For some a 10 a.m. reception for a luncheon fundraiser might have seemed a wee bit early, especially on any Monday. Most folks are just emerging from their weekends to get a grip on the week ahead. But on Monday, May 16, following the Bryon Nelson’s almost-win by local Jordan Spieth, the Dallas Stars loss to Calgary and the Mavs walloping the Phoenix Suns, this Monday should have been declared a day of rest and recovery.
But after more than a year of starts, stops, starts and reschedules, the St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show And Luncheon organizers were eager to finally get underway.
As the 500 guests slowly filled the lobby of the Meyerson, event producer Jan Strimple was checking the POA for the call of funds with auctioneer Doak Lambert and 17-year-old Luke Lange onstage. For Luke it was old hat. Looking like a young Mathew McConoughy, he showed himself to have a stage presence and a committed understanding of the importance of fundraising for Leukemia And Lymphoma Of North Texas research and treatments. For it was just six years ago that Luke had been recognized on the same stage when he received the Spirit of Tom Landry Award. In addition to winning his battle against lymphoma, Luke had created a line of unique T-shirts designed to help others face treatments more comfortably.
Back in the lobby the crowd, including Event Co-Founders Rusty Duvall and Janet Evans, Lisa Ogle with her mom Nina Thornburg, Di Johnston, Beth Layton, Ryan Phillips with son David Phillips, Venise Stuart, Susan Scullin, Alexis Harkrider and Audrey Young, was growing with bright colors and floral patterns in honor of the May version of St. Valentine’s Day.
As the countdown to 11 started and the Meyerson chimes rang calling all to the McDermott Concert Hall, few budged. Some were just plain happy to be catching up, and others couldn’t hear the sound of the bells.
Once the guests were in their places, the program got underway with a video and the day’s emcee Lauren Pryzbyl looking bright-eyed despite having already been on air co-anchoring KDFW’s “Good Day” program. After welcoming guests she introduced Event Chair Lisa Loy Laughlin, who presented a special valentine to Roy Salley, whose wife Gigi Potter Salley passed away this past year.
Following another video it was time to present the awards of the day. Unfortunately, designer Lela Rose was unable to attend the event, but her Highland Park Village store manager Jessica Smotherman accepted the award in Lela’s place.
Another sub was for the Memorial Hero Award, which Event Chair Lisa Loy Laughlin accepted on behalf of the late Tom Landry family.
However, present were Susie Barnett for the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award and adorable Amelia Dammen, who let her stuffed animal Buttercup “speak” for her in accepting the Spirit of Tom Landry Award.
Before the HPV fashions took over the runway, Doak and Luke took their places on stage and announced that Sidley had provided a $25,000 match. That challenge was met with paddles waving in the air to meet the goal. And still the paddles kept coming in.
Then the Alice and Olive, Etro, Hadleighs, Herrera, Lela Rose, St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange, Market and Veronica Beaird fashions took their turn on the runway, with the younger models scene stealing to the delight of the crowd.
For more than 100 looks of the day, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.