This Thursday was a real test for fundraisers. It seemed like a collision of comets hitting the city with Les Femmes du Monde honoring Mary Lee Cox at the Dallas Country Club, Attitudes & Attire’s Kick-Off reception at Maggiano’s NorthPark, Treasure Street at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and the following …
Dallas Opera Patron Party
A problem with the Dallas Arts District is that it’s way too popular at times, especially at night. Both the foot- and mobile-traffic trying to get around is worse than rush hour any day of the week. And this evening was a primo example. Here the Dallas Opera was honoring its patrons at a party in the Thompson Knight offices high atop One Arts Plaza. Getting there was a challenge. Other activities in the Arts District had closed down the retail-office circular drive, so the ever dependable parkers were nowhere in sight. After circling the building, two young women sans purses or briefcases were spotted chatting at the entrance of the building’s parking lot. If asked they responded, “Yes, this is the place to park for the Dallas Opera party.” Then they went back chatting. Perhaps they were guests just waiting for spouses/dates. One usually cool, calm and gracious gentleman seemed huffy as he approached the elevator bank by the perceived obstacle course he had to overcome just to get to the reception.
Once in the reception it was an opera lover’s paradise. First Sight/First Night fundraiser Chair Lynn Mock revealed that the new fashion-oriented format has been expanded to include a luncheon and fashion show on Thursday, October 24, at the Winspear, having been created to evoke “the elegance and glamour of opera.” She explained that the combination of fashion and opera is a “gateway” for people to learn more about the opera — “Both fashion and opera thrive on high drama and visual spectacle.”
For the fashion extravaganza, Fashion Show Producer Rhonda Sargent Chambers was arranging for five gowns by five area designers (Elizabeth Anyaa, Michael Faircloth, Abi Ferrin, Khanh Nguyen and Nicolas Villalba) plus Escada’s 2014 resort collection to be on the runway. Lynn added that the Escada boutique in Highland Park Village would be donating 10% of the proceeds that day to the Dallas Opera. And what would happen to the five designer gowns? Heritage Auctions will be auctioning them off as well as some of the sketches and other items.
Another change in this year’s First Sight/First Night program was that the following night’s black tie gala would have a seated dinner prior to the opening performance of “Carmen,” with the simulcast of the opera being shown free in Klyde Warren Park. Following the performance, an after-party would be held in a tent constructed over the Winspear reflection pond. In addition to the Dallas String Quartet entertaining at the post-opera party, there would be an omelet station, desserts, champagne, wine and coffee until early the following morning.
After DO General Director/CEO Keith Cerny welcomed the 100 guests, he introduce soprano Danielle Pastin, who will debut in the role of Frasquita in “Carmen.” With a baby grand in the Thompson Knight lobby and Christopher Devlin at the keyboard, Danielle sand “several French and Italian opera arias” including “a lovely rendition of Nedda’s ‘Bird Song’ from ‘Pagliacci’.”
But it wasn’t all opera and black-tie gala that was on the tips of tongues. DO Music Director Emmanuel Villaume had taken a rare break from rehearsals and visited the State Fair. When the elegant Frenchman sampled one of the fair’s delicacies — a fried Cuban roll — he reviewed it as, “This is disturbing, but I can’t stop eating it!”
As guests like Patti and Blaine Nelson departed for their cars in the valet parking area, the two gals were still chatting.
Junior League of Dallas Past Presidents And Ball Chairs
Crow family matriarch Margaret Crow opened her Park Cities estate for the Junior League of Dallas’ annual party to honor JLD past presidents and ball chairs. Despite Margaret’s sending her regrets that she was unable to attend, the JLD President Laura Johnson and her gals carried on in her stead beautifully. Included in the collection of past presidents were Dee Collins Torbert (1958-1959) and Kay Gilbert (1964-1965).
When asked her goal, Laura, who has been with JLD for 16 years, said, “We want to continue to carry on our mission in the Dallas community and our commitment to the nonprofit agencies.”
Expecting 55 to 65 guests, it was a coming-and-going event with other must-attend activities.
During brief remarks in the living room, JLD Ball Chair Wendy Messman revealed the February 22 gala would be entitled “The Marvelous City” with a Rio theme. The 11-year veteran reported they’re expecting around 1,000 to attend to celebrate “the people, the innovation, the spirit of Dallas.” The plan calls for them to “raise as much as we can. $1.5M would be great!” After all, JLD’s goal is to provide $1M to 42 different agencies.
Honorary Co-Chairs of the ball will be Margaret Crow and Katherine LaLonde.
But the evening’s subjects were not limited to JLD only. Marriage was a chief topic — Susan Wells Jenevein and her new husband Bob Jenevin talking about their recent nuptials and D’Andra Simmons and fiancé Jeremy Locke smiling about their soon-to-be wedding.
Cancer Support Community Announcement Party
Since it was such a busy night, MSC relied on this field report about the Cancer Support Community event:
“On Thursday evening, Beth and Jean-Claude Saada (Chairman and CEO of healthcare real estate developer Cambridge Holdings, Inc.) opened their Bluffview home to a select group of individuals brought together to learn about the collaboration between Texas Health Resources and Cancer Support Community, North Texas.
“Cancer Support Community and Texas Health Resources have joined together to offer cancer patients and their loved ones not only highly comprehensive cancer care but also the support critical to positive outcomes and quality of life. The Cambridge Mindful Living Foundation is leading fund-raising efforts for the collaboration. The psycho-social support provided by Cancer Support Community will augment Texas Health Resources philosophy of patient-centered medicine.
“We all remember the original Gilda’s Club, now Cancer Support Community. This year, Cancer Support Community sold their original location on Oak Lawn as part of a strategic plan to spread locations throughout North Texas. Thanks to the generous gift from The Cambridge Mindful Living Foundation, the newest Cancer Support Community location is now open at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance and the organization will also be located in Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas Hospital’s new Cancer Center opening in 2014. CSC is now located on Texas Health Resource campuses in Dallas, Collin and Tarrant Counties.
“Guests included Southlake Mayor Laura Wheat and her husband Doug Wheat. Laura was a founding member of Gilda’s Club and continues as a stalwart supporter of its growth into Cancer Support Community North Texas. Aileen and Jack Pratt, Ann Louden, Colleen and Charles Weaver, Jay McAuley, Dave Ashworth and Janet Moll, Mary Lynn Vaughan and Nancy Dennis were all part of the gathering.”
* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman