Despite “Hand In Hand” Telethon, Cattle Baron’s Ball Research Symposium Reinforced The Importance Of Cancer Research And Treatment Funding

Who would have thought that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma would have impacted North Texas fundraising efforts? On Tuesday, September 12, it happened.

When the Cattle Baron’s Ball gals had arranged to have their annual Research Symposium at Studio Movie Grill at Royal Lane, the schedule seemed free and clear for that Tuesday. They had arranged for Mary Kay Inc. and the Deason Foundation to be the presenting sponsor, as well as Studio Movie Grill to host it.

But with hurricanes whopping up the Texas and Florida coasts, the renowned talents of the U.S. came together to hold a televised cross-country telethon — Hand in Hand — with Julia Roberts, Barbra Streisand, Daniel Craig, Billy Crystal, Jay Leno, Leonardo DiCaprio, Oprah, Justin Bieber, George Clooney, Cher, Jamie Foxx, Reese Witherspoon and others (wo)manning the telephone banks and encouraging donations, while George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Robert Earl Keen, Chris Stapleton, Blake Sheldon, Usher, Stevie Wonder performed on stage in San Antonio, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York City. Talk about the Super Bowl of celebs!

Sunie Solomon, Nicholas Conrad and Deidre Bacala

Raquibul Hannan and Sterling Deason

And then there was the issue of the CBB committee members being moms with car pool and after-school activities. Perhaps all those issues resulted in a less than expected 60 guests for the presentation by Dr. Raquibul Hannan and Nicholas Conrad.

Still the message was clear and inspirational — thanks to funding of research and treatments, fewer lives were being lost to cancer.

Anne Stodghill

Kim Quinn and Kris Johnson

On hand for the cocktail reception and presentation were CBB Co-Chairs Anne Stodghill and Sunie Solomon, Symposium Co-Chairs Kris Johnson and Kim Quinn (Co-Chair Isabell Novakov was away on business), Sterling Deason, Deidre Bacala, Annika Cail, 2016 CBB Co-Chair Andrea Weber recalling that it was this time last year that she gave birth to JT Weber and Nancy Gopez, who was still thrilled over winning the Bachendorf’s bracelet at the CBB Live Auction party in August.   

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!”

JUST IN: Crayton Webb Reveals His Last Day As Mary Kay Inc. VP, But Remains Tight-Lipped About Future Plans

Nikki and Crayton Webb (File photo)

In the North Texas nonprofit world, Mary Kay Inc. VP of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb has established quite a stellar reputation as a major champion in the war against domestic violence. Besides chairing HeROs, Genesis Women’s Shelter‘s men’s auxiliary, and co-chairing the recent Genesis Luncheon with wife Nikki Webb, he has served on the board of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

An example of his blending his professional life with his personal advocacy has been his being front and center for the annual “Suits for Shelters” program, providing clothes for area domestic violence shelters.

What some folks don’t realize is that his involvement and leadership have not been limited to Mary Kay Inc. and domestic violence. Need proof? Since landing in North Texas in 1998, he has been part of a vast variety of organizations and programs, including the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Board, the Communications Council for the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Executive Forum of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, Communications Studies at SMU, the Junior League of Dallas, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Leadership Dallas Alumni Association and Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau to name a few.

Prior to joining Mary Kay Inc., he was an award-winning reporter for KTVT-TV (CBS) from 1998 to 2001, as well as chief of staff for former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller from 2002 to 2005.

In the past 19 years, he has received the 2015 Leadership Dallas Distinguished Alumni Award, was named to the Dallas Business Journal‘s class of “40 under Forty,” was named one of the “Five Outstanding Young Dallasites” by the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce and one of the “Five Outstanding Young Texans” by the Texas Junior Chamber of Commerce.

It was just learned that Crayton announced that he has given his notice to Mary Kay. Ironically, his final day with the Dallas-based mega-company will be on the 54th anniversary of the founding of Mary Kay Inc. — Wednesday, September 13.

What’s in his future? Crayton is tight-lipped on that question. However, the answer will be revealed in September. But never fear. He and Nikki are still staying true to North Texas and its nonprofit world.

Stay tuned.

Mary Kay Inc.’s Inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit Had Business Vets Providing Insight And Opportunities For Business Women

When Mary Kay’s Inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit convened at the Fairmont on Friday, January 27, for an all-day crash course on business development and growth, they literally got more than an “earful” about innovative opportunities and success stories. In fact the day’s Pink Tank proved that point to the letter, thanks to Elyse Dickerson of Eosera, whose pitch had everyone listening. Here’s a report from the field:

Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit*

Two hundred women entrepreneurs attended the Inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit, presented by Mary Kay Inc. in partnership with the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (The DEC), on Friday, January 27, at the Fairmont Hotel.

As perhaps the #1 creator of women entrepreneurs in the world, Mary Kay designed the summit to convene experts and thought leaders to help encourage and inspire participants’ own business journey, and to provide them with the tools to take their company and themselves as a leader to the next level and stage of development and growth.

The day began with keynote speaker Gloria Mayfield Banks, Mary Kay Independent Elite National Sales Director in the United States, followed by three breakout sessions with the common thread of “Why Women Make Great Entreprenuers.” 

Breakout session*

Breakout speakers included Caytie Langford of Caytie Langford and Associates, Valerie Freeman of Imprimis Group, Mary Kay Independent Senior National Sales Director Cindy Williams, Mary Kay Independent Executive National Sales Director Stacy James, Yasmeen Tadia of Make Your Life Sweeter, private consultant Liz Marshall, Sheryl Chamberlain of Cap Gemini, Jill Scigliano of Dallas Entrepreneur Center and Mary Kay Independent National Sales Director Emeritus Karen Piro and Kristina Libby, S.W.C./SoCu.

Ingrid Vandervelt, Crayton Webb and Gloria Mayfield Banks*

The group then reconvened for a seated lunch and a keynote address by Ingrid Vandervelt, Founder and Chairman of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020, before enjoying afternoon breakout sessions designed around the theme “How to Become a Great Entrepreneur.” Afternoon breakout session speakers were entrepreneur/Junior League of Dallas representative Heather Bonfield, Mary Kay Inc. Chief Marketing Officer Sheryl Adkins-Green, Heather Capps of HCK2, Holly Mason of Mason Baronet, Jessica Nunez of True Point, Julia Taylor Cheek of Everly, Louise Kee of Golden Seeds, Cynthia Nevels of Integrality, Cristin Thomas of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and Management Consulting’s Melissa Youngblood, LCC.

One of the highlights of the day followed, the Pink Tank business pitch session, with an all-star panel of judges: Sheryl Adkins-Green, The DEC Founder/CEO Trey Bowles, fashion designer/CEO Abi Ferrin, Mark Cuban Companies Director of Business Development Abe Minkara and City of Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne.  Five women business owners vied for the chance to win $5,000 in startup money from the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, with Elyse Dickerson of Eosera taking home the prize.

Trey Bowles, Sheryl Adkins-Green, Elyse Dickerson, Beth Van Duyne, Abi Ferrin and Abe Minkara*

The day concluded with a “Champs and Candy” celebratory reception with champagne, cotton candy-infused sparkling water, and sweet and savory popcorn by Make Your Life Sweeter.

* Photo provided by Mary Kay Inc.

Female Business Successes Will Share Lessons, Secrets And Pink Tank Opportunities At The Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit

It is truly hard for some to believe that there was once a time when girls were raised to have no greater aspirations than to be wives and moms. Seriously, it made sense. Taking care of the home and the children is a monumental task. But then there were situations when the household income was lacking, either because the man of the house was unable to provide or there was no longer a man of the house around. Women found themselves out in the work force, many without any training or mentoring. One such woman was Mary Kathlyn Wagner. To provide for her three children and herself while her husband was serving in World War II, she found herself selling books door-to-door. When he returned, they divorced and she worked for other companies only find herself being passed over for promotion in favor of less qualified men.

While most women would have thrown in the towel and just accepted what would become known as the glass ceiling, Mary Kathlyn took up the challenge of becoming her own boss in 1963. Despite the death of her second husband and with only $5,000 in the bank, she started Mary Kay. And, as they say, the rest is history.

In addition to creating a cosmetics empire, she was one of those pioneers that, along with the women’s movement, supportive husbands and technology, provided women with the opportunity, if they wanted, to pursue a career and, yes, possibly own businesses.

Despite Mary Kay’s death in 2001, that respect for and support of women in business continues on today in Mary Kay Inc. and The Mary Kay Foundation. To provide the tools to be entrepreneurs, Mary Kay Inc. is partnering up with The Dallas Entrepreneur Center (The DEC) for the first annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit on Friday, January 27 at the Fairmont Hotel Dallas. From 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., experts and thought leaders with backgrounds in fashion, high technology, consumer-packaged goods and business services” will mentor, guide, teach and share their secrets to success.

Sheryl Adkins-Green*

According to Mary Kay Inc Chief Marketing Officer Sheryl Adkins-Green, “For 53 years Mary Kay has been empowering, mentoring and promoting women entrepreneurs. Our founder, Mary Kay Ash herself, was one of the greatest business minds of all time and millions of women around the world have built successful businesses by following her proven leadership and sales techniques. No one person or company has more experience with women’s entrepreneurship than Mary Kay Inc. We believe that the Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit will help inspire current and future female entrepreneurs.”

So, what’s on the Summit schedule?  

Throughout the day there will be mentorship opportunities and “breakout sessions, which have been customized for entrepreneurs of all ages and stages and will include case studies, how to’s and tools to take your company to the next level.”

Some of the breakout session topics and speakers will include:

  • Why Women Make Great Entrepreneurs:  Amber Venz Box of RewardStyle and Valerie Freeman of Imprimis Group
  • 10 Questions You Need To Answer Before You Become An Entrepreneur:  Shama Hyder of Marketing Zen and Yasmeen Tadia of Make Your Life Sweeter
  • How To Build the Best Team For Success: Sheryl Chamberlain of Cap Gemini and Kristi Libby of S.W.C./SoCu and Jill Scigliano of Dallas Entrepreneur Center
  • Customer Development: How To Find And Grow Customers:  Melissa Youngblood of LCC Management Consulting
  • Building Your Brand:  Heather Capps of HCK2, Holly Mason of Mason Baronet and Jessica Nunez of  True Point
  • Fundraising: How To Fund Your Business: Julia Taylor Cheek of Everly, Louise Kee of Golden Seeds, Cynthia Nevels of Integrality and Cristin Thomas of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

As for food for the mind and tummy, there will be a light breakfast followed by the morning’s keynote speaker: internationally renowned motivational speaker/#1 U.S. Ranked Mary Kay Independent Elite Executive National Sales Director Gloria Mayfield Banks.

Gloria Mayfield Banks*

Ingrid Vandervelt*

At the seated luncheon, Empowering A Billion Women by 2020, Founder/Chair Ingrid Vandervelt will be the keynote speaker.

Following the sessions will be the first-ever “Pink Tank” providing the opportunity for pre-selected participants to fast pitch their business ideas to Mary Kay Inc.’s Adkins-Green, Mark Cuban Companies Business Development Director Abe Minkara and CEO/fashion designer Abi Ferrin for seeding from The DEC.

Registration fees are $125 per person in advance and $150 at the door.

Ladies, you’ve come a long way since Mary Kay sold books door-to-door. The future is yours.

* Photos provided by Mary Kay Inc.

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

The Nature Conservancy Presents The Meadows Foundation With The 2015 Lone Star Conservation Award

Over at the Dallas Arboretum on Wednesday, May 13, The Nature Conservancy wasn’t taking any chances. The dinner was set to be indoor at Rosine Hall to honor The Meadows Foundation for its work in conservation. Here’s a report from the field:

Approximately 325 guests arrived in spring attire in the suggested colors bluebonnet blue, khaki and white for for The Nature Conservancy’s Dallas Spring Party: Tour of Texas: Transforming Conservation in the Lone Star State. With music by country musician “Red” playing in the background, patrons mingled on the Ginsburg Plaza enjoying wine, cocktails, including the evening’s signature drinks, the Davis Mountains Prickly Pear Margarita and Sandyland Sweet Tea, and delicious hors d’oeuvres stations, themed around areas of the state preserved by the Conservancy during its 51-year history in Texas.

David and Suzanne Holl*

David and Suzanne Holl*

At 7:00 p.m., the doors opened to Rosine Hall where the dining tables were adorned with linens in bluebonnet blue and khaki with centerpieces featuring Texas flowers and greenery, such as piney greens, manzanita branch, white wax flowers, blue thistle and bear grass. As patrons enjoyed the first course of organic field greens with Dallas blue cheese, pears, spicy walnuts and dried cherry vinaigrette, David Holl, president and CEO of Mary Kay, Inc., this year’s Statewide Sponsor of The Nature Conservancy in Texas’ events, welcomed everyone and recognized members of the Texas Board of Trustees and the Dallas Advisory Board in attendance.

Bob Thornton and Linda Evans*

Bob Thornton and Linda Perryman Evans*

He then introduced Bob Thornton, an honorary trustee of the Conservancy’s Texas Board of Trustees and a longtime partner, with his wife Vera, of The Nature Conservancy in Texas, who presented the 2015 Lone Star Conservation Award to The Meadows Foundation. Accepting the award on the Foundation’s behalf, Linda Perryman Evans spoke briefly about the importance of The Nature Conservancy in Texas and The Meadows Foundation’s support of their ongoing conservation efforts throughout the state of Texas.

Dinner convened with a second course of tenderloin with wild mushroom demi-glace, crab cake with lemon aioli, whipped potatoes and grilled vegetables, followed by a dessert trio including a mini molten chocolate cake, mini crème brûlée ginger cookie and mini apple walnut torte.

Laura Huffman*

Laura Huffman*

Following dinner, Mr. Holl returned to the stage to introduce the featured speaker for the evening, Laura J. Huffman, state director of The Nature Conservancy in Texas and head of the Conservancy’s Urban Strategies Initiative. Ms. Huffman added her thanks to The Meadows Foundation for their outstanding commitment to conservation in Texas, citing areas throughout the state where their support has been instrumental, including in the Davis Mountains and in freshwater protection across the state. She also extended her gratitude to Statewide Sponsor, Mary Kay, Inc., in addition to other generous sponsors, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc., Barbara and Steve Durham and the Durham Family Foundation and Trisha Wilson.

With the evening’s theme, Tour of Texas: Transforming Conservation in the Lone Star State, in mind, Ms. Huffman shared with the audience the history of the organization, as well as highlights of the agency’s successes over the last 51 years in Texas. She then spoke about challenges that lie ahead and how The Nature Conservancy, with the support of those in the room, is facing these challenges with practical solutions focused around central pillars of work: freshwater, marine, and land conservation, as well as urban initiatives.

Citing examples of successes in Texas that serve as microcosms for the entire country and a living laboratory of these pillars of work, Ms. Huffman touted successful partnerships and projects such as Powderhorn Ranch, Bracken Bat Cave and the creation of resilient cities through projects such as the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program and Proposition 6.

Richard and Tracy Cheatham*

Richard and Tracy Cheatham*

As Ms. Huffman concluded her remarks with optimism on the future of Texas conservation, Mr. Holl returned to the stage to extend his thanks again to those in attendance before the evening came to a close. As patrons departed, they received a trio of postcards featuring images of some of the agency’s projects in Texas and pecans from the Fredericksburg Pecan Company.

Bruce and Emily Robson, Trisha Wilson and Jeb Terry*

Bruce and Emily Robson, Trisha Wilson and Jeb Terry*

Dallas Spring Party attendees included Richard and Tracy Cheatham, Trisha Wilson, Jeb Terry, Bobby Lyle, Barbara and Steve Durham, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ann and Charles Kight, Susan and Jim Baldwin, Angela and Brad Cheves, Nancy and Rod Sanders, Honorable Jeanne Phillips, Beth and Paul Salvodelli, Allie Beth and Pierce Allman, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Cecilia and Garrett Boone, Emily and David Corrigan, Elizabeth Boeckman, Emily and Bruce Robson, Peggy Dear, Ann and Matt Schooler and Holly and Doug Deason.

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee

Round Robin March 27: Dallas Opera Spring Gala, Recess And A Legendary Evening Patron Parties And JLD Scholarship Presentation

The floodgates of Dallas fundraising were wide open on Thursday, March 27. Perhaps it was to make up for the spring break week, where it seemed like the wheels came to barely moving. Or, perhaps it was due to the approaching tsunami of activities on the April calendar starting with the Final Four and Dallas International Film Festival. Whatever the reason, this Thursday evening tested the well-heeled in racing all over town.

Dallas Opera Spring Gala Patron Party

Anne Stodghill

Anne Stodghill

Over at Anne and Steve Stodghill’s mansion, it was a true celebration for the patrons of the Dallas Opera Spring Gala. While waiting for DO General Director/President Keith Cerny to arrive, Gala Co-Chairs Betty and Steve Suellentrop handled the welcome duties and pianist Jason Smith played in the background.

And at one point it appeared like the real action was taking place in the entry hall.

Meg and Jay Hunter Morris

Meg and Jay Hunter Morris

One cute couple, who seemed to glow as they arrived, were Meg and Jay Hunter Morris. As the door opened, the operatic crowd looked thrilled and the Morrises seemed so cool. That is, until the valet tapped Jay on the shoulder and whispered something about keys for the car. Oops, seems the operatic tenor had left the car but taken the keys. Now, most folks would have looked embarrassed at the faux pas, but the Morrises aren’t most folks. With a laugh and apology, Jay handed over the keys and joined the guests.

But then what would you expect from a fella from Paris, Texas? It was in Dallas that Jay, as a youngster, first experienced opera years ago. On Friday, April 5, he was to perform a private recital for the Dallas Opera Spring gala.

Vacheron Constantin timepieces

Vacheron Constantin timepieces

Patsy Donosky and Richard Eiseman

Patsy Donosky and Richard Eiseman

At the party presented by Eiseman Jewels and Vacheron Constantin, it was no surprise to see jeweler Richard Eiseman immediately open the front door as Patsy Donosky arrived and drop to one knee for her. The man knows how to stage a welcome. And speaking of staging, it was pretty nifty to see the precious Vacheron timepieces safely in a couple of cases around the entry hall. And, of course, these little gems had their own “security” standing nearby.

Richard has been very busy as Eiseman prepares to celebrate its 50 anniversary. While the salon is undergoing a massive redesign and expansion to 3,200 square feet, the operation has moved to temporary digs at NorthPark, where Kate Spade had been. How convenient! It’s just next door to “Eiseman’s recently opened dedicated Rolex space.” According to Richard, the renovation is due to be completed by June.

The Stodghill library

The Stodghill library

Across the entry hall, Bank of Texas’ The Private bank Executive VP Bob White was directed to the Stodghill library, where a crowd was gathering to check out the memorabilia including the infamous “bat cave.” One guest noted the small size of the Doc Holiday ulster overcoat. Steve followed that comment with the fact that they had to have a special form created because of the small size — smaller than a woman and larger than a child.

Carol and Don Glendenning

Carol and Don Glendenning

Once Keith arrived, he welcomed the guests and thanked them for their support of the DO especially Bank of Texas, which is the 2014 Spring Gala presenting sponsor at the Winspear on April 4th.

As typical of most parties at Stodghill manor, the party extended beyond the slated closing hour with guests like Carol and Don Glendenning, John Cody, Nick Even, Marnie and Kern Wildenthanl, Betsy Eiseman and Jennifer Cerny receiving a gift bag that included “two beautiful books by Vacheron Constantin, “The Collection 2013-2014” and “Collectors’ Island: passion art excellence, Vol. 1”, as well as a complimentary valet pass for NorthPark Center.”

Women Leader Scholarship Presentation

The presentation by the Junior League of Dallas and Mary Kay Inc. at Emmett J. Conrad High School was laudable. . . in more ways than one. As part of the new JLD Women LEAD (Learn, Excel, Achieve, Dream), an oratory competition was held among eight high school students. The winning four would receive scholarships amounting to a total of $25,000.

Given three to five minutes, each of the young women presented speeches on “How My Female Role Model Overcame Obstacles to Achieve Her Goals and How It Inspires Me.”

The selection of the following winners was based on the “merit of their scholarship applications and speech presentations:

Crayton Webb, Maria Monjaras, Deyanira Zapata-Martinez, Sumayah Al Haddad, Lauren Jackson, Shannon Powell Hart and Laura Johnson

Crayton Webb, Maria Monjaras, Deyanira Zapata-Martinez, Sumayah Al Haddad, Lauren Jackson, Shannon Powell Hart and Laura Johnson*

  • First place ($10,000) — Deyanira Zapata-Martinez, who is deciding between the University of Texas and Texas A&M to continue her education. With a passion for math and science, she plans to major in electrical engineering and neuroscience.
  • Second place ($5,000) — Lauren Jackson plans to attend Louisiana State University and major in nursing. It is her way of helping people and staying directly involved in the community.
  • Third place ($5,000) — Sumayah Al Haddad will attend community college before enrolling in the University of Arlington. She has decided to pursue a career in bio-medical engineering, as she always dreamed of being in the medical field.
  • Fourth place ($5,000) — Maria Monjaras is deciding between the University of Arlington and the University of Dallas and will pursue a degree in business administration. She aspires to be a successful entrepreneur.

According to JLD President Laura Johnson, “We are honored to award our first Women LEAD scholarships in collaboration with Mary Kay. It is our wish to empower these four women and help them achieve their dreams. We look forward to seeing the impact it will have on their lives and their future.”

Recess Patron Party

Amy Turner and Aimee Sheahan

Amy Turner and Aimee Sheahan

Patrons of the April 25th Recess fundraiser for Dallas Afterschool were in for a surprise from Amy Turner. Not only did she open her Park Cities residence for the party, she also arranged for an OMG  Recess prize — a trip to Turtle Island Resort in the Fiji Islands. The gasps that arose in the living room when the announcement was made by Dallas Afterschool CEO Tanya McDonald could be heard around the Park Cities. Ah, so that was why a flat screen near the fireplace had a slideshow of the luxury resort. Someone thought it was just a collection of Amy’s latest trip.

Anne and Terry Conner

Anne and Terry Conner

While the mood in the room rose, so did a sly smile on Amy. Talk about looking like a cat that ate the canary! She knew she had hit a home run.

To get guests like Anne and Terry Conner, Christie Carter and Aimee Sheahan in the mood for fun and games, a magician ambled through the room performing little tricks of the trade.

Recess Co-Chairs Meredith Camp and Christina Norris have arranged to have the adult-sandbox playtime and game-playing event return to the Faye Briggs estate.

Ah, but there was more good news. Well, sorta. The individual tickets have sold out. That’s good news for those who didn’t wait to buy their tickets. That’s not so good if you waited. However, Meredith and Christina have a waitlist already for you. So, don’t wait and sign up on the wait list.

A Legendary Evening Patron Party

This report from the field came in about A Legendary Evening Patron Party:

Kristine Schwope and Heather Walther**

Kristine Schwope and Heather Walther**

“Antèks Home Furnishings in the Dallas Design District was the site for a cocktail reception on Thursday, March 27 honoring patrons of A Legendary Evening, benefiting Family Compass.  Chairs Kristine Schwope and Heather Walther welcomed over fifty guests including honorary co-chair Marty Turco, who stopped by the event before meeting wife and fellow honorary chair, Kelly at their child’s band concert. Before Mr. Turco had to leave, board chair Adam Connatser quieted the group to thank Marty and Kelly for their support again this year of A Legendary Evening and for their commitment to Family Compass and its mission of building healthy families and a strong Dallas community by preventing child abuse and neglect.

Jessica Trudeau and Marty Turco**

Jessica Trudeau and Marty Turco**

“Guests mingled over wine and signature cocktails and a beautiful display of appetizers from Wendy Krispin Caterer while perusing the amazing selection of sophisticated rustic furniture, art and accessories. Anyone who made a purchase received a 10% discount with 10% of sale benefiting Family Compass. This generous offer from Antèks proprietor and designer Jason Lennox, is good through next Saturday, April 5.

“Later in the evening, executive director Jessica Trudeau recognized the chairs, host committee and many sponsors of “A Legendary Evening,” which is scheduled for Saturday, April 12 and recognized Spirit of Compassion award recipients Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, who were not able to attend but were represented by Terese Stevenson from their foundation. The Spirit of Compassion award is given to individuals who view the prevention of child abuse as a community responsibility and whose support exemplifies that belief.”

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky
** Photo credit: Lisa Stewart

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.