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.

Houston-Like Temperatures And Humidity To Drop In North Texas For Upcoming Outdoors Activities

Prelude: A Preview of Aurora 2017 event map*

Prelude event map*

Sick and tired of the sticky humidity and high temperatures? Seems like Houston, doesn’t it? But not to worry. Just in time for the coming days of outdoor fundraising activities (Prelude: Lights and Prelude: A Preview of Aurora 2017 in the AT&T Performing Arts Center Campus, Park and Palate at Klyde Warren Park, etc.) and the final days of the State Fair, a cold front is breezing through tonight complete with rain.

Klyde Warren Park (File photo)

Klyde Warren Park (File photo)

Okay, so it’s not gonna be a “cold” cold front. Rather, think of it as a cool front. And as for the rain, it will go “bye-bye” by Thursday afternoon.

The temperatures and the humidity will drop enough that a touch of cashmere might be wise for the evenings and the sunglasses will be the perfect accessory during the day.

* Graphic courtesy of Prelude: A Preview of Aurora 2017

Even Rainy Weather Couldn’t Take The Bounce Out Of Community Partners Of Dallas’ 10th Annual Change Is Good

North Texas is the Super Bowl for meteorologists and event planners. With all of Mama Nature’s children (northers rolling down from the Rockies, Arctic chills coming down the Midwest corridor, moist winds from the Gulf Coast and Canadian blowhards), the North Texas region is a mix master of weather.

That’s why Sunday, September 25, put the area activities to the test as wet weather, threats of thunder and promises of cooler weather hit.

The Plano Balloon Festival smartly cancelled early, but the Community Partners of Dallas had the Change Is Good prepared for whatever. And whatever was put to the test.

Mason Park and Beth and Larence Park

Mason Park and Beth and Larence Park

As the doors opened for the 10th Annual Change is Good at Brook Hollow, the weather looked promising for the event to be outdoor/indoor. Still the bungee cord jump stayed still, while the outdoor bounce house and inflated obstacle course had short ones lined up. Toddler Mason Park decided to take a pass on the obstacle course and stayed in the arms of his grandparents/Honorary Co-Chairs Beth and Larence Park.

Inflatable obstacle course

Inflatable obstacle course

Inside the smell of popcorn filled the Verandah, while palm readers got handy and Rad Hatter created millinery masterpieces.

DJ Bill Cody

DJ Bill Cody

Rad Hatter

Rad Hatter

Fortune teller

Fortune teller

In the ballroom, DJ Bill Cody had both kiddos and adults dancing underneath a netted gathering of balloons. At one side of the room was a balloon creation of “10”.

In addition to the “10,” there were families who have been sponsors since its beginning including Shonn and Clarence Brown, Jessica and Jeff Burrow, Sally and George Dutter, Elizabeth and Eric Gambrell, Heather and Malcolm Hicks, Christie and Chris Linebarger, Francie and Steve Mancillas, Emily and Todd Massey, Christina and Tim Norris, Katherine Reeves and Jody and Grant Swartzwelder.

Alas, Elizabeth Gambrell feared that this one just might be her swan song for Change Is Good. Her older two kids had outgrown the event and her baby girl Sarah Rose Gambrell was starting to look like one of the oldies despite the painted face.

Sarah Rose Gambrell and Elizabeth Gambrell

Sarah Rose Gambrell and Elizabeth Gambrell

Jack Landon and Chris Landon

Jack Landon and Chris Landon

On the other hand, those with toddlers found it easier to get around with child in arm like Lindsay and Chris Landon with one-year-old Jack Landon.

Across the room was the near-to-the-ceiling bounce house. At one point there was a group gasp as the house seemed to be tilting on its side. But the kids who were old hands at bounce houses shifted to the other side and all was right.

Still as usual the ultimate popular, line ‘em up was the face painting in the ballroom. Okay, so some fellas like William Spence weren’t so keen about the cosmetic fru-fru. But others like Co-Chair Caroline Ballotta looked right at home with her painted face and Rad Hatter. Brother William Ballotta was one of the little ones who initially was a bit overwhelmed by all the commotion.

Ray Ballotta, William Ballotta, Caroline Ballotta and Lindsay Ballotta

Ray Ballotta, William Ballotta, Caroline Ballotta and Lindsay Ballotta

An hour into the festivities, the feared rain that had hit the rest of the area found Brook Hollow. And despite the overload of kids, parents and grandparents, nobody really seemed to mind. Thought one single-child parent admitted that she was grateful just to have one kidlet.

Energized by the sugary delights of Book Hollow, the kids were in overdrive. In the ballroom where debutante parties had properly taken place and the ever-so-civilized Sweetheart Ball had raised funds, the too-young-to-have-drivers-license set scampered, danced and partied.

Lisa Catravas, Aiden Catravas and Jimmie Catravas

Lisa Catravas, Aiden Catravas and Jimmie Catravas

Shelly Slater, Hutcheson Huffstutter, Hawkins Huffstutter and Clay Huffstutter

Shelly Slater, Hutcheson Huffstutter, Hawkins Huffstutter and Clay Huffstutter

Snapshots: Aiden Catravas with a white streak in his brown hair broke from the herd and dined on carrots and veggies… While juggling her two sons Hawkins Huffstutter and Hutcheson Huffstuffer with husband Clay Huffstutter, Shelly Slater reported that she was still doing parttime work for WFAA as well as advising nonprofits and organizations. But, no, rumors that she was doing PR were so very wrong… Poor Spider Man. Upon seeing the comic superhero, two tykes burst into tears. Hey, it’s rough to be a rejected comic strip hero.

Despite the super-duper sugar high, the party wound down and just as the end came, the net holding the green and white balloons was let loose with balloons falling on the waiting guests.

BTW, the final count for the kids’ collection of change? How about a whopping 87,582 coins adding up to $19,617.55! That means that in its 10 years, 922,526 coins have been turned in resulting in $147,830 for Community Partners of Dallas. What is done with money? It goes to buying supplies, toys and clothes for children who are removed from neglectful and harmful situations.

But Change Is Good does even more than support the Community Partners of Dallas mission. It also is an opportunity for youngsters to learn about fundraising. This year’s efforts resulted in awards being given out including:

  • Most online — Harper Hinds and Haven Hinds ($1,195)
  • Most quarters — Brooke Gray, Cate Gray and Caroline Gray (1,383 quarters)
  • Most change collected —
    • 1st place — Harper Hinds and Haven Hinds ($1,598.01)
    • 2nd place — Brooke Gray, Cate Gray and Caroline Gray ($1,033.63)
    • 3rd place — Sydney Bonfield and Lola Bonfield ($953.25)

For more photos, head over to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Change Is Good

Those folks at Community Partners of Dallas don’t let pending rain warnings dampen their plans. That was the case for their 10th Annual Change Is Good at Brook Hollow Golf Club on Sunday, September 25. While other events might suffer due to drizzle, these kids and their seemed to thrive.

Inflatable obstacle course

Inflatable obstacle course

The outdoor inflatable obstacle course was even more slippery-slidy; bounce house went in-house; the face painters had ’em lined up; the sugary delights filled tables; and, of course, there was a drop of green and white balloons.

Ray Ballotta, William Ballotta, Caroline Ballotta and Lindsay Ballotta

Ray Ballotta, William Ballotta, Caroline Ballotta and Lindsay Ballotta

Kennedy Moore, Sandy Moore, Ryan Moore and Barry Moore

Kennedy Moore, Sandy Moore, Ryan Moore and Barry Moore

While the post is being prepared, check out some pretty cute folks at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Countdown Time For 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Is Underway

This evening while Dwight Yoakam is on stage in Midland and Toby Keith is singing at the BOK Center in Tulsa, there are 100 Cattle Baronesses who have been preparing for Saturday’s American Cancer Society fundraiser featuring both of these country western icons.

When the gals started out for Gilley’s this morning, all they knew was rainy skies outside and chilly temps inside the honky-tonk. Luckily, setting up the hundreds of silent auction items, doling out the goodies for the much-vaunted favor bags and arranging for final logistics warmed things up.

2016 Cattle baron's Ball committee

2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball committee

Even after lunch, when the entire committee gathered for a group photo, the thought was whether the wet stuff was going to hang around. It really, sincerely didn’t matter like the old days when the event was held in cow pastures and Southfork. Nowadays, the ladies have relocated the whole kit-and-caboodle to Gilley’s with its bigger-than-a-small-city tent for the main concert. However, drippy weather does take the bounce out of hair dos and who wants to splash their ostrich boots in puddles?

Luckily, the past CBB chairs brought good news with them for their group photo — the rain was gone. In its place was nothing but sunshine.

Past and 2016 Cattle Baron's chairs from the left: (seated) Cindy Turner, Amy Turner, Olivia Kearney, Cara French, Andrea Weber, Tanya Foster, Cindy Stager and Joan Eleazer; (standing) Cindy Lindsley, Vicki Chapman, Karol Bruton, Kristen Sanger, Tia Wynne, Mary Parker and Katherine Wynne

Past and 2016 Cattle Baron’s chairs from the left: (seated) Cindy Turner, Amy Turner, Olivia Kearney, Cara French, Andrea Weber, Tanya Foster, Cindy Stager and Joan Eleazer; (standing) Cindy Lindsley, Vicki Chapman, Karol Bruton, Kristen Sanger, Tia Wynne, Mary Parker and Katherine Wynne

But wait! There was even more good news. Saturday’s forecast is for more sun and warmer temperatures. So, there will be no need for umbrellas and long johns. Instead it will a strutting display of turquoise, leathers and Stetsons on some mighty fine looking fundraisers.

If you’ve got your ticket,

  • fast now and snarf down the vittles tomorrow night. It’ll crazy grazing time.
  • get in line for the Ferris wheel with its spectacular view of downtown Dallas and the Margaret bridges.
  • make sure you’ve got your “credentials” for entry and your favor bag ticket.
  • consider Ubering to and from.
  • start checking the silent auction items online now and pick out which ones you’re gonna take home.
  • get a great spot to bid on the live auction items. If your budget was blown on your wardrobe, then get a place to watch the highrollers roll up the bids.
  • budget some dough to buy raffle tickets. After all, you could probably use a new car or watch or …