North Texas Smarty Pants — TAG And Lee Park Jr. Conservancy — Make Kentucky Derby A Two-Day Fest Of Fundraising

Tired of hearing about event collisions? You know. That’s when two or three very interesting fundraisers are scheduled at the same time like this past Wednesday, when the luncheon slam-bang — Linz Award, Planned Parenthood and the Virginia Chandler Dyke — had guests making Solomon-like decisions. Not everyone can be a Janie McGarr, who attended the Linz VIP reception in the Omni’s Trinity Ballroom and then scooted on over to the Omni’s Dallas Ballroom for Planned Parenthood.

But how about some good news about two groups that had competed for the same type of guests and managed to make it all work this year?

Horse racing (File photo)

Back story: In past years, the Kentucky Derby has had the BrainHealth’s Think Ahead Group (TAG) and Lee Park Junior Conservancy holding their fundraisers at the same time to see the Run for the Roses. Ah, but this year those brainiacs came up with an idea — a two-fer by holding their event the night before to get the momentum underway plus celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Gee, no wonder they’re so dang smart!

So, here’s how North Texas is gonna celebrate the Kentucky equine race:

  • Harold Scherrell, Alison Percy, Scott Caldwell and Dan Hunt (File photo)

    Friday, May 5 (8 p.m.-midnight) — TAG holds Cinco de Derby at Marie Gabrielle with margaritas and mint juleps complementing Mexican food. If you haven’t been to Marie Gabrielle, don’t tell a soul. It’s Dallas proper’s sweetheart of an oasis within the concrete forest. Proceeds benefit the Discovery Group, a program at the Center for BrainHealth that “works to improve quality of life after an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis.” As for tickets, non-TAG member tickets are going for $87 and members save $20 for their $67 tickets.

To keep things rocking and rolling, wake up late morning and put on your prettiest frock and nattiest duds and prepare for fashionable strutting and horse racing watching. (Editor’s note: put tea bags on top of those partied-out eyes for 10 minutes before applying the makeup.)

  • Tyler Stevens, Gay Donnell and Camille Cain Barnes*

    Saturday, May 6 (4 – 7:30 p.m.) — For the big spenders, the 9th Annual Day at the Races Co-Chairs Camille Cain Barnes and Tyler Stevens announced at the kick-off party at Vineyard Vines that there will be a VIP private champagne reception at Arlington Hall and Lee Park starting at 4 p.m. But, please let the jeans, cowboy boots and leather fringe take the day off. This one demands true southern comfort sundresses and seersuckers topped off with smashing hats. Well, after all, there is a competition for the Best Dressed and Best Hat. If it’s a pretty day, there will be lawn games. But if it’s one of those drizzle days, don’t despair. (Alliteration is everything, don’t you know!). Inside Arlington Hall there will be a silent auction, a wagering table, live music and watching the Derby on major screens. Remember? You’re there for the Kentucky Derby. Tickets are available now with Lee Park Junior Conservancy members getting a thrifty $125 per person and non-members paying $150. For that VIP special, it’ll be $500 for two and it include “an invitation to attend the Patron Party in April.” Love perks!

If you haven’t been to either or both of these events, stand in the stand-out corner. There isn’t a zit in the crowd and even AARP types suddenly become young fillies and stallions.

* Photo provided by Lee Park Junior Conservancy

JUST IN: Aging Minds Foundation To Salute Former Dallas Morning News Columnist Bob Miller And His Child-Bride Shirley Miller

Laree Hulshoff and Barbara Daseke

Laree Hulshoff and Barbara Daseke

Aging Minds Foundation’s Chair Barbara Daseke and her fundraising partner Laree Hulshoff have just revealed that former Dallas Morning News columnist Bob Miller and his bride of 52 years Shirley Miller will be feted at the Aging Minds soiree on Saturday, March 5, at The Joule.

Serving as honorary co-chairs for “A Salute to Shirley and Bob Miller” will be Lee Ann and Alan White and Lana and Barry Andrews and The Joule Hotel will be the presenting sponsor. The event will benefit the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas.

In addition to cocktails and dinner, tenor James Valenti will perform.

According to Barbara, “Research into the aging mind, diagnosing symptoms and managing life-challenging conditions necessitate funding. At the Aging Mind Foundation, it is our goal to use proceeds from this evening to contribute to institutions in North Texas who conduct research and provide treatment, education and advocacy of critical issues unique to the aging mind. Our society is rapidly aging, with increasing numbers of the population in their 7th decade or later. The need to understand how and why the mind ages and how this process can be halted or slowed has never been more urgent.”

Center For BrainHealth’s TAG Cuties Were Off And Partying At The Empire Room For Day At The Races

This year’s Kentucky Derby was the perfect occasion to celebrate and fundraise in Dallas. The lawn of Lee Park in front of Arlington Hall grew with ladies in hats and gents in khakis waiting for the Day at the Races benefiting Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy. On the other side of I-35, the Center for BrainHealth’s TAG’s long-legged gals in sundresses and hats and fellows looking very dapper gathered at The Empire Room with horsepower in place thanks to Co-Chairs Gabi Sztamenits and Jodi Sparrow.

Jessica Edwards, Ashton Pearley, Gabi Sztamenits and Anne Brown

Jessica Edwards, Ashton Pearley, Gabi Sztamenits and Anne Brown

Mike Rials and  Bethany Voss

Mike Rials and Bethany Voss

Kinsey Blalock and Jason Stangel

Kinsey Blalock and Jason Stangel

Sullivan Franklin Mitchell, Adrienne Gehan and Natalie Chavez

Sullivan Franklin Mitchell, Adrienne Gehan and Natalie Chavez

But that horsepower was more than the four-legged variety. Sure, 18-year-old gelding Lazer was posing for photos, but it was the white Lexus inside that was being considered for future relationships.

Suzanne and Kevin Burns and Jaimee Perra

Suzanne and Kevin Burns and Jaimee Perra

As Suzanne and Kevin Burns and Jaimee Perra posed for photos at the Photomadic booth, they soon found themselves dining on fried macaroni and cheese and pecan tarts. What tasted best? “Everything!”

The trio of Katie Bivins, Judson Stafford and Stephanie Schwartz posed for a photo after sending a buddy home via Uber. Seems his legs, unlike Lazer’s, had gotten a bit wobbly due to partying and they wanted him to make it home safe and sound.

Katie Bivins, Judson Stafford and Stephanie Schwartz

Katie Bivins, Judson Stafford and Stephanie Schwartz

Editor’s note: Such friendship deserves a tip o’ the hat. In addition to friends making a smart choice for their “buddy,” the fellow agreed to being driven home without making a scene.

But back to the party. As the minutes ticked away for the horses to break at the Derby, the crowd could have cared less. They were having too much fun.

On the other hand, it appeared that the band was having issues. Looking like parents trying to put together a train set on Christmas Even with little success, the musicians tried their best even as the seconds clicked down to the Derby start.

Derby watching

Derby watching

But again, who cared? American Pharoah won, the long-legged gals looked fabulous and the fellows were two-minute racing experts. As soon as American Pharoah crossed the finish line, it was back to partying.

For more photos, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery!

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 5th Annual TAG Kentucky Derby

Suzanne and Kevin Burns and Jaimee Perra

Suzanne and Kevin Burns and Jaimee Perra

American Pharoah is on a roll with the Belmont up ahead. His start got underway at the Saturday, May 2nd Kentucky Derby with a bunch of adorable gals and gents watching at Dallas’ Empire Room. Besides killer-looking fashions — hats, sunglasses, bowties and frocks showing off long legs — the guests were also fundraising for the Center for BrainHealth’s TAG.

Derby watching

Derby watching

The 5th Annual TAG Kentucky Derby post is being prepped, but the pix can be found at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery now!