The walls of the Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom were lined with world-famous handbags along with backpacks and all types of extras on Saturday, March 28. The occasion was the 10th Anniversary of Heroes for Children. But unlike years past, the annual luncheon was a nighttime seated dinner hoop-la that included an equal number of men. The hope had been to have 500 in attendance. Instead they hit the 600 mark including Gina and Ken Betts, Lori and Jerry Jones Jr., D’Andra Simmons Lock and Jeremy Lock and Brooke and Aaron Shelby.
Co-Chairs Skye Brewer and Jennifer Dix had envisioned loads of gently experienced couture purses from friends. And, boy, did they deliver. Such brands as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Judith Leiber, Jimmy Choo, Alexander McQueen, Ralph Lauren, Valentino and Victoria Beckham were up for bid in the silent auction amounting to 100 bags valued at $170,000. When Lisa Cooley was asked how many she had donated, the petite blonde smiled and said, “A few.”
Jeri Kleiman was in a Lela Rose that she’d had Michael Faircloth doll up with features to give a peacock feel. Husband Dr. David admitted that it was going to be an early event because he was slated for 24 surgeries the next morning…Pete Foster was talking about the overhauling of the Foster kitchen that should be completed in four weeks with the addition of a Thermador gas range. In addition to the range, the Fosters have added a new puppy to the household. Their older pooch, Sparky, and the family cat are helping train the new pup…Speaking of canine additions, Katherine Coker reported that Coker had been joined by four-year-old Max, a King Charles Spaniel. It seems when Katherine takes Max for a walk, the family cat “Happy” strolls along with them….Clay Cooley told how his oldest son had left his law practice to join the family business. But on this night it was daughter Ciara Cooley who was on stage with her dad to introduce the night’s entertainment …Speaking of daughters, Skye and Bill Brewer‘s girls (Marie Brewer and Madalyn Brewer) were on hand for the festivities…Suzanne Palmlund in true blue was with Linda Ivy, who looked like sunshine wearing a mink jacket dyed yellow. The red-haired Linda admitted that she “felt like Sis Carr!”, who has a reputation for favoring yellow down to her nail polish…Cindy Stager decided to sparkle in glitter and rhinestone because the day had been a drag. She also arranged to have a bottle of champagne at their table to celebrate Kristen Johnston Sanger’s birthday.
Following Skye’s and Jennifer’s welcome, Heroes for Children founders Jenny Dowen and Larissa Linton recalled 10 years ago when the loss of their little daughters Allie Scott and Taylor Brewton to cancer had been the inspiration to help other families facing the battle against childhood cancer. They then awarded the 2015 Spirit of Allie and Taylor Award to Elaine and Jim Turner, co-founders of Elaine Turner Handbags in Houston. The Turners have been involved and supported Heroes For Children both in Houston and Dallas including providing female guests with $178 Bella gold purses as favors.
Too adorable Luke Lange, son of Honorary Co-Chairs Tracy and Ben Lange, spoke about his battle with cancer. If they’re ever looking for a replacement for Ryan Secrest, Luke is the one!
Next Jenny and Larissa presented the Legacy of Love Award to Dr. Stan Goldman of Medical City Children’s Hospital. It was Stan who took care of Allie and Taylor during their illnesses. At one point, he “even spent an afternoon babysitting Allie, so her mom, Jenny, could take a shower and have a quiet moment in the hospital.”
As promised, “Speed Painter” Dan Dunn from the Jimmy Fallon Show appeared on the stage to the left of the main stage. As kids sat at the base of the stage, they as well as the adults were mesmerized as Dan painted on the rotating canvases, producing three mammoth paintings — Ray Charles, Lady Liberty and a longhorn with the Dallas skyline in the background — in a matter of minutes. The paintings, not the kids, were purchased in a live auction with Bill Brewer snapping up the longhorn. Skye claimed that it was headed to Bill’s New York office to add a touch of Texas to the Big Apple.
The final surprise of the night was the presentation of Hopdoddy Burger Bar’s check for $41,794. For each burger sold, a dollar was donated to Heroes for Children.