The guests were a bright spot on a cold day in early February, when more than 500 vibrantly dressed patrons huddled inside a crisp white tent in NorthPark Center's Center Park garden for the 35th annual St. Valentine's Day Luncheon and Fashion Show, benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Presented by the iconic Dallas shopping center and Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger, this year's luncheon was themed "Look of Love." The looks were certainly impressive, with advisory chairs Nancy Gopez and Rozalyn Colombo, event chair Christy Berry, honorary chairs Melody and Rick Rogers, and children's chair Maggie Kipp all dressing to impress.
Fox 4 anchor and emcee Clarice Tinsley welcomed the crowd, which in addition to enjoying an elegant lunch was also there to shop and bid in an effort to raise critical funds to find cures for blood cancers and help improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
NorthPark ambassador Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and LLS board member Kimberly Alexander introduced the day's honorees, ensuring that eye makeup needed to be touched up after the heartfelt presentations.
Joyce and Larry Lacerte were honored with the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award, while the Memorial Hero Award sponsored by Robyn and Don Conlon memorialized loved ones lost over the 35 years history of this event.
Sports legend Babe Laufenberg presented the Spirit of Tom Landry Character Award to his son, Luke, who is now in remission and videoed in from his studies at the University of Texas El Paso.
"People like you there allow for people like me to be here," Luke said, drawing a thunderous wave of applause and several sniffles from the crowd.
UT Southwestern's Dr. Robert Collins received a surprise tribute as 70 of his former patients, including Larry Lacerte, stood to recognize his compassion and efforts toward survivorship.
And as the auctioneer didn't arrive as scheduled, Tinsley and Laufenberg teamed up to "fund the fight" and raise even more for LLS and its life-saving programs.
An exciting fashion closed the afternoon's program, featuring spring looks from Versace, Fabiana Filippi, Canali, Kids Atelier, Roberto Cavalli, and Neiman Marcus, and many of the boutiques offered special pricing and perks (plus percentages of sales to LLS) for those interested in taking the looks home that day.
Since its inception, the St. Valentine's Day Luncheon and Fashion Show has raised over $ 11 million for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.