JUST IN: The Dallas Opera’s First Sight/First Night Plans Revealed With Dianne And Mark LaRoe At The Helm

While the queen bees may have flown to cooler places, the worker bees are hard at work churning out news.

The latest comes from The Dallas Opera about its annual fall two-day fundraiser — First Sight/First Night.

First, let’s get the basics down. The luncheon and fashion show will take place on Thursday, October 19, followed the next night [aka Friday, October 20] by First Night’s seated dinner, performance and after party. All of these activities will be taking place at the Winspear Opera House, but you already knew that.

Now about the who’s who involved in putting the festivities on, here goes:

Overseeing the whole two events will art-loving Dianne and Mark LaRoe, who chaired the 2016 TACA Custom Auction Gala, and, boy, have they been busy putting together their team.

Dianne and Mark LaRoe (File photo)

Nancy Nasher and David Haemisseger (File photo)

Serving as honorary co-chairs will be Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger, who have practically made the Performing Arts District their second home.

Lisa Cooley and Ciara Cooley (File photo)

Bela Cooley (File photo)

Steve and Betty Suellentrop (File photo)

Co-chairing the First Sight luncheon will be Lisa Cooley and her girls — daughter Ciara Cooley and new daughter-in-law Bela Cooley. Presented by NorthPark Center, the luncheon will be highlighted by fashions from NorthPark Center’s Salvatore Ferragamo.

As for the black-tie First Night, it will be presented by Deutsche Bank Wealth Management and will kick off for The Dallas Opera season with Betty and Steve Suellentrop serving as co-chairs. The evening will start at 5:30 p.m. with guests arriving via a red carpet for a cocktail party, having a gourmet dinner in a tent in Sammons Park and attending the Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance of Camille Saint-Saëns‘ “Samson and Dalila.” For those with no curfew, there will be an after party.

Tickets are available here.

MySweetWishList: CancerBlows

According to Ryan Anthony Foundation Co-Founder Niki Anthony,

Ryan and Niki Anthony (File photo)

CancerBlows was meant to be a once-in-as-life time musical event bringing together legendary trumpet players in a special concert and after party. The event sold out and raised substantial money for Multiple Myeloma patients and research via the Ryan Anthony Foundation.

“My husband, Ryan Anthony, principal trumpet of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma at age 43 in 2012. Thanks to aggressive and ongoing treatment, Ryan is in remission.  But, our passion to eradicate the disease is still strong.

“We are so fortunate to have a second CancerBlows scheduled for May of 2017 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. We are anticipating 1,800 guests who will enjoy a performance with such headliners as Doc Severinson, Arturo Sandoval, the Canadian Brass and Dave Matthews Band trumpeter Rashawn Ross in addition to fifteen other legends.

CancerBlows*

“During this holiday season, we are so grateful to the have the endorsement of philanthropists Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger who have brought tremendous resources to our efforts being spearheaded by Chairs D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock with Co-Chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill.

“My wish is that everyone who has been affected by this dreaded disease finds the treatment, hope and eventual cure that is on the horizon. Proceeds from CancerBlows will directly benefit individuals in the Dallas area.  In the meantime, please make plans to join us for this important fund-raising event on May 10. Visit cancerblows.com for more information.”

-By Niki Anthony, Ryan Anthony Foundation co-found

* Graphic provided by CancerBlows

Champion Of Children Award Dinner Guest Speaker Antwone Fisher Strikes A Chord As Dallas CASA Honors NorthPark Center

On the evening of Thursday, October 27, the reception area outside the Fairmont Hotel’s International Ballroom was packed. The big ballroom, after all, was about to play host to the 2016 Champion of Children Award Dinner benefiting Dallas CASA, which advocates for abused and neglected children, and nearly 550 guests were expected—more than last year’s total.

Angela and Jim Thompson*

Angela and Jim Thompson*

Andrea Martin and Cheryl Lee Shannon*

Andrea Martin and Cheryl Lee Shannon*

Mike and Jana Brosin*

Mike and Jana Brosin*

Greeting friends in the crowded foyer were the likes of Caroline Rose Hunt, Lynn and Roy Shelton, Debra Nelson, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Joyce and Larry Lacerte, Dallas CASA board member Christie Carter, Frank Risch, Judge Andrea Matin, Judge Cheryl Lee Shannon, Jana and Mike Brosin (their Crest Cadillac/Crest Infiniti was the dinner’s presenting sponsor), Angela and Jim Thompson, Betsy and Richard Eiseman and Jan Sanders.

Jan is the widow of Judge Barefoot Sanders, the well-known political figure and longtime U.S. district judge—and steadfast supporter of Dallas CASA, whose annual Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award bears his name. “When they named an award after him, I thought I’d better put up or shut up,” Jan said with a smile, eying the scrumptious hors d’oeuvres. “So I’ve been a CASA court advocate for three years.”

Christine and Jonathan Bassham, Mark and Karen Carney, Joseph and Jeanne Manogue and Kristy Hoglund Robinson*

Christine and Jonathan Bassham, Mark and Karen Carney, Joseph and Jeanne Manogue and Kristy Hoglund Robinson*

Inside the ballroom, meantime, Mary Martha and Dr. John Pickens were peering out the tall glass windows, admiring the spectacular sunset. Soon enough, the hall behind them had filled, and event co-chairs Karen Carney, Kristy Hoglund Robinson, and Joe Manogue were onstage welcoming everyone. “Normally we would ask you to put away your phones, but tonight we ask you to take out your phones and text,” said Joe. “Let’s raise $100,000 tonight!”

With that, Kathleen LaValle, the Dallas CASA executive director and president, took the podium to pay tribute to the evening’s honoree and winner of the Judge Sanders award, NorthPark Center. As Kathleen explained, NorthPark for 21 years has hosted the annual Parade of Playhouses, which raises money for Dallas CASA and attracts volunteers to the nonprofit. In addition, she said, NorthPark secured five billboards across Dallas County touting Dallas CASA—and the group had only asked for one!

Kathleen LaValle and Nancy Nasher*

Kathleen LaValle and Nancy Nasher*

Accepting the award was NorthPark co-owner Nancy Nasher, who had invited to the dinner members of her NorthPark team, including G.M. Billy Hines, Special Event Managers Lona Crabb and the workmen who’d transported the playhouses into the center. Nancy said NorthPark has become “a place to learn about social causes” and, in 2015, celebrated its 50th anniversary by donating more than $1 million to 50 Dallas nonprofits, many of them benefiting children. (Dallas CASA, in fact, was the first of the groups to receive a donation.) Then she made a surprise announcement: “We will donate space once again on our prime billboard, at Walnut Hill and North Central Expressway, to Dallas CASA.”

After Nancy received a heartfelt standing ovation, Dallas CASA board chair John Gibson reiterated the group’s need for more advocates and more funds and said that, so far, more than $50,000 had been raised just during the dinner. Then he introduced the evening’s guest speaker, Antwone Fisher. Antwone is a director, screenwriter, film producer, and author who grew up in an abusive foster home—and then was homeless—before joining the United States Navy and turning his life around. His life was the subject of a 2002 movie, called “Antwone  Fisher,” that starred Denzel Washington and was based on Antwone’s memoir, “Finding Fish.”

Antwone Fisher*

Antwone Fisher*

During his talk, Antwone recalled that his mother was 17 and in prison when he was born in 1959. He was abused during 18 years in foster care, he remembered, and dealt with a total of 13 social workers during that time. Despite the years of abuse—and his experiences encountering pimps and drug dealers along the way, as well—Antwone said, “I learned to appreciate my fear. I wasn’t afraid of being afraid. If you’re not afraid, [bad] things can happen.”

During his years as a homeless person on the streets of Cleveland, he went on, he stole—but only for food and necessities like shoes, galoshes, and a warm coat. It was during this period that he saw a sign saying, “Join the Navy,” which he decided to do. He willed himself to pass the necessary tests, even though he couldn’t read, and, over the next 11 years in the service, turned his life around.

“If I had had a CASA [a court-appointed special advocate] as a boy, I would have grown close to that person and they would have been able to help me, like they do all over the country,” Antwone said. “Having an advocate who can speak for you is so important. When I was a kid, I couldn’t articulate my thoughts. … Sometimes all it takes is one person caring about you.”

After the evening’s second standing ovation—this one for Antwone—event co-chairs Christine and Jonathan Bassham took the stage to wrap things up. A total of $53,440 had been raised during the event, they announced, which, thanks to a $50,000 match, meant that Dallas CASA was $103,000 richer just since the first course was served. That amount, the guests realized happily as they made for the exits, would pay for a lot of advocates for a lot of Antwones.  

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

MySweetCharity Opportunity: CancerBlows

According to Cancer Blows Co-Chairs D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock and Anne and Steve Stodghill,

Jeremy Lock and D'Andra Simmons Lock (File photo)

Jeremy Lock and D’Andra Simmons Lock (File photo)

Anne and Steve Stodghill (File photo)

Anne and Steve Stodghill (File photo)

“CancerBlows was meant to be a one-time musical event bringing together legendary trumpet players in a special concert and after party benefiting the Baylor Health Care System Foundation cancer programs and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation with donations channeled through The Ryan Anthony Foundation in 2015.  Trumpeters included Doc Severinsen from ‘The Tonight Show,’ Lee Loughnane from Chicago, Arturo Sandoval, former trumpet players from Canadian Brass-all referred to as the Thirty Trumpet Legends.

Ryan Anthony*

Ryan Anthony*

“The event sold out and raised more than $1 million in cash and in-kind donations to help Ryan Anthony, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s principal trumpet and former Canadian Brass member, raise money for cancer research.  Ryan was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a typically terminal cancer of the bone, in 2012.  Fortunately, with great medical care Ryan remains in remission.  He and his wife, Niki Anthony, realized the event could be more than just a concert with funds used to raise awareness and money to further research that has helped give the Ryan family hope for the future.

“Just a decade ago, multiple myeloma was a death sentence with life span of three to five years.  While the cancer is considered incurable and terminable, recent advances in research have greatly expanded the life span of newly diagnosed patients.  In 2015, three new drugs were approved for treatment of multiple myeloma by the FDA increasing treatment options by 20 percent.

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher (File photo)

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher (File photo)

“CancerBlows will return to Dallas on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center with The Legends Concert followed by the After Party in the lobby.  Approximately 2,000 guests will experience the concert and approximately 300 guests will be included the in the After Party festivities.

 

“We thrilled to announce that philanthropists Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger are serving as honorary chairmen.

“There are a myriad of sponsorship opportunities for the 2017 CancerBlows event ranging from Presenting Sponsor to Student Experience Sponsor which allows students the opportunity to attend CancerBlows events, classes, discussions and meet and greet with event performers.

“Please visit www.CancerBlows.com for more information.”

* Photo provided by CancerBlows

Neiman’s And NorthPark Once Again Set The Bar For Celebrating A Very Special Occasion

The moon was sneaking peaks from behind the clouds over NorthPark on Wednesday, October 28. Perhaps it was because the Lady Luna hadn’t received a coveted invite for the Neiman Marcus and NorthPark Center’s celebrating their 50-year partnership and benefiting the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Youth Arts Education.

According to sources, there were more than a couple of folks who had creatively come up with excuses for not landing an invite. Shades of Stanley Marcus’ 90th birthday, when all types of highfalutin types suddenly “were out of town for the occasion” with a wink, wink. One or two had even called Mr. Stanley’s office saying their invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. No, it hadn’t.

David Haemisegger, Isabelle Haemisegger, David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher

David Haemisegger, Isabelle Haemisegger, David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher

Karen Katz

Karen Katz

But on this evening, it was Neiman’s Karen Katz and her husband Alan Katz and Nasher second-generation Nancy Nasher and husband David Haemisegger hosting a gathering of 300 of the fine-feathered eagle class in celebration of the vision of Neiman Marcus and the late Patsy and Ray Nasher.

Nancy Rogers, Tracy Cheatham and Mary Crosland

Nancy Rogers, Tracy Cheatham and Mary Crosland

From the young hot types like Tracy Cheatham, Mary Crosland and Courtney Rider Westmoreland, the OMG setters like Nancy Rogers and the Crystals (Caren Kline, Cynthia Mitchell, Pat McEvoy and Vinnie Reuben) to the NM/NP legends like Eiseman Jewels’ Louise Eiseman, Jacqueline Starr and her husband former Titche-Goettinger President Lee Starr, EAnn Thut and her husband NP architect EG Hamilton, Jean Mahie designer Jacline Mazard with her god daughter Tamara Dorrance and Doris Jacobs and

Roy and Lynne Sheldon, Jacline Mazard and Tamara Dorrance

Roy and Lynne Sheldon, Jacline Mazard and Tamara Dorrance

her husband/The Melody Shop’s Jack Jacobs), it was a truly NM/NP curated crowd.

Of course, the nonprofits were well represented with DSO’s Jonathan Martin and Michelle Burns, Dallas CASA’s Kathleen LaValle, The Family Place’s Paige Flink, Nasher Sculpture Center’s Jeremy Strick and Jill Magnuson and Cancer Blows’ Ryan Anthony.

Michelle Burns, Jeremy and Wendy Strick

Michelle Burns, Jeremy and Wendy Strick

Ryan Anthony

Ryan Anthony

While guests mingled, Ryan told of a recent concert. He was feeling not-so-great due to his treatments for multiple myeloma. But he decided that to not perform would be allowing the cancer to score. After the performance, he learned that three friends had traveled miles to show their family members suffering from multiple myeloma how Ryan was rising above it. Ryan admitted that despite the ups-and-downs of fighting multiple myeloma and organizing Cancer Blows, he and his wife Niki Anthony were going to take a brief break to recover.

Still he said that all their efforts had progressed beyond their greatest hopes thanks to Nancy Nasher and her support.

Brief aside: In a few years, Lyda Hill has become an energized, happy person since her involvement with Warren Buffet led to her becoming an even more generous philanthropist. So Nancy and David seem to have been gratified by the feedback regarding their decision to undertake NorthPark50. While not all can share to the degree of Lyda, Nancy and David, they can still enjoy the unique exhilaration that comes with giving with no expectation of glorification.

But back to the party. You just know you want to know the deets.

The black-tie reception took place on Neiman Marcus NorthPark’s second level entering via the Boedecker entrance. After strolling between two rows of servers with trays of wine, champagne and other liquid refreshments, they were greeted by NM VP/GM Malcolm Reuben, who has been managing the story for 14 years.

Jacqueline Starr, Louise Eiseman and Lee Starr

Jacqueline Starr, Louise Eiseman and Lee Starr

EG Hamilton

EG Hamilton

NP pioneer Louise Eiseman proved herself to be the historian of the night. After all, it was Louise and her late husband Dick Eiseman who were part of the original merchants when the doors opened 50 years ago. She pointed out Lee Starr, former president of Titche-Goettinger. He along with the late Stanley Marcus took a big leap of faith in moving to a 97-acre cotton field, where the Nashers’ vision of a world-renowned retail center was to take place. On one side of the acreage was the Caruth farm with horses and cows. On another side was Sparkman Hillcrest cemetery.

Dean Fearing, Wanda Gierhart and Lucy Wrubel

Dean Fearing, Wanda Gierhart and Lucy Wrubel

As DJ Lucy Wrubel was conducting “vintage” music from the ‘60s (“These Boots Are Made for Walking” by Nancy Sinatra, “Shotgun” by Junior Walker and the All-Stars, “Penny Lane” by the Beatles) high atop a stage in the shoe department, NM’s Sandy Marple and Chuck Steelman with headsets in place gave the sign to head upstairs. Upon arriving on the third level, guests were directed to designer sportswear, and a surprising discovery. The men didn’t get it. The women did. The entire area, where most had discovered fashion ultimates, was devoid of clothes. Nope! Not one single mannequin, display case or hangar was in sight. Instead there were racks of spotlights suspended from the ceiling and rows of rectangular tables with place cards.

According to sources, the restructuring of the area had started on Monday. And plans called for work to get underway right after the last guest left to restore it to its fashionable display in time for the store’s opening at 10 a.m. Thursday.

But the guests knew of no time schedule and the Katzes and Nasher/Haemisegger twosome certainly weren’t going clang a triangle to get them to settle down. Still, this crowd knew their manners and despite wanting to stand and chat in the lap of luxury, they took their places for a feast prepared by NM Chef Kevin Garvin that included amuse (fried olives, classic deviled egg, red endive, ricotta, lemon zest and olive oil), salad (little gem wedge, pear, apple, chayote, Texas blue cheese, lemon pistachio vinaigrette, and NM monkey bread), entrée (short ribs, brown sugar Brussels sprouts, baby carrots, fingerling potatoes, roasted wild mushrooms, creamed spinach and red wine demi-glace) and dessert of NM’s traditional pecan ball of vanilla bean gelato with pecans, ganache and whipped cream. And, of course, the wines included Chateau de Sancerre Black (Loire, 2013), William Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, 2012) and Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Brut (Epernay NV).

Karen perfectly represented the partnership recalling her youth shopping at NorthPark. Instead of sounding like the CEO that she is, she spoke as if she was at a family reunion recalling her days of shopping with her mother. Like many, she listed old, long-gone NorthPark favorites like the Magic Pan and the Carriage Shop. Proudly she recalled a store that even very old-timers had forgotten — Woolworths. Yes, there had been a Woolworths at NP. Then she told how she would hang out with her girlfriends in the center only to eventually become the NorthPark Neiman’s general manager from 1991 to 1996. (As her first store-management job, she admitted, “I was overwhelmed.”) Eventually she led the guests in a toast to Nancy and David.

Ken Downing

Ken Downing

Karen was followed by a Ken Downing-curated fashion presentation of 50 models wearing 50 fashion statements for the 50th anniversary. As Ken described it, “A folkloric fantasy with nomadic nuances, luxurious layers and an abundance of adornment that spins into Studio 54 splendor of glamorous decadence!” Ken went on to say that the look was “nomadic wanderers, popular in the ‘70s. I just moved them into Studio 54.” One observer noted that it appeared in some cases the layer look was in overload. Still, the parade of models received an “all-cellphone salute” with Ken getting a big hug from designer Devon Leigh afterward.

Steve Tyrell

Steve Tyrell

The mood then changed with New York singer Steve Tyrell singing “Come Fly With Me,” “This Guy’s In Love With You,” etc., as guests dined.

At 9:40 p.m. David addressed the guests, thanking Neiman’s and the public relations team. He also recognized EG and Lee for their contributions five decades ago. Ending the event, David led the final toast of the evening to the 50 years of excellence, saying, “Neiman Marcus has been and will continue to be the heart and soul of NorthPark.”

Now on to the next 50 years!

More photos can be found at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery!

Selection Of Columbian Sculptor Doris Salcedo As The 2016 Nasher Prize Laureate Receives Rave Responses

Cindy and Howard Rachofsky have been toiling in Addison. Their project has been The Warehouse on Inwood Road. Thanks to the Rachofskys teaming up with architect David Droese, the former furniture storage space became an art showplace.

While the Dallas Women’s Foundation held their patron party on Thursday, September 24, there, the universe of art lovers came together along as well as well-heeled media types to learn the name of the Nasher Prize Laureate.

Jeremy Strick

Jeremy Strick

Nasher Sculpture Center Director Jeremy Strick confided that he had bet on who would be the winner before the selection was finalized. Did he deal the cards so his choice won? Jeremy looked stricken (no pun intended). Of course, he didn’t!

Still he was delighted at the outcome and the reasoning behind it.

Deedie Rose

Deedie Rose

Luciano Peña and Jed Morse

Luciano Peña and Jed Morse

Christen Wilson

Christen Wilson

John Eagle and Kern Wildenthal

John Eagle and Kern Wildenthal

John Runyon

John Runyon

Lara Wilhelm Harrison and Donna Wilhelm

Lara Wilhelm Harrison and Donna Wilhelm

As photographers (one even had an iPhone on a tripod) set up, the heady types of the Dallas art crowd gathered including Jennifer and John Eagle, Deedie and Rusty Rose, Kelli and Allen Questrom, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Jeff Byron, Kevin Hurst, Luciano Peña, Catherine and Will Rose, Linda Marcus).

On the sidelines, handlers served as life guards advising even the most housebroken types to not get too close to the art on the walls.

Snapshots: Joyce Goss waiting for her car and admitting that she couldn’t wait to get out of her high heels…Merry Vose, who will be co-chairing the Perot’s Night at the Museum along with husband Chad Vose and Carrie and Steven Becker, was headed to Paris to shop for her shop Canary…Marnie and Kern Wildenthal were just back from settling their granddaughter at Oxford.

Jennifer Eagle, Jeremy Strick and Catherine Rose

Jennifer Eagle, Jeremy Strick and Catherine Rose

When the big moment came for the announcement, Jeremy stood at the podium in between two large monitors and introduced the the Nasher Laureate Prize Laureate Co-Chairs Jennifer Eagle and Catherine Rose. Looking like they had borrowed their husbands’ specs, Jennifer and Catherine thanked Aston Martin and JP Morgan Chase for being the Nasher Prize 2016 co-presenting sponsors. They recognized Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger, who were standing among the crowd, for creating such an international award.

Then it was time to announce the artist who was selected to receive the $100,000 prize by a panel of international art elite (Phyllis Barlow, Lynn Cooke, Okwui Enwezor, Yuko Hasegawa, Steven Nash, Alexander Potts and Nicholas Serots). Smiling Jeremy resumed his place at the podium and announced that in this time of pain and turbulence, the choice was so right. It was Columbian sculptor Doris Salcedo. Following an excellent video on the artist, her works and the judges’ comments, Doris’ taped acceptance was gracious and as impressive as her work. The announcement was a resounding hit from the guests’ reactions.

Guest respond to announcement

Guests toasting announcement

With a toast to the decision and the announcement that a discussion would take place in London on October 11, another with Doris on April 1 and the gala presentation on April 2, the crowd broke up with media heading for media kits and interviews with key players and guests smiling and comparing notes.

What was of equal note was despite Monday’s announcement that Max Anderson had cleared his Dallas Museum of Art desk off, nary a word was heard aloud about Anderson’s departure.

Nancy Nasher And David Haemisegger Celebrate NorthPark’s 50th Anniversary With NorthPark50: Fifty Years Of Giving

Oldtimers love to play the memory game of playing the “Remember when…. at NorthPark?” Such names as Kips Big Boy’s hot fudge sundaes, “Mrs. Pierce” at The Carriage Shop, Magic Pan’s Cherries Royale Crepes, The Melody Shop’s Jack Jacobs and, of course, Ron Chapman hosting “Sump’n Else” with “The Little Group” — Joanie Prather, Delpha Teague, Kathy Forney and Calleen Anderegg. The game has been the favorite topic of late thanks to the 50th anniversary of the legendary shopping center that was built because of the determination of Patsy and Ray Nasher.

To celebration anniversary, Patsy’s and Ray’s daughter Nancy Nasher and her husband David Haemisegger staged a great reveal on  the exact day — August 19 — and time that 50 years ago NP opened in 1965.

Before the 250 nonprofit representatives and longtime NP friends took their seats in NP’s North Court on Wednesday, August 19, numerous memories were being exchanged. NP General Manager Billy Hines, who has probably worn out countless shoes walking the grounds, reminisced about his 40+ years at NP. He had seen the center through the transition of the family ownership, the massive expansions and more holiday shopping that the NP Santa. When asked how he felt about being part of the NP family, he looked across the court at Nancy and David receiving congratulations, smiled and said, “I am honored to have been a part of it.”

James Bias and Billy Hines

James Bias and Billy Hines

No sooner had the words been spoken, then Billy was tapped on the shoulder by the SPCA’s James Bias. They’re old buddies like Dallas CASA’s Kathleen LaValle and other nonprofits that have benefited from NP’s support.

As pianist Gary Beard and trumpeter Ryan Anthony serenaded the group, guests like Dallas Women’s Foundation’s Ros Dawson, University of North Texas’ Susan Collins Sanders, The Family Place’s Paige Flink, Children’s Kern Wildenthal and Lori Wagner, Crystal Charity Ball’s Michal Powell, Team Connor’s Carolyn Alvey, Jamie Singer and Kathryn Copple, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein, Dallas Habitat for Humanity’s Bill Hall, Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Jonathan Martin, Vogel Alcove’s Karen Hughes, Nasher Sculpture Center’s Jeremy Strick and Jill Magnuson, Dallas Museum of Art’s Max Anderson and so many others took their places.

Nancy Nasher

Nancy Nasher

Nancy welcomed the invited guests plus onlookers telling them that the tune that Gary and Ryan had just played — “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” —was the same one played 50 years ago with the late Gordon MacRae singing. She briefly recalled being a 10-year-old handing our programs and wearing a dress and a pin that her mother had designed for her. (Nancy didn’t mention that the next day was her birthday.)

David Haemisegger

David Haemisegger

Just for a moment she seemed to be back in that day when a retailing legend was introduced to the world despite naysayers. Yes, there were those who thought a enclosed shopping center with pieces of artwork on display was pretty gutsy. And the very idea of plopping it down in a cow pasture across from a cemetery miles away from downtown Dallas? Well! But her parents had a vision for both NorthPark and Dallas and she and David picked up the banner and carried it on.

One of those ways that Nancy and David were continuing the legacy was by supporting the area nonprofits. To do that they announced the creation of a unique program — NorthPark50: 50 Years of Giving. Following a brief video, it was announced that 50 area nonprofits would reap benefits for the next 50 days. How that would take place was alluded to, but nothing definite was announced. Instead guests were told to check social media daily for status reports.

Fifty Years of Giving (File photo)

Fifty Years of Giving (File photo)

Brent then took the podium telling of Dallas’ national reputation for generosity in supporting the nonprofits. He kept his remarks brief because he wasn’t telling this group anything they didn’t already know.

It was also revealed by Brent that unlike years past when NTGD was held with various activities throughout Dallas, it would be held at NorthPark in North Court on Thursday, September 17.

NorthPark50 guests

NorthPark50 guests

Nancy returned to the stage and told of Ryan’s battle against multiple myeloma and how impressed she was at “Blow for Cancer” when Ryan the country’s finest horn musicians performed. She asked Ryan to come to the stage and perform one more tune —“Gabriel’s Oboe” — that he had performed at the March fundraiser. As the haunting notes floated through the air, all activity in the center seemed to stop. Perhaps it was proof that thanks to funding for cancer research and treatments, even cancer couldn’t quell Ryan’s talent. At its conclusion, Ryan received a standing ovation.

NorthPark50 group photo

NorthPark50 group photo

Then Nancy thanked all and asked for representatives from the NorthPark 50 nonprofits to come to the stage for a group photo. This gathering proved to be entertaining as various stagings were attempted to fit all 50 plus on the stage, off stage, with chairs on stage, with chairs off state. Nobody minded. After all, they had 50 days of surprises ahead.

JUST IN: NorthPark Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary Today With The Announcement Of NorthPark50: Fifty Years Of Giving

Just before noon today, NorthPark Center‘s Nancy Nasher addressed more than 225 people representing 50 nonprofits, friends and media from a stage set up in NorthPark’s NorthCourt. She told how at that moment 50 years ago, she and her sisters were part of the festivities when her parents, the late Patsy and Ray Nasher, officially opened NorthPark.

Nancy recalled how she wore a dress that her mother had designed for her.

David Haemisegger

David Haemisegger

With husband/business partner David Haemisegger sitting on the front row smiling, Nancy announced that in celebration of NP’s 50th anniversary, they had created NorthPark50: Fifty Years of Giving.

Fifty Years of Giving*

Fifty Years of Giving*

The 50-day program will allow “specific gifts to be announced in the days and weeks ahead in order to shine light on their individual missions and inspire others to embrace a spirit of philanthropy. The announcement of the gifts will be made through social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NorthPark50.”

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher with the 50 nonprofits

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher with the 50 nonprofits

The lucky 50 nonprofits are AT&T Performing Arts Center, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Irving, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Bookmarks – A Dallas Public Library, Business Council for the Arts, Cancer Blows, CARE (Chemical Awareness Resources and Education), Catch Up & Read, Children’s Cranifocial Association, Children’s Health, Community Homes for Adults Inc. (CHAI), Creative Arts Center of Dallas, Crow Collection of Asian Art, The Crystal Charity Ball, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Dallas Ballet Company, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas CASA, Dallas Center for Architecture, Dallas Children’s Theater, Dallas Museum of Art, The Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Theater enter, Dallas Women’s Foundation, Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas, The Family Place, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Heroes on the Water, Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas, Junior League of Dallas, KERA, Nasher Sculpture Center, North Texas Food Bank, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (Sam’s Day), Parkinson Voice Project, Preservation Dallas, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, Salesmanship Club of Dallas, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, Share Housing Center Inc, SPCA of Texas, Susan G. Komen Dallas County, TACA, TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Two x Two for AIDs and Art, University of North Texas – Texas Fashion Collection, Uplift Education and Vogel Alcove.

Once again, the NorthPark family has found a new way to give back to the community’s nonprofits. Happy anniversary, NorthPark.

PS — You might to also send a happy birthday wish to Nancy Thursday.

* Graphic provided by NorthPark

JUST IN: Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger Are Having A Busy Day

Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger are having a very, very busy day. Just after 1 p.m., they announced at the Nasher Sculpture Center the creation of the Nasher Prize for sculpture that will reward “a living artist in recognition of the art form” with a $100,000 prize annually.

Before the media, who gathered at the Nasher for the press conference, had even had time to text out word, a release arrived from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra that Nancy and David had presented a $5M gift to the DSO. Instead of a major thank you note, the DSO is renaming “The Soluna International Music and Arts Festival” to “The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family Soluna International Music and Arts Festival.”

But the twosome wasn’t finished with the day’s agenda. This evening they’ll be at Klyde Warren Park to receive AIA Dallas’ Honorary AIA Dallas Membership for having “rendered extraordinary and valuable service within the Dallas area and having conspicuously upheld AIA’s aims.”

Gee, they’re gonna be tuckered out.