By Jake Gaines          Photography courtesy of Scott Murray Scholarship Fund

Ron Haddock, Jim and Margo Keyes, Carole and Scott Murray & Susan and Hank Alterman

Recently, more than 250 guests gathered in Dallas to celebrate the Inaugural Unsung Hero Award honoring Scott Murray and benefiting the Scott Murray Scholarship Fund. The Fund provides financial assistance to individuals from the Dallas/Fort Worth area who have the desire to further their education but lack the necessary financial resources. Former Dallas Cowboy great Chad Hennings gave a moving speech about how Scott Murray is “the real deal,” noting his decades of service on behalf of local nonprofits to raise millions of dollars. In a surprise announcement, Murray agreed that The Scholarship Fund, founded in 1999, would become the Scott Murray Scholarship Fund going forward. In fact, it received a standing ovation from the 250 people in attendance that night.

Elizabeth Polanco, Bob Hopkins, Bob Whisnant and Nancy Knox

The Texas State Fair-themed event featured entrepreneur extraordinaire Jim Keyes as the emcee and was held at the Fair Park Briscoe Carpenter Pavilion, surrounded by reminders of the State Fair glory from years past. Hunter Sullivan and the Hunter Sullivan Band warmed up the crowd for the first hour. Dinner did not disappoint with dishes from the favorite recipes of star chefs David Holben, Richard Chamberlain, Dean Fearing, Kent Rathbun, and Sevy Severson.

Myrna and Bob Schlegel and Millie Cooper

The event raised $155,000 for the Scott Murray Scholarship Fund. Because of this success and continued fundraising efforts, the Fund plans to offer $100,000 in scholarships and financial assistance for the 2022-2023 school year to students in need. Assistance is available for students attending community colleges or four-year colleges and universities. The Founder of the Unsung Hero Award and Chairman of the Inaugural event is Bob Hopkins, author, educator, and board member of the Scott Murray Scholarship Fund. For more information and students may apply at

Marilyn Augur and David and Sara Martineau



By Jake Gaines   Photography courtesy of SAFE and Mark Ashby Design

When Mark Ashby Design, the top-drawer Austin-based design firm, partnered with SAFE, the non-profit organization in Austin, magic happened. It was the perfect cause because SAFE shelters and supports survivors of violence, sex trafficking and domestic abuse, to redesign 530 square feet of the facility’s public spaces bringing beautiful design and a fresh outlook to six communal living quarters.

The goal was to reimagine the public spaces at SAFE, so the job ahead was no easy task. For the project that would greatly enhance the current SAFE space, Ashby’s firm raised money throughout 2020 and 2021 (during the heart of the pandemic, mind you) by incentivizing their clients with interior design discounts, donating proceeds from design projects, volunteering to design events for corporate donations, and ended the fundraising with a public GoFundMe campaign. It was a true can-do period for both Ashby and SAFE.

The design team enlisted corporate sponsors McCoy Rockford, Four Hands and many others, all of which were generous with their time and donations. Using the most durable fabrics and sturdy pieces, Simon and design partners Callie DeLuca, Ashleigh Malen, and Annie Bacon delineated best practices to create a timeless, serene design plan that can also withstand everyday wear and tear. That meant calming, neutral tones were used with added pops of energetic color to convey positivity.

The emergency shelter communal living spaces accommodate survivors and often multiple families, so it had to be restful and inviting. The team chose to keep the space light, kid friendly, and well planned by creating zones for living room activities, game playing, family meals, and one-on-one conversations. “Our goal was to support the valuable and important work SAFE provides by creating a warm and welcoming environment for survivors to heal and to process the next brave phase of their lives,” says Christina Simon, Senior Designer, Mark Ashby Design.

“Because of Mark Ashby Design and their corporate sponsors, when families and adults come to SAFE’s shelter looking for safety, they will enter a warm and uplifting environment where they can rest and prioritize their healing and recovery,” says Jacqueline Smith-Francis, Corporate Development Specialist SAFE Austin.  “SAFE is deeply grateful to Mark Ashby Design and its corporate partners for lending their professional expertise and connections to help survivors feel valued and supported during their stay with SAFE.”

We applaud the efforts of both Mark Ashby Design and SAFE, both of whom enrich the community so much.




Center for Child Protection’s Play Bingo Dazzles

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Haley Plotkin

Bethany Zinsmeyer and Teri Brown

THE SETTING: Recently, the Hilton Hotel in downtown Austin was the setting for one of the city’s most anticipated Fall events. A sold-out crowd featuring over 1,000 of the region’s most influential sociables and philanthropists gathered for the Center for Child Protection’s 18th annual Play Bingo Luncheon. The afternoon featured fun and fabulous prizes for winners who often had themed tables.

Melissa Cason

THE STYLE: The Austin-chic crowd began the afternoon in the foyer of the venue where guests sipped champagne and perused the over 130 silent auction items which included jewelry, luxury handbags, and other goodies all generously provided by local merchants. Revelers then headed to their tables to begin the afternoon of bingo playing. Emcee Jim Spencer and Guardian Angel Melissa Cason effortlessly kept the event and the game-playing flowing at a festive pace. In addition to various table prizes presented throughout the event, there were also eight bingo winners who took home grand prizes from such notable brands as Lake Austin Resort & Spa and Neiman Marcus.

Shonnery Pettit, Dr. Ashley Garling and Traci Briscoe

THE PURPOSE: The event raised over $735,000 for The Center for Child Protection, which provides a first stop for children in Travis County who are victims of physical or sexual abuse as well as children who have witnessed violent crimes. In 2020, the center forensic, therapy, medial, and support services to 1,739 children.



Hon. Mervin Wyatt-Ras, Debbye Crofoot, Lynn Wyatt and Trey Wyatt

Lynn Wyatt Honored At Houston Luncheon

By Lance Avery Morgan     Photography by Fulton Davenport

David Paul and Mia Gradney

THE SETTING: Recently, the Downtown Rotary Club of Houston hosted a fundraiser luncheon to celebrate the life of Houston philanthropist Lynn Wyatt, the original influencer. KHOU Channel 11’s Mia Gradney and David Paul handled the emcee duties honoring the style legend…and the festivities included live and silent auctions in addition to Elizabeth Anthony and M. Penner fashions show produced by Lenny Matuszewski. The local-lebrity models included Rotary Club of Houston members Miranda Sevcik, Kristi Koncaba, Kenny Koncaba, Jeff Horner and Merita O’Krinsky.  A highlight of the auction was a Vincent Peach Design custom gold and diamond bracelet valued at $7,128.00. It was donated by Cindy Lewis of Lewis Jewelers. General Manager Robert Castle and Vincent Peach were on hand to present the bracelet to the winner, Shayna Andrews.

Jana L. Phillips, Douglas Drummond and Shelly deZevallos

THE STYLE: Lynn Wyatt arrived with sons Bradford, Trey and his wife the Honorable Mervin Wyatt-Ras (Member of the Aruba Parliament),  Dr. Sam Hunt and Billy Wells from the Wyatt Ranches of Texas, Mady Kades and the Rabbi David Lyon. Lynn Wyatt joined the co-chairs, Jana and Shelly with Rotary President Brice Cambas and Founding Charter President Rick Slemaker to present Lynn with awards including City of Houston Proclamation, and the first ever awarded to a non-member the Paul Harris Fellow Award. Douglas Drummond II, CEO, Geo H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors was the Presenting Sponsor. Joining him at his table were Lisa Simon, Dot and Walter Cunningham, Rick Slemaker and Debbye Crofoot.

Robert Castle, Lynn Wyatt and Vincent Peach

THE PURPOSE: Chaired by Shelly deZevallos and Jana L. Phillips, the event was held in the Ballroom at Bayou Place and raised over $100,000 to benefit The Downtown Rotary Club‘s Houston Community Service Projects. “It was a privilege to be the cochair with Shelly deZevallos to honor Lynn Wyatt for all her philanthropic efforts through the years. The funds Raised at the event will go to several Rotary projects that will continue to help the Houston community.” states Jana Phillips.

Brice and Sarah Cambas













By Lance Avery Morgan    Photography courtesy of Neiman Marcus

If you grew up in Texas, or even if you just arrived, you very likely know about Neiman Marcus’ The Christmas Book. Growing up, I loved pouring over the catalog to finally arrive at the season’s extravagant His & Hers gifts that would jump off the page. From owning exotic camels, to sailing the world in a hot air balloon, anything seemed possible from those pages. Now, re-live the excitement of the fabled Texas brand’s luxe look at gifting (and receiving) with the newest 2021 holiday guide offers a world of possibilities. Here are a few of our favorite things we are considering this year…

Vista Alegre Personalized Dinnerware and Portugal Trip

We all look forward to the holiday season as a time to connect with their families and loved ones, embracing traditions old and new, wouldn’t you agree? First, the Vista Alegre personalized dinnerware & Portugal trip invites you to explore the rich history, stunning architecture, and the natural beauty of Portugal all while helping to design your own bespoke fine porcelain place setting for 12 to elevate even the most experienced entertainer’s tablescapes ($80,000; pages 82–83).

Little People, BIG DREAMS London Adventure Fantasy Gift

For avid readers and dreamers alike, the Little People, Big Dreams London Adventure will have you and your little ones traveling to London and working closely with author Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and the illustrators to cowrite your own inspirational story and turn it into your very own special edition of the Little People, Big Dreams library ($35,000; pages 90–91).

The Mughal Heart Diamond Fantasy Gift

Then, there’s the breathtaking Mughal Heart Diamond, a spectacular 30.86-carat diamond that includes the extraordinary bonus of naming the stone through the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), linking to your family forever ($6,100,000; pages 88–89).

Throughout the over 60-year history of the Fantasy Gifts, we love that they have evolved to reflect the interests and priorities of the customers and world around them. For this reason, Neiman Marcus is proud to introduce two of this year’s gifts that celebrate the steps we can take, both large and small, toward being more sustainable.

Barrett-Jackson Hummer Ev Edition 1

For the forward-thinking explorers, the Barrett-Jackson Hummer Ev Edition 1 makes every drive a journey to remember with this exclusive edition of the world’s first fully electric super truck curated by automotive expert and Barrett-Jackson Chairman and CEO Craig Jackson. This Fantasy Gift experience includes VIP access for two to the owner’s skybox and the opportunity to “drop the gavel” on the world-famous auction block at the 2022 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction ($285,000, pages 78–79).

he Ultimate Renewable Luxury Experience with Neiman Marcus & Fashionphile Fantasy Gift

For those looking to refresh their closet, The Ultimate Renewable Luxury Experience With Neiman Marcus & Fashionphile, is the perfect gift to combine your love of fashion and your love of the planet. As part of the three-part ultimate circular-economy shopping experience, customers will have Neiman Marcus and Fashionphile experts assist them in identifying items in their closet to sell to Fashionphile before embarking on a whopping $100,000 shopping spree at their preferred store with Neiman Marcus Fashion & Lifestyle Director Lisa Aiken to fill their newly cleaned out closet with the best in fashion. From there, the customer will go to the Fashionphile headquarters to meet Founder and President Sarah Davis. Upon arrival, the customer will be presented with an all- access pass from Sarah Davis, who will help in selecting five vintage pieces to borrow and swap out anytime. ($345,000; pages 80–81).

The Roaring Twenties Party By Bronson van Wyck Fantasy Gift

Surely it wouldn’t be a Fantasy Gifts list without presenting once-in-a-lifetime, unforgettable experiences that you can only access through the magic of Neiman Marcus. With 19 of your closest friends, indulge in excess and exuberance with The Roaring Twenties Party By Bronson Van Wyck, one of our favorite hosts-with-the-most. This Fantasy Gift offers an exclusive throwback soirée at the Apollo Theater, the legendary Harlem landmark, designed by party planner extraordinaire Bronson van Wyck. Start the night by seeing your name in lights on the marquee, and then enjoy amazing music, cocktails, and dining experiences, all on the Apollo stage to celebrate the joy and magic of being together. ($395,000; pages 86–87).

Winter Magic with Lindsey Vonn at Caldera House Fantasy Gift

And finally, Winter Magic With Lindsey Vonn At Caldera Houseembodies the chicness of après ski at Jackson Hole’s premier luxury hotel and the excitement of hitting the slopes with international champion skier Lindsey Vonn with five of your closest friends, all in one unparalleled mountaintop experience ($235,000; pages 84–85). Swoosh!

So, what are you waiting for? These glam luxury gifts are designed to ignite the magic and whimsy the holidays have brought to customers since childhood, while also creating meaningful experiences, heirlooms, and memories to last a lifetime. Always a vital part of communities, each of this year’s Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gifts includes a charitable donation to organizations including The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, The Lindsey Vonn Foundation, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, The Apollo Theater Foundation, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. For more information, visit any Neiman Marcus store or Neiman Marcus.