Can Do Luncheon Patron Party Brought Out Guests In Spring Colors And Honorees Ashlee And Chris Kleinert And Texas Real Estate Council

With winds blowing skirts and leaves every which way as a norther trumpeted it the weekend nearing on Thursday, March 23, The Wilkinson Center’s Can Do Luncheon Patron Party wasn’t ruffled at all at Tootsies.

Chris and Ashlee Kleinert and Helen Hunt and Harville Hendrix

As Luncheon honorees Ashlee and Chris Kleinert received a bouquet of flowers from Ashlee’s aunt Helen Hunt and her husband Harville Hendrix, other family get-togethers were taking place.

Kristi Francis, Chris and Ashlee, Beth, Kelcey Hamilton and Anne Reeder

In another part of Tootsies, Kelcey Hamilton, who was repping honoree the The Real Estate Council, was being congratulated by Can Do Underwriting Chair Kristi Francis.

Chuck and Beth Thoele

Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele greeted husband Chuck Thoele and admitted that she was torn between going bright or black. Evidently bright won out, since she was wearing a turquoise jacket.

The Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder’s daughter Laura Reeder reported that the EarthxGlobal Gala had had a change of plans. Originally, organizers had scheduled the gala for Saturday, April 22 at the Women’s Center at Fair Park. Then they discovered that the Art Ball was taking place on that Saturday. So, they moved both the date and the location to Friday April 21, to the Texas Discovery Garden.

Laura Reeder and Dana Fay

But on this evening the Kleinerts were receiving congrats from Chela Moros, Dana Fry, Missy Quintana, Linda Secrest, Heidi Meier, Annie Wang, Kay Weil, Meridith Myers, Angela Jones, Ann Francis, Chrystie Trimmell, Melanie Myers, Darlene Ellison, Tucker Enthoven, Bianca Sterling and Dorothy Amin Modabberi.

Tickets for the luncheon honoring the “can-do” spirit on Tuesday, May 9, at the Dallas Country Club can be gotten here. This event is one that runs right on schedule and leaves guests smiling about the accomplishments of both friends and strangers who have experienced the Wilkinson Center program.

JUST IN: Hold On To Your Hats! The 2017 Mad Hatter’s Tea Judges Were Just Announced

Despite the stormy weather, Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Linda Spina had folks gather at Tootsies this afternoon for “Mimosas and Millinery,” plus the great reveal of the judges for the Thursday, April 27thUnder The Tuscan Sun” hat competition at the Dallas Arboretum.

Hat by Cassandra MacGregor

Surrounded by a collection of chapeaus including some by Cassandra MacGregor for the “Mimosas and Millinery” reception, Linda announced the following judges:

Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing (File photo)

Caroline Kraddick*

Niven Morgan (File photo)

Micki Rawlings (File photo)

Celebrity judge Rachel Zoe, restaurateurs Lynae Fearing and Tracy Rathbun (a judge team), Klyde Warren Park President Tara Green, Kerrently website editor Courtney Kerr, Kidd’s Kids CEO/Chief Happiness Officer Caroline Kraddick, fragrance guru Niven Morgan and Dallas First Lady Micki Rawlings.

The judges will be eyeballing the guests’ finery for awards in the following categories:

  • Molto Italiano “Very Italian” — Most True-to-Theme.  Everything Tuscan from the rolling hills of Tuscany to the art treasures of Florence to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and everything in between.
  • Rachel’s Pick – Rachel Zoe’s favorite hat.  The best of the best, from her point of view.
  • Bella Donna “Beautiful Woman” — Most Elegant.
  • A Taste of Italy — The food and drink of Italy. Wine, cheese, pasta, pizza and more!
  • Bellissima Botanical — Best Botanical. What would Mad Hatter’s at the Arboretum be without hats adorned with beautiful flowers?
  • Fellini’s Follies — Famed Italian film director Federico Fellini always worked in a group. Best Group of Hats. Men may compete in this category.
  • Mamma Mia! — Most outlandish. Go wild!
  • Ciao Bella! “Hello Beautiful” — People’s Choice.  The best of the best, as voted on by the attendees.

Warning: Please do not try to bribe the judges, but do get your hats ready for the champagne reception on the Ginsburg Plaza and reserved your seats for the Tootsies fashion show in Rosine Hall and the seated luncheon in the tented Outdoor Plaza.

* Photo provided by 2017 Mad Hatter's Tea

Mad Hatter’s “Under The Tuscan Sun” Reveal Party Had Loads Of Surprises And Rachel Zoe Name Dropping

With just five months to prepare their dazzling headpieces, the Maddest Hatters gathered at Tootsies on Thursday, November 17. Besides celebrating any occasion connected with the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum, the guests were there to learn the details for the Thursday, April 27th Mad Hatter’s Tea at the Arboretum.

Dyann Skelton, Melissa Lewis and Emilynn Wilson

Yes, the date was important because, unlike a few years back when guests shivered in near-freezing temperatures, Women’s Council President Melissa Lewis and Event Chair Linda Spina picked a date in late April when frost will be long gone. It also allows more time to prepare those hats for showing and competing.

Linda Spina and Lynn Dealey

Under The Tuscan Sun*

But the big news was the event’s theme. This news was the one that warmed the hearts and glue guns of hat designers. Drum roll. The theme for the 29th Mad Hatter’s Tea will be “Under the Tuscan Sun.” No wonder the gals picked a sun-friendly date and artist Lynn Dealey’s sunflowers artwork took full advantage of the theme.

But wait, there was still more news and it was a real head turner. Thanks to Tootsies’ Nerissa von Helpenstill and the Mad Hatters brain trust, super-duper special guest will be fashion designer, author, business woman, nuclear scientist Rachel Zoe. (Okay, so maybe not that last one about the nuclear scientist, but she’s everything else and so much more.) Is anyone surprised that Mad Hatters fashion sponsor Tootsies carries Rachel’s line of fashions? Nah!

Sharla Bush and Amy Warren

While a couple of the guests (mostly guys) looked a little baffled about the younger crowd getting downright thrilled over Rachel’s participation, they’ll wise up by the big day, especially if they check out The Zoe Report.

Adding to the namedropping of the occasion, it was revealed that Amy Warren and her daughter Amanda Hill would serve as honorary co-chairs thanks to their buddy Mad Hatter’s Co-Chair/Warren buddy/McKinney shop keeper Sharla Bush.

But there was even more good news. Individual tickets are available now at $350 via the Women’s Council website. Later in the spring a limited number of tickets will be made available for $250. But who wants to wait and take a chance on missing the fashion show produced by Jan Strimple, a seated luncheon overlooking the Arboretum grounds, and being seen on the scene?

Proceeds from the event will “grow and maintain A Woman’s Garden.”

* Graphic courtesy of Lynn Dealey

KidneyTexas’ The Runway Report Had Everything From Heartfelt Stories To Bewitching Close Encounter With A Chandelier

There are just some things that your mammy and pappy harrumphed about as dinner table talk. Such things included one’s inner plumbing. Love the folks, but they weren’t always on the spot. While the subject of kidney disease may not have been considered as appropriate in years past, its outing has allowed countless people to learn and help.

McKamy Tiner and Anna Bland "AB" Aston

McKamy Tiner and Anna Bland “AB” Aston

Since coming out of the topic closet, the battle against kidney disease has added young people to the ranks of warriors. This situation was apparent on Tuesday, September 20, at Brook Hollow. Sure, it was billed as The Runway Report Luncheon and Fashion Show benefiting KidneyTexas, but the Tootsies fashions and luncheon were just lovely window dressing compared to the day’s message.

KidneyTexas President Anna Bland “AB” Aston had overseen the selection of The Price family (Carole Cleveland Price, Alicia and Scott Price, Stacey Price Wright and Larry Wright) as honorary chairs and McKamy Tiner to chair the luncheon.

The reason for McKamy’s chairing the lunching was not due to her being a sixth-generation Dallasite, an Idlewild deb and a 10-year associate of Dave Perry-Miller. It was a very personal reason — childhood bud Ian Arena.

McKamy Tiner and Ian Arena

McKamy Tiner and Ian Arena

Their families had known each other through Ian’s childhood battling with cancer. Then, at the age of 13, he was diagnosed with kidney disease that had resulted from his chemotherapy. When McKamy’s folks discussed the situation at the dinner table, 15-year-old McKamy declared that she knew that she would be a perfect candidate for Ian’s transplant.

This announcement may have sounded like a very optimistic comment by someone who hadn’t even gotten her driver’s license yet. But to everyone’s surprise but McKamy, she proved to be the perfect match.

Martha Tiner

Martha Tiner

Michael Tiner

Michael Tiner

Robin Arena

Robin Arena

As McKamy’s and Ian’s folks (Martha and Michael Tiner and Luncheon Co-Chair Robin Arena) sat nearby admiring their kid hero/ine, Ian told the audience that almost immediately following the transplant, he felt great and color had returned to his face for the first time in years.

Emcee WFAA’s Ron Corning encouraged the filled-to-capacity ballroom including Nancy Carter, Marena Gault, former blond Holly Davis now more brunette-ish, Lisa Cooley with soon-to-be daughter-in-law Bela Pietrovic and some walking wounded types like Vodi Cook with arm in cast and Sharon Popham on a walker, to consider following McKamy’s lead. He told of one man who had donated his kidney to another with the understanding that if and when his grandchild needed a kidney, the child would be higher on the list of recipients.

Then Ron interviewed 16-year-old kidney patient Jira (aka cutest guy in the room), who told how in addition to spending three days a week in dialysis, there was an emotional toll. He felt out of the loop at school due to his kidney disease.

Jira and Ron Corning

Jira and Ron Corning

But thanks to efforts and fundraising by KidneyTexas, such transplant recipients like Ian, Christine Martin and Andy Meyercord were all on hand.

But it wasn’t all talk about kidney disease.

Andy Meyercord

Andy Meyercord

Emilynn Wilson

Emilynn Wilson

In the humor department, Ron once again provided the laughter. In announcing KidneyTexas co-founder Emilynn Wilson was being honored with the Sue Goodnight Award, he said that the plan had been to present her with a nice piece of Baccarat. But realizing that Emilynn had applied a frugal eye to the organization’s dealings, they decided to give her “a bag of M&M’s… the peanut ones. I mean, they’re not the brand name. They’re the ones from Costco, so you get more. They’re nicely wrapped. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.”

Runway recovery

Runway recovery

And as for the fashions, Jan Strimple‘s fashion show featuring Tootsies day- and night-time clothes went flawlessly until… well, there was that dramatic series of black gowns highlighted by towering black hats. It was like a bewitching grouping of Herve Leger, Cinq A Sept, David Koma and ML Monique Lhuillier. The almost-oops resulted when the first model in the series walked the elevated runway down the center of the room… right under the ballroom’s mammoth chandeliers.

Yup, you guessed it. It was a brief encounter of “towering black hat” with the room’s center “mammoth chandelier.” But you’ve got to hand it to the model. The hat stayed put and she didn’t lose a beat. Her reward was the guests smiling in amazement that she had handled it masterfully. Evidently word was passed among the lovely catwalkers and the rest of the lineup steered clear of the hanging glass and light fixture.

This year’s beneficiaries include Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Children’s Health/Children Medical Center Foundation, Camp Reynal — National Kidney Foundation, Parkland Foundation, Methodist Health System Foundation and Texas Health Resources Foundation.

If you couldn’t make the lunch and missed the moving stories and the show’s tip of the hat, you can still donate to KidneyTexas or sign up to be considered as a transplant. There are more than 4,000 Texans in need of a healthy kidney that you could share.

For more photos of the fashions and folks in the audience, check out the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 The Runway Report

McKamy Tiner and Ian Arena

McKamy Tiner and Ian Arena

Hey, the fashion-show events are well into marching ahead for fundraising. The KidneyTexas’ The Runway Report was in the front line on Tuesday, September 20, at Brook Hollow Golf Club. But unlike others, this one had a very special personal story driving the efforts thanks to KidneyTexas President Anna Bland “AB” Aston, Luncheon Chair McKamy Tiner and a grateful Ian Arena.

The Runway Report with Tootsies fashions

The Runway Report with Tootsies fashions

Ah, but that’s a story that is being written up. In the meantime, check out the peeps and fashions at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. Especially check the bewitching model, who received smiles of approval following her interaction with the Brook Hollow chandelier.

Esteem: A Fashion Show Had Celebs And Community Leaders On The Tootsies Runway For The Elisa Project

As if fundraisers were worn out by the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show and Luncheon, Hope’s Door Fashion Show and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala on Friday, September 16, they were up bright and early Saturday for Esteem: A Fashion Show benefiting The Elisa Project. Here’s a report from the field:

Co-chairs Melissa Rountree and her daughter Morgan welcomed more than 250 attendees to Tootsies on Saturday, September 17, for Esteem: A Fashion Show. In its 7th year, Esteem helps increase awareness about eating disorders and the importance of positive body image, Esteem encourages people to love themselves while striving to be healthy.  Proceeds support The Elisa Project (TEP) and the important programs dedicated to fighting eating disorder illnesses through awareness, education, support and advocacy.

Morgan Moore, Lynn McBee and Melissa Rountree*

Morgan Moore, Lynn McBee and Melissa Rountree*

As attendees perused the store’s fall fashions and accessories, with 10% of sales going to TEP, they enjoyed mimosas and tasty bites courtesy of True Foods Kitchen.  The raffle table was the place to be with a chance to win amazing prizes: including a $250 gift card to any Lombardi Family Concepts restaurant, Glamboxes acrylic makeup designer box; Elizabeth Showers earrings; 3-month membership to Veranda Health Club at the Hilton Anatole; a gold necklace with lemon-green quartz and diamonds from Pratiksha Jewelry; gift cards to get fit at Meredith Boyd-Camp Gladiator; six months unlimited classes at Bar Method, a $100 gift card to Tootsies and much more!

The crowd then moved upstairs for the much-anticipated fashion show. As patrons took their seats, co-chairs Melissa and Morgan thanked everyone in attendance before introducing TEP’s Board President Dr. Stephanie Setliff. Stephanie added her thanks and recognized Honorary Chair Lynn McBee and TEP Co-Founder Leslie McCall. She also shared details about the important work The Elisa Project is doing throughout North Texas through advocacy, education and support, which touches the lives of more than 31,000 individuals suffering from eating disorders each year.

Holly Pellham Davis, Rhonda Sargent Chambers and Landry Davis*

Holly Pellham Davis, Rhonda Sargent Chambers and Landry Davis*

Emcee Gloria Campos then took the stage and recognized TEP Executive Director Kim Martinez, the TEP staff and board of directors, as well as ESTEEM Founder/Event Coordinator/Board Member Rhonda Sargent Chambers. Tootsies store director Nerissa von Helpenstill, joined Gloria to kick-off the two fashion scenes, “Borrowed from the Boys” and “She’s a Lady” featuring local celebrities and notables in fall fashions from Tootsies, with children’s fashions provided by KidBiz/The Biz.  DJ Blake Ward provided a cool vibe as the models walked the runway.

2016 models were: jewelry designer Amanda Sterett Albritton with daughters Anna and Olivia; FOX4-TV’s Emmy-award winning news anchor Jenny Anchando; author, community volunteer and co-founder of Sawyer Collection Kim Bannister and daughter Sawyer; sisters Erin Bulcher, Sr. SEO and content manager for farecompare.com, and Nicole Bulcher, former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader; WFAA-TV’s Alexa Conomos and daughter Annick; community volunteer Yvonne Crum with granddaughter Samantha; organic lifestyle and healthy living expert Holly Pellham Davis with daughter Landry; Jazmyn Dorsett, daughter of Dallas Cowboys legend Tony Dorsett and super mom Janet Dorsett; Lauren Foreman, community volunteer and communications manager for Thompson and Knight; Roshawnda Foster, Kim Dawson model, and daughter Logan; Pam Skaggs Frank, veteran Kim Dawson Model and owner of Gloss Luxury Rentals and Gloss Interiors; community volunteer Alissa Ferguson Gearing and daughter Ansley; community volunteer and 26-year Brinker International employee Nancy Gopez; designer and creator of Bahz jewelry Britt Harless; Tiffany Hendra, wife, television host, lifestyle mentor and creator of Sanctuary of Style blog;  founder and creator of Model Behaviors, writer and activist Toni Munoz Hunt and daughter Darlington; lifestyle management consultant Jackson; host of nationally syndicated morning show, Eye Opener, blogger and fashion expert Hilary Kennedy; Whitney Roberts Kutch, TEP board member and founder of Hello Whitney blog; Carlotta Lennox, Kim Dawson model and entrepreneur, and daughter Alle; LeeAnne Locken, author, actor, model, producer and community volunteer; wife, mother grandmother and co-owner of Lombardi Family Concepts Vivian Lombardi and granddaughter Sarah Taylor; healthcare professional and Bar Method instructor Candice Wynn Mason; Jane McGarry, host of WFAA-TV’s “Good Morning Texas;” fashion stylist and blogger Dawn Mellon; sportscaster and TV host Gina Miller; Allison Mitchell, designer and founder of her namesake line of clutches; model and former Miss Texas and Miss USA Courtney Gibbs Mokarow and daughter Everett; Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist Scott Murray; Dawn Neufeld, reigning Mrs. Frisco and former cast member of VH1’s “Football Wives,” model and on-air host, with daughter Bryn; Jamie O’Banion, co-founder and president of luxury skincare line Beauty Bioscience and daughters Aubrey and Ava Grace; licensed clinical social worker Jennifer Passanante and daughters Morgan and Taylor; fashion stylist and spokesperson for Galleria Dallas Holly McCracken Quartaro and daughters Sophia, Sara and Emily; legendary Dallas real estate agent Ralph Randall; Esteem co-chairs Melissa Rountree and daughter Morgan; Amy Vanderoef, lifestyle expert and former WFAA-TV “Good Morning Texas” co-host; model and hair stylist Gary Walden; Kathryn Wahlstrom, medical marketing and media relations expert; and community volunteer Kameron Westcott and daughter Hilton.

Vivian Lombardi and Sarah Taylor*

Vivian Lombardi and Sarah Taylor*

Logan Foster and Roshawnda Foster*

Logan Foster and Roshawnda Foster*

As a thank you, attendees received a swag bag featuring items from Tootsies, Vita Coco, The Hair Bar and Scout Guide Dallas.

Esteem models and leadership*

Esteem models and leadership*

The event would have been possible without the generosity of this year’s Esteem sponsors:

  • Fashion Sponsor: Tootsies;
  • DIVA Sponsor: SAP;
  • Super Model Sponsor: Acute Center for Eating Disorders in Denver, CO;
  • In-kind donors – Bob Manzano Photography; Center for Discovery; DJ Blake Ward; Eating Recovery Center; Kid Biz/The Biz; Laureate ED Program; Lawson Event Rentals; RSC Show Productions; Scout Guide Dallas; The Hair Bar; Timberline Knolls; True Food Kitchen; Vita Coco; Elizabeth Showers Jewelry; The Bar Method; Pratiksha Jewelry; Amanda Sterett Jewelry; Abi Ferrin; Veranda Health Club; Lombardi Family Concepts; Level 3 Active; Meredith Boyd/Camp Gladiator; Tootsies; Glamboxes; and City+Sky.
* Photos provided by The Elisa Project

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

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

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

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

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

Jan Langbein

Jan Langbein

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

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

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

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

Crayton Webb

Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Melissa Cameron

Melissa Cameron

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

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

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Suits for Shelter fashion show

Suits for Shelters fashion show

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

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

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

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

Tootsies fashions (File photo)

Tootsies fashions (File photo)

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

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

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

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

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

JUST IN: Melissa Rountree And Morgan Moore To Co-Chair 7th Annual Esteem Fashion Show For The Elisa Project

The third Friday September is gonna kick off 24 hours of fashionable whoop-de-dos. On Friday, September 16, Crystal Charity will hold its “already-sold-out” Ten Best Dressed Luncheon and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala will officially launch the 2016 fall black-tie season that night.

The next morning the 7th annual Esteem Fashion Show benefiting The Elisa Project will take place at 10 a.m. at Tootsie’s. Chairing the event will be Melissa Rountree and her daughter Morgan Moore.

Rhonda Sargent Chambers and Holly Pelham Davis (File photo)

Rhonda Sargent Chambers and Holly Pelham Davis (File photo)

Founded in 2009, Esteem was created by Rhonda Sargent Chamber “to increase awareness about eating disorders and the importance of positive body image.

According to Melissa, “It’s a thrill to host Esteem with my daughter Morgan, benefiting The Elisa Project. The event provide an opportunity to appreciate that beauty, health and strength come in all sizes and ages. We hope to spread a message that being generous and loving, can improve inner confidence and respect for oneself.”

Gloria Campos and Lynn McBee (File photo)

Gloria Campos and Lynn McBee (File photo)

Joining the effort are Honorary Chair Lynn McBee, Emcee Gloria Campos and models Amanda Sterett Albritton with daughters Anna Albritton and Olivia Sterett, Shelly Slater, Holly Pelham Davis with daughter Landry Davis, Jocelyn White, Scott Murray, Janet Dorsett, Dawn Mellon, Gina Miller, Jackson, Yvonne Crum with granddaughter Samantha Crum, Gary Walden, Dawn Neufeld with daughter Bryn Neufeld, Hilary Kennedy, Pam Skaggs Frank with daughter Bridget Frank and Kim Bannister with daughter Sawyer Bannister.

Scott Murray (File photo)

Scott Murray (File photo)

Kim Bannister (File photo)

Kim Bannister (File photo)

Tickets go on sale Friday, July 1. VIP seating will be $75 and student/standing will be a couple of sawbucks (aka $20).

A Passing: Mickey Rosmarin

Dallasites have clucked for ages about bringing fashion to the Southwest. And who’s to question Carrie Marcus Neiman, Herbert Marcus, Stanley Marcus and the rest of the tasteful Marcus clan’s establishing the forefront of the smart set in the world of couture?

Why, sure, there were the Sakowitz folks in Houston with W’s Johnny Fairchild’s ever darling Lynn Sakowitz Wyatt. Does that woman ever age? But still the Marcus crew ruled for decades.

Then, in the 1970’s, a young upstart in Houston by the name of Mickey Rosmarin opened up a T-shirt shop — Honest Threads — in Houston’s  Montrose neighborhood. His interpretation of cutting-edge fashion was such a hit that he opened up a boutique in 1975.

In the 1980s he moved the operation to Houston’s Highland Village along Westheimer with avant-garde dressing. Then in 2011 Mickey “relocated from its Highland Village digs to a [35,000-square-foot] luxurious fashion palace in West Ave.”

That Mickey center-of the-world fashion was called Tootsies, and it delighted the very fashionable set. Think of it as a Lou Lattimore, Gazebo or Forty Five Ten of the 70s, 80s, 90s, etc.

Mickey saw gold in the them-thar-hills of Dallas and opened a salon in the digs that once were Neiman Marcus in Preston Center. Over the years…decades… the boutique smartly tied in with charity offerings with fashions for fundraising opportunities like Mary Kay’s Suits for Shelter.

Today we regret to share that the Houston Chronicle is reporting that Mickey, at the age of 63, died of a heart attack. Luckily, his sister, artist Susie Rosmarin, reports that, “He seemed fine. He loved life. He was full of energy.”

According to Houston’s Kristi Schiller, “Mickey Rosmarin was the consummate gentleman of haute couture. The world has lost one of the most extraordinary people I have ever known. If I could say one last thing to him that summarizes over 25 years of admiration and friendship I would say, ‘Thank you for helping me become the woman I am today and for always inspiring me to make a statement without saying a word.’ Mickey always stuck to his conviction about how women should look – elegant, joyful, feminine – no matter how much fashion changed, but his taste never wavered.”

The Tootsies team put it simply, “Today we lost our amazing founder, Mickey Rosmarin. He loved Tootsies, and has left us with a legacy of style and generosity. We will miss his smiling face every day.”

To the Houston home base of Tootsies and its Dallas cousin, we extend our sincere condolences and our thanks for sharing your generosity and fashion sense with North Texas.

Dallas Arboretum Women’s Council’s 2016 Mad Hatter’s Tea Ranged From Bounty Of Beauty To Beyond Belief

Not since the war between the States have two groups come face-to-face with such different views. That moment took place at the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum’s 2016 Mad Hatter’s Tea and Luncheon on Thursday, April 21.

Lisa Ogle, Kunthear Mam Douglas and Cathy Vieth

Lisa Ogle, Kunthear Mam Douglas and Cathy Vieth

Robin Carreker

Robin Carreker

On one hand, many guests looked as if they were attending the opening day at the Royal Ascot with dazzling hats. Robin Carreker, Connie Carreker, Hedy Sawyers, Lauren Palmer, Linda Spina, Lisa Ogle and Kunthear Mam Douglas interrupted the “Steel Magnolias” theme with ever-proper sunhats that would have thrilled any Southern belle. Delicate fascinators also had their day in the sun thanks to Women’s Council President Renee Querbes Farren, Betsy Crousen, SuSu Meyers and Britta Harless.

Guinn and Betsy Crousen

Guinn and Betsy Crousen

SuSu Meyer and Ann Dyer

SuSu Meyer and Ann Dyer

On the other hand were those who appeared to have channeled Johnny Depp wearing outlandish headdresses that would have made Lady Gaga go gaga.

For some, the over-the-top toppers were a wee bit daunting. One wide-eyed guest, who hadn’t attended the event since her mother took her ages ago, looking around the Plaza whispered, “I’m scared.” Another one upon entering the scene with lips zipped managed a request — “Please don’t mention I was here.”

Marena Gault, Marielle Gault, Steve Kemble and Sherwood Wagner

Marena Gault, Marielle Gault, Steve Kemble and Sherwood Wagner

As the two brimming groups gathered in the Ginsburg Plaza for a champagne reception with a Cajun band playing, it became apparent that glue guns had been drained leading up to the event. Instead of hiring a professional designer to create her hat, Sherwood Wagner pulled out all the stops and created three showstoppers for herself and her buddies Marena Gault and daughter Marielle Gault.

Appearing to be a walking promotion for Truvy’s beauty parlor, Carmen Surgent was top heavy with rollers, Aqua Net, a hair dryer and mirror, all in Shelby’s signature color of pink.

Carmen Surgent

Carmen Surgent

Barbara Bigham

Barbara Bigham

Barbara Bigham decided to opt out on the day’s theme and went for the bigger-than-life with a story look. With a headdress of fanned peacock feathers atop her head and a matching hand fan, she told how she got the “hat” from a woman in the Amazon.

Patty Jo Turner and her gal squad of faux blondes (Terri Bumgarner, Kim Dale, Suzette Derrick, Nancy McLochlin and Susan Russell) took Dolly Parton’s wisdom to heart — “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap.”

Terri Bumgarner, Kim Dale, Patty Jo Turner, Suzette Derrick, Nancy McLochlin and Susan Russell

Terri Bumgarner, Kim Dale, Patty Jo Turner, Suzette Derrick, Nancy McLochlin and Susan Russell

 

But it wasn’t a gals-only gathering. No, siree. There were gents dressed to the nines, tens and whatever. Coley Clark, Steve Ivy and Michael Jenkins were on the side of the Plaza watching the ladies champagne-ing their way around and walking the red carpet for judges Gary Riggs, Jane McGarry, Kathy Fielder, Karen Carroll, Robert LeLeux, Matthew Campbell Laurenza, Diane and Daryl Johnston and Andrea Alcorn, who was subbing for Janelle Friedman. The trio was a part of Connie Carreker’s “Southern Gentlemen” lineup of husbands in matching dark suits, white shirts, pocket squares, fedoras and ties who were there to support/escort their wives.

Steve Ivy, Michael Jenkins and Coley Clark

Steve Ivy, Michael Jenkins and Coley Clark

As usual Steve Kemble was a walking garden delight wearing a jacket of magnolia leaves with big, old magnolia epaulets and a towering hat of magnolias and leaves.

And speaking of hats, floral engineer Shane Walker managed to combine Aunt Fern’s creation featuring a giant armadillo appearing to be atop a red-velvet cake; the purse with a baby armadillo peeking out completed the ensemble.

Shane Walker

Shane Walker

Severt Philleo

Severt Philleo

Another head turner was a smiling Severt Philleo opting for the Shirley MacLaine look, complete in heels, blush pink skirt, print blouse, deep pink jacket, white gloves, black chapeau highlighted by a black tulle and deep pink flower and, of course, pearl necklace. And as any proper lady at an outdoor function would, she had additional accessories — a hand fan and sunglasses. Clairee would have been so proud! After all, “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.”

But time demanded that the hats and their underlings leave the sunshine for Rosine Hall and the Tootsies fashion show. With guests shifting in their chairs to see around the hats, the fedora-ed guys were seated on the front row and prepared to help anyone on stage managing the steps up and down from the floor. Emcee/KISS-FM 106.1’s Kellie Rasberry welcomed the group and introduced Renee, who thanked everyone for participating.

Then Mad Hatter’s Chair Jocelyn White welcomed all and told how this fundraiser was the one that had been on her bucket list and thanked individually her “dream team.” She also announced that specially made trays would be presented to the winners of the hat contest and key participants. When Joce tried to present a tray to buddy Linda Gray, the “Dallas” actress couldn’t be found. When someone said she was in the back of the room, the tray was handed to front-row guy Denny Carreker, who took it to the back of the room. Alas, he returned with tray in hand.

Janine Turner

Janine Turner

Jocelyn White

Jocelyn White

As for her friend/actress Janine Turner, Jocelyn provided her with a tray and a tiara.  (“Steel Magnolia” trivia: Janine was in the movie and played Nancy Beth Marmillion, whose character was Miss Merry Christmas.)

With her specs in place, Jocelyn finished with a few words about her life as a true steel magnolia with grandparents who were called Big Mama and Big Daddy.

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

Next it was fashion showtime, produced by Jan Strimple with the finale complete with dialogue from the movie. It was followed by KLUV 98.7’s Jody Dean conducting the live auction. First up was a gold and lamb clutch in an open package valued at $3,100. As Jody held the gold purse over his head for all to see, it fell from the box to the floor of the stage. Following the laughter, Jody concluded the bidding and handed the errant bag to the top bidder, Sherwood, for a steal — $1,500.

The rest of the live auction went off without a hitch and was followed by the announcement of the hat contest winners.

Barbara Daseke and Barbara Durham

Barbara Daseke and Barbara Durham

Kathy Cothrum's hat

Kathy Cothrum’s hat

  • Most True-To-Theme – Barbara Daseke
  • The Southern Belle —  Carmen Surgent
  • Simply Elegant — Patty Dedman Nail
  • Mother Nature Winks — Kathy Cothrum
  • The Social Sorority —  Sherwood Wagner, Marena Gault and Marielle Gault
  • Miss Merry Christmas — Jordi Bostock
  • What Was She Thinking? — Barbara Bigham
  • Best of Show/People’s Choice — Kunthear Mam Douglas

Then all adjourned to the pink-and-white clothed tables overlooking the Arboretum’s gardens to lunch and compare notes on who wore what and why.

For loads more pictures of flowers and flower people, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Round Robin November 19: Mad Hatter’s Reveal, Art Of Film Patron Party And Vine And Dine

With Thanksgiving just one week away, the evening of Thursday, November 19, seemed like a Republican debate with all types of fundraising activities vying for attention. And, boy, did they get it!

The Lee Park Junior Conservancy was doing a very happy hour for the young professional crowd at Texas Ale Project on N. Riverfront. A percentage of sales was going to the group’s support for “the care and conservation of Lee Park and Arlington Hall.”

Mad Hatter’s Tea Reveal

Jocelyn White, Renee Farren, Connie Carreker and Nerissa Von Helpenstill

Jocelyn White, Renee Farren, Connie Carreker and Nerissa Von Helpenstill

And speaking of care and conservation, the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum was filling Tootsie’s to sip champagne and more importantly to learn 2016 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Jocelyn White’s plans for the Thursday, April 21st fundraiser.

Connie Carreker hat

Connie Carreker hat

First off, the honorary chair should have been nobody’s surprise — Connie Carreker. And already living up to honorary responsibilities, Connie was wearing a hat that promoted the event reading, “Wish You Were Here” on the white sunhat brim.

With typical sparkling personality, Jocie revealed the theme for the event at the Arboretum would be “Steel Magnolias” with fashions on the runway in Rosine Hall from Tootsie’s and produced by Jan Strimple. Well, duh!

Tootsies fashions

Tootsies fashions

Steel Magnolias logo designed by Rongrong Devoe*

Steel Magnolias logo designed by Rongrong Devoe*

But she wasn’t finished. Unveiling the logo by Houston illustrator Rongrong Devoe for the heady affair, she announced that Linda Spina would be in charge of the judges, who would include Gary Riggs; “floral engineer” Shane Walker would be creating the luncheon centerpieces and Patricia Armstrong would be chairing underwriting.

With the announcement of the theme, smoke was seen arising from the heads of Women’s Council President Reneé Farren, Mary Lee Cox and Nancy Labadie on how their chapeaus would vie for prizes in the hat competition. The clock is ticking. Get those designs going.

The Art Of Film Patron Party

Brett and Lester Levy

Brett and Lester Levy

Brett and Lester Levy Jr.’s love of the late artist Andy Warhol was obvious to all as they entered the Levy home. In the entry of their Highland Park residence were the Warhol portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Chairman Mao.

Was this interest new? No, according to Lester, who’s also a photographer, he started collecting art when he was in his 20s.

And exactly what was the connection between the Levys’ Warhols and their hosting The Art of Film patron party the night before the Dallas Film Society’s fundraiser? Simple. The dinner and conversation with featured actress Isabella Rossellini would be taking place at The Space, where an incredible collection of Warhol drawings and photos would serve as a backdrop for the film lovers.

Seems so right, since Isabella was one of the late artist’s muses and friends.

Stan Levenson, Stacy Girard and Lee Papert

Stan Levenson, Stacy Girard and Lee Papert

In the crowd was Honorary Co-Chair Stan Levenson telling Art of Film Co-Chair Stacy Girard and Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert that wife/Co-Chair Barbara Levenson was under the weather, but she would definitely be showing up the next night fit as a fiddle.

Vine and Dine

At the Neiman Marcus flagship store in downtown Dallas, meantime, about 145 guests gathered for the eighth annual Vine and Dine event benefiting Ability Connection Texas, which provides a range of services for people with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford**

Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford**

The fundraiser, co-chaired this year by Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford, provided the nonprofit group with money to “empower individuals to live the best life possible by removing barriers that inhibit independence and autonomy.”

Now that Margaret has “retired” from her duties at PaperCity, she’s turned her sights to supporting various efforts like Ability Connection Texas in addition to watching son/Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford playing football on Sundays.

DeeDee Lee, Kayla Roughton and Inette Brown**

DeeDee Lee, Kayla Roughton and Inette Brown**

Pam and Vin Perella**

Pam and Vin Perella**

Among those enjoying the festive evening were new Uptown residents DeeDee and Jim Lee (they sold their big old home and decided to downsize and revitalize in the Uptown neighborhood), Debbie and Chuck Wilson, Lynn McBee, Meredith and Jack Woodworth, Kayla Roughton, Inette Brown, Kristin and Quintan Cockerell and Vin Perella with wife Pam Perella, who was receiving congrats on being announced just a couple of days before as the chair for the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball.

Jack Woodworth, Jeffrey Woodworth and Meredith Woodworth**

Jack Woodworth, Jeffrey Woodworth and Meredith Woodworth**

Following a cocktail reception on the store’s ground level, the guests moved up to the sixth floor Zodiac Room for a wonderful dinner prepared by NM Chef Kevin Garvin, complete with wines. Then there was a live auction.

* Graphic provided by the Women's Council of the Dallas Arboretum 
** Photo credit: Andy Keye + Whitney Photography

KidneyTexas’ The Runway Report Raised Awareness And Funds With Fashion, Heroes And Lunch

Well, goodness gracious! KidneyTexasThe Runway Report was bulging like Honey Boo Boo’s mama trying to slip into a size 2 Spanx. Guests were everywhere in the Brook Hollow ballroom on Tuesday, September 23. Despite requests by organizers, not one more chair could be added — “The fire marshals would have our heads!”

Event producer Jan Strimple had planned to start the fashion show promptly at 11:30. Unfortunately, the Dallas Street Repair Department wasn’t in the same groove as Jan. Seems they have channeled Mockingbird from Cedar Springs to nearly Harry Hines down to one lane. Luckily, the Southwest Airlines billboard amused guests as they patiently made their way to the club.

So, Jan gave late arrivals a break. At 11:34 she gave a one-minute warning.

Like Mr. Chips’ students, the guests took their seats. After all, they had been warned — once the show starts, no one would be seated. After all, the event was benefiting Baylor Scott & White Health, Children’s Medical Center, Camp Reynal/National Kidney Foundation and UT Southwestern Medical Center/Southwestern Medical Foundation.

Jolie Humphrey and Karen Settle

Jolie Humphrey and Karen Settle

KidneyTexas President Jolie Humphrey and Luncheon Chair Karen Settle told the audience how the event had brought them closer together. Then the twosome aimed the attention to Honorary Chair Faye Briggs on the front row. Telling how they had gotten to know her in working on the luncheon and how “everyone wants to be Faye.” With that they pulled out masks on a stick with Faye’s photo.

Janelle Friedman

Janelle Friedman

Emcee Jocelyn White introduced Sue Goodnight Service Award Recipient Janelle Friedman, who thanks Sue for her being “an inspiration for all of us.” Then Janelle teased her husband Larry, who was seated just a seat away. In the weeks prior to the event, he asked her, “What am I going to do when I’m up there?…Well, are you going to call me up there, so I can be honored, too?” Janelle simple answered, “No, Larry, this is my honor.” Then smiling at Larry, she added, “So I want to introduce my husband Larry Friedman.”

But the frivolity ended when the reason for the luncheon was addressed via stories of people who had received transplants from loved ones. While some may have wondered why Robin Bagwell gave the invocation, it was noted that she, like Marsha, had provided her husband with a kidney eight years ago. Robin might have found a new calling.

Lewis Gibbons and Marsha Finney

Lewis Gibbons and Marsha Finney

Another kidney donor/recipient couple was Marsha Finney and Lewis Gibbons, who had suffered a disease that resulted in kidney failure. A future of dialysis was prevented that to Marsha’s providing the life-changing kidney for him.

Steve Ivy, Miles Olivia Ivy and Linda Ivy

Steve Ivy, Miles Olivia Ivy and Linda Ivy

After Marsha and Lewis had finished their stroll on the runway and were seated, the “Family Scene” took place, leading off with Linda and Steve Ivy with their granddaughter Miles Olivia Ivy, Lindsey Bumgarner, Jack Ranger Walsh with his uncle Austin Walsh, John Ross, Haley Bush with her neighbor Maddie Folmnsbee, Zach Young, and Christina White with her daughter Caroline and Blake Settle in clothes from Tootsies, Pockets Menswear and KidBiz.

Plein Sud fashion

Plein Sud fashion

Before the Runway Report by Tootsies commenced, Jocelyn conducted the live auction. After Mary Black won the Santa Fe Vacation Package for 10, Jocelyn pointed Mary out, “So, if you want to be her friend…”

Rene Ruiz fashion

Rene Ruiz fashion

Then the fashions were on parade. Jan had hinted that the show’s finale would feature gowns from Rene Ruiz, who had flown in from Miami for the event. While the designer’s name was not as familiar to locals as Armani, McQueen or Herrera, he quickly changed that status for the sold-out crowd of 427 with his breathtaking designs. They blended elegance with a sensuous feel.

Then it was off to lunch (spinach and mixed greens topped with blue cheese crumbles, avocado, bacon with chicken nuggets and honey mustard dressing and lavosh garnish plus a cup of golden gazpacho followed by chocolate chambord molten cake with Heath bar ice cream) and heading over to Tootsies to get to know Rene’s handiwork firsthand.

For more photos of the people and fashions, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: KidneyTexas’ The Runway Report

Those KidneyTexas gals had tears for those who have donated a kidney to loved ones and cheers for those who were promoting awareness of this disease that is affecting 30,0000 Texans each year.

Jolie Humphrey and Karen Settle

Jolie Humphrey and Karen Settle

Thanks to their efforts, advancements are being made to reduce the need for dialysis and years of anguish. But they did this year with style, food and laughter at The Runway Report on Tuesday, September 23rd, at Brook Hollow with KidneyTexas President Jolie Humphrey, Luncheon Chair Karen Settle, Honorary Chair Faye Briggs and tons of fashions from Tootsies, Pockets Menswear and Kid Biz.

Steve Ivy, Miles Olivia Ivy and Linda Ivy

Steve Ivy, Miles Olivia Ivy and Linda Ivy

For a visual look at the day’s event, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery because tomorrow the post will come. At least, we hope so.

 

 

Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits For Shelters Program Gets In The Pink At Tootsies Kick-Off Reception

On the eve of the pink invasion by the Mary Kay forces, the Suits for Shelters program kicked off with a gathering to the max at Tootsies hosted by the ever-gorgeous Maleiah and Ryan Rogers (he’s the grandson of Mary Kay, as if you didn’t know). Guests arrived with clothes, shoes and accessories to be donated for the annual program helping women who are escaping abusive situations.

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Bird’s eye view, the scene looked like Maalox had stylishly been sprayed over the room. Pink was everywhere. From adorable pink frocks to touches of the color in men’s ties, it was definitely the shade of the night. Why, the Tootsies staff even had the mannequins in the tone for the evening.

Hayden and David Novak

Hayden and David Novak

One standout in the sea of pink was David Novak’s pocket square. Of course, it was pink, but it had more than its color going for it. The SMU grad’s Quixotic line of hankies that start at $35 is a double doozy of a winner for today’s gentlemen. First of all, 10% of sales go to organizations including The Family Place and Genesis Women’s Shelter. Second, they had a Square for Square program that “if you lose or damage your Quixotic pocket square in some gentlemanly act of kindness, then we will give your another.” Examples of such acts include: wiping tears, remove a spot, prevent a drip from a bottle of wine, pass something hot, etc.

Doug and Holly Deason

Doug and Holly Deason

But the crowd wasn’t all in pink and worried about good manners. Over to the side of the Preston Road entrance, Shelter Ministries of DallasJan Langbein was introducing guests to Dallas Police Lt. Miguel Sarmiento of the family violence unit. . . . Across the way were The Family Place’s Melissa Sherrill and Shivangi Pokharel and Habitat for Humanity’s  Melissa Cameron. . . . But the night was not “girls-only.” Thanks to Mary Kay’s Crayton Webb, men like Doug Deason, Bob Dyer and Jeff Cameron have taken on a major role in the efforts to reduce eliminate domestic abuse. Crayton indeed had his hands full. With thousands of Mary Kay associates on their way to Dallas, he was standing at the door waiting for his wife Nikki, who was delayed. The moment she appeared, he lit up. . . In one of the showrooms were racks and racks of true-blue bargains, in addition to pink items including shoes on sale. . . . Ironically the champagne was bountiful but not pink!

Myann Payne

Myann Payne

Following the reception downstairs, guests moved upstairs for the fashion show featuring Tootsies fashions on the following models: Evelyn Earl from Attitudes and Attire, Liz Slane from Battered Women’s Foundation, Linda Zander from Brighter Tomorrows, Myann Payne from Dress for Success, Susan Wells Jenevein and Abby Mayer from Genesis Women’s Shelter, Alma Catic and Megan Rutherford from Hope’s Door, Mirjana Omerajic from Mosaic Family Services, Isabel Camacho from New Beginning Center and Carmen Ponder from The Family Place.

Cynthia Izaguirre and Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and Crayton Webb

WFAA’s Cynthia Izaguirre was the show’s emcee and got things going with a selfie with the room full of guests. Then Crayton and host Ryan welcomed the group stressing the importance that the Mary Kay Foundation places on issue of domestic violence.

Then the “Think Pink” fashion show was underway with each model receiving cellphone salutes and some like Linda Slane getting a thumbs up from friends. Unlike other fashion shows, where guests smile in approval, this group let the world know their feelings with applause and cheers.

Linda Slane getting thumbs up

Linda Slane getting thumbs up

But even after the last guests toddled out of Tootsies, the effort to provide clothing for women in need didn’t end. The collection of new and gently used women’s professional attire, shoes and accessories continues through Monday, August 4, at Tootsies. In return donors will received a $25 Tootsies gift card that could be very useful during Tootsies’ summer sale.

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

Selfie in pink

Selfie in pink

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

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

Casey

Casey

Tootsies fashion

Tootsies fashion

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

Wilkinson Center’s Can Do! Luncheon Kick-Off Celebrates At Tootsies With Fashion, Friends And Cork-Popping Talk

Tootsies mannequins

Tootsies mannequins

The fundraising season must be truly underway because Tootsies has once again become the go-to-place for non-profits to launch, toast and celebrate. But there was something different on the eve of spring, otherwise known as Wednesday March 19th. Instead of arriving at the Preston Road front door, guests-in-the-know arrived at the back door. So much easier than fighting traffic jammed with drivers headed to their Preston Hollow homes and elsewhere.

Susan Hardie, Leslie Diers and Anne Conner

Susan Hardie, Leslie Diers and Anne Conner

With the sunlight streaming through the windows, guests like Angie Kadesky, Cynthia Beaird, Leslie Diers, Susan Hardie and Jan Baldwin seemed to glisten for the Wilkinson Center’s May 13th Can Do! Luncheon at the Dallas Country Club.

Christy Carter, Tiffany Divis and Angie Kadesky

Christy Carter, Tiffany Divis and Angie Kadesky

For the event the Friends of Wilkinson Center were showing off the Tootsies fashions. But a true standout was Can Do! Luncheon Chair Christie Carter. If ever a misty pink blouse and gray jacket ever hit the spot, they certainly were in the same universe on Christie.

Across the way, Tiffany Divis was realizing her agenda of the three days included the Can Do! Event, Thursday’s Zoo-To-Do at Lela Rose and Spirit of Uganda at Dallas City Performance Hall, and Friday at the Dallas Country Club for Fashion Stars for a Cause. Hopefully, Saturday was slated for a day of rest.

Paul Divis and Mike Lessel

Paul Divis and Mike Lessel

On the other hand, her husband Paul didn’t give a darn. Among all the gals jabbing, he was with his old West Point classmate/cadet Mike Lessel.

Anne Reeder

Anne Reeder

Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder was glowing. The Wilkinson Center’s Can Do! Fundraiser was right on target. Perhaps it was because last year’s was such a hit despite tornado warnings in the area. For a first-time event, it really hit the spot with great food, an incredible gathering of supporters and just enough message that everyone walked away feeling dang good.

This year’s event will honor Anne and Terry Conner and the Women of Saint Michael.

But back to the gab. Unless you’re not interested. Then you can move on to the next item on your agenda. Lynn McBee was telling Lisa Longino about the McBees’ wine fav “Gundlach Bundschu” from Sonoma. After a couple of tries and spelling of the winery’s name, Lynn just said, “Think Gun Bun.” To accessorize that vino train of thought, Lisa revealed that after many tries, her favorite wine cork puller was Legacy’s Cork Pops.

Lisa, who orchestrated last year’s Crystal Charity Ball bus tour, missed it this year. But she had a good reason. She had been on the East Coast, where he got to spend time with her three very young grand kiddos. Like most munchkins, they gave their granny something to take home with her — a head cold.

Donate Your Experienced Clothes For Mary Kay Foundation’s “Suits For Shelters” At Tootsies Through August 5

Can you believe it? Dallas is in a kiss-fest with rain. No nasty thunder nor tornado warnings. Just easy falling, cooling rain. OK, so maybe it’s a pain for hair and outdoor events, but still it’s a nice surprise for July.

It’s also a perfect time to clean out that closet. You know you’ve been meaning to and it would be nice to clear out some room for your upcoming fall fashion additions.

Now, the question is, “What do you do with all those former clothes, accessories, shoes and such?”

Suggestion: Take them to Tootsies. Hello, what was that? No, Tootsies has not become a recycle shop. Between today and Monday, August 5, it will be the collection spot for the Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits for Shelters to benefit survivors of domestic violence.

2012 Tootsies (File photo)

2012 Tootsies (File photo)

For your donation, you’ll be rewarded with a $25 Tootsies gift card.

Oh, and if you’re thinking that this program is the only way that the foundation and Mary Kay Inc. help battle domestic violence, think again. Since its creation in 1996, the foundation has awarded $50M to such programs and for “cancer research and related causes throughout the United States.”

WARNING: Don’t bother to drop your items off on a Sunday. Tootsies takes that day off and the doors are locked.

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

Crowd at Suits for Shelters Kick-off

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

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

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

Ryan Rogers

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

Maleiah Rogers

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

Jan Langbein and Delia Jasso

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

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

Crayton Webb

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

Tootsies' 70% off sale

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

Changes Are In Store For KidneyTexas And Tootsies

Pat McDonough and Marianne Wilshusen

News was bulging at Tootsies Wednesday night for the KidneyTexas kick-off party. Many of the fashionable types already knew that plans called for a major change of directions for “Stepping Out in Style,” the fundraising fashion show/luncheon on Thursday, September 15.

Mother-daughter co-chairs Pat McDonough and Marianne Wilshusen confirmed that the event was indeed moving to Brook Hollow Golf Club and Tootsies, instead of Stanley Korshak, would be providing the fashions. The reason for the move? “To save money.” The gals are trying to spend less money on the event, so they can give more to the charity.

But some things were staying right in place — like Jan Strimple will once again be in charge of the show and the proceeds will benefit Children’s Medical Center, the PKB Foundation and Camp Reynal.

Kerry Salatino, Megan Meyercord, Anna Bland Aston

For the kick-off Tootsies had jewelry design by Claudia Lobao, cocktails and a mini-fashion show with KidneyTexas members including KidneyTexas President Megan Meyercord wearing the styles.

Alison Volk

On the Tootsies’ front, Director of Business Development Alison Volk arranged for 15% of the evening’s sales to be donated to KidneyTexas.

Alison added that she was rolling up her sleeves and orchestrating a “re-launching” of the Dallas store (i.e. new flooring, walls being removed, etc.) and Tootsies’ involvement in the community.