Due to the number of guests, this year’s NorthPark Ambassadors dinner at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek was reconfigured. Instead of the dinner on the Veranda, it required the main dining room for both the dinner and cocktail party with two rows of tables extending from the fireplace across the room.
As the Ambassadors (Lindy Berkley for Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, Andrea Cheek for Cattle Baron’s Ball, Bela Cooley for Dallas Museum of Art, Isabell Novakov Higginbotham for Cattle Baron’s Ball, Lori Jones for The Salvation Army, Angie Kadesky for Crystal Charity Ball, Andrea Nayfa for Children’s Health, Abi and Fred Perpall for Two by Two for AIDS and Arts, Lisa Rocchio for Texas Ballet Theater, Myrna Schlegel for Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman for Children’s Cancer Fund, Lisa Sherrod for The Family Place and Carla Thompson for The Cliburn) and their beneficiary representatives arrived, it became clear that the crowd was going to be cozy. But, heck, it provided more opportunities to get to know each other.
Still another issue to be dealt with was the weather. NorthPark’s Events Director Kristin Casner had crossed her fingers that the rains would hold off until the guests had arrived and it did … sorta. Chase Cooley and Dallas Museum of Art Director Agustin Arteaga arrived with sprinkles of raindrops on their jackets that were quickly shooed away, and a couple of the gals were sheltered by umbrella-carrying valets.
Agustin admitted that despite last year’s break-in at the DMA, he felt sorry for the accused assailant. Grateful that no one was hurt, Agustin explained that when someone breaks in, you don’t know if they’re armed. In this case, it was a young man who had moved to the area for a young lady only to have his attention rejected.
Pink was a major player in the look of the night, with bare shouldered Lisa Rocchio in sizzling magenta, Trey Higginbotham in a pink tie, Ambassador Carla Thompson in a sleeveless Herrera and Myrna Schlegel in hot pink with pleated draping cape and dazzling stilettos with husband Bob Schlegel (they were just back from Palm Beach).
Holding its own in the spectrum of the looks was tried-and-true black thanks to Sandra Doan and Ambassadors Isabell Novakov Higginbotham, Lori Jones, Andrea Nayfa and Bela Cooley, whose black feathered hem was still fluttering despite the rainy weather, and Lisa Runyon, who thought she had made a clean and dry arrival only to have a valet follow in search of a key to their car. Only it wasn’t the usual key. It was a card for her Tesla. No problem. Brad Berkley quickly helped resolve the issue.
And that’s not to say that whites and creams were no-shows, thanks to Ambassador Lindy Berkley and the evening’s co-hostess Nancy Nasher in a white dress with navy embroider trim and interlocking “Gs'” for Gucci.
Children’s Cancer Fund Executive Director Jennifer Arthur and Texas Ballet Theater Executive Director Vanessa Logan were having a couple of busy nights. Tuesday evening Jennifer would be at the CCF patron party at Jamie and Melbourne O’Banion‘s home, and Vanessa would be at the Perot for the 2023-2024 TBT season reveal hosted by Nancy Carlson.
Little did they know that a special guest of honor was enjoying a private dinner in the Garden Room. The young man in the blue suit with vest and tie was none other that the 2023 Martin Luther King Oratory winner/T.L. Marsalis STEM Academy 5th grader Zihair Douglas and his dad Nakia Douglas. It seems that last year when he came in second place in the MLK competition, Zihair told his folks that he was going to win this year. Later in the evening Zihair would impress the Ambassador gathering with his composure, articulation and passion.
And speaking of passion, that was the driving force that had been instilled in Nancy Nasher by her parents, the late Patsy and Ray Nasher.
Nancy recalled how Patsy had directed her to get involved with NorthPark, and her father told her to go to law school. It was also Patsy whose passion for art resulted in creation of the Nasher Sculpture Center.
Despite her death in 1988 after battling breast case for years, the family saw her passion for a center of sculptural art come to fruition.
It was also following Patsy’s death that Nancy and David Haemisegger, who had met their first day at Princeton, married in October 1990.
When asked if their children (Sarah Harmisegger, Isabelle Harmisegger and David Haemisegger) were interested in carrying on the family passion for retailing and art, Nancy said it was too early to say and that she only wanted them to pursue a journey about which they felt passionate.
Over the months ahead, NorthPark merchants will partner up to help the Ambassadors provide financial support and awareness.
For more sights of the night, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.