MySweetCharity Opportunity: A Tasteful Place Gala

According to Dallas Arboretum’s A Tasteful Place Gala Co-Chairs Barbara Bigham and Robin Carreker,

Barbara Bigham (File photo)

Robin Carreker (File photo)

We are thrilled to serve as chairs of the opening of A Tasteful Place, the Dallas Arboretum’s newest garden focused solely on all things food. Called “A Gala Garden Party,” we’re organizing one of the most exquisite events to open A Tasteful Place. Mark your calendars for Sunday, October 15, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. We’ll enjoy cocktails, garden tours, a delectable dinner, dessert and some fun surprises that you’ll just have to wait to experience that evening! Our fabulous honorary chairs are the lovely Diane and Hal Brierley.

Of course, attire is “garden gorgeous.” If you’re interested in joining us, tickets start at $500, and you can contact Sarah Warnecke, [email protected], or leave a message at 214.515.6524.

A Tasteful Place*

About A Tasteful Place: Majestically placed overlooking White Rock Lake and downtown Dallas, A Tasteful Place is a verdant 3.5-acre garden woven in a beautiful tapestry of ornamentally displayed fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers with a lagoon. Located at the Dallas Arboretum, A Tasteful Place is the first of its kind in the Metroplex and will fill a much-needed void in the community. The garden was developed as a living, learning, growing experience that will help guide us toward understanding how to prepare foods and eat more healthily. Plus, it’s just a fabulous place to have a party!

* Graphic provided by the Dallas Arboretum

Dallas Arboretum Women’s Council’s 2016 Mad Hatter’s Tea Ranged From Bounty Of Beauty To Beyond Belief

Not since the war between the States have two groups come face-to-face with such different views. That moment took place at the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum’s 2016 Mad Hatter’s Tea and Luncheon on Thursday, April 21.

Lisa Ogle, Kunthear Mam Douglas and Cathy Vieth

Lisa Ogle, Kunthear Mam Douglas and Cathy Vieth

Robin Carreker

Robin Carreker

On one hand, many guests looked as if they were attending the opening day at the Royal Ascot with dazzling hats. Robin Carreker, Connie Carreker, Hedy Sawyers, Lauren Palmer, Linda Spina, Lisa Ogle and Kunthear Mam Douglas interrupted the “Steel Magnolias” theme with ever-proper sunhats that would have thrilled any Southern belle. Delicate fascinators also had their day in the sun thanks to Women’s Council President Renee Querbes Farren, Betsy Crousen, SuSu Meyers and Britta Harless.

Guinn and Betsy Crousen

Guinn and Betsy Crousen

SuSu Meyer and Ann Dyer

SuSu Meyer and Ann Dyer

On the other hand were those who appeared to have channeled Johnny Depp wearing outlandish headdresses that would have made Lady Gaga go gaga.

For some, the over-the-top toppers were a wee bit daunting. One wide-eyed guest, who hadn’t attended the event since her mother took her ages ago, looking around the Plaza whispered, “I’m scared.” Another one upon entering the scene with lips zipped managed a request — “Please don’t mention I was here.”

Marena Gault, Marielle Gault, Steve Kemble and Sherwood Wagner

Marena Gault, Marielle Gault, Steve Kemble and Sherwood Wagner

As the two brimming groups gathered in the Ginsburg Plaza for a champagne reception with a Cajun band playing, it became apparent that glue guns had been drained leading up to the event. Instead of hiring a professional designer to create her hat, Sherwood Wagner pulled out all the stops and created three showstoppers for herself and her buddies Marena Gault and daughter Marielle Gault.

Appearing to be a walking promotion for Truvy’s beauty parlor, Carmen Surgent was top heavy with rollers, Aqua Net, a hair dryer and mirror, all in Shelby’s signature color of pink.

Carmen Surgent

Carmen Surgent

Barbara Bigham

Barbara Bigham

Barbara Bigham decided to opt out on the day’s theme and went for the bigger-than-life with a story look. With a headdress of fanned peacock feathers atop her head and a matching hand fan, she told how she got the “hat” from a woman in the Amazon.

Patty Jo Turner and her gal squad of faux blondes (Terri Bumgarner, Kim Dale, Suzette Derrick, Nancy McLochlin and Susan Russell) took Dolly Parton’s wisdom to heart — “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap.”

Terri Bumgarner, Kim Dale, Patty Jo Turner, Suzette Derrick, Nancy McLochlin and Susan Russell

Terri Bumgarner, Kim Dale, Patty Jo Turner, Suzette Derrick, Nancy McLochlin and Susan Russell

 

But it wasn’t a gals-only gathering. No, siree. There were gents dressed to the nines, tens and whatever. Coley Clark, Steve Ivy and Michael Jenkins were on the side of the Plaza watching the ladies champagne-ing their way around and walking the red carpet for judges Gary Riggs, Jane McGarry, Kathy Fielder, Karen Carroll, Robert LeLeux, Matthew Campbell Laurenza, Diane and Daryl Johnston and Andrea Alcorn, who was subbing for Janelle Friedman. The trio was a part of Connie Carreker’s “Southern Gentlemen” lineup of husbands in matching dark suits, white shirts, pocket squares, fedoras and ties who were there to support/escort their wives.

Steve Ivy, Michael Jenkins and Coley Clark

Steve Ivy, Michael Jenkins and Coley Clark

As usual Steve Kemble was a walking garden delight wearing a jacket of magnolia leaves with big, old magnolia epaulets and a towering hat of magnolias and leaves.

And speaking of hats, floral engineer Shane Walker managed to combine Aunt Fern’s creation featuring a giant armadillo appearing to be atop a red-velvet cake; the purse with a baby armadillo peeking out completed the ensemble.

Shane Walker

Shane Walker

Severt Philleo

Severt Philleo

Another head turner was a smiling Severt Philleo opting for the Shirley MacLaine look, complete in heels, blush pink skirt, print blouse, deep pink jacket, white gloves, black chapeau highlighted by a black tulle and deep pink flower and, of course, pearl necklace. And as any proper lady at an outdoor function would, she had additional accessories — a hand fan and sunglasses. Clairee would have been so proud! After all, “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.”

But time demanded that the hats and their underlings leave the sunshine for Rosine Hall and the Tootsies fashion show. With guests shifting in their chairs to see around the hats, the fedora-ed guys were seated on the front row and prepared to help anyone on stage managing the steps up and down from the floor. Emcee/KISS-FM 106.1’s Kellie Rasberry welcomed the group and introduced Renee, who thanked everyone for participating.

Then Mad Hatter’s Chair Jocelyn White welcomed all and told how this fundraiser was the one that had been on her bucket list and thanked individually her “dream team.” She also announced that specially made trays would be presented to the winners of the hat contest and key participants. When Joce tried to present a tray to buddy Linda Gray, the “Dallas” actress couldn’t be found. When someone said she was in the back of the room, the tray was handed to front-row guy Denny Carreker, who took it to the back of the room. Alas, he returned with tray in hand.

Janine Turner

Janine Turner

Jocelyn White

Jocelyn White

As for her friend/actress Janine Turner, Jocelyn provided her with a tray and a tiara.  (“Steel Magnolia” trivia: Janine was in the movie and played Nancy Beth Marmillion, whose character was Miss Merry Christmas.)

With her specs in place, Jocelyn finished with a few words about her life as a true steel magnolia with grandparents who were called Big Mama and Big Daddy.

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

Next it was fashion showtime, produced by Jan Strimple with the finale complete with dialogue from the movie. It was followed by KLUV 98.7’s Jody Dean conducting the live auction. First up was a gold and lamb clutch in an open package valued at $3,100. As Jody held the gold purse over his head for all to see, it fell from the box to the floor of the stage. Following the laughter, Jody concluded the bidding and handed the errant bag to the top bidder, Sherwood, for a steal — $1,500.

The rest of the live auction went off without a hitch and was followed by the announcement of the hat contest winners.

Barbara Daseke and Barbara Durham

Barbara Daseke and Barbara Durham

Kathy Cothrum's hat

Kathy Cothrum’s hat

  • Most True-To-Theme – Barbara Daseke
  • The Southern Belle —  Carmen Surgent
  • Simply Elegant — Patty Dedman Nail
  • Mother Nature Winks — Kathy Cothrum
  • The Social Sorority —  Sherwood Wagner, Marena Gault and Marielle Gault
  • Miss Merry Christmas — Jordi Bostock
  • What Was She Thinking? — Barbara Bigham
  • Best of Show/People’s Choice — Kunthear Mam Douglas

Then all adjourned to the pink-and-white clothed tables overlooking the Arboretum’s gardens to lunch and compare notes on who wore what and why.

For loads more pictures of flowers and flower people, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Mad Hatter’s Fashion Show And Luncheon Patron Party At Betsy And Guinn Crousen’s Mansion Was An Over-The-Top Draw

The line-up of luxury vehicles pulling up to Betsy and Guinn Crousen’s palatial Highland Park digs was impressive just 10 minutes into the Tuesday, April 19, affair. The valet parking company had been advised to expect 50 guests, but that number ended up being tripled including Jocelyn White, Linda Spina, Barbara Daseke, Linda Ivy, Connie Carreker, Jennifer and Coley Clark and Jennifer Houser. Needless to say, the car parkers were scurrying around the streets like roadrunners.

Jennifer Houser and Betsy Crousen

Jennifer Houser and Betsy Crousen

Barbara Daseke and Barbara Bigham

Barbara Daseke and Barbara Bigham

The event was the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum‘s Mad Hatter’s Tea patron party. Some like Leslie Ann Crozier were splitting their time between Mad Hatter’s and making it home in time to learn the outcome of the New York presidential primary.

Betsy and Guinn Crousen's courtyard

Betsy and Guinn Crousen’s courtyard

As a first-time event, the house with its marvelous courtyard had guests wandering throughout. Some even decided to check out the Crousens’ closets!

In the kitchen Emilynn Wilson was receiving congrats on being named 2017 Callier Cares chair. Another one receiving pats on the back was Barbara Bigham for the recent Bighams’ million-dollar donation for Scenic Overlook in the Arboretum’s newest project — A Tasteful Place.

Art In Bloom Had Tables Topped To The Hilt And To Impress Dr. Todd Langstaffe-Gowan

Breaking from the past of having fashions at the Art in Bloom luncheon, this year’s Chair Barbara Daseke decided it might be more fun to have guests compete with table decorations following the presentation by British landscape historian Dr. Todd Longstaffe-Gowan on Monday, March 21, at the Dallas Museum of Art. Wise move because the guests really got into it. Here’s a report from the field:

Barbara Daseke and Linda Ivy*

Barbara Daseke and Linda Ivy*

Luncheon chairman Barbara Daseke, with honorary chairman Linda Ivy and honoree Olivier Meslay, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs, Senior Curator of European and American Art and the Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art at the DMA, were joined by over 260 guests at the seventeenth annual Art in Bloom, on Monday, March 21, 2016. Hosted by the Dallas Museum of Art League, proceeds from the event will benefit the DMA’s exhibition and education programs and the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund.

The festivities began with a reception in the Hamon Atrium with an opportunity to bid on amazing items in the silent auction, such as a complimentary DMA League upgraded Art Patron membership; a private tour for six with the new Lillian and James H. Clark Associate Curator of European Art, Nicole R. Myers, with lunch at Lark on the Park; a special three-course dinner for two with the host of Emmy Award-winning Bravo series “Top Chef,” Padma Lakshmi, in the DMA Founders Room, inspired by her favorite recipes; includes a hardcover copy of Laksmi’s book, “Love, Loss and What We Ate” and a DMA Fast Track pass; VIP access to upcoming 2016 DMA Opening Exhibition Celebrations for “Irving Penn” in April, “Concentration 60 and 61” in September, “Devine Felines” in October and more.

At the appointed time, attendees were directed to the Horchow Auditorium for remarks from this year’s featured speaker, landscape architect and landscape historian Dr.

Todd Longstaffe-Gowan*

Todd Longstaffe-Gowan*

, Gardens Advisor to Historic Royal Palaces in the United Kingdom. Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan entertained the crowd as he shared images and experiences from some of his recent projects, including The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace Gardens and The Crown Estate, as well as the redesign of Kensington Palace Gardens, the eleven-acre pleasure ground around the palace, to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen.

Afterward, patrons returned to the Museum’s Atrium for a seated lunch featuring tables dressed with beautiful linens and tabletops courtesy of POSH Couture Rentals, this year’s luxury rental sponsor, with floral centerpieces from David Kimmel Design.

Faye C. Brigg's table*

Faye C. Brigg’s table*

Barbara Daseke's table*

Barbara Daseke’s table*

Art in Bloom tabletop*

Art in Bloom tabletop*

Mami Driscoll*

Mami Driscoll at Jewel Williams’ table*

Six tables featured original tablescapes as part of the inaugural table design competition, using the theme “International” as their inspiration. Table design competitors included Barbara Bigham, Faye Briggs, Barbara Daseke, Dr Delphinium, POSH Couture Rentals and Jewel Williams.  Judged by Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan, Jewel Williams’ tablescape, designed by floral designer Mami Driscoll with collaboration from Stephen Frels with Stella Fine Flowers, was selected as the winning design with a prize of a three-day spree for two in London, complete with exceptional accommodations, a lunch at Clarke’s Restaurant and a private tour with Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan of Kensington Palace and other historic Palace Gardens.

Guests enjoyed a delicious lunch of butter lettuce salad with sherry vinaigrette and thyme blossoms for their first course, followed by an entrée of crispy Cornish hen with truffle spring pea puree, pea tendrils and garnished with nasturtiums.  As dessert of white and dark chocolate mousse tart with hazelnut brittle was served, the live auction, with Heritage Auctions auctioneer Kristen Schultz, began featuring items such as a Judith Leiber jeweled egg-shaped minaudières, a VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the DMA’s Painting Conservation Studio with chief conservator Mark Leonard, dinner at Lark on the Park, reserved seating for two at the DMA Arts & Letters Live presentation of “Dutch Masters & Deceit” and more; and an extravagant night on the town for two including a one-night stay at The Ritz-Carlton, dinner at Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille and a box at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra with transportation proved by United Limo.

Diann Contestabile and Margot Perot*

Diann Contestabile and Margot Perot*

Jennifer Houser and Suzanne Palmlund*

Jennifer Houser and Suzanne Palmlund*

As lunch came to an end, guests lined up to meet Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan as he signed his recent book, “The London Square.”

Art in Bloom International attendees included Honorary Chair Linda Ivy, Dallas Museum of Art League President Jewel Williams, Underwriting Chair Barbara Durham, Auction Chair Cecelia Otiniano-Moore, Barbara Bigham, Margaret McDermott, Margot Perot, Charlene Marsh, Holly Huffines, Robin Carreker, Sheila Durante, Jennifer Houser, Connie Carreker, Mary McDermott Cook, Beverly Freeman, Susan Fisk, Jill Goldberg, Faye Briggs, Libby Swindle, Betsy Waggoner and Ann Dyer.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron

Mother Nature Blessed The Art In Bloom Patrons With Perfect Weather And The Perfect Place To Party

To say the weather on Wednesday, March 16, was spectacular is an understatement. It was so absolutely perfect that Art In Bloom Chair Barbara Daseke must have negotiated quite a deal with Mother Nature. She also arranged for the Art in Bloom Patron Party to take place at Suzanne and David Palmlund’s Swiss Avenue mansion. And that’s exactly what happened. Here’s a report from the field:

Linda and Steve Ivy and Barbara Daseke*

Linda and Steve Ivy and Barbara Daseke*

Art in Bloom Chair Barbara Daseke, with Honorary Chair Linda Ivy, welcomed sponsors to the Art in Bloom International Patron Party on Wednesday, March 16, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Held at the beautiful Swiss Avenue home of Suzanne and David Palmlund, partygoers mingled while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Conversation soon turned to the Dallas Museum of Art League’s Art in Bloom on Monday, March 21, which will feature landscape architect and landscape historian Dr. Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Gardens Advisor to Historic Royal Palaces in the United Kingdom.

The event will begin with a reception and silent auction followed by Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan in the Horchow Auditorium as he shares his experiences as the gardens advisor to historic royal palaces including The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace Gardens and The Crown Estate, as well as recent projects such as the redesign of Kensington Palace Gardens, the eleven-acre pleasure ground around the palace, to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen.

Cecilia Moore, Jewel Williams, Barbara Bigham and Katherine Phillips*

Cecilia Moore, Jewel Williams, Barbara Bigham and Katherine Phillips*

Following, guests will convene in the Hamon Atrium for a seated lunch followed by a live auction. Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan will also serve as the judge of the inaugural table design competition with entries from Barbara Bigham, Faye Briggs, Barbara Daseke, Dr. Delphinium, Posh Couture Rentals and Jewel Williams.  The lucky winner of the competition will receive a three-day spree for two in London, complete with exceptional accommodations, a lunch at Clarke’s Restaurant and a private tour with Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan of Kensington Palace and other historic Palace Gardens  (airfare is not included).

Proceeds from the 17th annual event support the DMA’s exhibition and education programs and the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund. 2016 sponsors are:

Beverly and Don Freeman*

Beverly and Don Freeman*

Frank and Sheila Durante*

Frank and Sheila Durante*

  • $20,000 – $10,000Luxury Rental Sponsor: Posh Couture Rentals and Media Sponsor: PaperCity;
  • Globetrotter ($10,000) – Barbara Daseke, Linda Ivy and The Eugene McDermott Foundation/Margaret McDermott;
  • $9,999 – $5,000 – Auction Sponsor: Heritage Auction and Centerpiece Sponsor: David Kimmel Design;
  • Explorer ($5,000) – Faye C. Briggs, Beverly Freeman, Jill Goldberg, Margot Perot and Charlene Marsh;
  • ($4,999 – $1,000) – Announcement Party Sponsor: Avant Garden, Master Class Sponsor: Dr. Delphinium and Patron Party Sponsor: Suzanne Palmlund;
  • Explorer ($3,000) – Genie Bentley, Robin Francis Carreker, Sheila Durante and Laurel Brewster, Blake R. Lively, Angela D. Paulos, Linda Rayes, Catherine M. Rose, Livvy Swindle and Betsy Morton and Jewel Williams;
  • Director and Speaker Sponsor ($1,000) – Melissa Fetter and Peggy Sewell.

Art in Bloom Patron Party attendees included, hosts Suzanne and David Palmlund, chair Barbara Daseke, honorary chair Linda Ivy and Steve Ivy, Dallas Museum of Art League President Jewel Williams, Beverly and Don Freeman, Barbara and Bob Bigham, Ile Greene, Sheila and Frank Durante, Katherine Phillips, Cecilia Moore and Anita Lester.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron

JUST IN: Barbara And Bob Bigham Give $1M For Dallas Arboretum’s Scenic Overlook In The To-Be-Built A Tasteful Place

Bob and Barbara Bigham*

Bob and Barbara Bigham*

With love in the air this Valentine’s Day weekend, Barbara and Bob Bigham are showing their love for the Dallas Arboretum big time. How big? To the tune of $1M! Their just-announced sweetheart gift will benefit the Scenic Overlook in the Arboretum’s newest project — A Tasteful Place.

Located on the southern part of the property and scheduled to break ground in the latter part of the year, the $8M A Tasteful Place will be a fruit, herb and vegetable garden with a glass-enclosed pavilion, where “daily tastings, regular activities, classes and demonstration” can take place.

Located at the base of The Tasteful Place and overlooking White Rock Lake and downtown Dallas, the Scenic Overlook will be “surrounded by semi-circular pergolas, flowers, herbs, vegetables and vines.” It will be the perfect spot for “visits, weddings, seated dinner, wine tastings and private events.”

Having undergone cancer surgery in recent years, Barbara “felt strongly about her involvement because of the peace and tranquility offered by walks through the garden.” She hope that “our involvement will encourage others to join us in helping create this one-of-a-kind garden. I am thrilled to support the Dallas Arboretum in becoming the most outstanding garden in the country.”

As for Bob, he summed it up by saying, “Every time we come to the garden, I feel happy. My Valentine this year is our gift to the Arboretum for this important area.”

As a big, old thank-you, the Scenic Overlook will be named for the Bighams.

According to Arboretum President/CEO Mary Brinegar, “Our city is lucky to have a couple as community-oriented as Barbara and Bob Bigham and as generous in time, talent and resources. They truly have given back to others for so many years. It is an honor to name the Scenic Overlook in A Tasteful Place for them. It will be a lasting legacy.”

* Photo provided by the Dallas Arboretum