Harlan Crow Library Dazzled CCB Circle Of Angels Guests With Its Amazing Collection Including A Stradivarius And Lincoln’s Senate Desk

Despite a record-breaking 94-degree temperature, the Crystal Charity Ball Circle of Angels dinner was as cool as the caviar that was served with the first course on Thursday, November 2.

Earlier organizers had worried. Was their concern, “What if you gave a party and no one came”?

Au contraire. Their problem was that Kathy and Harlan Crow’s Library could seat about 100 for dinner, and 124 RSVPs of Dallas most glamorous had checked the “accept” box on the reply cards. But thanks to the CCB space engineer and event chair Rachael Dedman, all fit. From tables of ten to the more intimate tables in the library’s alcoves, it was a one-night-only dining experience, all underwritten by Deloitte.

Tucker and Rich Enthoven and Julie Ford

Christina and Chris Durovich

Pam Perella and Caren Kline

But before Cassandra‘s first course of baby greens, Madeira port poached pear, goat cheese, celery and honey pearls was even presented, guests like Laura and Jason Downing, Christina and Christopher Durovich, Caren and Pete Kline, Liat and Amit Berger, Marilyn Augur with Margaret and Barry Hancock, Julie Ford with Tucker and Rich Enthoven, Jennifer and Richard Dix, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Patti Flowers and Tom Swiley, Courtney Wang and Lori Barber checked out the wonders of the library. One guest wondered why the Lee Park statue hadn’t found a home at the estate. Another pointed out in amazement the death mask of a past president. Still another guest discovered Abraham Lincoln’s desk when he was a senator. Others just eyeballed the thousands of books. This institution is one that never gets old and always impresses.

Barry and Margaret Hancock, Marilyn Augur and Pat and Charles McEvoy

Alas, the hosting Crows were not around to accept accolades. Kathy was still mending from a car accident and Harlan was elsewhere.

But not to worry. The talk among the crowd kept things interesting from soup to nuts. Cliff Fischer, who was making his first trip to the Crow Library, was just back from a business trip to India… CCB Chair Pam Perella , who was in a Zac Posen, told a friend, “I wish the days would stretch out a little more, so I could enjoy the moment”…Ben Lange told Annette Simmons how her late husband Harold Simmons had backed his company in the early days… Robin Robinson was still receiving kudos about the Celebrating Women Luncheon with Jamie Lee Curtis… Pianist Tommy deSalvo was in seventh heaven playing the magnificent Steinway concert piano with a legendary Stradivarius safely in a glass case on the wall over his shoulder…

Tommy deSalvo

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

Crystal Charity Ball’s Circle Of Angels Dined Surrounded By Elegance Despite The Hostess Being MIA

Clay and Lisa Cooley

Clay and Lisa Cooley

Clay Cooley pushed off his birthday celebration for 24 hours. That was because wife Lisa Cooley in a Lela Rose cocktail dress had scheduled them to attend the extra-social Crystal Charity Ball’s Circle of Angels seated supper at Mary Clare Finney’s estate on Tuesday, October 20.

Alas, the darling hostess Mary Clare, who is known for fashion trend-setting, was again once ahead of the herd. She was upstairs with signs of coming down with the flu.

Laura and Jason Downing

Laura and Jason Downing

While Mary Clare took to her bed, a record-breaking crowd of nearly 200 partied downstairs with Deloitte’s Laura and Jason Downing greeting one and all at the front door.

Cliff Fischer's BMW

Cliff Fischer’s BMW

Even before the doors opened at 7 p.m., the driveway was jammed like NorthPark valet parking on Black Friday. In the crowd of luxury vehicles was Cliff Fischer’s hotter-than-hot, brand new BMW with paper plates. One of the valets admitted that the car was so high tech, they weren’t quite sure how to move it.

Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse

Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse

Glen Ashworth and Christie Carter

Glen Ashworth and Christie Carter

In the crowd were Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse, who had given Annette a golf bag with two clubs. He reported that she’s quite a golfer… Tricia George reported that the Fund A Cure luncheon that she’s co-chairing with husband Kenn George is heading toward a sell-out…Judge Glen Ashworth was in from Kaufman with CCB 2016 Chair Christie Carter.

Just when the mansion’s public rooms seemed to be filled to the max, the guests were invited to fabulous tables set up in the backyard for a dinner. The dining started off with Maine lobster and sous vide hen egg ravioli with house-made ricotta cheese, tarragon cream and winter truffles, followed by red chermoula-crusted Mediterranean loup de mer, cardamom-roasted heirloom beets, sun-choke scallion puree and reserved lemon butter sauce. To top off the meal and in keeping with the 2015 Crystal Charity Ball “An Evening of Celestial Radiance” theme, dessert was celestial radiance white chocolate moon with mandarin, gianduja chocolate and brownie “dirt.”

As for Clay, don’t worry about his boo-hooing about the delayed birthday. Upon hearing that Lisa was giving him a new, big belt buckle, he smiled and said he didn’t need anything because he had Lisa.

Round Robin October 30: Crystal Charity Ball Circle Of Angels And Signature Chefs Auction

Not everyone was stitching up their Halloween costumes on Thursday, October 30. Heck, fundraisers ranged from a very proper seated dinner in a Park Cities mansion to a graze around with chefs everywhere.

Crystal Charity Ball Circle of Angels Dinner

Don and Robyn Conlon and Joyce and Larry Lacerte*

Don and Robyn Conlon and Joyce and Larry Lacerte*

There could not have been a more magnificent setting for this year’s Circle of Angels Dinner than the brand-new home of Joyce and Larry Lacerte. On October 30 the Lacerte manse on Lexington Avenue hosted nearly 110 guests—the most ever—for the ultra-exclusive, 16-year-old event honoring those who’ve given $25,000 or more to Crystal Charity Ball.

Lacerte home*

Lacerte home*

Just hours before the guests began arriving, workmen were still putting in the fireplace and painting, Larry said. The home has been under construction for three years, he added, and this was the first of “hopefully many” charity events to be held there.

Mark and Patty Leyendecker*

Mark and Patty Leyendecker*

Before repairing for dinner to a grand “great room” with beamed ceilings worthy of a British castle, guests including Cynthia and Tom Mitchell, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Barbara and Ralph Babb, Marilyn Augur, Margaret and Barry Hancock, Patty and Mark Leyendecker, Nancy and Robbie Briggs, Aileen and Jack Pratt, Jeri and David Kleiman, Angie and Kevin Kadesky, Alicia and Scott Wood, Mary Martha and John Pickens and Mary Clare Finney milled about the other impressive rooms, catching up.

David and Stacy Blank*

David and Stacy Blank*

Mary Clare was bubbling about an upcoming trip to Florence with her mother and siblings, for example. Stacy and David Blank were trying to recall how many years they’d been involved with Circle of Angels. They finally settled on seven.

Jason and Laura Downing*

Jason and Laura Downing*

As the partygoers prepared to tuck into their delicious, Cassandra-prepared meal (roasted butternut squash soup with blue crab fritter with chive oil; herb crusted beef tenderloin with carrot mustard puree and brussels sprout leaves with fig demi-glace; and winter spiced molten cake with run ginger ice cream), CCB 2014 Chair Robyn Conlon welcomed and thanked everyone, as did Jason Downing of dinner sponsor Deloitte. Robyn, a huge baseball fan, said she had purposefully scheduled the dinner so as not to conflict with the recently completed World Series. “You’ve hit a grand slam,” she told the donors, continuing the baseball theme. “You knocked it out of the park.”

 Signature Chefs Auction

Kent Rathbun**

Kent Rathbun**

Over at the Omni Dallas, meanwhile, Kent Rathbun was the man of the hour at the Signature Chefs Auction Dallas, the country’s No. 1 Signature Chefs Auction site this year for March of Dimes.

Signature Chefs**

Signature Chefs**

It was Kent, after all, who snagged the nonprofit’s 2014 Dr. Leonard and Pauline Graivier Giving Each Child a Healthy Start in Life Award. For the 17th year in a row, Kent also served as Lead Chef for the Dallas Fundraiser, arranging for a high-profile lineup of 18 top chefs including Richard Chamberlain, David Holben, Abraham Salum, and Jim Severson. And, as if all that weren’t enough, the big man’s Masters Tournament package for six guests drew $67,500 in the live auction. That was the highest bid in the event’s history.

Ian and Laura MacNeil**

Ian and Laura MacNeil**

And, that’s saying something, as this was the 20th anniversary year for Signature Chefs. An estimated 750 people turned out for the event, which was chaired by Laura and Ian MacNeil. During Fund the Mission, Ambassador Family Celeste and Byron Sanders shared their story about the premature birth of their son Bryce, raising approximately $150,000. Organizers were confident about topping the total raised last year, when Signature Chefs corralled $735,000.

Celeste Sanders, Bailey Sanders, Byron Sanders and Bryce Sanders**

Celeste Sanders, Bailey Sanders, Bryce Sanders and Byron Sanders**

All the proceeds benefit March of Dimes, which aims to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.

* Photo credit: Dana 
 ** Photos provided 
by the March of 

Junior Leaguers At Inaugural Milestone Luncheon Learn When Their Mission Is Accomplished From Jan Langbein

The Junior Leaguers of Dallas know a good thing when they see one. That’s how they’ve grown into the largest Junior League in the country. Well, last year their luncheon celebrating 90 years of good works was such a hit and so inspirational, they decided to make it an annual deal. In fact, they gave it a name — The Milestone Luncheon celebrating the JLD.

As JLD President Aimee Griffiths said, “What we don’t do very often is stop to recognize and celebrate those achievements [of the JLD].”

Presented by Inwood National Bank, the inaugural Milestone Luncheon took place Friday, November 2, at the Hilton Anatole with a room filled with “major and minor leaguers.”

Bunny Cotten and Andrea Weber

Thanks to Luncheon Chair Andrea Weber and Honorary Chair Debbie Scripps, everything went smoothly from reception through the luncheon.

What one learns at JLD gatherings is they really enjoy each other’s company. So much so, that Aimee found herself sometimes trying to being heard over the table chatter as she welcomed the group and started the program. Ah, but when you have gal pals like Darla Ripley, Bunny Cotten, Deborah Fugit, Katy Bock, Katherine Coker, Kathleen

Colleen and Bob Baillargeon

Gibson and family/friends like Colleen and Bob Baillargeon and Sr. Margaret Ann Moser, it’s perfectly understandable.

But when the real business of the day got underway, voices started toning down a bit to hear Aimee describe the efforts of the Community Hero Deloitte, whose employees had undertaken 350 pro bono projects amounting to $50M worth of value to community groups.  Deloitte’s Jean White accepted the award saying that she “hoped you all heard” her team’s accomplishments listed by Aimee in the introduction.

In the back of the room, the production team turned up the audio. But table talk still lurked in the room.

Melinda Cato Cross

At 11:45 the program continued with honors being bestowed on 2012-2013 Sustainer President Melinda Cato Cross. At this point, the talking went silent as a video introducing Sustainer of the Year Debbie Taylor was shown. No wonder the conversations ended. After all, you had Lydia Novakov, Jennifer Sampson, Aimee and Caren Prothro describing Debbie’s inspiration and contributions.

Jan Langbein

Following the presentation, keynote speaker Jan Langbein took over and everyone was silent. Like a politician running for office or a Sunday morning preacher in the pulpit, Jan grabbed the audience and didn’t let go. No, siree. That gal is mighty powerful in front of a crowd. Her purpose was to inspire, energize and remind both “major and minor leaguers” of the mission of the JLD. She combined urgency with sincerity to a point that some of the men in the audience probably wanted to sign up as a provincial.

The only time that the audience made any noise was when Jan challenged both old-timers and provincials, “But I ask you this question today. . . when do you get to pass the torch? I know some of you major leaguers are sitting there thinking the same thing. ‘When have any of us done enough?’ You know, Caren Prothro, when do you get to quit? Debbie Taylor, when do you get to stop? . . . Lynn McBee, well done, you’re through! Thank you.” With that laughter and applause filled the room.

She went on and told them they could applaud that, “But here comes the answer — never. The answer is we never get to quit . . . not until it’s fixed, ladies. Not until it’s done.”

Junior League Of Dallas Milestone Luncheon To Salute “Big Ds” — Debbie Taylor And Deloitte

The Junior League of Dallas is known for many things. It’s the largest one in the country. Its members serve on 50 boards and coalitions. It provides more than $1M to Dallas County non-profits. It has provided Dallas with countless leaders.

But if you’re counting how much it contributes to Dallas in hours, that’s a good question. It’s a heck of a lot. But the MySweetCharity team pulled out the corporate abacus and figured that if there are 5,000 members and each one “dedicates” 60 hours annually to “worth causes in the community,” then the answer is 300,000 hours.  But if you look at the JLD website, it says the number of hours is 120,000. And if you got an invitation to the Milestone Luncheon, it says 130,000.

Very confusing. So a knowledgeable JLD type was asked and here is the answer:

“JLD currently has more than 5,000 members including Sustainers (the 3,000 Sustainers are active but do not have the 60 hour/year volunteer time commitment). We have more than 2,500 Active and Provisional members, who give 60+ hours in volunteer time – 2,500 x 60 = 150,000. The numbers on the web site and the invitation do not account for JLD’s growth over the years or the size of the provisional class, which varies year to year. This information is in the process of being updated.” 

So, that means that 150,000 of “uncompensated hours given to area non-profits” are contributed “to greater Milestones for thousands of individuals throughout the Dallas community.”

To celebrate the contributions of this 90-year-old organization, the Milestone Luncheon is held to celebrate these mega-numbers of hours of improving the city. One of the high points of the lunch will be presentation of the 2012-2013 Sustainer of the Year award to an “individual who continually reflects the mission and standards of the JLD: promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community.”

This year under the chairmanship of Andrea Weber, the November 2 luncheon in the Stemmons Ballroom of the Hilton Anatole will honor Debbie Taylor as the Sustainer of the Year. And just what has Debbie done to earn this recognition? How about:

“Debbie is most accomplished with her involvement in the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. She has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors since 2011, set new records as Campaign Chair in 2007 by raising $60 million, and was founder of the Women of Tocqueville Society. Debbie is also a previous board member of ChildCareGroup, Dallas County Community College District Foundation, the Girl Scouts Development Committee and the Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Committee.

“In addition to her countless hours and efforts in her volunteer work, Debbie is also a career woman. As the Southwest Regional Director for Citi Community Development, she specializes in the empowerment of those in economic distress through grants, microfinance initiatives and executive involvement in the community. She once again reflects the spirit of the Junior League of Dallas by claiming: ‘I couldn’t work for a company or corporation that doesn’t put a value on volunteering.’ ”

According to JLD President Aimee Griffiths, “Debbie’s remarkable attitude and commitment to improving the Dallas community through her work as a JLD member and beyond made her the perfect candidate for the Sustainer of the Year Award. She recognizes the opportunities the League has given her and is appreciative for all it has done to impact her life, as well as the lives of others.”

Debbie simply claims, “I am the perfect poster child as to what you learn in the League transfers to so many different many things.”

In addition to Debbie, Deloitte will be presented with the “Community Hero Award.”

Keynote speaker for the luncheon presented by Inwood National Bank will be Genesis Women’s Shelter Executive Director Jan Langbein.