The spring winds were flirting with a vengeance, giving hairstyles a fit at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Now, normally it wouldn’t be a problem for guests. They would slip between their cars and the valet drop-off and walk just a few yards into the place. But, alas, there was no valet, so guests discovered the back world of parking at the museum.
Luckily, this was a hearty group with an equal number of gals and gents, so they braced follicles and skirts as they made their way around the filled parking to the entrance. It was well worth it.
The 39th Annual Father of the Year Awards Luncheon not only paid tribute to Dallas dads — Joel Allison, Dan Novakov and Mayor Mike Rawlings — it also benefited the honorees’ pet charities. This year those were Faith in Action initiatives at Baylor Health Care System Foundation for Joel, Bishop Dunne Catholic School for Dan and Genesis Women’s Shelter for Mike. Funds also went to the Father of the Year Scholarship recipient Noemi Rosales Santillan and Sylvan Landau Founder’s Scholarship recipient Paige Scott.
After a VIP reception on the upper level, lunch was underway. Well, sorta.
The first attempt at the video presentation of the beneficiaries looked great but there was no sound. Quick-thinking emcee Scott Murray quickly took control, saying that the video wasn’t quite right and for guests to settle back for lunching on salad, grilled chicken with cilantro cream sauce, glazed carrots and roasted garlic mashers. In the crowd were Robin Robinson, Jan Langbein, Susan Wells Jenevein, Debbie Oates, Louise Griffeth, Linda Secret, Tom Dunning, Cynthia and Brice Beaird and past recipients like Stan Levenson and Crawford Brock.
A few minutes later the video made a second try, but this time the video started where it had left off. Doug Murray hit a couple of buttons at the production table and all was right.
In the meantime, the honorees were joined by their families at front row tables. Joel had been prepared for his sons Blake Allison and Brent Allison but daughter/Austinite Celeste Allison surprised him.
As Dallas’ First Lady Micki Rawlings looked on, honoree Mike posed for photos with daughter Michelle Rawlings and son Gunnar Rawlings.
Over at the Novakov table, Dan was surrounded by three generations including mom-in-law Isabell Haggar, kids Isabell Novakov and Daniel Novakov along with Dan’s wife Lydia Novakov, whom Dan described as the quarterback of Team Novakov. When asked about her dad being named Father of the Year, Isabell N. smiled mischievously and replied, “That makes me the ‘Daughter of the Year.’”
If you’d like to see just who else has been honored since 1976, an exhibition of the FOTY portraits will be on display through Father’s Day weekend at NorthPark.