2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Made Some Tweaks To The POA Resulting In An Over-The-Top Fundraiser With Dwight Yoakam And Toby Keith

The 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball redefined the words Texas Proud on Saturday, October 15, at Gilley’s. Despite the MIA of Rogers, Hunts, Simmons and all the legendary names of giving, other philanthropists rose to the occasion of fighting cancer with funding.

Andrea Weber, DwightYoakmam and Cara French

Andrea Weber, DwightYoakmam and Cara French

In spite of Co-Chair Andrea Weber having given birth just two weeks earlier and Co-Chair Cara French having been hit by the making-the-rounds stomach virus, their game plan and committee of 100 rose to the occasion and impressed even the hard-to-impress oldtimers.  

Perhaps it was due to some rearranging of thangs. First of all, the decision was made to have two headliners perform — Dwight Yoakam on the Live Auction Stage and Toby Keith on the Andrews Distributing Main Stage. In the past, the evening had centered around one big name performer like Tim McGraw or Kenny Chesney on the Main Stage. This move was smart…very smart.

Dwight Yoakam

Dwight Yoakam

Another change in POA was having the VIP party take place in South Side Ballroom with the swells having their own private 30-minute concert provided by Dwight. In the meantime, the general admission types grazed on never-ending vittles, checked out the silent auction and rode the Ferris wheel. One Dwight devotee general admission guest was asked if he was disappointed about missing out on the private performance. His response, after he finished chewing a mouthful of food, was, “Heck, no. We’re having too much fun eating!”

At 7 p.m., the doors to the ballroom were open for all to catch the rest of Dwight’s performance.

Okay, so that’s what was going on publicly. Behind the scenes, just before Dwight went on stage, the VVIPs found themselves queuing up among the catering staff for their photo opp with Dwight. Behind the curtain, all was set up for a quick grip-and-grin including a box for the photogs to use. Seems Dwight prefers that arrangement. One onlooker suggested that it might be due to Dwight’s extra weight. Nah!

As the VVIPs lined up, word was passed that Dwight was present. He accommodated one and all except for one photographer’s request: “Could you raise your hat?” Dwight smiled and said, “No. People don’t want to see my eyes.”

But everybody wanted to see Dwight on stage and he did not disappoint one iota. Playing all his hits—from “Little Ways” and “Fast as You” to “Ain’t That Lonely Yet”—Dwight also performed several songs in tribute to the late Merle Haggard. Thanks to his performance, the energy was in “skyrocket drive.” Even the stuffiest types found themselves being part of the mosh pit.

Hal Brierley, Kent Rathbun, Diane Brierley, Kevin Garvin, Dean Fearing, Nick Barclay and Jim Severson

Hal Brierley, Kent Rathbun, Diane Brierley, Kevin Garvin, Dean Fearing, Nick Barclay and Jim Severson

Amy Turner and Stephen Ratchford

Amy Turner and Stephen Ratchford

It was the perfect warm-up for the live auction that took place almost seconds after Dwight and his crew left the stage. And what a live auction it was.

Hal Brierley hinted that he and wife Diane Brierley just might take a pass on the Smokin’ Chefs’ Silver Anniversary Dinner this year. They had already bought five or six in the past. Diane smiled. Perhaps Hal was doing a fake pass. Indeed! With chefs Kent Rathbun, Dean Fearing, Nick Barclay, Jim Severson, Kevin Garvin, David Holben and Richard Chamberlain on stage, the Brierley got into a bidding war with blonde, turquoise-wearing Amy Turner. Kent and the boys were determined to kick the final tab past the six-figure mark. After a brief huddle, the boys agreed to sell two dinners for $75,000 each. Someone recalled that this solution had taken place in past years, with the two dinners hitting the $100,000 mark.

Lisa Cooley

Lisa Cooley

Last year’s dinner co-winner Lisa Cooley had already won her party night earlier in the auction, by picking up the Texas-Sized Party At Gilley’s for 200, complete with Rivers And Rust, for $55,000. When asked how she planned to use the party time, she held up her two hands flashing five fingers on each. Hello? Come again. She’s going to use it for her upcoming 55th birthday.

Gail and Cliff Fischer

Gail and Cliff Fischer

The Bring Out The Big Guns! Package got a standing ovation, thanks to the presentation by Stand 2 Armory team made up of former Navy Seals, Army Rangers, Green Berets and Dallas SWAT, who would provide a day of shooting all types of machine guns for seven people. Said one of the guys, hyping the package: “Nothing says America more than guns, explosions, and curing cancer!” It went for $82,000.

But the big OMG number of the night was dropped by Cliff Fischer. He hit the $100K mark with a Texas-sized smile for the Steak You Claim On A Night With The Boys…. the boys being Troy Aikman, Charles Haley, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Darren Woodson and the steaks being courtesy of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Seems that Cliff bought the package last year, held it at his mansion-sweet-mansion, flew in folks from around the country and had one heck of a great time. This time he’s planning on doing it even bigger and better.

The bidding was so impressive that credit card companies were reeling from the numbers coming out of Dallas.

Of course, there was a bargain or two. For instance, Swiss explorer Johan Ernst Nilson told the crowd that the last time his Bhutan Adventure was put up for auction, it went for $170,000. Guess Dallasites aren’t into trekking through “the happiest place on Earth.” It was picked up for a measly $38,000.  

Mary C. Corrigan

Mary C. Corrigan

Andrea Nayfa, Dawn Greiner, Nancy Gopez and Kris Johnson

Andrea Nayfa, Dawn Greiner, Nancy Gopez and Kris Johnson

Brook Hortenstine and Paige Westhoff

Brook Hortenstine and Paige Westhoff

Samantha Wortley and Bina Patel

Samantha Wortley and Bina Patel

And that was just a snapshot of the live auction that ran right on schedule thanks to the Baronesses ringing those cowbells and auctioneers Wendy Lambert and Amy Assiter running a tight ship. In fact it finished early, so the folks could get back for seconds of food or hit the casino games that made Choctaw looked like a bingo parlor.

Luke Lange

Luke Lange

Toby Keith and gals in blue

Toby Keith and gals in blue

That was just enough time to amble next door to the bigger-than-a-small-town tent for Toby Keith on the Andrews Distributing Main Stage. Behind the scenes, the VVIPs lined up for a grip-and-grin with Toby. Despite the line seeming never to end, Toby howdy-ed everyone and even signed cancer-survivor Luke Lange’s cowboy hat.

Just after the last couple posed with Toby and he was headed to the stage, someone noted a couple of Dallas police standing nearby. Shoot! What was one more photo? Toby liked the idea and so did his crew and so did the policewomen. Picture snapped and Toby was on his way.

Like Dwight, Toby didn’t disappoint. It was as if more than 3,000 had all overdosed on Red Bull.

Toby Keith

Toby Keith

Still another change in operation this year was the line of security types stoically seated in front of the stage facing the thousands. This arrangement helped prevent a mosh pit from taking place and blocking the view of the peeps sitting at tables upfront.

And speaking of “change,” the CBB abacuses are still counting up the amount that will be put on the check to support cancer research and development.

2017 CBB Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill have their work cut out for them, and they love the challenge. It’s gonna be hard to improve on this one.

For more photos from the night’s fun(d)raising, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball

Toby Keith

Toby Keith

With a few adjustments to the usual POA, the 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball was a blowout hit for the 3,000+ at Gilley’s on Saturday, October 15. But then how could you miss with Dwight Yoakam kicking things off and Toby Keith keeping the momentum going? Even Mother Nature played nicely, so the view of downtown Dallas from the top of the Ferris wheel was spectacular.

Megan Flanagan, Jamie Jo Hayes, Karen James, Stacey Relton, Merrick Huckin, Annika Cail and Elizabeth Fischer

Megan Flanagan, Jamie Jo Hayes, Karen James, Stacey Relton, Merrick Huckin, Annika Cail and Elizabeth Fischer

No wonder the live auction rocked with those baronesses exercising those cowbells and revving up the lively auction

While the post is being prepared, check out the baronesses and buckaroos at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery

With Lightning In The Air, Kathleen And Scott Kirby’s Home Was A Standout For Cattle Baron’s Underwriters Party

Leave it to the Cattle Baronesses to hold an underwriters celebration with all the splash of a movie premiere. After a couple of years when Mom Nature drenched the galas, she provided flashes of lightning among the North Texas clouds on Saturday, September 24.

No problem. In fact, it was literally highlighting the arrival of SUVs and luxury sedans at Kathleen and Scott Kirby’s mammoth mansion.

Andrea Weber and Scott and Kathleen Kirby

Andrea Weber and Scott and Kathleen Kirby

By all estimates, the house was tailor-made for the gathering of 300 major supporters of the Cattle Baron’s Ball and its fundraising efforts to fight cancer.

Cara French and Sunie Solomon

Cara French and Sunie Solomon

While 2016 Cattle Baron’s Co-Chairs Cara French and a very pregnant Andrea Weber (Editor’s note: Andrea had a healthy baby boy the next day) greeted guests at the front door, in the study, a cute fella was fiddling with the high-tech remote control that controlled the large flatscreen on the wall. Turned out the chap was homeowner Scott, former president of American Airlines and just named to be president of United Airlines.

Over in the bustling kitchen the Kirby’s two-year-old son was sampling the Gilley’s goodies and stealing the show.

2017 Cattle Baron’s Co-Chair Anne Stodghill and husband Steve Stodghill apologized for being a wee bit over dressed. The Stodghills were next headed to the 2016 Fur Ball that they were honorary co-chairing with D’Andra Simmons and Jeremy Lock and Drs. Wendy and John Vandermeer.

Anne and Steve Stodghill

Anne and Steve Stodghill

Don and Barbara Daseke

Don and Barbara Daseke

Speaking of being overbooked, Lisa and Bill Ogle were starting to rethink their commitments. They had skipped Fridays’ TACA Custom Auction Gala due to a full dance card that included kid activities and a wedding.

On the other hand, Barbara and Don Daseke reported that they had made it to the TACA event for the cocktail reception and dinner.

A svelte Nancy Gopez was all smiles with just a tinge of regrets. Following her heart attack, she added exercise and healthy eating to her agenda. The results? A Loss of 12 pounds. When asked if she was going to have to buy a new wardrobe, the itty-bitty Nancy laughed and revealed that there were clothes in her closet that she could now wear resulting in a clothing reunion.

As for Nancy’s regret, she admitted the loss of weight and healthier lifestyle was at the cost of cutting out her favorite fast foods and snacks.

2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction Debuted At Bachendorf’s Joining The Gems On Display

It may have been meet-the-teacher night and the Cowboys were lining up against the Houston Texans at AT&T Stadium. Didn’t matter. The Cattle Baron’s crowd filled the parking lot surrounding Bachendorf’s in Preston Center East on Thursday, September 1.

The draw was the preview of the 2016 CBB’s 18 Live Auction package including

  • Tag Heuer Indy 500 VIP Experience*

    Tag Heuer Indy 500 VIP Experience*

    Tag Heuer Indy 500 VIP Experience (Donated by Bachendorf’s and Tag Heuer) — Two lucky people will enjoy a VIP experience with round-trip, business-class air transportation, two nights in a premium hotel, dinners, and, of course, VIP access to the Indy 500. Winner also receive a timepiece from Tag Heuer.

  • Toe In The Sand Of The Seychelles*

    Toe In The Sand Of The Seychelles*

    Toe In The Sand Of The Seychelles (Donated by Etihad Airways, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi) — Winner and guest will enjoy round-trip trip, business class tickets from DFW to Seychelles on Etihad Airways with complimentary chauffeur service. Enjoy four nights at Carana Beach Hotel and one night at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi before and after you stay in Seychelles.

  • Steak Your Claim On A Night With The Boys*

    Steak Your Claim On A Night With The Boys*

    (Donated by Troy Aikman, Charles Haley, Daryl Johnston, Ed “Too” Tall Jones, Darren Woodson, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Louis XIII de Remy Martin and Premier Transportation) — Get ready for the ultimate game night! Winner and 11 friends will enjoy a night of No Limit Texas Hold’ Em with Cowboy legends Troy Aikman, Charles Haley, Daryl Johnston, Ed “Too” Tall Jones and Darren Woodson plus a private tasting of Louis XIII cognac and dinner/drinks from Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse.

  • Kentucky Derby from Grey Goose Vodka*

    Kentucky Derby from Grey Goose Vodka*

    Kentucky Derby from Grey Goose Vodka (Donated by Grey Goose Vodka, Horizon Air Group and Wynne Transportation) — Experience America’s legendary horse race! You and a guest will fly from DFW to Kentucky on a private jet, walk the red carpet and enjoy VIP Access to the Bacardi House Party. Includes two nights at the historic Galt House Hotel.

  • Australia’s Finest*

    Australia’s Finest*

    Australia’s Finest (Donated by Jackson Family Wines, Yangarra Estate Vineyard, Peter Fraser, Margot McKinney and American Airlines) — A wine experience down under! Winner and guest will arrive in Sydney and enjoy two nights at the Changri-La Hotel before embarking to Adelaide for a four-day and three –night stay at Yangarra Estate Vineyard! During your time there, sample some of the finest wines in the world with your host, Peter Fraser, recently named winemaker of the year. To remember your trip, winner will also receive a beautiful pair of earrings from local designer Margot McKinney.

  • Texas-Sized Party At Gilley’s*

    Texas-Sized Party At Gilley’s*

    Texas-Sized Party At Gilley’s (Donated by G Texas Catering, John Gilbert, Gilley’s Dallas, Rivers and Rust, Jack Boles Services and Matthews Southwest) — Enjoy a private party at Gilley’s Dallas with 200 of your closet friends! Includes a BBQ buffet, valet services and live music by Rivers and Rust.

In addition to checking the auctions items appropriately displayed on jewelry counters, it was a perfect time to play the summer-catch-up game.

Diane Hal Brierley and Cara French

Diane Hal Brierley and Cara French

Diane and Hal Brierley had been in and out of the area during the summer. While they had hit Europe, their summer highlight was just kicking back and driving around Utah… CBB Co-Chair Andrea Weber with husband John Weber was glowing with baby Weber due just before the CBB fundraiser. Bets are being taken if Andrea will make it to the Gilley’s funfest. Smart money is betting on Andrea being there… Nikki Webb arrived early so she could dash to attend her sons’ meet-the-teachers. Over the summer Nikki had been busy tending her three son, her newborn daughter and regaining her size 2 figure… Junior League of Dallas Gala Chair Isabell Novakov reported that despite having a daunting goal, she was pleased with her committee’s progress…Past CBB Chair Mary Martha and John Pickens and her cousin/Kerrville resident Debbie Flores stopped by on their way to True Foods for dinner. Debbie was subbing in for her CBB daughter Karen James, who was out of town with her husband Brad James. In addition to representing Karen, Debbie was also pooch sitting for the James’.

John and Andrea Weber

John and Andrea Weber

Lawrence and Katy Bock

Lawrence and Katy Bock

As for Mary Martha and John, they haven’t retired from fundraising by a longshot. They’re co-chair Harvest, the Thursday, September 15th North Texas Food Bank fundraiser at The Shed.

John and Mary Martha Pickens and Paige Westhoff

John and Mary Martha Pickens and Paige Westhoff

Other faces in the crowed included Co-Hosts Katy and Lawrence Bock, Anne Davidson, KJ and Ladd Sanger, Paige Westhoff, Marybeth and Kevin Conlon and Elizabeth Gambrell popping in from the Las Fiesta check presentation.

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

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

Inspirato in Los Cabos*

Inspirato in Los Cabos*

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

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

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster*

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster*

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

Richard Eiseman

Richard Eiseman

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

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

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

PlainsCapital's Mo the Buffalo

PlainsCapital’s Mo the Buffalo

Kristina Wrenn and Anne Stodghill

Kristina Wrenn and Anne Stodghill

Nancy Gopez and Kevin and Marybeth Conlon

Nancy Gopez and Kevin and Marybeth Conlon

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

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

JUST IN: Dwight Yoakam Signed Up To Appear On 2016 Cattle Baron’s Live Auction Stage

Cara French and Andrea Weber (File photo)

Cara French and Andrea Weber (File photo)

Well, howdy doo! 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chairs Cara French and Andrea Weber have come up with another reason to be “Texas Proud.” They’ve just revealed the entertainer for the Live Auction Stage in the South Side Ballroom for Saturday, October 15th American Cancer Society fundraiser at Gilley’s. These gals aren’t playing in the small leagues by any stretch of the imagination. They’ve just signed up Dwight Yoakam. This performance will mark his third CBB one with his previous CBB’s appearances in 1998 and 2003.

The only other entertainer who has appeared at CBB three times is Willie Nelson.

Just imagine having Dwight on the Live Auction Stage and then heading over the bigger-than-big tent for Toby Keith on the Main Stage.

JUST IN: 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Headliner, Theme, Date And Place Revealed

Toby Keith*

Toby Keith*

Well, hot dang! The 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chairs Cara French and Andrea Weber just did the great reveal at 1130 Dragon Street for the 43rd annual American Cancer Society mega-fundraiser. This year’s theme will be “Texas Proud” and will have the thousands returning to Gilley’s on Saturday, October 15.

As for the headliner on the Main Stage, it will be award-winner Toby Keith. It’s been 11 years since Toby headlined the CBB and he’s been a busy fella since then, having met up with the likes of Bobby Jo and her twin sister Betty Lou and just recently releasing “35 MPH Town.”

In addition to performing for the 2016 CBB, the country/western singer is personally committed to fighting cancer. His Toby Keith Foundation “supports and operates OK Kids Korral, a home for children battling cancer” in Oklahoma City.

The reveal gathering was presented by Clay Cooley Auto Group, but more about the party later.

* Photo provided by 2016 Cattle Baron's Ball