Crystal Charity Ball Had Fashions Springing Everywhere, A Winter Wonderland Blast On The Dance Floor And Falling Seasons

The much vaunted children’s nonprofit fundraiser, Crystal Charity Ball, was just an hour away on Saturday, December 3. But before the festivities got underway and while guests were on their way to the Hilton Anatole, there was a seated dinner taking place in a private dining room high atop the hotel in Sēr. The guests were the men and women who are off-duty members of Dallas law enforcement involved in the logistics of the annual ball. The supper was the brainchild of CCB office manager Cindy Ethel and the CCB committee “in appreciation for our friends in law enforcement.” Following the shootings of July 7 in downtown Dallas, an email was sent to the CCB membership with the idea of providing a nice meal for the two dozen members of the security team including Steve Walthall, Eric Jez, Dan Mosher and Reginald Luster and inviting support. The response was so overwhelming that it more than paid for the supper.

Dan Mosher and Reginald Luster

And what a feast it was. Upon taking their places around the table, they were presented with a menu of courses — Starter (jumbo lump crab cake or grilled shrimp cocktail), Second (petite greens or roasted pumpkin bisque), Entrée (filet of beef, Atlantic salmon, confit turkey breast or prime rib) and Dessert (Bumbleberry cobbler of chocolate). Afterward, one of the diners fessed up with a big smile, “I’m stuffed.” And, no, there was no alcohol served, just in case you were wondering.

Elizabeth Gambrell, Kristina Whitcomb, Christie Carter, Claire Emanuelson, Susan Farris and Ola Fojasek

Downstairs the finishing touches were underway. Outside the ballroom the reception area reflected 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Christie Carter’s theme — “To Everything There is a Season.” In the entry, four young women representing each of the seasons took their places as living statues on pedestals in alcoves located along the hall. Serving as a backdrop for the receiving line was a screen with a digital tree going through the seasonal changes.

Spring

Winter

Autumn

Summer

Against scenery of orange, gold and fall trees, the silent auction with its hundreds of goodies on tables with autumn-colored tablecloths was all ready for the bidding to begin. On the other side of the lobby was a summer garden with planters of sunflowers and lattice and another scenic backdrop of green and yellow-tinged trees and grounds for the casino and boutique. In the reception area in front of the ballroom were mountains of shrimp, mini-Reuben sandwiches and crostini with cheese and sun-dried tomato staged on tables with tablecloths of faux green leaves and oversized, stair-step centerpieces of flowers that reminded one of a French countryside picnic in spring.

Within the Chantilly Ballroom, winter was in its final stages of completion. The Dallas Chamber Symphony  and the James Davis Orchestra under the direction of Richard McKay were doing one last rehearsal of the 22-minute composition created for the evening. Behind the orchestra a mammoth screen displayed a video appearing to transport the orchestra through various snow scenes.

(Back story on Richard’s involvement with the event: CCB Chair Christie’s late mother had been a musician and over the years Richard had worked with her. In turn, Christie joined the board of the Dallas Chamber Symphony and was very supportive of the organization. So, the performance by the Symphony under the direction of Richard was a very personal one for Christie, Richard and the musicians.)

Perhaps it was traveling through the wintry wonderland or the Anatole’s A/C providing a true wintry feeling, but the Chantilly Ballroom was not suffering from a fever.

Matching the seasons perfectly were the fashions, jewels and extra touches like Lynn McBee in Dries Van Noten, Tucker Enthoven and past Ball Chair Robyn Conlon in Carolina Herrera, Gina Betts in Oscar, Piper Wyatt in Zac Posen, Claire Emanuelson in Jenny Packham, Ciara Cooley in Marchesa and Janet Brock in Brunello Cucinelli.

Robyn and Don Conlon

Crawford and Janet Brock

And the ladies kept local designers on pins and needles in the weeks and months preceding the fundraiser. Designer Patti Flowers created the gowns for Ball Chair Christie, Robin Carreker and Lisa Cooley  and “re-designed vintage gowns” for Mary Meier Evans and Pat Harloe. And, of course, Patti wore one of her own. Lisa Cooley’s turquoise gown had heads turning to catch the pink floral bustle. Since it was a seasonal theme, Lisa wanted just a touch of spring.

Lisa Cooley

Michal Powell

Fellow designer Michael Faircloth’s handiwork was worn by Lisa Troutt, Tiffany Divis and last year’s Ball Chair Michal Powell, who didn’t hesitate to say that she had gone the spring route with a white, off-the-shoulder lace blouse and vivid purple skirt that would have made Ray Rim Purple Petunias jealous. Coming handy for the pooch-loving Michal was her Leiber-designed Shih Tzu purse.

Pam Busbee

Alicia Wood

When it came to competition, Pam Busbee‘s black gown with red roses was a showstopper, but  Alicia Wood’s Narda’s train won hands down for length. She admitted after kicking it aside a couple of times that she would probably end up just picking it up and hauling it around.  

As for the accessories of the night, Jimmy Choos, Alexander McQueens, Manola Blahniks, Pradas, Stuart Weitzmans, Louboutins, Nichols Kirkwoods and Alaias were seen peaking from under hems. And hands down the handiest item of the night were the Judith Leiber purses. There were so many of the Leiber sparkling bags that the company should be one of the event’s underwriters!

Tucker and Rich Enthoven

Lisa and Kenny Troutt

Amit and Liat Berger and Stacy and David Blank

Adding to the evening look’s highlights were the array of jewelry from Susan Saffron (Tucker Enthoven), Sue Gragg (Gina Betts and Lisa Troutt), Diamonds Direct (Liat Berger, Stacy Blank, Tanya Foster and Alicia Wood), Eiseman (Claire Emanuelson), Bachendorf (Katy Bock), 64 Facets (Janet Brock) and Matthew Trent and Bulgari (Lynn McBee).

As for the gents, it was tuxedo alley — Nick Evan subbing in for Allan McBee in a Tom Ford tuxedo with Lynn McBee, Kenny Troutt in J. Hilburn, Dwight Emanuelson in Tux Cucinelli, Clay Cooley in Chris Despos, Chase Cooley in Q Clothiers and Ken Betts, Charles McEvoy and Loyd Powell in Zegna. However, a couple of the fellas — Chris O’Neill, Billy Esping, Bill Goodwin, Michael Sills, Paul Coggins, John Lemak, Pete Cline, Rich Sterling, Jerry Fronterhouse, Bob White, Robin Robinson and Ben Lange —  broke from the traditional black tie by adding a little color to their wardrobes thanks to natty ties.

Pete and Caren Kline and Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins

Robin and Debby Robinson

Chris and Connie O’Neill

Billy and Heather Esping

Mimi and Rich Sterling

Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse

Bill and Margo Goodwin

As folks posed for photos in front of the ever-changing tree, it proved comical as some appeared to be sprouting a tree out of the top of their well-coiffed heads.

John Clutts, Jill Rowlett, Richard Eiseman, Dee Wyly and Sami Asrlanlar

As guests arrived, there were the traditional photos opps with Christie and then there was the photo bombing by the likes of Richard Eiseman.

Caroline Rose Hunt and Del Frnka

Just seconds after Carolina Rose Hunt and escort Del Frnka arrived, the winter living statue took an unplanned break requiring assistance. Luckily, Dr. Dan Kadesky was nearby and came to assist the season, who was ushered away. A few minutes later Fall followed suit, leaving Spring and Summer standing in place.

From the left: (front row) Margo Goodwin, Barbara Stuart, Robyn Conlon, Christie Carter, Tom Addis, Connie O’Neill, Louise Griffeth, Lindalyn Adams and Nancy Chapman; (back row) Sara Martineau, Gloria Eulich Martindale, Aileen Pratt, Tincy Miller, Michael Powell, Connie O’Neill and Caren Kline

At one point in the evening, it was time for the group photos of the past CCB chairs with Christie. Gathering these ladies up made herding hummingbirds look easy. No sooner would one be found than another one would disappear surrounded by a group of friends. Finally, they thought all were present except for Jill Smith. No one had seen her and it was getting near time to open the doors to the ballroom. The photos had to be taken. After being positioned on the staircase and the photos done, the ladies insisted that the man who had handheld so many of them in years past, event producer Tom Addis, join them for one final snap. Then they were off in different directions. Alas, Jill arrived minutes later. Seems that she and husband Bob Smith had been the victims of a traffic jam.

Crystal Charity Ball dining table

Just before the doors opened to the wintry wonderland, the ballroom appeared to shimmer thanks to the white floral arrangements with touches of pink, the tables with gold tablecloths and white chairs and the walls covered in white draping cast in a flood of lavender lighting.  For Angel of Grace sponsor Annette Simmons and her tablemates (husband Jerry Fronterhouse, Anita and Truman Arnold, Kelli and Jerry Ford and Gail and Gerald Turner, the cloth napkins were monogrammed with Annette’s initials.

Monogrammed napkin

Jerry and Kelli Ford

Truman and Anita Arnold

Gail and Gerald Turner

When the doors opened, the orchestra started playing and the video scenery commenced to the wide-eyed guests’ delight. As one guest put it, “The ballroom was breathtaking. With that backdrop, it appeared as if the orchestra was traveling through a winter wonderland.”

Unlike years past when performers provided presentations, the orchestra and video eliminated the need to hold guests back from crossing the dance floor. It made moving throughout the room so much easier. However, some folks were so mesmerized by the 22-minute musical/digital performance that they just stood in place.

Randall and Kara Goss

Sherwood Wagner and Todd Clendening

David and Anne Sutherland

Aileen and Jack Pratt

Jason and Laura Downing and Brooke and Aaron Shelby

Eventually, guests like Debby and Robin Robinson, Kara and Randall Goss, Anne and David Sutherland, Phyllis Cole McKnight and Steve McKnight, Paige McDaniel with Joe B Clark, Laura and Jason Downing, Joanna Clarke, Sherwood Wagner with Todd Clendening, Mersina Stubbs with Mackay Boynton, Brooke and Aaron Shelby and Alison and Mike Malone  took their places for a menu that included First Course (Maine lobster salad, Belgian endive and frisee, watermelon radish, asparagus, confit tomato and shave fennel, pretzel crouton and Dijon herb vinaigrette), Second Course (Demi-glazed and roasted garlic crusted filet of beef, Gruyere-celery root pave, maple roasted parsnips, harvest squash and blistered red pepper, chard-filled golden tomato and green peppercorn glace) and Dessert (Peppermint white chocolate mousse, red velvet cake and linzer crisp).

Suzanne and Jim Johnston and Angela Nash

Norma Hunt

Dinner table chats included Travis Holman reported that after purchasing Lee Bailey‘s place on Turtle Creek, he was planning on expanding the three-car garage to six and other additions to the estate… Angela Nash introducing her new boss, Methodist Health System Foundation President Jim Johnston, and his wife Suzanne Johnston to friends… Norma Hunt being thanked for her donation of her Perfect Season wine for the CCB fundraiser.

Simply Irresistible

Kevin Dahlberg and Francie Moody-Dahlberg

Just as the Symphony completed its performance, the Simply Irresistible from Atlanta appeared on stage, changing the mood to Motown. The result? The dance floor that had glimmered like an ice rink was filled to capacity by the guests like Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg, Mary Clare Finney, David Nichols, Diane and Hal Brierley, Julie and Ed Hawes, Debbie Oates, Carolyn and David Miller, Anne Davidson and Mark Porter and Tracy and Ben Lange. At one point it was so crowded that one woman who lost her footing would have normally landed flat on the floor. But in this case, it was so tight that she recovered before hitting the ground.  

Mary Clare Finney and David Nichols

And that wintry chill that had initially filled the ballroom was history. Thanks to the dance floor action, the room was heating up for partying long into the night, with the goal of providing more than $5.6M+ for Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Hope Supply Co., Notre Dame School of Dallas, Parkland Foundation on behalf of Parkland Health and Hospital System, Teach for America, The Family Place and Crystal Charity Ball Educational Scholarship Project.

For more than 70 photos of the evening, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

 

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Crystal Charity Ball

Elizabeth Gambrell, Kristina Whitcomb, Christie Carter, Claire Emanuelson, Susan Farris and Ola Fojasek

Thanks to 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Christie Carter‘s ball theme of “To Everything There Is A Season,” the black-tie fundraiser for area children’s nonprofits was wide open for fashionable interpretation, as well as decor. And, boy, did the 100 CCB committee members, guests and event producer Tom Addis deliver!

Pam Busbee

Spring

Lisa Cooley

From the spring floral designs to the mammoth digital sleigh ride through snowy scenery complete with a 22-minute orchestral performance in the wintry wonderland of the Hilton Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom, the seasons were all there on Saturday, December 3.

Crystal Charity Ball dining table

While the post is being finalized, check out the two pages of more than 75 photos at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board And 7 Beneficiaries Get Better Acquainted At Heather And Billy Esping’s Estate

Linda Secrest, Heather Esping and Beth Thoele

Linda Secrest, Heather Esping and Beth Thoele

While their magnificent pool house was still in the construction stage of life, Heather and Billy Esping hosted the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board and Beneficiary reception at their Preston Hollow home on Thursday, April 14.

Advisory Board member/Communities Foundation of Texas President/CEO Brent Christopher, who said that since his announcement of heading up Children’s Foundation he had been in overdrive, admitted, “Nobody replaces Kern Wildenthal. They just carry on.” When asked if he would stay on the CCB Advisory Board, Brent conceded that he would probably have to resign, since his new assignment would put him on the other side of the fundraising world. Instead of doling out grants, he would be seeking funds.

Kent Eastman

Kent Eastman

With 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter standing by his side, Capital One Bank Texas State President Kent Eastman graciously told the crowd that Capital One’s underwriting of the event was to salute the CCB’s support of the 2016 beneficiaries including Captain Hope’s Kid/Hope Supply Co., Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Notre Dame School, Parkland Foundation, Teach for America and The Family Place.

While his wife, Claire Emanuelson, twinkled in a gold blouse, Dwight Emanuelson stood by the fireplace sporting a new haircut and was fresh back from a fishing outing up north.

Jerry Meyer and Annette Simmons

Jerry Meyer and Annette Simmons

Anne Reeder and Susan McSherry

Anne Reeder and Susan McSherry

Others in the crowd of advisors and beneficiaries included newlyweds Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse, SuSu and Jerry Meyer, Cynthia and Brice Beaird, Pam and Vin Perella, Linda Secrest, Beth Thoeloe and the evening’s Co-Chairs Susan McSherry and Anne Reeder.

JUST IN: 2016 Crystal Charity Ball’s Theme Announced

Jan Strimple demonstrates the season of spring

Jan Strimple demonstrates the season of spring

The news that will determine the gowns and gems that will scene steal at the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball was just announced a few minutes ago at Lisa and Clay Cooley’s breathtaking Bluffview estate. It’s the mega-fundraising gala’s theme!

With CCB Chair Christie Carter revealing the theme would be “To Everything There is a Season,” czarina model Jan Strimple read the verses of the theme after doing a jaw-dropping strolled down the Cooley stairway wearing an amazing floral headpiece and a killer gown especially created for the announcement.

With a goal of $5.6M to benefit Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Hope Supply Co., Notre Dame School, Parkland Foundation, Teach for America and The Family Place, the black-tie gala will take place at the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, December 3. The fundraiser will be orchestrated by veteran event producer Tom Addis and supported by The Garden Gate’s Junior Villanueva and Lambert’s Landscape Design’s Paul Fields.

The announcement party was underwritten by Lisa and Clay and was sponsored by Bank of Texas.

Designers, get your creative juices going to come up with knock-out looks for the December ball.

More deets to follow, but gee-whiz. Let’s see. So many seasons to pick. Spring blossoms? Summer’s red-white-and-blue? Fall’s golden colors? Hmm. The wintry season glistening ice (aka diamonds)? Can’t wait to see the picks of the season in fashion.

Despite A Premature Release Of The Crystal Charity Ball’s 10 Best Dressed And Hall Of Famer, The Reveal Presentation Went On

Things weren’t looking all that cheery on Wednesday, March 30. Clouds and sprinkles were ruining the car washing of the past weekend, but still the Crystal Charity Ball members found their way to Neiman Marcus Downtown for the official announcement of the CCB 10 Best Dressed and the Hall of Fame honoree.

But in addition to the dreary wet stuff, this year there was a slight hiccup in the announcement. Always before there had been an embargo on the release of the names until right after the official presentation on the second floor of the legendary flagship story. But this year an eager beaver in the NM PR department cut a deal the Friday before to have it printed in the local daily paper the morning of the event. With that development, the embargo was busted and all bets were off.

Still, that premature reveal didn’t stop the gathering of CCB-ers. The 10 BD-ers plus HoF Honoree (except for three) arrived at 9:30 a.m. for a dress rehearsal and to chill in the back rooms of the bridal salon. While some had their makeup refreshed by Lenore, others had stopped by their personal makeup artists for touch ups.

Starting around 10 a.m., the rest of the guests pulled into the NM parking lot, where the mega fashion tent would be erected for the Friday, September 16, fashion show and luncheon, and made their way to the salon, where a nifty white Valentino lace-bib blouse can be snapped up for just a smidge under $2,500. The top stop was the display of Carolina Herrera fashions in the “Glass House.” And what a display it was! From fragile organza skirts to 3D jasmine embroidered evening gowns, there was a Herrera creation for every occasion and client.

Pam Perella, Caren Kline and Christie Carter

Pam Perella, Caren Kline and Christie Carter

And this crowd truly appreciated the items on the racks. They were pretty much dressed to the nines themselves. From the Louboutins on their pedicured feet to the spring colored dresses like CCB Chair Christie Carter’s turquoise-blue Herrera dress, they were a fashion show themselves.

Speaking of CCB chair, the most relaxed within the group of guests were the past CCB chairs (Robyn Conlon, Caren Kline and Michal Powell). Robyn was wearing makeup for the first time in a while. The reason? Allergies that made the very idea of eye makeup a runny one. Caren was in a white leather dress that her fashion-loving sister Dale Pinto had picked out for her. Michal was all smiles reporting that she was preparing for the presentation of checks from her December CCB fundraiser.

Robyn Conlon and Clare Emanuelson

Robyn Conlon and Clare Emanuelson

As time neared for the presentation on a two-tier stage located at the opposite end of the floor, chairs were already set up with the front row of seats neatly reserved for the BD-ers and HoF thanks to nearly printed placecards. Just before 11 a female voice asked the guests to take their seats. No need for a reminder announcement. This crowd is totally housebroken and took their places.

Opening the program was NM Executive VP Neva Hall, who told that not only would the September fashion show’s featured designer Carolina Herrera attend the event, but members of her family would also be on hand. The reason for the extra oomph was the fact that Carolina would also be presented the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award that was established by the late Stanley Marcus and his aunt, the late Carrie Marcus Neiman back in 1938. One gal whispered, “I would have thought Herrera had received it ages ago.”

Neva Hall, Jeff Byron and Marjon Henderson

Neva Hall, Jeff Byron and Marjon Henderson

History note: Stanley always attributed the success of Neiman’s early fashion leadership to his aunt, who was one of the store’s founders and believed that NM “would contribute to the growth, welfare and culture of Dallas.”

Then Neva introduced Christie, who was followed by CCB Fashion Show and Luncheon Chair Pam Perella. Both thanked NM for their ongoing support of the organization.

It was now time for NM Downtown GM/VP to take over and introduce the ladies of the day including first timers Anita Arnold, Tucker Enthoven and Piper Wyatt plus BD returnees Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Heather Esping, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Pat Harloe and Hall of Famer Betsy Sowell. Only one missing was Julie Hawes, who was out of town.

Jane Condon, Piper Wyatt, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Tucker Enthoven, Betsy Sowell, Anita Arnold, Heather Esping, Pat Harloe and Katherine Coker

Jane Condon, Piper Wyatt, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Tucker Enthoven, Betsy Sowell, Anita Arnold, Heather Esping, Pat Harloe and Katherine Coker

Julie Hawes (File photo)

Julie Hawes (File photo)

Immediately after Betsy took her seat on the front row, the presentation transitioned into the staging of various group photos and the presentation of large NM gift boxes to the BD-er, Betsy, Christie and Pam. What was inside? The coffee table book, “Carolina Herrera: Portrait of a Fashion Icon” by Alexandra Kotur with a personal note from the future NM Fashion Awardee.

Tickets for the event that will feature Herrera’s resort collection will be made available in mid-April and will probably be GWTW within days.

For more photos from the event, please check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

Dallas-area restaurants were lacking more than 50 of their favorite customers on Thursday, February 18. No, the flu had not swept through. Rather, it was the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball bus tour which took a crammed bus full of the committee members for a tour of the 2016 beneficiaries like Captain Hope’s Kids/Hope Supply Co., Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Notre Dame School of Dallas, Parkland Foundation, Teach for America and The Family Place.

Captain Hope's Kids/Hope Supply Co.

Captain Hope’s Kids/Hope Supply Co.

Camp Whispering Cedars

Camp Whispering Cedars

From diapers to STEM, it was nonstop education from 8:15 a.m. to nearly 3 p.m. with no breaks. Even lunch was in transit. While the post is being prepped, check out some of the photos from the tour on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: 2016 Crystal Charity Beneficiaries Announced

There are tears and cheers being experienced through the area this evening. After a marathon meeting of the Crystal Charity Ball membership with presentations by hopeful nonprofits, the 2016 CCB beneficiaries have just been announced to share in a goal of $5,650,258.

Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson (File photo)

Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson (File photo)

The months of coordinating the monumental process of charity selection was supervised by Helen Holman.

The funds will result from the year-long fundraising efforts of the 100 CCB committee members under the leadership of Ball Chair Christie Carter and Underwriting Chair Claire Emanuelson. The 2016 CCB will take place on Saturday, December 3, at the Hilton Anatole.

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Members Kick Off Fundraising Program At Charity Selection Orientation Meeting

With the 2015 Crystal Charity Ball hardly a month gone, the 2016 charge was already marching. To kick things off, 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter commenced the CCB Charity Selection Orientation meeting at The Meadows Foundation in the 22-acre Wilson Historic District on Thursday, January 7.

Helen Holman, Linda Evans, Christie Carter and Elizabeth Chandler

Helen Holman, Linda Evans, Christie Carter and Elizabeth Chandler

The purpose was to set the pace for the membership to embrace the importance of their mission — provide funding for area children’s nonprofits.

Carole Lou Bruton, Knoxie Edmondson and Leigh Anne Haugh

Carole Lou Bruton, Knoxie Edmondson and Leigh Anne Haugh

As the membership took their assigned sets in the conference room, Charity Selection Chair Helen Holman thanked the various members, like her co-chairs Delilah Boyd, Carole Lou Bruton, Knoxie Edmondson, Leigh Anne Haugh, Sally Johnson, Ann Lardner and Mary Meier.who had already been hard at work processing beneficiary proposals.

Linda Secrest and Sally Johnson

Linda Secrest and Sally Johnson

The Meadows Foundation President/CEO Linda Evans welcomed the group and very briefly told about the Meadows Campus. She also apologized for the black walking cast. Seems it was not just a daytime wear. She was even having to sleep in the contraption for the next month.

Charity Selection Orientation

Charity Selection Orientation

But that fact was just in passing. The day’s purpose was to focus on the issues facing Dallas kids and that was succinctly explained by Amy Desler and Jenny Eyer of Children’s at Risk.

For the next 11 months, the 100 members will vet potential beneficiaries like IRS agents and seek underwriters to benefit those organizations that make the grade.

As 2015 beneficiary North Texas Food Bank’s Executive Director Jan Pruitt explained, as incredible as receiving the funding is, the validation by this group is priceless, regardless of the nonprofit’s size.

The Fashionable Types Toasted Crystal Charity Ball 10 Best Dressed At The Platinum Circle Dinner And Neiman’s 108th Birthday

The queen bees of Dallas charitable giving were definitely back like hummingbirds fluttering around nectar on Thursday, September 10. Their first sighting of the season was at the Dallas Country Club for the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show’s Platinum Circle Dinner.

Spotlighting the 10 Best Dressed, who would presented on Friday, September 18, at Neiman Marcus Downtown, Hall of Famer Sarah Perot and Honorary Chair Ruth Altshuler were Johnny-on-the-spot at 6:30 for the group photo opp.

Unfortunately, those nasty little Internet trolls had prevented Janie Condon, Patty Leyendecker and Margaret Hancock from getting the note to arrive early for the photo.

Nancy Carlson, Annette Simmons, Ruth Altshuler, Nancy Dedman and Rachael Dedman

Nancy Carlson, Annette Simmons, Ruth Altshuler, Nancy Dedman and Rachael Dedman

Barbara Babb

Barbara Babb

Claire Emanuelson

Claire Emanuelson

First on the scene just before the clock hit 6:30 were Pat and John Harloe, blonde Barbara (sporting bangs) Babb and husband hosting Comerica’s Ralph Babb and Ruth with husband Dr. Ken Altshuler, buddies/former Honorary Chairs Annette Simmons and Nancy Dedman and the ever-charming Brad Kelly.

Russ Davis and Erin Mathews

Russ Davis and Erin Mathews

Lee Bailey and Dee Simmons

Lee Bailey and Dee Simmons

Bob Potter and Jack Jacobs

Bob Potter and Jack Jacobs

Nick Even and Lynn McBee

Nick Even and Lynn McBee

Soon most of the rest of the 10 arrived. 10 Bestie Katherine Coker arrived fresh from a Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala party at David Yurmin… The ladies weren’t the only fashion plates on the scene. Jack Jacobs and Steve Ivy sported Hermes ties…. And while on the Hermes subject, Barbara Daseke and Linda Ivy were talking about Hermes doing a band for the new Apple watch. Tick, tock, tick, tock… Former 10 Bestie Pat McEvoy’s love affair with her pooch, Santiago, had progressed. “Sonny” had really improved his understanding of how things needed to be in the McEvoy household… Robyn Conlon was showing off anniversary earrings that had been commissioned by husband Don Conlon…Speaking of jewelry, Erin Mathews was sporting an engagement ring that Russ Davis had presented her. No date is set yet, but stay tuned… Lee Ann White was soloing it, since husband Alan White was fly fishing with Jeremy Ford…Former Honorary Chair Gene Jones made a brief appearance. Had to get home to take care of husband Jerry, who had just had hip surgery…Luncheon Chair Mary Clare Finney was giving her compact point-and-shoot a work out photographing guests as date Chris Branscum smiled on…Caren and Pete Kline have Caren’s niece, Caren Pinto, staying with them while she’s interning at WFAA8. This was Day 2 of her training.

Alas, as the rest of the guests spilled into the ballroom with magnificent Oscar de la Renta gowns of locals like Nancy Dedman, Michal Powell, Annette Simmons, Norma Hunt and Nancy C. Rogers displayed in the alcove, the decision was made to photograph the group in attendance after waiting 40 minutes for the missing trio.

From the left: (back row) Michal Powell, Sarah Perot, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Ralph Babb, Christi Urschel, Julie Hawes and Katherine Coker; (front row) Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt, Mary Clare Finney, Ruth Altshuler, Pat Harloe and Heather Esping

From the left: (back row) Michal Powell, Sarah Perot, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Ralph Babb, Christi Urschel, Julie Hawes and Katherine Coker; (front row) Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt, Mary Clare Finney, Ruth Altshuler, Pat Harloe and Heather Esping

Then it was time to settle down at the assigned tables for chatting, dining and saluting the honorees.

What was that old saw that one never talks of politics, sex and something else? Well, politics were served up like breadsticks at a chintzy Italian cafeteria. Donald Trump definitely had made an impression on the assembled gathering. What were their opinions? Go elsewhere for that. MySweetCharity ain’t a political digital site. Still, it made for a lively conversation.

Recalling how former Comerican Chuck Gummer had told him about CCB when Ralph arrived on the scene, Babb remarked, “It’s amazing what they [Crystal Charity Ball members] do for children. We wanted to be a part of Crystal Charity, and this was an opportunity that was available and we were glad to become a part of it.”

But there was still more to talk about. CCB Chair Michal welcomed the hundreds and noted the fact that Neiman Marcus was on this very night celebrating its 108th birthday with NM Downtown’s GM/VP Jeff Byron taking a bow.

Then it was time to dig into the mesclun salad, the grilled filet and sea bass duo with mushroom risotto and julienne vegetables complete with artichoke sauté and broccolini. One poor soul bit into the sea bass thinking it was mashed potatoes. Oops. A few commented that the DCC version of the pecan ball with chocolate and caramel sauce didn’t quite rank up with the one being served at Café Pacific.

A Gentle Reminder: 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Application Orientation Is Thursday

Just a quick reminder for any Dallas County children’s charity that was planning to apply for a 2016 Crystal Charity Ball grant. The orientation meeting is 8:30 a.m. on Thursday at Communities Foundation of Texas.

Insiders strongly encourage attendance, even if this isn’t the first time to apply.

To qualify for consideration, the agency must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Serve children in Dallas County
  • Have had a 501 (c)(3) designation for at least three years
  • Have provided services in Dallas County for at least three years.

Applications are online now and “must be mailed or hand delivered to the CCCB offices by 4 p.m. by Wednesday, October 28, 2015. Sorry, no email applications will be accepted.

2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter and CCB Charity Selection Chair Helen Holman will announce the 2016 beneficiaries on February 4, 2016.