2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Razzle-Dazzled With The Finest In Formal Fashions And Fundraising For Beautiful Music

As the near most perfect harvest moon rose like a magnificent balloon over North Texas with nary a cloud in sight, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Denise McGovern’s tootsies were worn out from doing non-rain dance on Friday, September 16. Despite predictions of pop-up and cluster showers sprinkled rain in the territory, none were spilling over the Meyerson.

Here was the scene for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala co-chaired by Marena and Roger Gault. Unlike years past, when AT&T was the presenting sponsor and the honorary chair was a politico, the Gaults decided to shift directions and have a hands-on, fun type be honorary chair. The pick was a hands-down Midland transplant Sherwood Wagner, who had set the mood with a kick-off extravaganza that had been the talk of the spring season.

Todd Clendening, Sherwood Wagner, Roger and Marena Gault, Gina and Tom Landry

Todd Clendening, Sherwood Wagner, Roger and Marena Gault, Gina and Tom Landry

Marena in a Patti Flowers creation was topped by a bigger-than-usual blond hairstyle. Fessing up, Marena said, “Sherwood did it. She said that the higher and bigger the hair, the closer to God.”

Midland transplant Sherwood on the other hand had her mama Lissa Wagner, who had flown in from Midland and was wearing a Fe Zandi gown. Admitting that she couldn’t have pulled off this black-tie extravaganza without her mom — “I called her five times a day!” — Sherwood proudly wore a magnificent diamond necklace with three diamond broaches that Lissa had given her over the weekend.

Marena, Roger and Sherwood joined the VIPs in the Hart Atrium for official photos. Organizers advised that Mayor Mike Rawlings’ not being in formal attire was due to his having to attend another event with the attire being T-shirt. As usual, Mike opted for the safe business-suit look.

Mike Rawlings, Sanjiv Yajnik, Sanford Weill and Jonathan Martin

Mike Rawlings, Sanjiv Yajnik, Sanford Weill and Jonathan Martin

Among those in the VIP reception were Capital One’s Sanjiv Yajnik plus Joan and Sanford Weill in from New York. Their presence was just another of the changes in the DSO Gala format. A “member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of the 2009 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy,” Sanford was being recognized at the Gala for “his unparalleled contributions to arts and education in the United States.”

Nancy Nasher and David Haemisseger

Nancy Nasher and David Haemisseger

Greg and Kim Hext

Greg and Kim Hext

Nelda Cain and Don Fischer

Nelda Cain and Don Fischer

Kara and Randall Goss

Kara and Randall Goss

Upstairs, the Renaissance Foyer was turning into a showcase of couture designs, jewelry and men in tailored tuxedos. Snapshots of the scene: Nancy Nasher, with hubby David Haemisegger, was in “everything Neiman Marcus from NorthPark,” natch, including a Prada dress and Brian Atwood shoes. (Quipped David: “I make my own clothes.”) … Kim Hext‘s gown was by Burberry, while husband Greg‘s tux was from J. Mendel. … Nelda Cain Pickens opted for Melinda Eng, while date Fr. Don Fischer was in Hugo Boss. … Kara and Randall Goss were a striking duo, as always, she in Rosie Assoulin and he in a tux by Brioni. The latter was a popular choice for the gents, with Blaine Nelson and Jim Keyes also opting for the Italian designer.

Fraser and Rhonda Marcus and Patti and Blaine Nelson

Fraser and Rhonda Marcus and Patti and Blaine Nelson

Sheila and Jody Grant

Sheila and Jody Grant

Jolie and Bart Humphrey

Jolie and Bart Humphrey

Rhonda Marcus was in an Amanda Wakeley, with Louboutin shoes; Sheila Grant chose a classy, pale-blue Oscar de la Renta number; and Jolie Humphrey selected a gown by a “new designer,” Osman, paired with Jimmy Choo shoes (her Bart was in Armani, also the choice of Jeff Byron). … Lynn McBee said she was in a gown by Minika “Ko — that’s an L.A. designer,” and solo, since husband Allan McBee was away for a seminar. … Meanwhile, a pair of foursomes swept in: the first included Lisa and Clay Cooley (she was in Michael Faircloth, with Oscar shoes) with Tracy and Ben Lange (she opted for Michael Faircloth as well, plus Jimmy Choos). The second foursome included Faith and Garrett Smith and Fay and Ken Moraif (she in a Carmen Marc Valvo).

Clay and Lisa Cooley and Tracy and Ben Lange

Clay and Lisa Cooley and Tracy and Ben Lange

Nick and Karen Adamson

Nick and Karen Adamson

Jeremy Lock and D'Andra Simmons Lock

Jeremy Lock and D’Andra Simmons Lock

Ross and Margot Perot

Ross and Margot Perot

Margo and Jim Keyes

Margo and Jim Keyes

Also spotted: Tanya and Pete Foster, Karen and Nick Adamson, D’Andra Simmons Lock (in Oscar) and Jeremy Lock (in a Zegna tux), Doris and Jack Jacobs, Margot and Ross Perot Sr., Erin Von Villas with her sister, Moody’s communications guru Salli Schwartz, and Gina and Tom Landry Jr. Asked for the names of their designers, Tom replied with a smile, “We’re not designer types.”

Over in the dining area, Margaret McDermott decided to bypass the VIP reception and headed her wheelchair straight to her table.

Dallas symphony Orchestra Gala dining room

Dallas symphony Orchestra Gala dining room

Margaret McDermott

Margaret McDermott

While the reception was indeed dressed to the hilt, one guest noticed a Dallas Fire and Rescue Team including Mark Breidenbach set up near the check-in. Their presence was just a fortunate precaution. Seems one guest was feeling under the weather and decided to take advantage of the team’s services and their stretcher.

Pretty soon the guests took their places for a meal and adjourned to the Eugene McDermott Concert Hall, where Sanford thanked the organizers for the recognition. He was followed by a performance by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Jaap van Zweden and highlighted by pianist Lang Lang.

Following the last note, Gala guests headed to the After-Party chaired by de Boulle first son/race car enthusiast Nick Boulle and Honorary Chair/DSO First Daughter Anna-Sophia van Zweden. MIA was DJ Lucy Wrubel, who traditionally has been in charge of the music at the late night festivities. The reason had to do with a class reunion.

An added touch for the feet that felt the punishment of stilettos dancing the night away on the Meyerson’s marble floors were foot massages provided by the Ritz-Carlton spa. Hopefully, Denise took advantage of the services following her successful non-rain dances of the day.

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery!

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board And 7 Beneficiaries Get Better Acquainted At Heather And Billy Esping’s Estate

Linda Secrest, Heather Esping and Beth Thoele

Linda Secrest, Heather Esping and Beth Thoele

While their magnificent pool house was still in the construction stage of life, Heather and Billy Esping hosted the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board and Beneficiary reception at their Preston Hollow home on Thursday, April 14.

Advisory Board member/Communities Foundation of Texas President/CEO Brent Christopher, who said that since his announcement of heading up Children’s Foundation he had been in overdrive, admitted, “Nobody replaces Kern Wildenthal. They just carry on.” When asked if he would stay on the CCB Advisory Board, Brent conceded that he would probably have to resign, since his new assignment would put him on the other side of the fundraising world. Instead of doling out grants, he would be seeking funds.

Kent Eastman

Kent Eastman

With 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter standing by his side, Capital One Bank Texas State President Kent Eastman graciously told the crowd that Capital One’s underwriting of the event was to salute the CCB’s support of the 2016 beneficiaries including Captain Hope’s Kid/Hope Supply Co., Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Notre Dame School, Parkland Foundation, Teach for America and The Family Place.

While his wife, Claire Emanuelson, twinkled in a gold blouse, Dwight Emanuelson stood by the fireplace sporting a new haircut and was fresh back from a fishing outing up north.

Jerry Meyer and Annette Simmons

Jerry Meyer and Annette Simmons

Anne Reeder and Susan McSherry

Anne Reeder and Susan McSherry

Others in the crowd of advisors and beneficiaries included newlyweds Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse, SuSu and Jerry Meyer, Cynthia and Brice Beaird, Pam and Vin Perella, Linda Secrest, Beth Thoeloe and the evening’s Co-Chairs Susan McSherry and Anne Reeder.

Round Robin April 10: Thrift Studio Preview Party, Wings Patron Party And Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board Reception

And the beat went on Thursday, April 10. Starting early in the morning at the Family Gateway announcement breakfast at the Omni and then hopping over to the Dallas Arboretum for the Mad Hatter’s Tea, the day should have ended to rest up for the upcoming weekend. But, no! Dallas fundraising was just warming up for an evening of more activities throughout the area.

Thrift Studio Preview Party

The doors for the Thrift Studio Preview had hardly opened for the Dwell With Dignity month-long pop-up shop when the place was packed.

John Phifer Marrs and James Campbell

John Phifer Marrs and James Campbell

As cars lined up to get into the valet queue, the crowd including Joyce Fox, John Phifer Marrs, James Campbell, Erin Mathews, Richard Graziano, Meredith Hite, Kim Bannister, Jennifer Clark and Matthew Simon) inside was cozy. So cozy that at times it was hard to wander through the vignettes of furnishings available for sale.

But wait! A “Sold” tag here. A “Sold” tag there. So many of the items were already bearing that four-letter word.

Jan Showers

Jan Showers

Not to worry. Founders Lisa Robison and Kim Turner and their team of volunteers had a boundless amount of couches, tables, beds, etc. all ready to replace the purchased things. Among the designers showcasing were last Fall’s Thrift Studio Honorary Chair Jan Showers, Julio Quinones + Culp Associates, Mecox, Sarah Pickard + Robert Allen Design, Swoon and Tompkins Lloyd Interiors + David Sutherland Showroom.

Julie Lloyd, Jane Parker and Clair Tompkins

Julie Lloyd, Jane Parker and Clair Tompkins

The Thrift Studio is open Tuesday through Saturday until May 10. It’s free to visit, but it’s hard to leave without a purchase.

Wings Patron Dinner

Member of the Best collection

Member of the Best collection

If the Perot Museum had a satellite location, it would be Nancy and Randy Best’s Preston Hollow estate. No, there aren’t any interactive sports nor fracking exhibitions. Better than any of that, and Randy proudly showed it all to Wings’ patron dinner guest of honor Sally Field, who was to be the keynote speaker at the next day’s New Friends New Life fundraising luncheon.

Sally Field and Randy Best

Sally Field and Randy Best

On the second floor of the Best mansion was a museum of artifacts that made Harlan Crow’s collectibles look downright contemporary: Rocks, geodes, coins, wall plaques of fossils, life-sized figures of earliest forms of mankind.

As Sally leaned over one of the glass cases, Randy pointed an item out saying, “The Egyptians were just nomads. They collected these things.”

The petite Field wearing glasses could have been mistaken for a high schooler on a field trip.

In addition to taking in every inch of the museum, she chatted with every one of the 50 guests. It was as if she were here to stay and wanted to get to know her new neighbors.

Lee Ann White, Sally Field and Michael Fowler

Lee Ann White, Sally Field and Michael Fowler

Among the folks that Sally met were Laura McClung, Honorary Co-Chairs Lee Ann White and son Michael Fowler, April Box Chamberlain and her husband John, Alan White and Ashlee Kleinert, who had just added a fourth truck to her Ruthie’s Rolling Cafes. Ah, more grilled cheese sandwiches!

Angela Nash

Angela Nash

Luncheon Co-Chair Pat McEvoy and husband Charles reported that their new puppy Santiago (aka Sonny) was away at puppy boot camp. . . Co-Chair Angela Nash looked picture perfect despite having ripped her dress earlier in the day. No problem. She simply sewed it up with time to spare.

After a fabulous dinner in the ground level, it was an early evening. The group had to re-group in time to join the 1000+ for the Wings VIP reception and lunch at the Anatole the next day.

Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board Reception

Don and Robyn Conlon and Heather and Todd Furniss

Don and Robyn Conlon and Heather and Todd Furniss

The Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board was honored at Heather and Todd Furniss’s Highland Park Home. It seemed like so many of the guests had had a full night of “must-attend” events, but they saved this one for last to relax and catch up.

Karen Hughes

Karen Hughes

Equest Chairman of the Board Emily Hargrove was juggling Tony Cointreau’s Saturday talk for the Dallas Institute, arrangements for the Equest Triple Crown Gala on May 3 and supporting husband Miles’ movie on The Starck Club premiering at the Dallas International Film Festival. . . Gigi Potter Salley reported that the family home was scheduled to undergo some major renovations. . . Kathy and Richard Holt were asked how they met. It was in college. In what class? Psychology.

Once again Melissa Macatee was called upon by CCB Chair Robyn Conlon to whistle the crowd (Norma Hunt, Karen Hughes, Patti Flowers and Tom Swiley, Alicia Wood, Jan and Fred Hegi, Angie and Kevin Kadesky and Peggy and Dan Meyers) together in the den. Many of the gentlemen were highly impressed by the power of the plucky pucker.

Angie and Kevin Kadesky

Angie and Kevin Kadesky

Robyn thanked the advisory board, the seven 2014 beneficiaries and Kent Eastman, whose Capital One underwrote the evening.

Speaking of banking and big numbers, Robyn reported that the 2014 goal was a whopping $5,127,886 and added, “I am not going to be the first ball chair to not fund them (the beneficiaries).”