2017 Crystal Charity Ball Theme – “Evening In The Alps” – Announced At Jan And Trevor Rees-Jones’ Frank Lloyd Wright-Inspired Estate

The Crystal Charity Ball theme announcement party generally attracts 60-75 guests. But on Thursday, May 4, the headcount was just shy of 200.

Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones

Well, yeah! After years of designing and construction, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones had made their 15,000-square-foot home the site of the 2017 CCB theme announcement, and even the most stay-at-home types weren’t going to miss this one. And it was one that was not to be missed.

Channeling Frank Lloyd Wright into the 21st century, this baby overlooking the Dallas Country Club was brilliant, to say the very least.

Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones home

The Rees-Jones’ connecting home offices showcased the couple’s different styles. His wood shelves and drawers with hardbound books had a perfect view of the golf course. Her gloriously sleek and gleaming office, with shelves filled with framed photos of family and friends, was surrounded by the creek and the towering trees. Connecting the two offices was an open doorway and a see-through fireplace.

As guests entered the home, they were greeted by 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella and a couple of snow bunnies lending a feel for what would be announced. Then it was decision time: go outdoors on the terrace, or wander through the house with its mammoth windows and wonderful art collections. (Jan’s is modern, while Trevor’s is western, by the likes of such legends as C.M. Russell and Frederic Remington.)

Janie Condon, Margaret Hancock and Angie Kadesky

Cynthia Beaird and Tiffany Divis

Before the announcement took place, the guests were enjoying hors d’oeuvres by Cassandra and revealing their stories of the day. Janie Condon was preparing to Southwest it to Kentucky to greet her first granddaughter… Cynthia Beaird had had a rough day. Forget her being stuck on the tollway for nearly an hour; she had dropped her purse and broken an ornament on it. Then, arriving at the CCB reception, she was more than an hour late and still was on her way to husband Brice Beaird’s performance… Lisa Singleton was late arriving. She had been way north on the tollway for the 2017 Cattle Baron’s Trailblazer party at another mega-estate belonging to Howard Hughes Corporation CEO David Weinreb.

Crystal Charity Ball theme announcement guests

Bob White and Pam Perella

Quietly, the bunnies disappeared from view and guests were herded onto the terrace. Pam, standing next to a covered easel, thanked Jan and Trevor and the evening’s sponsor Bank of Texas, who was represented by Bob White. Bob, an old hand at these occasions, made his comments brief, thanking the CCB for what they do so well—raise money “in buckets.” While Pam recognized key people in the crowd like event producer Tom Addis, the bunnies were seen just below the terrace inching their way up the steps along with Bernie the St. Bernard, which had arrived earlier in the day from New Jersey. Just in time, they joined Pam on the other side of the easel as it was uncovered and Pam announced the 2017 theme would be “Evening In The Alps.”

Snow bunnies, Bernie the St. Bernard and Pam Perella

However, it should be noted that word evidently had slipped out to some of the CCBers, since a few wore snow-white outfits and others’ ensembles were highlighted by sparkling designs.

It will be interesting to see how the 1,000+ guests interpret the theme on Saturday, December 2, at the Hilton Anatole to benefit area children’s nonprofits.    

For more photos of the party, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Theme Revealed There Is A Season For Everything

It almost seemed surreal. On Tuesday, May 3, Lisa and Clay Cooley’s estate could have easily given Versailles or the Dallas Arboretum a run for glory. With fountains flowing on one side of the bridge and a tennis court on the other, pink, white and red flowers highlighted the Bluffview estate. Trams breezed the guests from the valet at the front gate to the Cooleys’ front door. For those who wished to take in the beauty of the grounds, it was perfect weather to stroll to the scene of the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball theme announcement party.

Lisa and Clay Cooley estate

Lisa and Clay Cooley estate

Early arrivals Dwight Emanuelson and Gregory Dunbar talked with Clay, who joshed about having spent the day planting the hundreds of flowers. Later Clay told how he just followed the marching orders from General Lisa. When asked about the upcoming nuptials of son Chase Cooley to Bela Pjetrovic, he admitted that his input was not gonna be necessary. As for high school graduating son, Chance Cooley, Clay said the youngest Cooley had scatted in his white Jeep when he saw the lineup of cars arriving at the front gate.



Along with the guests, a handful of violinists arrived and were soon located under the winding staircase to provide music. On the other side of the stairway was a decorative easel with a plaque bordered with beautiful flowers. In the center was written, “To everything there is a season.” A clue of things to come.



When the two-story living room filled with guests, the great room filled the bill for the overflow. Everywhere one looked were food, flowers and flickering candles in votives. Upstairs it was another story entirely. Designer Nardos Imam was literally sewing willowy Jan Strimple into a gown specifically created for the occasion.

Then word was passed downstairs to gather in the living room, where the announcement of the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball theme would be announced by CCB Chair Christie Carter, who was now on the stairway introducing the evening’s sponsor Bank of Texas Dallas Market President Ryan Suchala, who graciously thanked the CCB-ers and then turned the focus on the seven beneficiaries including the Paiges (Flink and McDaniel).

Christie Carter, Jan Strimple and Ryan Suchala

Christie Carter, Jan Strimple and Ryan Suchala

Christie then returned to reveal that Tom Addis would be the event producer, with Junior Villanueva providing the floral highlights and Lambert’s the greenery. As for the  theme, Christie announced it would be, “To everything there is a season.”

On cue, Jan in gown and a floral headdress created by Junior serenely descended the staircase. In her right hand was a silvery gray folder with flowers that matched those on her gown. Looking at the crowd of men and women who were mesmerized by the tall red-haired spring nymph, Jan opened the book and read the verse from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

No sooner had Jan closed the book and the applause had died down than she was surrounded by guests wanting to have their photo taken with her or asking about her gown and head dressing.

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.

Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon Honors Francie Moody-Dahlberg With Standing O’s And Gracious Accolades

The Belo Mansion staff had hardly gotten finished with the Elisa Project’s “Life Lessons” breakfast with Catherine and Sean Lowe and Brian Cuban on Wednesday, February 10, than they were setting up for the Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon honoring Francie Moody-Dahlberg.

Outside the sun was shining, the sky was clear and the temperatures were just chilly enough to warrant a pashmina or sweater.

As guests arrived to check in, someone asked if there had been a nearby fire because there seemed to be guests with smudged brows. A friend nudged the person and reminded them it was Ash Wednesday.

Jamie Williams, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Kevin Dahlberg, Carine Feyten, Chad Wick and Patricia Crocker

Jamie Williams, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Kevin Dahlberg, Carine Feyten, Chad Wick and Patricia Crocker

When honoree Francie arrived with husband Kevin Dahlberg, it was the perfect time for a photo opp with Texas Woman’s University President Carine Feyton, her husband Chad Wick and Patricia Crocker. After the official photos were taken, Kevin whipped out his trusty Canon and shot his own photos of the group.

Virginia Chandler Dykes

Virginia Chandler Dykes

At 11:15 Virginia Chandler Dykes had arrived and was escorted to the grand ballroom to review the day’s arrangements. She then headed out the door only to be greeted like a rock star by the crowd. And Virginia was the poster child of graciousness as she welcomed each.

Just 15 minutes later the doors were on the verge of being opened when a question was raised on whether to use a hand mic or lavaliere. As the search commenced for the lavaliere, the doors opened and seven guests managed to slip in and get to their assigned table. The lavaliere was found and was tested and tested and tested against the handheld.

While the crowd tried nudging and opening the ballroom’s front doors, Belo vets and past Virginia Chandler Sykes Leadership Awardees Tincy Miller and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal took the side door and headed to their tables.

Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg

Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg

Greg Hext, Kevin Dahlberg, Mike Gruber and Michael Meadows

Greg Hext, Kevin Dahlberg, Mike Gruber and Michael Meadows

Ben Casey

Ben Casey

Bobby Lyle and Brent Christopher

Bobby Lyle and Brent Christopher

At 11:40 the front doors opened to let Virginia in. Finally five minutes later the doors were officially opened. First in was Francie, followed by nearly 400 people including Bobby Lyle, Brent Christopher, past Dykes awardees Mary Brinegar and Lindalyn Adams, Ben Casey, Michael Meadows, Greg Hext, Mike Gruber, Bob White, Ruben Esquivel, Brian Dyers, Kathleen Gibson, Jacque Wynne, Chris Durovich, Bill Braem and a late-arriving Amy Green. A slight stall occurred when Francie was stopped in the doorway by a friend and another friend and another friend.

Bob White

Bob White

By the time the seats were all taken at 12:10, the doors closed and a female voice was heard over the PA welcoming the group and introducing Virginia to the podium. Her words were brief but she proudly told how $½M had been raised over the years for the scholarship funds “to attract the best and brightest graduate students to TWU.” Virginia then introduced Bank of Texas’s Executive VP Bob White and thanked him for Bank of Texas’ presenting the luncheon for 10 years.

In typical Bob White style, he described Virginia as “style and grace” and used the word “excellence” for TWU.

After lunch (spinach and butter lettuce with brie and julienne of apple and sweet sherry vinaigrette, herb-dusted filet beef with maître d’butter accompanied by Boursin cheese mashed potatoes, asparagus and a roasted tomato and bread with butter and milk chocolate mousse), Virginia took a seat in a chair on stage and Carine thanked Bank of Texas CEO Norm Bagwell and all those who had made the luncheon possible and recognized past recipients.

A video was showing including Regina Campbell, Virginia and Carine with the message that Virginia’s grandmother had instilled in her: “Get a good education and no one can take it away from you.”

With that Carine invited all to show their appreciation for Virginia resulting in a standing ovation. In turn, Virginia rose from her chair and applauded the hundreds in the room.

Carine then provided a state-of-the-union on TWU including such facts as that it

  • Will provide the state’s first university center for women entrepreneurs.
  • Will be the new home of the Woodcock Institute for the Advancement of Neurocognitive Research and Applied Practice.
  • Graduates about 80 veterans annually.
  • Is the country’s largest public university primarily for women.

Just before 1 p.m. 2015 Dykes Awardee Ralph Hawkins introduced Francie, who was given a standing ovation. In accepting her award, she kept her remarks brief and gracious.

Carine then told the audience that the Moody Foundation had presented a $200K grant to TWU.

TWU Provost /VP of Academic Affairs Robert Neely then presented the 2016 scholarship awards to Veronica Rowe from the College of Health Sciences, Erin Ellis-Guffey of the College of Arts and Sciences, Tara Signs of the College of Professional Education and Mary Roberts of the College of Nursing.

Francie Moody-Dahlberg To Receive 14th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award

Susan and Ralph Hawkins’ very 21st friendly estate glowed, thanks to brilliant designing and the incorporation of green-friendly pluses like solar panels and a floor plan placing the cooling units beneath the house instead of in the attic.

Bob White and Ralph Hawkins

Bob White and Ralph Hawkins

It worked so perfectly for the 14th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon announcement reception on Tuesday, October 6. After all, Ralph was last year’s award recipient.

The only problem was the turnout. The crowd of 100 including Bob Brackbill, Chad Wick, Sharon and David McCullough, Michael Meadows, Brent Christopher, Kevin Dahlberg and past award VCD recipients Lindalyn Adams, Caroline Rose Hunt, Tincy Miller and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal spilled into all nooks and crannies of the home. Alas, the poor servers tried their best to wedge their way through the guests.

Bank of Texas’ Bob White told how bank founder Fred Ball had gotten BoT involved with the Texas Woman’s University fundraiser years ago.

TWU Chancellor/President Dr. Carine M. Feyten then gave a state-of-the-university update reporting that the school’s enrollment was at an all-time high — 15,288. She also reported that the nurses program was going great guns, the state is providing $2.2M for the new Center for Women in Business, and the school had received in June its biggest gift ever — $10M from the Woodcock-Munoz Foundation to create the Woodcock Institute for the Advancement of Neurocognitive Research and Applied Practice at TWU.

Carine Feyten, Virginia Chandler Dykes and Francie Moody-Dahlberg

Carine Feyten, Virginia Chandler Dykes and Francie Moody-Dahlberg

Upon announcing that the 2016 award recipient would be Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Virginia said, “It’s wonderful. It just adds another star to our whole collection.”

Giving annually to a “Dallas leader with a lifelong commitment to improving the quality of life in the community and to furthering the importance of education,” the luncheon presented by Bank of Texas will be held at Belo Mansion on Wednesday, February 10.

The Trains At NorthPark Co-Chairs April Cook And Jennifer Tobin Reveal Plans For Ronald McDonald Of Dallas Fundraiser

It’s hard to imagine chilly, sweater weather, but on Wednesday, May 13, the holidays were on the minds of the folks at Lublu in Preston Center.

Servers and Maynon Ballow

Servers and Maynon Ballow

The occasion was the Trains at NorthPark announcement party with Maynon Ballow showing Paolo Costagli jewelry and Lublu neighbor, R+D Kitchen, providing all types of appetizers.

Surrounded by designer outfits, Co-Chairs April Cook and Jennifer Tobin revealed that the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas fundraiser would be held from Saturday, November 21, to Sunday, January 3, 2016.

Instead of being on the lower level at NorthPark, this year the trains will be displayed on the upper level near Nordstroms.

Jennifer Tobin, April Cook, Pat Brockette and Jill Cumnock

Jennifer Tobin, April Cook, Pat Brockette and Jill Cumnock

In addition to Andrea Cheek, Ashley Sims, Carrie Arnot, Charlotte Savage, Heather Smith, Stephanie Hardeman and Sheryl Wylie, Bank of Texas’ Senior VP, Manager of Commercial Banking Pat Brockette and Dallas Market President Ryan Suchala were on hand reporting that BofT would once again be the presenting sponsor. This year will mark BofT’s seventh year in that role.

According to Pat, “Bank of Texas is pleased to once again be presenting sponsor of The Trains at NorthPark. The important work that the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas does in the community helps these children heal and helps keep the families intact during a difficult time in their lives.”

Eneida Hatch

Eneida Hatch

Here’s an idea. If you’re hard up for a Father’s Day Gift or an upcoming birthday gift, why not have one of the mini-train cars sponsored in that special person’s name. Just think — it won’t require any gift wrapping.

In the meantime, Lublu Manager Eneida Hatch reports that the fall collection is in house.

BTW, it wasn’t announced at the party, but word has it that Carolyn and Dr. Karl Rathjen will serve as honorary co-chairs.

The Trains at NorthPark website hasn’t gone up yet. It’s choo-chooing along. Until it does, information is available by calling 214.624.5365.

We’ll let you know when the Trains go online.

TACA Grant Distribution Provided $1.3M For Performing Arts To Applause, Cheers And Happy Faces

Theatre Three’s Jac Alder has mastered the stage for decades. But no one could blame him if he nearly missed his cue Monday, January 26. After all he had just received an envelope containing $30,000.

Jac Alder and Ken Villalovos

Jac Alder and Ken Villalovos

It was all a part of the TACA grant distribution of $1.3M at The Wyly.

Each of the 47 recipients had been told by emcee Ken Travis about the presentation protocol — “When your group’s name is called, come to the stage via the steps stage right, receive your check, pose for a photo and leave the way you came.”

Like obedient schoolchildren, dozens of folks followed orders. But Jac in his eagerness to get back to his seat in the crowded room, skipped the photo opp. That was until he was called back up the steps for a quickie with Ken Villalovos.

Arlington Jones and Donna Wilhelm

Arlington Jones and Donna Wilhelm

The only other oop’s was Kristen and Ladd Sanger being MIA to present checks for the musical ensemble groups. Despite having their names called out a couple of times, the couple evidently was not on hand. No problem. Incoming TACA Chairman of the Board Donna Wilhelm moved right in with a handful of envelopes.

Needless to say, the auditorium was filled with applause, smiles and cheers from the crowd of more than 300 people.

But there was more than the annual check handing out that resulted in happy faces.

Presenting sponsor Bank of Texas’ Bob White recalled the early days, when they presented checks for $300-400K in the 1990’s and thought it was a big deal.

Patricia McGregor

Patricia McGregor

The guest speaker was Patricia McGregor, who was directing “Stagger Lee,” a “work partially with support from the TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund,” at the Dallas Theater Center. She explained the importance of art within her life — “Why I’m an artist: because my work will make the world a better place for my son.”

Lauren Embrey and Megan Bowdon

Lauren Embrey and Megan Bowdon

After the presentation of the checks to the art groups and the collaborative groups, Donna announced the creation of the TACA Bowdon and Embrey Family Foundations Artist Residency Fund, providing an additional $100,000 per year in TACA funding for at least three years. Lauren Embrey and Megan Bowdon explained the importance of providing new artists an opportunity.

According to Lauren, “We are honored to have this fund sit beside the Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund as TACA’s second artistic excellence grant fund. And we thank you all for the future great work that this fund will enable you to do for North Texas.”

The announcement was greeted with still more applause, cheers and really happy faces.

For photos of all the check hand overs, they’re on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery!

Junior Leaguers Have A Field Day Handing Out Checks At Its Community Grant Presentation Despite Parking Issues

Nobody can say that the Junior League of Dallas is the white-glove and prissy pettitcoat set. Nope. Today’s JLD is made up of multi-taskers who wear jeans as easily as evening gowns. On Tuesday, January 13, the JLD’s Lyda Hill Auditorium was filled with around 300 wearing down jackets and boots (both high heel and western) for the Community Grant Presentation, where “more than $1 million in funding and more than 65,000 volunteer hours for the organization’s 2015-2016 administrative year” was distributed.

Lyda Hill Auditorium

Lyda Hill Auditorium

After officially greeting the membership and recipients, 2014 JLD President Julie Bagley got the bad news out of the way first. Just weeks before, one of the organization’s recipients — Contact Crisis Line— had closed its doors. When asked later if the funds designated for Contact had been allocated to others, Julie and JLD Community VP Nikki Webb said it had occurred too late for the revisions of funds and would be dealt with after the dust had settled.

After Bank of Texas Executive VP Bob White stressed the importance that Bank of Texas placed on the work that JLD provided, Nikki reviewed the six issues served by the JLD:

  • Violence intervention
  • Poverty intervention
  • Health
  • Family preservation
  • Education
  • Arts and cultural enrichment

Everyone sat patiently hearing the descriptions that most knew so well.

Bob White and Melissa Cooksey

Bob White and Melissa Cooksey

Then the handing out of the funds was to take place with Bob and JLD’s Incoming Community VP Melissa Cooksey presenting their certificates next to the stage and photos being taken with Julie, Nikki and JLD’s Incoming President Meredith Mosley.

Meredith Mosley, Julie Bagley and Nikki Webb

Meredith Mosley, Julie Bagley and Nikki Webb

After a handful of the recipients had been presented, JLD Research and

Elizabeth Dacus

Elizabeth Dacus

Development Committee Chair Elizabeth Dacus made an announcement that set people heading for the door. It seems that due to the overwhelming attendance, the JLD headquarters had cars being parked all over the place and even next door in the neighboring shopping plaza’s parking lot. The announcement was that tow trucks were preparing to remove the retail center’s cars. The final words had hardly been said before dozens and dozens of members and guests exited. One of those was Bob. But as he headed for the door, JLD-er Lee Gleiser stopped him in this tracks, took the keys to his car and relocated his car to a safer spot.

Leaving to repark cars

Leaving to repark cars

As for the check presentation and volunteer hours, the following groups shared in the booty:

Arts & Cultural Enrichment:

  • Booker T. Washington High School: 21 volunteers; $23,000
  • Dallas Arboretum: 60 volunteers; $12,000
  • Dallas Museum of Art: 56 volunteers; $7,000
  • Dallas Zoological Society: 31 volunteers; $21,446
  • Perot Museum of Nature & Science: 75 volunteers; $16,000
  • National Archives & Records Administration: 16 volunteers; $0

Total Arts & Cultural Enrichment: 259 volunteers; $79,446


  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas: 33 volunteers; $15,000
  • Communities in Schools: 11 volunteers; $5,568
  • Dallas Tennis Association: 19 volunteers; $6,090
  • Friends of the Dallas Public Library: 15 volunteers; $15,000
  • Lumin Education (formerly East Dallas Community School): 17 volunteers; $28,500
  • Rise School: 11 volunteers; $34,500
  • Notre Dame School: 12 volunteers; $20,000
  • Texas Discovery Gardens: 15 volunteers; $6,600

Total Education: 133 volunteers; $131,258

 Family Preservation:

  • Baylor Health Care System Foundation – Our Children’s House : 21 volunteers; $900
  • Baylor Health Care System Foundation – Twice Blessed House; 27 volunteers; $12,000
  • Promise House: 19 volunteers; $17,500
  • Ronald McDonald House of Dallas: 65 volunteers; $15,295
  • Philip’s School and Community Center: 15 volunteers; $25,000
  • Trinity River Mission: 21 volunteers; $9,100

Total Family Preservation: 168 volunteers; $79,795


  • Cancer Support Community North Texas: 46 volunteers; $22,000
  • Children’s Health: 26 volunteers; $24,625
  • Equest: 37 volunteers; $50,000
  • Methodist Dallas Medical Center: 35 volunteers; $16,700
  • Parkland Health & Hospital System: 16 volunteers; $22,300
  • Senior Citizens of Greater Dallas – The Senior Source: 24 volunteers; $25,500
  • Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation: 16 volunteers; $300
  • Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children: 29 volunteers; $10,100

Total Health: 229 volunteers; $171,525

Poverty Intervention:

  • Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity: 30 volunteers; $29,250
  • Family Gateway: 16 volunteers; $9,390
  • Interfaith Housing Coalition: 15 volunteers; $29,628
  • New Friends New Life: 15 volunteers; $12,000
  • North Dallas Shared Ministries: 14 volunteers; $32,250
  • North Texas Food Bank: 26 volunteers; $17,000
  • Vickery Meadow Learning Center: 19 volunteers; $10,500

Total Poverty Intervention: 135 volunteers; $140,018

Violence Intervention:

  • Community Partners of Dallas: 38 volunteers; $28,500
  • Dallas CASA: 31 volunteers; $23,000
  • Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center: 43 volunteers; $25,000
  • Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support: 45 volunteers; $30,000
  • Our Friends Place: 19 volunteers; $28,700
  • The Family Place: 23 volunteers; $25,320

Total Violence Intervention: 199 volunteers; $160,520

In case your calculator has reported that these figures don’t quite add up to $1M, “the JLD also supports the Dallas community through several key initiatives and Signature Projects, including: Grants for Innovative Teaching (GFIT), Kids in the Kitchen (KITK), Women LEAD, Community Assistance Fund and Provisional Projects. In combining the donations available through these programs, JLD will surpass the million-dollar mark again this year.”

Jamie Singer And Tia Wynne To Co-Chair Ronald McDonald House Of Dallas’ 2014 Trains Of NorthPark

Tia Wynne is going to be a very busy lady. In addition to her recently being named the 2015 Cattle Baron’s Ball co-chair, she’s also going to co-chair the 2014 Trains at NorthPark with Jamie Singer.

Tia Wynne, Jamie Singer and Kira Plastinina*

Tia Wynne, Jamie Singer and Kira Plastinina*

The news was announced with champagne on Wednesday, May 14, at Kira Plastinina’s Lublu boutique at the Plaza at Preston Center.

Jill Cumnock and Diane Fullingim*

Jill Cumnock and Diane Fullingim*

Benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, the annual mini-train-travaganza will once again return to NorthPark.

Ronald McDonald House of Dallas CEO Jill Cumnock announced that Regen and Dr. Jeffrey Fearon will serve as honorary train co-chairs.

According to Jamie, Bank of Texas will return for its sixth year as the presenting sponsor.

Pat Brockette*

Pat Brockette*

Senior Vice President of Corporate Banking for Bank of Texas Pat Brockette said, “Bank of Texas believes in the important work that Ronald McDonald House of Dallas does in the community, and we are once again proud to be the presenting sponsor.”

Tia reported that the trains will be chug-chugging along from Saturday, November 22, 2014, through Sunday, January 4, 2015.*

* Photos provided by Ronald 
McDonald House of Dallas

Chilly Weather, Kids And Fun Greet The Trains At NorthPark For Ronald McDonald House Of Dallas

The Trains At NorthPark*

The Trains At NorthPark*

For a first time in ages, Queenie was unable to attend the first choo-choo of the Trains at NorthPark benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. It was an early-stage cold and she wasn’t about to share it with anyone, especially adorable munchkins. So, she had one of her favorite elves do the following report from the field. . . or, in this case, shall we say the tracks:

“The Trains at NorthPark, presented by Bank of Texas, opened early on Saturday, November 23, in a bright new space on Level Two in the Nordstrom Wing between Sephora and Free People. For those who remember last year’s space, it’s right across the way.

Colleen Coyle*

Colleen Coyle**

“WFAA’s Colleen Coyle welcomed 300 supporters. ‘I am a meteorologist with WFAA, but I promise you that I didn’t bring this cool weather, but with the Trains opening up, we want it to feel like Christmas.’

Jill Cumnock, CEO of Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, thanked NorthPark and the trains co-chairs. ‘I would like to thank Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger, the wonderful staff at NorthPark, and so many others who have been our partners for the past 15 years at NorthPark. I would also like to thank our wonderful and hard-working Event Co-Chairs Claire Raggio and Courtney Westerburg.’

Courtney Westerburg and Claire Raggio*

Courtney Westerburg and Claire Raggio**

“Raggio and Westerburg tag-teamed and recruited many volunteers to sell railcars, to secure sponsorships, and to sell raffle tickets.

“By the way, the raffle tickets, which will be sold until Jan. 5, are a bargain, one ticket for $5, and 5 tickets for $20. The prizes include a Thomas the Train Set (donated by Trainworks, TW Design and valued at $4,200), $1,000 in NorthPark gold, a hotel stay/spa treatments at The Ritz-Carlton/Dallas along with dinner at Del Frisco’s. Raffle tickets are sold at the exhibit.

“Claire thanked Honorary Chairs, Lauren and Pat Arthur. ‘Through his company MHBT, Pat has supported The Trains at NorthPark and has also served on its board of directors. Lauren has been on the trains committee and served in various volunteer roles.’

“Courtney added, ‘We want to thank our Presenting Sponsor, Bank of Texas, as this is the 5th year for their generous support.’

Brenda White, Shelton White and Bob White*

Brenda White, Shelton White and Bob White**

Bob White, Bank of Texas executive vice president, liked that the bank supports such a great event. ‘Bank of Texas believes in the important work that Ronald McDonald House of Dallas does caring for families whose children are getting treatment for their illnesses and injuries. The House serves as a calm place for them during this difficult time, and the trains helps raise funds to make it happen.’

Fady Megally, Adel Megally, Heba Megally, Bishoy Megally and Stephen Megally*

Fady Megally, Adel Megally, Heba Megally, Bishoy Megally and Stephen Megally**

“Coyle called up Kid Conductor Bishoy Megally whose father, Adel Megally, said a few words. ‘Thank you for the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. We stayed for one year and three months, and Bishoy has had multiple surgeries.’ From Egypt, Bishoy was born with severe Kyphoscoliosis, abnormal front-to-back and side-to-side curvature of the spine. Since this surgery could not be performed in Egypt, the family searched the globe for a place to have the surgery, and they came to Dallas. The family has now relocated to the North Texas area, so they can be near the fine medical facilities.

“Bishoy and his brother, Fady, held up their whistles and blew them to open up The Trains at NorthPark.

Trains at NorthPark*

Trains at NorthPark**

“People poured into the bright new space to look for their personalized railcars. Shouts of ‘I’ve found it’ and ‘I think I see our railcar!’ were heard everywhere. If you want one of the personalized railcars, you can still order one online.

Landry Nelon, Charlotte McMillian and Claire McMillian*

Landry Nelon, Charlotte McMillian and Claire McMillian**

“Other children stayed in line to get their faces painted and have clowns make balloon swords before heading into the exhibit. NorthPark’s Lona Crabb showed her grandsons, Trevor and Cole Parrish, the exhibit.

“Colleen bought an early Christmas present for herself, a Nespresso coffee machine (the store opens at NorthPark this season).

Brett Cumnock, Jill and Kris Cumnock and Abby Cumnock*

Brett Cumnock, Jill and Kris Cumnock and Abby Cumnock**

“Jill and her family all had matching blue for Hanukah, and she talked about how her sister was handling Hanukah, while she was preparing the Thanksgiving meal.

“A special thank you to all the sponsors, including Presenting Sponsor Bank of Texas, and the Platinum Baron Sponsors: NorthPark Center, MHBT Inc., Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater North Texas, Tom Thumb and Moroch.

“Be sure to roll on down to the exhibit many times between now and January 5. Cost is $6 for adults, $3 for children (ages 2 to 12) and senior citizens (65 and older). Children under 2 are free. Discount tickets are available at Tom Thumb ($1 off regular admission). More details on hours, early closings and railcars can be found at http://www.rmhdallas.org/trains/.”

* Graphic provided by the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas
** Photo credit: Steve Foxall

MySweetWishList: Ronald McDonald House Of Dallas

Ronald McDonald House of Dallas*

Ronald McDonald House of Dallas*

According to Ronald McDonald House of Dallas CEO Jill Cumnock,

“Children eagerly peak through the glass as a bright electric train engine zips down the track. The cars rattle and dance as they pass through Times Square, the New Mexico desert, and the Texas State Fair. An annual Dallas tradition, The Trains at NorthPark brings joy to young faces at the exhibit, as well as to children at Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.  All proceeds from this festive winter wonderland go directly to the House, giving families with sick and injured children a place to stay.  The exhibit provides more than 30% of the annual operating budget for Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. The Trains at NorthPark is the largest fund-raising event for the only organization that gives a temporary home to families of children receiving treatment in Dallas. Helping families stay together and helping children heal, the funds from the Trains show go a long way!  This event delights families and children across North Texas, but to some it brings hope and shelter in a time of emergency.  The display is open and abuzz with activity from 10a.m. to 9p.m. through January 5th, 2014. Come visit the Trains exhibit in NorthPark Center this holiday season as we celebrate another year of family fun, exciting displays, and the spirit of caring for those in need.

The Trains At NorthPark*

The Trains At NorthPark*

“Attending the Trains at NorthPark exhibit helps Ronald McDonald House of Dallas raise funds for our families, but volunteers and supplies are always needed.  Volunteer teams serve our guest families three meals a day and offer special service projects around the House and at special events. A listing of our current volunteer needs can be found at http://www.rmhdallas.org/volunteer/  and our wish list for supplies needed around the House is available at http://www.rmhdallas.org/wish-list.

For more information on the Trains at NorthPark or the mission of Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, visit www.rmhdallas.org.  Personalized Railcar sponsorships are still available and can be ordered at www.rmhdallas.org/railcar.”

-Jill Cumnock, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas CEO

* Graphics provided by Ronald McDonald House of Dallas

Joel Allison’s Mother-In-Law Should Have Attended the Virginia Chandler Dykes Luncheon

Thursday Baylor Health Care System’s headman Joel Allison found himself surrounded by a ballroom full of healthy, happy people. While normally that wouldn’t be a big deal. Joel is often in big rooms with lots of smiling folks. But this time they were all there at Belo Mansion to see him receive the 9th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award.

Virginia Chandler Dykes

Presented by Bank of Texas and Texas Woman’s University, the luncheon was slated to have an additional perk — Ebby Halliday was to be the honorary event chair. But, alas, Ebby was unable to make it to receive a white TWU hat. However, Virginia Chandler Dykes handled the situation seamlessly explaining that the white hat would be sent to Ebby (ages ago, Ebby sold hats) immediately. Everyone knows that Ebby is a hat expert from her early days as a chapeau sales gal.

Why white?  “White – because Ebby is one of the good guys,” Virginia said.

Joel Allison

Then it was on to Joel’s time in the spotlight. Last year’s award recipient Kathleen Mason introduced Joel saying, “Well, if I couldn’t win the award two years in a row, I’m happy that Joel is receiving it!”

Joel wasn’t about to let Kathleen have the last laugh. He started his acceptance saying that if his mother had been there, “she would be proud, but his mother-in-law would be in shock.”

Then he got on to serious stuff saying, that he was humbled and honored to receive the award, but he was accepting it on behalf of all the men and women of Baylor Health Care System.

Norm Bagwell and Dr. Ann Stuart

Joel then discussed Texas Woman’s University and Baylor’s sharing “a common interest…excellence in the medical field. TWU has a long history of providing excellence and is a valuable resource to the area, the region and the state, providing well-trained men and women who make a huge impact in health care.”

Turning tables on the organizers, Joel recognized and honored his friend/Bank of Texas Chairman of the Board/CEO  Norm Bagwell, TWU Chancellor and President Dr. Ann Stuart and Virginia.

“Virginia, a great friend with truly exemplary attributes…innovator, advocate, philanthropist and a true servant leader who has left a legacy at Baylor,” Joel said.

Just in case you aren’t up to date on Virginia, she is a TWU alumna, and was the director of the Occupational and Recreational Therapy Department at Baylor University Medical Center for 25 years.

Joel’s mother-in-law might have been surprised at the day’s recognition, but no one else in the room was.

Photos by Kristina Bowman

Start Your Engines: Partners Card 2010 Dates Announced

We’re hardly through Restaurant Week, and The Family Place has announced the dates for the Partners Card 2010 presented by Bank of Texas! Start saving your pennies and keeping your credit cards in hibernation until . . . Friday. Oct. 29. That’s when it all starts. But, alas, it ends on Sunday, Nov. 7. Ah, 10 days of 20% off. Every tried and true shopper’s fantasy.

But during that precious time, you’ll not only get 20% off on purchases at 750 very special merchants and companies, you’ll also be supporting The Family Place’s great works thanks to Event Chairs Maggie Cooke Kipp, Molly Nolan and Gina Roidopoulos.

You can either purchase your Partners Card at Tom Thumbs or community volunteers for a mere $60, or you can always go online.