JUST IN: While Barbara Daseke Splashes As Addison Magazine Cover Girl, Husband Don Daseke Is Named 2018 Horatio Alger Awardee

The name “Daseke” is familiar to locals for Barbara and Don Daseke‘s support of all types of nonprofit. From WaterTower Theater in Addison to the Dallas Zoo just south of Dallas’ CBD, they’ve made their paw/foot print on fundraising. Why Addison The Magazine of the North Dallas Corridor just featured platinum, spiky Barbara as their cover girl this month.

Don and Barbara Daseke (File photo)

Ah, but word has just arrived that Don has been busy building his empire to gargantuan levels as well as his philanthropic levels.

Word just arrived that Don will receive the prestigious Horatio Alger Award on Thursday, April 5, thru Saturday, April 7, during the Association’s 71st Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies. Gee, hope Barbara and Don can schedule it into their “Must Attend” agenda. The twosome will be joining fellow awardee Reba McEntire and others in Washington D.C. for the ceremony.

According to the Horatio Alger Award committee, “This annual award recognizes exceptional leaders – all with a commitment to philanthropy and higher education – who have overcome significant personal challenges to achieve success. Horatio Alger Award recipients solely fund the Association’s scholarship programs, which provide education opportunities to promising students who, like the Award recipients, have faced adversity in their young lives.”

Don will join such locals as the late Ebby Halliday Acers, Jody Grant, T. Boone Pickens, Jeff Rich and Bob Schlegel.

Follow the jump for all of Don’s accomplishments including his marriage to Barbara. [Read more…]

Early Birds Flocked To The Annual Zoo To Do Fundraiser As The Dallas Zoo Residents Grazed On

Sometimes it pays to be an early bird at an event. And Zoo To Do was such an occasion on Saturday, November 4, at the Dallas Zoo. While the official start time for the expected 700 guests was 6 p.m., some VIP types like Joan and Alan Walne and Diane and Mike Gruber arrived at 5:30.

Joan and Alan Walne

Diane and Mike Gruber

The cheetahs were already striking poses on the hill in their compound like cover girls. One of them appeared to be eyeing a zebra in the Giants of Savanna. Abacus’ Chris Patrick claimed that one of the spotted cats had just minutes before sat next to the setup up on the other side of the glass.

Lisa Martel, Cessy Mendoza, Dennis Egert and Chris Patrick

Across the way, a couple of giraffes were accepting lettuce handouts. Over in the Giants area, Ajabu was making his Zoo To Do debut. Not all the herd got to party, though. The adult bull elephant was in a separate area, chilling near the elephant waterhole. Seems he’s been feeling his oats lately and was a bit frisky.



On the other hand, one of the female elephants that had experience in raising youngsters was trumpeting from the elephant barn. She and Ajabu’s mama, Mlilo, aren’t best buds, it seems. The backstory was that when Ajabu was an infant, Mlilo wasn’t happy when the other females tried to take charge of Ajabu. Evidently she thought she would be a better, more experienced mom. Since elephants are known for not forgetting, Mlilo still remembers the dis. Talk about Real House Elephants of the Dallas Zoo! 

And speaking of shenanigans, the Simmons Hippo Outpost has been a sources of whispers throughout the zoo campus. No confirmation yet, but Adhama and Boipelo have been playing hippo house. If wishes come true and the gestation period for a hippo is 243 days, there might be some hippo baby showers in the spring.



Meanwhile, the always-cool gorillas seemed to be teasing the guests in the VIP Lounge. As Subira, the silverback, and his gal pals ambled to different spots in the Gorilla Trails, the guests moved throughout the lounge to ooh-and-ah and snap cellphone shots. As one guest noted, “The silverback knows he’s cool.” Guess so. After becoming an internet sensation with his “Dancing Machine” in June, Subira’s become the John Travolta of the gorilla set.

After posing for a photo with baby crocodile Gimli, Event Co-Chair Barbara Daseke confided that she told husband/Co-Chair Don Daseke to take off his alligator belt.

Don and Barbara Daseke

Amy and Jim Severson

In the meantime, the chefs were setting up for an evening of feeding the herd of guests. There were familiar faces like Sevy’s Amy and Jim Severson, Salum’s Abraham Salum and Janice Provost of Parigi, as well as Empire Bakery’s Meador Ozarow and Shinsei/Lovers Seafood and Market’s Aaron Staudenmaier.

Janice Provost and Abraham Salum

Aaron Staudenmaier and Meaders Ozarow

Janice reported having a busy fall, what with the Meat Fight party in a few days, as well as an upcoming trip to assist her pal Nikky Phinyawatana, head chef at Asian Mint, at the big James Beard Event in New York. Aaron also had some exciting news, disclosing that he would be leaving his post with Shinsei/Lovers Seafood and Market to join the Front Burner restaurant group as corporate chef for Whiskey Cake.

Runway Report Patrons Were Feted Where Penguins Once Partied

While Runway Report Honorary Co-Chairs Linda and Steve Ivy were world traveling and Co-Host Don Daseke was elsewhere doing deals, Co-Host Barbara Daseke carried on for the KidneyTexas Inc.‘ Runway Report patrons in the Daseke home-in-the-woods. It all took place on Thursday, September 21, in celebration of the “Transforming Lives Fashion Show And Luncheon” on Thursday, September 21, at Brook Hollow Golf Club. In addition to checking out the teak-wood mansion, guests were able to start bidding on the live auction items and raffle goodies. Here’s a report from the field:

Barbara Daseke, Christine Martin and Susan Russell*

Barbara and Don Daseke opened their fabulous home for the Patron Party honoring KidneyTexas Inc.’s The Runway Report Transforming Lives Fashion Show and Luncheon on Thursday, September 21, a wonderful treat for all!

Someone said the last time they were there for an event, there was a cheetah in the backyard and penguins in a pool. All of that is true! It happened when the Dasekes hosted an event for the Zoo To Do benefiting the Dallas Zoo, caretakers from the zoo brought some of the zoo’s residents for a road trip to the Daseke’s to meet and mingle with the upscale crowd. As longtime supporters of the Dallas Zoo, Barb and Don are chairing that event this year on Saturday, November 4.

Dee Lincoln and Jan Strimple*

Dustin Holcomb and Nerissa von Helpenstill*

KidneyTexas Luncheon Co-Chair Susan Russell and her husband, Don, joined Luncheon Co-Chair Christine Martin in welcoming friends, supporters and patrons in for the celebration. Enjoying the sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and artful scenery were Over the Top award honorees Dee Lincoln of Dee Lincoln Prime, who sponsored the wines this evening, and Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb from Tootsies that is also the fashion show sponsor. And the word is out, the ever-fashionable Jan Strimple, fashion show producer, has a special surprise up her sleeve to be showcased at the fashion show on Tuesday.

The Sue Goodnight Service Award recipient Natalie Taylor was there, along with the award’s namesake, Sue Goodnight, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.  

Natalie Taylor and Di Johnston*

Renee and David Winter*

Former Luncheon Chair Renee Winter and dear friend Pam Brock brought in orchids which will be featured as the luncheon’s centerpieces. Dr. David Winter, Renee’s husband, caught up on news with friends Dr. Warren Katz and his wife. Special thanks to Gold Crown Valet for sponsoring valet services for this and all of KidneyTexas’ special meetings and events.

The 2017 KidneyTexas beneficiaries include:

  • Parkland Foundation: $30,500 for kidney dialysis unit;
  • Baylor Health Care System Foundation: $30,000 for a five-year study of kidney transplants;
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center: $29,925 for kidney related research;
  • Children’s Medical Center Foundation: $20,500 for hemodialysis and blood pressure machines;
  • Camp Reynal: $19,500; and
  • Texas Health Resources Foundation: $14,214for a hemodialysis machine
* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

“Spotlight Gala” Celebrated WaterTower Theatre’s 20th Anniversary By Staging A Gala With Live Auction, Dining And Entertainment, Of Course

WaterTower Theatre‘s annual Spotlight Gala on Saturday, June 3, had a lot to celebrate. In addition to its new Artistic Director Joanie Schultz, the event at the Marriott Quorum Hotel was honoring its past gala chairs as well as the theatre’s turning 20 years old. Longtime supporter Barbara Daseke chaired the evening with dinner, notables, a live auction and a whole bunch of entertainment. But then, what else would you expect from this theatre crowd? Here’s a report from the field:

Barbara Daseke*

WaterTower Theatre held its annual Spotlight Gala on Saturday, June 3, at the Marriott Quorum Hotel in Addison.  Following last year’s celebration of WaterTower Theatre’s 20th Anniversary, this year’s Gala, chaired by Barbara Daseke, honored all of the Company’s past Gala Chairs:  April Bosworth, Anita Braun, Laree Hulshoff, Corky Pledger, Debbie Staggs, Allie Theisen and Barbara Daseke. The Company also honored Liese and Michael Canterbury and Angie and James Canterbury for their family’s legacy and contributions over the years. 

The evening began with cocktails for all of the underwriters and VIP donors, hosted by Barbara Daseke.  Held in the Presidential Suite, the crowd swayed to the jazzy tunes of local favorite Jodi Crawford Wright, accompanied by Jordan Cleaver on cello. Celebrating over two decades of artistic excellence at WaterTower Theatre, guests arrived in a fashion flare ranging from black-tie to elegant summer cocktail wear. Guests at the VIP reception at 6 p.m. and the gala included Jennifer and Coley Clark, Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer, Norma and Paul Shultz, Tom and Anita Braun, Karol Omlor, Jennifer Swift, Addison’s new Mayor Joe Chow and his lovely wife Chi Chi, Margo and Jim Keyes, Eileen and Neil Resnik and special guest of honor, Emmy-Award winning actress and playwright Regina Taylor. For many, this was their first time meeting WaterTower Theatre’s new Artistic Director Joanie Schultz, who attended with her husband, nationally renowned opera conductor Frank Milioto. Corporate sponsors for the 2017 Spotlight Gala included Slalom, Oncor, Frost Bank, and Goody Goody Liquor. 

Tom and Anita Braun, Karol Omlor and Jennifer Swift*

Margo and Jim Keyes*

Liese and Michael Canterbury*

Eileen and Neil Resnik*

The evening included entertainment by Max Hartman, singing tunes reminiscent of “Ole Blue Eyes” while newly elected Addison Mayor Joe Chow and a crowd of attendees danced to standards including “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Route 66,” “Mack the Knife,” “Come Fly With Me,” and “New York, New York.”  WaterTower Theatre artists Janelle Lutz and Sarah Elizabeth Price sang tributes to the legendary Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli (characters they have played to high acclaim on DFW stages), as well as a trio with Kyle Igneczi to conclude the night.

The night included a live auction with auctioneer Kyle Igneczi (one of Dallas’ most beloved actors) including a theatre trip for two to Chicago with Artistic Director and Chicago native Joanie Schultz, and a luxury dinner for 10 at the Addison’s renowned Table 13.  The evening concluded with an exhilarating “Fund The Mission” where virtually everyone in attendance played the “runaround” game vying for a theatre trip for two to Toronto!

Underwriters included:

  • Executive Producer ($12,000) — Barbara and Don Daseke, Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer, Janiece and Jimmy Niemann and Norma and Paul Shultz
  • The Producer ($6,000) — Rosalind and Mervyn Benjet, Liese and Michael Canterbury, Angie and James Canterbury and Larry McCallum
  • The Director ($3,000) — The Town of Addison, Frost Bank, April Bosworth, Goody Goody Liquor Inc., Stan Graner and Jim McBride, Rodney Hand / Addison Magazine, Mary Kay Inc., Robert Mayer Jr., Kathleen A. Messina and Gary W. Goodwin, Karol Omlor, Oncor/Grace Daniels, Gregory Patterson and Eileen and Neil Resnik
  • Valet parking underwritten by Slalom.
  • Patron Gift underwritten by Mary Kay Inc. and Addison Magazine
  • Cork Pull and Tabletop Wine sponsored Goody Goody Liquor, Inc.
  • VIP Patron and Underwriter’s party sponsored by the Marriott Quorum, Addison
  • Gala Signage provided by FASTSIGNS, Carrollton
  • Gala Program provided by AlphaGraphics, Carrollton 

Guests drove off with a special gift basket courtesy of Mary Kay and Addison Magazine.

* Photo provided by WaterTower Theatre

JUST IN: 2017 Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Barbara And Don Daseke Reveal Fundraiser’s Plans

While the two-legged critters wore shades as the sun set slowly over the Dallas Zoo’s Highland Hippo Hut, the two showstoppers chilled in the Simmons Hippo Outpost lagoon last night. The twosome were Adhama and Boipelo that almost stole the show from the reveal of plans for the 2017 Zoo To Do.

Dallas Zoo’s “hip” kids

But more about that at a later date.

In the meantime, here are the deets: Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Barbara and Don Daseke have arranged to have Diane and Hal Brierley in charge of the live auction; Barb and Steve Durham as host committee co-chairs; Cindy Gummer handling decorations; Kate and Lane Britain as underwriting co-chairs; Anatole Brett Krafft as wrangler and ZaZa Chef Dan Landsberg as head chef.

The date is set for Saturday, November 4. It’s going to be a great one with the Dasekes, the committee heads, the chefs cooking all over the place and the multitude of newborns that are cropping up all over the zoo.

JUST IN: Barbara And Don Daseke To Co-Chair 2017 Zoo To Do’s “Animal Gathering” Under A Full Moon

Don and Barbara Daseke (File photo)

On Saturday, November 4, there will be a full moon in the sky. That should have an estimated 700 folks howling at the 2017 Zoo To Do.

News just arrived that the twosome who will be co-chairing the event will be those animal-loving critters Barbara and Don Daseke.

This year’s Dallas Zoo fundraiser should be quite a hip-hip hurray event with the added attraction of the soon-to-open Simmons Hippo Outpost, plus all the new babies that have been born this year. And that’s not to mention the more than 25 chefs cooking at various stations around the Giants of the Savanna, hand-feeding the giraffes, and Party Machine providing music late into the night. As for the attire, stow the ties and ball gowns. This one is strictly a walk-about in khaki slacks, cheetah prints, and safari hats.


According to Barbara, they’re already working on the live auction items that seem to get better and more intriguing each year. Just this past year, Barbara was the 2016 Zoo To Do Live Auction Chair and that one still has folks clucking about the amazing zoo-oriented experiences that went for sky-high bids. 

While individual tickets start at $750, the VIP Ticket Package of $3,000 is a top-dog offering with all types of goodies. To find out the details, call 469.554.7445.

Stay tuned for developments as they take place.

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.

Lee Park Junior Conservancy Friends Tried On Chapeaus And Adult Beverages Prepping For 8th Annual Day At The Races

After the brutal beating parts of North Texas took the night before, it was amazing that anyone but insurance adjusters would be busy or collision centers would be celebrating on Thursday, March 24.

But leave it the nonprofits to keep hustling on Good Friday eve.

The WaterTower Spotlight Gala patrons were sipping grown-up beverages with a spectacular view of the Addison Natural beauty thanks to WaterTower supporters Barbara and Don Daseke.

Over at NorthPark’s The Theodore patio, about 100 of the Lee Park Junior Conservancy members and friends checked out all types of Derby fashions from NorthPark merchants. After all, the “Eighth Annual Day At The Races” will be taking place on Saturday, May 7, to celebrate/watch the 142nd Kentucky Derby. To still the chill of the cold front that landed in town, patio heaters and glasses of wine kept guests warmed.

Smart Hats

Smart Hats

In the farthest part of the patio, Stefani McMurrey had a pop-up hat boutique of her Smart Hats for guests to try on Derby-friendly chapeaus for possible wear at Lee Park’s Arlington Hall.

When asked if Stefani’s hats would be showing up at the Arboretum’s Mad Hatter’s Tea on Thursday, April 21, Stefani said, “Probably not.” Her reason was the Mad Hatter’s headwear tended to be of a different shape and size than Derby fashion.

On this evening, Co-Chair Wendy Messmann tried on a pink fascinator that went with her pink and white lace dress. It so impressed Wendy that she said the fascinator size would probably be her pick for the Saturday event.

Boyd and Wendy Messmann, Kirsten Williams and Peter Swanson

Boyd and Wendy Messmann, Kirsten Williams and Peter Swanson

Her Co-Chair Kirsten Williams in a black fascinator was getting more look at her ring finger. She and Peter Swanson had just gotten engaged the week before. Had they set a date? No. According to Peter, they were adjusting to being engaged.

Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy President/CEO Gay Donnell reported that in addition to having NorthPark as the sponsor of the Lee Park fundraiser, Doris Jacobs would be the honorary chair and the Jordan Kahn Band would be returning to entertain.

Last year more than 500 broke past records for attendance, so you just know Wendy and Kirsten are out to have another record broken. Tickets start at $150.

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

Three One-Of-A-Kind Experiences Will Go On The Aging Mind Foundation Auction Bloc Saturday

Choices, choices, choices! Bid on one or all three. That’s the dilemma facing 2016 Aging Mind Foundation Gala guests this Saturday at The Joule. As if it weren’t enough that the event benefiting the Center for BrainHealth and honoring Shirley and Bob Miller wasn’t enough, Gala Chair Barbara Daseke has put together three OMG live auction packages to get hands waving.

Here’s a rundown of the three:

Sky-high Dining In The Sky Room

Have you eaten in the best restaurants in the world and now are looking for a new, one-of-a-kind cuisine experience? This package will delights your sensory system by tantalizing your tastebuds, amazing your eyes and provide the wittiest of conversations just for your ears.

High atop Museum Tower, Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer with the help of architect Bill Booziotis and interior designer Barbara Daseke have created the Sky Room with floor-to-ceilings windows and balcony overlooking Dallas. Dedicated to personal entertaining by Hulshoff and Fischer, it will be made available to the winner of this package and seven of his/her friends.

The menu will be a five-course dinner curated by The Joule’s chef with “special vintage wines” provided by Pogo’s sommelier.

As for food for thought, WFAA’s Ron Corning will be the ringmaster of chat. And, oh, the tales he has to tell!

Gotta To Go To Togo Island*

Togo Island isn’t really an island. It’s actually a peninsula in the bend of the Mississippi River neatly tucked between Mississippi and Louisiana just down the road from Vicksburg

Because of its location and the abundance of vegetation on its 7,207.7 contiguous acres, it is ideal for wildlife to flourish. In addition to the turkey, waterfowl, small game and fish, Togo Island’s White-tailed Deer have become legendary with even the most demanding world-renowned hunters like Will Primos.

Limited to by-invitation-only membership, Lane Mitchell has made available a hunting package for two people to have a three-night stay in the lodge with meals included plus two days of guided duck and deer hunting. While the dates for this outing are to be mutually agreed upon, Lane suggested that the premium hunting time is January 1-15, 2017.

Run For The Roses Weekend*

While the actual Kentucky Derby run only last two minutes, true-blue Churchill Downs partying and celebration is a four-day affair. This Kentucky Derby package is far more than just attending the track the day of the race. It’s strictly VVIP, so if you win this package, you’d better buy some pretty new things to impress the Louisville locals.

If you can make time in your schedule to arrive early on Thursday, May 5, you’ll be able to take a tour of the Slugger Museum or the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience. Take the night off and rest. You’ll need it for what’s up ahead.

Friday, May 6, you’ll have to make another Solomon’s choice between

  • A private tour of “the most famous and successful thoroughbred horses and farms in the world.” Perhaps one of the equine runners will give you a tip on which Derby entrant to bet on. And while the ponies are munching on oats, you’ll dine at Chef Ouita Michel’s Holly Hill Inn.
  • Attend Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Oaks, where you’ll have an afternoon of horse racing including the run of the two-year-old fillies.

Just think of the stories you’ll be able to share that evening at the barbecue hosted by Carolyn and Yum! CEO Greg Creed and other yummy folks.

When the big day comes on Saturday, May 7, you’ll start off with a brunch in the gardens of Whitehall, Louisville’s historic southern mansion. But don’t dawdle too long because even with your police escort you’ll need to get to Churchill Downs for the people watching and the horses breaking from the gate for the 142nd Kentucky Derby.

After collecting your winnings, head back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep because the next day it’s time to head home.

This incredible package including hotel, ground transfers to/from the airport, activities and Churchill Downs, food and beverage at all group events including Churchill Downs are provided by Yum! You’ll have to take care of the wagering and personal hotel incidentals.

But perhaps live auctions aren’t your favorite indoor sport. Thank heaven, Barbara has arranged to have a Sue Gragg ring as the galamorama raffle item with chances going for $25 per or five for $100.

* Travel to and from locations is not included in the package.

MySweet2016Goals: Barbara Daseke

According to Art in Bloom International 2016 Event Chair Barbara Daseke,

Barbara Daseke (File photo)

Barbara Daseke (File photo)

“My goal in 2016 is for the community to join honorary chair Linda Ivy and myself at Art in Bloom International, the annual floral symposium and luncheon presented by the Dallas Museum of Art League, on Monday, March 21, 2016.

“This year’s event, which supports the DMA’s exhibition and education programs as well as the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund, will feature landscape architect and landscape historian Dr. Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Gardens Advisor to Historic Royal Palaces. We are also delighted to honor Olivier Meslay, Associate Director of Curatorial Affair and Senior Curator of European and American Art at the DMA.

“Art in Bloom will include a reception and symposium with Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan, followed by a seated lunch and live auction. New this year — the inaugural table design competition, where any level of underwriter, using the theme ‘International’ as their inspiration, can choose to create a tablescape for an additional $500 entry fee. Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan will also serve as the judge of the competition with the lucky winner receiving 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).

“Sponsorships begin at $750 and individual tickets are $175 each and are on sale now. To purchase tickets call Shelby Pearlman at the DMA’s Office of Special Events at 214.922.1364, or visit the Art In Bloom webpage at dma.org.

“Please join me on March 21 for what promises to be a wonderful day benefiting the Dallas Museum of Art!”

WaterTower Theatre Wants To Give Due Credit For Addison Theatre Centre Main Stage’s New Custom Seats

It’s always nice to give credit where credit is due. Recently another media outlet published a story that reported new custom seats at Addison’s WaterTower Theatre were made possible “thanks to Barbara and Don Daseke and the town of Addison. The Dasekes gave the lead gift of $75,000.”

Good for them! But it seems something was left out of the report. So WaterTower representatives issued the following right-official statement to set the record straight:

“WaterTower Theatre recently completed a capital campaign to install new theatre seating in the Addison Theatre Centre Main Stage. The campaign raised more than $125,000 to pay for custom seating in the 200-seat theatre located inside the Addison Theatre Centre. Lead donors Barbara and Don Daseke with Janiece and Jimmy Niemann with additional support from The Town of Addison made the installation of new seats possible.”

Why, they even sent along a photo showing the two happy couples, city officials and WaterTower leadership.

Todd Meier, Mary Carpenter, Barbara and Don Daseke, Janiece and Jimmy Niemann, Derek Blount and Ben Cunningham*

Todd Meier, Mary Carpenter, Barbara and Don Daseke, Janiece and Jimmy Niemann, Derek Blount and Ben Cunningham*

Just wanted to make sure that pats on the back were distributed to all who made the installation possible. Now, all the patrons will have comfy seats to take in the WaterTower productions.

* Photo credit: Kelsey Leigh Ervi

TACA Custom Auction Item #4: Barbara’s Favorite Things

This TACA Custom Auction package is for those with designs. It’s the creation of tapping the creative brain of TACA Custom Auction Gala Chair Barbara Daseke.

Barbara’s Favorite Things* (Value: $40,000)

Barbara Daseke (File photo)

Barbara Daseke (File photo)

Whether it’s having penguins do laps in her pool, hiking through the mountains of South America with husband Don Daseke or picking out the right fabrics for a client’s penthouse, Barbara Daseke lives a life that few could even imagine. Known for her white, spiked hair and never-ending smile accompanied with laughter, she’s doesn’t just make an impression. She’s a standout.

From decorating to jewelry, she just has a way of putting things together. Perhaps that’s why they tapped her for this package. It will include a shopping spree at the Allan Knight Showroom in the Design District and Carla Martinengo in The Plaza at Preston Center.  (Of course, you know that Allan’s is usually only open to design professionals).

To help you on your purchase, you’ll be able to have up to 10 hours of “design consultation by Barbara Elliott Interiors. (That’s Barbara Daseke’s company, but you knew that.)

And what goes better that pretty things for the mansion than some bling. Well, Matthew Trent has provided just that with a handcrafted gold ring.

* Courtesy of Allan Knight Showroom, Carla Martinengo, Matthew Trent 
and Barbara Elliott Interiors

MySweet2015Goals: Barbara Daseke

According to business woman/fundraiser Barbara Daseke,

Barbara Daseke (File photo)

Barbara Daseke (File photo)

“To have continued success and happiness for my many friends and family.”

Round Robin November 13: Holy Moly! Seven Events In One Day

Thursday, November 13 was jam packed all day long. Hmm, seems like every day in November is turning out to be like that. Here’s the report on events from all over the area.

Obelisk Awards Luncheon

For more than two and a half decades, the Business Council for the Arts has been recognizing North Texas businesses and business leaders who believe in the “transformative power of arts and culture” with something called the Obelisk Awards. The nonprofit group did it for the 26th time, when it hosted a well-attended luncheon awards ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas.

With luminaries in attendance including Todd Meier, Jeremy Strick, and Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger—Nancy’s late father, Ray Nasher, founded the council in 1988—the luncheon was kicked off by Larry Glasgow, the nonprofit’s board chair, and emceed by Mary Anne Alhadeff.

Before Mary Anne oversaw the presentation of the 2014 Obelisks, though, attendees listened to remarks by luncheon Co-chairs Anne and Bernie DiFlore, Business Council CEO Katherine Wagner, and Comerica Bank chief economist Robert Dye. (Who knew the bank’s senior VP is also an accomplished painter?!) Then it was Mary Anne’s turn in the spotlight, as she disclosed that the event’s nine honorees had donated a total of $1.25 million to Dallas-Fort Worth arts groups in one year alone.

With that, it was off to the races with the 2014 Obelisks.

First up was the Lifetime Achievement Award, which went to Brian Shivers, a board member with the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden for nearly 30 years. Accepting the award, Brian thanked Dallas “for being a place that supports and encourages big ideas.”

Crayton Webb*

Crayton Webb*

Next came the New Initiative Award, which recognizes businesses for a new initiative with a single focus. The winners this year in the Small, Medium, and Large Business categories, respectively, were Eletorre, which manages community relations projects and web-based communications for nonprofits, like the Bridge-o-Rama event; Gold Metal Recyclers, which nurtures a variety of arts and cultural organizations in North Texas; and Mary Kay Inc., which has helped underwrite the Women of WaterTower Theatre group, among many other initiatives.

Then came the Arts Partnership Award, which honors companies that have supported one or more arts and cultural groups in North Texas for at least three years. The 2014 winners in the Small, Medium, and Large Business categories were, respectively, Fantastic Moves, a moving company that’s helped The Women’s Chorus of Dallas move pianos and risers over many years on a pro-bono basis; law firm Vinson & Elkins, which for decades has represented KERA pro-bono and supported other groups like the Dallas Museum of Art; and Pioneer Natural Resources, which, among other things, has made a 5-year commitment to the Dallas Theater Center’s educational programming for at-risk teens.

Barbara Daseke and Ben Fischer and Laree Hulshoff*

Barbara Daseke and Ben Fischer and Laree Hulshoff*

The luncheon concluded with two single presentations: the Arts Education Award and the Arts Leadership Award. The former, which recognizes business support for arts education programs, went to Carey International Inc., a transportation provider that helped the Nasher Sculpture Center expose its 10-year-anniversary project, Nasher XChange, to school and community groups. Finally, the Arts Leadership Award for long-term vision and commitment was presented to Barbara Daseke. She was recognized for her fundraising efforts on behalf of WaterTower Theatre, TACA, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Said Mary Anne Alhedeff of the spiky-haired Daseke as the luncheon drew to a close: “She is a one-woman dynamo. Perhaps this should be called the ‘Wonder Woman’ Award!”

Affordable Living Initiative Construction Celebration

It’s not every day that construction takes place to provide affordable living for low-income families, but on this day, it got underway with a celebration at Jubilee Park. Here’s a report from the field:

“In a joint partnership, Jubilee Park & Community Center, PlainsCapital Bank and City of Dallas Housing/Community Services Department launched a large-scale, four-phase affordable housing initiative that will result in 28 residences for low-income families in southeast Dallas over the next three years. Today, a construction celebration was held to commemorate this partnership and future homeownership for the families who will reside in these new homes. This event was held in Jubilee Park where the first six homes are being built.

Jubilee group**

Jubilee group**

“Representatives from Jubilee Park & Community Center, City of Dallas and PlainsCapital Bank, the families who will take ownership of these new homes, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings attended the groundbreaking event. PlainsCapital Bank’s live mascot, Mo the Buffalo even made an appearance. At the close of the event, PlainsCapital Bank North Dallas President Doug Cook and Jubilee Park & Community Center Board Chairman Bill Addy competed in a Bobcat front-end loader race.

Mo and the Bobcat RAce**

Mo and the Bobcat Race**

“’The primary goal of the affordable housing project is to provide homeownership opportunities for low-income families who would otherwise not have the means to become homeowners,’ said Jubilee Park & Community Center Chief Executive Officer Ben Leal. ‘Through this partnership with City of Dallas and PlainsCapital Bank, we have a unique opportunity to be a part of making the American dream of homeownership a reality for these families in our community.’

“The cost of each new home is approximately $125,000. Both Jubilee Park and the City of Dallas will contribute a combined $50,000 toward the total cost of each home.

“Homebuyers will secure a mortgage of $70,000 to $85,000, based on their income. “Buyer Assistance” funds of $20,000 may be available from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Builder construction loans for phases II through IV will be provided by PlainsCapital Bank.

“Homebuyers must meet the income limits set by the City of Dallas which stipulate they have an annual income of 140 percent or less of the current HUD Metro Fair Market Rent Area estimate of the median family income for Dallas ($67,500). Homebuyers will also have the opportunity to participate in pre- and post-homebuyer education classes that will be provided by the East Dallas Community Organization.

“The single-family homes are approximately 1,300 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two-car garage. Energy efficient appliances will be included in the purchase price. Homebuyers have five home models to choose from. All homes will be LEED silver certified.

“Construction for the first six homes broke ground in September and are slated for completion in early 2015. Construction for the final phase of this project will begin in late 2015, with completion in the fourth quarter of 2016.

“East Dallas Community Organization is managing the construction, identifying and qualifying homebuyers, hiring building contractors, managing the purchase of lots and providing necessary paperwork associated with an affordable housing transaction to city, state and federal governing bodies and the designated title company. Woodmere Properties, who has built numerous affordable housing projects in Dallas, was selected as the home builder. ”

Chick Lit KO Party

Announcements evidently were high in demand for the upcoming 2015 season. As reported earlier, the Chick Lit-ters revealed their plans at a cocktail reception at Roberta Roller Rabbit for the Friday, April 24th luncheon. Wendy Messmann will be chairing the annual event at Brook Hollow benefiting Community Partners of Dallas that will feature author Stacey Ballis. Joining Wendy will be Honorary Chair Carol Seay.

2015 No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party KO

Over at Scott + Cooner, 150 enjoyed a cocktail reception and learned about the plans for the 2015 No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party scheduled for Saturday, March 28 at the Frontier of Flight Museum. Once David Nelson and Dennis Kershner will co-chair the event with Jody and Sterling O’Donnell serving at honorary co-chairs. The theme — “Under the Yum Yum Tree”!

DIFFA Holiday Wreath Collection

The DIFFA gang didn’t so much announce but rather kicked of the momentum for the season with its annual Holiday Wreath Collection at the Galleria. Despite evening rush-home traffic, folks Wreath Co-Chair Matt Wilkerson and Carol Quist joined DIFFA/Dallas Chairman of the Board Clint Bradley to checkout more than 40 designer wreaths were up for bid that had been created by individuals and companies like Stanley Korshak, Tiffany & Co., AIDS Arms, AIDS Services of Dallas, Gallerie Noir, Sissy’s Southern Kitchen (Lisa Garza), Gensler Architects, Swarvoski, Club Monaco, Jennifer Miller, RSVP Design Services, Dear Clark Hair Studio, Nine-Eighteen, Tatyana Murphy, Lucky Dog Barkery and Westin Galleria Dallas Hotel to name a few.

Playbills, Popcorn And The Press

Back at Fair Park the Press Club of Dallas presented Dallas Summer Musical’s Michael Jenkins with the 2014 Newsmaker of the Year Award. Pat Porter chaired the event — “Playbills, Popcorn and the Press” — along with Honorary Co-Chairs Cindy and Chuck Gummer at the Music Hall. Of course, it wouldn’t be an event honoring Michael without a bit of song and dance. That was provided by Cathy Rigby and Rachel York.

Encore for Advocacy

Speaking of music, Mavis Staples was blowing the roof off the Majestic for the Encore for Advocacy benefiting the Dallas Advocacy Center. Why even the Dallas Morning News’ special contributor Thor Christensen was impressed by her performance describing her as having “rarely sung with as much intensity as she did Thursday night at the Majestic Theatre, where she roared, snarled and scatter up a maelstrom.” Thor also gave a tip-of-the-hat to fellow performer Patty Griffin who shared the stage with Mavis.

* Photo provided by WaterTower Theatre
** Photos provided by PlainsCapital Bank

DSO AT&T Gala Powers Barbara And Don Daseke And Anna-Sophia Know How To Warm Up For September 17

You’ve got to hand it to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala crowd. They know how to prepare for the Saturday, September 17th gala. Since they have Todd Fiscus and his merry staff putting all the magic together to transform the Meyerson for the big night, they’re in other parts of the world getting in shape.

DSO Gala chairs Barbara and Don Daseke have been hiking around Peru. According to Barbara,”We have hiked 7 of our 9 days in Peru. Very remote. No access to anything whatsoever. Hardest thing we’ve ever done. Today came DOWN 4000 ft to Machu Picchu. Made it to 17,000 but with tough hiking, I could barely breathe. Even the many mule trains who passed us on a narrow trail were gasping!!!”

On the other side of the world, After-Party chair and DSO first daughter Anna-Sophia van Zweden was Miss Popularity with the bluest blooded bold faces.

Joshua Bell

Ah, where to start? How about the royal concert attended by newlyweds Prince Albert and Princess Charlene? Anna-Sophia ran into DSO Gala featured artist Joshua Bell, aka People Magazine‘s “50 Most Beautiful.” No, Joshua was not just another party guest. He was performing with the Orchestre Philhamonique de Monte-Carlo for the royal celebration. And whom do you think was conducting the orchestra? Ah, we just knew that you would know. You’re absolutely right. Anna-Sophia’s always talented papa, Jaap van Zweden.

Alas, the beautiful Anna-Sophia in her Dolce & Gabana outfit admitted to tearing up, “Joshua Bell made me cry. . . so beautiful!”

And her review of Monaco’s new princess? She reminded Anna-Sophia of Princess Grace.

Isle de Marguerite

As if that wasn’t enough to send our girl to a spa for recovery, she attended a birthday party for a Dutch multi-millionaire. Can’t name him because he’s too darn shy. No, it wasn’t one of those Dom Perignon dinners in a quaint little restaurant in Paris.  Oh, no, not at all! The birthday gent rented the entire Isle de Marguerite near Cannes. The dress code was white and glamorous.

Anna-Sophia van Zweden

Our Anna-Sophia was a knockout as usual. Dressed in white Grecian-style, she highlighted her look with gold accessories including Yves Saint Laurent jewelry that she had bought in Monaco a few days earlier.  Around 200 guests from the Netherlands, Russia and U.S. — including Nicky and Paris Hilton — were picked up by speedboat at Cannes and taken to the Carlton hotel on the island.  The party was catered by Bruno, a restaurant famous for its truffles in the  Cote d’Azur. DJ Jacky of the famous nightclub Les Caves in the Byblos hotel played before Sheryl Cole sang “Happy Birthday” to the birthday boy Marilyn Monroe-style. When dinner was over, the crowd moved to the dance floor where the Black Eyed Peas (without Fergie) played all night long! Everyone at the party was dancing like there was no tomorrow

Nicky Hilton, Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Paris Hilton

Now, you know what to talk about with Barbara, Don, Anna-Sophia and Jaap when you see them at the gala. Better get your tickets now. Got a feeling that thanks to Todd’s decorations, Joshua’s performance with Jaap and the DSO, Anna-Sophia’s after-party and some other surprises, the DSO fundraiser is going to compare very nicely to the mysterious Dutch millionaire’s birthday party.

Joshua Bell photo provided by Dallas Symphony Orchestra

MySweetCharity’s Make-Believe-Benefactor: Barbara Daseke

Barbara Daseke

“There are so many worthy causes, it would be hard to decide.  I think I would endorse my check to the Water Tower Theatre in Addison.  This theater continuously wins praise and awards.  Their performances are always sold out and their outreach program is wonderful.  There is no room for growth in their current theater building.  I feel my check would go a long ways to realize a new larger theater with newfound success and recognition.”

Barbara Daseke