Dwight Emanuelson was juggling an important business meeting and being on hand for the 2023 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon on Monday, February 13, at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Somehow he magically attended the champagne reception, greeting his wife and fellow Co-Chair Claire Emanuelson with gal pal Pam Perella, all the while looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Red River Region.
When asked about celebrating St. V-Day the next day, Dwight said that the couple wasn’t doing that anymore. But he added that he had a surprise V-Day gift for Claire anyhow.
Lisa Cooley reported that she was there to support 2016 Spirit of Tom Landry Awardee Luke Lange. In addition to attending the luncheon with Luke’s mother Tracy Lange, Lisa would raise her paddle when Luke took the mic to conduct the call-for-cash at the $15,000 level.
Speaking of Luke, in addition to leading the call-for-cash challenge on stage, he was also receiving congratulations on being accepted at The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business. One grandmother hearing and then seeing Luke didn’t hold back her impression saying, “I need to introduce him to my granddaughter.”
But before Luke had taken his place on stage, the crowd, including Shelle Sills, Anne Stodghill, and past chairs DeeDee Lee (2009) and Melinda Knowles (2021), grew in the Meyerson lobby with the colors of pink and red ruling.
St. V-Day Co-Founders Rusty Duvall and Janet Evans were amazed that their mission had grown. It was in 1985 that the two who had lost their fathers to leukemia took on the battle against blood cancer.
Allie Beth Allman and Associates President Keith Conlon was there for a couple of reasons. First, his wife Megan Conlon‘s mother Linda Sommerville had succumbed to leukemia in 1999, when Megan was just 13 years old. Her death was especially poignant since Linda had also been one of the closest friends of Keith’s mother Robyn Conlon. As a result of the Conlon family’s support of the event, they had become the presenting sponsor for the luncheon’s Memorial Hero Award.
Another reason for Keith’s presence was Allie Beth Allman and Associates Founder/Executive Director Allie Beth Allman‘s receiving the 2023 Icon Award during the program.
In the meantime, Event Producer Jan Strimple was doing a run-through for the day’s program with Co-chairs Katy Bock and Sunie Solomon and emcee Fox 4 reporter Hannah Battah.
As videos showcased the stories of the accomplishments and honors, highlights on stage included:
- Melody Rogers accepting the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award with husband Rick Rogers and, on behalf of Nancy and Richard Rogers, kept her remarks brief just saying, “Thank you.”
- Being escorted onstage by Tom Landry Jr., Icon Awardee Allie Beth Allman recalling the importance of her family’s friendship with Alicia and Tom Landry.
- In accepting the Memorial Hero Award for her late husband George Meza, Teresa Meza recalling the incredible journey by George as he raised funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society even before developing the disease and facing ALS.
- Spirit of Tom Landry Awardee Max Hinojosa, who had been diagnosed with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia as an infants and survived thanks to research funded by programs like the St. V-Day event, receiving a SRO from the guests.
No sooner had the honors been presented, the call-for-cash been tallied up and the podium been removed than the the runway production of Highland Park Village fashions got underway, with the kids scene-stealing thanks to LoveShackFantcy and the La Vie models dancing to “Age of Aquarius” for the finale, proving that you don’t always need a bride to complete the show.
For more looks of the day, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.