25th Anniversary Of Zoo To Do Was More Fun Than A Barrel Full Of Monkeys Thanks To The Zoo Brothers

Greeting October, Mother Nature blessed North Texas with Chamber of Commerce picture perfect weather. Perhaps this condition was due to Zoo To Do Co-Chairs/Heavyhitters Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy (aka Zoo Brothers) producing an incredible 25th anniversary for the Dallas Zoo fundraiser.

Hal Brierley, Mary McDermott Cook, Don Glendenning and John Levy

Hal Brierley, Mary McDermott Cook, Don Glendenning and John Levy

They even managed to have philanthropist Mary McDermott Cook agree to serve as honorary chair.

Diane Brierley, Nick Even and Lynn McBee

Diane Brierley, Nick Even and Lynn McBee

When confronted about the back-scene goings-on and the boys’ efforts, Diane Brierley dismissed any idea that it was the result of the Brothers’ better halves. As impressive as the boys were about attributing their successes to others, Diane insisted that the Zoo Brothers were indeed responsible for the mega-turnout of roughly 750 and the hopeful blowout of fundraising.

As proof of the boys’ efforts, the property was jammed, with the zoo residents a little surprised at the off-hour activities.

Giraffe

Giraffe

Because the zoo critters were used to a regimented schedule, some animals like the giraffes chilled in their barn during the day. Their reward was a very happy hour with guests hand-feeding Romaine lettuce and doing selfies with the longnecks.

Even among the giraffes, there is a pecking order, with Tebogo seeming to be the top dog. It was well understood that Ferrell and Five would play second fiddle. By the way, someone noted Ferrell’s and Five’s tongues hanging out. Seems that as youngsters they’d both had jaw work done, resulting in their tongues hanging out. Not to worry, though; they can pull ’em back where they belong whenever they want.

Wart hog

Wart hog

Not so photogenic or endearing but still a crowd pleaser were the wart hogs. Despite being the most in need of a plastic surgeon, they still were eye-catchers but not dream dates… unless one was a warthog.

Not so active was Moto, the 16-year-old tortoise. Since Moto could live 100 years, he’s just a kid in a shell.

Moto

Moto

Gorilla

Gorilla

Over at the VIP reception in Gorilla Research Station, the gorillas made an appearance in their compound for photo opps. While accommodating, one of ‘em just didn’t care for the after-hours work and the noise. But inside the Station, a chinchilla, Layla the three-banded armadillo and Gimli the baby crocodile were much more receptive to a lookey, a picture and even a touch.

Crocodile

Gimli

Three-banded armadillo

Laya

But the showstoppers of the entire event were the inhabitants of the Giants of Savanna. Here zebras and elephants grazed as ostriches raced by like Las Vegas showgirls rushing to be on stage.

Giants of Savanna

Giants of Savanna

And as the four-legged critters grazed on grass, lettuce and fruit, the two-legged guests dined on incredible delights provided by area chefs like Janice Provost, Abraham Salum, Jim “Sevy” Severson, Blythe Beck, Gilbert Garza, Elvis, Anita Hirsch and goodies from Meaders Ozarow’s Empire Bakery.

Janice Provost and Abraham Salum

Janice Provost and Abraham Salum

Blythe Beck

Blythe Beck

Amy Severson and Meaders Ozarow

Amy Severson and Meaders Ozarow

Elvis

Elvis

Jim Severson and Laura and Tom Leppert

Jim Severson and Laura and Tom Leppert

Pat and Charles McEvoy

Pat and Charles McEvoy

Of course, the attire of the night was spotty to say the least. No, not that type of “spotty.” Tiffany Divis and Laura Leppert were channeling Winspear the cheetah with the spotted prints. In keeping with the silver anniversary of Zoo To Do, Diane Brierley got handsy. No, not that kind of handsy. She had silver nail polish and shoes… Lynn McBee, realizing that she had nothing zoo-ish to wear, dashed to Vince and bought some zebra printed shoes. How perfect they were to go with Nick Even’s zebra-designed socks! … Pat and Charles McEvoy were back just in time from ten days in Tuscany, where they attended Paula Lambert’s cooking class. While there they picked up a great piece of jewelry — a gold lion that Pat wore about her neck… Posing with unreal animals were David Davis, Tiffany Divis, Michael Faircloth, Lori Castillo and Rhonda and Fraser Marcus… Looking relieved to just be guests were 2015 Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Cindy and Chuck Gummer.

David Davis, Tiffany Divis, Michael Faircloth, Lori Castillo and Rhonda and Fraser Marcus

David Davis, Tiffany Divis, Michael Faircloth, Lori Castillo and Rhonda and Fraser Marcus

For more photos of all types of critters, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

 

Zoo To Do Patrons Celebrated The Zoo Brothers High Atop Dump Top

The Zoo Brothers are not a new all-boy rap group. Nor are they Pokémon critters. They made their official debut at at the Zoo To Do patron party on Thursday, September 22 at Mary McDermott Cook’s Dump Top home. With the Margaret Hunt Hill and Margaret McDermott bridges in the background, the Brothers (Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy) reported on their co-chairing efforts for the Dallas Zoo fundraiser on Saturday, October 1.

Don Winspear

Don Winspear

Being  gents, they  first tipped their chapeaus to the previous chairs of the Dallas Zoo fundraiser. Then they fessed up that despite their manning up for the event, there were ladies behind the scenes attributing to their already earning more than $1.1M. Gals like the wives (Diane Brierley, Carol Glendenning and Carol Levy), Honorary Chair Mary McD (Don claimed that he considers the zoo to be Mary’s Zoo), Decoration Chair Ellen Winspear and Committee Co-Chairs Ruth O’Donnell Mutch and Christy Berry.

Don Glendenning, John Levy and Hal Brierley

Don Glendenning, John Levy and Hal Brierley

But when the rubber hit the road, Hal admitted that, in the past, the boys had always taken the role of showing up, sipping drinks and behaving. They now had greater respect for what their better halves and female pals had pulled off for so many fundraising events. Cracked Hal: “It’s a lot easier to be a spouse.”

Mary McDermott Cook

Mary McDermott Cook

The top lady of admiration was Mary, who in addition to hosting the patron party (“the hostest with the mostest”) was serving as the Silver Safari honorary chair and heading up the Eugene McDermott Foundation that is the presenting sponsor.

Barbara Daseke

Barbara Daseke

Joan Walne

Joan Walne

Other gals being recognized by the Zoo Brothers were Dallas Zoo Board of Directors Chair Joan Walne and Live Auction Chair Barbara Daseke, who has produced one of the most incredible collection of live auction items. Like what? How about a behind-the-scenes, meet-and-adore for six people to see the Dallas Zoo’s Swaziland elephants, including the new baby elephant and mama? Then the six will board a private jet to Kansas for a catered lunch and another behind-the-scenes tour of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo to check out their Swaziland elephants. Once again the six will board the jet and fly to Wichita, to see the last group of Swaziland transplants and enjoy cocktails at the Sedgwick County Zoo. Then they’ll head on home to Dallas. And they won’t have to pack a single trunk.

Winspear

Winspear

Another junket is on board American Airlines (first-class, of course) to Washington, D.C. “for an up-close viewing of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park’s newest panda, Bei Bei. You will be hosted by Executive Director Dennis Kelly and enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the Zoo. Later in the day, visit a second Smithsonian museum for another VIP behind-the-scenes tour.”

And that’s just a couple of the packages!

As soon as the presentation on the third level was done, guests were directed to the ground level to check out Winspear the cheetah. Gee, that guy doesn’t need an agent. He’s a vet at posing for photos without a bribe.

Tiffany Divis, Ellen Winspear, Diane Gruber and Kathy Holt

Tiffany Divis, Ellen Winspear, Diane Gruber and Kathy Holt

Carol Levy and Alan Walne

Carol Levy and Alan Walne

In the crowd were Kathy and Richard Holt, Tiffany and Paul Divis, Ellen and Don Winspear, Diane and Mike Gruber, Jan and Fred Hegi, Matrice Ellis-Kirk and Ron Kirk, Kim and Greg Hext, Cindy and Chuck Gummer, Lois Finkelman, Dan Branch with daughter Sarah, Gregg Hudson, Sean Green and Holly Bock Deason.

The Dallas Zoo’s Laurie Holloway was like a proud parent showing video of 7-year-old Amahle taking a dip in the Giants of the Savanna pond. It seems that some folks are mistakenly thinking Amahle is the Swaziland baby who was born at the Dallas Zoo just after his mom arrived.

Regarding the new five-month-old calf and his mom, they’re doing wonderfully. Word has it that if baby boy is separated from mom, he is known to raise his trunk and let the world know that he’s a mama’s boy.

As for his public debut, it’s due to take place soon. BTW, he’s weighing in at around 300 pounds.

And speaking of being well fed, Zoo To Do Chief Chef Chris McDord of Abacus has arrange for the following chefs to prepare feasts throughout the Zoo including Chef Brad Phillips of Asador, Chef Matt Balke of Bolsa, Chef Omar Flores of Casa Rubia, Chef Lan Nickews of Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House, Dallas Affaires Cake Company,  Chef Brandon McCann of Dallas Zoo Catering, Chef Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly at Hotel Zaza, Chef Meaders Ozarow of Empire Baking Company, Chef Jacob Williamson of Five- Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, Chef Chrysta Ordonez of Hypnotic Doughnuts, Chef Nico Sanchez of Meso Maya, Chef Paula Lambert of Mozzarella Company, Chef Anita Hirsch of Neiman Marcus, Kathy Rogers of Nothing Bundt Cakes, Chef Janice Provost of Parigi, Chef Blythe Beck of Pink Magnolia, Chef Michael Scott of Rosewood Ranches, Chef Abraham Salum of Salum, Chef John Coleman of Savor Gastropub, Chef Kevin Spencer of SER Steak + Spirits, Chef Jim “Sevy” Severson of Sevy’s Grill, Chef Carlos Capistran of Shinsei Restaurant, Chef Lisa Garza of Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar, Chef Gilbert Garza of Suze, Chef Michael Morabito of Tillman’s Roadhouse, Chef Jesus Olivares of Via Real and Kelly Buckley of 7-Eleven Inc.

Here is a list of the folks and companies on board for the festivities:

Anniversary Presenting Underwriter ($100,000) — The Eugene McDermott Foundation

Platinum Underwriters ($50,000) — American Airlines (Official Airline of Zoo To Do), Diane and Hal Brierley, Carol and Don Glendenning /Locke Lord LLP, Carol and John Levy, Ruth O’Donnell Mutch and Gayla and Jim Von Ehr.

Silver Underwriters ($25,000)Serena and Tom Connelly, Durham Family Foundation, Jennifer and John Eagle, Melissa and Trevor Fetter/Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Kara and Randall Goss, The M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Foundation and Overhead Door Corporation.

White Gold Underwriters ($15,000) — 7-Eleven, Inc. (Party Favor Sponsor), Jennifer and Peter Altabef, Bank of America (Photo Booth Sponsor), Kate and Lane Britain, Barbara and Don Daseke, Diane and Mike Gruber/Gruber Elrod Johansen Hail Shank LLP, Cindy and Chuck Gummer, The Craig and Kathryn Hall Foundation, Highland Capital Management LP , Al G. Hill Jr., Lyda Hill, Oncor , Edgar A. Robinson Family, Lori and Chuck Whitten, Ellen and Don Winspear and Wendy and Gary Wojtaszek/CyrusOne.

Sterling Underwriters ($7,5000)Lee Bailey, Connie and Denny Carreker, Debbie and Gerald Barnes/Gilian and Steve Baron/Susie and Joel Carp/Mary and Neil Dorflinger/Lisa and Neil Goldberg, ESCADA, The Hegi Family, Highland Park Village (Valet Sponsor), Jennifer and Doug Houser, Jackson Walker LLP, Dana and David Kleiman/Beth and Larry Konig/Elaine and Trevor Pearlman/Jackie Sherman/David Weinreb, Friends of Carol and John Levy, Vicki and Brian Miller, Dawn E. Moore/ Allegiance Title Company, Stephen Penrose, Caren Prothro, PwC, Nancy and Doug Rabe, Dr. R. Lynn and Cynthia A. Rea and Friends, The Rosewood Corporation, Service Systems Associates, Lisa K. Simmons, Texas Capital Bank, Texas Instruments, Tolleson Wealth Management, Turner Construction Company, UT Southwestern Medical Center/ Southwestern Medical Foundation, Walne Family/Herb’s Paint and Body Shops, Westwood Trust and Jane Williams and Ron Williams.

VIP Underwriters ($3,000) Michael D. Anderek, RosenBerry Real Estate Group, Carol Braden and Vera Locurto, The Burnett Family, Ana and Don Carty, CLR Design Inc., Julia and Louis Dorfman, Cheryl and James Drayer, Karen and Phil Drayer, Betsy and Richard Eiseman/Eiseman Jewels NorthPark, Alina and Ruben E. Esquivel, Leland Burk and Thomas Feulmer, Lois and Ross Finkelman, Denise and Steven Glazer, Steve Hargrove/ Hargrove Electric Co., Kim and Greg Hext, Holmes Murphy and Associates, Tavia and Clark Hunt, Margo and Jim Keyes, Matrice Ellis- Kirk and The Honorable Ron Kirk, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Deborah and David Michel, Winstead PC, Janiece and Jimmy Niemann, Nancy Perot and Rod Jones, PlainsCapital Bank , Jeff and Darrel Rice and Mary and Mike Terry.

Media SponsorsPaperCity, Park Cities News/ The Waters Family, MySweetCharity.com and Downtown Business News.

The Party Animals Overcame Traffic Woes For Zoo To Do’s 25th Anniversary “Silver Safari” Kick-Off Party

Evidently no one told the internet map services that there had been some reconfiguring of I-35 leading from Dallas to the Dallas Zoo. During evening rush hour on Tuesday, May 10, it seems the old familiar lanes just weren’t headed in the right direction anymore. Some drivers looked like homeless puppies as they begged for others to allow them to swap lanes at the juncture of I-35 and I-30.

Linus the possum

Linus the possum

Owl ambassadpr

Owl ambassadpr

Despite the inconvenience, zoo-loving devotees found their way to the Zoo To Do kick-off party at the Zoo’s the Simmons Family Base Camp overlooking the Giants of the Savanna. As the two-legged humans sipped and sampled and got chummy with the resident owl and possum (okay, so when Tom Leppert got a wee bit too close to Linus the possum, the former Dallas mayor was advised that Linus might find Tom’s nose tasty), the elephants had their own happy hour themselves and could have cared less about guests’ trekking. Of course, it didn’t hurt that thanks to the fundraisers’ gathering, the pachyderms’ happy hour had been extended. Instead of two-for-one drinks, it was extra trunk time at the gurgling water features, green grass and hanging out at hay towers. While it was the same-old, same-old for vets of the herd, it was OMG for newbie African arrivals that had just left the drought conditions of their native Africa.

Elephants hanging out at the hay tower

Elephants hanging out at the hay tower

When asked how to tell the new kids on the block from the old-timers, a Zoo staffer said the African newbies were the thinner ones.

Dallas Zoo VP of Guest Experiences Sean Greene, when asked about the complaints regarding the “bring over” of the elephants from Africa to the states, admitted that he appreciated the concerns, but that comparing the Giants of Savanna’s protected environment to the natural predators, poaches and lack of food in Africa, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of comfort as he watched the elephants chowing down in their new digs. Sean’s hope was that the Dallas Zoo would be a prototype of how to provide better conditions for animals that only knew suffering in their native Swaziland.

Sean Greene

Sean Greene

John Levy

John Levy

Tom Leppert and Diane and Hal Brierley

Tom Leppert and Diane and Hal Brierley

But the evening’s attention soon shifted from the heavyweight types to the heavy hitters like Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy, who will be heading up the 25th Anniversary of Zoo To Do with “Silver Safari” on Saturday, October 1, at the Zoo (naturally) with Party Machine providing the music. Future plans like the names of the participating chefs and live auction packages will be revealed in the weeks ahead.

Amy and Michael Meadows

Amy and Michael Meadows

The host committee is made up of  Christy Berry, Committee Co-Chairs Christy Berry and Ruth O’Donnell Mutch, as well as Stacey and Dan Branch, Janet and Crawford Brock, Connie and Denny Carreker, Ana and Don Carty, Taylor Conway, Barbara and Don Daseke, Holly Bock, Monica and Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, Barbara and Steve Durham, Kara and Randall Goss, Kathryn and Craig Hall, Jan and Fred Hegi, Jennifer and Doug Houser, Margo and Jim Keyes, Matrice Ellis-Kirk and Ron Kirk, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Sarah and Alan Losinger, Amy and Michael Meadows, Deborah and David Michel, Caren Prothro, Nancy and Doug Rabe, Sylvia and Hernan Saenz, Patty and Dennis Stone and Lori and Chuck Whitten.

Everything is moving right head with tickets started at $750 and sponsors already lining up including

  • Anniversary Level ($100,000) — The Eugene McDermott Foundation
  • Platinum Level ($50,000) — Diane and Hal Brierley, Carol and Don Glendenning / Locke Lord LLP, Carol and John Levy, Ruth O’Donnell Mutch and Gayla and Jim Von Her
  • Silver Level ($25,000) — Serena & Tom Connelly, Jennifer and John Eagle, Melissa and Trevor Fetter / Tenet Healthcare Corporation and Kara and Randall Goss
  • White Gold Level ($15,000) — Barbara and Don Daseke, Cindy and Chuck Gummer, The Craig and Kathryn Hall Foundation, Al G. Hill Jr., Lyda Hill, Jennifer and Doug Houser, Overhead Door Corporation, Edgar A. Robinson Family, Lori and Chuck Whitten, Ellen and Don Winspear and Wendy and Gary Wojtaszek/CyrusOne
  • Sterling Level ($7,500) — Bank of America (Photo Opportunity Sponsor), Gilian and Steve Baron, Susie and Joel Carp, Hegi Family Foundation, Dana and David Kleiman, Vicki and Brian Miller, Elaine and Trevor Pearlman, Stephen Penrose, Caren Prothro, PwC, Dr. R. Lynn and Cynthia A. Rea and Friends, Texas Capital Bank, Turner Construction Company, Walne Family/Herb’s Paint and Body Shops, David R. Weinreb, Westwood Trust and Jane Williams.

Luckily, there are still some great sponsorship opportunities still available. But better hustle.

Hal, Don And John To Tri-Chair 25th Anniversary Of Zoo To Do’s “Silver Safari” Presented By The Eugene McDermott Foundation

It was 25 years ago that Zoo To Do was created, turning the Dallas Zoo into a festival of food, silent auctions and entertainment, much to the fascination of the critter residents. The giraffes love it because there are always guests who give them extra helpings of munchies.

Giraffe (File photo)

Giraffe (File photo)

And speaking of the food, it’s a showcase of chefs impressing one and all with edibles.

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, a trio of fellas will co-chair the outdoor “Silver Safari” on Saturday, October 1, for an estimated 700 guests. And what a threesome it is — Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy!

Don Glendenning (File photo)

Don Glendenning (File photo)

Hal Brierley (File photo)

Hal Brierley (File photo)

With the past two years of hitting the million-dollar mark, the boys have a challenge ahead. But they’ve already signed up The Eugene McDermott Foundation as the presenting sponsor, as well as putting together a top-notch team including Mary McDermott Cook coming on board as honorary chair, Ruth O’Donnell Mutch as host committee chair, Diane Brierley and Cindy Gummer as past chair committee co-chairs, Kevin Hanrahan as underwriting chair, Barbara Daseke as live auction committee chair and Denise Zook-Glazer as silent auction chair.

Gorilla (File photo)

Gorilla (File photo)

And what about the chefs? The honorary chef will be the Hotel ZaZa’s Dragonfly Chef Dan Landsberg, who will be joined by Chef Chair Sarah Barr of Hotel ZaZa and Chef Wrangler Brett Krafft of the Hilton Anatole.

Following dinner, the live auction for “rare zoo experiences, travel and more” will take place in the Wilds of Africa. Then the guests will dance away the night with Party Machine providing the sounds. Hope it doesn’t keep the animals up past their bedtime.

Individual tickets start at $750.

Weather Played Nicely For The 38th TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon Honoring Rebecca Fletcher And James E. Wiley Jr.

Was it just a year ago that TACA Carlson President/Executive Director Becky Young was walking her pooch and questioning the future of the day’s Silver Cup luncheon? Sure, it was a knock-out, slippery, icy day with traffic reports boding it wasn’t the best for folks to be out. But Becky didn’t want to let Silver Cup honorees Catherine Rose and Don Glendenning miss their tributes. And then there were all those preparations — the food, the flowers, the entertainers and those hundreds and hundreds of guests!

After checking with the local TV weathercasters, Becky was thinking that postponement might be best. But the final push to pull the plug was honoree/attorney Don chiming in that he didn’t want to think of anyone being harmed trying to get to the event.

With that the event was put on ice, literally. But lemonade resulted from the lemon of a weather situation. Flowers were sent to area hospitals. Luncheon fare was sent to homeless shelters that were in greater need due to the weather’s damnation. A delayed mini-presentation of the awards was hosted on a beautiful day weeks later by Mary McDermott Cook.

But on Friday, February 19, the temps were downright embarrassing as sunscreen-friendly 80s were replacing the past year’s chills for the 2016 TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole.

Ann Hobson

Ann Hobson

Ginger Reeder and Kevin Hurst

Ginger Reeder and Kevin Hurst

While the hundreds gathered outside the Hilton Anatole’s Grand Ballroom to check in, the VIPs including past Silver Cup recipients headed to the nearby Media Grill and Bar Restaurant. Some seemed a little bewildered at the location. A table with three empty chairs and a TACA poster on an easel indicated that the VIP reception was indeed within. Passing by hotel guests at the bar watching a basketball game on the big screen, the TACA types moseyed on back to a semi-private dining room. Pretty soon the area became so packed with people like Honorary Chair Ann Hobson, Kevin Hurst, Jennifer Eagle, Tom Mayer, Ted Enloe and Carol Glendenning, they spilled out into the hallway.

James E. Wiley Jr. and Rebecca Fletcher

James E. Wiley Jr. and Rebecca Fletcher

Unlike years past when the award recipients opened the boxes, revealing the Silver Cups to the assembled guests, the 38th Cup awardees Rebecca Fletcher and James “Jim” Wiley Jr. gleefully opened the boxes in the back of the room unbeknownst to others. Didn’t matter because the cups shone like the Rebecca’s and Jim’s smiles.

From the left: (back row) Lucilo Pena, Howard Rachofsky, Frank Risch, Cindy Rachofsky, Bess Enloe, John Eagle and Howard Hallam; (front row) Catherine Rose, Marguerite Hoffman, Rebecca Fletcher, James E. Wiley Jr. and Don Glendenning

From the left: (back row) Lucilo Pena, Howard Rachofsky, Frank Risch, Cindy Rachofsky, Bess Enloe, John Eagle and Howard Hallam; (front row) Catherine Rose, Marguerite Hoffman, Rebecca Fletcher, James E. Wiley Jr. and Don Glendenning

Just before the VIP party broke up, the annual group photo of Silver Cup recipients, past and present, was staged in a corner of the room. Unfortunately, some, like past Silver Cup recipients Mary McDermott Cook, Kern Wildenthal, Holly Mayer and Ruben Esquivel, had already moved on to the Grand Ballroom. Just as well because they couldn’t have squeezed any more folks into that corner.

Lee Cullum

Lee Cullum

Tara Lewis

Tara Lewis

Pete Chilian

Pete Chilian

Marsha Cameron

Marsha Cameron

But once inside the Grand Ballroom, there was plenty of room for folks to settle down for lunch. Mistress of ceremonies Lee Cullum introduced the head table including Co-Chairs Pilar Henry and Tara Lewis, J.P. Morgan’s Peter Chilian, 2015 Silver Cup Awardees Don Glendenning and Catherine Rose, TACA Board Chair Donna Wilhelm, Paradox Compensation Advisors’ Marsha Cameron, Neiman Marcus’ Ginger Reeder and the 2016 Silver Cup Awardees Rebecca and Jim. She then invited the Rev. Douglas Travis of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church to come to the podium to give the invocation. Just before having him take over, she said, “He may not know that I’m in his parish.” Without missing a beat, Douglas said, “I know.” A chuckle was heard from the audience just before they bowed their heads.

Grace Browning

Grace Browning

Jonathan Jones

Jonathan Jones

At 12:10 luncheon (baby kale salad followed by an entrée of chicken, mushroom and leek fricassee and a chocolate pistachio torte for dessert) was served while The Dallas Opera principal harpist Grace Browning played on a mini-stage at one of the room and was followed by Dallas Chamber Symphony principal clarinet Jonathan Jones on a similar stage across the way. At one point Jonathan played Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” and it was noted that eating utensils seemed to move faster.

Charles Karanja

Charles Karanja

Following Lee’s state-of-the-arts review, Tara’s thanking the sponsors and remarks by Pete, Marsha and Donna, Ginger introduced the 2016 SMU Meadows School of the Arts Performers pianist Tara Emerson and tenor Charles Karanja, who performed on a stage in front of the head table.

Following the performance, Catherine Rose introduced fourth-generation Texan Jim, remarking that “one of his many sterling qualities is his willingness to step in and volunteer for the hardest work and then actually do the work.”

James E. Wiley Jr.

James E. Wiley Jr.

He kicked off his brief acceptance speech with “Wow! Shazam!” His acceptance speech was mingled with humor and sincerity, “having had the good fortune of picking parents who lived in Dallas” and attributing his early love for the arts to his DISD teachers. While admitting that Dallas’ arts have flourished over the years, he asked, “Where do we go from here?” He suggested the “biggest challenge is figuring out a way to empower all the diverse and disparate parts to come together and experience the joy of true community.” With the costs of sports participation and attendance being prohibitive for families, he reasoned that “enjoying art in all its forms and experiencing the outdoors and nature are two viable ways for Dallas to come together as a community.”

At 1:22 p.m. the ever-eloquent Don’s introduction of Rebecca sounded more like a love note. In closing, he paraphrased Lerner and Lowe’s “We Call the Wind Maria(h),” saying

“’Way out here we have a name for rain and wind and fire. The rain is Tess, the fire’s Joe and we call the wind Maria(h).’ In that same spirit, I give you our arts force of nature — Rebecca.”

Rebecca Fletcher

Rebecca Fletcher

Like Jim, Rebecca started off her acceptance speech with, “Wow!” She then recalled attending her first Silver Cup Award luncheon in 1993, when her mother Bess Enloe received the award. It “sparked” the idea of leaving the legal profession and working for in the nonprofit sector.

She accepted the award graciously, telling the audience that it was especially meaningful since she and James had worked together in the past. Rebecca then took the opportunity of explaining why her focus had been primarily on the arts, “because of what they can uniquely give back to our community. Imagine a society without the influence of arts and you’ll have to strip out the most pleasurable in life. Take away the collective memory of our museums. Remove the bands from our schools, the choirs from our communities; lose empathetic plays and dance from our theaters and you’re left with a society bereft of a national conversation about its identity or anything else.”

Thanking her associates and friends, she teared up in recognizing her family. But Rebecca was not going to end her talk with tears. Instead she announced that she was going to “set the record straight” about her husband Barron Fletcher. “Many of you have often complimented me on the relationship that I set up between Titas and the Performing Arts Center during my tenure as the board chair. Well, I have to come clean. It was not my idea. [laughter from the audience] It was Barron Fletcher’s. Barron was the one who stayed up with me pouring over Titas’ books and designing a new business model. Furthermore, he personally wrote a check to cover the organization, so that I could go out and negotiate the deal. So, just so we all know, Barron Fletcher saved Titas.”

A Loving Tribute To Ebby Halliday Acers For Teaching Gratitude

Don Glendenning (File photo)

Don Glendenning (File photo)

At 3 p.m. on Thursday, a multitude of people will convene at Park Cities Baptist Church to celebrate Ebby Halliday Acers 104 years of life. Many will pay homage to the great lady who influenced and befriended so many, both professionally and personally. MySweetCharity asked one of Dallas’ premier wordsmiths, Don Glendenning, to describe his memories of Ebby. From his submission below, it is obvious that the loss of his dear friend inspired an extremely touching and “grateful” tribute. For your consideration —

Gratitude brought me to Ebby Halliday Acers.

It was 1999 at the Thanks-Giving Square Foundation that she was leading as the first woman president, yet another in an innumerable line of “firsts” for a woman who never saw barriers, only opportunities. Introduced by a mutual great friend, Steve Durham, for my assistance with a challenging issue of the moment for the charity, it was “admiration and adoration at first sight” for me, although gracious and forgiving as she surely was with everyone, most certainly including me, within minutes of our acquaintanceship she was firmly holding me in her gaze, quietly controlling the room, and asserting:  “You’re repeating yourself.” And I was — chewing on the uncomfortable gristle of an awkward matter that she, inexorably, already had deduced to its practical, inevitable conclusion.

And so began, however improbably, one of the central friendships of my life.

Ebby Halliday Acers (File photo)

Ebby Halliday Acers (File photo)

“Ebby.” Two distinctive syllables of a charmingly anachronistic name . . . a life of 104 years is apt to produce at least a few anachronisms . . . a single name that has communicated for decades to a vast metropolitan area a singular identity. And more than an identity:  an ideal . . . the concept that a person of good will, integrity, insight and industry can achieve greatness no matter how modest his or her beginnings, and in the personification of “Ebby,” to do so through a living embodiment of the Golden Rule, always putting the wellbeing of others first, and coming to do well only after, and as a by-product of, doing good.

In her professional life, she was “Ebby Halliday” — and when she used her professional last name, with a jubilant but understated intonation, it always made me think of the combination of “holiday” and “hallelujah.” Just hearing the name has always made me smile. But in her personal and philanthropic life, she was “Ebby Halliday Acers,” her married name, invoking the unquestioned love of her life and partner in all great endeavors, Maurice Acers. This was the nuance of her identity that I relished above all others. While Maurice predeceased his bride by many years, theirs was a partnership that she lived throughout her life, and to hear her speak of Maurice was to experience the embodiment of an exceptional love, true soul mates that completed and enhanced one another, and that Ebby kept alive in spirit and in fact for the more than two decades by which she survived him.

And then, there was her ukulele, her inimitable wit, her singularly confident if not entirely pitch-perfect singing voice, and her consummate showmanship. A number of years ago, Ebby did me the enormous honor of serving as an honorary chair for a fundraiser of which I was the object, and then capped it off by pulling out her ukulele and intoning her trademark “we honor an honorable Texan . . .” which always ended, many hearty ballroom-gasping laughs later, with “and remember the Alamo.” I could never repay the favor, but I tried, relying upon the notions of self-abasement and humiliation as fall-back coinage when the gold of actual talent is not available. In introducing Ebby as the featured speaker for a United Way Tocqueville luncheon a few years later (and remember that Ebby, together with Ruth Sharp Altshuler and Caroline Rose Hunt, were, together, the embodiment of Tocqueville), with the requisite support of the (gratefully, genuinely talented) “Levee Singers” beloved by Ebby and so many other Dallasites (and who loved Ebby enough to risk their reputations playing as my back-up band and singers), I sang my own version of that much-overlooked-in-my-view Broadway tune from decades ago “Big D,” converted to “Big E” — with the refrain: “Big E, my oh yes; Big E, little b, little b, y; Big E, little b, little b, y; Big E, little b, little b, y — YES!”  Okay, you had to be there . . . many of you were . . . and, well, maybe even being there wasn’t nearly enough. But I think Ebby genuinely relished my pitiable effort to repay her, in some small, talentless measure, in kind. Or maybe she was just fascinated, as so many professed to be, that I could turn that exceedingly bright red and still not require hospitalization.

“The Ebby Show” had genuinely universal appeal. And I had the privilege of witnessing an extraordinary example of just how universal that appeal truly was. In 2005, Ebby was one of the recipients of the Horatio Alger Award, presented annually in a massive Washington, D.C. ballroom with fabulous fanfare. She was in the company of billionaires, Fortune 500 CEO’s and at least one astronaut. And to the masses of those in attendance, Ebby was the relative “unknown.” My wife Carol [Glendenning] and I were seated at a table of guests assembled from across the country, there to honor their friends whom they clearly considered “national household names.” No one had heard of Ebby, and had little interest in our telling them about her. We felt like minor pariahs, that is, until Ebby took the stage, and then even we turned into minor rock stars in our corner of the ballroom, just for being her acquaintances. Our mutual friend Steve Durham again was center-stage as Ebby’s introducer. And then Ebby, whose presence alone had captured the spirit of the vast room, set her notes aside and just “talked.” She had everyone’s total, complete, and rapt attention. She spoke wildly in excess of her “allotted” time, but not one person in the room longed for anything but for her to just keep talking, to keep sharing her magnificent life perspectives, her laughter, her joy, her gratitude. I’m a Dallasite, so I have witnessed and participated in countless sincere (okay, and quite a few perfunctory) standing ovations. But I have experienced one and only one “Leaping Ovation,” — and that is precisely what Ebby received when she closed her glowing remarks. I felt genuinely sorry for the poor astronaut who had to receive his award after Ebby left the stage . . . I’m almost certain that even he was wishing that Ebby was still holding forth, as she was all anyone could think of, as she had so consummately filled, elevated and elated every heart in the room.

Yes, gratitude brought me to Ebby, and gratitude will continue to be the bond that will forever bind me to her, as I join countless others in celebration of, and appreciation for, a life that has so immeasurably enriched the lives of so many, and our community as a whole.

2015 TACA Silver Cup Recipients Catherine Rose And Don Glendenning Are Honored At Rescheduled Reception

The 2015 TACA Silver Cup Award sponsors and underwriters literally filled the balconies and home of TACA Silver Cup Award Honorary Co-Chair/2001 Silver Cup recipient Mary McDermott Cook’s tri-level on Thursday, March 19. Unlike the canceled-due-to-weather-luncheon just a couple of weeks before, the weather on this evening was pristine.

Becky Young

Becky Young

It seems the morning of the March 5th luncheon, while TACA Executive Director Becky Young was coordinating the cancellation, she got a call from Mary, who wanted to host an event to help. The solution was a cocktail reception for the underwriters and sponsors of the event. Somehow, Becky found a date that worked for both honorees  — Catherine Rose and Don Glendenning — and at least a dozen past recipients and 16 different arts groups. It would serve as a mini-version of the originally planned luncheon presented by J.P. Morgan and Neiman Marcus.

View from Mary McDermott Cook's home

View from Mary McDermott Cook’s home

With perfectly flawless views of downtown Dallas, the Bill Booziotis-designed home only continues to get rave reviews.

Kern and Marnie Wildenthal, Carol Glendenning, Tom and Holly Mayer and Don Glendenning

Kern and Marnie Wildenthal, Carol Glendenning, Tom and Holly Mayer and Don Glendenning

Halfway through the evening, Becky started herding the guests into the living room. Eventually, the place was filled to the max with the likes of Silver Cup Honorary Co-Chair/first Silver Cup recipient Margaret McDermott, Elaine Agather, Keith Cerny, Dan Patterson, Betsy and Richard Eiseman, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Carol Glendenning, Deedie Rose, Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Jeremy Strick, Holly and Tom Mayer and Frank Risch.

Elaine Agather and Jennifer Karol

Elaine Agather and Jennifer Karol

Luncheon Chair Jennifer Karol reported that the cancelled event had turned into a blessing for others. The food had been sent to The Bridge that was sorely in need of additional food with the weather conditions turning sour. And the centerpieces and floral arrangements had been delivered to Parkland. Jennifer added that she thought Silver Cup founder/the late Annette Strauss would have approved of the deliveries.

And despite the cancellation of the annual event, a record-breaking $525,000 had resulted for the performing arts.

Next 2014 TACA Chair Nancy Carlson introduced the official, if abbreviated, presentation 2015 Silver Cup Awards presentation. It seems that current Board Chair Donna Wilhelm was under the weather.

Jin Young Kwon

Jin Young Kwon

Nathaniel Earhart

Nathaniel Earhart

And what would any TACA event be without a performance? And this one was no exception with 2015 SMU Meadows School of the Arts Mezzo-soprano Jin Young Kwon and guitarist Nathaniel Earhart.

Jennifer Karol, Don Glendenning, Nancy Carlson and Catherine Rose

Jennifer Karol, Don Glendenning, Nancy Carlson and Catherine Rose

Before Catherine and Don opened their blue boxes containing their silver cups, they each spoke briefly to the crowd with eloquence and appreciation of the arts and art lovers, only demonstrating the reason for their joining their illustrious predecessors. Catherine graciously accepted saying the number one lesson that she had learned from Margaret was to say, “Thank you.” She continued saying “Thank you” to Margaret “for setting a standard and an example for all of us to follow, for teaching us to reach for excellence and always say ‘thank you’ to all who help us.”

In comparing Dallas to the golden era of Florence, Don acknowledged the importance of families like the McDermotts, Perots and then, looking directly at Margaret, he reminded old-timers and newcomers of the importance that Texas Instruments played in the development of Dallas.

Margaret reciprocated the platitudes by saying that she constantly thought of both of them. She had been a good friend of Catherine Rose’s grandmother [the late Billie Marcus] and admired all that Don has done for this community. She concluded saying, “All I can think of is ‘aren’t we blessed.'”

Catherine Rose, Don Glendenning, Margaret McDermott and Mary McDermott Cook

Catherine Rose, Don Glendenning, Margaret McDermott and Mary McDermott Cook

Then Catherine and Don opened the boxes and under the wrappings discovered their silver cups. Immediately afterwards the twosome posed for photos with Mary and Margaret.

Silver Cup Announcement Brings Art Lovers Together At The Eagles’ Nest

The doors to Jennifer and John Eagle’s art-filled home were wide open the evening of Thursday, October 16, and John was out front welcoming guests for the announcement of the 2015 TACA Silver Cup recipients.

John was in fine fettle. He’s lost weight, feeling great, keeping “the boss (Jennifer) happy and back to work.”

Inside the Edward Durell Stone-designed residence, a buff, blonde Jennifer looked equally happy and healthy.

Howard and Fanchon Hallam

Howard and Fanchon Hallam

In the living room, the Dallas arty types like Max Anderson (he was on his way to Washington, D.C. at the National Endowment for the Arts’ invitation to discuss the Dallas Museum of Art’s Friends program) and the Dallas Opera’s Keith Cerny joined Barbara and Stan Levenson, Ruben Esquivel, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Lucilo Peña and Lee Cobb.

Lee Cobb and Lucilo Pena

Lee Cobb and Lucilo Pena

Diane Brierley was solo because husband Hal was in Washington on business after hosting a party for the Harvard alums Monday…Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer couldn’t stay for the announcement of the recipients. Had another commitment like a lot of others… Lynn McBee had had a busy day after being recognized as one of Les Femmes du Monde’s Women of the Year… TACA Chair of the Board Nancy Carlson was just finishing up her tenure, while she was starting to undertake plans for the 2015 Art Ball…Wanda Gierhart was being teased about a photo of her with Amy Fisher. Seems she had been ID-ed as Donna Karan. Wanda only wished she made that kind of $$.

Nancy Carlson handed the mic and introduced 2010 Silver Cup recipient Cindy Rachofsky, who revealed the 2015 recipient would be Catherine Rose.

Needless to say, the “Roses” were in full bloom including parent-in-law Deedie and Rusty Rose and husband Will Rose.

Then 2004 Silver Cup recipient Diane B. announced that Don Glendenning would be the male recipient with wife Carol Glendenning being one of the first to smile.

Catherine Rose, Nancy Carlson and Don Glendenning

Catherine Rose, Nancy Carlson and Don Glendenning

Nancy concluded the announcement with news that the event would be chaired by Jennifer Karol and Karen Pollock and Mary McDermott Cook and her mother Margaret McDermott serving as honorary co-chairs. Alas, neither Mary nor Margaret were on hand to accept the applause. Mary was in Switzerland and Margaret was recouping from the earlier day’s toasts.

Touch of trivia: Margaret was the first Silver Cup recipient in 1979.

The luncheon will take place at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, March 5.

JUST IN: 2015 TACA Silver Cup Recipients Announced

Racing…okay, so slo-mo driving thanks to traffic… across town, more announcements were being made over in Preston Hollow.

Yup, the 2015 TACA Silver Cup recipients were just announced! Following tradition, the announcement was made at Jennifer and John Eagle’s art-filled home.

Oh, you’re wondering who the recipients are?

Catherine Rose, Nancy Carlson and Don Glendenning

Catherine Rose, Nancy Carlson and Don Glendenning

Drum roll…Catherine Rose and Don Glendenning!

Mary McDermott Cook and Margaret McDermott (File photo)

Mary McDermott Cook and Margaret McDermott (File photo)

An additional announcement was made that Margaret McDermott and her daughter Mary McDermott Cook will serve as honorary co-chairs. Margaret’s been a busy centenarian today. Earlier in the day she was honored by Les Femmes du Monde at Harlan Crow’s Library as one of the six Women of the Year.

The presentation of the 37th Silver Cups will take place at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, March 5, 2015.

More deets about the announcement reception later. Just wanted you to have the big news ASAP.

Goodness gracious, 2015 is already looking pretty amazing with all these plans being announced.

Keep up the announcements and the great efforts.