MySweetCharity Wrap Up will skip Wednesday since the arctic dumped all types of frigid problems on North Texas’ s doorstep. But by Thursday, locals and visitors were digging out of the snow holes and wanting to shake the cabin fever.
6:00 p.m. — Legends for Charity Dinner Presenting the Pat Summerall Award at the Hilton Anatole
First on the list is the Legends dinner benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Should be a stellar night. Legendary Pat Summerall is going to present the award to the NFL on FOX Pregame and Super Bowl Broadcast team. Accepting the award will be the FOX lineup of Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Buck, Jimmy Johnson, Howie Long, Curt Menefee, Pam Oliver and Michael Strahan. It’s gonna be quite a night.
Arrive at the Anatole to shivering carparkers. Somebody didn’t put up side walls along the entry. Not a good sign for later in the evening, when guests will try to retrieve their cars in the wind chill. Ah, but that’s later. Now guests are filling the lobby, while a handful head to a private reception in the Wedgewood Room.
Once inside the VIP reception, no one looks too concerned that there are no celebs. Organizers are assuring folks that they are on their way. Not to worry. There is enough chatter about the weather, Super Bowl and, “Did you know Troy is getting a divorce?”
Smiling as if he hadn’t a care in the world is Bill Lively, who admits that there are a couple of glitches in the Super Bowl Week. He and his wife Mickey stand near the back of the room. Are he and wife Mickey going to stay for dinner? Nope, they’re off to the North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee celebration in Fort Worth and then on to the NFL owners’ party at Cowboys Stadium. Someone comments that he has a lot of driving. Bill smiles, “We have a driver.”
Near the Livelys are former KXAS anchor Alyce Caron, who is now hosting on HSN. She’s with fellow KXAS vet Scott Murray. Seems that Scott’s wife Carol was “stuck” at their lake house thanks to the snow and she insisted that Scott bring their house guest Alyce.
Tony Romo looks as happy as can be with his gorgeous fiancée Candice Crawford. She’s sorta wearing a royal blue cocktail dress. It’s hard to tell because she is sorta covering it up with her warm navy blue coat. Tony is wearing his driving cap, gray suit with open white shirt and days-old stubble.
Eventually, the headliners start appearing one at a time. Like queen bees, they are surrounded by guests the moment they set foot in the room.
Terry Bradshaw makes an entrance like a winning political candidate. He jokes with total strangers, poses for photos and probably would have kissed a baby if one had been in the room. How could Dallasites have hated him when he played for the Steelers?
Howie Long is a bit more serious. When he smiles, the room lights up. But when he’s not smiling, he looks like he could take out half the room with a sweep of his hand. That’s not to say that he’s unhappy or angry. Rather, he really focuses on conversations with the multitudes, while trying to pose for pictures and sign autographs.
Standing at 6’5″, Michael Strahan towers above the crowd. As people talk with him, he tends to scour the room looking for his FOX team mates.
On the other end of the height spectrum is Jimmy Johnson. Like a running back, he swiftly moves around the room faster. The only way to track him is the sight of his perfectly coifed silver hair. It’s hard to hold him still.
One of the last to appear is Joe Buck, who seems a bit anxious. With his glasses on, he reviews papers like a lawyer facing his first trial. When asked to join the others for a photo opp against the evening’s official backdrop, a big, old college boy smile appears.
After the group picture is taken, someone asks an organizer, “Where’s Troy?” She looks a little deflated and says, “He’s not going to make it. He had a corporate commitment.” Someone within earshot says, “I heard he was having a dinner at his house.”
On the way to the next party, a drive by of Troy’s house indicates that no dinner party is taking place there unless it’s being held in the dark.
7:30 p.m. — Audi Forum party at the Rachofskys House
Next stop is the Audi Forum. This three-night program has been quietly moving up in the Super Bowl event rankings. First positive sign was Audi’s longtime association and track record with past Super Bowls. Second indication that someone knew what they were doing is locating the three-day forum at The Rachofsky House (aka Cindy and Howard Rachofskys’ home/museum). The place has been the scene for very impressive gatherings of beautiful and tasteful types. One of the things you learn after your first trip to the House is the standard operating procedures. At certain points there are people who politely advise you that there are steps, and to watch yours. No matter how many times you walk up or down the steps, they’re there for your protection. And speaking of protection, there are also people standing guard near certain art pieces. One young man is prepared to body-block anyone who might walk into a painting on the far wall.
Another thumbs-up was the very limited guest list for the invite-only parties. Thursday night is to be local influentials and limited media. Friday night is posh out-of-towners with a smattering of very housebroken local beautiful people with extremely limited media. Saturday night is a dinner with oh-so-painfully few media skewing mainly to the national press. Unlike other Super Bowl parties predicting thousands in attendance, the Audi Forum is cutting off attendance at 150 to 200 guests each.
The final sign that this event was going to be the memory-maker and most-talked-about was the leaking of attendees. After taking an oath of secrecy, names like Demi (Moore), Ashton (Kutcher) and Justin (Timberlake) started being dropped.
Then an email arrived. Hugh Jackman. Even the New Yawk pr people admitted that they had stopped breathing on that one.
Speaking of the media, rules are established before event planners get too generous in providing information to the selected media. Friday and Saturday night there are to be no photos taken at the party unless blessed by their pope of publicity. Even then you have to be escorted around the room. But early signs are indicating that this may be the Super “WOW” event(s) of the week.
Driving past a lineup of Audis and down the driveway, more chilled valets are on hand to take vehicles. Carl Sewell is out front. When someone asked if he’s the evening’s greeter, he replies he’s leaving, “if I ever get my car.”
Inside the front door, lasses in charge of checking off names are dressed in standard pr munchkin attire — conservative black cocktail dresses and high heels. Of course, they’re adorable and cheerful. They worry about Friday night when they’ll have to greet guests outdoors.
Wandering around the ground level, it becomes apparent that this is a very well-heeled group of business and art leaders with the likes of Jennifer and John Eagle talking with Ana and Don Carty. On the second level, Jaap van Zweden reports that his arm is doing nicely.
Kenny Goss is approached about the Prince concert the next night benefiting Kenny’s Goss-Michael Foundation. Kenny says, “I don’t know Prince. I just know his music. George (Michael — Kenny’s partner) knows him.” All he reallyknows is the concert has been moved from a tent at the former Reunion site to the InterContinental Hotel. A promoter (Chris Arnold) is handling all this and Kenny doesn’t know the details. (Editor’s note: Just 24 hours later, the concert would be canceled, rescheduled and then canceled again.)