Tootsies’ Fashions Were Front-And-Center On Stage For KidneyTexas Inc.’s Behind-The Scenes “Transforming Lives”

The KidneyTexas Inc.’s Runway Report affair at Brook Hollow Golf Club on Tuesday, September 26, may have appeared to be a typical fashion show and luncheon ready for a crowd of 350. The runway was laid out in the ballroom and the luncheon tables in the Promenade. The reception was already underway even before the 10:30 start as guests with flutes of champagne strolled in spotting friends across the room. Emcee Ron Corning with left leg firmly held in place thanks to a brace following a nasty fall in Santa Fe posed for photos with guests like Donna Arp Weitzman.

Soon the room was filled with the likes of Event Co-Chair Susan Russell, Jocelyn White, Angela Nash, Ramona Jones, Di Johnston, Susan McSherry, Angela Randall, Cheryl Hall, Vicki Howland, Lynn Dealey, Jolie Humphrey, Patty Jo Turner, Lauryn Gayle White, Lisa Cooley, Patti Flowers, Delilah Boyd, Tracy Lange, Marj Waters, Mr. Mesero’s Mico Rodriguez and Tracy Williams, who was watching her 15-year-old daughter walk the runway.

Andrea Alcorn

Ron Corning

KidneyTexas Inc. President Andrea Alcorn had lost more weight that she remembered. It wasn’t because she’d signed up for Weight Watchers. It was the “Stealth Juggler’s” diet that many baby boomers are unknowingly part of. She was juggling her day-job as a PR person, her responsibilities as KidneyTexas Inc. president and taking care of her mother Mae Alcorn (the longest kidney transplant survivor) who had fallen and broken a couple of major bones.

Altuzarra fashion

A.L.C jacket

Cinq A Sept gown with LaMarque jacket

Enhanced Rob Bradford gown

Highlighting the Tootsies fashions on the runway was a model in a Rob Bradford figure-hugging gown wrapped in vines ladened with faux butterflies that reflected the day’s theme “Transforming Lives.” 

But it was the behind-the-scenes story that was the real reason for the gathering.

Then there was McKamy Tiner, who just the year before had co-chaired the luncheon. She was also the nation’s youngest kidney donor. Today she was all smiles. Not just because of her kidney sharing, but she was getting married the following Saturday to Joel Looney. Because one donates a kidney doesn’t mean they lost their sense of humor, too. She told how when Joel met with her father months before, the bridegroom-to-be was nervous. Her dad offered him a Scotch to sooth his nerves. As an added calm down, papa Tiner told Joel, “I was always worried that Tiner would marry an a-s-o-e. You are the nicest guy around, so I’m not worried.”

McKamy Tiner

Susan Russell and Christine Martin

John Castorr

Co-Chair Christine Martin was as bright and sparkling as Tinkerbell. But that wouldn’t have been so, if it hadn’t been for two kidney transplants.

Christine’s brother John Castorr told how one of the beneficiaries Camp Reynal was a true getaway for for children with diabetes. In addition to having outdoors activities and being like any other summer camp, Camp Reynal had dialysis machines and healthcare specialist on site. 

But with all these knock ‘em out of the park stories, there was someone missing. His name was Vinny Trezza and he was a hunk. Not only did he play golf and was a Boy Scout, he “had been living with hydronephrosis, a condition from birth that caused his kidneys to swell and not function property.”

While folks sat near Vinny’s mom, Melissa Trezza, they initially didn’t realize the struggle that she and her family had gone through. But thanks to Melissa being a perfect match and Dr. Dev Desai at Children’s, Melissa “donated her kidney to her son, allowing him to avoid dialysis.”  

So, how does a kidney transplant take place?  For Vinny and Melissa it was Dr. Desai working for hours cutting away tissue around Melissa’s kidney with the help of long surgical tools and a TV screen that enhanced the picture of the kidney. Once Melissa’s kidney was removed, time was of the essence. It had to be flushed out and prepared for transplant. The kidney’s turning gray was a good sign as it was placed in an ice chest and transferred to the operating room where Vinny was prepped. Once Vinny’s “bad” kidney was removed, the clock kept ticking. Within minutes, Melissa’s kidney was transplanted into her son.

But this recent transplant and May’s transplant that took place years ago only resulted from research and development funded by fundraising by events like Runway Report.

Sue Goodnight

Steve and Linda Ivy

Natalie Taylor

Dee Lincoln

Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb

Jody Dean

As auctioneer Jody Dean worked the room to bring bids just a wee bit higher, Melissa sat knowing that her Boy Scout son had been the recipient of the power of fundraising with the fashions from Tootsies, the efforts of heroes like Lifetime Achievement Awardee Sue Goodnight, Honorary Co-Chairs Linda and Steve Ivy, Sue Goodnight Services Award recipient Natalie Taylor and Over-The-Top Awardees Dee Lincoln and Tootsies’ Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb.

As for Vinny, he was in class just being a normal buy thanks to his mom, Dr. D and the folks who had provided funding to let him get on with life.

And while Vinny let it be known that he wouldn’t be on the scene, there were nearly 50, who no-showed without notifying organizers. The results? Prepared and paid-for meals had to be thrown out. Had the MIA notified the leadership, the Runway Report could have prevented the meals from being prepared and saved some bucks. 

For more photos from the runway and the audience, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

KidneyTexas Inc. Celebrated The Holidays With Check Presentations, Gifts Of Crystal And A Birthday Cake

What better place to have a party during the season of giving than a jewelry salon? And since Bachendorf’s had been the jewelry sponsor for the 2016 KidneyTexas luncheon, it was the natural choice for the organization’s presentation of checks and the announcement of plans for 2017 on Wednesday, December 14.

Introduced by KidneyTexas President AB Aston, beneficiary selection committee member Kendra Karlock along with the 2016 KidneyTexas Luncheon Chair McKamy Tiner handed out the following checks:

  • Baylor Health Care System Foundation — $25,000 for “A Longitudinal Study of Living Kidney Donors”
  • Camp Reynal (National Kidney Foundation) — $30,225 for camper’s fees, counselors and medical personnel
  • Children’s Medical Center Foundation — $10,000 for Pediatric Stone Center
  • Methodist Health System Foundation — $4,775 for warming cabinets
  • Parkland Health and Hospital Foundation — $98,500 for KidneyTexas Inc. Hemodialysis Unit
  • Texas Health Resources Foundation— $25,200 for two Hemodialysis machines

Joyce Lee, Dr. Cole Edmondson, Shannon Fisher, Angela Nash, Dr. Craig Peters, Anna Bland “AB” Aston, Dr. Goran Klintmalm, Kyra Barnett, McKamy Tiner, Marie Collins, Beth Dexter and Kendra Karlock*

When the last check was presented, it was time for the gift giving to continue. After AB turned over the presidential duties to 2016-2017 KidneyTexas President Andrea Alcorn, one of Andrea’s first acts was to give a “gorgeous crystal bowl” to AB. Then AB gat McKamy a “beautiful crystal angel — all to a resounding ovation.”

As her second act, Andrea revealed plans for the 2017. This year’s luncheon will have a trio chairing the fundraiser — Kendra, transplant survivor Christine Martin and Susan Russell.  

And the final surprise of the evening took place when McKamy “came forward with a huge cake and blazing candles as everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to AB, who was celebrating her birthday that evening.”

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

KidneyTexas’ The Runway Report Had Everything From Heartfelt Stories To Bewitching Close Encounter With A Chandelier

There are just some things that your mammy and pappy harrumphed about as dinner table talk. Such things included one’s inner plumbing. Love the folks, but they weren’t always on the spot. While the subject of kidney disease may not have been considered as appropriate in years past, its outing has allowed countless people to learn and help.

McKamy Tiner and Anna Bland "AB" Aston

McKamy Tiner and Anna Bland “AB” Aston

Since coming out of the topic closet, the battle against kidney disease has added young people to the ranks of warriors. This situation was apparent on Tuesday, September 20, at Brook Hollow. Sure, it was billed as The Runway Report Luncheon and Fashion Show benefiting KidneyTexas, but the Tootsies fashions and luncheon were just lovely window dressing compared to the day’s message.

KidneyTexas President Anna Bland “AB” Aston had overseen the selection of The Price family (Carole Cleveland Price, Alicia and Scott Price, Stacey Price Wright and Larry Wright) as honorary chairs and McKamy Tiner to chair the luncheon.

The reason for McKamy’s chairing the lunching was not due to her being a sixth-generation Dallasite, an Idlewild deb and a 10-year associate of Dave Perry-Miller. It was a very personal reason — childhood bud Ian Arena.

McKamy Tiner and Ian Arena

McKamy Tiner and Ian Arena

Their families had known each other through Ian’s childhood battling with cancer. Then, at the age of 13, he was diagnosed with kidney disease that had resulted from his chemotherapy. When McKamy’s folks discussed the situation at the dinner table, 15-year-old McKamy declared that she knew that she would be a perfect candidate for Ian’s transplant.

This announcement may have sounded like a very optimistic comment by someone who hadn’t even gotten her driver’s license yet. But to everyone’s surprise but McKamy, she proved to be the perfect match.

Martha Tiner

Martha Tiner

Michael Tiner

Michael Tiner

Robin Arena

Robin Arena

As McKamy’s and Ian’s folks (Martha and Michael Tiner and Luncheon Co-Chair Robin Arena) sat nearby admiring their kid hero/ine, Ian told the audience that almost immediately following the transplant, he felt great and color had returned to his face for the first time in years.

Emcee WFAA’s Ron Corning encouraged the filled-to-capacity ballroom including Nancy Carter, Marena Gault, former blond Holly Davis now more brunette-ish, Lisa Cooley with soon-to-be daughter-in-law Bela Pietrovic and some walking wounded types like Vodi Cook with arm in cast and Sharon Popham on a walker, to consider following McKamy’s lead. He told of one man who had donated his kidney to another with the understanding that if and when his grandchild needed a kidney, the child would be higher on the list of recipients.

Then Ron interviewed 16-year-old kidney patient Jira (aka cutest guy in the room), who told how in addition to spending three days a week in dialysis, there was an emotional toll. He felt out of the loop at school due to his kidney disease.

Jira and Ron Corning

Jira and Ron Corning

But thanks to efforts and fundraising by KidneyTexas, such transplant recipients like Ian, Christine Martin and Andy Meyercord were all on hand.

But it wasn’t all talk about kidney disease.

Andy Meyercord

Andy Meyercord

Emilynn Wilson

Emilynn Wilson

In the humor department, Ron once again provided the laughter. In announcing KidneyTexas co-founder Emilynn Wilson was being honored with the Sue Goodnight Award, he said that the plan had been to present her with a nice piece of Baccarat. But realizing that Emilynn had applied a frugal eye to the organization’s dealings, they decided to give her “a bag of M&M’s… the peanut ones. I mean, they’re not the brand name. They’re the ones from Costco, so you get more. They’re nicely wrapped. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.”

Runway recovery

Runway recovery

And as for the fashions, Jan Strimple‘s fashion show featuring Tootsies day- and night-time clothes went flawlessly until… well, there was that dramatic series of black gowns highlighted by towering black hats. It was like a bewitching grouping of Herve Leger, Cinq A Sept, David Koma and ML Monique Lhuillier. The almost-oops resulted when the first model in the series walked the elevated runway down the center of the room… right under the ballroom’s mammoth chandeliers.

Yup, you guessed it. It was a brief encounter of “towering black hat” with the room’s center “mammoth chandelier.” But you’ve got to hand it to the model. The hat stayed put and she didn’t lose a beat. Her reward was the guests smiling in amazement that she had handled it masterfully. Evidently word was passed among the lovely catwalkers and the rest of the lineup steered clear of the hanging glass and light fixture.

This year’s beneficiaries include Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Children’s Health/Children Medical Center Foundation, Camp Reynal — National Kidney Foundation, Parkland Foundation, Methodist Health System Foundation and Texas Health Resources Foundation.

If you couldn’t make the lunch and missed the moving stories and the show’s tip of the hat, you can still donate to KidneyTexas or sign up to be considered as a transplant. There are more than 4,000 Texans in need of a healthy kidney that you could share.

For more photos of the fashions and folks in the audience, check out the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 The Runway Report

McKamy Tiner and Ian Arena

McKamy Tiner and Ian Arena

Hey, the fashion-show events are well into marching ahead for fundraising. The KidneyTexas’ The Runway Report was in the front line on Tuesday, September 20, at Brook Hollow Golf Club. But unlike others, this one had a very special personal story driving the efforts thanks to KidneyTexas President Anna Bland “AB” Aston, Luncheon Chair McKamy Tiner and a grateful Ian Arena.

The Runway Report with Tootsies fashions

The Runway Report with Tootsies fashions

Ah, but that’s a story that is being written up. In the meantime, check out the peeps and fashions at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. Especially check the bewitching model, who received smiles of approval following her interaction with the Brook Hollow chandelier.

“One Of The Country’s Top 10 Party Houses In The World” Was The Setting For KidneyTexas Auction Cocktail Party

Within the uber fundraising season, Thursday take on a new face. But Thursday, May 5, was the super-duper fundraising special.

View from the poolhouse

View from the poolhouse

Dana Nearburg and Martha Tiner

Dana Nearburg and Martha Tiner

Over in Highland Park behind a massive hedge and a glass wall was Dana Nearburg’s award-winning estate. This home-sweet-home has won the Dallas AIA Design Merit Award, Texas Society of Architects honor award, ASLA Landscape Design Award and International Lighting Award, to name a few.

Okay, so there were garages for eleven vehicles, a two-story pool house described as “one of the Top 10 party houses in the world by ‘Architzer Online Magazine,’” and a fabulous pool between the main digs with a glass-skybridge to the guest quarters over one of the garages. But then there were the little touches like the artist studio in the upper level of the pool house and the fountain in the entry of the main house that is also a Jacuzzi. Dana admitted that the idea of the waterworks seemed odd at first, but then it was perfect for those times when her race car driving ex- (Formula One driver Charlie Nearburg) would return from the track and could relax the moment he walked in the door.

Nikki Nole, Remington Reece and McKamy Tiner

Nikki Nole, Remington Reece and McKamy Tiner

The property was open for the KidneyTexas Auction Cocktail Party thanks to Runway Report Chair McKamy Tiner and her mom Martha Tiner, who was an old Highland Park High School chum of Dana’s.  And for once the weather could not have been more perfect for walking the grounds.

Guinn and Betsy Crousen

Guinn and Betsy Crousen

Neighbors like Betsy and Guinn Crousen strolled over from their digs just a block away, while others like Emilynn and Claude Wilson, KidneyTexas President Anna Bland Aston, Nikki Nole with Remington Reece, Megan and Andy Meyercord, Lauryn Gayle White, Natalie Taylor, Terri Massad, Linda and Steve Ivy, Di Johnston, Ramona Jones, Vicki Hill and past KidneyTexas President Therese Rourk and her mom Mary Lee Cox used their wheels to arrive.

Anna Bland Aston

Anna Bland Aston

Among the live auction goodies that auctioneer Louis Murad was collecting bids for were

  • Mesero Margarita Party for Twenty at Mesero on Henderson — Your guests will taste some of their favorite margaritas, sample Herradura tequilas, and enjoy trays of passed bites like slow roasted brisket nachos, tiger shrimp ceviche and some of the best guacamole in the city.
  • Montana Sporting Club Getaway — Experience the best of a private hunting lodge, dude ranch, fly-fishing club and ski resort, in one location. Four nights, five days at The Montana Sporting Club in a luxury log cabin with three bedrooms and two bathrooms that accommodates 6-8 people.
  • Slip away to San Miguel de Allende – Stay four nights in Casa Chiripada del Parque, a sophisticated three bedroom, four bath oasis nestled among stately homes on Juarez Park. Enjoy fine restaurants, galleries, and shopping just steps from your door. Home accommodates up to 6 people.
  • The Masters Championship Package — Masters Championship Round with three nights, double occupancy stay (Friday, April 8, 2017 to Monday April 10, 2017) Master’s Tournament badges for Saturday and Sunday, and two round trip airline tickets to Atlanta.
  • Kentucky Derby Package for two – Enjoy the 2017 Kentucky Derby with Kentucky Oaks Clubhouse Seating on Friday and Saturday, round trip airfare, and hotel accommodations.
  • Argentina Dove Hunt – Head to Cordoba, Argentina to the Five Star Pica Zuro Lodge for four days, three nights. Includes six dove hunts for two hunters; highly trained chefs will provide all meals, wine, beer and spirits – full open bar.
  • Dish Preston Hollow — Four-course dinner with wine pairing for six. Chef and sommelier will tailor to your guests’ tastes and dietary needs.