JUST IN: Pat McEvoy And Michal Powell To Co-Chair 2018 Celebrating Women Luncheon With Shelle Sills As Underwriting Chair

Last week it was announced that Pat McEvoy would chair the 2019 Crystal Charity Ball. While some might want to rest up before taking on the responsibility to raise millions of dollars for Dallas children’s nonprofits, Pat is not your typical gal.

Pat McEvoy (File photo)

Michal Powell (File photo)

Shelle Sills (File photo)

It was just announced that Pat and Michal Powell will co-chair Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s 2018 Celebrating Women Luncheon. Joining the team will be Shelle Sills, who will be in charge of underwriting duties.

Just last Thursday Michal chaired the Doing The Most Good Luncheon for The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command at the Anatole with Shelle as her arrangements chair.

As for plans about the breast cancer research and treatment fundraiser, the details are being finalized. Stay tuned.

A Private Gala Toasts Center for BrainHealth’s New Brain Performance Institute Building

Debbie Francis and Paul and Gayle Stoffel*

The private grand opening for the Center for BrainHealth‘s new Brain Performance Institute building off Mockingbird Lane felt like a who’s who gathering of Dallas’ philanthropic, civic, and business leaders. There were Debbie and Jim Francis (she’s the center’s board chair), Laura and Tom Leppert, Richard C. Benson, Lyda Hill, Brent Christopher, Barbara and Don Daseke, Sally and Forrest Hoglund, Allie Beth and Pierce Allman, Minnie and Bill Caruth, Ann Carver, Gayle and Paul Stoffel, Keana and Morgan Meyer and Stacey and Dan Branch.

Morgan and Keana Meyer and Amanda Rockow*

Stacey and Dan Branch*

Minnie and Bill Caruth and Ann Carver*

Patty and James Huffines and Shelle and Michael Sills were among the 220 guests, too, as Patty and Shelle were co-chairing the exclusive, Thursday, October 12, gala. And at the center of it all, of course, was Sandra Bond Chapman, founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas. Sandi took a pause from greeting the guests and said, “I feel like I’m on a mountaintop.”

James and Patty Huffines, Shelle and Michael Sills*

In a way, she was. The $33 million, 62,000-square-foot BPI is the headquarters of what’s said to be the world’s first institute focused on scientifically-based programs aimed at increasing brain performance, enhancing brain resilience, and inciting brain regeneration to the general public.

Larry Speck and Tom Leppert*

Larry Speck of Page, the new building’s lead architect, pointed out that the elliptical, three-story glass structure features communal as well as private areas, plus natural light throughout. Sun shades not only provide shade but are sound-dampening, and all the office desks are standing desks to promote better brain function.

Following an outdoor reception, gala-goers were ushered into the new building for a wonderful dinner of kale salad, roast beef tenderloin and crab cake, and panna cotta with gingerbread. First, though, they heard brief opening remarks by Sandi, UT Dallas Executive Vice President Hobson Wildenthal, and Ian Robertson, the Center for BrainHealth’s T. Boone Pickens Distinguished Scientist. Quipped Robertson: “I’m really honored to be Sandi’s wing man.”

Soon 30 “Distinguished Guests” swooped down from the second floor to take their place among the diners, leading each table in dinner conversation about the center’s cutting-edge work. Among the distinguished guests were Clint Bruce, Dr. Elliot Frohman, Xiaosi Gu, Daryl Johnston, and Rob Rennaker.  

Earlier in the day, Chapman had led a “Reimagined Ribbon-Cutting” for the new BPI building. As guests including Former First Lady Laura Bush and Benson, the UT Dallas president, looked on, the ceremony depicted the lighting of two glass neurons igniting across a simulated brain synapse. The neurons had been designed by artist David Gappa, who also created an “educational synapse glass ceiling” in one of the building’s rooms that’s shaped like an ellipse, representing the frontal lobe of the brain.

“This isn’t just about preventing dementia, although that’s important to so many. It’s about improving brain performance and health in everyone right now,” Leanne Young, the BPI executive director, commented about the new headquarters. “The Institute will help young people focus in school, retrain the minds of those affected by military experiences or sports injuries, strengthen mental acuity among corporate leadership, and empower each … of us to take charge of our own brains.”

To wrap up the private opening gala, guests were ushered into the BPI room that’s shaped like an ellipse. There, Johnston told the crowd, “As usual, when you work with Sandi Chapman, it exceeds your expectations.” Then everyone lifted their glasses in a champagne toast to the BPI’s long-awaited, much-anticipated new home.

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

What A Night ReuNight Is Gonna Be

If you were one of the lucky few, who moved fast enough and had the extra bucks to be part of Thursday’s ReuNight benefiting The Family Place, you just might benefit from these tips from Event Co-Chairs Brian Bolke and Faisal Halum and Shelle and Michael Sills and Honorary Chair Mary Clare Finney.

First of all, there’s going to be just the slightest chill in the evening air, so it’s the perfect opportunity to debut your fall/winter evening wear.

As for arriving for the festivities, the valets will be set up at 1608 Elm Street (aka Forty Five Ten Courtyard). That’s where you’ll just hop out of your car and head straight into the brand, spanking new Fort Five Ten for cocktails at 6 p.m.

After an hour of eyeballing the fabulous, new fashion digs and the other well-dressed guests, you’ll stroll next door to the tent for dinner served up by The Joule. You can’t miss it. It’s right in front of The Eye.

On the agenda for the tent will be a Q&A between local Kim Schlegel Whitman and designer/extra-special guest Donna Karan.

And, of course, there will be the live auction. But in keeping with tradition, a ReuNight live auction is extremely limited and very unique. This year’s collection of four includes the following to-die-for items:

  • Art Deco Citrine Cameo Ring*

    Art Deco Citrine Cameo Ring*

    Art Deco Citrine Cameo Ring — This gem has got to be seen to be believed. Psyche is depicted crossing the river Styx within the citrine cameo cuvette. It is framed by a pierced and engraved white gold mounting, bead-set with old European and rose-cut diamonds, seed pearls and millegrain accents. Think of artwork for the hand.

  • One&Only Ocean Club Bahamas*

    One&Only Ocean Club Bahamas*

    One&Only Ocean Club Bahamas — So, what would a live auction be without a trip? But leave it to ReuNight to come up with a doozy. For simply ages, Paradise Island has been renowned for its pristine white beaches, luxurious accommodations, golf course and meals provided by Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. No wonder it’s considered a getaway magnet for extreme boldfacers.  The package includes a three-night stay in a Hartford Wing Ocean View Room with daily breakfast in Dune Restaurant, a $200-spa credit and, of course, a chef’s dinner by Jean-Georges. Since it’s still cleaning up after Hurricane Matthew partied there, the trip is available from March 2017 to March 2018. 

  • Urban Zen Downtown Experience

    Urban Zen Downtown Experience*

    Urban Zen Downtown Experience — How simply perfect with Donna Karan just a table away. You and a companion will be able to channel Donna thanks to a $5,000 gift certificate to Urban Zen NYC, Donna’s Eastern-inspired luxury clothing and lifestyle boutique. But there’s still more. There will be “a relaxing and healing session for two with an Urban Zen Integrative Therapist in the Loft. While in NYC, you’ll call “a luxe downtown hotel” home for two nights and have dinner at Tutto Il Giorno in Tribeca.

  • Hermes Kelly Pochette*

    Hermes Kelly Pochette*

    Hermes Kelly Pochette — A cross between a bag and a clutch, this Hermes beaut will be an showstopper thanks to its gorgeous vert anis green lizard. And, naturally, the Hermes palladium hardware is front and center, don’t you know?  

Make sure you catch Heritage Auction’s Alissa Ford’s eye, so she doesn’t miss you hand when you bid.

Afterward, head back to the Forty Five Ten Courtyard for your ride home and a night of sweet dreams.   

* Photos provided by The Family Place

JUST IN: Big Plans Revealed For Fourth Annual ReuNight Including Donna Karan And The New Forty Five Ten For The Family Place

Donna Karan*

Donna Karan*

Since stepping down as head of her very fashionable company last June, Donna Karan has not retired to her home in Turks and Caicos Islands and watched the waves. Just last month she was presented the prestigious Founder’s Award at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards dinner by her designing buddy Calvin Klein. Despite having been in the rag business more than 40 years, she still manages to get younger and be more vibrant over the years.

Faisal Halum and Brian Bolke (File photo)

Faisal Halum and Brian Bolke (File photo)

Michael and Shelle Sills (File photo)

Michael and Shelle Sills (File photo)

And she’ll be bringing that zest to Big Old D on Thursday, November 10, for The Family’s Place’s Fourth Annual ReuNight thanks to Event Co-Chairs Brian Bolke and Faisal Halum and Shelle and Michael Sills and Honorary Chair Mary Clare Finney.

Mary Clare Finney (File photo)

Mary Clare Finney (File photo)

And to do it up right, the evening will start with cocktails at the spanking new, can’t-wait-to-see-it Forty Five Ten in downtown Dallas. For dinner the guests will “be escorted” across the street for dinner at The Joule Terrace.

Topping off the evening will be a “small luxury live auction.” And the emphasis is on “small” as in limited and “luxury” like rarefied finds.

The fundraiser is the rebirth of the legendary Palm Night that raised millions of dollars from 1994 to 2008. After going into hibernation, it rose with a new name, ReuNight, and longtime supporters. In fact this host committee is made up of a lot of those vets including Moll and Charlie Anderson, Gonzalo Bueno and Michael McCray, Nancy and Clint Carlson, Brenda and Clay Cockerell, Tina and David Craig, Leah and John Davis, Suzanne and David Droese, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Heather and Billy Esping, Todd Fiscus and Ceron, Meg and Doug Florence, Joyce Goss, Kenny Goss, Sue and Jim Gragg, Karen and Stephen Jones, Olivia and Jeff Kearney, Liz and Scott Kimple, Jenny and John Kirtland, DeeDee and Jim Lee, Muffin and John Lemak, Lynn and Allan McBee, Jan Miller and Jeff Rich, Niven Morgan and Shelby Wagner, Allane O’Neil, Rajan Patel, Pam and Vin Perella, Michal and Loyd Powell, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Katherine and Eric Reeves, Nancy and Richard Rogers, Kayla and Brian Roughton, Connie and Mark Sigel, Laurie-Jo ad Steve Straty, Leisa Street, Joanne and Charles Teichman, Debbie and John Tolleson, Ben and Max Trowbridge, Robert Weatherly, Kim and Justin Whitman, Kathy and Rodney Woods, Lucy and Steve Wrubel, Piper and Mike Wyatt and Sharon and Michael Young.

Sponsorships and tickets are available here! So, dig through your wardrobe and find that Karan bodysuit. Now’s the time to diet for a reunight with that classic Karan design.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2014 Partners Card

According to 2014 Partners Card Co-Chairs Lisa Bhattacharya, Andrea Cheek and Diana Hamilton,

Andrea Cheek, Diana Hamilton and Lisa Bhattacharya*

Andrea Cheek, Diana Hamilton and Lisa Bhattacharya*

“Partners Card is upon us! We are thrilled to announce the most highly anticipated shopping fundraiser of the year, presented by Bank of Texas and benefiting The Family Place, will be held October 24 through November 2, 2014. When you shop, you save money and save lives by supporting Partners Card and The Family Place, Dallas’ largest family violence service provider. With more than 750 wonderful participating retailers and restaurants this year, we guarantee Partners Card will satisfy all of your shopping needs while supporting a good cause!

Shelle Sills (File photo)

Shelle Sills (File photo)

“We also are excited to have local retail expert, Shelle Sills, as our honorary chair this year. For more than 35 years, Shelle has been an integral part of the retail industry in various capacities. She owned and operated The Gazebo, a popular women’s specialty store, for 18 years. In 1999, she joined Neiman Marcus as the vice president and visionary general manager of the historic downtown Dallas store, where she dedicated her time to various groups seeking to revitalize and reinvent downtown Dallas. She currently works as the director of retail and project development with Headington Companies and oversees business development and special projects.

“The 10-day shopping spectacular rewards cardholders with unbelievable savings at some of Dallas’ top stores and restaurants. With the purchase of a $70 Partners Card, shoppers receive 20 percent savings at more than 750 participating retailers in Dallas, Arlington, Grapevine, McKinney, Plano, Southlake, Richardson, Frisco, Coppell, Flower Mound, Denton, Colleyville, Las Colinas, Irving, Mesquite, Addison, Garland, Rockwall and Lewisville.

“Over the past 21 years, Partners Card has become the largest fundraiser for The Family Place and is one of the most popular shopping events in the Dallas Metroplex. And, although this is the largest fundraiser, it represents only a tenth of the overall operating budget needed to provide a safe haven to victims of domestic violence. Our goal this year is to sell 15,500 cards!

“Behind the sale of each $70 card is a woman and child, who with help from The Family Place, will have a safe place to retreat. Individuals may purchase a Partners Card from any participating retailer or restaurant, card-selling individual, through direct mail or by visiting www.partnerscard.org. Partners Cards will go on sale September 1, 2014. For more information, contact the Partners Card Hotline at 214.443.7754 or email [email protected].

“We hope you will buy a card and shop during the 22nd Annual Partners Card fundraiser!”

Shelle Sills To Be Honorary Chair Of The Family Place’s 2014 Partners Card

Shelle Sills (File photo)

Shelle Sills (File photo)

Since leaving Neiman Marcus Downtown as VP/GM, Shelle Sills has maintained a relatively low profile. Instead of learning how to play golf, she’s been helping Tim Headington in business development and special projects. And, of course, she’s continued to be the go-to-galpal for fundraising friends on the QT.

But The Family Place Partners Card 2014 Tri-Chairs Lisa Bhattacharya, Andrea Cheek and Diana Hamilton have gotten Shelle on board for the October 24 – November 2 shop-extravaganza.

Oldtimers will recall Shelle as a young retailing pup when she dazzled fashionistas at The Gazebo.

According to The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink, “Shelle is truly the retail queen of Dallas, and we are thrilled to recognize her as our honorary chair. When we first had the idea of starting a shopping fundraiser in Dallas, Shelle was one of the first retailers we contacted to float the concept. Her valuable insight and recommendations more than 20 years ago helped us launch what is now one of the most highly anticipated shopping events each year. She has truly been a loyal supporter of the program, literally since day one.”

With Shelle, Bank of Texas as presenting sponsor and more than 750 retailers, The Partners Card trio has their eyes on by-passing the $1M mark once again.

Wish lists should be created now for shopping at a discount.

MySweetCharity’s Queenie Distraught Over Change In Dallas Hierarchy

Queenie has been gathering up some of her finest black bunting and draping it around the MySweetCharity international headquarters. She doesn’t often do that.

One elf approached Queenie and asked, “Was it something that Ryan Seacrest said to you last night at the Mansion?”

She sniffed, “Who’s he?” as she went about her draping duties.

The elves all know that Queenie still thinks Rudy Vallee is hot stuff, so they weren’t all that surprised that she wasn’t present tense about The Ryan.

Quickly the elves mounted a signature effort that was greater than the Texas secession effort to learn what was up.

Shelle Sills (File photo)

Faced with such a daunting demand, Queenie faced the legions of elves from her so-on-high balcony and reported that word had just been received that one of the greats of Dallas fashion had turned in her resignation.

Tearfully (and we all know Queenie reserves tears only for the extermination of major continents or the loss of rich dark chocolates with caramel fillings), she took a deep dramatic Queenie breath and reported that Shelle Sills had just minutes before announced to her staff that she would be ending her reign as VP/GM of the Neiman Marcus Downtown store on Saturday, December 8.

Immediately the queenie-dom’s paramedics were on the scene, providing oxygen for the elves who had passed out. Queenie, who was too distraught, was unable to help the elves as she wailed.

One elf begged, “Please not the same Shelle, who has been so understanding and supportive of the nonprofits like The Family Place, Crystal Charity, Downtown Dallas and everything else special? ”

Queenie nodded, “Yes, the same Shelle.”


Neiman's and Dallas Museum of Art Set the Ball Rolling with Sarah Ferguson

Downtown Neiman’s is in overdrive with events. Last night it was the scene of the patrons party (underwritten by U.S. Trust) for the DMA’s Art Ball on April 24. As you can guess when you gather this group of tasteful, moneyed folk, the fashions as well as the conversation is simply above board.

But let’s face it. NM LIC (Lady In Charge) Shelle Sills (pictured) and her elves know how to throw in a ringer to make the night especially memorable. And, boy, did they have a royal ringer — Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. What a simply charming chum! Never has a politician worked a room like the Duchess.

And it shouldn’t have been that way. [Read more…]

Albert Kriemler of Akris to be Featured Designer for Ten Best Dressed Luncheon

Neiman’s Downtown President/GM Shelle Sills revealed that Swiss fashion wunderkind Albert Kriemler of Akris will be the featured designer for Crystal Charity Ball‘s 2010 Ten Best Dressed Women of Dallas Luncheon/Fashion Show on September 10 at Neiman Marcus Downtown.

Albert’s 2010 collection showed his appreciation for fabrics and amazing ability to blend classic looks with modern clean lines.

If you’re wondering which ladies will be designated as Dallas’ 10 top fashion leaders, you’ll have to wait until March 21 when it’s announced. Don’t try bribing Luncheon Chair Alison Farrow. She’s sworn to secrecy.

Don’t rush out and order your tickets to the luncheon quite yet. They don’t go on sale until early May.

BTW, if you hadn’t heard the 2010 Crystal Charity Ball beneficiaries include Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, Children’s Medical Center, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, The Family Place, Texas Home Access Fund Inc., and Parkland Foundation.