The floodgates of Dallas fundraising were wide open on Thursday, March 27. Perhaps it was to make up for the spring break week, where it seemed like the wheels came to barely moving. Or, perhaps it was due to the approaching tsunami of activities on the April calendar starting with the Final Four and Dallas International Film Festival. Whatever the reason, this Thursday evening tested the well-heeled in racing all over town.
Dallas Opera Spring Gala Patron Party
Over at Anne and Steve Stodghill’s mansion, it was a true celebration for the patrons of the Dallas Opera Spring Gala. While waiting for DO General Director/President Keith Cerny to arrive, Gala Co-Chairs Betty and Steve Suellentrop handled the welcome duties and pianist Jason Smith played in the background.
And at one point it appeared like the real action was taking place in the entry hall.
One cute couple, who seemed to glow as they arrived, were Meg and Jay Hunter Morris. As the door opened, the operatic crowd looked thrilled and the Morrises seemed so cool. That is, until the valet tapped Jay on the shoulder and whispered something about keys for the car. Oops, seems the operatic tenor had left the car but taken the keys. Now, most folks would have looked embarrassed at the faux pas, but the Morrises aren’t most folks. With a laugh and apology, Jay handed over the keys and joined the guests.
But then what would you expect from a fella from Paris, Texas? It was in Dallas that Jay, as a youngster, first experienced opera years ago. On Friday, April 5, he was to perform a private recital for the Dallas Opera Spring gala.
At the party presented by Eiseman Jewels and Vacheron Constantin, it was no surprise to see jeweler Richard Eiseman immediately open the front door as Patsy Donosky arrived and drop to one knee for her. The man knows how to stage a welcome. And speaking of staging, it was pretty nifty to see the precious Vacheron timepieces safely in a couple of cases around the entry hall. And, of course, these little gems had their own “security” standing nearby.
Richard has been very busy as Eiseman prepares to celebrate its 50 anniversary. While the salon is undergoing a massive redesign and expansion to 3,200 square feet, the operation has moved to temporary digs at NorthPark, where Kate Spade had been. How convenient! It’s just next door to “Eiseman’s recently opened dedicated Rolex space.” According to Richard, the renovation is due to be completed by June.
Across the entry hall, Bank of Texas’ The Private bank Executive VP Bob White was directed to the Stodghill library, where a crowd was gathering to check out the memorabilia including the infamous “bat cave.” One guest noted the small size of the Doc Holiday ulster overcoat. Steve followed that comment with the fact that they had to have a special form created because of the small size — smaller than a woman and larger than a child.
Once Keith arrived, he welcomed the guests and thanked them for their support of the DO especially Bank of Texas, which is the 2014 Spring Gala presenting sponsor at the Winspear on April 4th.
As typical of most parties at Stodghill manor, the party extended beyond the slated closing hour with guests like Carol and Don Glendenning, John Cody, Nick Even, Marnie and Kern Wildenthanl, Betsy Eiseman and Jennifer Cerny receiving a gift bag that included “two beautiful books by Vacheron Constantin, “The Collection 2013-2014” and “Collectors’ Island: passion art excellence, Vol. 1”, as well as a complimentary valet pass for NorthPark Center.”
Women Leader Scholarship Presentation
The presentation by the Junior League of Dallas and Mary Kay Inc. at Emmett J. Conrad High School was laudable. . . in more ways than one. As part of the new JLD Women LEAD (Learn, Excel, Achieve, Dream), an oratory competition was held among eight high school students. The winning four would receive scholarships amounting to a total of $25,000.
Given three to five minutes, each of the young women presented speeches on “How My Female Role Model Overcame Obstacles to Achieve Her Goals and How It Inspires Me.”
The selection of the following winners was based on the “merit of their scholarship applications and speech presentations:
- First place ($10,000) — Deyanira Zapata-Martinez, who is deciding between the University of Texas and Texas A&M to continue her education. With a passion for math and science, she plans to major in electrical engineering and neuroscience.
- Second place ($5,000) — Lauren Jackson plans to attend Louisiana State University and major in nursing. It is her way of helping people and staying directly involved in the community.
- Third place ($5,000) — Sumayah Al Haddad will attend community college before enrolling in the University of Arlington. She has decided to pursue a career in bio-medical engineering, as she always dreamed of being in the medical field.
- Fourth place ($5,000) — Maria Monjaras is deciding between the University of Arlington and the University of Dallas and will pursue a degree in business administration. She aspires to be a successful entrepreneur.
According to JLD President Laura Johnson, “We are honored to award our first Women LEAD scholarships in collaboration with Mary Kay. It is our wish to empower these four women and help them achieve their dreams. We look forward to seeing the impact it will have on their lives and their future.”
Recess Patron Party
Patrons of the April 25th Recess fundraiser for Dallas Afterschool were in for a surprise from Amy Turner. Not only did she open her Park Cities residence for the party, she also arranged for an OMG Recess prize — a trip to Turtle Island Resort in the Fiji Islands. The gasps that arose in the living room when the announcement was made by Dallas Afterschool CEO Tanya McDonald could be heard around the Park Cities. Ah, so that was why a flat screen near the fireplace had a slideshow of the luxury resort. Someone thought it was just a collection of Amy’s latest trip.
While the mood in the room rose, so did a sly smile on Amy. Talk about looking like a cat that ate the canary! She knew she had hit a home run.
To get guests like Anne and Terry Conner, Christie Carter and Aimee Sheahan in the mood for fun and games, a magician ambled through the room performing little tricks of the trade.
Recess Co-Chairs Meredith Camp and Christina Norris have arranged to have the adult-sandbox playtime and game-playing event return to the Faye Briggs estate.
Ah, but there was more good news. Well, sorta. The individual tickets have sold out. That’s good news for those who didn’t wait to buy their tickets. That’s not so good if you waited. However, Meredith and Christina have a waitlist already for you. So, don’t wait and sign up on the wait list.
A Legendary Evening Patron Party
This report from the field came in about A Legendary Evening Patron Party:
“Antèks Home Furnishings in the Dallas Design District was the site for a cocktail reception on Thursday, March 27 honoring patrons of A Legendary Evening, benefiting Family Compass. Chairs Kristine Schwope and Heather Walther welcomed over fifty guests including honorary co-chair Marty Turco, who stopped by the event before meeting wife and fellow honorary chair, Kelly at their child’s band concert. Before Mr. Turco had to leave, board chair Adam Connatser quieted the group to thank Marty and Kelly for their support again this year of A Legendary Evening and for their commitment to Family Compass and its mission of building healthy families and a strong Dallas community by preventing child abuse and neglect.
“Guests mingled over wine and signature cocktails and a beautiful display of appetizers from Wendy Krispin Caterer while perusing the amazing selection of sophisticated rustic furniture, art and accessories. Anyone who made a purchase received a 10% discount with 10% of sale benefiting Family Compass. This generous offer from Antèks proprietor and designer Jason Lennox, is good through next Saturday, April 5.
“Later in the evening, executive director Jessica Trudeau recognized the chairs, host committee and many sponsors of “A Legendary Evening,” which is scheduled for Saturday, April 12 and recognized Spirit of Compassion award recipients Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, who were not able to attend but were represented by Terese Stevenson from their foundation. The Spirit of Compassion award is given to individuals who view the prevention of child abuse as a community responsibility and whose support exemplifies that belief.”
* Photo credit: Dana Driensky
** Photo credit: Lisa Stewart