Houston Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson Stars At Dallas Habitat For Humanity’s Inaugural Dream Builders Dinner

When 400 people turned up for Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity‘s inaugural Dream Builders Dinner at Belo Mansion on Thursday, October 19, Mary Martha Pickens and her husband, John Pickens, were among them. Longtime active Habitat supporters, the Pickenses brought a whole table-full of their Bible-study pals from Highland Park United Methodist Church with them.

Philip Wise*

Which made sense, because the church’s Carpenters for Christ group was one of the evening’s award recipients. The other was Philip Wise, one of the co-founders of Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity and also one of the HPUMC members who helped establish Carpenters for Christ. But hey, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves.

The fundraising dinner, put on with the help of co-chairs Diane and Mike Gruber, Jennifer and Tom Karol, and Lynn and Allan McBee, was intended to be “an evening of inspiration for the future, and gratitude for those who have helped us reach this stage over the past 30 years.”

Tom and Jennifer Karol, Allan and Lynn McBee, Deshaun Watson and Diane and Mike Gruber*

It also turned out to be something of a farewell party for Bill Hall, Habitat’s local CEO. Hall announced surprisingly that he would be “closing out my time at Habitat” after 13 years. During his brief remarks, Hall sketched out an ambitious goal for the Dallas chapter: building 1,600 new homes by 2021—almost as many as the nonprofit has put up in total over the last three decades.

The evening’s hands-down star attraction, though, was Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson. The NFL’s leading touchdown passer this season posed happily for photos during the meet-and-greet, then was interviewed onstage by broadcaster Brad Sham, who’s known as “The Voice of the Dallas Cowboys.”

Brad Sham and Deshaun Watson*

Raised in a Habitat home by a single mother who worked two jobs, Deshaun said home ownership had changed his life. It was the lifeline that pulled his family out of poverty, giving him the chance to thrive. He also described the impact his mother had on him, even as a football quarterback: “It starts with my mom. I’m observant. I can see how different people move in [different situations]. I’m a conservative guy. … Whatever happens, good or bad, you’ve got to shake it off and go on the next thing.”

Another thing his mother taught him, Deshaun told Brad, was that “it takes a long time to build a legacy. But it takes just one false step, one move, to bring it down.” By the end of the evening, few believed Deshaun would be having that problem anytime soon.

Editor’s note: Roughly two weeks after his appearance in Dallas, Deshaun reportedly suffered a season-ending knee injury during a Texans practice.

* Photo provided by Habitat for Humanity


Under Blue Skies Equest Gala Patron Party Ponied Up For Guests At Ashley Tatum’s And Newt Walker’s Terrace Overlooking Exall Lake

Just blocks away from the AWARE Patron party, Ashley Tatum and Newt Walker took full advantage of the clear skies following the early morning storms on Wednesday, March 29.

Their fabulous terrace overlooking Exall Lake had loads of Equest supporters including two miniature equine ambassadors — Cisco and Dare — that accommodated one and all for photos and pats on the head.

Honorary Co-Chairman Allan McBee’s beard that he grew for being part of the Dallas Opera’s “Moby Dick” cast was still in full flourish. However, Honorary Co-Chair/Allan’s wife Lynn McBee was counting the days for the beard to be gone.

Allan McBee

Kristina and Phil Whitcomb

Upon hearing the differences of opinion on the beard in the McBee household, Kristina Whitcomb said that she took Lynn’s side about her son’s beard, “but his wife loves it.”

Lester Keliher

Gretchen Darby and Kathy Fielder

On the terrace to hear about the Equest fundraiser — Field of Dreams — were Margaret and Lester Keliher, Equest Gala Co-Chair Kathy Fielder, Equest CEO Lili Kellogg, Gretchen Darby, Phil Whitcomb and Di Johnston with daughter Claire Johnston.

Claire Johnston and Di Johnston

Lili Kelloggg

Tickets for the Saturday, April 29th gala at Texas Horse Park are going fast.

JUST IN: 2017 Equest Gala Plans Announced For Field Of Dreams With Kathy And Jeromy Fielder As Co-Chairs

From the left: (back row) Alanna Sarabie, Andrea Reich, Gretchen Darby, Dare, Keetha Hanlin, Regina Bruce, Melissa Vullo Bell and Renee Farinella; (front row) Dianna Pietra, Deve Sandord, Kathy Fielder and Britt Harless*

Despite last night’s dreary, wet weather, the horse-loving Equest crowd headed over to Samuel Lynne Galleries. The draw was not a new exhibition on horses. Rather it was the kick-off reception for the 2017 Equest Gala. Upstaging the art on the walls were the Equest mini-ambassadors, Cisco and Dare. It was the pair’s first visit to the gallery and vice versa.

Lili Kellogg, Jocelyn White, Lynn McBee and Susan Schwartz*

On hand to hear the news were Samuel Lynne

Co-Founder/artist JD Miller and his artist wife Lea Fisher Miller, Dan Pritchett, Deve Sanford, Mimi Noland, Nicole Barrett, Doug Murray, Georgette Doukas, Alanna Sarabie, Andrea Reich, Gretchen Darby, Keetha Hanlin, Regina Bruce, Melissa Vullo Bell, Renee Farinella, Dianna Pietra, Britt Harless, Debbie Murray, Regina Bruce, Heather “Miss Texas Teen” King, past Equest Chairman of the Board/Gala Chair Jocelyn White, Equest Co-Founder Susan Schwartz and Chairman of the Board Andy Steingasser.

Laura and Jason Cope*

JD Miller*

Equest CEO Lili Kellogg revealed the news of the night. This year’s theme will be “Field of Dreams” with Co-Chairs Kathy and Jeromy Fielder and Honorary Co-Chairs Lynn and Allan McBee.

It will take place on Saturday, April 29, at Texas Horse Park with “gourmet southern cuisine, craft cocktails, live music and much-desired live and silent auction items.”    

There will be a demonstration of how Equest is making such a difference in peoples’ lives, head patting with Texas Horse Park residents and dancing to Texas Country Music. What were you expecting — minuets?

While sponsorships start at $5,000, Lili announced that “the first Gala sponsor to contribute a minimum of $15,000 or more” would receive an original horse photo donated by photographer Laura Cope.

For smart folks who reach the VIP status, the horse-ing around will start at 6:30, while the rest of the herd will hit the doors at 7. Since there is no on-site parking, shuttles will be available.

* Photo credit: Bob Manzano

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Housing Crisis Center’s 2016 Patriot Party

According to Housing Crisis Center’s 2016 Patriot Party Chair John Baer,

Get ready for A Veteran’s Day To Remember.  That is the theme of this year’s Housing Crisis Center’s annual Patriot Party on Friday, November 11, at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. Proceeds from the event assist with our mission to prevent homelessness and to stabilize those at risk in decent, affordable and permanent housing.

2016 Patriot Party*

2016 Patriot Party*

Joining us in this exciting a project are community leaders Lynn and Allan McBee who are serving as Honorary Chairmen. This duo, along with our board of directors and host committee are working diligently to recruit sponsors, underwriters and individual ticket purchasers to make this year’s event a huge success. The evening’s festivities include cocktails, live and silent auctions, live music and dancing in the Mansion’s recently renovated Ballroom and adjoining Pavilion.

As we embark on this important fund-raising effort, it is worth noting that HCC’s three permanent housing programs serve mainly veterans and their families. The Patriot Party is one of the ways we honor and support those who have served. Veterans in our program suffer disabilities, but with our help, they are able to live independently.

We don’t stop with making sure they have a safe place to live, we also give them the tools they need to find jobs, manage their finances and to tackle the issues that cause them to become homeless. We invite you to join our efforts to ensure that our veterans have a brighter future.

Housing Crisis Center has been preventing homelessness for almost 40 years. More than 10,000 households rely on our assistance each year. Originally founded as the Dallas Tenants Association in 1978 under the leadership of Dorothy Masterson, the organization was established to provide free legal support to low income tenants. Our mission and reach have expanded and the demand for our services in Dallas is greater than ever.

For sponsorship or ticket information, visit www.hccdallas.org.

* Graphic provided by Housing Crisis Center

A Morning Coffee Underscores The Patriot Party’s Saluting And Aiding America’s Veterans

This past Monday morning, there were three folks having coffee at NorthPark’s La Madeleine. They were a cute and spry group of 80+ year olds, two women and a man. Unbeknownst to people sitting nearby, they were a treasure trove of history.

The man was 95…”No, I’m 96,” he said with a smile. The woman across the table added, “He was a World War II POW. There aren’t many of them left.” She spoke from the heart, having lost her husband/another vet just the year before.

Over the next few minutes, it was learned that the 96-year-old had been a pilot in a mission where more than 30 planes took off and only four returned. He had been one of those who had been captured by the Germans. After being held captive for a year, he was liberated by the Allied forces and weighed just 86 pounds.

It turned out that the widow’s husband had also been in the same squadron, but he hadn’t been slated to fly that day. Knowing the dangers faced by the crew the previous day, he flew out the next day but returned safely.

Like the widow said, “There aren’t many of them left.”



No, there aren’t many World War II vets left, but they have been joined by countless others who have served this country in the following decades. That is why events benefiting vets are especially poignant when they’re held on Veteran’s Day.

One of those activities is the 5th Annual Patriot Party that will be held on Friday, November 11, at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, benefiting the Housing Crisis Center’s (HCC) disabled and homeless veterans program  (Veterans Housing Partnership, Permanent Housing Services and All Citizens Empowerment).

Patriot Party 2016*

Patriot Party 2016*

According HCC Executive Director Sherri Ansley, “Veterans are some of the most vulnerable clients we serve and this event raises critically needed funds to support these sometimes neglected member of the community.”

Katherine Wynne (File photo)

Katherine Wynne (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

Chairing the event will be John Baer and Co-Chair Katherine Wynne with Lynn and Allan McBee serving as honorary co-chairs.

Sherri added, “We are thrilled to continue the tradition of HCC’s Patriot Party with such a dedicated group of capable leaders. Lynn and Allan McBee’s commitment to the community is widespread and we are honored to have their endorsement and participation in this important fundraising event.”

In addition to providing the funds, the evening will include a cocktail buffet, silent and live auctions and musical entertainment. There will be more deets revealed in the weeks ahead, but tickets and sponsorships are available now.

* Graphics provided by Housing Crisis Center

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!