Mary Kay Foundation’s 2016 Suits For Shelters Fashion Celebration Was Definitely In The Pink At Tootsies

As so many have realized recently, domestic violence doesn’t take a second off. Whether it’s in the low-income community or the highfalutin neighborhoods, anger and physical abuse are not limited to one ZIP code.

But on Wednesday, July 20, the Suits for Shelters program celebrated the hope for many suffering from domestic violence. It was the annual fashion show at Tootsies benefiting the Mary Kay Foundation‘s effort to collect clothes for victims trying to find new lives of independence. And pink was definitely the color the day!

It was a great turnout of frontliners in the battle against abuse. The Family Place’s VP of Development Melissa Sherrill was standing in for The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink , who was MIA. It seems that after 25 years of working at The Family Place, Paige was on a sabbatical that had coincided with the Suits for Shelters get-together.

On the other hand, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein in her most adorable explosion of pink sundress said that she was already on the search for the Genesis Luncheon 2017 speaker. OK, so she admitted that to outdo 2016 speaker Tyler Perry was going take some doing, but Jan enjoys a good challenge, don’t you know.

Jan Langbein

Jan Langbein

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

But the true-blue standouts of the evening were Maleiah and Ryan Rogers. Gee, were these two made by Mattel? They greeted one and all with graciousness and dang! They looked so fabulous. Ryan’s grandmother, the late Mary Kay Ash, would have been so proud to have seen her mission to help those overcoming domestic violence being carried on by Maleiah and Ryan.

Mary Kay Foundation that is the driving force of the event also had Mary Kay Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility VP Crayton Webb, who had missed last year’s event due to a trip to China. Now, the father of three sons and a brand new daughter was looking over the crowd for his wife Nikki Webb, who was on her way.

It’s hard to imagine a more dedicated advocate in the battle against domestic violence than HeROs President Crayton, but the March birth of a daughter has made his mission even more personal.

Crayton Webb

Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Melissa Cameron

Melissa Cameron

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

All too soon the capacity crowd including Nancy Gopez, Kris Johnson, Melissa Cameron and Michaela Dyer, moved upstairs for the fashion show. After the welcomes by Emcee WFAA’s Cynthia “Izzy” Izaguirre, Ryan, Crayton and Tootsies Store Director Nerissa von Helpenstill, the fashions were on parade worn by WFAA’s Alexa Conomos and Charlotte Huffman, The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show’s Kellie Rasberry, Attitudes and Attire’s Evelyn Earl, Battered Women’s Foundation’s Roze Kluttz, Brighter Tomorrows’ Tina Strand, Denton County Friends of the Family’s Alicia Froidl, Dress for Success’ Karis Renee, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Tamika Jackson, Hope’s Door’s Megan Rutherford, Mosaic Family Services’ McKenzie Hoopfer, New Beginning Center’s Rhonda Aicklen, Safe Haven of Tarrant County’s Dakota Hart, The Salvation Army’s Vicki Wheaton, The Family Place’s Ericka Johnson and Mary Kay’s Marci Burns, Morgan Calhoun and Lisa Petty.

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Suits for Shelter fashion show

Suits for Shelters fashion show

Then the raffle took place with the highlight being the announcement of the winner of the $5,000 donation in the name of the winner to a domestic violence group.  Provided by Maleiah and Ryan, this item is the most-sought-after of the raffle packages for the nonprofit representatives. The moment Esmerelda Rodriquez’s name was called was electric. Irving-based Brighter Tomorrows’ CEO Diana Franzetti was truly beside herself. It seemed pretty obvious which organization Brighter Tomorrows’ Board Member Esmerelda was going to pick.

On a sidenote: Tootsies’ Sales Manager Dustin Holcomb admitted that the entire Tootsies’ family was still adjusting to life without Tootsies’ founder Mickey Rosmarin. Still Dustin assured that the Dallas operation was not only carrying on, it was going to celebrate its 25th anniversary this fall.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Dress For Success

Dress for Success*

Dress for Success*

“An Angel walked in to my office on Monday. Literally. Her name was Angel. Angel is a young women; only 23 years old, 7 months pregnant and just became homeless. She came in desperately looking for a way to get a job. She told me that a friend gave her directions to Dress for Success Dallas and told her that if anyone could help her… it would be us.

Dress for Success ladies*

Dress for Success ladies*

“Two buses and a train later, Angel walked in and my life changed forever. I could tell she was really trying to hold it together. Tears were just below the surface. She explained that she was truly alone and very scared. She talked with me about going to work and how she could get help finding a job. In our talk, I found out that she had just been kicked out of her home and was sleeping on her cousin’s couch. Her cousin is moving and let her know she needed to find another place to stay by the end of the week.

After photo*

After photo*

“Angel and I began making a plan. I reached out to some great supporters of Dress for Success Dallas for help. One person gave her a phone interview for a job right then, another contact set up an appointment for housing and I helped her find prenatal care and other resources.

“Angel called me yesterday to say that she has gone to all the appointments we made and also had a follow up job interview and begins her new job on Monday. She is so grateful and just kept saying thank you over and over. She told me that she is naming her baby girl after us. I cannot wait to meet our namesake, Hope as soon as she is delivered.

“Thank you to all of the Angels we have out there!!! Want to be an Angel, too? It is easy to do – just be part of North Texas Giving Day and you can help the more than 1200 women we serve every year. The goal for Dress for Success Dallas this year is to raise $20,000. On September 17, every donation of $25 or more will be amplified by bonus funds.

“This will provide a year’s worth of job readiness and support services for 40 women. Dress for Success Dallas currently holds a 92% employment rate for those receiving our services. Dress for Success Dallas is built on the cornerstone of hope and collaboration. Together, we can change lives of women in our community. Change a woman and you change the world.”

-By Janie Bordner, executive director

* Photo and graphic credit: 
Dress for Success

Mary Kay Foundation Kicks Off “Suits for Shelters” At Tootsies Just In Time for 70% Off Sale

Crowd at Suits for Shelters Kick-off

On the eve of the weeks of invasions by 30,000 ladies and gents in pink for the five Mary Kay seminars, the Mary Kay Foundation kicked off “Suits for Shelters” at Tootsies. The purpose of the program is to collect “gently used suits, accessories, etc.,” for domestic-violence shelters like Genesis Women’s shelter, The Family Place and Dress for Success.

According to Mary Kay Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Kirsten Gappelberg, the corporation works with the foundation in encouraging the sales force to donate clothes. Since 2009, more than 7,000 professional items have been donated. This year Mary Kay increased its goal to doubling that number and that’s very doable since Mary Kay added 94,000 new independent beauty consultants in the last quarter, 34,000 of them from “Gen Y.”

Another plus is that the program has also been open to local non-Mary Kay associates to donate.

Ryan Rogers

Mary Kay grandson Ryan Rogers (in pink shirt, of course) and his oh-so-gorgeous wife Maleiah hosted the event to tell guests about the program. Ryan recalled his grandmother’s establishing the foundation in 1996, initially for cancer research. Eventually it was expanded to giving and has provided $18M to cancer, and $31M+ to shelters and domestic-violence programs.

Maleiah Rogers

Among those nodding in agreement were Genesis’s Jan Langbein and Dallas City Council member

Jan Langbein and Delia Jasso

Delia Jasso, who is chair of the council’s Domestic Violence Task Force. Her relationship with Mary Kay’s efforts started at a “makeover lunch” in April that Mary Kay did for 30 abuse victims. Her conclusion: “I’m gonna stick with Mary Kay!”

Supporting the evening with their presence was Mary Gill, who reported that husband John was recovering nicely from back surgery and that her brother Richie Humphreys was back in Dallas and staying with the Gills; Nancy Gopez, just back from a Mediterranean cruise with her family; Simona Beal with lusciously glossy lips (“I can’t remember whose gloss I’m wearing. It

Crayton Webb

may be Tom Ford.”); and Mary Kay Inc. Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb, who is preparing for the birth of his third child and the arrival of the thousands of Mary Kay crew.

Tootsies' 70% off sale

But Tuesday night it appeared to be an excellent opportunity to do a little shopping as well as dropping off donations. After all when the four-letter word “Sale” is everywhere with the number 70%, it’s your All-American duty to check out the racks. And how many racks there were. . . plus shoes and all types of goodies.  Alas, the sale ends July 28. So, why not drop off some clothes for the program and check out some replacements for yourself this week?