As the Cattle Baron’s Ball approaches its 50th anniversary next year, the former CBB chairs were the guests at a luncheon in the Zodiac Room on Monday, May 9.
Hosted by Neiman Marcus Downtown and coordinated by CBB Advisory Board and Past Ball Chair Liaison Co-Chairs Daniella Giglio and Melissa Sherrill Martin, the settings were beautiful with pink tablecloths, splendiferous chargers and pink and white peonies and roses.
While waiting for the group to gather, the consensus was that everyone was wearing out from the past five weeks of non-stop activities. It appears that the previous six months of fundraising had been squeezed into April and May. While Memorial Day appeared to be the end of the marathon, for others like Diana Hamilton (2020/2021) schools would still be in session until the first week of June.
Cindy Turner (2000) was showing pictures of her new grandson who was born this past January with “Turner blue eyes”… Tanya Foster (2008) reported that she and husband Pete Foster were headed to Germany for The Passion Play that has been performed every 10 years since 1680 in her mother’s hometown of Oberammergau. The performance was the result of the Black Plague sweeping through Europe in the 1600s. The villagers took a pledge that they would perform “a play about the passion of Christ” if God would only spare the town. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 performance was rescheduled to this year… While some of the ladies like Jill Tananbaum (2014), Cindy Stager (2014) and Sunie Solmon (2017) and Jennifer Dix (2011) opted for the latest fashions of the hour, Anne Stodghill (2017) and Barbara Underwood (1991) opted to keep in tune with the CBB western feel.
However, one of the day’s highlights fell through. As a birthday card was being passed around and a cake was delivered by Vicki Chapman (1996), the birthday girl herself texted a message. The lady in question was Mary Parker (2013), who along with husband Joe Parker had started a drive from Arkansas at 4 a.m. to make the luncheon. But after sensing something just wasn’t right, Mary took a COVID test and received an unwanted gift — a positive reading.
Still, the former chairs themselves proved to be the highlight of the day when each was asked to recall their CBB event, including the theme and a memory of two. One of the standouts was the 2001 ball co-chaired by Leslie Ficke and Cindy Lindsley. They had to make the tough call to hold the “Six Flags Over Texas” event at Shady Oaks Ranch, with Wynonna performing on the Main Stage. The reason it was a hard decision to make: just weeks before, the Twin Towers tragedy had taken place.
A humorous description of another Ball was provided by Katherine Wynne, who chaired the 2008 event at Star Band Ranch, which got flooded out. As Katherine put it, no lives were lost — but some cars got trapped.
Another highlight was recalled by Jacque Wynne, who along with the late Patti Williams Hunt created in 1974 at Star Brand Ranch what would become a national legend in fundraising circles. Jacque admitted that the idea of having a country-western event raise funds raised some eyebrows. After all, it was a time before “Urban Cowboy” had made C&W chic. But the two ladies, their gal pal volunteers and husbands supported their effort and laid the groundwork for what has provided more than $89M for North Texas cancer research and treatments.
For more looks of the former CBB chairs, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.