JUST IN: Former Dallas Police Chief David Brown To Keynote The Salvation Army’s “Annual Doing The Most Good Luncheon”

David Brown (File photo)

That David Brown has been a very busy retiree. Well, actually the former Dallas Police Chief isn’t retired. He’s just changed careers. In addition to working for ABC News, he’s been collecting awards and swamped with speaking engagements. The latest one was just announced. He will be the keynoter for The Salvation Army’s “Annual Doing The Most Good Luncheon” at the Anatole on Thursday, November 16, the week before Thanksgiving.

Bobby Lyle (File photo)

Michal Powell (File photo)

Luncheon Honorary Chair Bobby Lyle will be joined by Luncheon Chair Michal Powell, who is an old hand at planning, promoting and producing a mega fundraiser. She nearly busted the bank when she chaired the 2015 Crystal Charity Ball.

Thanks to the funds raised at the luncheon, The Salvation Army will be able to continue its “compassionate services within Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Denton and Ellis counties. Last year, the organization provided shelter for 7,932 individuals, served 1,076,280 meals, distributed 36,175 bags of groceries, and provided Christmas gifts for 49,258 children and special care adults.”

JUST IN: Best-Selling Author Jimmy Wayne To Be 2016 Doing The Most Good Luncheon Keynote Speaker For The Salvation Army

As the holidays approach, The Salvation Army kettles and bell ringing will spring up throughout the area. The monies raised by The Salvation Army go to “food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, apartments for senior citizens and veterans, drug and alcohol addiction recovery, youth programs and financial assistance.”

Just this past year, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command has served nearly a million meals, provided 42,071 bags of groceries, shelter for 6,836 adults and children, substance abuse rehabilitation for 4,443 people and Christmas assistance for 16,373 families and 51,918 individuals.

So often the recipients of these services and their stories go unknown. But on Thursday, November 17, the annual Doing the Most Good Luncheon fundraiser will reveal how The Salvation Army played an important and inspiring role in a boy’s life.

Mary Clare Finney (File photo)

Mary Clare Finney (File photo)

Debbie Oates (File photo)

Debbie Oates (File photo)

Luncheon Chair Mary Clare Finney and Underwriting Chair Debbie Oates have arranged to have “accomplished recording artist, keynote speaker and three-time New York Times best-selling author” Jimmy Wayne to be the featured speaker in the Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom.

Jimmy Wayne*

Jimmy Wayne*

His childhood was not a pretty one — “His father abandoned the family. His mother was sent to prison. His stepfather tried to murder him. As a teen, he was homeless, living on the street before being taken in by foster parents who helped change his life.”

According to Jimmy, “The Salvation Army provided food and clothes to my mom, sister and me when I was nine years old. They provided me my first guitar through the angel tree program when I was 14 years old. I vowed when I ‘made it,’ I would give back to The Salvation Army. The first song I wrote when I received my first record deal was ‘Paper Angels’ — a song about the Angel Tree program. I wrote about The Salvation Army in my book ‘Walk to Beautiful.’”

Held the week before Thanksgiving, the luncheon is an inspirational way to start the holidays. Individual tickets are $300 and sponsorships range from $1,000 to $250,000.

* Photo provided by The Salvation Army

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.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2013 Annual Doing The Most Good Luncheon

Jan Pickens*

Jan Pickens*

According to 2013 Doing the Most Good Luncheon Chair Jan Pickens,

“The Salvation Army is best known for its Red Kettle Campaign, but did you know that the Doing the Most Good Luncheon is ranked as the largest fundraising luncheon in Dallas? This year’s luncheon will be held on Friday, November 15, at 12 p.m. at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. The speaker will be announced later this fall, and with past speakers such as six-time Grammy award winner Amy Grant and Toms Shoes Founder Blake Mycoskie, this luncheon will surely entertain and motivate you to want to do more for our community.

“This year’s Doing The Most Good Luncheon will also kick off the 125th anniversary of The Salvation Army locally and across Texas, followed by a year of exciting activities planned by 125th Anniversary Chair Charlotte Anderson.

“There’s no organization that I’ve ever been involved with that I have served my faith and others so visibly than The Salvation Army. It’s my fifth time to chair this event, so I must love its mission. The Salvation Army’s mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

“The Salvation Army is a worldwide organization known for its endeavors helping the unfortunate and disadvantaged without discrimination. The Salvation Army has extensive programs to assist with needs ranging from sheltering the homeless to providing summer camps and music instruction for children.

“I hope you will join me on November 15. For more information on purchasing tickets, which are $300, or about underwriting, go to salvationarmydfw.org, or contact 214.637.8254 or [email protected].”

* Photo provided by The Salvation Army

In The Life Goes On Department

You’ll recall how Yvonne Crum announced that Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas was changing fundraising strategy and launching a whole new program “Fashion Stars For A Cause”.  

2013 Fresh Faces preparing for rehearsal (File photo)

2013 Fresh Faces preparing for rehearsal (File photo)

It was just learned that the Fresh Faces of Fashion program with which SCCNT had been associated with for seven years will carry on. In its place The Salvation Army’s Echelon will benefit from FFF thanks to Modern Luxury, Stanley Korshak and Park Place Motorcars.

While the Dallas fundraising calendar is already pretty jammed, it’s nice to see two programs underway that will embrace the younger generation of Dallas for the good of so many in need.

Dallas’ Salvation Army Recruits Young Movers And Shakers For Its Echelon Team

When you think of people associated with The Salvation Army in Dallas-Fort Worth, two images come to mind. One is the prototype uniformed soldiers, who tirelessly toil year round but seem more on the scene around the holidays. The other persona is the group made up of community elders, who make the right calls and run fundraising projects like major corporations.

Recently another group has been added to TSA ranks — Echelon. It’s “a community of diverse young adults, ages 21 to 35, collectively rising up to serve TSA through fellowship and networking, donations and fundraising and service and volunteering.” In other words, they make being a trooper in the TSA cool.

That’s the very proper description of the group. Actually, they’re fun trendsetters who just happen to have great taste, love to party and know how to raise money. They also happen to have a very “hands-on” attitude when it comes to volunteering at TSA.

To show their muscle they decided to created 30M Gala Weekend (April 26 and 27). What’s that? What’s 30M? No, it’s not a typo for 3M. 30M is the 30 million people who were served in the U.S. during 2012.


Nancy Dedman, Dee Wyly and Martha Miller

Nancy Dedman, Dee Wyly and Martha Miller

For a minuscule few, the weekend really started Thursday night at Dee Wyly’s Preston Hollow estate. It was a gal-pal party with guest of honor designer, Kelly Wearstler. Almost an hour into the party, Kelly was nowhere to be seen, but no one really minded. It seemed the delay was due to The Family Place’s Stiletto Strut around Neiman Marcus Downtown that was creating a leggy traffic jam around her hotel.

Darren's handiwork

Darren’s handiwork

As Wyly Chef Darren McGrady and his kitchen team busily created trays of hors d’oeuvres and “surely-it’s-not-fattening yummies,” guests were perfectly happy to chat with the likes of Nancy Dedman, Heather Furniss, Carol Seay, Martha Miller, Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt and Tricia George.


Kelly Wearstler and Ken Downing

Kelly Wearstler and Ken Downing

It was a 10:30 start at the Joule Hotel with a Kelly Wearstler “pop-up shop. The former Playboy Playmate (that’s way yesteryear) has creative talents that range from home furnishings to clothing. While the clothes are delicate and flirty, the home décor is bold and . . . well, flirty. Why, the lunch tables were beautiful displays of her handiwork. Well, most of them. Seems one was a little too provocative to be at a TSA lunch. Of course, you’re wondering what it was. No, it wasn’t as bad as you think, you naughty thing! It was a pair of white mounds that remind one to have a mammogram. See! Told ya it wasn’t all that outrageous. Still, it was TSA.

Jeff Byron

Jeff Byron

While NM Czar of Taste Ken Downing was down a hallway with Kelly (they’re old buds), the brand new NM Downtown Manager Jeff Byron was being introduced around to the crowd that included Sally Harris, Ruth Altshuler, the Jones gals (Gene Jones, Karen Jones and Charlotte Anderson), the Hunt sisters (Barbara Crow and Libby Allred), the Seay lasses (Carol and daughter-in-law Stephanie who is expecting), Dee Dee Lee, Claire Emanuelson and Muffin Lemak.

Carol Seay, Stephanie Seay and Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt

Carol Seay, Stephanie Seay and Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt

The luncheon was chaired by Ashley Hunt, Carla Miller and Molly Thomas with the main feature being an onstage chat between Kelly and Kimberly Schlegel Whitman. Originally planned to take place on the Joule’s rooftop terrace, it was held in the ballroom. Why? No, the weather was perfect. It was just that the terrace wasn’t quite finished and the Joule folks wanted everything to be perfect.


Somebody in the Echelon group had friends in the weather department. But more about that later.

Molly Cox and Berry Cox

Molly Cox and Berry Cox

The black tie gala at the Dallas Country Club started with a reception in the lobby that was swathed in white draping. Guests entered through a hallway cloaked in the white fabric making their formal attires extremely elegant. Then it was catch-up time.

Unlike the previous two days of gals only, this one included the gents and they held their own very nicely, including dads like Berry Cox, for whom daughter-in-law Molly Cox gave a private tour of the ballroom for the post-dinner partying.

It was just minutes after that tour that a server spilled a glass of red wine that not only hit the stone floor but splattered all over the bottom of the white draping. Luckily, no long gowns were in the vicinity. (Heloise hint: That’s why Stanley Marcus prohibited red wine from being served at his events. It’s tough to clean up.)

Amy Prestidge and Lisa Moore

Amy Prestidge and Lisa Moore

Thanks to Gala Chair Molly and Justin Cox, Lisa and Wayne Moore and Amy and Corey Prestidge and Honorary Chairs Ruth Altshuler and Michelle McAdams, the guest list was made up veterans and upcoming leaders in TSA including Lynn McBee (husband Allan was at the Frontiers of Flight Museum Gala), Nancy Dedman, Niven Morgan just back from Louisiana, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Laura and Tom Leppert, Shelle and Michael Sills, Carol Seay, Kerbey Clark with Ed Cox, Gala Advisor Heather Furniss with daughter Ashley and TSA Dallas First Couple Captain Michele and Major Ward Matthews.

Ed Cox and Kerbey Clark

Ed Cox and Kerbey Clark

Michele and Ward Matthews

Michele and Ward Matthews

As the lobby got more and more crowded, the fashion candy also got more delicious with bare backs, extremely short skirts under see-through overlays and one gown with strategically placed cut-outs. Another conversation piece was the triple sweethearts on Carla Miller’s left arm.

Dinner under a tent with a view of Turtle Creek

Dinner under a tent with a view of Turtle Creek

Later than planned, the group strolled through the club and down the steps to a massive tent with flawless views of the Turtle Creek and the greens. That’s when the weather worked in their favor. Despite the humidity of the day, the evening hours proved just right for an absolutely perfect night of dining outside and then heading up to the ballroom for dancing to The Tip Tops and DJ Andrew 7.

While TSA may still be in the business of providing for the needy, it’s also moving forward with a very forward looking and thinking generation.

The Salvation Army Luncheon Is Jammed With Folks Listening To Amy Grant Sing And Chat

Parking for the Salvation Army’s “2012 Annual Doing The Most Good Luncheon” on Thursday, November 15, at the Hilton Anatole is a caste system. There are two lanes near the Hilton Anatole’s entry and under the porte-cochere. There the Jack Boles boys and gals are relieving the “Benefactors” of their  vehicles. In the exterior lanes near the grassy lawn with the jumbo-balloon SA logo, the “general valet” is available for Anatole parkers. For the more self-sufficient, who are a bit overwhelmed by the dividing of the Very VIPs and General VIPs, there is self-parking out in various lots.

But it is a beautiful day with a hint of fall in the air. And then as guests enter the hotel, there is the sound of bells. . . lots of bells being rung by dedicated SA workers in their blue uniforms and wearing welcoming smiles. Next to each is a red kettle in need of filling. But all of this is the purpose of this mega-fundraiser that officially kicks off the bell-ringing, kettle-filling season.

Amy Grant

VVIP types like Gerald Turner, Shelle Sills, birthday girl Margot Perot, Underwriting Chair Lynn McBee, Merrie Ann and Frank King, Ruth Altshuler, Elaine Agather, Linda Custard and Connie and Denny Carreker head to the Carpenter Ballroom to meet and greet with the day’s keynote speaker Amy Grant.

As people queue up for a quick smile-and-snapshot with Amy, one man is heard explaining to his friend, “It’s Christian Contemporary.” A woman grabs Amy’s hands saying, “I’m such a fan. You’re my favorite.” Amy is gracious about this compliment and the many more that follow as she poses for photos with an endless line up.

Shelle Sills, Claire Emanuelson and DeeDee Lee

DeeDee Lee and Claire Emanuelson are talking about the day before, when they attended the Victoria Beckham trunk show at Neiman Marcus Downtown. “She’s so nice and what a gorgeous smile,” DDL says of Victoria. Both gals seem mystified why she is always photographed “so seriously.” They asked the former Spice Girl if she was spending the night and she said, “No.” Seems she wanted to get home to tuck her children in for the night.

By 11:43 a.m., the reception is really crowded. Someone spots a guest who is notorious for crashing the VIP parties. Another vet of celebrity fundraisers is asked if they would like to have their pic taken with Amy. They startle friends by responding, “No. I’m starting to feel like a celebrity ego wh–e.”

At 11:45 a.m., the chimes promptly put out the call for lunch and guests start the march to the Khmer Room upstairs via the single-file escalator or the bank of elevators.

It’s obvious that the Khmer is filled to capacity, like a queen-size gal trying to fit into a petite pair of leggings, the hundreds and hundreds wedged their way to their seats. Pity the poor soul searching for their table without checking the floor plan at the check-in. Even Anatole staffers looked a little wide-eyed, realizing they were going to have to carry huge serving trays through the tight maze of tables. But a singing group on stage makes the “table, table, where’s our table?” game easier.

The McCampbells

At 12:11 p.m. NBC5 Mark Hayes introduces himself, welcomes guests and thanks the McCampbells. Who are they? Silly, they’re the group that has been singing. A sentence or two later he again introduces himself as Mark Hayes from NBC5.

At 12:15 p.m. everything is going on schedule and SA Captain Michelle and Major Ward Matthews welcome everyone and tell the group that the day’s event has raised “more than $2.5M.” Then they introduce Bernice Washington, who does the invocation.

Lunch is served — Salad: Grilled apples, goat cheese and walnuts, local field greens with fig balsamic vinaigrette; Entree: Chicken breast stuffed with spinach, mushrooms and pancetta, wild mushroom saute, haricot vert and roasted grape tomatoes; Dessert: A multi-tier tray of chocolate truffles, maple pots de creme, chocolate icebox spoons and whoopie pies (chocolate with ganache, vanilla with strawberry and white chocolate mousse and raspberry stuffed butter cookie macaroons). Some tables have no dressing boat, so guests eat their salads dry. Doesn’t taste half bad and probably saves on calories. Others in need of a vinaigrette fix hijack servers to ladle on the dressing.

At 1:05 p.m., a video on Cassie Andrade  brings to the forefront the whole purpose of the day. She suffered from drug and alcohol abuse, went to prison for forging prescriptions and has turned her life around thanks to SA. As the video ends Cassie is on stage with Michelle. Mark is back. He doesn’t introduce himself this time. Instead he introduces Amy.

As the singer arrives center stage with her guitar, the two drive-in-movie-size screens on either side of the stage show close-ups of Amy’s face, making her look Gulliver-like to the room full of Lilliputians. She tells stories in between songs. The stories are about friends, her life.

At 1:21 p.m. Amy tells about “Alice Faye.” Is that the movie star from the 40s? No. It turns out to be Amy’s former mother-in-law who is still close and inspirational. People are videotaping on their smartphones. Some are starting to check their watches.

Amy tells how she’s turning 52 at the end of the month.

At 1:34 p.m. Amy tells how she was with her sister Mimi, who was finishing cancer treatment. Acapella she sings Hebrews Chapter XI that’s “kind of like Cliff Notes of the Old Testament.”

It’s now 1:46 p.m. and people are trying to sneak out. A minute later, Amy finishes to applause, but it’s not over yet. The Matthews thank everyone for coming.

At 1:49 p.m., the luncheon is over and the season of giving, sharing and bell ringing is well underway.

JUST IN: Amy Grant To Headline The Salvation Army Luncheon

Amy Grant

Six-time Grammy Award-winning sweetheart Amy Grant will be speaking and singing at The Salvation Army of DFW‘s 2012 Annual Doing The Most Good Luncheon! Yup, Luncheon Chair/Senior VP & Regional GM of Coca-Cola Refreshments Mark Schortman, Event Chair/Neiman Marcus VP & GM Shelle Sills and Underwriting Chair/Community Energizer Bunny Rabbit Lynn McBee have arranged to have Amy at the Thursday, November 15, luncheon at the Hilton Anatole.

The luncheon signals the unofficial start of the giving season with Thanksgiving just days away and Salvation Army kettles in need of being filled.

Prediction: Easy sell-out! So be smart and reserve a table. To do that, contact Tables Sales Chair/Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell Partner Gina Betts.

Photo provided by The Salvation Army of DFW

Celebrate Veterans Day At The Salvation Army Lunch With Scott O’Grady

Scott O'Grady

Veterans Day is next week when we remember the duty that thousands have performed for the protection of the country. One of those veterans is Scott O’Grady, who started his military career in Texas, “training at the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program at Sheppard Air Force Base from November 1989 to December 1990. He was then assigned to F-16 pilot training at Luke Air Force Base until December 1991, when he began his first operational assignment flying the F-16 at the 80th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan Air Base, Korea. In April 1993, Captain O’Grady was reassigned to the 526th Fighter Squadron, Ramstein AB, Germany, until assuming a position in May 1994 with the 555th Fighter Squadron in Aviano, Italy. In October 1995, he was assigned as an F-16 pilot with the 466th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. In July 1998, he was assigned to a joint survival agency at Fairchild Air Force Base. After 12 years of military service Captain O’Grady entered inactive reserve status in February 2001, having accumulated more than 1,300 military flying hours, including over 1,000 hours in the F-16.”

In 1995, O’Grady made international headlines. While enforcing the NATO no-fly zone policy over Bosnia, his F-16 was brought down by a missile. For days he was presumed dead or captured by Bosnian Serbs. Somehow he managed to survive living off the land and avoided capture. Thanks to his high-tech signaling device and Marines, he was rescued.

But he didn’t stop with a “Whew!” O’Grady went on to write Return With Honor about his ordeal. The book ended up on The New York Times bestseller list for six weeks.

On Friday, November 11, he’ll be the featured speaker at the annual Salvation Army’s “Doing to Most Good Luncheon” at the Hilton Anatole.

MySweetCharity’s Make-Believe-Benefactor: John Crawford

John Crawford

“The first answer is that I would endorse the check over to Downtown Dallas Inc. as there no one or organization that does a better job for the “betterment of Dallas” than DDI—As Goes Downtown, So Goes Dallas!!  If you consider where we were 10 years ago and compare the vision that is now reality, it’s no contest.

If you are looking for something a little less self serving (although I am still convinced the first answer is correct) and   approaches “betterment” differently, the recipient would be The Salvation Army.  There are so many options in Dallas to choose from that do a wonderful job in a variety of ways; the Red Cross, United Way, Genesis Women’s Shelter and the list goes on and on and on.  However, The Salvation Army’s slogan of “Doing the Most Good” literally says it all as it seeks to create a better Dallas and a better world through prayers, gifts and services.”

John Crawford

On The Eve Of The Salvation Army Auxiliary Luncheon, Carolyne Roehm is Ms. Best Friend

Have you ever bumped into someone at a party and immediately hit it off? No frills. No “I’m important and what are you?” Instantaneously NBFEW (New Best Friend in the Entire World) type? That’s what happened Monday night at Betsy (pictured) and Jim Sowells‘ OMG picture-perfect home when the patrons party for The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary whooped it up with designer/author/genuine personality New Yawker Carolyne Roehm.

Thank heaven, the Big Apple hasn’t gotten to the Missouri-born Carolyne, who could talk the talk with everyone from Luncheon Chair Heather Furniss and her dotter Ashley (pictured left with, from the left, Heather Furniss, Carolyne Roehm and Lisa Kopeky) to Luncheon Honorary Chair Margot Perot.

BTW, if you bump into Carolyne at Tuesday’s Salvation Army luncheon at Brook Hollow or her book signing at DT Neiman’s on Wednesday, here are some subjects to chat with Carolyne about:

  • Understand you like dogs. Oops, wrong! Understand you love dogs! How many do you have? Eight girls and one boy? Tell me about that cute boy dog. . . you know the Westie with the soulful eyes.
  • How is your cold doing?
  • What does the word “Pinniger” mean to you?

Got it. Now, you’re all prepared for a session with a great gal and to join the Carolyne Roehm fan club.

Back to the party. Once you enter the house. . . that is if former HP Police Chief/Scovell doorman Darrell  Fant permits you. . . you won’t want to  leave. Well, at least until the holidays are over. The floors alone would make the most demanding interior decorator crater into apoplexy. The most magical point of sitting is the room fronting the street with its let-me-see-it-and-die Christmas tree (pictured). Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!

Those making it past Darrell included Linda Ivy (pictured) in a red fur coat, Libby “Oh-So-Svelte” Hunt with cutie pie husband David and Jill Smith and Sue Justice who immediately headed to the Christmas tree room and were passing extreme approval on George’s catering. . .  Majors Michelle and Ward Matthews arrived early to help the Sowells in setting up for the evening. They admitted that the kettle campaign is moving right along and that the chilly weather helps remind folks that there are others in need of their donations.

The Salvation Army’s Soul-Saving Campaign Raised Funds With Sole-Saving Blake Mycoskie

The annual Salvation Army Luncheon is an inspiration in itself. With a herd of both males and females showing their support for the 130-plus year old organization, the luncheon is the warm-up kick-off for the yearly red kettle drive. As guests arrived at the luncheon in the Hilton Anatole, they were greeted throughout the lobby by The Salvation Army (TSA) associates ringing bells.

For some reason, there seemed to be a little more pep in the step as people entered the ballroom. Perhaps it was the Cowboys’ recent wins, the very successful Bush Center groundbreaking or the slight turn in the economy. Regardless, the crowd of 1,500 was bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Charlotte Anderson was wearing many hats like —

  • First Daughter of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
  • Exec VP Brand Management for the Cowboys
  • President of Charities for the Cowboys
  • National Advisory Board Chairperson for TSA.

No wonder the gal had a front row table!  She also had by her side Mom Gene Jones at the next table with gal pals Diana Strauss and Lee Ann White, but she also was joined by Brill Garrett (pictured right with Charlotte Anderson), Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett’s better half.

No wonder Keith Urban will officially kick off the Red Kettle campaign performing halftime at the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving game.

Across the ballroom was Gail Turner, who feared  she was going to “have to put rocks in (husband/SMU president) Gerald‘s shoes” to bring him back to earth after the Bush Center groundbreaking two days before.

Speaking of which, Nancy Halbreich was giddy about the groundbreaking, too. Not just the event. She was just sitting among the first 10 rows with Nancy Dedman when Mitt Romney sat down next to her. When asked how the niece of former Democratic chairman Robert Strauss felt to be one of the only Democrats at the largely Republican gathering of 2,300, she diplomatically answered with a smile, “I consider myself to be an Independent.”

A few tables over, Bobby Lyle was being hugged and greeted like Santa. Luncheon Chair Joyce Fox (pictured right with Bobby Lyle) was one of the first to do the honors. Seems that Bobby was in charge of underwriting for the event and he has a reputation for making people want to give.

But more about that later.

Following the lunch’s being served, a moving video was presented telling “Edith’s Story” with the capper being the presentation of Edith to a standing ovation. Next Major Ward Matthews with the assistance of his wife Captain Michele told the group that one of the highest honors that TSA bestowed on individuals was The Others Award. It was created to recognize those outside TSA who have gone “above and beyond” to help the organization. They told how Jan Pickens, Ray Nixon (pictured) and Jim Francis had made such an impact through their efforts to raise awareness and finances for TSA that they were receiving The Others Award.

Then Gerald revealed that Bobby Lyle had given him an envelope with the amount of money raised from the luncheon. After opening the envelope, Gerald reported a whopping $3,313,154 was the magic number. But not satisfied, he suggested that everyone with a cell phone text a certain number which would result in their donating at least $10.

Immediately folks like Rena Pederson, Ann Carruth and Harriet Miers started texting. A few others raised an eyebrow. Looking a little uncomfortable, one guest whispered, “They just said that over $3 million was raised by us. Now, they’re asking for more?”

If you do your arithmetic and everyone in the room had texted $10, that would have increased the total by $15,000.

Gerald, the man who knows how to make things happen, also told the crowd that they could make a donation the old fashioned way by putting money in the little red kettles on each of the tables or buying the centerpieces.

Those Salvation Army soldiers really know how to market!

Speaking of marketing, the man of the hour and guest speaker Blake Mycoskie (pictured) took to the stage. The former SMU tennis player/founder of TOMS knew how to make an impression both visually and verbally. Doffing his brown sports jacket, the tousled brunette with the scruffy beard in the red plaid shirt with leather and beaded bracelets looked more like a beneficiary of TSA than the head of an international shoe mega-wonder. Ah, but he was just setting the well-dressed audience up.

While other speakers had used teleprompters, Blake talked non-stop for 25 minutes about his life. Sounds like half  a therapy session, huh? Not Blake’s life. Having done everything from losing  “The Amazing Race” by four minutes, to starting an online driver education company to playing polo and sipping fine wine in Argentina, Blake sounded like the ultimate subject of a  Robin Leach segment. Then while in Argentina, he joined some English-speaking gals in delivering shoes to children in a poor village a couple of hours outside town. He was so moved by the experience that he decided to start a company that gave one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased.

Blake’s tales of how he created the start-up company and in no time was overwhelmed with orders and encounters with the likes of Anna Wintour kept the audience riveted.  That first summer, 10,000 pairs were sold from his 1,000-square-foot apartment. This year TOMS gave awayits one millionth pair of shoes.

“Every single person in this room can have a tremendous impact  on the lives of people locally in this community and all over the world,” Blake said. “And your support for The Salvation Army is not just about  breaking a record or fund raising goals, which is awesome. It has to continue day after day after day. The more you incorporate giving into your life, the more you will receive. When you leave today, think what else you can do to help someone in need.”

By the time Blake had completed his talk, not a soul had left the ballroom and all gave him a standing ovation. It’s suspected that many were wearing TOMS by dinner time.

The Salvation Army Patrons’ Party Chimes In At Lisa And Kenny Troutts’ Mega Cottage

If the Salvation Army luncheon this Thursday is anything like the patrons’ party at Lisa and Kenny Troutt‘s (pictured right with Lisa Troutt) palace, there is no need for a speaker. The folks supporting the Salvation Army are inspiring enough.

Of course, you want examples, you hungry things! Kenny was the perfect host showing photos of his Kentucky Derby wunderkind Super Saver to ever-accessible Margot Perot (pictured), while husband Ross was chatting with Jimmy Francis. After the chat, Jimmy turned his talents to another group and kept them entranced with his animated storytelling. The guy definitely could give the late-night hosts a run for their money. . . Oh, did you know that Kenny has “consolidated the ownership” of WinStar Farms (home of Super Saver) and is the sole owner? It happened back in October.  Former pawtner Bill Casner will now be WinStar’s largest client.  Super Saver doesn’t really care. He’s too busy grazing and living the good life. . . Dallas Snadon arrived in a pair of “bowed” stilettos (from 4510, she thinks) with husband Daryl (pictured left with Dallas Snadon). She was also sporting a wrapped left hand under her shawl/scarf to disguise her recent surgery. No, it wasn’t due to carpel tunnel. Think too much skiing. . .  Caren Prothro and Lynn McBee were comparing notes. Translation: something is up and another fund raiser is afoot. . . Dee Wyly admitted that she’s let her year-old Maltese pooch, Bella, become quite spoiled, but “at least I don’t have to put her through college!” . . . Luncheon Chair drop-dead gorgeous Joyce Fox was posing for photos with dotter Stephanie Fox and date Steve Owen Jr. (pictured center with, from the left, Joyce Fox and Stephanie Fox).

But enough of the good life at Lisa’s and Kenny’s. Lunch is on at the Hilton Anatole with TOMS Shoes Founder/Chief Shoe Giver Blake Mycockie as the numero uno speaker. You did know that TOMS provides a pair of new shoes to a child in need for every pair sold. You didn’t? For your punishment and enjoyment, go out and buy a pair of TOMS to wear to Thursday’s lunch! It’s the #1 luncheon in the Salvation Army world and rightly so.