Korshak And KidBiz Showcased “Fashion Notes” For The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League In The Venetian Room

The Fairmont has had all types of singers and musicians perform in its legendary Venetian Room. So it only made sene for the music-loving Dallas Symphony Orchestra League hold its Fashion Notes Luncheon on Monday, October 23. And instead of having professional models showcasing the Korshak and KidBiz fashions, Co-Chairs Susan Averitt Duvall, Barbara Averitt and Kendra Averitt tapped local favs to showcase the clothes including one tyke, who stole the show. Here’s a report from the field:

Susan Averitt Duvall, Barbara Averitt, Bret McKinney and Kendra Averitt*

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League (DSOL) presented Fashion Notes Luncheon and Style Show on Monday, October 23, in the Venetian Room of the Dallas Fairmont Hotel. The morning began with a reception and silent auction followed by a fashion show topped off with a delicious lunch generously underwritten by the hotel. The always lively Bret McKinney served as emcee.

Darlene Ellison*

Kevin Hall*

Donna Arp Weitzman*

Maureen Brodnax, Allison Brodnax and Tucker Brodnax*

There were no professional models on the runway. Instead, the stunning fall fashions from Stanley Korshak and KidBiz featured on the catwalk were modeled by strong, successful, and stylish contributors to our community. Dallas Symphony Association Director of Volunteers Services Allison Brodnax modeled with her one-year-old son Tucker and mother-in-law Maureen Brodnax. Tucker pushed a small stroller down the runway and melted the hearts of the audience. A first time model was Kevin Hall, COO of Grant Halliburton Foundation which helps raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental health awareness for young adults. Other models included Donna Arp Weitzman, author of ‘Cinderella has Cellulite,” columnist, and blogger; Darlene Ellison with Veritex Community Bank; Doris Jacobs and her daughter Teffy Jacobs and Carole Ann Brown.

Sarah Hardin served as honorary chair of the event and it was co-chaired by Barbara Averitt, Kendra Averitt and Susan Averitt Duvall. Mari Epperson is the DSOL President.  

The League strives to raise funds that support the love of music and the arts for thousands of youths and young adults in the Dallas Metroplex. Funds raised help to provide quality outreach educational programs, and musical competitions that light the way for talented local musicians.

Since 1946, the League has worked to support the Dallas Symphony Orchestra through service, education and fundraising efforts.  Since 1998, the League has contributed more than $12 million in support of the Dallas Symphony Association’s Community Outreach and Education programs, which help bring the wonder of music to thousands in the Dallas Metroplex.

* Photo credit:Barbara Gary

The Averitt Ladies To Tri-Chair Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Fashion Notes Luncheon And Style Show At The Fairmont Dallas

 

Susan Averitt Duval, Barbara Averitt and Kendra Averitt*

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League President Mari Epperson has hit a triple play for the Fashion Notes Luncheon and Style Show. To chair the event on Monday, October 23, at the Fairmont Dallas’ Venetian Room, she arranged to have the Averitt females — Barbara Averitt, Kendra Averitt and Susan Averitt Duval.

Sarah Hardin (File photo)

The ladies are carrying on the family’s involvement with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra started by the late Averitt matriarch Beth Averitt. It was just 30 years ago that Susan made her debut at the DSOL’s first Presentation Ball; son Mark Averitt was a member of the Honor Guard; son Don Averitt “graciously greeted guests;” and daughter-in-law Barbara “worked behind the scenes making sure the parties and presentation were flawless.”

Another longtime DSO supporter, Sara Hardin, will serve as honorary chair.

As for the fashions, they’ll be presented by Stanley Korshak and KidBiz. Instead of professional models, the lineup will include “mother/daughter dream teams, past and present DSOL presidents, debutantes, Symphony Assembly members and the cutest DSOL grandchildren.”

* Photo provided by Dallas 
Symphony Orchestra League

Guests Brave A Downpour To Meet The New Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debs At Stanley Korshak

The rainstorm had come quickly, drowning the roadways with swift-flowing water and snarling rush-hour traffic. But a little wet stuff couldn’t deter the hardy souls who braved the downpour to attend the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League‘s Announcement Party for its 2017-2018 debutantes at Stanley Korshak. One attending the Friday, June 2, event on the store’s top floor was Mark Averitt, who said, “There was lots of water in our neighborhood. So we just took the back roads.”

While upbeat music like “Under My Thumb” by the Rolling Stones played over the Korshak sound system, guests like Bridey and Gerald Meinecke, Julie and Jeff Kupp, Jennifer and Mark Gunnin, Stephanie and Bennie Bray, Melissa Lewis and Carla and Jonathan Leffert chatted with friends both old and new. Sarah Jo and Mark Hardin were on hand for son Spencer Hardin, who is an honor guard officer. Second generation/former DSOL deb Denise Beutel, who had co-chaired the 1996 ball with her mother Nancy Duncan, was taking on a new role as a mother of a 2018 deb — Caroline Beutel.

Not far away, the event’s grand dame, Tincy Miller, was introduced to someone who called her a “legend.” Tincy just laughed. Someone else said that more than two-thirds of the 30-plus ’17-’18 debs had shown up. And everyone was about to find out. 

Prior to the formal walk down the runway, Heather Moore coached the debutantes and the honor guard.

Lori Routh, Crawford Brock and Mari Epperson*

First, though, Korshak’s Crawford Brock welcomed everyone before turning things over to Mari Epperson, this year’s DSOL president. This year will be the league’s 71st anniversary, Mari said—and the 32nd annual deb presentation.  Then it was time for some shout-outs from Lori Routh, chair of the Presentation Ball, which is always the league’s major fundraiser. And, what would the announcement party be without a history of the Dallas deb ball from Tincy? “We are creating memories and a Camelot experience for each of you,” she promised.

From the left: Caroline Downing, Ashton Gillespie, Ellie Allums, Olivia Lewis, Marielle Le Masters, Hayley Waring, Kay Hitzelberger and Madison Hassell*

From the left: (front row) Shy Anderson, Houstoun Waring and Diego Garcia; (back row) Lendon Hall, Duncan McFarlane, Austin Clinkscales and Spencer Hardin*

At that, golden-throated Stan Gardner presented the Assembly (Caroline Downing, Ashton Gillespie, Ellie Allums, Olivia Lewis, Marielle Le Masters, Hayley Waring, Kay Hitzelberger and Madison Hassell) and the Honor Guard (Shy Anderson, Houstoun Waring, Diego Garcia, Lendon Hall, Duncan McFarlane, Austin Clinkscales and Spencer Hardin).

He then plunged into the main attraction: this year’s deb roster itself. Escorted halfway down the aisle by members of the Honor Guard, the debs included Caroline Allday, Meika Bass, Caroline Beutel, Alexis Bray, Helena Burns, Megan Casey, Bronwyn Cordiak, Grace Gunnin, Hope Hyde, Emma Jenevein, Anna Marie Jourdanou, Katie Kupp, Catherine Leffert, Lane McCormick, Annabel McGill, Megan Meinecke, Kay Merritt, Caroline Morway, Madison Stuart.

Anna Marie Jordanou and Houstoun Waring*

Caroline Beutel and Spencer Hardin*

Caroline Allday*

Meika Bass*

Alexis Bray*

Helena Burns*

Megan Casey*

Catherine Leffert*

Megan Meinecke*

Caroline Morway*

Kendra Averitt*

From the left: (front row) Catherine Leffert, Madison Stuart, Jacqueline Reagor, Caroline Morway, Kay Merritt, Megan Meinecke and Annabel McGill; (middle row) Juliana Szuwalski, Katie Kupp, Anna Marie Jordanou, Emma Jenevein, Hope Hyde, Grace Gunnin, Bronwyn Cordiak and Lane McCormick; (back row) Alexis Bray, Helena Burns, Megan Casey, Caroline Beutel, Meika Bass and Caroline Allday*

As a gentle reminder, Kendra Averitt held a sign behind the seated guests reading, “Smile.”

The Korshak party marked the official start of the whirlwind DSOL deb season. It will culminate with the 32nd Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball, on Saturday, February 17, at the Meyerson.

* Photo credit: James French

Attention, Campers: Ark-Building Activities Are Underway In North Texas

Why did Thursday seem like a dress rehearsal for this afternoon’s tsunami? According to WFAA weather guy Pete Delkus, North Texas is out of the drought condition that was in place on May 31. He also said that his normal 20-minute drive to work took about an hour and half.

Another hit-and-run victim of the thunder, lightning and waves of wet stuff was Fair Park Sparks! The official word was, “Flooding and power outages have now prompted cancellation of Fair Park Sparks. We’re sorry!”

Fair Park Sparks!*

Not to worry. When the rains are dismissed by the solar heat, there will be plenty of activities over at Fair Park.

In the meantime, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League didn’t let the damp stuff prevent the reveal of the 2018 debs from taking place over at Stanley Korshak.

An unofficial statement from Mother Nature was just received: “You complained about a drought. I gave you rain. Now, you’re griping about the rain. Gee, are you people ever happy?”

This weekend the accessories du jour will be Better Brellas and water wings.

* Graphic courtesy of Friends of Fair Park

2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Debutante Presentation Results Reported

Melissa Lewis and Nancy Labadie (File photo)

Melissa Lewis and Nancy Labadie (File photo)

The two biggy fundraisers for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra are the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s spring Debutante Presentation Ball and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Association’s Dallas Symphony Gala that kicks off the black-tie fundraising season in the fall.

How big? Well, 2015-2016 DSOL President Melissa Lewis just sent word that thanks to “the Ball (along with our other fundraisers), the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League raised over $773,000 which was given back to the Dallas Symphony in support of their outreach and education programs.”

A tip of the hat to 2016 Ball Chair Nancy Labadie and the rest of the DSOL-ers on a mission well done.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Deb Announcement Presentation Returned To Korshak With Champagne, Roses And Peacock Feathers

The clouds above were looking like bruised cauliflower on the evening of Friday, June 3. Outside Stanley Korshak, the valet check-in looked more like an afternoon school pick-up lane with valets apologizing for the delay. Across the street, the bulldozers were crunching down Old Warsaw.

Dixie Marshall

Dixie Marshall

Simona Beal and Gracie Beal

Simona Beal and Gracie Beal

John Cooper and Kendra and Mark Averitt

John Cooper and Kendra and Mark Averitt

But inside Korshak, the 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debs were dress-rehearsing upstairs in the women’s salon, as family and friends (Laura and Jason Downing, Simona Beal, Nancy Labadie, Lisa Laughlin, Dixie Marshall, John Cooper and Kendra and Mark Averitt), gathered with champagne flutes in hand, getting to know each other.

Stanley Korshak gowns

Stanley Korshak gowns

Instead of Neiman Marcus Downtown, where the announcement of debs has taken place in recent years, the event had returned to Korshak after 25 years on Korshak’s 30th anniversary. Thanks to the chilled drinks, the warmish temperatures were staved off. As one vet explained to a newcomer, “Nothing new. Once the overhead lights are turned up, the heat hits.”

Jolie Humphrey

Jolie Humphrey

Tincy Miller

Tincy Miller

With guests taking their seats on either side of the Korshak runway, the program got underway. DSOL Deb Chair Chair Jolie Humphrey looked downright giddy telling the crowd that the theme for the Saturday, February 18th white/black-tie presentation at the Meyerson would be Art Nouveau. Following DSOL Deb Presentation Founder Tincy Miller‘s recalling the origins of the major fundraiser for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Assembly and Honor Guard were presented.

The Assembly officers

The Assembly officers

Honor Guard officers

Honor Guard officers

Then the part of the evening that all had been waiting for started — the announcement presentation of the 2017 frosh class. Alas, a couple of the debs, it seems, had sent word that they would be no-shows. Yes, the debs-to-come were represented beautifully by those on the scene, with white roses and peacock feathers in hand. But they were disappointed that some had been called away to internships and holidays.

Aspen Moraif

Aspen Moraif

Betsy Smith

Betsy Smith

Isabel Yoder

Isabel Yoder

Only problem? Word of a couple of the MIAs hadn’t made it into the script, creating an “Oops” moment or two. But ever-cool DSOL Deb Presentation Announcer Stan Garner championed on without more than a moment or two of pause. Escorted halfway down the aisle by members of the Honor Guard, the debs included Layne Anderson, Gracie Beal, Evan Blanton, Lilli Boren, Olivia Burnett, McKenna Cook, Alicia Crenshaw, Caroline Downing, Marina Frattaroli, Heather Hall, Madeline Hendrick, Ellie Kind, Abby Loncar, Ashlyn Matthews, Juliana McIlveene, Natalie Monger, Aspen Moraif, Allison Rogers, Betsy Smith, Mary Stillman, Bailey Turfitt, Georgia Tyler, Emily Vaughan and Isabel Yoder.

Madeline Hendrick, Bailey Turfitt, Marina Frattaroli and Mary Stillman

Madeline Hendrick, Bailey Turfitt, Marina Frattaroli and Mary Stillman

As the gals finished their walk down the aisle solo, two or three DSOL-ers were standing behind the seated crowd looking like traffic cops pointing them to the hallway leading backstage.

After the right-official presentation, the gals joined their parents in partying a tad bit more. On the other hand, others guests waiting for the checkout at the valet chatted it up. Stan was the first to hit the line, preparing to pedal it to Southlake to join up with his wife Sara Lee Garner for a rehearsal dinner.

For a look at all the 2017 debs on the scene, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debutante Announcement Presentation

Natalie Monger

Natalie Monger

In less than 10 months, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League will be presenting the 2017 debutantes at the Meyerson. To get things moving along, the newest crop of young women were announced on Friday, June 3. Alas, due to summer vacations, not all the gals were on hand. But the ones who were there wore highest heels and adorable dresses to show off their longer-than-long legs.

Stanley Korshak gowns

Stanley Korshak gowns

Taking place on the top floor of Stanley Korshak, family and friends not only got to see the to-be-debs escorted down the aisle by members of the DSOL Honor Guard, they also got to know each other. Wise move, since the months ahead will be filled with activities and plans.

Madeline Hendrick, Bailey Turfitt, Marina Frattaroli and Mary Stillman

Madeline Hendrick, Bailey Turfitt, Marina Frattaroli and Mary Stillman

While the post is being prepared, get a look at the Korshak announcement party at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 30th Annual Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano and the Monarch butterflies winging down to Mexico, 41 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debs in their OMG white ball gowns were flocking like swans at the Meyerson for the 30th Annual DSOL Presentation Ball on Saturday, February 20.

Abby Tisdale and Samuel Boyd

Abby Tisdale and Samuel Boyd

Mary Margaret Hancock, Carlton Adams and Tai Massimilian

Mary Margaret Hancock, Carlton Adams and Tai Massimilian

Ciara Cooley and Carolina Henry

Ciara Cooley and Carolina Henry

Lucy McDaniel and Caroline McDaniel

Lucy McDaniel and Caroline McDaniel

But it wasn’t a stiff-neck get-together for the debs, their Honor Guard escorts, families and pals. From the beef Wellington served in the VVIP private reception in the Horchow Hall to the cheers in the McDermott Concert Hall, it was an all-smiles occasion.

Lowrie Reniger and John Reniger

Lowrie Reniger and John Reniger

Peyton Porter and Matthew Glaser

Peyton Porter and Matthew Glaser

While the post is being finalized, check out more than 50 photos over on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debs And Moms Do Holiday Teatime At Troutt Estate

As the fundraising activities were going into hibernation, the private get-togethers were in high gear. However, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League managed to squeeze in one last event. It was actually perfect timing for most. With girls back from college for the holidays, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League took full advantage of the 2016 DSOL Presentation Ball debs being available for the annual tea.

Lisa Troutt

Lisa Troutt

Christie Reniger and Nancy Labadie

Christie Reniger and Nancy Labadie

DSOL Ball Chair Nancy Labadie and her committee managed to have the holiday afternoon event at Lisa and Kenny Troutt’s estate whose halls were decked with a towering Christmas tree, lit candles and a dining room table filled with all types of goodies.

As delicious as the food looked, some of the debs were passing on taking advantage of the spread. After all, they were watching their waistlines since their ball gowns were in the final stages of being sewn up. One of the debs admitted that she hadn’t really been working on her bow, but figured that she still had plenty of time to get the process down by the DSOL Presentation Ball at the Meyerson on Saturday, February 20.

Ciara Cooley, Payton Scott, Carolina Henry and Alexandra Henry

Ciara Cooley, Payton Scott, Carolina Henry and Alexandra Henry

As Lisa and Nancy greeted guests, moms (Lisa Cooley, Claire Henry, Christie Reniger) and daughters (Ciara Cooley, Carolina Henry, Alexandra Henry) made themselves right at home.

Lizzy Gates and Robin Bagwell

Lizzy Gates and Robin Bagwell

On the other hand, Robin Bagwell reported that son, Nolan Bagwell, had to “bow out” of being a member of the ball’s honor guard. His reserve duty commitments scheduled on that weekend had forced his being MIA. Luckily, Robin felt right at home at the tea, since her goddaughter Lizzy Gates is one of the 2016 debs who will be bowing on stage at the Meyerson.

Speaking of MIA, Simona Beal and her daughters weren’t at the tea. Seems her twins Lauren Beal and Tasha Beal were still away at Vanderbilt University and the University of North Carolina, respectively. Luckily, the Beal girls would make it home in time for Christmas and then it was off with their brother Robbie Beal and sister Gracie Beal to ski the slopes with their dad and to Mexico with their mom.

Round Robin September 24: 2016 Cattle Baron’s Co-Chairs Reception And Chic

After the day’s luncheon, everyone should have headed home, but fundraising required venturing out as the weekend approached. At ZaZa Art, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League celebrated Lisa and George Longinos’ being honorary co-chairs for the DSOL Debutante Presentation on Saturday, February 20, at the Meyerson.

North of LBJ, the Dallas Women’s Foundation Luncheon patrons were gathered at The Warehouse in preparation for their October 30th fundraiser with Eva Longoria as the keynote speaker.

Back in the Bubble, the John Wayne Film Festival was underway at Highland Park Village Theater for three days of movies and rubbing shoulders with the Duke’s kin to benefit the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Honoring 2016 Co-Chairs

Just a few doors down from the HPV theater, another cancer-busting event was taking place. It was the Cattle Baron’s gals shopping (a percentage of the sales went into the CBB coffers) and sipping at St. Laurent in honor of 2016 CBB Co-Chairs Cara French and Andrea Weber.

2015 CBB Co-Chair Tia Wynne was having to handle the hostessing duties. Her Co-Chair Mary Martha Pickens was in New York and finding the getting around town a doozy while Pope Francis was in the Big Apple hood.

Claire Emanuelson, Piper Wyatt and Cara French

Claire Emanuelson, Piper Wyatt and Cara French

JB Hayes

JB Hayes

Cara was looking forward to her cousin Blair Farris coming to town on Wednesday, October 14. Blair is the publisher/editor of Peachy The Magazine.

JB Hayes was back from a trip to Tuscany where Courtney and Neal Rider were celebrating the anniversary of their wedding there.

After Claire Emanuelson tried on a multi-colored, $15K fur cape, she and Piper Wyatt were on their way for a girls’ night out. Other guests included Joanna Clarke, Teffy Jacobs, Wendy Messmann, _

Chic

On the edge of the Bubble, Brian Bolke’s Forty-Five Ten was rocking with people watching better than the Grammy red carpet. It was “Chic” — the chic-est kick-off event for the November 7th Art for Advocacy being co-chaired by Paige and John Slates and benefiting Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center.

Itty-bitty Shelle Sills fessed up that by staying thin, she was better able to move through such jamfests. This one included Nancy Rogers, Faisal Halum, Niven Morgan and Shelby Wagner, Alicia and Scott Wood, David Droese (“Lately we’ve been doing the family thing.”), Muffin Lemak, Brooke Hortenstine, Julie Hawes, Missy Peck, Christen and Derek Wilson, Pat McEvoy, Jennie Reeves, Sunie Solomon, Antimere Robinson, Shane Monden and Nick Westerman.

Shelby Wagner

Shelby Wagner

Scott and Alicia Wood

Scott and Alicia Wood

Missy Peck

Missy Peck

 

Brooke Hortenstine and Jennie Reeves

Brooke Hortenstine and Jennie Reeves

Antimere Robinson, Shane Monden and Nick Westerman

Antimere Robinson, Shane Monden and Nick Westerman

The evening’s draw was so typical of Brian. Author Donald Robertson was all smiles while signing his “Mitford at the Fashion Zoo.” Oh, goodness, how the ladies were lined up whom Donald had illustrated on the shopping bags. Talk about wanting to be a bag woman!

Donald Robertson

Donald Robertson

Linda Rodin

Linda Rodin

In another area, “looks” expert Linda Rodin needed no spotlight. It was her glasses, her white/silver hair, her Bottox-less beauty or her outstanding cheekbones. It was the whole package that set her aside from the rest. Her zest for life and people dominated the scene. “I’ll have what she’s having!

Claire and Piper, who had moved their girls’ night out to Forty Five Ten, were then headed back to Highland Park Village for din-din at Café Pacific.

Round Robin 8/27 Part I: DSOL Reception, La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Check Presentation And Stars And Stripes Festival Kick Off

As a warm-up for the upcoming fall fundraising season, the evening of Thursday, August 27, was a real workout all over town. Here is Part One of the evening’s activities:

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Past Chair Reception

Venise Stuart

Venise Stuart

Melissa Lewis

Melissa Lewis

Jolie Humphrey

Jolie Humphrey

Tincy Miller

Tincy Miller

Just up Preston Road, Tootsie’s upper level was a showcase of formal evening gowns. And checking out the dazzling threads were members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League with all types of DSOL Presentation Ball chairs doing the modeling like Kay Weeks, Dixey Arterburn, Jolie Humphrey, Sarah Frazee, Venise Stuart, Melissa Lewis and Tincy Miller, who founded the event in 1987. Providing the background of each of the models’ involvement with the ball plus the 2015-2016 fashion trends was Jan Strimple, who will manage to produce the extravaganza on the Meyerson stage on Saturday, February 20.

La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Check Presentation

Mary Hubbard, Tom and Julie Trigg and Lori Martin

Mary Hubbard, Tom and Julie Trigg and Lori Martin

Anne Besser and Kathleen Whalen

Anne Besser and Kathleen Whalen

Just south of Tootsie’s on Preston Road in Highland Park Village’s Mockingbird Room, the 2015 La Fiesta De Las Banderas Co-Chairs Mary Hubbard and Lori Martin were doling out $454,950 to recipients like The Family Place’s Paige Flink, University Park Library’s Kathy Cosgrove, Sharon Martin, Barbara Daniel and Julie Nunez and Highland Park Literary Festival Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Kathleen Whalen.

New kid-on-the-block Highland Park Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg and his wife Julie Trigg were feeling right at home among the Parkies.

Stars And Stripes Film Festival Kick Off

Just down the way in HP Village at the movie theater, Stars And Stripe Film Festival Co-Chairs Tanya and Pete Foster were hosting the kick-off of the Sons Of The Flags fundraiser.

Ryan Parrott, Mary Meier and Tanya and Pete Foster

Ryan Parrott, Mary Meier and Tanya and Pete Foster

After SOTF founder/President/CEO Ryan Parrott briefly explained how important funding was to help military, first responders and civilian burn victims, Tanya and Pete revealed plans for the festival that will run Thursday, November 12 thru Sunday, November 15, at the Angelika.

Tanya told how Lynn and Allan McBee had been the chairs for the first festival last year and “They set the bar really high last year.”

Pete then explained how the number of new burn victims outnumbers burn specialists, creating a lack of available care.

Syd and Margaret Carter

Syd and Margaret Carter

Honorary Co-Chairs will be Margaret and Syd Carter with SOF Board of Director Connie Boucher chairing the luncheon at the Dallas Country Club featuring retired Gen. Tommy Franks on Friday, November 13.

Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert introduced a reel of trailers promoting just a smidgen of the films to be screened at the festival including “Patton,” “We Are Soldiers” and a documentary on 9/11 first responders,

Sons of the Flag Director of Development Mary Meier reported that already $75K had been raised and emphasized that people should stay after the screenings of the movies for the Q&A’s. For instance, the Native American community is bringing in WWII code talkers to discuss “Windtalkers.” Honorary Co-Chair Syd will speak at the end of “Bridges of Toko Ri.” Following the showing of “Patton,” the late Gen. George Patton’s grandson, George Patton Waters will discuss “life with George.”

While individual tickets don’t go on sale until October, sponsorships are available now.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debs And Honor Guard Prove Jeans And Louboutins Do Mix Well

While the rest of Dallas headed to the Rockies, Napa Valley or the other side of the pond, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debs, honor guard and their folks played games at Lee Park’s Arlington Hall on Friday, July 24.

While the attire was Texas Tuxedo, the interpretation definitely differed between the females and males. The fellas like Jason Mackey embraced it wholeheartedly with jeans, boots, a handmade Kevin O’Farrell hat, formal shirt, bowtie and dinner jacket. He topped the whole look off with a big, old smile and twinkle in his eye.

Jason Mackey

Jason Mackey

Laura Langston and Alexandra Ferrer

Laura Langston and Alexandra Ferrer

The ladies, on the other hand, sashayed away from the denims and headed for styles that would have put a smile on Stanley Marcus’ lips. Alexandra Ferrer, who was a deb last year, dazzled in a red Kate Spade cocktail dress clutching a Gucci handbag. On her wrist was a nice Vacheron watch, and on her feet there were the red-soled Louboutins… Abby Tisdale’s knockout white silk dress caused a wee hiccup. Seems that draping of white stands got caught on the stairway…Lauren Langston’s ears glittered thanks to her Christian Dior earring.

Abby Tisdale and Alicia Howell

Abby Tisdale and Alicia Howell

Ciara Cooley and Payton Scott

Ciara Cooley and Payton Scott

Lisa Cooley

Lisa Cooley

Ciara Cooley accepted comps on her stilettos and then fessed up that they actually belonged to her mom, Lisa Cooley. There are definitely advantages to having a mom with the same shoe size and very good taste, who is willing to share. When asked about the infamous Texas Dip, Ciara admitted that she hadn’t started practicing, but kidded that she may end up wearing Toms for the bow. Sure.

2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debutantes

2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debutantes

As for mom, Lisa started off the evening sans husband Clay Cooley, who was flying in for the event. Also missing were the Cooley boys, Chance Cooley and Chase Cooley — one was on a mission trip and the other was hard at work. But the Cooley touch was obvious before anyone entered Arlington Hall. There were spanking Corvettes prominently parked out front.

Paul and Nancy Labadie and Melissa and Buddy Lewis

Paul and Nancy Labadie and Melissa and Buddy Lewis

DSOL Deb Ball Chair Nancy Labadie had much to celebrate. In addition to the debs and Honor Guard partying, she was celebrating her birthday with husband Paul Labadie and son Will Labadie with his fiancée Lizzie Colton. Will and Lizzie met five years ago when they were at Highland Park High School. Lizzie was a 2012-2013 DSOL deb and just last year Will was a member of the honor guard.

There are more photos of the event at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debs And Deets Revealed With Champagne At Neiman Marcus Downtown

While many of the 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debs were tending to other obligations (i.e. college graduations, catching planes for summer vacations, etc.), the rest of the 2016 class was well-represented on Friday, May 29, at Neiman Marcus Downtown.

Maddie Lee, Lily Guevel and Ciara Cooley

Maddie Lee, Lily Guevel and Ciara Cooley

And, boy, were they represented! Adorable short skirts that would have tested the fingertip test, long hair with nary a split end in sight, loads of parents and grandest parents and red-tipped white roses were filling the ground level of the flagship store.

Nancy Labadie

Nancy Labadie

DSOL Ball Chair Nancy Labadie was thrilled over the presentation of debs for the 30th anniversary as well as her surprise — 2016 honorary Co-Chairs Lisa and George Longino. While Lisa and George were in Georgia attending her college reunion, they are definitely slated to be at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra fundraiser on Saturday, February 20, at the Meyerson.

Nancy also is arranging for a float in the Park Cities 4th of July parade abounding with debs, as well as gown shows for the moms at places like St. John Boutique in Highland Park Village and Tootsies.

Jeff Byron and Cindrette McDaniel

Jeff Byron and Cindrette McDaniel

And while the young beauties were the center of attention, 79-year-old Cindrette McDaniel could hold her own with the crop of debs. When asked the secret to her porcelain skin, she said she’s used a cream for ages that elder Joe Lambert recommended years ago. He “hobbled across Mockingbird with ice cream for me and told me about Elta. You buy it at CVS or Walgreens in a red plastic tube. It melts on contact.”

(Editor’s note: Actually after much research and thanks to Cindrette’s daughter Paige McDaniel, it was discovered that Elta wasn’t at CVS or Walgreen’s. But it can be found at Dougherty’s, Preston Road Pharmacy, online and at other North Texas locations.)

And regarding her unusual first name, she explained it was a take-off on Cinderella. When her dad first saw her mother, she was scrubbing the floor. He said, “Get up, Cinderella. I’m your prince.”

2016 DSOL deb parents seated for announcement presentation

2016 DSOL deb parents seated for announcement presentation

2016 DSOL debs in Chanel boutique

2016 DSOL debs in Chanel boutique

After photos of the debs with their parents were taken, the parents took their seats and the gals were “corralled” in the Chanel boutique. Not shabby surroundings, huh?

Sara Lee Gardner and Tincy Miller

Sara Lee Gardner and Tincy Miller

After welcomes by Nancy and DSOL President Melissa Lewis and Presentation Ball Co-Founder Tincy Miller’s explaining the history of the program, emcee Stan “He of the Silver Tongue” Gardner introduced the DSOL Assembly officers (Elizabeth Dorsey, Sarah Frazee, Marielle LeMasters, Claire McCormick and Elizabeth Metzger), the Honor Guard officers (Austin Franks, Joseph Lafferty, Billy Langhenry, Michael Machak, Andrew Perry and Houstoun Warring) and then the debs (Lauren Beal, Tasha Beal, Sarah Blazejewski, Ashley Clark, Ciara Cooley, Katherine Cullins, Loring Dalton, Mary Catherine Davis, Audrey Dike, Lindsey Elliott, Gail Ewing, Elena Frattaroli, Lizzy Gates, Ashton Gillespie, Linda Gilmore, Lily Guevel, Margaret Hamm, Mary Margaret Hancock, Carolina Henry, Alexandra Henry, McKenzie Hicks, Allison Horn, Maddie Lee, Eleanor Light, Tai Massimilian, Caroline McDaniel, Margaret Mulcahy, Madison Mulligan, Elizabeth Perry, Peyton Porter, Lowrie Reniger, Megan Rooney, Payton Scott, Laura Scully, Callie Stone, Darby Strickland, Abby Tisdale, Kayla Vrij, Meredith Weaver, Allison Weil, Mary Wheat, Morgan Winspear and Allison Zashin).

Kayla Vrij

Kayla Vrij

Peyton Porter

Peyton Porter

Callie Stone

Callie Stone

But the announcement activities didn’t end Friday night. There was a reception and fashion show back at the store on Saturday, and then a reception on Sunday hosted by designer Patti Flowers at her studio.

Between now and February 20, the families will be busy being fitted for gowns and white-tie attire and the debs-to-be will practicing that bow. Practice will make perfect and perfection is expected on the Meyerson stage.

For more photos of the debs and guests, check out the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debutante Announcement Reception

Audrey Dike

Audrey Dike

McKenzie Hicks

McKenzie Hicks

Caroline McDaniel

Caroline McDaniel

Neiman Marcus Downtown is usually “dark” on Friday nights, but on May 29 it was pretty darn lively with pretty young things, their parents, their grandparents, some handsome gents and champagne. The occasion was the 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debutante announcement reception.

Maddie Lee, Lily Guevel and Ciara Cooley

Maddie Lee, Lily Guevel and Ciara Cooley

While some were MIA due to graduations and starting summer vacations early, there were still dozens and dozens of gals, who will be presented at the Meyerson on Saturday, February 20.

The post is being prepared, but there are loads of photos of those future debs and “friends” over at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Round Robin April 15: Côtes Du Coeur Reception, Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Derby Day And Moonlight Ball Patron Parties

Accountants were hunkered down trying to meet the midnight tax deadline. But the evening of Wednesday, April 15, was one of those rare nights when the weather was ideal and partying indoors and out was incredible. Some of the events taking place included:

Côtes Du Coeur Reception

Kim Bannister, Mary Gill, Mary Martha Pickens and Wendy Messmann

Kim Bannister, Mary Gill, Mary Martha Pickens and Wendy Messmann

Heart disease survivor and fundraiser Mary Gill was being celebrated at Jimmy Choo in connection with the April 25th Côtes du Coeur benefiting the American Heart Association.

Jimmy Choo's Cinderella slipper

Jimmy Choo’s Cinderella slipper

It was a bittersweet occasion. Being toasted and surrounded by about 60 friends like Simona Beal, Elizabeth Washburn, Côtes du Coeur Gala Chair Kristen Johnston, Côtes du Coeur Chair Kate Rose Marquez, Kim Bannister, Mary Martha Pickens, Wendy Messmann, Kris Johnson, Cara French and Nancy Gopez cheered her a bit despite the recent loss of her brother Richie Humphreys, who succumbed to his years of battling cancer.

Helping add a touch of sparkle to the occasion was the presentation of Jimmy Choo’s made-to-order Cinderella shoe. Gals like Brittanie Buchanan Oleniczak tried it on. Even if the crystal-embellished shoe fit the lady’s foot, the glass slipper—a tie-in with the new “Cinderella” live-action movie, which was playing at the nearby Village Theatre—might have required a Prince Charming to help handle the near-$5,000 price tag.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Derby Day Patron Party

Aakash Patel

Aakash Patel

Susan Walker and Courtney Nall

Susan Walker and Courtney Nall

In Marion and Jim Moore‘s glorious house, Aakash Patel was playing his violin in the entry hall. About 35 guests were gathering for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Wells Fargo Derby Day patron party, which helps support programs including the DSO Young Strings, of which Aakash is a graduate. Co-Chairs Courtney Nall and Susan Walker had arranged for the event at the Moores’ just days before the Wells Fargo-sponsored derby at Lone Star Park.

H.M. and Marilyn Hailey

H.M. and Marilyn Hailey

In the den, Marilyn and H.M. Hailey were settled down in a comfy couch. The former Neiman Marcus house model recalled her days of working the couture salon and Zodiac Room with models Virginia Muncy and Desi. It was during this period that Marilyn met legendary hat designer Frank Olive. She was so caught up with the milliner that she started collecting his hats. Today she has 40 Frank Olive creations.

Who knows? Maybe Marilyn wore one of her prized chapeaus at the Sunday, April 19, Derby Day.

Under The Moonlight Ball Patron Party

Bob Penn was at the door of his 87-year-old mansion for the rescheduled Ronald McDonald House of DallasUnder the Moonlight Ball patron party.

Mother Nature hadn’t been a very nice party guest for the previous Moonlight events. First the patron party had to be rescheduled due to snow, and then she dumped rain on the main event itself. Still, Moonlighters took it in stride. Despite the rain, they partied indoors at Trinity Groves and thank heaven they picked a perfect night for the patron party.

With the grounds looking just a kiss away from spectacular, the Penns threw open the terrace doors and the 45 guests took full advantage of the Penns’ hospitality and glorious home that sits on more than an acre in Highland Park.

Catherine Penn and Cate Ford

Katherine Penn and Cate Ford

Moonlight Co-Chair Cate Ford pointed out the faces carved into the staircase leading to the living quarters. There was a rumor that it was of Bob and his brothers as children. Then Cate checked out the charming panels featuring the Penn daughters in the living room.

Carved faces in stairway

Carved faces in stairway

Panel of Penn daughters

Panel of Penn daughters

Katherine Penn admitted that 30 years ago, when they moved into the house which was built in 1928, she thought it was way too big, but they eventually filled it up with kids and furnishings. Luckily, Katherine and Bob kept the Santa Barbara style home built by Bob’s folks intact with some slight adjustments. Katherine said that such things as air conditioning and electrical adjustments were a bit challenging. But they met the challenge.

One of the original homes built in the immediate neighborhood, the estate’s magnificent trees suffered no damage in last year’s straight-line winds. The secret? Katherine is vigilant about keeping the trees trimmed.

If ever the Penns invite you over, accept. This house is beautiful, inviting and historic.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debutantes Executed Perfect Texas Dips And Conquered Tricky Steps

Maybe it was the glorious weather. Or, perhaps it was that golden moon hovering over the Meyerson. But the annual Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Deb Ball seemed to relax past stringent rules on Saturday, February 7.

Before the first wave of guests gathered in the Meyerson’s lower lobby, the 40 debs in magnificent white ballgowns with long gloves were posing with their escorts in white tie and tail for a group photo on the steps leading to the McDermott Concert Hall. After the prim and proper photo was taken, the group broke up with some posing for cellphone photos and others just relaxing. Not to sound way too corny, but the cluster of girls in white dresses “chilling” on the staircase looked positively dreamy. This collection of gowns was just slightly spectacular. But the signal was given and the debs disappeared backstage following the tradition that the debs and their dresses are formally presented to “the world” on stage and not before.

Debs heading backstage

Debs heading backstage

Ah, but protocol doesn’t always fit with a girl’s plans. As guests started arriving, the Meyerson’s downstairs lobby filled with men in tuxedos and tails and ladies of all ages in fabulous gowns. Some of the designer frocks were shimmering; some were jewel-colored. And, of course, the jewelry was remarkable. In the tapestry of colors, there was one that stood out to vet observers. It was a pretty young thing in a white ballgown with opera gloves. It was a deb. Glory be. To the newcomer, it was no biggie. But for the very proper types, it was right up there with a bride greeting guests at the church door before the wedding.

One vet raised her manicured eyebrow and summed it up, “Naughty, naughty.”

Still the deb stayed drinking water and having a male friend provide tidbits for munching. Mustn’t soil those white gloves, don’t you know.

But she was the only white swan seen in the cocktail reception. Another one scampered to a crowd on friends/family and then rushed back up the marble steps to be with the sisterhood.

Another eyecatcher was the young lady in the multi-colored evening gown who proved that even in formal attire one can walk across the lobby chewing an appetizer with mouth wide open.

Margaux Anbouba

Margaux Anbouba

Sarah Frazee and Claire McCormick

Sarah Frazee and Claire McCormick

 

Stan and Sara Gardner

Stan and Sara Gardner

Mary Mitchell

Mary Mitchell

Others in the crowd were Assembly President Claire McCormick in a gown by Sherri Hill and President-Elect Sarah Frazee in a dress from Tootsie’s; evening emcee Stan Gardner with his wife Sara Lee Gardner in a gold Chris Roth gown with matching wrap; mother-of-a-deb Mary Mitchell in a shimmering Giovanni with white shawl; deb little sis, 7-year-old Emma Allen spending time with Event Chair Venise Stuart in a red, hot Patti Flowers with added sparkles from Eiseman’s;  Aileen Pratt in a “vintage” Carolyne Roehm and husband Jack Pratt in Armani, of course; and former DSOL deb Margaux Anbouba in a black gown by Milly with a Christian Dior purse, Louboutin shoes and her mother’s Syrian jewelry.

Venise Stuart and Emma Allen

Venise Stuart and Emma Allen

Aileen and Jack Pratt

Aileen and Jack Pratt

As the Meyerson chimes alerted the guests to move upstairs for the presentation, some were a little surprised at the attendants who advised them that beverages were verboten in the hall.

Stan welcomed the tiers of guests and gently suggested that decorum should be kept in mind. Translation: No shouting, hollering, stomping, air horns, etc. This message seemed to be directed to some of the younger members of the crowd, who seemed to be visiting the Meyerson for the first time. The message got across to the majority. However, there were momentary breaks with cheers from deb buddies. One went on a little too long and was answered with sh-sh-es from parent-age types.

Another issue that developed was the problem of guests leaving the hall during the presentation. In some cases, when a deb and escort left the hall, some of their friends exited, too, to congratulate the twosome on a successful debut. The friends didn’t take it kindly when attendants told them there was no re-admittance. After a huffy complaint or two by returning guests, the staffers decided that it wasn’t worth a disturbance to abide by the rule and just let the returnees back in. Guess along with a program, organizers need to include rules for attending presentations.

As for the presentation itself, it went off without a hitch. Okay, there was that one time when the deb appeared high atop the stage and heard the wrong song being played. The music stopped and the right tune was played. Luckily, the deb didn’t flutter an eyelash and continued on.

Dixie Marshall

Dixie Marshall

Brice and Cynthia Beaird and Lynn and Presley Mock

Brice and Cynthia Beaird and Lynn and Presley Mock

DSOL President Dixie Marshall and Venise thanked all involved in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra fundraiser including Cynthia Beaird, Sharon Ballew, Marena Gault and Sharon Popham. Honorary Co-Chairs Cynthia and Brice Beaird were presented. Then Stan returned to the podium to introduce the Assembly officers and Honor Guard officer. To the left side of the stage, three rows remained empty, while the rest of the seats were filled. Eventually those empty places would be filled by the presenting fathers, uncles and grandfathers.

Sharon Ballew and Marena Gault

Sharon Ballew and Marena Gault

Sharon Popham

Sharon Popham

Gracie Hayhurst

Gracie Hayhurst

While all 40 swans (Arianna Allen, Ellie Allums, Kathryn Anderson, Emily Bearden, Ellen Beecherl, Madeline Beecherl, Sarah Bruyere, Anne Marie Bullington, Sissi Buss, Sarah Carlsen, Courtney Chavez, Ellen Crowe, Carolyn Cunningham, Mary Cole Daulton, Sydney Dunbar, Alex Ferrer, Brownlee Fielder, Caroline Frattaroli, Margaret Hardage, Gracie Hayhurst, Brookie Hewes, Lexie Hood, Camille Humphrey, Arielle Iola, Sarah Kline, Courtney Klingaman, Coco Kubicki, Olivia Lewis, Alexis Madormo, Meghan Mitchell, Abbey Mock, Lauren Newman, Brooke Oliver, Brittany Perry, Caroline Reece, Megan Reynolds, Mason Strickland, Tiffany Tubb, Hayley Waring and Sydney Wilkins) pulled off the step-down from the entrance stage to the main stage where they executed perfect Texas dips and then from the stage down to the hall’s floor, they weren’t off the hook yet. It was those tricky steps leading up from the hall to the hallway that proved a surprise challenge. Those dang, gorgeous expensive gowns that looked like glorious puffs of meringue didn’t mix with the steps. Some of the debs with bouquets in one hand and Honor Guard in the other discovered themselves in the dimly lit aisle stepping on the hems. Realizing the next step would probably take them down, they dropped the fellow, grabbed a hunk of the skirt and managed to climb the stairs.

After the last deb was presented, she and her escort swiftly moved to the back of the stage for the presentation of all 80 debs and escorts on stage.

2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debutante Ball presentation

2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debutante Ball presentation

The next step in the evening was the first dance that was to take place in the Meyerson lobby on the dance floor between the debs and the senior men in their lives. While families and friends surrounded the dance floor and many of the younger crowd found spots along the balcony overhead, a pathway was cleared for the debs to make their way from the hall to the dance floor. Soon, a parade of debs and Honor Guard members were seen parading along the path. At the edge of the dance floor, the escorts peeled off and the debs sought their families to hugs, smiles and congratulations as photographers hustled to get photos. When all were reunited, the first dance of the night took place on a very crowded dance floor with moms smiling from the sidelines.

Meghan Mitchell

Meghan Mitchell

Sissi Buss

Sissi Buss

Arianna Allen and Ellie Allums

Arianna Allen and Ellie Allums

Alex Ferrer

Alex Ferrer

Following the dance, guests settled down to dinner and more partying. The next morning the deb families would gather one last time for the Tears and Cheers brunch at the Fairmont’s Pyramid Room before heading back to the real life of jobs and schools. Those magnificent white gowns would go into storage.

For more photos of all the debs and many friends and families, check the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

 

 

Round Robin February 5: Mary Kay Announcement And Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Honor Guard Dinner

The bitter cold would normally slow things down, but not in North Texas. Thanks to causes and pretty-please-invitations, folks turned out on Thursday, February 5.

Mary Kay Announcement

Abi Ferrin

Abi Ferrin

Nancy Rogers

Nancy Rogers

The West Village is simply perfect for strolling and window peaking. On this night, Mi Cocina’s doors were opening non-stop as guests sought comfort thanks to Mole Enchiladas de Pollo and Mama’s Chicken con Hongos. Across the way, Abi Ferrin was hosting a crowd with the Mary Kay gang at her flagship boutique.

Shama Hyder

Shama Hyder

Kirsten Gappelberg and Paige Flink

Kirsten Gappelberg and Paige Flink

Winney Bang, Sobee Duenas and Helen Kim

Winney Bang, Sobee Duenas and Helen Kim

As more than 50 guests like Paige Flink, Sham Hyder, Kirsten Gappelberg, Cristal Retana and the Mary Kay Asia regional team (Winney Bang, Sobee Duenas and Helen Kim) checked out Abi’s so comfortable and flattering outfits, Nancy Rogers arrived on the scene with Michael Flores and Douglas Carney. She hardly hit the door before she hit the racks to see Abi’s newest goodies.

Cristal Retana and Crayton Webb

Cristal Retana and Crayton Webb

But the real purpose of the night was the announcement. As part of its “Domestic Violence Awareness” campaign, the Mary Kay organization had selected Abi as its spokesperson. The idea came to Mary Kay VP Crayton Webb when he met her a year and a half ago at a dinner party and heard her story about physical and emotional abuse.

It turned out that Nancy Rogers had been a fan of Abi’s designs.

As for Abi, she revealed that she’s been using Mary Kay products like Satin Hands and the eye makeup remover — “It’s the best eye makeup remover!” — for years. Plus, “Nancy gave me the lip gloss.”

To promote the campaign, Abi did a PSA video. The week of February 17, a national figure will be revealed who will “speak to the issue of dating violence and healthy relationships.”

DSOL Honor Guard Dinner

Venise Stuart and Tincy Miller

Venise Stuart and Tincy Miller

OK, so the upcoming weekend may have belonged to the 40 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debs, but on this night it was “almost strictly” a guy get-together upstairs at the Dallas Country Club. DSOL President Venise Stuart and her cohorts Marena Gault, Sharon Popham, Barbara Averitt, Deborah Brown and The Assembly President Claire McCormick were allowed to be part of the festivities to make sure everything ran seamlessly.

Claire McCormick

Claire McCormick

John Cooper and Greg Moore

John Cooper and Greg Moore

Following the age-old tradition, Tincy Miller hosted a dinner for 120 of the deb and Honor Guard’s dads and granddads like Tom Stanzel, Bart Humphrey, Roger Gault and Greg Moore. In years past, it had been held at Prestonwood Country Club. The move to the Dallas Country Club was made since PCC was being refurbished.

Tincy became the target of the evening with every gent wanting to plant a kiss on her cheek.

Tyler Armstrong

Tyler Armstrong

Just as the front room seemed to hold no more, dinner was announced.

Again, following tradition, the following awards were presented:

  • Lois Watson Award — Tyler Armstrong
  • The Vance C. Miller Award — John Cooper

After the evening concluded, the spotlight would focus on the 40 debs and their formal presentation Saturday night at the Meyerson.

 

Amy Mitchell’s Mansion On The Creek Provided The Christmas Wow! Factor For The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Deb Tea

Satellites circling the earth probably were amazed at the lit-up North Texas area. Among the homes showcasing the Santa angle in December was Amy and Malone Mitchells’ mansion along Turtle Creek.

On Thursday, December 18, a bigger-than-life-size nutcracker at the front door greeted the ladies of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League for their annual holiday tea honoring the 2015 Symphony Debs. With debs home for the holidays, they were partying non-stop for the next few days including Saturday’s Diamonds & Debs hosted by the Lawrence Bock family and Sunday’s Holiday Party at Myrna and Bob Schlegels’ estate.

Christmas decorations in the Mitchell home

Christmas decorations in the Mitchell home

Christmas decorations in the Mitchell home

Christmas decorations in the Mitchell home

Christmas decorations in the Mitchell home

Christmas decorations in the Mitchell home

But on this afternoon with temperatures in the 40’s outside, the breathtaking interior of the home past the heavy front door immediately warmed things up for guests like Susan Stanzel, Cynthia Beaird, Jolie Humphrey and daughter Camille, who were headed to Santa Fe following Christmas.

Cynthia Beaird and Venise Stuart

Cynthia Beaird and Venise Stuart

DSOL Debutante Ball Chair Venise Stuart was amazed at how seamlessly the year had taken place. She had asked Amy about hostessing the tea back in June and today was the result.

Carolers

Carolers

While Dickens-esque carolers wandering throughout, marvelously decorated towering Christmas trees were spotted in the Great Hall, the living room, the keeping room and practically in every nook and cranny. Hmm. Pity poor Santa in trying to figure out where to put the gifts.

Amy Mitchell

Amy Mitchell

Speaking of the keeping room, Amy was seated in a chair chatting with the some of the gals. In playing “checking in,” one gal said she was at SMU. Amy asked if she was in a sorority. The lass replied, “Chi O.” Immediately, Amy responded, “Me, too!” What a hoot! (Sorry about that.)

But it also appeared that the Mitchell clan was part of the Yule brotherhood with ceramic Saint Nicholases, magnificent tapestry, manger scenes and even a cute grinch throughout. And, of course, a life-size Santa presided from the Great Hall’s balcony. In other words, Christmas is a very big deal in the Mitchell household. It’s too bad it all has to end. But not to worry. In just 11 months all the Christmas magic will return to the Mitchell household.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debs’ Parents Check Out Eiseman’s Jewel Box Filled With Gems And Timepieces

As the minutes were ticking down to the Crystal Charity Ball’s Jewels of the Garden, the Dallas gem guys were in high cotton. Sure, the Dallas Cowboys were on TV playing the Bears, but that didn’t stop diamond lovers from checking with their favorite jewelers. Along Preston Road DeBoulle, Bachendorf and Diamond Doctor looked like The Container Store the day after Christmas. People were practically lining up to get in for the glittery goodies.

Betsy Eiseman and Reed Eiseman

Betsy Eiseman and Reed Eiseman

Over at NorthPark Eiseman Jewels was moving on to focusing on the February 7th Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Deb Presentation. The cocktail reception is a favorite annual holiday gathering because the debs are presented with a pair of pearl stud earrings. With 90 of the debs’ and honor guard members’ parents filling the jewelry store, Richard Eiseman was making the evening a family affair of his own with wife Betsy and daughter Reed.

Speaking of families, Event Co-Chair Marie Dean’s family had gone through a population explosion earlier in the day. In addition to attending the Crystal Charity Ball’s Tacky Christmas Sweater lunch at the Hilton Anatole, Marie became a grandmother.

Bart and Jolie Humphrey

Bart and Jolie Humphrey

For the gents, Richard had thought ahead. He had the television embedded in the window broadcasting the Cowboys game.

During commercial breaks, some of the guests moseyed over to the cases filled with Cartier, Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, Baume and Mercier and other sweet tickers. Who says dads can’t ask Santa for something nice?

Honorary Co-Chair Jolie Humphrey admitted that being a flame-haired type had its drawbacks. When it came to clothes, blue reds worked and so did deep purples. But forget those yellows, oranges and red oranges.

But as Jolie headed to the jewel-laden case, an eavesdropping passerby was heard to say, “But diamonds go with any color.”

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Debs, Honor Guard And Parents Get Together On Thanksgiving Eve

While others were busy in kitchens fixing turkey dinner for the next day’s Thanksgiving feast, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debs, honor guards and their parents were over at the Meyerson. No, they weren’t doing their bows early. Here’s a report from the field:

“The 2015 Dallas Symphony Debutantes were honored at a cocktail buffet reception on November 26 at the Meyerson Symphony Center. The debutantes, honor guards and their families were welcomed by DSOL President Dixie Marshall and Presentation Ball Chair Venise Stuart.

“Each of the 40 debutantes were (sic) formally introduce by emcee Stan Gardner and joined by an honor guard escort for the presentation. The evening was the start of the holiday weekend which included a mixer for the debs and honor guards, as well as a Bow Boot Camp for the debs.

“During the Christmas Holidays, the Debs will return for another busy schedule of parties and bow practice. All the many events will culminate with the 29th Presentation Ball which will be held on Saturday, February 7.”

Round Robin November 20: Tyson Chandler Delivery, DSOL Debs, A Night Of Light And Vine And Dine

Just a week before Thanksgiving and a whole lot of nonprofits were squeezing in events before folks headed out of town or shut down for the holiday. Thursday, November 20, had everything from basketball stars to debs.

Tyson Chandler Delivers

Tyson Chandler and Sayge Chandler

Tyson Chandler and Sayge Chandler

When Dallas Maverick Tyson Chandler makes a home delivery, he does it in a big way and he brings along the entire Chandler clan. Need proof? How about his pulling up to the Vogel Alcove to deliver full-fledged Thanksgiving dinners for single-parent families in the Mavericks bus? And he was in the driver’s seat. Well, he was squashed into the seat. After all, the driver isn’t normally 7’1” tall.

Tyson specifically wanted the meals provided for single-parent families because he had been raised in such a family headed up by his mother Vernie Threadgill.

According to Tyson, “I watched my mom struggle to provide and just keep our heads above water. So, for someone in my situation, there’s so much pleasure to give back to families who are there, too. I’m just as thankful as they were for the opportunity. Meeting them was my favorite part.”

Kimberly Chandler

Kimberly Chandler

Along with him was his sharper-than-a-stiletto and gorgeous wife, Kimberly, and their munchkins — Sacha, Tyson II and Sayge. It was important for the parents that the children come along to distribute the food. They wanted the kids to understand that such things as Thanksgiving dinners were important to families who might not have all the advantages that the Chandler children enjoy.

Dallas Mavericks crew

Dallas Mavericks crew

Evidently, the adult Chandlers have little to worry about. All three schlepped the bags, along with the Mavs Dancers, Mavs Man and Champ and ManiAACs, to the third floor, where the recipient families waited. Just watching Tyson slightly bend over to make it through the doorway amazed children and parents alike. But after the initial photos were taken, the Chandlers got about the handing out of food with Kimberly at one end of the lengthy table and Tyson at the other end.

Debs Sip And Slip On Slippers

With the holidays comes the battle royale for parking at Highland Park Village. But the sparkling lights in the trees and the lights glowing from the shops ease the search for a parking spot.

Dixey Arterburn and Annabel Toole and Catherine Toole

Dixey Arterburn and Annabel Toole and Catherine Toole

According to 2014 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Deb Chair Dixey Arterburn, she had gotten her destinations mixed up and mistakenly marched up to the Goop party. Giving her name and saying that she was meeting So-And-So inside, she gained entry. Once inside, she didn’t recognize any of the 20- and 30-something gals and got that feeling that something just wasn’t right. Then she realized the DSOL party was taking place across the way at Louboutin.

Amita Singh, Brice and Cynthia Beaird and Jennifer Hudson

Amita Singh, Brice and Cynthia Beaird and Jennifer Hudson

Talk about a change in atmosphere. The 2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debs, moms and past participants like Honorary Co-Chairs Cynthia and Brice Beaird and 2013 DSOL deb Annabel Toole and her mom Catherine Toole were happily sipping champagne while trying on Cinderella-style slippers that feet dream of, thanks to the Louboutin team of Amita Singh and Jennifer Hudson.

A Night of Lights

Though it was “downsized” from a three-course dinner for a large crowd at the Hilton Anatole last year to “family-style” grazing at the Meyerson Symphony Center, the Center for Nonprofit Management’s 2014 Awards of Excellence program on Nov. 20 was received no less enthusiastically by the evening’s 400 or so guests.

Before the 2014 “A Night of Light” event, the program—which recognizes and celebrates nonprofit excellence in North Texas—had given out $375,000 to 75 nonprofit agencies and the people who lead them. The totals swelled by $25,000 with the 2014 excellence awards, which honored five winners in categories including Nonprofit of the Year, Nonprofit CEO of the Year, Nonprofit Communicator of the Year in Honor of Robert Miller, Corporation of the Year, and Nonprofit Board Leader of the Year.

Dan and Tina Weinfurther, Catherine Cuellar and Paul Williams,  and Sara and Cass Robinson*

Dan and Tina Weinfurther, Catherine Cuellar and Paul Williams, and Sara and Cass Robinson*

Following a reception attended by the likes of Yvonne Crum, Bobby Lyle, Jan Langbein, and Nikki and Crayton Webb, the program got underway with Dave Lieber of the The Dallas Morning News serving as master of ceremonies. Leiber called the Awards of Excellence the “Oscars of the nonprofit world,” and said he had learned the essence of being a Texan: “It’s not what kind of car you drive, but what charity do you volunteer with?”

Latoya Stewart and Dana Beckman*

Latoya Stewart and Dana Beckman*

Following brief talks by Cass Robinson, the CNM board chair, and Dana Beckman of Alliance Data—Alliance was the presenting sponsor—Honorary Chair Catherine Cuellar took the stage. Cuellar, who’s executive director of the Dallas Arts District, told the crowd that they could see “effective nonprofit management” everywhere they turned in the Arts District, from Klyde Warren Park and the Dallas Performance Hall to the Dallas Opera and the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

Larry James and Charles Elk*

Larry James and Charles Elk*

Then, after a video featuring Tina Weinfurther, the CNM’s president and CEO, it was finally time for the awards. This year’s winners, who each received a $5,000 cash award, were:

  • Nonprofit of the Year — The Concilio;
  • Nonprofit CEO of the Year — Larry James of CitySquare;
  • Nonprofit Communicator of the Year — Fort Worth Opera;
  • TXU Energy (Corporation of the Year); and
  • Nonprofit Board Leader of the Year — Tim Durst, Leukemia & Lymphona Society.

Vine And Dine

Clay and Brenda Cockrell*

Clay and Brenda Cockrell**

And finally, a report from the field, or rather Neiman Marcus Downtown,

“The seventh annual Vine and Dine dinner and charity auction supporting Ability Connection Texas was a delightful success! The intimate setting of the Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus downtown combined with wonderful wine provided by Brenda and Clay Cockerell, Coquerel Family Wine Estates and delicious cuisine, was one of the must attend events in Dallas.

“Event chair couples Suzanne and Don Laidlaw and Christie and John Reniger, along with honorary chairs Sue and Bill Knudsen, President and CEO, Ability Connection Texas, greeted everyone at the VIP reception where hors d’oeuvres of pizzettes eggplant caviar, baby stuffed purple potatoes with caviar and sour cream and more accompanied a Le Petit Coquerel Sauvingnon Blanc, Napa Valley 2012 and the specialty drink of the evening, spiced appletinis.

Neva Hall, Inette Brown, Laurie-Jo Staty and Amy Hughes

Neva Hall, Inette Brown, Laurie-Jo Staty and Amy Hughes**

“Don and John welcomed the crowd, thanking Neiman Marcus for their longtime support, having hosted the event since its beginning seven years ago and especially Neva Hall and Marjon Henderson, for achieving excellence in every detail. The room was dazzling elegance as tables were dressed in mint satin cloths, topped with white hydrangeas and roses overflowing in their vases and silver service matching the silver and mint holiday wreaths and the Zodiac décor.

Meredith Woodworth and Katy Moore*

Meredith Woodworth and Katy Moore**

“Special recognition went to Meredith and Jack Woodworth for their major sponsorship and special thanks to the Ability Connection Texas team, including Mark Denzin, incoming President and CEO.
Brenda announced the wines for the evening, sharing the story behind the name of the dessert wine La Douce Revanche, meaning “sweet revenge.” In 2008 a frost killed the fruit and the Cockerells recreated it. And a very special surprise, she and Clay will donate 15% of each case of wine purchased that evening back to Ability Connection Texas.

“Jack Woodworth a member of the board, shared the news of Bill Knudsen leaving ACT, saying Bill has always been the clients’ best friend. During his ten year tenure the number of people served has increased 640%. For the past 25 years, he has put clients and their families first.

Bill Knudsen*

Bill Knudsen**

“Bill took the stage, saying he had to put on his reading glasses – huge clown glasses and a red rubber nose and toasted the crowd to cheers! With heartfelt gratitude, he recognized current and past board members and ended saying, “On behalf of everyone we serve, you are the wind beneath their wings,” to a standing ovation.

“Mark thanked Bill saying for the past seven and-a-half years he has helped him to grow and be ready for the next step in his life. Clients served have grown from 200 to 1,500 each day and ACT is now regional in four states with 2.4 million hours provided by the ACT team.

“Jay, a client who resides in Jubilee House, told how since he moved there, this is his first time to be independent and through the Impact program, he grows each day, ending with an enthusiastic, ‘It’s a wonderful place.’

“Neiman Marcus Corporate Director and Chef Anita Hirsch and Zodiac Executive Chef David Crow served a fabulous gourmet three course dinner and as the name suggests, luscious wines. A Terrior Coquerel Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011 accompanied the first course of seared day boat scallops, parsnip puree, brussels sprouts leaves, apple and kohlrabi salad. Second course included grilled filet mignon, wild mushrooms and autumn vegetable succotash, potato gnocchi and a caramelized shallot demi-glace with a Coquerel La Petite Sirah, Napa Valley 2010. Topping it all off was a dessert of flourless chocolate cake and amaretto crème brulee gelato with a Coquerel La Douce Revanche, Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2009.

Hayden Hrncir and Kendall Jennings*

Hayden Hrncir and Kendall Jennings**

“The lights went up and Mike Sadler of Heritage Charity Auctions took the stage and began the exciting live auction as guests snapped up fabulous items including a Givenchy handbag, Brioni custom suit, U.S. Capitol trip, Parigi Prepared Evening, Cucinelli Shopping Spree, Kevin Garvin Personal Chef Experience, Custom Made Lukken Leather Boots and more.

“The mission of Ability Connection Texas is to provide a full range of services for people with physical and intellectual disabilities as they strive to achieve their highest level of independence. Whether advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, teaching the letters of the alphabet to a child with autism, or training an adult with a head injury to re-enter the workforce with the use of adaptive technology, Ability Connection Texas is the preeminent organization leading the way for people with any type of disability.

“As a regional health organization, Ability Connection Texas takes pride in its excellent stewardship of funds raised with 90 percent of contributions going directly to programs and services. The important work of Ability Connection is supported by tax-deductible contributions from individuals, companies and organizations.

Visit the website for more details about Ability Connection Texas and their mission at www.AbilityConnectionTexas.org

* Photo credit: James Edward 
** Photo credit: Andy Keye and Whitney Keye

Cynthia And Brice Beaird To Serve As Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debutante Presentation Ball Honorary Co-Chairs

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League has just announced the honorary chairs for the 29th Annual DSOL Debutante Presentation Ball.

This twosome know every aspect of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra fundraiser. After all they’ve been involved as committee members, chairs and parents of a deb.

Oh, who are they? Cynthia and Brice Beaird!

Brice and Cynthia Beaird (File photo)

Brice and Cynthia Beaird (File photo)

According to Cynthia, “We are honored to serve as the Honorary Chairs for the 29th Annual Presentation Ball. We are grateful to all the many volunteers who make this all possible. There are many events leading up to the night of the Presentation Ball and hundreds of volunteers are working behind the scenes to make it look effortless.”

There will be 41 debs bow-wowing on Saturday, February 7, at the Meyerson.

2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debs Are Officially Announced With Some Minor Staging Adjustments

While many had skedaddled to cooler temps or sun-bleached beaches, dozens of very adorable gals, their parents and honor guard types checked in at Neiman Marcus Downtown on Friday, May 30. The occasion was the official announcement of the 2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Debs. Alas, some of the lasses had already taken off for the summer destinations. But, fear not. The rest of the flock carried the torch. . . or in this case, the white rose, nearly perfectly.

You know when a deb does an “Oops!” she manages to carry it off with humor and grace. More about that later, but don’t get your hopes up that it was a gangbuster “Oops!” It was rather itty bitty.

Unlike years past, when the debs were presented at the NM staircase leading from the mezzanine to the first floor, change took place. Talk about a swap of directions. The stairs ended up being the location for the DJ/soundman. At the opposite end of the store, the 2015 debs were corralled in the Chanel boutique after the cocktail reception took place. Not a bad place to hang out.

Tincy Miller and Sharon McCullough

Tincy Miller and Sharon McCullough

Parents and grandparents took their seats on either side of a black carpeted aisle leading from the Main Street entrance to the staircase. With Main Street’s traffic serving as a backdrop, Deb Gala Chair Venise Stuart welcomed guests telling them that NM VP/GM Jeff Byron was unable to attend and then thanked Tincy Miller and Sharon McCullough, who were instrumental in getting the “ball rolling” in 1986. Tincy then told about how it started and the support and advice that she received from numerous people, especially her late mother-in-law Juanita Miller. She recalled that at one point, she was getting frustrated from the constant voicemails she was receiving from the then-DSO executive director. When she relayed the situation to Juanita, the elder Miller, without missing a beat, asked her blonde daughter-in-law, “Why do you feel compelled to return his calls?”

Since that first ball 28 years ago, millions of dollars have been raised for the DSO thanks to this mega-fundraiser.

Dixie Marshall and Venise Stuart

Dixie Marshall and Venise Stuart

But back to the announcement presentation.

DSOL President Dixie Marshall thanked a number of people and introduced “our wonderful emcee” Stan Garner, who first introduced the Assembly and members of the Honor Guard. As each group was presented, they took their place on a one-step-up black stage.

Annabel Toole, Sarah Gammon, Elizabeth Metzger, Claire McCormick, Madison Hassell and Alex Rahn

Annabel Toole, Sarah Gammon, Elizabeth Metzger, Claire McCormick, Madison Hassell and Alex Rahn

Tanner Shipp, Jay Gillespie, Bill Langhenry and Tyler Armstrong

Tanner Shipp, Jay Gillespie, Bill Langhenry and Tyler Armstrong

Then it was time for the presentation of the debs, who were escorted by a member of the Honor Guard to the black stage, where her photo was taken. Then another photo was taken of the deb with the Honor Guard representative, who escorted her to the edge of the runway for her to do a solo walk among the seated guests.

Man trying to get into NM

Man trying to get into NM

At one point in the presentation, a man in a black T-shirt and jeans could be seen trying to open the Main Street doors. Made sense. He saw people in the store and just thought it was open for business. After no luck, he gave up. And then there were the buses and vehicles that could be seen, thanks to the glass doors. Perhaps it might have been wiser to have had the doors draped, or to have the mannequins in ball gowns to serve as backdrops. Instead the mannequins were in summery sundresses.

Ellen Crowe and Tyler Armstrong

Ellen Crowe and Tyler Armstrong

Emily Bearden

Emily Bearden

Lexie Hood

Lexie Hood

As for the debs, they all had beautiful smiles, perfect posture and handled the situation perfectly. Unless one was looking, no one noticed that Emily Bearden was wearing a surgical boot on her right foot. As for the “Oops!”, it took place when Lexie Hood and her escort were parting company. Instead of going straight ahead along, she headed to the right, stopped, redirected herself and laughed at herself as she walked the carpet. Thank heaven! She provided all with a more relaxed mood, as everyone joined her in the “Oops!”

See, that wasn’t that big an “Oops!”

But come Saturday, February 7, there will be a majestic backdrop, 40 debs in white ball gowns, Honor Guard members and deb dads in white tie and, hopefully, no “Oops!” at the Meyerson for the 2015 DSOL Deb gala.

As for who will make up this group of debs, here is the list: Arianna Allen, Ellie Allums, Kathryn Anderson, Emily Bearden, Ellen Beecherl, Madeline Beecherl, Sarah Bruyere, Anne Marie Bullington, Sissi Buss, Sarah Carlsen, Courtney Chavez, Ellen Crowe, Carolyn Cunningham, Mary Cole Daulton, Sydney Dunbar, Alex Ferrer, Brownlee Fielder, Caroline Frattaroli, Margaret Hardage, Gracie Hayhurst, Brookie Hewes, Lexie Hood, Camille Humphrey, Arielle Iola, Sarah Kline, Courtney Klingaman, Coco Kubick, Olivia Lewis, Alexis Madormo, Meghan Mitchell, Abbey Mock, Lauren Newman, Brooke Oliver, Brittany Perry, Caroline Reese, Megan Reynolds, Mason Strickland, Tiffany Tubb, Hayley Waring and Sydney Wilkins.

For more photos from the announcement, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debutante Announcement Presentation

Sure it’s hot and humid outside, but just think of the chill that comes in January. That’s when the cold winds blow, duvets are snuggly and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debs bow at the Meyerson.

Courtney Chavez

Courtney Chavez

Alex Ferrer

Alex Ferrer

Gracie Hayhurst

Gracie Hayhurst

And while that thought is lingering in your mind, check out the photos on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery that were taken of the 2015 class of DSOL debs. It’s two pages of pixs.

The young gals were photographed at the official announcement presentation on Friday, May 30, at Neiman Marcus Downtown.

The story will follow soon.