The weather on Tuesday, February 16, was major payback for the St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon’s years of Mother Nature’s dumping ice storms and freezing temperatures on the Leukemia and Lymphoma North Texas fundraiser.
Some still recall how the pashmina favors the year that Rainey Fogiel and Natalie Fogiel co-chaired the event became necessities instead of perks thanks to frigid conditions.
But still the weather on this day was ideal. Sure, it was a couple of days after St. V-day, but who was gonna have the event on Sunday? And then there was the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday, February 15. So, the Tuesday pick made perfect sense.
But not to worry. The flourish of reds and pinks was sparkling in the Meyerson lobby at the pre-show reception. Of course, it didn’t hurt to have flutes of champagne adding sparkle to the crowd.
Going against the typical Valentine colors was Co-Chair Gina Betts in a St. John turquoise dress and coat bottomed off with splashy Jimmy Choo stilettos and matching purse.
Despite the smile and the day’s glow, Gina had had a rough few days. Seems the attorney had had plans to celebrate her anniversary with husband Ken Betts in Los Cabos. But just hours before taking off, she was hospitalized, with her doc saying “No way” to the trip. The Betts family trips seem to be jinxed. They had scheduled Christmas in Paris, but the November 13th terrorist attack squashed that and now this one.
Speaking of clothes, Lisa Cooley and Cara French had stories about the fine art of mother-daughter sharing. While Cooley daughter Ciara Cooley considers Lisa’s closet a type of fashion lending library, Cara admitted that she was wearing her mother Prissy Gravely’s coat.
Speaking of mother-daughters on the scene, Lee Bailey and daughter Leigh Bailey Carrizales reported that mama Lee’s Turtle Creek palazzo was on the market. Talk about fabulous on steroids with a wondrous spot on Turtle Creek. Wonder if Lee’s black swan, Ziggy, goes with the estate?
Another sale item but not tagged with four figures were Spirit of Tom Landry Awardee Luke Lange’s so very uber-friendly Luke’s Fast Breaks T-shirts. At the patron party the week before, Luke had sold $2,500 worth of the shirts. What’s so special about the T-shirts? Not only are they designed to accommodate leukemia/lymphoma patients going through treatments, but when purchased for $25 they are given to the patients free with the moola going in toto to the leukemia and lymphoma research.
But not all of the day’s awardees were on hand to celebrate the sunshine. The late Ed Robinson, who was the recipient of the 2016 Memorial Hero Award, was honored with the presence of his family and friends like Frank Risch. As Frank put it, Ed had been his associate at Exxon, but he had also been a great friend.
Sidley Austin Attorney Yvette Ostolaza revealed that her buddy/Underwriting Chair Heather Randall had not only gotten her on board for the law firm to co-sponsor the meal with Trinity Industries, but Heather would be chairing the 2017 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon. Had they selected a date? Not yet, but stay tuned.
A much slimmer Kent Rathbun arrived and reported that after losing 100 pounds, he still wanted to shed 30 more. When asked how the dramatic weight loss hadn’t resulted in a sagging skin, Kent claimed that it had been a result of his working out over the year. As he put it, the healthy guy had always been there, just under extra layers.
Ray Washburne was on the phone but also on the scene for the HP Village fashion show. Unfortunately, he had to duck out before the show got underway.
Arriving to the delight of photographers was Nancy Rogers with Event Co-Chair Michael Flores. Before heading to the lobby, Nancy was found chatting with Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein. Made sense. Nancy and her bud Gina Betts are chairing the Genesis Luncheon featuring Tyler Perry. Wasn’t it interesting that just a few days after the St. V-Day event, it was announced that Nancy and husband Richard Rogers were offering a million-dollar match for any donations/sponsorships given to the Genesis Luncheon?
But back to the St. V-day festivities. As a trio of Carolina Herrera-gowned models were on display in the reception area, the Meyerson chimes called all to the McDermott Hall for the Jan Strimple-produced program. It was running just a tad bit behind schedule due to a traffic kerfuffle resulting from a nearby funeral procession.
Eventually all were seated and the show was underway with KDFW’s Clarice Tinsley doing the emcee duties. After good words from Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Chief Relationship Officer Mark Roithmayr, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society North Texas Executive Director Dr. Patricia Thomson, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society North Texas Board Chair Erin Ragsdale, Gina and Michael, the awards were presented to:
- Accepting the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award presented by Park Place Motor Cards for his father George Alden Ryan, St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon Honorary Co-Chair Brint Ryan admitted that his dad had indeed had his ups-and-down but he was rising to the challenge. Adding to George’s own battle with chronic myeloid leukemia was the loss this past winter of his good friend Brint’s father-in-law to cancer.
- Surrounded by her family, Ruth Robinson graciously accepted the Memorial Hero Award presented by Robyn and Don Conlon for her late husband Edgar Robinson. The former community leader and ExxonMobil executive succumbed to leukemia and lymphoma on April 19, 2015.
- And then there was Luke, who stole the show with his smile and his story of raising thousands of dollars to fight cancer. The youngster admitted that he was truly honored by being awarded the Spirit of Tom Landry Award presented by Baker Botts. He revealed that when Gina had called his folks about his being chosen for the award named after the late Dallas Cowboys coach, he heard that Gina was so pleased that she cried and according to his folks “that was evidently not typical of Gina.”
After a call-to-action for members of the audience to join “the team against leukemia/lymphoma” resulting in $195,000,” the fashion show of Highland Park Village fashions from Alice and Olivia, Carolina Herrera, Ermenegildo Zegna, Hadleigh’s, Hadleigh’s Kids, Market and St. John was underway.
As usual, the munchkins in the show held their own alongside the willowy professional models. These kids knew how to work the runway with hands on hips and flirty smiles.
But before the models did their finale, Luke’s dad Ben Lange hustled out the door to man the sale of Luke’s T-shirts in the lobby. After all, every cent counts when it comes to shutting down leukemia and lymphoma.
For lots more photos from the St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon fundraiser, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.