JUST IN: 30th Anniversary Mad Hatter’s Tea Theme, Date And Plans Revealed

Last night 2018 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Venise Stuart announced plans for the annual fundraiser benefiting the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum‘s A Woman’s Garden at the Dallas Arboretum.

Melissa Lewis

Venise Stuart

On the ground level of Tootsies, Venise revealed that the 30th anniversary would be a salute to the grandeur and elegance of a bygone era.

A Garden By The Sea*

Women’s Council of the Arboretum President Melissa Lewis stressed it was not a Gatsby-period theme. Rather think of the Vanderbilts summered in Newport at The Breakers, Marble House and Rough Point, when the magnificent estates enjoyed the cool breezes.  

To visually explain the feel, Melissa and Venise unveiled the graphic designed by Lynn Dealey that benefited the “A Garden By The Sea” theme perfectly.

Serving at honorary chair will be Linda Burk, who has been a longtime supporter of the Arboretum.

The fashion show of Tootsies fashions and luncheon will take place on Thursday, April 12, at the Arboretum under the direction of Jan Strimple.

As for the chapeau judging details, stay tuned.

* Graphic credit: Lynn Dealey

Tootsies’ Fashions Were Front-And-Center On Stage For KidneyTexas Inc.’s Behind-The Scenes “Transforming Lives”

The KidneyTexas Inc.’s Runway Report affair at Brook Hollow Golf Club on Tuesday, September 26, may have appeared to be a typical fashion show and luncheon ready for a crowd of 350. The runway was laid out in the ballroom and the luncheon tables in the Promenade. The reception was already underway even before the 10:30 start as guests with flutes of champagne strolled in spotting friends across the room. Emcee Ron Corning with left leg firmly held in place thanks to a brace following a nasty fall in Santa Fe posed for photos with guests like Donna Arp Weitzman.

Soon the room was filled with the likes of Event Co-Chair Susan Russell, Jocelyn White, Angela Nash, Ramona Jones, Di Johnston, Susan McSherry, Angela Randall, Cheryl Hall, Vicki Howland, Lynn Dealey, Jolie Humphrey, Patty Jo Turner, Lauryn Gayle White, Lisa Cooley, Patti Flowers, Delilah Boyd, Tracy Lange, Marj Waters, Mr. Mesero’s Mico Rodriguez and Tracy Williams, who was watching her 15-year-old daughter walk the runway.

Andrea Alcorn

Ron Corning

KidneyTexas Inc. President Andrea Alcorn had lost more weight that she remembered. It wasn’t because she’d signed up for Weight Watchers. It was the “Stealth Juggler’s” diet that many baby boomers are unknowingly part of. She was juggling her day-job as a PR person, her responsibilities as KidneyTexas Inc. president and taking care of her mother Mae Alcorn (the longest kidney transplant survivor) who had fallen and broken a couple of major bones.

Altuzarra fashion

A.L.C jacket

Cinq A Sept gown with LaMarque jacket

Enhanced Rob Bradford gown

Highlighting the Tootsies fashions on the runway was a model in a Rob Bradford figure-hugging gown wrapped in vines ladened with faux butterflies that reflected the day’s theme “Transforming Lives.” 

But it was the behind-the-scenes story that was the real reason for the gathering.

Then there was McKamy Tiner, who just the year before had co-chaired the luncheon. She was also the nation’s youngest kidney donor. Today she was all smiles. Not just because of her kidney sharing, but she was getting married the following Saturday to Joel Looney. Because one donates a kidney doesn’t mean they lost their sense of humor, too. She told how when Joel met with her father months before, the bridegroom-to-be was nervous. Her dad offered him a Scotch to sooth his nerves. As an added calm down, papa Tiner told Joel, “I was always worried that Tiner would marry an a-s-o-e. You are the nicest guy around, so I’m not worried.”

McKamy Tiner

Susan Russell and Christine Martin

John Castorr

Co-Chair Christine Martin was as bright and sparkling as Tinkerbell. But that wouldn’t have been so, if it hadn’t been for two kidney transplants.

Christine’s brother John Castorr told how one of the beneficiaries Camp Reynal was a true getaway for for children with diabetes. In addition to having outdoors activities and being like any other summer camp, Camp Reynal had dialysis machines and healthcare specialist on site. 

But with all these knock ‘em out of the park stories, there was someone missing. His name was Vinny Trezza and he was a hunk. Not only did he play golf and was a Boy Scout, he “had been living with hydronephrosis, a condition from birth that caused his kidneys to swell and not function property.”

While folks sat near Vinny’s mom, Melissa Trezza, they initially didn’t realize the struggle that she and her family had gone through. But thanks to Melissa being a perfect match and Dr. Dev Desai at Children’s, Melissa “donated her kidney to her son, allowing him to avoid dialysis.”  

So, how does a kidney transplant take place?  For Vinny and Melissa it was Dr. Desai working for hours cutting away tissue around Melissa’s kidney with the help of long surgical tools and a TV screen that enhanced the picture of the kidney. Once Melissa’s kidney was removed, time was of the essence. It had to be flushed out and prepared for transplant. The kidney’s turning gray was a good sign as it was placed in an ice chest and transferred to the operating room where Vinny was prepped. Once Vinny’s “bad” kidney was removed, the clock kept ticking. Within minutes, Melissa’s kidney was transplanted into her son.

But this recent transplant and May’s transplant that took place years ago only resulted from research and development funded by fundraising by events like Runway Report.

Sue Goodnight

Steve and Linda Ivy

Natalie Taylor

Dee Lincoln

Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb

Jody Dean

As auctioneer Jody Dean worked the room to bring bids just a wee bit higher, Melissa sat knowing that her Boy Scout son had been the recipient of the power of fundraising with the fashions from Tootsies, the efforts of heroes like Lifetime Achievement Awardee Sue Goodnight, Honorary Co-Chairs Linda and Steve Ivy, Sue Goodnight Services Award recipient Natalie Taylor and Over-The-Top Awardees Dee Lincoln and Tootsies’ Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb.

As for Vinny, he was in class just being a normal buy thanks to his mom, Dr. D and the folks who had provided funding to let him get on with life.

And while Vinny let it be known that he wouldn’t be on the scene, there were nearly 50, who no-showed without notifying organizers. The results? Prepared and paid-for meals had to be thrown out. Had the MIA notified the leadership, the Runway Report could have prevented the meals from being prepared and saved some bucks. 

For more photos from the runway and the audience, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

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

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

Barb Podbelsek, Jana Jones and Theresa Powerski

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

Mary Catherine Benavides, Shivangi Pokharel Perkins and Melissa Sherrill

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

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

Nikki and Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and models

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

Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Lander and Dustin Holcomb

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

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

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

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

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

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

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

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2017 Esteem Fashion Show

Rhonda Sargent Chambers (File photo)

According to Esteem Fashion Show Founder and Show Coordinator Rhonda Sargent Chambers,

We hope you will join us for the 8th annual Esteem Fashion Show, sponsored by Lisa Cooley on Saturday, September 16, at 10:00 a.m. at Tootsies, 8300 Preston Center Plaza in Dallas.  

Chaired by Whitney Kutch, with Honorary Co-Chairs Rhonda Marcus and Emmy Marcus, Esteem is a celebration of body image and self-Esteem. By helping to 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.

Whitney Kutch (File photo)

Rhonda Marcus (File photo)

This year, fashion sponsor Tootsies will highlight the hottest fall trends, including designs from featured brand Cinq a Sept, with local celebrities and notables walking the runway and former reality personality Courtney Kerr serving as emcee. Chosen for their support of The Elisa Project and for serving as mentors by giving back to the community and to those with eating disorders, this year’s models include: fitness instructor and model Melissa Rountree and daughter Morgan; community volunteer Yvonne Crum and granddaughter Samantha Crum; lifestyle expert Amy Vanderoef; award-winning broadcast journalist Scott Murray; Kellie Rasberry, co-host of Kidd Kraddick in the Morning and daughter Emma Kelly; jewelry designer Amanda Sterett Albritton; blogger and fashion expert Hilary Kennedy; host of WFAA-TV’s “Good Morning Texas” Jane McGarry; designer and creator of BAHZ jewelry Britt Harless; FOX4-TV’s Emmy-award winning news anchor Jenny AnchondoCatherine Lowe, mom, owner of local luxury stationary line LoweCoand founder of Hello Whitney blog and Esteem Chair Whitney Kutch.

2016 Esteem Fashion Show*

Esteem will begin at 10:00 a.m. with a Mimosas and Munchies reception featuring trunk shows for featured brand Cinq A Sept and jewelry designer Auden, including a personal appearance by the designer. Raffle tickets will be on sale with prizes such as designer Elizabeth Showers jewelry, a gift card from Tootsies and more. Raffle tickets are $10 each or 6 for $50. The celebrity fashion show will begin at 11:00 a.m.  

Tickets are $75 each for VIP seating or $20 each for student/standing and are on sale now. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.theelisaproject.com or dial 214.369.5222.

I cannot believe it has been eight years since we started this awareness fashion show and now it has turned into so much more! Our mission is to lead by example… teaching healthy lifestyles, supporting one another and encourage others to love themselves. We hope to see you on September 16!

* Photo provided by The Elisa Project

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

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

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

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

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

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

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

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

See, it does pay to show up!

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

8th Annual Esteem Fashion Show Tickets And Raffle Chances Just Went On Sale For The Elisa Project

Tickets have just gone on sale for the 8th Annual Esteem Fashion Show benefiting The Elisa Project. Chairing this year’s runway action is Whitney Kutch, with Rhonda Marcus and her daughter Emmy Marcus serving as honorary co-chairs.

Whitney Kutch (File photo)

Rhonda Marcus (File photo)

Sponsored by Lisa Cooley, the event will take place at Tootsies on Saturday, September 16. Things kick off at 10 a.m. with Mimosas and Munchies followed by the fashion show featuring local celebs modeling Tootsies fashions.

2016 Esteem Fashion Show*

Established in 1999, The Elisa Project has a mission of helping “increase awareness about eating disorders and the importance of positive body images” for young people and adults.

This year’s raffle will include Elizabeth Showers jewelry and a gift card from Tootsies.

Tickets are available now with VIP seats going for $75 and students/standing placement available for $20.  

* Photo credit: Thomas Garza

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

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

Suits For Shelters*

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

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

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

* Graphic courtesy of The Mary Kay Foundation

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.