Friday, November 27, 2015

Children's Cancer Fund Announces Big Changes To Its Annual 2016 Gala

Touch your mouse to the image below to scroll through a gallery of images from this event: Children's Cancer Fund Breakfast 2015 photos Edgar Vargas for CCF

The recent Children's Cancer Fund Breakfast with Roger Staubach brought the announcement that the 28th Annual Fundraiser will be changing from a luncheon to an evening gala held at the Hilton Anatole on April 22, 2016, featuring cocktail attire with a dinner, auction and program along with musical entertainment by Emerald City and dancing. This event will continue the traditional fashion show presented by Dillard’s and produced by RSC Show Productions, featuring children who are undergoing treatment for cancer at Children's Medical Center Dallas. The children are the “models” for the fashion show and are escorted down the runway by sponsors and celebrity guests including Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach and many more. Clarice Tinsley and Scott Murray will emcee the event. The announcement was made at the home of the 2016 CCF Gala Event Co-Chair Lisa Cooley, where she and her husband Clay Cooley hosted a breakfast on November 4 with longtime CCF Event Chairman Roger Staubach. The breakfast featured pediatric cancer research updates by Drs. Stephen Skapek and Patrick Leavey both of Children’s Health and professors of pediatrics, UT Southwestern. Additionally, Skapek is medical director and Leavey is associate medical director of the Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Each provided information on cancer research and the importance of the work of Children’s Cancer Fund for the future of pediatric oncology patients. Giora Barker, Gala Event Co-Chair for this year’s Gala also introduced her son Jack Barker, who was diagnosed with T-cell ALL leukemia in 2009, two weeks before his 12th birthday. Jack is now 18 years old and in his senior year at Jesuit College Prep in Dallas. Jack gave a heartwarming speech sharing his experience with cancer and how the Children’s Cancer Fund gave him hope at a time when he most needed it. Funds raised by Children’s Cancer Fund advance research and treatment programs in pediatric oncology and benefit Children’s Medical Center and selected research at UT Southwestern Medical Center, which ultimately benefits children worldwide. Individual tickets for the spring gala are $300 and tables of 10 are $2,750. More information can be found at or by calling (972) 664-1450.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

DIFFA/Dallas Holiday Wreath Collection 2015

Touch your mouse to the image below to scroll through a gallery of images for this event: DIFFA/Dallas Holiday Wreath Collection 2015 photos provided by DIFFA Dallas

Chaired by Warren Wetzel, and the DIFFA/Dallas Board of Trustees, the annual DIFFA Holiday Wreath Collection took place on November 12 at Expressions Home Gallery in the Design District. DIFFA/Dallas patrons mingled amongst over 70 one-of-a-kind wreaths designed by Neiman Marcus, Stanley Korshak, Design Within Reach, Jan Barboglio, Avant Garden, Swoon, Cebolla, Michael’s, Pettigrew, Arhaus, Sissy’s Southern Kitchen, Roma Boots, Molton Brown, Tata Harper, Lucky Dog Barkey, Allan Knight Showroom, Arteriors, Lynch Creek Farm and many more. A few of the notable DIFFA supporters that turned out to support the cause were Steve Kemble and Chad Collom, Imran Sheikh, LeeAnne Locken, Brittanie Oleniczak, Chuck Steelman and Scott Kehn, Tiffany Hendra, Lynae Fearing, Clint Bradley and Darin Kunz, Lisa Garza and Simona Beal who sipped, noshed, browsed and bid on the amazing collection of wreaths available for auction. In addition to finding the perfect holiday wreath, patrons were able to get first dibs on select and most sought after tables for May 2016's House of DIFFA: Circo Rouge. DIFFA/Dallas focuses on raising and granting funds to organizations that fight HIV/AIDS by providing preventive education programs targeted to at-risk populations, treatment and direct care services for people living with or impacted by the disease, and that support public policy initiatives which add resources to private sector funds. DIFFA/Dallas plays a major part in this HIV/AIDS funding initiative, and is the Foundation’s largest and most successful chapter in the country. DIFFA/Dallas has provided funds to over twenty-five frontline AIDS Service Organizations in North Texas, which service over 23,000 men, women, and children in the area who are living with or are affected by AIDS. For more information, please visit

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

FGI Night of Stars 2015 Dazzled and Delighted

Touch your mouse to the image below to scroll through a gallery of images from this event (which have been photoshopped to high hell, I might add): FGI Night of Stars 2015 photos by Rhi Lee

Fashion Industry Gallery (better known as FIG) was the setting for an evening of glitz and high-glamour when the industry elite of Dallas fashion gathered to pay homage to those who have put – and continue to keep – Dallas on the world fashion scene. Actress Morgan Fairchild, who hails from Dallas, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in film and television. Nancy Nasher, owner of NorthPark Center, was the recipient of the Career Achievement Award in Business. David Sutherland was the recipient of the Career Achievement Award in Interior Design for his namesake furniture line, and Nancy Carlson was the recipient of the Art Patron of the Year award. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of Prabal Gurung, recipient of the Career Achievement Award in Fashion. Prabal (whose name rhymes with trouble, he slyly told the crowd) presented his Spring 2016 Collection for guests’ enjoyment. The collection paid tribute to his home country of Nepal with fluid silhouettes in hues of orange, rose and saffron for spring 2016.

FGI Night of Stars might as well be the Academy Awards of Dallas fashion because that is how one dresses for the occasion. I always try to wear a Dallas designer to this event because, well, that's the whole purpose of the night - to honor Dallas fashion! This year, I was thrilled to wear a hand-beaded and hand-painted gown from Ese Azenabor's SS 2016 Collection. Attendees entered the gala on a red carpet and walked straight onto a paparazzi-like photo stop. A strategically placed silent auction was positioned in the center aisle of the gallery so one couldn’t avoid it – and no one did. A menu of cauliflower soup, a gourmet chicken pot pie and a pumpkin spice cake delighted those in attendance such as Nancy Rogers, Neiman Marcus’ Ken Downing, Chuck Steelman and Rachel Roberts, Brian Bolke, Tiffany Hendra, Melissa Rountree, Carmen Surgent, Jan Showers, and Ken Weber. Shout out to my table hosts, Heidi and Bill Dillon, for letting me a part of the cool kids table along with LeeAnne Locken, Hamilton Sneed, Gina Ginsburg, Dallas Dillon, Prashe Shaw and Dan Pritchett.

The event is FGI Dallas’ largest fundraiser of the year and proceeds from the event fund FGI Dallas’ foundation scholarships. This year marks the 66th year of Fashion Group International of Dallas (FGI Dallas). FGI Dallas is part of Fashion Group International, Inc., a global, non-profit, professional organization with more than 6,000 members representing all areas of the fashion industry. Fashion Group International, Inc. provides a high-profile forum to promote the fashion business by hosting events that educate and facilitate the exchange of ideas by giving back to the community. For more information about FGI Dallas visit

Monday, November 23, 2015

Shop Local For The Holidays: Cookbooks

I often tell people that this website is my love letter to the city of Dallas. I love shining a spotlight on the people, places and events that make Dallas special. We have many creative and talented designers and manufacturers right in our own backyard. Their contributions not only bolster our local economy, but impact our image around the world. Throughout the holiday season, I will be bringing you a series of posts called Shop Local, giving you great gift ideas from Dallas-area designers and retailers. Support local companies this season by considering their wares.

If home is where the heart is and the kitchen is the heart of the home, then it would stand to reason that a great cookbook is the perfect gift to show your love. Because we all know that nothing brings a family together more than a great meal. I am a big fan of church cookbooks because these women pull out their best family recipes. The ones that have been handed down for generations, tweaked and updated over the years with tender love and care. There are a couple of new community cookbooks out this year that I can't wait to get my hands on for the holidays. Bon Appetite!

Each day during the State Fair of Texas brings new and exciting cooking competitions to the Competition Kitchen. Popular events include cake and cookie baking, one-pot meals, a Red River Rivalry-themed biscuit challenge, and much more. Home cooks from all over Texas bring in their best recipes to compete. Not for the cash (prizes range from $5-$15 generally) but for the bragging rights and the chance to have their receive immortalized in annual The State Fair of Texas Cookbook!

The State Fair of Texas Cookbook is filled with a collection of prize winning recipes from the 2014 Creative Arts Competition. This cookbook is a must for every State Fair fan. The State Fair of Texas Cookbook features recipes from 24 different competitions. Whether you want to make “Chocolate Peanut Pretzel Cupcakes” or “Bourbon Pecan Pie,” there is something in this cookbook that everyone will enjoy.

The State Fair of Texas Cookbooks are $25 (plus $5 shipping and handling.) Click here to download your order form.

Friday, November 20, 2015

This Holiday Season Give The Gift Of Giving

This holiday season, The Dallas Foundation has a gift that’s both convenient and priceless: Giving for Good cards. They’re just like retail gift cards, except the value on the cards can be donated to hundreds of 501(c)(3) nonprofits in the United States.

When you buy Giving for Good cards and distribute them to friends, relatives, colleagues or clients, you’re giving them a chance to experience the joy of supporting a charity they admire. You also experience the joy of receiving a tax deduction for your purchase. This year, The Dallas Foundation is encouraging people to give to local charities as part of the #GivingTuesday movement on December 1.

Created by the 92nd Street Y in New York City in partnership with the United Nations Foundation to counterbalance the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzies of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday aims to nurture charity and celebrate generosity via social media. Giving for Good cards are a unique means to foster philanthropic giving among others. “Giving for Good cards present a fun and easy gift-giving opportunity for the holiday season,” said Mary Jalonick, president of The Dallas Foundation. “The recipient of the card gets to choose any nonprofit across the country to benefit. The real value goes beyond the dollar figure on the card, though. Their value is encouraging philanthropy.”

Since The Dallas Foundation introduced Giving for Good cards in 2011, they’ve raised more than $350,000 for nonprofits in Dallas County and across the United States. International corporations have ordered them for employees, attorneys and financial advisors have given them to valued clients, and grandmothers have bought them to help teach grandchildren about charity. One family even presented Giving for Good cards to guests at their son’s wedding reception. The Dallas Foundation has created four new holiday-themed card designs this year. Buyers also can choose designs appropriate for birthdays, celebrations or other special events. Businesses can order customized designs that include their company names or logos on the cards. Giving for Good cards can be purchased online at

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease Awards $450,000 To 5 Dallas-Area Researchers

The Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease (DKR Fund) is dedicated to raising awareness and funding research initiatives throughout Texas for Alzheimer’s disease. Last week, the DKR Fund celebrated Edith Royal’s 90th birthday at the newly opened Hotel Granduca in Westlake Hills of Austin, Texas. In addition to paying tribute to Mrs. Royal, who turned 90 on October 27th, the DKR Fund announced the recipients of five research grants totaling more than $750,000. $450,000 of the grant money awarded went to Dallas-area researchers all part of The University of Texas school system. Of the $450,000 awarded to Dallas researchers, the Lee Jarmon Golf Tournament provided an astounding donation of $150,000 raised during their annual tournament, chaired by Steve Folsom and Matt Bryant. Renowned radio personality Ed Clements emceed the event while Con Huntley provided entertainment for the evening, singing both new songs and old favorites. The gala also featured a live auction that brought in more than $25,000 and special tributes from longtime friends Willie and Annie Nelson, Ricky Williams, Vince Young, David Thomas, and Lowell Galindo of the Longhorn Network as well as Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers. Attendees showed Mrs. Royal love and support throughout the evening. First Lady of Texas, Cecilia Abbot, presented Mrs. Royal with the flag that was flow over the state capitol on her birthday, October 27th, the Honorable Judith Zaffarini presented a Texas Senate Resolution and City of Austin Council Member Sherri Gallo declared November 5, 2015 Edith Royal Day. Matthew McConaughey, a close friend to the Royals, brought guests to their feet in singing Happy Birthday and The Eyes of Texas to Mrs. Royal. Ava Late, Julie Crenshaw, Rita Hortenstine, and Debbie Hanna co-chaired the event, with sponsorships starting at $10,000 per table. To learn more about this organization, visit

Photos: (left) Matthew McConaughey with Edith Royal for her 90th birthday celebration. (right) Dr. Munro Cullum, Julie Crenshaw, Rita Hortenstine, Dr. Kan Ding, Dr. Yinfei Wang, Dr. Ismael Al-Ramahi, Dr. Bridget Hawkins, Ben Crenshaw, Ava Late. Photos by David Brendan Hall