JUST IN: New Crystal Charity Ball Members Revealed

2018 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Claire Emanuelson has just announced the newest members of the 66-year-old fundraising organization for Dallas-area children’s charities.

Ashley Allen (File photo)

Kara Axley (File photo)

Marybeth Conlon (File photo)

Let’s cut to the chase. The frosh class of 2018 include Ashley Allen, Kara Axley, Marybeth Conlon, Lissie Donosky, Anne McPherson and Lisa Rocchio

These ladies join decades of predecessors, who have provided more than $137M for more than 140 nonprofits. Just imagine — the children who benefited from that initial fundraiser at the Baker Hotel in 1952 are now AARP types with grandchildren of their own.

Junior Leaguers’ Black Tie Gala Was “To Dallas With Love”

At the reception on Saturday, February 20, for the Junior League of Dallas’ 54th annual ball, titled “To Dallas With Love,” Hunter Sullivan was singing “Blue Spanish Eyes” for some 500 487 guests. Chatting and sipping cocktails and nibbling hors d’oeuvres, the handsome, black-tie crowd was really getting into the James Bond theme as interpreted at the Hilton Anatole by Ball Chair Ashley Allen.

“It’s a great theme—everything is tied in,” said Isabell Novakov, who will be next year’s ball chair. “There are great things tonight that we can build on.” Added Meredith Mosley, the Junior League’s current president: “I think this is a great night. It’s a great night to celebrate all the things that the Junior League does.”

There was some muted discussion of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s 30th annual deb Presentation Ball, which was taking place across town at the very same time. (Whispered one JLD official: “We set our date first!”) But it didn’t detract from the happy atmosphere and the glamorous crowd that was stirred to celebrate the JLD, which promotes voluntarism, improves the community, and develops the potential of women.

Ashley, for example, was wearing a winter-white gown by Patti Flowers (a JLD sustaining member) and jewelry by William Noble, who also provided the sapphire ring and earrings that complemented Meredith’s Teri Jon gown. (Ashley was wearing a cast on one hand, by the way because she’d broken her finger two weeks before.) Noble also provided an 18-carat-gold, yellow diamond valued at $5,500, for which guests paid $100 per key to, hopefully, unlock the glass box in which it was displayed.

David Sparkman and Julie O'Connor*

David Sparkman and Julie O’Connor*

Among the guests in attendance—the 500 487 figure was up down from about 470 563 last year—were past JLD presidents ( 2016 Honorary JLD Ball Chair Debbie Oates, Christie Carter and Julie Bagley). Also spotted: the JLD’s president-elect Bonner Allen, Jennifer Tobin, Nikki and Crayton Webb, Lynn and Allan McBee (Lynn’s chic black outfit was a mix of pieces by Diane von Furstenburg, Calvin Klein and Yves St. Laurent, while Allan was in a Valentino tux and a handsome, blue and black striped tie he bought in Beverly Hills) and Julie O’Connor with David Sparkman, whose funeral home and memorial park was a previous sponsor of the annual ball.

The 2016 ball’s presenting sponsor was Sewell, whose owner Carl Sewell could not attend. However, someone pointed out, Carl did speak recently to a class at the Junior League’s T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute. Dr. Joseph LaManna was representing Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians Inc., which sponsored the evening’s entertainment.

As the guests moved into the Chantilly Ballroom for dinner, they marveled at Tom Addis’ dramatic, James Bond-themed décor and the beautiful flowers by Junior Villanueva. The 35-piece Lone Star Wind Orchestra played a James Bond medley and, later, guests “shook their booties” to the sounds of Think Big & the Bulletproof Brass Brand.

Bit of James Bond-theme trivia: When JLD Honorary Chair Debbie Oates chaired the 2009 Crystal Charity Ball, the theme was 007 and Sheena Easton was singing on stage.

* Photo provided by David Sparkman