Nancy And Herbert Hunt Become Les Femmes Du Monde’s First Couple Of The Year With Tributes, Laughter And Saved Ribbons

Nancy and Herbert Hunt

Nancy and Herbert Hunt

It seemed like the local fundraisers were in overdrive on Tuesday, October 25, evening. Over at the Dallas Country Club, Children’s Medical Center Foundation’s Brent Christopher was johnny-on-the-spot when the doors opened for Les Femmes du Monde’s 2016 Couple of the Year Awards Dinner. It was the first time that the organization had honored a couple, let alone a man. And that couple was Nancy and Herbert Hunt, who have been married 65 years resulting in six children, 16 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.  

No sooner did he congratulate Les Femmes on their selection, than he was off to the Crescent for another Children’s event. Luckily, Children’s Bill Braem and his bride Kathy Braem were on the scene representing Children’s, which one was of the evening’s beneficiaries.

Bill and Kathy Braem

Bill and Kathy Braem

Marj Waters

Marj Waters

Barbara Hunt Crow, Jan Ward, Mary Lee Cox and Therese Rourk

Barbara Hunt Crow, Jan Ward, Mary Lee Cox and Therese Rourk

Caroline Rose Hunt

Caroline Rose Hunt

Venise Stuart

Venise Stuart

Also on hand was the other beneficiary, World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth represented by President/CEO Jim Falk, Marj Waters, Venise Stuart, Ramona Jones and loads of Hunts.

At one point in the reception, Event Chair Mary Lee Cox recalled to Barbara Hunt Crow how she had also chaired the fundraiser when Herbert’s sister, Caroline Rose Hunt, was honored in 1988.

To get the program underway Mary Lee, who could hardly be seen behind the podium, introduced emcee Scott Murray. Despite protests from Scott, Mary Lee reeled off his numerous awards and accomplishments.  When Scott finally got hold of the mic, he asked, “Do you all know my agent — Mary Lee?”

Following the invocation by Highland Park Presbyterian Church Senior Pastor Rev. Bryan Dunagan and dinner (Caesar salad, panko herb crusted chicken with garlic mashed potato, baby carrots, broccolini with boursin lemon cream and desserts of chocolate caramel cake or lemon meringue cake), Scott read a proclamation from Highland Park Mayor Joel Williams III making October 25 Nancy and Herbert Hunt Day.

Jim Falk

Jim Falk

Washington and Lee alumnus Jim Falk told the group how fellow Washington and Lee alumnus Herbert had offered to step in for a fraternity brother who was unable to drive to Hollins College for a blind date. Herbert volunteered because he had heard the date was cute and sharp. It turned out to be Nancy…”and the rest is history.”

Keeping on schedule, the award was presented to the Hunts, but opening it proved to be a challenge thanks to the gift wrap, ribbons and tape. At one point, Herbert told the audience, “My wife always saves the ribbons. We’re not going to save the paper tonight.”

Finally a piece of crystal was produced with the inscription, “Les Femmes du Monde to Nancy and Herbert Hunt, Couple of the Year 2016.”

Herbert then told the guests, “One of the great things about having children and family is you get a lot of advice. And on the way to the restroom, the advice from Bruce Hunt was, ‘Keep it short.’”

And that he did saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you and I appreciate all of your coming.”

He stressed that family was all important to Nancy and himself, but with a twinkle in his eye, he added, “Even though I can’t remember all those great-grandchildren’s names.”

Joe Barton

Joe Barton

Keynote speaker/Congressman Joe Barton started off by telling Herbert, “I can top what Bruce Hunt told you. Doug Hunt told me, ‘You don’t have to talk if you don’t want to.’ So, this isn’t going to be long.”

Having known Herbert over the years, Joe admitted that he had to do a bit of research on Nancy, who prefers to stay out of the limelight. In asking her what she was most proud of, Nancy replied her family. He also discovered her love for dogs, especially Yorkshire Terriers.

Joe decided to delve a little deeper and checked with the kids, learning that she was known as “Grand Nana.” He also found out that years ago, she was having a rough time teaching her three-year-old daughter to read. After checking with medical experts, she discovered the youngster had dyslexia. That led her to find out that Herbert also had it.

As for Herbert, Joe had wondered why the son of oilman H.L. Hunt chose to go to Washington and Lee instead of Texas A&M, the University of Texas, or even the University of Arkansas. Herbert told him that his late mother, Lyda Hunt, had been on the board of Mary Baldwin and the girls there dated the Washington and Lee boys, “So that’s where you’re going to go.”

Following his mother’s orders, Herbert arrived at Washington and Lee prepared to major in geology. The only problem was that there were only two geology professors on staff, and they were strong on coal but not so regarding oil. That became evident when H.L. started questioning the professors, who were stumbling with their answers. Herbert interrupted with the right information, to which H.L told his son to “shut up,” because he wanted to find out what the professors knew.

For his class project, Herbert was to go to Louisiana and survey a site that his dad would drill. Following his legwork, he went to H.L. with the information and asked him about drilling. H.L. asked Herbert if he had the money for the operation and Herbert told his father that it would cost his entire life savings. H.L.’s response: “Welcome to the oil business.”

Joe said that of all the leaders and millionaires he had met during his 30 years in Congress, he had never met a more down-to-earth or self-effacing man than Herbert Hunt. The congressman concluded his remarks saying that neither Herbert, his late brother Bunker Hunt, nor any of the Hunt children had ever asked to do anything that wasn’t right for America.

Les Femmes Du Monde Party At Joyce And Larry Lacertes Even Got Co-Honoree Couple Of The Year Herbert Hunt Smiling

As the 70+ guests gathered at Joyce and Larry Lacerte’s Highland home for the Les Femmes du Monde Couple Of The Year Awards Dinner, Dinner Chair Mary Lee Cox said it was just a celebration. There would be no talking. Really?

Sharon Ballew and Venise Stuart

Sharon Ballew and Venise Stuart

Billie Leigh Rippey

Billie Leigh Rippey

Then she pointed to the 2016 Les Femmes honorees (aka first-ever Couple of the Year) — Nancy and Herbert Hunt. It was hard to spot them, though. They were engulfed by well-wishers like Sara and David Martineau, Billie Leigh Rippey, Venise Stuart, Sharon Ballew, beneficiaries World Affairs Council’s Jim Falk and Children’s Medical Center Foundation’s Brent Christopher, who admitted that shifting gears from Communities Foundation of Texas to Children’s Medical Center Foundation had been easier that he had expected. Why he had even had time to catch a movie — “Sully.”

Nancy and Herbert Hunt

Nancy and Herbert Hunt

For a photo opp, the responsibility was handed over to daughters Barbara Hunt Crow and Libby Hunt Allred. As the photos were snapped, one of the daughters encouraged, “Come on, Dad. Big smile.” Herbert laughed, “I am.”

When asked how long the Hunts had been married, Barbara popped up, “Well, I’m 62.” Nancy laughed, “I married young.”

Caroline Rose Hunt and Bob Brackbill

Caroline Rose Hunt and Bob Brackbill

In the Lacertes’ great room, while Papa Larry Lacerte chatted with guests, Caroline Rose Hunt (aka Herbert’s kid sister) smiled alongside Bob Brackbill. When someone described her having a cute smile, Bob said, “She’s always cute.”

Mary Lee Cox

Mary Lee Cox

Just minutes into the event, word was passed that Mary Lee had indeed had a change of mind. At 7:15, there would be a brief presentation recognizing Nancy and Herbert and thanking the Lacertes and various people who were making the dinner on Tuesday, October 25, at the Dallas Country Club possible. Ah, so that’s what the bouquet of flowers on the bench next to the fireplace was doing there.

Touch of trivia: In addition to being the 2013 honoree and serving as Les Femmes president in 1995, Mary Lee chaired the 1988 fundraiser when Barbara Bush was the keynote speaker and Caroline Rose Hunt was the honoree.

Tickets are still available here.

Les Femmes Du Monde Shift Directions In Announcing Honoree(s) Of The Year For Annual Fundraiser

Those Les Femmes du Monde gals are once again trying something different for their annual big fundraiser. Chairing the event at the Dallas Country Club on Tuesday, October 25, will be veteran chair Mary Lee Cox. Instead of doing a luncheon, they’ve decided to once again hold a night-time gala complete with a VIP cocktail reception and three-course seated supper.

Mary Lee Cox (File photo)

Mary Lee Cox (File photo)

Jan Ward (File photo)

Jan Ward (File photo)

Now for the big switcheroo. In the past, Les Femmes have honored a “Woman of the Year” and then, a couple of years back, they honored a host of gals. But leave it to Mary Lee and Les Femmes President Jan Ward to try something different. This year’s honorees will be a twosome and what a twosome. The Couple of the Year will be Nancy and Herbert Hunt! Yup, you read it. Herbert is going to be very first man to be honored by Les Femmes annual award. But not to worry. His little sister Caroline Rose Hunt received the award back in 1988, so she can give Nancy and Herbert Nancy some pointers. BTW, this year the Hunts are also celebrating 65 years of marriage.

Herbert and Nancy Hunt (File photo)

Herbert and Nancy Hunt (File photo)

Such a natural pick since the criteria for the selection is that the honorees be “supporters who have helped make this organization and many non-profits successful, embracing education for members and youth, while at the same time, helping others in our community.”

In the past, honorees have included Doris S. Dixon, Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler, Caroline Rose Hunt, Annette Strauss, Vivian Castleberry, Mary Kay Ash, Ebby Halliday, Catherine Crier, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Laura Bush, Juanita Miller, Nancy Brinker, Gloria Campos, Florence Shapiro, Liz Minyard, Gretchen Minyard Williams, Karen Hughes, Billie Leigh Rippey, Dee Wyly, Anita Perry, Yvonne Crum, Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, Gail Thomas, Mary Lee Cox, Virginia Chandler Dykes, Gina Ginsburg, Lynn McBee, Margaret McDermott, Pat Smith, Nina Vaca and Virginia Cook.

Individual tickets start at $250, but that category has only a limited number of seats available. Single patron tickets range from $500 to $1,000. Suggestion: Think sponsorship and underwriting.

Funds raised will go to the Child Life Program at Children’s Medical Center and the International Education Program of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth.