Leukemia & Lymphoma Society supporters had a lot to celebrate during the beloved Saint Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show. And we’re not just talking about the deserving award recipients or the Stanley Korshak fashion show. This was the 30th anniversary of the event so near and dear to the hearts of many Dallas philanthropists.
Guests — including Lynn McBee, Claire Emanuelson, Myrna Schlegel, Paige Slates, DeeDee Lee, Maggie Kipp, Muffin Lemak, Roz Colombo, Olivia Kearney, Nancy Rogers and Heather Furniss — arrived at the Meyerson Symphony Center dressed to the nines for the affair themed “Legends of Love,” in honor of past luncheon chairs. After the ladies said their hellos, the event began in earnest with a touching awards presentation that recognized two very special individuals.
First up was Dawn Mellon, a triumphant survivor and recipient of the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award. Ellen Terry presented Mellon with her award, which recognizes an adult individual or couple with a “heart of gold,” who has been affected by a blood cancer or has helped to raise awareness to help find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
Next up was Margaret Strand, recipient of the Spirit of Tom Landry Award, which recognizes a youth with courage, integrity, dignity and dauntless spirit who has battled blood cancer through personal experience or who has volunteered extensively on behalf of others who suffer from blood cancer.
Strand, who was diagnosed with leukemia at the young age of 3, was escorted onstage by Zach Rigby, a leukemia survivor who received the same award in 2010. Mrs. Tom Landry and Tom Landry Jr. presented Strand with her honor, and both recipients received a standing ovation from the audience.
Then the crowd settled in for the Jan Strimple-produced fashion show presented by Korshak, which featured 30 years of fashions from 30 designers. The finale was particularly memorable, as 30 models in every style of gown paraded down the runway, taking their places in elevated tiered platforms that covered the entire stage. In the center, a beautiful bride in full-length white lace caressed a dark rose-red violin accented with crystals and blooming orchids.
With visions of glorious fashions dancing in their heads, attendees accepted the invitation to an elegant lunch from chair Carmeleta Whiteley and honorary chairs Jan Miller and Jeff Rich. After the meal, guests indulged in a little post-event shopping and champagne at Stanley Korshak.
The Saint Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show raised more than $450,000 to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society — a more than six-figure increase over last year.