The munchkins wandering through the Anatole toward the hotel’s Peppermint Park must have thought the Crystal Charity Ball’s “An Evening In The Alps” was part of the Park layout on Saturday, December 2. So did their parents, as they shot photos of the kids standing in front of the snowy hill scene with red sleigh tilted picture-perfect on the upper level of the Chantilly Ballroom’s lobby.
The backdrop proved to be ideal also for the CCB crowd in their finery. First to try it out was 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella and her family (husband Vin Perella, mom Carolyn Curl, dad Bob McCreath, daughter Lauren Perella with Adam Ryan and son Brandon Perella with Medley Wollenman). That was quickly followed by a snap of Pam with the members of her leadership committee (Anne Besser, Leslie Diers, Elizabeth Gambrell, Cheryl Joyner and Kristina Whitcomb).
No sooner had the final official photos been taken than the 1,500+ guests, including Diane and Hal Brierley, Barbara and Ralph Babb, Luanne and Aaron McWhorter, Wendy and Boyd Messmann, Martha and Doug Hawthorne, Liat and Amit Berger, Calee Dillon, Christina and Christopher Durovich, Lee Bailey, Brent Christopher, Robin Robinson, Lindalyn Adams with grandson Carlton Adams, Greg Bieberding, Eddie Ortega, Isabell Novakov with Trey Higginbotham, Kathleen Gibson, Kim and Greg Hext, Linda Perryman Evans, Joanna Clarke with Michael Royal, Cindy Stager with Oscar Durham, Kristen and Reed Gibbins, Kristi and Ron Hoyl, Angela Nash with Billy Martin Jr., Margot and Bill Goodwin, Louise and Guy Griffeth, Caroline Rose Hunt with Del Frnka, Karen and David Shuford, Barbara and John Stuart, John Clutts, Dr. Sami Arslanlar, Billie Leigh Rippey with daughter Paige Locke, Norma Hunt with son Dan Hunt and his wife Toni Munoz-Hunt, Brenda and Bob White, Su-Su and Jerry Meyer, Dana and Greg McGowan, Scott Everett with Kristy Lohse, Elizabeth and Paul Dougan, Susan McSherry with John Zogg, Jan and Fred Hegi, Peggy and Dr. Dan Meyer, Laura and Paul Hudson, Andrea Devaldenebro and Leonardo Gonzalez Sangri, Amy and Michael Meadows, Kimberly and Justin Whitman, Stacey and John Relton and the Neiman’s crowd (Mimi and Rich Sterling, Neva Hall and soon-to-retire Malcolm Reuben with wife Vinnie Reuben), arrived through a tree-lined entry hall that immediately set the mood with a whiff of the evergreen.
Since the evening’s temperatures didn’t require outerwear, guests bypassed the coat check and headed to the gaming tables, the lavish silent auction gallery, James French’s pop-up studio, The Alpine Shop for perusing and the rustic “warming hut” with its mountains of shrimp and buffets of other delicacies.
And, of course, there were the CCB committee members with the balloons selling chance tickets for the 2018 Lexus. CCB newbie Lisa Singleton was joined by CCB vet Lynn McBee in selling raffle tickets. Her goal was $15,000, but within the first 20 minutes she had only sold $350. A few minutes later, she had doubled that amount. Things were looking up.
CCB-ers Lisa Cooley and Alison Malone set up shop at a table to the left of the entry and next to the bar. They had come in second last year and were bound and determined to sell the most tickets this year. Not only did they, but Alison’s husband/advertising guru Mike Malone told Katherine and Key Coker that Alison won the raffle last year and it would bring them good luck to buy their ticket from her. He was right. The Cokers had the winning ticket. And, yes, Lisa and Alison sold the most tickets of the night.
Among the first-time guests in the crowd were Baylor Scott Scott and White Health CEO Jim Hinton and his wife Kristen Hinton and Dallas Summer Musical’s Ken Novice and his wife Kouy Novice. Despite having been in town just seven months, Ken reported that the DSM had just signed a 20-year partnership agreement with Broadway Across America and is planning on an aggressive outreach to young people — around Fair Park and via the Dallas Independent School District. He admitted that, “We’re going to need to increase our budget,” which means stepping up fundraising efforts. He also wants to update the Music Hall at Fair Park, including changes in parking and traffic flows and increasing seating capacity.
And speaking of business, RED Development’s Paul Rowsey was optimistic about Amazon’s coming to North Texas. He believes Amazon will split its new headquarters between two cities, with Dallas having a good chance of being one of them… Ben Lange was introducing Evelyn Costello, who had just been named executive director for Luke’s Fastbreak Shirts.
But it wasn’t just guys talking business. Former CCB Chair Robyn Conlon was beaming over her son Keith Conlon’s recent accomplishments. Not only did he get $10K taken off the price of his Rangers 2018 season tickets after hitting a home run over the Bud sign at Globe Life Park, but Keith had just been named general manager at Allie Beth Allman and Associates as well.
Midway through the cocktail reception, word was passed — “Do you know Tagg?” Was it a new social media hashtag? There was just a bit of distress as the question continued to be asked. The answer was that, thanks to high-tech cars, “Mr. Tagg” had left his car running with the valet and joined the throng inside. Only problem was he had taken the key with him. When he disappeared into the throng inside, the car dutifully came to a grinding stop, creating an unplanned conversation piece blocking the valet line. Finally, he …or, more importantly, his key was found and the flow of high-end vehicles rolled back into place.
And while the crowd grew in the lobby, the final preparations were being made in the Chantilly Ballroom for the doors to open at 9 p.m. The ballroom’s walls were covered with shimmering floor-to-ceiling draping, with towering screens displaying videos of wintry ventures. A mammoth stage was set up along the back of the ballroom for the bands.
At Pam’s and Annette Simmons’ table were monogrammed napkins along with gargantuan floral arrangements.
Other tables also impressed with centerpieces highlighted by candles in suspended globes hovering over silver tablecloths, crystal. In the chairs were such favors at Tiffany boxes containing Tiffany weave porcelain bowls and the 2017 Children’s Book and the 2018 Calendar.
Right on cue, the Anatole’s Catherine New did the countdown for the staff to open the doors at 9 p.m. to the elegant dinner starting with a first course (poached lobster and roasted beets , arugula and frisée salad and grilled figs, shaved fennel, pickled watermelon radish, citrus mountain blooms and champagne vinaigrette) followed by the entrée (grilled filet of beef, roasted Cipollini red wine demi-glace, gratin dauphinoise, grilled farmer’s market carrots and turnips and seared asparagus). For dessert, it was Toblerone Swiss milk chocolate mousse with honey and almond nougat, Basler Brunsli crisp and coconut snow.
But as glorious as the room and menu were, the CCB guests once again were setting a standard for OMG fashion with the ladies in labels bearing such names as Herrera (Pam Perella, Christi Urschel, Jennifer Dix, Piper Wyatt, Kristina Whitcomb, Laura Moon), Zac Posen (Claire Emanuelson, Pat McEvoy, Delilah Boyd, Patty Leyendecker), Pamela Roland (Lisa Troutt, Gail Fischer), Armani (Paige Slates), Anne Fontaine (Amy Hegi), Chanel (DeeDee Lee), Dior (Betsy Crousen, Kara Goss and Dianna Miller), Badgley Mischka (Nikki Webb), Tom Ford (Heather Esping), Galvan (Lynn McBee), Oscar (Annette Simmons, Lisa Singleton), Tom and Linda Platt (Cheryl Joyner) Lela Rose (Linda Secrest), Marchesa (Ciara Cooley), Etro (Janie Condon), Escada (Caren Kline), Mackenzie Brittingham (Bela Cooley, Nancy Collins), Worth Collection (Alicia Wood), Patti Flowers (Lisa Cooley, Tanya Foster) and Michael Faircloth (Tracy Lange, Tiffany Divis, Mary Martha Pickens, Libby Allred, Elsa Norwood, Diane Byrd, Sue Scala, Stephanie Scala). Michael is probably in designer recovery.
On their well-pedicured feet were such slippers as Jimmy Choo, Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Weitzman, Rene Caovilla, Gianvito Rossi and Adrianna Papell.
Needless to say, Judith Leiber dominated the clutch department, followed by Chanel, Charlotte Max Design, Alexander McQueen, YSL and Jimmy Choo.
And, of course, it just wouldn’t have been a glittery affair without the bling-bling from Eiseman, Diamonds Direct, Bachendorf, Neiman’s, Sue Gragg, deBoulle, Julianna LeBlanc, William Noble, Cartier, Tiffany and family treasures.
But the most popular look of the night for the ladies was the caterpillar false eyelashes that would have made Liz Taylor’s double row of lashes look thin. It seems that along with having hair done, makeup applied and nails polished, one must have an appointment to have an extra layer of lashes.
On the other hand, the gents in the crowd held their own with tuxedos by Bob Baumann (Richard Dix), Chris Despos (Clay Cooley), Isaia (Vin Perella), J. Hilburn (Kenny Troutt), Bruno Cucinelli (Dwight Emanuelson), Edward Baumann Clothiers (Scott Wood), Zegna (Charles McEvoy), Q Custom Clothier (Al Allred) and loads of Armani (David Condon, John Slates, Les Secrest).
As Atlanta’s Simply Irresistible took the stage, Amy Simmons and husband Joe Crafton were the first on the dance floor followed by Francie Moody-Dahlberg and husband Kevin Dalhberg, Laura and Dennis Moon, Mary and Robert Black, Gail and Cliff Fischer, Christie Carter and Hudson Weischel, Connie and Denny Carreker, Pam and Vin and Leslie and Bryan Diers.
Having just as much fun on the sidelines were Michal Powell, Aileen and Jack Pratt, Mary Clare Finney with Chris Branscum and Annette Simmons’ “Jerry table” including her husband Jerry Fronterhouse, Jerry Ford with wife Kelli Ford and Jerry Jones with wife Gene Jones as well as Anita and Truman Arnold and Gayle and Paul Stoffel. But the music was too hard to resist, so soon Annette and her Jerry were on the dance floor, too.