Northwood Woman’s Club’s “Dine By Design” Luncheon Whooped It Up With More Than 30 Tables All Duded Up Texas-Style

Gaylan Sapp and Shannon Burton

Unlike lady year’s Parisian ooh-la-la theme with a standard poodle greeting guests at the door, the North Woman’s Club’s Dine by Design was Texas-bound on Tuesday, February 28 at Bent Tree Country Club. Luncheon Co-Chairs Gaylan Sapp and Shannon Burton had decided to use “Waltz Across Texas” as the inspiration for more than 30 table designs. Well, why not? Texas Independence Day was just 48 hours away.

And to get things going, they had cowgirls Hailey Sandoz and Kristyn Harris strumming and singing in the entry.

Hailey Sandoz and Kristyn Harris

According to Gaylan, she came up with the Texas idea and her husband thought up the theme.

For the past year, Rebecca Dickinson and Sherry Draper had spearheaded the gathering of professional designers and creative types to fill the club. And the tables reflected just how different each creator’s interpretation was. Sure, there were Holiday Warehouse’s “Spring Waltz” and Donna Bailey‘s “Here Comes Easter To Texas” that cashed in on the upcoming spring and Easter.

Here Comes Easter To Texas

Spring Waltz

And Susan Loveless managed to blend her new line of Spa 1421 at her table with the approval of her mother Betty Stripling.

Poker and Gun Barrel City

Deep in the Heart

This Ain’t My First Rodeo

Trains Across Texas

Still others embraced the Lone Star feel with everything from Paula Austell‘s and Sarah Losinger‘s “Trains Across Texas,” Peggy Shuman‘s “Poker At Gun Barrel City,” Barbara Kutz‘s “This Ain’t My First Rodeo,” Barbara Barndt‘s, Michelle Hefner‘s and Molly Meyer‘s “Deep In The Heart,” Laura Williamson‘s and Lugay Wills‘ “All My Exes Live In Texas” to Carolyn Tayne‘s and Betty Verplan‘s “Daughters of the Republic of Texas…125 Years of Preserving Texas History.”

Mary Anne Preston’s copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence

And speaking of Texas history, new club member Mary Anne Preston, who was the great-great-granddaughter of Texas legend Jesse Grimes, shared family memorabilia including a copy of the original handwritten Texas Declaration of Independence.

After checking out all the tables and enjoying flutes of champagne, the guests headed to the ballroom for lunch and entertainment by Dan Tanner.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, let the photos of the tables tell how the Northwood Woman’s Club raises funds for Friends of Wednesday’s Child, Genesis Women’s Shelter And Support, North Dallas Shared Ministries, Our Friends Place, Promise House and Shared Housing Center Inc. Check the designs at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Symphony Of Chefs Top Rollers Celebrated The Stellar Chefs Who Will Be Cooking Up A Storm Tableside For The KidLinks Fundraiser

The crowd that gathered on Tuesday, January 31, at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel had an agenda. They were there to not just celebrate the cast of chefs for the annual Symphony of Chefs fundraiser. They also had their sights set on selecting the chef who would be cooking up a storm for the Monday, February 27th KidLinks‘ fundraiser at Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station. Here’s a report from the field:

When your chef talent includes a James Beard award winner, Bravo TV Top Chef Alumni, a guy who recently “Beat Bobby Flay” on the Food Network and three World Master Chefs, that calls for a celebration. On Tuesday, January 31, at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel’s new City View and City View Terrace, that’s exactly what the North Texas-based non-profit KidLinks did. Celebrating the upcoming Monday, February 27th Symphony of Chefs culinary dining experience at Union Station, sponsors and chefs were treated to a wine tasting by 4R Ranch Vineyards and Winery, cocktails featuring Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège and fare provided by the culinary team of the Renaissance Dallas lead by Executive Chef Frank Quant and including participating Sous Chef Steven Torbron of Asador. 

But that wasn’t the only purpose for the party. Perhaps by circumstance or even with intention just in time for Super Bowl LI, guests were treated to a draft style pairing where they were able to select their seated dinner chef. The Symphony of Chefs features an array of notable culinary talent including a set of rising star chefs who will prepare hors d’oeuvres, 22 chefs who will cook a four-course cocktail and wine paired dinner table-side and another set of pastry chefs preparing a decadent dessert reception.

Marc and Bonnie Shea, Jeremy Lock and D’Andra Simmons Lock and Marc and Georgia Lyons*

As Honorary Chairs D’Andra Simmons-Lock and husband Jeremy Lock along with Event Co-Chairs Georgia and Marc Lyons and Bonnie and Nathan Shea greeted guests upon arrival, the room swelled with talks of each chefs’ menu available for preview. Chefs Uno Immanivong from Chino Chinatown, John Kleifgen from Nick and Sam’s Park Cities and Yutaka Yamato from Yutaka Sushi Bistro were in attendance. Even Gorji from Canary by Gorji was present, having sent an email earlier in the day stating that his Addison-based restaurant would be closed for the evening so that he could personally attend the party.

Sherry Gritch and Gorji**

As Jane McGarry took to the microphone and began with introductions and sponsor thank you’s, it was apparent that the crowd was anxiously awaiting their opportunity to select their favorite chef. The first set of sponsors to select their chefs were, of course, Presenting Sponsors Mason and Allen Custard, Emily and Bruce Robson and Kaari and James Wicklund. With a charming story about their 20+ year connection to Richard Chamberlain, Kaari and James Wicklund made the first pick of the evening, which was then followed by their second selection, Nick and Sam’s Steakhouse Executive Chef Robert James Clifford. The evening continued with Chef Tiffany Derry of The Cupboard by Tiffany Derry being selected by Cristi and Kevin Ryan, with Barbara and Jeffrey Adelglass then selecting Chef Francesco Farris of Zio Cecio.

James Wicklund, Robert James Clifford and Kaari Wicklund*

New Dallas transplant Josh Healy of Filament was scooped up by Tracy and Jeff Hull and long-time supporter and KidLinks board member JW Brown and wife Ann selected private celebrity chef Kevin Ashade (the chef who recently beat Bobby Flay). With over 22 chefs participating in the upcoming event, the evening wrapped with emcee Jane McGarry noting in her final comments that only 20 seats remained for this exclusive dinner.  

Kevin Ashade and Ann and JW Brown*

As guests departed with their Sewell gift bag in hand, you could hear the excitement as they left the building knowing that the chef they selected would make their evening at the Symphony of Chefs memorable. Now it was time to decide who they would invite to sit at their table, a much more daunting task for some.

For more information about KidLinks and the Symphony of Chefs evening of culinary composition visit

* Photo credit: Travis Lilley 
** Photo credit: Thomas Garza

Wine And Film Lovers Came Together At The Arboretum To See A Little Oscar And Learn Big Screen Predictions

While Mary Matalin and James Carville were chatting about the recent presidential election and things to come at the Party for Hope benefiting Hope Supply Co. over at the Bush Center on Thursday, January 26, the Dallas Arboretum’s Rosine Hall looked like a jammed-to-capacity drive-in movie theater. Rows and rows of tables and chairs were lined up facing a big, old screen. And to cap things off, every seat was filled!

Wine and Film, A Perfect Pairing Oscars Preview

The occasion was “Wine and Film, A Perfect Pairing Oscars Preview.” And thanks to wine/film lovers Hayley Hamilton Cogill and Gary Cogill, the Arboretum, and the recent Oscar nomination announcements, it was more than a resounding success.

According to Dallas Uncorked‘s Hayley, “We love the beautiful space at the Arboretum and the ability to do what Gary I do best — pair wine and film. Our podcast has been so much fun doing just this that it was great to be able to do it live for such a welcoming crowd.”

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill

 The original place was for 110 guests, but they ended up with 116 including newly engaged Judy Snyder and Roy Carson, Debra Nelson, Dianne and Shannan Pratt, Frank and Karen Needham, Lee Hobbs and Pat Holder Ritter and Wayne Ritter

One very special guest was a 1939 Oscar awarded to the late composer John Leipold for his musical score in “Stagecoach.” John’s granddaughter Jennifer Stewart brought the little fellow along for a first-hand view of the legendary statue.

When it came to the predictions and pairings, the Coghills put these together:


  • Best original score: “La La Land” by Justin Hurwitz
  • Best original song: “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana” by Lin-Manuel Miranda with Segura Viudas Brut Cava (Made in the traditional method from the classic varieties of Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel·lo in Penedes, Spain, this special Cava is filled with white fruit and citrus, along with tropical and light floral notes. Bright and fresh, with a balanced acidity, and a smooth finish.)


  • Best Adapted Screenplay: “Arrival” by Eric Heisserer
  • Best Original Screenplay: “20th Century Women” by Mike Mills with Bodega Garzon Albarino (The white variety of Rias Baixas, Spain gets an unexpected lift when produced in Uruguay. Farmed sustainably, with heavy influence from the Atlantic Ocean, this lively white wine tells the story of the land and the people. Layers of white flowers, lemon-lime and stone fruit meld with a salty brininess from the breezes through the vineyards off the Ocean.)


  • Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis for “Fences”
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman for “Jackie” with Truvée Rose (Started by the McBride Sisters in the Central Coast, this expressive wine blends classic Rhone varieties of Grenache and Syrah for a wine filled with strawberry, raspberry, and more wild flower aromas leading to a refreshing palate with notes of wild berry and Meyer lemon with a crisp, dry finish.)


  • Best Supporting Actor: Jeff Bridges for “Hell or High Water”
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role: Casey Affleck for “Manchester by the Sea” with Duchman Family Winery Sangiovese (Perhaps the best variety grown in Texas, from one of the best families. Duchman Winery is dedicated to crafting elegant, varietally correct, 100% Texas wines from Texas soils, with a focus on classic, Old World styled Italian varieties. Sangiovese, the variety of Chianti, thrives in Texas, producing a juicy, aromatic and food-friendly wine filled with red fruity, soft herbs, smoke and dense, dusty earth.)

BEST FILM of 2017

  • “Moonlight”
  • “La La Land” with Chateau Haut Caillou Bordeaux, Lalande-de-Pomerol (The best film of the year deserves a wine you will remember, and classic Bordeaux is always appropriate with great films, with [Haley’s] favorite always coming from the Right Bank. Merlot and Cabernet Franc dominant, with just a hint of Cabernet Sauvignon to add weight and texture to the luscious, red currant and black plum fruit filled wine. Elegant and inviting, with just a hint of earthy slate minerality on the finish.)

A couple interesting side notes of the evening’s pairings were:

  • The selection of pairing Viola Davis with the Truvee Wines Rose, which is owned by “the McBride sisters, two African-American sisters with the same father and different mothers. They found they both loved wine and started the company.”
  • Duchman Family Wine is born and bred in Texas and it only seemed right to salute “Hell or High Water” with a Lone Star vino.    

As for the rest of Gary’s predictions, the Cogills will be having another pairings get-together on Wednesday, February 22, at Studio Movie Grill to benefit The Dallas Film Society at Royal from 6 to 8 p.m.

To Kick Off The Holiday Season, The SPCA Of Texas’ Paws Cause Crew Sipped And Shopped At Ralph Lauren

Having recovered from Thanksgiving feasting and family-get-togethers, the SPCA of TexasPaws Cause leadership and friends including Webster the Chihuahua held forth at Ralph Lauren in Highland Park Village on Thursday, December 1. It was just perfect for picking out that outfit for the upcoming Paws Cause at the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center on Sunday, January 29. Here’s a report from the field:

Light from Ralph Lauren Holiday candles glinted off of the magnificent crystal chandelier gracing the entryway of the Ralph Lauren Boutique at Highland Park Village on Wednesday, December 1, where ladies and gentlemen gathered in the holiday spirit to celebrate Paws Cause and shop for friends and family, all to benefit the SPCA of Texas. Guests sipped wine and champagne and nibbled decadent macaroons as they browsed.

Nancy Latner, Mary Spencer and Susie Swanson*

Sincere thanks to  Susie Swanson for hosting and to the Ralph Lauren store for welcoming the festive crowd and for donating a portion of the proceeds from the event’s sales to the SPCA of Texas. Many of the guests were spotted walking out with armfuls of beribboned boxes and bags!

Guests included Honorary Chair Andrea Alcorn, steering committee member and heartbeat of Paws Cause 2017 Karen Urie, SPCA of Texas Board Chair Katy Murray, Susie Swanson, Diane Brierley, Gloria Snead, Penny Rivenbark, Judy Davis, Penny Patton, Kevin Coffey, Mary Spencer, Jocelyn White, Nancy Latner, Sharon Fancher, Steve Atkinson, Kristen Greenberg, SPCA of Texas President/CEO James Bias and SPCA of Texas Senior Vice President of Development Debra Burns.

Steve Atkinson and Kristen Greenberg*

Jocelyn White and Webster*

Katy Murray, James Bias and Karen Urie*

Paws Cause will be held on Sunday, January 29, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center at 2400 Lone Star Drive in West Dallas. Paws Cause is committed to supporting the SPCA of Texas’ programs that aim to support the pets and people of South Dallas through sponsorships and donations to help address the serious stray animal and animal overpopulation issue. For more information, visit

Dallas Arboretum And Dallas UnCorked Partner Up For “Wine And Film, A Perfect Pairing” Oscar Preview With Film-meister Gary Cogill

With budgets being tight after the holidays and folks recovering from weeks of partying, January and February are ideal for checking out movies. And the timing couldn’t be better with the 89th Academy Awards taking place on Sunday, February 26.

And to help with the Oscar predictions, the Dallas Arboretum and Uncorked Dallas are partnering up on Thursday, January 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to present “Wine And Film, A Perfect Pairing,” as part of the Arboretum’s Adult Education Program.

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill (File photo)

According to Dallas Uncorked Founder/President Hayley Hamilton Cogill, “We will preview some of the best films of the year, and pair special award categories with their ideal wines.”

Providing the insight on the celluloid choices will North Texas’ favorite film brain trust/Hayley’s husband Gary Cogill. But Mr. Cogill will have his work cut out for him. This year’s nominees won’t be revealed until Tuesday, January 24.

The gathering will take place in Rosine Hall with the Arboretum providing a few light appetizers that will complement the wines of the night selected by Mrs. Cogill.

While the general public tickets are $65 each, Dallas Arboretum members get in for a discounted $59. See — membership does have perks. You can sign up either way here!

It Was A “Perfect Season” For Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters At Gail And Cliff Fischer’s Estate Thanks To Vintner Norma Hunt

Nothing makes a lady’s leg long better than a stiletto. But along with beauty can come a bit of a pain in traversing certain areas. One of those areas was the auto courtyard in front of Gail and Cliff Fischer’s more-than-fabulous estate on Wednesday, November 9.

Gail Fischer

Todd and Heather Furniss

Robin and Debby Robinson and Barbara and Ralph Babb

The occasion was the Crystal Charity Ball’s Underwriter Party and the POA was for the guests to have their cars taken at the street and the guests to stroll in the moonlight up to the mansion. This made sense since the driveway’s entry only allowed one car at a time to pass through. With about 200 guests including Debby and Robin Robinson, Barbara and Ralph Babb, Pam and Vin Perella, Linda and Les Secrest, Piper and Mike Wyatt, Tincy Miller, Heather and Todd Furniss, Tom Addis, Tiffany and Paul Divis, Sharon Friedberg and Fisher daughter Elizabeth Fischer   RSVPing, the street drop-off made more sense.

Tincy Miller, Tom Addis, Bette Mullins and Gary Cox

Sharon Friedberg, Stephen Pelitere and Elizabeth FIscher

Only there were a couple of hitches in the plans. First there was a big grate between the street and the driveway, and the valets were worried that the ladies’ heels might fall victim to the large slits in the metal panels.

Then there was the stroll. The courtyard is beautiful, but it is also a gravel one and a couple or three gals had to wobble their way up to the steps with the help of their escorts.

As for the moonlight, it had taken the night off and so could not help the guests up the drive.

Ah, but once inside, it was a glorious gathering with CCB 2016 Chair Christie Carter and CCB Underwriting Chair Claire Emanuelson and husband Dwight Emanuelson along with the evening’s presenting sponsor David Blank and his wife Stacy greeting each guest.

On the entry hall’s huge round table were the favors provided by Norma Hunt — bottles of wine from her Sonoma vineyard. It made sense. The wine was 2013 Perfect Season Cabernet Sauvignon and this year’s CCB theme is “There is a Season….”

And while some folks looked a little bleary eyed from late-night watching of the election returns, one gal admitted that she was so tired of all the news coverage that she went to bed before the final numbers were in. So, how did she find out who had won the presidential election? “I asked Siri.”

Amit Berger, Kelsey Halford and Stacy and David Blank

On the other hand, evening presenter David Blank was bright-eyed in introducing Amit Berger, senior VP of Diamonds Direct that had just purchased David’s Diamond Doctor. Amit has been with Direct for more than 20 years and was previously in charge of the Birmingham store. Diamonds Direct VP of  Marketing and Branding Kelsey Halford once again reassured all that Diamonds Direct would not only continue but would perhaps expand on the store’s presence among the North Texas nonprofits.

JUST IN: Crystal Charity Ball Sneak Peek Hints Of Saturday Evening’s Galore And Norma Hunt’s Great And Generous Tastebuds

This year’s Crystal Charity Ball theme may have had some scratching their heads how CCB Chair Christie Carter and Event Producer Tom Addis would pull off the theme – “To every thing there is a season.”

But, sneaking a brief gander at the layout in the Hilton Anatole, it’s evident that they gonna pull it off with all four seasons in array.

The silent auction will take place amid the autumn colors; the spring will bust loose with loads of seating against a backdrop of bluebonnet blue and plenty of food; and the gaming operation and goodies will be decked out in summer sojourn.

As for winter, that baby is decked out in the Chantilly Ballroom with rose gold tables surrounding a musical symphony against a backdrop of video snowfall. Gee!

Among the many sussies on hand is one from ever-sweetheart Norma Hunt. In addition to being ageless, Norma has become a world-class vintner. The former schoolteacher’s Perfect Season from Knight Valley wines has achieved accolades from the newbies as well as the true wine aficionados.  

According to Robert Parker, Perfect Season achieved a 95-point rating with the description, “The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Bidwell Creek Vineyard is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot aged 18 months in 75% new French oak. It’s a beauty with lots of blackberry and cassis fruit, licorice, incense and camphor. It is ripe, full-bodied opulent and already showing exceptionally well.”

Norma Hunt's "Perfect Season" wines*

Norma Hunt’s “Perfect Season” wines*

Well, golly! That sounds like the ultimate in date descriptions.

But back to Norma: Blending her love for kiddos and expertise in grape growing, she has donated 300 bottles of wine for purchase due to the event’s theme. Smart girl!

But wait! Don’t go thinking that you’re going to bid against your buds for the trio. The bottles are not part of the silent auction. Instead, they are just for a “go-straight-to-purchase” with the proceeds going to children’s area charities.

For $375, you take home three bottles of the vino as you leave the mega event.

If you have any questions about where and how to get to Norma’s wine, just ask the folks at the check-in and they’ll direct you to the spot in the season for purchasing a trio of Perfect Season.

* Photo provided by Crystal Charity Ball


TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #7: Sophisticated Evening At The Mansion

Talk about impressing your friends with a perfect night of wining and dining without the muss or fuss of a caterer invading your own home-sweet-home. Thanks to this TACA Custom Auction Gala package, for one night the legendary Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek will be your stand-in home, one where you’ll entertain eight of your BFFs in the Wine Cellar with a multi-course dinner. And, of course, each course will be enhanced with the perfect wine. Mansion trivia: The Wine Cellar was originally built as a vault for the family’s furs and silver.

After you bid a fond farewell to your well-fed guests, you’ll toddle on up to your deluxe guestrooms for a good night’s sleep. And to complete the perfect stay, you’ll take home a set of Chateau Baccarat crystal wine tasting glasses.

Sophisticated Evening* At The Mansion** (Value: $5,500)

Sophisticated Evening At The Mansion**

Sophisticated Evening At The Mansion***

Make Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek your home away from home. Share an elegant, multi-course dinner and hand-selected wine parings with your guests in the private Wine Cellar. Following dinner, spend a romantic evening in one of Rosewood Mansion’s deluxe rooms, and take home a set of exquisite Château Baccarat crystal wine tasting glasses as your souvenir.

  • Multi-course dinner for 10, with wine pairings, served in the Wine Cellar at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
  • Menu created and prepared by the Rosewood Mansion culinary team
  • One-night stay at Rosewood Mansion for the host couple
  • A set of Château Baccarat crystal wine tasting glasses for the host couple
* For date to be mutually agreed upon
** Courtesy of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dean Driver and 
Allen Dean Home 
*** Photo provided by TACA

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #6: Chairmen’s Favorite Things

The TACA Custom Auction Gala crowd is no stranger to the best dining and entertainment. Say “Hamilton,” and they’ve probably seen it before Lin-Manuel Miranda left the production. Say “masters” and the first thing that pops in their minds is a classic piece of art and not a golf tournament. Say “sautes, jetes, entrechat and cabriole,” and they know you’re not rattling off a French menu.

For these been-around-the-art-block types, this package is ideal. Betcha they’ve never had this experience that includes a multi-course dinner complete with wine for 22 on artist Oliver Clegg’s very unique revolving sculpture. Yup, it’s truly a moveable feast.

If your paddle is the last one up when Heritage Auctions’ Kimberly Serrano closes the bidding, your next challenge is going to be editing your list of supper buds.

Chairmen’s Favorite Things* (Value: Priceless)

Host a dinner party unlike any other, where you and your guests will enjoy a sophisticated “Joule” of a feast while seated at artist Oliver Clegg’s one-of-a-kind table sculpture, which will rotate periodically throughout the evening, housed in a rustic West Dallas warehouse.

  • Multi-course dinner and wine for 22 guests, served on Oliver Clegg’s “Until the Cows Come Home rotating table sculpture in Trinity Groves
  • Menu created and prepared by The Joule Hotel
* Courtesy of Oliver Clegg, Erin Cluley, The Joule Hotel and Terri Provencal 
** For date in Fall/Winter 2016 to be mutually agreed upon 

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #5: Live Painting At Samuel Lynne Galleries

When it comes to Dallas performing arts, some folks might wonder if visual art fits the description. Ah, but they haven’t see artist JD Miller in action. For ages, JD has mesmerized art lovers with his live painting exhibitions. So, it’s only natural that this lively creation should be one of the TACA Custom Auction Gala packages.

Ah, where is the perfect setting for such a happening? Why, JD’s home base at Samuel Lynne Galleries, of course. So why not make a party of the occasion. Invite 100 buds to watch the birthing of this tailor-made painting, complete with yummies from Sissy’s and wine from Ste. Michelle.

Live Painting At Samuel Lynne Galleries* (Value: Priceless)

Live Painting at Samuel Lynne Galleries**

Live Painting at Samuel Lynne Galleries***

Invite up to 100 guests for an intimate evening** at Samuel Lynne Galleries in the heart of the Dallas Design District. Watch as local artist JD Miller creates one of his signature 3D oil paintings live, while you and your guests enjoy hors d’oeuvres created by Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar and fine wines provided by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Afterwards, take home your new original JD Miller to add to your private collection.

  • Reception for up to 100 guests at Samuel Lynne Galleries
  • Menu created and prepared by Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar
  • Wines provided by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
  • Original oil painting created by JD Miller for the host
* Courtesy of Samuel Lynne Galleries and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates 
** Date to be mutually agree upon 
*** Photo provided by TACA

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Carson’s Crusaders Foundation’s “Brighten The Night”

According to Carson’s Crusaders Foundation Executive Director Desiree Simmons,

Brighten the Night*

Brighten the Night*

“The fifth annual ‘Brighten the Night,’ Wine Tasting and Live Auction event on Thursday, September 15, helps fund events for North Texas families who are living with a child diagnosed with cancer.  According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, ‘Each year in the United States approximately 15,780 children between the ages of birth and 19 years of age are diagnosed with cancer.’ In the U.S., more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

“For every child diagnosed with cancer there are parents, siblings, grandparents and other family members also dealing with this life-threatening diagnosis. It’s not uncommon for family members and caregivers to become ill themselves as a result of stress associated with caring for a child with cancer. Siblings of children with cancer often feel pushed aside, helpless, fearful and even guilty because they are healthy. Cancer is a family disease.

Carson's Crusaders*

Carson’s Crusaders*

The Carson’s Crusaders Foundation was formed to honor Carson Richardson, George Richardson’s grandson who died from Stage IV Hepatoblastoma, one of the rarest forms of pediatric cancer, in 2010 at the age of seven, and to help other families battling solid tumor cancers.

“The funds from ‘Brighten the Night,’ provide families with gasoline cards to help with treatment related travel expenses, educational programs and sibling events like the May 6th and 7thSiblings Superstars,’ weekend at Great Wolf Lodge for 50 families served by Carson’s Crusaders.

“’Brighten the Night’ is described as “a night of glamour and elegance that will transport you back to Old Hollywood. For one night only, don your best attire and jewels, walk the red carpet, be photographed by the paparazzi, taste some remarkable wines, eat some wonderful food, and enjoy the opportunity to bid on some amazing items up for auction while supporting families fighting pediatric solid tumor cancer.”

“The event will be held at Noah’s Event Venue in Fairview from 6:30 pm until 10:00 pm. Sponsors are still needed for this event. Tickets and sponsorship information can be found at the Carson’s Crusaders website. Carson’s Crusaders

* Photos provided by Carson's Crusaders Foundation

Dallas Uncorked’s Celebrated Two Birthday “Projects” At Sevy’s

Jim Severson and Hayley Hamilton Cogill*

Jim Severson and Hayley Hamilton Cogill*

The wet weather was supposed to be on vacation, but oh, no! Mother Nature had other plans for Dallas on Sunday, June 12. Still the wine-loving Dallas Uncorked crowd wasn’t going to let a little weather dampen their annual fundraising dinner at Sevy’s. Ironically, it was benefiting The Birthday Party Project. What was the irony? It was also Dallas Uncorked’s Founder Hayley Hamilton Cogill‘s birthday. Before taking off for Walla Walls, the birthday gal filed this report:

The room was truly spectacular as Chef Sevy (aka Jim Severson) and business partner/manager Stefaan Vandemoortele rolled out the roses with two long, candlelit tables of 30 each, down the middle of the dining room at Sevy’s. They had never created a set up quite like this, but I wanted the communal, celebratory feel with everyone celebrating together for this our 12th anniversary.  The wines were stunning, provided by Ram’s Gate Winery, highlighting single special vineyards throughout Sonoma, including favorite of the night, Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay and Bush Crispo Vineyard Pinot Noir.

Shrimp toast*

Shrimp toast*

Ram's Gate Pinot Noir and menu*

Ram’s Gate Pinot Noir and menu*

Friends old and new joined us for the night including Byron and Linda Harris, just back from fly fishing in Santa Fe (where Linda caught a 5-lb. rainbow trout!…I think they are enjoying his retirement from WFAA;) Don Winspear with date Michael Meadows as Ellen Winspear was prepping for her day long Opera meeting and photo shoot yesterday; Frank and Karen Needham; Jennifer and Doug Houser; Shelly Slater, who left husband Clay at home to take care of the kiddos; Jack Hobbs, founder of a new podcast company, Revolver; Erin Waks without husband Larry Waks, as sadly the rain redirected his incoming NYC to DFW flight to Midland, but we still sent a steak home for him; Ram’s Gate Winery GM David Oliver and assistant winemaker Luke Stanko; Collin Chenault from The Birthday Party Project, our second time to donate the proceeds from our anniversary event to the fantastic charity; my cousin, and board member from the start, Chablis Lindquist, (yes, Chablis, my aunt loved the French region…and the wines) along with her hubby John, who had just arrived from the night from Arkansas; Randy and Michelle DeWitt, taking a break from one of their Front Burner restaurants to enjoy Sevy’s food and these incredible wines!

Dallas Uncorked dinner table at Sevy's*

Dallas Uncorked dinner table at Sevy’s*

Gary gushed, as he so sweetly does; I was quite teary and thankful, especially in the wake of the events of the day; David and Luke celebrated their delicious wine; and Chef Jim hit it out of the park once again. I think this was the 6th or 7th event I have done with the 19-year-old restaurant in our 12 years…everyone always loves Sevy’s and they are some of the kindest, most thoughtful owners in town, generously giving back so much.

We didn’t do an auction, as the point of the night was more for celebration, instead giving everyone a ticket and drawing a prize winning number – a bottle of the Bush Crispo Pinot, a mighty fine birthday present.

* Photos provided by Dallas Uncorked

D’Andra Simmons-Lock And Jeremy Lock Put Their Own Spin On Letter Signing For CancerBlows Host Committee

Letter signings may seem ho-hum after your second or third one. They usually take place during the day with loads of munchies and ice tea and stacks of letters to personalize. The drill is sign your name to the letter with a note and pass it along to the next person at the table. But leave it to 2017 CancerBlows Co-Chair D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock to put their own spin on the John Hanocking of the fundraising host committee invite letters.

Ryan Anthony

Ryan Anthony

On Monday, July 18, they held the signing in the evening with glasses of wine and the event’s man-of-inspiration Ryan Anthony at the kitchen/dining room table. Instead of a chore, it was a party. As guests arrived, Jeremy reported that he had just returned from Alaska with killer photos of people and scenes. Pointing out his Burning Man collection framed on the wall, he revealed that his next project involves National Geographic.

But as soon as Ryan in his CancerBlows sports shirt arrived with boxes of letters, the crew took their places at the glass-top table.

D'Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock

D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock

Despite a political convention on the TV screen overhead, no one seemed to notice Anderson Cooper reporting on CNN. They were all focused on the letters. D’Andra took a moment to recall her past signings that had resulted in hand surgery. Then Jeremy cleared his voice signaling to get back to work.

According to the letters, D’Andra, Jeremy and their Co-Chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill have arranged for Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger to serve as honorary co-chairs. And like the 2015 event benefiting Baylor Health Care System Foundation and Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, CancerBlows will be return to the Meyerson on Wednesday, May 10, with an ensemble of world-famous musicians including Doc Severinsen, Arturo Sandoval, Canadian Brass, members of Ryan’s home team at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and many more.



Among the perks that members of the host committee will receive will be invitations to special events and recognition in promotional materials, at the event, on the post-event CD/DVD and on the website.

If you haven’t gotten your letter, contact Ryan’s hardworking wife Niki Anthony and she’ll make sure you’re at the top of the list. And, yes, there are all types of sponsorship opportunities available.

*  Graphic provided by CancerBlows           

SOLD-OUT ALERT!: Dallas Uncorked 12th Anniversary Dinner

Two of the favorite words in fundraising activities are “Sold Out!” And those are the words that Dallas Uncorked’s Hayley Hamilton Cogill just reported about Sunday’s Dallas Uncorked 12th Anniversary Dinner at Sevy’s benefiting The Birthday Party Project.

It’s gonna be a perfect way to spend a summer Sunday with Ram’s Gate Winery’s Luke Stanko from Sonoma County on hand to “discuss the wine and the care, dedication and passion that goes into each and every glass.”

Hayley Hamilton Cogill (File photo)

Hayley Hamilton Cogill (File photo)

Jim Severson (File photo)

Jim Severson (File photo)

According to Hayley, “I first tried these wines last year and immediately knew we needed to help introduce them into the Dallas market through one of our events. I couldn’t be more thrilled to do so for our anniversary event.”

As marvelous as the menu prepared by Sevy’s Chef/owner Jim Severson and the paired Ram’s Gate Winery products will be, the guests will match them in the wonderfulness category. Gals always wear the most adorable summer cottons and silks. As for the guys, it’s strictly a no-tie affair with khaki slacks and loafers.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: TACA’s 10th Annual Lexus Party On The Green

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins

Ann Hobson

Ann Hobson

For once Mother Nature was on her very best behavior on the evening of Friday, May 6. Perhaps it was after so many years of weather woes that she had thrust upon TACA’s Lexus Party On The Green, she decided that the TACA fundraiser deserved to celebrate its 10th anniversary in the best conditions. In fact the only clouds in the area were the 22 celebrity chefs cooking up a storm indoors and outdoors at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

Stephen Rogers' dish

Stephen Rogers’ dish

Fidel Baeza's dish

Fidel Baeza’s dish

To match the flawless skies, the hundreds of guests pulled out their favorite summer fashions. From seersucker to silks, the frocks and foods can be found at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery while the post is being completed.

Lexus Party On The Green Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Something Old, Something New, Something Edible, Something Drinkable

Tierney Kaufman Hutchins was just 21 years old when Lynn and Allan McBee co-chaired the very first Party on the Green for TACA. Now, 10 years later she’s chairing the 10th anniversary of the fundraiser at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. And guess who she’s tapped for honorary co-chairs. Yup, Lynn and Allan.

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins (File photo)

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

In addition to chairing the event and holding down her job at Trinity Trust, Tierney this past year has gotten married to Jared Hutchins and just recently moved into a new house.

Brian Luscher (File photo)

Brian Luscher (File photo)

Matt McCallister (File photo)

Matt McCallister (File photo)

Danyele McPherson (File photo)

Danyele McPherson (File photo)

Ah, but the blonde is a multi-tasker. She’s arranged for the following chefs to be cooking up a storm all over the grounds and rooms of the Mansion: Nick Amoriell of Kitchen LTO, Fidel Baeza of Rosewood Mayakoba, Edgar Beas of Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, Blythe Beck of Pink Magnolia, Nicolas Blouin of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Matt Dallman and Scott Gottlich of 18th and Vine, Graham Dodds of Wayward Sons, Enrico Figliuolo of Rosewood Castiglion de Bosco, Mervin Friday of Rosewood Crescent, Lisa Garza-Selcer of Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar, Jared Harms of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Mathew Ingersoll of The Capital Grill, Brian Luscher of The Grape and Luscher’s Red Hots, Matt McCallister of FT33 and Filament, Danyele McPherson of Remedy and HG Supply Co., Victor Palma of Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, Stephen Rogers of Gemma, Peter Rudolph of Rosewood Sand Hill, Abraham Salum of Salum, Michael Scott of Rosewood Ranches Wagyu Beef, Braden and Yasmin Wages of Malai Kitchen and Devadip Zahar of Rosewood Las Ventanas.

Lisa Garza-Selcer (File photo)

Lisa Garza-Selcer (File photo)

Abraham Salum (File photo)

Abraham Salum (File photo)

Scott Gottlich (File photo)

Scott Gottlich (File photo)

Of course, there will be right-official judging for the winner of the Golden Skillet Award by foodie know-it-all types — The Dallas Morning NewsLeslie Brenner, D Magazine’s Catherine Downes and Modern Luxury’s Kristie Ramirez. But there’s an addition this year! Guests will be able to add their two-cents by voting the winner of the first ever Party on the Green People’s Choice Award.

Party On The Green (File photo)

Party On The Green (File photo)

Still another addition this year is the voting for the silent auction packages that will feature “20 exclusive travel- and food-related silent auction packages, each personally curated by participating celebrity chefs.” Tierney has arranged to have the bidding to be via “mobile bidding this year to make it easy to spend money.”

Of course, there will be the wine cork pull that’s being co-sponsored by Glazer’s and Merrill Lynch and the 2016 Lexus RX-350 donated by the Dallas-Fort Worth Lexus Dealers. Other sponsors include:

  • Presenting sponsor — Lexus
  • Patron sponsor — The Rosewood Corporation
  • Wristband sponsor — Frost Bank
  • Official airline — American Airlines
  • Fireworks sponsor — Highland Park Village
  • Auction sponsor — AT&T
  • Pashmina sponsor — Sandra and Sam Moon
  • Chef sponsors ($5,000) —Diane and Hal Brierley, Carlson Capital LP, Barbara and Don Daseke, Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians, Gwen and Leldon Echols, Kara and Randall Goss, Dawn and Tobin Grove, Jennifer and Chris LeLash, the Marie Keese-LeLash Foundation, Deborah and Jim Nugent, Paradox Compensation Advisors, Leah and Jim Pasant, Family Sommer, Strait Capital and Flexjet and Michele and Stephen Vobach.

If you’ve already locked down your tickets and a handful of raffle tickets, then go get that adorable outfit that you’ve been dying to buy. Now, you’ve got the perfect excuse to have it!

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

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

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

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

The Best of Italy*

The Best of Italy*

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

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

* Photo courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art

Les Dames d’Escoffier Filled The Shed With Lavender, Fabulous Food, Wines And Bidding For “A Dame Good Celebration”

Things always seem to happen when women and wine get together. And when the gals are Les Dames d’Escoffier of Dallas, it’s gonna be a fundraiser with loads of fun. That’s exactly what happened on the evening of Sunday, April 3, at the Dallas Farmers Market’s The Shed. Here’s a report from the field:

As the sun was setting on Sunday, April 3, Les Dames d’Escoffier (LDEI-Dallas) had about 400 to dine and wine at The Shed at the Dallas Farmers Market. The occasion was their annual Raiser Grazer event presented by Capital Distributing and Thermador.

Chair Dame Chef Tara Anderson of Half Pint Palates, assisted by Dallas Les Dames 2015-2016 President Chef Joanne Bondy of Stock and Bondy arranged to have “A Dame Good Celebration as this year’s theme with a French feel. Thanks to Dame Wendy Timson of WBT Consulting, the Shed was transformed into springtime in Provence with lavender plants, lots of bistro lights and a setting like the French countryside. Even the band, Le Pompe was French!

Paula Lambert*

Paula Lambert*

And, of course, with foodie experts, the dishes were spectacular thanks to 23 of the Dallas Dames including Joanne Bondy, Janice Provost of Parigi, Courtney Luscher of The Grape, Sharon Hage of The Gaylord Texan, Tiffany Derry, Kersten Rettig of PDQ Chicken, Paula Lambert of Mozzarella Company, Anita Hirsch of Neiman Marcus, Jill Bates of Fearing’s, Dunia Borga of La Duni, who raffled off a $1200 special occasion cake!

Hayley Hamilton Cogill*

Hayley Hamilton Cogill*

Dame Hayley Hamilton Cogill was in charge of the beverages that included 25 different wines were poured, all from France, generously donated by Glazer’s including the Brad and Angelina Rose from Provence, Miraval. Adding to the liquid refreshments were Komali’s Dame Leann Berry’s stellar cocktail, Truffle Bloody Marys from Dame Julia Fuqua and her Duckworth Distillery Truffle Vodka and local beers from Lakewood Brewery and Rahr & Sons.

Robin Skinner, Gary Cogill and Ashlee Kleinert*

Robin Skinner, Gary Cogill and Ashlee Kleinert*


Filling The Shed to capacity were At the tables were Dallas Dames (Dotty Griffin, Janet Cobb, Renie Steves, Anita Cook-Motard), Wendy and Michael Jenkins, Jill and Carter Malouf, Monica Greene, Judy Snyder and Royal Carson III, Blair Black, Ashlee Kleinert with best pal Robin Skinner (husband Chris Kleinert was tied up in meetings) and Ellen Winspear with Tiffany Divis (husband Don Winspear wasn’t available).

Jill and Carter Malouf, Noeha Coutry and Jeff Venters*

Jill and Carter Malouf, Noeha Coutry and Jeff Venters*


Emcee Gary Cogill was joined by Dame Janet Cobb’s husband Phil Cobb for the auction. Both men step into the role of Dames Hubby very well. Just about $25K just from the live auction packages that included one of a kind experiences with some of the Dallas Dames.

Gary Cogill and Phil Cobb*

Gary Cogill and Phil Cobb*

Royal Carson III took home the Perini Ranch package that included an overnight stay at the famed cattle ranch in Buffalo Gap and dinner with Dame Lisa and Tom Perini. Royal was thrilled as he said he has driven by the ranch for years and always wanted to stop in.

Ellen Winspear and Tiffany Divis*

Ellen Winspear and Tiffany Divis*

Ashlee Kleinert and Ellen Winspear got into a bit of a bidding war on for a package that included a dinner in the winner’s home for six from the local team from Wolfgang Puck, led by Chef Drew Swanson and Chef Brent Anderson (Dame Tara Anderson’s hubby) with wine pairings by Dame Hayley, film talk from Gary, breakfast from Dame Tara Anderson and a Studio Movie Grill film pass. Ellen eventually had the high bid to give to Don for his birthday which was Saturday, April 9.

The Capital Distributing team took honors for the highest bid item — dinner and pairings for six guests every month of the year, including dinners at Fearing’s, Abacus, The Grape, The Mansion and more.

Les Dames d’Escoffier is an invitation-only organization of women who have achieved distinction in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. Through events like the Raiser Grazer, the members raise funds to help other women advance their education in these industries through endowments and scholarships. Started in 1984, the Dallas Chapter today includes 97 women.

* Photo credit: Frankey Dey

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

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

Napa Valley Wine Country Getaway (Value: Priceless)

Kent and Tracy Rathbun (File photo)

Kent and Tracy Rathbun (File photo)

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

Hotel Senza*

Hotel Senza*

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

Hall St. Helena*

Hall St. Helena*

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

Hall Rutherford*

Hall Rutherford*

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

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

* Photo provided by 
Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Uncorked Provided Sip And Scene With Talking Tidbits About Oscar Predictions And Local News

Leave it to local film-meister Gary Cogill to share his predictions for the upcoming Academy Awards on Sunday, February 21, just a week before the Oscars were doled out. He did it as part of Dallas Uncorked’s “Wine and Film, the Perfect Pairing With Gary Cogill — 88th Annual Academy Awards Preview” at Veritas.

Sure, it was rainy, but that didn’t dissuade movie lovers from getting the inside poop on the Academy contenders, while having Dallas Uncorked founder/Gary’s wife Hayley Hamilton Cogill pouring the vino.

How many guesses did Gary get right? Compare his guesses with the outcome here.

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill

Sarah and Lee Pappert

Sarah and Lee Papert

Debra Nelson and Holly Reed

Debra Nelson and Holly Reed

Pat Holder and Wayne Ritter

Pat Holder and Wayne Ritter

But before Gary took the mic, chit chat was making the rounds. In between serving up wine, Hayley was looking to the future and the Dallas Chapter of Le Dame d’Escoffier International’s annual “A Dame Good Celebration — Raiser Grazer 2016” on Sunday, April 3, at the Dallas Farmers Market’s The Shed. She’ll be heading up the beverage committee and promised “tasty cocktails”…Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert was hinting about the upcoming Dallas International Film Festival that will be taking place from April 14 to 24… And Lee wasn’t the only Papert with future activities around the corner. Lee’s wife, Sarah Papert, who heads up VMLC, has been busy making plans for the Wings of Spring fundraiser on Monday, April 4, when Cheryl Pollman will receive VMLC’s Literacy Legacy Award. Following a cocktail reception and dinner, there will be a performance in the Hoglund Foundation Theater by Sons of Serendip. You know them. They were 2014 America’s Got Talent finalists. This year the event is taking place at the Perot Museum .… Gal pals Debra Nelson and Holly Reed were just back from holiday. It was hard to believe that some folks didn’t know that Holly is no longer with AT&T. She’s working with Ron Kirk on the Texas Central Railway. She’s already been to Japan to check out their super-duper, high-speed bullet trains … Over at a high-top table Pat Holder was looking downright giddy about her Valentine’s proposal at the Mansion by Wayne Ritter. Yup. Pat accepted and the nuptials are in the planning stage.

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Raffle Will Make Your Heart Go Pitty-Pat

The St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Michael Flores have not only revealed the raffle items for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraiser, they’ve made the tickets available online for purchase!

The drawing will take place at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraiser at the Meyerson on Tuesday, February 16. The marvy trips, shopping sprees and sweetheart of indulgences are broken down into the following three groups —

  • Platinum Level Raffle — 75 tickets available at $300 per ticket
    • ASPEN GETAWAY (Value: $9,900) — Enjoy gorgeous Aspen, Colorado with a seven-night stay in a two bedroom residence at the St. Regis Aspen (SET DATE: May 14-21, 2016) with airline miles courtesy of American Airlines. Suit up for the slopes with a custom pair of ski or snowboard boots from St. Bernard Sports.
Aspen Getaway*

Aspen Getaway*

  • Red Level Raffle — 200 tickets available at $200 per ticket
    • SANTA FE SUN (Value: $2,420) — Includes a two night stay for two at the Rosewood Inn of Anasazi in Santa Fe, New Mexico, airline miles courtesy of American Airlines, and dinner for two at the Rosewood Inn Anasazi Restaurant.
    • SHOP THE VILLAGE (Value: $2,550) — Includes a shopping experience curated for you by Liz Thrash, personal shopper for Highland Park Village. The shopping experience includes a $2,500 Highland Park Village credit and up to three hours with the personal shopper. Grab lunch afterwards with a $50 gift card to Mi Cocina.
    • BIENVENIDOS A MIAMI (Value: $2,600) — Includes a two night stay for two at the Loews Miami Beach and airline miles courtesy of American Airlines.
  • Pink Level Raffle — Unlimited number of tickets available at $100 per ticket
    • PAMPER YOURSELF (Value: $2,500) — Includes a two night weekend stay in luxury accommodations at The Fairmont Dallas, brunch for two at the Rosewood Mansion Restaurant on Turtle Creek, $1,200 Lela Rose gift card, a $150 Bandier gift card, a day of beauty certificate from Frederic Fekkai (blowout, makeup application and manicure), LAFCO gift set, and a bottle of 2010 Napa Syrah.
    • DALLAS STAYCATION (Value: $2,860) — Includes a one night stay for two in a deluxe king room with valet and breakfast at the Warwick Melrose Hotel Dallas, a $150 gift certificate to Bob’s Steak and Chop House, four tickets to Dallas Summer Musical’s The Little Mermaid, and a beautiful Manjani necklace and Tani Starr cuff from Ashley Pittman, and a red glitter fabric clutch bag with shoulder chain from Jimmy Choo.
    • WINE AND DINE (Value: $2,750) — Includes a wine dinner for ten at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House and a wine tasting for ten at Times Ten Cellar.
    • DALLAS DATE NIGHT (Value: $2,350) — Includes a two night stay for two in an original concept suite at Hotel ZaZa, $100 gift card to Savor Gastropub, $50 gift card to Uchi and a bottle of 2010 Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
    • FOR THE MEN (Value: $2,400) — Includes two tickets to the Dallas Stars game on March 19th vs the NY Islanders with a pre-game meet and greet with Stars Center, Vernon Fiddler. Package also includes a 24 hour drive of a Model S Tesla, Deep Ellum Brewery gift basket, $50 gift card to Five Creeks Tavern, and an Edo Popken of Switzerland blue and white limited edition button down shirt.
    • ACCESSORIZE ME (Value: $2,350) — Includes a gorgeous Anne Fontaine Tsarina tulle collar necklace, a printed scarf made from luxurious Italian fabric and a $20 gift card from Leggiadrio, a pair of pink suede high heels from Giuseppe Zanotti and a trendy handbag from Trina Turk.
    • YOU AND ME – THE VIPS (Value: $2,950) — Enjoy a private party with you and your best friends at Alice + Olivia. The winner will take home a complimentary outfit and each of their guests will receive 20% off their purchase. You’ll also receive a private champagne party at St. John with 10 friends. You will receive a $500 gift certificate for your next St. John outfit. Afterwards, head on over to Kiehl’s since 1851 for a Private Skincare Party. Once you pamper your skin, you’ll leave with a gift box filled with head to toe deluxe travel samples.

Here’s a thought. Buy a raffle ticket for that extra-special person in your life and give it to him/her for Valentine’s Day.

BTW, if you’ve been hitting the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon website checking for raffle and ticket information under the categories, stop it. They’re all posted under the “Donations” page. Here’s the one-stop-shopping link!

* Graphic provided by Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Round Robin November 19: Mad Hatter’s Reveal, Art Of Film Patron Party And Vine And Dine

With Thanksgiving just one week away, the evening of Thursday, November 19, seemed like a Republican debate with all types of fundraising activities vying for attention. And, boy, did they get it!

The Lee Park Junior Conservancy was doing a very happy hour for the young professional crowd at Texas Ale Project on N. Riverfront. A percentage of sales was going to the group’s support for “the care and conservation of Lee Park and Arlington Hall.”

Mad Hatter’s Tea Reveal

Jocelyn White, Renee Farren, Connie Carreker and Nerissa Von Helpenstill

Jocelyn White, Renee Farren, Connie Carreker and Nerissa Von Helpenstill

And speaking of care and conservation, the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum was filling Tootsie’s to sip champagne and more importantly to learn 2016 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Jocelyn White’s plans for the Thursday, April 21st fundraiser.

Connie Carreker hat

Connie Carreker hat

First off, the honorary chair should have been nobody’s surprise — Connie Carreker. And already living up to honorary responsibilities, Connie was wearing a hat that promoted the event reading, “Wish You Were Here” on the white sunhat brim.

With typical sparkling personality, Jocie revealed the theme for the event at the Arboretum would be “Steel Magnolias” with fashions on the runway in Rosine Hall from Tootsie’s and produced by Jan Strimple. Well, duh!

Tootsies fashions

Tootsies fashions

Steel Magnolias logo designed by Rongrong Devoe*

Steel Magnolias logo designed by Rongrong Devoe*

But she wasn’t finished. Unveiling the logo by Houston illustrator Rongrong Devoe for the heady affair, she announced that Linda Spina would be in charge of the judges, who would include Gary Riggs; “floral engineer” Shane Walker would be creating the luncheon centerpieces and Patricia Armstrong would be chairing underwriting.

With the announcement of the theme, smoke was seen arising from the heads of Women’s Council President Reneé Farren, Mary Lee Cox and Nancy Labadie on how their chapeaus would vie for prizes in the hat competition. The clock is ticking. Get those designs going.

The Art Of Film Patron Party

Brett and Lester Levy

Brett and Lester Levy

Brett and Lester Levy Jr.’s love of the late artist Andy Warhol was obvious to all as they entered the Levy home. In the entry of their Highland Park residence were the Warhol portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Chairman Mao.

Was this interest new? No, according to Lester, who’s also a photographer, he started collecting art when he was in his 20s.

And exactly what was the connection between the Levys’ Warhols and their hosting The Art of Film patron party the night before the Dallas Film Society’s fundraiser? Simple. The dinner and conversation with featured actress Isabella Rossellini would be taking place at The Space, where an incredible collection of Warhol drawings and photos would serve as a backdrop for the film lovers.

Seems so right, since Isabella was one of the late artist’s muses and friends.

Stan Levenson, Stacy Girard and Lee Papert

Stan Levenson, Stacy Girard and Lee Papert

In the crowd was Honorary Co-Chair Stan Levenson telling Art of Film Co-Chair Stacy Girard and Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert that wife/Co-Chair Barbara Levenson was under the weather, but she would definitely be showing up the next night fit as a fiddle.

Vine and Dine

At the Neiman Marcus flagship store in downtown Dallas, meantime, about 145 guests gathered for the eighth annual Vine and Dine event benefiting Ability Connection Texas, which provides a range of services for people with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford**

Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford**

The fundraiser, co-chaired this year by Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford, provided the nonprofit group with money to “empower individuals to live the best life possible by removing barriers that inhibit independence and autonomy.”

Now that Margaret has “retired” from her duties at PaperCity, she’s turned her sights to supporting various efforts like Ability Connection Texas in addition to watching son/Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford playing football on Sundays.

DeeDee Lee, Kayla Roughton and Inette Brown**

DeeDee Lee, Kayla Roughton and Inette Brown**

Pam and Vin Perella**

Pam and Vin Perella**

Among those enjoying the festive evening were new Uptown residents DeeDee and Jim Lee (they sold their big old home and decided to downsize and revitalize in the Uptown neighborhood), Debbie and Chuck Wilson, Lynn McBee, Meredith and Jack Woodworth, Kayla Roughton, Inette Brown, Kristin and Quintan Cockerell and Vin Perella with wife Pam Perella, who was receiving congrats on being announced just a couple of days before as the chair for the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball.

Jack Woodworth, Jeffrey Woodworth and Meredith Woodworth**

Jack Woodworth, Jeffrey Woodworth and Meredith Woodworth**

Following a cocktail reception on the store’s ground level, the guests moved up to the sixth floor Zodiac Room for a wonderful dinner prepared by NM Chef Kevin Garvin, complete with wines. Then there was a live auction.

* Graphic provided by the Women's Council of the Dallas Arboretum 
** Photo credit: Andy Keye + Whitney Photography

SOLD-OUT ALERT!: Uncorked Dallas Dinner

If you had high hopes of spending the evening at Hibiscus enjoying great company, delicious food and Merryvale wines, you’re out of luck. Benefiting Les Dames d’Escoffier Dallas Chapter, the Uncorked Dallas Holiday Dinner with Merryvale owner Rene Schlatter is sold to the max.

Alas, if you didn’t get your reservation in before the “Sold Out” status, you’ll just have to resign yourself to watching “Dancing With The Stars” with a jug of wine and your radiated Over-Easy Bison Burger from Snaps Kitchen.

Round Robin September 29: Dallas Uncorked And Crystal Charity Ball Hall Of Fame Honorees Receptions

The onslaught of fundraising continued on Tuesday, September 29, as the temperatures continued to tango with the 90-degree mark. Yuck! Woolly sweaters and boots were having to stay put a bit longer.

Dallas Uncorked Continues

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill

At the Dallas Country Club, Hayley Hamilton Cogill and her hubby Gary Cogill announced the creation of their company — Cogill Consulting — to such notables as WFAA’s/pregnant mama Shelly Slater, Dallas Film Society’s Lee Papert, blonde cutie Amy Vanderoef, Ellen and Don Winspear, Tanya and Pete Foster, who was sporting his brand new iPhone 6s Plus. If you have any questions about iPhone’s latest, Pete is the go-to person.

Chris Kleinert

Chris Kleinert

Host Chris Kleinert started off solo, while wife Ashlee Kleinert was tending to a family matter. It quickly became apparent that Chris was in need of Ashlee as he introduced Mr. Cogill as “Harry.”

After the laughter subsided, Chris turned the talk over to Hayley and Gary to explain the creation of their venture. She’s into wine like American Pharoah is into racing. He’s into film like Mark Cuba is into basketball. So while they took the summer off in Hawaii, the twosome decided to join forces blending vino with video. As they put it, “What goes better than a touch of curated wine with an equally curated film?”

While the Cogill Consulting will be for-profit, Hayley’s Dallas Uncorked will continue to support the nonprofits like her Dallas Uncorked events on Sunday, October 11, at Salum for New Friends New Life with Pali Wine Co. and on Monday, November 9, at Hibiscus for the Dallas Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International with Merryvale Winery’s Rene Schlatter.

Crystal Charity Ball Hall Of Fame

Betsy Sowell

Betsy Sowell

Just blocks and minutes away, the glory gals of the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show and Lunch gathered at Betsy and Jim Sowell’s so-extremely-wonderful Volk Estate residence. Sure, they brought along their husbands/significant others/ husbands-to-be (you’ll have to guess on that one) thanks to Anita and Truman Arnold underwriting the first time gathering of HOF-ers Honorees (Elaine Agather, Ruth Altshuler, Lana Andrews, Marilyn Augur, Rita Clements, Linda Custard, Nancy Dedman, Louise Griffeth, Nancy Halbreich, Sonia Hamra, Norma Hunt, Gene Jones, Sharon McCullough, Sara Martineau, Tincy Miller, Joyce Mitchell, Jan Pickens, Peggy Sewell, Annette Simmons, Diana Strauss, Lisa Troutt, Tucean Webb, Lee Ann White and Dee Wyly). So, they wear clothes beautifully. These ladies are the keepers of the keys for so many accomplishments within the North Texas fundraising community.

Truman and Anita Arnold

Truman and Anita Arnold

BTW, you just may be wondering exactly what is the difference between a HOF-er and a HOF-er Honoree. Good wondering! Here’s the diff:

  • Hall of Famer is a woman who has been on the list of Ten Best Dressed three times.
  • Hall of Famer Honoree is one who in addition has been on the Ten Best Dressed three times has also been spotlighted years following her three-year term.

Hey, these ladies didn’t make the Hall Of Fame Honoree for nothing.

Sarah Perot

Sarah Perot

Ross Perot Jr.

Ross Perot Jr.

Tincy Miller and Greg and Kim Miller

Tincy Miller and Greg and Kim Miller

Carmen and EG McMillan

Carmen and EG McMillan

Bill and Heather Esping

Bill and Heather Esping

Marilyn Augur, Jerry Fronterhouse and Annette Simmons

Marilyn Augur, Jerry Fronterhouse and Annette Simmons

John and Mary Martha Pickens

John and Mary Martha Pickens

So, who made the scene and enjoyed a dining table full of Cassandra goodies? Adorable twosome Lee Ann and Alan White were back on the circuit after spending summer in Colorado… 2015 Michal Powell arranged to have the four Honorary Chairs gather for a class photo. Annette Simmons with Jerry Fronterhouse was a little concerned that the others weren’t on the scene. But luckily Gene Jones, Nancy Dedman and Ruth Altshuler were just a valet away…  Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chair Mary Martha Pickens was in countdown mode for the October 2nd fundraiser for the American Cancer Society at Gilley’s….Also on hand were 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter, Heather and Bill Esping, Carmen and EG McMillan, Barbara and Ralph Babb, Katherine and Key Coker and supportive HOF Honoree husbands like Ross Perot Jr.

As one drive-by described the scene, “The street is lined with Bentleys, top-line Mercedes, mega-Escalades and the best.” Really? The very best were inside.