As if brazenly taking on Mother Nature, catering czarina Cassandra likes to claim, “It never rains on my events.” On Thursday, November 7, that statement appeared to be challenged as the temperature not only plummeted several degrees from the previous day, but the forecast was for 100% precipitation. Right on cue, however, the day’s rain ended by mid-afternoon, but the chill stay put. No problem for the 2019 Crystal Charity Ball underwriters cocktail party. It was at Tavia and Clark Hunt’s Highland Park home that glowed with diamonds and food. Why even the outdoor terrace with its fireplace was just right for guests to get comfortable.
The only hint of the cold outdoor weather was due to the front door being open as guests arrived. Blonde Tavia was sorry it was so cold, she told guests, but at least it wasn’t raining! She’d been busy. Two days before, Tavia had been in Kansas City helping honor a number of military moms on behalf of the Kansas City Chiefs, the NFL team that Clark owns. And before that she and daughter Gracie Hunt had celebrated Halloween dressed as “before” and “after.”
While the Hunts, along with the evening’s Co-Chairs Kim Miller and Piper Wyatt, greeted all the guests like Louise and Joe LaManna, Cara and Jim French, Leslie and Bryan Diers, Libby and Al Allred, Tucker Enthoven with her mom Julie Ford, Lisa and Kenny Troutt, Joan Eleazer, Mersina Stubbs with Mackay Boynton, Charles McEvoy, Michael Sills, Margaret and Barry Hancock, Rick Kumpf, Delilah and Sam Boyd, Katy and Lawrence Bock and Kim Quinn in the entry, servers passed trays of appetizers and beverages nonstop.
But that standout gem of the night was found in the family room. Evening sponsor Diamonds Direct VP Yosi Mayer and his associates (Mae Murell, Claire Kuhlkin and Mallory Kaplan) had what seemed like a king’s/queen’s ransom of jewels there for eyeballing. Word had it that some husbands locked down their Christmas shopping on the spot.
After 2019 CCB Chair Pat McEvoy formally welcomed the evening’s 225 guests — the place was so packed, it was hard to hear her — Pat headed outside to the covered terrace. There, she found Beth and Chuck Thoele and Sarah and Rob Bowlby sitting by the fireplace. Pat reported that the 2019 ball, scheduled for Saturday, December 7, was on track to log record revenues — and the money was continuing to pour in. “What was her secret?” someone asked. Replied Pat: “The team.”
In the meantime, the doors to the dining room opened to a treasure trove of feasting for all. Sunie Solomon had arrived at the party solo, since husband Steve Solomon was in Cabo helping to celebrate Ken Schnitzer’s birthday. … Car aficionada Lee Bailey had recently returned from a jaunt hob-nobbing with Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer and Laura Schwab, president of Aston Martin the Americas. … Courtney Wang said he’s been supporting CCB for 32 years. In fact, he met his future wife at one of the balls. Last year, he took his daughter to the black-tie fundraiser. … Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse had to duck out early, due to a previously scheduled dinner with Jerry’s son.