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.

Junior Leaguers Of Dallas Held Their Annual Community Volunteer Fair After Handing Out More Than $770,000 Checks To 39 Nonprofits

Just before NorthPark Center merchants officially opened for business on Saturday, February 4, the Junior Leaguers of Dallas were making 39 non-profit organizations very happy at Green House Market. In addition to supporting the organizations with more than a thousand volunteer hours by its membership, they also handed over checks thanks to funds raised throughout the year. But, alas, the JLD-ers couldn’t stay too long to accept thank yous. They had to head to NorthPark’s NorthCourt for the JLD’s annual Community Volunteer Fair. Here’s a report from the field about the grant presentation:

The Junior League of Dallas held its 2017-2018 Community Grant Presentation at Green House Market in NorthPark Center the morning of Saturday, February 4. The presentation kicked off with a welcome by Junior League of Dallas President Bonner Allen, who was joined by sponsor, Bank of Texas’ Dallas Market Executive Bob White, and WFAA Channel 8 Morning Anchor Alexa Conomos, who served as emcee. Representatives from the 39 partner agencies, which were carefully chosen by the JLD Research and Development Committee, were in attendance to receive grants for the 2017-2018 year.

The Community Grant Program represents more than $770,000 in funding and 1,165 trained volunteer placements within these partner agencies. The League will also provide additional funds and volunteers to the community through its Signature Projects: Grants for Innovative Teaching, Women LEAD, Kids in the Kitchen, the Community Assistance Fund, and its Provisional and Transfer Projects. In total, the JLD will give more than $1 million and more than 1,200 volunteers to the Dallas community in 2017-2018.

Jennifer Tobin, Brandy Patrick, Bonner Allen, Bob White, Alexa Conomos and Elizabeth Allen*

Members of the Research and Development Committee, led by R&D Chair Brandy Patrick and Community Vice President Elizabeth Allen, spent countless hours deliberating between agencies in order to determine those that not only share the same vision for a better Dallas, but that focus on the six issue areas the Junior League of Dallas supports. These issue areas include: violence intervention, poverty intervention, health, family preservation, education, and arts and cultural enrichment.

The Junior League of Dallas is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

“Our agencies often tell us that the partnership with the Junior League of Dallas is invaluable; that the gift of our time and resources helps them bridge the gap between their capacity and our shared vision for a better Dallas,” said Bonner. “It is that shared vision that inspires our work, motivates us through the years and is what brings us here today.”

Alexa added: “Every day at WFAA we share stories that impact our community.  Stories that touch issues such as violence, poverty, health, family, education and arts.  We are grateful for organizations like the Junior League of Dallas who are partners with our community agencies in the mission to make Dallas the community of choice and a place of opportunity for all.”

Kathleen LaValle and Angela Nash*

Guests included: JLD President-Elect Jennifer Tobin, JLD Communications Vice President Jennifer Scripps, JLD Financial Vice President Melissa Wickham, JLD Sustainer President Kittye Peeler, Melissa Sherrill Martin of The Family Place, Amy Hatfield of Ronald McDonald House, Judy Wright of Promise House, Jan Langbein of Genesis Women’s Shelter, Kelly Cruse of New Friends New Life, Carolyn Jordan and Desiree Jacobson of Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, Benaye Rogers of St. Philips School and Community Center, Jennifer Doggett of Community Partners of Dallas, Lili Kellogg of Equest, Angela Nash of Methodist Health System Foundation, Stephanie Brigger of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Caroline Law of Parkland Foundation; Ester Harrison of Interfaith Family Services, Kathleen LaValle of Dallas CASA, Shannon Fisher of Texas Health Resources Foundation and many more.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith


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.