Mary Kay’s Annual Suits For Shelters Kick-Off Party Brought Out The Pink With A Surprise Reward For Attending Domestic Shelters

Barb Podbelsek may have looked like your typical shopper returning a purchase on Thursday, July 13. After parking her car across the way from Bachendorf’s, she carried a red jacket on a hangar to Tootsies. Oh, but rethink that one. Barb was taking her gently worn jacket to a private get-together at Tootsies. The jacket was to be part of the annual Suits for Shelters program that provides professional attire and accessories for women in area shelters.

Barb Podbelsek, Jana Jones and Theresa Powerski

As Barb handed over the jacket, domestic violence experts like Genesis Shelter’s Jan Langbein and Bianca Jackson, Attitudes and Attire’s Annabelle Baxter and The Family Place’s Melissa Sherrill, Mary Catherine Benavides and Shivangi Pokharel Perkins were on hand.

Mary Catherine Benavides, Shivangi Pokharel Perkins and Melissa Sherrill

Alas, this clothes collection kick-off was to be the last one for Shivangi. She was headed to Charlotte, North Carolina? The reason? Her husband’s job.

Speaking of The Family Place MIAs, CEO Paige Flink was nowhere in sight. Seems she was taking a break in West Virginia with husband Randy Flink.

Nikki and Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and models

Mary Kay Inc. VP of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb scoured the crowd for his wife, Nikki Webb. Perfect timing. She was just walking in as the 100 guests like Jana Jones, Theresa Powerski, Jennifer and Aaron Tobin, Tracy and Abe Minkara, Teresa Flores, Anne Crews, Diana Franzetti, Nancy Thomason, Michaela and Trey Dyer, Ashley Montgomery Lyon, Nancy Gopez, Cindy and Brian Hanson, Amy and Chase Laws, Hadley and Travis Galt, Colleen Jamieson, Bill Bernstein, Genevieve Peterson and emcee Cynthia Izaguirre headed upstairs for the evening’s program hosted by the Tootsie’s crew including Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Land and Dustin Holcomb.

Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Lander and Dustin Holcomb

Crayton admitted that in the days ahead, he would be doing heavy-duty babysitting for the four little Webb-sters. The reason? Nikki is co-chairing the Junior League of Dallas’ Milestones Luncheon on Friday, November 17, at the Hilton Anatole with Co-Chair Jennifer Scripps. Decked out in white, Nikki reported that in addition to Linda Perryman Evans receiving the Sustainer of the Year award, the speaker will be Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer. That’s all Nikki could reveal as she and Clayton hustled upstairs for the evening’s program.

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

As Mary Kay Ash grandson Ryan Rogers tried to juggle his microphone and a glass, wife Maleiah Rogers was the dutiful wife, walking over and relieving him of the glass. After Ryan told of his grandmother’s longtime concern and support of women in domestic violent situations, he asked all to toast the work of those in domestic-abuse efforts. But just as he realized he had nothing with which to toast, Maleiah was back on the spot returning his glass.

Speaking of Ryan and Maleiah, they looked rather flawless. When asked their secret, they chimed in — Mary Kay products! Maleiah reeled off the whole product line and finished it with Smooth-Action Cellulite Gel Cream. One woman upon hearing that last one nudged her gal pal and said, “Then I want a bath tub of the stuff. Just look at her.”

Ryan also reminded the guests that the next week would be the national gathering of Mary Kay associates.

According to Crayton, roughly 30,000 of them would be assembling in Dallas for the four-day convention, providing the city with “two to three times the economic impact of Texas-OU weekend.”

When it came to the evening’s highlight, there was a problem. The big draw of the night was the raffle item donated by the Rogerses — $5,000 to the domestic violence group chosen by the winning ticket holder. Alas, Piers Hurley was the lucky winner, but he just couldn’t pick just one. Leave it to Maleiah and Ryan to come up with the perfect solution: “All event program beneficiaries (Attitudes and Attire, Brighter Tomorrows, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, Mosaic Family Services, The Salvation Army DFW and The Family Place) in attendance at the event would receive $5,000 donations to help support their work and help survivors of domestic violence!”

Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits For Shelters Kick-Off Party At Tootsies Proves That It Pays Off To Show Up

With the sizzling heat growing, there is a hesitation to venture out of one’s air-conditioned comfort zone, even it if means just moving from the office to the car to the destination.

But for some domestic abuse nonprofits, it paid off big time in the pink.

But first let’s back up. Tootsies hosted The Mary Kay Foundation’s annual Suits for Shelters kick-off party on Thursday, July 13. Despite June being tepid, July was making up for lost time in the temperature department. Still, the place filled with supporters of the program including some of the domestic abuse nonprofits that would benefit from the clothes collection.

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

Despite the decision not to have a fashion show, the raffle commenced. It was an unusual raffle. One of the prizes would have the winner go home with just great feelings. Their win would be deciding which domestic abuse nonprofit would receive $5,000 thanks to Maleiah and Ryan Rogers (aka Mary Kay’s grandson).

But when Piers Hurley’s name was called, he couldn’t pick just one recipient.

Leave it to Maleiah and Ryan to come up with the solution. They decided that each of the seven nonprofits in attendance would be awarded $5,000 each. So, those walking away in a daze with $5,000 were Attitudes and Attire, Brighter Tomorrows, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, Mosaic Family Services, The Salvation Army and The Family Place.

See, it does pay to show up!

Speaking of which, it also pays to contribute to the clothes collection. In return for the donation, the donor will receive a $25 gift certificate from Tootsies. But better hurry, because the Suits for Shelter program ends on Friday, August 4.

It’s Time To Free Your Gently Experienced Clothes From Closet Confines For The Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits For Shelters Program

It’s time for an honesty check. Isn’t there just one, maybe two or even a dozen outfits in your closet that you will never, ever wear again? Perhaps they’re a season or two behind the times. Or, perhaps your body has changed just enough that it just isn’t simpatico with those duds anymore. Yes, it’s a hard fact to face. But it’s time to let your former fabric friends escape the dark confines of your closet and find a bright new life with someone who would think they’ve hit a jackpot.

Suits For Shelters*

Perfect timing all the way around. Not only is there a great chance that there will be one rainy day during the upcoming “four-day holiday weekend,” but the Suits for Shelters is kicking off this weekend. So, why not spend that rainy day editing your wardrobe and taking your gently experienced professional attire and accessories to Tootsies for the Mary Kay Foundation’s “Don’t Look Away” program that benefits women in need.

Not only will you have more space in your closet for new goodies, you’ll earn yourself a $25 Tootsies gift card to shop. Plus you’ll make a difference for someone you may never know.

And if you’re away for the holiday, not to worry. The Suits for Shelters collection program runs through July until Friday, August 4.    

* Graphic courtesy of The Mary Kay Foundation

Mary Kay Foundation’s 2016 Suits For Shelters Fashion Celebration Was Definitely In The Pink At Tootsies

As so many have realized recently, domestic violence doesn’t take a second off. Whether it’s in the low-income community or the highfalutin neighborhoods, anger and physical abuse are not limited to one ZIP code.

But on Wednesday, July 20, the Suits for Shelters program celebrated the hope for many suffering from domestic violence. It was the annual fashion show at Tootsies benefiting the Mary Kay Foundation‘s effort to collect clothes for victims trying to find new lives of independence. And pink was definitely the color the day!

It was a great turnout of frontliners in the battle against abuse. The Family Place’s VP of Development Melissa Sherrill was standing in for The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink , who was MIA. It seems that after 25 years of working at The Family Place, Paige was on a sabbatical that had coincided with the Suits for Shelters get-together.

On the other hand, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein in her most adorable explosion of pink sundress said that she was already on the search for the Genesis Luncheon 2017 speaker. OK, so she admitted that to outdo 2016 speaker Tyler Perry was going take some doing, but Jan enjoys a good challenge, don’t you know.

Jan Langbein

Jan Langbein

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

But the true-blue standouts of the evening were Maleiah and Ryan Rogers. Gee, were these two made by Mattel? They greeted one and all with graciousness and dang! They looked so fabulous. Ryan’s grandmother, the late Mary Kay Ash, would have been so proud to have seen her mission to help those overcoming domestic violence being carried on by Maleiah and Ryan.

Mary Kay Foundation that is the driving force of the event also had Mary Kay Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility VP Crayton Webb, who had missed last year’s event due to a trip to China. Now, the father of three sons and a brand new daughter was looking over the crowd for his wife Nikki Webb, who was on her way.

It’s hard to imagine a more dedicated advocate in the battle against domestic violence than HeROs President Crayton, but the March birth of a daughter has made his mission even more personal.

Crayton Webb

Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Melissa Cameron

Melissa Cameron

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

All too soon the capacity crowd including Nancy Gopez, Kris Johnson, Melissa Cameron and Michaela Dyer, moved upstairs for the fashion show. After the welcomes by Emcee WFAA’s Cynthia “Izzy” Izaguirre, Ryan, Crayton and Tootsies Store Director Nerissa von Helpenstill, the fashions were on parade worn by WFAA’s Alexa Conomos and Charlotte Huffman, The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show’s Kellie Rasberry, Attitudes and Attire’s Evelyn Earl, Battered Women’s Foundation’s Roze Kluttz, Brighter Tomorrows’ Tina Strand, Denton County Friends of the Family’s Alicia Froidl, Dress for Success’ Karis Renee, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Tamika Jackson, Hope’s Door’s Megan Rutherford, Mosaic Family Services’ McKenzie Hoopfer, New Beginning Center’s Rhonda Aicklen, Safe Haven of Tarrant County’s Dakota Hart, The Salvation Army’s Vicki Wheaton, The Family Place’s Ericka Johnson and Mary Kay’s Marci Burns, Morgan Calhoun and Lisa Petty.

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Suits for Shelter fashion show

Suits for Shelters fashion show

Then the raffle took place with the highlight being the announcement of the winner of the $5,000 donation in the name of the winner to a domestic violence group.  Provided by Maleiah and Ryan, this item is the most-sought-after of the raffle packages for the nonprofit representatives. The moment Esmerelda Rodriquez’s name was called was electric. Irving-based Brighter Tomorrows’ CEO Diana Franzetti was truly beside herself. It seemed pretty obvious which organization Brighter Tomorrows’ Board Member Esmerelda was going to pick.

On a sidenote: Tootsies’ Sales Manager Dustin Holcomb admitted that the entire Tootsies’ family was still adjusting to life without Tootsies’ founder Mickey Rosmarin. Still Dustin assured that the Dallas operation was not only carrying on, it was going to celebrate its 25th anniversary this fall.

It’s Time To Retire Your Suit For A New Life

Know that suit in the closet that you’ll never wear again? It’s not getting better with age. Perhaps it’s not as up-to-date as your fashion reputation? Or, maybe it’s just not fitting the way it used to. Regardless, why keep it? There’s someone else who would not only appreciate it, but it just might help them land a job or score a promotion.

Tootsies fashions (File photo)

Tootsies fashions (File photo)

Just think. Not only can you help someone else and make room for a new addition to your wardrobe, you can even be gifted with a Tootsies $25 giftcard.

It’s simple. Just take that outfit to Tootsies starting tomorrow for the annual Suits For Shelters sponsored by The Mary Kay Foundation. The staff will greet your clothing with welcome arms and present you with your gift card that you’ll probably put to good use ASAP.

And what will happen to your donation? It will be provided to a shelter working with victims of domestic violence like Kimberley.

What’s that? You’re out of town. Don’t let that little issue worry your pretty head of split-end-less hair. You’ve got until Saturday, August 6, to hand over your pretties.

Remember your not-gonna-wear-it-again outfit could help a woman, whom you’ll never know, take a totally new direction in her life and the lives of her children.

Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits For Shelters Had Guests In The Pink To Rally Clothes For Victims Of Domestic Abuse

On Thursday, July 9, Dallas was on the verge of the pink invasion. Yup, it was time for the annual Mary Kay Convention. But it was also the evening of the “Think Pink” event at Tootsies for The Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits for Shelters program with cocktails on the ground floor and a fashion show upstairs.

But this year there was a slight twist to the gathering. There were a lot more men among the 200 in attendance. While Mary Kay VP Crayton Webb was MIA (he was in China), his involvement in HeRO was felt with such men as David Shallenberger and Bert Burkhalter taking a stand against domestic violence by attending the event.

Bert Burkhalter

Bert Burkhalter

David and Punam Shallenberger

David and Punam Shallenberger

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

Luckily, Mary Kay Chief Investment Officer/scion Ryan Rogers was front and center with his wife Maleiah, who was OMG perfectly outfitted with pink accessories like an over-the-shoulder scarf and a dazzling pink clutch. Her pink toenails peeking out of her Louboutin open-toe heels were a nice touch, too.

Just when the downstairs showroom was about to burst with people, it was time to head upstairs for the fashions.

As the guests like Yvonne Crum, Melissa Sherrill, Kirsten Gappelberg, Ann Crews, Theresa Flores, Katharine Bain and Regina Bruce were taking their places, WFAA’s Cynthia “Izzy” Izaguirre was taking cellphone snaps of guests. She promised them that she would be showing them on the evening’s 10 p.m. newscast.

Rebecca Gibson and Cynthia Izaguirre

Rebecca Gibson and Cynthia Izaguirre

The Family Place’s Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill were bright-eyed and chipper despite the anxieties of moving TFP’s consulting and administration offices. Paige hinted that more changes would be announced in the months ahead. Stay tuned.

Kirsten Gappelberg and Jan Langbein

Kirsten Gappelberg and Jan Langbein

Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill

Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill

With Maleiah sitting nearby, Ryan called the group to order explaining the program and introducing Tootsies manager Nerissa von Helpenstill, who in turned handed the mic over to Izzy.

The petite anchorwoman found herself having to jump-start the runway action. Despite announcing the start of the show, no one came out. Cynthia gently admonished them to appear: “Where are they? Ladies!”

That got the action going. At first Izzy did a running commentary like, “Does Rhonda look hot or not?” and “That’s the kind of look that will wind up on TV!”

Amber Griffin

Amber Griffin

Eventually she stopped asking the models for their names, dropped the scripted remarks and just let the fashions flow. Every now and then she would announce the theme for the next group of fashions, like Boho Beach Party and Sophisticated Soiree. After all, the models had gotten in the swing of things. Model Amber Griffin blew kisses to the guests in one outfit and then appeared in a hot pink caftan with arms widespread, looking like a glorious pink eagle.

Following the finale, Ryan returned to the podium and had the raffle tickets pulled for prizes like gift cards, Mary Kay gift baskets and goodies. The final item was a $5,000 donation to the shelter of choice by the winning ticket holder. While Paige and Genesis Shelter’s Jan Langbein looked hopeful, their hopes were dashed when Joe Fox sprung up when his ticket won, rushed to the podium immediately, and reported that the money would be going to the New Beginning Center. Talk about being on a roll. New Beginning just this past May received a $15,000 emergency grant from The Mary Kay Foundation to “provide safe and secure housing in the midst of major plumbing repairs.”

It’s not too late to pop by Tootsies with that suit or those accessories that were such memory-makers a season or two ago. Why not let someone else get some mileage out of them, and you’ll be rewarded with a $25 coupon to replace it with something new from Tootsies?

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Suits For Shelters Kick-Off Party

Selfie in pink

Selfie in pink

It’s been way too long since the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery has popped with photos of locals helping others. Thank heaven, the Mary Kay Foundation’s “Suits for Shelters” program kicked off at Tootsies with loads of people in the pink and bargains galore.

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

Casey

Casey

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

While the write-up is being finalized, enjoy the photos of the guests, the models and the fashions.

Mary Kay’s “Suits For Shelters” Kicks Off With Fellows Accessorized In Pink And Shelter Staffers On Tootsies’ Runway

The clothes are coming and going at Tootsies. It all started on Thursday, July 18, when it was the site of the Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits for Shelter program kick-off. Naturally, pink was the color of the evening. Why even the men folks spiffed up their ensembles with MK-fav colored ties (Morgan Meyer, Ryan Rogers and Jose Reyes) and handkerchiefs (Crayton Webb).

Pink was the color of the night

Pink was the color of the night

The purpose was easy to guess. It was to start the collection of “experienced” clothes and accessories for women to provide to shelters. The drive runs through Monday, August 5.

Oops, that could have been a problem. Seems that the Tootsies folks also arranged to have a very similar clothing drive for the Austin Street Shelter to run from August 1 through August 31. Yipes! Would there be a showdown at the store’s front door on Preston Road for which organization got the goods during that August 1-5 overlap period?

Oh, please!

Everyone was assured that anyone bringing clothes during that period would be asked which group they were providing the goods for.

And regardless of which group benefited from the contribution, the donor will receive a $25 gift card to be used at Tootsies, which will be very good since the store’s having its mega sale going on.

But back to the party.

Morgan Meyer and Kristen Howell

Morgan Meyer and Kristen Howell

Just as event producer Jan Strimple arrived on the scene, model Keana Meyer joined her, while husband Morgan reported on his future plans. Yes, he was running for the Texas House seat currently occupied by Dan Branch because “it’s a chance to serve Texas. . .  With my family and background, it’s the perfect spot to continue Dan Branch’s legacy.”

Fashion show

Fashion show

Just when the ground level was getting tighter than a size too small Spanx, it was time to go upstairs for the fashion show of shelter staffers wearing outfits with various touches of pink.

Ryan Rogers and Crayton Webb

Ryan Rogers and Crayton Webb

But before the show got underway, Mary Kay’s ever-charming and eloquent Director of Corporate Communications Crayton Webb and Mary Kay grandson Ryan Rogers thanked all on behalf of Mary Kay corporate and the foundation. They also reported that this was going to be a big year for the cosmetics company, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. Starting the following Sunday an estimated 50,000 women would be in Dallas for the annual Mary Kay gathering of the troops. As part of the Mary Kay Foundation’s mission, one of its programs is to assist women’s shelters. Last year they doubled the number of suits they collected and have raised more than $50,000 in all. Ryan finished the presentation by asking all to join him in toasting the program.

As the festivities were continuing with a full house watching the fashion show, a truck pulled up in the back of Tootsies with 150 items to add to the Suits for Shelters program.

Since 2000 the Mary Kay Foundation has provided $31M to shelters dealing with abuse against women and continued Mary Kay Ash’s original mission “to allow women to advance by helping others to succeed.” And to think — it all got started by a widow who invested her $5,000 savings in a dream. Thanks to her dream, women are escaping lives of nightmares.

Mary Kay Foundation Kicks Off “Suits for Shelters” At Tootsies Just In Time for 70% Off Sale

Crowd at Suits for Shelters Kick-off

On the eve of the weeks of invasions by 30,000 ladies and gents in pink for the five Mary Kay seminars, the Mary Kay Foundation kicked off “Suits for Shelters” at Tootsies. The purpose of the program is to collect “gently used suits, accessories, etc.,” for domestic-violence shelters like Genesis Women’s shelter, The Family Place and Dress for Success.

According to Mary Kay Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Kirsten Gappelberg, the corporation works with the foundation in encouraging the sales force to donate clothes. Since 2009, more than 7,000 professional items have been donated. This year Mary Kay increased its goal to doubling that number and that’s very doable since Mary Kay added 94,000 new independent beauty consultants in the last quarter, 34,000 of them from “Gen Y.”

Another plus is that the program has also been open to local non-Mary Kay associates to donate.

Ryan Rogers

Mary Kay grandson Ryan Rogers (in pink shirt, of course) and his oh-so-gorgeous wife Maleiah hosted the event to tell guests about the program. Ryan recalled his grandmother’s establishing the foundation in 1996, initially for cancer research. Eventually it was expanded to giving and has provided $18M to cancer, and $31M+ to shelters and domestic-violence programs.

Maleiah Rogers

Among those nodding in agreement were Genesis’s Jan Langbein and Dallas City Council member

Jan Langbein and Delia Jasso

Delia Jasso, who is chair of the council’s Domestic Violence Task Force. Her relationship with Mary Kay’s efforts started at a “makeover lunch” in April that Mary Kay did for 30 abuse victims. Her conclusion: “I’m gonna stick with Mary Kay!”

Supporting the evening with their presence was Mary Gill, who reported that husband John was recovering nicely from back surgery and that her brother Richie Humphreys was back in Dallas and staying with the Gills; Nancy Gopez, just back from a Mediterranean cruise with her family; Simona Beal with lusciously glossy lips (“I can’t remember whose gloss I’m wearing. It

Crayton Webb

may be Tom Ford.”); and Mary Kay Inc. Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb, who is preparing for the birth of his third child and the arrival of the thousands of Mary Kay crew.

Tootsies' 70% off sale

But Tuesday night it appeared to be an excellent opportunity to do a little shopping as well as dropping off donations. After all when the four-letter word “Sale” is everywhere with the number 70%, it’s your All-American duty to check out the racks. And how many racks there were. . . plus shoes and all types of goodies.  Alas, the sale ends July 28. So, why not drop off some clothes for the program and check out some replacements for yourself this week?