Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show Ponied Up With Fashions, Awards And Laughs Thanks To Chair Beth Thoele

Beth Thoele and Angie Kadesky

There are those rare people in fundraising who literally break the ice much to the delight of others with their oops and refreshing spontaneity. On Tuesday, October 3, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele rose to the pinnacle of those ranks of endearment.

Initially, it was a challenge with the weather. One guests swore, “Houston shipped their humidity up here.”

Equest team

Still, the ladies marshaled on as they checked in at the club’s porte-cochere just past the Equest mini-ambassadors, Cisco and Dare, and the dapper riders on their steeds. While the equine set was quite content on the club’s lawn, the guests like Equest Board of Directors Chair Andy Steingasser, Sarah LosingerCara French, Melinda Rathke, Nuz Morshed, Allison Presser, Stacey Walker, Emilynn Wilson and Joanna Clarke discovered rows of beverages awaiting them. One gal announced, “There’s a mimosa with my name on it.”

Inside the club, the ballroom was filling to the max with the likes of Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky, Equest Executive Director Lili Kellogg, Sarah Losinger, Lisa Cooley, Linda SecrestJennifer Dix, Pam Perella, Leslie Diers, Christie Carter, Claire Emanuelson, Amy Hegi, Libby Hegi, Leigh Anne Haugh, Jennifer Swift and Vicki Howland.

Nuz Morshed, Melinda Rathke and Allison Presser

Leslie Diers, Pam Perella, Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson

But according to schedule, the infamous voice over the PA system stressed the need to get guests in chairs, which this crew did.

Considered the little sister of the Crystal Charity Ball (perhaps that’s because so many past chairs, presidents and attendees are CCB-ers), there was a certain panache in the air.

Robyn and Don Conlon

Unlike the week-ago KidneyTexas Runway Report with celeb emcee Ron Corning with a glittery crutch and KLUV’s Jody Dean raising funds with a live auction, this one is traditionally as proper at your grandmother’s thank-you notes. Instead of a live auction or the fearful shout-out for funds, there is just a certain simplicity that keeps things a-going.

Reins of Hope scarf

 After Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky introduced Tova Sido for the invocation, Beth arrived at the podium to present Honorary Chair Robyn Conlon with her husband Don Conlon at her side and daughters-in-law Marybeth Conlon and slowly-becoming-blonde Megan Conlon.

Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne

Beth then announced that a one-of-a-kind scarf had been created by Katherine Coker celebrating Equest and would be on sale at the lunch for $150. She then introduced Mother of Equest Women’ Auxiliary Founder Louise Griffeth, who reported that despite last year’s anonymous matching offer, they were gearing up to top that number for the Equest Hooves for Heroes and other programs supported by Equest. The 2017 Equest Awards for Community Service Co-Honorees/sisters Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne were presented Tiffany boxes by a couple of hunky dressage-attired fellas.

But this year there was an unplanned twist. It was Beth. Sure, she had a script, but it didn’t always go as planned. For instance, in announcing that she was handing over the “reins” to 2018 Luncheon chair Heather Randall, she said, “Good luck.” But there was a slight tone in Beth’s voice that resulted in the crowd busting out in laughter. Beth quickly recovered saying that she meant really, sincerely good luck. The laughter only continued.

Veronica Beard fashion

Hadleigh fashion

Lela Rose fashion

Escada fashion

Etro fashion

Market fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

Then it was on with the show with fashions from HP Village merchants Veronica Beard, Hadleigh’s, Lela Rose, Escada, Etro, Market and Carolina Herrera. Naturally, the willowy, poreless models were upstaged by the adorable munchkins in Hadleigh’s fashions.

The show was well edited with HP Village merchants videotaping their merchandise on the catwalk.

So as the guest adjourned to their tables, what was the talk of the day? St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon Co-Chair Nancy Gopez was receiving congrats on moving the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser to NorthPark Center… Table talk was about what TV shows were being watched — “Game of Thrones,” “Rain,”  etc. ….Tanya Foster was snapping shots of The Garden Gate centerpieces with a spanking new iPhone 8 Plus. Seems husband Pete Foster was using Tanya as sort of a guinea pig and was holding out for the iPhone 10… Lisa Ogle was writing a check for a scarf or one of the centerpieces…Mary Meier-Evans had to duck out early and get back to work at Sons of the Flag.

Despite all the festivities and laughter, no one knew that in the days preceding, red-haired Beth had been masterfully juggling another life issue… her mother-in-law had been in hospice and died the weekend before. But that is Beth. She champions on with compassion and without a glimmer of self-pity.   

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

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show

Beth Thoele and Angie Kadesky

During the fundraising luncheon circuit, some guests get jaded by the very scripted and rehearsed speakers at the podium. On Tuesday, October 3, at Brook Hollow Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show Chair Beth Thoele received great vibrations as her refreshing and off-the-cuff remarks broke the guests into smiles, chuckles and one really big laugh.

Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne

Robyn and Don Conlon

Following Beth, the awards presentation of the Community Service Award to sisters Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne and recognizing Honorary Chair Robyn Conlon, the runway was filled with an array of Highland Park Village fashion curated by fashion producer Jan Strimple.  

Veronica Beard fashion

Hadleigh fashions

Lela Rose fashion

Escada fashion

Etro fashion

Market fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

While the post is being prepared, check out the peeps and fashion at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon List Of Highland Park Village Merchants Participating In The Annual Fundraiser Revealed

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show and Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele just revealed the list of Highland Park Village merchants for the Equest fundraiser “Reins of Hope” at Brook Hollow on Tuesday, October 3.

Lela Rose (File photo)

Hadleigh Shaikh (File photo)

Equest finale (File photo)

Six of ’em are returning with the latest fashions of the season — Carolina Herrera, Escada, Etro, Hadleigh’s, Lela Rose and Market. Joining the veteran retailers will be first-timer Veronica Beard.

The fashion show will be produced by Jan Strimple with Robyn Conlon serving as honorary chair.

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Shopped And Partied Among The Luscious Lips And Fashions Of Alice And Olivia

Alice and Olivia lips

Alice and Olivia lips

With season in high throttle, a cluster of guests were filling Alice and Olivia on Tuesday, September 13. The draw and beneficiary was the Equest Women’s Auxiliary, which is holding its annual Equest Fashion Show chaired by Kara Axley. While no equine ambassadors were present, the mannequins were dressed to the max and the displays were filled with luscious lips. Fashion-loving and newly-engaged Fleming Longino was an early arrival to check out the goodies.

Kara Axley and

Kara Axley and Fleming Longino

Di Johnston and Kathy Fielder

Di Johnston and Kathy Fielder

Equest Board Member Kathy Fielder dropped by to check out a try-on in the dressing room, handed over her charge card and was off. Not bad. A percentage of the evening’s sales went to Equest.

When asked how the Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show on Tuesday, October 4, at Brook Hollow was going, Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Di Johnston reported that it was moving along smoothly. Once again the Jan Strimple-produced fashion show will feature highlights from Akris, Alice+Olivia, Carolina Herrera, Etro, Lela Rose, Market and St. John.

Unlike the cross-town Texas Trailblazer Luncheon being held smack-dab on the same day at the same time, Di suggested that it was an apple and oranges situation. One is an elegant and intimate fashion show and the other is a 1,000 plus award presentation with speaker. The fact is both groups are benefiting area families and that’s what matters.

Grovel Alert: Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show

Sure, it’s damp, but the temperatures are so user friendly. That’s especially true for retailers, who are stocking fall and winter goodies like cashmere sweaters, snugly coats and high-strutting boots.

Alice and Olivia boot (File photo)

Alice and Olivia boot (File photo)

Evidently that feeling of cooler times are just around the corner has inspired the horse-loving, fashionistas to get their places at the Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show on Tuesday, October 4, at Brook Hollow Golf Club.

Fashion producer Jan Strimple has been working with presenting sponsor Highland Park Village and its merchants like Akris, Alice and Olivia, Carolina Herrera, Etro, Lela Rose, Market and St. John for what will be on the runway benefiting the Equest program.

Just heard that perhaps it’s because of the drop in temps that tickets are starting to get scarce, so contact Event Chair Kara Axley for your ticket. Then head to your closet and clear out your old winter duds. Because after this fundraiser you’re gonna need more room for the new looks.

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon Chair Kara Axley Finds A Match Made In Shopping Heaven

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Fashion Show Chair Kara Axley is having a real relationship with high-end merchants. The matchmaker is fashion-loving producer Jan Strimple. To have the most marvy fashions on the runway at Brook Hollow on Tuesday, October 4, the following merchants will be showcasing the fall fashions: Akris, Alice and Olivia, Carolina Herrera, Etro, Lela Rose, Market and St. John.

Akris (File photo)

Akris (File photo)

Lela Rose (File photo)

Lela Rose (File photo)

Caroline Herrera (File photo)

Caroline Herrera (File photo)

Adding to the luxury feel is the couple, who will be the honorary co-chairs. Yup, longtime supporters Lezlie Noble and her HPV jeweler husband Bill Noble.

Lezlie Noble in the center (File photo)

Lezlie Noble in the center (File photo)

Lindalyn Adams (File photo)

Lindalyn Adams (File photo)

And still another plus is the presentation of the Special Recognition Award to Lindalyn Adams. No, Lindalyn has not taken up residence in HPV, but she does shop and lunch there.

This fashion show is always a home run with handsome gents in riding attire as window dressing and, if the weather is user-friendly, the Equest Mini-ambassadors will be grazing on the lush Brook Hollow grounds.

Funds raised from the event will “benefit Equest’s therapeutic programming for children and adults with all types of physical, cognitive, emotional and learning disabilities.”

Oh, and, yes, HPV is the presenting sponsor for the 2016 Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show.

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Kicked Off Fundraising Luncheon Plans At Market

All the talk on Wednesday, May 4, was about cutie pie Reese Witherspoon’s opening up her latest retail venture — Draper James pop-up shop — at Market the day before. But, alas, the Academy Award-winning actress was nowhere in sight. No problem. The Equest Women’s Auxiliary crowd including Tiffany Divis, Louise Griffeth and Emilynn Wilson, didn’t seem to mind one iota with all the goodies on the shelves, the tables and in every nook and cranny.

For some, like Angela Nash, this was a first-time visit to Market; Angela hollered from her car, “Do you know where Market is?”

Someone pointed Angela to the former site of Patrizio (aka the longtime ago digs of S&S Tearoom). Still with us?

Market's candy

Market’s candy

Market's equine-style bracelet

Market’s equine-style bracelet

Once inside Market, it was a 21st century version of the Carriage Shop with colorful candies on the shelves, the bracelets and chokers that reminded some of equine bits and such.

Fleming Longino

Fleming Longino

Fleming Longino's Louboutin

Fleming Longino’s Louboutin

And speaking of fashion, Fleming Longino was just back from Europe and in a black jumpsuit that made her Louboutin stilettos “stand out.”

New Equest Executive Director Lili Kellogg introduced new Development Director Christine Volkmer, while Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Di Johnston revealed that Angie Kadesky would be replacing her in the year to come.  Another bit of news was that Beth Thoele will chair the 2017 Equest fundraising luncheon.

Angie Kadesky, Kara Axley and Bridget Miller

Angie Kadesky, Kara Axley and Bridget Miller

In the meantime, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show at Brook Hollow Chair Kara Axley revealed that the Equest fundraiser would take place on Tuesday, October 4.

St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show And Luncheon Kept The Champagne And Fashions Flowing To Battle Leukemia And Lymphoma

The weather on Tuesday, February 16, was major payback for the St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon’s years of Mother Nature’s dumping ice storms and freezing temperatures on the Leukemia and Lymphoma North Texas fundraiser.

Some still recall how the pashmina favors the year that Rainey Fogiel and Natalie Fogiel co-chaired the event became necessities instead of perks thanks to frigid conditions.

But still the weather on this day was ideal. Sure, it was a couple of days after St. V-day, but who was gonna have the event on Sunday? And then there was the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday, February 15. So, the Tuesday pick made perfect sense.

But not to worry. The flourish of reds and pinks was sparkling in the Meyerson lobby at the pre-show reception. Of course, it didn’t hurt to have flutes of champagne adding sparkle to the crowd.

Gina Betts

Gina Betts

Going against the typical Valentine colors was Co-Chair Gina Betts in a St. John turquoise dress and coat bottomed off with splashy Jimmy Choo stilettos and matching purse.

Despite the smile and the day’s glow, Gina had had a rough few days. Seems the attorney had had plans to celebrate her anniversary with husband Ken Betts in Los Cabos. But just hours before taking off, she was hospitalized, with her doc saying “No way” to the trip. The Betts family trips seem to be jinxed. They had scheduled Christmas in Paris, but the November 13th  terrorist attack squashed that and now this one.

Speaking of clothes, Lisa Cooley and Cara French had stories about the fine art of mother-daughter sharing. While Cooley daughter Ciara Cooley considers Lisa’s closet a type of fashion lending library, Cara admitted that she was wearing her mother Prissy Gravely’s coat.

Lisa Cooley and Cara French

Lisa Cooley and Cara French

Lee Bailey and Leigh Bailey Carrizales

Lee Bailey and Leigh Bailey Carrizales

Speaking of mother-daughters on the scene, Lee Bailey and daughter Leigh Bailey Carrizales reported that mama Lee’s Turtle Creek palazzo was on the market. Talk about fabulous on steroids with a wondrous spot on Turtle Creek. Wonder if Lee’s black swan, Ziggy, goes with the estate?

Luke Lange, Tracy and Ben Lange and Livia Lange

Luke Lange, Tracy and Ben Lange and Livia Lange

Another sale item but not tagged with four figures were Spirit of Tom Landry Awardee Luke Lange’s so very uber-friendly Luke’s Fast Breaks T-shirts. At the patron party the week before, Luke had sold $2,500 worth of the shirts. What’s so special about the T-shirts? Not only are they designed to accommodate leukemia/lymphoma patients going through treatments, but when purchased for $25 they are given to the patients free with the moola going in toto to the leukemia and lymphoma research.

But not all of the day’s awardees were on hand to celebrate the sunshine. The late Ed Robinson, who was the recipient of the 2016 Memorial Hero Award, was honored with the presence of his family and friends like Frank Risch. As Frank put it, Ed had been his associate at Exxon, but he had also been a great friend.

Frank Risch

Frank Risch

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza

Sidley Austin Attorney Yvette Ostolaza revealed that her buddy/Underwriting Chair Heather Randall had not only gotten her on board for the law firm to co-sponsor the meal with Trinity Industries, but Heather would be chairing the 2017 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon. Had they selected a date? Not yet, but stay tuned.

Kent and Tracy Rathbun and Ray Washburne

Kent and Tracy Rathbun and Ray Washburne

A much slimmer Kent Rathbun arrived and reported that after losing 100 pounds, he still wanted to shed 30 more. When asked how the dramatic weight loss hadn’t resulted in a sagging skin, Kent claimed that it had been a result of his working out over the year. As he put it, the healthy guy had always been there, just under extra layers.

Ray Washburne was on the phone but also on the scene for the HP Village fashion show. Unfortunately, he had to duck out before the show got underway.

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Arriving to the delight of photographers was Nancy Rogers with Event Co-Chair Michael Flores. Before heading to the lobby, Nancy was found chatting with Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein. Made sense. Nancy and her bud Gina Betts are chairing the Genesis Luncheon featuring Tyler Perry. Wasn’t it interesting that just a few days after the St. V-Day event, it was announced that Nancy and husband Richard Rogers were offering a million-dollar match for any donations/sponsorships given to the Genesis Luncheon?

But back to the St. V-day festivities. As a trio of Carolina Herrera-gowned models were on display in the reception area, the Meyerson chimes called all to the McDermott Hall for the Jan Strimple-produced program. It was running just a tad bit behind schedule due to a traffic kerfuffle resulting from a nearby funeral procession.

Models in Carolina Herrera bridal white

Models in Carolina Herrera bridal white

Eventually all were seated and the show was underway with KDFW’s Clarice Tinsley doing the emcee duties. After good words from Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Chief Relationship Officer Mark Roithmayr, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society North Texas Executive Director Dr. Patricia Thomson, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society North Texas Board Chair Erin Ragsdale, Gina and Michael, the awards were presented to:

Mark Roithmayr and Patricia Thomson

Mark Roithmayr and Patricia Thomson

  • Accepting the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award presented by Park Place Motor Cards for his father George Alden Ryan, St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon Honorary Co-Chair Brint Ryan admitted that his dad had indeed had his ups-and-down but he was rising to the challenge. Adding to George’s own battle with chronic myeloid leukemia was the loss this past winter of his good friend Brint’s father-in-law to cancer.

    Brint Ryan

    Brint Ryan

  • Surrounded by her family, Ruth Robinson graciously accepted the Memorial Hero Award presented by Robyn and Don Conlon for her late husband Edgar Robinson. The former community leader and ExxonMobil executive succumbed to leukemia and lymphoma on April 19, 2015.

    Ruth Robinson at podium with family

    Ruth Robinson at podium with family

  • And then there was Luke, who stole the show with his smile and his story of raising thousands of dollars to fight cancer. The youngster admitted that he was truly honored by being awarded the Spirit of Tom Landry Award presented by Baker Botts. He revealed that when Gina had called his folks about his being chosen for the award named after the late Dallas Cowboys coach, he heard that Gina was so pleased that she cried and according to his folks “that was evidently not typical of Gina.”

After a call-to-action for members of the audience to join “the team against leukemia/lymphoma” resulting in $195,000,” the fashion show of Highland Park Village fashions from Alice and Olivia, Carolina Herrera, Ermenegildo Zegna, Hadleigh’s, Hadleigh’s Kids, Market and St. John was underway.

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

As usual, the munchkins in the show held their own alongside the willowy professional models. These kids knew how to work the runway with hands on hips and flirty smiles.

But before the models did their finale, Luke’s dad Ben Lange hustled out the door to man the sale of Luke’s T-shirts in the lobby. After all, every cent counts when it comes to shutting down leukemia and lymphoma.

For lots more photos from the St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon fundraiser, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.