MySweetCharity Opportunity: Junior League Of Dallas Milestones Luncheon

Jennifer Scripps, Nikki Webb and Debbie Scripps*

According to Junior League of Dallas Milestones Luncheon Co-Chairs Jennifer Scripps and Nikki Webb and Sustaining Chair Debbie Scripps,

The Junior League of Dallas would like to invite the community to join us for the annual Milestones Luncheon Friday, November 17, featuring a conversation with Academy Award®-winning actress Octavia Spencer. As the annual fundraiser benefiting the Junior League of Dallas Community Service Fund, the Milestones Luncheon serves as a platform to raise awareness for the programs supported by the JLD, as well as to celebrate and honor members who are making a difference in the Dallas community.

Octavia Spencer**

Octavia Spencer has become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents on both television and the silver screen. She has starred in countless films, including “Hidden Figures, The Help, The Shack, Gifted, Zootopia” and many more. She will next be seen in “The Shape of Water.” Spencer has collected numerous accolades for her work, such as the 2012 Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, SAG Award, Broadcast Film Critics’ Choice Award and NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “The Help.” Earlier this year, she was awarded her second Academy Award nomination for her performance in “Hidden Figures.” She has guest starred in various television shows and amongst her other professional achievements like directing and producing, has co-authored an interactive mystery series for children called “Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective.”

Linda Perryman Evans (File photo)

The JLD is proud to have many outstanding Sustaining members who continue to share their JLD leadership skills and training while making a difference in the community. They represent the very best qualities of League members and show selfless dedication. This year, the JLD will honor Linda Perryman Evans as Sustainer of the Year for her commitment and dedication as a Sustainer and motivated civic leader. Linda joined the Junior League as a Provisional member in Dallas and continued as an Active Junior League member in Washington, D.C. While in Washington D.C., she worked on Gerald Ford’s re-election campaign as an assistant to the press secretary for the late Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania, and in the White House Office of Media Relations and Planning for President Ronald Reagan. She returned to Dallas as the Executive Director of the Dallas Welcoming Committee for the 1984 Republican National Convention before becoming president and CEO of The Meadows Foundation. Evans has served as a member, board member, chair or trustee for more than 20 organizations and fundraisers, including chair of Mayor Mike Rawlings‘ Fair Park Task Force. She has been recognized with awards such as the Dallas Historical Society Award for Excellence in Philanthropy, Nonprofit Times Top 50 Power and Influence Leaders and D CEO Top 500 Dallas-Fort Worth Business Leaders. Linda also received the Encomienda de la Orden de Isabel La Catholica for her work on behalf of enhancing relations between Spain and the United States. Sanctioned by King Juan Carlos I, and bestowed by the Spanish Ambassador, the award is one of Spain’s highest honors.

The 2017 Milestones Luncheon will take place Friday, November 17, in the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Check-in will begin at 10:45 a.m. and the Luncheon will start at 11:45 a.m. Individual Luncheon tickets are $175 and Patron Luncheon tickets are $350. Tables begin at $1,750. To purchase tables or individual tickets, please contact the JLD Development Office at 214.357.8822 ext. 118 or visit www.jld.net/milestones-luncheon for more information.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith 
** Photo credit: Randee St. Nicholas

 

Annual Genesis Luncheon Keynoter Arianna Huffington Made A Wake-Up Call For Digital Intervention

Some of the digitally connected folks looked a bit squeamish at the Genesis Luncheon on Monday, May 15, in the Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom. It wasn’t that keynoter Arianna Huffington created a great divide like Bethenny Frankel. Rather, the former grand dame of internet news outlet The Huffington Post was telling the crowd to cut the cord, or at least the wireless connection with their cellphones, tablets and laptops. It was like the head of Alcoholic Anonymous extolling the virtues of sobriety to the National Association of American Wineries. But more about that later.

Before the luncheon got underway, the meet-and-greet with 100 very special guests like Luncheon Co-Chairs Nikki and Crayton Webb, Gail and Gerald Turner, Pat Schenkel, Greg Nieberding, Melissa Cameron and Gail Davis got underway in the Wedgwood Room at 10:45.

Gerald Turner, Arianna Huffington, Pat Schenkel and Gail Turner

Melissa Cameron

Gail Davis

Right on schedule the doors opened to the gorgeous ballroom filled with huge arrangements of pink, white and red roses, hydrangeas and cherry blossoms, white tablecloths and pink napkins and a stage with a side backdrop of pink and red surrounding the main screen, with Genesis encircled by a heart. On the stage were two chairs in the center with a podium to the side, setting the scene for what was to come.

As guests like Ashlee Kleinert, Ken Altshuler, Nancy Best, Ros Dawson Thompson and Paige McDaniel took their seats, a man arrived who was immediately surrounded by folks wanting to have their photo taken with him. The gentleman was the man of the hour — HeRO Awardee/former Dallas Police Chief David Brown. When asked if rumors about his new book “Called To Rise” were true, that pre-release sales were skyrocketing, he smiled and said, “I hope so.”  

Crayton and Nikki Webb

Immediately signaling that the luncheon program was underway was a recitation by three Lakeview Centennial High School Young students enrolled in Young DFW Writers that was followed by Crayton telling how one in four women would face physical violence at some point in their lives. He stated that until that situation of abuse ends, “We have Genesis.” To carry on the support of Genesis, he reeled off the various raffle items available and then introduced Rev. Dr. Sheron Patterson to provide the invocation.

Following lunch, Nikki and Crayton arrived on stage to introduce various dignitaries, thank the luncheon committee members and recount stories of women who’d told them just that morning of being in abusive relationships. Adding a touch of humor and “Aw,” Crayton told how Nikki had said 18 months ago that, in addition to their three sons, she’d like to have a fourth child. To this Crayton responded, “I hope you and your next husband will be very happy.” As laughter filled the room, Crayton added, “But I’m still here.” The fourth child ended up being a little girl they name Lucy, who also brought a renewed concern and determination to the couple in helping women in danger.

At 12:20 p.m. Genesis Women’s Shelter CEO Jan Langbein, whose dress matched the day’s pink, white and red floral setting, told the audience that the Junior League of Dallas had received the Jane Doe Award the week before at a private reception.

Jan Langbein, Arianna Huffington and David Brown

Then she introduced David Brown, emphasizing his support of Genesis’ mission in fighting abuse against women. As he approached the stage to officially receive the HeRO Award, the room erupted in cheers and a standing ovation. David once again proved his skill at addressing the crowd and told how as a youngster he had witnessed the devastation of drugs and violence within his community. This experience resulted in his committing himself to public service. As he explained, if you do something for other people and expect something in return, then that is a business deal. But if you do something for other people who cannot return the favor, it a true reward.    

At 12:27, Jan then introduced Arianna, telling of her many accomplishments including being the author of 15 books, the most recent being “The Sleep Revolution.”

Arianna Huffington

With a Greek accent that at times made her sound like Zsa-Zsa Gabor, Arianna recognized Jan (“What a force of nature!”), Nikki and Crayton and Genesis Senior Director of Development Bianca Jackson, before revealing that she indeed did have a Texas connection — her former husband, millionaire Michael Huffington, had been born in Dallas. She recalled how, years before, she had served on the board of Points of Light, and Genesis was one of the organizations spotlighted.

While some guests may have expected her to talk politics, they were sorely disappointed. Nary was a Republican, Democrat or Whig mentioned.

Okay, so she did recall Madeleine Albright’s saying, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support women. But I think there’s a special place in heaven for men who support women.” The first sentence caused some guests to think that it was going to be a political ride, but the follow-up sentence quickly put that idea to rest.

Instead of controversial issues dealing with politicians, she sounded like a tent preacher on the subject of improving one’s well being. Her epiphany took place in 2007 when she collapsed and passed out due to sleep deprivation.  When she regained consciousness, she found herself in a pool of blood, with a broken cheekbone and a cut over her eye. It was literally a wake-up call. She asked herself, “What is life about?” In the past it had meant 18-hour days striving for money and power. But now she was re-examining her definition of the “good life.” Her answer was to put the priority on taking care of one’s self. As an example, she recalled the age-old oxygen mask theory.

Feeling so strongly about her discovery, she left The Huffington Post this past August and launched Thrive Global to encourage people to “look up from our phones and take care of ourselves, our loved ones and our community. Otherwise we’re in serious trouble.”

Arianna Huffington

She wondered aloud how the assembled group would handle time away from their cellphones, laptops, etc. Ironically, just as Arianna was encouraging guests to take a “digital detox,” guests in the room were seen snapping shots of Arianna on their cellphones and checking their watches about appointments.

Touching on the importance of giving and connecting with the community, Arianna said that Genesis was doing just that for women and their families.

On the lighter side, Arianna recalled how God created the world in six days and “she” rested on the seventh. Her point was that rest is vital to well-being.

After her talk at the podium, she was joined on stage by WFAA’s medical reporter Sonia Azad at 12:46 p.m., where they chatted about how people could indeed take better care of themselves through meditation, yoga, fly fishing and brushing off the problems of the day in the shower. All of those activities required leaving distractions like cellphones elsewhere. “We need to disconnect from our phones.”

Arianna Huffington and Sonia Azad

To emphasize the point of ending the digital addiction, she asked how many in the audience slept with their cellphones on their nightstands. This statement resulted in a chatter at tables and hands raised throughout the room. One guest sheepishly ‘fessed up that he did, “But I use it as an alarm clock.” Without hearing the comment, Arianna had evidently heard that one before and was prepared: “You can buy an old-fashioned alarm clock.”

Arianna Huffington and Sonia Azad

Feeling so strongly about this situation, Arianna’s Thrive Global has created a “phone bed,” so the phone can recharge on top of a satin-clad mattress outside of the bedroom.

When asked by Sonia about her advice to her daughters, Arianna told how her daughters were well “aware of the dangers of becoming addicted to social media presence in our lives.” She went on to say that the main goal for countless engineers at the social media companies is to feed this addiction.

Admitting she has an Instagram account, she reported how just that morning she had received a note asking if she would like to know each time someone likes her post or follows her: “That sounds like hell.”

As the guests waited for their cars following the luncheon, one person was overheard laughing that AT&T was not a luncheon sponsor.

Genesis Annual Luncheon VIP Sponsors Celebrated The Jane Doe And HeRO Awards At Amanda And Brint Ryan’s Home-Sweet-Home

Amanda and Brint Ryan

When Amanda and Brint Ryan waved goodbye to the last of the 75 guests at the Genesis Annual Luncheon VIP Sponsors Party on Thursday, May 11, hopefully they checked all the nooks and crannies of their palatial digs. The reason? The main house and grounds were so absolutely perfect, it was good money that someone would hide out just to spend the night.

Ryan main house

Ryan doghouse

Even the Ryan’s doghouse was a mini-version of the main house. The two Ryan pooches had to watch the festivities from their fenced-in mini-estate, while the party was going on.

But the night wasn’t just for critters and palace gazing. It was to thank the Genesis major donors and to present some awards in advance of the annual luncheon on May 15.

Gerald Turner

Chuck Thoele and David Miller

When a classical string group stopped playing and the pool’s fountains closed down, it signaled that the evening’s program was getting under way, with guests in attendance like Nancy Best, Gail and Gerald Turner, Carolyn and David Miller, Beth and Chuck Thoele, Bob Mong and Steve Langbein.

First to speak was Genesis Annual Luncheon Co-Chair Nikki Webb, who thanked the Ryans for their hospitality. “I find your house so incredibly warm, and I’m sure it’s a reflection of y’all,” she said. Then, Nikki revealed for the first time that a fella that she’d dated in college had proved to be a very wrong person for a relationship. She admitted that while she feared him, her friends claimed that he was really a great guy. Luckily, Nikki rose above and out of that situation and eventually married her husband/Genesis Annual Luncheon Co-Chair Crayton Webb.  

Crayton and Nikki Webb

Next Crayton took the mic and announced that this year’s HeRO Award, which honors men who take a public stand against domestic violence, would be going to former Dallas Police Chief David Brown. The ex-chief, Crayton said, “was involved in preventing domestic violence long before” the tragic police shootings on July 7, 2016. Brown would accept the award, it was explained, at the May 15 luncheon at the Hilton Anatole.

With that, Genesis Women’s Shelter CEO Jan Langbein took over, explaining that the 2017 Jane Doe Award—which honors groups or individuals who stand strongly in support of domestic-abuse victims—would be going to the Junior League of Dallas. Jan, who was initially exposed to Genesis as a JLD volunteer and later won its highest honor, the Mary Harriman Community Leadership Award, explained that Genesis currently enjoys the services “of the most JLD volunteers of any nonprofit in Dallas.”

Nancy Best and Jan Langbein

Bonner Allen

Accepting the Jane Doe award was Bonner Allen, the league’s 2016-2017 president. While 2017-2018 President Jennifer Tobin looked on, Bonner proudly said, “I can’t tell you how much this award means to us. I couldn’t think of a better partner [for the league] than Genesis.”  

Amid A Ballroom Of Orange, 2017 Linz Awardee Lyda Hill Graciously Accepted The Accolades And Inspired All Present To Get Involved

With the predictions of a major event collision, the Omni Dallas was ground zero on Wednesday, March 8. Perhaps it was to squeeze in one more fundraiser before North Texas emptied out for spring break. Or maybe it was just the “oops” ingredient for the fundraising recipe.

The problem was the schedule of two behemoth events for lunch — the Planned Parenthood fundraiser with Marcia Clark and the 88th Linz Award Luncheon on the same day. 

In the meantime, the Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Lunch fundraiser was across town at the Belo.

But the gods of planning smiled on the scheduling. Thanks to the Junior League of Dallas commandos, they had scheduled everything down to the second not to collide with the Planned Parenthooders.

Timing was imperative.

From the left: Tom Dunning, Ron Steinhart, Ruth Altshuler, Sheila Grant, John Scovell, Lyda Hill, Dolores Barzune, Walt Humann, Lindalyn Adams, Jody Grant, Debbie Branson, Forrest Hoglund, Bob Thornton and Bill Solomon

The Linz group’s past awardees (Lindalyn Adams, Bill SolomonSheila and Jody Grant, Debbie Branson, Ruth Altshuler, Forrest Hoglund, John Scovell, Ron Steinhart, Tom Dunning, Dolores Barzune, Bob Thornton and Walt Humann) gathered in a side room for a photo with the 2017 Linz Awardee Lyda Hill with the Dallas skyline in the background by 11:10. Then they were led to the VIP Reception outside the Trinity Ballroom.

With the timing of a prima ballerina, the Linz group was cloistered in the Trinity’s reception area just as the Planned Parenthood guests arrived for check-in at the Dallas Ballroom’s lobby.

In the meantime, men and women in blue stood watch. One Linzer wonder why all the security. It wasn’t because of the Linz Award. Rather, the recent protests at the Fort Worth Planned Parenthood had put the local first responders on alert.

When Lyda was complimented about how great she looked, the lady responded, “Take a good look, because it’s gonna be the last you’ll see me like this.”

Orange tableclothes

Despite the protests, Lyda did look great and, of course, was wearing an orange jacket. In fact that was the password color of the day. In the ballroom filled with hundreds of guests, everything from BBFs (Lynn McBee, Millie Cooper, Bobby Sue Williams, Diane Brierley, etc.) to table centerpieces honored Lyda’s love of orange.

Mike Rawlings and Lyda Hill

A couple of fellas like Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Don Glendenning sheepishly admitted that their borderline reddish, yellowish ties were as close as they could get to the color of the day.

Speaking of the good mayor, Mike reported that son Gunnar Rawlings’ wedding to Gabby Gutierrez had gone off without a hitch in Mexico, except for the bridegroom’s limp. Seems Gunnar had fractured his leg and hobbled to the altar. However, Mike admitted that it was a beautiful occasion with the weather behaving marvelously.

While some guests hopped between the Linz Luncheon and the Planned Parenthood Luncheon, 2016 Linz Awardee Debbie Branson got things going in the Dallas Ballroom. No sooner had she gotten the attention of the group than Junior League of Dallas Sustainer President Kitty Peeler thanked The Dallas Morning News and Zales and welcomed Rev. Stephen Swann to provide the invocation.

Planned Parenthood check-in

Following official introductions and recognitions, guests lunched.

Following the lunch, it was time for the salutes and a couple of shots across the bow. Mayor Mike kicked it off welcoming all to the city-owned hotel. He then told how in reviewing the list of Linz Award recipients, he was surprised that only 10 women had received it.

Mike recalled that when the Ebola outbreak and the July 7 shootings took place, Lyda was one of the first to step forward offering help. He pointed out other endeavors in which Lyda was a rock: VNA, North Texas Food Bank, Perot Museum, etc. He finished up by describing Lyda as a “rock of our city and a wonderful gem.”

Jim Moroney

Across the stage in a chair, Linz Award Co-Sponsor Dallas Morning News Publisher/CEO Jim Moroney didn’t look all that happy at the comment about the Linz recipients. Following Mike, Jim said, “Mayor, on behalf of the two sponsors of the Linz Award, I would say that we are not proud of the number of women that have received this award—but I think we’re doing better than the mayors of Dallas… Just saying.” That “shade throwing” got a mix of laughter and hoots from the audiences.

Then Jim got on his bully pulpit, bringing up the problems making headlines — homelessness, police and firemen’s pension fund, renegade dogs in South Dallas, etc. 

Nicole Small

After Mike’s and Jim’s exchange, Linz Award Co-Sponsor Signet Chief Retail Insights and Strategy Officer George Murray along with Lyda Hill Foundation CEO Nicole Small lassoed the group back to the topic du jour — Lyda. Nicole went on and on providing insight about the woman, who prefers to provide for others rather than promote herself. A telling moment came when Nicole asked Lyda to stand. Then Nicole asked all who had known or been friends with Lyda for more than 30 years to stand. More than a third of the room stood. Nicole then asked for a board member or executive director of an organization that Lyda had spent her time with to stand. Another third of the room stood. Her next request was for anyone whose organization had received funding from Lyda to stand. Almost the rest of the room stood. Nicole’s final request was for anyone who just wanted to know Lyda to stand. That allowed the handful of folks who were left to stand. 

The rest of Nicole’s talk was a valentine for Lyda, including the revealing of her love for dark chocolate and her hidden stash in the upper left hand drawer of her desk.

At one point Nicole told how Lyda would clear the trail of branches to make it easier for those who follow. Throughout her various endeavors, that is what Lyda has done — cleared the way for those who follow.

Lyda Hill

Being called to the stage, Lyda started off in typical Lyda form, “I think I’d be smart if I turned around and left right now…. Nicole, you didn’t have to tell which drawer the candy’s in.”

Lyda admitted that she had “born into privilege and have been privileged all my life to live in a great city with generations of community-minded citizens. But I feel far more privileged today to be able to have an impact on the city that I love.”

Despite only knowing her childhood surroundings, she attributed the Junior League’s provisional program for showing her what needed to be done and how to do it.

She recalled that she has lived half of her life following her breast cancer diagnosis. “I’m trying to make the best that I can with my borrowed time.”

Ten years ago when the economy went down, Lyda made the largest grant that she has ever made. The result? “Nothing is more gratifying than being able to experience helping the abused, the homeless and the hungry.”

She pointed out that in reviewing the previous Linz Award recipients, three traits stood out:

  1. They looked ahead to what was coming.
  2. They were entrepreneurs with a can-do spirit.
  3. Collaborations allowed the winners to bring groups together to solve issues.

With the enthusiasm of a child on Christmas Eve, Lyda talked about what the future held.

She encouraged the audience to in turn encourage family and friends to get involved. Within her own family, Lyda not only takes her nieces and nephews on her Meals on Wheels deliveries. She has also established the “Aunt Lyda Grant.” When her nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews turn seven, she sends them a letter “offering to make charitable contribution to the charity of their choice for $50 times their age. As they get older, the charities get happier. But most important I asked them why they want that charity, to get them thinking about it. Then I have the charities send the newsletters directly to them. I have also taken all my nieces and nephews and most of my grands to deliver Meals on Wheels. Because I want them to be exposed at how much fun it is to be there and help people and see what it feels like when you’re helping people.”

She closed by saying, “We are lucky to live in Dallas. Spread this luck in your own way. Most people vote every four years, but donors and volunteers daily vote for the kind of action for the world they want to be through their actions. That same kind of world is available to all of us. A world that is full of hope and inspiration for the future.”

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Junior League Of Dallas’ 55th Annual Ball Had The Best Of The Past Centerstage As It Took A Final Bow

For some, the Junior League of Dallas’ Encore gala on Saturday, March 4, at the Anatole was a time machine. For others, it was a history lesson of a bygone era when the annual fundraiser was a homemade production called The Junior League Follies. But on this night, it would be the last run of the annual fundraiser. As one organizer said, the 55-year-old event was going off into the sunset. And it was going out with a fanfare, thanks to Ball Chair Isabell Novakov.

Isabell Novakov

First, a little history lesson. The annual fundraiser started in 1962, when Jean Jarmon chaired the first Follies. It was a time when, as former JLD President/1973 Ball Chair Linda Custard recalled with 1977 Ball Chair Gail Madden, the late Doug Perry would create the Follies’ program and songs. For weeks leading up to the show, the JLD members, their husbands and kids would practice for the big show. Talk about “Babes In Arms!” Said Gail, who like Linda was wearing a Gardenia wrist corsage: “We filled the ballroom. That was kind of the heyday.”

Linda Custard and Gail Madden

During those early years, the social season from October to January was dominated by the debutante season, with galas like the Crystal Charity Ball, the Beaux Art Ball and JLD Follies still in their infancy.

But those early Follies undertakings were largely made possible by the fact that women weren’t juggling families, jobs and JLD commitments. Despite the group’s membership growing over the years, the involvement by JLD members and their families transitioned to the demands of the changing times.

Tanya Foster and Paige Slates

The Follies didn’t immediately disappear. But, standing in the reception area outside the Chantilly Ballroom, 2000 Ball chair Debbie Oates said that she saw the writing on the wall when big-name talent began hitting area fundraisers and more and more nonprofits fought for the dollars. She recalled how in her early years as a JLD member, the members would make the decorations and the costumes and try out for parts in the program. But the demands of family, JLD volunteer hours and jobs were reducing the woman-power for the show. So, Debbie slightly slimmed down the emphasis on the production and undertook the transition to a ball setting.

The next year, Ball Chair Nancy Saustad downsized things to a “mini-Follies,” and 2002 Ball Chair Tanya Foster admitted that she finally put the kibosh on the Follies.  

Past Junior League of Dallas Ball chairs

But standing in the VIP reception area, it was like a college reunion with some of the 55 past chairs being the center of attention after posing for a group photo in the ballroom.

Susan Roberds, Karen Shuford, Lydia Novakov, Tomas de la Mata, Debbie Snell and Louise Griffeth

Honorary Chair Karen Shuford, who had made her ball gown the year she chaired the event in 1984, had once again proved her “tailor talents” by making her own gown (black, with a blue overlay) for this evening… Former Fairmont Catering Director Tomas de la Mata, who had been so involved in the Follies during his many years at the Fairmont, was greeted by the likes of former chairs Susan Roberds (1995), Lydia Novakov (1991), Debbie Snell (1992) and Louise Griffeth (1990) like a star football quarterback. Recalled Louise about the Follies: “All the generations used to come. It was a blast!”

Joan Eleazer

Lynn McBee

Amy Turner

Tanya Foster

Elizabeth Gambrell

Wendy Messmann

In front of the ballroom were displayed the gowns of past chairs — Jan Pickens (1980), Joan Eleazer (1985), Lori Whitlow (2003),  Lynn McBee (2004), Amy Turner (2009), Angela Nash (2010), D’Andra Simmons Lock (2011),  Elizabeth Gambrell (2012), Wendy Messmann (2013) and others.

When the doors of the ballroom opened, it was obvious that second-generation JLD Ball Chair Isabell had created an elegant setting with just enough nostalgia for the Ball’s swan song. In addition to round and longer-than-long tables for the three-course dinner (first course: Bibb lettuce with red and yellow grape tomatoes, hearts of palm and lemon tarragon vinaigrette; entree: grilled filet of beef with peppercorn demi-glace potatoes au gratin with gruyere, fresh asparagus and heirloom carrots; and dessert: chocolate bavarois), there was a stage where a final mini-Follies would be performed by Bill Brantley, Clare Chaney, Rachel Davis, Patti Flowers and Kate Newman with Charlotte Ball belting it out.

Encore ballroom

At one point in the evening’s festivities, Linda Custard was asked her thoughts about the annual event’s closing act. “I think it’s just changing times,” she said. “It’s sad from a personal point of view, but [the proliferation of competing galas is] so wonderful for our city.” Then again, who knows? Perhaps in the years to come, like Brigadoon, the Follies/Ball may appear again to raise funds and memories.  

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

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Junior League Of Dallas’ “Encore”

Former Junior League of Dallas Ball chair gowns

The Junior League of Dallas’ “Encore” on Saturday, March 4, was actually a 55-year-old tradition “going into the sunset.” In the Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom reception lobby, there was a nostalgic collection of former ball chairs’ gowns while “oldtimers” recalled past glories to the delight of newbies.

Susan Roberds, Karen Shuford, Lydia Novakov, Tomas de la Mata, Debbie Snell and Louise Griffeth

Inside the ballroom was a stage all set for a group photo of the past chairs and just one final mini-follies.

Junior League of Dallas Ball chairs, past and present

As the post is being prepped, check out the gowns, gals and gents at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Junior League To Receive Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jane Doe Award And Former Police Chief David Brown Tapped For HeROs Award

As part of the 24th Annual Genesis Women’s Luncheon celebration, the announcement has just been made of the 2017 Jane Doe Award and the 2017 HeROs Award recipients.

According to Genesis Women’s Shelter And Support CEO Jan Langbein, the Jane Doe Award that “recognizes individuals, groups or organizations that display an extraordinary commitment to standing alongside women seeking freedom from domestic abuse” will be presented to the Junior League of Dallas’ President Bonner Allen, who will represent the JLD.

Junior Leaguers of Dallas*

Receiving the 2017 HeRO Award, which was established in 2013 to “honor men who use their voice and influence to take a public stand against domestic violence,” will be former Dallas Police Chief David Brown. Past recipients include Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings in 2013, Dale Hansen in 2014, Joshua Ragsdale in 2015 and Roger Staubach in 2016.

David has been a busy fella since trading in his uniform for civilian garb. In addition to having a new job with ABC News, he’s been collecting accolades like being the grand marshal for the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 11, and receiving the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award at Belo Mansion tomorrow.

David Brown (File photo)

Jan explained, ““The Junior League of Dallas has walked hand in hand with Genesis since the very beginning.  Our Junior League volunteers bring passion and professionalism to their placements that in many ways serve as an extension of the Genesis staff.

“Long before Chief Brown was thrust into the national spotlight for his heroic efforts during the tragedy that struck our city last July, he was a hero in Dallas and a hero to Genesis. The Dallas Police Department walks in lockstep with Genesis to help create a safe community, and Chief Brown understood all along that we cannot have a safe community if we do not have safe homes.”

Nikki and Crayton Webb (File photo)

Arianna Huffington**

Luncheon Co-Chairs Nikki and Crayton Webb have arranged for the awards to be presented at the luncheon’s patron party on Thursday, May 11.

A limited number of individual tickets for the Monday, May 15th luncheon at the Hilton Anatole featuring Arianna Huffington are available. For a few dollars more, patron level is also available plus the perks of attending the patron party.

* Photo provided by the Junior League of Dallas 
** Photo provided by Genesis Women's Shelter And Support

Junior League Of Dallas Sponsors Were Celebrated At Lana And Barry Andrews’ And Gifted With Champagne And Cookies

Lana and Barry Andrews

Just down Beverly, Lana and Barry Andrews‘ auto courtyard was filled with Junior League of Dallas sponsors on Thursday, February 23. Lana was thrilled about the prospect of heading to see the Andrews’ year-old granddaughter. The plan called for Lana, Barry, daughter Natalie McGuire and her husband Mike McGuire and the grandkids to head out the next day for California.  

According to Lana, the timing couldn’t have been better. It was Academy Awards weekend and they had scheduled dining at Mastro’s Steakhouse, where the Oscar-types munch. Meantime, Barry was recalling how he’d acquired quite a few David Bates paintings—several were hanging on the walls—back before Bates’ stock had risen in the art world.

As JLD President Bonner Allen greeted the estimated 100 guests at the Andrews’ front door, she was asked her plans for life after the presidency. She replied that she wasn’t going to think about it until after the gala. She did admit that her husband had suggested that getting a job wouldn’t be all that bad.

Lydia Novakov and Karen Shuford

Linda and Bill Custard

Throughout the living room were past JLD presidents Lydia Novakov, Karen Shuford, Linda Custard, Lynn McBee and others, along with 2016 Sustainer of the Year Linda McFarland recalling JLD’s past.

Linda McFarland

Isabell Novakov and Dan Novakov

In the present tense, JLD Ball Chair Isabell Novakov still had her sights set for the Saturday, March 4th gala to break past records. Still, until the final coins are counted, Hilltop Holdings Senior VP Isabell wasn’t making any official declarations.

As for the black-tie gala, there won’t be a silent or live auction, but there will still be a raffle and surprises for the “close to 800” who are expected to attend.

As guests left the party, the celebration continued with guests discovering bottles of champagne and huge JLD blue-and-white cookies in their cars. Sweet!   

Junior League Of Dallas To Receive Dallas CASA’s 2017 Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award In November

The Junior Leaguers of Dallas are going to be busy raising money this coming week. First, there is the 55th Annual black-tie ball — Encore — on Saturday, March 4, at the Hilton Anatole. Then next Wednesday, March 8, they’re putting on the 88th Linz Award Luncheon honoring sister JLD-er Lyda Hill at the Omni Dallas.

Dallas CASA Champion of Children Award Dinner*

After all this work, they’re going to be the recipients of Dallas CASA’s “Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award” at The Fairmont Hotel on Thursday, November 16, at CASA’s annual Champion of Children Award Dinner.

Since 1996, JLD and Dallas CASA have worked together “to serve more children in protective care, [a figure that] has grown year over year. In 2016, the JLD provided 38 volunteers who became sworn advocates for children. In addition, annual grants from the JLD directed toward recruiting allowed Dallas CASA to recruit many additional community members to serve as advocates, helping propel the agency toward its goal of serving every child in protective care.”

Junior Leaguers of Dallas*

Christie Carter (File photo)

According to JLD President Bonner Allen, “The Junior League of Dallas is both honored and humbled to be recognized by Dallas CASA. The work Dallas CASA volunteers do for the most vulnerable children in our community is exactly what the mission of the Junior Leagues is about — it is improving the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.”

Appropriately the honorary chair for the event will Christie Carter, who in addition to being a longtime Dallas CASA supporter, is also past president of the JLD, served on various boards and chaired this past year’s Crystal Charity Ball. It should be noted that she also co-chaired the “recently concluded $37M Abused Children Can’t Wait — The Campaign for Dallas CASA, which saw Dallas CASA more than double it program capacity, dramatically grow the number of volunteer advocates and move into a much larger building to accommodate the rapid growth.”

Priscilla and Corey Anthony*

John and Laura Losinger*

Champion of Children co-chairs will be Priscilla and Corey Anthony and Laura and John Losinger.

* Graphic and photos provided by Dallas CASA

Junior Leaguers Of Dallas Held Their Annual Community Volunteer Fair After Handing Out More Than $770,000 Checks To 39 Nonprofits

Just before NorthPark Center merchants officially opened for business on Saturday, February 4, the Junior Leaguers of Dallas were making 39 non-profit organizations very happy at Green House Market. In addition to supporting the organizations with more than a thousand volunteer hours by its membership, they also handed over checks thanks to funds raised throughout the year. But, alas, the JLD-ers couldn’t stay too long to accept thank yous. They had to head to NorthPark’s NorthCourt for the JLD’s annual Community Volunteer Fair. Here’s a report from the field about the grant presentation:

The Junior League of Dallas held its 2017-2018 Community Grant Presentation at Green House Market in NorthPark Center the morning of Saturday, February 4. The presentation kicked off with a welcome by Junior League of Dallas President Bonner Allen, who was joined by sponsor, Bank of Texas’ Dallas Market Executive Bob White, and WFAA Channel 8 Morning Anchor Alexa Conomos, who served as emcee. Representatives from the 39 partner agencies, which were carefully chosen by the JLD Research and Development Committee, were in attendance to receive grants for the 2017-2018 year.

The Community Grant Program represents more than $770,000 in funding and 1,165 trained volunteer placements within these partner agencies. The League will also provide additional funds and volunteers to the community through its Signature Projects: Grants for Innovative Teaching, Women LEAD, Kids in the Kitchen, the Community Assistance Fund, and its Provisional and Transfer Projects. In total, the JLD will give more than $1 million and more than 1,200 volunteers to the Dallas community in 2017-2018.

Jennifer Tobin, Brandy Patrick, Bonner Allen, Bob White, Alexa Conomos and Elizabeth Allen*

Members of the Research and Development Committee, led by R&D Chair Brandy Patrick and Community Vice President Elizabeth Allen, spent countless hours deliberating between agencies in order to determine those that not only share the same vision for a better Dallas, but that focus on the six issue areas the Junior League of Dallas supports. These issue areas include: violence intervention, poverty intervention, health, family preservation, education, and arts and cultural enrichment.

The Junior League of Dallas is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

“Our agencies often tell us that the partnership with the Junior League of Dallas is invaluable; that the gift of our time and resources helps them bridge the gap between their capacity and our shared vision for a better Dallas,” said Bonner. “It is that shared vision that inspires our work, motivates us through the years and is what brings us here today.”

Alexa added: “Every day at WFAA we share stories that impact our community.  Stories that touch issues such as violence, poverty, health, family, education and arts.  We are grateful for organizations like the Junior League of Dallas who are partners with our community agencies in the mission to make Dallas the community of choice and a place of opportunity for all.”

Kathleen LaValle and Angela Nash*

Guests included: JLD President-Elect Jennifer Tobin, JLD Communications Vice President Jennifer Scripps, JLD Financial Vice President Melissa Wickham, JLD Sustainer President Kittye Peeler, Melissa Sherrill Martin of The Family Place, Amy Hatfield of Ronald McDonald House, Judy Wright of Promise House, Jan Langbein of Genesis Women’s Shelter, Kelly Cruse of New Friends New Life, Carolyn Jordan and Desiree Jacobson of Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, Benaye Rogers of St. Philips School and Community Center, Jennifer Doggett of Community Partners of Dallas, Lili Kellogg of Equest, Angela Nash of Methodist Health System Foundation, Stephanie Brigger of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Caroline Law of Parkland Foundation; Ester Harrison of Interfaith Family Services, Kathleen LaValle of Dallas CASA, Shannon Fisher of Texas Health Resources Foundation and many more.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith

 

Junior Leaguers Grand Slammed Milestones Luncheon With Awardees Caren Prothro, Linda McFarland And Venus Williams

The Junior Leaguers had pulled out all the guns for The Milestones Luncheon on Wednesday, November 16, at the Hilton Anatole. JLD President Bonner Allen and Luncheon Co-Chairs Amanda Shufeldt and Pat Prestidge had their over-the-top game plan in order, so they wisely booked the Chantilly Ballroom to accommodate the expected 1,500 guests.

Linda McFarland and Caren Prothro

And that game plan was built around some pretty heavy hitters — Linda McFarland would be presented as the Sustainer of the Year and Caren Prothro would receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, which has only been previously presented to Ruth Altshuler, Lindalyn Adams, Linda Pitts Custard and Lyda Hill. Needless to say, honoring these ladies alone could have sold out the luncheon ASAP.  

But then Bonner, Amanda and Pat wanted to complement the awardees with an equally prestigious speaker — tennis legend Venus Williams.

Still the event’s schedule was tight. Venus had to be out of there by 1 p.m. At first blush, it looked a little iffy. The VIP reception for the meet-and-greet started at 10:30 with organizers swearing Venus was “going to be here any minute” because she needed to leave by 11:15. By 10:41, the lineup for photos with the featured speaker was starting to extend beyond the cordoned-off area, but there was no Venus. A woman in white at a side entrance door was stationed to watch for her arrival. Just as the clock hit 10:54, Venus arrived. And it was so worth the wait.

While guests filled out forms, others handed off their purses and stood next to the towering 6’1″-tall tennis player, who was totally charming. She especially like Annika Cail’s necklace. But as every photo was taken, the lineup grew three-fold. Nevertheless, Venus’ posture and smile never wavered and she stayed past the 11:15 deadline.

Linda Secrest and Isabell Novakov

In the meantime, most of the men folk gathered at the other end of the room for coffee. Junior League Ball Chair Isabell Novakov reported that she was right on target for her March 4th fundraiser that will also take place in the Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom. The 55th anniversary gala will “showcase past Balls and bring back elements of our history as we celebrate the JLD’s 95th Anniversary.” Her goal is a whopping $1M.

But back to the day’s fundraiser. Finally, the event could wait no longer and the Wedgwood Room doors to the ballroom opened at 11:18 with guests being encouraged to head to their tables. Still Venus stayed for the final photo that was taken at 11:25 and then headed to the ballroom.

Ten minutes later, Mr. Big Voice was heard advising guests to sit with the infamous “the program will start momentarily.” Only instead of a five-minute warning, it truly was momentarily with the house lights dimming seconds later.

Pat Prestidge and Amanda Shufeldt

Emcee Shelly Slater arrived at the podium, did a selfie and told guests to start eating. After Rev. Stephen Swan provided the invocation, Shelly was back with some “housekeeping tips.” No, not the Heloise type that involved grout cleaning, but how the purchase of the centerpieces would also help get through the valet line faster.

Bonner Allen and Kittye Peeler

At 11:39 Amanda and Pat thanked all for supporting the event and were followed by Bonner and JLD Sustainer President Kittye Peeler, who presented Linda and Caren with their awards.

Just past noon, guests got to their meals. Wise move. That way the clatter of utensils hitting plates would be done when Venus had a chat with WFAA sportscaster Joe Trahan starting at 12:36.

Taking their places in easy chairs on stage, the two talked as if they were in a living room. Sounding at times like a starry-eyed groupie, Joe asked Venus about her relationship with her sister, Serena Williams. While Joe wanted to get into discussing tennis, Venus took a timeout to say “Hi to everyone” and told how much she had enjoyed meeting guests earlier in the day. Looking out into the audience, she added, “You guys looked absolutely fantastic. I want to go shopping with all of you. We’ll do at a later date. Next time it will be Junior League-Neiman Marcus.” Grand slam!

Venus Williams and Joe Trahan

Highlights of the conversation included:

  • Her winning her very first Wimbledon, six to three — “I did?…Okay. My first championship was born out of tragedy a bit.” She explained that back in 1999 when she and Serena were playing the U.S. Open, they were in the semi-finals, so they had the chance to meet in the finals. “I didn’t actually win my match, but I learned so much from that. It made me so hungry.” Off for a number of months due to injuries, she played at Wimbledon, “When I went there, I thought ‘This is my time. I’m the one.’ So, I went to that tournament knowing I was going to win. I’ve got to say that I haven’t gone to another tournament with that same attitude, but it was just like you want to win your first one,  you want to cross over that line and it was just knowing that I was not going to walk away without that title that year.”  
  • What she does when she gets to that match point — “I just press the gas pedal. I love being at match point and at that point I just knew it was mine. It’s a privilege to be at match point. I try to live my whole life at that match point level.”
  • Venus Williams

    Winning the first title compared to subsequent ones — “It always changes. It’s never the same. I wish there was a special equation of ‘Now you do it this way. Here’s your formula. And there you go.’ But it’s not. Sometimes you’re torn; sometimes you’re off; sometimes you’re injured; you’re playing a different opponent; it might be windy; sometimes you’re confident; sometimes you’re not. But it’s never the same formula. I think the next year I played, I ended up playing someone who was an upstart and got to the final. And then, of course, you don’t want to go there saying one of the best players in the world loses to someone you never heard of. It’s a whole different kind of pressure.”

  • Venus’ op ed piece on equal pay for men and women — “I never thought that I was going to be a part of equal rights. It wasn’t something that I was aware of as a young person that women weren’t paid the same as men. I grew up dreaming of winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and didn’t realize that it wasn’t equal until I got there. So, once I got there and I had an opportunity to be part of it, it was like you have to take a stance for something. Sometimes you find yourself in a situation. There was no grand plan, but it’s been wonderful for me because I’ve been able to follow the footsteps of people like Arthur Ashe and Billie Jean King and that’s meant so much to me to be able to contribute more.”
  • Lessons that apply both to sports and business — “In sports, there is no win-win. There’s just win. But you figure out how to win. And it applies to teamwork. Of course, within your own organization, it’s about teamwork. It’s about collaboration and it’s also about setting goals and working toward them…That’s why sports is so amazing for young women because it gives them confidence. It gives them goals; it gives them focus. You feel good about yourself and about your body especially in a day when body image is so challenging. Instead of thinking about what you look like, you think about what your body is doing for you. It’s switching the focus…. But you also learn about losing. As much as you want to, you can’t always win. And loss is the biggest single teacher every single time. Even if you don’t want it to be.”
  • Venus Williams

    Her sister Serena — “I would never pass up an opportunity to play with Serena Williams in doubles. You can’t make that work. We love each other’s company.  We always buoy each other up. It’s awesome to play with someone that you feel confident in. Then you can do your job and you don’t have to feel like you have to carry them. You can relax a little bit more. And if you’re playing bad, you know they can carry you and vice versa. It’s an awesome partnership. We wish we could play every tournament because we love that dynamic, but that’s not possible. She’s really fun. I’ll have to bring her next time.”

  • Sisterhood — “A lot of cultures have their own thing about community. In West Africa, they have like a symbol where everyone is pushing everyone up a tree.  So, we’re always pushing each other up. And that part of pushing is also competing, but it doesn’t mean we have to be rivals. We can respect each other as competitors. Just as women, we have to always be supportive of each other because not only are we facing not an equal playing field, we can’t also fight each other. We also have to have that ‘good girls club.’ We have to all be good girls and get on board and support each other. If someone phones asking if you can be here, you don’t need to know why, you just say, ‘I’m there.’ I love to win. It’s fun. I also love to see other people win, other people be successful. I love to see women be powerful. There is nothing more amazing than seeing a powerful woman. It’s intimidating actually to see someone so amazing, so beautiful, so gracious just kicking butt.”
  • Failure — “It’s an important, unfortunately but fortunately, motif in my career. Failure has always motivated me and taught me a lesson. When you fall back down, you’ve got to get right back up again. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is part of your success. If you’re not failing, that means you’re doing too safe or you’re such an expert and amazing that you’re just not human…. The biggest failure to me is not learning from a loss.”
  • Motivation — “The biggest motivation in my tennis career has been my sister outside of mom and dad. I wouldn’t have picked up a racket if it hadn’t been for them. But Serena taught me how to be tenacious and strong. She was just naturally so competitive and so courageous and fearless. And I was, ‘Okay, I’ve got a talent, but I hadn’t grown that heart yet.’ Remember how the Grinch had that little tiny heart? And at the end the heart got big and he became this amazing person. Well, that’s kind of what happened to me in sports. I didn’t push myself enough. You have to throw your whole body even if you’re faced with a firing squad. It doesn’t matter if you go down  on a stretcher, you won the match and die on the spot. But if that’s what it takes, that what it takes.  So, I kind of had to learn that and she showed me that. I’m eternally grateful to her because I would have been a great player who never crossed the line.”
  • Venus Williams and Joe Trahan

    Motivation in business — “My dad always encouraged us to be entrepreneurs. He encouraged us to work for ourselves. He encouraged us to get our education. He said, ‘I’m not raising some athletes here.’ Sometimes we took advantage of that by saying, ‘Dad, we have a lot of homework today.’ He’d say, ‘Okay, then we’ll cut the court short today.’ We didn’t do that too often, or he would have caught on.  He was a Renaissance man. Growing up, we’d be going to tennis tournaments and he’d be playing a tape about foreclosures. We didn’t understand it, but it was a mentality. When you’re eight years old, if you understand a foreclosure you’re probably not doing it again. It just set us up to be confident and to think for ourselves, which is super-important for a female athlete, especially a female tennis player because you’re going pro so young and there are all these outside forces that can stumble you and you can become a statistic really fast. There are also a lot of parents who stumble their own children by not allowing them to make their own decisions and grow up to be independent and strong. Our parents were a keen influence on all of that.”

  • Being in the National Museum of African American History and Culture — “I didn’t know I was in there…. That’s cool. I hope they don’t remove it.” She learned about it when friends sent her a picture of the exhibition.
  • Women in the future — She applauded what has been accomplished by women, and feels that in the future it’s important to have men come on board. “Unfortunately in this world, there is always something to conquer, but fortunately there are groups like the Junior League that are in it to win, and I appreciate your having me here today.”
  • Adversity in her life that she’s grateful for — “Wow! That’s deep. Any challenge, I don’t question it. For me it’s about being able to live with how I deal with it and being able to deal with it on my own terms. And coming out with what I can do to win and being able to regulate it and live with it that way. That’s enough for me.”
  • Her proudest accomplishment — “Two things I would say: Being able to look with no regrets, and also looking back and saying I enjoyed it.”
  • Volunteering in Compton — This past November she and her family kicked off the Yetunde Price Resource Center in Compton, California, for families suffering from violence. Her older sister Yetunde Price was killed in 2003 in a drive-by shooting. The opening and support of the center allows Venus and her family to come full circle. “It was a super healing experience for my whole family to come back to Compton and to do that. We ended up going back to the court that we practiced on a lot. I got so emotional. It was so surreal. When we got there, all those things that happened. I loved that whole experience…Serena talked about the foolish things we did.”
  • Final words — “I love Dallas and thank you for allowing me to be a part of it [the luncheon]. I love the things that you’re doing on all levels. I look forward to the next chapter and coming back if you’ll have me.”

    Venus Williams and Joe Trahan

Finishing up just before 1 p.m., Joe proved to be a typical dad and Venus fan asking for a selfie with Venus for his daughters. Without hesitation Venus flashed that constant smile and accommodated Joe.

MySweetWishList: Junior League Of Dallas 2017 Ball

According to Junior League of Dallas (JLD) 2017 Ball Chair Isabell Novakov and Honorary Chair Karen Shuford,

Isabell Novakov (File photo)

Isabell Novakov (File photo)

Karen Shuford (File photo)

Karen Shuford (File photo)

“The JLD’s wish this holiday season is for the community to make plans to join us for the 55th Junior League of Dallas Ball, themed ‘Encore,’ which will be held on Saturday, March 4, in the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole Hotel.

“This year’s Ball theme, ‘Encore,’ will celebrate and pay tribute to our dedicated past ball chairs who are now serving as Sustaining Advisors. We plan to showcase past balls and bring back elements of our history once more for this ‘Encore’ presentation.

Junior League Of Dallas Ball "Encore"*

Junior League Of Dallas Ball “Encore”*

“For 95 years, the League has played a pivotal role in shaping the Dallas community. This milestone achievement commemorates our agencies, and, above all, our committed donors and membership. By purchasing a ticket or sponsoring a table, you allow the opportunity for us as a League to further serve the city of Dallas by cultivating leaders who collectively address the critical needs of our community. 

“In the spirit of this year’s theme, the ball will feature musical numbers from past ‘JLD Follies’ and the upbeat Georgia Bridgwater Orchestra will provide late night entertainment.

“For individual tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.jld.net or contact the JLD Development Office at 214.357.8822, Ext. 118, for more information.

“We hope to see you there!”

-By Isabell Novakov and Karen Shuford, 2017 Junior League of Dallas ball chair and honorary chair, respectively

* Graphic provided by Junior League of Dallas

Junior League Of Dallas Past And Present Leadership Honored With Cocktail Party At Linda And Bill Custard’s Home

While the 2016 Great Adventure Hunt crew was learning the game plan for ChildCareGroup fundraiser at the Perot on Monday, January 23, the Junior League of Dallas honored their past and present leadership on Tuesday, October 25.

Isabella Novakov and Linda Pitts Custard

Isabella Novakov and Linda Pitts Custard

Pam Perella

Pam Perella

Filling the entry hall of Linda and Bill Custard’s Highland Park home, it got silk shoulder-to –silk shoulder with the gals. At one point young members stood in line watching the veterans like Pam Perella, Christie Carter, Daffan Nettle, Kristina Whitcomb, Leigh Ann Haugh, Jan Baldwin, Lynn McBee and Lydia Novakov, who was receiving congrats for the family’s receiving the first-ever Terre Thomas Award presented by ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Christie Carter, Daffan and Doug Nettle and Kristina Whitcomb

Christie Carter, Daffan and Doug Nettle and Kristina Whitcomb

Only problem? The lineup kept the guests from easing into the adjoining living room.

Ah, but what the heck. The guys, like Vin Perella, Ron Odlozil and David Camp, found a corner next to the staircase to watch the ladies.

Vin Perella, Ron Odlozil and David Camp

Vin Perella, Ron Odlozil and David Camp

And then there were those who eased into the dining room with a table filled with Cassandra goodies.

Leave it to hostess Linda, with a new short haircut, to spot two candles on a serving table that hadn’t been lit.

According to JLD 2016 Gala Chair Isabell Novakov, everything was going extremely well. As she scanned the room, she did admit that she couldn’t wait to join the “past” club.

It’s Time To Submit Your Nominee For The 88th Linz Award

Debbie Branson (File photo)

Debbie Branson (File photo)

You know tons of people. Now you’ve got a challenge. You’ve got to go through that endless list of folks and find at least one “whose civic or humanitarian efforts have created the greatest benefits to the City of Dallas.”

The reason? It’s time to nominate the 88th Linz Awardee. The deadline for submitting your nominee(s) is Tuesday, November 1 (aka All Saints Day).

Benefiting the Community Service Fund of the Junior League of Dallas, the luncheon will be held on Wednesday, March 8, at the Omni Dallas Hotel. And you just know you’re gonna want to be there to see your nominee(s) accept their award from last year’s recipient Debbie Branson. Betcha the awardee will even do a shout-out to you for putting their name(s) in the hat.

For your convenience, here’s a link to the nomination form.

Junior League Of Dallas’ Grants For Innovative Teaching Made 54 Dallas Independent School District Educators Very, Very Happy

With schools back in session, the Junior Leaguers and Texas Instruments spread the love of teachers with a distribution of grants to 64 Dallas Independent School District educators on Wednesday, September 7 at the JLD headquarters. On hand for the celebration was First Man of Dallas Education DSID Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa. Here’s a report from the field:

On Wednesday, September 7, the Junior League of Dallas (JLD), along with presenting sponsor Texas Instruments (TI), gathered at Junior League of Dallas headquarters to present 54 deserving Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) educators with grants of up to $2,000 each through the “Grants for Innovative Teaching” (GFIT) program. Sponsors included: Texas Instruments, The Hillcrest Foundation, The MoneyGram Foundation and The Agnes Cluthe Oliver Foundation.

Michael Hinojosa, Jaclyn Hall, Bonner Allen, Tracy Steiner and Jennifer Tobin*

Michael Hinojosa, Jaclyn Hall, Bonner Allen, Tracy Steiner and Jennifer Tobin*

JLD President Bonner Allen began the ceremony by welcoming everyone with opening remarks and explaining the history of the GFIT program. Now in its 25th year, the JLD Signature Project encourages excellence in education by providing funding for special projects that otherwise would not be possible within school budgets and has distributed approximately $1.66 million to Dallas ISD educators, impacting students district-wide. Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa spoke on the importance of the “Grants for Innovative Teaching” program before turning it over to Texas Instruments Foundation’s Tracy Steiner for presenting sponsor remarks and Jaclyn Hall, MoneyGram Foundation coordinator.

Following the remarks, “

Beth Boyd and Beth Lloyd*

Beth Boyd and Beth Lloyd*

Grants for Innovative Teaching” Chair Beth Boyd presented just over $93,000 to 54 educators to fund projects that address reading and literacy enrichment; diversity; special education; science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); or arts and culture enrichment across one or more grade levels. She also acknowledged Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy teacher William Adkins for being a 10-year grant recipient. This year, Mr. Adkins’ project “Bangkok to Hanoi: A Journey Through Southeast Asia” is designed to build four important global competencies that include: a desire to investigate the world, ability to identify alternative perspectives, skills to communicate across cultures and readiness to take action locally and globally. Adkins will engage students by having them blend technology and traditional art to express their own “great adventure” through a video documentary and a ceramic mural.

After the ceremony, teachers, JLD members and guests celebrated at a reception featuring hors d’oeuvres and sweet treats by dessert sponsor Susie Cakes. McShan Florist provided flower arrangements for the event, and Half Priced Books provided the winning teachers with gift bags.

“For 25 years, the Junior League of Dallas has been promoting excellence in education through the ‘Grants for Innovative Teaching’ program,” said Beth. “Through this Signature Project, JLD has been able to award grants to Dallas ISD teachers who wish to provide students with new opportunities for learning, and it is exciting to see the impact it has had over the years.”

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Junior League Of Dallas Milestones Luncheon

According to Junior League of Dallas Milestones Luncheon Co-Chairs Pat Prestidge and Amanda Shufeldt,

Amanda Shufeldt and Amy Prestidge (File photo)

Amanda Shufeldt and Pat Prestidge (File photo)

“The Junior League of Dallas would like to extend an invitation to join us for the annual Milestones Luncheon on Wednesday, November 16, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. As the annual fundraiser benefiting the Junior League of Dallas Community Service Fund, the Milestones Luncheon serves as a platform to raise awareness for the programs supported by the JLD, as well as to celebrate and honor members who are making a difference in the Dallas community.

Venus Williams*

Venus Williams*

“This year, we are excited to have Olympic gold medalist Venus Williams as the keynote speaker. As the first African-American to reach world number one in the Open era, Venus has defied the odds to become a tennis champion with more than 20 career titles to her name.

“The JLD is proud to have many outstanding Sustaining members who continue to share their JLD leadership skills and training, while making a difference in the community. They represent the very best qualities of League members and show selfless dedication. This year, our Active members will honor Linda McFarland as Sustainer of the Year for her commitment and dedication to the Dallas community. As a League member, Mrs. McFarland has held numerous leadership positions including president of the Junior League Sustainers, and she has leveraged her JLD training to benefit organizations like The Dallas Woman’s Club, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, Communities Foundation of Texas and Child Care Group.

Linda McFarland (File photo)

Linda McFarland (File photo)

Caren Prothro (File photo)

Caren Prothro (File photo)

“The JLD will also present Caren Prothro with the 95th Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Award for exemplifying our mission. In addition to being a supporter of the arts and higher education, Mrs. Prothro was instrumental in establishing the Letot Center and co-chairing the campaign to construct the Letot Girl’s Residential Treatment Center, a first-of-its-kind long-term counseling and residential center supporting victims of trafficking and abuse.

“The Milestones Luncheon will take place Wednesday, November 16, in the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Check-in will begin at 11:00 a.m. and the luncheon will start at 11:30 a.m. Individual Luncheon tickets are $175, and Patron Luncheon tickets are $350. Sponsorships begin at $3,000. To purchase tables or individual tickets, please contact the JLD Development Office at 214.357.8822, ext. 118 or visit www.jld.net/luncheon for more information.

“Proceeds from the Luncheon, along with other annual fundraising and underwriting efforts, allow the JLD to grant $1 million to the Dallas community each year. We hope you will mark your calendar and make plans to join us during our 95th anniversary year!”

* Photo provided by the Junior League of Dallas

Junior League Of Dallas Reveals Big Plans For Anniversary Year With Awards Luncheon Featuring Venus Williams And “Encore” Gala

The very idea of a coat, tie and suit on Tuesday, June 21, was like wearing mittens to thread a needle. But a handful of gentlemen like Dan Novakov, Brent Christopher and David Shuford mustered up their inner strength for the announcement of the Junior League of Dallas’ upcoming fundraising plans for its 95th anniversary.

But don’t be too teary-eyed for the men. After all, the event was taking place inside Joyce and Larry Lacerte’s mansion. And to keep things cool, the house general Roxann Vyazmensky scurried to the entry hall to close the front doors that were wide open. After all, the secret to summer party success is keeping things literally cool.

Roxann Vyazmensky, Lena Baca and Joyce Lacerte

Roxann Vyazmensky, Lena Baca and Joyce Lacerte

The plan for the evening called for the party to start at 5:30 and the “remarks” at 6 p.m. By 5:40, the streets were already lined with vehicles. Sure, some of ‘em belonged to folks at the Highland Park pool, but more than 170 were there to hear the JLD reveal.

Bonner Allen

Bonner Allen

Promptly at 6 on the dot, like a lead cheerleader 2016-2017 JLD President Bonner Allen welcomed the group including Nancy Halbreich, Lynn McBee, Aimee Baillargeon Griffiths with her old Vanderbilt roomie Dr. Regina McFarland (aka JLD-er Linda McFarland‘s daughter-in-law), Sarah Losinger with her son John Losinger and his wife Laura Losinger, Linda GibbonsMarian Bryan, Connie O’Neill, Gerald Turner, Louise Griffeth, Christie Carter, Nancy Gopez, Linda Secrest and Dee Collins Torbert.

Laura and John Losinger and Sarah Losinger

Laura and John Losinger and Sarah Losinger

Dee Collins Torbert

Dee Collins Torbert

Susan Nowlin

Susan Nowlin

Aimee Bailllargeon Griffiths and Regina McFarland

Aimee Baillargeon Griffiths and Regina McFarland

But let’s not dawdle with the niceties. It’s the news of the night that had the Lacertes’ great room greatly filled with two cloaked easels positioned in front of the fireplace.

Amanda Shufeldt and Amy Prestidge

Amanda Shufeldt and Pat Prestidge

First on the agenda were 2016 Milestones Luncheon Co-Chairs Pat Prestidge and Amanda Shufeldt, who revealed the event will be held at the Hilton Anatole on Wednesday, November 16. Then they announced three biggy surprises. First was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. It’s a highly prized acknowledgment among the JLD sisterhood, since it’s given only once every five years to a JLD Sustainer. Previous recipients had been Ruth Altshuler, Lindalyn Adams, Linda Custard and Lyda Hill. The 2016 honoree will be Caren Prothro. Next up was the announcement of which of the JLD Sustainers would be recognized for her work. It was no surprise that Linda McFarland will be the honoree.

Ruth Altshuler, Caren Prothro and Nancy Halbreich

Ruth Altshuler, Caren Prothro and Nancy Halbreich

Linda McFarland

Linda McFarland

Then the final luncheon surprise was who the speaker would be. In the past, it had been folks like Jan Langbein, Vernice Armour, Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager. Pulling the cloth off one of the easels, Pat and Amanda announced the keynote speaker would be tennis powerhouse Venus Williams. The news was greeted with cheers and applause.

KarenShuford

KarenShuford

Next up was Isabell Novakov, who is chairing the 55th Annual Junior League of Dallas Ball on Saturday, March 4, in the Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom. First out of Isabell’s bag of surprises was that Karen Shuford, who has chaired practically everything (JLD Ball, Cattle Baron’s Ball, Crystal Charity Ball, The Senior Source’s Spirit of Generations Luncheon and Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball when it was known as the Beaux Art Ball) except the Byron Nelson, will serve as honorary chair.

As for the theme, Isabell removed the drop cloth from the second easel and there was the theme —“Encore.”

Isabell is using the event to “celebrate and pay tribute to our dedicated ball chairs who are now serving as Sustaining Advisors. We plan to showcase past balls and bring back elements of our history once more for the ‘Encore’ presentation.”

Janet Quisenberry, Sandy Ammons, Paula Davis, Isabell Novakov, Lydia Novakov, Linda Secrest and Connie ONeill

Janet Quisenberry, Sandy Ammons, Paula Davis, Isabell Novakov, Lydia Novakov, Linda Secrest and Connie ONeill

Watching proudly from the sidelines was Isabell’s mom, Lydia Novakov. It was a bit like old home week for Lydia as she was joined by members of the executive committee (Janet Quisenberry, Sandy Ammons, Paula Davis, Linda Secrest and Connie O’Neill) who served with her when she was JLD president.

Tickets for the black-tie ball are available, as are tickets to the Milestones luncheon.

For more photos of the reception, check out MySwetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Junior League Of Dallas Anniversary Announcement Reception

Bonner Allen

Bonner Allen

It’s gonna be a very big year for the Junior Leaguers of Dallas. They’re not only celebrating their 95th year of providing volunteers and funds for the Dallas community, but their annual Gala is going to hit the 55-year mark. No wonder JLD President Bonner Allen was all smiles. All the plans for the biggy year were revealed on Tuesday, June 21, at Joyce and Larry Lacerte‘s home.

Lydia Novakov, Roxann Vyazmensky, Lena Baca, Joyce Lacerte and Isabell Novakov

Lydia Novakov, Roxann Vyazmensky, Lena Baca, Joyce Lacerte and Isabell Novakov

In the crowd were loads of JLD-ers, friends and family members like Joyce’s mom Lena Baca and sister Roxann Vyazmensky, Linda McFarland and her daughter-in-law Regina McFarland and Isabell Novakov and her mom Lydia Novakov.

As the write-up is being finished, check out the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for a gander of some of the folks.

Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership Graduating Seniors Were Feted By Junior League Of Dallas Sustainers

With graduations blooming like flowers at the Arboretum, it’s time for the celebrations of graduating seniors to be celebrated. The Junior League of Dallas Sustainers decided to hold one of those for the Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School grads like Rosa Mendoza, Angela Chavez, Maria Mendoza and Angie Escorza  on Saturday April 16. Here is a report from the field:

Rosa Mendoza, Angela Chavez, Maria Mendoza and Angie Escorza*

Rosa Mendoza, Angela Chavez, Maria Mendoza and Angie Escorza*

Junior League of Dallas (JLD) Sustainers hosted a special luncheon for the graduating seniors at Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, a member of Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN), at JLD headquarters on Saturday, April 16. Those in attendance included students, family, Irma Rangel Principal Lisa Curry, College Bound Advisor Ann Marano, Community Liaison Katie Allbritton, Advisory Council Chair and JLD Sustainer Beth Brown and JLD Sustainers.

Beth Brown, Lisa Curry and Meredith Mosley*

Beth Brown, Lisa Curry and Meredith Mosley*

JLD President Meredith Mosley welcomed the students, the faculty and families and shared what JLD does. “The mission of the Junior League of Dallas is to develop women leaders who support the community. With more than 70% of our members working outside the home, we are in every part of this city working and volunteering for many worthy organizations.” She encouraged the seniors in their journey from high school to college, quoting from Ernest Hemingway: “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

JLD Sustainer president Sandy Ammons welcomed everyone and thanked Carin Moeller and Amy Hatfield, who co-chaired the luncheon. She told the students that volunteering is important and to consider joining JLD after they complete college.

Sandy Ammons, Amy Hatfield and Carin Moeller*

Sandy Ammons, Amy Hatfield and Carin Moeller*

Moeller incorporated the Irma Rangel creed into her thoughtful remarks and finished with the last line: “Girls Today, Women Tomorrow, Leaders Forever.”

Hatfield had all the seniors stand for the exercise portion of the program, where she gave out door prizes based on certain information such as where they were born, how many siblings are in their family, etc.

The most popular attraction at the luncheon was the photo booth where the young ladies took photos dressed in colorful costumes and props.

Hatfield added, “This is the fourth year that the JLD Sustainers have celebrated the senior class, and we took their theme, Dream Big, and added, Dream Big in Texas. We know that these young ladies are on the path to fulfill their dreams with high school and college diplomas.”

YWPN Chief Marketing Officer and JLD Sustainer Juliette Coulter added, “What a celebration that the JLD Sustainers hosted for the seniors, especially the special gifts they presented. Irma Lerma Rangel was the first all-girls school in Texas and first member in the Young Women’s Preparatory Network. Now there are seven schools just like this one throughout Texas.”

YWPN network schools currently serve students in grades 6 through 12 on seven campuses across the state of Texas. YWPN’s results are amazing—100 percent of the girls graduate from high school and 100 percent are accepted into college. Sixty-eight percent of all students come from economically disadvantaged homes, and 68 percent of the Class of 2015 are first generation college students.

* Photos provided by Young Women’s Preparatory Network

JUST IN: D’Andra Simmons Lock To Chair 2017 Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon

D'Andra Simmons Lock (File photo)

D’Andra Simmons Lock (File photo)

Plans are already underway for the 2017 Salvation Army Fashion Show. Leading the charge will be beauty expert/fundraising phenom D’Andra Simmons Lock, who will chair the annual fundraiser for the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary.

In addition to having fashionable DNA thanks to mama Dee Simmons and a love for clothes, D’Andra is a pro when it comes to heading up events and raising funds for nonprofits. Not only did she chair the Junior League of Dallas’ ball among other fundraisers, she created Cancer Blows in 2015 with musicians from around the country coming together to fight cancer.

And when it comes to underwriting, D’Andra has numbers on speed-dial that would thrill any development director.

While D’Andra is keeping her plans under wraps, she had a twinkle in her blue eyes as she reported that it’s gonna be a memory maker and a financial success for the good of the Salvation Army.

Here’s a thought: Since the winter season is in the rear view mirror, it’s time to edit that closet of yours. There are cute things that you just know you’re not gonna wear again. So, why not just put them aside in a nice stack for the Salvation Army? And then you’ll have loads more room for those new clothes that you deserve and need.

Junior Leaguers Preparing For A Big Celebratory Gala To Be Chaired By Isabell Novakov

Isabell Novakov (File photo)

Isabell Novakov (File photo)

The Junior Leaguers of Dallas are hunkering down to do a double celebration next year. Not only will they be hitting the 95-year mark for their organization, but they’ll be holding the 55th Junior League gala. That latter one has come a long way from the days when it was called the Junior League Follies and the membership would do all types of skits and such.

Chairing the 55th anniversary gala will be Isabell Novakov, whose mom Lydia Novakov was JLD president a decade or two ago, as well as ball chair.

While Isabell isn’t sharing details about the fundraiser until June, she did report that it would take place at the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, March 4.

This is gonna be a big, old hoopla to celebrate the Dallas JLD that has 5,000 members and provides (wo)manpower and money for area nonprofits. And just look around. You’ll see loads of Dallas leadership positions being filled by “grads” of the JLD.

Don’t bother going to the website to get tickets, because it’s not up yet. Stay tuned.

Junior League Of Dallas And Mary Kay Inc. Salute High School Seniors In Women Scholarship Program

The Junior League of Dallas is well known for being a incubator of leadership with such programs as the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute. But on Thursday, March 31, its partnership with Mary Kay Inc. resulted in recognizing tomorrow’s leaders at the third annual Women LEAD Scholarship Program. Here is a report from the field:

Four deserving Dallas Independent School District high school seniors are one step closer to pursuing their dreams of higher education as the Junior League of Dallas (JLD) and Mary Kay Inc. announced the recipients of the third annual Women LEAD (Learn • Excel • Achieve • Dream) Scholarship Program. On Thursday, March 31, 2016 at the Junior League of Dallas’ headquarters, two of Dallas’ most respected women’s organizations partnered to award $25,000 in scholarships to four female students to create opportunities for future women leaders.

“Education is a main area of support in the League and Women LEAD directly reflects our mission to develop the potential of women,” said JLD President Meredith Mosley. “We are honored that in collaboration with Mary Kay, we are able to award these young women with scholarships and hope the funds help the recipients further their education and move one step closer to pursuing their dreams.”

Established in 2013, the scholarship program was inspired by the late Mary Kay Ash, founder of the iconic global beauty company more than 50 years ago that has led the way for millions of women worldwide to pursue their dreams. The 10 finalists from Emmett J. Conrad High School, South Oak Cliff High School, and Thomas Jefferson High School prepared a speech based on the essay topic, “how do you make a difference in your community and what drives you to give back,” which directly aligns with JLD’s mission. A panel of judges selected four winners based on their scholarship application, community involvement, academic record and speech presentation. The 2016 judges included Meredith Mosley, Dr. Cynthia Wilson, DISD Chief of Staff Dr. Cynthia Wilson, Dallas Deputy Chief of Police Catrina Shead and Mary Kay Inc. Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Vice President Crayton Webb.

Crayton Webb, Donner Allen, Renee Moreno, Anjana Ghaley, Cynthia Izaguirre, Yoga Karki, Gianni Alexander and Meredith Mosley*

Crayton Webb, Bonner Allen, Renee Moreno, Anjana Ghaley, Cynthia Izaguirre, Yoga Karki, Gianni Alexander and Meredith Mosley*

First place winner Gianni Alexander, a senior at South Oak Cliff High School, will receive a one-time $10,000 scholarship. Homeless as a child, Alexander stressed that “education is freedom” and that through her acts of community service, she hopes to inspire Dallas youth. With this scholarship, she is one step closer to becoming an art director and plans to pursue a degree in advertising.

Second place winner Renee Moreno, third place winner Yoga Karki and fourth place winner Anjana Ghaley will each receive a one-time $5,000 scholarship. Moreno, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School, stated the importance of “doing everything with love” and plans to pursue a career that allows her to give back to her community. Karki, a senior at Conrad High School, plans to attend medical school in hopes of becoming a doctor. After growing up in Nepal, Ghaley, also a Conrad High School senior, plans to pursue a career in nursing and has dreams of educating rural communities in disease prevention.

“Mary Kay’s mission of enriching women’s lives vividly comes to life through the Women LEAD Scholarship Program by promoting the next generation of women leaders,” said Crayton. “In a longstanding partnership with the Junior League of Dallas, an outstanding organization with a legacy of empowering women throughout the city, we are thrilled to celebrate these young women as they develop into the future leaders of our community.”

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee

Junior Leaguers’ Black Tie Gala Was “To Dallas With Love”

At the reception on Saturday, February 20, for the Junior League of Dallas’ 54th annual ball, titled “To Dallas With Love,” Hunter Sullivan was singing “Blue Spanish Eyes” for some 500 487 guests. Chatting and sipping cocktails and nibbling hors d’oeuvres, the handsome, black-tie crowd was really getting into the James Bond theme as interpreted at the Hilton Anatole by Ball Chair Ashley Allen.

“It’s a great theme—everything is tied in,” said Isabell Novakov, who will be next year’s ball chair. “There are great things tonight that we can build on.” Added Meredith Mosley, the Junior League’s current president: “I think this is a great night. It’s a great night to celebrate all the things that the Junior League does.”

There was some muted discussion of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s 30th annual deb Presentation Ball, which was taking place across town at the very same time. (Whispered one JLD official: “We set our date first!”) But it didn’t detract from the happy atmosphere and the glamorous crowd that was stirred to celebrate the JLD, which promotes voluntarism, improves the community, and develops the potential of women.

Ashley, for example, was wearing a winter-white gown by Patti Flowers (a JLD sustaining member) and jewelry by William Noble, who also provided the sapphire ring and earrings that complemented Meredith’s Teri Jon gown. (Ashley was wearing a cast on one hand, by the way because she’d broken her finger two weeks before.) Noble also provided an 18-carat-gold, yellow diamond valued at $5,500, for which guests paid $100 per key to, hopefully, unlock the glass box in which it was displayed.

David Sparkman and Julie O'Connor*

David Sparkman and Julie O’Connor*

Among the guests in attendance—the 500 487 figure was up down from about 470 563 last year—were past JLD presidents ( 2016 Honorary JLD Ball Chair Debbie Oates, Christie Carter and Julie Bagley). Also spotted: the JLD’s president-elect Bonner Allen, Jennifer Tobin, Nikki and Crayton Webb, Lynn and Allan McBee (Lynn’s chic black outfit was a mix of pieces by Diane von Furstenburg, Calvin Klein and Yves St. Laurent, while Allan was in a Valentino tux and a handsome, blue and black striped tie he bought in Beverly Hills) and Julie O’Connor with David Sparkman, whose funeral home and memorial park was a previous sponsor of the annual ball.

The 2016 ball’s presenting sponsor was Sewell, whose owner Carl Sewell could not attend. However, someone pointed out, Carl did speak recently to a class at the Junior League’s T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute. Dr. Joseph LaManna was representing Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians Inc., which sponsored the evening’s entertainment.

As the guests moved into the Chantilly Ballroom for dinner, they marveled at Tom Addis’ dramatic, James Bond-themed décor and the beautiful flowers by Junior Villanueva. The 35-piece Lone Star Wind Orchestra played a James Bond medley and, later, guests “shook their booties” to the sounds of Think Big & the Bulletproof Brass Brand.

Bit of James Bond-theme trivia: When JLD Honorary Chair Debbie Oates chaired the 2009 Crystal Charity Ball, the theme was 007 and Sheena Easton was singing on stage.

* Photo provided by David Sparkman

 

Junior League Of Dallas Salutes Its 2015-2016 Sponsors At The Crow Library

As the day’s temps dropped on Thursday, January 14, the Junior League of Dallas members and 2015-2016 sponsors lined Lakeside with their cars parked on both sides of the street. Then, taking the walking bridge overloooking Exall Lake, they strolled in the nippy air just past the gargantuan teddy bear statues to Kathy and Harlan Crow’s library. It seems that while the Crow estate’s main driveway is torn up due to the construction of an underground garage, the 150 event guests, like Greg Nieberding, Angela Nash, Holly Reed of Origin Bank, Christie Carter, Dr. Joe LaManna, Susan Jenevein, Pam Perella, Isabell Novakov, Linda Secrest, Joanna Clark, Bob White of Bank of Texas and Lacy Bell, had found a nifty alternative. The bridge is also beneficial for those Pump House gatherings, due to the tight fit at Willow Wood Circle.

Angela Nash, Susan Jenevein, Christie Carter and Pam Perella

Angela Nash, Susan Jenevein, Christie Carter and Pam Perella

Extra credit goes to seven-months pregnant Nikki Webb, who high-heeled it across the wooden bridge with husband Crayton Webb. While medical experts predict the newest Webb son will arrive March 7, Nikki says they’re hedging their bets, believing the due date may be earlier.

On this night it was Nikki’s first visit to one of Dallas’ most amazing showplaces, though, and she wasn’t going to miss it.

But the main news was about the Junior League’s 54thTo Dallas With Love” gala with a James Bond theme on Saturday, February 20, at the Hilton Anatole, and the organization’s fundraising. (“Right at the $1 million goal or close to it,” said Gala Chair Ashley Allen.)

Emily Brett, Meredith Mosley and Ashley Allen

Emily Brett, Meredith Mosley and Ashley Allen

Holly Reed

Holly Reed

Joe LaManna

Joe LaManna

Lyda Hill

Lyda Hill

From the stage on the main floor, JLD President Meredith Mosley and Ashley handed out kudos to Diamond Level sponsor Lyda Hill, earlier-in-the-day grant presentation sponsor Bank of Texas, the evening’s sponsor Origin Bank and other “To Dallas With Love” sponsors like Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians.

Those JLD ladies really know how to show thanks.

Also mentioned: the Tuesday, February 2nd Platinum Dinner for sponsors at the $10,000 level and higher at a private estate.

Then it was back to strolling. But this time it was through the magnificent Crow library to discover “wonderful things.”