Mary Kay’s Annual Suits For Shelters Kick-Off Party Brought Out The Pink With A Surprise Reward For Attending Domestic Shelters

Barb Podbelsek may have looked like your typical shopper returning a purchase on Thursday, July 13. After parking her car across the way from Bachendorf’s, she carried a red jacket on a hangar to Tootsies. Oh, but rethink that one. Barb was taking her gently worn jacket to a private get-together at Tootsies. The jacket was to be part of the annual Suits for Shelters program that provides professional attire and accessories for women in area shelters.

Barb Podbelsek, Jana Jones and Theresa Powerski

As Barb handed over the jacket, domestic violence experts like Genesis Shelter’s Jan Langbein and Bianca Jackson, Attitudes and Attire’s Annabelle Baxter and The Family Place’s Melissa Sherrill, Mary Catherine Benavides and Shivangi Pokharel Perkins were on hand.

Mary Catherine Benavides, Shivangi Pokharel Perkins and Melissa Sherrill

Alas, this clothes collection kick-off was to be the last one for Shivangi. She was headed to Charlotte, North Carolina? The reason? Her husband’s job.

Speaking of The Family Place MIAs, CEO Paige Flink was nowhere in sight. Seems she was taking a break in West Virginia with husband Randy Flink.

Nikki and Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and models

Mary Kay Inc. VP of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb scoured the crowd for his wife, Nikki Webb. Perfect timing. She was just walking in as the 100 guests like Jana Jones, Theresa Powerski, Jennifer and Aaron Tobin, Tracy and Abe Minkara, Teresa Flores, Anne Crews, Diana Franzetti, Nancy Thomason, Michaela and Trey Dyer, Ashley Montgomery Lyon, Nancy Gopez, Cindy and Brian Hanson, Amy and Chase Laws, Hadley and Travis Galt, Colleen Jamieson, Bill Bernstein, Genevieve Peterson and emcee Cynthia Izaguirre headed upstairs for the evening’s program hosted by the Tootsie’s crew including Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Land and Dustin Holcomb.

Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Lander and Dustin Holcomb

Crayton admitted that in the days ahead, he would be doing heavy-duty babysitting for the four little Webb-sters. The reason? Nikki is co-chairing the Junior League of Dallas’ Milestones Luncheon on Friday, November 17, at the Hilton Anatole with Co-Chair Jennifer Scripps. Decked out in white, Nikki reported that in addition to Linda Perryman Evans receiving the Sustainer of the Year award, the speaker will be Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer. That’s all Nikki could reveal as she and Clayton hustled upstairs for the evening’s program.

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

As Mary Kay Ash grandson Ryan Rogers tried to juggle his microphone and a glass, wife Maleiah Rogers was the dutiful wife, walking over and relieving him of the glass. After Ryan told of his grandmother’s longtime concern and support of women in domestic violent situations, he asked all to toast the work of those in domestic-abuse efforts. But just as he realized he had nothing with which to toast, Maleiah was back on the spot returning his glass.

Speaking of Ryan and Maleiah, they looked rather flawless. When asked their secret, they chimed in — Mary Kay products! Maleiah reeled off the whole product line and finished it with Smooth-Action Cellulite Gel Cream. One woman upon hearing that last one nudged her gal pal and said, “Then I want a bath tub of the stuff. Just look at her.”

Ryan also reminded the guests that the next week would be the national gathering of Mary Kay associates.

According to Crayton, roughly 30,000 of them would be assembling in Dallas for the four-day convention, providing the city with “two to three times the economic impact of Texas-OU weekend.”

When it came to the evening’s highlight, there was a problem. The big draw of the night was the raffle item donated by the Rogerses — $5,000 to the domestic violence group chosen by the winning ticket holder. Alas, Piers Hurley was the lucky winner, but he just couldn’t pick just one. Leave it to Maleiah and Ryan to come up with the perfect solution: “All event program beneficiaries (Attitudes and Attire, Brighter Tomorrows, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, Mosaic Family Services, The Salvation Army DFW and The Family Place) in attendance at the event would receive $5,000 donations to help support their work and help survivors of domestic violence!”

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

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

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

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

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

Jan Langbein

Jan Langbein

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

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

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

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

Crayton Webb

Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Melissa Cameron

Melissa Cameron

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

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

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Suits for Shelter fashion show

Suits for Shelters fashion show

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

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

Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits For Shelters Program Gets In The Pink At Tootsies Kick-Off Reception

On the eve of the pink invasion by the Mary Kay forces, the Suits for Shelters program kicked off with a gathering to the max at Tootsies hosted by the ever-gorgeous Maleiah and Ryan Rogers (he’s the grandson of Mary Kay, as if you didn’t know). Guests arrived with clothes, shoes and accessories to be donated for the annual program helping women who are escaping abusive situations.

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Bird’s eye view, the scene looked like Maalox had stylishly been sprayed over the room. Pink was everywhere. From adorable pink frocks to touches of the color in men’s ties, it was definitely the shade of the night. Why, the Tootsies staff even had the mannequins in the tone for the evening.

Hayden and David Novak

Hayden and David Novak

One standout in the sea of pink was David Novak’s pocket square. Of course, it was pink, but it had more than its color going for it. The SMU grad’s Quixotic line of hankies that start at $35 is a double doozy of a winner for today’s gentlemen. First of all, 10% of sales go to organizations including The Family Place and Genesis Women’s Shelter. Second, they had a Square for Square program that “if you lose or damage your Quixotic pocket square in some gentlemanly act of kindness, then we will give your another.” Examples of such acts include: wiping tears, remove a spot, prevent a drip from a bottle of wine, pass something hot, etc.

Doug and Holly Deason

Doug and Holly Deason

But the crowd wasn’t all in pink and worried about good manners. Over to the side of the Preston Road entrance, Shelter Ministries of DallasJan Langbein was introducing guests to Dallas Police Lt. Miguel Sarmiento of the family violence unit. . . . Across the way were The Family Place’s Melissa Sherrill and Shivangi Pokharel and Habitat for Humanity’s  Melissa Cameron. . . . But the night was not “girls-only.” Thanks to Mary Kay’s Crayton Webb, men like Doug Deason, Bob Dyer and Jeff Cameron have taken on a major role in the efforts to reduce eliminate domestic abuse. Crayton indeed had his hands full. With thousands of Mary Kay associates on their way to Dallas, he was standing at the door waiting for his wife Nikki, who was delayed. The moment she appeared, he lit up. . . In one of the showrooms were racks and racks of true-blue bargains, in addition to pink items including shoes on sale. . . . Ironically the champagne was bountiful but not pink!

Myann Payne

Myann Payne

Following the reception downstairs, guests moved upstairs for the fashion show featuring Tootsies fashions on the following models: Evelyn Earl from Attitudes and Attire, Liz Slane from Battered Women’s Foundation, Linda Zander from Brighter Tomorrows, Myann Payne from Dress for Success, Susan Wells Jenevein and Abby Mayer from Genesis Women’s Shelter, Alma Catic and Megan Rutherford from Hope’s Door, Mirjana Omerajic from Mosaic Family Services, Isabel Camacho from New Beginning Center and Carmen Ponder from The Family Place.

Cynthia Izaguirre and Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and Crayton Webb

WFAA’s Cynthia Izaguirre was the show’s emcee and got things going with a selfie with the room full of guests. Then Crayton and host Ryan welcomed the group stressing the importance that the Mary Kay Foundation places on issue of domestic violence.

Then the “Think Pink” fashion show was underway with each model receiving cellphone salutes and some like Linda Slane getting a thumbs up from friends. Unlike other fashion shows, where guests smile in approval, this group let the world know their feelings with applause and cheers.

Linda Slane getting thumbs up

Linda Slane getting thumbs up

But even after the last guests toddled out of Tootsies, the effort to provide clothing for women in need didn’t end. The collection of new and gently used women’s professional attire, shoes and accessories continues through Monday, August 4, at Tootsies. In return donors will received a $25 Tootsies gift card that could be very useful during Tootsies’ summer sale.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Suits For Shelters Kick-Off Party

Selfie in pink

Selfie in pink

It’s been way too long since the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery has popped with photos of locals helping others. Thank heaven, the Mary Kay Foundation’s “Suits for Shelters” program kicked off at Tootsies with loads of people in the pink and bargains galore.

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

Casey

Casey

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

While the write-up is being finalized, enjoy the photos of the guests, the models and the fashions.

Mary Kay’s “Suits For Shelters” Kicks Off With Fellows Accessorized In Pink And Shelter Staffers On Tootsies’ Runway

The clothes are coming and going at Tootsies. It all started on Thursday, July 18, when it was the site of the Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits for Shelter program kick-off. Naturally, pink was the color of the evening. Why even the men folks spiffed up their ensembles with MK-fav colored ties (Morgan Meyer, Ryan Rogers and Jose Reyes) and handkerchiefs (Crayton Webb).

Pink was the color of the night

Pink was the color of the night

The purpose was easy to guess. It was to start the collection of “experienced” clothes and accessories for women to provide to shelters. The drive runs through Monday, August 5.

Oops, that could have been a problem. Seems that the Tootsies folks also arranged to have a very similar clothing drive for the Austin Street Shelter to run from August 1 through August 31. Yipes! Would there be a showdown at the store’s front door on Preston Road for which organization got the goods during that August 1-5 overlap period?

Oh, please!

Everyone was assured that anyone bringing clothes during that period would be asked which group they were providing the goods for.

And regardless of which group benefited from the contribution, the donor will receive a $25 gift card to be used at Tootsies, which will be very good since the store’s having its mega sale going on.

But back to the party.

Morgan Meyer and Kristen Howell

Morgan Meyer and Kristen Howell

Just as event producer Jan Strimple arrived on the scene, model Keana Meyer joined her, while husband Morgan reported on his future plans. Yes, he was running for the Texas House seat currently occupied by Dan Branch because “it’s a chance to serve Texas. . .  With my family and background, it’s the perfect spot to continue Dan Branch’s legacy.”

Fashion show

Fashion show

Just when the ground level was getting tighter than a size too small Spanx, it was time to go upstairs for the fashion show of shelter staffers wearing outfits with various touches of pink.

Ryan Rogers and Crayton Webb

Ryan Rogers and Crayton Webb

But before the show got underway, Mary Kay’s ever-charming and eloquent Director of Corporate Communications Crayton Webb and Mary Kay grandson Ryan Rogers thanked all on behalf of Mary Kay corporate and the foundation. They also reported that this was going to be a big year for the cosmetics company, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. Starting the following Sunday an estimated 50,000 women would be in Dallas for the annual Mary Kay gathering of the troops. As part of the Mary Kay Foundation’s mission, one of its programs is to assist women’s shelters. Last year they doubled the number of suits they collected and have raised more than $50,000 in all. Ryan finished the presentation by asking all to join him in toasting the program.

As the festivities were continuing with a full house watching the fashion show, a truck pulled up in the back of Tootsies with 150 items to add to the Suits for Shelters program.

Since 2000 the Mary Kay Foundation has provided $31M to shelters dealing with abuse against women and continued Mary Kay Ash’s original mission “to allow women to advance by helping others to succeed.” And to think — it all got started by a widow who invested her $5,000 savings in a dream. Thanks to her dream, women are escaping lives of nightmares.

Donate Your Experienced Clothes For Mary Kay Foundation’s “Suits For Shelters” At Tootsies Through August 5

Can you believe it? Dallas is in a kiss-fest with rain. No nasty thunder nor tornado warnings. Just easy falling, cooling rain. OK, so maybe it’s a pain for hair and outdoor events, but still it’s a nice surprise for July.

It’s also a perfect time to clean out that closet. You know you’ve been meaning to and it would be nice to clear out some room for your upcoming fall fashion additions.

Now, the question is, “What do you do with all those former clothes, accessories, shoes and such?”

Suggestion: Take them to Tootsies. Hello, what was that? No, Tootsies has not become a recycle shop. Between today and Monday, August 5, it will be the collection spot for the Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits for Shelters to benefit survivors of domestic violence.

2012 Tootsies (File photo)

2012 Tootsies (File photo)

For your donation, you’ll be rewarded with a $25 Tootsies gift card.

Oh, and if you’re thinking that this program is the only way that the foundation and Mary Kay Inc. help battle domestic violence, think again. Since its creation in 1996, the foundation has awarded $50M to such programs and for “cancer research and related causes throughout the United States.”

WARNING: Don’t bother to drop your items off on a Sunday. Tootsies takes that day off and the doors are locked.

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

Crowd at Suits for Shelters Kick-off

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

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

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

Ryan Rogers

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

Maleiah Rogers

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

Jan Langbein and Delia Jasso

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

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

Crayton Webb

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

Tootsies' 70% off sale

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