Before guests arrived at the Nasher Sculpture Center for the 2023 Crystal Charity Ball Platinum Dinner, nine of the 2023 Best Dressed-ers (Marybeth Conlon, Monica Eastin, Libby Hegi, Kim Hext, Ann McPherson, Wendy Messmann, Kim Quinn, Lisa Rocchio and Sunie Solomon) and Hall of Famer Claire Emanuelson were downstairs for the group photos on the stairway. Just as the group was being positioned, BD-er Meredith Land arrived after making a swift drive from her 6 p.m. newscast at the NBC 5 newsroom in Fort Worth without a hair out of place.
In honor of the 2023 CCB featured designer Adam Lippes, the night underwritten by Comerica had obvious touches of Lippes, from the flowery border on the menu to the number of Adam designed dresses in the crowd like BD-er Kim Quinn in a print that was a kissing cousin to 2023 CCB Fashion Show Chair Patty Leyendecker’s.
Upon emerging from the stairway shoot, the ladies of the hour were surprised to see their husbands and guests like Alice and Curt Farmer, Elizabeth and Eric Gambrell, Nancy Carter, Teresa King, Janelle Walker with Chris Grasher, Lisa Lewis, Lisa and Clay Cooley, Tracy and Ben Lange, Greg Koonsman, Victoria Snee and Jeff Crilley, Tanya and Peter Foster, Erin Mathews, Priscilla Garcia, Heather and Billy Esping, Tanya and Pete Foster and Platinum Dinner Chair Nancy Carlson (sans her signature bangs) already arriving and holding forth on the outdoor terrace overlooking the gardens. But instead of gathering in the gallery for the cocktail reception, it seems that an exhibit was in the stage of being installed, making the room off limits. So, the call was made to have it in the Nasher Café. After receiving their table assignments in the Center’s lobby, guests were directed to the terrace where servers with trays of refreshments stood.
Sure, a cold front had reduced temperatures from the three-digit category to the 90s, but it was still a bit toasty for gents in jackets and gals in their finery. But it seems that some guests didn’t realize that the gathering was in the Café. Upon seeing always-in-the-know Claire leading husband Dwight Emanuelson and John Rocchio to the Café, the rest of the coifed and natty set followed suit.
The only problem was that the beautiful people gathering in the Café got a little cozy making the body heat a bit warm. Luckily, this crowd knew how to handle such a situation. The Neiman Marcus team (Ryan Ross, Robbie Kruithoff, Mary McGreevy Jennings and Judy and Scott Mitchell) set up camp in a far corner of the room. Scott was fetching a beverage for Judy and rightly so. Since moving to Dallas in the previous months, they had bought a house, moved in, had their daughter’s wedding and Judy had had hip surgery.
Pretty in pink Gail Fischer and her posse including Ken Christensen and Sharon Friedberg Bishop headed to the far back room that was a few degrees cooler… Stuart Reeves was surrounded by wife Jennie Reeves and daughter Lucy Wrubel looking looky-looky look in their shades… Lee Bailey in designer sneakers due to her recent ankle surgery and Sharon Merwin following Gail’s lead to the cooler confines…. Another reporting body changes was BD-er Kim Hext, who had had major back surgery this summer. But it didn’t hold her back from a trip to South Africa with husband Greg Hext, son Preston Hext and his fiancée Claudia Lode. Before leaving for South Africa, Preston had just taken the Texas Bar exam and admitted that it had been a daunting experience. Claudia fessed up that Preston had been so nervous about taking the exam that she got nervous for him. But the anxiety wasn’t over yet. Preston added, “This is the worst part since the results won’t be revealed until October.”
Talk of the night: 2024 CCB Chair Cheryl Joyner was heading to Charleston to help husband Richard Joyner, who was checking on their home that had just weathered Hurricane Idalia. Cheryl laughed that the damage was luckily minor since their daughter’s wedding there was just a couple of weeks way…. Upon hearing of the Joyner situation, Paige Locke reported that Pat and John Harloe were returning to North Texas after bracing their place on the east coast.
As some guests had a good jolly from one server’s salty language, others felt a bit like they were in the way for a petite bulldog type making her way through the guests.
Just as the room seemed to be at full capacity, word was passed to head to the seated supper in the Nasher Hall requiring all to head back to the terrace and take the various stairs. Some like Janie Condon, with glass in hand, were told that they had to check the drink at the door. Others were directed to the outdoor stairs to the Nasher Hall amphitheater leading to the Hall. One well-heeled gal admitted that the outdoor stairs were a bit of challenge for her stilettos.
But it was well worth the stair stepping into the room. The tables were topped with blue-gray tablecloths with Garden Gate centerpieces. Each place setting had a round card that not only had the menu but the guest’s name as well. And the Wolfgang Puck dinner scored top reviews thanks to a salad (butter lettuce salad, oranges, candied walnuts, olives, blue cheese and citrus dressing), entrée (pink peppercorn roasted New York steak with goat cheeses grits and roasted asparagus and watermelon peach relish) and dessert (chocolate decadence).
For more than 50 looks at the evening, check out the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.