Cattle Baron’s Ball Fall Luncheon At New Del Frisco’s Was Rich With The Presentation Of $3,350,448.16 Check

The fall Cattle Baron’s luncheon is a handing over of the reins. It’s when the current chairs present a big-boy check for cancer research earned from their tenure and let the new co-chairs formally take over.

This year the transition took place on Wednesday, November 9, at the really new Del Frisco’s at the corner of Olive and McKinney in Uptown.

Whoa! Don’t make the mistake that some new guests made. It wasn’t the Del Frisco’s Grille further up McKinney. Nope, it was at the OMG newest hot spot in Uptown.

And while the valets seemed a bit overwhelmed at the bumper-to-bumper parade of luxury SUV’s with long legged, stiletto drivers and the hostess station held the guests downstairs until all was just right upstairs, who cared?

Vodi Cook, Lauren Snyder, Lee McDonald and Emily Billingsley

From former CBB chairs (Olivia Kearney, Tanya Foster, Cindy Stager, Brooke Shelby, Jennifer Dix, Tia Wynne, Mary Parker, Mary Martha Pickens, KJ Sanger) to new members (Vodi Cook, Lee McDonald, Heather Randall, Andrea Cheek, Daniella Giglio, Holle Hirzel, Kelley Schadt, Rachel Stienke and Kristina Wrenn) all types were celebrating the fundraiser of a couple of weeks earlier headed up by Cara French and Andrea Weber and looking forward to future plans under the leadership of 2017 CBB Co-Chair Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill.

Andrea Weber and Cara French*

But the highlight of the meal was the presentation of the check — $3,350,448.16 — for the American Cancer Society.

* Photo credit: Holt Haynsworth

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.

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.

JUST IN: Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chair Andrea Weber Delivers A New Baron

Cara French and Andrea Weber on Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cara French and Andrea Weber on Saturday, September 24, 2016

Pioneer women were known for being a hardy type. It was said they would have their babies and then go plow the north forty. Well, Cattle Baron’s Co-Chair Andrea Weber is the 21st century version. In addition to working with her Co-Chair Cara French, raising 2-year-old Nicolette Weber with husband John Weber and looking fabulous, she has been pregnant for the past nine months.

John Weber Jr.*

John Weber Jr.*

Well, today  Andrea and John welcomed 7 lb., 14-oz. John Weber Jr. to their posse.

When asked over the weekend if she would be at the Saturday, October 15th Cattle Baron’s at Gilley’s with Dwight Yoakum on the Live Auction Stage and Toby Keith on the Main Stage, she responded with a smile and “Sure!”

* Photo provided by 2016 
Cattle Baron's Ball

Cattle Baron’s Ball Gals Eyed The Baubles While Sipping The Bubbles At David Yurman

Yurman flute of champagne

Yurman flute of champagne

It was a battle royale of sparkles, twinkles and bubbles at NorthPark on Wednesday, April 13. As other jewelry salons were closing down for the evening, David Yurman had Cattle Baron’s Ball members and friends like Nancy Gopez, Lisa and Bill Ogle and Kristi Bare lined up to have their names checked off the “Yup, you’re on the attend list.”

Nancy Gopez

Nancy Gopez

Lisa and Bill Ogle

Lisa and Bill Ogle

Once approved for admittance, they didn’t get tagged with a name badge. Instead they got a flute of champagne and a howdy from Yurman’s Chris Kimbrough.

JB Hayes

JB Hayes

Chris Kimbrough

Chris Kimbrough

CBB member JB Hayes recalled how she and Chris thought up the Yurman visit-and-shop fundraiser for the American Cancer Society less than a handful of years ago.

Wendy Messmann was obviously a frequent persona at NorthPark after her appearance at the warm-up party at The Theodore for the Lee Park Day at the Races which she is co-chairing with Kirsten Williams on Saturday, May 7… Speaking of chair fundraisers, Hadley Galt was fresh off of co-chairing the Ronald McDonald House’s “Under the Moonlight” just a couple of weeks before on Saturday, April 2.

Wendy Messmann

Wendy Messmann

Hadley Galt

Hadley Galt

Word has it that CBB Co-Chairs Cara French and Andrea Weber are hitting all the bases with their team of baronesses. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Toby Keith on the main stage and Dwight Yoakam up-close-and-personal on the live stage inside Gilley’s.

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.

Cattle Baron’s Reveal Of “Texas Proud” Theme And Toby Keith To Be On Stage Kicks Off 2016 Mega Fundraising Efforts

Well, holy cow! The Cattle Baron’s Ball reveal was a mini-version of the annual spectacular to squash cancer. It took place on Thursday, January 14, at eM the Venue with MarcEvents on Dragon Street in the Design District. Well, shoot! It still might be going on.

But just past 8, 2016 CBB Co-chairs brunette Cara French in spangles and blonde-in-black Andrea Weber called a pause in the party-healthy festivities.

Cara French and Andrea Weber

Cara French and Andrea Weber

After all, the gathering was to announce plans for the 43rd mega-fundraiser to shore up funding for research and development in conquering cancer.

Despite a video delay, it was worth the wait. The screen behind the Corvette revealed the theme would be Texas Proud and the talent would be Toby Keith.

Results? A whoop, a holler and a “let’s get ‘em” attitude to battle cancer.

eM the Venue entrance

eM the Venue entrance

That was the official news of the night, but as one person said, “It was a Clay Cooley night.” Yup! From the arrival at the party room on Dragon with Clay Cooley’s name blazing at the entrance, the trucks and cars parked inside to “Clay Cooley Auto Group” in lights on one entire wall, Cara and Andrea proudly announced that the Cooley operation was the first to step up to sponsor the event.

Lisa Cooley and Tracy Lange

Lisa Cooley and Tracy Lange

Ben Lange

Ben Lange

On hand were Lisa and Clay Cooley with Larry Hackett and John Moward, Tracy and Ben Lange, Evening Co-Chair Isabell Novakov, Shona Gilbert, Cary and Mark Deuber, Fasi Payervand, Kristi Bare, Vodi Cook, Tom Ellis, Laura Reeder and David McAdams…Late arrival Crayton Webb was eagle eyeing for wife Nikki WebbAnne Stodghill was just days away from a quick trip to St. Barths for a friend’s birthday. She’s undertaken a new project — assembling recipes from all generations of her family into a keepsake for the Stodghill clan…Kris Johnson reported that work on Nancy C. and Richard Rogers new digs were moving along perfectly.

Shona Gilbert, Cary Deuber and Fasi Payervand

Shona Gilbert, Cary Deuber and Fasi Payervand

David McAdams, Laura Reeder, Tom Ellis and Vodi Cook

David McAdams, Laura Reeder, Tom Ellis and Vodi Cook

Somebody mentioned that cancer touched everyone from newborn babies to legendary types like David Bowie and Alan Rickman, who had just died in recent days.

JUST IN: Cara French And Andrea Weber To Co-Chair 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball

The 2015 Cattle Baron’s Ball is still in the preparation stages, but that doesn’t mean that plans for 2016 are in the rear view mirror. No, siree.

Cara French

Cara French

Andrea Weber

Andrea Weber

Word just arrived that the Cattle Baron’s Ball leadership for 2016 has just been announced. Cara French and Andrea Weber will be chairing the American Cancer Fundraiser in the fall of 2016.

Tia Wynne and Mary Martha Pickens (File photo)

Tia Wynne and Mary Martha Pickens (File photo)

The announcement was made by CBB 2015 Co-Chairs Mary Martha Pickens and Tia Wynne.

According to Mary Martha, “Both Cara and Andrea have been dedicated members of the Cattle Baron’s Ball Committee for many years and we are pleased that they will serve as Chairs of the 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball.”

Since the first Cattle Baron’s Ball in 1974, the Dallas organization has provided more than $64M for American Cancer Society research projects.

Tia said about the new co-chairs, “It is an awesome, yet rewarding responsibility and we are confident that Cara and Andrea will do an excellent job in carrying on the tradition of funding cancer research.”