Early in the rainy, cold evening of Wednesday, February 8, some of the 2023 Cattle Baron’s Ball guests were a bit lost in finding the location for the Reveal Party at The Village Dallas. Even those in the know who had sworn that it would be a breeze fessed up that they’d been stymied by the directions and the lack of valet parkers.
Is there anything worse than trying to find a location on a dark, rainy night in unknown territory?
Luckily, the parking staff at the Meridian restaurant eventually were there to answer questions and direct folks to the nearby, two-story Village Country Club layout, where more than 400 were expected to show up and learn about plans for the 2023 fundraiser for the American Cancer Society of North Texas.
Even then, some folks driving through the recently revamped Village took a left when they should have taken a right and were delayed for the step-and-repeat on the VCC ground level.
And that was just the warm-up for what lay ahead on the upper level, where squeezing through the crowd became the game of the night.
One way-too-adorable blonde baroness made a beeline from the stairs to her gal pals at the bar, trailing her husband behind her. Another, equally blonde with an equally short outfit, kept circling the area where the photographers were, with nary a snapshot taken.
That wasn’t a fate that befell Reveal Chair Kim Quinn, Latisha Leverette, Ana Rai, Stacey Relton, Kristin Baker, Laura and Denny Moon, Lora Farris, Bennett Schmidt, Haley Louden, Marjon Henderson, Carol Seay, Elizabeth Saab, Jimmy Westcott, Katie Sperry, Kristin Gibbins, Andrea Nayfa, Lauren and François Bellemare and newly engaged Courtney Joyner and Ross Cheek.
One CBB vet admitted that there seemed to be some “newcomers” to the reveal. Still, there also were loyal old-timers including CBB Co-Founder Jacque Wynne and CBB past chairs Olivia Kearney with husband Jeff Kearney, Lisa Shirley with husband Joe Bob Shirley, Kris Johnson and Diana Hamilton with her Co-Chair Heather Randall.
Veteran CBB auctioneer Louis Murad said he was looking forward to the ’23 Ball. “Hopefully we’ll make some money this year,” he added. “We ought to, 50 years on!”
Early in the night, it became pretty darn obvious that an age division was taking place among the guests. There were those who were all too comfortable with the 21st century Village, which had graciously donated everything for the reveal party.
Then there were the old-timers like Susan and John Farris and Kim Hext — decked out in a white cowboy hat she got in Cheyenne during Frontier Days — who recalled the swinging Village apartment community of a bygone era and those golden days of partying along nearby Greenville Avenue at TGI Friday’s, Daddy’s Money and Sailmaker.
John, for example, recalled golfer Lee Trevino hitting balls at the Village golf facility with a soda bottle. He also fondly remembered eating at Fran’s restaurant on Hall, not too far away. “Best chicken-fried steak I ever ate in my life,” he exclaimed.
Before the night’s “iconic” reveal got underway, CBB Co-Chairs Andrea Cheek and Isabell Novakov Higginbotham had their game plan in place.
Yes, they had taken into account that first CBB and so had their sights set on having this year’s event at a ranch. And they had also realized that over the five decades, female main-stagers had been minimal (Tammy Wynette in 1976, Barbara Mandrell in 1983, Crystal Gayle in 1984, Loretta Lynn sharing the stage with The Gatlin Brothers in 1987, Trisha Yearwood in 1995, Wynonna in 1997 and 2001, Martina McBride in 2000 and Julianne Hough sharing the stage with Montgomery Gentry in 2009).
So, the answer was simply “iconic” to have the 2023 Ball at Parker’s legendary Southfork Ranch (with a different layout than in years before) — and to have drop-dead icon Shania Twain as the headliner on the main stage.
When Isabell commented that some may have had their grandparents spending their early days residing at Lincoln Property’s Village development, a “whoop” went up that mystified the younger members of the crowd.
But there was still other news in the room that wasn’t revealed over the PA. Both Isabell and The Family Place’s Mary Catherine Benavides were pregnant, it seems — with Isabell due in May and MC in August with a reveal party to take place that week.
For more looks of the baronesses and urban cowboys, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.
* Photo provided by Cattle Baron's Ball