JUST IN: Margaret McDermott And Margot Perot Join Nancy Nasher As Vice Chairs Of Dallas Symphony Association Board Of Governors

With the Dallas Symphony Orchestra undergoing some major transitions this year with the arrival of new President/CEO Kim Noltemy, the departure of Music Director Jaap van Zweden and the search for Jaap’s replacement, the Dallas Symphony Association Board of Governors decided to add some heavyweights to its leadership.

Margaret McDermott (File photo)

Margot Perot (File photo)

Nancy Nasher (File photo)

It was just announced that art-loving philanthropists Margaret McDermott and Margot Perot will join fellow philanthropist/art lover Nancy Nasher as vice-chairs of the DSA.

According to DSO Board Chair Sanjiv Yajnik, “Mrs. McDermott and Mrs. Perot are transformative leaders in Dallas with decades of experience in supporting the Dallas Symphony. I am proud and humbled that they accepted my invitation to join the board. Their passion for artistic excellence and commitment to raising the profile of the DSO around the world is inspiring. With their and Ms. Nasher’s support, we look forward to establishing the DSO as one of the world’s great cultural institutions.”

Top-Tier Types Celebrated First Lady Of Dallas Philanthropy Margaret McDermott’s Receiving Center For BrainHealth’s Legacy Award

The Brook Hollow parking lot looked like the world’s most luxurious car lot with Bentleys, top-tier Mercedes and cousins like Range Rovers, Lexuses and Cadillacs on Tuesday, November 14. No, it wasn’t a glamorous car convention. It was the Center for BrainHealth’s Legacy Award Dinner honoring North Texas First Lady of Philanthropy Margaret McDermott.

While Margaret tends to shy away from pomp and circumstance recognition, the Brainiacs had three things going for her to agree:

  • Margaret’s love for UT Dallas – of which Center for BrainHealth is a part,
  • Margaret’s beloved late husband Eugene McDermott, who had co-founded UT Dallas with the late Erik Jonsson and Cecil Green in 1969 and
  • BrainHealth Advisory Board Chair Debbie Francis’ husband, Jim Francis, who sealed the deal on getting Margaret’s blessing. Margaret had grown up in Highland Park with Jim’s uncles and, after the pair had laughed recounting old stories, she emphatically told Jim, “Let’s do it!” and the Legacy Dinner planning was underway.

With nearly 260 of toppest of the types like Edith and Peter O’Donnell, Lottye and Bobby Lyle, Linda Perryman Evans, Linda and Mitch Hart and Nancy Dedman, it was a true lovefest for the centenarian.

Caren Prothro, Margaret McDermott and Deedie Rose

But then what else could one expect when Caren Prothro and Deedie Rose were chairing?

Sandi Chapman

As guests arrived for the reception in the Oak Room, Center for BrainHealth Founder/Chief Director Sandi Chapman was there to greet with a smile, a twinkle and a hug.

And that hug wasn’t the only closeness of the evening. After being greeted by Sandi, it was a squeeze-athon rubbing shoulders, elbows and all body parts in the reception. The lady-of-the-hour held her own in front of the fireplace seated in her rolling throne… uh, wheelchair. Pity the poor servers who tried to wiggle their way with tray in hand through the boldface set.

Gail Thomas

Mitch Hart

Nancy Dedman

Lottye and Bobby Lyle

Rena Pederson and Nelda Cain Pickens

Dan Patterson

Dee Wyly

Gabriel Barbier-Mueller

And the conversation included retired Trinity Trust maven Gail Thomas was into painting. But instead of sweeping landscapes, she’s leaning toward more contemporary projects…. While Hobson Wildenthal was still receiving congratulations on his being recognized at the Dallas Historical Society’s Awards of Excellence in Community Services, his brother Kern Wildenthal was heading across the pond to present a paper on cardiology… One fundraising vet couple admitted that they were worn out. They had been to five evening events that week and were truly weary. They also admitted that they were surprised at the number of event taking place in November… Ross Perot Jr. congratulated the lady-of the hour McDermott, who had positioned her wheelchair in front of the fireplace. Others in the crowd included Mary Suhm, the Strauss sisters (Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr), Mary McDermott with Dan Patterson, Kaki and Shelton Hopkins, Lynne and Roy Sheldon, Lynn and John Sears, Rena Pederson, Sharon and Mike McCullough, Nancy Perot, Linda McFarland, Delilah and Sam Boyd, Susan and Joel Williams, Ka Cotter, Nelda Cain Pickens, Diane Sealy, Mary Jalonick, Jeanne Whitman Bobbitt, Nikki and Crayton Webb, Joan and Alan Walne, Jennifer and Keith Cerny, past Legacy Awardees (Jane and Bud Smith, James Huffines with wife Patty Huffines, Dee Wyly, Lyda Hill and Dan Branch with his wife Stacy) and McDermott Scholars (Dr. Eric Kildebeck, Drs. Jessie and Benedict Voit, Dr. Eric Kildebeck and Dr. Jonathan Coker).

Edith and Peter ODonnell and Debbie Francis

Ross Perot

Sharon and Mike McCullough

Patty and James Huffines

Jennifer and Keith Cerny and Nikki and Crayton Webb

Bypassing the guests jam in the Oak Room, former first lady Laura Bush arrived with little fanfare to congratulate Margaret, Caren, Deedie and her old pal/Legacy Awardee/BrainHealth Advisory Board Chair Debbie Francis.

Debbie Francis, Laura Bush, Margaret McDermott, Deedie Rose and Caren Prothro

With clipboards in hand, the BrainHealth staff wrangled the guests to follow the evening’s program. After being called to the ballroom for dinner by the chimes, some just couldn’t fully commit to the POA. They just wanted to stand around and chat. Ah, but the Brainiacs knew how to ease them into the plan. As three string musicians played in front of the stage in the ballroom, the signal was given and violinists entered playing. The errant guests got the message and took their seats.

Brook Hollow ballroom

UT Dallas President Dr. Richard Benson welcomed the guests and said that he wished he could show Eugene the modern-day version of the campus that he and Erik Jonsson and Cecil Green helped establish. He rattled off a list of impressive facts about the university, including its recent distinction as the Times Higher Education’s No. 1 university in the US established less than 50 years ago. “I have no doubt that Mr. McDermott, Mr. Jonsson and Mr. Green dreamed big – but I wonder if they could have dreamed that big?” Dr. Benson wondered.

He said that Margaret had carried on the founders’ tradition of inspiring others in a big way through the transformation and beautification of the campus, the establishment of the McDermott Scholars program, and most recently the establishment of a similar program for outstanding doctoral students at UT Dallas who will go on to careers in research.

Thanks to her involvement in carrying out Eugene’s vision, 222 past and current students have been chosen for The Eugene McDermott Scholars Program, which includes a full scholarship to UT Dallas.

It was interesting to note that in the evening’s printed program, the McDermott Scholars collectively expressed that Margaret had taught them to always pursue excellence while giving back to their community, calling her their “greatest champion, genuine friend, and true home away from home.”

Joining Margaret and her family at her table were McDermott Scholars Drs. Felicity and Walter Voit, who had created a living tribute to Margaret, naming their daughter—you guessed it—Margaret.

Following dinner and as dessert was served, Debbie Francis introduced a special tribute video celebrating Margaret’s positive influence on the city in which Mayor Mike Rawlings acknowledged “[Margaret] doesn’t want any credit; she wants to just keep giving back because she feels so thankful” and UT Dallas Executive VP Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, referred to her as a “chief executive of a major enterprise of doing wonderful things”.

Lyda Hill

Sandi joined Margaret at her table to officially present her with the 2017 Legacy Award saying “This will go down as one of the most magnificent nights in Dallas. Margaret, we are honored to bestow the Legacy Award to you this evening. You are immensely valued by everyone in this room. Your friendship and mentorship has inspired each of us. Thank you for letting us have a night to truly express our respect and love.”

Joining Sandi at Margaret’s table, past Legacy Award recipients Dan and Lyda welcomed her to the club saying, “Margaret, you make our hearts and minds sing.”

Lyda shared that Margaret had caught her mother’s wedding bouquet and dubbed Margaret the “Queen of Dallas.” As Lyda put it, Eugene made things happen at UT Dallas and in our city, but Margaret made things beautiful.

Despite the event’s masterminds assuring Margaret that she would not have to speak, she could not let the evening conclude without giving the last word. With her daughter, Mary, and granddaughter, Grace Cook, on either side, Margaret rose from her chair and expressed her gratitude for everyone in attendance and ended with a fitting cheer of “hooray for friends!”  

For more photos of the evening’s gathering, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Center For BrainHealth’s Legacy Award Dinner

If anyone mistakes the Center for BrainHealth types as strictly cerebral types, who sit around and use four syllable words, they definitely need to rethink that train of thought.

Need proof? Well, Brook Hollow was filled to the max with North Texas’ extreme boldfacers for the Legacy Award Dinner on Tuesday, November 14.

Debbie Francis, Laura Bush, Margaret McDermott, Deedie Rose and Caren Prothro

And what else would one expect when the co-chairs were Caren Prothro and Deedie Rose and the  honoree was that wheeling wonder Margaret McDermott? The lady-in-white, who is headed for her second century of philanthropy and wisdom, was the belle of the ball and joined other Legacy Awardees like Debbie Francis, James Huffines, Dee Wyly and Jane and Bud Smith plus a former first lady.

Patty and James Huffines

Dee Wyly

While the post is being prepared, check out the pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Jennifer and Keith Cerny and Nikki and Crayton Webb

BTW, this was The Dallas Opera GM/CEO Keith Cerny’s social swan song and he didn’t let on that a move to Calgary was in his future. Shoot!

Dallas Symphony Gala’s Grand Finale For Maestro Jaap Van Zweden Bloomed With Color Thanks To Boldfacers’ Gowns And Bowties

Holy moly, the 2017 fall//winter season got off to a topsy-turvy start within the first two weeks of September. The TACA Custom Auction Gala got off to a rocky start on Friday, September 8. But a week later things picked up with the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show that turned out to be more than a homecoming back to the flagship store with a parade of fashions by designer Zac Posen. It was a true celebration of fashion and faces.

Just a day after the CCB fashion extravaganza, the 2017 Dallas Symphony Gala was to kick off Maestro Jaap van Zweden‘s farewell year, with more-than-god-given-talented YoYo Ma at his cello on stage at the Meyerson. In years past this first blowout gala of the season has had everything from politico bigwigs, belly dancers and British royalty to gargantuan floral displays that served as backdrops for the black-tie set.

Dennis and Laura Moon and Wendy and Boyd Messmann

But perhaps the organizers were keeping costs close to the vest by replacing the breathtaking decorations at the entrance of the past with a huge white board with “DSO Gala 2017” behind plastic flowers dangling on see-through cords from the ceiling. Instead of looking like a shower of flowers, it reminded one of a vinyl shower curtain with flowers. Photographers scrambled to rearrange guests so the beautiful people didn’t appear to have the lilies and leaves sprouting from their coiffed heads. 

Clay Cooley, Margaret McDermott and Lisa Cooley

But, heck, most guests didn’t even notice the welcome display as they headed straight to the reception in the lobby. Interim DSO President/CEO Michelle Miller Burns stationed Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley to greet guests just to the left of the check-in lines. Downstairs in the lower lobby, meantime, the Capital One VIP reception was underway. When DSO Communications Manager Chelsey Norris was asked how they could have a VIP event without Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay, she  suggested that the Cooleys would join the VIPs afterwards. But that opportunity didn’t happen. As soon as the chimes rang to call the black-tie guests to their places, all were table-bound, where the table settings reflected the grand finale season for van Zweden, with cool emerald greens from the table linens to the Elephant ears and malachite.

Kara and Randall Goss

MiChel and Dan Hagood

Betsey Urschel and Ross and Margot Perot

Jody and Sheila Grant

Nancy Nasher’s Pradas

But who needed all the flourish of flowers and out-of-town celebs when the real scene stealers were the local boldfacers and fashions galore? In addition to Lisa and Clay (she was in a raspberry Michael Faircloth, he in Chris Despos, complete with a white feathered bow tie) and Honorary Chair Margaret McDermott, there were Rhonda and Fraser Marcus (Rhonda said her burgundy gown was by “a British designer” and her earrings were by Boucheron); Kay and Brent Franks (she in Catherine Deane, he in a Belvest tux); Anne Davidson in Monique Lhuillier gold; Sheila and Jody Grant (she was in silver-and-white Alexander McQueen, with a Chinese pearl necklace, while Jody said of his tux, “I’m a Tom Ford guy”); Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger (Nancy’s green bejeweled kicks were by Prada); Barbara and Bob Sypult (she was in a Connie Roberson gown); Donna and Herb Weitzman (she was wearing a Christian Lacroix gown with Prada shoes and a Kara Ross handbag); Sara Lee and Stan Gardner (Stan’s tie matched her gold dress); Kara and Randall Goss (her off-the-shoulder gown was by Maticevski, and her gold earrings were from Alighieri, while Randall was in a Zegna tux); MiChel and Dan Hagood (she couldn’t remember her designer, but thanks to Kara Goss’ sneaking a peak, the name on the label was Talbot Runhof); Jolie and Bart Humphrey (her low-cut gown was by Herve Leger, and he was in an Armani tuxedo); Sherwood Wagner (in a Carolina Herrera gown “with a Sherwood twist”); Betsy Crousen (she was in Fendi, with a Judith Lieber bag); and Laura and Dennis Moon (she in Carolina Herrera with Jimmy Choo shoes and bag, he in a tuxedo from Culwell and Sons).

Melissa Lewis

Tiffany Divis

Betsy Crousen

Bart and Jolie Humphrey and Nancy and Mike Bierman

But it wasn’t just the ladies who provided the splashes of brilliance. No, siree. Some of the gents (Clay, Paul Divis, Blaine Nelson and Dan Patterson) showed their true colors thanks to their bow ties. Why, Ford Lacy‘s tiny-cherries-festooned cummerbund and tie were made from an Hermes scarf!

Clay Cooley

Paul Divis

Dan Patterson

Blaine Nelson

Cece Smith and Ford Lacy

Niki and Ryan Anthony

Principle trumpet Ryan Anthony arrived on the scene with his wife Niki Anthony. Was Ryan taking a pass on the night’s concert? Nope, he was going to grab a bite to eat and then head to the stage for the performance.

Other guests included Wendy and Boyd Messmann, Tiffany and Paul Divis, Margot and Ross Perot, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Patti and Blaine Nelson, Melissa and Paul Stewart, Myriam and Randall Graham, Diane and Hal Brierley, Nancy and Mike Bierman and Micki and Mike Rawlings (said one guest of the mayor: “He’s probably looking around to see if there are any statues in here he can remove”).

For more photos of fashions, faces and flowers, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Dallas Symphony Gala

Clay Cooley, Margaret McDermott and Lisa Cooley

With sweeping gowns and bow ties ranging from feathers to colorful prints, the 2017 Dallas Symphony Gala officially kicked off the mega-gala fundraising season on Saturday, September 16, at the Meyerson. Joining the leadership team of Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley was Honorary Chair Margaret McDermott.  

Kara and Randall Goss

Cece Smith and Ford Lacy

Jody and Sheila Grant

In addition to being a lavish show of swell-egants, it was also the final gala performance by Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Maestro Jaap van Zweden. To add to the special occasion, cellist Yo-Yo Ma joined Jaap and the orchestra on stage following a seated dinner and just before the evening’s after party.

While the post is being prepped, the fashions and boldfaces of the night can be seen at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Dallas Symphony 2017 Gala

Clay and Lisa Cooley (File photo)

According to Dallas Symphony 2017 Gala Co-Chair Lisa Cooley,

My husband, Clay and I, are honored to serve as co-chairs of the Dallas Symphony 2017 Gala on Saturday, September 16th at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. Arguably, the world’s greatest living cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform with Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jaap van Zweden to the Farewell Season for the conductor.  We are thrilled to have philanthropist Margaret McDermott to serve as gala honorary chair. 

The black-tie evening, under the wizardry of designer Todd Fiscus, will include cocktails, the concert, seated dinner, After Party and dancing.  The After-Party is chaired by Graeme Ross and Lara and Brian Pryor.  After-Party honorary co-chairs are Wren and Benji Homsey.

Funds from the event will benefit the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s education and community programs that reach more than 250,000 North Texas residents annually, including 30,000 children. Capital One is the gala concert sponsor.

For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please visit Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala.

Double Centennial Celebration Of DCMSAF And Aldredge House Included Memories Of A Disrobing Sue Ellen And “The Country Club Girls”

Susan McSherry was on the verge of moving from a home that her family had carefully restored. She was amazed that despite the meticulous restoration, potential buyers were wondering where the playroom and/or media room was.

Joel and Susan Williams

Caroline Rose Hunt and Dedie Leahy

Max Wells

Anne Hobson

Nancy Carter

Stuart Bumpas

How ironic on a day when 340 guests like  Susan Williams and husband Highland Park Mayor Joel Williams, former Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm, Veletta Lill, Marj Waters, Robin Robinson, Caroline Rose Hunt, Max Wells, Anne Hobson, Nancy Carter, Debbie Francis, Sara Martineau, Carlton Adams, Margo Goodwin, Marilyn Augur, Aileen Pratt, Jill Smith, Ann Dyer, Barbara Sypult, Stuart Bumpas, Christie Carter, Angie Kadesky, Dedie Leahy and noted local historian Virginia McAlester were celebrating a double centennial of the Dallas County Medical Society Alliance Foundation (DCMSAF) and the historic Aldredge House at the Dallas Country Club.

Mary McDermott Cook, Debbie Francis and Barbara Sypult

To add to the occasion, Co-Chairs Sharon and Mike McCullough arranged to have 105-year-old Margaret McDermott and Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler on hand as honorary co-chairs.

Barenda Hino

Pierce Allman and Marj Waters

With history-loving Pierce Allman serving as emcee introduced 100th DCMSAF President Barenda Hino.

Highlights of the luncheon included Lunch Co-Chair Lindalyn Adams without notes telling the 100-year founding of DCMSAF with DCMSAF historian Elizabeth Gunby looking on. Lindalyn had both honorary co-chairs speak.

Having grown up on Swiss Avenue, Ruth told of her childhood growing up with her two big brothers, Jim Collins and Carr Collins. It was Carr, who raced up stairs telling mother Collins, “Mother, come get Ruthie. She’s showing off again.”

Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler

Margaret Milam McDermott

Next to speak was “the heroine of cultural arts” —Margaret Milam McDermott. Staying in her wheelchair, she thanked the crowd and had her daughter Mary McDermott Cook speak for her.  Mary turned the mic over to Joel, who said he had a special honor being seated between the two honorary co-chairs. He then said that if the group wanted to raise some money, he would be willing to auction off his seat. Joel then told how Margaret moved into the city of Highland Park in 1919 and has lived in the town longer “than anyone else that we know.” He went on to recall that each year Margaret has been invited to light the Highland Park Christmas tree on Armstrong, which is the oldest Christmas tradition in Dallas County. For the past five years, “Margaret has shown up and lighted that 152-year-old tree.”

After lunch Lindalyn and Pierce were joined on stage by American historian/author Dr. William Seale, who is a rock star in the world of historic renovation and preservation. When asked if the younger generation was appreciating and supporting past works, he said, “Most definitely. In fact, there are magazines devoted to it. The mistake that sometimes made is to try to convert a house into what you already understand is how the house should be rather than knowing it and basing your renovations on the building, letting the building be itself. That is one of the big things in architectural design and remodeling houses today is to understand the past of the house and honor that.”

Lindalyn Adams

Lindalyn recalled when a TV crew that had worked with “The Waltons” program negotiated to film a new show at Aldredge House. The only caveat was that they ‘wouldn’t say anything derogatory about our city.” They agreed saying it was a family show. The pilot aired with Sue Ellen Ewing forced to disrobe in Mrs. Aldredge’s parlor. The phone lines lit up. The show turned out to be “Dallas.” 

When Aldredge family member Betty Aldredge Slater was later in Europe, word got out that it was her family’s parlor that Sue Ellen shed her clothes, the BBC interviewed her. Betty’s doctor also noted that he “particularly liked your stables.”

William told how visitors to historic homes want “authenticity. They’re very honest. If you’re honest to them, they’re honest to you. You don’t have to recreate the battle on the front yard. You just have to be accurate. In this world the historic building or house is a very worthwhile thing. In a world that we live in that doesn’t have a lot of accuracy. Most of what we look at or see on television is inaccurate. If you know anything about it, you know it’s inaccurate. It( the historic building) is the real thing. That’s what people appreciated in these places.”

William Seale

When asked if The Aldredge House belonged on a national register of historical places in addition to its being recently receiving  a Texas Historical Marker, William said, “Absolutely. Absolutely.” 

Admitting that it would never be a mass tourist attraction due to logistics and the Alliance not want it to be, William went on to say that for people who seek it out, it will always provide for them what they’re after. 

Going a bit off subject, he told how President Woodrow Wilson “hadn’t liked women, but he was controlled by women. As the war approached, suffrage, you know had organized the ladies everywhere. They demanded that a women’s commission for the government on the war and finally Wilson grudgingly did it. They laughed about it and called them ‘country club girls’ in Washington and they were kind of poo-pooed and made fun of. It is true that the first thing they did was to sponsor a law that removed brothels and saloons from being near the Army camps. There is an old story in New Orleans about Lulu White, the famous madame in Storeyville, being in a bread line. When asked why she was there, she said, ‘The country club girls have put us out of business.'”

Alas, just as the celebration was scheduled to conclude with a champagne toast, it had to be done with ice tea. Seems behind the scenes the bottles of bubbly hadn’t been uncorked in time.

For more pictures from the event, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: First-Day Sales Of Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Single Ticket Sales Astounded Even DSO President/CEO Jonathan Martin

Jonathan Martin (File photo)

Despite Dallas Symphony Orchestra President/CEO Jonathan Martin disappointing many with his recent announcement of leaving North Texas for Cincinnati, he also shared some good news about the upcoming DSO Gala. It seems that the day that the single tickets for the DSO Gala went on sale, they really blew the DSO circuits.

When asked the cause for this DSO history-making situation, Jonathan said that it was three-fold: the amazing leadership (Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley and Honorary Chair Margaret McDermott), featured cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the final gala concert under the direction of DSO Music Director Jaap van Zweden.

Make sure that your reservation is in for the Saturday, September 16, black tie fundraiser at the Meyerson.

JUST IN: Philanthropist Margaret McDermott To Serve As Honorary Chair For Dallas Symphony Orchestra 2017 Gala

The fall season of fundraising is already making news. Dallas Symphony Orchestra 2017 Gala Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley have just announced that North Texas matriarch of philanthropy Margaret McDermott will serve as the honorary chair for the Saturday, September 16, fundraiser at the Meyerson with world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma as the featured musician.

It will be a reunion of sorts. Just five years ago Yo-Yo performed with DSO Music Director Jaap van Zweden for the first time. Afterwards the two mega-stars joined Margaret at the post-concert reception.

Yo-Yo Ma, Jaap van Zweden and Margaret McDermott (File photo)

Alas, this performance may well be the final time Yo-Yo and Jaap will make beautiful music in the McDermott Hall, since Jaap is making his farewell tour as music director.

Tickets and sponsorships for the black-tie gala are available here!

In the meantime, why not check out the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Soluna? It’s going on now through Sunday, June 4.

Dallas County Medical Society Alliance And The Aldredge House To Hold Double Centennial Celebrations With Historic Marker And Luncheon

Margaret McDermott (File photo)

What were you doing 100 years ago? Probably the only one who could answer that is Margaret McDermott, who just celebrated her 105th birthday on February 18. It was when she was a five-year old living in Dallas that two totally different undertakings launched.

First, a stately mansion joined the other grand residences along Swiss Avenue. Taking two years to build by Dallasite Willie (Newberry) and her West Texas rancher husband William J. Lewis, the English Georgian/French Renaissance residence was designed by architects Hal Thomson and Marion Fooshee. Four years later the home was purchased by Rena (Munger) and her husband/banker George N. Aldredge, resulting in the residence being called “The Aldredge House.”

The Aldredge House*

Remember, at this time the population of Dallas was less than 158,000. The Park Cities was just a development in progress and considered by many to be a suburb of Dallas. The Highland Park Village wouldn’t open for 14 more years. Since there was no such thing as air conditioning, these showplaces that fronted Swiss had large windows that would allow the air to flow and fireplaces to warm the rooms with their tall ceilings. Word has it that Swiss Avenue was one of the first to be paved.

The Aldredge House*

Ironically, the same year that the Lewises moved into their home, the Woman’s Auxiliary to the Dallas County Medical Society was established. What most folks don’t know is that it “was the very first permanent woman’s county medical auxiliary in the nation, organized by a group of Dallas doctor’s wives. Mrs. John McReynolds was elected president and the group voted to support Red Cross work.”

Other auxiliaries sprung up throughout the country using the Dallas organization as the model. Over the years, the Dallas auxiliary grew both in membership and mission of supporting the Dallas County medical community. Eventually the name was changed to Dallas County Medical Society Alliance Foundation (DCMSAF).

Rena Munger Aldredge*

Lindalyn Adams (File photo)

It was in the early 1970s that Rena and the Foundation found each other. The 80ish widow of George Aldredge had decided to give her mansion to a nonprofit to “preserve her home and to maintain it as a welcoming part of the Dallas community.” It just so happened that DCMSAF President/historical preservationist Lindalyn Adams was seeking a permanent home for the Auxiliary at the same time. The match was made!

The grand lady on Swiss entered a new phase of life. In addition to serving as home base for the Foundation, it was also the Kappa Alpha Theta show house and provided interior scenes for the TV show “Dallas,” as well as serving as a meeting place for the Auxiliary. In 1982, the House was recognized as a Record Texas Historic Landmark.

But over the years, the old gal needed updating and upkeep and that required funding. So after various efforts, the Auxiliary realized that they had a perfect opportunity to fund-raise coming up — the Double Centennial Celebrations of the Auxiliary and the House!

Such a momentous celebration deserved more than just one event to raise monies and awareness.

According to Foundation President Barenda Hino, “The DCMSA Foundation is seeking community support, so they can continue to preserve the rich heritage of this magnificent house.”

To kick the double centennial activities off, the official Texas Historical Marker will be dedicated at Aldredge House on Wednesday, April 5, with city, county and Medical Society leaders taking part.

The second event will be a luncheon taking place on Tuesday, May 16, at the Dallas County Club.

Barenda has arranged for Sharon and Mike McCullough to serve as co-chairs of the luncheon’s Advisory Host Committee “because of their belief in historic preservation, its importance in an ever-changing society and their great respect for the outstanding preservation of the Aldredge House by the Medical Alliance.”

Mike and Sharon McCullough (File photo)

Ruth Altshuler (File photo)

Lindalyn, who arranged for the Foundation’s acquisition of Aldredge House, and noted author/White House historian Dr. William Seale will be co-chairing the luncheon. Serving as honor co-chairs will be Ruth Altshuler and Margaret McDermott.

Tickets to the luncheon are available by calling 214.521.4108. If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, you can still donate to The Aldredge House Preservation Fund.  

* Photo courtesy of Dallas County Medical Society Auxiliary Foundation

JUST IN: Margaret McDermott’s And The Eugene McDermott Foundation’s $2M Gifts Result In The “Kern Wildenthal General Director And CEO” Position

There’s a theory that bad news is announced on Fridays. Well, The Dallas Opera is turning the tables on that way of thinking. Word has just been sent that philanthropist Margaret McDermott and The Eugene McDermott Foundation have made “two extraordinary new gifts, totaling $2 million” to the Opera.

Margaret McDermott (File photo)

Margaret McDermott (File photo)

In making the gifts, the request was made and approved “that the position of Dallas Opera General Director and CEO to [be] known henceforth as the ‘Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO’ in honor of the longtime Dallas Opera Board Member and Past Chairman.”

According to McDermott Foundation President Mary McDermott Cook, “The Eugene McDermott Foundation is delighted to be able to show its passion for the Greater Dallas community, as well as for the arts, through this gift made in honor of Kern Wildenthal. Kern has earned the admiration—not only of our foundation and our family—but of the arts, medical and academic communities in Dallas and throughout the country. His insightful leadership, integrity, and decades of exemplary service to a variety of causes have contributed greatly to our community.

Kern and Marnie Wildenthal (File photo)

Kern and Marnie Wildenthal (File photo)

“I think this is the perfect way to acknowledge Dr. Wildenthal’s continuing influence on the life of this city while providing an even brighter future for opera and the arts in Dallas.”

According to The Dallas Opera, it was during Kern’s serving as chairman of The Dallas Opera Board of Directors from 2008 to 2012 that the following took place:

  • “Guided the company’s October 2009 move into the Winspear Opera House after more than 50 years of performances in the Music Hall at Fair Park
  • “Served as the principal negotiator of a $10 million matching challenge to build the company’s endowment, personally securing 6-and 7-figure gifts and devoting countless hours to the task of completing the match, which quintupled the endowment from $5 million to $25 million
  • “Acted as a strong advocate for The Dallas Opera in the community, recruiting numerous patrons, supporters and board members from among business leaders and Dallas’ philanthropic community
  • “Played a leading role in the recruitment of Keith Cerny as TDO’s General Director and CEO (in 2010)”

According Keith, Kern agreed to serve a second consecutive term as Chairman of the Board, in order to provide stability and continuity to the company, and to support my transition into my new role.

“I shall always be grateful to Kern for putting the company’s needs first during that critical time and for his role in securing major gifts for general operations to deal with a significant deficit in our second year in our new home.

“Together with the Board, we restructured The Dallas Opera season schedule and successfully addressed significant cost increases, while simultaneously developing strategies to attract new and more diverse audiences. Ultimately, this led to a dramatic expansion of our education programs—reaching tens of thousands of students each year—and an ongoing program of free simulcasts which, so far, have entertained more than 60,000 people.”

Needless to say, the list of Kern’s accomplishments and leadership positions is longer than the lineup for the opening of the latest “Star Wars” movie. If you want to send a “Congratulations” note to Kern, he’s heading up the Children Medical Center Foundation.

What a simply lovely way to kick off the weekend.

For a full read of the release, just follow the jump! [Read more…]

Les Femmes Du Monde Luncheon Honors Six Outstanding Women Of The Year With Pomp And Smiles

Alyce Heinrich

Alyce Heinrich

Les Femmes du Monde President Alyce Heinrich explained that the organization benefiting Children’s Health and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth had taken a slight shift. To attract more young members, it had been decided to adjust its annual Woman of the Year fundraiser. This year it would be Women of the Year, one to represent each of Les Femmes’ six decades.

Nina Vaca, Gina Ginsburg, Pat Smith, Lynn McBee and Regina Bruce

Nina Vaca, Gina Ginsburg, Pat Smith, Lynn McBee and Regina Bruce

The class of 2014 included Virginia Chandler Dykes, Gina Ginsburg, Lynn McBee, Margaret McDermott, Pat Smith and Nina Vaca.

In the crowd at the Harlan Crow Library on Thursday, October 16, were Honorary Co-Chairs Faye Briggs and Yvonne Crum, Ruth Altshuler, Gillian Breidenbach, Holly Reed, Ka and LL Cotter, Martha Ann Schneider, Linda Ivy, Mary Lee Cox and Markita Thompson. Ralph Gorman was sporting some remade Nocona boots that had suffered mud overload from a previous Cattle Baron’s Ball. The boots looked pretty spiffy with the decorated metal toe caps. Loyal husbands Emmitt Smith and Scott Ginsburg hot-footed it upstairs to see the second level of the library.

Martha Ann Schneider and Marine escort

Martha Ann Schneider and Marine escort

Last of the honorees to arrive was centenarian Margaret McDermott in her wheelchair. Instead of Margaret taking the arm of one of the Marines escorting the ladies into the building, a ramp for her magically appeared.

Margaret McDermott

Margaret McDermott

Then it was class photo time, with Lady Margaret as the centerpiece. It seemed like everyone wanted time with her afterwards, but there was the luncheon in the main room. Ah, but more steps. This time a couple of the Marines gently lifted her and chair downward with Margaret smiling.

Alyyce revealed to the 120+ guests in the Harlan Crow Library that once she had managed to lock down the location, she went after the luncheon chair. She lucked out with a call to Regina Bruce. From that point it was just tapping the six. Unfortunately, Virginia was not able to attend the event due to a stay in the hospital.

Speaking of hospitals, Doris Jacobs reported that husband Jack was doing well following surgery.

Lunch in the library

Lunch in the library

After an invocation by Dr. Sheron Patterson, emcee Suzie Humphreys handled the day’s program. It all came off without a hitch.

Three little Crows

Three little Crows

By the way, the next time you’re in the Crow library. check out the ceiling. Opposite the stage, you’ll see a scene of trees. Peeking out of a clusters of branches are three “little Crows.”

JUST IN: 2015 TACA Silver Cup Recipients Announced

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

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

Oh, you’re wondering who the recipients are?

Catherine Rose, Nancy Carlson and Don Glendenning

Catherine Rose, Nancy Carlson and Don Glendenning

Drum roll…Catherine Rose and Don Glendenning!

Mary McDermott Cook and Margaret McDermott (File photo)

Mary McDermott Cook and Margaret McDermott (File photo)

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

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

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

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

Keep up the announcements and the great efforts.

Just In: Les Femmes Du Monde Reveals Six To Be Celebrated At Women Of The Year Awards Luncheon At Harlan Crow’s Library

The Les Femmes du Monde gals have been dropping hints of change in the air about their annual Woman of the Year Award L. Tonight the waiting ended and Luncheon Chair Regina Bruce and Les Femmes President Alyce Heinrich let the cat out of the bag. Or, rather they revealed a collection of impressive kittens at Ka and LL Cotter’s home. Instead of doing a solo honoree, they’re breaking with tradition and celebrating six outstanding women, each representing a decade of Les Femmes du Monde.

Drum roll, please.

Virginia Chandler Dykes (File photo)

Virginia Chandler Dykes (File photo)

Gina Ginsburg (File photo)

Gina Ginsburg (File photo)

Lynn McBee (File photo)

Lynn McBee (File photo)

Margaret McDermott (File photo)

Margaret McDermott (File photo)

Pat Smith (File photo)

Pat Smith (File photo)

Nina Vaca (File photo)

Nina Vaca (File photo)

The six are Virginia Chandler Dykes, Gina Ginsburg, Lynn McBee, Margaret McDermott, Pat Smith and Nina Vaca.

And to add to the “Wow!” factor, the Women of the Year Awards Luncheon will be at the Harlan Crow Library on Thursday, October 16, with Faye Briggs and Yvonne Crum as honorary co-chairs.

During Les Femmes du Monde’s 54 years, the organization has donated “more than $2M to the Dallas Council on World Affairs, now called the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and more than $670,000 to Children’s Medical Center.”

In the past the following women have been named Les Femmes du Monde’s Woman of the Year: Doris S. Dixon, Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler, Caroline Rose Hunt, Annette Strauss, Vivian Castleberry, Mary Kay Ash, Ebby Halliday, Catherine Crier, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Laura Bush, Juanita Miller, Nancy Brinker, Gloria Campos, Florence Shapiro, Liz Minyard and Gretchen Minyard Williams, Karen Hughes, Billie Leigh Rippey, Dee Wyly, Anita Perry, Yvonne Crum, Geraldine “Tincy” Miller,Dr. Gail Thomas and Mary Lee Cox.

Along with sponsorship availability, ticket information is available at the Les Femmes du Monde website.