Dallas Symphony Orchestra Leaguers have long known the big magnet for luncheon types is the combination of fashions and kids. On Thursday, October 21, DSOL’s Fashion Notes Luncheon proved that point with adorable kids with their moms and Nardo fashions on a runway in The Venetian Room, plus the presentation of the 8th Annual Fashion Notes Award to Dallas designer Nardos Imam. There was also a surprise reveal by Dallas Symphony Orchestra President/CEO Kim Noltemy on her new project. Here’s a report from the field:
The fundraising community is still in flux with many events being rescheduled, cancelled or held virtually. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League moved forward with a live event for the 8th Annual Fashion Notes Designer Award Luncheon and Style Show on Thursday, October 21. The Venetian Room at Fairmont Dallas was near capacity, filled with guests excited to get dressed, go out, and see each other in person.
“We nearly had to move to a bigger ballroom and that’s a good sign that things are returning to normal,” said DSOL President Venise Stuart.
The event started with a reception in the foyer, then guests made their way to the tables. Emcee Scott Murray welcomed the crowd and apologized for having left his wife at home.
“Carol and I are celebrating our anniversary today and I did not know I was supposed to bring her,” he quipped. He did not realize she had been invited to accompany him to the event on this special day for the couple.
Venise introduced Honorary Chair Jimmy Westcott, a community philanthropist who has served in leadership roles for numerous organizations. Jimmy thanked the audience for their support and added, “When my daughter-in-law Kameron Westcott asks me to do something, I always say, ‘Yes.’” Kameron, married to Jimmy’s son Court Wescott, was thankful when Jimmy accepted to serve as honorary chair.
Event Co-Chairs Kameron Westcott and Samantha Wortley were introduced and quickly disappeared backstage to prepare for the runway show.
Tootsies provided the adult fashions and Jojo Mommy outfitted the children. Claire Catrino coordinated the models which included 17 adults and 27 children. She had modeled in last year’s show with her two young daughters, Grace and Katherine, and knew how to work with the numerous youngsters to get them dressed and onto the stage.
The little ones in the fashion show certainly melted the hearts of the audience. Models included Nerissa von Helpenstill and her daughter Stella, Livvi Holland with Andi, Luke and Logan Sonnier, Ellie and Lulu Price, Maureen Brodnax with daughter-in law Allison Brodnax and two grandchildren Tucker and Pepper, Dana Cooper, Donna Arp Weitzman, Miss Dallas Jaelene Lueper, Emberli Pridham with Brooke and Graham, Savannah Dee with Judah, Marisa Howard with London and Marin, Brianna Wright with Este and Gigi and Sarah Henry with Ava and Dillon.
It was truly a family affair for Myrna and Bob Schlegel. Both were both in attendance along with their three grown daughters Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Kari Schlegel Kloewer and Krystal Schlegel Davis. Five of their grandchildren appeared in the runway presentation: Millie Whitman; Tabitha, Tobin and Teddy Kloewer and one-year-old Lake Schlegel Davis. Children’s clothing sponsor Jojo Mommy is owned by Kari Schlegel Kloewer.
Co-Chairs Kameron and Samantha walked the runway with their children. Samantha was accompanied by daughters Miller and Susanna Mae. Kameron and her two children Hilton and Cruise were joined by cousins, Remi and Nash Rodgers.
The fashion show was followed by a presentation of the DSOL’s Fashion Show Designer Award to Nardos Imam. She was recognized for launching her own custom couture fashion line, Nardos Design, specializing in custom couture. She began in Dallas and quickly her designs became available in cities across the United States. Today, women from all over the world come to Nardos’ atelier for her special couture experience.
A second fashion presentation began, this time with nearly a dozen exquisite Nardos gowns. A surprise finale: Kameron was the last model to appear wearing a Nardos gown and walking down the runway with Nardos’ two children.
A live auction had bidders competing for packages which included DSO concerts, DSO gala tickets, a Michele watch, a Gittings portrait, Tootsies shopping spree and a VIP package to attend the DSO’s opening night concert at Bravo! Vail.
When the auction concluded, Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony Association, asked for support of the Young Musicians program that was initiated only a few years ago. The DSO provides free instruments and instruction to students in Southern Dallas. The students learn so quickly and play so well at the end of the program that it inspired Kim to buy a cello and start taking lessons, something she has always wanted to do.
Kim asked for support of this program with $250 and $500 donations. Bid cards quickly went in the air with spotters marking the bid numbers on their clipboards. One generous donor gave $1,000. Valuable dollars were raised in just those short minutes to fund additional students.
The next segment of the program was a performance by an alumna of the DSO’s Young Strings program, the talented cellist Brianne Sargent. She began playing cello at age 12 and, because of the Young Strings program, she was able to play solo with the Dallas Symphony to a sold-out audience for their Family Concert series in 2005.
The event concluded with the drawing of raffle winners. Prizes included NorthPark Gold, dinner and concert tickets, a hotel staycation and other items.
The luncheon was presented by Veritex Community Bank, which has been a sponsor since the inaugural event. PaperCity was the media sponsor.
* Photo credit: Chuck Clark