New Friends New Life’s 2016 ProtectHer Awardees Were Revealed At Wings Luncheon Kick-Off Reception

Dadgummit! The wind picked up as the temperatures and rain fell on Tuesday, February 23. Still Mother’s Nature’s pooh-poohs didn’t dissuade New Friends New Life backers like newlyweds Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse, Carol Seay, Jan Osborn, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Caren Prothro, Dallas Police Chief David Brown, Carolyn Miller, Ray Hunt, Wendy Messmann, Joyce and Linus Wright and Sue Bailey.

Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse

Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse

Jeanne Johnson Phillips and Carolyn Miller

Jeanne Johnson Phillips and Carolyn Miller

They all gathered at the Bush Center for the official kick off of the Wings Luncheon that’s being chaired by Jeanne Johnson Phillips and benefiting New Friends New Life (NFNL).

It wasn’t your usual kick off. Everyone already knew that the 13th Annual Wings Luncheon keynote speaker would be Amal Clooney on Thursday, April 14, at Hilton Anatole.

No, instead it was the announcement of the ProtectHer Awards that would be presented at the luncheon by the New Friends New Life’s Men’s Advocacy Group Board. Receiving the awards will be

  • Ted Poe and Chris Kleinert

    Ted Poe and Chris Kleinert

    ProtectHer Award (National) — U.S. Sen. (TX.) John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. (TX. 2nd Congressional Dist.) Ted Poe, who sponsored “’The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act,’ that was signed into law on May 29, 2015, to improve law enforcement’s ability to target traffickers and buyers and protect and expand the rights of trafficking victims. The act, which increases criminal fines on convicted traffickers and child predators, will create about $60 million in federal grants that state and local governments can use for more shelter space, specialized court programs and law enforcement programs targeting human trafficking.”

  • Tan Parker, Jeanne John Phillips and Morgan Meyer

    Tan Parker, Jeanne John Phillips and Morgan Meyer

    ProtectHer Award (State) — “The 2015 Texas Legislative Session” accepted by State Rep. (District 108) Morgan Meyer and State Rep. (District 63) Tan Parker, who both have daughters and took active roles in the passing of 20 bills that would move Texas closer to a “no tolerance zone” for those exploiting women and children.

  • Katie Pedigo and Libby Spears

    Katie Pedigo and Libby Spears

    ProtectHer Award (Local) — Playground Curriculum’s Libby Spears, who wrote and directed “Playground” (2009) dealing with the child sex trade and produced by George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh and Abigail Disney (granddaughter of the late The Walt Disney Company Co-Founder Roy Disney).

As NFNL CEO Katie Pedigo told the group, “Human trafficking is not in a vacuum.” And it’s not going to be in this city, this state, the country, if NFNL has its way.

Following the announcement and acceptance speeches by all including John Cornyn via video, Nancy Ann Hunt thanked all for joining the movement to end human trafficking. Afterward, Nancy Ann admitted frustration that the effort had taken so long. But realizing that the issue was an age-old problem, she acknowledged that NFNL’s work was indeed paying off.

JUST IN: New Friends New Life’s 13th Annual Wings Luncheon’s Keynote Speaker Will Be The Amazing Amal Clooney

Well, hold on to your whatevers. Ah, shoot! Don’t bother. Just stop reading and start making plans for the New Friends New Life’s 13th Annual Wings Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole.

It will be held on Thursday, April 14, and the keynote speaker will be an “internationally known attorney and human right activist” who [shares the] “nonprofit’s passion to protest women and children, combat human trafficking and provide healing and hope.”

Nope. It’s not the late Mother Teresa. It’s a woman who is brilliant, beautiful and the bride of George Clooney.

Yup! The keynote speaker will be Amal Clooney. Somehow, despite her being married to the man-oh-man of the 21st century, she has made a name all-on-her-own for making a difference for good on an international stage.

In addition to landing George, she’s a “Lebanese-British barrister, human rights activist, philanthropist and author…. Her recent wok as of 2015 has been in the field of advocating for the protection of women against physical and sexual violence in combat zones.”

According to New Friends New Life Chief Executive Officer Katie Pedigo, “New Friends New Life is elated to bring Clooney to Dallas for so many reasons. She shares the organization’s passion to help women and children escape physical and sexual abuse, and her perspective, insight and international acclaim, along with her wide appeal to the public, will help us create an even greater awareness of this worldwide epidemic.   Without question, this will enable us to raise more dollars to combat human trafficking in the Dallas area and throughout our state and nation.”

Serving as luncheon chair for the second year in a row will be the Honorable Jeanne Johnson Phillips with former First Lady Laura Bush and Ruth Altshuler serving as honorary co-chairs. Joining Laura and Ruth as honorary co-chairs will be Nancy Ann Hunt, Caren Prothro and Annette Simmons.

According to blonde Jeanne, “As a human rights activist on a global scale, Amal Clooney is a perfect voice to advocate against a crime that is happening in our own backyard. The subject of sex trafficking and the sex industry as a whole were rarely spoken of just a few years ago, but thanks to the incredible work of organizations like New Friends New Life and a corporate community that is willing to step forward with funding, we are making huge strides to end human trafficking in Dallas and throughout Texas and empower its survivors. Clooney’s knowledge, experience, and presentation will help us educate the community and send a strong message that Dallas is a no tolerance zone for human trafficking as we strive to protect our children, an estimated 400 teens on the streets each night – the most vulnerable targets of human traffickers.”

Let’s stop posting about this one because it’s gonna a quickie sell-out. Unfortunately, we got the information before they even got an online spot to buy tickets. But you can start putting this baby in the budget. As soon as the link for tickets is in place, we’ll let you know.

In the meantime, why not cozy up with the NFNL types by attending the 2015 Home Tour. Amal may not be there, but you’ll be supporting her local cause.

Academy Award-Winning Kevin Costner Flutters Hearts At New Friends New Life’s Wings Luncheon

Think back. Remember that fellow. When was it? Junior high? High school? He was that one with the smile that blended sincerity, mischief and adoration. It was the innocent twinkle in the eye and that smile that convinced your mom that he was the one. It was that touch of naughtiness that had your dad on all-force alert. You didn’t care. He was just so darn adorable. If he had foibles, you could rehab them.

But there was more to him than the look. It was the fact that music had a different sound when you thought of him. It was that blue shirt that he wore. It was that intoxicating scent that arose when he was near. It was that connection look that he would give you that made you electric.

Come on. You wrote about him in your diary and/or you told your ultimate BBF. Now, you’re remembering. Sure, that diary has been lost ages ago and your BBF is more concerned nowadays with her gray roots than your memories. But he still remains in your memory eyes as a star burst.

Kevin Costner

Kevin Costner

Well, on Friday, April 10, his prototype was there in the flesh and proved to be just as adorable as you remember. In your memories, you’ll have to supply the name. But on this day, he was Kevin Costner.

Even before the VIP reception was to start at 10:30, parking lots were filling to the max with NFNL volunteers driving ladies in stilettos from the satellite lots to the Hyatt Regency. One driver was just plain grateful that the predicted rain had held off.

Knowing that the New Friends New LifeWings Luncheon” VIP was to take place at 10:30, countless socialites turned up for the VIP reception acting like teenagers at a Justin Bieber concert. Instead of squealing, there were cellphone salutes. Ah, shoot! The gals all knew better, but as one Hyatt Regency staffer summed it up perfectly, “I’ve seen him on TV for years, but I want to see him in person just once.”

For those who had attended the night-before reception and dinner, they stood in the background knowing they had already had their moment with Kevin. A scant few were showing off their fuzzy photos of Kevin.

Kevin Costner surrounded

Kevin Costner surrounded

The meet-and-greet was packed with more people than normally attend a full-blown fundraiser. Despite the stage, Costner insisted on standing at the stage’s base to get to know the guests. Instead he was totally surrounded by the mass of women and few were giving up their spots. You just know you’ve hit the honey pot when even the most proper media types smile like giggly school girls pulling out their cellphones for a hopeful shot of the man.

At 11 Luncheon Chair Jeanne Johnson Phillips raised her voice at the mic beseeching the crowd to release their hostage.

Kevin Costner speaking at meet-and-greet

Kevin Costner speaking at meet-and-greet

Reluctantly they did, trying to grab just one more selfie-on-the-fly as he headed to the stage. His briefs remarks were kind. He said how he appreciated the ladies wanting to take their photo with him. Then he was whisked away through a back door.

By 11:15 the crowd of 1,500 inside the ballroom had grown, including Holly Reed, Claire Emanuelson, Pam Perella, Debra Nelson, Di Johnston, Mary Jalonick, Carol Seay, Gerald Turner, Jill Smith and Bobby Lyle. Video cameras on extension poles scoured the room for faces. It wouldn’t have been surprising to have seen a drone do a fly-by.

At 11:20 an unknown voice announced that the program would start in 10 minutes. The voice returned at 11:35 announcing the program would start in five minutes. This time it had a slight edge as it was heard to say, “Please take your seats.”

At 11:40 the color guard appeared at the side of the stage. Still people just stood chatting. At 11:41 the unknown voice put out the final call: “Ladies and gentlemen, PLEASE take your seats. The program is about to begin.” The guests followed the voice’s instructions this time.

Despite assurances that she would not be attending, former First Lady/Honorary Co-Chair Laura Bush entered the room from the side of the stage with Honorary Co-Chair Ruth Altshuler and the two took their seats at a front-row table. Secret Service folks suddenly popped up around the room.

Following a video, Dallas Police Chief David Brown arrived at the podium with the color guard. Following his providing the invocation, one of the flag guard shouted a command for the guard to move on. David said, “Yeah, I forgot he was in the Marines.”

A second video was shown and awards were presented to Sabre, the Letot Girls’ Residential Treatment Center and the Texas Department of Public Safety’s human trafficking team.

At 11:54 Jeanne thanked everyone for being patient with the parking and for coming. It was the largest attendance ever for the group. She then went on to say that the problem of human trafficking is “one of the worst situations in the city. “

Four minutes later another video was shown reporting that Texas is second in sex trafficking and 400 teens are on the streets of North Texas each night.

Chris Kleinert

Chris Kleinert

At noon, Chris Kleinert announced that a men’s advocacy group had been launched and he would be chairing it.

As guests finished their meals and tables were cleared, music created by Kevin played in the background.

At 12:15 a new unknown voice — a female voice — announced the program would continue in 10 minutes. A man warned the hotel staff, “You guys have to be out of here in one minute.” A minute later the male unknown voice told people to take their seats, since “the program is about to begin.” Lights dimmed.

KTVT’s Karen Borta was at the podium and welcomed Gary Cogill to the stage where two chairs were placed. Gary was soon joined by Kevin for a chat.

Kevin Costner and Gary Cogill

Kevin Costner and Gary Cogill

With a comfortable style and boyish charm, he touched on a variety of subjects. Highlights of the conversation included:

  • A movie that had a profound impact on him as a youth was “Giant,” especially the scene in which the Rock Hudson character loses a fist fight to the owner of a diner over serving Hudson’s Mexican daughter-in-law. In American movies at that time, Rock Hudson was not supposed to lose a fight. Kevin admitted that this situation confused him. “My hero was on the ground…As a young man, I was embarrassed that he lost.” What impressed Kevin the most was the Elizabeth Taylor character saying to Hudson, “You never stood taller.” It was at that young age of 9 or 10 that Kevin decided that’s the kind of person he wanted to be.
  • “Women are the ones who say, ‘We have enough. We need to take care of others.’”
  • His parents came from Oklahoma. His grandfather was 19 and lost everything during the Dust Bowl. “Maybe this isn’t the right place to say this, but he (his grandfather) married his 14-year-old sweetheart. (Laughter rose throughout the room, as Kevin looked around sheepishly)…and they were in love until the day they died.”
  • Having been brought in a conservative blue-collar family, Kevin’s father wasn’t too thrilled to learn that his son intended to become an actor. Years later, after achieving success in acting, Kevin told his father he was going to direct. His father’s response: “Ah, Jesus. That acting thing was going so good.” When Kevin decided to venture into music, the last person he told was his father.
  • His storied encounter with Richard Burton, who supposedly inspired him, “wasn’t that big a deal.”

    Kevin Costner

    Kevin Costner

  • In making “JFK,” Kevin recalled, he remembered one story that might be interesting since Laura Bush was present. “She doesn’t know anything about this…When I was making ‘JFK’ with (director) Oliver Stone in this beautiful city (of Washington, D.C.), Oliver was very agitated all the times. And he said that I should play Bush. I told him I don’t know him. I’d never met him.” Still, Stone pushed and pushed. Finally on a Sunday Keven was going to watch the Baltimore Orioles play in Washington, D.C. He ended up working out with the team, playing shortstop with Cal Ripken. Cal’s father even pitched to him and he hit a home run out of Memorial Stadium. “I was having this fantastic day. Then I went into the locker room and I was going to go out and watch the game. A phone call came and it was the president of the United States. It was George H.W. Bush and he said, ‘Wanna play golf?’” Kevin was escorted to the golf course and they had shoes for him. On the way he admitted that he hadn’t eaten, so a sandwich was ordered. As he arrived at the place, he got out of the car with sandwich in his mouth while trying to put on his shoes. Kevin ended up being on the president’s team, along with Andre Agassi. At one point he swings and the ball goes somewhere, with the Secret Service finding it. As they approached the 17th hole, they were being beaten badly. “George said that if we get this, we’ll tie them.” Kevin couldn’t figure how that could happen, but it did. “So now the day’s over and I’m gonna say ‘Goodbye.’ George said, ‘Wanna come to the White House?’ I said my pat answer: ‘Yes.’ So, we got on to the helicopter and received the Marines salute. My brother was in Vietnam in ’67 and ’68, so that means something to me…So, we went into the White House and the President said, ‘Do you want to go for a swim?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ And there was nobody in the pool except me.” Afterwards they played horseshoes and had dinner with Barbara. As Kevin left for the evening, the President told how he was going to Moscow the next day and how he was going to deal with the situation. Kevin was amazed at how generous the President had been with his time and thought, “I was just going to play baseball today.” The next day, Kevin went to work and Oliver came into the makeup room saying, “I went to your buddy’s house yesterday…I got a chance to tour the White House, but they didn’t show me the good stuff. I didn’t get to see the pool. There was a guy swimming in the pool.”

    Kevin Costner and Gary Cogill

    Kevin Costner and Gary Cogill

  • “My journey as an actor has been magical.”
  • On “Bull Durham”: “It’s about men and women trying to get together. We can’t get along, but we have to.”
  • Westerns: “I always think sitting in the dark watching westward expansion in this country, thinking about the people who settle Texas and wondering, ‘Am I that tough?’ When a western is done really well, you create the architecture for the moment where actually as a man that if you want to be really honest with yourself, you go, ‘I don’t know what I would have done.’”
  • “I still have another western in me. It’s about 10 hours long.”
  • On “Dances With Wolves”: Years after the movie came out, he had finished a long day at the studio and was headed to his car when he heard a woman’s voice call his name. He was tired and continued walking, pretending that he hadn’t heard her. Again and again she called his name. He stopped and turned around. She described the ‘Dancing With Wolves’ scene in which Kevin had kissed his Indian love upon being reunited, and said it had meant so much to her. Then she told him that her husband was missing in action. She longed to have a similar reunion with her husband. In the following days Kevin arranged to have that one scene sent to her.
  • Sir Edmund Hillary: In conquering Mt. Everest, Hillary fell and was held by the strength of a single man, sherpa Tenzing Norgay, whom he didn’t even know. In deciding whether to proceed up the mountain or retreat, the sherpa said, “Do you hear that?” Hillary said he heard nothing. It was just the howling of the wind and the rain pounding. The sherpa replied, “It’s the mountain. It’s the summit. It’s calling us.” Kevin said, “To this day, no one knows who stepped first on the top of Everest. It’s kinda cool. Cause it’s not about who gets the credit. They needed each other. I think the summit is calling this room. It’s calling Texas because Texas is always up for a fight. These numbers that were done so beautifully in this film bother me. I can tell they bothered the room. We just can’t depend on Ray (Hunt) and Nancy (Hunt). They depend on us. So we’re kind of in this together.”
  • Kevin in raising his children told them every day, “You’re special, but it doesn’t make you better than anybody.”
  • On his daughters’ suitors: “I tell them that I am the first man to lay hands on my daughters. My daughters know what a man’s hands feel like that love them. Some of these young girls have not have had hands on them that have told them they were special. They have not had hands on them that love them, so they know the difference.”
  • Music: He had loved music as a kid, but put it aside until his wife asked why he hadn’t pursued it. The reason: one person who critiqued his music “was very cruel to me” when Kevin was in his 20’s. So, he dropped it. His wife persisted for two years, very gently. Finally, she “sat me down and asked me two questions, ‘Are you happy when you’re making music?’ ” He said, “Yes.” She then asked, “Do you think people in front of you…not this guy writing…but the people in front of you are happy?” And he said, “Yes.” She said, “What could be wrong with that?” He realized that it was such a “simple release for me.” He’s been playing for the past nine years.

As the hundreds made their way to their cars, Kevin headed to Ardmore to join his band Modern West, the Jeff Allen Band and Rich O’Toole at Heritage Hall that night.

JUST IN: New Friends New Life Reveals WINGS Luncheon Honorees

Reveals are sprouting up like tulips at the Arboretum during Dallas Blooms. The latest is the announcement of the people/organizations that will be honored at the New Friends New Life 12th Annual WINGS Luncheon at the Hyatt Regecy.

The reveal took place last night at Carolyn Miller‘s home. The following will be toasted at the April 10 fundraiser:

    • The 2015 Local ProtectHer Honoree: The Letot Girls’ Residential Treatment Center empowers the community’s youngest victims. Each year, more than 9,700 youth, ages 10 to 17, come into contact with Dallas County law enforcement. Many have run away to escape physical, sexual and emotional abuse or neglect. A partnership between NFNL and the Letot Girls Center is sending licensed professional counselors to the Letot Center to provide sexual abuse recovery therapy to high risk and trafficked teen girls. Research shows when treatment services are provided in conjunction with vital community resources both the youth and family benefit, and the statistics for long term success improve.
    • The 2015 State ProtectHER Honoree: The Texas Department of Public Safety‘s (DPS) mission is to protect and serve Texas in an ever-changing threat environment. Their Human Trafficking Squad – located in Dallas, is the first in the state.   In 2009, DPS, working with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, developed the Interdiction for the Protection of Children Program to train over 7,000 patrol officers on detection, interdiction and rescue of child victims of sex trafficking and exploitation as well as the proper handling of such cases. For most of these children a skilled and well-informed patrol officer is their only hope of being rescued.
    • The 2015 National ProtectHER Honoree: Sabre is a leading technology provider to the global travel and tourism industry. Headquartered in Southlake, Sabre operates offices in approximately 60 countries around the world.   In 2012, as part of Sabre’s corporate responsibility program to help bring positive social change, Sabre developed “Passport to Freedom” – a program designed to help fight human trafficking and provide support to victims and survivors. Sabre’s goals for Passport to Freedom include increasing awareness and educating the travel industry on human trafficking issues, advocating for legislative change, and providing opportunities for travel industry leaders to collaborate on how to positively make a difference in one of the world’s worst crimes. This comprehensive initiative seeks to unite the travel and tourism industry to fight child sex trafficking and human slavery.

The event is being chaired by Jeanne Johnson Phillips with Ruth Altshuler and former First Lady Laura Bush serving as honorary chairs.

Award-winning actor/director Kevin Costner will be the headline speaker.

Tickets are $175. For more information, visit www.newfriendsnewlife.org or call 214.965.0935.

Award-Winning Actress Sally Field Makes New Friends At New Friends New Life’s Wings Luncheon

There were those who had seriously thought about locking down tickets for the New Friends New Life’s Wings luncheon on Friday, April 11, featuring Sally Field. But they got really busy and put it off. Major oops! By the time they tried to get a place, it was way too late. What a loss!

Because everyone in the Anatole’s Khmer Pavilion gained a new best friend forever in the diminutive, award-winning actress.

With more than 50 years under her waistband, Sally faced a new challenge — the VIP reception, where a legion of fans lined up around the Carpenter Ballroom and out into Atrium I for the patron party and a photo opp.

Sally Field and her New Friends New Life friends

Sally Field and her New Friends New Life friends

The big problem was Sally. Every photo opp became a sincere handshake and a beyond “howdy-do encounter.

[Editor’s note: In a time when Botox is facial soup du jour and plastic surgeons are on retainer, Sally is a beaut. Sure, she had gained 25 pounds for the role of Mary Lincoln in Lincoln, but on this day she was slim, trim and truly natural with a line here and there.]

Too soon the chimes gonged and the multitudes headed to the Khmer. Perhaps because of her size, Sally somehow managed to slip through the crowds pretty much unnoticed. Once at her table she explored her goody bag like any guest. She examined each of the Mary Kay hand products quizzically. Someone told her “that stuff really works.” She gave it all a second look.

Debbie Foster, Sarah Saldana and David Brown

Debbie Foster, Sarah Saldana and David Brown

While Sally was checking MK out, NFNL Board Chair Pat Schenkel arranged to have U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldana photographed with Dallas Police Chief David Brown and Assistant Chief Deputy Debbie Foster.

Alan and Lee Ann White and Michael Fowler

Alan and Lee Ann White and Michael Fowler

Finally when everyone, including Honorary Co-Chairs Lee Ann White and Michael Fowler, Alan White, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, mother-daughter teams (Annette Simmons with Amy Simmons, Lana Andrews with Natalie McGuire), Robin Bagwell, Jan Osborn, Amara Durham, Nancy Best, Sharon McCutchin, Jimmie Westcott, Creighton Webb, Terry Van Willson, Dr. Hugh McClung, Pete Schenkel, Gail Turner, Laura McClung, was seated, Chief Brown gave the invocation, Luncheon Co-Chairs Pat McEvoy and Angela Nash welcomed all and NFNL Executive Director Katie Pedigo made a “Call to Action.”

Pat Schenkel, Byron Fassett and Gerald Turner

Pat Schenkel, Byron Fassett and Gerald Turner

After lunch was served, Pat and NFNL Advisory Board Chair Gerald Turner presented “Protect Her Awards” to Sgt. Byron Fassett, Nancy Ann Hunt and U.S. Attorney Saldaña.

Nancy Ann Hunt

Nancy Ann Hunt

Then Gary Cogill and Sally took their places on stage for a chat that focused on her career. It became apparent that Sally touched all the generations in the room. From the 1960’s Flying Nun, 1970’s Sybil and Norma Rae, 1980’s Places in the Heart, Murphy’s Romance and Steel Magnolias, 1990’s Mrs. Doubtfire and Forrest Gump and 21st century’s Lincoln.

During his introduction, Gary attributed only two Emmys to Sally, while she held up three fingers [Sybill in 1977, ER in 2001 and Brothers and Sisters in 2007] trying to silently correct him from her table. But he made up for it by having hunky KTVT sportscaster Babe Laufenberg drafted from the audience to escort her to the stage. To this she quipped, “I don’t ever recall being escorted by ‘babe’.”

Sally Field

Sally Field

Regardless, Gary did an excellent job of covering as many areas of interest as possible within the time restraints:

  • The subject of Meryl Streep came up. Sally suggested that each award-winning actress had taken different roads to their places in Hollywood hierarchy. While Meryl had been studying acting at Vassar and the Yale School of Drama, Sally grew up in working-class family and on the little screen at the age of 19. Eventually she studied with Lee Strasberg and became a “method” actor.
  • She told how during her early days doing TV sitcoms (Gidget in 1965 and The Flying Nun in 1967), it was indeed difficult for women to make the transition from TV to the big screen. Sure, there had been James Garner, Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen, but for a female. . . really tough.
  • Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias — Director Herbert Ross gave Julia rough treatment. The ensemble of veteran female actors including Sally, Shirley MacLaine and Dolly Parton warned him to “back off. He would then look at us before he would say anything to her.” According to Sally, “One time Dolly just got him.”
  • Tom Hanks —She described working with Tom Hanks as the “wonderfulness of working with Tom Hanks and (director) Robert Zemeckis.” Throughout their working relationship, she had played his love interest (Punchline), as well as his mother (Forrest Gump) ranging from a young mom to an elderly one.
  • Sally Field

    Sally Field

    Getting the role of Mary Lincoln — It was the last question because of the length response, but no one regretted it one iota. She told in finite detail how over the years of preparing the movie, director Steven Spielberg had wanted her for the role of Abraham Lincoln’s wife. The original plan was for Liam Neeson to play the role of Lincoln. But the try-out reading missed the mark. Neeson had just lost his wife Natasha Richardson a month before and he was a “walking around zombie. We did the reading and you barely hear him. My heart was dying for him.” But as Sally said, “I ate him alive. But what can I tell you? He, consequently, dropped out of the film.” Time passed and Daniel Day Lewis was brought on board. Sally knew there would be problems. It was an age thing. Abraham Lincoln was 56 and Mary was 47 during the time period of the movie. When the movie was to be produced, Daniel was 55 and Sally was 65. Translation: Sally would have to be playing almost 20 years younger than she actually was. She fought for it saying, “I am Mary.” The first test had Steven apologetically calling Sally two days later and saying it just wasn’t going to work. However, the next morning he called her back saying he had thought about it and sent the tape to Daniel, who said he wanted me to meet her. It was decided she and Steven would meet in New York City “for coffee” with Daniel, who would be flying in from Ireland. Sally was willing to go anywhere to discuss the possibility. Then a call came in asking if Sally wanted to have hair and makeup people? Her response: “For coffee?” They said, “Oh, we didn’t tell you? We’re going to do a test.” According to Sally, “Daniel flew in from Ireland for the day because he felt that Steven needed to see him and I [sic] together on film.” When the test took place, she was seated in a high-back chair and Daniel was across the room among a group of “faceless people”. She sensed that “Daniel was heading toward me. I could sense people going away. And I slowly turned to look and there was my wonderful Mr. Lincoln ambling toward me with his hat and his beard and his totally whole demeanor. I didn’t rise until he was here standing next to me. I stood up and gave him my hand and he kissed it. I said, ‘Mr. Lincoln.’ He said, ‘Mother.’ That’s what they called each other. And I could feel a hush in the group of people . . . and I leaned my head into his chest and whispered “Thank you, thank you.” He kissed the top of my head and said, ‘My honor.’”

It was the perfect way to end a perfect lunch.

Round Robin April 10: Thrift Studio Preview Party, Wings Patron Party And Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board Reception

And the beat went on Thursday, April 10. Starting early in the morning at the Family Gateway announcement breakfast at the Omni and then hopping over to the Dallas Arboretum for the Mad Hatter’s Tea, the day should have ended to rest up for the upcoming weekend. But, no! Dallas fundraising was just warming up for an evening of more activities throughout the area.

Thrift Studio Preview Party

The doors for the Thrift Studio Preview had hardly opened for the Dwell With Dignity month-long pop-up shop when the place was packed.

John Phifer Marrs and James Campbell

John Phifer Marrs and James Campbell

As cars lined up to get into the valet queue, the crowd including Joyce Fox, John Phifer Marrs, James Campbell, Erin Mathews, Richard Graziano, Meredith Hite, Kim Bannister, Jennifer Clark and Matthew Simon) inside was cozy. So cozy that at times it was hard to wander through the vignettes of furnishings available for sale.

But wait! A “Sold” tag here. A “Sold” tag there. So many of the items were already bearing that four-letter word.

Jan Showers

Jan Showers

Not to worry. Founders Lisa Robison and Kim Turner and their team of volunteers had a boundless amount of couches, tables, beds, etc. all ready to replace the purchased things. Among the designers showcasing were last Fall’s Thrift Studio Honorary Chair Jan Showers, Julio Quinones + Culp Associates, Mecox, Sarah Pickard + Robert Allen Design, Swoon and Tompkins Lloyd Interiors + David Sutherland Showroom.

Julie Lloyd, Jane Parker and Clair Tompkins

Julie Lloyd, Jane Parker and Clair Tompkins

The Thrift Studio is open Tuesday through Saturday until May 10. It’s free to visit, but it’s hard to leave without a purchase.

Wings Patron Dinner

Member of the Best collection

Member of the Best collection

If the Perot Museum had a satellite location, it would be Nancy and Randy Best’s Preston Hollow estate. No, there aren’t any interactive sports nor fracking exhibitions. Better than any of that, and Randy proudly showed it all to Wings’ patron dinner guest of honor Sally Field, who was to be the keynote speaker at the next day’s New Friends New Life fundraising luncheon.

Sally Field and Randy Best

Sally Field and Randy Best

On the second floor of the Best mansion was a museum of artifacts that made Harlan Crow’s collectibles look downright contemporary: Rocks, geodes, coins, wall plaques of fossils, life-sized figures of earliest forms of mankind.

As Sally leaned over one of the glass cases, Randy pointed an item out saying, “The Egyptians were just nomads. They collected these things.”

The petite Field wearing glasses could have been mistaken for a high schooler on a field trip.

In addition to taking in every inch of the museum, she chatted with every one of the 50 guests. It was as if she were here to stay and wanted to get to know her new neighbors.

Lee Ann White, Sally Field and Michael Fowler

Lee Ann White, Sally Field and Michael Fowler

Among the folks that Sally met were Laura McClung, Honorary Co-Chairs Lee Ann White and son Michael Fowler, April Box Chamberlain and her husband John, Alan White and Ashlee Kleinert, who had just added a fourth truck to her Ruthie’s Rolling Cafes. Ah, more grilled cheese sandwiches!

Angela Nash

Angela Nash

Luncheon Co-Chair Pat McEvoy and husband Charles reported that their new puppy Santiago (aka Sonny) was away at puppy boot camp. . . Co-Chair Angela Nash looked picture perfect despite having ripped her dress earlier in the day. No problem. She simply sewed it up with time to spare.

After a fabulous dinner in the ground level, it was an early evening. The group had to re-group in time to join the 1000+ for the Wings VIP reception and lunch at the Anatole the next day.

Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board Reception

Don and Robyn Conlon and Heather and Todd Furniss

Don and Robyn Conlon and Heather and Todd Furniss

The Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board was honored at Heather and Todd Furniss’s Highland Park Home. It seemed like so many of the guests had had a full night of “must-attend” events, but they saved this one for last to relax and catch up.

Karen Hughes

Karen Hughes

Equest Chairman of the Board Emily Hargrove was juggling Tony Cointreau’s Saturday talk for the Dallas Institute, arrangements for the Equest Triple Crown Gala on May 3 and supporting husband Miles’ movie on The Starck Club premiering at the Dallas International Film Festival. . . Gigi Potter Salley reported that the family home was scheduled to undergo some major renovations. . . Kathy and Richard Holt were asked how they met. It was in college. In what class? Psychology.

Once again Melissa Macatee was called upon by CCB Chair Robyn Conlon to whistle the crowd (Norma Hunt, Karen Hughes, Patti Flowers and Tom Swiley, Alicia Wood, Jan and Fred Hegi, Angie and Kevin Kadesky and Peggy and Dan Meyers) together in the den. Many of the gentlemen were highly impressed by the power of the plucky pucker.

Angie and Kevin Kadesky

Angie and Kevin Kadesky

Robyn thanked the advisory board, the seven 2014 beneficiaries and Kent Eastman, whose Capital One underwrote the evening.

Speaking of banking and big numbers, Robyn reported that the 2014 goal was a whopping $5,127,886 and added, “I am not going to be the first ball chair to not fund them (the beneficiaries).”

Grovel Alert: New Friends New Life’s Wings Luncheon

Sally Field*

Sally Field*

If you were thinking you’d like to attend Friday’s Wings Luncheon with award-winning actress Sally Field, stop thinking and start ordering your ticket. Only a handful of spots are left for the New Friends New Life fundraiser.

Pat McEvoy and Angela Nash are co-chairing the event at the Anatole with honorary co-chairs Lee Ann White and her son Michael Fowler.

* Photo provided by 
New Friends New Life

Guess Who’s Coming To New Friends New Life’s Wings Luncheon As The Featured Speaker?

With the upcoming Home Tour taking place on Sunday, December 8,  New Friends New Life Executive Director Katie Pedigo hasn’t had time to drop the announcement letters in the mail yet. But we did want you to be the first to know! It will be great news to spread at your Thanksgiving dinner.

Guess who is going to be the featured speaker for the New Friend New Life’s Wings Luncheon on Friday, April 11, at the Anatole?

Pat McEvoy, Shelle Sills, Angela Nash and Katie Pedigo

Pat McEvoy, Shelle Sills, Angela Nash and Katie Pedigo

Well, Co-Chairs Pat McEvoy and Angela Nash along with Honorary Co-Chairs Lee Ann White and Michael Fowler and Underwriting Chair Shelle Sills have arranged to have. . . no, wait! That would be too easy just to print the name. Let’s give you some hints and see if you can guess.

  • Her former stepfather played Tarzan.
  • She was known for flying around above the heads of her sisters.
  • Won an Academy Award.
  • Played a U.S. President’s wife.
  • Best known quote: “ . . . And I can’t deny the fact that you like me. . . right now. . . you like me. Thank you.”

The answers follow the jump! [Read more…]

JUST IN: Pat McEvoy And Angela Nash To Chair New Friends New Life’s Wings Luncheon

And the news of plans for the future just keeping flowing in. New Friends New Life’s “Wings Luncheon” have just been revealed.

Pat McEvoy (File photo)

Pat McEvoy (File photo)

Angela Nash (File photo)

Angela Nash (File photo)

At the helm will be Pat McEvoy and Angela Nash. As soon as the gals reveal deets about the upcoming fundraiser, we’ll keep you clued in.

They’ve got their work cut out for them after this past spring’s luncheon with Barbara Pierce Bush, but these know how to pull off successes.

Share A Date: 10th Annual Wings Luncheon

Barbara Price Bush

Barbara Pierce Bush

Friday, April 12:  The 10th Annual Wings Luncheon Chair Gina Betts has an all-star lineup for  the New Friends New Life benefit at the Hyatt Regency. Not only has she arranged for the mother/daughter team of Lana Andrews and Natalie McGuire to serve as honorary chairs, she’s locked down a very busy gal to be the featured speaker — Barbara Pierce Bush.

In addition to being a former first daughter, Barbara PB is CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps, “an organization that mobilizes a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity. Since 2009, Global Health Corps has placed 216 fellows from twelve countries to work with non-profit and government health organizations like Partners In Health and the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia and the United States.”

Now exactly what does health equity internationally have to do with NFNL’s missions to helped sexually exploited women and their children? Leadership. Barbara’s work with the mobilization of emerging leaders is right in line with NFNL’s goal to developed leadership and service “to win the battle against domestic sexual exploitation of women and girls.” According to NFNL,

  • Statistics reveal that childhood abuse is a precursor to an American girl’s entrance into the sex trade at the average age of 13.
  • The U.S. State Department estimates 100,000 children enter the sex industry every year. No, that’s not a typo. That’s a six-figure number. . . an outrageous one.
  • Over the past 15 years, NFNL has helped thousands of trafficked teen girls, sexually exploited women and their children build new lives and overcome the pain and trauma of their past to achieve stable living environments, emotional healing and spiritual renewal.

If you’re smart, you’ll sign up for a sponsorship. That will entitle you to much more  than the luncheon. . . like a Platinum Dinner.

Photo provided by New Friends New Life