Crystal Charity Ball Platinum Dinner Kicked Off The 2017 Fall/Winter Fundraising Season With Friends, Food And A Flourish Of Photos

Well, yahoo! The fall fundraising season of 2017 kicked off with a surprise refresh for an annual event! Once again the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show Platinum Dinner took place at the Dallas Country Club. But it had all types of adjustments and they were rewarded with a manicured thumbs-up.

Sure, the evening of Tuesday, September 5, had a hint of a cool front. But it also was the day after Labor Day weekend, which is considered a tricky situation for most event planners since folks are just settling back into their post-summer routines.

Ralph and Barbara Babb and Shelly Slater and Clay Huffstutter

But as the crowd gathered in the reception lobby, it became apparent that the fears were unwarranted. While the 10 Best Dressed proved their stuff, the rest of the 270 guests held their own fashionably, too. One of the first on the scene was Dallas Cowboy head man Jerry Jones, who was immediately surrounded by Comerica’s first couple Barbara and Ralph Babb and emcee Shelley Slater and husband Clay Huffstutter. About 15 minutes later Gene Jones arrived, all in black, and asked someone if she was the first Jones on the scene. When she learned Jerry was already in the ballroom, she registered surprise: “I told him to be here at 7:15, and he listened to me.”

Gene And Jerry Jones and Charlotte Jones Anderson

Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse

Daffan Nettle and Pam Perella

Lee Bailey told Mike Wyatt and Niven Morgan that after waiting months—or was it years?—she had a brand new steering wheel for her Rolls… Shelby Wagner was back from the family country place with Niven and Claire and Dwight Emanuelson. Claire claimed it was a great getaway, thanks to the property’s six dogs that kept things lively… Ola Fojtasek came with her mom Jacqueline Fojtasek and jeweler Ross Ameringer… Also returning back to north Texas were Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse. According to Jerry, “We were getting cabin fever in Carmel.” When asked if they were still in newlywed status, Jerry didn’t hesitate, “No longer. We’ve been married 16 months,”… Others who had just returned to North Texas were Ann and Matt Schooler, from Utah, and Lee Ann and Alan White, from Aspen. Said Alan of the Colorado town: “When I hang it up, we might go there to live.”

Gary and Cindy Turner and Ann and Matt Schooler

Jacqueline Fojtasek

Christi Urschel

From the left: (back row) Vicky Lattner, Michaela Dyer, Ann Dyer, Emilynn Wilson, Di Johnston and Susan Roberds; (front row) Beth Layton, Linda Secrest, Nancy Carter and Angie Kadesky

Chatting it up, this crowd would have been happy as ducks in Exall Lake with just the cocktail party, but the chimes called them to the ballroom, which had never looked better. CCB Chair Pam Perella, Event Chair Christi Urschel and event planner Tom Addis had set up the floor plan with the entire wall at the far end of the room draped in sheer white curtains, along with bigger-than-life individual photos of the 10 Best Dressed (Anita Arnold, Delilah Boyd, Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Lisa Cooley, Tucker Enthoven, Pat Harloe, Julie Hawes, Amy Hegi, Piper Wyatt) and Hall of Famer Charlotte JA.

One 10 Best Dressed husband, upon spying the photos, chuckled that the photos of the husbands should be on the opposite wall.

When it came to sitting down, that exercise went into slo-mo until Shelly went on the PA advising all to settle down. Originally, WFAA’s Ron Corning had been slated to emcee the dinner. But just weeks before he had fallen in Santa Fe, resulting in a broken knee cap, surgery, cast/brace, crutches and rehab for weeks to come.

But Shelly’s call to chairs worked, and the show got underway, with Pam welcoming all and Ralph showing his and Comerica’s appreciation for the work of CCB.

Then Shelly introduced the 10 Best Dressed. As each woman stood, she was presented with a token of appreciation.

Shelly Slater

When it came time for the announcement of the Hall of Famer, Shelly first introduced past HoFers (Annette Simmons, Lee Ann White and Gene Jones). First announced was Lee Ann, who looked a bit startled upon hearing her name. She thought she was being called out, due to her talking with Gene during the introduction.

In a break from the program, Shelly told how she’d first met Charlotte. Looking at the Jones’ table on the front row, she then revealed that Jerry would be introducing his daughter.

Taking the podium, the Jones patriarch recalled having watched Charlotte caring tenderly for her babies year before, adding that, in order to gain the same empathetic feeling, “Every husband should have to be a father first.” 

Jerry Jones

Next Jerry looked at Charlotte and said, “You’ve been a part of the Dallas Cowboys since I fired Tom Landry!” (Then he murmured, jokingly, “I still can’t get a joke out of that.”) With that, though, he turned serious, remembering Charlotte’s important role in persuading NBC to televise the halftime, “Red Kettle” Salvation Army show during the Cowboys’ traditional Thanksgiving Day game broadcast. “That was probably the most important thing we’ve done as the Cowboys,” he added, “and we wouldn’t have gotten it done if not for you, Charlotte.” (Ever the businessman, he said that the TV time was probably worth $2 billion over the years.) Tearing up, Jerry said, looking at Charlotte: “We’re here tonight to honor you.”

With that, Charlotte, with husband Shy Anderson next to her, smiled and hugged her dad and received a standing ovation.

After that, the crowd settled down to a dinner of baby greens, shoestring cucumber, baby tomatoes, red onion, shaved Romano cheese and lemon thyme vinaigrette; grilled filet and herbed sea bass, roasted fingerling potatoes, cauliflower puree and heirloom carrots and wild mushroom ragout; and a dessert of chocolate caramel hazelnut gateaux.

For more photos of the evening, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Sugar Ray Leonard Scores A KO At The Children’s Advocacy Center Of Collin County’s “Join The Fight Luncheon”

If WFAA-CH.8’s Pete Delkus ever tires of weather guessing, he could easily be the first male Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. That man in his natty attire and slicked back hair can get a crowd rallied up like the best of the Aggie Yell leaders.

Pete Delkus

Pete Delkus

No better example for proof than the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County’s “Join the Fight Luncheon” that took place on Thursday, February 12, at the Embassy Suites Dallas in Frisco.

For most it would have been enough just to have had Olympian Sugar Ray Leonard as the guest speaker. Time and time again, Sugar Ray posed for photos in the VIP reception with a perfect smile and charming personality. When some of the folks asked to strike a boxer’s stance with him, he accommodated without delay.

Members of Barney and Me Boxing Gym

Members of Barney and Me Boxing Gym

There was even a brief session where he had a one-on-one with youngsters from the Barney and Me Boxing Gym. The kids had been provided with tickets to the VIP reception and luncheon thanks to one of the luncheon sponsors, Independent Bank and Executive VP Rob Temple.

Across the hall, the ballroom was filling with tables of guests. Unlike most luncheons that tend to skew toward the female gender, this one had an equal number of gents.

In keeping with the theme and the headliner, the CACCC staff had built a faux ring with red ropes on the stage.

First in the ring was Pete with a ring girl holding a card to announce him. He started rallying the troops by thanking the sponsors like presenting sponsor JC Penney. Never have luncheon sponsors received such cheers. These Collin County folks know how to show their appreciation. In recognizing the local officials, he said he felt safe because Collin County Sheriff Terry Box was present. Yup, and he was packing.

Carolyn Speese and Sugar Ray Leonard

Carolyn Speese and Sugar Ray Leonard

The final intro was Carolyn Speese, who in addition to co-chairing the event with her husband, Mark Speese, have been major supporters of CACCC over the years. She proudly announced that for the fourth year in a row CACCC had earned the Charity Navigator 4-star rating, Navigator’s highest rating.

In promoting the sale the Rusty Glenn centerpieces, she reminded guests that Valentine’s Day was just two days away and they “save themselves a trip to CVS.” Needless to say, the centerpieces sold.

After lunch, Carolyn returned to the podium to tell guests why “this luncheon was so important and necessary. We are fortunate…beyond fortunate to not only live in the United States but the greatest county in America.” Then she shifted directions reminding them that even in this remarkable setting, child abuse still existed. In 2014 more than 4,800 cases were reported in Collin County.

Carolyn then surprised the audience by having her friend WFAA-CH. 8 anchor Shelly Slater join her at the podium, who described Sugar Ray as a “really cool cat.” In announcing the winners of the raffle, she revealed that the sheriff had been one of the winners. And, no, it wasn’t fixed.

Pete in returning to the stage told the guests that “Shelly’s the sister I never wanted…just kidding Shelly.” He once again returned to cheerleading asking the audience to give a round of applause for the servers.

Now, it was time for Sugar Ray, whom Pete revealed that at one point in Sugar Ray’s childhood, he was a victim of abuse.

Sugar Ray started off telling the group that before the lunch he had had lots of pictures taken with guests and he noticed that as the guys walked away and “then they would look back. And I know what they were thinking. I know exactly what they were thinking. They were saying, ‘Sugar Ray. Wow! The champ! He’s not that big. [Laughter] I bet I could take him. [More laughter]”

He then settled into the topic of the day — despite having beaten “the best of the very best,” the power was not just limited to physicality but to that of the mind and spirit.

Sugar Ray has based his professional and personal life around POWER (Prepare Overcome Win Every Round). He went to say that “dreams are your GPS for success.”

He applauded the guests for their efforts in ending child abuse admitting that he was indeed a statistic.

When he decided to come out of retirement in 1986 to fight Marvelous Marvin Hagler, he discussed it with his father-in-law, who told him there was no way he could do and he was crazy to try. When asked why he would take on such a challenge, Sugar Ray replied, “They’re going to pay me $10M.” The father-in-law said, “So, when does training camp start? And how can I help you?”

Despite being a total underdog, he proved the critics wrong in Caesar’s Palace in 1987.

He then described his fight in 1981 against Tommy “Hitman” Hearns, whom Sugar Ray described as a freak of nature at 147 pounds and with arms the length of a football field. By the 13th round, it was looking bleak and his trainer Angelo Dundee wanted him to come out stronger and more aggressive. Thanks to Sugar Ray’s building up a reserve of energy, he came back to win “The Showdown”.

Returning to his bout with Marvin, he said that very few knew that just days before the fight, he received a severe blow from his sparring partner. His team realized it was a possible game changer and the mood back in the hotel room was “deathly quiet.” The original fight plan was to “stand toe-to-toe with Marvin…and with creative prayer.” He took the negative and turned it into a positive winning the fight by out boxing him. He believe in himself.

Her recalled his loss in 1980 against Roberto Durán and admitted that the former Undisputed World Lightweight Champion/#1 weltereight contender had gotten in Sugar Ray’s head, especially after Durán cursed Sugar Ray’s wife. He had “gotten the best of me.”He admitted that “that fight actually made me a better fighter.”

Six months later a rematch was held and he saw to it that Durán would lose his composure. During that time, Durán had gained weight and Sugar Ray used it to get in his head. Durán didn’t even finish the eighth round. He quit claiming stomach cramps and retired from boxing.

Sugar Ray’s biggest challenge was when at the age of 32, he moved up to weight classes and faced 28-year-old Don Lalonde — “It was a weird fight and I was close to retiring.” This one taught him not to take anyone for granted. It was one of the first times that Sugar Ray thought, “I shouldn’t be in this ring.” Still he won the fight.

He finished his talk saying that for nearly 40 years, despite the wins in the ring, he had remained silent about being sexually abused because “there’s such a shame, such embarrassment, such a stigma attached to being abused.” He explained, “What happened to me…this is going to be with me the rest of my life, but it’s not going to run my life.”

He didn’t delve into the incidents that took place in his youth, but the accounts are described in his book, “The Big Fight: My Life In And Out Of The Ring.”

Break With The Usual: Cogill’s Oscar Hints

Shelley Slater and Clay Huffstutter

Shelley Slater and Clay Huffstutter

Owen Wilson and Alan Peppard

Owen Wilson and Alan Peppard

Tonight while the Junior Leaguers were partying at the Anatole in a pretty impressive setting and some head-turning types like WFAA-TV’s Shelly Slater and the “mindful set” was at The Joule for the Aging Minds Foundation with Owen Wilson and Laura Wilson in a tribute to Bob Wilson, there were folks who were hunkering down in the jammies trying to figure out who was going to win an Academy Award Sunday night.

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill

We’re going to get ahead of our usual schedule and share with you the inside poop provided by Dallas film mind trust Gary Cogill. He gave his predictions at Dallas Uncorked on Sunday, February 8, so he might have changed his mind by now. Well, maybe. But here are his thoughts on who will be taking home little gold statue just in case you are preparing for an Oscar party.

Cogill’s Oscar picks:
• Best original song: Song from “Selma” by John Legend
• Best supporting actress: Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood”
• Best supporting actor: J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash”
• Best actress: Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”
• Best actor: Michael Keaton in “Birdman”
• Best movie: A tie between “Boyhood” or “Birdman”

Ah, come on. Football lovers have the Super Bowl. Film lovers have the Academy Awards.
Pass the popcorn and fantasize about having a screener for next year’s nominees.