This year’s Tutu Chic Fashion Show and Luncheon on Tuesday, November 27, was celebrating its 10th anniversary with a slight change. Organizers brought in Louis Murad and his team to handle the check-in, the live auction and call for cash at the Winspear benefiting Texas Ballet Theater.
In the lobby an army of Nutcrackers, Pinocchios, Santas and angels filled five tables covered with red tablecloths. Some of the little characters would find their way to hanging out on Christmas trees; some would serve as dinner table decorations; and others would become treasured hand-me-downs for generations to come. But all would benefit TBT.
At 11 a.m. Stanley Korshak’s Crawford Brock arrived and admitted, “We’ve got a lot of things going on.” He was referring to the fundraiser, as well as the memorial service at 2 p.m. for Caroline Rose Hunt at Highland Park Presbyterian Church.
One of the first guests to arrive was Gina Betts, whose household had been in high drama. It seems over the past weekend older son Jack Betts had been offered an early invitation for admittance by Amherst. On the other hand, Dartmouth College was not going to make an offer until a couple of weeks later. Jack had to make his decision within hours.*
The chimes were heard and slowly the guests moved into the Margaret McDermott Hall’s Skokos stage. And just moments before Crawford and TBT Executive Director Vanessa Logan arrived centerstage, the rows were filled with TBT Artistic Director Ben Stevenson, Tutu Chic Co-Chairs Julie Hawes, Amanda Shufeldt, Sunie Solomon and Samantha Wortley, as well as Nancy Carlson, Kara and Randall Goss, Simona Beal, Marjon Henderson, Claire Emanuelson, Lee Bailey, Lisa Cooley, Bela Cooley, Tracy Lange, Marybeth Conlon, Allison Small, Andrea Earnhart, Olivia Kearney, Elaine Agather, Ellen Winspear, Venise Stuart, Jennifer Clark, Ann Sappington, Nancy Carlson, Sharron Hunt, Andrea Weber, Ann Stodghill, Lisa Ogle and Deedie Rose.
Then it was showtime for the TBT ballerinas in Marchesa fashions dancing with male dancers. While the program covered everything from classical to Beyonce, it continued to a point where some guests wondered if they were going to make their afternoon appointments.
More ballerinas appeared. Then another soloist performance followed by still more ballerinas in Marchesa. While diehard ballet lovers were smiling with thoughts of Sugar Plum Fairies and Nutcrackers, a number of guests were trying to think of the quickest way to their 1:30 appointments and the memorial service for Caroline Rose Hunt at 2 p.m.
After 38 minutes, the finale took place with Crawford returning to the stage and introducing auctioneer Louis Murad, who conducted the live auction that went on for 10 minutes with the priceless package of “Bright Lights, Big City! Priceless NYC Opportunity!” going for $7,500.
Perhaps the excitement of the packages had dimmed, due to the crowd’s sobering up from the champagne reception or the concern about appointments.
Then as tummies started grumbling, the call-for-cash got underway. Sheepishly some snuck out and others smiled as their feet tapped anxiously. The call-for-cash seemed to go on with some guests looking guilty for not waving their envelopes. One gal claimed she hadn’t waved because the year before she donated to sponsor a pair of pointe shoes and “got hounded the rest of the year” for more support.
But after all it, was Giving Tuesday, and perhaps even the generosity of North Texas was a little weary. And that’s why the upcoming break would provide time to recover both emotionally and financially for the 2019 fundraising season.