MySweetCharity Opportunity: A Tasteful Place Gala

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

Barbara Bigham (File photo)

Robin Carreker (File photo)

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

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

A Tasteful Place*

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

* Graphic provided by the Dallas Arboretum

MySweetCharity Summer Pitch: Dallas Arboretum And Botanical Garden

According to Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden Board Chair Mark Wolf,

If the children ask you again, “What are we doing today?,” tell them that you’re going to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden located at 8525 Garland Rd., Dallas, Texas, 75218. It’s open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and some nights are open even later including Wednesdays until 8 p.m. No reservations are needed, and there’s plenty to do, every day of the week. You can pack a picnic, blankets, strollers and wagons, and the children will thank you for showing them one of the top “15 Breathtaking Botanical Gardens in the World,” according to Architectural Digest. 

Picture perfection at the Dallas Arboretum (File photo)

Here are highlights, and more information is listed below.

  • ZimSculpt
  • Arboretum After Hours
  • Family Fun Fridays
  • Summer Wine Sampling Weekends (for those 21 and over)
  • Live Music Every Weekend
  • Summer Camps
  • Father’s Day Weekend
  • African Music Fest
  • Red, White and The Blues on July Fourth Weekend
  • Garden Gigs Concerts in July
  • Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden
  • August Dollar Days

Tickets range from $10 and $15 per person, and certain days have discounts (see below). Be sure to check the website, and social media for the latest details. See you in the garden!

Cojoined, Victor Matafi*

ZimSculpt: Now thru July 31 — For the first time ever in the southern U.S., the Dallas Arboretum presents the international blockbuster exhibition ZimSculpt, a world-renowned display of modern Zimbabwean stone sculptures.  More than 100,000 guests have visited ZimSculpt, featuring live sculpting demonstrations daily by Zimbabwean sculptors and artists-in-residence, Aron Kapembeza and Passmore Mupindiko. Known as Shona sculpture, these contemporary pieces are carved from various types of serpentine and semi-precious stone, often weighing tons, and can be as large as seven feet tall. This sculpture is the most collected form of African art that can be found at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Rodin Museum and in the homes of the Prince of Wales, the Rockefellers, Morgan Freeman, Danny Glover and the late Michael Jackson.

Arboretum After Hours On Wednesdays: Now through October 25 — Bring a picnic, and dine al fresco in one of the prettiest places in Dallas. Every Wednesday, the garden extends its hours to 8 p.m. for families and friends to enjoy a night out. Tickets are buy one, get one free (general admission, only valid at the ticket booth.) 

Family Fun Fridays (Now through – July 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.) — Bring the family to the Pecan Grove for a critter-filled petting zoo, incredibly artistic face painting and lively music, every Friday through the end of July.

Summer Wine Sampling Weekends (Saturdays 11a.m.-3 p.m. and Sundays noon-3 p.m., Café on the Green) — New for the summer! Join us for wine samplings. For $10, those 21 years old and older can taste three samples of a specific varietal, with the featured varietal changing frequently. Price does not include garden admission.

Live Music Every Weekend (Saturdays and Sundays, 11a.m.-2 p.m., throughout the garden) — Enjoy different live performances tucked away in various locations through the garden every weekend this summer.

Summer Camps at the Arboretum: Varies weeks — These camps provide children ages 4 years to entering 7th grade with hands-on explorations in nature, science and art to spark imagination and inspire environmental stewardship. Register online.

Red, White & the Blues–July Fourth Weekend: July 1-4  (July 1-4, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.) — Pack a picnic, bring the family and celebrate Independence Day. Various blues bands will perform throughout the weekend to provide a cool, relaxing backdrop.

  • July 1: Linny Nance Network
  • July 2: Buddy Whittington Band
  • July 3: Linny Nance Network
  • July 4: Rob Holbert Group

Garden Gigs: July 14-28 — Friday evenings, 7:30-9:30 p.m. — Discover hidden gems-music by local musicians, adventurous choices from food trucks and off-the-beaten path spots in the garden. Admission $10 (non-members), $8 (members) and includes free parking.

  • July 14: Jonathan FoxZach CoffeyBecky Middelton
  • July 21: David TribbleJohn Lefler and CamilleMicah Peacock
  • July 28: Kate Minor, Shayne Green, TBD

Music Performances: Varies

  • Performance by Bandan Koro (July 22, 10 a.m.) — Move to the beat of African drum and dance ensemble on the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn.
  • Performance by Kupira Marimba (July 22, noon) — Listen to high-energy, family friendly music from Kupira Marimba on the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn.
  • Performance by Zimbabwe Choir, Lover’s Lane United Methodist Church (July 22, 2-3:30 p.m.) — Enjoy the inspiring voices of the Lover’s Lane United Methodist Church Zimbabwe Choir located at the DeGolyer Pergola.
  • Performance by Bandan Koro (July 23, 11 a.m.) — Move to the beat of African drum and dance ensemble on the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn.

Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden Activities: All Summer — This eight-acre children’s garden is where science and learning become one. Each learning area teaches science in a fun and interactive way. Try out your experimenting skills in the lab, and learn the parts of a flower in Plants Are Alive, where everything is larger than life. See below for select activities during special days/weekends in the garden.

Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden’s plaza (File photo)

  • Mask Making with the DMA (June 24-25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.) — Create a mask with the Dallas Museum of Art’s Teen Advisory Council.
  • Craft Corner: The Stars and Stripes (July 1-4, 9 a.m.-11 a.m., Entry Plaza) — Stop by the Craft Corner table and create a fun, patriotic craft using the colors of the American flag.
  • Click here for a full list of summer programs for the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden.
  • A Study of Zimbabwe (Horti)Culture (July 15-16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.) — Come and go workshop.

August Dollar Days: August 1-31 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) — Round up the whole family and come to the Arboretum for $1 main garden admission per person for the month of August.

Discounts: BOGO Wednesdays, which are buy one get one free general admission and include Nature Nights, are available at ticket booth, with a limit of one purchase per person. Senior Thursdays offer discounted admission of $11 for seniors 65 and older and a 20 percent discount in the Hoffman Family Gift Store.

* Photo provided by Dallas Arboretum

Black-Tie Types Celebrate Craig Hall’s Receiving Artscape’s “Great Contributor To Art” Award At Dallas Arboretum

While the casual chic set partied at Lexus TACA Party On The Green over at Sammons Park, the black-tie folks were toasting and bidding at the inaugural “Great Contributor to Art Award” dinner and auction at the Dallas Arboretum on Friday, May 12. It was the final piece of the Artscape Reimagined pie that had been cooked up by fundraiser Kaki Hopkins. Being toasted was the “great contributor of art,” Craig Hall. Thank heaven, Mother Nature cooperated, gifting guests with a perfect evening. Here’s a report from the field:

On the heels of a successful Artscape Reimagined at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Artscape Chairwoman Kaki Hopkins, along with her stellar committee, hosted the “Great Contributor to Art Award” and Invitational Fine Art Auction on Friday, May 12. The black tie event began with a cocktail reception and hors d’oeuvres, giving attendees like Patricia Meadows, Donna Guerra, Cynthia Salzman Mondell, Tammy and Martin Cohen, Michelle O’Michael, Carolyn Brown, Steve Daly, Patricia Crocker, James Surls, Nancy Dedman, Brad Kelly, Barbara and Bob Sypult, Betty and Steve Suellentrop, Donna and Herb Weitzman, Myrna and Bob Schlegel, Margo Keyes, Marnie Wildenthal and Lucy and Henry Billingsley time to peruse the live and silent auction items, which were generously donated by dozens of acclaimed artists and local Dallas notables, such as Mayor Mike Rawlings, Dr. Kern Wildenthal and Jim Keyes.  The springtime weather served as the perfect backdrop for the first time event.

Kern and Marnie Wildenthal and Tammy and Martin Cohen*

Mark Wolf, Dallas Arboretum chairman of the board, welcomed guests. After dinner, he called up Artscape Award Chair Gloria Snead to join him. Wolf said, “It is my pleasure to introduce the ‘Great Contributor to Art Award.’ This aptly named prize was designed and contributed by Gary Lee Price, whose Great Contributors exhibition at the Arboretum in 2016 was the inspiration for the award’s name. Receiving this inaugural award tonight is someone we know and admire deeply, Craig Hall. Craig, who is an entrepreneur, businessman, New York Times bestselling author and philanthropist, is also a lifelong art collector. He believes that art nourishes the human spirit and can make a profound difference in people’s lives. His company, Hall Group, displays an extensive contemporary art collection at their properties. Craig truly embodies this award, so we are pleased to welcome and honor Craig Hall tonight as the inaugural awardee of the ‘Great Contributor to Art Award.’”

David and Beth Dike and Gloria Snead*

“It is an honor to receive the Artscape Great Contributor to Public Art award, and being able to share our art collection with the public has been a great joy of mine,” said Craig. “However, tonight’s award is really a tribute to the talented artists who make all of this possible. It is because of their hard work and creativity that we are able to contribute art for our communities to enjoy.”

Mark Wolf, Kaki Hopkins and Craig Hall*

Hopkins added, “It was a great pleasure to have Craig Hall as our inaugural awardee. He has done so much to make art available for the public to enjoy by investing in many artists’ works and displaying them so they can be seen by all. He is a terrific citizen of our city, and we are fortunate that he calls the Dallas Arts District his home.”

The live auction generated plenty of spirited bidding, especially Pamela Nelson’s “Mother Plant,” which graced the invitation cover, program cover and notecards given to patrons. Hopkins added, “I was overwhelmed by the artists’ and galleries’ generosity and pleased that our audience showed them the appreciation we all felt by participating in a spirited and fun auction.”

The Artscape Selection Committee and Heritage Auctions chose the following for the live auction, with the criteria to create a group diverse in style. Each artist graciously donated his/her piece to benefit the Dallas Arboretum, with many nature-inspired:

Arienne Lepretre, Mary Vernon, Donna Guerra and Cynthia Salzman Mondell*

Steve Daly, Patricia Crocker, James Surls and George Tobolowsky*

  • Carly Allen-Martin – “Exhale Doubt 2/50”
  • Carolyn Brown – “White Rose” and “Orange Ruffled Rose”
  • Marianne Gargour – “Visions Revisited”
  • Beth Hickman – “Moonlight Gardening”
  • Arienne Lepretre – “Arboretum Day”
  • Christopher H. Martin – “Cassini Disc II”
  • Pamela Nelson – “Mother Plant”
  • Brad Oldham – “Traveling Man”
  • Jessie Palmer (Am. 1882-1956) – “Still Life with Roses”
  • Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir – “Source II”
  • George Tobolowsky – “Looking for Light”
  • Mary Tomás – “Bloom”
  • Mary Vernon – “Raccoon”

* Photo credit: Steve Foxall

Mad Hatter’s Tea’s “Under The Tuscan Sun” Soared To Sky With Over-The-Top Toppers And Rachel Zoe Fashions

After a day of chilly-will temperatures and rainy storms, the 29th Annual Mad Hatter’s Tea had a bright sun-shiny morning for its “Under the Tuscan Sun” on Thursday, April 27, at the Dallas Arboretum benefiting the Women’s Council of the Arboretum.

Kori Green, Caroline Kraddick and Tracy Rathbun

Tara Green and Micki Rawlings

Niven Morgan and Courtney Kerr

Unlike years before, the event started a half hour earlier at 10:30 with guests finding the Ginsburg Plaza roped off. Evidently organizers had hoped guests would flow away from Rosine Hall and the tented tables. Some heeded the suggestion, but the majority stayed clustered near the entry to watch the hat contestants wannabes hold their numbered cards up as they strolled the red carpet for the judges (Kori Green, Tara Green, Micki Rawlings, Niven Morgan, Lynae Fearing, Tracy Rathbun and Caroline Kraddick) who were seated on the elevated terrace in the shade. Judge Courtney Kerr didn’t sit because she didn’t want to wrinkle her outfit. Someone asked why she was wearing cherries in her hair. The person was corrected, “They’re tomatoes.” Oh.

Judge/designer Rachel Zoe was nowhere to be seen until the last moment. A coterie of lithe lassies popped out of a car with Starbucks in hand for Rachel, who had been sequestered away.

Soni Pancretz

Karen Lukin

Kunthear Mam-Douglas

Jordi Bostock

As for the guests’ interpretations of the day’s theme, it was obvious that Michael’s had been hit hard for sunflowers thanks to folks like Soni Pancretz. Needless to say, the results varied from subtle and beautiful to towering structures with wine bottle, plates, corks and even cars. Mary Tomas wore a Ray Conniff vinyl record with dolls and feathers … Proving that pink is always a standout were last year’s Mad Hatter’s Chair Jocelyn White, Donna Darling, Pebble McGehee and her mom Faye BriggsKaren Lukin’s looked like someone had used her brown hair as a platter for their pasta, complete with meatballs and fork …Corks were the lightweight accessory of the day. Amanda Johnson‘s cork-brimmed sunhat stayed put, but poor Steve Kemble’s cork vest was shedding corks as he strolled the grounds looking like a 21st century Bacchus…Kunthear Mam-Douglas’ hat appeared to be an entire Tuscan village… On the other hand, Jordi Bostock opted for a simpler look with checkered-tablecloth table for two… Lorenda Wyant towered among the group thanks to her Leaning Tower of Pisa … On the shorter structure side, Rene Farren‘s topper was delicious with an upside-down cone of faux spumoni … Still there were others who tossed the theme idea and went with their own vision, like Barbara Daseke with bird in nest and Virginia Chandler Dykes in white fur.

Lorenda Wyant

Rene Farren

Barbara Daseke

Cathy Vieth all in purple arrived with her equally purple hat of feathers, butterflies and flowers by her side. As her car pulled up, her chapeau designer Shane Walker and his partner Billy Fulmer were there to help her plant it on her head. With the wind picking up, Cathy seemed to sway a bit thanks to the “head wind.” Shane told her not to worry — the Plaza was much calmer… at least wind-wise.

Cathy Vieth and Shane Walker

Amber Griffin

No sooner had Shane got Cathy on her way to the Plaza than Amber Griffin arrived in an Italian flag dress. Quickly, she took a seat on a bench as Shane and Billy erected the hat that had plates, silverware, wine bottles, grapes, corks, peppers, candles and a loaf of Italian bread. It looked good enough to eat. The structure appeared to weight more than Amber. As soon as she entered the Plaza, the oohs and applause could be heard outside at the driveway.

Evidently Amber’s Italian flag dress wasn’t a one-of-a-kind idea. Lynne Lowder wore a sleeveless version that she got on Ebay with a hat featuring her cellphone playing a video. 

At 11:30 word was passed to head into Rosine Hall for the Jan Strimple-produced fashion show of Rachel Zoe’s clothes. Herding the hats and their underlings into the hall and their seats proved to be as challenging as Central Expressway at 5:30 p.m.

And then there was that issue of viewing the runway. Seems that some of the oversized hats may have been eye-catchers in the Plaza, but in the rows of chairs, they were eye-blocking. One gal was seen getting slapped around by the decorations of another guest’s hat, who kept turning her head to see others.

Rachel Zoe

Others had the problem of trying to see around the army of photographers, who were out to capture moments.

Following presentations to Honorary Chair Amanda Hill and her mom Amy Warren, the fashion show got under way with Rachel checking each of the creations, while husband Rodger Berman videoed the show on his phone.

Rachel Zoe fashion

Rachel Zoe fashion

Rachel Zoe fashion

Rachel Zoe fashion

Next up was the live auction. Instead of relying on local media types handling the auctioneering duties, they had award-winning Wendy Lambert, who kicked things off with Amy Warren raising her paddles and eyebrows with a winning bid of $10,000 for a Tootsies shopping spree. Not to be outdone, daughter Amanda snapped up a cooking lesson for $8,500. UPDATE: The live auction results added up to $33,400, but organizers later reported, “The Live Auction amount raised was $27,000.”

The live auction was followed by the usual shout-out that tends to be more awkward than profitable. Alas, this point became evident when Wendy’s announced the goal was for $35,000. The take ended up being $8,000 $26,000. But who knows? Wendy told the crowd that she would be available afterwards to accept donation from guests who might have been too shy to participate.

Finally, the time came for the judging results, with the following named winners:

Joani White

Cynthia Smoot

Tracy Rathbun, Carmen Surgent and Lynae Fearing

Terry Irby

  • Molto Italiano (Judge Caroline Kraddick) — Joani White
  • Most Elegant (Judge Kori Green) — Cynthia Smoot
  • A Taste of Italy (Judges Lynae Fearing and Tracy Rathbun) — Carmen Surgent
  • Bellissima Botanical (Judge Tara Green) — Terry Irby
  • People’s Choice (Judge Micki Rawlings) — Katherine Phillips
  • Fellini’s Follies (Judge Niven Morgan) — Chad Collom and Steve Kemble
  • Most Outlandish (Judge Courtney Kerr) — Lynne Lowder 
  • Rachel’s Pick (Judge Rachel Zoe) — Amanda Warren

Katherine Phillips and Micki Rawlings

Steve Kemble, Chad Collom and Niven Morgan

Lynne Lowder and Courtney Kerr

Amy Warren and Rachel Zoe

Rachel in making her presentation admitted,”I’ve had a pretty long career. In no part of my life have I ever experienced anything like this….I’m going back to L.A. and talking about this. I love Texas.”

As the ladies and guests headed to their tables to take in the beautiful day, it was learned that Venise Stuart would be chairing the 2018 Mad Hatter’s. Can’t wait to hear how Venise plans to stage the 30th anniversary of this fundraiser for A Woman’s Garden.

How About A Whopper Of A Valentine’s Day Floral Arrangement?

Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and it’s to florists what the Super Bowl is to pizza shops. And like pizza, the usual dozen long stem, red roses will be history all too soon. Still, it’s the thought that counts.

But how about a gift of flowers that lasts all year round for the recipient? And the price is less than $100.

Dallas Arboretum (File photo)

It’s an individual membership at the Dallas Arboretum. Not only does it allow the lucky recipient free access to the more-than-60 acres of grounds overlooking White Rock Lake, it also provides a guest to come along free and free parking for one vehicle plus four total reservations to the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden.

And if you want to look like a really big spender, you might want to check out the other levels of membership.

While you’re being such a sweetheart, why not share your love with a child you don’t know but who sure could use that special feeling? You don’t even need a stamp to lick…just a finger to click here!

JUST IN: With An Italian Flavor, 2017 Mad Hatter’s Chair Linda Spina Reveals Eight Categories For Under The Tuscan Sun’s Judging

Under The Tuscan Sun*

And the news that Mad Hatters and their chapeau designers have been waiting for has just been revealed. 2017 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Linda Spina revealed that in keeping with the “Under the Tuscan Sun” theme, the following categories will be judged at the Dallas Arboretum on Thursday, April 27, for the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum fundraiser:

  1. Molto Italiano (“Very Italian”) — Most True-to-Theme. Everything Tuscan, from the rolling hills of Tuscany to the art treasurers of Florence to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and everything in between. 
  2. Rachel’s Pick — Special guest Rachel Zoe’s favorite hat. The best of the best, from her point of view.
  3. Bella Donna (“Beautiful Woman”) — Most Elegant. 
  4. A Taste of Italy — The food and drink of Italy.  Wine, cheese, pasta, pizza and more!
  5. Bellissima Botanical — Best Botanical. What would Mad Hatter’s at the Arboretum be without hats adorned with beautiful flowers?
  6. Fellini’s Follies — Famed late Italian film director Federico Fellini always worked in a group. Best Group of Hats.
  7. Mamma Mia! — Most Outlandish. Go wild!
  8. Ciao Bella! (“Hello Beautiful”) — People’s Choice. The best of the best, as voted on by the attendees.

Now, get those glue guns warmed up and have a glass of France MayesToccare le Stelle, while you’re at it.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition

The Dallas Arboretum will be closed on Christmas Day. And while the official word is that this closure allows the staff to be with their families and friends, the unofficial word is that there is an exclusive party taking place in the DeGoyler House.

Reserved annually for this festive event, the stately mansion is where Santa parties with Mrs. Claus, the elves and the reindeer after delivering toys and before heading back to the North Pole.

The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition

In addition to the eggnog, decorated cookies and fruitcake (yes, Santa does like fruitcake, especially from Corsicana), the highlight of this year’s occasion is the hundreds of Santas provided by members of the Junior League of Dallas at The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition.

The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition

The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition

By Monday morning Santa and his crew will have headed home, but the collection of Kris Kringles will still be on display along with the 12 Days of Christmas throughout the grounds until Sunday, January 8.

For your consideration, check the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for a smattering of the Saint Nicks.

Mad Hatter’s Tea’s Chair Jocelyn White’s Arranged For A Passel Of Celebs To Be On Hand For “Steel Magnolias”

Jody Dean and Jocelyn White (File photo)

Jody Dean and Jocelyn White (File photo)

When Jocelyn White becomes the trail boss of a fundraiser, she brings her posse of celeb pals in on the fun and the raising of money. So, it’s only natural that her chairing the Mad Hatter’s Tea’ “Steel Magnolias” on Thursday, April 21, at the Arboretum would be her cup of tea, literally.

Where to start? Well, it’s already been revealed that fashions will be from Tootsies and blonde Connie Carreker will be the honorary chair, but the newest well-knowns to join up are Celebrity Co-Chairs Linda Gray and Janine Turner. BTW, Linda will be doing double duty while in Big D. In addition to her helping Joce at the Arboretum, she’ll be the headliner the next day at “Authors at The Adolphus” luncheon in the hotel’s French Room chatting with Joce about her memoir, “The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction.”

Linda Gray (File photo)

Linda Gray (File photo)

But back to the Mad Hatter’s. Serving as emcee Jocelyn has tapped KISS FM 106.1 Kellie  Rasberry with KLUV 98.7’s Jody Dean handling the auctioneering.

But there’s still more. The announcement of the hat judges has just been announced. Now, before the names are listed, remember that bribes are tacky. Well, they are if you’re caught. Here is the rundown of the judges:

  • Karen Carroll, contributor, Flower Magazine;
  • Kathy Fielder, lifestyle designer, creator and manufacturer;
  • Janelle Friedman, author of “You Are Invited: How to Plan Everything from Intimate Gatherings to Texas-Sized Parties” and executive with Friedman & Feiger, Attorneys At Law;

    Diane and Daryl Johnston (File photo)

    Diane and Daryl Johnston (File photo)

  • Diane and Daryl Johnston, professional model and former National Football League fullback with the Dallas Cowboys/current NFL analyst, respectively;
  • Matthew Campbell Laurenza, jewelry designer. His jewelry will be in the Fashion Show and the Live Auction;
  • Robert Leleux, editorial director, Domino Magazine;
  • Jane McGarry, host, “Good Morning Texas” on WFAA Channel 8;
  • Gary Riggs, interior designer and owner, Gary Riggs Home.

As for the categories that are in keeping with the “Steel Magnolias” theme, here’s the list:

  • Most True-To-Theme:  Magnolias in ev’ry incarnation. Faux or real.
  • The Southern Belle:  Shelby’s girly-girl look. Can you say pink?
  • Simply Elegant:  Beautifully chic!  If Audrey Hepburn had been Southern …
  • Mother Nature Winks:  Makin’ Mama Nature proud with the best use of her bounty.
  • The Social Sorority:  Best Sisterhood (Brotherhood?) award.  We come in groups.
  • Miss Merry Christmas:  Crowns, Tiaras, Headdresses. Oh, my Stars!
  • What Was She Thinking?: The Ouiser Boudreaux Award. It’s what YOU think!
  • Best of Show/People’s Choice: Self-explanatory. The Steel Magnolia.   Best of the Best!

Don’t you just know somebody’s gonna should up with a red-velvet armadillo!

A Woman's Garden (File photo)

A Woman’s Garden (File photo)

Tickets and sponsorships are available here with proceeds going to the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and A Woman’s Garden.

The DeGolyer House’s 75th Anniversary Is Toasted By Everette DeGolyer’s Family, Docents And Dallas Arboretum Leadership

Before the temperatures turned downward and the wet stuff broke records this past week, Fall was appearing to be so very friendly.  Taking full advantage of the beautiful weather, the Dallas Arboretum held an anniversary luncheon to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the legendary DeGolyer House that became “the home of the Dallas Arboretum.” Here’s a report from the field about the oilman Everette DeGolyer, his family and his magnificent estate that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places:

The historic DeGolyer House at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden celebrated its 75th anniversary on Monday, November 9, with a book signing, a luncheon and plenty of DeGolyer relatives to reflect on this historic home.

Houston Mount*

Houston Mount**

The morning began with Dr. Houston Mount signing his book, “Oilfield Revolutionary: The Career of Everette Lee DeGolyer.” Dr. Mount is an expert on Mr. DeGolyer’s business endeavors.

At the luncheon, Dallas Arboretum President/CEO Mary Brinegar welcomed 115 guests, many of whom were DeGolyer docents, family members and others connected with the family and the House. She introduced former Dallas Arboretum Board Chairman Brian Shivers, who served as the emcee and a speaker. Shivers has had a connection with the Dallas Arboretum for nearly three decades.

Shivers introduced Dallas Park and Recreation Board Chair Sid Stahl, chair of the Dallas Park and Recreation Board during the 1970s when the City of Dallas bought the DeGolyer Estate from SMU. His talk, entitled “The DeGolyer Estate and How it Became the Home of the Dallas Arboretum,was fascinating. A negotiator by profession, Stahl told about the early history of negotiations and what some of the early plans for the property was. There was talk about it being an artist center, a museum and even a conference center.

Peter Flagg Maxson, Brian Shivers and Sid Stahl*

Peter Flagg Maxson, Brian Shivers and Sid Stahl**

Shivers spoke next about “The DeGolyer Estate and the Early Days of the Arboretum.” As an expert on the Dallas Arboretum’s history, he laid out the timeline of the early history*.

Next, Peter Flagg Maxson, a DeGolyer grandson, spoke on “De and Nell’s Dallas Hacienda” reminiscing on playing on the 44-acre property with his cousins and relatives along with other stories of this summer home. Maxson is the resident DeGolyer family historian and has spoken to the DeGolyer docents since 1979. He was also very involved in the process of what the City of Dallas was going to do with the House and negotiated with other family members to return original family furniture once the City agreed to make the House a museum.

Here’s a brief history of the DeGolyers and their House:

The DeGolyer House is home of the late Everette L. DeGolyer (1886-1956) and Nell Goodrich DeGolyer (1887-1972). The architects of the Spanish Colonial Revival style home were Denman Scott and Burton Schutt. The 21,000-square-foot building has 13 rooms and seven baths. At that time, the 44 acres cost $33,000, and the construction of the house was $125,000. The landscape artist was Arthur Berger. The home was originally called “Rancho Encinal” because of the many live oak trees on the property.

Mr. DeGolyer was a petroleum geologist and oilman who is recognized as the founder of the field of applied petroleum geophysics. He became president of Amerada Corporations (became Amerada-Hess, now the Hess Corporation) and was an investor in the Geophysical Services, Inc. (now Texas Instruments). He was also the founder of Core Laboratories, and founded DeGolyer and MacNaughton in 1939. The company is still regarded as the leading consulting petroleum firm in the world. He was the owner of Saturday Review of Literature magazine.

The DeGolyer family*

The DeGolyer family**

The DeGolyers had four children and 16 grandchildren. All children are deceased, and 12 grandchildren are still alive.

Dave Forehand points out the champion Magnolia tree

Dave Forehand points out the champion Magnolia tree**

After the luncheon, the attendees visited the DeGolyer House where the docents presented the DeGolyer family with a silver plated tray that will remain in the House. Guests walked to the newly opened Val Late Garden of Memories, which sits in front of the DeGolyer House because of her love of the home and her many visits there. Dallas Arboretum’s Vice President of Gardens Dave Forehand told about that garden. Finally, guests toasted the 75th anniversary in the DeGolyer Library.

Mary Brinegar*

Mary Brinegar**

Marti Rossi*

Marti Rossi**

A special thank you to the DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University and John Slate, Archivist for the City of Dallas, who helped make this historical collection possible. A special thank you to the event committee Debbie Henderson, Charlotte Gibbons, Cheryl Miller, Marti Rossi and Bettie Vandivort.

Janice Valentine, Bonnie Attwood, Margaret Duncan and Debbie Henderson**

Janice Valentine, Bonnie Attwood, Margaret Duncan and Debbie Henderson**

For those interested in seeing the DeGolyer House lavishly decorated for the holidays, from Friday, November 27,  to Sunday, January 3, The Artistry of Nativity exhibition returns with 300 crèches from around the world. In addition to the Ray Harrington Collection, the collection of George Dvorsky’s will be showcased. The DeGolyer House is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with guided tours, and on Wednesday evenings during the holiday season, it is open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Restaurant DeGolyer stays open for dinner from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on these Wednesday evenings with advance reservations (contact Susan Armanovs at 214.515.6511 or [email protected]).

* Timeline: The DeGolyer House becomes location for the Dallas Arboretum:

  • 1972: Upon Mrs. DeGolyer’s death in 1972, part of the extensive library collection and the property were donated to Southern Methodist University.
  • 1977: Lacking a clear use for the house, it was sold to the City of Dallas for a little more than $1,075,000—less than half of the appraised value.
  • 1978: The City of Dallas officially designated the DeGolyer Estate as the location for the Dallas Arboretum.
  • 1979: The DeGolyer Estate is named to the National Register of Historic Places. The first docent training and tour activity begins in the mansion. Since then, docents have given tours to guests from all states and countries around the globe.
  • 1982: The City of Dallas and DABS signed a 25-year contract to combine the DeGolyer House and Camp House estates and operate it as the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.
  • 1984: The Dallas Arboretum opened to the public.
  • 2010: The Dallas Arboretum began a renovation process of the house after significant study and a master plan including fixing many structural issues. The public areas of the DeGolyer House are refurbished including the library, living room, breakfast room and sitting room.
** Photos provided by the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Dallas Arboretum Celebrates Fourth Of July Four-Day Weekend With $5 Admissions And Activities Like Tadpole Feeding

If there’s a holiday, the Dallas Arboretum is going to dress the place up in the right way to celebrate for young, old and those who can’t decide what age they are.

Independence Day at the Dallas Arboretum*

Independence Day at the Dallas Arboretum*

And for this 4th of July, have they got a deal for every age group. From Friday, July 3 through Monday, July 6, everybody gets in for $5! Well, almost everybody. Those active and retired members of the armed services get in free, but they’ll have to have proper ID proof at the door.

The really, truly great news is that you can also get into Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden for just $3 and, boy, do they have plans for Rory Meyers during the unofficial four-day holiday wingding. Here goes:

Rory Meyers Children's Garden entrance (File photo)

Rory Meyers Children’s Garden entrance (File photo)

Friday, July 3 thru Sunday, July 5

  • 9 a.m. – Craft Corner: The Stars and Stripes (Main Entry Plaza)
  • 9 a.m. – Patriotic Scavenger Hunt (Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden)
  • 10 a.m. – Storytime (Petroglyph Walk Pergola)
  • 10:30 a.m. – Puppet Show: Finding My Way Home (Glade Puppet Theater)
  • 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. – Elephant Toothpaste (Exploration Center Plant Lab)
  • 11:30 a.m. – Puppet Show: Finding My Way Home (Glade Puppet Theater)
  • 12 p.m. – Red, White and Fruit (Incredible Edible Garden)
  • 2 p.m. – Eddie the Eagle: Our Nation’s Emblem (Exploration Center)
  • 2:30 p.m. – OmniGlobe Presentation: A Star Spangled Galaxy (OmniGlobe Theater)
Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden's plaza (File photo)

Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden’s plaza (File photo)

Monday, July 6

  • 10 a.m. – Little Adventures Activities (First Adventure)
  • 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. – H2Osmosis (Exploration Center Plant Lab)
  • 11:30 a.m. – Tadpole Feedings (Exploration Center)
  • 2 p.m. – Mega Metamorphosis (Texas Native Wetlands)
  • 2:30 p.m. – OmniGlobe Presentation (OmniGlobe Theater)
Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden (File photo)

Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden (File photo)

If you’ve heard about but haven’t ventured into Rory Meyers, this is the opportunity that you have been waiting for. There are activities and you’re gonna get it as such a bargain! Suggestion: Go early and you’ll feel the breezes coming off White Rock and discover the wonderment that others have been talking about. And if you don’t have a kiddo to escort you around, that’s okay. Adults seem to become kids when entering Rory’s garden, too.

BTW, sorry but no fireworks. The Arboretum closes at 5 p.m. and the gardens need their sleep time.

* Photo provided by the Dallas Arboretum

Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden To Briefly Close For Maintenance And Winterizing

We all need a little down time for refreshing, don’t you know? Well, the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden will be doing just that “for a few weeks” starting Monday, January 13.

Overview of Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden (File photo)

Overview of Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden (File photo)

According to the Dallas Arboretum President Mary Brinegar, “As with any outdoor installation, especially one as complex as the Children’s Garden, the Dallas Arboretum needs to close the garden for a short time to do preventative maintenance, especially since there is less traffic during these cold days.”

But that doesn’t mean the Arboretum is closed for business. No, siree. The rest of the “gardens will be open to the public during this period, except on days of inclement weather.”

Suggestion: This Sunday the temperatures are supposed to be in the 70’s. Yup, you heard . . . or, rather you read that … right. So, why not take the munchkins to Rory Meyers before it takes time off?

Dallas Arboretum’s Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden Gala Has Backup Plans Well Planted In Case Of Rain

Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden*

Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden*

The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden Gala organizers have revealed backup plans just in case Friday’s predictions of rain come true.

If the weather is lovely, then cocktails will be at the Children’s Garden with festivities held in Rosine Hall. However, if the skies drip away making a cocktail party in the Children’s Garden too wet for enjoyment, they’ll have cocktails on the terraces adjacent to Rosine Hall. And, yes, the patio area will of course be tented.

* Photo provided by the Dallas Arboretum

May 4th “Chihuly Dallas: The Gala In The Garden” Plans Announced With Kaki Hopkins As Gala Chair

Holly Reed and Mary Brinegar

For nine years Dallas Arboretum Executive Director Mary Brinegar has been trying to figure out how to marry up the Arboretum with Dale Chihuly‘s artwork. There were so many possibilities, but there were just as many challenges to bring the two together. Ah, but Mary is not one to give up. No, when she sets her blue eyes on a goal, it’s just a matter of time before she’ll make it happen.

In January it was announced that her longtime mission was going to take place — Chilhuly at the Dallas Arboretum from May 5 to November 5, 2012. With the help of presenting sponsor AT&T and made possible by Bank of America, Mary is preparing for a mammoth turnout from around the region. She’s also seeing a marvelous opportunity to introduce extended hours for the gardens thanks to Chihuly Nights that will be illuminated by Cirro Eenrgy.

Delilah and Sam Boyd

Such an amazing undertaking demanded a splashy kick off and so Wednesday night plans were revealed to the Arboretum board of directors and friends at Carol and George Postons’ home. As Delilah and Sam Boyd greeted one and all at the front door and the evening’s weather was still perfection, some guests wandered into the garden and met up with the Postons’ six tail-wagging Westies.

While inside others like Carol Seay recalled how the Postons house had suffered a major fire upstairs but luckily such precious items as their marvelous collection of Edward Cortes paintings escaped unscathed a couple of years ago. . . . Holly Reed reported that her five-day, 11-mile-a-day walk in New Zealand ended up being a six-day event. Thanks to the New Zealand scenery, she now has a large collection of photographs of waterfalls.

David and Sara Martineau, Kaki Hopkins and Vera and Bob Thornton

Arboretum Chair Brian Shivers and Gala Chair Kaki Hopkins, who just chaired the Dallas Opera’s “First Night” this past fall, revealed plans for the Friday, May 4 gala — “Chihuly Dallas: The Gala in the Garden.” Honorary chairs will be Caroline Rose Hunt and Margaret Crow with Dale and his wife, Leslie, in attendance. It will be an evening of dining under the stars and surrounded by the magnificent outdoor collection. Individual tickets will start at $500 with underwriting tables beginning at $25,000.

Carol Bader’s Big Brims And Fascinators Were On Top Of Mad Hatter Types At Brook Brothers In The West Village

The world of hats can be fascinating and fashionable. It can evidently be controversial, too. But more about that later.

Carol Bader

With the upcoming Mad Hatter’s Tea less than a month away, Event Co-Chairs Carmaleta Whiteley and Barbara Daseke assembled a crowd Tuesday night for a hat trunk show by California designer Carol Bader at Brooks Brothers in the West Village. In addition to designing collections for BB, Carol has a very established clientele including Mad Hatter’s Honorary Chair Nancy Rogers.

While BB store manager Julianne Noble admitted this was the store’s first hat trunk show, BB proved to know just how to entertain the ladies who hat by greeting them with trays of flutes filled with champagne.

Carol Bader hats

Just as quickly as the gals sipped the bubbly, they were trying on hats. Everything from big brimmed to floral concoctions were bouncing from head to head with nary a tie-down bonnet in sight.

Kenneth Craighead

These gals take their toppers seriously because this year’s hat judging has taken on a serious tone. Unlike past years when the judges were lovers of fashion, the 2012 judges are experts in the fields of art since this year’s theme is “The Art of Nature.” Every one of the judges has bona fide credentials in visual arts. Think experts like Jeremy Strick and Kenneth Craighead.

Sharon Ballew and Carmaleta Whiteley

Since Barbara Daseke was delayed by a late-arriving flight, Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum President Sharon Ballew and Carmaleta decided to proceed with the agenda. Hat judge Kenneth Craighead was pointed out with Carmaleta adding, “I think he can be bribed with champagne.” Then she pointed out Steve Kemble in a straw hat; he will serve as this year’s auctioneer. Steve shouted out to the crowd, “Get out your checkbooks!” Then underwriting chair Carol Seay in Brooks Brothers Blue told the group, “I want to urge all of you to attend Mad Hatter’s. . . It’s going to be a lot of fun. If I can wear a hat, you can wear a hat!”

Carol Seay

Once the announcements were over, it was back to hatting and chatting. Salvation Army Special Events Manager Ashley Terrell recalled her days at Neiman Marcus and working with the legendary hatter Frank Olive. . . Nancy Gopez was trying on as many hats as she could get on her head. . . Lynn Dealey was receiving rave reviews for her “The Art of Nature” logo. . . . WFAA’s Ron Corning, who couldn’t make the party, was announced to be the emcee for the tea and Jan Strimple-produced fashion show with clothes from Betty Reiter, Cicada, Forty Five Ten and V.O.D.

A Fascinator

Ah, where did the controversy come into play? What was known as the cocktail hat has been resurrected as today’s Fascinator and has gained popularity thanks to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. These little itty-bitty nests of hats are usually bigger than a barrette and made of feathers, flowers or beads.  Think the Fascinator to a traditional hat like sandals to boots. However, the Fascinators have ruffled some very proper types, who believe a hat should be substantial. The Royal Ascot has announced that ladies will have to wear hats, not Fascinators, in the Royal Ascot’s Royal Enclosure this year.

But Mad Hatter’s is not the Royal Ascot, and one can only imagine what will show up thanks to Carol and her parade of chapeaus.

The Dallas Arboretum Could Use A Little Help With The Chihuly Glass

Dale Chihuly's Niijima Floats

Dallas Arboretum‘s VP of Human Resources Charlotte Morrison is putting the shout-out to the community for help. Seems that since they’re expecting a load of visitors during the recently announced Chihuly Exhibit (May 5 – November 5), they need volunteers to “help in areas such as art hosts, information booth staff, garden greeters, etc., but our major need will be art hosts who are stationed near the exhibit pieces to interact with our guests.”

Specifically, they’re looking for individuals to work a minimum of five two- or four-hour shifts and two shifts of 12 or more from groups/corporations.

So, you’re thinking, “Ah, come on. How many volunteers are they looking for? Give us numbers!” According to Charlotte, “In May we will need a potential of 4,000 slots to fill (based on two-hour shifts).”

Betcha want examples! So here’s Charlotte’s examples of support:

  • Corporations/groups, committing 15 volunteers for a two-hour shift, taking the first Saturday of each month during the exhibit or all Monday mornings during May, and
  • Individual help might be every Wednesday evening during one month, or the first Tuesday each month during the run of the exhibit, etc.

And the opportunities are not limited to daytime only. There are evening slots open, too.

If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Charlotte at [email protected] or by calling 214.515.6509.

Photo provided by Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Mad Hatter’s Tea Judges And Categories Announced Friday Evening At Cicada Before Adjourning To The Mansion

It’s rare that you have an announcement party on a Friday evening, but Mad Hatter’s Tea chairs Barbara Daseke and Carmaleta Whiteley promised it would be a quickie at Cicada in Snider Plaza — exactly one hour, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oops, it didn’t work out that way. The guests were still there at 7:15.

The reason for the gathering was the announcement of the judges, categories and retailers involved in the April 12 “The Art of Nature” show-and-swell hatfest presented by Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers at the Dallas Arboretum. This year’s luncheon/fashion show is expected to attract 600 chapeau-wearing ladies and gents with runway fashions provided by Forty Five Ten, Cicada, Betty Reiter and V.O.D.

Sharon Ballew and Carmaleta Whiteley

Carmaleta had to make the announcements solo. Seems her co-chair Barbara had a flat tire and was stuck elsewhere and Honorary Chair Nancy Rogers was MIA. Luckily Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden President Sharon Ballew was standing in the wings supporting Carmaleta.

This year’s judges come with blue-ribbon credentials from the art world, since the theme focuses on “The Art of Nature.” They will include

  • Lita Asscher, President, Royal Asscher® Diamonds — Born in Amsterdam, Holland, Lita Asscher is President of Royal Asscher® of America and heiress to the world famous Asscher diamond dynasty. Her ancestors were responsible for such eminent achievements as the creation of the original 1902 Asscher Cut diamond, and the cutting of the largest diamond ever found, the 3105 carat Cullinan diamond for Great Britain’s Crown Jewels. Royal Asscher® is jeweler to the crown of many nations; the company has a legendary European heritage and an exclusive clientele of international royalty and celebrities.
    Brenda Bogart, artist, is blessed with an abundance of creativity as well as the talent and know-how to express it in many ways. She spent a number of years in interior design and was also the owner of an enormously popular children’s clothing business. In 2006 she picked up her paintbrush and began painting in earnest, exploring a range of themes in oil on canvas.
    Kenneth Craighead and partner, Steve Green, opened Craighead Green Gallery in 1992 in the Uptown Dallas Arts District. They relocated the Gallery to Dragon Street in the Design District. Craighead Green is recognized as one of the finest contemporary art galleries throughout Texas and the Southwest, representing over 40 artists of all mediums.
  • Billy Fulmer, Patricia Meadows and Shane Walker

    Patricia Meadows, President of Art Connections — Curator, consultant, juror, speaker, advocate for contemporary art and artists.

  • Gail Sachson, MFA, has been a cheerleader for the arts in the area ever since 1978, when she founded ASK ME ABOUT ART, an educational service offering lectures, programs , writings and consultation. Sachson serves on a myriad of arts related and educational Boards of Directors, teaches “50 Reasons to Love Dallas” through  SMU/CAPE, blogs for KERA’s ART & Seek and is a Dallas Commissioner of Cultural Affairs  and a member of the Dallas Public Art Committee.
  • Jeremy Strick, Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center since March 2009. Jeremy oversees collections, exhibitions, and operations at the 2.4-acre facility located in the heart of downtown Dallas’ Arts District. Opened in 2003, the Nasher Sculpture Center is home to one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of modern and contemporary sculpture in the world, formed largely by the late Raymond and Patsy Nasher. Previously, Strick served nearly ten years as Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA).

Disappointing news was that earlier-announced Bonnie Pitman had to withdraw from the judging duties due to health issues.

This year’s categories include:

  • Gents Top Hats: Diamonds in the Rough
  • Most True to Theme: Organically Chic
  • Botanical: Nature’s Bounty
  • Most Whimsical: Florals’ Follies
  • Most Elegant: Nature’s Glamorous Jewels
  • Best of Show: Horticulturally Hip
  • Most Outlandish:  Mother Nature’s Humor

Steve Kemble

When word started making its way through the crowd including Steve Kemble, Shane Walker and Billy Fulmer that the party would continue at the Mansion for post-party drinks, the place began to empty. That is, except for Doris Jacobs, who had to join husband Jack at Cafe Pacific to celebrate his birthday.

And then there was Jan Strimple, who will be producing the Mad Hatter’s Tea fashion show. She was still having fun checking the clothes on the racks.



October 26 MySweetCharity Round Robin: DCAC, Habitat For Humanity, BeatLeukemia, Arboretum

Last Wednesday the weather was perfect in Dallas, but it was pretty miserable in St. Louis. Thus, the World Series matchup between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals was called due to inclement weather. You could hear the heavy sigh of relief by Wednesday night event planners. It’s tough to rally the troops when you’re up against the World Series.

Groundbreaking of The Rees-Jones Center for Child Protection

DCAC groundbreaking shovels

But earlier in the day, there was a gathering of kids, dogs and very responsible adults — Lynn Davis, Chuck Meadows, Caren Prothro, Joe Norville, John Wiley Price, Bill Morrison and a tent filled with people for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center‘s Rees-Jones Center for Child Protection. One of the last to arrive was the couple of the hour — Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones. Just making their way through the crowd proved to be a challenge, since their $5M contribution to the $11M capital campaign for the new center helped make the building come true.

Jan Rees-Jones

While Trevor checked in with the Rees-Jones Foundation’s Thornton Hardie, Jan headed straight for the pooches that are a part of DCAC’s well-known therapy program. Just the past weekend, Jan had been the main attraction touring the preview of the SPCA’s new Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center Home. The Rees-Jones Foundation had contributed $4M for the new center.

And then there were there were the kids from the Classical Center at Vial Elementary Honor Choir. The rows of youngsters had been among the first to arrive and been there for an hour. But despite their patience and being

Kids and therapy dog

on their best behavior, the youngsters couldn’t help but get excited upon seeing the dogs that are used to help children in the program.

Trevor Rees-Jones

But there were shovels that needed to be put to work, so the ceremony started. At one point, Trevor told the guests that according to the program, he was listed as “benefactor.” To this designation, Trevor said he had been called a lot of things but never a benefactor, so “the benefactress (Jan) and I thank you.”

To close the event, the children’s choir sang a musical farewell and, as if planned, just as the last note was sung, one of the dogs barked twice in approval for a groundbreaking well done.

BeatLeukemia Ball Underwriters Party

Janie Condon

BeatLeukemia Co-chairs/cousins-in-law Janie Condon and Kim Miller were in high spirits at Private Social for the BeatLeukemia Ball‘s Underwriters Party. It was sinking in that their November 12 gala at the Hilton Anatole had all the earmarks of a record-breaking year with more than 700 expected to attend and topping a goal of $250,000.

Leukemia Texas Executive Director Stephen Young reported that in addition to entertainment being provided by The Fab Four (they just played with the London Philharmonic Symphony), there were surprises in store for the gala.

While Honorary Chairs Julie and Jim Turner weren’t on hand for the party, Dee Dee and Jim Lee popped in before heading to a 26th anniversary dinner. . . Speaking of Dee Dee, she, Janie, Kim and a slew of the

Bob White

gal pals were still talking about the Kappa Alpha Theta “Heart-to-Heart” luncheon earlier in the day that featured Joanne King Herring. Turns out the Joanne is a Theta, too. . .  When asked why Bank of Texas sponsors the BeatLeukemia Ball, BOT’s Bob White replied, “We like their cause, primarily.” BOT’s Park Cities Banking Group President of Commercial Banking Cass Robinson added, “We like to support those who did business with us, too.”

Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden’s 2011-2012 Founders’ Award

Over in Preston Hollow, Lisa Baron Blue opened her mansion and the surrounding gardens for the presentation of the Women’s Council of The Dallas Arboretum Founders Award to Steve Coke.  Established in 1996, the award is presented to individuals “whose dedication and volunteer contributions have made a monumental impact in the growth and prominence of The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.”

In the crowd of 100 were Caroline Rose Hunt, Patricia Cowlishaw, Patricia Deason and Mary Brinegar. Women’s Council President Sharon Ballew presented Steve with the traditional porcelain yellow rose embedded in an acrylic base.

But remember, the World Series almost upstaged the presentation. Not to worry if it had. Sharon and Writer’s Garden Chairman Jocelyn White were prepared. They gave him a blue-and-red gift bag. Jocelyn smiled brightly, as always, saying, “Steve, the Rangers are supposed to be clinching the World Series right now. So, in spite of the rain-out in St. Louis, we thought you might appreciate these.”

Out Steve pulled a limited edition Ranger’s cap and jersey.

Speaking of Jocelyn’s Writer’s Garden, the Thursday, November 10, event’s theme is “Unstoppable Women.” The purpose of the 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  symposium/luncheon is for attendees to be inspired and motivated by “Dallas women who have followed their passions, believed in their dreams, overcome obstacles and achieve success.” The women addressing the topic will be Unstoppable Woman Dina Moor, Paula “Ms. Mozzarella” Lambert and Hedda Dowd of Rise No 1. Honorary co-chairs of the event are Dee Simmons and D’Andra Simmons.

Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity Underwriters’ Party

View from Clay Mulford's residence

Back in downtown Dallas, about 120 people got an absolutely spectacular view of the sunset from Clay Mulford‘s residence. . . all three levels ranging from the 18th floor to the 21st floor. To prepare for the party, construction was just completed a couple of hours before the Habitat for Humanity party for underwriters started.

David Holl

While youngsters helped sell raffle tickets, the adults like Honorary Chairs Suzanne and David Holl were exploring the third level with its putting course, the library and marvelous art in the home. After making the rounds of the highrise, Paige and John Slates headed to Bistro 31 to celebrate 21 years together.

Clay Mulford

Clay recently got re-involved with Habitat for Humanity by joining the fundraising committee. It’s an all-male group called “Crew Chiefs.”

Kristi Bare, Gina Betts, Nancy Gopez, Paige Slates

Event Co-chairs Gina and Ken Betts and Paula and Bay Miltenberger had lined up George Foreman as the speaker for the 25th Anniversary Celebration, “Unlock the Dream” at the Fairmont the night of Thursday, November 3.