Mission Ole! Has Connections That Pay Off For Trinity River Mission

Mission Ole! Event Co-chair Dawn Weeks Spalding proved it helps to have connections Saturday night. It must have worked because before the first guests arrived, they were $20,000 ahead of last year’s event benefiting the Trinity River Mission.

Laurie Sands Harrison

First they wisely got Laurie Sands Harrison to host the event for 250 at her home. In turn, she arranged for her mother Caroline Rose Hunt to serve as the honorary chair for the fundraiser. Laurie must also have had some type of favor exchange with Mom Nature because the weather was perfect allowing Laura to make full use of the back grounds — high round tables set

Wendy Krispin outdoor buffet

up around the pool, round dinner tables set up under mammoth trees and jazz harpist  Carlos Guedes playing.

Jenna Turner and Brendan Higgins

Then there was the live auction chaired by Jenna Turner Alexander. First she called in her bud Brendan Higgins to emcee the auction. Nice move. The live auction alone brought in $40,000. Course, it didn’t hurt to have a last minute donation of a four-night-stay in a Las Ventanas penthouse provided anonymously the day before. Last year’s co-chair Gail Fischer and her husband Cliff won that one.

Of course, it didn’t hurt for Jenna to have her parents Julie and Jim Turner donate a Rangers playoff package.

But not all the action was limited to the bidding area. While Wendy Krispin was cooking up a storm in both the indoor and outdoor kitchens, the guests were chatting about the Charles Wyly Celebration of Life earlier in the day at the Wylys’ home. . . Allan McBee was recalling his morning jumping out of a plane. He had been one of the Senior Source skydiving jumpers earlier in the day at Whitewright. . . Paige McDaniel and

Paige McDaniel

Joanna Clarke were wide-eyed and open-mouthed hearing about the Celebrity Waiter Luncheon tales from Mission Ole! Auction Chair/Celebrity Waiter Luncheon Co-chair Maggie Kipp. Whatever she told them, it must have been great because they were already asking how to sign up for seats next year. . . BTW, Maggie and her CWL Co-chair Shay Geyer have already agreed to chair the luncheon next year.  Maggie admitted that this year’s event was a tad bit crowded. Seems the original plan was to use the entire Ritz ballroom, but at the last minute they had to reduce the size so hockey star Mike Modano could have a spot for his retirement press conference. . . Honorary Chair Caroline was tableside with Catherine Jean Phillips, who is the niece of the late Jean Howard. If Jean’s name isn’t at the front of your thinking machine, scratch it and look under Hollywood socialite/actress/photographer. After a brief career as a Goldwyn Girl , the Longview-born Jean married producer Charles Feldman (“The Seven Year Itch,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Walk on the Wild Side,” “The Group,” “Casino Royale” and many more). It was during the 40’s and 50’s that she started taking photos at parties and celeb gatherings with such guests as Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, Richard Burton, Cole Porter, Judy Garland, Hedy LaMarr, Jennifer Jones, etc. In 198 at the age of 79, her photos were published in “Jean Howard’s Hollywood” as a tribute to Hollywood’s golden era.

In addition to having a sale of Jean’s haute couture collection on Oct. 12-14 at the Phillips’ home benefiting impoverished schoolchildren, Catherine is working with bon vivant Nicky Haslam on a bio about her aunt based on 50 taped conversations.

Trinity River Mission tamale flyer

Trinity River Mission tamale flyer

When the guests finally sauntered to their cars, they discovered gift bags. No big surprise. Lots of events have gift bags, but these were a little different. Inside the orange, white and green IBB Design shopping bag were a number of things. In addition to glamorama gift certificates, there was a flyer from Trinity River Mission reminding guests to order pork and chicken tamales ($10 a dozen) by Monday, October 2, for pickup between November 7-16. Now to newcomers this may seem a little odd, but holiday veterans know that tamales are synonymous with the holidays like eggs are at Easter time. If you want to support Trinity River Mission and have tamales galore, just call Gabriela at 214.744.6774 Ext. 104/

The other item of note was a colorful flower pot with a pouch of soil and a packet of seeds and a note from a Trinity River Mission  student —

“Thank you for supporting TRM. At TRM I am a reading buddie. When I grow up I would like to be a researcher. Plant your seed and watch me grow.”

Nice touch. Nice event. Nice people.



Sold-Out Alert: Mission Olé

Laurie Sands Harrison and Dawn Spalding*

Laurie Sands Harrison and Dawn Spalding*

Sorry, but you’re out of luck if you were hoping to attend Saturday night’s Mission Olé at Laurie Sands Harrison‘s. Yesterday the final ticket was sold.

We didn’t post this as a “Grovel Alert” because it’s very doubtful if even groveling would work at this point. But you can always try wooing Event Co-Chair Dawn Spalding, Honorary Chair Caroline Rose Hunt (aka Laurie’s mom, as if you didn’t know) or Event Founders Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt. Just think what you’re going to miss — food provided by Wendy Krispin, music by Carlos Guedes, auction items (floor seats to an upcoming Mavericks game, trips, etc.) and “a special party favor made by students at Trinity River Mission.”

Benefiting Trinity River Mission, the event is being co-chaired by Dawn “because of the amazing work of the Trinity River Mission,” she explained. “The need for this type of extended day of education for children in West Dallas is so immense.

Photo by Dana Driensky

Mission Ole Is Going By A New Game Plan

Caroline Rose Hunt

Mission Ole is not going to go through the rigors of dozens of pre-event parties. Nope. MO chair Dawn Weeks-Spalding is bound and determined to save its supporters until the big night on Saturday, October 1. And what big guns they’ll be. Honorary chair is going to be Caroline Rose Hunt. And the party? It’s going to be at Laurie Sands Harrison‘s place. Anyone who flunked Family Tree 101 might not know that Laurie is Caroline’s daughter. All in the family, don’t you know.

The Mission Ole event is not a big black tie gala. It’s a mega-fun, casual event for don’t-you-wish-you-were-one-’em folks with great intentions, who like to party.

Mission Olé Beats 2009 Fundraising Before Amy Turner Opened The Front Door

Amy Turner‘s place on Beverly can handle most any situation with aplomb, but when a rainstorm hits the day before a 220-guest party, things could get a bit dicey. But never fear. Mission Olé benefiting Trinity River Mission guests had no problems partying Saturday night, thanks to a little readjusting of arrangements on the part of Amy and party co-chairs Gail Fischer and Cindy (no relationship to Amy) Turner (pictured right with, from the left, Gail Fischer and Amy Turner).

As guests entered, they were greeted by mariachi musicians (pictured) on the winding staircase of the Turner manse.  There was a casino setup inside the house with a craps table and a Texas Hold ’em table set up in the bedroom, and a blackjack table in the entryway by the bedroom.

On the other hand, it might have been an entirely different story if the Rangers had been forced to play an additional game that night against the Yankees for the American League title. Trinity River Mission Board chair Matt Schooler (aka interior designer Ann Kellogg Schooler‘s husband) admitted it was good that the Rangers had won the night before, so it wouldn’t interfere with the evening’s turnout. He went on to say that two days before the party, Gail and Cindy saw the weather forecast with rain on Friday, and ordered the big backyard dinner/silent-and-live-auction tent. They considered putting boards down on the grass but didn’t. Okay, so the ground was “slightly squishy” under the tent, but who noticed when you had Wendy Krispin in charge of the menu?

While Presenting/Founding Sponsors Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt weren’t able to attend, honorary guest hosts/Amy’s folks  Julie and Jim Turner (pictured) were front and center. Jim said that for the last month or so, he’s been involved with the Rangers. Maybe more so than most, due to his being one of the team’s lead investors. He attended the Friday game that assured the Rangers’ appearance in the World Series. When asked what would have happened if the Rangers had lost and been forced to play another game Saturday, Jim said in that Turner style, “We would have found a way to attend both (the game and Mission Olé).”

Diamond Sponsor Nancy Rogers (pictured left with Kris Johnson), who was a major underwriter for the event, managed to do double duty, popping in to show her support for Mission Olé on her way to the Two By Two Gala.

TRM Executive Director Dolores Sosa Green, who’s been with TRM for six years, updated guests that the group had moved to a “new building” twice the size of its previous one in 2008. Their hope for the Mission Olé was to raised $200,000 Saturday night. The good news was that before the doors even opened, $153,000 had been raised through ticket sales and sponsorships. FYI: Last year they raised a total of $100,000 from the event. If you’ll do your arithmetic, you’ll note that they had already beaten the 2009 total before the first mariachi strummed his guitar.