Fall in Dallas is that awkward transition period between summer’s scorching heat and winter’s down-to-the-bone chills. So, how would one describe this period? Think of a scene from Tennessee Williams with the humidity as high as Reunion Tower comforted by thermometers flirting with the three-digit mark.
While most normal human beings perspire like a nervous cheerleader at her first football game, the fundraising folks seem to coat their bodies with antiperspirant. They’re just naturally cool and proved it Wednesday night at two gatherings.
Signature Chefs Auction Sponsor Party
In the past Tracy and Kent Rathbun have hosted the annual March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction Sponsor Party at their Heights at Park Lane palace in the sky across from NorthPark. It was fabulous with a wrap-around covered terrace, fireplace and spectacular view. But it was only temporary, while their dream home was being designed and built. As the Rathbuns are in the final stages of moving from sky-high digs to ground-level home-sweet-home, it was decided to hold the event around the corner at the Aqua Lounge in The Flats, where the kitchen sizzled and the icy drinks made the rounds.
Since Tracy had to work, Kent represented the family with 145 in attendance.
Luckily, the heavy lifting for the March of Dimes October 24th fundraiser at the Omni Dallas Hotel was finished this summer, the event having sold out in record time. In fact they even increased the attendance from last year’s 800 to this year’s 910.
But why not? After all, this is the 75th anniversary of March of Dimes and the co-chairs are Drs. Lisa and David Genecov and Tracy and Jay Bell. They’ve arranged to have Drs. Jennifer and Tom Herrernan as the 2013 Ambassador Family, who will “share their story during the Fund the Mission segment” about their daughter Genevieve, who was born about four months early weighing just 15.3 ounces. Today Genevieve is “a thriving 5-year old” thanks to the work of the March of Dimes.
When asked what their fundraising goal was this year, it was unanimous that they were out to beat last year’s total of $620,000.
With Kent, Tracy, the Genecovs, the Bells and the star-quality chefs (Eric Brandt, Bistro 31; Tim Byres, Smoke; Richard Chamberlain, Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House / Fish Market Grill; Samir Dhurandhar, Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse; Kevin Garvin, Neiman Marcus Restaurants; Gilbert Garza, Suze Restaurant; Scott Gottlich, Bijoux; Jeff Harris, Bolsa; Dwight Harvey, Off the Bone Barbeque; David Holben, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House; TJ Lengnick, Shinsei Restaurant; Matt McCallister, FT33; Stephan Pyles, Stephan Pyles Concepts; Abraham Salum, Komali Restaurant/Salum Restaurant; Jim Severson, Sevy’s Grill; Daniel Tarasevich, The Second Floor Bistro & Bar; Nathan Tate, Boulevardier; Anthony Van Camp, SĒR Steak + Spirits; Chris Vogeli, III Forks; and Jason Weaver, Texas Spice) planned, that number should be reached without much trouble.
Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show and Luncheon Patron Party
And the heat continued through the night at the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show and Luncheon Patron Party. Yes, the fashions at the party were indeed hot, but the guests maintained their cool in Elizabeth and Jeff Fronterhouse’s home. Blending Park Cities tradition with modern art, the place was a wee bit difficult to take in because of the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd.
With the event hosted by JP Morgan Chase, it was only natural that Chase queen bee Elaine Agather was at the front door to greet one and all. She seems to know simply everyone!
As a warm-up for the next day’s CCB Fashion Show and Luncheon at Neiman Marcus Downtown, the guests were dressed to the hilt. Erin Mathews was in a short black Chanel. . . Kate Rose Marquez was sporting a new short hairdo. Seems she went to the Johnny Rodriquez salon for a trim and ended up getting it “chopped off.” Before heading off, she revealed that the Community Partners of Dallas’ “Change is Good” is already way ahead of last year’s fundraiser. . Best Dressed Pam Perella was in a raspberry Lanvin with Sergio Rossi heels that she described as “sparkly booties.”
Speaking of the BD’s themselves, new gal on the list Mary Clare Finney was asked if she was nervous about the next day’s fashion show and runway action. Without missing a beat, she said, “I was until the rehearsal today. Now I’m not.”
Still another giggled about the elevated mirrored runway and the warning that all should wear appropriate undies. Oh, really, please! This isn’t the parochial school days when patent leather shoes were peepholes to the unknown!
Another newbie for the CCB Fashion Show and Luncheon was Neiman Marcus Downtown store GM Jeff Byron, who admitted that everything was moving along perfectly. No, Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton wouldn’t be on hand, he said. After all, her new responsibilities as a mommy of twins were keeping her close to London. However, “some key people from New York” from McQueen would be on hand, in addition to Vanity Fair’s Amy Collins Fine.
For CCB Chair Caren Kline, the evening and next day were a family affair. Mom Bettye Whiteman and sister Dale Pinto were in from New York City. Caren admitted that she relies on Dale for fashion advice. Her taxi shoes were the direct result of Dale’s input.
Annette and Harold Simmons tried to make a quick exit but failed miserably. Everyone wanted to talk with her and husband Harold. They spent most of the summer at their Santa Barbara home. And, to put to bed the rumor — no, her SB neighbor Oprah didn’t drop by for dinner during her Megafest stopover.
Emilynn Wilson was talking about the new addition to the Wilson household — four-month-old Baxter, a miniature Australian Shepherd with sky-blue eyes. She and husband Claude had had an Aussie and decided to downsize to the mini version. Emilynn admitted that of all the dogs she’s had, Baxter is the most stubborn. With a smile, she added that it may be due to the fact that the wee pooch is also the smartest dog they’ve owned.
And the cat crowd was also well represented. Katherine Coker told how her cat, Happy, adopted the household two years ago during the ice storm. Seems he just arrived on the Coker front porch and eventually moved in. According to Katherine, Happy is really a dog in a cat’s body.
As a slice of the moon floated above the Fronterhouse home, guests called it an evening early. After all, the next day was going to be jampacked.
* Photo credit: George Fiala