JUST IN: 2017 Rising Stars Luncheon Scored A Touchdown Netting $336,870 For After-School All-Stars North Texas

Ben Lange (File photo)

Nancy Rogers and Gina Betts (File photo)

If you see attorney Gina Betts and America’s Auto Auction CEO Ben Lange giggling and high-fiving each other, it’s not because they just won a lawsuit or sold a lot full of cars. Nope. The two just learned the results of their After-School All-Stars North Texas’s Rising Stars Luncheon fundraiser on Wednesday, May 17, at the Dallas Country Club.

Dak Prescott and Brad Sham

It was only the second luncheon fundraiser for the group, but ASAS Advisory Board Chair Ben managed to get fundraising queen Gina to chair the event that was such a sell-out that folks were nearly sitting in laps.

In addition to the need for the ASAS program being a big draw, Gina and Ben pulled in a couple of big guns — Nancy and Richard Rogers as presenting sponsors and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.on stage in a chat with Brad “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys” Sham.

The event was a grandstand touchdown scoring a whopping $336,870. No, that’s not the amount raised. It’s the net.

Needless to say, ASAS Executive Director Marissa Castro is thrilled because it means that middle schoolers will have “safe and structured opportunities between 3 and 6 p.m.”

Co-Chairs Ann And Lee Hobson’s Art Ball “Glittered” With Fashions, Faces, A Fabulous Record-Breaking Live Auction And A Net Of $1.3M+

With the departure of Dallas Museum of Art Eugene McDermott Director Max Anderson in September 2015, fundraising at the DMA shifted direction. As adorable as the Downton Artsy and Art Ball Funk video takeoffs were in years past, the DMA’s Art Ball  leadership was keeping expenses as tight as a third face lift without losing the artistic panache of activities.

Lee and Ann Hobson

To get the mission accomplished for this year’s big black-tie fundraiser, Ann and Lee Hobson were called on to co-chair the 2017 Art Ball on Saturday, April 22. Inspired by their love for romantic France, the Hobsons announced the evening’s theme would be “All That Glitters.” It turned out to be the perfect canvas for guests to display beautiful fashions ranging from simple elegance and old-time showstoppers to wearable art.

But could the blonde twosome pull off a luxurious evening of dining, dancing and dough raising without going in the red? On paper they hit a home run, scoring a net of $1,330,138. On the scene, it was a grand slam.

Still, there had been a little anxiety due to the weather. The night before, a cold front had rain in the area that would have been a frown-maker in years past for the tented affair, due to the Mark di Suvero sculpture requiring a hole in the top. No matter how careful the construction of the tent, there was just no way to totally enclose the opening. One year, guests complained that raindrops had found their way to their table underneath the sculpture. This year, the Hobsons and event producer Todd Fiscus had carefully edited the main room to keep things intimate, leaving the di Suvero out in the cold.

Todd Fiscus, Agustin Arteaga, Ceron and Michael Flores

To make up for the MIA artwork, the artistic beauty was still there thanks to the array of guests. Despite it still being before Memorial Day, the rule of never wearing true white until after Memorial Day was not the protocol, thanks to gents in white evening jackets (Stuart Bumpas, Ceron and Fiscus, Michael Flores, Stephen Giles, Brad Kelly and host Hobson). Hey, this is the artistic set and they know no ordinary ho-hum rules.

Debbie Ryan, Brook Hazelton and Capera Ryan

The ladies also rose to the occasion with designers, both past and present. In vintage gowns were Houston’s Becca Cason Thrash on the arm of Brian Bolke and Christen Wilson with Faisal Halum. Capera Ryan was golden in Galanos with her mom Debbie Ryan (in Armani) and Christie’s American President Brook Hazelton.

Ben and Tracy Lange, Clay and Lisa Cooley, Bela Pjetrovic and Chase Cooley

Kemp and Kit Sawers

Rusty and Bill Duvall

Barbara Daseke

John and Jenny Kirtland and Michael and Sharon Young

Designer Michael Faircloth had had his work cut out for him, ranging from Tracy Lange’s white evening pants with train to Lisa Cooley’s sweeping gown showcasing an old master’s work of art. Other designers being shown were Dior (Bela Pjetrovic, Dallas Snadon and Nancy Carlson), Naeem Khan (Moll Anderson and Katherine Hall), Tom Ford (Catherine Rose), Badgley Mishka (Kit Sawers),  Alberta Ferretti (Julie Hawes), Pamella Rowland (Rusty Duval), Rick Owens (Sharon Young), Mary Katrantzou (Barbara Daseke and Jessica Nowitzki) and Monique Lhuillier (Nancy Rogers).

Jennifer Karol and Merry Vose

Becca Cason Thrash and Brian Bolke

Clane LaCrosse, Crystal Lourd and Margot and Darin Ruebel

Michael and Shelly Dee

Dirk and Jessica Nowitzki

But still there can be a cost to wearing couture. Georgina Hartland admitted that her Valentino was a bit scratchy.

Georgina Hartland

Stuart Bumpas, Mary McDermott Cook and Diane Bumpas

Barron and Rebecca Fletcher

Will and Catherine Rose

Tom Lentz and Marguerite Hoffman

Pat and Charles McEvoy

Needless to say, the cocktail party was filled with eye-catchers like DMA Board President Catherine and Will Rose, Muffin and John Lemak (he accessorized his tuxedo with a sling following his rotator cup surgery), Lara and Bob Tafel (his colorful pocket square inspired by Tim Gunn‘s talk last year), Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Gonzalo Bueno with Michael McCray, Wendy and Jeremy Strick, Walter and Laura Elcock, Niven Morgan and Shelby Wagner, Claire Emanuelson, Clarice Tinsley, Nancy and Clint Carlson, Mimi and Rich Sterling, Rob Kendall, Tony Holmes, Mary McDermott Cook with Dan Patterson, Kit and Kemp Sawers, Kara and Randall Goss, Clair Dewar, Lynn and Allan McBee, Shelly and Michael Dee (she was in a traditional Bhutanese jacket, he was in kilts), Jennifer and John Eagle, Carlos Gonzalez Jaime, Sue and Jimmy Gragg, Jennifer and Tom Karol, Leslie and Bryan Diers, Marguerite Hoffman with Dr. Tom Lentz, Dirk Nowitzki, Kim and Justin Whitman, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Tori and Ross Mulford, Jenny and John Kirtland, Sharon and Michael Young, Rusty and Bill Duvall, Brandi and Pete Chilian and Cindy and Lindsay Brown, Clane LaCrosse with Crystal Lourd, Margot and Darin Ruebel, Bill and Wendy Payne, Brooke and Blake Davenport, Katherine and Craig Hall, Moll and Charles Anderson, Brooke Hortenstine, Reed Robertson, Walter Voit, Fort Worth’s Marsha and John Kleinheinz, Rebecca and Barron Fletcher and Jo Staffelbach Heinz and Andre Staffelbach.

Gonzalo Bueno and Michael McCray

Jeremy and Wendy Strick

Walter and Laura Elcock

Agustin Arteaga and Carlos Gonzalez Jaime

Just making it under the wire was the Rogers posse (Donna Brittingham, Michael Flores, Doug Carney and Dallas Snadon) led by Fancy Nancy. They ran into jewelry designer/actor Adam Shulman and his Academy Award-winning wife Anne Hathaway with Adam’s cousin Peter Brodsky and his wife Lael Brodsky. Adam had designed a bracelet for Lady Rogers.

Brooke Hortenstine, Peter Brodsky, Nancy Rogers, Adam Shulman, Anne Hathaway, Lael Brodsky and Reed Robertson

Following the cocktail party in the tented reception area, the curtains were pulled back revealing a romantic scene with greenery and five chandeliers suspended from the ceiling, white lattice behind the staging and table settings with tablecloths of swirling colors and gold flatware. The reviews flowed in like champagne in a Baccarat flute. As one guest said upon gazing at the room, “This is just like Ann’s and Lee’s home. It’s both inviting and elegant.”

Melissa Foster Fetter

Sue Gragg

Due to the dip in temperatures, some of the gals like Melissa Foster Fetter, Mary McDermott Cook, Jennifer Karol, Carol Glendenning, Sue Gragg, Kit Sawers, Kara Goss, Leslie Diers, Rusty Duvall, Crystal Lorde, Wendy Payne, Shelly Dee and Heather Washburne had brought along their shawls and coats in case of a slight chill.

As for the program, DMA Eugene McDermott Director Agustin Arteaga, who’s been here seven months, is still learning his way around the hood. At one point he reported that Dallas Mayor “Mark Rawlings” was present. He also told the crowd of 500 that Lady Hobson had been the driving force and revealed that, just the day before, Ann had celebrated her 52 birthday. Oops! The crowd protested and Ann smiled. She had just hit the 50 mark. Not to worry. Hiccups happen.

While catering mistress Cassandra Tomassetti checked the tables and service, there was no need. The seated dinner led off with Petrossian caviar and potatoes with lemon crema and chives under glass, followed by three courses (first course — handmade angel hair pasta, morel mushrooms, quail confit with Madeira sauce; second course — pan-roasted Rhode Island wild fluke, spring vegetables and tomato fumet; and third course — an assortment of pastries).

Rajan Patel and Ann Hobson

It was then time for Brook to auction off the eight items curated by Rajan Patel and Merry Vose, and what an auction it was. DMA Board Chair Melissa Foster Fetter happily looked on as hands competed for items. A couple of times during the night, Georgina and Fancy Nancy at nearby tables tried to outbid each other. At one point, despite his best efforts, Brook couldn’t get the donor’s go-ahead to double the offer for the ladies.

Christen Wilson and John Kleinheinz

Luckily, Brook had better luck with the biggy item of the night — a week’s stay at the Hobsons’ seven-bedroom chateau in the south of France. A breathtaking battle of the paddles commenced between Lady Rogers and a group of pals led by Bill Payne, with bids passing the $100K mark. When Brook wondered aloud about satisfying the two bidders, Ann hopped up with arms waving to go for it, with each bidder agreeing to pay $120,000. In delight Christen Wilson danced between the tables like an adorable sprite. No wonder. The auction of the elegant eight hauled in $460,000, resulting in “the highest-grossing live auction in Art Ball history.”

For more than two pages of picture featuring the fashions and faces, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Bethenny “Skinnygirl” Frankel Served Up One Of The Season’s Most Talked-About Presentations At The Annual Chick Lit Luncheon

On Friday, April 21, the annual Chick Lit Luncheon became the scene of two social earthquakes that split the Anatole’s Grand Ballroom. But more about that later. First, let’s set the scene.

Cristal Champagne

To kick off the Community Partners of Dallas fundraiser, the VIP reception was held in the Plum Blossom Room and, thanks to hosts Nancy and Richard Rogers, guests celebrated with Cristal Champagne. At the opening there were grand silver punch bowls filled with the elite champagne bottles chilling in ice. By the time the chimes called the guests to the luncheon, only a trio of partially filled bottles remained.

Tricia George, Paige McDaniel, Gail Fischer and Mary Martha Pickens

Lara Tafel

Nancy Rogers and Bethenny Frankel

Alas, keynote speaker Bethenny Frankel didn’t enjoy the bubbly, thanks to a non-stop of step-and-repeat photo session with folks like Co-Chairs Tricia George and Mary Martha Pickens, Presenting Co-Sponsor Lara Tafel, Honorary Chair Gail Fischer and daughter Elizabeth Fischer, Lisa Cooley with daughter Ciara Cooley and soon-to-be daughter-in-law Bela Pjetrovic and her sister Sabina Pjetrovic, Dee Simmons and daughter D’Andra Simmons Lock, Elizabeth Gambrell, Margo Goodwin, Cheryl Joyner, Tiffany Divis, Claire Emanuelson, Christie Carter and Cindy Turner.

Tiffany Divis and Bela Pjetrovic

D’Andra Simmons Lock and Dee Simmons

Elizabeth Gambrell, Margo Goodwin and Cheryl Joyner

As the guests literally filled the grand ballroom, Bethenny was whisked off to a private spot for some quiet time. But little did anyone know that in the hour and a half to come, the grand ballroom would be the scene of two distinctly different attitudes.

Some claimed it was a generational separation. One guest snorted, “It’s those millennials!” Another declared the other side of the great divide to be behind the times. It was just that “the times they are a-changin‘” for the decade-old luncheon featuring authors.

The old days of the Chick Lit at Brook Hollow with pecan crusted chicken and G-rated speakers like Stacey Ballis, Julia Reed, Gigi Levangie, Allison Winn Scotch, Emily Giffin and Jen Lancaster were in the rear-view mirror.

Last year’s move to the Anatole with Tim Gunn charming one and all in an on-stage chat had shifted the program to a new level. It was like moving from grade school to high school, from Shirley Temples to Cosmopolitans or from Boy Scouts Camp to Quantico.

But when the announcement of Bethenny’s being the keynoter came, lovers of reality TV were ecstatic. For them, it was like having the Pope serve mass at the local parish. For those who only considered the word “Bravo” to be what was said after a stellar performance, Bethenny was a rather unknown commodity. Didn’t matter. The Chick Lit Luncheon had always been fun and a fundraiser for a good cause.

Still, there were warnings that Bethenny might raise some eyebrows and that the uneducated might need to be forewarned and study up on the Skinnygirl.

Despite warnings that Bethenny was not your same-old, same-old, CPD loyalists signed on. In the meantime, new world reality TV lovers bought in with hopes of a “tell-it-like-it-is” presentation.   

So, what happened? Well, the first “earthquake” took place before Bethenny ever arrived on stage.

Mary Martha Pickens, Mary Ella Bitzer and Tricia George

To kick things off, CPD President/CEO Paige McDaniel presented the 2017 Partners for Children Award to Mary Ella Bitzer representing The Bitzer and Needleman Families and Peacock Alley. Unfortunately, whether it was due to poor acoustics or to all the chatter in the room, the presentation seemed to take place without much fanfare.

Faith Johnson

When Dallas District Attorney Faith Johnson provided the invocation, she was heard throughout, thanks to the lack of talking. But the chitchat kicked back in once Paige returned to the podium, and the first of the divides created a Grand Canyon among the guests. Looking like unhappy emojis, some strained to hear Paige, while others held steroid conversation to such a point that even those frowny-faced guests close to the stage had to rely on lip reading to “hear” Paige talk about the importance of the organization’s annual Christmas toy drive and how Peacock Alley had supported it. Some tried to silence the chatterboxes by clanging their silverware on their glassware, but even that couldn’t be heard above the racket. Perhaps the talkative guests had never attended a fundraiser before?

What made it more obvious was how the room went into a vacuum state of silence after Community Partners of Dallas Board Member Greg Nieberding introduced Bethenny and she arrived on stage. How quiet? At one point in her talk, a cell phone in the room rang and Bethenny interrupted her talk saying, “Somebody need to take a call?”

The svelte brunette, who had risen to fame thanks to reality TV and her “Skinnygirl” business empire, was both charming and disarming. On one hand, she couldn’t have been more upbeat and complimentary about North Texas women and the CPD. She even did a shout-out to “my friend Fancy Nancy Rogers” at a front row table with pals Dallas Snadon, Leisa Street, Michael Flores, Cindy Rachofsky and Niven Morgan and Shelby Wagner.

Dallas Snadon

Lori Jones, Nancy Rogers and Cindy Rachofsky

Leisa Street and Michael Flores

Shelby Wagner and Niven Morgan

On the other, she raised even the most heavily Botoxed brows with comments about “guano” (she didn’t use that word) and describing rich Dallas women as having Texas tea flowing from a particular body part (she put it much more colorfully). If you don’t get it, ask one of the thousand-plus who were there. They’re bound to recall the exact words.  

Some of the highlights of Bethenny’s talk included:

Bethenny Frankel

  • After having a rough childhood, she focused on “breaking the chain” in raising her daughter. She was not going to be “chained” to what others thought or what she had experienced as a child.
  • Finding balance in her life being a mother and a businesswoman.
  • Everyone has a great idea, but it’s the execution that matters, she said. Too often they get bogged down with the business plan or other aspects. “I would have never gotten into the liquor business had I known.”
  • Stay focused on your goals and don’t “look at the other lanes… I do my own thing.”
  • “25 years ago I was a bartender and had no idea I’d end up being an alcoholic… just kidding… I would end up founding a liquor company.”
  • She has founded an organization called “B Strong” to help women in crisis. “As women, we make a lot of decisions out of fear.”
  • “You can’t be pretty, tan, have sex, rich and sleep…I’m not tan, I don’t have sex and I’m  rich, but not like Dallas rich…. What the hell was I talking about?”
  • The night before on “Real Housewives of New York,” Bethenny had been confronted by another housewife over how she was dealing with her 6-year-old daughter about the fact that Bethenny had done a nude scene 27 years ago. “I just sat there and just took it and just said, I have no shame in my game. This is who I am. This is my past and I was an actress and I needed the money and I’ve done so many things in my life that got me to where I am, so I think that’s part of my owning it.” She went on, saying how “crazy it was for women trying to tear each other down.”

    Bethenny Frankel

  • “The least favorite element [of being on a reality show] is you get mired in something that you don’t even care about…You can’t believe that people can be so nasty and malicious. I think it’s a comedy. I see it as a satire. You can’t believe how fake people are. It’s amazing. You look around and any five people. You believe they are totally normal. ‘She’s so down to earth; she’s  so normal.’ She’s ‘guano‘ crazy!”
  • “I want to give you one tip. It’s changed my life. At night before you go to bed, for like five to 15 minutes, put in as much hot water as you possibly can in your bathtub and just your feet—not your whole body—in Epsom salts. It’s like a drunk. I don’t know what happens. I used to take something to sleep, but this knocks you out. It’s like detoxing and it’s crazy and it’s the simplest and oldest thing and has changed my life.”
  • Being an entrepreneur “is really hard. You’ve got to be out there. But it’s good. It’s like the ocean. It keeps changing and moving all the time.”
  • “I’m really a homebody. I like being with my daughter.”
  • When asked what the one thing she keeps in her refrigerator to make a meal, Bethenny responded, “I’m a big fan of the freezer. I travel so much that when I get home there’s always a frozen organic broccoli.”
  • Kale — “You can’t walk on the street without being assaulted by kale. I want to meet the kale publicist. What’s so great?”
  • The future for Bethenny — “I’m focused on this charity [B Strong]. I’m able to help women. Now that I’m not struggling and white-knuckling it anymore, I want to inspire women.”

Bethenny lived up to her honest, no-holds barred comments about her life, both past and present. She was true to herself. Some loved her words; some were perturbed by her presentation. Hey, when you go to a Mexican food restaurant, you can’t expect meat loaf to be the featured item on the menu.

Like Featured Designer Carolina Herrera, 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show Was Elegant Perfection At Neiman Marcus Downtown

Like a fabulous aria, this year’s Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show and Luncheon seemed to have elegance, class and just a whiff of history. But more about that later.

Unlike years past, this year’s fabulous fashion show opted out on the usual Thursday showing for Friday, September 16. Didn’t matter one iota. The tent-arama was locked down in parking lot adjacent to Neiman Marcus Downtown. And just in case rain was on the agenda, the NM folks had had an awning installed along the sidewalk leading from the store to the tent. But Mother Nature behaved herself and rain was not part of the day. Still the shading was still a blessing to curtail the glowering sunshine. Hmm, perhaps a permanent shade might be a perfect addition?

While the beautiful coifed and dazzling guests chatted and compared sideway looks on the NM ground floors, the upper levels of NM were bustling.

On the sixth floor, Nancy Rogers hosted her annual reception in the Michael Flores Salon. Instead of past Nancy pre-CCB Fashion Show receptions with backdrops of floral display, Nancy’s welcome entry was an archway of hundreds of Calla Lilies.

Entrance to Michael Flores Salon

Entrance to Michael Flores Salon

Time and time again guests exclaimed upon seeing the floral delight, “These are my favorite flowers!”

Nancy Rogers

Nancy Rogers

DeeDee Lee and Ginny Bailey

DeeDee Lee and Ginny Bailey

Pat McEvoy

Pat McEvoy

Shelby Wagner, Claire Emanuelson and Niven Morgan

Shelby Wagner, Claire Emanuelson and Niven Morgan

Pat McEvoy, DeeDee Lee, Ginny Bailey, Anne Reeder, Ann Dyer, Claire Emanuelson, Shelby Wagner, Niven Morgan, Shelle Sills, Gloria Eulich Martindale, Alicia Wood, Tanya Foster and the Perella clan (Laurena Perella, Vin Perella and Carolyn Curl) came, saw, were photographed and entered the salon for flutes of champagne. Topic making the rounds was Nancy’s downsizing her nonprofit activities. Well, gee, who can blame a girl? After years of supporting and chairing major fundraisers, doesn’t she deserve some time off for great behavior?

Another supposedly deciding to take a fundraising break was attorney Gina Betts, who had co-chaired this past year’s St. Valentine’s Day and Genesis luncheons. She’s gonna focus on her family and work.

At 11 the 10 Best Dressed (Anita Arnold, Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Tucker Enthoven, Heather Esping, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Pat Harloe, Julie Hawes, Piper Wyatt) plus Hall of Famer Honoree Betsy Sowell, CCB Chair Christie Carter and Fashion Show Chair Pam Perella gathered in the Glass House on the second floor for the formal get together. And what do these fashionable types do while waiting for their presentation? They compare fashion notes. Winner of the day was Mary Clare’s heels.

Another was Piper’s preparations. The first timer 10 BD-er was a very smart cookie. It seems that the day before the outfit that she had picked out just didn’t work, so the NM staff and Piper put together a dramatic black Herrera ensemble with leather pencil pants and wool cape. However, Piper realized that it was also going to be a toasty look. So, she snuck an ice pack under the wool top at her waist to cool the situation, Just before going on stage, she removed the chilly accessory. When did the cool idea hit her? Was it online? Nope. Piper just woke up in the middle of the night with this idea and it worked!

Unlike years past where the designer du jour posed with the CCB chair, fashion show chair, 10 BD-er and HofF-er, the show’s featured designer Carolina Herrera begged off. She was backstage making final checks on preparations.

From the left: (front row) Katherine Coker, Anita Arnold, Christie Carter, Betsy Sowell, Pam Perella, Pat Harloe and Heather Esping; (back row) Julie Hawes, Janie Condon, Piper Wyatt, Margaret Hancock, Mary Clare Finney and Tucker Enthoven

From the left: (front row) Katherine Coker, Anita Arnold, Christie Carter, Betsy Sowell, Pam Perella, Pat Harloe and Heather Esping; (back row) Julie Hawes, Janie Condon, Piper Wyatt, Margaret Hancock, Mary Clare Finney and Tucker Enthoven

 

After the official photos were taken, the 10 BD-ers, Betsy, Christie and Pam were led through NM’s back halls taking the freight elevators to the first floor and strolling to the tent’s hustling and bustling backstage. Upon arrival, the male model escorts, who had been seated, sprung to their feet offering the ladies their seats, while the female models were going through the final stages of preparation under the skillful eyes of Carolina and NM Fashion Director Ken Downing.

Ken Downing and Carolina Herrera

Ken Downing and Carolina Herrera

Editor’s note: One can always spot the NM fashion show peeps-in-charge like Sandy Marple. In the old days, it was a clip board in hand. Nowadays, it’s headsets.

Meanwhile the front of the house was filling with guests, as they made their way from the reception in NM Downtown’s ground level to the magnificent tent that thanks to a mega structure looked more like a permanent store front. Inside the color of the day was white with white runway, white tablecloths, white plates, white roses in centerpieces and white walls highlighted by projections of Herrera models strutting in packs. The only non-white items were the black boxes of Herrera perfume on each tablesetting.

Nancy Rogers, Cami Goff, Gene Jones, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Olivia Kearney and Melody Rogers

Nancy Rogers, Cami Goff, Gene Jones, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Olivia Kearney and Melody Rogers

Julie Ford and Rich Enthoven

Julie Ford and Rich Enthoven

Joan Schnitzer Levy and Nancy Dedman

Joan Schnitzer Levy and Nancy Dedman

Bruce Weber

Bruce Weber

Tiffany Divis, Amy Hegi and Robyn Conlon

Tiffany Divis, Amy Hegi and Robyn Conlon

Snapshots around the room included: world-renowned bearded photographer Bruce Weber wearing his signature bandana headscarf… Not present in person but present in spirit was Vogue’s Anna Wintour, who was headed to London for its Fashion Week… Loads of lunching mothers/daughters filled the room (Pam Perella with her mom Carolyn Curl and daughter Lauren Perella; Robyn Conlon with daughters-in-law Lizzie Conlon, Marybeth Conlon and Meagan Conlon; Piper’s sister Ginger Sanders Auer and their mom Dixey Thornton; Gene Jones with daughter Charlotte Jones Anderson; Lisa Cooley with daughter Ciara Cooley and daughter-in-law-to-be Bela Pietrovic; Vicki Chapman and daughter Lauren Chapman; Vicki Howland with daughter Elisa Summers; Gail Fischer with daughter Elizabeth Fischer; Lydia Novakov and daughter Isabell Novakov; Marilyn Augur with daughters Margaret Hancock and Anne Hardaway; Elaine Agather with daughter Bradley Means and Tucean Webb with Susanne Webb, Julie Webb and Erin Webb)…   Herrera’s daughter Carolina Herrera Baez and Patricia Herrera Lansing, who was celebrating her birthday… Erin Mathews with daughter-in-law Brittany Mathews looking forward to Sundays christening of Erin’s first granddaughter/Brittany Mathews’ first daughter Sutton Mathews.

Christie Carter

Christie Carter

Pam Perella

Pam Perella

Starting the show on the road were the speakers including, Ken, Christie, Pam and NM Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron.

Another editor’s note: Ken’s comments emphasizing that he and Carolina had created the show surprised some. Perhaps it would have been better for such acknowledgment to have been made by Karen.

Jeff then introduced each of the 10 BDs and Betsy.

Anita Arnold

Anita Arnold

Katherine Coker

Katherine Coker

Janie Condon

Janie Condon

Tucker Enthoven

Tucker Enthoven

Heather Esping

Heather Esping

Mary Clare Finney

Mary Clare Finney

Margaret Hancock

Margaret Hancock

Pat Harloe

Pat Harloe

Julie Hawes

Julie Hawes

Piper Wyatt

Piper Wyatt

Betsy Sowell

Betsy Sowell

Unlike years past when the ladies were escorted up and down the runway only to disappear backstage, this year the ladies and their escorts walked to the end of the runway and stepped down to the floor and stood in a line in front of the photographers and NM staffers standing against the back wall.

Following Betsy’s walk and as the ladies were escorted to their tables, NM President/CEO Karen Katz welcomed the guests and suggested they snap photos on their cellphones of items on the runway that could be shown to the NM staff for immediate consideration. She also encouraged guests to post their votes on their favorite outfits and that she would be checking for which ones got the top votes.

Karen reported that earlier in the week NM had turned 109 and despite with stores throughout the country and shipping to more than 100 countries, “our heritage, our home and our heart is [sic] right here at the corner of Main and Ervay. We’ve seen a lot come and go in downtown Dallas over the years, but we are here to stay.”

Carolina Herrera and Karen Katz

Carolina Herrera and Karen Katz

She then presented the NM Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion for 2016 to Carolina. The 500 guests presented the designer with a standing ovation. Her acceptance remarks were eloquent but brief recalling how the late Stanley Marcus “was a fabulous man” and “how he believed in me from the beginning.” She then tipped her hat to Karen, Ken and NM Chief Merchandising Officer Jim Gold for carrying on the NM tradition. Carolina also thanked CCB for including her in the event that does so much for children.

Ken Downing, Carolina Herrera and Karen Katz

Ken Downing, Carolina Herrera and Karen Katz

Taking the award, she disappeared with Ken and Karen backstage.

Carolina Herrera 2016 Resort Collection

Carolina Herrera 2016 Resort Collection

Carolina Herrera bridal gown

Carolina Herrera bridal gown

Quickly the podium was removed for the presentation of nearly 90 pieces from the Carolina Herrera Resort 2016 collection including faux butterflies floating from the ceiling over the stage and a bridal gown with a cut-out back bodice for the finale. And cellphones sprouted throughout the room snapping away.

There are a heck of a lot of other photos (more than 70) at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery, if you’re interested.

Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jane Doe Award Dinner Dazzled With Roger, Serita And LeAnn Thanks To Doug, Gina, Molly And Nancy

In the past the featured speaker of the Genesis Annual Luncheon has attended The Jane Doe Award Dinner the night before for a small gathering of major supporters. This year’s speaker, Tyler Perry, was upfront and regretted that he wasn’t gonna make it for the event scheduled for Thursday, May 5. Now, such a development might send some fundraising chairs into a tizzy. Ah, but Genesis Annual Luncheon Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Nancy Rogers are far from your everyday co-chairs.

Nancy Rogers, Gina Betts and Molly Barnes

Nancy Rogers, Gina Betts and Molly Barnes

They rolled up their silk sleeves and made a couple of calls to folks who make big things bigger. The result was a no-sit-down, napkin-in-your-lap and ever-so-proper affair. No, siree. The reception took place in the entertainment center at Molly and Doug Barnes’ estate. Just making it past the security chap with the clipboard at the front gate gave a whole new layer to the expression, “You have arrived.”

Once inside the doors, there was the reception room that’s bigger than some condos. Just behind the check-in table was a marvelous view of the outdoor patio that looked so inviting with pool and umbrella-shaded tables. Still, most everybody stayed indoors with Cassandra and her staff passing all types of yummies and libations in addition to a side buffet of goodies. And then there was talk about a surprise that had been making the rounds. Nobody was supposed to know that Betts-Rogers had arranged for “special entertainment” to follow the presentation of the awards, but it seemed that everyone knew. Only they weren’t admitting it.

Nancy and Richard Rogers

Nancy and Richard Rogers

T.D Jakes

T.D Jakes

Marianne Staubach and Nancy Ann Hunt

Marianne Staubach and Nancy Ann Hunt

S.M. Wright II

S.M. Wright II

Ron Corning and Tanya Foster

Ron Corning and Tanya Foster

Genesis Executive Director Jan Langbein greeted all at the front door…At times it appeared to be a Mary Kay Ash family reunion as Richard Rogers walked in and directly headed to Nancy for a hug…Mary Kay great granddaughter Jessica Blair was on the scene, as well as MK’s granddaughter Gena Tadewald, who came into town from her place in Lucas, where she has horses, cows, dogs, sheep and all types of critters…Driving in from Fort Worth were Olivia and Jeff Kearney. Olivia recalled how Doug had told her, “It took me longer to build this house than it took Jerry Jones to build ‘The Star’ in Frisco.”…Genesis Raffle Co-Chairs Katy Bock and Tanya Foster were on hand with their fellas Lawrence Bock and Pete Foster, respectively…Others filling the room and spilling into the adjoining theater’s lobby were Ken Betts, Nancy Ann Hunt, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Kathleen Hutchinson, Michael Flores, Dallas Snadon, Doug Carney, Tracy and Ben Lange, Mary Crosland, Cara French, Lisa Ogle, Beth and Charles Thoele, S.M. Wright II, Genesis Annual Luncheon Emcee/WFAA anchor Ron Corning, Shane Allen, Jane Doe Awardee Serita Jakes with her husband T.D. Jakes, HeRO Award recipient Roger Staubach and wife Marianne Staubach. Roger, who has four daughters, admitted to Jan that “When I was growing up, I would have said it was one [case of domestic violence] in 10 million.” Jan said, “No, it’s one in three.” BTW, it was just a couple of years ago that Staubach daughter Jennifer Staubach Gates received the Jane Doe Award.

Kathleen Hutchinson

Kathleen Hutchinson

Michael Flores and Doug Carney

Michael Flores and Doug Carney

Ben and Tracy Lange

Ben and Tracy Lange

Ken Betts

Ken Betts

Running a little behind schedule, the group finally moved into the cabaret-style theater with tables and chairs. Due to the SRO crowd, more chairs were assembled, but even then the SRO status remained.

On stage, Jan told about the Rogers’ $1M challenge and if it was met, Genesis Women’s Shelter would receive $2M. She introduced Mary Kay VP Crayton Webb, who heads up Genesis’ HeROs Men’s Auxiliary. Admitting to a definite case of “hero worship,” he did a great job introducing and presenting the award to Roger. Crayton recalled that when he asked Roger about former Dallas Cowboy Greg Hardy, who had made headlines regarding “an incident” of domestic violence with his then-girlfriend Nicole Holder, Roger responded, “We don’t root for him. I’ll root for the Cowboys, but I won’t root for him.”

Crayton Webb

Crayton Webb

Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach

Upon receiving the award, Roger added, “If I ever run into Greg, I hope Randy White is with me… Don’t we believe in second chances? Yes, but I’d rather give a second chance to a bank robber than a domestic violence person.” He then thanked Jan for bringing the issue to his attention.

Then Jan presented Serita with the Jane Doe Award for her “Starting Over Ministry,” an 8-week course which offers a curriculum with hands-on practical applications” for women “who are transitioning through some of life’s greatest challenges.” The award is presented to “individuals or groups who display extraordinary commitment to standing alongside those seeking safety, shelter and support.”

Serita Jakes

Serita Jakes

LeAnn Rimes*

LeAnn Rimes*

Following the presentation of the awards, Jan sprung the surprise entertainment — LeAnn Rimes, who sang much longer than her arranged schedule. It was hard to imagine that it’s been 20 years since a 13-year-old Rimes made history with the release of “Blue.” The voice and delivery still amaze.

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Jane Doe Award Party

Serita Jakes

Serita Jakes

Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach

The high-rolling types passed muster for access to the 2016 Jane Doe Award Party at Molly and Doug Barnes’ estate on Thursday, May 5. On the eve of the annual Genesis Luncheon featuring Tyler Perry, the nighttime fest provided the perfect opportunity for the presentation of the HeRO Award to Roger Staubach and the Jane Doe Award to Serita Jakes.

Nancy Rogers, Gina Betts and Molly Barnes

Nancy Rogers, Gina Betts and Molly Barnes

And while Tyler couldn’t make the night-before event, Genesis Luncheon Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Nancy Rogers arranged to have a sweet songbird by the name of LeAnn Rimes perform. While the post is being prepared, there are some pix of the night over at the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Carolyn And David Miller Open Their Home For Genesis Luncheon Underwriters With Honeysuckle Wafting In The Backyard

Carolyn Miller

Carolyn Miller

David Miller

David Miller

Blessed by Mother Nature, the Genesis Luncheon underwriters party had the most perfect spot to celebrate on Wednesday, April 20. It was Carolyn and David Miller’s home that many have driven by but few had visited.

Too bad that everyone stayed in the main house because the let-me-settle-backyard was enhanced by the fragrance of the honeysuckle in full bloom.

Carolyn and David Miller's backyard

Carolyn and David Miller’s backyard

Janice Provost and her crew were in the garage cooking up the most delish yummies including itty-bitty sliders served in red gift boxes.

Just before Genesis Executive Director Jan Langbein told the group including Ken Betts, Michael Flores, Ashlee Kleinert, Gail and Gerald Turner, Emilynn and Claude Wilson, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Michael Meadows, Jan Baldwin and Mimi Sterling of things to come, Co-Chair Nancy Rogers arrived to join her Co-Chair Gina Betts.

Gina Betts and Nancy Rogers

Gina Betts and Nancy Rogers

In the dining room, the raffle items were lined up on the dining room table. They looked ripe for the grabbing. Sorry, but the raffle results wouldn’t be announced until the Friday, May 6, luncheon at the Hilton Anatole featuring Tyler Perry.

In addition to Tyler, there’s that challenge that Nancy and her husband Richard Rogers have issued — they’ll match up dollar-for-dollar up to a million dollars in funds raised for the luncheon.

2016 Art Ball Patrons Partied Among “Couture Construction” At The Joule’s Terrace With Appetizers In Toolboxes, Designer Jeremy Scott And Beautiful Peeps

The collegiate basketball title was over. The politicos were taking a timeout for the night. So, it was perfect timing for the beautiful peeps to get together with fashions and art at The Joule Terrace on the evening of Wednesday, April 6.

To spotlight the poreless folks and artistic clothes, Mother Nature shone a perfect light with equally perfect temperatures. Unfortunately, Uncle Bag of Wind gusted through the open terrace occasionally.

But before the first guests even arrived, they knew something was up. The outdoor entrance to the private lift to the Terrace looked like a construction project with yellow tape and helmeted construction workers. Only on second look did they realize that instead of the tape warning against entering, it read “Couture Zone Ahead” and the hunky construction team was familiar gents from the runways.

Piper Wyatt, Brian Bolke and Claire Emanuelson

Piper Wyatt, Brian Bolke and Claire Emanuelson

So, the evening’s theme of “Construction” in connection with the Art Ball’s “Art and Architecture” was off and running. But then what would you expect from The Joule’s owner Tim Headington, who was also a major sponsor of the Art Ball and backer of the soon-to-open Forty Five Ten Downtown. Such a smart fella. He and Forty Five Ten czar Brian Bolke just knew that this event would be a feast for those who have taste, love fashion and have an eye for art like DMA Board President Catherine Rose, Elaine Agather, Shelle and Michael Sills, Faisal Halum, Capera Ryan, Gonzalo Bueno, Sharon Young, David Nichols with Ashley Tatum, Jim Showers, Yasaman Djunic, Claire Emanuelson, Piper Wyatt, Erin Mathews with Russ Davis, Diane and Stuart Bumpas, Piper Smith, Douglas Penick, Tina Craig, Suzanne Droese, Barbara Womble with Bob Minyard, Tierney Kaufman Hutchins, Kendall Kinsman, Anna Bresskaya, Vodi Cook, Cathy Hodges, Christina Nortzon and Mackenzie Brittingham.

Walter Elcock

Walter Elcock

Gonzalo Bueno

Gonzalo Bueno

Shelle Sills

Shelle Sills

Faisal Halum

Faisal Halum

And Brian smartly combined the theme of the night with Moschino designer Jeremy Scott’s most recent “Dangerous Couture” collection that featured dresses and accessories. In town for the party, Jeremy felt right at home with his clientele and designs everywhere on the Terrace.

Jeremy Scott and Nancy Rogers

Jeremy Scott and Nancy Rogers

Appetizers in toolbox

Appetizers in toolbox

Construction buffet

Construction buffet

From the moment the elevator doors opened, The Terrace was spectacular with delicious appetizers being served in toolboxes and lunchboxes, mountains of shrimp, crab claws and oysters-on-the-half-shell in 100-quart coolers and DJ Lucy Wrubel surrounded by more directional and warning signage than Riverfront at Continental.

Surrounding a headless mannequin in an ice-blue party dress all puffed up thanks to  fluffy petticoat were upside-down orange cones serving as vases for huge balls of yellow flowers and waiters in helmets and orange vests with trays of Moet and Chandon with top cap-coupe adaptors. One guest giggled that sipping champagne via the mini-champagne resulted in bubbles in her nose.

David and Ann Sutherland and Rachel and Michael Osburn

David and Ann Sutherland and Rachel and Michael Osburn

Interim DMA Director Walter Elcock was in fine fettle greeting guests with wife Laura Elcock. When asked if there was any chances of his taking on the duties fulltime, he laughed that idea away… 2016 Art Ball Co-Chair Ann and David Sutherland were surrounded by well-wishers for the upcoming April 23 gala at the DMA…Nancy Rogers in shades and a marvelous Moschino coat arrived with hair artisan Michael Flores and ended up chatting with Jeremy, who had designed her gown for last year’s Two By Two fundraiser, and Moschino Director of Communications Pablo Olea in a black jacket and red-and-black pleated skirt/kilts…Architect David Droese reported that work on Forty Five Ten Downtown was moving along quickly for a fall opening…DMA Junior Associates Co-Chairs Rachel and Michael Osburn were explaining how Folly After the Ball was replacing its annual An Affair of Art… Moll Anderson in a standout Moschino coat…New homeowner Andy Beal brought along Olya Sinitsyna and his son Ryan Beal…The Joule’s Tim was turning a head or two. Yup, the blonde philanthropist has lost more than 30 pounds and looks healthier and slimmer than ever.

Ryan Beal, Piper Smith, Douglas Penick, Tina Craig, Olya Sinitsyna, Andy Beal and Anna Bresskaya

Ryan Beal, Piper Smith, Douglas Penick, Tina Craig, Olya Sinitsyna, Andy Beal and Anna Bresskaya

For more pictures of the event, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Serita Jakes And Roger Staubach To Receive Genesis’ Jane Doe And HeRO Awards, Respectively

Less than a month from now the Genesis Annual Luncheon with Tyler Perry as the keynote speaker will be underway at the Hilton Anatole on the Friday before Mother’s Day. But Tyler isn’t the only big name that will be on stage. Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Nancy Rogers just sent word about this year’s awardees of the 2016 Jane Doe Award and the 2016 HeRO Award.

Gina Betts (File photo)

Gina Betts (File photo)

Nancy Rogers (File photo)

Nancy Rogers (File photo)

The Jane Doe Award “celebrates individuals who display extraordinary commitment to standing alongside those seeking safety, shelter and support.” This year’s recipient is Serita Jakes “for her leadership of the ‘Starting Over Ministry’ and her recognition of the important role of the faith community in ending domestic violence.”

Serita Jakes (File photo)

Serita Jakes (File photo)

Roger Staubach (File photo)

Roger Staubach (File photo)

The HeRO (He Respects Others) Award “recognizes men who use their voice and influence to take a public stand against domestic violence.” The word “hero” has long been associated with this year’s recipient in the world of sports, business and community involvement — Roger Staubach.

If you have a mom in your life, why not treat her to an early Mother’s Day treat that will be a real memory maker? Individual tickets are now available!

St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show And Luncheon Kept The Champagne And Fashions Flowing To Battle Leukemia And Lymphoma

The weather on Tuesday, February 16, was major payback for the St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon’s years of Mother Nature’s dumping ice storms and freezing temperatures on the Leukemia and Lymphoma North Texas fundraiser.

Some still recall how the pashmina favors the year that Rainey Fogiel and Natalie Fogiel co-chaired the event became necessities instead of perks thanks to frigid conditions.

But still the weather on this day was ideal. Sure, it was a couple of days after St. V-day, but who was gonna have the event on Sunday? And then there was the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday, February 15. So, the Tuesday pick made perfect sense.

But not to worry. The flourish of reds and pinks was sparkling in the Meyerson lobby at the pre-show reception. Of course, it didn’t hurt to have flutes of champagne adding sparkle to the crowd.

Gina Betts

Gina Betts

Going against the typical Valentine colors was Co-Chair Gina Betts in a St. John turquoise dress and coat bottomed off with splashy Jimmy Choo stilettos and matching purse.

Despite the smile and the day’s glow, Gina had had a rough few days. Seems the attorney had had plans to celebrate her anniversary with husband Ken Betts in Los Cabos. But just hours before taking off, she was hospitalized, with her doc saying “No way” to the trip. The Betts family trips seem to be jinxed. They had scheduled Christmas in Paris, but the November 13th  terrorist attack squashed that and now this one.

Speaking of clothes, Lisa Cooley and Cara French had stories about the fine art of mother-daughter sharing. While Cooley daughter Ciara Cooley considers Lisa’s closet a type of fashion lending library, Cara admitted that she was wearing her mother Prissy Gravely’s coat.

Lisa Cooley and Cara French

Lisa Cooley and Cara French

Lee Bailey and Leigh Bailey Carrizales

Lee Bailey and Leigh Bailey Carrizales

Speaking of mother-daughters on the scene, Lee Bailey and daughter Leigh Bailey Carrizales reported that mama Lee’s Turtle Creek palazzo was on the market. Talk about fabulous on steroids with a wondrous spot on Turtle Creek. Wonder if Lee’s black swan, Ziggy, goes with the estate?

Luke Lange, Tracy and Ben Lange and Livia Lange

Luke Lange, Tracy and Ben Lange and Livia Lange

Another sale item but not tagged with four figures were Spirit of Tom Landry Awardee Luke Lange’s so very uber-friendly Luke’s Fast Breaks T-shirts. At the patron party the week before, Luke had sold $2,500 worth of the shirts. What’s so special about the T-shirts? Not only are they designed to accommodate leukemia/lymphoma patients going through treatments, but when purchased for $25 they are given to the patients free with the moola going in toto to the leukemia and lymphoma research.

But not all of the day’s awardees were on hand to celebrate the sunshine. The late Ed Robinson, who was the recipient of the 2016 Memorial Hero Award, was honored with the presence of his family and friends like Frank Risch. As Frank put it, Ed had been his associate at Exxon, but he had also been a great friend.

Frank Risch

Frank Risch

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza

Sidley Austin Attorney Yvette Ostolaza revealed that her buddy/Underwriting Chair Heather Randall had not only gotten her on board for the law firm to co-sponsor the meal with Trinity Industries, but Heather would be chairing the 2017 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon. Had they selected a date? Not yet, but stay tuned.

Kent and Tracy Rathbun and Ray Washburne

Kent and Tracy Rathbun and Ray Washburne

A much slimmer Kent Rathbun arrived and reported that after losing 100 pounds, he still wanted to shed 30 more. When asked how the dramatic weight loss hadn’t resulted in a sagging skin, Kent claimed that it had been a result of his working out over the year. As he put it, the healthy guy had always been there, just under extra layers.

Ray Washburne was on the phone but also on the scene for the HP Village fashion show. Unfortunately, he had to duck out before the show got underway.

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Arriving to the delight of photographers was Nancy Rogers with Event Co-Chair Michael Flores. Before heading to the lobby, Nancy was found chatting with Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein. Made sense. Nancy and her bud Gina Betts are chairing the Genesis Luncheon featuring Tyler Perry. Wasn’t it interesting that just a few days after the St. V-Day event, it was announced that Nancy and husband Richard Rogers were offering a million-dollar match for any donations/sponsorships given to the Genesis Luncheon?

But back to the St. V-day festivities. As a trio of Carolina Herrera-gowned models were on display in the reception area, the Meyerson chimes called all to the McDermott Hall for the Jan Strimple-produced program. It was running just a tad bit behind schedule due to a traffic kerfuffle resulting from a nearby funeral procession.

Models in Carolina Herrera bridal white

Models in Carolina Herrera bridal white

Eventually all were seated and the show was underway with KDFW’s Clarice Tinsley doing the emcee duties. After good words from Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Chief Relationship Officer Mark Roithmayr, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society North Texas Executive Director Dr. Patricia Thomson, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society North Texas Board Chair Erin Ragsdale, Gina and Michael, the awards were presented to:

Mark Roithmayr and Patricia Thomson

Mark Roithmayr and Patricia Thomson

  • Accepting the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award presented by Park Place Motor Cards for his father George Alden Ryan, St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon Honorary Co-Chair Brint Ryan admitted that his dad had indeed had his ups-and-down but he was rising to the challenge. Adding to George’s own battle with chronic myeloid leukemia was the loss this past winter of his good friend Brint’s father-in-law to cancer.

    Brint Ryan

    Brint Ryan

  • Surrounded by her family, Ruth Robinson graciously accepted the Memorial Hero Award presented by Robyn and Don Conlon for her late husband Edgar Robinson. The former community leader and ExxonMobil executive succumbed to leukemia and lymphoma on April 19, 2015.

    Ruth Robinson at podium with family

    Ruth Robinson at podium with family

  • And then there was Luke, who stole the show with his smile and his story of raising thousands of dollars to fight cancer. The youngster admitted that he was truly honored by being awarded the Spirit of Tom Landry Award presented by Baker Botts. He revealed that when Gina had called his folks about his being chosen for the award named after the late Dallas Cowboys coach, he heard that Gina was so pleased that she cried and according to his folks “that was evidently not typical of Gina.”

After a call-to-action for members of the audience to join “the team against leukemia/lymphoma” resulting in $195,000,” the fashion show of Highland Park Village fashions from Alice and Olivia, Carolina Herrera, Ermenegildo Zegna, Hadleigh’s, Hadleigh’s Kids, Market and St. John was underway.

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

As usual, the munchkins in the show held their own alongside the willowy professional models. These kids knew how to work the runway with hands on hips and flirty smiles.

But before the models did their finale, Luke’s dad Ben Lange hustled out the door to man the sale of Luke’s T-shirts in the lobby. After all, every cent counts when it comes to shutting down leukemia and lymphoma.

For lots more photos from the St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon fundraiser, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Gina Betts And Michael Flores Reveal A Record-Breaking $725,000 Netted From St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show

Gina Betts

Gina Betts

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Michael Flores have been working their calculators non-stop since Tuesday’s Leukemia And Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser at the Meyerson.

Their hard work, dedication and great friends like Nancy Rogers have resulted in a record-breaking $725,000 being netted. Yup, that’s not the amount raised, it’s the amount of money that will support the research and treatment against leukemia and lymphoma.

Why, “the ask” that took place before the fashion show took place, had hands raised to a whopping $195,000.

What a simply lovely way to start the weekend! Gina and Michael, go have a manicure. Your fingers deserve a bit of pampering after summoning up that amount!

Thursday Night’s ReuNight Auction Items Will Take Guests Away

Claire Emanuelson, John Tesar, Robert Weatherly and Paige Flink (File photo)

Claire Emanuelson, John Tesar, Robert Weatherly and Paige Flink (File photo)

UPDATE (7:22 a.m. on November 12, 2015): Just received the following email from ReuNight Co-Chair Robert Weatherly:

“Nice article on the event this evening, but for the record, Nancy and I both used our connections to secure the trips for the auction. I put together the Paris trip.

“Tonight will be fabulous!!!

“Thanks,

“Robert”

So very glad to learn of Robert’s involvement.  Hope this helps straighten things out in the below post.

The folks getting manicures and having their shoes shined for Thursday night’s ReuNight fundraising dinner at Oak for The Family Place better be ready for quite a night.

Co-Chair Nancy Rogers is having her Gro Floral & Event Design team “re-do” the restaurant. Word has it that owner John Tesar may not even recognize the place.

And to add frosting on this cake of a money raiser, Lady Rogers (UPDATE: and her Co-Chair Robert Weatherly has have) put together a trio of live auction items and they all include travel to some of (UPDATE: her their) favorite spots.

Wanna a clue? How about….

  • Parisian Bon Voyage — When you think of Paris, what comes to mind? Audrey Hepburn in “Charade” floating down the Seine? Diane Keaton celebrating her birthday at Le Grand Colbert with Keanu Reeves and Jack Nicholson? Tom Hanks trying to find the “Holy Grail”? Why not create your own special memories with a two-night stay at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel. And because it’s a (UPDATE: Nancy Rogers Robert Weatherly)-curated visit, it will include “a very private tour of the Hermes Family Museum.” And speaking of Hermes, you’ll have a Highland Park Village gift card for $1,500 to get all gussied up for your trip. (Value: $6,500)
  • Aspen Weekend — OK, so most locals consider Aspen to be a suburb of Dallas. Don’t you know more have been to Aspen than to Cleburne? But despite the familiarity of the mountain resort, Nancy has put together a package that few have experienced including a three-night stay at the newly remodeled Jerome Hotel and spa treatments for two at the now-Auberge Resort. It just ain’t the same old hotel that it used to be! To update your winter look, Stanley Korshak’s Crawford Brock has arranged for a “Bogner fur-trimmed vest and Saint Bernard is providing a pair of custom-fitted ski boots. If you see “working girl” Melanie Griffith, see if she’ll give you a private tour of her cozy cottage. It’s on the market for a mere $8.9M. (Value: $5,400)
  • Los Cabos Getaway — So, the last thing you heard was that the Mexico resort area got slammed by a hurricane. Oh, that’s so old news…so very, very old news. In recovering from the storm damage, the luxury factor only increased tenfold. Cabo is one of Nancy’s very favorite spots to chill and you just know she could have her pick. For the winner of this package, they’ll have four nights at the talk-to-me-about-luxurious One & Only Palmilla resort. But they won’t just stay in their suite…well, unless they want to. Nancy’s arranged for a four-hour yachting experience, four rounds of golf and din-din for two at the Nick-San restaurant. Don’t forget your sunglasses, so you’ll fit in with all the celebs at Palmilla’s new outdoor lounging areas. (Value: $10,000)

Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fundraiser Was A Feast With Oscar De La Renta On The Runway And Beautiful Peeps Ringside

For a second year, the Neiman Marcus Downtown parking lot was transformed into a lavish tented ballroom for the Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Luncheon on Friday, September 18. The annual fundraiser had sold out within two days of tickets going on sale in May. A handful went for $500 and the rest went for $1,000 and $2,000 a head.

2015 Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show and Luncheon tent

2015 Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show and Luncheon tent

But before the 476 guests took their places in the decked-out digs, a reception was held in the store’s ground level, and none of the 10 best dressed (Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Heather Esping, Julie Hawes, Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt, Margaret Hancock, Pat Harloe, Patty Leyendecker, Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Christi Urschel), Honorary Chair Ruth Altshuler nor Hall of Fame Honoree Sarah Perot were in sight. Where were they? Upstairs being once-overed by NM staffers, and then they took an express elevator to the sixth floor for Nancy Rogers’ champagne toast to the honorees and friends in the Michael Flores Salon.

Pat Harloe

Pat Harloe

Annika Cail

Annika Cail

Tucker Enthoven

Tucker Enthoven

Serving up champagne

Serving up champagne

Once again the Salon’s entry was a season upstager. While last year the entrance was a voluptuous cascade of flowers, this year it was an even grander bouquet, but with a splash of giggles. As guests approached the salon, they were astounded by the towering walls of multi-color hydrangeas and orchids on either side of the entrance. As their heads shook from side to side at the floral masterpiece, the guests stopped dead in their stilettoed tracks and pointed in delight at hands poking out of the walls with flutes of champagne. Talk about the photo backdrop of the year for gals like Patsy Donosky, Nancy Ross, Tucker Enthoven, DeeDee Lee, Piper Wyatt, Tanya Foster, Caren Kline, Nancy Carter, Shelle Sills, Mary Black and Annika Cail. Even Lady Rogers couldn’t resist cellphotoing buds Olivia Kearny and Leisa Street accepting their morning wake-me-up beverage. Dwight Emanuelson rushed into the salon so fast he hardly noticed the hands beckoning with flutes. And, no, these weren’t mechanical hands. A couple of servers stood tirelessly on the other side of the wall serving up the bubbly.

Nancy Rogers, Leisa Street and Olivia Kearney

Nancy Rogers, Leisa Street and Olivia Kearney

Nancy Rogers cellphotoing Olivia Kearney and Leisa Street

Nancy Rogers cellphotoing Olivia Kearney and Leisa Street

Ruth graciously posed against the bouquet bonanza but took a pass on the champagne and opted for a glass of orange juice. The 91-year-young admitted that it had been ages since she had strolled the catwalk and thought the OJ would be a better choice.

On the side a member of the Gro Floral & Event Design was asked what would happen to the walls after the reception was over. She replied that the frames of flowers would be disassembled and taken back to their workshop. BTW, Gro is also designing the look of the Thursday, November 12th ReuNight that Nancy is co-chairing with Robert Weatherly at Oak for The Family Place. Hmm, can’t wait to see what they come up with on that night!

Promptly at 11, the sixth-floor festivities were minus the 10 Best Dressed, Ruth and Luncheon Chair Mary Clare Finney, who headed to the second floor Couture Salon to join Sarah for a “class picture” with Oscar de la Renta designer Peter Copping. While waiting for the entire group to gather, grandmum Marilyn Augur, mum Margaret Hancock and daughter Mary Margaret Hancock posed for a three-generation photo. The Augur clan wasn’t the only mum-daughter present. NM Exec Wanda Gierhart arrived on the scene with her 12-year-old daughter Celese.

Wanda Gierhart and Celese Gierhart

Wanda Gierhart and Celese Gierhart

Mary Margaret Hancock, Margaret Hancock and Marilyn Augur

Mary Margaret Hancock, Margaret Hancock and Marilyn Augur

After a couple or three head counts all were present except for CCB Chair Michal Powell. With a schedule to keep, the decision was made to go ahead with the photo and head to the tent’s backstage, while the rest of the guests took their assigned places in the mammoth tent with blue and white patterns moving on the side walls and the front of the room in pure white except for the Oscar logo displayed, not too big, not too small, just right on both sides of the stage.

From the left: (Front row) Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt, Pat Harloe, Sarah Perot, Ruth Altshuler, Janie Condon and Heather Esping; (Back row) Margaret Hancock, Francie Moody Halhberg, Peter Copping, Patty Leyendecker, Julies Hawes, Katherine Coker and Mary Clare Finney

From the left: (Front row) Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt, Pat Harloe, Sarah Perot, Ruth Altshuler, Janie Condon and Heather Esping; (Back row) Margaret Hancock, Francie Moody Halhberg, Peter Copping, Patty Leyendecker, Julies Hawes, Katherine Coker and Mary Clare Finney

As for the crowd filling every seat, it was pretty darn knock-out itself. NM CEO Karen Katz chatted with the late Oscar de la Renta’s stepdaughter Eliza Bolen and her husband Alex Bolen, who is CEO of Oscar de la Renta…Realtors Erin Mathews, daughter-in-law Brittany Mathews and Ellen Terry; just back from Africa trekking D’Andra Simmons; Barbara Daseke, who is chairing TACA Custom Gala Auction, the “Creep” dinner and Art In Bloom; 10 Bestie husbands Ross Perot Jr., Kevin Dalhberg and David Donosky, who admitted that he thought wife Janie “looked hot” in her red Oscar outfit; Fort Worth’s Mercedes Bass was with banker Elaine Agather; NM’s Jim Gold discussed business with Peter Copping.

Arriving with her Secret Service entourage, former First Lady Laura Bush joined her gal pals at a front row table on the “50-yard line” of the runway that included Lee Ann White, Nancy Dedman, Kelli Ford, Joan Schnitzer Levy and a glowing Annette Simmons. On the other side of the runway were Nancy’s tablemates including Gina Betts, Michael Flores and the other beautiful peeps.

Kelli Ford

Kelli Ford

Annette Simmons

Annette Simmons

Laura Bush and Debbie Francis

Laura Bush and Debbie Francis

Once the lights dimmed, NM Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron welcomed the hundreds and introduced Karen Katz, Michal Powell and Mary Clare Finney. Then Jeff returned to the podium announcing the 10 Besties along with their contributions to the community. Of course, they were all in Oscar designs and escorted by gorgeous male models. Following the 10, Sarah was presented and she was followed by Ruth, who was greeted by a standing ovation. In typical Ruth fashion, she waved the crowd down and they didn’t obey continuing to stand applauding.

Ruth Altshuler

Ruth Altshuler

As outside traffic could be heard, the parade of Oscar resort collection was on the runway followed by lunch.

As one guest smiled over lunch, “I bet you’ll see a lot of Oscar at the ball.”

For more photos including the Ten Best Dressed and Oscar de la Renta fashions, go to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Philanthropist Nancy Rogers To Receive Susan Schwartz Founders Award At Triple Crown Gala

Nancy Rogers (File photo)

Nancy Rogers (File photo)

She’s hardly been in town lately, but her influence has never stopped. Hopefully, she’ll be in town to collect her newest award.

Philanthropist and all-around good gal Nancy Rogers will be the first recipient of the Susan Schwartz Founders Award by Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship. The presentation will take place at the Triple Crown Gala on Saturday, April 20, at Park Lane Ranch and Equestrian Center.

Named after one of the Equest founders, who had the vision of equine therapy over 31 years ago, the award was created by Gala Chair/Equest Board member Jocelyn White “to honor and thank those who have helped make that dream thrive.”

According to Susan, “I was deeply touched and honored to learn about the Susan Schwartz Founder’s Award. Although my greatest reward has been witnessing the miracles that happen at Equest every day between our riders and their horses, I am thrilled that my name will be associated with the most generous and giving people in Texas. Giving does not simply refer to money, and Nancy Rogers has been generous beyond words with her time, resources and passion. I am looking forward to presenting her with the first annual Susan Schwartz Founder’s Award.”

Nancy, who rides herself, was one of the first to help Equest when the facility was vandalized a few years ago.

“Nancy has been a longtime supporter of Equest who has been so generous with her gifts that she was a logical and wonderful choice for the inaugural Susan Schwartz Founders Award,” said Jocelyn. “Her love of both horses and the work Equest does for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities has meant she has gone above and beyond for the program. Following a burglary at Equest several years ago, Nancy donated a state of the art security system and personally flew in her own team of engineers to install it. Equest relies upon it to this day.”

 

Ebby Halliday And Nancy Rogers Are The Cats’ Meow

Lucy's Home Sweet Home

When pet adoptions come up, the focus always seems to be on the canine side of the table. But in recent days, the felines have started growing in popularity. For instance, Ebby Halliday at the age of 101 has added Lady Lucy to her household. According to Ebby’s  Cody Baker, just mention “Lucy” and Ebby lights up like her 100th birthday cake. In keeping with her roomie’s interests, Lucy has her own digs. The adorable little “casa” was “made by the students at Ebby Halliday Elementary School for Ebby’s 101th birthday.” The kids presented it to Dallas’ first lady of residential real estate when she “helped dedicate the school on her March birthday.”

Bentley Blue and Cocoa Bear

And then there is blonde beauty Nancy Chritton Rogers, who recently celebrated her birthday with the finest gifts you can imagine. But what was her fav? Sorry other gift givers, but it was a pair of shelter kittens that she named Bentley Blue and Cocoa Bear. After losing her beloved Angelo last year to a lingering disease, these two were just what the Rogers’ household(s) needed.

All of this goes to say that cats are pretty cool companions. They don’t need to be walked. They don’t bother the neighbors with early morning barking. They enjoy being with their humans when reading a book or watching TV.

The reason for this pep rally for cats is the fact that area shelters and rescue organizations are euthanizing (that’s an intellectual word for “killing”) beautiful and marvelous cats and kittens like Lucy, Bentley Blue and Coca Bear every day because of the over-population problem.

So if you’ve thought about getting a cat or have recently lost one, take the opportunity to save a life and make a friend.

Super Bowl XLV Wrap Up: LOOK With Richie Sambora, Giving Fund With Jocks And Audi Forum Part(y) II With Demi, Ashton, Justin and Jackman

FRIDAY

With private jets parading overhead into Dallas like homing pigeons, Friday presents three opportunities for encounter with elite visitors. Super Bowl insiders say the real crush of celebrities will start today. The hunt is on! But it is a hunt in a world covered with inches of snow. Schools and businesses are closed like liquor stores on a Sunday. “But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep,” is the MySweetCharity mantra.

2:30 p.m. — LOOK at Mi Cocina in Highland Park Village

First stop is Mi Cocina, where the Jerry Jones family is hosting LOOK to showcase Richie Sambora‘s White Trash Beautiful “couture line” of clothing. A couple of hours before the event, checked in with Dallas Cowboys pr champ Joe Trahan. He dutifully reports that despite the closing of most schools and the warning by media outlets to stay home, the party is on.

Great! Since it is still subfreezing, it is doubtful many of the beautiful people will chance getting their Christian Louboutins snow soaked. Perfect! Will be able to kick back and have some quality time with the Bon Jovi guitarist and compare fashion notes with Richie’s co-designer Nikki Lund. But surprise! The HP Village parking lot around Mi Cocina is packed. Only a half hour into the party and the place is also jam-packed with guests who look like they made the final cut at a Kim Dawson cattle call. No split ends, bad complexions or last season’s casual wear for this bunch. Heck, no. These are the folks who have makeup artists on retainer and house accounts at just the right shops. After checking in with the girl greeters/guest list auditors, a security type is asked how many people are there. He says, “They say 300.” Tell him that it seems like there are more than 300. He winks and smiles.

Nancy Rogers and Sonia Black

It is a little hard to tell that the main dining room has been converted into a Miami-themed South Beach party world. No, it isn’t due to the windows showcasing a snowy HP Village. It is just too darn hard to see anything with all the beautiful people gathered. Long-legged, blond Nancy Rogers huddles up with her gal pals like Leisa Street, Sonia Black and Kris Johnson on a white couch. Despite the snow-covered streets on the other side of the window behind them, the girls look as snug as a litter of bunnies.

When asked about her dreamy Dennis Basso beige and white coat, Nancy sheepishly says that the clerk had forgotten to remove something. Lifting the edge of the jacket, she shows an EAS security tag.

Lana Andrews

Over in a side room, Brill Garrett looks as welcome as a cup of hot chocolate. She knows no strangers. Someone tells her that next year she’ll be in Indianapolis with husband/Dallas Cowboys coach Jason for Super Bowl XLVI. She smiles and blushes. Stephen Jones is chatting it up with Barry Andrews. Lana Andrews looks itty bitty all in black and admits that despite the weather, they’re having a great time. Yes, it had taken a bit of time to get home the night before from the NFL owners’ party at Cowboys Stadium, but it was well worth it. Fergie was adorable and had brought her father. Jamie Foxx was great and Jennifer Hudson was wonderful. This evening she and Barry are headed to the Coors Lite big hoop-la at Billy Bob’s, but she is concerned about the drive home since the roads might be icier.

Just then Troy Aikman, whose second home is Mi Cocina, passes Lana on his way out. When asked if he’ll be at the Samuel Lynne Galleries party tonight, he says, “Maybe. Don’t know.” Interesting, since he’s hosting the event.

Richie Sambora with fellow in brown and white sweater in background

Then live music from the upstairs balcony grabs everyone’s attention. All eyes go to the top of the staircase as a Caribbean-styled drum band parades down, with Richie in the center. The tallest member of the marching band has no instrument and looks a bit out of place in his brown and white sweater. Is he a guest who’s gotten into the party mood? Nope, his one job in this whole world is to keep the path clear for Sambora — even if it means shoving people aside. Guess he didn’t major in gentility. The good thing is that there are so many people packed in, there is no room to fall down.

As the sunglassed Sambora passes Nancy’s couch, he high-fives her waist and she gives him one of those “Nancy smiles.” Somebody asks Nancy, “How do you know Richie?” She looks startled and replies, “I don’t know him at all.”  Evidently Richie knows how to pick out a face in the crowd.

Then more long-legged gals appear on elevated platforms modeling WTB designs that Richie and co-designer Nikki have created. iPhone salutes reward the designers as people photograph the clothes. . . and/or the models. Somebody passes the word that the models are Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Didn’t recognize them without their uniforms.

Jerry Jones

Outside, PaperCity editor-emeritus Brooke Hortenstine walks by Mi Cocina looking spectacular and admitting that she had just had her makeup done for the night’s lineup. Even her hair looks sun-kissed. “Are you going in to see LOOK?”

She laughs in a girlish fashion, raising an eyebrow at the windows filled with people and saunters on. She has miles to go before she sleeps, too.

Just as the sun is coming out, Jerry Jones arrives. After handling the problems of ice sliding off of Cowboys Stadium, he’s probably relieved to be in his home ZIP code among friends and family.

7:00 p.m. — The Giving Fund at Samuel Lynne Galleries

Troy Aikman

Driving up to the Samuel Lynne Galleries, a line of car parkers are joined by Cecil Martinez, who is shoveling snow from the street. On the way in, Troy is seen leaving the party. Guess he’s headed to another event. He smiles and waves. Troy’s become the moving target of celebrities this week.

Once inside, a bevy of pr gals in the uniformed black dress and black, painfully high heels are front and center to offer assistance. Over to the side is Dallas Morning NewsChristopher Wynn tweeting away while his photo sidekick Courtney Perry is lining up shots.

While the list of VIPs is impressive in length, it is predominantly football types. But heck! Troy is hosting the party, so that makes sense.

Ky Hebert

The problem is, who is who? A group of fellows grab one media person and asks, “Who’s that guy? He looks famous.” The media type responds ignorance, but adds, “Yes, he did look important.” “The guy” turns out to be former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Ky Hebert.

Samuel Lynne owner JD Miller admits that even he isn’t quite sure who is who.

Fellow gallery owner Phil Romano is talking about plans for the Saturday night party at his home  benefiting The Giving Fund, his Hunger Busters and other organizations. He is looking forward to Hilary Swank‘s hosting the dinner at his home on Strait Lane. Sunday he’s taking her in a touring van along with 20 others to his box at Cowboys Stadium. “I hope she has a sense of humor!” Phil says.

8:00 p.m. — Audi Forum party at the Rachofsky House

Arrive early to impress the handlers. Greeted by the pr munchkins who are checking names. They look cold from the wintry temperatures and the wind. But still they smile and try to make everyone feel right at home. . . even the people whose names aren’t on the list and must be turned away.

Run into host Howard Rachofsky, who says it is 50/50 whether he’d be attending the Super Bowl. “We’re going to have so many guests in, and they all want a tour, you know, of the house. When you have a (hopefully!) interesting collection, that’s what you (have to) do.” Then he adds, “I’ve never seen so much security!”  But, you’re having big names coming tonight. “That’s what I understand,” he replies. All the while Jeremy the Security Guard looks on.

Across the way, ever-upbeat Cindy Rachofsky is asking, “What did Dallas do in a previous life to deserve all the snow?” She’s also thrilled about her new Shih Tzu/Bichon Frise puppy, Sophie, who has found the snow to be just terrific.

To accommodate the elite members of the media in their dealings with the much-vaunted boldfaced guests, two options are on the table — be part of the party crowd with no cameras and chancy VIP access, or the media bullpen for a red carpet interaction. Some opted to float between the two worlds of media opportunities.

The bullpen is a small room on the second level. With cameras and media types, the room gets even smaller. Against one wall is the on-too familiar sponsors’ backdrop, where the interviewees will be lined up as if facing a firing squad. Whoever makes the backdrops is a very happy camper.

Chord Overstreet

First to arrive is Chord “Glee” Overstreet, who serves as a warm-up act for the media players including Extra!, People Magazine, AP, WFAA, the Morning News and the Audi home team. He’s cute and shy. Asked about the Super Bowl, the blond Packers’ fan says, “I’m pumped!” This is my first Super Bowl. . .  Awful, awful Super Bowl weather. I want some sun.”

Then there’s a bit of a lull that allows the media to check smart phones and compare notes on their pasts. The media gets sorta endearing when they go through this period of work. Like a first date, they ask each other get-to-know-you questions like “Where did you go to school?”, “Did you know. . .?” and “The worst assignment I ever had was . . .” They never get into anything too deep like religion, politics or sex. These relationships just fill time until they have to hop into action. There are some among them that are the “loners.” They stay to themselves because they’re just too darn shy or they regard themselves above the common hoi polloi.

Upon venturing outside the pen to test the waters, PaperCity associate publisher Margaret Stafford is in the hallway laughing at PC Editor Rob Brinkley (aka Everyone’s BFF). “Someone” has spilled champagne or water on his camel-colored jacket and the floor. They are now advising guests of the slip and slide condition leading to the bullpen. Good thing, because this is the hallway that the holy VIPs will take to get to the bullpen.

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore

The second-level living room looks scary jammed. It might be safer back with the rest of the media. Good decision. Upon returning to the bullpen, the head pr wrangler gives a warning signal that Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are about to be served up. Conversations are dropped and places taken. The wrangler, who is losing her voice, explains the ground rules. Demi and Ashton will first have still photos taken. Once that is done, it will be time for the video. At that time no more still photos are to be taken. Something about the twosome not liking flashes. No one says what will happen if the rules are not obeyed.

The duo enters the room like children who have once again been called to the principal’s office. Walking in single file with eyes slightly downcast. they  promptly take their places in front of the Audi backdrop. Bundled up in knit cap, scarf and winter jacket, Ashton looks like a tall kid who’d been on his way to build a snowman. Demi, on the other hand, is itty bitty. A pr insider from across the room mouths, Yves St. Laurent, pointing to Demi’s black cocktail dress. She looks adoringly at Ashton, while he warily checks out the surroundings like a Secret Service agent for the Bushes. As he loosens up, he teases the media about their being so quiet. Little did he know the advanced coaching that the media has received.

Just then Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen opens the door and enters letting the music from the party in. Media, especially those with headsets on, shudder. PR team cringes, but they’re not going to “have a talk” with Johan.

Someone asks Ashton if he’s seen the new Audi Super Bowl commercial. He counters, “Is it funny?” Standing on the sideline, Johan says, “It is German. It cannot possibly be funny.” Big laughter emerges from celebs, handlers and media. Whew!

When asked why they’re in Dallas, the celebrities both agree, “Football, always football.”

But the hand-holding couple doesn’t agree on everything. She’s for the Packers because of Aaron Rogers, and Ashton is rooting for the Steelers.

Demi, Ashton and Johan exit.

Rumors start circulating that the Prince concert that had been cancelled earlier in the day and then rescheduled is once again canceled. Media perks up. Super Bowl concert crisis. Dallas Morning News writer Jason Sheeler is texting nonstop.  WFAA’s social media guru Jonathan Betz is monitoring situation. Says WFAA has a crew checking it out. But before further developments can be reported, the chief wrangler appears and announces that Justin Timberlake will be arriving in a second. Same ground rules. Gee, does he have a problem with lights, too?

A covey of young gals has arrived in the room and directed to the far walls. They have cell phone cameras all ready for action. Don’t see any notepads. Guess they have very good memories.

Justin Timberlake

Justin, looking a bit wan and in retro Salvation Army attire, enters the room, followed by four or five beefy bodyguards, who look like successful undertakers. Somebody mutters, “Bet the president of Egypt wishes he had type of security.” The head of the escorts is a woman who would scare Kathy Bates. She immediately starts complaining about the arrangements. Pointing fingers at members of the media, she is giving the head wrangler a piece of her mind and other things, too. Wrangler announces that personal cameras and cell phone cameras are prohibited. Yeah, sure. Insiders know that the beefy security guys are soup if they come between the covey and their ‘N Sync boy-man.

Justin tells the crew that he’s a Packers’ fan. When asked by Extra!’s AJ Calloway if Justin’s willing to make a $5 bet on the outcome of Sunday’s Super Bowl, Justin wonders why the bet is so low. AJ responds, “I don’t have Justin Timberlake money.” One of Justin’s beefy security guards snorts and laughs quietly, “None of us do.”

Justin exits followed by entourage. Covey also departs. They came; they shot; they left.

Hugh Jackman*

Before the media could return to checking their cell phones or get updated on the Prince situation, the wrangler barely has time to announce the arrival of Hugh Jackman or the restrictions. With almost no fanfare, Hugh saunters into the room like he was returning to his favorite pub. Standing in front of the backdrop, he amiably answers questions. Then he does the unforgivable. He leaves the zone of safety and ventures toward the media. Was this some test that the wrangler has devised to see if the media would overstep their places? Evidently not.

He nonchalantly makes friends with one and all and talks on any topic —

Super Bowl — “My heart says the Packers, but my head says Steelers by five points.”

Weather — “I don’t mind it. We’re inside now, in a beautiful place. As long as we don’t have to go swimming. ”

Living in the states — “We’re living in New York. I love Texas. I’ve never seen it with snow. It’s magnificent.”

Advice for Oscar emcees — He recalls the advice that he got from Steve Martin: “Focus on the first part and just get it going. Have fun. Keep it moving. I took out some cookies. These A-list actors just mobbed me for cookies.”

Bulking up for his next role — He’s eating 6,000 calories a day. “Ten ounces of steak, chicken, rice, beans, very boring.” He got the diet from Duane Johnson and is trying to put on 30 to 40 pounds. Is working out an hour a day.

One of the wranglers gave the signal that it was time to end the conversation. Hugh leaves. Media members exchange looks signaling “He’s the real deal.”

Finally decide to emerge from the pen and see how the party is going. The once-open living room is jammed with people. Complain to a friend that it’s impossible to see where the celebs are. Friend makes a painful face. Look over shoulder to discover Demi and Ashton giggling with locals. Turn around to see another media type asking Jackman if he ever gets tired of “all these women slobbering over you?” Hugh gives him a big grin and says, “No,” then introduces media member to the lady standing next to him — Hugh’s wife Deborra-Lee. Awkward!

Decide it’s time to leave before another casualty moment takes place. Pass event planner Todd Fiscus on the stairway. He’s happy, happy. Has handled 50 events during the week. Is especially happy not to be associated in any form with the Prince debacle. Evidently word inside the bullpen had been right. It’s a mess.

Outside, the pr munchkins are now taking turns doing cold-weather duty. The parking lot looks as crowded as the living room upstairs. The slush makes the whole scene feel even colder. Demi and Ashton walk across the driveway to their car. Looks surrealistic. In the freezing temperatures that have even the hardiest valet turning NFL blue, she’s without a coat or anything to keep her warm. . . not even Ashton’s arm.

Chat with Morning News bold-face expert Alan “Dimples” Peppard. He chuckles at the idea of being a part of the media herd. That’s so not cool. Waves good bye as he gets in his SUV and drives off to another swell event. Someone says, “Your car is here.” Head to vehicle, open the backdoor and ask friend, “When did we get a fur coat?”

Oops, wrong car. Drat! Wait another 15 minutes for the right vehicle to be found. Except for the chill, it isn’t a problem. Have fun talking with arriving guests like Laura Hunt, Brendan Higgins and Jenna Turner.  Feel very in the know. Tell them to look up Hugh and Deborra-Lee and Justin. Sorry they just missed Demi and Ashton. Don’t you know we’re all on a first-name basis.

* Hugh Jackman photo credit: Audi/WireImage.

Tomorrow: Private Party and Hilary Swank Dinner