2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Made Some Tweaks To The POA Resulting In An Over-The-Top Fundraiser With Dwight Yoakam And Toby Keith

The 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball redefined the words Texas Proud on Saturday, October 15, at Gilley’s. Despite the MIA of Rogers, Hunts, Simmons and all the legendary names of giving, other philanthropists rose to the occasion of fighting cancer with funding.

Andrea Weber, DwightYoakmam and Cara French

Andrea Weber, DwightYoakmam and Cara French

In spite of Co-Chair Andrea Weber having given birth just two weeks earlier and Co-Chair Cara French having been hit by the making-the-rounds stomach virus, their game plan and committee of 100 rose to the occasion and impressed even the hard-to-impress oldtimers.  

Perhaps it was due to some rearranging of thangs. First of all, the decision was made to have two headliners perform — Dwight Yoakam on the Live Auction Stage and Toby Keith on the Andrews Distributing Main Stage. In the past, the evening had centered around one big name performer like Tim McGraw or Kenny Chesney on the Main Stage. This move was smart…very smart.

Dwight Yoakam

Dwight Yoakam

Another change in POA was having the VIP party take place in South Side Ballroom with the swells having their own private 30-minute concert provided by Dwight. In the meantime, the general admission types grazed on never-ending vittles, checked out the silent auction and rode the Ferris wheel. One Dwight devotee general admission guest was asked if he was disappointed about missing out on the private performance. His response, after he finished chewing a mouthful of food, was, “Heck, no. We’re having too much fun eating!”

At 7 p.m., the doors to the ballroom were open for all to catch the rest of Dwight’s performance.

Okay, so that’s what was going on publicly. Behind the scenes, just before Dwight went on stage, the VVIPs found themselves queuing up among the catering staff for their photo opp with Dwight. Behind the curtain, all was set up for a quick grip-and-grin including a box for the photogs to use. Seems Dwight prefers that arrangement. One onlooker suggested that it might be due to Dwight’s extra weight. Nah!

As the VVIPs lined up, word was passed that Dwight was present. He accommodated one and all except for one photographer’s request: “Could you raise your hat?” Dwight smiled and said, “No. People don’t want to see my eyes.”

But everybody wanted to see Dwight on stage and he did not disappoint one iota. Playing all his hits—from “Little Ways” and “Fast as You” to “Ain’t That Lonely Yet”—Dwight also performed several songs in tribute to the late Merle Haggard. Thanks to his performance, the energy was in “skyrocket drive.” Even the stuffiest types found themselves being part of the mosh pit.

Hal Brierley, Kent Rathbun, Diane Brierley, Kevin Garvin, Dean Fearing, Nick Barclay and Jim Severson

Hal Brierley, Kent Rathbun, Diane Brierley, Kevin Garvin, Dean Fearing, Nick Barclay and Jim Severson

Amy Turner and Stephen Ratchford

Amy Turner and Stephen Ratchford

It was the perfect warm-up for the live auction that took place almost seconds after Dwight and his crew left the stage. And what a live auction it was.

Hal Brierley hinted that he and wife Diane Brierley just might take a pass on the Smokin’ Chefs’ Silver Anniversary Dinner this year. They had already bought five or six in the past. Diane smiled. Perhaps Hal was doing a fake pass. Indeed! With chefs Kent Rathbun, Dean Fearing, Nick Barclay, Jim Severson, Kevin Garvin, David Holben and Richard Chamberlain on stage, the Brierley got into a bidding war with blonde, turquoise-wearing Amy Turner. Kent and the boys were determined to kick the final tab past the six-figure mark. After a brief huddle, the boys agreed to sell two dinners for $75,000 each. Someone recalled that this solution had taken place in past years, with the two dinners hitting the $100,000 mark.

Lisa Cooley

Lisa Cooley

Last year’s dinner co-winner Lisa Cooley had already won her party night earlier in the auction, by picking up the Texas-Sized Party At Gilley’s for 200, complete with Rivers And Rust, for $55,000. When asked how she planned to use the party time, she held up her two hands flashing five fingers on each. Hello? Come again. She’s going to use it for her upcoming 55th birthday.

Gail and Cliff Fischer

Gail and Cliff Fischer

The Bring Out The Big Guns! Package got a standing ovation, thanks to the presentation by Stand 2 Armory team made up of former Navy Seals, Army Rangers, Green Berets and Dallas SWAT, who would provide a day of shooting all types of machine guns for seven people. Said one of the guys, hyping the package: “Nothing says America more than guns, explosions, and curing cancer!” It went for $82,000.

But the big OMG number of the night was dropped by Cliff Fischer. He hit the $100K mark with a Texas-sized smile for the Steak You Claim On A Night With The Boys…. the boys being Troy Aikman, Charles Haley, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Darren Woodson and the steaks being courtesy of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Seems that Cliff bought the package last year, held it at his mansion-sweet-mansion, flew in folks from around the country and had one heck of a great time. This time he’s planning on doing it even bigger and better.

The bidding was so impressive that credit card companies were reeling from the numbers coming out of Dallas.

Of course, there was a bargain or two. For instance, Swiss explorer Johan Ernst Nilson told the crowd that the last time his Bhutan Adventure was put up for auction, it went for $170,000. Guess Dallasites aren’t into trekking through “the happiest place on Earth.” It was picked up for a measly $38,000.  

Mary C. Corrigan

Mary C. Corrigan

Andrea Nayfa, Dawn Greiner, Nancy Gopez and Kris Johnson

Andrea Nayfa, Dawn Greiner, Nancy Gopez and Kris Johnson

Brook Hortenstine and Paige Westhoff

Brook Hortenstine and Paige Westhoff

Samantha Wortley and Bina Patel

Samantha Wortley and Bina Patel

And that was just a snapshot of the live auction that ran right on schedule thanks to the Baronesses ringing those cowbells and auctioneers Wendy Lambert and Amy Assiter running a tight ship. In fact it finished early, so the folks could get back for seconds of food or hit the casino games that made Choctaw looked like a bingo parlor.

Luke Lange

Luke Lange

Toby Keith and gals in blue

Toby Keith and gals in blue

That was just enough time to amble next door to the bigger-than-a-small-town tent for Toby Keith on the Andrews Distributing Main Stage. Behind the scenes, the VVIPs lined up for a grip-and-grin with Toby. Despite the line seeming never to end, Toby howdy-ed everyone and even signed cancer-survivor Luke Lange’s cowboy hat.

Just after the last couple posed with Toby and he was headed to the stage, someone noted a couple of Dallas police standing nearby. Shoot! What was one more photo? Toby liked the idea and so did his crew and so did the policewomen. Picture snapped and Toby was on his way.

Like Dwight, Toby didn’t disappoint. It was as if more than 3,000 had all overdosed on Red Bull.

Toby Keith

Toby Keith

Still another change in operation this year was the line of security types stoically seated in front of the stage facing the thousands. This arrangement helped prevent a mosh pit from taking place and blocking the view of the peeps sitting at tables upfront.

And speaking of “change,” the CBB abacuses are still counting up the amount that will be put on the check to support cancer research and development.

2017 CBB Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill have their work cut out for them, and they love the challenge. It’s gonna be hard to improve on this one.

For more photos from the night’s fun(d)raising, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball

Toby Keith

Toby Keith

With a few adjustments to the usual POA, the 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball was a blowout hit for the 3,000+ at Gilley’s on Saturday, October 15. But then how could you miss with Dwight Yoakam kicking things off and Toby Keith keeping the momentum going? Even Mother Nature played nicely, so the view of downtown Dallas from the top of the Ferris wheel was spectacular.

Megan Flanagan, Jamie Jo Hayes, Karen James, Stacey Relton, Merrick Huckin, Annika Cail and Elizabeth Fischer

Megan Flanagan, Jamie Jo Hayes, Karen James, Stacey Relton, Merrick Huckin, Annika Cail and Elizabeth Fischer

No wonder the live auction rocked with those baronesses exercising those cowbells and revving up the lively auction

While the post is being prepared, check out the baronesses and buckaroos at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery

Countdown Time For 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Is Underway

This evening while Dwight Yoakam is on stage in Midland and Toby Keith is singing at the BOK Center in Tulsa, there are 100 Cattle Baronesses who have been preparing for Saturday’s American Cancer Society fundraiser featuring both of these country western icons.

When the gals started out for Gilley’s this morning, all they knew was rainy skies outside and chilly temps inside the honky-tonk. Luckily, setting up the hundreds of silent auction items, doling out the goodies for the much-vaunted favor bags and arranging for final logistics warmed things up.

2016 Cattle baron's Ball committee

2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball committee

Even after lunch, when the entire committee gathered for a group photo, the thought was whether the wet stuff was going to hang around. It really, sincerely didn’t matter like the old days when the event was held in cow pastures and Southfork. Nowadays, the ladies have relocated the whole kit-and-caboodle to Gilley’s with its bigger-than-a-small-city tent for the main concert. However, drippy weather does take the bounce out of hair dos and who wants to splash their ostrich boots in puddles?

Luckily, the past CBB chairs brought good news with them for their group photo — the rain was gone. In its place was nothing but sunshine.

Past and 2016 Cattle Baron's chairs from the left: (seated) Cindy Turner, Amy Turner, Olivia Kearney, Cara French, Andrea Weber, Tanya Foster, Cindy Stager and Joan Eleazer; (standing) Cindy Lindsley, Vicki Chapman, Karol Bruton, Kristen Sanger, Tia Wynne, Mary Parker and Katherine Wynne

Past and 2016 Cattle Baron’s chairs from the left: (seated) Cindy Turner, Amy Turner, Olivia Kearney, Cara French, Andrea Weber, Tanya Foster, Cindy Stager and Joan Eleazer; (standing) Cindy Lindsley, Vicki Chapman, Karol Bruton, Kristen Sanger, Tia Wynne, Mary Parker and Katherine Wynne

But wait! There was even more good news. Saturday’s forecast is for more sun and warmer temperatures. So, there will be no need for umbrellas and long johns. Instead it will a strutting display of turquoise, leathers and Stetsons on some mighty fine looking fundraisers.

If you’ve got your ticket,

  • fast now and snarf down the vittles tomorrow night. It’ll crazy grazing time.
  • get in line for the Ferris wheel with its spectacular view of downtown Dallas and the Margaret bridges.
  • make sure you’ve got your “credentials” for entry and your favor bag ticket.
  • consider Ubering to and from.
  • start checking the silent auction items online now and pick out which ones you’re gonna take home.
  • get a great spot to bid on the live auction items. If your budget was blown on your wardrobe, then get a place to watch the highrollers roll up the bids.
  • budget some dough to buy raffle tickets. After all, you could probably use a new car or watch or …

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball

According to 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chairs Cara French and Andrea Weber,

Cara French and Andrea Weber (File photo)

Cara French and Andrea Weber (File photo)

“We are ‘Texas Proud’ at Cattle Baron’s!  This year’s ball promises to be the biggest ever with Toby Keith on the Andrews Distributing Main Stage and Dwight Yoakum on the VIP and Live Auction stage. From humble beginnings 42 years ago when Patti Hunt and Jacque Wynne planned a Texas-style barbeque to raise money for the Park Cities branch of the American Cancer Society to this year’s over-the-top extravaganza at Gilley’s, the Cattle Baron’s brand is legendary.

Toby Keith*

Toby Keith*

“More than $68 million has been raised for cancer research since the beginning making Dallas’ Cattle Baron’s Ball the world’s largest single-event fundraiser for American Cancer Society research. And, this is the year to join our posse to raise millions more to help eradicate cancer. Sponsorships and tickets are still available for the Saturday, October 15th event. In return for your support, you will enjoy cocktails, dinner, gaming, silent and live auctions and pre-concert entertainment.  The evening culminates with a heart-stopping concert by the legendary Toby Keith with seating for all guests.

“Our momentum is building, with the help of some very generous donors, including

  • Lone Star Barons — Andrews Distributing and Kendall
  • Ultimate Baron — Fauxcades
  • Legendary Baron — digital 3 printing, G Texas Catering, Gilley’s Dallas, Inwood National Bank and Park Place dealerships
  • Texas Baron’s — Brierley+Partners/Diane and Hal Brierley, Clay Cooley, Anne Davidson, Grey Goose, Jackson Family Wines, The Moody Foundation, PlainsCapital Bank, Sewell and Weber & Company and
  • Oil Baron’s — Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians, Jennifer and Richard Dix, Favorite Brands LLC, Fischer and Co., Fluor, Brian Loncar, Mary Kay, Metro PCS, David B. Miller Family Foundation, Pender’s World of Chiles and Spices, Perkins Coie and South Walton Florida.

“We encourage you to dust off your boots and visit www.cattlebaronsball.com to read more about Cattle Baron’s and the ways in which you can become of part of this great event. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping the American Cancer Society make great strides in cancer research and patient navigation.”

* Photo provided by Cattle Baron's Ball

JUST IN: Dwight Yoakam Signed Up To Appear On 2016 Cattle Baron’s Live Auction Stage

Cara French and Andrea Weber (File photo)

Cara French and Andrea Weber (File photo)

Well, howdy doo! 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chairs Cara French and Andrea Weber have come up with another reason to be “Texas Proud.” They’ve just revealed the entertainer for the Live Auction Stage in the South Side Ballroom for Saturday, October 15th American Cancer Society fundraiser at Gilley’s. These gals aren’t playing in the small leagues by any stretch of the imagination. They’ve just signed up Dwight Yoakam. This performance will mark his third CBB one with his previous CBB’s appearances in 1998 and 2003.

The only other entertainer who has appeared at CBB three times is Willie Nelson.

Just imagine having Dwight on the Live Auction Stage and then heading over the bigger-than-big tent for Toby Keith on the Main Stage.

Cattle Baron’s Reveal Of “Texas Proud” Theme And Toby Keith To Be On Stage Kicks Off 2016 Mega Fundraising Efforts

Well, holy cow! The Cattle Baron’s Ball reveal was a mini-version of the annual spectacular to squash cancer. It took place on Thursday, January 14, at eM the Venue with MarcEvents on Dragon Street in the Design District. Well, shoot! It still might be going on.

But just past 8, 2016 CBB Co-chairs brunette Cara French in spangles and blonde-in-black Andrea Weber called a pause in the party-healthy festivities.

Cara French and Andrea Weber

Cara French and Andrea Weber

After all, the gathering was to announce plans for the 43rd mega-fundraiser to shore up funding for research and development in conquering cancer.

Despite a video delay, it was worth the wait. The screen behind the Corvette revealed the theme would be Texas Proud and the talent would be Toby Keith.

Results? A whoop, a holler and a “let’s get ‘em” attitude to battle cancer.

eM the Venue entrance

eM the Venue entrance

That was the official news of the night, but as one person said, “It was a Clay Cooley night.” Yup! From the arrival at the party room on Dragon with Clay Cooley’s name blazing at the entrance, the trucks and cars parked inside to “Clay Cooley Auto Group” in lights on one entire wall, Cara and Andrea proudly announced that the Cooley operation was the first to step up to sponsor the event.

Lisa Cooley and Tracy Lange

Lisa Cooley and Tracy Lange

Ben Lange

Ben Lange

On hand were Lisa and Clay Cooley with Larry Hackett and John Moward, Tracy and Ben Lange, Evening Co-Chair Isabell Novakov, Shona Gilbert, Cary and Mark Deuber, Fasi Payervand, Kristi Bare, Vodi Cook, Tom Ellis, Laura Reeder and David McAdams…Late arrival Crayton Webb was eagle eyeing for wife Nikki WebbAnne Stodghill was just days away from a quick trip to St. Barths for a friend’s birthday. She’s undertaken a new project — assembling recipes from all generations of her family into a keepsake for the Stodghill clan…Kris Johnson reported that work on Nancy C. and Richard Rogers new digs were moving along perfectly.

Shona Gilbert, Cary Deuber and Fasi Payervand

Shona Gilbert, Cary Deuber and Fasi Payervand

David McAdams, Laura Reeder, Tom Ellis and Vodi Cook

David McAdams, Laura Reeder, Tom Ellis and Vodi Cook

Somebody mentioned that cancer touched everyone from newborn babies to legendary types like David Bowie and Alan Rickman, who had just died in recent days.

JUST IN: 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Headliner, Theme, Date And Place Revealed

Toby Keith*

Toby Keith*

Well, hot dang! The 2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chairs Cara French and Andrea Weber just did the great reveal at 1130 Dragon Street for the 43rd annual American Cancer Society mega-fundraiser. This year’s theme will be “Texas Proud” and will have the thousands returning to Gilley’s on Saturday, October 15.

As for the headliner on the Main Stage, it will be award-winner Toby Keith. It’s been 11 years since Toby headlined the CBB and he’s been a busy fella since then, having met up with the likes of Bobby Jo and her twin sister Betty Lou and just recently releasing “35 MPH Town.”

In addition to performing for the 2016 CBB, the country/western singer is personally committed to fighting cancer. His Toby Keith Foundation “supports and operates OK Kids Korral, a home for children battling cancer” in Oklahoma City.

The reveal gathering was presented by Clay Cooley Auto Group, but more about the party later.

* Photo provided by 2016 Cattle Baron's Ball