Fashion Group International Dallas Toasts Rising Style Stars

By Cynthia Smoot         Photography by Danny Campbell

THE SETTING:  Fashion Group International of Dallas (FGI Dallas) celebrated its annual Rising Stars gala at the mid-century icon, Statler Dallas Hotel. This year’s event honored the fashion makers in Texas who are achieving notoriety in their region…and beyond. The evening of glamour and excitement praised the community’s individuals and business leaders for their contributions within fashion and its related industries.


The honorees of the evening included Lela Orr of FERRAH (fashion), Barbara Kaiser Harvel and Stephanie Harvel of Kaiser Atelier (accessories), Matt Alexander, proprietor of Neighborhood Goods (retail), Marsi Hubbard of Brite Bar Beauty (beauty), Lea Fisher (art and design), and Samantha Stewart of Style of Sam  (fashion blogging).


THE STYLE:  The evening, emceed by Courtney Kerr, began with many of Dallas’ most fashionable as they mixed and mingled over cocktails and light bites. Guests also had the opportunity to support the nominees at specially created pop-up shops and enjoyed a beauty activation sponsored by Toni & Guy. During the ceremony, guests enjoyed runway shows featuring fashions from the 2020 Rising Star’s fashion nominees, produced by Jan Strimple Productions. It was the place to be to celebrate and admire the state’s thriving fashion scene.


THE PURPOSE:  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.




2020 Dallas Go Red For Women Luncheon Raises Funds To Fight Heart Disease And Stroke

By Cynthia Smoot         Photography by James Edward, Sheryl Lanzel and Scogin Mayo

THE SETTING:  The Omni Hotel in Dallas was recently filled with a ballroom of philanthropically-minded women and men who wanted to make a difference in support of  one of their favorite causes, the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women. They gathered to unite in the fight against heart disease and stroke at the annual event benefitting the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all.


THE STYLE:  More than a thousand area business leaders, philanthropists, and survivors donned red to help raise vital awareness and funds for research and education programs to fight cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in women. This year’s luncheon featured Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum as the keynote speaker who has devoted her career to the treatment of heart disease through early detection, education, and prevention. Tim Wallace, the women of Trinity Industries, and Arcosa Inc. were recognized as the Sandi Haddock Community Impact Honorees for the historical impact they have made on the organization’s lifesaving mission. In fact, for more than 11 years, Trinity Industries, led by the leadership of Wallace, has raised nearly $7.5 million for the Association..


THE PURPOSE:  The event successfully raised $1.8 million and counting. The luncheon, chaired by Judy Hendrick, was nationally sponsored by CVS Health and locally  by Texas Health Resources, Aimbridge Hospitality, Alpha Phi International Women’s Fraternity, and Republic National Distributing Company. The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. They are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, they fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century.




Clayton Dabney For Kids With Cancer Luncheon Is Medicine Of The Heart

By Leanne Raesener          Photography by Tamytha Cameron and Celeste Smith

THE SETTING:  The Dallas Country Club was the recent setting for the Clayton Dabney for Kids with Cancer’s fifth annual Love Luncheon with more than 400 of Texas’ most notable sociables and philanthropists in attendance. The event kicked off with a market-style shopping experience where guests enjoyed love-inspired cocktails. Exclusive local vendors were featured, and MiniLuxe was on hand to provide quick-dry polish changes. Guests had the opportunity to enter a raffle featuring exclusive travel packages, including a staycation at The Joule, a three-night stay at The Four Seasons Punta Mita, and two-night stays at both Sea Island and The Four Seasons Vail.



THE STYLE:  Following the shopping extravaganza, guests were invited into the ballroom where Janie Bell of Highland Park Presbyterian gave the invocation. A delectable lunch was served featuring tomato bisque and grilled chicken salad, during which Christina Kate and Shelby Dabney took the stage. Christina addressed the crowd with a heartwarming tribute to her brother, Clayton, who lost his battle with cancer in 1995 when he was just six years old.


NBC-5 Anchor Meredith Land moderated the keynote presentation which featured Global Healthcorps (GHC) co-founding CEO, Barbara Pierce Bush. GHC is an organization that mobilizes a global community of young leaders to build the movement for health equity. She discussed her family’s experiences in the White House, her current endeavors pursuing her Master’s degree at Harvard, and the work she is doing regarding global health. She brought her mother, Former First Lady Laura Bush, as her guest.


THE PURPOSE: Brittany Hunt and Chelsea Hunt chaired the luncheon, and Ann and John Delautour served as honorary co-chairs. Leslie Ficke is the executive director of Clayton Dabney for Kids with Cancer. The luncheon benefitted the “Medicine of the Heart” outreach program, which supports the agency’s mission to provide families in need who have children in the last stages of terminal cancer. It has offered everlasting memories in last wishes, gifts, special events, family travel, and financial assistance to over 4,400 families. They have distributed more than $8 million to terminally ill children and their families across the United States.



13th Annual Center for Child Protection’s Dancing with the Stars Gala Sizzles

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Jeff Loftin, Christina Murphy, Haley Plotkin and Ben Porter

THE SETTING: Against the backdrop of a picture-perfect winter evening, over a thousand of the most notable sociables and philanthropists descended on Austin’s JW Mariott Hotel for the 13th annual Dancing with the Stars. Hosted by the Center for Child Protection, the event is one of the can’t-miss social events of the season. This year’s gathering was no exception, featuring an evening full of fun and show-stopping dance routines, and a special appearance by JR Martinez, a winner of the ABC’s televised version of Dancing with the Stars.


THE STYLE: Friends and supporters of the 11 celebrity dancers donned their finest black-tie ensembles, with women choosing an eclectic mix of chic ballgowns with metallics, solid colors, and especially sequins being the most popular. Not to be outshined, the men also brought their finest eveningwear, with many sporting velvet tuxedo jackets, that helped create a festive environment.  


The evening began in the foyer of the ballroom for a breezy cocktail hour, where guests got to mingle and congratulate the celebrity dancers they were on hand to support. The action then moved to the main ballroom for the evening’s program. The event emcees, Glenn Ball and Holly Mills Gardner, effortlessly kept the audience engaged throughout the event with a mix of humor and witty banter. Following a moving video, highlighting the purpose of the Center for Child Protection, the live auction had bidders seize the opportunity to purchase an impressive array of items including luxury vacation packages to such exotic locales as Africa, Croatia and Thailand.


Then came the main event, the performances by the dancers themselves. One by one, each of the dancers strutted their stuff on the dance floor to iconic songs including Crazy in Love, Gonna Make U Sweat and I Will Survive that kept the audience on their feet throughout. After the dancing competition concluded, the audience vote was tallied with Brian Yacktman and his pro partner, Katrina Repka, were declared the winners. The evening was capped off with an after-party where partygoers danced into the wee hours of the morning to the tunes of DJ Johnny Bravo.


THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Francie Little and Jenny Mason, raised over $1.1 million for the Center for Child Protection. A nationally accredited children’s advocacy center that offers services ,including forensic interviews, counseling, and medical exams to children who are suspected victims of physical or sexual abuse as well as those who have witnessed violent crime.




AIN Art+Fashion+Community Event Highlights Dallas-Based Artists

By Cynthia Smoot Photography by Danny Campbell and Marcus Perryman

THE SETTING: AIN (Access & Information Network) recently hosted a new event, Art+Fashion+Community, which was welcomed with open arms to a sold-out crowd with presenting sponsor AHF. It was a meeting of the minds that brought together an exhibition of the who’s who in the art and fashion world. Guests were treated to an array of photography, paintings, sculpture, and fashions from six local designers.

Models, poised on pedestals, were transformed into works of art in the Samuel Lynne Galleries. Designers included Project Runway alum Venny Etienne, Don Morphy, Julie McCullough, Amy Marshall, Loren Franco, and Arnulfo Villa. Amy Marshall’s collection took everyone’s breath away with her 1981 collection about the outbreak of AIDS in the community.

THE STYLE: Guests strolled through the gallery while being treated to hors d’oeuvres from Doug Boster Catering and drinks from Hell’s Half Acres vodka and Community Beer Co. Guests could also bid on one-of-a-kind T-shirts designed by artists including Tyler Shields, Cristi Meril, JD Miller and Project Runway darlings Daniel Esquivel and Lela Orr.

THE PURPOSE: The event was chaired by Lea Fisher, Ken Weber & JR Hernandez. For over 30 years, AIN been a leading healthcare resource for persons living with HIV and other vulnerable populations in the Dallas region. The organization serves over 2,000 diagnosed low-income men, women and youths by distributing over 140,000 rides annually to medical and social services. It also provides 25,000 hot meals every year through its nutrition program.




Annual ReuNight Event Upholds Mission Of Helping North Texas Families

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Celeste Smith and Jason Voinov

THE SETTING: The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek was the recent setting for the 7th Annual ReuNight for The Family Place. The event drew several hundred of Dallas’ most notable philanthropists, influencers, and sociables for a memorable evening of fun and fundraising that those on hand will not soon forget.


THE STYLE: The moment the cocktail-chic crowd entered the recently renovated grounds of this beloved Dallas landmark, guests knew they were in for a special evening. After posing for pictures on the step and repeat, partygoers engaged in a fun and engaging cocktail hour where VIP’s rubbed elbows and brimmed with anticipation for the night ahead. Additionally, guests had the opportunity to view the impressive array of silent auction items on display.


The action then moved into a stunning tent on the Mansion’s grounds complete with sparkling chandeliers that matched the energy of its patrons for the main program. After attendees were treated to words by the event co-chairs, they imbibed on a scrumptious, multi-course meal against the ambient backdrop of tunes by Ricki Derek and The Vegas Six. A spirited live auction followed where bidders had a chance to raise paddles for their favorite items. A special appearance by Elvis impersonator, Victor Trevino also entertained the crowd.


THE PURPOSE: ReuNight, co-chaired by Melinda Bell, Catherine Cox, and Natalie Lorio, with the Hallam family serving as honorary chairs, raised funds for The Family Place. The mission of the organization is to provide a safe space, counseling and skills for victims of bullying and domestic violence. Since 1978, The Family Place has served over 216,500 individuals in the North Texas region.