According to Omni Hotel parking czars Michael and Jason, the construction along Lamar is destined to finish one of these days. Actually, the future promises much relief for the mega-hotel. In addition to more restaurants above ground, there will be underground parking for hundreds. In the meantime, it’s Uber headed toward the door next to The Owners Box, self-parking to the back of the hotel and the rest directed to the four-lane porte-cochere.
Saturday, October 25, both Michael and Jason had more than the usual hoop-la and overnighting guests. They had some very strange looking guests on the driveway ranging from western wear to totally ghoulish types.
St. Jude’s Under The Star
Boots, leather and turquoise was the look for those 950 guests herded in the lobby in front of the Dallas Ballroom for St. Jude Evening Under The Stars. As longtime St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital supporters like the Haggar clan (Lydia and Dan Novakov, Isabell Novakov, Isabell Haggar, Helen Werby and Joanne Smith), others like Honorary Co-Chair Diane Gruber and Kathy and Bobby Stout checked out the never-ending silent auction.
Former Brinker International Chairman/CEO Doug Brooks, who officially retired a year ago, reported that he was still consulting Brinker and was officing there. In addition to his consulting the restaurant conglomerate, he was on the board of Southwest Airlines, Club Corp and St. Jude.
Just a few feet away Gala Chairs Cindy and Charles Feld were chatting with Honorary Co-Chair Mike Gruber. Ellen and Don Winspear were clad in boots, turquoise and suede, a far cry from their black tie look the night before at the Dallas Opera’s First Night.
At 7 p.m., the crowd moved into the ballroom for dinner (watercress and endive salad with local feta cheese, blueberry and butternut squash and port cinnamon vinaigrette; braised short rib and grilled gulf coast shrimp, sweet corn spoonbread and braised root vegetables, natural jus; and pumpkin, ginger and caramel mousses layered in a martini glass with Chantilly crème) and a special presentation by St. Jude President/CEO Richard Shadyac Jr. and Craig Dismuke and his son Ingram, who had sought help at St. Jude for Ingram’s a rare form of brain cancer. The entire Dismuke’s family got involved in Ingram’s battle. Craig and his wife Ashley had run in the 2011 St. Jude Memphis Marathon to help others seeking healthcare for their children at St. Jude. Just months later, they would get the news of Ingram’s tumor. Ingram’s big sisters Madison and Lindsey decided they could help their brother and the St. Jude team by raising money. By creating videos and making presentation, the two raised more than $220,000 for the 2012 St. Jude Memphis Marathon.
Following the live auction, Duck Soup took over for the western types to party into the night.
Just down the Omni’s third-floor hallway leading to the Trinity Ballroom, a motley crew of 500 walked the black carpet for the Arthritis Foundation’s annual Bone Bash thanks to Co-Chairs Chelsea Hunt and Allison Richie.
The people really love to dress up and take their Halloween costumes very seriously. Who would ever guess these a highly regarded healthcare providers and vendors!
Since Halloween was still six days away, these folks were all ready to trick ‘n treat.
Pirates seemed to abound with Angie and Jeff Woverton and Cara and James Berman. Jennifer and Zach Miller and Eloise and Ryan Miller made the mummy look seem downright hot. Even trying to strike a threatening pose, the foursome looked more like models boasting the new look for the runway.
On the other hand, “tacky tourists” Peggy Presson and Tom Stutz went the other extreme with their artificially enhanced waistlines, coconut receptacles, seaside suits, straw hats and shirts reading, “Which way to the buffet?” Jimmy Buffet would eaten it up.
When revolutionary soldiers Dr. Craig Troop was asked if he was indeed a revolutionary, he replied, “Yes I want to over overthrow the Democrats!”
Tim Jerome towered above many in his Ayatollah garb describing himself as, “I am Osama Has-Been. Osama meets a hippie.”
Other characters of the night haunting about included a samurai (Jason Warren), Addams Family’s Morticia and Lurch (Velma and Dave Ellett), pirate rocker (Brad Jensen) and Catwoman on the arm of The Joker (Tyna and Steve Chenoweth).
Humor award of the night had to go to Richard Stern, who came as a “deviled egg”.
As Omni overnight guests settled won for an adult refreshment in the Lobby Lounge, their heads kept turning to catch the parade of Sr. Jude buckaroos and Bone Bash characters. Talk about cheap thrills.