Ah, spring has arrived. It wasn’t the first robin that signaled the start. It was the runny noses and teary eyes. Tis the time to check with your stockbroker about pharmaceutical investments.
But on this day even the worse weeds and pollen could be forgiven. The silks and sandals sprouted to the delight of event planners. But there was a cloud or two on the horizon. Sunday boded bruised clouds and fears of terrible weather.
But on Friday, April 25, the Pot of Gold for the Rainbow Days was in high gear at the Hilton Anatole for lunchtime and then the evening was stock-full of the fun with day two of the John Wayne Film Festival with the after-party at Trinity Groves with the Robert Lee Kobb band singing.
Handbags & Heroes
The Richardson-based fundraiser has amazed itself. About 10 years ago, two mothers (Larissa Linton and Jenny Dowen) bonded as they suffered the loss of their children to cancer. Turning their grief to helping others in similar situations, they created Heroes for Children. Their “biggy” fundraiser of Handbags and Heroes turned into a major success. Using smartphones for electronic bidding and purses from well-known socialites for auction items in Dallas and Houston, their brainchild grew dramatically.
This year’s “Heroes & Handbags Under the Big Top” took place at the Omni with the looking and bidding starting at 9:30 a.m..
But what was up for bid? How about a Chloe red leather handbag valued at $1,200. A Kate Spade black quilted mini-purse with a value of $318? It could have been “snagged” for $636. An adorable red lizard “jewel box” for $78? An Escada black leather handbag that was snaggable for $3,600? Or, a Nina Ricci neutral snake bag valued at $2,600?
Among those looking, bidding and looking some more were Kate Rose Marquez, Maggie Kipp, Simona Beal, Cara French, Lisa Troutt, Ashley Hunt, D’Andra Simmons, Cindy Stager, Kim Bannister, Keri Kaiser and Honorary Chair Tina “Bag Snob” Craig.
When the doors opened, the ballroom enhanced the circus theme with centerpieces and favor bags topped with toy lions. Even the luncheon menu was big-top oriented — “lemon chill” yogurt parfait with fresh seasonal berries and granola; pretzel crusted breast of chicken, whole grain mustard sauce and lobster corn dog, warm potato salad and roasted seasonal vegetables and a dessert of duo of popcorn panna cotta, caramel popcorn garnish candied apple tart and cotton candy anglaise.
When the lunch began, Luncheon Chair Andrea Weber got a bit teary eyed describing her new role of being a mom.
Larissa and Jenny presented Alison and Michael Weinstein with the Spirit of Allie and Taylor Award. Upon accepting the award, they sincerely encouraged guests to get involved.
In addition to speakers Lauren Brown and Kitty McGahey, the big news of the day was the announcement that Skye Brewer and Jennifer Dix would be co-chairing the upcoming Heroes for Children 10th anniversary celebration.
Stay tuned for deets as they develop.
When guests asked who was in charge of the glorious weather for Recess, all fingers pointed in one direction — Faye Briggs. Evidently the petite philanthropist had cut a deal with Ma Nature to make the evening perfect — not too hot, not too cold, but just right, especially at her estate for the 2nd Recess.
Even Co-Chairs Meredith Camp and Christina Norris were amazed at the perfect conditions for the Dallas AfterSchool fundraiser.
Guests included Emy Lou and Jerry Baldridge, Sarah and Alan Losinger, Amy Turner, Lynn McBee, Paige McDaniel, Joanna Clarke, Robert Weatherly, Aimee Sheahan, Nancy Gopez, Jan and Barry Baldwin and Anne and Terry Conner, who will be feted at the Can Do! Luncheon on May 13.
The gorgeous estate had become a playground with areas marked The Gym, Monkey Bar and Hopscotch Bar with drinks provided by Moët Hennessy USA, Neiman Marcus Sandbox, Art Class and Cafeteria.
The Sandbox was a big hit with Dallas’ best manicured hands grabbing shovels to dig for coins that would garner such prizes as a Waterford decanter, Ippolita sterling silver men’s wavy disc cufflinks, a $1,000 Neiman Marcus gift certificate and whole lot more. BTW, this wasn’t just any old sandbox that can be found at Toys R Us. No, siree. The NM folks had arranged for eight “budding artists, ranging in ages from 7 to 12, from Color Me Empowered to design and construct” the stained-glass mosaic sides of the sandbox.
And, yes, if you’re wondering, Color Me Empowered along with Big Thought, Bridge Lacrosse, Circle of Support, Communities in Schools, Dallas Can Academies, Dallas ISD’s After School Achievers, City of Dallas Park & Recreation, Family Place, Foundation Communities, Girls on the Run, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Heart House, Heart of a Warrior, Interfaith Housing Coalition, Jubilee Park, Junior Players, Project Transformation, Rainbow Days, Reader 2 Leaders, R.O.C.K., Voice of Hope, Wesley-Rankin Community Center, Wilkinson Center and YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas are all served by the Dallas AfterSchool program.
In addition to new silent auction items and games, there were electronic basketball games, bean bag tosses, and music and food that hit the spot with the grown-up kiddies. The Mac and Cheese Bar had smoked Gouda mac and cheese with cured ham assorted toppings. The Southern Comfort Food Station offered Gramma Minnie’s fried chicken strips, chunky Yukon potatoes with black pepper maple gravy and housemade ‘corn dogs’ with apple mustard. The Slider Station had guests lined up for hickory grilled buffalo sliders with pepperjack cheese and smoked bacon and parmesan-white truffle steak fries.
There were also games to keep the youngsters busy, like a hula hoop contest and musical chairs.
Art From The Heart
Report from the field:
“Local nonprofit Dallas Challenge held its 5th Annual ART FROM THE HEART Celebrity Art Auction & Benefit at Seven for Parties in the Dallas Design District on Friday, April 25, 2014. Co-Chairs LeeAnne Locken and Lindsay Lee McCain welcomed guests and encouraged attendees to mix and mingle with some of the celebrities and professional artists who’s [sic] work was up for grabs and enjoy bites and beverages, all while listening to tunes spun by DJ Danny Salinas. Jody Dean of KVIL, TV personality Hilary Kennedy and Melissa Poe Carson from Big Rich Texas were in attendance and working the crowd to drive up the bidding price on their artwork. Among those vying for these one-of-a-kind pieces were D’Andra Simmons Locke [sic] and new husband Jeremy Locke [sic], Rick and Janet Fresquez, J.B. [sic] Hayes, Shane Walker and Steve Kemble.
“This signature fundraising event featured an array of artwork from local and national celebrities, personalities, athletes and chefs. Wearable art was featured in the form of luxury, designer and fashion items as an interesting twist to the auction line-up. Among the artwork up for auction were pieces donated from celebrities including Willie Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, Richard Rawlings of Discovery’s Fast ‘N Loud, Chynna Phillips of Wilson Phillips, Lisa Loeb, Emmitt Smith and his family, Drew Pearson, PGS golfer David Feherty, and wearable art from Abi Ferrin, Nha Kahn [sic], SMITH II, Prashe and Status. Artwork from select professional artists such as Mary Tomás, Micheal [sic] Ledoux and Max Jones and young artists (most from Dallas Challenge youth programs) was also up for auction.
“Since 1984, Dallas Challenge has been a leading provider of programs to help youth stay in school, off drugs and alcohol and out of the criminal justice system. These programs and services are supported by the Annual ART FROM THE HEART Celebrity Art Auction & Benefit. To learn more, visit www.dallaschallenge.org.”
* Photo credit: Thomas Garza