For the first time since temperatures hit the century mark, gents were having to pull out their best ties for an evening event on Thursday, September 5. The occasion was the 2019 Crystal Charity Ball Platinum Circle Dinner at the Dallas Country Club. The annual dinner underwritten by Comerica is considered a warm-up for the CCB Ten Best Dressed Fashion two-day events. As emcee Ron Corning pointed out to the decked-out crowd, only in Dallas is there a pre-pre-event for a pre-event and event. This year’s presentation would be taking place at Neiman Marcus Downtown on Friday, September 13.
The ballroom was set up for the reception and dinner. Individual photographs of the 10+ were placed on the wall next to the entrance. At the opposite end of the room was a bigger-than-life-sized group photo of the ladies.
In most cases, it was the first opportunity for the invitation-only crowd like Debbie and Nickey Oates, Dinner Co-Chair Lynn McBee with Trammell S. Crow, Louise and Joe LaManna, Meredith Land, Kelli and Jerry Ford, Margaret and Barry Hancock, Tracy and Ben Lange, Angela and Brad Cheves, Caren Prothro, Betsy Sowell, Ashley and Ward Hunt, Myrna and Bob Schlegel and Daffan and Doug Nettle to return to the area after summer hiatuses. Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse were back from their digs in Montecito; Tiffany Divis had just returned from Michael Faircloth’s birthday celebration in Italy; Mary Parker made the rounds returning to Dallas with butter from France and biscuits from Olamaie in Austin; Pam Busbee admitted that she was ready to be back in North Texas after spending time in Santa Fe; Lisa Cooley had planned originally to spend Labor Day weekend with her kids (Ciara Cooley and Chance Cooley) and Hunt Biggers in Miami. Alas, Hurricane Dorian had her switch coasts, ending up in Napa playing croquet at Meadowwood.
Barbara and Don Daseke were still receiving congratulations on Don’s turning 80 this summer, and their co-chairing the upcoming Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala that will be the kick-off of the season’s black-tie events on Saturday, September 28.
MIA were Evening Co-Chair Gina Betts, who damaged her ankle while helping son Jack Betts move into his dorm at Amherst… Another not on the scene was Barbara Babb. According to husband Comerica Inc. and Comerica Bank Executive Chairman Ralph Babb, her supervising of a home construction project demanded her staying put.
Luckily, returning back in action was Kim Hext, who had spent most of the summer healing from some skin cancer surgery. As Kim told Jacqueline Fojtasek, “If you ever see me tanned, you know someone has sprayed me.”
BTW, Kim, who is chairing the 2020 Salvation Army Fashion Show and Luncheon, reported that the collection of clothes is already underway, with togs being accepted at the Salvation Army main office and at Tootsies.
The catch-up chatter became so loud that emcee Ron had to do a sit-down countdown over the PA. At each table was a centerpiece of rare dusty rose roses from South America. With all in their places, he introduced 2019 CCB Chair Pat McEvoy, who welcomed the group and invited Comerica CEO Curtis Farmer to address the guests.
Ron returned to the stage and introduced nine of the 2019 Ten Best Dressed (Delilah Boyd, Lisa Cooley, Tiffany Divis, Jennifer Dix, Cate Ford, Cara French, Karla McKinley, Amy Prestidge and Kimberly Schlegel Whitman) and 2019 Hall of Famer (Francie Moody Dalhberg). Unfortunately, 10 Best Dresser Amy Hegi was unable to attend.
No sooner had the presentation been made than the chatting returned and dinner was served. It featured Spanish Insalata (Romaine, hearts of palm, Manchego Cheese, sundried tomatoes, toasted almonds, roasted red pepper and tomato vinaigrette) and filet mignon and sea bass along with charred leak Yukon mashed potatoes, artichoke sauté, honey roasted carrots, cabernet demi-glace with mushrooms and lemon beurre blanc.
For dessert, some guests received a chocolate hazelnut tart (an Ecuadorian chocolate filling a hazelnut crust, adorned with caramelized hazelnuts and chocolate garnish), while others enjoyed tres leches (sponge caked soaked in milk, pineapple, whipped cream, coconut and caramel).
Additional photos of the evening can be found at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.