Libby and David Hunt are widely known for their love of history and preservation from hosting Dallas Historical Society and La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas events at their previous residence. That’s why, when word came that the Hunts had purchased the stately Greek Revival mansion in University Park formerly owned by one-time Texas First Couple the late Rita and Bill Clements, history buffs breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Still, the question was out there: how would the Hunts adapt 21st century changes to the 11,300-square-foot manse? On Wednesday, November 10, the Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters were amazed to find out.
Early on, with inclement weather predicted, organizers suspected the guest list of 235 might be whittled down some. But, no. An hour into the gathering, the guests like Holly and Phillip Huffines, Sunie and Steve Solomon, Louise and Joe LaManna, Bianca Elise with her fiance John Muldoon and the Hunts’ next door neighbors Claire and Dwight Emanuelson kept on arriving, filling the home’s entryway and then spilling into the side rooms.
They soon discovered that the Hunts had flawlessly blended their collection of antiques into the new home. On this evening, the dining room table that once had belonged to Rita was now filled with a sumptuous buffet cooked up by Cassandra. Surrounding the dining table was a marvelous panoramic Zuber wallpaper depicting the Revolutionary War that reminded one of the Zuber artwork that the late Jacqueline Kennedy installed in the White House Diplomatic Reception Room.
In the formal living room, the soft apricot walls and the Hunts’ couches fit in perfectly, just as if planned. In the family room there was a pop-up display by the evening’s sponsor, Diamonds Direct, that added a dazzling sparkle to the festivities.
“This is a great house,” declared million-dollar underwriter Annette Simmons as she arrived with Gene Jones, Jill Smith and Gayle Stoffel. Dr. Kevin Kadesky recalled visiting the home when he was a student. Another guest reported that he and his Boy Scout troop had toured the residence more than a decade ago. Pam Perella said she’d been in the house years ago for a Junior League event. Tiffany Divis remembered attending a function at the home back in the 2000s.
Soon enough, it was time for Crystal Ball Chair Leslie Diers to mount the stairs and address the group. After thanking the Hunts — “they’ve been very generous donors for many, many years,” she said — Leslie mentioned the upcoming Ball, now just “three and a half, four weeks away.” She also urged guests to check their vehicles for a copy of the CCB luxury silent auction catalog — “hot off the presses” — when the valets brought their cars around.
At about 8:30, it became obvious that the predicted stormy weather would be arriving soon, earlier than planned. As organizers passed the word that guests might want to avoid the possible hail and torrential downpour, a few held out. They weren’t quite ready to leave Cassandra’s delicious buffet, it seemed — or the grand mansion with its many memories. A doggy bag was offered to help encourage their departure.
For more looks at the evening, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.