chef Chad Houser of Café Momentum, Chef Christopher Patrick of Abacus, Chef Daniel Pittman of LUCK, Chef Daniele Puleo of CiboDivino, Chef Dunia Borga of La Duni Baking Studio, Chef David Gauthier of Smoky Rose, Chef Eric Dreye of Fearings, Chef Gianni Santin of Haute Sweet Patisserie, Chef Henry Gentry of Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream, Chef Jay Valley of Saint Rocco’s, Chef Janice Provost of Parigi, Chef Jean-Marie of CADOT, Chef Jeffrey Hobbs of The Slow Bone, Chef John Doumas of Pop Star Handcrafted Popsicles, Chef John Tesar of Knife, Chef Josh Harmon of Kitchen LTO, Chef Junior Borges and Chef Josh Sutcliff of Mirador, Chef Justin Box of Cedars Social, Chef Katherine Clapner of Dude Sweet Chocolate, Chef Larry Williams of Sallio, Chef Luis Olvera of Trompo Taco, Chef Mark Wootton of Garden Café, Chef Mary Sparks of Emporium Pies, Chef Matt McCallister of FT33, Chef Meaders Ozarow of Empire Baking Co., Chef Michael Scott of Rosewood Ranches Wagyu Beef, Chef Mike Shetsky of SĒR Steak and Spirits, Chef Nikky Phinyawatana of Asian Mint, Chef Omar Flores of Casa Rubia/Whistle Britches, Chef Rebecca Jolly of Grayson Social, Chef Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s, Chef Robert Lyford of Patina Green Home and Market, Chef Samantha Rush of Rush Patisserie, Chef Samir Dhurandhar of Nick and Sam’s, Chef Scott Nakachi of Paul Martin’s American Grill, Chef Sheila Roidopoulos of Cheesecake Royale and Royale Desserts, Chefs Sonny Pache and Michael Scott of Ocean Prime and Chef Uno Immanivong of Chino Chinatown) and wines to match. The people-watching merrily continued with Elizabeth Tripplehorn-Laurenzi supporting her CapRock Services husband Alex Laurenzi and Smoky Rose brother David Cash, Kay Weeks and Anne and Terry Conner. Alas, the servers like Sonny Pache, Sandra Reyes and Roberto Cabrera were so busy serving, they rarely got a chance to look up.

Alex Laurenzi, Elizabeth Tripplehorn-Laurenzi and David Cash

Another highlight of the evening was checking out the Dallas Blooms’ “Peace, Love And Flower Power” displays.

Dallas Blooms’ Love, Peace and Flower Power

Just after 8 p.m. Hobo Cane was in concert at the Martin Rutchik Concert Lawn, along with desserts from around the world.  

Dallas Arboretum VP Terry Lendecker looked like a person amazed at how perfect it all turned out — the 500,000 blossoms were vying for attention skyward; the guests grazed happily at the 40-ish chef stations; the weather was a step above spectacular; and there was not a mosquito in sight.

Summed up Chef Sharon: “What a perfect place this was for it. We all love the Arboretum. I call Arboretum people ‘little fairies,” because they go around spreading good cheer all over the place!” 

Make plans now for the next Food and Wine Festival. It’s scheduled for Thursday, March 22, 2018.

Despite The Threat Of Rain, North Texas Food Bank’s Empty Bowls Had Guests And Restaurants Spooning Throughout The Meyerson

Paula Lambert, Simon Powell and Meaders Ozarow

As the herds headed out of town for early spring break on Friday, March 10, 1,300+ supped up at the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser for the North Texas Food Bank. It was the first Empty Bowls, since the death of full-of-life NTFB CEO Jan Pruitt. While her spirit championed on with restaurants setting up at the Meyerson. Her team including Interim President/CEO Simon Powell rallied the area restaurants and foodies resulting in the event coming off without a hitch.

Even as Mother Nature threatened to damped the outdoor activities, the experienced NTFB-ers simply took the precaution of pulling the VIP entrance and Bowl Tent and Checkout back to the lower level of the Meyerson.

The True Food Kitchen and Paradise Bakery and Cafe stations were moved to the Opus restaurant.

Joseph Alexander, Diana Ivette, Brandon Williams and Juan Prado

Empty Bowls’ bowls to take home

As one poor soul sought a parking space in the bowels of the underground parking, cutie pies like Joseph Alexander, Diana Ivette, Brandon Williams and Juan Prado welcomed guests and handed out blue bags and direction for guests. But the crowds didn’t mind the hassle of finding parking spots. They were there to pick out their bowls, bid on the ones in the silent auction and graze on two levels of the Meyerson.

Suzy Sotelo, Jolie Oree Bailey and Oscar Aponte

Low Country Quisine’s Jolie Oree Bailley was pleased that their participation last year evidently moved them from the upper level to the main lobby. Others didn’t care one iota. They were too busy doling out food.

The chaps at the Samsung Photo Booth encouraged guests to step inside the oversized capsule to sample the next stage of selfism that proved to be pretty awesome. Just past the booth was the KPMG VIP area with tables and wine.

Bailee Weeks, Salvatore Gisellu and Monica Leibowitz

Upstairs Hill and Knowlton’s Mark Edgar sampled Salvatore Gisellu‘s handmade beef meatball in a cup from Urban Crust.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then there are thousands over at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery of the restaurateurs who made it all possible.

An Early Start Might Be Wise For This Weekend’s Home Tours

It almost seems like every house in North Texas is part of a home tour this spring. This weekend a couple of them —Park Cities 15th Annual Historic Home Tour and Munger Place Wine Walk and Home Tour — are bracing for some stormy weather.

4825 Miramar*

According to the weather guessers, the bruised clouds and blowing winds won’t hit until late-ish Saturday afternoon. So, why not tour early, grab a bite to eat to compare notes with your buds and head to your home to watch South Carolina play Gonzaga and Oregon play North Carolina?  

* Photo provided by Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society

Sold-Out Alert!: 2017 Recess

Another state of “Sold Out” has been revealed. Friday night’s Recess at the Dallas Arboretum is a done deal. 

As for those predictions of stormy weather, they won’t be a problem because the NorthPark-sponsored Sandbox, games, spiked juice box and music provided by Prophets and Outlaws will all be safe and sound inside Rosine Hall.

Recess*

And no need to wear stuffy, grown-up attire. It will be strictly “schoolyard chic” (aka casual chic).

Benefiting and celebrating the 10th anniversary of Dallas AfterSchool, Event Co-Chairs Regina Merson and Robyn Siegel and Honorary Co-Chairs Tanya McDonald and Janet Mockovciak have arranged for the following sponsors:

  • Capture the Flag ($25,000) – The Baldridge Foundation
  • Simon Says ($10,000) – Lydia and William Addy, Baird, Strategic Wealth Partners/Colleen and Peter Bowler and Janet and John Mockovciak
  • Red Rover ($5,000) – Anne and Terry Conner, Christina K. Hanger and Tanya and Ken McDonald
  • Duck Duck Goose ($2,500) – Philip Theodore Bee Charitable Trust, Kristi and Brian Erickson, Cherri and Jack Musser, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Ernst and Young and Tenet Healthcare
  • Four Square ($1,000) – Christy Bednar, Sheela and Marc Birnbaum, Kathi and Chris Child, Serena Simmons Connelly, Maria and Douglas Cramer, The Donachie Foundation, Laurie and Craig Dunn, Angela and Mark Frederiksen, Abby and Michael Gregory, Sarah Losinger, Christina and Tim Norris, Tricia and Eric Stammberger, Social Venture Partners Dallas, Stacy and Mack Hicks and The Fijolek Family
  • Special Thanks and In-Kind Donors – Aimbridge Hospitality, BANCO, Cindy Ferris, Dallas Arboretum, Kent Rathbun Catering, LeForce Entertainment, Live Nation, McShan Florist, Microsoft, NorthPark Center, Paper City, Pop Parties, Topgolf, Yellow Rose Distilling and Housed Real Estate
* Graphic courtesy of Dallas AfterSchool

To Heck With Winter Chills, Spring Is Heating Up With Summer Temps

Spring breakers, welcome back to the school drop-off/pick-up cha-cha and Daylight Savings rehabbing. Missed you tons during the spring break, but the nonprofits are rearing to go for the upcoming weeks.

Cold days of 2015 (File photo)

There’s just so much on the agenda. But not to worry. There isn’t a sold-out among them … yet.

Christian Dior stilettos (File photos)

So, while you’re putting those woollies in deep freeze storage for a while and pulling out those skimpy cottons, start checking your calendars for which ones you’ll be dressing up for.

In the meantime, replace whose yawn-last season stilettos with new kids-on-the-heel and spiffing up your oh-hum silks of last season with some spiff-ier frocks.

If you need help, you just know the retailers can advise you.

And while you’re at it, re-think your thermostats. The threat of the mercury hitting 90 is out there this week. The weather guessers are also suggesting that something not-so-friendly is coming up the end of the week. Stay tuned with bumbershoots in hand.

A Gentle Reminder: Greenville Avenue’s St. Patrick’s Day Run/Walk, Parade And Festival To Take Place This Saturday

2017 Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival map**

While St. Patrick’s Day is still a week away, the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade And Festival will take place this Saturday along Greenville Avenue benefiting the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association.

2017 St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville 5K*

But before the parade kicks off at 11 a.m., the 22nd Annual St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville will start at 8 a.m. Organizers are predicting 5,000 participants will run/walk the 5K down “the St. Patrick’s Day parade route, tree-lined Southwestern Blvd., Skillman and University Blvd.,” benefiting the North Texas Food Bank.

Hopefully, all the runners/walkers will be across the finish line before the parade’s floats hit the avenue.

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

Now, some suggestions:

  • Barriers and other preparations for the run and parade will start showing up Friday afternoon. So, it might be wise to run those errands today and early tomorrow. Be forewarned: Some stores like Office Depot along Greenville might be closed Saturday during the parade.
  • Weather guessers are claiming that Saturday morning may be damp-ish, so if you’re gonna be among the 100,000+ spectators, you might want to bring along a slicker or umbrella.
  • Take DART to the Greenville station because parking is going to be painfully limited.
  • If you decide to linger into the afternoon and night enjoying the adult libations, reconsider driving yourself home. No matter how responsible you may think you are, you’ll be much more so by having Uber or another professional service drive you home.
*Graphic courtesy of Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival 
** Graphic courtesy of St. Paddy's Day Dash Down Greenville 5k

JUST IN: Friday’s18th Annual Empty Bowls Will Be Totally Indoors At The Meyerson

Just heard from the North Texas Food Bank team and “due to anticipated inclement weather conditions,” they’ve already kicked into back-up mode for the 18th Annual Empty Bowls food fest on Friday at the Meyerson. That means everything is gonna be indoors!

18th Annual Empty Bowls*

All the restaurants (Aisan Mint, Blue Bell Creameries, Blue Mesa Grill, Carso Mediterranean Grill, Celebration Restaurant, Dining at the Meyerson, Empire Baking Co., Kroger, Low Country Quisine, McAlister’s Deli, Meso Maya, Mozzarella Company, Norma’s Cafe, Paradise Bakery and Cafe, Royal Cup Coffee, Shake Shack, Snappy Salads, SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza, Tejano Brothers, Tortaco, True Food Kitchen and Urban Crust) will be high and dry inside the Meyerson serving up all type of goodies.

Bowls for sale (File photo)

And then there are the bowls that will be auctioned off and for sale.

Since parking is going to limited, why not buddy together for Uber?

* Graphic courtesy of 
North Texas Food 
Bank

BEWARE: Mother Nature Has Cooked Up A Weekend Of Weathery Upsy and Downsies

That Mama Nature is a tricky old gal. She had the weather guessers convinced that she would just snow flurry around this afternoon. And there were all types of impressive maps to back her claim. But then the white stuff started falling. Just one flake made people smile. Then a dozen made folks think how pretty the flurry is. But then the flurry became an afternoon drive-home fury of flakes that as soon as they hit the ground, they froze together making Central Expressway a glorified parking lot and teeny-weeny hills become icy roller coasters.

Traffic in the snow (File photos)

Now, what’s in the future? Take a deep breath and read this before venturing out Saturday morning. The stuff that’s wet and on the ground this evening is going to freeze thanks to temperatures in the 20s. Roads that were slippery today are going to be treacherous Saturday until afternoon when the temps get just barely above freezing.

Are you relieved? Don’t be. Sorry to report that Saturday night the stuff that started melting Saturday afternoon will refreeze Saturday night thanks to returning temperatures in the 20s. Rethink Sunday brunches and church services.

Dallas Arboretum squirrels (File photo)

But you deserve some good news and here goes. Sunday afternoon the temperatures will start rising above freezing and will stay there the rest of the week.

So, tell those sandals and shorts to take a break. Come Tuesday they’ll be needed for walking the dogs, sipping on patios, comparing notes with the penguins at the Dallas Zoo and checking out the blossoms at the Arboretum.

In the meantime, rethink that subscribing to Netflix and reading that book that has been gathering dusty. And what about that needlepoint that you’ve been meaning to finish up?

Mother Nature’s Going To Give North Texas A Real Cold Shoulder For A Couple Of Days

If you think it’s cold now, brace yourself. It’s downhill from here until Sunday. Head to the grocery now to get those fixings for soups, casseroles and brownies.

You’ve already gone over your chilly weather checklist of taking care of the “4 Ps” (people, pets, plants and pipes). The duvet is on the bed. The flannel jammies are ready for duty. Excellent

But before you totally close down the must-do freeze list, think wet. For instance, if you don’t want to be the neighborhood slip-and-slide pain, turn off your sprinkler system.

Dripping faucet

And, if you’re one of those folks who lets faucets drip, why not put a bucket or major league bowl under the faucet and use the water for your plants and pets? No sense in wasting that water.

If you have munchkins, be prepared for some unhappy campers. It appears Friday will not be a snow day. Rather it will be a dusting of flakes and schools don’t close down for that. Sorry.

The Winter Of 2016-2017 Continues To Have Its Ups And Downs

For all those that scurried to the Rockies and other high points in search of cooler temp, snow and the holidays, good move. Those photos of you on the slopes and partying with your pals around the fireplace have been memory keepers.

2016 fall/winter leaves

As for those seeking the perfect tan on sand-covered beaches, nice but wasn’t it sorta waste of American Express points?

With North Texas flirting with record-breaking temperatures, knee-high boots and swell sweaters have battle sandals and tantalizing tank tops thanks to 70- and 80-degree weather.

Instead of shimmering, ice covered terrain, the Christmas/Hanukkah week has been golden thanks to leaves now covering neighborhood as if it were Halloween.

But as local out-of-towners head back to North Texas, be forewarned. Winter ain’t over. So don’t put those warmies back into moth ball status. Stay braced and keep the Irish coffee prepared for appears to be on board for Wednesday.

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

Dallas Zoo Penguin Days hosts (File photo)

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

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

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

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

MySweetMusic For Christmas 2016 – Part 4

Chances are that you just returned from midnight services. Or perhaps, you just were way late in the gift wrapping duties. Regardless, you’ll be hearing drips of rain on the roof as well as the patter of reindeer. Makes sense. Rain and reindeer on the roof.

But really, should you be up so late? If so, MySweetCharity twin elves Cherry T. and Jerry T. have provided the background music for you to chill.

Weather Ups And Downs In The Days Ahead

If your thrills come from roller coasters, then hold on. Last week’s dip in temperatures was just a hint of what’s ahead the next few days.

Thank heaven you’ve already pulled out that duvet and dual-temperature heated mattress cover. The weather guessers are all claiming that Friday and Saturday are gonna have shorts returning thanks to 70-degree temps. But Saturday night the bottom is going to fall out with temperatures dropping 40 50 degrees. Not to worry. Just cozy up with the love of your life, whether they be two- or four-legged types.

Frosty weather

The freezing chills are predicted to continue until at least Monday mid-morning. Some weather experts are even suggesting some flurries but nothing scary.  

While you know the drill, add this one to the list. Turn off your sprinkler systems unless you want to create a winter wonderland and a slip-and-slide for your sidewalk and street.

Plants Have Feelings, too

Today and tomorrow the Dallas Arboretum staffers are busy planting bulbs snug in the grounds and covering them with petunias. As the below-freezing temperatures approach Saturday night, here are some suggestions from Dallas Arboretum VP of Gardens Dave Forehand,

Dallas Arboretum crew planting bulbs before the freeze

  •  Water before it freezes: Watering material before the threat of frost protects the plant root zone. Water acts like a blanket insulating the roots. This makes the plant stronger against a freeze. When plant cells are full of water, they are less likely to be subject to frost damage. If possible, water a day or two before a freeze and make sure to water the entire root zone of the plant. This is especially important in newly planted trees and shrubs. Try watering early in the day so plants have time to absorb water before a freeze. If at all possible, avoid watering the foliage. If you have an irrigation system, hand watering might be the best option for certain locations. Keeping water off the foliage prevents the formation of ice on leaf material which can cause breaks and more damage.
  •  Use frost cloth: Frost cloth acts as a blanket and helps trap heat. Make sure that you secure the cloth entirely around the plant and tighten to the soil using fabric pins or bricks (anything that will hold it down firmly will work). Frost cloth is made from a product that “breathes,” and this cloth helps against burn caused by other materials. Purchase frost cloth months in advance. When the threat of a freeze is coming, frost cloth sells out quickly. Do not use frost cloth when there is a chance of snow. Otherwise, it will cause more damage breaking plants from the weight of the snow.
  • Check plant health: The healthier your plants are, the more prone they are to handle stress. Proper water and maintenance throughout the growing season will help in the winter months. It is also important to select the right plant for your area.  Check to make sure that the plant material you select is appropriate for your location. Check out USDA plant hardiness zone map to see what zone you live in. This information will help you purchase the best plant material for your zone.

So, if you’ve finished your uber shopping, then why not take advantage of this advice from a man-who-knows? Come spring you’ll be the standout among your neighborhood of cottages.

Brace Yourself For A Thrill Chill To Come

From those wonderful peeps, who predict all types of weather wonderment, comes word that North Texas is bracing for a Polar Plunge.

So, what does that mean? Hello? Polar plunge sounds like something that the Dallas Zoo would be holding for the polar bears.  But not!

The weather wizards are claiming that the local area codes will be hit starting late Wednesday with a frigid situation that hasn’t been seen in two years.

Cold days of 2015 (File photo)

Cold days of 2015 (File photo)

Think of it as the cold shoulder that you gave that geek, who crossed the line.

Okay, let’s be totally honest. It ain’t in all probability gonna snow or ice over, but it is gonna be cold and drizzle thanks to the dropping temps and the wind chill.

Regardless, you know the drill better than anyone.

Keep the pets in, the plants protected, the pipes covered and the cocoa simmering.

BTW, word has it on the boulevard that folks are hitting the grocery stores and are brewing up all types of soups, pastas and pastries. Don’t you just love comfort food?

Seriously, please check on your senior-type friends/family. They may brush you off and claim that they have all things under control. Don’t believe them. They’re adorable, but they fib. Why not invite them over to spend the night or provide them with that duvet that you have hidden away in your closet?

JUST IN: Children’s Health’s Holiday Parade Is Canceled, But A Get-Together Breakfast With Santa Is Still On At The Adolphus

There are just times when words have to be eaten and this is one of them. In an earlier post, the declaration was made that this year’s Children’s Health’s Holiday Parade would not be canceled.

Word just arrived from Children’s Scott Summerall, that indeed the parade is canceled.

No, there will be no frigid roads nor frozen tundra. But WFAA’s Colleen Coyle, who has a cot in the backroom at the studio, is warning that Saturday morning is gonna be ugly. With this in mind, wiser minds realized that the conditions just didn’t allow for safer health-conditions for participants and spectators.

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

The long story made short — the parade is canceled, not postponed.

The official word is, “Despite today’s beaming sunshine, weather forecasts for DFW include a high probability of heavy rain and cold temperatures on Saturday. Due to these impending weather conditions and the fact that many of the acts cannot perform in the rain, we are canceling the Children’s Health Holiday Parade out of concern for the well-being of the patients and families we serve. We sincerely appreciate all of the incredible patients, volunteers, participants, sponsors and attendees who help bring the parade to life each year, especially Santa. You can still tune in to WFAA channel 8 on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. to watch last year’s parade!”

Santa*

Santa*

However… and you just knew there would be a “however”… the Auxiliary’s breakfast with Santa is still on from 9:30-11:30 at the Adolphus with “traditional photographs with Santa Claus, face painting, balloon artists, breakfast treats and other fun festivities, we have also added special celebrity appearances and costume character visits.”

For those, who bought tickets to attend the parade and want a refund, no problem. But, gee whiz! Tis the season, so why not just let the unused tickets go to support the efforts at Children’s Health.

So snooze in on Saturday and dream that your contributions are helping youngsters at Children’s. Or attend brunch with Santa and make sure that you provide the old codger with a list of your wishes.

* Photos provided by Children's Health

Bundle Up For Saturday’s 29th Annual Children’s Health Holiday Parade Through Downtown Dallas

 UPDATE: The parade has indeed been canceled, but the sold-out breakfast with Santa is still on!

Just imagine. Toddlers, who attended the first-ever Children’s Health Holiday Parade in 1987, are all grown up and have toddlers of their own. For some it’s become a family tradition despite the changes of routes and the weather conditions.

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Speaking of which, this Saturday’s weather forecast is gonna be so very typical of North Texas winter. The day’s high is gonna maybe hit 50 degrees and there’s a very good chance of rain. But, shoot! That’s why retailers invented gloves, sock caps, bumbershoots, slickers and galoshes.

So, dig out all those warm clothes and head downtown early because the area’s biggest, most colorful walking extravaganza starts at 10 a.m. come rain or shine. If you want a reserved bleacher seat, you can get it here!

2016 Children’s Health Holiday Parade route*

2016 Children’s Health Holiday Parade route*

Afterwards, head to your favorite spot for a late morning brunch with hot chocolate, hot toddy, Belgian waffles and all that comfort food you deserve.

The parade has only been canceled once in history back in 2013 when an ice storm hit the area. But rest easy. This ain’t gonna be a repeat of that one. It’s just gonna be damp and chilly.

* Photo and graphic courtesy of Children's Health

With Loads Of Turquoise And Stars Above, Spirit Of Taos Sparkled At The Lot Resulting In More Than $141K For The Wilkinson Center

The night couldn’t have been more perfect for a fundraiser at The Lot in East Dallas, just across the street from White Rock Lake. And as luck would have it, The Wilkinson Center‘s Spirit of Taos took full advantage of the perfect conditions on Friday, October 28. While others were in black tie and diamonds over at the Dallas Opera’s First Night, the Wilkinson crowd donned bolo ties and turquoise to net $141,061.80. (Who says every penny doesn’t count?) BTW, it was a darn purty group of folks. Here’s a report from the field:

The Lot*

The Lot*

Hosted by the Friends of Wilkinson Center, the Spirit of Taos took place on Friday, October 28, at The Lot in Lakewood with a sellout crowd of 300 millennials and baby-boomers, who dusted off their cowboy boots to show their support for Wilkinson Center.

From the left: Laura Ailshire, Kristen Johnson, Michael Graska, Meredith Dier s, Kendall Angela, Hunter Heres, Kelli Mansfield, OJ DeSouza, Jenn Dolim, Tia Williams, Kay Weir

From the left: Laura Ailshire, Kristen Johnson, Michael Graska, Meredith Diers, Kendall Angela, Kelli Mansfield, Hunter Heres, Kay Weir, OJ DeSouza, Tia Williams and Jenn Dolim and Tia Williams*

Jeremy Zidell and Mark and Sloane Simon*

Jeremy Zidell and Mark and Sloane Simon*

Will Walters and Joe Acosta*

Will Walters and Joe Acosta*

The event kicked off with a cocktail hour from 7-8pm that featured margaritas and hors d’oeuvres like quesadillas, mini pimento cheese sandwiches, tostadas and chicken flautas.  Guests like Daniella Giglio, Will Waters, Joe Acosta, Jeremy Zidell, Sloane and Mark Simon, Matt Muckleroy, Nick Higdem, Liz Stutts, Laura Ailshire, Kristen Johnson, Michael Graska, Meredith Diers, Kendall Angela, Hunter Heres, Kelli Mansfield, OJ DeSouza, Jenn Dolim,Tia Williams and Kay Weir were welcomed by Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder and Spirit of Taos Event Co-Chairs Stephanie Taylor, Sloan Looney Dix and Meridith Zidell

Sloan Looney Dix, Meridith Zidell and Stephanie Taylor*

Sloan Looney Dix, Meridith Zidell and Stephanie Taylor*

Steve and Cathy Saxon*

Steve and Cathy Saxon*

Matt Thornton*

Matt Thornton*

A seated dinner followed with southwest-flavored food from The Lot and dessert by Emporium Pies. Special remarks were made by our guest emcee Matt Thornton, who is the Cross Sports Talk Radio host, and Honorary Co-Chairs Cathy and Steve Saxon, long time Wilkinson Center supporters. Guests listened and danced throughout the evening to tunes from Frank in the Middle and Downtown Fever.

Anthony Contreras and Daniella Giglio*

Anthony Contreras and Daniella Giglio*

Babo Crain*

Babo Crain*

Raffle and Silent Auction Co-Chairs Anthony Contreras and Babo Crain did a fantastic job collecting one of the kind items and unique experiences. The silent auction featured items like sports memorabilia with an autographed shoe by the one and only Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki and a Florida Beach vacation getaway including airfare. The raffle included dining extravaganza package with gift certificates to dine at some of the best restaurants and a cooking collaboration at the Onion Creek Kitchens at Juniper Farms in Blanco. If you weren’t interested in what the silent auction or raffle had to offer, there was also a Kendra Scott station set up where mystery jewelry boxes were sold for $60/per box. Each box contained a piece of jewelry that ranged in value from $60-$250. Flashbox Photobooth Dallas was set up to commemorate the evening with photos.

Walk in Dirk's Shoe*

Walk in Dirk’s Shoe*

We are so grateful for everyone who came out, supported and had a great time!  We could not have done it without our loyal constituents and our corporate and individual sponsors which included: Avison Young, Robert Baird, Marsha and Craig Innes, Paper City, The Retail Connection, Sewell Lexus, The T Shop, Veritex Bank and David Weekly Homes.

The night resulted in a total net amount of $141,061.80 that allow us to continue to provide pathways out of poverty for our clients. Until next year….

* Photo credit: Eric Priddy

JUST IN: 2nd Annual Penguin Days Starts Three-Month Run Thursday

While some folks may not cotton to the upcoming drop in temperatures, there are Dallas Zoo residents that are thrilled. Okay, so maybe the reptiles don’t really care. They’re staying comfy in their heated digs in the Herpetarium. But Dallas Zoo’s Lydia Jennings just sent word that the African Penguins are beside themselves.

Penguins (File photo)

Dallas Zoo Penguins (File photo)

And as part of the wintry feel, the humans at the zoo have announced that starting tomorrow (aka Thursday, December 1) the second annual Penguin Days will commence.

What’s Penguin Days? No, it doesn’t mean that the staff dresses up in tuxedos and waddles around. Rather, it translates to bargains for Dallas Zoo guests. Until Tuesday, February 28, the price of admission will be dropped to $7 per person (kiddos age 2 and Dallas Zoo members will still be free).

Open daily except for Christmas Day, the 106-acre zoo’s hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Seasonal Dip In Temperatures Approaches

Some folks have been complaining about temperatures hitting the upper 80s this month. After all, it is November and it just seems downright unnatural to wear shorts when you have a herd of woollies in your closet bleating to come out.

February 2015

February 2015 (File photo)

Well, pack up the shorts and pull out the cashmeres because today the temps are going to be dipping like a debutante on stage. Word has it that Saturday night, it just might hit the upper 30s. But this first cold front of the season ain’t going to be anything like the freezers of 2011 or 2015. Still, why not prepare now for what probably lies ahead in the weeks to come?

For oldtimers, you know the drill. For newcomers, here are some suggestions:

Snow covers neighborhoods (File photo)

February 2011 (File photo)

  • Bundle up with gloves, caps and jackets, if you’re going to catch a Friday night lights game.
  • Remember to take care of the three P’s — pets, plants and plumbing. It’s not going to freeze, but why not prepare those pipes now?
  • Put a blanket and some water in your car. Who knows? If you get stuck, you just might want a gulp of water and a wrapper until you get a tow.
  • Have your HVAC checked. It’s been a while since you turned on the heating element.
  • Check on your senior buds and physically challenged folks. Cold weather seems to hit them harder than you hardy types. See if their windows and doors are sealed to keep out the cold. And while you’re at it check yours, too.
  • It’s not too late to have a chimney sweep check your fireplace. You might also want them to clean your clothes dryer, too. After all, you don’t want the holiday glow to be your home going up in smoke.
  • Stock up on all those comfort foods. Homes just seem to handle the chill when hot chocolate is served or brownies are in the oven.
  • Remember those old blankets that you replaced with brand new ones? Why not donate the older ones to Goodwill or Dallas Animal Services?
  • Stock up on batteries, candles and matches.
  • Get a book and a couple of board games and/or jigsaw puzzles. If you lose electricity, you’ll find high tech goes down the drain and these old-timers can come in handy to handle the boredom.
  • Buy a toy. No, it has absolutely nothing to do with staving off the cold, but you just know you’re going to want to donate to a toy drive, so why not buy something now!

What A Night ReuNight Is Gonna Be

If you were one of the lucky few, who moved fast enough and had the extra bucks to be part of Thursday’s ReuNight benefiting The Family Place, you just might benefit from these tips from Event Co-Chairs Brian Bolke and Faisal Halum and Shelle and Michael Sills and Honorary Chair Mary Clare Finney.

First of all, there’s going to be just the slightest chill in the evening air, so it’s the perfect opportunity to debut your fall/winter evening wear.

As for arriving for the festivities, the valets will be set up at 1608 Elm Street (aka Forty Five Ten Courtyard). That’s where you’ll just hop out of your car and head straight into the brand, spanking new Fort Five Ten for cocktails at 6 p.m.

After an hour of eyeballing the fabulous, new fashion digs and the other well-dressed guests, you’ll stroll next door to the tent for dinner served up by The Joule. You can’t miss it. It’s right in front of The Eye.

On the agenda for the tent will be a Q&A between local Kim Schlegel Whitman and designer/extra-special guest Donna Karan.

And, of course, there will be the live auction. But in keeping with tradition, a ReuNight live auction is extremely limited and very unique. This year’s collection of four includes the following to-die-for items:

  • Art Deco Citrine Cameo Ring*

    Art Deco Citrine Cameo Ring*

    Art Deco Citrine Cameo Ring — This gem has got to be seen to be believed. Psyche is depicted crossing the river Styx within the citrine cameo cuvette. It is framed by a pierced and engraved white gold mounting, bead-set with old European and rose-cut diamonds, seed pearls and millegrain accents. Think of artwork for the hand.

  • One&Only Ocean Club Bahamas*

    One&Only Ocean Club Bahamas*

    One&Only Ocean Club Bahamas — So, what would a live auction be without a trip? But leave it to ReuNight to come up with a doozy. For simply ages, Paradise Island has been renowned for its pristine white beaches, luxurious accommodations, golf course and meals provided by Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. No wonder it’s considered a getaway magnet for extreme boldfacers.  The package includes a three-night stay in a Hartford Wing Ocean View Room with daily breakfast in Dune Restaurant, a $200-spa credit and, of course, a chef’s dinner by Jean-Georges. Since it’s still cleaning up after Hurricane Matthew partied there, the trip is available from March 2017 to March 2018. 

  • Urban Zen Downtown Experience

    Urban Zen Downtown Experience*

    Urban Zen Downtown Experience — How simply perfect with Donna Karan just a table away. You and a companion will be able to channel Donna thanks to a $5,000 gift certificate to Urban Zen NYC, Donna’s Eastern-inspired luxury clothing and lifestyle boutique. But there’s still more. There will be “a relaxing and healing session for two with an Urban Zen Integrative Therapist in the Loft. While in NYC, you’ll call “a luxe downtown hotel” home for two nights and have dinner at Tutto Il Giorno in Tribeca.

  • Hermes Kelly Pochette*

    Hermes Kelly Pochette*

    Hermes Kelly Pochette — A cross between a bag and a clutch, this Hermes beaut will be an showstopper thanks to its gorgeous vert anis green lizard. And, naturally, the Hermes palladium hardware is front and center, don’t you know?  

Make sure you catch Heritage Auction’s Alissa Ford’s eye, so she doesn’t miss you hand when you bid.

Afterward, head back to the Forty Five Ten Courtyard for your ride home and a night of sweet dreams.   

* Photos provided by The Family Place

25th Anniversary Of Zoo To Do Was More Fun Than A Barrel Full Of Monkeys Thanks To The Zoo Brothers

Greeting October, Mother Nature blessed North Texas with Chamber of Commerce picture perfect weather. Perhaps this condition was due to Zoo To Do Co-Chairs/Heavyhitters Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy (aka Zoo Brothers) producing an incredible 25th anniversary for the Dallas Zoo fundraiser.

Hal Brierley, Mary McDermott Cook, Don Glendenning and John Levy

Hal Brierley, Mary McDermott Cook, Don Glendenning and John Levy

They even managed to have philanthropist Mary McDermott Cook agree to serve as honorary chair.

Diane Brierley, Nick Even and Lynn McBee

Diane Brierley, Nick Even and Lynn McBee

When confronted about the back-scene goings-on and the boys’ efforts, Diane Brierley dismissed any idea that it was the result of the Brothers’ better halves. As impressive as the boys were about attributing their successes to others, Diane insisted that the Zoo Brothers were indeed responsible for the mega-turnout of roughly 750 and the hopeful blowout of fundraising.

As proof of the boys’ efforts, the property was jammed, with the zoo residents a little surprised at the off-hour activities.

Giraffe

Giraffe

Because the zoo critters were used to a regimented schedule, some animals like the giraffes chilled in their barn during the day. Their reward was a very happy hour with guests hand-feeding Romaine lettuce and doing selfies with the longnecks.

Even among the giraffes, there is a pecking order, with Tebogo seeming to be the top dog. It was well understood that Ferrell and Five would play second fiddle. By the way, someone noted Ferrell’s and Five’s tongues hanging out. Seems that as youngsters they’d both had jaw work done, resulting in their tongues hanging out. Not to worry, though; they can pull ’em back where they belong whenever they want.

Wart hog

Wart hog

Not so photogenic or endearing but still a crowd pleaser were the wart hogs. Despite being the most in need of a plastic surgeon, they still were eye-catchers but not dream dates… unless one was a warthog.

Not so active was Moto, the 16-year-old tortoise. Since Moto could live 100 years, he’s just a kid in a shell.

Moto

Moto

Gorilla

Gorilla

Over at the VIP reception in Gorilla Research Station, the gorillas made an appearance in their compound for photo opps. While accommodating, one of ‘em just didn’t care for the after-hours work and the noise. But inside the Station, a chinchilla, Layla the three-banded armadillo and Gimli the baby crocodile were much more receptive to a lookey, a picture and even a touch.

Crocodile

Gimli

Three-banded armadillo

Laya

But the showstoppers of the entire event were the inhabitants of the Giants of Savanna. Here zebras and elephants grazed as ostriches raced by like Las Vegas showgirls rushing to be on stage.

Giants of Savanna

Giants of Savanna

And as the four-legged critters grazed on grass, lettuce and fruit, the two-legged guests dined on incredible delights provided by area chefs like Janice Provost, Abraham Salum, Jim “Sevy” Severson, Blythe Beck, Gilbert Garza, Elvis, Anita Hirsch and goodies from Meaders Ozarow’s Empire Bakery.

Janice Provost and Abraham Salum

Janice Provost and Abraham Salum

Blythe Beck

Blythe Beck

Amy Severson and Meaders Ozarow

Amy Severson and Meaders Ozarow

Elvis

Elvis

Jim Severson and Laura and Tom Leppert

Jim Severson and Laura and Tom Leppert

Pat and Charles McEvoy

Pat and Charles McEvoy

Of course, the attire of the night was spotty to say the least. No, not that type of “spotty.” Tiffany Divis and Laura Leppert were channeling Winspear the cheetah with the spotted prints. In keeping with the silver anniversary of Zoo To Do, Diane Brierley got handsy. No, not that kind of handsy. She had silver nail polish and shoes… Lynn McBee, realizing that she had nothing zoo-ish to wear, dashed to Vince and bought some zebra printed shoes. How perfect they were to go with Nick Even’s zebra-designed socks! … Pat and Charles McEvoy were back just in time from ten days in Tuscany, where they attended Paula Lambert’s cooking class. While there they picked up a great piece of jewelry — a gold lion that Pat wore about her neck… Posing with unreal animals were David Davis, Tiffany Divis, Michael Faircloth, Lori Castillo and Rhonda and Fraser Marcus… Looking relieved to just be guests were 2015 Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Cindy and Chuck Gummer.

David Davis, Tiffany Divis, Michael Faircloth, Lori Castillo and Rhonda and Fraser Marcus

David Davis, Tiffany Divis, Michael Faircloth, Lori Castillo and Rhonda and Fraser Marcus

For more photos of all types of critters, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

 

Falling Temperatures Welcome Fall And The Need To Let Go

Well, yahoo! Get that duvet out and cozy up to a mug of hot cocoa. Tomorrow morning when you exercise those real and faux eyelashes, there’s gonna be a nip in the air. Open the door and that adorable nose is gonna inhale a crisp sniff of morning air courtesy of Mother Nature.

As promised, the cool front moved in overnight, but it didn’t exactly bring along temps that require nuclear-heated blankets, ice storm warnings, or even the need to hitch up your pack of huskies to the family sled. Those days are yet to come.

Snow covers neighborhoods (File photo)

Snow covers neighborhoods (File photo)

Instead, North Texas is easing into the cooler times of fall, when leaves turn orange, gold and brown before kissing lawns.

And while the outdoors beg for you to take a walk or settle down on your fav patio, think about your closet. There are so many old-timers there that you just know you’ll never ever wear, even if you lose that final ten. Why not donate and allow your past loves to bring wonderfulness to someone else?

If you need a suggestion for clothes adoption centers, think about The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show and Luncheon, Goodwill and Attitudes and Attire for starters.

And talking about closets, what about that linen hideaway? Betcha there are blankets in there that could really help warm someone on a chilly night instead of chilling in the closet. The folks at Goodwill and Dallas Animal Services have residents that would appreciate ’em.