Breakfast With Santa Spectacular was the perfect wake-up call for adults to rise and shine the morning after the 2019 Crystal Charity Ball. With munchkins wearing bows in their hair and patiently waiting their turns to visit with Old Saint Nick, NorthPark Center became North Texas’ NorthPolePark on the morning of Sunday, December 8. Hosted by the Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s Medical Center – Dallas Chapter, the celebration benefited Children’s Medical Center Foundation.
With nary a temper tantrum or frown in sight, the sold-out crowd partied with Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Batman and Spiderman and were entertained by young dancers and singers.
While the post is being polished up, check out the cuties at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.
JUST IN: The Dallas Opera’s 2020-2021 Season Revealed With The Addition Of A World Premiere And Viva Diva!
The Dallas Opera’s 2020-2021 season was just announced in the Winspear’s conference room with all types of news. To kick off the announcement, TDO Kern Wildenthal General Director/CEO Ian Derrer announced the following “Embrace The Passion!” season operas:
- “The Marriage of Figaro” – Friday, October 9; Sunday, October 11 (m); Wednesday, October 14; Saturday, October 17; Friday, October 23 and Sunday, October 15 (m)
- “Lohengrin”* – Friday, October 30; Sunday, November 1 (m); Wednesday, November 4 and Saturday, November 7
- “The Diving Bell And The Butterfly” (A Dallas Opera World Premiere) – Friday, March 5; Sunday, March 7 (m); Wednesday, March 10 and Saturday, March 13
- “Orfeo ed Euridce” – Friday, April 9; Sunday, April 11 (m); Wednesday, April 14 and Saturday, April 17
- “Tosca” – Friday, April 16; Sunday, April 18 (m); Wednesday, April 21; Saturday, April 24; Friday, April 30 and Sunday, May 2 (m)
The two “special events’ for the season include two biggies — one familiar and one brand new, both being co-chaired by Bela and Chase Cooley.
The familiar one will be the black tie “First Night” that will take place on the first night of the operatic season (aka Friday, October 9) at the Winspear with a pre-performance seated dinner, the production and an after-party with the cast of “The Marriage of Figaro.”
The new event is “Viva Diva!” on Friday, November 6, with Grammy Award-winning soprano Joyce DiDonato onstage with The Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director Emmanuel Villaume conducting The Dallas Opera Orchestra. The program will include Jake Heggie‘s song cycle, “Camille Claude/: Into the Fire” (composed for the artist), “The Death of Cleopatra” by Berlioz, and two works by Beethoven, just in time for the composer’s 250th Birthday celebration!
One of the highlights of the day’s presentation was the presence of “The Diving Bell And The Butterfly” lead team of British composer Joby Talbot, librettist Gene Scheer and director Leonard Foglia. Based on the best-selling book about the late Jean-Dominique Bauby, it was an undertaking that was deeply personal for Gene, who had spent much time getting to know Bauby’s wife and children.
Joby, whose “Everest” premiered at the Winspear in 2015, described returning to the Winspear for the world premiere of “The Diving Bell and The Butterfly”: “I couldn’t be happier about returning to my operatic ‘home’ of Dallas for my new collaboration with Gene Scheer.”
And speaking of “Everest,” the trio departed the press conference midway to catch a plane back to Austin for the opening night of “Everest” at the Austin Opera.
Other season highlights include the following:
- The 2021 Robert E. And Jean Ann Titus Art Song Recital on Sunday, January 31, at Moody Performance Hall
- The Hart Institute For Women Conductors Shows on Friday, February 19, at the Winspear Opera House
- The Dallas Opera National Vocal Competition, with the finals being held on Saturday, May 1
- The 2020/2021 Family Performance Series at the Winspear – “Doctor Miracle” on Saturday, October 24, and Saturday, March 6; and “Jack and the Beanstalk” on Saturday, October 10, and Saturday, March 27, 2021.
* Evening performances will begin at 7 p.m.
At first, the South America Mosaic theme had some guests scratching their extension-layered locks about how to dress for the 2019 Crystal Charity Ball on Saturday, December 7, at the Hilton Anatole. Others got right to it, however, deciding to “just go bright” — or to search for a creative designer.
In the end everything came together beautifully beneath the huge South American-themed panels by event producer Tom Addis that adorned the reception area and the Chantilly Ballroom. How appropriate it was, for example, to have life-size photos of the Pampas polo players placed just behind the sleek white 2020 Lexus LC500 with a trunk-full of polo mallets that was being raffled off!
As they arrived for the year’s most eagerly anticipated event through the Hilton’s entryway, the 1,635 black-tie types were greeted by the sound of birds chirping and live models made up to look for all the world like real live South American critters. Among them were a jaguar, a colorful parrot and a Marpesia marcella butterfly, each perched atop a raised platform.
The whole night could have stopped right there, when even hotel guests in shorts and T-shirts crowded in taking selfies with the human “wildlife.” At the head of the entry was a lush green garden, complete with a fountain tailor-made for photos. But Jan Strimple’s collection of exotic creatures, it seemed, was the No. 1 attraction for the photo-taking set.
Pity those who’d arrived from the hotel rooms above, or via other entryways. They soon found themselves going against the grain, like salmon straining upstream for a gander at all the excitement.
Other buzz of the young evening came from Gloria Eulich and Mark Varel, who said they were looking forward to their wedding in a couple of weeks… Newlyweds Wanda Gierhart Fearing and Dean Fearing were making their first official black-tie outing since tying the knot last summer… On the other hand, newly divorced Gail Fischer announced with a big smile: “I’m never getting married again!”… Only a few hours earlier, Louise Griffith reported, she’d been ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. Then she changed into a Carolina Herrera gown for the ball.
She wasn’t the only one! Also clad in Herrera were Kristina Whitcomb, Claire Emanuelson, Peggy Meyer, Cynthia Mitchell, Gracie Hunt, and Tucker Enthoven, next year’s CCB chair. 2019 Chair Pat McEvoy, meantime, was wearing a last-minute Oscar de la Renta in place of the Louis Vuitton that husband Charles McEvoy bought for her last year on a trip to Paris. Meantime, Patti Flowers and Michael Faircloth were locked in a tight race to be named the most popular dress designer at the ball from Dallas.
Patti’s creations were donned by the likes of Kim Quinn, Anne Besser, Lisa Cooley, Robin Carreker, Linda Evans, Diane Frank, Susie Gekiere, Jennifer Gunin, Alison Malone, Beth Thoele and Margaret Hancock. (Margaret’s frock, by the way, was hand-painted silk organza, with a creative theme adapted from a photo Patti took on a trip to see the Northern Lights.)
Michael, however, was not to be denied his share of the fashionable action, with Sue Ann Scala, Stephanie Scala, Tiffany Divis, Carrie Levering, Lauryn Gayle White, Elsa Norwood and Elizabeth Webb in his designs. Lisa Troutt even wore the creation that Michael had designed for the 2019 Sweetheart Ball that she chaired earlier in the year.
Those rounding out the designer scene included Jennifer Dix in Reem Acra (her gown was emerald green, with South American palm leaves embroidered into the fabric); Kim Hext in Solace London; Susan Farris in Monique Lhuillier; Bela Cooley, Ciara Cooley and Candace Winslow in Marchesa; Sunie Solomon in Dennis Basso; Francie Moody-Dahlberg in Roberto Cavalli; Robyn Conlon in Jenny Peckham; Vinnie Reuben in J. Mendel; Piper Wyatt and Wanda Gierhart Fearing in Valentino; Pam Perella in Zac Posen; Marjon Henderson in Aidan Mattox and Olivia Kearney in Mackenzie Brittingham.
In the accessory category, Leiber once again was a handy choice to stow away lipsticks; Jimmy Choo, Louboutin and Manolo tied in the foot race; and Bachendorf’s Eiseman and Sue Gragg were the top gems.
But the hands-down best accessories of the night were the ladies’ dates, who held their own when it came to attire, and then some. Among them were Richard Dix, in a green velvet tuxedo jacket from Edward Baumann Clothier; Tom Mitchell, Steve Solomon and David Condon in Armani; Greg Hext in Burberry; John Farris in Southwick; Dwight Emanuelson in Hadleigh; Vin Perella in Tom Ford; and Mike Wyatt in “a classic navy blue tuxedo topped with a red plaid bowtie.”
In keeping with the South American theme, guests were greeted by tango dancers on the ballroom floor, as violinists atop tall platforms provided the beat for the dancers’ expert moves. Later, a big band-style ensemble played dinner music (“The Look of Love,” “At Last”) before giving way to a very loud disco/soul group that had everyone — including Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse, Amy and Michael Meadows, Francie and Kevin Dahlberg, Wanda and Dean and Cynthia and Tom — up and showing off their moves. Alas, the musical group was so loud, one fellow said he was going to go home to find out if he could still hear.
Dinner was a feast for most, like Kelli and Jerry Ford, Missy and Richard Fisher, Anita and Truman Arnold, Lana and Todorovich, Mimi and Rich Sterling, Tim Adair, Michael Flores with Douglas Carney, Luanne and Aaron McWhorter and Aussies Margot McKinney and Peter Kedwell. On the menu were a first course of coriander crusted king scallop with corn and wild mushroom relish and roasted corn jus; an entrée of cotija crusted seared beef tenderloin with aji creamy demi, onion chorizo stack, asparagus, charred carrots, cipolini onion and blistered tomatoes; and a delicious dessert of South American coffee chocolate delight. All was complemented with Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay and Ehlers Cabernet Sauvignon.
However, a handful of tables near the dance floor went dry. It seems that the wine service didn’t quite make it there. Instead, guests were left to depend on their water glasses, which eventually went empty and stayed that way — along with their glassware cousins — until the entrée plates finally were cleared away. Upon seeing the table drought, a senior server came to the rescue with bottles in hand.
But who really cared about a late sip? The reality of the night was a record-breaking raise of $6.8M+ resulting from a year’s work to benefit Child and Family Guidance Center, Community Partners of Dallas, Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep, For the Nations Refugee Outreach, Interfaith Family Services, Jubilee Park and Community Center, Los Barrios Unidos Community Clinic, Mercy Street, Promise House and Readers 2 Leaders.
For more than 130 looks at the evening, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.
JUST IN: Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show Fashions And Community Service Awardee Revealed
Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Tiffany Divis and Luncheon and Style Show Chair Susan Glassmoyer have already hit the track with news about the Equest fundraiser on Tuesday, October 6, at Brook Hollow Golf Club.
This year’s Community Service Award will be presented to longtime philanthropist Robyn Conlon following the champagne reception and before the fashion show gets underway.
Regarding the outfits on the runway, they’ll be coming from Highland Park Village merchants with event producer Jan Strimple at the helm.
Stay tuned to learn which retailers will be on the program, as well as who will be the honorary chair and other details.
Funds from the event will support Equest’s various mission to “bring hope and healing through equine assisted activities and therapies.”
In the meantime, join the auxiliary and/or start putting your table together.
* Graphic courtesy of Highland Park Village
The 2020 Crystal Charity Ball’s South American Mosaic transported 1,635 black tie supporters of Dallas County charities down south of the equator on Saturday, December 7. From the moment guests walked along the entry hallway of the Hilton Anatole, the three models costumed like a jaguar, butterfly and colorful bird on platforms in a lush jungle setting literally had even the most worldly types stopped in their stilettos and velvet evening slippers.
Once inside the Chantilly reception lobby and ballroom, the flavor continued with everything from polo players and tango dancers to a menu boasting South American cuisine.
An interesting plus to the evening was the attire by some of the guests like Margaret Hancock in a Patti Flowers hand-painted gown reflecting the aurora australis, Louise Griffeth in Carolina Herrera and Janie Condon in Alice and Olivia in electric bright Rio Carnival shades and 2019 CCB Chair Pat McEvoy in an Oscar de la Renta instead of the Louis Vuitton gown she picked up in Paris.
While the post is being finished up, check out the more than 130 pix at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.
Someone needs to designate Saturday, February 1, as young North Texans Night. In addition to the high school crowd partying it up at Gilley’s for the 2020 Junior Symphony Ball, the Dallas CASA Young Professionals will be hosting CASAblanca on that Saturday. Co-Chairs Bela Cooley, Elise Nichols … Read More...
The usual fear of every party planner is, “What if nobody shows up?” Well, on Friday, December 6, it was just the opposite in the Mary Kay Suite at the Hilton Anatole. The get together was to celebrate Pat McEvoy’s reign as Crystal Charity Ball chair. While the invitation read that the partying … Read More...
It may appear that Cattle Baron’s has returned to Gilley’s on Saturday, February 1, when the place fills up with a couple of thousand in western wear, but look again. The crowd will be way younger, and there will be no adult beverages being served up. The event will be the 2020 Junior Symphony … Read More...
If you wondered why your Paws Cause invitation hadn’t arrived yet, not to worry. The SPCA-ers have moved the date and according to Victoria Albrecht, “We have postponed the event. I will keep you posted on when we have a defined date.” In the meantime, don’t just sit by the door waiting for … Read More...
The McCaslands, The Olsons And The Late Sue Ringle Were Honored At The Arboretum’s Great Contributor Gala
The Cowboys may have been playing the Bears on Thursday, December 5, on TV, but according to the crowds lining up at the Arboretum, nobody was watching. So much was going at the 66-acre wonderland. Folks were queued up to wander the beautiful grounds with its holiday decorations and nighttime … Read More...
When a heart beats that very first pulse of life, it doesn’t question whether it’s existing within a world gift-wrapped in a certain color, religion or sex. Its only goal is to thrive. So it is that the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is one in which those hearts celebrate the hope of everyone … Read More...