The tsunami of events continues with three-a-days becoming the norm. Due to the MSC elves working in overdrive and the MSC community in need of info, we’re launching MSC Round Robin for those occasions when there are a slew of events taking place at one time.
First out of the gate is Tuesday, October 25, that had Dallas’ boldfacers gathering for everything from Curtain Call’s 2012 plans, Zoo-To-Do’s updates to Crystal Charity Ball’s sneak peak of luxury silent auction items.
Curtain Call Announcement Party
The announcement party for the Dallas Summer Musical’s 2012 Curtain Call had all the inklings that the Saturday, March 31, fundraiser would have an Asian headliner. After all, it was being held at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the theme was “Honor the Children in the Year of the Dragon” and members of the staff like Development Director Melinda Ogden were in beautiful costumes.
Ah, but no. It seems that Curtain Call Co-chair Sandy Watson had ventured into the DSM warehouse two years ago and discovered $800K worth of hand-beaded costumes that the DSM owned from its “Flower Drum Song” production. So, she thought it would provide a marvelous look to support the theme and the purpose of the gala — to bring the Best of Broadway to Dallas and provide for children’s education and outreach programs.
Before announcing the plans for the gala, Co-chair Steve Watson recalled his parents started going to the DSM back in 1951 and how the production of “Oklahoma!” with its tornado scene made such an impression on him as a youngster. Fast-forward to 1989 when he “seriously” started getting season tickets and now to 2011 when he and Sandy are heading up the major fundraiser.
But you’re still wondering who is going to razzle-dazzle at Curtain Call. None other than gorgeous and talented Vanessa Williams, who has performed on Broadway and in films and television series like “Desperate Housewives.”
Zoo-To-Do Underwriters’ Patrons Party
The Dallas Zoo Executive Director Gregg Hudson had a long day Tuesday. Earlier in the day Koko, a 25-year old chimp, had escaped from her cage. Declaring a Code Red situation, the staff immediately got the errant zoo resident back home with the general public never in danger.
There was no truth to the rumor that she was headed to the Zoo-To-Do announcement party at Jennifer and John Eagles’ nest, where staff members serve as lifeguards making sure no one slips into the dining-room pool as they cross the marble walkway into the living room.
The great thing about the Edward Durrell Stone-designed home, besides the art and the graciousness of the Eagles, is the white spiral stairway in the living room. Yes, it does provide access to the upstairs, but it also serves as a great place to make announcements. There is one step in particular that seems to be a favorite, where speakers can be seen easily from all parts of the room.
In this case, Dallas Zoological Society Board Chair Jennifer Burr Altabef announced that the Zoo-To-Do’s “ZTD Goes Hollywood” at the Wilds of Africa Plaza on Saturday, November 5, would be celebrating its 20th anniversary with Honorary Chef Jim “Sevy” Severson and 25 other top chefs providing the food, literally. Often in chef-cooking events, the organization has to arrange funding for the food products, but in this case the chefs and their restaurants provide for the whole kit-and-kaboodle.
Jennifer also went on to say that in addition to Neiman’s hosting the cocktail reception at the Giants of Savanna exhibit the night of the event, Hermes’ Martha Fordyce had arranged for zoo-themed scarves and ties to be created especially for the event with 20% of sale proceeds going to the zoo.
Gregg replaced Jennifer on the staircase and thanked the core supporters saying their efforts have resulted in attendance records already being broken as of September 30 by 100,000.
Zoo-To-Do Co-chair Mike Gruber, with
wife/Co-chair Diane watching from the floor, took to the staircase and thanked the many who had supported them including Honorary Chair Ruth Mutch, who lives most of the year in Sheridan, Wyoming. He reminded the gathered group that zoo attendance had grown from 400,000 in 1993-1994, 500,000 in the mid-2000’s and now nearly 800,000 so far in 2011.
For the business-oriented in the audience, Mike added that underwriting for the event stood at $730,000 and suggested that the evening’s silent and live auctions should boost that number even higher.
Since this was an animal-oriented group, it was predictable that talk among the guests would touch on critters. Holly Reed was still reeling from her recent falconing weekend in New York, thanks to a New Zealand gal-pal’s purchasing the adventure at an charity auction. They were supposed to be at Bobby Kennedy Jr.‘s place, but he suggested they venture over to his friend Glenn Close‘s, since the Kennedy and Close kids were friends. Glenn couldn’t have been more accommodating and charming. When she heard that one of her guests was from New Zealand and the New Zealand team had just won the Rugby League World Cup, Glenn went upstairs and returned wearing a New Zealand rugby shirt.
But the highlight of the Close encounter for Holly was seeing the infamous knife from “Fatal Attraction” on display . . . and in a frame.
Crystal Charity Ball’s 2011 Luxury Silent Auction Preview
In the gem neighborhood bordered by Highland Park Village on the south and NorthPark on the north, there is a new kid on Preston Road- the Diamond Doctor. Formerly located in the Galleria for 10 years, DD relocated to Preston Center last month when owner David Blank bought and renovated the 7,000-square-foot, two-story building after Washington Mutual went out of business.
With nary a timepiece in sight, the place dazzles with gems of all cuts, carats and clarity. Why, even earlier on Tuesday, Louise Eiseman of the NorthPark Eisemans was in to check out the baubles. And you know Louise knows her gems from amethyst to zirconia.
So it was only appropriate that the Crystal Charity Ball had a sneak preview of its luxury silent auction items amid the high-intensity lights and multimillion-dollar diamonds just waiting to be worn.
David, who was on crutches after roughhousing with his son, pointed to one necklace of gold and diamonds, close to 70 carats, that had been made by the DD staff. Had it been offered by a nationally-renowned jewelry retailer, he suggested that the price range would be floating around $2M. But at DD, it could be picked up for a cool $750K.
BTW, if you’re wondering why it’s called the Diamond Doctor, it’s not because diamonds, sapphires and emeralds have physicals or get vaccinated there. Nope. David’s dad was a physician back in South Africa and he just considered the name Diamond Doctor to be a tribute to his father.
As for the CCB ladies, they were in countdown mode for the December 3 mega-gala. CCB Chair Connie O’Neill was still keeping deets about the ball under wraps, but did admit that the holidays were her favorite time of the year since “it’s all about family, celebration, gratitude and thankfulness.” Thus the theme “Tis the Season.”
But the gift giving has already started. As the couples boarded their vehicles to head home, they were presented with a sizable, gift-wrapped package compliments of David and the DD staff. One person asked if it was an appliance since it was heavier than a box of chocolates. Well, sorta. Looked like a Tassimo, but it was a Jewel Jet steam cleaner and in some households that’s as important as a microwave.