TACA Custom Auction Item #1 — Around The World With Rosewood

Back in 1966 when the late Jane Murchison (Haber), Evelyn Lambert, Virginia Nick and Betty Black Guiberson were trying to raise money for the Dallas Theater Center, they planted the seeds for TACA. To accomplish the fundraising, they held an auction — “it consisted, essentially, of four booths selling exotic food, one at each corner of the brand-new NorthPark center, and a write-in auction in front of Jas. K. Wilson.” By 1968 they had decided to try an auction on television, so they approached Channel 39. It turned out to be a combination of a mega-telethon and “Saturday Night Live” with local unknowns and well-knowns serving as hosts.

Legend has it that originally TACA stood for “TheAter Custom Auction” or “The Auction for Cultural Arts,” but the final representation is “The Arts Community Alliance.”

Over the years, TACA changed directions and expanding its beneficiaries and activities to include the Silver Cup Luncheon, Party on the Green and the TACA Custom Auction that eventually replaced the TV auction. It made sense. Afterall, the garnering of countless items, volunteers and sponsors for the TV auction required a heck of a lot of effort compared to the Custom Auction. This year the collection of TACA Custom Auction Gala items at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek will be limited to just six. Here is the first of the six that will be up for bid on Friday, September 8:

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #1 – Around The World With Rosewood*

Phileas Fogg and Passepartout would have had absolutely killed for this worldly excursion. Instead of schlepping around the world in 80 days, the winner of this live auction package will experience international luxury ala Rosewood style with a guest. Within 15 days, the twosome will fly American Airlines to the following five Rosewood properties for three-night stays:

Rosewood Phuket**

Rosewood Puebla**

Rosewood Washington**

Rosewood Little Dix Bay**

Rosewood London**

The only downside is that it’s going to spoil the twosome for future trips.

* Courtesy of Rosewood Hotels and American Airlines 
** Photo provided by TACA

JUST IN: American Airlines Exec Bev Goulet’s Recent Retirement Resulted In A $50K Grant For Dallas Women’s Foundation

When an American Airlines officer retires, the company honors them “with the opportunity to direct grants to organizations that mean the most to the retiree.” Recently AA Executive VP/Chief Integration Officer Bev Goulet retired and designated Dallas Women’s Foundation should be the recipient of her grant.

According to Bev, “This gift is a reflection of the great heart of American Airlines, and I am very proud that the company made this grant in my honor to an organization and undertaking that mean so much to me personally. Dallas Women’s Foundation works on behalf of all women and girls, and in particular those who face the greatest social and economic challenges. Their work matters, and I am grateful to American for supporting it with this terrific gift.”

Bev Goulet and Roslyn Dawson*

Whoa! DWF President/CEO Ros Dawson must have thought it was snowing, since it seemed like Christmas when she received the $50,000 grant.

As a DWF board and executive committee member, Bev knew exactly how she wanted the funds used — to support DWF’s “Young Women’s Initiative-Dallas, a new cross-sector effort to empower and affirm young women of color ages 16-24 from Dallas’ southern and western sectors.”

Ros commented, “This generous gift from American Airlines is especially meaningful as it honors Bev, a true champion for women and girls, and provides early support for a critical new initiative that will launch later this fall. Bev Goulet is such an extraordinary example of a strong woman who is dedicated to making the world better for all. We are so fortunate that she is now lending her formidable leadership skills and knowledge to our work and mission.”

BTW, DWF’s Unlocking Leadership Campaign is still underway for its $50M goal. Contact Shawn Wills for more info.

* Photo provided by Dallas Women's Foundation

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #8: Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa

South Africa is known for its magnificent natural beauty and the most amazing animals roaming the earth. But there is so much more. For instance, from true African villages to breathtaking estates, it is a world that constantly amazes. Many are surprised to learn that just 30 minutes outside of Cape Town, there is the Cape Winelands region with its scenic vineyards that produce everything from “Rhone-style red wines to aromatic Sauvignon blancs.”

For the lucky winner of this TACA Custom Auction Gala package, a trip for two translates into a fabulous 10-night stay in “lodge-style accommodation” and tours that suggest bringing along your camera and your taste buds.

And if you haven’t gotten your tickets locked down for the TACA Custom Auction Gala, better scurry hurry. The places at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek’s dinner tables and paddles at Friday’s auction are getting scarce.

Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa* (Value: $32,350)

Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa**

Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa**

Experience the journey of a lifetime in South Africa. See some of the region’s most majestic creatures – including elephants, lions, and rhinos – up close from your deluxe Land Cruiser. Visit an authentic Swazi village, tour beautiful Cape Town, and explore the grand estates and lush vineyards of the Cape Winelands.

  • Guided photo safari tours for two at locations throughout South Africa, including the Kruger National Park, KwaZulu Natal, and the St. Lucia Estuary
  • Guided day-trip for two to the Kingdom of Swaziland
  • Wine tastings at vineyards in the Cape Winelands, South Africa
  • Ten-nights of deluxe, lodge-style accommodations and seventeen meals for two
  • Round-trip, business-class air transportation for two provided by American Airlines
* Courtesy of the American Fundraising Foundation and American Airlines 
** Photo provided by TACA

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #3: Live At The 2017 Emmy Awards

Television has come a long way since the black-and-white days of the stand-alone boxes without remote controls. Nowadays there is 24-hour news, breathtaking dramas and documentaries that bring the world to the drive-in-movie size flat screens throughout homes and even on smartphones.

No, it’s not your grandpappy’s TV world any longer and the industry’s awards have annually recognized the quality of such progress at the Emmy Awards.

Need proof? Then just watch Sunday’s 68th Emmy Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Then envision yourself as part of the audience for the 2017 presentation. But why not make that vision reality for you and your best boob-tube buddy by being the winner of this TACA Custom Auction Gala package on Friday, September 23?

Live At The 2017 Emmy Awards* (Value: $17,550)

Live At The 2017 Emmy Awards**

Live At The 2017 Emmy Awards**

Experience the glamour of Hollywood at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2017, where you and your guest will see your favorite celebrities from the silver screen. Enjoy a relaxing four-day, three-night stay in Los Angeles, including round-trip, business-class air transportation for two.

  • Tickets for two to the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2017 at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles
  • Three-night deluxe accommodations for two
  • Round-trip, business-class air transportation for two provided by American Airlines
* Courtesy of the American Fundraising Foundation and American Airlines 
** Photo provided by TACA

UPDATE: Companies Are Already Taking Up Topgolf’s Invitation To Donate To Assist The Officer Foundation

It seems that Topgolf scored a hole-in-one with its being one of the first to donate $10,000 to Assist The Officer Foundation (ATO) and inviting other businesses to join in. It was just reported that the invitation was taken up by PlainsCapital, which donated $25,000 to ATO. In addition, RBC Wealth Management-U.S. is donating $10,000.

The airlines also got on board. Not only are they offering to help fly in families affected by the tragedy, American Airlines is donating $50,000 to ATO and Southwest Airlines is kicking in $75,000.

These contributions are truly amazing when you realize that there was probably nothing budgeted for such a situation. Yet these companies and countless others found the funds to help the victims and their families.

It simply amazes one to think the challenges that this area has faced — a Presidential assassination, a Delta Airline crash, a Super (Ice) Bowl, the Ebola Virus, killer storms and now Thursday night. And yet, the people and companies meet the challenges each time by coming together with resilience, compassion and grace.

TACA Custom Auction Package #5 – All-American Guys’ Getaway

TACA just couldn’t create a trip exclusively for ladies without giving the gents a tip of the hat. So for the TACA Custom Auction on Friday, September 25, organizers have come up with an adventure with the breeze in air and salt water all around.

All-American Guys’ Getaway* (Value: $15,000)

All-American Guys' Getaway***

All-American Guys’ Getaway***

Landlubbers beware! This auction package** is not for those seasick types. Rather, it’s a exhilarating opportunity to do what few have experience. The winner will be able to take three of his buds from landlocked Dallas to San Diego roundtrip on American Airlines.

Once there they’ll sail San Diego Bay “aboard one of the fastest and most famous sailboats in the word.” Don’t worry if you know the difference between a boom and an anchor or you’ve never given jibing or tacking a second thought. Experts will crewing, but if you might want to take a try at the wheel.

And when the foursome is not sailing past the others boats in the bay, they’ll be able relax at Excalibur Cigar and Scotch Lounge with some spirits and stogies regaling their sea adventures. They’ll also enjoy some surf and turf at Donovan’s San Diego.

During their three- night stay, they’ll bunk down at Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego.

* Courtesy of American Airlines and Murad Auctions. 
** Trip must be completed within one year. 
*** Photo provided by TACA

TACA Custom Auction #7 – All-American Girls’ Getaway

How about a course that isn’t found in most university catalogs? That’s what this TACA Custom Auction package offers for four gal pals to experience and to benefit TACA on Friday, September 25 at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

All-American Girls’ Getaway* (Value: $15,000)

Whether a worldly expert of wines or just a weekend vino sampler, the winner of this item will be able to whisk away her BFF to the luxurious Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa for a three-night stay in the California wine country.

Cask Room**

Cask Room**

Instead of the traditional classroom and instructor, the ladies will have their lessons at St. Helena’s Merryvale Vineyards with its spectacular Cask Room. The Merryvale wine specialist, sommelier and food and wine educator will provide the foursome with a flight of award-winning wines ending in the Library with Merryvale’s coveted “The Profile.”

Ah, but education can be wearing. So the foursome can take advantage of $500 worth of spa treatments at the hotel’s Willow Stream Spa that has been known for hundreds of years’ with its thermal mineral waters.

In addition to daily breakfasts, the guests will have a chauffeured town car and round-trip, coach-class airfare.

* Courtesy of American Airlines and Murad Auctions 
** Photo courtesy of Murad Auctions
*** Travel must be completed within one year.

TACA Custom Auction Item #9: Banff Springs Spectacular

When it comes to travel, the 2015 TACA Custom Auction Gala packages are sweethearts. For this package, the winner and a guest will get to experience the world-famous natural beauty of western Canada while enjoying all the perks of staying at “The Castle In the Rockies.”

Banff Springs Spectacular* (Value: $10,000)

Banff Springs Spectacular

Banff Springs Spectacular***

Back in 1886, Canadian Pacific Railroad General Manager William Cornelius Van Horne was a man of magnificent taste and world-class vision. He insisted that “tourism was an intricate ingredient in getting people to ride CPR” into western Canada with its breathtaking mountains and landscape. But to attract visitors, he “envisioned a succession of lavish resort hotels along the railway line through the Rocky and Selkirk Mountains.”

The centerpiece of the collection was Banff Springs Hotel designed by Bruce Price and opened on June 1, 1888, in the heart of Banff National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site. But a fire in 1926 destroyed the original structure. Rebuilt in 1928, it was continually updated to accommodate the celebrities and high society types like Helen Keller, Marilyn Monroe, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth who sought natural beauty with “modern day” luxury.

It was during the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s that the grand lady struggled to maintain her reputation. But the 1970’s saw her return to a place of greatest in the world of hospitality. In addition to being open year round much to the delight of winter sports enthusiasts, she underwent mammoth expansions and renovation. In 1980’s, she not only became the place to be for the 1988 Olympics, nine extra playing holes were added to its Stanley Thompson-designed golf course.

Still the 1990’s held even more wonderment for “The Castle in the Rockies” as a $75M restoration and expansion including a $12M spa and a $4.5M “overhauling” of the golf course took place. The result? She returned to her place as one of the world’s leading hotels. Another development was it became part of the Fairmont collection of luxury hotels in 1999 — Fairmont Banff Springs.

The winner of this package will enjoy with a guest a true Banff Spring experience including three nights with daily breakfasts, a wine tasting with the Fairmont sommelier, an Alpine aromatherapy massage at the hotel’s William Stream Spa and a six-course Chef’s tasting menu at the Western Canada’s only AAA/CAA “Five Diamond” Eden Banff. Oh, and there’s a $500 Fairmont Gift Card for golfing or skiing.

American Airlines is providing two round-trip, first-class tickets for the winner and a companion.

* Package courtesy of American Airlines and Murad Auctions 
** Travel must be completed within one year. 
*** Photo provided by TACA

Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction Item: Tequila Trip To La Casa Dragones And Dinner At Mesero Miguel

Oh, pooh! George Clooney and his BFF Rande Gerber were proclaimed by the social media as the go-to-guys a year or so ago when the word “tequila” came up. Nowadays, that’s like saying that Tupperware is the place to register for fine China dining.

This package will provide just eight folks to really learn and appreciate the finer points of the blue agave plant liquor. No worm was killed in the making of this post.

Tequila Trip To La Casa Dragones And Dinner At Mesero Miguel (Value: $34,000)

Tequila Trip To La Casa Dragones And Dinner At Mesero Miguel*

Tequila Trip To La Casa Dragones And Dinner At Mesero Miguel*

With this package, the winner is gonna be the most popular person around. S/he and seven BFF’s will travel thanks to American Airlines roundtrip ala coach class to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Whoa! That might just be enough. But they’ll enjoy a five-night stay at La Casa Dragones with a private Casa Dragones tequila tasting and daily complimentary breakfasts. They’ll also learn “Casa Dragones’ unique approach to crafting to sipping tequila, tour the town of San Miguel and the historic 17th century stables of the Dragones cavalry, now transformed into an elegant private home.”

When you return, you have show off your brilliance when restaurateur Mico Rodriquez hosts “a sensational fete for 50 guests at Mesero Miguel, featuring sips provided by Casa Dragones,” of course.

Donated by: Casa Dragones, Mesero Miguel and American Airlines

* Graphic provided by Cattle Baron's Ball

Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction Item: Skip Across The Pond To See Your Favorite Angel

Just got a peak at the Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction items. Well, goodness gracious! Talk about the fundraising version of the Neiman’s Christmas Book! There are going to be so many delicious items up for bid, the challenge is two-fold

  1. Which ones to bid on?
  2. What’s it gonna take to be the winning bidder?

For your consideration, MySweetCharity is going to present just a smattering of them in the days leading up to the October 18th mega-fundraiser at Gilley’s for the American Cancer Society. The first one requires a passport and you must be more than 18 years old.

Skip Across The Pond To See Your Favorite Angels (Value: Priceless)

Skip Across The Pond To See Your Favorite Angels*

Skip Across The Pond To See Your Favorite Angels*

Sure, there some oldtime favs returning for the auction, but they have a twist to them that makes them all the more enticing. This one is a true-blue favorite — the marvelously entertaining and glamorama Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on Tuesday, December 2! Ah, but unlike years past when the winner would fly off to Miami, New York City or Los Angeles, this is one headed for the other side of the pond — London!

And while Duchess of Cambridge Kate may too busy preparing for another royal birth, other celebs who may be on hand at Earls Court might be Elton John, Sting, Orlando Bloom or perhaps Prince Harry.

In addition to the ever-adorable Victoria’s Secret Angels on the massive runway, there will be “a performance by a major musical act.” In the past the entertainment has featured the likes of Rihanna, The Black Eyed Pears, Justin Timberlake and Usher to name a few.

The winner of this package will be treated like royalty (no pun intended…yes! Pun intended). S/he and a guest will of course have “a prime seat location at the show, entrance into the VIP After Party and — new this year — an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the world’s biggest fashion show.”

To get there, Wynne Transportation will provide the lift to and from D/FW International Airport, so you won’t have to hassle with parking. Then the winners will travel round-trip business class on American Airlines.

Donated by: Victoria’s Secret, Wynne Transportation and American Airlines

* Graphic provided by Cattle Baron's Ball

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #5: New York Fashion Week

Couture designers may showcase their fashions in New York, but their fav clients are in the heart of Texas. Having been educated at “Neiman Marcus University” for ages, Dallas gals are honor-roll students and don’t follow trends. Shoot! They lead ‘em. This TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction package will be just part of their continuing education.

New York Fashion Week* (Value: Priceless)

To the highest caliber fashion lovers, New York’s Fashion Week is the Olympics, Super Bowl and World Cup all in one. Just to land a place at one of the runway shows is like having a front row place at a royal wedding.

New York Fashion Week**

New York Fashion Week**

But Neiman’s and Ken Downing have partnered up with Harper’s Bazaar to provide two lucky fashionistas with not one, but two tickets to two Fashion Week runway shows. And so typical of NM, Ken and Harper’s, that just wasn’t enough. So they’ve included an exclusive tour of Harper’s Fashion Closet plus lunch with a Harper’s fashion editor for a blow-by-blow analysis of the shows.

To make coming and going as fashionable as possible, American Airlines is providing business, class, round-trip air transportation to NYC.

* Courtesy of Neiman Marcus, Ken Downing, Harper’s Bazaar and American Airlines
** Photo provided by TACA

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #9: Chanel And Paris

Dallas was the center of the Chanel world in December for the Metiers d’Art. That one night in Fair Park was hardly enough for a Coco aficionado.That’s why this RBC Wealth Management TACA Custom Auction item will satisfy the hunger for experiencing Paris with “time on your hands.”

Chanel And Paris* (Value: $28,600)

Mademoiselle’s Paris is where one truly can celebrate and absorb the atmosphere and surroundings that inspired her timeless creations for decades.

Chanel men's timepiece**

Chanel men’s timepiece**

And speaking of timeless, this package will provide both the City of Lights and a Chanel design that will always be timely. For four nights, two people will call the Mandarin Oriental home and be free to explore the city on the Seine. Whether it’s checking the newest exhibition at the Louvre, shopping in the couture salons or taking day trips to the surrounding countryside, the agenda is open.

Alas, even the best of times must end, but not necessarily in this case. Thanks to beautiful-handcrafted his-and-hers Chanel timepieces, the couple will always have Paris. While her black ceramic J12 watch features diamond markers and quartz movement, his sleek black ceramic J12 watch has automatic movement. Vive la difference!

Thanks to American Airlines, the pair will travel business class roundtrip.

* Courtesy of Neiman Marcus, Chanel, Mandarin Oriental Paris and American Airlines
** Photo provided by TACA

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #10: Golf And Wine Retreat In Central California

The annual black-tie TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction is nearing — Friday, September 26! In addition to raising funds for the performing arts organization, it will also debut the newly renovated ballroom at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. Just imagine the paddles raising in the new digs as the ultimate luxury items go on the bloc with Christie’s auctioneer Andrew McVinish working the crowd. As if they need working!

Wanda Gierhart (File photo)

Wanda Gierhart (File photo)

Dean Fearing (File photo)

Dean Fearing (File photo)

This year’s collection is simply stellar especially if you have luggage in need to a work out. Thanks to Gala Co-Chairs Neiman’s Exec Wanda Gierhart and Dean of Foodism Dean Fearing, the emphasis is on food, wine, the arts, fashion, travel and world class pampering. You expected less? Didn’t think so.

First on the list of the “Tantalizing Ten” is not made for the stay-at-home type, who consider putt-putt golf glamorous and Ovaltine to be nectar of the gods.

Golf And Wine Retreat In Central California* (Value: $13,700 $8,340)

Two words mean happiness to a weekend golfer or a pro — Pebble Beach. Just ask Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell. That’s where they each won the U.S. Open! This package provides for a couple to enjoy this charming coastal community, while staying at The Inn at Spanish Bay surrounded by the Monterey pines, the Scottish-style links golf course and the Pacific. Of course, the twosome will have a round of golf at one of Pebble Beach Resort’s legendary courses.

Pebble Beach Retreat**

Pebble Beach Retreat**

But there’s more to Pebble Beach than golf. As if the surroundings aren’t relaxing enough, the couple will have a 50-minute massage at The Spa at Pebble Beach and dinner at one of Pebble Beach Resort’s spectacular restaurants.

The remaining two nights will be spent just up the road at the historic Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa, where even more spa treatments will be available at the Spa at Renaissance Sonoma.

And what is a trip to Sonoma without a touch of the vino? But not a touch in this case. Instead, the pair and a couple of friends will have a private tour and tasting at Cakebread Cellars, followed by dinner.

Then journey up the road to the land where techie fortunes have been made in the Silicon Valley with its incredible views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Ah, but where to bunk down? Well, since this is a TACA package, Rosewood Sand Hill is the place naturally. And before heading home another 50-minute massages at the Sense Spa for the twosome. Hey, resorting and retreating can be tough on the body, don’t you know.

Don’t forget to send friends back home a postcard. They’ll really wish they were there!

* Courtesy of VISA,Rosewood Hotels and American Airlines
** Photo provided by TACA

 

Art Ball Auction Item #8: Explore Napa Valley & Celebrate Sophia Loren With Robert Redford

There are some packages that are simple priceless because they’re a one-time-only opportunity. Any part of this Art Ball package would be drool-able, but all together. . . Well, you’re just going to have to settle back to take this one in. In fact, you may want to read it a couple of times. Then bid online or prepare to wave your paddle high Saturday night at the Dallas Museum of Art fundraiser.

Explore Napa Valley And Celebrate Sophia Loren With Robert Redford* (Value: $19,700)

Festival del Sole*

Festival del Sole**

It’s called Napa Valley Festival del Sole and takes place from July 11-20 in Napa Valley, where else. It’s a glorious time when the lush valley with its countless wineries and restaurants are the setting for enjoying 10 days of wining, dining and taking in 60 events with stars of music, dance and theater.

To start off, the twosome will have two-day VIP passes for the opening weekend (July 13-14). That’s when the Annual Gala at Meadowood Napa Valley takes place with special performance, lunches and dinners hosted by local wineries. Ah, just to say Meadowood is delicious. In a past life, it had been a private country club. H. William Harlan, who had been looking for property to raise grapes, fell in love with the property. So the story goes, Harlan called his partners and within 48 hours, the estate was theirs. Their goal: to create “an upscale resort in Napa Valley that would become a luxury destination for discerning travelers from around the world seeking an authentically Napa Valley experience.” Mission: accomplished.

Meadowood*

Meadowood Napa Valley**

This 250-acre resort is the epitome of luxury. In addition to golf, tennis, swimming and spectacular scenery, a perfect evening is sitting on The Grill’s balcony overlooking the Jerry Stark Memorial Croquet Lawns and taking in the surrounding hills and forest. And the rooms! With their down bedding, fabulous views of the property, fireplaces and private outdoor terraces, it’s better than home. And the staff is so accommodating that if you write a thank-you note to General Manager Alex Kim, watch out. You’ll probably get a thank-you note thanking you for allowing them to pamper you. It’s a wonder anyone ever leaves.

Meadowood*

Meadowood Napa Valley**

Speaking of which, the winner of this package will not only attend the July 13 and 14 festivities at Meadowood, they’ll call it home-sweet-home.

But, wait, there’s more. It only gets better.

Now that the winners have had time to get the feel of the “festival” fever, they can head to nearby San Francisco to shop, rest and prepare for the weekend. While there, they will have two nights in a Metropolitan Suite at The St. Regis with daily breakfast for two at Vitrine.

Sophia Loren and "friend" (File photo)

Sophia Loren and “unidentified person” (File photo)

Rested and pampered, the winners will head back to stay at Meadowood for July 18 and 19 and the closing of the festival on Saturday, when the stars will be in the sky and on the ground at Far Niente. From around the world, stars of stage and screen will be on hand to pay homage to a true legend — Sophia Loren. The emcee for the evening? Robert Redford. The conductor of the evening’s concert? Sophia’s son, Carlo “Cipi” Ponti Jr. Talk about history-making selfie heaven!

The Restaurant*

The Restaurant**

Far Niente*

Far Niente**

Just in case the winners meet up with “Bob” or “Sophia,” they can take the stars to The French Laundry thanks to a $1,500 gift certificate. After all, it’s the only restaurant, besides Meadowood’s The Restaurant, west of the Mississippi that has earned Michelin’s three-star rating.

And, if they’re feeling like showing the two legendary stars the sights, the winning couple will be able to take them for tours and tastings at both Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel wineries.

Nickel & Nickel*

Nickel & Nickel**

As for traveling to and from California, American Airlines will provide two round-trip, first-class tickets.

American Airlines **

American Airlines **

* Compliments of: Napa Valley 
Festival de Sole and Barrett 
Wissman, Meadowood Napa 
Valley, The St. Regis San 
Francisco, Nickel & Nickel, 
Far Niente, The French Laundry 
and American Airlines

** Photos provided by the 
Dallas Museum of Art's Art 
Ball

*** Restrictions include:
• Napa Valley Festival del 
Sole: Certificate valid for 
July 13-14, 2014, and July 
19, 2014 only. 
• Meadowood Napa Valley: 
Certificate valid for 
July 13-14 and July 18-19, 
2014, during Festival del 
Sole.
• St. Regis San Francisco: 
Certificate is not redeemable for cash, non-transferable, and cannot be 
extended beyond the date indicated. 
• Reservation is based on space availability and blackout dates may apply. 
Original certificate letter must be presented at check-in.
• Far Niente: Certificate valid for four people. Luncheon by prior 
arrangement, valid for June-September of 2014. Date must be mutually 
convenient for bearer and winery.
• The French Laundry: Winner must contact Gina Betts on or before May 8,
2014, to confirm reservations.
• American Airlines:  Travel is from any destination in the 48 contiguous 
United States where American Airlines offers service and returning to 
the original starting point of the trip.

Art Ball Auction Item #2: Parisian Tour

Next on the list of the Art Ball’s package is a trip to France’s Paris. Oh, but you’ve been to Paris a dozen times. In fact, you probably considered it a suburb of Dallas. But this Paris is one that you’ve never seen. In fact, few if any will be able to tell the tales that the winner of this package will bring back. Don’t forget to take along your cameras. This one deserves so much more than iPhone shots.

Parisian Tour* (Value: $33,553)

Leon Andre Talley, Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld*

Leon Andre Talley, Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld (File photo)

After December’s Métiers d’Art, Dallasites felt like they had earned their master’s degree on Coco Chanel. One of the Coco subjects that kept popping up was Mademoiselle’s 31 Rue Cambon apartment. It is where the late Stanley Marcus first met her. She entertained clients, world leaders and the international set like Dali, Stravinsky and Giacometti.

Thanks to the 2014 Art Ball committee, the winner of this package will have a private tour of the luxurious apartment.

But, of course, there’s more. So much more.

There’s also a private tour of the Musée Bourdelle with its 500 magnificent marble, plaster and bronze pieces of artwork. Afterward there’s lunch with Museum Director Amelie Simier. It was originally the studio of sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, and includes his works including 21 studies of Ludwig van Beethoven plus Bourdelle’s personal collection of works by Eugène Delacroix and Auguste Rodin.

But it’s not all indoor touring. Oh, please. This is an Art Ball package. Imagine a full day of cruising the Seine for up to 12 guests on the yacht Petrus III with yummy delicacies and wines. As for lunch, it will be at a famous guingette. Perhaps one that you’ve seen in a Renoir? And as the day winds down, you’ll sup on board the Petrus with the lights of Paris providing the backdrop.

Mandarin Oriental Paris**

Mandarin Oriental Paris**

During the stay in Paris, home will be a deluxe room for two at the Mandarin Oriental.

American Airlines **

American Airlines **

Round-trip, business-class airfare for two will be provided by American Airlines.

Bid now or at the night of the ball, but bid!

* Compliments of Mandarin Oriental Paris, Patrick Esquerre and American Airlines
** Photos provided by the Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #3: Luxury In London

The center of world headlines seems to have been London in recent years. There’s been the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the marriage of Kate and Will and now the birth of the newest to-be-king, Baby George. This TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction package is simply perfect for the diehard Anglophile or someone who just love the ultimate British experience.

Luxury in London* (Value: Priceless)

Rosewood London**

Rosewood London**

When in London, the place to call home isn’t Buckingham Palace. It’s two elegant Grand Premier Suites at the Rosewood London, and that’s where two couples will stay for three nights complete with breakfast. And then there are things to do and decisions to be made. First Christie’s. Hmm, the couple must decide if they want to have the world-class auction house arrange for a private tour of a 2014 Christie’s London Auction Preview Exhibition followed by cocktails in Christie’s boardroom. Or, would they rather have afternoon tea with Christie’s UK Chairman David Linley? You remember David, don’t you? The son of the late Princess Margaret and photographer Tony Snowdon, David was the hit of the Art Ball a couple of years ago.

David Linley (File photo)

David Linley (File photo)

And speaking of tours, the foursome will have a backstage tour of the historic Royal Opera House plus tickets to a Royal Opera production.

But what is London without fashion, and what is more British than Burberry? The two couples will have runway seating at the February Burberry Prorsum Fashion Show for the presentation of the fall collection.

American Airlines will provide coach-class, round-trip transportation to London and the Rosewood London will provide airport transfers.

* Courtesy of Rosewood London, Christie's, 
The Royal Opera and American Airlines
** Photo provided by TACA

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #8: Fashion Week Through The Eyes of Vogue

The fav indoor activity in these parts is shopping. . . and very fashionable shopping at that. It’s a “sport” played with taste by both sexes. Perhaps that’s why this TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction item really hits home. . . or, rather closets.

Fashion Week Through The Eyes Of Vogue* (Value: Priceless)

Vogue Fashion Runway**

Vogue Fashion Runway**

The Super Bowl of fashion takes place twice a year in New York — Fashion Week. It’s where anybody who knows rags and riches assembles to see what is being proposed for approval by the likes of Vogue’s Anna Wintour.

Plus there’s the people watching. Forget the Academy Awards. This is where the uber boldface types are sitting shoulder to shoulder scrutinizing everything on and off the runway.

But there is definitely a caste system even among this heady gathering, and the Vogue folks are fashion gods on this Mount Olympus. And since TACA does nothing less than ultimate, this TACA RBC Wealth Management Auction package is geared for two to be among this crowd for the week of February 6-13 by including:

  • Two nights in a five-star hotel selected by Vogue
  • Breakfast or lunch with a Vogue Market Stylist
  • Runway seating for two at a Vogue-sponsored fashion show
  • Collection of Vogue Style coffee table books
  • Coach-class, round-trip air transportation for two to NYC provided by American Airlines

Just imagine being part of the Vogue crowd! Say hello to Anna for us!

* Courtesy of Vogue and American Airlines
** Provided by TACA

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #2: The Ultimate In Overseas Air Travel

Some consider it to be the ultimate to be the first with the iPhone 5, but TACA and American Airlines have joined forces to arrange a very lucky and hard-bidding twosome to experience a first for the memory book with this TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction item.

The Ultimate in Overseas Air Travel (Value: Priceless)

American Airlines first-class suite in Boeing 777-300ER

On December 13 American Airlines is launching the newest beauty of its fleet: the Boeing 777-300ER. As luxurious as it is, the 777-300ER’s first-class cabin is just a bit of OMG with fully lie-flat seats, aisle access from every seat, Bose headsets, a large personal screen with international Wi-Fi and, of course, a walk-up bar. Why, that’s better than some homes!

And that’s just part of this international auction item.

The first city to be serviced by this luxury liner is Sao Paulo, Brazil. Yup, that’s right. The largest city in the southern hemisphere, it is a treasure trove of history, culture and commerce. For your four-night stay, you’ll be calling the elegant five-star Melia Jardim Europa home.

And if you’re one of those world travelers who have already visited Brazil more times than the Winspear, not to worry. TACA and American Airlines have arranged for you to have an option. Don’t you just love options? Instead you can travel to London on the new 777-300ER that starts up in February. Of course,  you’ll have the same type of five-star hotel accommodations.

Courtesy of American Airlines

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #5: City of Lights

You may have schlepped around Europe when you were in college using your Eurail pass, but now it’s time to enjoy Paris the right way.

City of Lights (Value: $19,400)

Whether the first time you sensed Paris was different was when you saw “Gigi,” “Something’s Gotta Give” or “Midnight in Paris,” you just knew it was a city to experience first-class. TACA has arranged it for you and a very lucky companion.

Van Cleef & Arpels

Traveling business class on American Airlines, the winner of this TACA auction item will stay three nights at the fabulous Mandarin Hotel including breakfast. Since you’ve probably wearied just a bit from seeing the Louvre and the Eiffel tour, TACA has arranged for you to have a guided tour of the Van Cleef exhibit at the Musee des Arts Decoratif. And since you’re in the Van Cleef & Arpels mood, they also scheduled you for a half-day class at VC&A’s exclusive L’Ecole school at Place Vendome. You do know that these classes are oh-so-not-available to the public.

Valentino Rockstud Tote in white tiger cavallino

But let’s face it. You just can’t go to Paris without bringing a trinket or two home. No, not a reproduction of a Monet. You probably already have the original. Let’s think something that is discreet but a find for those in the know. What about a gorgeous Valentino Rockstud Tote in white tiger cavallino? How delicious! But that’s just not enough for the TACA organizers. They’ve also set up for Tumi to provide two pieces of rolling luggage from its Vapor Collection.

Shoot! Why take any luggage to Paris at all? Just skip all that checking in of luggage at DFW International, take your Kindle, iPad and credit card in your carry-on. You can always buy a new wardrobe in Paris and pack it in your new Tumi luggage and Valentino tote. Makes perfect sense.

Photo provided by TACA

American Airlines’ Posterchild For “Epic Jerk” Is Coming To Brinker International Forum

To make up for Jamie Foxx‘s canceling his Brinker International Forum appearance in November, organizers have booked . .  Alec Baldwin for March 2. Let’s hope he doesn’t take American Airlines to get here.

Say, isn’t that the same night that the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge festivities kick off? Busy, busy night.

American Airlines Bankruptcy Won’t Effect This Saturday’s Crystal Charity Ball Auction Items

Just got off the phone with the brain trust of this weekend’s Crystal Charity Ball at the Hilton Anatole. Since they have a number of out-of-this-world trips lined up and American Airlines is providing the transportation in many cases, they checked with AA already about this morning’s announcement by AA in declaring bankruptcy.

Results: The declared bankruptcy will have NO EFFECT on its donated trips.

Teenage Amputees Head To The Slopes Courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital For Children And American Airlines

Monday 14 teenage amputee patients from Texas Scottish Rite Hospital left Dallas on board an American Airlines jet for a ski trip at Winter Park, Colo. This trip is the 30th year that TSRHC has arranged for kiddos to learn how to ski.

To add to the fanfare, the AA folks had the jet taxi the runway through a water cannon “shower of affection.” That’s usually reserved for top notch dignitaries. . . hey, then it was perfect for these passengers.

Having witnessed the classes in which the “challenged skiers” learn how to handle the slopes, it’s not only gratifying but humbling.

Congratulations to TSRHC, American Airlines and all those responsible for making this program available.