SPCA Of Texas’ Paws Cause “Fetches” $115,000 To Benefit Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter And Wellness Clinic At Village Fair And The South Dallas Initiative

Perhaps more than ever, the need for spay and neuter has been moved to the top of the list of longtime solutions for the area glut of stray animals. With such city officials as Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, City Councilperson Monica Alonzo and Dallas City Attorney Faith Johnson in attendance to drive the point home, the SPCA Of Texas‘ Annual Paws Cause — “Pawsitively Dallas Strong” — at the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center on Sunday, January 29, took on an added importance in fundraising for the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair and the South Dallas Pet Initiative. The result was netting $115,000 for the program. Here is a report from the field:

Monica R. Alonzo*

Faith Johnson*

On Sunday, January 29, the SPCA of Texas’ Paws Cause, “Pawsitively Dallas Strong,” at the SPCA of Texas’ Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center saw more than 300 animal lovers come together to benefit the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair and the South Dallas Pet Initiative. The event attendees were welcomed with a purple search light, a purple carpet, dancing dog and cat mascots and actual dogs and cats galore.

2017 Paws Cause’s “Pawsitively Dallas Strong”*

Inside, guests enjoyed gourmet food from some of Dallas’ finest chefs, imbibed luscious libations–including the “Pawsitive Delight” signature drink, danced the night away to musical entertainment by Goga, took part in the Bone Appetite restaurant drawing and had their pictures snapped at the Flipbook photo booth. A raffle of high-end items tempted attendees with fine art, photography packages, pet care products, designer purses, fine jewelry and more. A highly successful live auction and Pony Up for Paws fundraiser completed the night.

Haute cuisine stations from several of the Metroplex’s best restaurants, including Salum, Parigi, Pink Magnolia, Cane Rosso, Whistle Britches and 3015 at Trinity Groves tempted guests with everything from  sumptuous savories to decadent desserts.

Paws Cause 2017 was a tail-wagging success thanks to 2017 Paws Cause Honorary Chair  Andrea Alcorn, and the Steering Committee, which included: Jane Arrington, Steve Atkinson, Rebecca Belew, Diane Brierley, Andie Comini, Phyllis Comu, Giana DePaul, Gwen Echols, Kristen Greenberg, Whitney Keltch, Christina Miller, Pam Ragon, Abraham Salum, Gloria Snead, Karen Urie and Cathy Zigrossi

At the pinnacle of the party, Mayor Mike Rawlings first addressed the crowd saying, “The spay and neuter initiative that the SPCA is taking on is the lynchpin of the plan…to solve the situation in South Dallas that is hurting neighborhoods. We’ve got tens of thousands of dogs that need to have this operation and I believe that when we do that we will not only make the lives of those dogs better, but the lives of the neighbors and the strength of Dallas will come with it.”

Andrea Alcorn and Karen Urie*

Then, SPCA of Texas Senior Vice President Debra Burns, Karen Urie, Andrea Alcorn, SPCA of Texas President/CEO James Bias and SPCA of Texas Board Chair Katy Murray took turns thanking the guests and encouraging them to give. Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson spoke in support of the partnership between the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office’s Animal Cruelty Unit and the SPCA of Texas.

The event netted $115,000 for the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair and the SPCA of Texas’ South Dallas Pet Initiative.

All proceeds from the Paws Cause event benefit the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair and fund spay and neuter efforts in the Dallas community. This includes the SPCA of Texas’ programs that aim to support the pets and people of South Dallas to help address the serious stray animal, pet homelessness and pet overpopulation issues, also supporting the preservation of the bond between pets and people and keeping pets and the community healthy and safe.

Angela Thompson, Mary Spencer and Ann Marcus*

James Bias and Jan Rees-Jones*

Attendees also included Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Bobbi Snyder, Stacey and Arnie Verbeek, Bob Minyard, Angela Thompson, Candace Rubin, Ann Marcus, Hal Brierley, Leldon Echols, Marsha Pendleton-Gray and Dr. Richard Gray, Mary and Skip Trimble, Stacey and Don Kivowitz, Mary Spencer, Betsy Orton and Sharon Fancher, Mike and Catherine Merritt and Claire and Kurt Schwarz.

Event sponsors included:

  • Diamond Sponsors: Andrea Alcorn, Friedman & Feiger LLP and Dr. Richard Gray and Marsha Pendleton Gray
  • Gold Sponsors: Diane and Hal Brierley, the Durham Family Foundation, Forty Five Ten, Gwen and Leldon Echols, In Memory of Guy T. Marcus, Trinity Industries Inc. and Patricia Villareal and Tom Leatherbury
  • Silver Sponsors: Ralph Lauren – Highland Park and Skip and Mary L. Trimble
  • Copper Sponsors: Sharon Devereux, Stacey and Don Kivowitz, Katy Murray, Ray and Patricia A. Smerge, Pam Ragon, Redfin Real Estate, Claire and Kurt Schwarz and Sandra Urie and Frank Herron
  • Bronze Sponsors: MaryLynn M. Black, Karen and Phil Drayer, Cassie Evans and Hattie Pearl Decker, Hillary Hurst and Mark Schwarz, Bobby Minyard, Carol Orr, Penny Rivenbark Patton, Lucilo A. Pena, Candace Rubin, Mary Spencer, Susie Swanson, Chad West and Mr. and Mrs. David Yost.
* Photo credit: Thomas Garza Photography

To Kick Off The Holiday Season, The SPCA Of Texas’ Paws Cause Crew Sipped And Shopped At Ralph Lauren

Having recovered from Thanksgiving feasting and family-get-togethers, the SPCA of TexasPaws Cause leadership and friends including Webster the Chihuahua held forth at Ralph Lauren in Highland Park Village on Thursday, December 1. It was just perfect for picking out that outfit for the upcoming Paws Cause at the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center on Sunday, January 29. Here’s a report from the field:

Light from Ralph Lauren Holiday candles glinted off of the magnificent crystal chandelier gracing the entryway of the Ralph Lauren Boutique at Highland Park Village on Wednesday, December 1, where ladies and gentlemen gathered in the holiday spirit to celebrate Paws Cause and shop for friends and family, all to benefit the SPCA of Texas. Guests sipped wine and champagne and nibbled decadent macaroons as they browsed.

Nancy Latner, Mary Spencer and Susie Swanson*

Sincere thanks to  Susie Swanson for hosting and to the Ralph Lauren store for welcoming the festive crowd and for donating a portion of the proceeds from the event’s sales to the SPCA of Texas. Many of the guests were spotted walking out with armfuls of beribboned boxes and bags!

Guests included Honorary Chair Andrea Alcorn, steering committee member and heartbeat of Paws Cause 2017 Karen Urie, SPCA of Texas Board Chair Katy Murray, Susie Swanson, Diane Brierley, Gloria Snead, Penny Rivenbark, Judy Davis, Penny Patton, Kevin Coffey, Mary Spencer, Jocelyn White, Nancy Latner, Sharon Fancher, Steve Atkinson, Kristen Greenberg, SPCA of Texas President/CEO James Bias and SPCA of Texas Senior Vice President of Development Debra Burns.

Steve Atkinson and Kristen Greenberg*

Jocelyn White and Webster*

Katy Murray, James Bias and Karen Urie*

Paws Cause will be held on Sunday, January 29, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center at 2400 Lone Star Drive in West Dallas. Paws Cause is committed to supporting the SPCA of Texas’ programs that aim to support the pets and people of South Dallas through sponsorships and donations to help address the serious stray animal and animal overpopulation issue. For more information, visit www.pawscausedallas.com.

JUST IN: Marketing Executive Andrea Alcorn To Serve As Honorary Chair For Upcoming SPCA’s Paws Cause

If you haven’t already got your 2017 calendar, hustle and get it now! Believe it or not, dates are being lined up and even the usual January ho-hums are turning into “Oh, my’s”.

Why, Saturday, January 28, is looking like a collision course of fundraising with the 19th Annual Bishop’s Gala (with Huey Lewis and the News but without a Bishop), the ChildCare Group‘s Great Adventure Hunt at the Perot and The Birthday Party Project celebrating its own fifth birthday at The Bomb Factory.

Andrea Alcorn (File photo)

Andrea Alcorn (File photo)

Now word comes that Sunday, January 29, is not going to be a stay-at-home day. The annual SPCA of TexasPaws Cause is gonna be partying it up at the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Center from 6 to 9 p.m.

This year’s theme is “Pawsitively Dallas Strong” and the honorary chair will be blonde marketing exec Andrea Alcorn, who is also serving as president of KidneyTexas this year. That gal is gonna be busy!

Back to Paws Cause: This year’s event will be grazing feast with food from Salum, Parigi, Pink Magnolia and more!

Benefiting the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair, the event is being coordinated by the 2017 Steering Committee including Jane Arrington, Steve Atkinson, Blythe Beck, Rebecca Belew, Diane Brierley, Andie Comini, Phyllis Comu, Giana DePaul, Gwen Echols, Kristen Greenberg, Christina Miller, Janice Provost, Pam Ragon, Abraham Salum, Karen Urie and Cathy Zigrossi.

According to insiders, the Rees-Jones Animal Center residents are going to be all gussied up for the evening with hopes of impressing potential new BFFs.  

Tickets are available here.

Karol Wilson’s Life To Be Celebrated This Sunday With Friends, Food And Fond Memories

Teena McMills just sent word that PR pro Karol Wilson’s life will be celebrated on Sunday, June 12, at Activity Hall at Trinity Groves, 3015 Gulden Lane, at 3 p.m.

Karol Wilson (File photo)

Karol Wilson (File photo)

While friends and professional associates are still adjusting to the news of her May 16th death, they are being comforted by sharing memories of their relationship with the award-winning “longtime writer, PR director, philanthropist and self-proclaimed foodie.”

Monica Greene: “The greatest dignity to be found in death is the dignity of the life that preceded it. Karol cultivated a long list of friends, and she did it by always trying to help.”

Diane Brierley: “When Karol and I worked on the Paws Cause calendar together, Karol would come up with the most fantastic pet-related quotes. She was a wealth of knowledge. She truly believed in the ‘Cause.’”

Katy Menges: “Karol was a walking compendium of every charity event and social organization in the city—and who ran it.”

Dean Fearing: “Karol was a charm to work with at the Mansion on Turtle Creek. She was doing my PR and I was always so busy from her actions, I kept telling her to slow down, but she never did. She said you have to do it while the iron is hot. So I kept quiet from then on!”

Dotty Griffith: “Karol was my friend and a respected professional colleague. She was as dedicated to our professional organization for women in the food and hospitality industry as to her many other causes.”

The occasion will be so typical of Karol with Les Dames d’Escoffier hosting the celebratory refreshments, and requests for “donations to one of her favorite organizations, Paws Cause, are being accepted in care of the SPCA of Texas.”

And, yes, Karol’s devoted and much beloved rescue dachshund, Daisy, is being cared for. After all, Karol wouldn’t have parted this world without planning for Daisy’s well-being.

For the loving obituary written by Teena, please follow the jump. [Read more…]

Philanthropist Faye Briggs Opened Her Estate For The SPCA Of Texas’ Paws Cause Patrons’ Party

Faye Briggs

Faye Briggs

The moment the doors opened at Faye Briggs’ home, the cars were lined up in the driveway. No, Faye wasn’t giving away money. She was hostessing the patron party for the SPCA of Texas’ Paws Cause fundraiser.

Evidently Faye and Mother Nature had cut a deal. The weather was perfect, so the doors were wide open to the grounds and guests checked out the pool and garden with its Brad Oldham statuary.

In meantime, Faye sat at a table in the living room greeting guests. It wasn’t that Faye expected folks to come to her. The petite philanthropist was still unable to hop around due to her recent leg injury. She’s basically out of the wheelchair action and was now weaning herself off the walker.

As for Faye’s two kittens, they decided to seek their favorite hideaways. Way too many two-legged critters trolling around. However, any animal lover… and the place was full of ‘em…could get a gander of them in the life-size portrait of Faye with her cats in the living room.

Calvin Frank and Dee Simmons

Calvin Frank and Dee Simmons

Alison Hunsicker and Anne Stodghill

Alison Hunsicker and Anne Stodghill

In the crowd were Dee Simmons with Calvin Frank,  SPCA’s James Bias, Holly Forsythe, Alison Hunsicker and Anne Stodghill just back from Austin. She had been with the rest of the John Wayne clan for a ceremony making the Duke an honorary Texan on the anniversary of his 100th birthday.

Another subject topping conversations: the previous events leading up to the June 14th Paws Cause at the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Center. For instance, there had been the kick-off party at Shane Walker’s and the Jimmy Choo reception, where Leslie Eastwood brought along her Chihuahua Prada Sparkles and Annette Crow was joined by her Doodle named Bailey.

Phyllis Comu

Phyllis Comu

Paws Cause Chair Phyllis Comu has arranged for this year’s fundraiser, which is the 20th anniversary, to have past gala chairs and honorary chairs serve as honorary chairs, including: Jane Arrington, Rebecca and Jim Belew, Diane and Hal Brierley, Andie Comini, Terry Cook and Steve Yevich, Wynne McNabb Cunningham, Cassie Evans Decker, Barbara and Steve Durham, Gwen Echols, Holly Forsythe, Janelle and Larry Friedman, Gemma Galeoto, Brenda Gray, Claire Heymann, Hillary Hurst, Susan Jones, Whitney Keltch, Stacey and Don Kivowitz, Lynn Knox, Ann Marcus, T. Boone Pickens, Madeleine Pickens, the late Sarah Potter, Martha and Larry Powell, Melinda and William Rathke, Gigi and Roy Salley, Mary Spencer, Mary and Skip Trimble, Karen Urie, Karol Wilson and Cheryl Wyly.

Funds raised through the Paws Cause events will benefit the SPCA of Texas’ Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair.

Round Robin April 16: Equest Fashion Show Announcement, AWARE Reception And Paws Cause Kick-Off Party

The bubble was bubbling Thursday, April 16. “Close family and friends” and big-buck donors were hunkering down at a tented dinner to celebrate the Meadows Museum’s 50th anniversary. That had the fine set dashing in and out of other fundraisers like:

Women’s Auxiliary of Equest Fashion Show Announcement

Helen McGraw and Emilynn Wilson

Helen McGraw and Emilynn Wilson

Emilynn Wilson had beau coups of announcements for the Women’s Auxiliary of Equest fall fashion show. Luckily she made the news at Carolina Herrera in HP Village. Don’t you know it was a showplace of OMG fashions with spring colors that could have held its own with the Arboretum.

For even vet Herrera types, the bridal shop still amazes with all the white gowns that make wedding bliss perfect.

But back to the Equest news of the day. Plans call for the annual fashion show to take place at Brook Hollow and the theme would be Caring Hands. Emilynn even had the logo despite the designer, Di Johnston’s daughter, was MIA due to be under the weather.

Carol Huckin and Carolyn Lupton

Carol Huckin and Carolyn Lupton

Then Emilynn revealed that the honorary chair would be longtime philanthropist Carolyn Lupton.

At this point Women’s Auxiliary founder Louise Griffeth told the crowd that both Carolyn and her daughter Carol Huckin had been dedicated and under-the-radar supporters of Equest for ages.

Louise Griffeth and Tricia George

Louise Griffeth and Tricia George

Emilynn’s final announcement was that the Equest Award for Community Service would be presented to Helen McGraw. Past award recipients have included Louise (2000), Sandra Cude (2001), Pamela Dealey Petty (2002), Carol Huckin (2003), Linda Secrest (2004), Lydia Haggar Novakov (2006), Dian Moore (2007), Linda Perryman Evans (2008) Dee Wyly and Emily Wyly (2009), Mar Nell Bell, Connie Hardin and Patti Brown (2010), Jan Myers (2011), Karen Shuttee (2012), Nancy Carter (2013) and Debbie Oates (2014).

Besides announcements, there was a slight collision of fashion. Louise Griffeth and Tricia George arrived in the different outfits but the same print. Thank heaven, they accessorized differently.

AWARE Reception

Ralph Lauren fashions

Ralph Lauren fashions

Less than a block away and an hour later, Town & Country filled the Ralph Lauren store with a jam-crammed party benefiting AWARE.

Co-Hostess Lynn McBee did a quick change from her outfit worn at the Equest announce party. She was on her way to the Meadows Gala with husband Allan McBee outside in the car with the engine running. Despite surviving on two hours of sleep, she looked wide-eyed and ready-to-go.

Stephanie Bray, Debbie Wilson, Mersina Stubbs and Lynn McBee

Stephanie Bray, Debbie Wilson, Mersina Stubbs and Lynn McBee

Another co-hostess, Mersina Stubbs, was still raving about Katherine and Bob Penn’s house where the Under the Moonlight patron party had been held the night before.

One round-the-bout vet complained upon hearing about the Penn home, “Gee, why haven’t I seen it?”

Paul Divis and Christie Carter

Paul Divis and Christie Carter

Billie Leigh Rippey and Tricia Besing

Billie Leigh Rippey and Tricia Besing

Others supporting AWARE and checking out the newest Ralph Lauren fashions was Ramona Jones talking about the Vonlane luxury busline, Paul Divis waiting for wife Tiffany and heading to another event, Christie Carter in a darling white leather jacket , mom Billie Leigh Rippey and Tricia Besing being greeted by old friends and fellow co-hostesses Stephanie Bray and Debbie Wilson being photographed.

Paws Cause Kick-Off

Just down the road on Cedar Springs, the Paws Cause humans and critters got together to kick off plans for the upcoming fundraiser for SPCA of Texas’ Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair. Here’s a report from the field:

Amid stunning artwork, glittering jewelry, fabulous hats, over-the-top perfect gifts and one-of-a-kind décor pieces, the SPCA of Texas held a kick-off party for Paws Cause 2015 at Flower Reign by Shane Walker. A delightful array of delectable hors d’oeuvres and champagne refreshed attendees, a photo booth captured the evening’s fun for the guests to share and a highly talented caricature artist sketched guests with whimsy and just a little bit of cheeky playfulness.

Flower Reign donated 20% of the purchase price of all products purchased that night. Special thanks to Flower Reign by Shane Walker for hosting the party, to Kristen & Scott Greenberg for providing the beverages and to Food Glorious Food for providing the delicious hors d’oeuvres.

This year, Paws Cause is celebrating its 20th anniversary of supporting the SPCA of Texas’ Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair in South Dallas, where spay/neuter surgeries and wellness care are provided in high-need neighborhoods to help moderate the stray animal population. Each year, the Mary Spencer Clinic performs more than 11,000 low cost spay/neuter surgeries and your generosity allows us to continue positively affecting families and their furry companions.

Paws Cause 2015 is shaping up to be most successful, thanks to Event Chair Phyllis Comu. To celebrate its 20th year, Paws Cause is inviting all past honorary chairs to again be honorary chairs.

The honorary chairs include Jane Arrington, Rebecca and Jim Belew, Diane and Hal Brierley, Andie Comini, Terry Cook and Steve Yevich, Wynne McNabb Cunningham, Barbara and Steve Durham, Holly Forsythe, Gwen Echols, Cassie Evans Decker, Janelle and Larry Friedman, Gemma Galeoto, Brenda Gray, Hillary Hurst, Susan Jones, Whitney Keltch, Stacey and Don Kivowitz, Lynn Knox, Ann Marcus, T. Boone Pickens, Madeleine Pickens, Martha and Larry Powell, Gigi and Roy Salley, Sarah Potter, Melinda and William Rathke, Mary Spencer, Mary and Skip Tremble, Karen Urie, Karol Wilson and Cheryl Wyly.

Paws Cause 2015 will be held on Saturday, June 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the SPCA of Texas’ Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center, a state-of-the-art animal shelter facility in the heart of West Dallas. The summer cocktail-themed evening will feature catering by Food Glorious Food, musical entertainment by The British Are Coming, a silent auction, the famous “Bone Appetit” restaurant drawing, and more. For more information, please visit pawscausedallas.org.

Artists Celebrate With “Art4Paws” To Benefit Paws Cause

While TOPPs was holding forth at the Frontiers of Flight Museum for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dallas, the animal-loving crowd gathered for its own fundraiser on Thursday, May 15. Here’s a report from the field:

“Paws Cause, which supports the SPCA of TexasMary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair, held its first ‘Art4Paws’ on Thursday, May 15, 2014.  Art lovers came to 3015 Trinity Groves to bid on paintings in the personal collection of restaurateur Monica Greene. It was her wish to donate all of the proceeds from the sale to benefit Paws Cause. Paintings by artists such as Frank X. Tolbert Jr., Amanda West, Dan Rizzie and James Sasso, Marty Ruiz, and Vladimir Kush were among the works sold.

Holly Forsythe, James Bias and Monica Greene*

Holly Forsythe, James Bias and Monica Greene*

“Guests munched on the great food served by 3015 Trinity Groves owner/chef Sharon Van Meter as they perused the art. On hand were Paws Cause Honorary Chair Holly Forsythe, and the small committee that made the evening possible which included Monica Greene, Karen Urie and Karol Wilson. Seen in the crowd were Hillary Hurst and Mark Schwarz, Bobby Minyard, Cheryl Wyly, Dale Wooten, chef Joanne Bondy, Phyllis and CJ Comu, Whitney Keltch and Jon Acton.”

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

MySweet2014Goals: Karol Wilson

Karol Wilson (File photo)

Karol Wilson (File photo)

According to animal advocate and PR maven Karol Wilson,

“I’ve already started on the usual goals of fitness and I eat/cook healthy…so why am I obsessed with learning how to be a really good bread baker? A noted chef friend gave me some of his sourdough starter and so on my ‘cheat’ days…come on over for a slice in 2014!

“Other goals are to find the perfect non-profit in Lakewood to be involved with on a small level, continue to support Paws Cause, and finish another section of my cookbook. Plus, grow my PR business!”

Boots Will Be Scooting At Sambuca For The SPCA Of Texas’ 2014 Paws Cause

Holly Forsythe (File photo)

Holly Forsythe (File photo)

The SPCA of Texas’ Paws Cause 2014 is going west. Well, not to Fort Worth. It’s still going to be at Sambuca with Holly Forsythe as the honorary chair. The western part comes as this year’s theme — “Tails of the West.”

That means you can wear those adorable boots, designer jeans and turquoise that you’ve been dying to show off.

With the aroma of garlic in the air thanks to loads of delicious food, Co-Chairs Gemme Galeoto, Whitney Keitch, Wynne McNabb Cunningham and Erin Seeds Ray have arranged for a silent auction with loads of two- and four-legged favs up for bid, entertainment and a Bone Appetite Restaurant raffle.

And, the timing couldn’t be better! It’s Sunday, February 23. That’s the week before the Academy Awards on March 2 and weeks after the Feburary 2 Super Bowl. So, no excuse! Even if you don’t have a pet, you’ll love the people who have critters at this party.

BTW, funds go to the SPCA/Neuter Clinic at Village Fair in South Dallas. If Dallas is to reduce the problem of animal overpopulation and strays, the clinic is on the front line of making it happen.

Paws Cause Paused To Celebrate SPCA Fundraising Patrons At Komali

Jocelyn White and Don and Stacey Kivowitz

Jocelyn White and Don and Stacey Kivowitz

Stacey and Don Kivowitz, honorary Co-chairs of the March 3 “Paws Cause Goes Hollywoof” benefit at Sambuca in Uptown, are united in their love of animals.

That was clear last Tuesday night at Komali restaurant, where about 50 people gathered for the “Hollywoof” patron party.

Standing on a raised platform at the end of the bar, Don told the crowd how the couple has adopted five pets, partly because of Stacey’s extra-sympathetic attitude:

“Stacey sees an animal on the street, and says, ‘What’s wrong with that animal?!’ ” Don teased with a laugh.

His wife didn’t seem to mind. Taking the mic from Don, Stacey proceeded to laud Abraham Salum, Komali’s chef and owner; the SPCA’s spay/neuter programs; and James Bias, president of the SPCA of Texas, who was also in the house.

Bias “is ushering in a kinder, gentler era of animal welfare,” Stacey smiled, “right here in our own backyard!”

Loud applause broke out but, by this time, you got the feeling the party-goers would have agreed with about anything.

Jody Dean and  Fiona Pestell

Jody Dean and Fiona Pestell

Among them were Tanya Roberts; SPCA of Texas board chair Jocelyn White and her husband Kim Seal; Diane and Hal Brierley, en route to a performance of Anything Goes at the Winspear Opera House; and Fiona Pestell with radio star Jody Dean.

Jody reported having talked recently with deejay legend and stroke victim Ron Chapman, who told him, “I always wanted to sound like Dick Clark, and now I do.”

Jane Arrington, Andie Comini, and Cassie Evans are Co-chairs of next month’s “Hollywoof” event, whose special guests will be Dancing With The Stars All-Star winner Melissa Rycroft and her husband, Tye Strickland.

The evening fundraiser will benefit spay/neuter and other programs at the SPCA of Texas Village Fair Clinic. Monies raised will help provide more than 12,000 free and low-cost surgeries and 15,000 health and wellness treatments there this year.


Dallas’ Dancing Darling Melissa Rycroft And Her Hubby Tye Strickland Are Slated For Paws Cause’s “Hollywoof”

Melissa Rycroft

Melissa Rycroft (File photo)

Word just arrived that Dallas sweetheart and “Dancing With The Stars All-Star” winner Melissa Rycroft and her equally adorable husband Tye Strickland will be special guests at “Hollywoof,” the 2013 Paws Cause fundraiser on Sunday March 3.

Thanks to the generosity of Holly Forsythe and her brother Kim Forsythe, the annual benefit for the spay/neuter programs at the SPCA of Texas Village Fair Clinic will return to Sambuca in Uptown for “signature cocktails, a great silent auction, cork pull and a “Bone Appetit” prize drawing of restaurant gift certificates.”

If you love animals or know someone who does, this event is a must. The auction is jammed full of treats thanks to Co-chairs Jane Arrington, Andie Comini and Cassie Evans and Honorary Chair Stacey Kivowitz.

More and More Two-Legged Critters Celebrated At Sambuca For Paws Cause’s “The Wizard of Paws”

Stacey Kivowitz

It’s not every party where Kansas’s Dorothy greets you at the front door, but that was the little gal in the blue gingham dress with white apron at Sambuca’s Uptown Sunday night. She welcomed guests to the Paws Cause’s “The Wizard of Paws” benefiting the SPCA.

Jane Arrington

The timing of the event was right on target. Last year’s event took place the same night as the Academy Awards. DVR’s were put to work that night. This year, Event Co-chairs Mary Spencer, Stacey Kivowitz and Jane Arrington were taking no chances and found the one Sunday night that had almost nothing planned except perfect weather.

David Hoener, Joanne Bondy, Monica Greene, Lisa Hoener, Jill and Carter Malouf and Cheryl Wyly

Perhaps that’s why they topped the guest count at 350 filling the back enclosed patio, the silent auction rooms and the main room. Monica Greene was holding court in the big silent auction room with Jill and Carter Malouf.

Holly Forsythe and Pam Chao

Sambuca proprietress Holly Forsythe was johnny-on-the-spot to make sure the buffet was never-ending and delicious. Even the most sophisticated socialite found themselves sneaking back for seconds and. . . what’s that. . . thirds.

Megan Hubbard and Holt Haynsworth

Megan Hubbard and her favorite photo- grapher Holt Hayns- worth were there and then they weren’t and then he was. Seems it was Megan’s 27th birthday and she was being feted by a passel of gal pals at “300” in Addison for a bowling party. Holt gallantly drove to the girls-only party and returned to Sambuca for the Paws Cause event. (BTW, Holt generously and patiently shoots a vast majority of the photos in the adorable Paws Cause datebook.)

Kim Seal and Jocelyn White

In the larger silent auction room, Jocelyn White was talking about her upcoming three big events. First, there’s the “A Writer’s Garden Valentine’s Day Tea” on February 7 at the Arboretum featuring “Unstoppable Women” Dee Simmons and her daughter D’Andra Simmons. Next on her agenda is chairing the Equest gala in May. Only problem is she might be a MIA chair. Seems the third item on her must-do list is wedding longtime beau Kim Seal around that time with plans for a Mediterranean cruise. When Kim was teased about why it took so long to make the nuptials reality, he held up his tie with cats on it saying, “She’s been playing cat and mouse with me for too long.”

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton

Across the way in the smaller silent auction room another twosome, Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton, were talking movies and wine. Well, of course they were. Gary was also still awestruck by the success of the recent “Soup’s On!” that he emceed.

Larry and Janelle Friedman and Tanya and Craig Watkins

Nearby, Honorary Co-Chairs Janelle and Larry Friedman were visiting with Tanya and Craig Watkins. Larry admitted that between this event and the “Kids Just Want to Have Fun,” they had “tapped out” all their friends. But none of the friends were complaining.

The Watkins admitted that, despite his creating the first animal-abuse unit in the DA’s office, they didn’t have a pet in their household. They feel that their kids (ages 13, 10 and 6) are not old enough to be responsible for a pet yet. Word to the wise not to adopt unless the whole household is ready to make the commitment. Speaking of which, Craig made major hits with the animal crowd when he successfully prosecuted the infamous “Mercy” cruelty case.

Natalie and James Bias

In the back terrace, SPCA of Texas President James Bias and his wife Natalie were explaining his surgical boot. Seems he had stubbed his little toe again a door jamb breaking it in three spots. Unfortunately, earlier Sunday, the Bias’s latest foster, Levi the Rat Terrier, had run into that exact toe reminding James that the unfashionable boot was very necessary.

James also was surprised to learn that the manufacturers of Sentinel, a preventive heartworm treatment, were suspending production due to the FDA. Yes, he was well aware that Immiticide, the treatment program for dogs with heartworm, had been halted, but the new development of the prevention as well came as a surprise.  (Editor’s note: In reality, the FDA had approved continuing the manufacture of Sentinel a few days before the party.)

In the main room Bob Schlegel, who was preparing to sell his company Pavestone, was preoccupied promoting daughter Krystal’s new fashion blog — krystalschlegel.com.

Gloria Campos

With a plate of goodies, WFAA’s Gloria Campos reported there were three pooches in her household including one rescue. Only Gloria would have reading glasses that match her earrings.

Mary Spencer and Diane Brierley

Just as singer Hunter Sullivan arrived, James took to the stage and introduced the VIP’s including all the chairs and Paw Cause calendar Chair Diane Brierley. Larry told the capacity crowd, “No one in Dallas even knew who I was until I told them that I was married to Miss January.” [Janelle has been Miss January in the calendar for years.]

Janelle reported that the Friedmans’ household had just added a new pooch and named it Zohan after Larry’s favorite movie.

The Paws Cause Raffle Loot Will Be Tail-Wagging Good

If you can’t make it to the Paws Cause on Sunday, January 29, at Sambuca in Uptown, you might want to think about some of the offerings available via raffle tickets. And, no, you don’t have to be present to win. You just might win:

  • Long strands of fresh-water pearls from Carter Malouf Private Jeweler for your best gal with two or four legs. Two-legged fashionistas love ’em for the length and quality, and we’ve seen a strand or two used as luxe leads for that spoiled Fifi.
  • A private dinner with a chef at the Arboretum’s DeGolyer Estate
  • Sports tickets galore
  • A 3-night/4-day stay at a hilltop villa in Laguna Niguel

Suggestion: Be there because the food is never ending and the silent auction items would warm the hearts of animal-loving humans.

Paws Cause Calendars Hot Off The Presses For Holiday Gift Giving

Let’s say you don’t have a pet. Not so unusual. But you probably have a lot of friends and family members who dote on their furry friends more than their significant others. This time of year you’re always wondering what to get them. Alcohol is chancy. What if they’ve given it up? Flowers are wonderful, but they do wilt.

So, what about something that hits their animal-lover button? You could always drop by Tails of the City and buy a show-stopping collar or head over to PetsMart and get a Martha Stewart carrier. But those are tricky choices. What about the size? What if they already have one?

Holt Haynsworth, Diane Brierley with "the Brierley Boys"

You know where we’re going, don’t you? The Paws Cause calendars have just arrived from the printers and are available for purchase. No, it’s not a tacky wall calendar. Really! Paws Cause Calendar Co-chairs Diane Brierley and Betsy Myers have never done a tacky thing in their lives! Think of a version of the Crystal Charity Ball datebook in the old days when pictures of children accompanied the dates. Only differences with this datebook are

And if you want to really impress, buy them a couple of tickets to the January 29th Paws Cause’ “The Wizard of Paws” at Sambuca Uptown.

Call 214.707.1250 to place your order.

November 16 MySweetCharity Round Robin: Communities Foundation, Paws Cause And Chi Omega Christmas Market

As part of the Dallas merry-go-round of activities stirring up philanthropy for the nonprofits both now and in the future, last Wednesday night lived up to the “never-say-slow-down” motto.


Brent Christopher

Even before Santa settles into his chair across the way at NorthPark, the Communities Foundation of Texas was celebrating with a big crowd the 3,000+ grants it had distributed this year. In the lobby of its headquarters, CFT President/CEO Brent “Mr. Bowtie” Christopher and his staff had arranged to have five recipient groups on hand including the American Heart Association, Life Shines Bright/Methodist Health System, Entrepreneurs for North Texas, the Texas High School Project and the DonorBridge/Japan-American Society. If you’re not very familiar with all of these organizations, you understand the thinking behind the selections — to showcase the diversity of CFT contributions.

Karen Shuford

It was also a very diverse gathering of benefactors (Bobby Lyle, Karen Shuford, Jane Pierce) and beneficiaries (The Family Place’s Paige Flink, Attitudes & Attire’s Lyn Berman), with restaurateur Abraham Salum making sure no one went hungry.  

Regarding the present situation, Bobby admitted, “We need a better economy–and rain.”

Communities Foundation of Texas logo

At 7 the crowd adjourned to the auditorium, where Brent unveiled the CFT’s new logo designed by O&H Brand Design. Why is such a presentation a big deal? Well, the last time CFT’s logo was changed was 30 years ago — three decades during which the organization’s growth and evolution had changed dramatically.




Mary and Alberto Tomas opened their studio/gallery on Dragon Street for best friends, both human and four-legged types. While there was a pound full of two-legged critters, the tail-wagging variety was represented by Panda, a one-year-and-three-month old Shih Tzu, that escorted KC Cermak.

The occasion was a silent auction of dog and cat bowls benefiting the SPCA, and we’re not talking your stainless steel or plastic types. These little gems were created by such artists as Rhea Ann Chamness. Early in the evening one of hers was going for $125.

Rhea Ann Chamness

Married 34 years, the artistic Tomases had hardly had time to recover from Mary’s latest project — creating 210 pieces for the new Omni Dallas Hotel. Her reaction to the project? “Dallas has given a nod to the artists” with the program. “I’ve never seen Dallas come together like that before. I’m proud of Dallas.”




On the other side of Dallas City Hall in the Dallas Convention Center, the Christmas shopping was already in high gear. Those owl-loving Chi Omegas were hosting 500 guests for a sneak preview of the weekend’s Chi Omega Christmas Market. Everything from holiday decoration, gifts (even garish sweaters) to art were there for Chi O’s, GDI’s and whoever. One booth offered “Ladies Pajamas 3 Sets/$40.”

Christy Coltrin and Brad Oldham

At 8:30 p.m. sculptor Brad Oldham was center stage in the spotlight as he unveiled his 2012 owl– Sunday, a tawny owl embodying the importance of rest. While it was Brad’s first retail public event for his retail product line, “Pure Sculpture,” this hooter wasn’t his first. Made of “silver infused bronze,” each owl comes in a box with a little leather-bound book. He’s already created three limited edition owls (there are only 450 of each):

  • Barn owl Captain (“he sails the seas of love”)
  • Great horned owl Walter (as in Cronkite) and
  • Burrowing owls John and Abigail (for the president and first lady)  

Chi O’s Charlene Howell and Lynn McBee compared notes on their owl collections. Charlene is the proud owner of 262 owl Christmas ornaments and had just added Walter to her nest.  

Share-A-Date: Paws Cause 2012’s “The Wizard Of Pawz”

Sunday, January 29, 2012: Thank heaven, this year’s Paws Cause is being held on a Sunday other than the Academy Awards! Last year’s benefit for the SPCA’s spay/neuter program held on Oscar night had guests juggling both successfully. It’s just that good an event that no one wants to miss it even for the Academy Awards.

And speaking of celluloid importance, this year’s theme is “The Wizard of Pawz”! Somebody got a pat on the head for that one. It’s returning once again to Sambuca (Uptown), where the food abounds and silent auction items are just perfect for the animal lover.

If you want to get involved ahead of time, you can

  • purchase a 2012 Paws Cause Calendar. The cutest critters in Dallas fill the pages.
  • become a sponsor of the event and/or
  • donate an item or experience to the silent auction.

Event Co-chairs are Mary Spencer, Jane Arrington and Stacey Kivowitz. Honorary Chairs are the Friedmans (Janelle and Larry).

Alas, despite benefiting pets, pooches and felines will have to sit-stay at home that night. They’re not invited, but you can still get your tickets for yourself.

Paws Cause Crew Is Already Plotting To Raise Funds For Spay/Neuter With Cuisine, Calendars And Ceramic Bowls

While many are away or sitting by the pool, the Paws Cause team is plotting. Not only are they hard at work on the 12th Paws Cause event, they’re coming up with some new events, too.

The brainstorming and announcements were revealed last Wednesday at Mary Spencer‘s home, where Mary’s fostering a multitude of “tuxedo” and gray kittens* for the SPCA of Texas.

Mary will be co-chairing the 12th annual Paws Cause on Sunday, January 29, along with Jane Arrington and Stacey Kovowitz. (That’s the Sunday before the Super Bowl.) Animal-loving benefactor Holly Forsythe and her brother Kim will once again host the event at their Sambuca on McKinney.

If you’ll remember, the last fundraiser in February ended up competing with the Academy Awards on the same night. Didn’t matter one iota. The 2011 Paws Cause’s silent auction, raffle, “Bone Appétit” and support by the Forsythes raised $200,000 for the SPCA’s spay/neuter clinic.

(Editor’s side note: The Associated Press reported today that spay/neuter programs are a major solution to the various problems stemming from animals.)

Diane and Hal Brierley and Holt Haynsworth

Diane “The Saint” Brierley is going to once again take on the daunting challenge to chair the Paws Cause calendar. If you haven’t seen one of these datebooks, just ask Diane. She usually has one with her. Why? Because the photography is out of this world. But then what else would you expect from Holt Haynsworth, the Francesco Scavullo of Dallas pets? BTW, Holt is providing photo shoots gratis once again. Better make your appointments ASAP because deadlines must be met.

The “something new” is an auction of artist-created pet bowls. Karol Wilson is organizing the November 16, 2011, event that will take place at Mary Tomas Studio Gallery on Dragon. Gathering the artistic talent will be the artisan couple Mary and Alberto Tomas. The plan calls for Karol and her crew to provide the artists around town with ceramic greenware and special paints to create their own individual designs. Then the bowls will be non-toxic glazed and fired.

Interesting factoid: Vets actually recommend ceramic bowls over plastic and metal.

*        Kittens may be adopted now before heading to the SPCA.

Paws Cause Drives Up TiVo Activity Sunday

Paws Cause is a marvelous fundraiser for the SPCA. The organizers publish a fabulous calendar that sells out each year. Lucky are the animals that benefit from its efforts.

Not so lucky are the animal-loving folks who are obsessed with the mother of red carpet events — the Academy Awards.

It seems that Paws Cause Co-Chairs Rebecca Belew, Gwen Echols and Karen Urie selected Sunday for the annual Paws Cause celebration at Sambuca.  No doubt it’s gonna be a great party with its Brazilian theme.

Hello? That’s the same night as the Oscars. Couldn’t you have picked the Sunday before or the next Sunday?

Thank heaven for TiVo because the silent auction and food at Sambuca are not to be missed. If you don’t have a DVR, ask your pooch or kitty to take copious notes.