Some guests who had RSVP’d failed to show because they came down with the flu. Other MIAs still hadn’t recovered from the nine tornadoes that ripped through the Dallas area just a few days before. Whatever the reasons for the 10 absences — including one entire table — 70 out of an anticipated 80 guests did turn out on Wednesday, October 23, for the Crystal Charity Ball Circle of Angels Dinner.
The always-elegant event, sponsored by Deloitte and hosted at the Preston Hollow estate of Nancy and Randy Best, celebrates the top tier of donors to the annual Crystal Charity Ball, which this year will be held on Saturday, December 7, at the Hilton Anatole. Co-chairs of the Circle event were Nancy Dedman — she first became a CCB member in 1971 — and her daughter-in-law, Rachael Dedman.
Many of the guests — they included Elizabeth and Eric Gambrell, Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse, Bill Noble, Lisa and Clay Cooley, Shelle and Michael Sills, Christina and Chris Durovich, Tucker and Rich Enthoven with her mom Julie Ford, Cynthia and Tom Mitchell, Margaret and Barry Hancock with her mother Marilyn Augur, Carol and Don Glendenning, Lisa and Clay Cooley, Lezlie and Bill Noble and Patti Flowers and Tom Swiley — were intrigued to see the Bests’ spectacular home, some for the first time. And, who could blame them?
On the second floor, there’s a fascinating museum of ancient artifacts, many of them in glass cases. Included in the couple’s collection are coins, rocks, geodes, fossils, primitive tools and eerily life-like, Neanderthal-type figures. Another room nearby houses an extensive collection of vintage firearms, including a number of Old West rifles.
Soon enough, though, it was time to gather downstairs to enjoy the Cassandra-prepared dinner. On the menu: English Pea Cappellaci Pasta Roasted Onion and Mint Broth; Bone Marrow Crusted 44 Farm Strip Loin with Cauliflower Mustard Puree, Crispy Onions and Garlic Butter Haricot Vert; and Lemon Gooey Cake, Lavendar Honey Ice Cream and Butter Cookies.
Addressing the guests just before the feast began, 2019 CCB Chair Pat McEvoy welcomed everyone and said that, this year, the group would be distributing $6.8 million to 10 agencies. The 2019 beneficiaries, many in the room knew, were Child & Family Guidance Center, Community Partners of Dallas, Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep, For the Nations Refugee Outreach, Interfaith Family Services, Jubilee Park & Community Center, Los Barrios Unidos Community Clinic, Mercy Street, Promise House and Readers 2 Leaders.
Then Pat gave way to Deloitte’s Dan Berner, who succeeded Jason Downing as Deloitte’s North Texas managing partner. Dan applauded Crystal Charity for its generosity, and also thanked Jason’s wife Laura Downing for giving him a “tutorial” on the significance of the annual event.
Talk of the night included Claire and Dwight Emanuelson having just celebrated their 35th anniversary of meeting each other … at Merrill Lynch. Seems Dwight was a young trainee and Claire was a broker there at the time. … The Emanuelsons, by the way, had been watching the Dallas Cowboys game the previous Sunday night, and didn’t even know the tornadoes were happening. … Vin Perella, who’s in the roofing-supplies business, said he took no pleasure in any extra work that might have resulted from the storm. In fact, Vin said flatly, “I hate hurricanes and tornadoes.” … Pam McCallum was enjoying her Cassandra dinner after having been holed up in her home without power for several days post-tornado, eating little more than “Fritos and cookies.”
* Photo credit: Dana Driensky