Flora Award Black-Tie Guests Celebrated The “Terrific Trio” At Texas Discovery Gardens With A Seated Dinner, Music And Clear Skies

The sky couldn’t have better on Thursday, October 26, for the black-tie guests to enjoy the Texas Discovery Gardens grounds before going indoors for the dinner celebrating the “terrific trio’s (Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith and Marilyn Waisanen) receiving the Flora Award . Here’s a report from the field:

Texas Discovery Gardens presented its prestigious annual Flora Award on Thursday, October 26, to Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith and Marilyn Waisanen, otherwise known as the ‘terrific trio’.

Marilyn Waisanen, Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith, Kathryn Febbroriello, Amelia Valz and Angela Shank*

Graced by $200,000 worth of deBoulle jewels, who designed the actual Flora Award, Kathryn Febbroriello, Angela Shank and Amelia Valz co-chaired the elegant evening for their second consecutive year. The enchanting garden grounds served as the opening act for the black-tie occasion; accented with glimmering lights and surrounded with whimsical music by the Steve Bayless Orchestra.

Steve Bayless Orchestra*

A seated dinner by Food Company was served in the Grand Hall. Tables laden with elegant linens housed Garden Gage arranged terrariums with live Monarch butterflies, all placed upon repurposed native Texas Tree ‘cookies’ from the ranch of TDG Executive Director Dick Davis.

Dick and Libba Davis*

Tom and Suzy Rhodes*

David and Waverly Smith*

Kristy and Patrick Sands and Erin Shields*

More than 240 guests celebrated the 2017 honorees and helped raise more than $190,000. The crowd consisting of Barbara Hunt Crow, Caroline Rose Hunt, Kristy and Patrick Sands, Ann and Bob Dyer, Myriam and Randall Graham, Lyda Hill, Erin Shields, Suzy and Tom Rhodes and David and Waverly Smith. 2017 Honorary Co-Chairs Bob and Myrna Schlegel, who were presented the Flora Award in 2016, and the ‘terrific trio’ are members of the prestigious honorees including Peggy and Carl Sewell, Laura and President George W. Bush and the late Ebby Halliday Acers, who are all recognized for their commitment to community service.

Lyda Hill, Caroline Rose Hunt, Barbara Hunt Crow and Bobbie Sue Williams*

The generosity of those who support the Flora Award fundraiser support the first public garden in the state of Texas to be certified 100% organic by the Texas Organic Research Center.  Children and adults discover and learn to sustain the natural world at the Fair Park grounds which will debut a new hummingbird garden and children’s playscape in the near future. To learn more, visit or support Texas Discovery Gardens and Butterfly House see www.TexasDiscoveryGardens.org or call 214.428.7476.

* Photo credit: James Edward

Flora Award Patrons Celebrated The “Terrific Trio” On A Perfect Night At Barbara Crow’s Home-Sweet-Home

The evening of Thursday, September 28, couldn’t have been more perfect. The temperatures were topping the 70s after a few hours of friendly rain (translation: no thunder, no lighting, no end-of-world weather). To match the perfection was Barbara Crow’s way too comfy home for the 34th Annual Flora Award patron party. From antique chairs for young ones to fabric-covered chairs that just invite a long settling in, Barbara will be the first to admit that the home was designed family gatherings at the holidays and raising a family.

Angela Shank, Amelia Valz and Kathryn Febbroriello

In a hallway facing the backyard, Barbara’s aunt Caroline Rose Hunt and Del Frnka settled on a sette. Second-year Tri-Chairs Kathryn Febbroriello, Angela Shank and Amelia Valz reported that the black-tie event at the Texas Discovery Garden on Thursday, October 26, was well on its way. Their secret? Having the “terrific trio” Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith and Marilyn Waisanen as the honorees.

Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith and Marilyn Waisanen

But while the dining room overflowed with guests like Ann and Bob Dyer, Texas Discovery Gardens Executive Director Dick Davis, past Flora Awardees Suzy and Tom Rhodes, last year’s Honorary Co-Chairs Myrna and Bob Schlegel, Billie Leigh Rippey and Margie and Ray Francis sampling the yummies on the table and Eva Brandys playing the piano in the sitting room, the keeping room was a feast of fundraisers in itself with Barbara Crow, Mary Anne Cree and Lyda Hill.

Mary Anne Cree, Barbara Crow and Lyda Hill

The orange-loving Lyda was told that she was so smart, she should head to Washington to straighten things out, Lyda immediately responded was a smile, “Why would I do that? I thought you said I was smart.”

Tickets starting at $300 and sponsorships for the dinner, dancing and “discoveries” are available here!

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2017 Flora Award Gala

According to 2017 Flora Award Gala Co-Chairs Kathryn Febbroriello, Angela Shank and Amelia Valz,

Angela Shank, Amelia Valz and Kathryn Febbroriello*

We are thrilled to honor three of Texas Discovery Gardens’ longtime supporters with the 2017 Flora Award Gala on Thursday, October 26. Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith and Marilyn Waisanen exemplify the mission of the award, which serves to recognize outstanding citizens who have demonstrated a commitment to community service, natural resource education, protection of the environment and quality of life.

It is our honor to thank Bettye, Janet and Marilyn for their time spent as Board members and volunteers at Texas Discovery Gardens. They have been hands-on for several major garden renovations and new programs that have launched Texas Discovery Gardens into a new era of growth, and all three are avid organic gardeners at home.

Marilyn Waisanen, Bettye Slaven and Janet Smith*

They have also devoted their time to countless deserving organizations in the area including Swiss Avenue Historic District Association, Children’s Medical Center Auxiliary, Dallas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, The Stewpot, Interfaith Housing Coalition, Salvation Army, the Junior League of Dallas, and the Dallas Women’s Foundation.

Bob and Myrna Schlegel (File photo)

Guests to the Patron Party on Thursday, September 28, will get a chance to hear Eva Brandys of Park Cities School of Music on piano at the home of Barbara Hunt Crow. The elegant Flora Award Gala, celebrating its 34th year of honorees and held at Texas Discovery Gardens’ Grand Hall, includes a cocktail hour on the verandah overlooking the organic gardens and featuring Eva Brandys, followed by a black tie dinner and musical serenade from the Steve Bayless Orchestra. Honorary Chairs for the 2017 Flora Award are Myrna and Bob Schlegel.

Tickets for the Flora Award and donations in honor of Bettye, Janet and Marilyn may be purchased at TXDG.org/flora.  Tickets prices start at $300 and tables at $3,000. With questions, please contact Angela Shank at [email protected] or 214.755.0639.

* Photo provided by Texas Discovery Garden

Texas Discovery Garden’s 2017 Flora Award Will Be Presented To Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith And Marilyn Waisanen At Annual Black-Tie Dinner

Since 1982 Texas Discovery GardensFlora Award has showcased individuals, “who have demonstrated a commitment to community service, natural resource education, protection of the environment and quality of life.”

Co-Chairs Kathryn Febbroriello, Angela Shank and Amelia Valz have just revealed that this year’s Award will be presented to a trio  — Bettye Slaven, Janet Smith and Marilyn Waisanen.

Marilyn Waisanen, Bettye Slaven and Janet Smith*

According to TDG Executive Director Dick Davis, “It is our honor to celebrate Bettye, Janet, and Marilyn, and to thank them for their time spent as Board members and volunteers at Texas Discovery Gardens. Between them, they have spearheaded the renovation of our Native Butterfly Habitat, inception of our Seasonal Garden Adoption program, creation of our Demonstration Gardens, beautification of our Grand Hall, and tradition of our Commemorative Bench over the past decade.”

Other contributions to the community have included their work with Swiss Avenue Historic District Association, Children’s Medical Center Auxiliary, Dallas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, The Stewpot, Interfaith Housing Coalition, The Salvation Army, Junior League of Dallas and Dallas Women’s Foundation.

Serving as honorary co-chairs for the Thursday, October 26, presentation at TDG are past Flora Awardees Myrna and Bob Schlegel.

Proceeds from the black-tie dinner support the “educational mission to help children and adults discover and learn to sustain their natural world.” Tickets and sponsorships are available here.

* Photo provided by Texas Discovery Gardens

JUST IN: 2016 Flora Award Gala Details Announced

Myrna and Bob Schlegel (File photo)

Myrna and Bob Schlegel (File photo)

2016 Flora Award Gala details were announced yesterday at a reception at Texas Discovery Gardens. Let’s get the big news out first. This year’s recipients are those Canadian trans-”plants” Myrna and Bob Schlegel.  Co-chairing the elegant black tie gala will be Kathryn Febbroriell, Angela Shank and Amelia Valz. The Thursday, November 3rd event will be a cocktail reception followed by a marvelous seated supper in Grand Hall.

Past recipients have included Jan Pickens, Ellen and John McStay, Ebby Halliday Acers, Peggy and Carl Sewell, Dee and Charles Wyly, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Barbara Hunt Crow.

Proceeds from the event will support Texas Discovery Gardens’ “education mission to help children and adults discover and learn to sustain their natural world.”

Tickets officially went on sale yesterday starting at $300 per person.

Round Robin November 6: Attitudes & Attire KO, The Flora Awards And Champions For Children Award Dinners

November has a tendency to have spectacular weather and Thursday, November 6, was a masterpiece. As the cars strove to drive home, the most perfect ball glowed in the sky. It was the moon that had that special glow that seems to only seen highlighting crows or on the wings of fireflies. The evening was the perfect kiss by Mother Nature on her sister Mother Earth.

Ellen and Clayton Kershaw prepared for thousands to attend their first Dallas Kershaw’s Challenge at The Rustic. Over at the Angelika, the Stars and Stripe Film Festival was kicking off its two-day run of movies honoring vets with a red carpet and Lynn and Allan McBee as co-chairs and benefiting the Sons of the Flag. Other happenings taking place throughout the area included:

Attitudes and Attire

Some may dismiss Attitudes and Attire as an outlet for gently experienced fashions to find new homes with those in needs of assistance. But there’s so much more like its “Boots to Heels” program the helps female vets adjust to civilian life thanks to the efforts of A&A Founder/Executive Director Lyn Berman. In preparation for their 18th Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show, they held their kick-off party at Bachendorf’s.

Lyn Berman and Robin Akin*

Lyn Berman and Robin Akin*

The big news revealed were two-fold. First the recipient of the Kim Dawson Award that “honors a woman whose standout personality and accomplishments exemplify the full potential of all women. For 2015 the honor will go to Ret. Brig. Gen. Robin Akin, who spoke so eloquently at the 2014 luncheon.

Also, announced was the honorary chair for the Friday, February 27th luncheon at the Dallas Trade Mart will be Ellen Terry.

Mary Brown and Client, Michelle*

Mary Brown and Client, Michelle*

With former ESPN’s Kelly Webster serving as the evening’s emcee, one of the evening’s highlights was a former A&A client, “who credited the agency with teaching her how to set boundaries and short-term and long-term goals as well as the importance attire can play in your self-esteem.”

The Flora Award

Suzy Rhodes

Suzy Rhodes

Stacey Beck

Stacey Beck

A black tie crowd of nearly 200 filled the Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park for the annual Flora Awards dinner chaired by Stacey Beck. Honorees Suzy and Tom Rhodes were surrounded during the reception by the likes of Myriam and Randall Graham, Debbie and Nickey Oates, Billie Leigh Rippey, Cindy and Charlie Feld, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Denis Boulle, Bobbie Sue and Phil Williams and past honorees Caroline Rose Hunt and Barbara Hunt Crow. Honorary Chair Jan Pickens was unable to attend.

Barbara Hunt Crow

Barbara Hunt Crow

Randall Graham

Randall Graham

Bobbie Sue Williams

Bobbie Sue Williams

Once the reception was just about to bust at the seams, the doors to the Grand Hall with its wall of floor-to-ceiling windows were opened and a glorious dinner prepared by Cassandra. And, of course, the tables were fabulous with floral creations by Junior Villanueva’s Garden Gate.

Table setting

Table setting

The Champion Of Children Award Dinner

Kimberley and Scott Sheffield

Kimberley and Scott Sheffield

Since its establishment in 1998, Dallas CASA’s Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award has been presented to individual except for 2006, 2011 and 2012. Those years the award named after the late Judge was given to Archon Group L.P., Southwest Airlines and ExxonMobil and its employees and retirees, respectively.

On this evening, a fourth company was recognized along with its employees — Pioneer Natural Resources.

Named after the late Judge Barefoot Sanders, “the award is given annually to recognize community leaders, who significantly improve the lives of children in our community, particularly those who young lives have been marked by abuse, neglect or other adversity.”

Representing Pioneer was its Chairman of the Board/CEO Scott Sheffield and his wife Kimberley.

Kathleen LaValle and Rob and Linda Swartz

Kathleen LaValle and Rob and Linda Swartz

Dallas CASA Executive Director/President/longtime volunteer Kathleen LaValle and the staff were thrilled when Barefoot’s widow Jan Sanders said she was interested in becoming an Advocate herself.

It turned out that Jan wasn’t the only ones, as other guests were inspired by the event chaired by Linda and Rob Swartz and Honorary Chair Frank Risch.

Jim Lozier and Frank Risch

Jim Lozier and Frank Risch

In addition to former foster child Joseph Head’s giving a moving talk about how CASA had been life-changing for him, a powerful video was shown with Co-Chair Linda telling about growing up in poverty and her own experience as a teenager growing up in Georgia as a foster child.

No wonder it was a record-breaking night with more than $600,000 raised with nearly 500 attendance.

Yup, it was a beautiful night for the moon and the Dallas fundraisers.

* Photo credit: 
Marcus Lopez

October 9 Round Robin: Thrift Studio Preview, Flora Award Patron And Soup’s On! Announcement Parties

Dallas fundraising exploded Thursday, October 9, for its final hurrah before the city submitted to a tsunami of UT burnt orange and OU red. It was a real hit-and-run evening for those making the rounds. For country western lovers, they had their choices. Either in Arlington, where former First Couple Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter were at AT&T Stadium celebrating “Habit for Humanity” at Building Hope Celebration Dinner with Wynonna Judd on stage and loads of swells on the floor of the stadium. Or, there was the Leukemia Texas‘s sold-out Concert for Cure at The Rustic, where car- and people-watching started in the parking lot as the guests jammed the place to hear Jack Ingram on stage. With the weather perfect, it was optimum conditions for the inside/outside venue to showcase its ability to party hearty. Other activities taking place included:

Thrift Studio Preview Party

Thrift Studio preview

Thrift Studio preview

Over in the Design District, Dwell With Dignity’s semi-annual Thrift Studio’s preview party had another lineup of vehicles and guests waiting their turns to get in to see the staging of “available” furnishings donated by area interior decorators and vendors. Dwell With Dignity Co-Founder Lisa Robison was being congratulated once again on the success of the program that “creates inspiring homes for families struggling with homelessness and poverty.”

Lenard Blackwell and Joe Demoruelle

Lenard Blackwell and Joe Demoruelle

Tara Harper and Brad Harper

Tara Harper and Brad Harper

Event Chair Laura Chancellor arranged for sets designed by CDA Interior Design, Catherine Dolen and Stacy Coulter & Associates and Carlin & Company; Dan Nelson, Vision Desing Inc., Jan Barboglio and Peacock Alley; Denise McGaha Interiors and ID Collection; Eleven 11 Design, Brendan Bass Showroom and Robert Allen Design; Gonzalo Bueno and Mauricio Lobeira for X+III and David Sutherland Showroom; Joseph Minton; Paul Duesing Partners; and Peter Sandel Design LLC, Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams. Tara Harper and her brother Brad were upstairs checking out the furniture, while others were checking out Joe Demoruelle’s colorful jacket. Also on hand were Honorary Chair/designer Tobi Fairley and Meredith Hite, who had joined Shay Geyer’s IBB Design Group. Remember, the Thrift Studio like Brigadoon is a temporary wonderland. The pop-up shop is open until Saturday, November 8th with ever-arriving new goodies.

Flora Award Patron Party

Adam and Stacey Beck

Adam and Stacey Beck

Less crowded was the invite-only patron party for the Flora Award that will take place at a black-tie dinner on Thursday, November 6, at the Texas Discovery Gardens. But this evening it was business attire at Joan and Steve Smith’s Park Cities home. It was a natural to have the party there. After all, the Smiths’ daughter Stacey Beck and her husband Adam were co-chairing the fundraiser for the Gardens.

Co-honoree Suzy Rhodes greeted guests, like past honoree Barbara Hunt Crow, Caroline Rose Hunt, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Celeste and Michael Bosco and past Flora Award chairs Marilyn Waisanen and Bettye Slaven, while husband Tom worked the back of the house near the Smith’s Grey African Parrot, Juma, that was entertaining guests with his moves and conversation. Suzy and Tom met in eighth grade at the former Highland Park Junior High School (now McCullough) and have been married 39 years. Tom kidded friends saying, “She would not leave me alone.”

Suzy and Tom Rhodes

Suzy and Tom Rhodes

Texas Discovery Gardens Executive Director Dick Davis told the 70 guests that the gardens were in overdrive with butterflies. In addition to the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House, which had just celebrated its fifth anniversary in September, the newly renovated gift shop had a “spectacular selection of framed tropical butterflies” that has resulted in an increase in sales.

Dick also revealed other changes taking place at TDG, including The Welcome Garden featuring deep shade tolerant plants including the hardy windmill palm, which had won “Best in Show” at the State Fair. It had been “been made possible through donations” from Suzy and Tom, the TDG Board and Board Members Janet Smith and her husband Norman.

Other TDG news included a refreshening of the Minnie Marcus Garden and the building of the Nature Learning Center by hand and “featuring reclaimed materials and serving as an outdoor classroom space, native snake exhibit, greenhouse and green gardening demonstration site.”

Soup’s On! Kick-Off Party

One of winter’s favorite fundraisers, “Soup’s On!,” got kicked off Brad Oldham’s studio and for good reason. Here is a report from the field about The Stewpot Alliances’ big fundraiser as it enters its 40th year in operation:

Anne Besser, Brian Luscher and Jackie Moore*

Anne Besser, Brian Luscher and Jackie Moore*

Stewpot Alliance Soup’s On! Luncheon Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Jackie Moore announced that author, singer/songwriter and foster care advocate Jimmy Wayne will be the keynote speaker of the 2015 luncheon and art sale to be held Tuesday, January 20, at the Omni Dallas. Stewpot Alliance member and civic leader Susie Simon will act as honorary chair of the popular event. The announcement was made at the brand new Brad Oldham Studio at 1200 Ross Ave. The retail studio will open to the public within a few weeks.

Tonya Meier and Kristine Schwope*

Tonya Meier and Kristine Schwope*

Kristine Schwope chaired Thursday’s Fall Kick-off party and membership drive which also collected items for the annual Women’s Christmas Tea to be held Friday, December 4.

Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin*

Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin*

“It was a treat to be at the new Brad Oldham Studio for the Soup’s On! announcement. Oldham has created ‘Birth of the City’ — a lost-wax bronze sculpture wall that stories from the history of Dallas from its founding until the mid-1930’s. This site-specific installation will feature ten-6’ by4’ panels along Park Avenue and Young Street. There will be a public unveiling of the Sculpture Wall @ Encore Park on Friday, October 24, at 3:30 p.m.”

* Photos provided by The
Stewpot Alliance

Round Robin April 23: Flora Award Announcement Party, John Wayne Film Festival Patron Dinner And Thrive Dinner

The evening of Wednesday, April 23, had traffic moving in overdrive to get to the various events taking place throughout the entire area. While hundreds and hundreds were at the Meyerson to enjoy Diana Ross doing a knock-out performance for the Vogel Alcove, others were at . . .

Flora Awards Announcement Party

Susie Adams and Adam and Stacey Beck

Susie Adams and Adam and Stacey Beck

The walkway leading to Susie and John Adams’s Highland Park home was bordered by beds of colorful spring flowers. How appropriate for the announcement part for the 2014 Flora Award benefiting Texas Discovery Gardens. Even the flowers on the tables surrounded by food donated by Chef Trina Nelson of Pat-T-Trayz Catering was just perfect.

Suzy Rhodes and Bill Denton

Suzy Rhodes and Bill Denton

Always the perfect hostess, Suzy welcomed each guest at the door like an old friend. As for the honorees, Suzy Rhodes was dressed for the occasion in a pink and red floral dress. As each guest approached, she checked to see if it was husband Tom.

Stacey Beck is chairing the black tie event on Thursday, November 6, at Texas Discovery Gardens with tickets starting at $300.

Jennifer and Coley Clark

Jennifer and Coley Clark

Among the group to hear the announcement were Jennifer and Coley Clark, who had two more stops including Make-A-Wish and the Vogel Alcove events.

John Wayne Film Festival Patron Dinner

It was a true gathering of eagles at Nick and Sam’s in Addison. The eagles were the patrons of the John Wayne Film Festival on the eve of the four-day Duke-athon.

On the way over to the dinner, KRLD had broadcast an interview with Co-Chair Steve Stodghill about the event. When later asked at the reception if Stodgie had arranged for TCM to host a week of John Wayne movies to coincide with the festival, he gave a lawyerly smile saying he refused to confirm or deny the arrangement.

Don Winspear reported that he was heading to Coopers Aerobic Center to start working out again following some recent surgery. While complimented about his work in recovering from transverse myelitis, he smiled and pointed to a blond across the way. “She’s the one who deserves the compliment.” He was talking about his wife, Ellen.

Gary Cogill and Pat Stodghill

Gary Cogill and Pat Stodghill

Across the room some else wondered if the pelifera of red-haired babes (Anne Stodghill, Pat Stodghill, Tiffany Divis, Hayley Hamilton Cogill and Linda Ivy) was a nod to Ann-Margret, who was to be the guest of honor on Saturday night.

Lee Bailey's boots

Lee Bailey’s boots

At the other end of the spectrum was the footwear that featured all types of boots — dazzlers, ropers, surgical. Hello, surgical? Yup, Lee Bailey was wearing two totally different types of boots. Yes, on her right foot was a splashy gold one that went perfectly with her gold cowgirl outfit. The other one was a surgical boot to help her recover from foot surgery six weeks ago. When asked how she was getting between the floors of her palazzo, she laughed, “Slowly.”

In the dining room, Micki and Mike Rawlings were just regular folks hanging out with friends. After all, Addison has its own mayor. So, the twosome looked like it was date night without a care in the world.

Ethan Wayne, Anne and Steve Stodghill and Micki and Mike Rawlings

Ethan Wayne, Anne and Steve Stodghill and Micki and Mike Rawlings

Among the Wayne kids present were Marisa Wayne and Ethan Wayne and granddaughter Anita Swift. They’re getting to be such regular types that some folks might think the Wayne brood has moved here permanently.

Marisa Wayne and Anita Swift

Marisa Wayne and Anita Swift


Here’s a report from the field:

Cissy Beasley, Martha and Doug Hawthorne*

Cissy Beasley, Martha and Doug Hawthorne*

“Cancer Support Community North Texas, a free comprehensive cancer support center, hosted its inaugural Thrive event to honor recently retired** Texas Health Resources CEO Doug Hawthorne with the first ever Community in Action award. Thrive took place at the Hilton Anatole Hotel Khmer Pavilion.

“The evening began with a cocktail reception followed by a formal dinner and an award presentation. Doug Hawthorne was chosen as the recipient of the Community in Action award for his dedication to creating healthier communities.

“Kent Rathbun Dine Around and Limo for Eight with Wine Pairings, Round of Golf for Four at Vaquero Club and $500 Kendra Scott Jewelry Color Bar Party were the raffle items that helped to raise nearly $300,000, with all proceeds benefiting the organization’s free comprehensive cancer support programs throughout North Texas.”

* Photo credit: James Edward
** Evidently this report was a bit premature. According to Texas Health Resources
PR Director Wendall Watson, "Mr [sic] Hawthorne recently ANNOUNCED that he will 
step down as CEO by the end of 2014. He definitely has NOT retired yet." So, 
Doug, you've still got to show up for work as CEO.

JUST IN: Jan Pickens To Receive 2013 Flora Award

Love this time of year. Like appetizers offering great promise for the main course, news is brimming about nonprofit activities and developments for the future.

Just in this morning is news from Texas Discovery Gardens’ pick for the 2013 Flora Award. According to 2013 Flora Award Co-Chair Jennifer Huff, “In the Flora Award’s 31 years, we have enjoyed an exceptional list of honorees, and this year continues that incredible tradition.”

Jan Pickens*

Jan Pickens*

Talk about a blooming pick of the Dallas philanthropic garden — Jan Pickens!

Co-Chair Courtney Love explained, “Jan Pickens is tireless in her quest to raise money and awareness for the causes she holds dear. Her work with the Salvation Army is revered, and for Texas Discovery Gardens, it was Jan who took the Flora Award from a simple tea and turned it into the elegant event it is today. She has grace, elegance and a deep faith — there is no one more deserving of this award than she.”

The Flora Award will be in good company in Jan’s list of accolades that include her being “recognized by their National Board with the ‘Others’ Award, the Junior League of Dallas, the Crystal Charity Ball Committee, Women’s Guild of the Dallas Society for Crippled Children, United Way, the Dallas Woman’s Club, Dallas Historical Society, M.D. Anderson, United Cerebral Palsy of Metropolitan Dallas for which she received the 2003 ‘Distinguished Service Award,’ Meals on Wheels and many more. Most recently, the Dallas Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi honored her with the 2012 Founder’s Day Award for Community Service.”

Past recipients include Ellen and John McStay, Ebby Halliday Acers, Peggy and Carl Sewell, Dee and Charles Wyly, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Barbara Hunt Crow.

Jan will be honored at the black-tie dinner on Thursday, November 7, at the Texas Discovery Gardens. Tickets start at $300 and tables for $3,000 with proceeds benefiting Texas Discovery Gardens. To get your place, call Sarah Gardener at 214.428.7476, Ext. 230. And, yes, that is Sarah’s last name.

Photo provided by Texas Discovery Gardens

November 1 Round Robin: Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters, Graeme Jenkins Farewell, Flora Awards And Art + Advocacy

Halloween costumes and decoration were old hat last Thursday, and the fundraisers were back in full gear from the Park Cities to Fair Park and from the F.I.G. to the Winspear.

Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters Party

Old timers were eager to see the used-to-be Jimmy and Carl Westcott‘s mansion of red-brick tradition that had been transformed to a cool estate of the very cool. Since Tracy and Richard Cheatham purchased the 12,957-square-foot home-sweet-home, it had gone through a very dramatic transition from classic to ultra contemporary. Let’s think moving from Burberry to Giorgio Armani.

Lucky were the Crystal Charity Ball underwriters. For they got the opportunity to see the mansion at its grandest, with beautiful weather and diamonds galore. No, the diamonds weren’t part of the digs.

Jim and Julie Turner, Aileen Pratt and Stacy and David Blank

As if the diamonds on the guests weren’t dazzling enough, David “The Diamond Doctor” Blank and his wife Stacy arranged to have a dozen freeze-framed, tall-drinks-of-water models decked out in their rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. And these weren’t just big diamonds. These were beautifully designed pieces of gem artwork.

Diamond Dollies

The first hint of the glitter was on the wrist of CCB Chair Aileen Pratt. Yes, the ring was hers thanks to husband Jack, but the scrumptious, 13-karat diamond bracelet was courtesy of Diamond Doctor David for the evening. Alas, Aileen had to return it at the end of the evening because it will be one of the items up for grabs at the CCB auction..

Dallas Opera

Don Winspear, Stacie Whitley and Graeme Jenkins*

There were some real surprises at the Winspear Opera House as 175 people showed up for the Dallas Opera’s “Toast to Graeme Jenkins.” Organized by the opera’s Women’s Board, the reception event marked Jenkins’ 20 years as a conductor and music director of The Dallas Opera—and his decision to retire as director when his contract expires at the end of the 2012-13 season. Jenkins cited an expanding schedule with European opera companies for his decision to step down.

Just before event chair Stacie Whitley welcomed the crowd at the Winspear, a flash mob “spontaneously” broke out in the room. Thirty-five or 40 members of the Dallas Opera Chorus put down their drinks and hors d’oeuvres and broke suddenly into a rendition of the va pensioro chorus from Giuseppe Verdi’s “Nabucco” opera. Later, DO Concertmeister Jing Wang played the “Meditation” from Jules Massenet’s “Thais” opera, accompanied by Michael Heaston on piano.

Leading the guests in a literal “toast” to Jenkins, Don Winspear, chairman of the DO board of directors, praised the London-born maestro’s brilliance and versatility. And Keith Cerny, the DO’s general director and CEO, said he’s been especially proud of Jenkins’ work on the operas “Boris Gudunov” and “Tristan und Isolde.”

During the reception, Cerny said discussions are continuing to bring Jenkins back to Dallas on occasion as a guest conductor. Winspear, meantime, said that a search for Jenkins’ successor is “ongoing,” and that he is “very excited and encouraged by the candidates interested in the position.” He added that he hopes a replacement can be named by early next year.

Flora Awards (Check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for more photos)

Waverly Smith and Marilyn Waisanen

The Texas Discovery Gardens had never looked more elegant.Thanks to Flora Award Co-chairs Waverly Smith and Marilyn Waisanen, it had to be. After all, Barbara Hunt Crow was the recipient of the annual award that recognizes “outstanding Americans, who have demonstrated their commitment to community involvement, education and advancement of the environment and quality of life.”

The cocktail reception looked like central casting had assembled the overflow crowd of black-tie types including  Libby Allred in tomato

Mary Anne Cree

red low-cut gown with exquisite ruby and diamond necklace, Ebby Halliday Acers holding her “elephant” handbag, Penny Rivenbark with her Judith Leiber butterfly purse and turquoise floral gown, Sue and Phil John, Sue Smith sans husband Bob (he was in Las Vegas), Cindy and Andy Clendenen with daughter Caroline Fung, Fred and Jan Hegi, Mary Ann wearing a butterfly pin (you do know that the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House and Insectarium is named after her late mother, don’t you?) and Richard Cree, Wendy and Michael Jenkins and Betty and John Crawford and loads of Hunt relatives (Herbert and Nancy Hunt, Caroline Rose Hunt, Lyda Hill and Libby Hunt).

Dinner time

Or perhaps it was the exquisite Grand Hall all decked out with glorious table settings from Posh Couture and the Steve Bayless Orchestra playing just the right tunes. And, of course, a simple daisy in a glass vase wouldn’t do on this night. Nope. Floral designer extraordinaire Junior Villanueva literally “rose” to the occasion providing the best for scents and sights.

As for the feast, Jim Lee Events served up

  • First Course — Mediterranean salad “Martini” accented with a grilled shrimp “Martini Pik”
  • The amuse — Rose petal and passion-fruit sorbet “spoon”
  • Second course — Pecan wood smoked beef tenderloin served with 3-peppercorn demi-glace, timbale of champagne risotto with Parmesan crust and brandied lobster cream, French green bean “bundle” with caramelized lemon glaze and artisan breads with custom butter
  • The dessert —Amaretto Godiva molten lava cake with cointreau-infused berries

Art + Advocacy

Lynn Davis, Laura Green and Jordan Roth*

Lynn M. Davis, president and CEO of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, said he was very pleased.

Before the 6th Annual Art + Advocacy Auction Party had even begun, the fundraiser had raked in $400,000 for the advocacy center, without selling a single piece of art.

That figure was already $25,000 more than was netted in total for the group at last year’s affair.

And, the 620 guests who turned out for the 2012 event at the Fashion Industry Gallery were determined to raise even more for the center, which serves about 2,000 local child-abuse victims and their families each year.

Chuck and Lindsay Jacaman*

The guests proceeded to do so by bidding in live and silent auctions on works of art by new and established artists, as well as art created by child-abuse victims in DCAC’s art therapy program.

Among the offered works—all of them donated–were oils, pencil drawings, photographs and mixed-media creations from galleries including Barry Whistler, Holly Johnson and Craighead Green.

Helping set the party mood at the F.I.G.—honorary co-chair John Sughrue donated the trendy space—were DJ Lucy Wrubel; Andrews Distributing; and caterer Wendy Krispin.

Patricia Meadows*

Event chairs Lindsay and Chuck Jacaman served as event chairs, while Patricia B. Meadows was the honorary art chair.

The day of the auction party, Davis disclosed, an anonymous donor came forward with $25,000.

During the evening’s Call for Cash this donor matched an additional $25,000—and then offered an additional $50,000 if the noisy crowd would pipe down so the auction could proceed.

Thanks to his and others’ generosity, the final net for the children’s advocacy center was more than $500,000. Now that was a pretty picture.

* Photo credit: Glenn Hunter

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Flora Awards Dinner

Dinner time

Photos from the November 1st Flora Awards at the Texas Discovery Gardens just went up on the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. Coverage is coming in the next MySweetCharity Round Robin.

Wednesday Round Robin: Flora Patron Party, A.W.A.R.E. Shoe Sale And St. Philip’s Roasting Of Mayor Mike Rawlings

Last Wednesday was filled with activities benefiting everything from the Texas Discovery Gardens, A.W.A.R.E. to St. Philip’s School throughout Dallas.


Libby and Al Allred, Barbara Hunt Crow, Herbert and Nancy Hunt

Sisters are definitely great. Especially when they’re Libby Hunt Allred and Barbara Hunt Crow. Because Barbara is being honored at the Flora Awards dinner on Thursday, November 1, at Texas Discovery Gardens, Libby and husband Al hosted a patron party Wednesday evening at their picture-perfect home.

Billie Leigh Rippey, John Marston, Elsie Dunklin and Sue John

The red-brick house with a marvelous collection of Boehm porcelains was perfect for the Discovery Garden supporters including Carol Seay, who is co-chairing “Illuminating New Perspectives” at the Dallas Country Club Tuesday, Sue John and Susan Lebowitz comparing notes on the recent 45th reunion of the Highland Park High School class of ’67, Elsie Dunklin in an appropriate floral shawl, Billie Leigh Rippey just back from Shreveport, where she was feted by old friends and plenty of Hunts (Libby’s and Barbara’s parents, Nancy and Herbert Hunt, big brother Doug Hunt, cousin Lyda Hill and aunt Caroline Rose Hunt).


While Bill Seanor had a great time at the family estate watching the family’s two afghans racing across the lawn, wife Karen was having a jolly good time inside with shoe lovers and A.W.A.R.E. supporters. The occasion was a trunk show of Emy Mack Shoes. The handmade Italian shoes were as varied as the group trying them on. Everything from booties with stud tips to python-print flats with buckles in all sizes filled the dining room and entry hall.

A.W.A.R.E. President Kay Hammond was beaming with the turnout, knowing that a portion of the sales would benefit A.W.A.R.E., thanks to hosts Emily Jamison and Carmaleta Whiteley.

Among the crowd shoe-perusing were designer Lynn Dealey, who is working on the April 5th A.W.A.R.E. luncheon logo featuring keynote speaker Larry Hagman, Sally Blanton preparing for another trip, and James Shackelford talking about Friday’s Burgers and Burgundy event for DIFFA at Anne and Steve Stodghill‘s new mansion.


Meanwhile, over at the Omni Dallas Hotel, more than 410 guests got a kick out of roasting Mayor Mike Rawlings at the 25th Annual Fall Event benefiting St. Philip’s School and Community Center.

Elaine Agather*

With Elaine Agather serving as emcee, Candace and Jim Krause serving as chairs, and country star Charley Pride and his wife, Rozene, as the evening’s honorary chairs, the roast titled “Schooling the Mayor” featured a parade of local luminaries who were eager to tweak Mike for a great cause.

There was City Council member Dwaine Caraway, for example, recalling that when Rawlings emerged on the Dallas mayoral scene, “He just popped up like a Pop Tart.” Then, Caraway said, “First thing he did, he blocked me out of the mayor pro tem. OK. I’m down with that.” But now they get along, the councilman said, noting that he and the mayor are both ex-football players: “I still do some blockin’ for him.”

Tom Karol of CIC Partners, where Rawlings was managing partner before becoming mayor, read a long funny poem about Mike that ended with: “There’s not every city that has their own ‘Mr. Big.’ ” (That was a reference to Rawlings’ physical resemblance to the TV character from “Sex and the City.”)

Mayor Mike Rawlings and Tom Dunning*

Businessman/former mayoral candidate Tom Dunning recalled vacationing one time with Rawlings and others in Greece, where Mike, “eager to show off his athletic ability,” agreed to try water-skiing, much to his eventual embarrassment: “The boat took off and yanked him right up—and yanked his pants right down! … Then, he just sunk!”

After the laughter died down, a hilarious video was shown featuring former Dallas Cowboys QB Roger Staubach. Among other bits, the video showed side-by-side comparisons of both Roger and Mike sporting moustaches, back in the day. Staubach claimed that his was the more “macho” of the two, by far.

Stephen Jones, Dwaine Caraway and Mayor Mike Rawlings*

Dallas Cowboys executive Stephen Jones came to the podium following the video, calling Rawlings, “nothing short of a jock-sniffer. But, we’ll forgive him for that.”

When the mayor took the stage at last, he had his revenge. He called Dunning “the most charismatically challenged individual I’ve ever known. It’s really sad.” Of Jones, he added: “To be a good sport, you have to learn how to lose. And this is the maestro … Come on, win a game!”

Dr. Terry Flowers*

Turning to St. Philip’s Headmaster Dr. Terry J. Flowers, Rawlings said, “I’m so honored to have been a scapegoat to help raise money for you.”

And, raise money did they did. In addition to all the event-sponsorship funds, Agather drew on-the-spot pledges of around $120,000 during the Sponsor-A-Child presentation.

* Photos and post by Glenn Hunter


Grovel Alert: Flora Award Dinner

Barbara Hunt Crow

The Flora Award’s black-tie dinner at Texas Discovery Gardens on Thursday, November 1,  honoring Barbara Hunt Crow is in a “grovel status” for tickets.

The Gardens themselves are such a treat and treasure, but the idea of dining there and honoring Barbara has created the almost-sold-out situation this soon.

In addition to being heavily involved with Texas Discovery Gardens (volunteer, donor, board member and chair), she has been hands-on with the Junior League of Dallas, Crystal Charity Ball, Cattle Baron’s Ball, Dallas Woman’s Club, SMU-in-Taos, the Godbey Lecture Series, the Dedman College at SMU and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

According to Flora Award Chair Marilyn Waisanen, “Barbara demonstrates through her deeds what it means to give back to your community. The staff and board at Texas Discovery Gardens are especially appreciative of Barbara’s commitment to our mission of environmental education.”

Benefiting the Texas Discovery Gardens, Flora Awards have been presented in the past to Ellen and John McStay, Ebby Halliday Acers, Peggy and Carl Sewell, Dee and Charles Wyly, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

One of the fav spots at Texas Discovery Gardens is the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House and Insectarium, where they daily release butterflies at noon.

For information on the few tickets left, call Sarah Gardner at 214.428.7476, Ext. 230, or email [email protected].

Photo provided by Texas Discovery Gardens