Grandest Gala in Dallas
Dallas' most giving and glamorous arrived at the Hilton Anatole on a perfect December evening for the city's most exclusive gala, the Crystal Charity Ball, where 2014 ball chair Robyn Conlon was waiting to welcome them for a night of fun, philanthropy and a couple of surprises.
Guests — including Kimberly and Justin Whitman, Elisa and Stephen Summers, Lynn McBee, Tanya and Pete Foster, DeeDee Lee, Candy and Walter Evans, and Katherine Coker — arrived dressed in their finest formal attire for a reception that paid tribute to this year's theme, Jewels of the Garden, including music from the Dallas String Quartet, elaborate floral arrangements and strategically placed models who could only be described as whimsical garden fairies.
With glasses of bubbly in hand, guests made their way to the silent auction, which included a special Christmas-themed section to promote holiday spirit. A lively casino area encouraged attendees to try their luck in the name of charity.
Each year, attendees look forward to the Chantilly Ballroom reveal, and Tom Addis' display did not disappoint. When the doors swung open at the stroke of 9, guests grabbed their dates and found their tables, which were festooned with fabulous floral — orchids, roses and hydrangeas — crystals and Tiffany boxes at every seat.
The 50-member Gospel of Light Choir surprised everyone with a 30-minute set from an elaborate revolving stage at the center of the room. Then it was time to indulge on crab Louis, filet of beef with Madeira sauce and a chocolate bomb for dessert as the James Davis Orchestra serenaded them throughout the meal. A toast was in order when it was announced that $5.2 million was raised for this year's beneficiaries.
At 11 pm, Professor D took to the stage, which signaled the late-night dance party. Guests enjoyed treats, tunes and tonics while congratulating Conlon on a job well done and wishing good luck to 2015 chair Michal Powell, who no doubt has extraordinary shoes to fill.